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New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 14th Jan 2022

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Chinese woman stuck in blind date’s home by abrupt COVID lockdown

When authorities in Zhengzhou suddenly placed the central Chinese city under a COVID-19 lockdown last week, a woman known only by her surname, Wang, was having dinner – at the house of her blind date. “Just after I arrived in Zhengzhou, there was an outbreak and his community was put under lockdown and I could not leave,” Wang told Shanghai-based outlet The Paper on Tuesday, adding that she went there for a week-long trip to meet potential suitors.
13th Jan 2022 - AlJazeera

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 13th Jan 2022

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Three Million Britons Were Off Work Sick in the First Week of 2022

The rapid spread of the omicron variant drove a sharp increase in the number of people missing work in the U.K. during the first week of January, according to an analysis of workplace attendance data carried out for Bloomberg News. About 3 million workers were on sick leave from Jan. 3 through Jan. 9, according to GoodShape, which tracks work-related illness and wellbeing at U.K. employers. An estimated 1.6 million new cases of absence began during that period, an 18% jump on a year earlier. The snapshot of absences at the beginning of the year is one of the first indications of the impact the omicron surge is having on the U.K. economy.
12th Jan 2022 - Bloomberg

Omicron may be headed for a rapid drop in Britain, US

Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically. The reason: The variant has proved so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect, just a month and a half after it was first detected in South Africa. “It’s going to come down as fast as it went up,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.
12th Jan 2022 - The Associated Press

Tunisia to restore curfew and ban gatherings over COVID

Tunisia will re-impose a night curfew and ban all gatherings for two weeks starting from Thursday to counter the rapid spread of COVID-19, the government said on Wednesday in a move critics decried as aimed at stopping protests. The ban on gatherings and a request to avoid travel within the country except for emergencies comes two days before a planned demonstration against President Kais Saied called by major political parties.
12th Jan 2022 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 12th Jan 2022

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Chinese cities tighten COVID-19 curbs as Tianjin battles Omicron outbreak

Cities across China are imposing tougher restrictions to try to control new outbreaks of COVID-19, with Tianjin battling the highly contagious Omicron variant which has been detected to have been transmitted locally in two other provinces. A Tianjin official told a Tuesday press briefing that 49 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms have been detected during the latest outbreak. The city of 14 million people, around 100km (62 miles) from Beijing, is now implementing tough controls to stop the coronavirus from spreading, especially to neighbouring Beijing.
11th Jan 2022 - Reuters

China locks down 3rd city, raising affected to 20 million

A third Chinese city has locked down its residents because of a COVID-19 outbreak, raising the number confined to their homes in China to about 20 million people. The lockdown of Anyang, home to 5.5 million people, was announced late Monday after two cases of the omicron variant were reported. Residents are not allowed to go out and stores have been ordered shut except those selling necessities. Another 13 million people have been locked down in Xi’an for nearly three weeks, and 1.1 million more in Yuzhou for more than a week. It wasn’t clear how long the lockdown of Anyang would last, as it was announced as a measure to facilitate mass testing of residents, which is standard procedure in China’s strategy of identifying and isolating infected people as quickly as possible.
11th Jan 2022 - The Associated Press

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 11th Jan 2022

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China's Tianjin tightens control over travel after Omicron cases

The northern Chinese city of Tianjin tightened exit controls and is requiring residents to obtain approval from employers or community authorities before leaving town in an effort to block the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The port city to the southeast of Beijing reported 21 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms on Sunday, the National Health Commission said on Monday, up from three a day earlier. Tianjin, with around 14 million residents, said over the weekend it detected two local cases of infection with the Omicron.
10th Jan 2022 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 7th Jan 2022

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China's Henan adds COVID curbs as cases rise, Xian official apologises

More cities in central China's Henan province imposed COVID restrictions as infections there rose sharply, while authorities in the northwestern city of Xian apologised on Thursday to a woman whose miscarriage during lockdown stirred public outrage. Henan reported 64 domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms for Wednesday, up from just four a day earlier, official data showed on Thursday. While those numbers are small by global standards, and no cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant have been reported so far in Henan, several cities there imposed new limits on travel and other activities in response.
6th Jan 2022 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 6th Jan 2022

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China's Henan hit by COVID curbs after sporadic cases

A few central Chinese cities imposed varying degrees of travel curbs after sporadic COVID-19 cases, in line with a national strategy that has taken on extra urgency due to the upcoming Winter Olympics and Lunar New Year holiday. The city of Yuzhou in the central province of Henan has ordered its 1.1 million residents not to leave town since Jan. 2, although the caseload for the city and the entire province remained tiny. Henan reported four domestically transmitted cases and 18 local asymptomatic infections for Tuesday.
5th Jan 2022 - Reuters

Yuzhou: Second Chinese city forced into Covid lockdown

China has put a second city into total lockdown after just three asymptomatic Covid cases were discovered. Yuzhou - which has a population of 1.1 million - saw its transport system shut down and all but essential food stores closed overnight. It follows a similar lockdown in Xi'an, where 13 million have been confined to their homes since 23 December. The strict measures come ahead of the Lunar New Year and the Winter Olympics due to be held in Beijing.
5th Jan 2022 - BBC News

China's Health Code App Crashes in Xi'an, Spiking Lockdown Chaos

China’s Covid-19 health code system that strictly governs people’s movements crashed in Xi’an this week, worsening conditions in the locked-down city where the country’s worst outbreak since Wuhan has been unfolding. The crash has complicated efforts to weed out cases through mass testing, created hurdles for people seeking care at hospitals and led to the suspension of a top official, the latest among a slew of bureaucrats to be punished as Beijing fumes over the situation. Liu Jun, head of Xi’an’s big-data bureau, was temporarily dismissed over performance failures, the municipal Communist Party Committee said in a statement. While the committee didn’t explicitly lay out the reason behind its decision, it came after Xi’an’s health code system -- which is under Liu’s purview and tracks individuals’ movements and vaccination status -- broke down on Tuesday.
5th Jan 2022 - Bloomberg

China reports major drop in virus cases in locked-down Xi’an

China on Wednesday reported a major drop in COVID-19 infections in the northern city of Xi’an, which has been under a tight lockdown for the past two weeks that has sharply disrupted the lives of its 13 million residents. The National Health Commission announced just 35 new cases in Xi’an, home to the famed Terracotta Warriors statues along with major industries, down from 95 the day before. Health officials said they have basically achieved the goal of halting community transmission because the new cases were among people already quarantined.
5th Jan 2022 - The Associated Press

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 5th Jan 2022

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Delhi imposes weekend curfew as COVID cases multiply, chief minister tests positive

Authorities in India's capital Delhi on Tuesday ordered people to stay home over coming weekends, with COVID-19 cases quadrupling in a week. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the most senior elected official in the capital's administration, was one of the 37,379 new COVID-19 cases reported in India in the space of 24 hours. Kejriwal, who announced his infection the day after addressing an election rally without a mask, is among scores of political leaders - including Prime Minister Narendra Modi - holding events across India in front of large crowds.
4th Jan 2022 - Reuters

China's Yuzhou locks down 1.1 mln residents on COVID fears

A Chinese city has locked down its 1.1 million residents after reports of new coronavirus cases as officials rushed to contain even small outbreaks just over four weeks before the Winter Olympics begin. The curbs in the city of Yuzhou, in the central province of Henan, are similar to those imposed for nearly two weeks in the industrial hub of Xian, which has become China's latest COVID-19 epicentre.
4th Jan 2022 - Reuters

In locked down Chinese city, some complain food hard to get

Residents of the Chinese city of Xi’an are enduring a strict coronavirus lockdown, with business owners suffering yet more closures and some people complaining of difficulties finding food, despite assurances from authorities that they are able to provide necessities for the 13 million people largely confined to their homes. Stringent measures to stem outbreaks are common in China, which still maintains a policy of stamping out every COVID-19 case long after many other countries have opted to try to live with the virus. But the lockdown imposed Dec. 23 in Xi’an is one of the harshest in the country since a shutdown in 2020 in and around Wuhan, after the coronavirus was first detected there.
4th Jan 2022 - The Associated Press

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th Dec 2021

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China's Xian locks down its 13 mln residents as COVID-19 cases rise

Rising COVID-19 infections in China's city of Xian have spurred a lockdown of its 13 million residents, with stretches of highway eerily bare on Thursday, as many people queued in the cold to get their noses swabbed at testing sites. The daily count of domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms in the northwestern city, famed for its terracotta warriors buried with China's first emperor, has increased for six straight days since Dec. 17. That takes the tally of local cases to more than 200 over the period from Dec. 9 to 22, smaller than many outbreaks outside China. No Omicron infection has yet been found in Xian, capital of the northwestern province of Shaanxi.
24th Dec 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 23rd Dec 2021

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S.African study offers Omicron hope as nations reimpose curbs

South African data offered a glimmer of hope on Wednesday about the severity of the Omicron coronavirus variant, but World Health Organization officials cautioned that it was too soon to draw firm conclusions as the strain spread across the globe. With the second Christmas of the pandemic days away, countries imposed new restrictions on their citizens while worrying about the damage the variant might inflict on their economies. Plans for Christmas parties and celebrations were wiped out from London to New Delhi amid the uncertainty.
22nd Dec 2021 - Reuters

Despite consumption hit, China to stand fast on tough COVID-19 curbs

China's strict COVID-19 policy is weighing on consumption and rattling foreign firms, but its effectiveness and the imperative to maintain stability heading into a sensitive year mean Beijing will stick to its approach, experts say. China has reported just two COVID-19 fatality this year, retaining a tough line even as many other countries ease restrictions, imposing targeted shutdowns and travel curbs even when they disrupted local economies. Avoiding major outbreaks is especially critical in a year when Beijing hosts both the Winter Olympic Games and the once-every-five-years Communist Party Congress, where President Xi Jinping is expected to clinch a third term as party secretary.
22nd Dec 2021 - Reuters

Chinese city Xian curbs residents' travel, activities amid COVID outbreak

The Chinese city of Xian has ordered its 13 million residents to stay at home and urged them not to leave town unnecessarily as it struggles to contain rising COVID-19 cases under Beijing's guideline that flare-ups must be curbed as quickly as possible. Xian, in China's northwest, has reported more than 140 domestically transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms since Dec. 12 in its latest cluster caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus. A handful of cities have detected cases linked to the Xian outbreak, including one from the capital Beijing.
22nd Dec 2021 - Reuters

German health experts urge more COVID curbs as lockdown not ruled out

German health experts said on Wednesday that new coronavirus curbs probably did not go far enough to keep the Omicron variant in check, as the country's health minister said he had not ruled out a full lockdown if cases spiked. The measures, decided on Tuesday, include limits on private gatherings, closing clubs and discos and banning spectators at football matches and are set to be introduced from Dec. 28. Janosch Dahmen, health expert for junior coalition partners the Greens, said they were a step in the right direction. "But they probably won't be able to curb the danger that Omicron represents," he told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
22nd Dec 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd Dec 2021

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Germany to Impose Tighter Curbs as Nation Braces for Omicron

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pushed through tighter social-distancing restrictions to stave off the threat of a “massive” surge of the omicron Covid-19 variant just as families gather for the Christmas holidays. The latest measures, which add to existing curbs that mainly affect the unvaccinated, include limiting gatherings to 10 people starting Dec. 28. The restrictions, which Scholz negotiated with regional leaders on Tuesday, also apply to those who are inoculated or have recovered from the virus. “We can’t close our eyes to the next wave that’s beginning to appear in front of us,” Scholz told reporters in Berlin after meeting the country’s 16 state premiers. The chancellor said Germans should celebrate Christmas, but cautiously.
21st Dec 2021 - Bloomberg

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st Dec 2021

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Dutch streets deserted as snap Christmas COVID lockdown starts

Article reports that Dutch urban centres were largely deserted on Sunday as the country began a snap lockdown that, aimed at stemming an expected COVID-19 surge caused by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, left people's Christmas plans in disarray. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the shutdown on Saturday evening, ordering the closure of all but essential stores, as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places from Sunday until at least Jan. 14. In Rotterdam, police used a water cannon to disperse a group of around 1,000 people who had gathered outside the city's main soccer stadium, ahead of a clash between local team Feyenoord and bitter rivals Ajax Amsterdam.
20th Dec 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th Dec 2021

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Netherlands starts 'painful' Christmas coronavirus lockdown

Dutch urban centres were largely deserted on Sunday as the country began a snap lockdown that, aimed at stemming an expected COVID-19 surge caused by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, left people's Christmas plans in disarray. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the shutdown on Saturday evening, ordering the closure of all but essential stores, as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places from Sunday until at least Jan. 14. In Rotterdam, police used a water cannon to disperse a group of around 1,000 people who had gathered outside the city's main soccer stadium, ahead of a clash between local team Feyenoord and bitter rivals Ajax Amsterdam.
19th Dec 2021 - Reuters

Officials draw up plans for two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown

Plans for a two-week circuit breaker lockdown after Xmas are being drawn up. Leaked minutes from a SAGE meeting said restrictions are needed 'very soon.' During the Thursday meeting, the experts backed a ban on indoor social contact. It is believed that they want fresh measures to come in before January 1
19th Dec 2021 - Daily Mail

Virus News: Netherlands Goes Back Into Lockdown

The Dutch government announced plans to enforce a stricter lockdown to stem a surge in coronavirus infections caused by the spread of the omicron variant. “Omicron spreads even quicker than we feared. That is why we have to act now, to prevent worse,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Saturday at a news conference in The Hague. “We are going back into a lockdown.” The tougher measures mean the country pivots from evening restrictions that shuttered shops, bars and restaurants after 5 p.m. to a so-called full lockdown that allows only supermarkets and essential shops to stay open. They’ll take effect on Sunday and last until at least Jan. 14. All schools and universities will stay closed while the stricter curbs last.
19th Dec 2021 - Bloomberg

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 15th Dec 2021

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Norway in partial lockdown as Omicron 'changes the rules', PM says

Norway will further tighten restrictions and speed up vaccination in a bid to limit an expected surge of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Monday. Norway's new restrictions could cast doubt on the central bank's plan to raise interest rates later this week,
14th Dec 2021 - Yahoo News UK

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 13th Dec 2021

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Swiss mull limited lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise

Switzerland may have to impose another limited lockdown to break the momentum of rising coronavirus cases that threaten to overwhelm its healthcare system, the government said on Friday. "This is really a critical phase. The trends are going in the wrong direction," Health Minister Alain Berset told reporters in Bern as the cabinet launched consultations with regional authorities and social partners on the way forward. The government said it may expand the requirement for proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus for access to many indoor venues, which would leave out unvaccinated people even if they have negative test results.
11th Dec 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 9th Dec 2021

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Norway again hardens COVID-19 curbs to try to halt spread

