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Coronavirus - 4th May 2021

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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 09:37

Summary for Tuesday, 4th May

  • European Union leaders are to discuss plans for allowing non-essential overseas travel
  • Proposals include allowing anyone who has had their final coronavirus vaccine jab two weeks beforehand to travel
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says it is time to revive the EU's tourism industry
  • Boris Johnson has said the approach to foreign travel this summer will be sensible to avoid "an influx of disease"
  • In England care home residents can now leave their home for low-risk trips without having to self-isolate
  • Hospitality bosses have lost a legal challenge for a faster reopening of indoor dining in England
  • India officially passes 20 million Covid infections but government says cases are falling


Good morning and welcome to our coronavirus pandemic coverage.
We will be bringing you updates from around the world throughout the day on the latest Covid-19 news.

Here's what is happening around the UK


  • Danish MPs have backed the next step in reopening society, as a result of low infection rates and hospital admissions. From Thursday all primary school students will return to school and concerts, cinemas and theatres will be able to readmit up to 2,000 people in seated sections of 500. But that means big summer outdoor events such as the Roskilde festival will not be able to go ahead as normal. Gyms and sport facilities will open up to over-18s who show a corona passport, which shows if you’ve been vaccinated, tested or have had Covid recently.
  • Poland is reopening shopping centres, museums and DIY shops and allowing the youngest children back to school. Another 2,525 infections were reported yesterday, well down on the peak at the start of April. The government in Warsaw hopes all children can go back to school by the end of May.
  • Six men from Spain have been arrested at Schiphol airport near Amsterdam after allegations of rowdy behaviour on a flight, according to Dutch reports. They’re said to have refused several requests to wear a mask.
  • Germany’s RKI public health institute has reported a sharp fall in infections to 7,534 and seven-day incidence is down to 141.4 per 100,000 people.
  • Football’s European governing body Uefa says 9,500 spectators will be allowed in to watch the Europa League final on 26 May in the Polish city of Gdansk. That’s 25% capacity. Meanwhile, Italy’s national football team is being vaccinated ahead of the Uefa European Championships which start next month. The Italian football federation said doses were being given in hospitals in Milan and Rome.

In other developments:

  • In the US, the seven-day rolling average of new cases has fallen below 50,000 for the first time since October. The CDC recorded the average as of 2 May as 48,164.
  • Air travel in the US has hit its highest mark in more than 13 months ago. Nearly 1.67 million people were screened at US airport checkpoints on Sunday, according to the Transportation Security Administration, the highest number since mid-March of last year.
  • The EU will reopen to holidaymakers from countries with low Covid infection rates, such as the UK, and to anyone who has been fully vaccinated, by the start of June under a European Commission plan .
  • The US Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorise the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine for adolescents between ages 12 and 15 years by early next week, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing federal officials familiar with the agency’s plans.
  • In Greece, restaurants and cafes reopened their terraces on Monday after six months of shutdown, with customers flocking to soak up the sunshine.
  • In Italy, medical experts and politicians expressed concern about a possible spike in infections after tens of thousands of jubilant soccer fans converged on Milan’s main square Sunday to celebrate Inter Milan’s league title.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 15:29

'UK should only reopen travel when it is safe'

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss says she understands people's frustration about holidays but tells BBC Breakfast it is right that the UK only reopens overseas travel "when we know it's safe" and when the correct procedures are in place.
She says an announcement will be made "fairly shortly" and encourages people to wait until the government announces its plans before booking a holiday.
"We do have to be cautious, we don't want to reimport the virus," she says.
She says she is confident that when travel is allowed the government will be able to minimise disruption but adds that the situation is "unprecedented".
"It will be as streamlined as possible," she says.

What the papers say

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The possibility of foreign holidays this summer features in many of the morning papers.

Read more here .
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 15:34

'If countries have similar infection levels to UK, there's no risk'

Professor Neil Ferguson discussed overseas travel possibilities in his Today programme interview.
He says that the risk of foreign travel depends on the levels of infection at your destination.
"I think if for instance, by the summer, infection levels in France and Italy are the same sort of level as they are here, then there's no risk associated with travelling overseas," he says.
"The risk comes from going from a place like the UK with very low infection levels and going to a place with much higher infection levels and therefore having the risk of bringing infection back.
"If the two places are at comparable levels and that's what the EU is saying, then there is no particular risks associated with the travel."
Prof Ferguson says the experts do believe hospitalisations and deaths will "tick up in late summer" if we completely go back to normal, but at a lower level than in the winter.
"So it's obviously a political judgement as to what is acceptable in terms of the number of infections, but we don't see any prospect of, for instance, the NHS being overwhelmed," he says - although adds a caveat and says that is unless a new variant comes along.
"We don't want to see vaccination undermined by things like the South African variant spreading in an uncontrolled manner," he says.

