Australia to end ban on citizens leaving country

Australia has confirmed it will lift a ban next week that has prevented its own citizens travelling overseas without permission. Australians have spent 19 months under some of the world’s strictest border rules, in an effort to keep out Covid-19. From 1 November people will no longer need an exemption to leave the country – provided they are fully vaccinated. Only Australians are eligible but some rules for foreigners will be relaxed soon, the government said. “Before the end of the year, we anticipate welcoming fully vaccinated skilled workers and international students,” Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said in a … Continue reading Australia to end ban on citizens leaving country

Hong Kong to further tighten Covid-19 travel restrictions

Hong Kong will tighten coronavirus travel restrictions to bring it more into line with the Chinese mainland, its leader said Tuesday, as the city extended its streak of more than two months without a major local outbreak.Hong Kong has one of the strictest mandatory Covid-19 quarantine regimes in the world The announcement came despite concerns from the international hub’s business community that the city remains indefinitely cut off from the rest of the world, with one of the strictest mandatory quarantine regimes of any jurisdiction. Most arrivals have to undergo 14 to 21 days of hotel quarantine. Chief Executive Carrie … Continue reading Hong Kong to further tighten Covid-19 travel restrictions

China postpones Beijing marathon due to Covid-19 surge

China has postponed the Beijing marathon until further notice, amid a surge in coronavirus infections. It comes as the country’s top health official warned that a fresh outbreak of cases is expected to spread further. China has reported more than 133 cases across 11 provinces so far, all of them have been linked to the highly transmissible Delta variant. The latest surge is considered the largest outbreak in the country since Nanjing in August this year. It has raised concerns over China’s ability to maintain its zero-tolerance approach to the virus, especially leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics. Held annually … Continue reading China postpones Beijing marathon due to Covid-19 surge

Australia to start travel bubble with Singapore

Australia will soon establish a travel bubble with Singapore, with details of the plan to be revealed next week, says Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Singapore will be only the second travel corridor for Australia, which has closed its borders to foreigners since the start of the pandemic. It currently only allows New Zealanders to freely visit. The deal with Singapore extends Australia’s aims to reopen international travel next month. But Australia will initially only allow vaccinated citizens, permanent residents and their family members to enter without needing to quarantine. Mr Morrison last week said the nation would then prioritize visa … Continue reading Australia to start travel bubble with Singapore

Lucas Hernandez given deadline to report to prison

Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez has been given until 28 October to hand himself into prison after breaching a restraining order.Lucas Hernandez A Madrid court has hit Lucas with a prison sentence after he was found to have broken the terms of a court-ordered period away from his girlfriend, with whom he was involved in an altercation in early 2017. Ordered to arrive in court by 19 October, the Bayern defender arrived in the early hours of Monday morning to face the charges, and the Superior Court of Justice in Madrid have now confirmed that Lucas has ten days to turn himself … Continue reading Lucas Hernandez given deadline to report to prison

London’s New Year fireworks cancelled for a second year

London’s famous riverside New Year’s Eve fireworks display has been cancelled for a second year because of “uncertainties caused by Covid”. England was under strict lockdown last year, but despite all restrictions having been lifted, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has again called the event off. Normally about 100,000 people pack the streets around Victoria Embankment. There will still be a celebration in Trafalgar Square, with details to be announced “in due course”. The beginning of 2021 was rung in by millions of viewers watching a light show on television. Explaining why this year’s event was also being cancelled, a spokesperson for … Continue reading London’s New Year fireworks cancelled for a second year

Seriously?: Texas Governor Greg Abbott bans mandatory vaccination in state

Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning all entities, including private companies, from enforcing vaccinations in Texas. Mr Abbott, a Republican, has been one of the most vocal US leaders opposed to making coronavirus vaccines mandatory. He has made similar edicts since the start of the pandemic, but this is the first to include private employers and their customers. The governor has called on state lawmakers to pass a ban into law. “The Covid-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defence against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Mr Abbott said in a statement. … Continue reading Seriously?: Texas Governor Greg Abbott bans mandatory vaccination in state

YouTube to remove all anti-vaccine misinformation

YouTube has said it will remove content that spreads misinformation about all approved vaccines, expanding a ban on false claims about Covid-19 jabs. Videos that say approved vaccines are dangerous and cause autism, cancer or infertility are among those that will be taken down, the company said. The policy includes the termination of accounts of anti-vaccine influencers. Tech giants have been criticised for not doing more to counter false health information on their sites. In July, US President Joe Biden said social media platforms were largely responsible for people’s scepticism in getting vaccinated by spreading misinformation, and appealed for them … Continue reading YouTube to remove all anti-vaccine misinformation

BREAKING: Spanish government approves full capacity in LaLiga stadiums

The Spanish government has approved a new regulation regarding the capacity in LaLiga stadiums, approving that there will be no limitations and that 100% of the seats can be used starting this Friday. Before this new regulation was approved, there was a 60% limitation in effect. This decision by the government was bound to happen sooner or later given Spain’s great percentage of vaccinated people and the huge decrease in Covid-19 cases. For Real Madrid, things are a bit different, but not because of Covid-19. The constructions for the new Santiago Bernabeu have not finished and it is extremely likely that … Continue reading BREAKING: Spanish government approves full capacity in LaLiga stadiums

Dutch boy wins court battle for right to jab

A 12-year-old boy in the Dutch city of Groningen has won a court battle to get vaccinated against Covid-19 so that he can visit his dying grandmother, despite his father’s objections. A judge ruled the jab would reduce his chances of passing on any infection to the woman, who has advanced cancer. Vaccines have been approved for Dutch 12-17-year-olds but under-17s need the consent of both parents. Vaccine scepticism is increasing in the country. Judge Bart Tromp of Groningen District Court said that the boy should be vaccinated promptly because his interests were more important than the father’s concerns. Court … Continue reading Dutch boy wins court battle for right to jab

Foolish: Sri Lanka shaman dies of Covid-19 after touting ‘blessed’ water cure

A high-profile shaman who tried to end Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 outbreak with “blessed” water has died of the virus, according to his family. Eliyantha White, 48, who treated sports stars and top politicians, including the country’s prime minister, claimed in November he could end the pandemic in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India by pouring pots of his “blessed” water into rivers. Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi endorsed the water treatment, but was infected two months later and ended up in a hospital intensive care unit. She was later demoted and lost her portfolio, but remains in the cabinet. White attracted international attention … Continue reading Foolish: Sri Lanka shaman dies of Covid-19 after touting ‘blessed’ water cure

US opens up to international travel for the fully vaccinated

The US is easing its coronavirus travel restrictions, reopening to passengers from the UK, EU and other nations. From November, foreign travellers will be allowed to fly into the US if they are fully vaccinated, and undergo testing and contact tracing. The US has had tough restrictions on travel in place since early last year. The move answers a major demand from European allies, and means that families and friends separated by the restrictions can be reunited. “It’s a happy day – Big Apple, here I come!” French entrepreneur Stephane Le Breton told the Associated Press news agency, as he … Continue reading US opens up to international travel for the fully vaccinated