The Norwegian government introduced stricter rules on Tuesday to limit the spread of COVID-19, including a cap on the number of visitors in private homes and shortening the hours bars and restaurants can serve alcohol. The Nordic country has seen a surge of COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, followed by a rise in the number of hospitalisations. "We really wished we were done with the pandemic. But the situation is now so serious that we must put in place new measures to keep control," Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told a news conference.
8th Dec 2021 - Reuters

France's Martinique territory imposes new curfew as COVID infections surge

Authorities on the Caribbean island of Martinique ordered a new curfew on Tuesday, citing the worsening of the COVID-19 epidemic on the French territory. The curfew is set at 8 p.m. local time (0000 GMT) and will start from Wednesday, the local authorities said, adding all trips will have to be justified by health or professional reasons. This curfew follows another one ordered on Nov. 25 in Martinique after protesters looted shops and set up burning barricades amid demonstrations against COVID-19 protocol
8th Dec 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 30th Nov 2021

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Parts of northern China tighten curbs on new COVID-19 flare-ups

A resurgence of COVID-19 infections in northern China have forced two small cities to suspend public transport and tighten control over residents' movement, as the country has showed no willingness to go easy on local outbreaks. China reported 21 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases with confirmed symptoms on Sunday, official data showed on Monday, marking the highest daily count since mid-November. Almost all of the new local cases were detected in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.
29th Nov 2021 - Reuters

Couple caught fleeing Dutch COVID-19 quarantine moved to "forced isolation"

A couple caught trying to escape from COVID-19 quarantine in the Netherlands after testing positive for the coronavirus have been transferred to a hospital where they were being held in isolation, an official said on Monday. The pair, a Spanish man and Portuguese woman, left the hotel where travellers who tested positive for the virus were staying after arriving at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport from South Africa. "They have now been transferred to a hospital elsewhere in the Netherlands to ensure they are in isolation. They are now in so-called forced isolation," said Petra Faber, spokesperson for Haarlemmermeer municipality, where Schiphol is located just outside of the capital.
29th Nov 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th Nov 2021

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Portugal Says Remote Working Will Be Mandatory on Jan. 2-9

The Portuguese government said remote working will be mandatory in the week of Jan. 2-9 as it tries to prevent a spike in coronavirus infections after the Christmas and New Year holiday break. Schools will reopen on Jan. 10, a week later than previously planned, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Thursday at a press conference in Lisbon. Until that first week of January, remote working will be recommended when possible. From December, the use of masks will become mandatory in closed spaces, digital certificates will be needed to access restaurants or hotels, and negative tests will be required for nightclubs, bars and sports venues. Masks are currently already required on public transport.
26th Nov 2021 - Bloomberg

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Nov 2021

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Slovakia follows Austria into lockdown amid record surge in COVID cases

Slovakia's government followed the example of neighbouring Austria on Wednesday and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world's fastest rise in COVID-19 cases as the number of people sick in hospital reached a critical level and vaccination levels remain low. Restaurants and non-essential shops will close as part of the measures and movement will be limited to trips for essential shopping, work, school or medical visits, along with walks in nature, government officials said.
25th Nov 2021 - Reuters

Europe's Harsh Covid Restrictions Are Coming Back. They Don't Have To Stay

Before the arrival of safe and effective vaccines, dealing with Covid-19 in Europe was dominated by fear, uncertainty and blunt tools like lockdowns and travel bans to keep hospitals from being overrun. Countries with blanket curbs such as Israel, Austria and Denmark — whose leaders self-identified as “first movers” — wore their strict social-distancing rules like a badge. This fear is back as the region struggles with breakout infections moving from East to West. Austria is sliding into lockdown, with its middling vaccination rate making it look more like a laggard than a leader. Neighboring Germany, where public health played second fiddle to politics this fall, is refusing to rule out another lockdown. Denmark, despite a high vaccination rate, is seeing record cases after lifting restrictions in September. (Less complacent Southern Europe looks better-placed for now.)
24th Nov 2021 - Bloomberg

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th Nov 2021

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Slovakia's COVID cases rise by record as government prepares lockdown

Slovakia's government followed the example of neighbouring Austria on Wednesday and ordered a two-week lockdown to quell the world's fastest rise in COVID-19 cases as the number of people sick in hospital reached a critical level and vaccination levels remain low. Restaurants and non-essential shops will close as part of the measures and movement will be limited to trips for essential shopping, work, school or medical visits, along with walks in nature, government officials said.
24th Nov 2021 - Reuters

Austria's lockdown is looking infectious

Austria’s lockdown may spread as quickly as Covid-19. On Friday, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced a national lockdown beginning on Monday and introduced Europe’s first vaccine mandate. Austria and its neighbours had been hoping that a targeted lockdown for vaccine holdouts might avert blanket restrictions, however soaring infection rates have already stretched intensive care facilities to the brink.
24th Nov 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 24th Nov 2021

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COVID-19: Austria coronavirus lockdown feels not just like a health crisis, but also a cultural, social and political storm

On Saturday, the streets of Vienna were packed with shoppers. Today, they were quiet, if not deserted. Yes, this is lockdown, but it isn't quite the eerie emptiness of 18 months ago. Instead, the Austrian capital feels like it's closed for business. The clothes shops, the ice rinks and, of course, the Christmas markets. All shut. Maria Fridrichovsky normally sells chestnuts in one of the markets. She told me she is "angry" at what has happened, bemused that only 65% of the Austrian population is vaccinated against COVID. "I feel very sad because the companies are closed down," she said. "We sell chestnuts and potatoes to the people. It should be lovely here at Christmas. "But now it's so hard - many people are calling up by telephone - what can I do? What can I tell them? It's so sad."
23rd Nov 2021 - Sky News

Slovakia "intensively" looking at COVID lockdown possibility, PM says

The Czech Republic and Slovakia banned unvaccinated people from hotels, pubs, hairdressers and most public events from Monday after COVID-19 cases filled hospital intensive-care wards, and were mulling harsher steps to stem the resurgent pandemic. The central European neighbours both acted a step behind Austria, which first set restrictions on unvaccinated people but went for a full lockdown on Monday as the region became the world's latest COVID-19 hotspot.
23rd Nov 2021 - Reuters

Austria’s Return to Covid-19 Lockdown Is Met With Anger, Resignation

The country introduced the toughest in an array of restrictions that are spreading across Europe, sometimes meeting violent protests, as governments seek to fend off a steep rise in Covid-19 cases.
23rd Nov 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 23rd Nov 2021

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Austria re-enters COVID-19 lockdown as cases soar again in Europe

The German health minister has warned citizens that they would be either “vaccinated, cured or dead” from COVID-19 by the end of winter as several European countries impose restrictions amid surging infections. “Probably by the end of this winter, as is sometimes cynically said, pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, cured or dead,” Jens Spahn said, as he urged more Germans to get the jab. As intensive care beds fill up fast, Germany’s worst-hit regions have ordered new shutdowns, including the closure of Christmas markets. In regions with high hospitalisation rates, the unvaccinated will be barred from public spaces like cinemas, gyms and indoor dining. Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany’s current COVID restrictions, including barring the unvaccinated from certain public spaces “are not enough”.
22nd Nov 2021 - Aljazeera.com

Austria locks down, Merkel says new steps needed, as Europe faces COVID freeze

Austria became on Monday the first country in western Europe to reimpose lockdown since vaccines were rolled out, shutting non-essential shops, bars and cafes as surging caseloads raised the spectre of a second straight winter in deep freeze for the continent. Germany will also need tighter restrictions to control a record-setting wave of infections, outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying, remarks that erased gains on European stock markets and sent bond yields down. With Europe once again the epicentre of the global pandemic that first prompted lockdowns in March 2020, new restrictions and vaccine mandates are expected to spread nearly two years after the first COVID-19 case was identified in China.
22nd Nov 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 19th Nov 2021

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Austria's focus shifts to full lockdown as COVID-19 cases keep rising

Pressure on Austria's government to impose a full COVID-19 lockdown grew on Thursday as its worst-hit provinces said they would adopt the measure for themselves since infections are still rising despite the current lockdown for the unvaccinated. Roughly 66% of Austria's population is fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in western Europe. Its infections are among the highest on the continent, with a seven-day incidence of 971.5 per 100,000 people. As winter approaches, cases have surged across Europe, prompting governments to consider reimposing unpopular lockdowns. The Netherlands has imposed a partial lockdown that applies to all, but Austria has sought not to impose extra restrictions on the fully vaccinated.
18th Nov 2021 - Reuters

German region hardest hit by COVID surge plans partial lockdown -report

Germany will limit large parts of public life in areas where hospitals are becoming dangerously full of COVID-19 patients to those who have either been vaccinated or have recovered from the illness, a document showed. National and regional leaders meeting on Thursday agreed the measure as part of their response to the fourth wave of the pandemic that is raging in Germany, overburdening hospitals in some areas. In places where hospitalisation rates exceed a certain threshold, access to public, cultural and sports events and to restaurants will be restricted to those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered, according to the document seen by Reuters.
18th Nov 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 16th Nov 2021

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Back in lockdown: Streets in the Netherlands are deserted as curfew comes in after protests over new Covid restrictions

Streets of Rotterdam were quiet and empty tonight following introduction of rules closing nightlife by 8pm. Around 200 protestors clashed with riot police and were blasted with a water cannon in The Hague on Friday. It comes as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the return of a partial Covid lockdown in the country. Bars, restaurants, shops will close from 8pm and social distancing measures are set to be reimposed
15th Nov 2021 - Daily Mail

Austria locks down unvaccinated as COVID cases surge across Europe

Austria imposed a lockdown on people unvaccinated against the coronavirus on Monday as winter approaches and infections rise across Europe, with Germany considering tighter curbs and Britain expanding its booster programme to younger adults. Europe has again become the epicentre of the pandemic, prompting some countries to consider re-introducing restrictions in the run-up to Christmas and stirring debate over whether vaccines alone are enough to tame COVID-19. The disease spreads more easily in the winter months when people gather inside.
15th Nov 2021 - Reuters

Austrian unvaccinated lockdown starts amid COVID resurgence

Austria took what its leader called the “dramatic” step Monday of implementing a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated people who haven’t recently had COVID-19, perhaps the most drastic of a string of measures being taken by European governments to get a massive regional resurgence of the virus under control. The move, which took effect at midnight, prohibits people 12 and older who haven’t been vaccinated or recently recovered from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as working, grocery shopping, going to school or university or for a walk — or getting vaccinated. The lockdown is initially being imposed until Nov. 24 in the Alpine country of 8.9 million. It doesn’t apply to children under 12 because they cannot yet officially get vaccinated — though the capital, Vienna, on Monday opened up vaccinations for under-12s as part of a pilot project and reported high demand.
15th Nov 2021 - The Associated Press

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 15th Nov 2021

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Dutch return to partial lockdown as COVID-19 cases soar

The Netherlands will return to a partial lockdown from Saturday after the government ordered restaurants and shops to close early and barred spectators from major sporting events in an effort to contain a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases. Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said restrictions that the Dutch people had thought had ended for good were being re-imposed for three weeks. Supermarkets and non-essential retailers will also close earlier and social distancing measures will be re-imposed. The government recommended that no more than four visitors be received at home, effective immediately.
12th Nov 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 12th Nov 2021

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Beijing city imposes COVID restrictions on conferences, events

Authorities in Beijing city imposed new curbs on conferences and events after confirming on Thursday six locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, including individuals who had attended conferences in person in the city. Beijing city has reported fewer than 50 COVID-19 local symptomatic infections in the current outbreak that led to over 1,000 local cases since mid-October, but has taken tough measures to block potential routes of further transmission under China's zero-tolerance policy. The city is also the host of the Winter Olympics in February.
11th Nov 2021 - Reuters

Dutch consider new partial lockdown as coronavirus cases hit record

The Dutch government on Thursday was considering whether to impose Western Europe's first partial lockdown since the summer, as new coronavirus cases jumped to the highest level since the start of the pandemic. A surge in infections that started when social distancing measures were lifted late September has put pressure on hospitals throughout the country, forcing them to scale back regular care to treat COVID-19 patients. New coronavirus infections in the country of 17.5 million have roughly doubled in the last week and hit a record of around 16,300 in 24 hours on Thursday.
11th Nov 2021 - Reuters

Austrian lockdown for the unvaccinated is days away, chancellor says

Austria is days away from placing millions of people not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on lockdown, as daily infections are at a record high and intensive-care units are increasingly strained, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday. Around 65% of Austria's population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, national statistics show. Austria has the lowest vaccination rate of any Western European country apart from tiny Liechtenstein, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control data.
11th Nov 2021 - Reuters

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th Nov 2021

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Croatia tightens measures to fight spreading of COVID-19

Amid new record-high COVID-19 daily infections Croatia decided on Friday to tighten measures against the spreading of the disease, including introducing obligatory digital certificates for public sector employees. Croatia reported 6,932 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest daily number since the beginning of the pandemic. Slightly over 50% of around four million Croats are fully vaccinated and experts largely blame a low vaccination rate for a large increase in the number of infections in recent weeks.
5th Nov 2021 - Reuters

Action needed now to avoid lockdown, say German state leaders

Germany's COVID-19 situation is entering a very difficult period with rising numbers of intensive care patients, health minister Jens Spahn said, as German state leaders warned the country may need a new lockdown unless it takes urgent action. Spahn said he had agreed with regional health ministers that in future everyone should be offered a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine six months after receiving their previous injection. "This should become the norm, not the exception," Spahn said at a news conference on Friday.
5th Nov 2021 - Reuters

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COVID-hit China keeps vigil at borders, restricts local tourism

China is on high alert at its international ports of entry to reduce the risk of COVID-19 cases entering from abroad, and it has stepped up restrictions within the country amid a growing outbreak less than 100 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics. The National Immigration Administration (NIA) said on Thursday it would continue to guide citizens not to go abroad for non-urgent and non-essential reasons. The dramatic drop in Chinese travellers since early last year has left a $255 billion annual spending hole in the global tourism market
4th Nov 2021 - Reuters

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Russian regions consider extra COVID curbs as deaths hit record

Several Russian regions said on Tuesday they could impose additional restrictions or extend a workplace shutdown to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases that has already prompted Moscow to re-impose a partial lockdown nationwide. Russia reported 1,178 deaths related to COVID-19 on Tuesday, its highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic, as well as 39,008 new infections. President Vladimir Putin last month ordered a week-long nationwide workplace shutdown from Oct. 30 that could be extended by regional authorities as they see fit. The Novgorod region has already announced it is prolonging the shutdown by a week.
2nd Nov 2021 - Reuters