Foreign holidays a case of 'how and when not if'

Alan French, chief executive of travel agent Thomas Cook, says the UK is "not talking about if we can go on holiday but talking about how and when".
He says the business has been seeing "a lot more interest" in bookings over the last couple of weeks.
Thomas Cook is allowing people to change their holiday to another destination or refund it if Covid is the reason they cannot go, he says.
He says it is "certainly going to be a challenge" for the airport system to cope with extra regulations to manage Covid and adds that they will need as much lead time as possible.

Breaking News 

India's IPL cricket tournament suspended

The Indian Premier League, the world's richest cricket tournament, has been suspended after some players tested positive for coronavirus .
An Indian Cricket Board official said they would try to hold the matches in the next available window but no date had been fixed.
On Monday, a match was postponed after two players from the Kolkata Knight Raiders team tested positive.
There had been been strong criticism on social media for staging the tournament while India suffers a devastating second wave of the virus.
India has recorded more than 20 million Covid infections with a further 355,00 cases reported on Tuesday.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 15:37

India passes 20m cases amid oxygen shortage

As we reported a short while ago the Indian Premier League cricket tournament has been suspended amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the country.
India has recorded more than 20 million Covid infections , although the government says cases are "slowing down".
The country added more than 355,000 cases on Tuesday, down from more than 400,000 daily cases on 30 April, but testing numbers have have dipped as well, sparking fears that India's true caseload is far higher.
Meanwhile, an oxygen shortage has shown no signs of abating and people in several hotspot cities, including the capital Delhi, are struggling for treatment.
Its second wave, fuelled by lax safety protocols and massive public festivals and election rallies, has also overwhelmed its hospitals. Delays in testing, diagnosis and treatment, as well as a shortage of critical care beds and crucial drugs, has resulted in a spike in deaths too.
India has so far reported more than 222,000 deaths due to the virus. But experts say India's Covid death toll is vastly under-reported as official tallies don't appear to match what people are witnessing on the ground.

Scientist warns against Covid complacency

People will have to be sensible and cautious in the future but not in a way that "limits our everyday lives", a behavioural scientist says.
Prof Stephen Reicher, who sits on a Sage sub-committee, tells BBC Breakfast: "So we need to be sensible about this, we need to be cautious about this, and in that way I think we're much more likely to get to a space where our lives are much more back to normal, much more tolerable, where we can meet and hug our loved ones, but don't just hug anybody."
He says that he would take the comments made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the possibility of scrapping social distancing on 21 June with a pinch of salt, adding: "Now, if a week is a long time in politics, two months is an eternity in a pandemic.
"Remember, two months ago in India they were declaring the pandemic was all over, now they're having 400,000 cases a day."
He says one of the biggest risks is "complacency".
"I think we need to be optimistic, but vigilant as well."

Portugal's travel rules will be simple, says tourism minister

Portugal's secretary of state for tourism, Rita Marques, says her country is "taking the lead" at the European Council in negotiations about reopening EU countries to UK holidaymakers.
She tells BBC Breakfast the "British market is really important to all Europe, and in that sense we are ready to welcome you when you are ready to come".
She says Portugal expects that visitors will either be vaccinated or can produce a negative test.
"That's pretty much the rules. The rules will be quite simple," she says.
She says her government is working on an agile process and wants to provide a "seamless experience" for everyone who wants to travel to Portugal.
Here is a reminder of the current rules on foreign travel .
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 15:41

Countries could compete for family holiday market

The Independent's travel editor Simon Calder says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has made it clear the policy of treating islands separately from mainland countries will be in place in the summer.
The Foreign Office is no longer advising against travel to several Greek islands and the Canary Islands, although non-essential foreign trips remain banned until 17 May.
He says an announcement on the UK's traffic light system is expected on Friday.
While the European Council is holding talks about how to manage travel European Union countries can make their own decisions and Calder says he thinks there will be competition for the family holiday market.
"Parents who have been vaccinated might get a fast track and kids might have to be tested... and then you are clear to go," he says. "Of course parents are going to be a bit nervous about this because it is not good if you have children as young as five being tested because it can be a fairly unpleasant experience."
Calder adds he thinks as rates fall there will be a lighter approach.

Care home residents can go on outdoor trips without isolating

Coronavirus - 4th May 2021 Bd29ca10

Care home residents in England can now go on low-risk trips - such as to relatives' gardens or a local park - without having to self-isolate for 14 days when they return.
It comes after some families say they have felt "powerless" because of "restrictive" visits.
Campaigners now want the rule change to become law, rather than just guidance.
The government brought about the change because a fall in Covid cases meant it was now "much safer" for care home residents to go outside.
It had been threatened with legal action by the charity John's Campaign over the isolation requirement.
Read more here .
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 15:47

UK's travel green list 'not yet finalised'

Graeme Buck, of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), says there is a lot of speculation about which countries could be on the UK's green travel list but says the initial list "won't be it forever" and will change dependent on Covid rates.
He says he understands the list has not been finalised as yet but he says there are general principles for which countries go into which colours of the UK's traffic light system.
Buck says these include variants of concern and what the prevalence of coronavirus is in a particular country.
He says the industry wants to know the specifics of the classification system to help with planning, both for businesses and their customers.
"It is slightly frustrating to have that wait but hopefully we will be there soon," he says.
Read more about travel rules here.

Covid-19 headlines so far today

Here are the latest coronavirus headlines from the UK and around the world this lunchtime:

  • European leaders are beginning discussion over overseas travel rules, while the UK government is expected to announce its traffic light travel system later this week
  • In England, care home residents are able to go out for low-risk activities without having to self-isolate on their return
  • India has recorded more than 20 million Covid infections, but the government says that cases are "slowing down". The Indian Premier League cricket tournament has been suspended as the country continues to be gripped by a second coronavirus wave
  • The UK is continuing to support India by sending equipment such as ventilators, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss says
  • Hospitality owners in Northern Ireland who had to close their businesses due to the weather just days after reopening have said they are "frustrated" at the enforcement of Stormont guidelines
  • India has passed a grim milestone of 20 million Covid-19 cases amid growing calls for the country to go into a national lockdown. As the country continued to grapple with oxygen shortages and a lack of hospital beds and ICU facilities for coronavirus patients, as well as crematoriums overloaded with bodies, the Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi called for a nationwide lockdown.
  • The Indian Premier League has been postponed with immediate effect. With multiple reports of team bubbles being breached by positive Covid cases, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s governing council unanimously voted to suspend the action.
  • The suspension casts Australia’s ban on any citizens returning home from India in a new light, with former Test cricketer Michael Slater accusing the Australian PM of having “blood on his hands” for leaving Australian citizens stranded amid the pandemic.
  • Nepal has said it urgently needs at least 1.6m AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine doses to administer second shots as the Himalayan country is recording a surge in new coronavirus cases.
  • Data about Covid in North Korea has been scarce, but Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party, has said the pandemic was only worsening, despite the development of vaccines. It urged people to brace for a protracted pandemic, describing it as an “inevitable reality”.
  • Recent data on Covid deaths and rates of infection in the UK are “very encouraging”, and though a third wave of infections was possible in late summer it was unlikely to overwhelm the NHS, the leading epidemiologist Neil Ferguson has said.
  • UK minister Liz Truss has hinted that Britain is set to announce the green list for countries that people can travel to on holiday shortly.
  • Hong Kong authorities have rowed back on plans to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for foreign domestic workers, after human rights groups slammed the policy as being discriminatory.
  • Denmark will allow elementary schools to fully reopen and a range of indoor activities to resume this week, the health ministry has said.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration is preparing to authorise Pfizer and German partner BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents aged between 12 and 15 years by early next week, the New York Times reported. In the US, the seven-day rolling average of new cases has fallen below 50,000 for the first time since October.
  • The EU will reopen to holidaymakers from countries with low Covid infection rates, such as the UK, and to anyone who has been fully vaccinated, by the start of June under a European Commission plan .
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 15:54

UAE extends ban for travellers from India

The United Arab Emirates has extended a ban on entry from travellers coming from India to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the foreign ministry in Abu Dhabi has said.
The statement did not specify a date to lift the suspension, which was first announced on 22 April, Reuters reports.
It said:
Flights between the two countries will continue to allow the transport of passengers from the UAE to India .
India, which continues to grapple with oxygen shortages and a lack of hospital beds, has passed a grim milestone of 20m Covid-19 cases.
The Australian government has said it will introduce penalties including fines and jail time for anyone who tries to return home from India.