New Zealand seals off northern region over suspected spread of COVID-19

Authorities planned to seal off the northern tip of New Zealand with police cordons on Tuesday, as they enforce a lockdown in the region over fears of an undetected community transmission of COVID-19 there. Part of the Northland region, about 270 km (168 miles) from the biggest city of Auckland, is to begin a level 3 lockdown from midnight, said Chris Hipkins, the minister coordinating the response to coronavirus. The move follows two cases in the region that lacked a link to any known cases.
2nd Nov 2021 - Reuters

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Netherlands to impose new coronavirus curbs as infections jump

The Netherlands will impose new coronavirus restrictions this week in a bid to curb a recent surge in infections, health minister Hugo de Jonge said on Monday. "We can't escape having to take new measures", De Jonge said. "The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals is rising fast." De Jonge did not give details of the new measures, which he said would be decided on Tuesday. Broadcaster NOS said the government was likely to require face masks in many public places and broaden the use of a "corona pass" showing proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or recent negative coronavirus test.
1st Nov 2021 - Reuters

Tonga records first-ever COVID-19 case, Pacific island nation prepares for lockdown

Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onenoa announced the seven-day lockdown in a press conference on Monday, despite no evidence of community transmission. From midnight, residents on the island of Tongatapu will be required to stay home, except to access essential services or to purchase essential goods, including medical supplies. Police and the military will also enforce a curfew between 8pm and 6am, with all bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses to close temporarily.
1st Nov 2021 - ABC News

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'We have to survive': some businesses flout Moscow COVID-19 lockdown

Some businesses flouted the Russian capital's new lockdown measures on Friday saying they needed to make ends meet amid a lack of state support, as nationwide deaths from COVID-19 hit a new record daily high blamed on slow vaccination take-up. The restrictions allow only essential shops like pharmacies and supermarkets to remain open, while schools and state kindergartens are shut. Bars, cafes and restaurants are only allowed to operate takeaway and delivery services. Some entrepreneurs said they were trying to keep their businesses going as they had not been promised state aid.
29th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Chinese city on Myanmar border vows COVID curbs despite disruption

A Chinese jade trading hub on the border with Myanmar vowed strict control over domestic outbound travel to halt the spread of COVID-19, sustaining some of the toughest zero-tolerance policies in China despite economic costs. After suffering intermittent waves of outbreaks, Ruili has imposed some of the most stringent domestic travel restrictions in China, including self-funded quarantine of at least seven days at centralised facilities for those wishing to leave the city for non-urgent matters.
29th Oct 2021 - Reuters

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Rare plea for help as China's zero tolerance for COVID hits border town

A former vice mayor of a Chinese town on the border with Myanmar lamented local lockdowns and disruptions caused by repeated COVID-19 outbreaks and wrote a rare plea for a "strong" helping hand from Beijing. Ruili, in the province of Yunnan, has faced some of the toughest curbs in the country under Beijing's zero-tolerance policy, as a key international transit point for southwest China, following multiple outbreaks since last year.
28th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Moscow locks down as Russian COVID-19 deaths surge to new highs

The Russian capital brought in its strictest COVID-19 related lockdown measures in more than a year on Thursday as nationwide one-day pandemic deaths and infections hit new highs amid slow vaccination take-up across the world's biggest country. Moscow's partial lockdown, in which only essential shops like pharmacies and supermarkets are allowed to remain open and schools and state kindergartens are shut, comes ahead of a week-long nationwide workplace shutdown from Oct. 30
28th Oct 2021 - Reuters

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Russians opt for foreign beach breaks over COVID curbs

Facing the toughest restrictions since the early months of the pandemic, many Russians have decided that now is an ideal time to fly off for a foreign beach holiday instead of hunkering down at home. Workplaces across Russia are due to close in the first week of November for paid "non-working days" to slow the relentless spread of COVID-19. Russia on Wednesday reported 1,123 new COVID-19 deaths, its highest one-day toll of the pandemic so far.
27th Oct 2021 - Reuters

China doubles down on COVID-zero strategy

An expansive compound of buildings covering the equivalent of 46 football pitches was recently erected on the outskirts of Guangzhou, China’s bustling southern metropolis. The sprawling complex of three-storey buildings contains some 5,000 rooms and is the first of what is expected to be a chain of quarantine centres built by the Chinese government to house people arriving from overseas as it forges ahead with its zero-tolerance approach to COVID.
27th Oct 2021 - AlJazeera

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Hong Kong to tighten COVID-19 rules, seeks to open to China

Hong Kong will tighten COVID-19 restrictions despite a lack of local outbreaks to better align with China’s policies and increase chances of quarantine-free travel between the territory and mainland, leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday. It will step up contact tracing, such as requiring the use of its LeaveHomeSafe app in government premises to record the coming and going of visitors. It will also tighten quarantine rules to exempt only emergency workers or those in essential industries such as logistics. Currently, those exempt from quarantine include airline crew, banking and insurance executives, directors of public companies, as well as crew members on cargo and passenger ships, among others.
26th Oct 2021 - The Independent

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China Locks Down Thousands in North as Delta Outbreak Spreads

China locked down a county that has seen the most Covid-19 cases in the nation’s latest delta outbreak, as an initial flareup in the northwest quickly spirals into a nationwide surge. Ejin, a county in China’s Inner Mongolia region, asked its 35,700 residents to stay home from Monday and warned of civil and criminal liabilities should anyone disobey the order, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing a local government statement. The small county bordering Mongolia is the current outbreak’s hotspot, home to nearly one-third of the more than 150 infections found over the past week in the mainland. The lockdown comes a day after a warning from National Health Commission officials that the outbreak would continue to worsen after spreading to 11 provinces in about a week. China reported 38 Covid infections on Monday, half of which were found in Inner Mongolia.
25th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

Fresh lockdowns in China as local Covid-19 infections spread to 11 provinces

Authorities in northern China are reimposing lockdowns and other emergency measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, with health officials warning of a worsening outbreak after the country recorded more than 100 cases across 11 provinces over the last week. "Since October 17, there have been multiple scattered local outbreaks in China, and they're expanding rapidly," Mi Feng, a spokesman at the National Health Commission (NHC), said at a news conference Sunday. "There is an increasing risk that the outbreak will spread even further." The rapid spread comes despite about 75% of China's population -- or more than a billion people -- being fully vaccinated, according to Mi.
25th Oct 2021 - CNN

Poland may tighten COVID-19 curbs if cases keep growing, says minister

Poland will need to consider tighter COVID-19 restrictions if average daily cases exceed 7,000, the health minister was quoted as saying on Monday, as the government warned that infections were almost doubling each week. Central and eastern Europe, where vaccination rates are lower than in the west of the continent, has seen a surge in cases in recent weeks, with officials in Poland urging the public to get vaccinated and follow the restrictions in place. "If, at the end of October, we are at an average level of over 7,000 cases per day, we will have to consider taking some more restrictive steps," Adam Niedzielski was quoted as saying by state-run news agency PAP.
25th Oct 2021 - Reuters

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Romania revives COVID-19 restrictions as hospitals struggle

Dr Petruta Filip is working 100-hour weeks at a Bucharest hospital which, like hospitals throughout Romania, is struggling under an onslaught of COVID-19 patients in a country with worryingly low vaccination rates. The European Union country of around 19 million people has only 35 percent of its adults fully vaccinated compared with a European Union average of 74 percent. It is the second-least vaccinated nation in the 27-nation bloc. That is crippling Romania’s creaking healthcare system, which is also facing record-high death and infection numbers. Romania has reported more than 1.5 million cases of the coronavirus, including at least 44,000 deaths, since the pandemic began.
24th Oct 2021 - Al Jazeera English

Austria threatens to lockdown the unvaccinated as Covid cases soar

Unvaccinated Austrians have been warned that they could face new lockdown restrictions if Covid cases continue to rise. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Friday night that those who have not been jabbed may only be allowed to leave their homes for certain reasons.
24th Oct 2021 - Metro

Austrian chancellor says the unvaccinated could be forced to lockdown in their homes if COVID-19 cases worsen

Austria's chancellor on Friday warned of possible restrictions for people not vaccinated against COVID-19. Restrictions for unvaccinated people would begin if ICU capacity reaches 25%, he said, according to the Associated Press. If more than 600 people require treatment in the ICU, health authorities will require the unvaccinated to remain in their homes.
23rd Oct 2021 - Business Insider on MSN.com

Austria to impose lockdown for unvaccinated against COVID-19

Austria is threatening a potential lockdown for those unvaccinated if the situation in the country's intensive care units worsens, new government plans suggest. "We are about to stumble into a pandemic of the unprotected," Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said Friday night after a crisis meeting. Schallenberg ruled out a lockdown for those who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. He said he hopes the plans will send a signal.
23rd Oct 2021 - Daily Sabah

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Latvia is first country to reimpose lockdown in Europe’s new Covid wave

Latvia has announced a month-long Covid-19 lockdown after an unprecedented surge in infections, becoming the first country in Europe to reimpose far-reaching restrictions amid a new wave of cases in countries across the continent. The Baltic country has one of the highest rates of new Covid cases relative to population in the world, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after successfully keeping the virus at bay for months. “Our health system is in danger … The only way out of this crisis is to get vaccinated,” the prime minister, Krišjānis Kariņš, said on Monday evening at an emergency government meeting. He said the country’s low vaccination rate was to blame for the surge in hospital admissions.
21st Oct 2021 - The Guardian

Parts of northern China brace for more COVID-19 lockdowns and curbs

Parts of northern China are bracing for more COVID-19 curbs as a wave of cases raises concerns of a broader outbreak, with three areas enforcing lockdowns, some schools halting classes, and an aerospace firm delaying work on a rocket project. China reported 13 new domestically transmitted cases for Oct. 20, bringing the total number since Oct. 16 to 42, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Thursday.
21st Oct 2021 - Reuters

Moscow to reintroduce lockdown measures from Oct. 28 to combat COVID-19 case surge

Moscow will reintroduce lockdown measures from Oct. 28 to combat surging COVID-19 cases, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Thursday, with all shops, bars and restaurants due to close, except those selling essential goods, such as supermarkets and pharmacies. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday approved a nationwide week-long workplace shutdown from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 and said regional leaders could introduce other measures at their discretion. Russia reported a record daily high of both coronavirus-related deaths and new COVID-19 infections on Thursday.
21st Oct 2021 - Reuters

Moscow to shut shops, schools as COVID-19 deaths soar

Restaurants, movie theaters and many retail stores in Moscow will be closed for 11 days starting Oct. 28, along with other new restrictions, officials said Thursday, as Russia recorded the highest numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths since the pandemic began. The government coronavirus task force reported 36,339 new infections and 1,036 deaths in the past 24 hours. That brought Russia’s death toll to 227,389, by far the highest in Europe. President Vladimir Putin has voiced consternation about Russians’ hesitancy to get vaccinated and urged them to get the shots, but firmly ruled out making them mandatory.
21st Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

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Moscow orders unvaccinated over-60s to stay home for 4 months as Russia's Covid-19 crisis deepens

Millions of Russians face strict new Covid-19 restrictions from this week after a slow vaccination drive, an overwhelmed health care system and widespread mistrust in government combined to plunge the country into its most deadly phase of the pandemic to date.
20th Oct 2021 - CNN

Putin approves week-long Russian workplace shutdown as COVID-19 surges

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday approved a government proposal for a week-long workplace shutdown at the start of November to combat a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Coronavirus-related deaths across Russia in the past 24 hours hit yet another daily record at 1,028, with 34,073 new infections. Speaking at a televised meeting with government officials, Putin said the "non-working days" from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7, during which people would continue to receive salaries, could begin earlier or be extended for certain regions.
20th Oct 2021 - Reuters

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Russia proposes week-long workplace shutdown as COVID deaths hit new record

Moscow's mayor announced four months of stay-home restrictions for unvaccinated over-60s on Tuesday and the Russian government proposed a week-long workplace shutdown as the national death toll from COVID-19 hit yet another daily high. The moves reflected a growing sense of urgency from the authorities as they confront fast-rising cases and widespread public reluctance to get injected with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. Moscow, a city of 12.7 million, ordered people over the age of 60 to stay home for four months starting on Oct. 25 unless they are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID, and for businesses to move at least 30% of their staff to remote work.
19th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Two northern Chinese areas enforce lockdown in COVID-19 outbreak

China reported nine new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases on Oct. 18, the highest daily tally since the end of September, with the latest outbreak prompting two northern border areas to enforce a lockdown. Under a national policy of zero tolerance of domestic coronavirus clusters, cities with new infections have quickly tracked down and tested contacts of infections and sealed off higher-risk areas. Five of the nine new local cases were found in the northwestern city of Xian in Shaanxi province, and two were in the northern Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Tuesday.
19th Oct 2021 - Reuters

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Latvia Plans to Reimpose Lockdown After Covid Spike

Latvia plans to impose a 4-week lock down to slow the spread of coronavirus after a surge in cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said, according to the Leta newswire. The Baltic country will impose the stricter measures, including restrictions on schools, shops and public events from Oct. 21 until Nov. 15, Leta reported. The government still must confirm the decision on the proposed measures.
18th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

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New Zealand widens Covid lockdown as Delta spreads outside Auckland

New Zealand’s Delta Covid variant outbreak has spread beyond Auckland, prompting the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to put additional regions into a snap lockdown. There were 32 new coronavirus cases on Sunday in the country’s largest city, which has been in lockdown since mid-August, and two cases in the Waikato region, some 147km (91 miles) south of Auckland. Ardern announced on Sunday that parts of the region will go into a five-day lockdown. She added that the government will decide on Monday whether Auckland’s 1.7 million residents will remain sealed off from the rest of New Zealand.
3rd Oct 2021 - The Guardian

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COVID-19 sends northern Chinese city into semi-shutdown

China's northeastern city of Harbin, population 10 million, went into semi-shutdown after reporting new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for the first time since early February. Three of 16 new local cases reported in China for Sept. 21 were in Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Wednesday. The last reported locally transmitted cases in the city were on Feb. 4.
22nd Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Chinese city orders spas, mahjong salons to shut after COVID-19 case confirmed

Spas, cinemas and mahjong salons in the Chinese city of Harbin were ordered to close on Tuesday to prevent COVID-19 spreading in poorly ventilated spaces, state television reported.
21st Sep 2021 - Reuters

Ukraine tightens COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from Sept 23...