Poland imposes quarantine for travellers from Brazil, India and South Africa

People travelling to Poland from Brazil , India and South Africa will have to quarantine, the country’s health minister said on Tuesday, as he announced outbreaks of the Covid first detected in India in the Warsaw and Katowice areas.
Adam Niedzielski told a news conference:
In the case of Brazil, India and South Africa, people travelling from these locations will automatically have to quarantine without the possibility of getting an exception due to a test.

Wales reports a further 65 covid cases

There have been a further 65 Covid cases of in Wales , taking the total number of confirmed cases to 211,638.
Public Health Wales said there was one new death, bringing the total to 5,551.
The agency has confirmed that a total of 1,864,400 first doses of the Covid vaccine have been given in Wales, with 772,527 second doses having also been administered.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 15:59

Sweden reports 14,950 new Covid cases since Friday

Sweden has registered 14,950 new Covid cases since Friday, health agency indicate.
The figure, as reported by Reuters, compared with 14,911 cases during the corresponding period last week.
The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 43 new deaths, taking the total to 14,091.

NHS app may not be ready when foreign holidays resume- Downing Street

PA Media reports:
Downing Street has admitted the NHS app may not be ready to be used as a vaccine passport when international travel resumes and “another approach” may be needed.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has previously said the app – which is currently used to book medical appointments and order repeat prescriptions – will display evidence that someone has been vaccinated or recently tested.
But the prime minister’s official spokesman indicated that officials were working on alternative plans when international travel resumes, which is expected on 17 May .
“(Mr Shapps) set out the approach we are looking to take,” the spokesman said.
“Obviously we will be able to confirm ahead of the 17th at the earliest what measures are used for those initial countries that are available for travel, be it the app or another approach.”
The spokesman added: “There are other routes to achieving the same end goal. We are working on the app at the moment, at pace, to have it ready and we will be able to confirm ahead of the 17th at the earliest what approaches we will be using.”

Singapore tightens Covid curbs on gatherings and border measures

Singapore has announced tighter curbs on social gatherings and stricter border measures after recording locally acquired cases of coronavirus variants, Reuters reports.
After reporting very few local infections for months, numbers have increased in the financial hub over the last week, mainly linked to an outbreak at a hospital.
On Tuesday, it confirmed five new locally acquired cases.
The stricter measures, which will be effective from 8 May, include extending checks on where incoming travellers have been to three weeks earlier, instead of two weeks currently.
All visitors with a recent travel history in higher risk countries and who arrive from Saturday onwards will also need to be in quarantine for 21 days, instead of 14.
Social gathering will be limited to five people, while indoor gyms and fitness studios will close.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 16:38

Practically impossible to get bed with oxygen - New Delhi doctor

It is "practically impossible" for Covid patients to get a bed with oxygen at a hospital in New Delhi, a doctor working there says.
Dr Atul Gogia, a consultant at Sir Ganga Ram, tells BBC Radio 4's World at One that the emergency room at the hospital is "completely full" of patients, and there is a shortage of medical staff to cope with the numbers needing treatment.
The hospital each day sees severely ill patients who require high levels of oxygen or support from ventilators.
India is battling a deadly second wave of the pandemic amid a critical shortage of oxygen supplies.
Asked whether the situation in the hospital is chaotic, Gogia says: “Yes, it is mental chaos also. It becomes chaotic at times because you want to do your best and you want to get them out."

Pandemic struggles for ‘Little India’ in China

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
In the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, the world’s largest wholesale market, there is a part of the city known as “Little India”.
The Global Times newspaper noted in July last year that there are “so many Indian import merchants at Yiwu, the world’s capital of small commodities, that an Indian expat town was in the process of being formed ”.
Chinese media are saying that these people, as well as others in the city involved in trade with the country, have effectively become a lifeline to Indians back home, who are hoping to secure oxygen generators and medical supplies.
According to the Times, some logistics companies and medical product manufacturers have worked overtime during the May Day public holiday because of a surge of orders from India and ‘customers waiting for them to save their lives’. Sina News adds that logistic companies have seen a sudden spike in orders, but that “almost all orders are for oxygen generators and oximeters ”.
Other Indian businesses in the city have meanwhile suffered; Sina News says that Chengbei Road, the home of a number of Indian restaurants and businesses, has become “deserted”, with restaurants making huge losses, and one having to close permanently.
A toy manufacturer tells the website they have 20 to 30 Indian merchants who are “regular customers”, who “used to place orders several times a month” that they have completely lost contact with, which has led to a backlog of goods at their warehouses.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 16:43

NHS app may not be ready when travel resumes

The NHS app may not be ready for use as a vaccine passport when international travel resumes, Downing Street says.
Holidaymakers visiting many popular foreign destinations will be required to show evidence they have been vaccinated, have received a negative test or have coronavirus antibodies.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has previously said the NHS app, currently used to book medical appointments in England, could be used to display evidence of a person's Covid status.
But the prime minister's official spokesman says officials are working on alternative plans for when international travel is able to resume - on 17 May at the earliest.
The spokesman says: "Obviously we will be able to confirm ahead of (then) what measures are used for those initial countries that are available for travel, be it the app or another approach."
He adds: "There are other routes to achieving the same end-goal. We are working on the app at the moment, at pace, to have it ready, and we will be able to confirm ahead of (then) what approaches we will be using."

G7 ministers meet behind screens

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Foreign ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations are in London for their first summit in more than two years.
The event has strict protocols with ministers wearing masks and elbow bumping on arrival, while they are separated by screens during the meeting itself. The number of aides attending is also limited.
Regular testing and cleaning regimes are in place at the summit - with the UK keen to avoid any coronavirus issues as it begins hosting a series of international meetings aimed at securing its place on the global stage following Brexit.

Breaking News 

UK deaths rise by four

A further four people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, according to the latest government figures .
There were 1,946 cases recorded.
Yesterday, one death and 1,649 cases were reported.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 16:49

World must help India through current crisis - Fauci

The chief medical adviser to US President Joe Biden, Dr Anthony Fauci, has told the BBC that other countries must step up to help India through the current health crisis and to ramp up vaccination rates.
"The number of people needing hospitalisation and not being able to get a hospital bed, the lack of oxygen, the lack of equipment, it is really a very desperate situation. We really need to get a concerted effort of other countries to try and help India out.
"Not only to help them from outside to within, but to help them to be able to get their own situation (under control), namely to produce more vaccines, and to get people vaccinated.
"Only 2% of the population is fully vaccinated and about 9-10% have partial vaccination. For a country of so many people, we've got to do better than that and we've got to do better than that quickly, because that's going to be the solution. That's the intermediate and long-range solution."

Indian opposition calls for national lockdown

India's main opposition Congress party has urged the government to declare a nationwide lockdown, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country passed 20 million .
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said there was no other way to stop the spread of the virus.

Pawan Khera, a spokesman for the Congress party, told the BBC health services in India had virtually collapsed, with people calling for medical help on social media:
"What we are witnessing across India is a virtual collapse of health services and what we see unfortunately is that it appears that the health services are being on social media because people are crying for help - SOS tweets and posts on social media and then trying to create networks of volunteers."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been resisting pressure to impose a full lockdown because of the economic consequences.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 17:47

When can I go on holiday abroad again?

With all the talk today of green lists and European holidays, you may want a reminder of what the rules are.
Currently, it is illegal to go abroad for non-essential trips, with the restrictions in place until at least 17 May.
Under the proposed "traffic light" system, countries will be rated green, amber or red.
Countries on the green list will have the fewest travel rules, but you will still need to take a private Covid test in your holiday destination before returning to England and take a private PCR test on or before day two of your arrival in England.
But you will not have to isolate unless the test on arrival is positive.
For amber countries you will need to take a Covid test before returning to the UK, self-isolate at home for 10 days and pay for PCR Covid tests on days two and eight of isolation.
Rules will be similar to those already in place for red list countries and will require you to stay in a hotel for 10 days.
You can read more about the rules here .