A Ukrainian government commission decided on Tuesday to tighten coronavirus lockdown restrictions from Sept. 23 as the number of new infections has increased sharply, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said. Ukraine lifted lockdown restrictions as cases dropped over the summer but has now imposed a nationwide "yellow" code which restricts mass events and limits the occupancy rates of gyms, cinemas and other culture venues.
21st Sep 2021 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

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COVID-hit Chinese city tells residents to stay home as holiday starts

A city in southeast China hit by COVID-19 told residents on Saturday to stay home and closed various venues, as infections spread in the country's latest hotspot during a key holiday travel season. The government of Xiamen, in a series of notices, told residents not to leave home unnecessarily, closed parks, scenic spots and sports venues, and halted mass activities including tours, fairs and performances.
18th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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China imposes local lockdowns as COVID-19 cases surge

China tightened lockdowns and increased orders for mass testing in cities along its east coast Wednesday amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. Checks have been set up in toll stations around the city of Putian in Fujian province, with a dozen of them closed entirely. The nearby cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou have also restricted travel as the delta variant spreads through the region. The National Health Commission on Wednesday said an additional 50 cases had been diagnosed in various parts of Fujian, most of them in the Putian region.
15th Sep 2021 - The Independent

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Philippines to test localised lockdowns in capital region

The Philippines' capital region will exit wide-scale coronavirus restrictions from Thursday, as the government launches a pilot test of localised lockdowns, amid efforts to balance reopening the economy and containing the spread of the coronavirus.
14th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Slovenia tightens access to indoor spaces due to COVID-19

Slovenia will, from this week, require that all people who enter indoor spaces, with few exceptions, be vaccinated against COVID-19 or show negative tests unless they have had the disease in the previous six months,
13th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Australia's Queensland state warns of possible COVID-19 lockdown

Australia's third most populous state said on Saturday it may order a snap lockdown after a cluster of COVID-19 cases, as the country posted a record one-day rise in daily infections. Queensland state, home to more than 5 million people, said it had detected five new infections in the past 24 hours after a family tested positive. The next few days would be critical to see if a lockdown was warranted, authorities said.
11th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Ukraine could tighten lockdown restrictions as COVID-19 picture worsens

A Ukrainian government commission will meet soon to decide whether to tighten coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told a televised government meeting on Wednesday. Ukraine lifted lockdown restrictions as cases dropped over the summer but could impose a nationwide "yellow" code, which restricts mass events, and limits the occupancy rates of gyms, cinemas and other culture venues.
8th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Nigeria's Delta region oil hub may need new COVID lockdown, governor says

The governor of Rivers State in Nigeria's oil-producing Delta region said he may be forced to reimpose COVID-19 lockdown measures if residents did not comply with prevention protocols amid a rise in cases. Governor Nyesom Wike implored residents to get vaccinated and comply with safety and social distancing rules amid a consistent rise in COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks.
7th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Guatemala orders new travel, social curbs as virus cases surge

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced new national transport curbs and social restrictions on Thursday in an effort to contain a surge of coronavirus infections and relieve pressure on hospitals. Giammattei opted against the toughest lockdown measures but said from Saturday, auto transport will be prohibited for most trips from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. and social gatherings such as weddings and public sports events will be banned for at least four weeks.
3rd Sep 2021 - Reuters

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France imposes weekend lockdown near Belgian border after corona outbreak

The French region of Dunkirk, right next to the border with Belgium, will be placed under a weekend-long lockdown after an “alarming” rise in the number of coronavirus cases was reported, French Health Minister Olivier Véran announced on Wednesday. In the vicinity of the coastal town, the rate of infection was around nine times higher than the national average, reportedly as a result of a breakout of the British variant, which is believed to be the cause of around 75% of all regional cases.
25th Feb 2021 - The Brussels Times

Finland to begin three-week lockdown on 8 March

Finland will go into a three-week lockdown starting on 8 March and is prepared to declare a state of emergency, Prime Minister Sanna Marin has said, as the country faces a rising number of coronavirus cases. The lockdown will not include a curfew but will involve the closure of restaurants and ordering school students who are 13 or older to move to remote learning, the government said. Ms Marin said she is ready to declare a state of emergency next week, having discussed this with the president.
25th Feb 2021 - RTE Online

Lockdown for Dunkirk, other areas under watch as French COVID-19 cases spike

France’s government on Wednesday ordered a weekend lockdown in the Dunkirk area to arrest an “alarming” rise in COVID-19 cases, signalling extra curbs might also be needed elsewhere as daily cases nationwide hit their highest since November. Unlike some of its neighbours, France has resisted a new national lockdown to control more contagious coronavirus variants, hoping a curfew in place since Dec. 15 can contain the pandemic. But it reported 31,519 new infections on Wednesday, up from 25,018 a week ago and the most since mid-November. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said the national situation was deteriorating, and “a source of worry in about 10 regional departments”. Some required “rapid and strong” containment measures.
25th Feb 2021 - Reuters

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Dunkirk area in northern France to impose weekend lockdown -minister

The region around the northern French port of Dunkirk will start enforcing a weekend lockdown from this weekend to halt a spike in COVID-19 infections, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Wednesday. Veran said the situation in the Dunkirk area was “alarming” and that France would also increase vaccine supplies for the area.
24th Feb 2021 - Reuters

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Is Lockdown Necessary in Mumbai? Read What Experts Say

Though Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray warned that lockdown would have to be reimposed if daily coronavirus cases continue to rise, experts believe that there is no need to take such stringent measure now. Notably, Maharashtra has been witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases for the past few days. Earlier on Sunday, it had recorded nearly 7,000 new Covid-19 cases, the biggest jump in the last 3 months.
23rd Feb 2021 - India.com

Kuwait to close land, sea border in latest COVID restrictions

Kuwait says it will close its land and sea border crossings from Wednesday until further notice as it imposes curbs to control coronavirus infections in the Gulf nation. Citizens and domestic workers accompanying them are, however, allowed to return through land and sea ports, as are citizens’ first-degree relatives, the cabinet said in its meeting on Monday.
23rd Feb 2021 - Al Jazeera English

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First Test For Italy’s New Government: A New Lockdown Ahead?

No movement between regions until March 27th and no visits to family and friends in a red zone: these are the main measures that Italy’s new government has introduced to counter the coronavirus crisis, which has started to strike back and threaten the country’s restart. It is the first official act that the government has taken since its settlement last week.
22nd Feb 2021 - Forbes

India sees new lockdowns as coronavirus cases rise again

Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in some parts of India after months of a steady nationwide decline prompting authorities to impose lockdowns and other virus restrictions. Infections have been plummeting in India since September, and life has already returned to normal in large parts of the country. In many cities, markets are bustling, roads are crowded and restaurants are nearly full. But experts have been warning that the reasons behind India's success aren't really understood, and that the country of nearly 1.4 billion people can't afford to let its guard down. Public health officials are now investigating potential mutations in the virus that could make it more contagious and render some treatments and vaccines less effective.
22nd Feb 2021 - The Independent

Maharashtra reimposes curbs as Covid cases surge

A Covid-19 test positivity rate inching towards 10% in Pune district and a surge in cases in Amravati division made authorities in Maharashtra act swiftly on Sunday to reimpose measures like school and college closure, limitation on movement at night and restrictions on events like weddings for the remainder of the month.
22nd Feb 2021 - Times of India

French Riviera placed under weekend lockdown

The French government has placed the French Riviera in southern France under lockdown on weekends, local authorities announced, amid a rapid surge of coronavirus cases in recent weeks. While France has been reluctant to enforce a third nationwide lockdown, local ones are seen as increasingly likely in areas where the situation has deteriorated, including the Paris region. This measure will be enforced from Friday 6 p.m., until Monday 6 a.m. for the next two weekends, "following the same rules as during October lockdown," state Representative Bernard Gonzalez said.
22nd Feb 2021 - Politico

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Mayor of French city of Nice calls for weekend coronavirus lockdown

The mayor of the French Mediterranean city of Nice called on Sunday for a weekend lockdown in the area to stop the flow of visitors and curb a sharp spike in coronavirus infections. “We need a strong measures that go beyond the nationwide 6 p.m. curfew, either a tighter curfew, or a partial and time-specific lockdown. A weekend lockdown would make sense ...that would stop the inflow of visitors,” Mayor Christian Estrosi said on franceinfo radio.
21st Feb 2021 - Reuters

France considers partial lockdown for Nice region after spike in Covid cases

France's Health Minister has said the city of Nice and the surrounding department of Alpes-Maritimes is facing a partial lockdown or an even stricter curfew, after a jump in the number of new coronavirus infections in recent days. Olivier Véran said decisions about further tightening limits on people's movements would be taken over the weekend. "There are a few cities and areas in France where the virus is circulating much more quickly than elsewhere and this may require regional confinement measures," the health minister said during a visit to a health centre in Nice.
20th Feb 2021 - RFI

Iraq sees record Covid-19 cases as new lockdown begins

New lockdown measures came into effect in Iraq on Friday as it recorded its highest new coronavirus caseload in 2021 -- double the daily figures from less than a week ago. Earlier this week, health authorities announced new overnight curfews would begin on February 18th, from 8:00 pm until 5:00 am, as well as full lockdowns on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On its first full lockdown day on Friday, Baghdad's main roads were clear of the usual traffic and security forces had set up new checkpoints to stop violators.
20th Feb 2021 - FRANCE 24

Coronavirus: India records 13,993 new cases and 101 deaths, lockdown imposed in parts of Maharashtra

India reported 13,993 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours on Saturday, as the total number of cases went up to 1,09,77,387, according to health ministry data. The toll rose to 1,56,212, with 101 new deaths, while the number of active cases in the country stood at 1,43,127. A total of 1,07,15,204 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered so far to health workers and frontline workers, according to the government data.
20th Feb 2021 - Scroll.in

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Covid cases rising, Maharashtra to impose weekend lockdown in Amravati

Owing to a rise in novel coronavirus cases, a weekend lockdown will be imposed in Maharashtra’s Amravati district starting 8 pm on February 20. It will be in effect till 7 am on February 22. “The markets will be shut from Saturday night till Monday morning. For now, this is being implemented for one day,” said Dr Dilip Ranmale, a district health officer in Amravati. Until a month ago, Amravati city was recording less than 70 cases a day. In a month, the spike in cases in the entire district is fastest across the state, worrying officials of an unusual transmission pattern.
18th Feb 2021 - The Indian Express

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'Karnataka will go to square one': Minister on lockdown amid Covid clusters in Bengaluru

Karnataka has registered over 9,46,000 Covid-19 cases till now of which 12,273 people died and 927,924 have recovered. The state is among the worst hit regions in the country along with Maharashtra and Kerala. Karnataka health minister Dr K Sudhakar said on Wednesday that economic activity in the state had been severely hit in the past 10 months due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and added that the overall situation would go back to square one if a lockdown is imposed again. Karnataka has registered over 9,46,000 Covid-19 cases till now of which 12,273 people died and 927,924 have recovered. The state is among the worst hit regions in the country along with Maharashtra and Kerala.
17th Feb 2021 - Hindustan Times

Maharashtra CM warns of lockdown again as Covid cases rise in state

If Covid-related norms are not followed, the state government will be forced to reimpose a lockdown, warned chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday. The state has reported a steady rise in cases in the last few days. “People have become carefree. It is for the people to decide if they want a lockdown or want to continue living with the small restrictions like now,” said Thackeray, while directing local administrations to crack down on citizens and establishments that are found violating Covid-19 norms and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
17th Feb 2021 - Times of India

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Amid Rising Cases, Mumbai Mayor's Lockdown Caution

As Mumbai records a surge in Covid cases, a lockdown is a possibility, a top Mumbai official warned today. But whether the city will go into lockdown mode once again would depend on the people, said Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar. The Mayor noted that most people travelling on trains did not wear masks. "It's a matter of concern. Most people travelling in trains don't wear masks. People must take precautions or we will head towards another lockdown," Kishori Pednekar said. "Whether a lockdown will be implemented again is in the hands of people."
16th Feb 2021 - NDTV

COVID-19: Another 'Lockdown' in Maharashtra? This district shuts down schools, colleges, imposes restrictions

While the countrywide coronavirus caseload is decreasing, the situation in Maharashtra's Akola is completely opposite as a sudden rise in the infections has raised the administration's concern. To control the spread of COVID-19, strict rules have been implemented in the district till February 28. The administration has restricted social gatherings and has disallowed more than 50 people in functions like weddings. Schools and colleges have also been ordered to close and there is a ban on a gathering of five or more people.
16th Feb 2021 - DNA India

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Iraq detects new UK-based strain, reimposes partial lockdown

Iraq will re-impose partial lockdown measures until early March after detecting a new strain of the coronavirus, including among children, its health minister announced on Monday. "Unfortunately, government labs showed genetic mutations in the Covid-19 strain, detecting the new fast-spreading strain in Iraq," Hassan al-Tamimi told reporters. He referred to the strain as the one "which spread in the UK," and said it had been detected in some Iraqi children, but did not give a total number of people who had been diagnosed with the new variant.
15th Feb 2021 - FRANCE 24

No new community cases found in New Zealand since lockdown

As people in Auckland adjusted to a new lockdown on Monday, health officials said they'd found no evidence the coronavirus had spread further in the community, raising hopes the restrictions might be short-lived. New Zealand's largest city was hurriedly placed into a three-day lockdown Sunday after three unexplained virus cases were found. It's the country's first lockdown in six months and represents a setback in its largely successful efforts to control the virus. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the negative test results since the first three were found was an encouraging start, but cautioned a fuller picture of the outbreak wouldn't emerge until Tuesday, when the results from an expanded testing regimen would be known.
15th Feb 2021 - The Independent

New Zealand Orders 1st COVID-19 Lockdown in 6 Months

As people in Auckland adjusted to a new lockdown on Monday, health officials said they’d found no evidence the coronavirus had spread further in the community, raising hopes the restrictions might be short-lived. New Zealand’s largest city was hurriedly placed into a three-day lockdown Sunday after three unexplained virus cases were found. It’s the country’s first lockdown in six months and represents a setback in its largely successful efforts to control the virus.
15th Feb 2021 - TIME

Covid 19 coronavirus: How much the lockdown could cost New Zealand

The re-emergence of lockdown measures could sap over $90 million out of the economy - and an Auckland business leader says firms need to know the Government will look after them. Based on cost estimates developed by ASB during the previous lockdown, having Auckland at alert level 3 and the rest of the country at alert level 2 costs the economy about $440 million per week - or 0.15 per cent of GDP. ASB has today released an updated estimated, suggesting that impact would be about half what was designated in August. "This time around we think the GDP impact could be slightly less than half that given how NZ adapted in the last lockdown," ASB said in a note today.
14th Feb 2021 - New Zealand Herald

Australia suspends travel bubble with New Zealand after Auckland lockdown

Australia has suspended its quarantine-free travel arrangement with New Zealand following the detection of COVID-19 in a couple and their daughter in Auckland at the weekend. After initially saying there would be no change to the travel bubble, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly convened an urgent meeting late on Sunday with the chief health officers from NSW, Queensland and Victoria. “It was decided at this meeting today that all flights originating in New Zealand will be classified as Red Zone flights for an initial period of 72 hours from 12.01am on 15 February”, a statement from the Department of Health reads.
14th Feb 2021 - Sydney Morning Herald

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New Zealand locks down Auckland after 3 new local COVID-19 cases

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday announced a three-day lockdown in the country’s biggest city Auckland, after three COVID-19 cases emerged, the first local infections since late January. Level 3 restrictions will require everyone to stay home except for essential shopping and essential work, Ardern said, repeating the strict approach the country has taken over the past year in virtually eliminating the pandemic. “We have stamped out the virus before and we will do it again,” Ardern told a news conference. New Zealand, which had gone more than two months without local infections before the January case, is to start inoculating its 5 million people against the new coronavirus on Feb. 20, receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier than anticipated.
14th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Little risk of lockdowns outside Victoria, top doctor says, as rush to trace airline passengers continues

Australia's top doctor said lockdowns are not likely in other states, despite a rush to trace thousands of people who passed through a Melbourne Airport where an infected staff member worked at a cafe. NSW Health said it has sent text messages to about 7000 people in the state who were at Terminal 4 in Melbourne Airport where the cafe worker was with other states also working to identify people who could have been there. The person worked at Brunetti Cafe on February 9 between 4.45am and 2pm, Victoria Health says.
13th Feb 2021 - 9News

Victoria's coronavirus lockdown sabotages terminally ill Australian man's year-long fight to get home

Terminally ill Australian man John Jobber is running out of time to make it back from Ireland and fulfil his wish of dying back home in Tasmania. After nearly a year of fighting to get Jobber home, his daughter Samantha John finally secured plane tickets to Melbourne for next week, but now she fears Melbourne’s snap lockdown means he will never see home again. “I really do understand there is pandemic and it’s a matter of balancing the risk, but, on the other hand, it’s my dad,” Samantha said.
13th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

COVID-19: Australia's Victoria state enters snap lockdown after coronavirus outbreak linked to quarantine hotels

A five-day lockdown is being imposed in Australia's Victoria state, barring spectators from the first few days of the Australian Open tennis tournament. A new COVID-19 cluster has been linked to a quarantine hotel in the state capital Melbourne, reaching 13 cases on Thursday and prompting authorities to take action. Around 6.5 million people went into lockdown at midnight, lasting until the same time on Wednesday, in a state which endured one of the world's strictest and longest lockdowns last year.
13th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Greece extends lockdown to more regions to contain COVID-19 pandemic

Greece on Friday extended the full lockdown imposed on metropolitan Athens earlier this week to more regions of the country in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections, the deputy civil protection minister said. Effective on Saturday the region of Achaia in the northwest of the Peloponnese peninsula as well as Euboea, Greece’s second-largest island after Crete, will be in lockdown until Feb. 22 at least, authorities said. This means schools, hair salons and non-essential retail shops will close. “The epidemiological picture countrywide shows a steady deterioration,” Vana Papaevangelou, a member of the committee of infectious disease experts advising the government, told a news briefing.
13th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Melbourne starts snap virus lockdown, no crowds at Australian Open

Australia’s second most populous state Victoria entered a five-day lockdown on Saturday as authorities raced to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 cases sparked by the highly infections UK variant.
13th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Australian Open fans are ejected from the arena as five-day lockdown begins in Melbourne after quarantine hotel outbreak lead to 13 infections

Australian Open is designated as a 'workplace' for players but with no spectators Fans were ushered out at 11.30pm half an hour before new lockdown took effect Outbreak has been blamed on infections leaking from a Melbourne airport hotel A guest's nebuliser allowed the virus to escape into hotel corridor, it is believed Five-day 'circuit breaker' is meant to stop a repeat of last year's long lockdown
12th Feb 2021 - Daily Mail

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Fears of a Victoria lockdown after Holiday Inn cluster reaches 13

There are reports Victoria could enter a snap lockdown as the Holiday Inn cluster grows to 13 cases with the latest two cases announced by Victoria Health being household contacts of previous infections. It is believed the virus spread in the hotel after the use of a nebuliser by a resident in quarantine, raising questions as to why the person was in the facility whilst being dependent on the device. There are also fears hotel quarantine workers are not wearing the correct PPE after a nurse was spotted at the Intercontinental Hotel without even a mask. The majority of the cases have already been linked to the highly contagious UK variant.
11th Feb 2021 - Sky News Australia

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Greek premier orders full lockdown in Athens after surge in coronavirus cases

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday announced a full lockdown in the capital Athens and the surrounding region to curb a resurgence in coronavirus cases and ease pressure on badly stretched health services. The new restrictions in the Athens region, where half of Greece’s population of 11 million lives, include closing non-essential shops and schools from Feb. 11 until the end of the month, Mitsotakis said in a televised address. “I will not hide: In the next two months, restrictions may be imposed and lifted depending on the level of alarm,” he said after chairing an emergency meeting with ministers and health experts. “But this is also the last mile towards freedom.” Authorities registered 1,526 infections on Tuesday, more than double the number recorded a day earlier - half of them in the wider Athens area, with COVID-19 related deaths reaching 6,017 since the coronavirus was first detected.
10th Feb 2021 - Reuters

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North Korean authorities lockdown cities in Chagang Province over COVID-19 fears - Daily NK

With North Korea placing the border cities of Hyesan and Samjiyon in Yanggang Province under lockdown due to a smuggling incident late last month, Daily NK has learned authorities recently placed Chasong and Manpo in Chagang Province under lockdown as well. A source in Chagang Province told Daily NK that authorities issued a lockdown order for Chasong and Manpo on Feb. 3. According to the source, the authorities issued the lockdown order ostensibly to strengthen quarantine efforts against COVID-19 after incidents of smuggling and defections in the two towns earlier this month.
9th Feb 2021 - DailyNK

130 pupils to be quarantined as Hong Kong imposes more lockdowns

Hong Kong health authorities have sent more than 130 pupils and teachers from a government secondary school into quarantine and ordered mandatory Covid-19 testing for hundreds of others after two students who sat for an exam in the same hall were found to be infected. Both the infected pupils at Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School live in Wai Lee Building in Quarry Bay, which has been hit by seven Covid-19 cases so far, and officials on Monday evacuated more than 20 households from the block after experts found evidence of vertical transmission of the disease as well as faulty pipes. Authorities confirmed 32 new cases citywide as they ordered another daily lockdown for mandatory testing overnight
9th Feb 2021 - South China Morning Post

France was right to decide against new national lockdown - health minister

The COVID-19 situation in France is currently stable and the government was right to have decided against imposing a new national lockdown, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday. Veran also told France Info radio “it is possible and indeed preferable” that France would not have to be locked down again. “For three weeks we have had (on average) 20,000 new cases per day and 3,000-3,200 patients in intensive care units. It’s stable but high...It does not call for national lockdown measures,” Veran said. The number of people in France who have died from COVID-19 infections rose by 458 on Monday to 79,423 - the seventh-highest death toll globally.
9th Feb 2021 - Reuters

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Delaying French lockdown risks repeat of British 'tragedy', Macron is warned

President Macron’s reluctance to impose a third lockdown risks plunging France into the sort of “tragedy” that hit Britain in December, according to one of his top scientific advisers. Professor Arnaud Fontanet, director of the epidemiological research unit on emerging diseases at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, became the latest figure to warn that the country could pay a heavy price for Mr Macron’s insistence on keeping shops and schools open and travel unrestricted. Mr Macron has introduced some restrictions but stopped short of a lockdown of the sort brought in last spring and autumn. Members of Mr Macron’s Scientific Council told him last month that the measures were unlikely to be sufficient and urged him to put France into full lockdown. Although Olivier Véran, the health minister, backed the advice, Mr Macron refused to heed it.
8th Feb 2021 - The Times

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French health experts stress need for new COVID measures

Two leading French health officials called for new restrictive measures to rein in the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday, taking the opposite view of the government, which stood by its decision to not impose a new lockdown for now. Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday that the COVID-19 situation in France remained fragile but that a third lockdown was not needed at present, despite demands from several leading French medics for such a measure. France is the sixth most infected country in the world in terms of COVID-19 cases, with a total of 3.27 million cases. Its death toll, at almost 78,000, is the seventh-highest globally.
6th Feb 2021 - Reuters

'Eye of the storm': Diverse east London grapples with virus

Taxicab driver Gary Nerden knows colleagues who got seriously ill from COVID-19. He knows the area of east London where he lives and works has among the highest infection rates in the whole of England. But since he can’t afford not to work, he drives around picking up strangers for up to 12 hours a day, relying on a flimsy plastic screen to keep him safe. “I’ve got people telling me they won’t wear a mask, saying they’re exempt,” said Nerden, 57. “I’ve got diabetes, I have to look after myself. I wipe the handles, the seat belt, after every customer, but that’s all I can do, really.”
5th Feb 2021 - Associated Press

French hospital federation president calls for new COVID lockdown

Frederic Valletoux, president of the French hospital federation, on Friday called for a new national lockdown to deal with the COVID-19 situation, in the latest sign of tensions between the government and health officials on the issue. Valletoux, who is also mayor of Fontainebleau just south of Paris, told LCI TV that while the situation in hospitals was under control for now, it remained “very tense” in many areas. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday that the COVID-19 situation in France remained fragile but there was no need for a new lockdown at present, although several leading French medics have said a new lockdown might be necessary.
5th Feb 2021 - Reuters

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Sudden lockdowns in Hong Kong leave some residents trapped in shops, hair salons overnight

In one operation, a 10-year-old girl getting a haircut was separated from her mother who had left to buy food. Health experts divided on the wisdom of the strategy, with one saying residents should avoid leaving their homes late at night
4th Feb 2021 - South China Morning Post

Qatar reimposes restrictions amid surge in COVID-19 infections

The measures affect education, leisure and business activities as the Gulf country seeks to head off a potential second wave. Qatar has reimposed a series of coronavirus-related restrictions on education, leisure and business activities, including closing indoor swimming pools and theme parks and restricting restaurant capacities. The measures came into effect on Thursday, a day after they were first announced as the country battles a surge in new COVID-19 infections.
4th Feb 2021 - Al Jazeera English

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Covid-19 Lockdown Exposes Fragility in Aging Chinese City

When the city of Tonghua in China’s northeast shut residents in their homes in response to new coronavirus cases in January, it forced a reckoning with some harsh economic realities in the aging rust-belt city. Thousands complained on social media that they were running out of necessities such as food and medicine. It was the kind of hardship that hadn’t been seen since the lockdown of Wuhan for the first Covid-19 outbreak a year earlier. As many pleaded that they were starving, saying “Don’t forget us,” city officials apologized and said they were short-handed.
3rd Feb 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Bushfire smoke blankets Australian city under COVID-19 lockdown

Strong winds threatening to fan a bushfire prompted Australia on Wednesday to urge thousands of people to leave their homes in the provincial capital of Perth, complicating a lockdown after the state detected its first coronavirus infection in 10 months. As firefighters battled a blaze in steep, inhospitable terrain, authorities told residents of Bullsbrook, a suburb of 6,600 in Australia's fourth largest city, to ignore a stay-home order and leave immediately as hot, dry weather picked up.
3rd Feb 2021 - MSN.com

Australia Bushfire Drives People From Covid Lockdown

Just days after residents of Perth, Australia’s fourth-largest city, were ordered to stay in because of the coronavirus, some were forced to flee their homes on Tuesday as a ferocious wildfire bore down on the city’s outskirts. “It’s still a very, very active and very aggressive fire and very much out of control,” said Kevin Bailey, mayor of the City of Swan, a region within the Perth metropolitan area where the blaze had done the most damage. He added that it was not realistic to expect residents to adhere to lockdown conditions in a deadly fire zone.
3rd Feb 2021 - The New York Times

Qatar announces new restrictions amid fears of second COVID wave

Qatar has announced new restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus cases that authorities said could lead to a second wave of infections. The 32-point plan, made public on Wednesday, includes provisions to limit at 80 percent the number of staff present at their workplace. Among other things, it also reimposes a ban on indoor weddings, with some exceptions. The announcement came as Qatar announced an 85 percent increase in the number of hospitalisation cases in January compared with the previous month. “We have seen an 85 percent increase in January compared to December in the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospital,” Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation, said.
3rd Feb 2021 - Al Jazeera English

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Coronavirus lockdown for Perth and South West leaves WA facing a week like no other

WA's regime to swab people for the virus will itself be tested over the coming days, as people who attended the 17 possible exposure sites present to COVID clinics. Health Minister Roger Cook has repeatedly promised WA has the surge capacity to deal with a rush on clinics, but officials have admitted there could be significant waits over the coming days. If the worst fears are realised and the virus has spread unknowingly through the community, WA's contact tracing regime will also be tested like never before.
2nd Feb 2021 - ABC.Net.au

Much of Western Australia in lockdown after 1 case of COVID-19. Here's what Canada can learn from the approach

As the debate about the merits of strict lockdowns continues in Canada, and the federal government introduces its own version of hotel quarantine, the successes and failures of those practices in other countries can be looked to for insight. As vaccines begin to be rolled out in Canada, and the chance of a return to "normal" seems within reach, there will be many questions to answer about what was done right, what could have been handled better, and what have we learned to prepare for another pandemic.
2nd Feb 2021 - CBC.ca

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New lockdown in France 'almost inevitable' says infectious diseases expert, as new measures begin

France's latest measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus "may not be enough," according to the President of the French Society of Infectious Diseases, who believes the country will go into national lockdown very soon. President Emmanuel Macron has been resisting putting that measure in place. Instead, borders have closed to countries outside the European Union and those entering France from the EU now need a negative PCR test
1st Feb 2021 - Euronews

'We are very frustrated': WA health expert wants overhaul of hotel quarantine system

Health experts in Western Australia say they are "frustrated" at the state's hotel quarantine system, where a security guard was able to contract COVID-19, feared to be the highly contagious UK variant. Parts of WA are now in a five-day lockdown, with nearly two million residents ordered to stay at home. President of the Australian Medical Association WA branch, Dr Andrew Miller, said the quarantine system needed an overhaul.
1st Feb 2021 - 9News.com.au

Single Covid case in Western Australia leads to 5-day lockdown for 2 million

Parts of Western Australia went into a five-day lockdown Sunday, after a hotel security guard tested positive for coronavirus. The Perth metropolitan area and the Peel and South West regions of the Australian state are now under "full lockdown," Premier Mark McGowan announced Sunday, with residents only able to leave their homes for essential shopping, medical needs, exercise, and for jobs that cannot be done at home or remotely. Schools, most businesses, entertainment venues and places of worship are all closed, and restaurants restricted to takeaway only.
1st Feb 2021 - CNN

Covid: Australian city of Perth goes into snap lockdown after guard tests positive

The Australian city of Perth has begun a snap five-day lockdown after a security guard working at a quarantine hotel tested positive for coronavirus. Western Australia - the state of which Perth is the capital - had not had a case of locally acquired coronavirus for 10 months. People in the city of two million - along with people living in the nearby Peel and South West regions - must stay at home, except for essential work, healthcare, food shopping or exercise, said Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan. Mr McGowan said the guard may have the UK variant of the virus
1st Feb 2021 - BBC

One Case, Total Lockdown: Australia’s Lessons for a Pandemic World

One case. One young security guard at a quarantine hotel who tested positive for the coronavirus and experienced minor symptoms. That was all it took for Perth, Australia’s fourth-largest city, to snap into a complete lockdown on Sunday. One case and now two million people are staying home for at least the next five days. One case and now the top state leader, Mark McGowan, who is facing an election next month, is calling on his constituents to sacrifice for each other and the nation. The speed and severity of the response may be unthinkable to people in the United States or Europe, where far larger outbreaks have often been met with half measures. But to Australians, it looked familiar.
1st Feb 2021 - The New York Times

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Perth in lockdown, ending Australia's two-week run without COVID-19

The Australian city of Perth was ordered into lockdown on Sunday after a security guard working in hotel quarantine tested positive for COVID-19, ending the country’s longest coronavirus-free run. From Sunday evening until Friday, people in the city of 2 million must stay home, except for essential work, healthcare, grocery shopping or exercise, with visits to hospitals and nursing homes banned, said Western Australia state Premier Mark McGowan.
31st Jan 2021 - Reuters Australia

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France Weighs Third National Lockdown Over Variants Worries

French officials are considering a third nationwide lockdown as soon as Saturday, in an effort to stop the country’s increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. Options under consideration include continuing the country’s nationwide 6 p.
28th Jan 2021 - Wall Street Journal

France Will Likely Be Put Under A 3rd Nationwide Lockdown

The virus is hitting Europe with its full force. Across the continent, countries are fighting back with various restrictive measures to control COVID spread. France has Europe's strictest overnight curfew, but the government there says it hasn't been enough to slow the virus down. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has more.
28th Jan 2021 - NPR

Coronavirus pandemic: Is France heading back into a nationwide lockdown?