Bus operators call for relaxing of distancing rules

Social distancing rules on buses should be relaxed to cater for increased demand, a Scottish operator says.
Current Scottish government guidance is for one metre physical distancing between people on all forms of public transport.
But independent operator McGill's says the restrictions mean it is now turning away people at peak times because its buses are full .
Transport Scotland says the Scottish government has "invested significantly" to ensure public transport services are available during the pandemic and says capacity on public transport will still need to be managed as wider restrictions are eased.
McGill's managing director Ralph Roberts says he is worried a "healthy return" of passengers will be stymied by the distancing rules not being eased quickly enough.
Bus industry sources tell BBC Scotland that a number of operators are nearing capacity at peak times under existing social distancing rules and they fear people will be put off getting back to using buses if the situation worsens.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 17:53

Singapore tightens restrictions amid new cases

Singapore has announced a series of new restrictions, after cases rose last week and several new clusters - including locally transmitted cases of new variants - emerged on the island.
Measures - which kick in from 8 May - include tighter curbs on social gatherings of five people, stricter border controls, as well as a ban on spectators at sporting events.
Travellers arriving from most countries will be required to quarantine for three weeks instead of two.
Indoor gyms and fitness studios will be closed, and more people will be required to work from home.
These are the tightest local measures since the city-state started easing curbs in the middle of last year after a partial lockdown.
Only last week, it had been deemed the best place in the world to live in Covid times.


Future UK lockdowns unlikely, Prof Ferguson says


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Future lockdowns in the UK are unlikely, a scientist whose modelling led to the first lockdown tells the BBC.
Prof Neil Ferguson says the possibility of a further lockdown can't be completely ruled out because of the "worst case scenario" of a new variant emerging that evades the current vaccines.
In this scenario, it is possible restrictions could be needed again to boost people's immunity to the virus, for example with tweaked vaccines.
He says: "Do I think it's likely to happen? No I don't. I think we are much more likely to be on a steady course now out of this pandemic, at least in this country."
Ferguson says the data on falling covid cases, hospitalisations and deaths is very encouraging.
"With the one caveat that we need to keep to watching those variants carefully and get more data on them, I am actually feeling very optimistic and that optimism has gradually increased as the last three months have unfolded, from a terrible situation we were in in January to a remarkably good situation now."
And he says life will begin to return to normal by early summer.
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 18:01

People in Irish county warned over high infection rate


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Covid-19 restrictions in County Donegal, and across the Republic of Ireland, are due to ease from 10 May

People in Donegal have been urged not to partake in many of the Republic of Ireland’s post-lockdown freedoms because of the county’s high Covid-19 rate.
The country’s Level Five restrictions are being eased from 10 May.
But Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says people in Donegal "will continue to need to see themselves as having to protect themselves".
It currently has the highest Covid-19 rate in the country.
Last week the chief medical officer spoke about his concerns about the levels of non-compliance with Covid-19 restrictions in the county.
On Saturday, the chief medical officer and Irish health minster met with local politicians to discuss the infection rate.
Read more here

Audrey, 85, ends 14 months indoors with ice cream


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An 85-year-old woman who has not been outdoors for 14 months because of the pandemic has had her first trip out to get an ice cream.
Julie Chuter had promised her mum Audrey they would get the biggest ice cream they could find when she took her to Tynemouth earlier.
Audrey, who had been desperate to leave her care home, says: "It's great to be out of the home and be outside, even if the weather is rubbish!
"I love ice cream, it's my absolute favourite. I had to get one even though it's cold and wet."
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Post by Kitkat Tue May 04 2021, 18:13

What's happened in the UK today?

Here is a round-up of the main UK stories from today:

  • Care home residents in England can now go on low-risk trips - such as to relatives' gardens or a local park - without having to self-isolate for 14 days when they return. It comes after some families say they have felt "powerless" because of "restrictive" visits
  • An announcement on international travel will be made "fairly shortly", International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has said. She said she was confident that when travel is allowed the government will be able to minimise disruption but adds that the situation is "unprecedented"
  • The data on deaths and cases is "very encouraging", a scientist whose modelling has been used by the government has said. Prof Neil Ferguson said that while his modelling team expected a slight rise in coronavirus cases, infections will remain within "manageable levels"
  • Odeon has become the latest cinema chain to say it will reopen on 17 May following months of lockdown closures. Following a similar announcement from Cineworld, Odeon said it would open most of its 120 UK sites with new safety measures in place.


Tuesday's world headlines

And here's what's been happening around the world:

  • The Monaco Grand Prix is set to go ahead later this month with 7,500 spectators, with Covid measures in place
  • Foreign ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations have been meeting in London for their first summit in more than two years
  • The Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament has been suspended as the country continues to be gripped by a second coronavirus wave
  • Singapore has announced a series of new restrictions after several new clusters emerged on the island.


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Thanks for following our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today.
Updates were brought to you by Doug Faulkner, Alexandra Fouché, Francesca Gillett, Paul Kirby, Alex Therrien, Sophie Williams, James Clarke, Sarah Collerton and Claire Heald.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:29