The French government admitted on Wednesday that current restrictions designed to contain the spread of coronavirus were not enough, raising the prospect of a third nationwide lockdown. FRANCE 24's International Affairs Commentator Doug Herbert tells us more.
28th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

North Point buildings placed under sudden Covid-19 lockdown in Hong Kong

Chief Executive Carrie Lam spends 15 minutes in the area for a briefing from health officials and to show support for workers. Residents of four North Point tenement buildings locked down for testing overnight, with restrictions relaxing from 7am on Friday
28th Jan 2021 - South China Morning Post

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Sweeping Covid-19 lockdown in Peru as virus cases soar

Sixteen million Peruvians will enter a two-week coronavirus lockdown covering a third of the country at the end of January, Peru's interim president said. The South American nation's healthcare system has been overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic -- with only 500 intensive care beds for a population of 32 million -- with authorities reporting a spike in deaths as infections increase. The country's lockdown will run from January 31 to February 14, interim president Francisco Sagasti said in a televised address, blaming the soaring Covid infections on end-of-year gatherings.
27th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Peru orders total lockdown across 10 states as second wave bites

President Francisco Sagasti of Peru announced a total lockdown of the capital and nine other regions following a significant increase in COVID cases, which he said had pushed hospitals close to collapse. Sagasti said the new measures covering central Peru would remain in effect until at least Feb. 14. They include instructions to work from home, the closure of all non-essential shops, the suspension of interregional land and air travel and the extension of a ban on flights coming from Europe to flights from Brazil in a bid to curb new, more contagious strains of the virus.
27th Jan 2021 - Reuters

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Hong Kong places residents of 12 buildings under sudden Covid-19 lockdown

Metal barriers blocked streets, police addressed people through loudspeakers, and some residents in the Hong Kong area of Yau Ma Tei faced a night sealed off from the rest of the city, after an “ambush-style” Covid-19 lockdown on Tuesday. People living in blocks numbered 9-27 on Pitt Street, and Shun Fung Building on 3 Tung On Street, were taken by surprise, with the government acting at the last minute to avoid giving residents advance warning through leaks in the media. The lockdown, which began at 7pm, was expected to end at 6am on Wednesday, and those in the area had been told to stay inside until they had been tested for Covid-19. But officers also said people should be prepared to miss work, because they were unsure of whether testing would finish on time.
26th Jan 2021 - South China Morning Post

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France May Be Headed for New Lockdown as Scientists Raise Alarm

France probably needs to move into a third lockdown, perhaps as early as the February school holidays, because of the circulation of new variants of the virus, the government's top medical adviser on Covid-19 policy said on Sunday. French schoolchildren have two weeks off in February, but the entire month is a holiday month as three different zones stagger the start of their holidays by one week, with the first starting on Feb. 6.
25th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

France to decide on possible 3rd lockdown amid rise in new Covid-19 variants cases

The French government is considering whether or not to impose a third national lockdown. France is now under a 6pm curfew but coronavirus cases have still continued to rise. A final decision on that move is said to be announced on Wednesday and depending on the effects of this tightened curfew. But just how could this new lockdown look like: a very strict one like in March 2020, or rather a loosened up version like in November 2020?
25th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Top advisor warns France probably needs new lockdown as early as February

France probably needs to move into a third lockdown, perhaps as early as the February school holidays, because of the circulation of new variants of the virus, the government's top medical adviser on Covid-19 policy said on Sunday. French schoolchildren have two weeks off in February, but the entire month is a holiday month as three different zones stagger the start of their holidays by one week, with the first starting on Feb. 6. "We probably need to go towards a confinement. Whether that needs to be a very strict confinement like the first one in March or a softer form like in November, that is a political decision," Jean-François Delfraissy, head of the scientific council that advises the government on Covid-19 response, told BFM television.
25th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24 English

France Faces Renewed Lockdown ‘Within Days,’ JDD Says

France is set to go back into lockdown “within days” amid concerns that a new wave of infections driven by the more-contagious U.K. variant of the coronavirus could spiral out of control, Journal du Dimanche said, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. A decision is imminent, JDD wrote, saying President Emmanuel Macron could announce the country’s third lockdown on Wednesday night. It could start before the end of the week and last at least three weeks, according to the paper.
25th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

China's COVID-19 case spike forces another harsh lockdown, and citizens are calling out for help

Authorities in a north-eastern Chinese city have come under fire for their poor handling of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, as anger mounts over a shortage of food and medication during lockdown measures. The latest outbreak in Tonghua city, in the northern province of Jilin, saw local authorities impose strict measures last week, resulting in residents being banned from leaving their homes. More than 190 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Tonghua since China's north-eastern outbreak began earlier this month, and residents in the lockdown zones are now desperate to find food and essential goods.
25th Jan 2021 - ABC News

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Hong Kong orders thousands to stay home in 2-day COVID-19 lockdown

Thousands of Hong Kong residents were locked down Saturday (Jan 23) in an unprecedented move to contain a worsening outbreak in the city, authorities said. The order bans anyone inside multiple housing blocks within the neighbourhood of Jordan in Kowloon from leaving their apartment unless they can show a negative test. Officials said they planned to test everyone inside the designated zone within 48 hours "in order to achieve the goal of zero cases in the district". The government said in a statement there are 70 buildings in the "restricted area".
23rd Jan 2021 - CNA

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China barricades part of capital as COVID-19 outbreak escalates

Beijing has imposed a lockdown of 1.7 million people in part of the Chinese capital as officials race to prevent a COVID-19 resurgence in the country’s northern region from seeping into its most important city. Daxing district in southern Beijing, where its new airport is located, has been sealed off from the rest of the country after six infections were found there. The total number of cases in Beijing stood at 23 on Wednesday, while over a thousand infections have been found nationwide since early January, mostly in China’s vast rural northern provinces. While the number of cases is small compared to outbreaks in western countries, the flareup — fueled by an unusually cold winter — is China’s biggest coronavirus challenge since the Wuhan crisis a year ago given its potential to spread to the capital of over 20 million people
21st Jan 2021 - The Japan Times

China to test Lunar New Year travellers amid partial lockdown in Beijing

Beijing residents have been banned from leaving the capital after the UK virus strain was found in the city. Two cases linked to the new UK strain was detected in Bejing's Daxing district. The UK strain is believed to be 70 per cent more transferable than the earlier version. Residents in Daxing area have been barred from leaving Beijing unless they get special permission from authorities and get a negative test result. The local Daxing government said meetings of 50 or more people in the area has been banned with weddings postponed and funerals simplified. Schools have also been shut with students asked to study from home.
21st Jan 2021 - MSN.com

China is back in emergency mode, racing to contain COVID surge before holiday

China is rushing to build a massive quarantine camp with more than 4,000 isolation suites in Hebei Province, a region just outside Beijing at the center of a resurgent coronavirus epidemic. Ahead of a holiday that normally sparks the biggest mass-movement of humans on the planet, authorities have put tens of millions of people under strict lockdown in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19 a year after it first surfaced. The new isolation center spans more than 108 acres on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang city, the provincial capital of Hebei Province, which surrounds Beijing. It will temporarily house close contacts and secondary contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients so they can be kept under medical observation for any signs of infection.
21st Jan 2021 - CBS News

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Outer Hebrides islands put into lockdown as Covid takes hold

About 1,000 islanders on Barra in the Outer Hebrides are taking a “robust and responsible” approach to being placed in full lockdown from midnight on Tuesday, as a coronavirus outbreak spreads to affect about 16% of the population. Having kept the virus off the 11-mile-long island since the pandemic began, there are now 45 positive tests with a further 140 individuals self-isolating. Although islanders were already observing a voluntary lockdown as the outbreak spread rapidly since taking hold in the second week of January, Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that the islands of Barra and Vatersay, which are connected by a causeway, would go into tier 4, the highest level of Scotland’s five levels of Covid controls.
20th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

Rwandan capital back under full coronavirus lockdown

Rwanda's capital Kigali was back under total lockdown on Tuesday after a surge in coronavirus cases in a country that has adopted some of Africa's toughest anti-Covid measures. President Paul Kagame's government announced the measures late Monday after a cabinet meeting, banning "unnecessary movements" in the capital. Rwanda imposed one of Africa's first total shutdowns in March 2020, and has maintained an evening curfew, changing the times and imposing curbs on transport as its outbreak fluctuated.
20th Jan 2021 - Times of India

Lockdown is imposed on five Beijing neighbourhoods, with 1.6 million people ordered to stay at home

Lockdown has been imposed on five Beijing neighbourhoods after two cases of the British Covid-19 variant were detected in the Chinese capital. The cases had 'no genetic correlation with previously reported local cases and imported cases in Beijing', the head of the Beijing health authority Pang Xinghuo told reporters, but are 'considered to be variants of the new coronavirus discovered in the UK.' The two cases of the UK variant were among seven new Covid-19 cases detected on Wednesday, with six found in the city's southern Daxang district alone.
20th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

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As Chinese cities face new Covid-19 lockdowns, have 2020 lessons been learned?

Echoes in Hebei of measures a year ago in Wuhan, with students stranded in icy conditions and some people unable to get routine medical treatment. Residents complain of mistakes being repeated, as countries continue to struggle to balance a speedy response with the public’s wider needs
19th Jan 2021 - South China Morning Post

Rwanda re-imposes strict lockdown in capital after COVID-19 cases surge

Rwanda has re-introduced tough lockdown measures in its capital Kigali after a surge in coronavirus cases. The government has also banned movement into and out of the city, except for essential services and for tourists, it said, citing a jump in the number of cases found in a given sample of tests, known as the positivity rate. “All employees, public and private, shall work from home, except for those providing essential services,” the government said in a statement.
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Malaysia expands lockdown measures to most states as virus spreads

Malaysia on Tuesday said it would extend lockdown restrictions across most of the country as it grappled with a rise in coronavirus infections. Last week, capital Kuala Lumpur and six states went into a two-week lockdown. Essential sectors including manufacturing, plantations and construction were allowed to stay open, but a nationwide travel ban was implemented. Security minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Tuesday said the lockdown will also be imposed on six other states from Friday for two weeks. Only the eastern state of Sarawak will not see a full lockdown, though some restrictions are in place. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said the lockdown measures were necessary as the healthcare system was at a breaking point.
19th Jan 2021 - Reuters

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Almost All Of Italy Goes Into Lockdown

Italy is heading into a tough period of restrictions on Sunday, January 17, as coronavirus cases in the country continue to skyrocket. There is currently an average of 500 deaths per day in Italy, with 16,310 new Covid infections registered on Saturday according to the Ministry of Health. The death toll in the country stands at 81,800. As of Sunday, twelve Italian regions will be in the ‘orange zone’, meaning that all bars and restaurants will be closed and people won’t be allowed to leave the municipality. Lombardy, Sicily and Alto Adige are in the ‘red zone’ and will be plunged into total confinement for three weeks
18th Jan 2021 - Euro Weekly News

Coronavirus pandemic in Italy: Three regions return to near-lockdown restrictions

Italy has registered 81,325 Covid-19 deaths since the virus came to light last February, the second-highest toll in Europe and the sixth-highest in the world. Earlier on Friday the government issued a new decree extending curbs to keep lid on infections after the health ministry warned that the epidemic was getting worse. Restrictions will be tightened to the maximum "red-zone" level in three of Italy's 20 regions, including northern Lombardy around Milan.
18th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Virus resurgence expands lockdown in China

Amid a rise in locally transmitted coronavirus infections in China, at least 11 regions in three provinces have been put under lockdown to stem the spread of the virus as of Monday, according to local reports. According to a statement by China’s National Health Commission (NHC), 109 infections were reported on Sunday which included 93 indigenous cases -- 54 in the Hebei province, 30 in Jilin, seven in Heilongjiang, and two in Beijing. China, where the first cases of the virus were reported in December 2019, is witnessing a resurgence of the virus since early this month, mostly in Hebei. The country has reported 88,336 coronavirus cases, including 4,635 deaths, so far
18th Jan 2021 - Anadolu Agency

Malaysia to roll out additional $3.7 billion stimulus measures - PM

Malaysia will introduce 15 billion ringgit ($3.71 billion) worth of additional stimulus measures to support its pandemic-hit economy and fight COVID-19, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Monday. Last week, Malaysia declared a state of emergency and imposed a nationwide travel ban and lockdowns in the capital and five states to help curb the spread of the outbreak, which has been worsening in recent days in the Southeast Asian country.
18th Jan 2021 - Reuters

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What’s life like for the 20 million Chinese back in lockdown?

More than 20 million people across China are in lockdown as the country battles a spike in Covid-19 infections, the worst flare-up since last summer. China reported 135 new locally transmitted cases for Thursday, of which 90 were in the northern province of Hebei, 43 in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, one in the southern region of Guangxi and one in the northwestern province of Shaanxi. A total of 66 asymptomatic cases were also reported. As of the end of Thursday, 1,001 Covid-19 patients were receiving treatment in hospital and 618 asymptomatic cases, which are not included in the tally, were under medical observation.
16th Jan 2021 - South China Morning Post

China builds hospital in 5 days as COVID-19 cases rise in Beijing

China on Saturday finished a five-day construction project on a 1,500-room hospital as clusters of COVID-19 spread in Beijing and the surrounding provinces. The state of play: The facility is the one of six hospitals with a total of 6,500 rooms in the works in Nangong, the Xinhua News Agency said Saturday per AP reporting. They are all expected to be completed next week. China reportedly put roughly 28 million people on lockdown this week in the the Hebei provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.
16th Jan 2021 - Axios

Covid-19: France PM Castex announces tighter curfew

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced a new evening curfew will begin nationally across France starting at 18:00 (17:00 GMT) on Saturday. The move is a tightening of a curfew already in place since December, which restricts movement from 20:00-06:00. Announcing the measure on Thursday, Mr Castex described the country's situation as "worrying" with infections remaining at a "high plateau". He also announced new restrictions for people arriving into the country. France has so far recorded more than 69,000 coronavirus deaths - the seventh-highest death toll in the world.
15th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Between home confinements and evacuations, stories of lockdown in China’s Hebei province after Covid-19 outbreak

The January 2 discovery of a cluster of coronavirus infections in Shijiazhuang, the capital of China’s northern Hebei province, has led to China’s most severe Covid-19 outbreak in five months, with 463 reported active infections in the province as of January 14 and one death. Authorities have placed the province’s three major cities, Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang, under lockdown starting from last week. However, videos posted on Chinese social media reveal differing quarantine experiences, as the authorities proceed with a more localised lockdown approach.
16th Jan 2021 - France 24

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Semi-lockdown to stave off third Covid wave, says Swiss health minister

In Switzerland, Health Minister Alain Berset has defended further Covid-19 restrictions as a preemptive attempt to prevent a third wave of the pandemic. Shops will be closed and gatherings further restricted from Monday. In addition, existing restrictions will be extended until the end of February. Speaking to Swiss public broadcaster SRF, Berset defended the move to enhance a semi-lockdown despite falling cases of infection in Switzerland. He said that the decision was informed by watching a devastating variant strain take hold in Britain and other countries.
14th Jan 2021 - swissinfo.ch

Lebanon enters full lockdown to stem virus uptick

A full lockdown started in Lebanon today, with residents barred even from grocery shopping and dependent on food deliveries, in a bid to slow a surge in novel coronavirus cases. The new restrictions were only loosely respected in some areas of the country, however, after mass protests in recent years against a political elite held responsible for a deepening economic crisis. The lockdown, ordered after some hospitals started to run out of intensive care beds, includes a 24-hour curfew until 25 January.
14th Jan 2021 - RTE.ie

China reports first death in months; 22 million people placed under lockdown

China reported its first death from covid-19 after it recorded its biggest daily jump of Covid-19 cases in more than 8 months. The Chinese National Health Commission reported a total of 115 new confirmed cases on the mainland. China denied entry to two members of a WHO team investigating the origins of the novel coronavirus after both tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, the Wall Street Journal reported. More than 22 million people are under lockdown in the north of the country and one province has declared an emergency as daily Covid-19 numbers climb after months of reporting only a handful of daily cases. This is double the number affected in January 2020 when China's central government locked down Wuhan, where the virus was first reported.
14th Jan 2021 - Times Now

Malaysia, once praised by the WHO as 'united' against COVID, has gone back into lockdown

The Malaysian Government announced a renewed lockdown across much of the country, banning interstate travel, as daily coronavirus case numbers hit a new record. A day later, the country's King Al-Sultan Abdullah declared a months-long state of emergency as requested by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin — the first in half a century. "The Government can been said to [be prioritising] the nation's health security at the expense of democracy," Tengku Nur Qistina, a senior researcher at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, told the ABC.
14th Jan 2021 - ABC.Net.au

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Facing New Outbreaks, China Places Over 22 Million on Lockdown

When a handful of new coronavirus cases materialized this month in a province surrounding Beijing — apparently spread at a village wedding party — the Chinese authorities bolted into action. They locked down two cities with more than 17 million people, Shijiazhuang and Xingtai. They ordered a crash testing regime of nearly every resident there, which was completed in a matter of days. They shut down transportation and canceled weddings, funerals and, most significantly, a provincial Communist Party conference. By this week the lockdowns expanded to include another city on the edge of Beijing, Langfang, as well as a county in Heilongjiang, a northeastern province. Districts in Beijing itself, the Chinese capital, also shut down.
13th Jan 2021 - New York Times

Province In China On Lockdown After Biggest Coronavirus Spike In Months

Eleven million people are under lockdown in Hebei province after a new cluster of coronavirus infections. Since Jan. 2, Hebei has reported more than 600 new positive cases, 544 of which were from the capital city of Shijiazhuang. To identify all potential patients, health officials have completed one round of mass testing of all the city's residents, and a second one is being carried out this week. The province also postponed its annual legislative meeting because of the flare-up. Liaoning province, which has had a small number of new virus cases this month, also postponed its meeting. Hebei provincial authorities have doubled-down on travel restrictions and quarantine measures, hoping to contain the virus ahead of the Lunar New Year next month. Anyone leaving Hebei province must show a negative COVID test done no more than three days prior.
13th Jan 2021 - NPR

Tunisia to lock down for four days from Thursday

Tunisia will impose a four-day national lockdown from Thursday along with lesser measures lasting until Jan. 24 to combat a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Fouzi Mehdi said on Tuesday. “The situation is very critical and the vaccination will not come before February,” Mehdi said. Other measures will include rotating staffing in state jobs to reduce people in offices and transport, school closures, longer curfew hours and the removal of all chairs from cafes.
13th Jan 2021 - Reuters

As China COVID-19 cases rise, millions more placed under lockdown

China posted its biggest daily jump in COVID cases in more than five months on Wednesday, stepping up containment measures that have seen four cities put under lockdown, as the world’s second biggest economy scrambles to head off a new wave of infections. Most of the new cases were reported near the capital Beijing, but a province in far northeast China also saw a rise in infections, official data showed, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people placed under home quarantine. While the Chinese city of Wuhan was the initial epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, which first emerged there in late 2019, China had in recent months largely kept COVID-19 at bay.
13th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Chinese province of 37million declares 'emergency' to combat coronavirus as the nation's new COVID-19 epicentre launches a second round of mass-testing amid fresh outbreak

Heilongjiang in northeast China announced to enter an 'emergency state' today The province banned its 37m residents from leaving unless absolutely necessary Shijiazhuang in Hebei ordered 11m people to undergo city-wide testing again The province emerged as China's new epicentre in the latest COVID-19 outbreak China recorded 107 new native cases today, the highest daily tally since last July
13th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

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Lockdown adds to suffering of vulnerable Lebanese: charity

A total lockdown set to start this week will exacerbate the suffering of vulnerable Lebanese families struggling to make ends meet unless the government offers assistance, a charity has warned. “We recognise the importance of taking thorough measures... but we are very concerned that vulnerable families and their children will be left to deal with a catastrophe on their own," Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children’s Lebanon director, said late Monday. Lebanon, a country of more than six million, is grappling with its worst economic downturn since the 1975-1990 war.
12th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Coronavirus: China locks down a third city and moves 20,000 from new COVID-19 epicentre to isolation

Chinese authorities locked down the city of Langfang in Hebei Province near Beijing on Tuesday, putting its 4.9million residents under quarantine for seven days while conducting mass testing.
12th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Millions in China lockdown over new COVID-19 threat

China imposed new coronavirus curbs in areas near Beijing on Tuesday, putting 4.9 million people under lockdown as new infections raised worries about a second wave in a country that has mostly contained the disease. Lauren Anthony reports.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Another Chinese city goes into lockdown amid new COVID-19 threat

The Chinese city of Langfang near Beijing went into lockdown on Tuesday as new coronavirus infections raised worries about a second wave in a country that has mostly contained COVID-19. The number of new cases in mainland China reported on Tuesday remained a small fraction of those seen at the height of the outbreak in early 2020. However, authorities are implementing strict curbs whenever new cases emerge. The National Health Commission reported 55 new cases on Tuesday, down from 103 on Monday. Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, accounted for 40 of the 42 locally transmitted infections. In a village in the south of Beijing that shares a border with Hebei, residents were stopping vehicles and asking to see health-tracking codes on mobile phones.
12th Jan 2021 - Reuters

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Coronavirus: Germany's stricter lockdown starts nationwide

Harder coronavirus lockdown restrictions came into force across all of Germany's 16 federal states on Monday. Ten states, including the most populous, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Baden Württemberg, introduced the new rules as of Monday. A number of restrictions were introduced on December 16 in a bid to curb a second COVID-19 infection wave. These were originally slated to remain in place until at least January 10 but have had only a moderate impact on caseloads. Some of the measures that were already in place have been extended, while other restrictions have been tightened. Health Minister Jens Spahn appealed to the public to stay the course. "I know that these are once again particular difficulties, hardships for many," Spahn said on ZDF television. "Also social hardships, but at the moment that is the arena in which the virus is spreading above all others."
11th Jan 2021 - DW (English)

This lockdown is necessary but must not lead to a permanent loss of liberty

When the second lockdown was announced in October sceptics were down but not out. The Great Barrington Declaration, the formation of the Covid Recovery Group and the widely held view that shutdown 3.0 could trigger the implosion of Boris Johnson’s premiership handed them firepower in the fightback against coronavirus authoritarianism. Laws passed in late March marked the greatest restrictions on liberty in modern British history. Worse, they could not stop Covid: that ship sailed in February with New Zealand and east Asian nations on board. Claims by ministers and scientists that this blunt tool could eliminate the virus were wrong-headed, corroded public trust and torpedoed compliance.
11th Jan 2021 - The Times

Malaysia to reimpose 2-week limited lockdown to stem virus spread

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday announced a fresh lockdown in the capital Kuala Lumpur and five states, as the Southeast Asian nation’s cumulative cases grew to over 135,000 as of Sunday. Muhyiddin said interstate travel will also be barred during the two-week lockdown, but assured that five essential sectors will be allowed to continue operating under strict regulations.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Japan emergency state to expand beyond Tokyo as COVID-19 cases climb: media

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told a meeting of ruling party executives on Tuesday he would declare a state of emergency for the three western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo to stem the spread of COVID-19, Kyodo news reported. Responding to pressure from Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures in eastern Japan, Suga last week declared a one-month state of emergency for that region until Feb. 7. But the number of coronavirus cases has also climbed in the west, prompting the three prefectures to seek a state of emergency too. The government is finalising plans to declare an emergency there on Wednesday, and could also consider adding the central prefectures of Aichi - home to Toyota Motor Corp - and Gifu, Kyodo reported, citing government sources.
11th Jan 2021 - Reuters

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COVID-19: Ad campaign launched with plea to public as fears grow over lockdown compliance

A new public awareness campaign has been launched, urging people to "stay at home" in an attempt to encourage the public to comply with lockdown rules. It comes amid growing fears that people have not been observing social distancing rules, as case numbers surge, hospitals become swamped and deaths continue to rise. On Friday, a record 68,053 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the UK and one in 50 people in England are now thought to have coronavirus, according to the Office for National Statistics.
9th Jan 2021 - Sky News

COVID-19 lockdown fines reviewed in Derbyshire after women 'treated like criminals' over country walk

A police force is to review its lockdown fines after being criticised by two women who "thought someone had been murdered" due to the "heavy-handed" response to what they thought was a legal walk. Jessica Allen told Sky News she and her friend Eliza Moore travelled in separate cars to make the five-mile journey from their home town in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, to Foremark Reservoir, just across the county border in Derbyshire, on Wednesday.
9th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Australia on high alert after overseas travelers bring new COVID-19 strains

Australia’s health officials said on Saturday they are on high alert after cases of highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus, discovered in Britain and South Africa, have made it into the country. Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, on Saturday went into a three-day strict lockdown after the discovery of a virulent strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, linked to Britain. A variant that emerged in South Africa was found in Sydney, Australia’s largest city, in a hotel quarantine. Australia has been more successful than most advanced economies in managing the pandemic, with total infections at around 28,600 and 909 deaths, while each state has at some point recorded zero COVID-19 transmissions.
9th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Cyprus goes into new lockdown from January 10 as COVID surges

Cyprus will introduce a new lockdown to quell rising COVID-19 infections from Jan. 10, its health minister said on Friday, the country’s second since the start of the pandemic. Retail businesses such as hairdressers, beauty parlours and large department stores will shut until Jan. 31, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told a news conference. People will be allowed to leave home just twice a day for specific reasons such as buying groceries or medicines and taking exercise, while a current curfew banning movement from 2100 to 0500 daily will remain in force.
9th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID-19: Brisbane in three-day lockdown over case of new variant first identified in UK

Brisbane has entered a three-day lockdown after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the COVID-19 variant first identified in the UK. Australia's third largest city - and its surrounding areas - will also see the introduction of compulsory face masks for the first time, the Queensland state government said. Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said: "We know that that strain is 70% more infectious and we know the extreme difficulty that the UK has had in controlling their outbreak due to that strain.
8th Jan 2021 - Sky News

Cyprus set for second coronavirus lockdown

Cyprus is to go back into lockdown in a bid to curb an aggressive rise in coronavirus infections. From Sunday until January 31, businesses such as hairdressers, beauty salons and department stores will be closed, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said Friday. Authorities are also reintroducing a text messaging system that grants people permission to leave their home — which is allowed only for work, shopping for essentials, visiting a doctor or exercising, with just two outside trips a day permitted. The current curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. will remain in place.
8th Jan 2021 - POLITICO.eu

Covid 19 coronavirus: Brisbane suburbs go into a three-day lockdown

Queensland's first community Covid-19 case in 113 days has sparked a three-day lockdown for greater Brisbane. It comes a day after Air New Zealand's first quarantine-free flight from Auckland to Brisbane took off. Today the state has recorded nine new cases – all in hotel quarantine – from more than 13,000 tests. An inner Brisbane quarantine hotel cleaner has tested positive to the virus' highly infectious UK variant.
7th Jan 2021 - New Zealand Herald

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France Has Lockdown Lessons for Boris Johnson

Optimism about Covid-19 vaccines has quickly turned to pessimism about how slowly they’re being rolled out — and the grim realization that stay-at-home restrictions will be with us for longer as a result. This is being felt acutely in Europe, where Brits are now in their third national lockdown, barely a month after the second one ended. Ireland has also reintroduced tougher curbs. Both countries have seen cases and hospitalizations pile up this winter.
7th Jan 2021 - Washington Post

Nation of small-business owners adapts to England lockdown No 3

A year ago, yoga teacher Brenda Ward would have been dashing between hotels, gyms and schools to deliver her classes but as England entered a third national lockdown, she stepped into her living room and greeted students by video call. Having switched all her yoga and wellbeing classes online, the 53-year-old has joined a host of small-business owners finding ways to adapt and thrive despite lockdowns that have upended high streets and downed economic activity. “I’m probably busier (than before the pandemic),” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from her home-turned-studio in northwest England.
7th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

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Ministers convene to approve full lockdown starting Friday

Netanyahu and Gantz said to agree on plan to shutter schools and most businesses; both appear to blame UK virus variant for recent steep rise in cases. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz have reached an agreement on tightening the current nationwide lockdown for 10 days, shuttering schools and nonessential businesses and closing supermarkets at 7 p.m., according to Hebrew media reports Tuesday, with the aim of reversing a steep spike in infections that have passed 8,000 a day.
6th Jan 2021 - The Times of Israel

Boris Johnson says no end date for lockdown

Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the end of lockdown may be delayed beyond mid-February, telling MPs the government will be “extremely cautious” about lifting restrictions and reopening schools. His comments came as anti-lockdown backbenchers raised concern about lockdown regulations published last night which set a date of 31 March for them to remain in force. Announcing England’s third national lockdown on Monday, Mr Johnson said that the vaccination could progress fast enough to allow restrictions to be eased “by the middle of February, if things go well and with a fair wind in our sails”.
6th Jan 2021 - The Independent

Lockdown in Hebei provincial capital amid most daily Covid-19 cases in months

Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, enters lockdown after accounting for most of province’s 63 cases, the highest daily figure for months in mainland China. First locally transmitted infections in the northern province since June, and health authorities expect case numbers to rise
6th Jan 2021 - South China Morning Post

Lockdown uncertainty causing anxiety among UK students

Lockdown uncertainty is causing anxiety among students in the UK as classes have been moved to remote learning and exams cancelled in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19. In England, schools and universities have been closed for seven-weeks as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest COVID-19 lockdown. The government has confirmed students will not be asked to sit GCSE and A-level exams. A-Level student Maryam Mazhar said she is hoping to go to university to study history. "I definitely feel quite anxious now, especially because the government hasn't outlined what the methods of grading are going to be this year," Ms Mazhar said. The exams regulator is now considering a number of options. Both families and schools are desperately hoping pupils will return after half-term.
6th Jan 2021 - Sky News Australia

Coronavirus: Met to enforce lockdown rules more strictly

Met Police officers have been told to enforce Covid regulations more strictly during the latest lockdown.Under the new instructions, people who attend large gatherings will be fined along with organisers, while those not wearing face coverings without good excuse will also be targeted. Londoners have also been warned to expect officers to be "more inquisitive" if they are seen outside. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said police would "act robustly". England's third national lockdown legally came into force overnight with measures including a stay-at-home order and the closure of schools to most pupils.
6th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Britain's Asda urges lockdown shoppers not to stockpile

British supermarket group Asda on Wednesday urged its customers to shop considerately and not buy more than they normally would after new COVID-19 lockdowns were introduced across the United Kingdom to stem the spread of the virus. Under the new rules in England, schools are closed to most pupils, people should work from home if possible, and all hospitality and non-essential shops are closed. Semi-autonomous executives in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have imposed similar measures. With the hospitality sector shut, there is pressure on supermarkets to meet demand. December trade hit record levels.
6th Jan 2021 - Reuters

COVID risk 'extraordinarily high' if lockdown rules ignored - official

The risks for Britons without COVID-19 vaccinations were extraordinarily high if people don’t follow the current lockdown rules, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Tuesday, adding that the risks will not disappear in the spring. “If people don’t take the ‘stay at home’ seriously, the risk at this point in time, in the middle of winter with this new variant, is extraordinarily high,” Whitty said. “We shouldn’t kid ourselves ... this just disappears with spring.”
6th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

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England Covid lockdown likely to be in place until March, Gove warns

The third national lockdown imposed in England to try to deal with the huge increase in Covid-19 cases is likely to remain in place into March at least, with some measures lasting even longer, the government has indicated. The Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, said he hoped the gradual lifting of restrictions could begin in mid-February, but that the time it took for the vaccines to take effect meant it was likely to be at least another couple of weeks before measures could start to be eased. “We can’t predict with certainty that we’ll be able to lift restrictions the week commencing the 15 to 22 [February], what we will be doing is everything we can to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated so that we can begin progressively to lift restrictions,” Gove told Sky News on Tuesday.
5th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

UK PM Johnson cancels India visit, citing need to oversee virus response

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday cancelled a planned trip to India later this month, citing the need to oversee the pandemic response at home. “The prime minister spoke to (Indian) Prime Minister Modi this morning, to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Covid-19 fight in China's Hebei enters 'wartime mode' as province sees first local cases in six months

The fight to contain the coronavirus in northern China's Hebei has entered "wartime mode", official media reported on Tuesday (Jan 5), after the province surrounding capital Beijing saw its first locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in more than six months. Hebei reported 19 local infections and 40 asymptomatic cases between last Saturday and Monday, according to data from the Chinese health authorities. The last time the province recorded locally transmitted infections was in June last year. Nationally, mainland China reported 33 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday, with 14 of the 17 local cases recorded in Hebei and 16 cases imported from overseas.
5th Jan 2021 - The Straits Times

China places village under lockdown after coronavirus outbreak

China has placed a village under lockdown following a coronavirus outbreak likely tied to recent weddings, according to multiple reports. Entry and exit were barred from Xiaoguozhuang, located in Hebei province, and it is now the only "high risk" area of China, The Washington Post reported. Authorities reported 44 new cases in Hebei, of which 30 were asymptomatic.
5th Jan 2021 - The Hill on MSN.com

The Times view on the new lockdown: End Game

The means to defeat the coronavirus are now available. Yet the rate of infection of Covid-19 in Britain is intensifying and risks overwhelming the National Health Service. That is the paradox driving public health policy. Unfortunately, the government has been continually reactive in adopting measures to halt transmissions. It has had to learn painfully that there is no route out of the crisis by half-measures. Policy needs to be tougher and speedier if the nation’s hardships are to be eased and then dispelled by a vast vaccination campaign. Failing to do this has already cost lives. The government needs to give a clearer message on the urgency of the crisis and the stages by which, with public support, it can be lifted.
5th Jan 2021 - The Times

Covid-19 coronavirus: New UK lockdown 'frustrating, utterly disappointing' say Kiwis

Kiwis living in the United Kingdom say the Government's announcement of a new lockdown is frustrating and utterly disappointing. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown for England with people being instructed to stay at home just as they did in March. In his TV address on Tuesday morning NZ time, Johnson said a new coronavirus variant had caused the number of Covid-19 cases to rise rapidly in every part of the country. Leeanne Coles, 31, a beauty therapist from Auckland, has been in the UK for the last 18 months and contracted Covid-19 when she went out for lunch with five friends on December 4
5th Jan 2021 - New Zealand Herald

Covid-19: Third UK lockdown 'pretty depressing' for Kiwi expats but not a surprise

The United Kingdom is preparing to endure a third Covid-19 lockdown as new strains of the virus ravage the country. Tuesday’s announcement, however, came as no shock to some Kiwi expatriates enduring the pandemic in the UK. Sam Tylee​, a 28-year-old originally from Wairarapa who has lived in the UK for over four years, described the announcement from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as anti-climatic. “I wasn’t actually shocked, to be honest ... I think that it was inevitable because they can’t vaccinate people quick enough.”
5th Jan 2021 - Stuff.co.nz

Rishi Sunak announces £9,000 grant to support UK businesses closed during national Covid lockdown

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new package of support for businesses forced to close during the lockdown. One-off grants worth up to £9,000 per property will be made available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to support them during the Covid-19 lockdown. The measures will apply to 600,000 business properties and are expected to cost the Treasury around £4 billion.
5th Jan 2021 - iNews

Lebanon orders three-week lockdown to fight virus spread

Lebanon announced a full lockdown for three weeks, including a night curfew, to stem a rise in COVID-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals in a country already facing financial meltdown. Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan said the lockdown would start on Thursday and run until Feb. 1, with further details on Tuesday on which sectors would be exempt. The lockdown will include a curfew from 6 pm to 5 am. “It has become clear that the pandemic challenge has reached a stage that is seriously threatening Lebanese lives as hospitals are not capable of providing beds,” Hasan told reporters after a meeting of the ministerial committee on COVID-19.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters

UK offers lockdown-hit firms extra $6.2 billion of help

Britain offered a 4.6 billion pound ($6.2 billion) support package for businesses on Tuesday to soften an expected recession caused by a surge in COVID-19 cases that has triggered a third national lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on Monday, saying a highly contagious coronavirus variant risked overwhelming the health service within 21 days. Most people must work from home and schools have closed for almost all pupils. Hospitality venues must stay shut, as well as non-essential shops. Britain’s economy looks likely to tip back into recession - shrinking in the final quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 - following a record 25% fall in output in the first two months of lockdown in 2020.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Britons ordered to stay at home as third national lockdown begins

Britain began its third COVID-19 lockdown on Tuesday with citizens under orders to stay at home and the government calling for one last major national effort to contain the virus before mass vaccinations turn the tide. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown late on Monday saying the highly contagious new coronavirus variant first identified in Britain was spreading so fast it risked overwhelming the National Health Service (NHS) within 21 days. In England alone, some 27,000 people are in hospital with COVID, a number 40 percent higher than during the first peak of infections in April. “The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet but I really do believe that we are entering the last phase of the struggle, because with every jab that goes into our arms, we are tilting the odds against COVID and in favour of the British people,” said Johnson.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters

UK lockdowns force British Airways, easyJet to review flying plans

UK-based airlines British Airways and easyJet said they were reviewing their plans in response to new national COVID lockdowns, with reductions to already low levels of flying almost certain. Restrictions on travel due to the pandemic, and particularly a halt by some countries to passenger traffic from Britain due to an outbreak of a new variant of the coronavirus, means that there are only a fraction of flights currently operating. But the new lockdown in England stops most people from travelling abroad, making more cuts likely, and putting airline finances under renewed pressure as carriers had hoped for a recovery in travel by the spring. Goodbody analysts said the lockdown would wipe out income from the school half-term holiday in February, usually a strong travel period, and risked impacting bookings for Easter and summer.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

UK unveils $6.2 billion in extra lockdown support

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown late on Monday saying the highly contagious new coronavirus variant first identified in Britain was spreading so fast it risked overwhelming the health service. Britain announced on Tuesday 4.6 billion pounds ($6.2 billion) in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Elite sport to continue in England despite national lockdown

Elite sport will be allowed to continue in England despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a new national COVID-19 lockdown on Monday due to surging infections in the country caused by a more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus.
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Scotland to enter another effective national lockdown

Scotland will on Monday enter another effective national lockdown, likely to last until spring, The Times newspaper reported. Scottish government leader Nicola Sturgeon said earlier her cabinet would meet on Monday to discuss possible further steps to limit the spread of the virus, and ordered Scotland’s parliament to be recalled. It is expected the reopening of schools will be pushed back beyond Jan. 18, the newspaper reported
5th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

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New lockdown could send Rishi Sunak's furlough scheme soaring through £50billion barrier

The job retention scheme (JRS) reached £46.4billion before Christmas. There was a sharp upturn in payouts following November lockdown. Likely to reignite the row over the economic impact of coronavirus. Union leaders demanded parents be paid to stay at home while schools are shut
4th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Tougher UK Covid-19 lockdown measures discussed at Stormont

The Stormont executive is meeting this evening to discuss the possibility of further coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland. First Minister Arlene Foster said she would be joining a call with the British government at 5pm to discuss the "Coronavirus response across the four nations". "There will be an Executive meeting at 6pm immediately afterwards," she tweeted. Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said an "urgent executive meeting" had been called to discuss the "fast moving and volatile Covid situation". "Urgent decisive action is required to respond," she added in a tweet. British prime minister Boris Johnson will tonight make a televised address setting out new emergency measures to control the spread of coronavirus in England, Downing Street has said.
4th Jan 2021 - The Irish News

Coronavirus in NI: Stormont executive to discuss UK lockdown moves

There will be an extended period of remote learning for schools in Northern Ireland, the executive has said. Ministers met on Monday night as other parts of the UK tightened their coronavirus restrictions. The Stormont executive also plans to give its stay at home guidance legal force, with new restrictions on travel. Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said details would be formalised on Tuesday. The health and education ministers will bring separate papers on the issues to the executive at the meeting, she added.
4th Jan 2021 - BBC News

UK to move to highest coronavirus alert level as full lockdowns loom

The government is expected to announce new steps to control the spread of coronavirus, as the chief medical officers recommended that the UK move to the highest coronavirus alert level. Boris Johnson is due to make a TV address on Monday evening where he is set to announce mass school closures and tight lockdown restrictions. MPs will be recalled to parliament from Wednesday. In a joint statement, the UK’s four chief medical officers said the alert level should be moved to the maximum of five, warning that without action there was a risk of the NHS “in several areas” being overwhelmed.
4th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

As post-holiday infections surge, Lebanon gears for lockdown

Lebanon will begin a 25-day nationwide lockdown Thursday to battle a surge in coronavirus infections during the holiday season that has challenged the country’s already battered health care sector
4th Jan 2021 - ABC News

Catalonia imposes perimetral lockdown in municipalities in bid to slow coronavirus spread

The Catalan regional government on Monday approved new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. The new plan will see a perimetral lockdown for municipalities, preventing movement between them, as well as the closure of shopping malls and other non-essential stores. The measures will come into force on Thursday, January 7 – the day after a national holiday for Kings’ Day.
4th Jan 2021 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus pandemic: Scotland to impose lockdown for rest of January

Scotland is to impose a nationwide coronavirus lockdown for the rest of January because of a surge in cases, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Monday. FRANCE 24's International Affairs Editor Philip Turle tells us more.
4th Jan 2021 - FRANCE 24

Netanyahu to convene ministers within 48 hours to decide on new lockdown steps

Top officials say rise in patients steeper than ever, many of them trending young; health officials said to warn of 10,000 cases a day if nothing done to curb disease
4th Jan 2021 - The Times of Israel

'Just stay home' - Thai PM urges compliance as virus cases hit record

The government has declared 28 provinces, including Bangkok, as high-risk zones and asked people to work from home and avoid gathering or travelling beyond provincial borders, as infection numbers climb after an outbreak was detected last month at a seafood market near the capital. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the government was mindful of the potential economic damage from strong containment measures. “We don’t want to lock down the entire country because we know what the problems are, therefore can you all lock down yourselves?” he told reporters.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

UK needs tougher restrictions to tackle coronavirus, health minister says

Scotland on Monday imposed the most stringent COVID-19 lockdown since last March and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would shortly impose tougher curbs in England to contain a rapidly spreading outbreak of a new variant of the coronavirus. The United Kingdom has the world’s sixth-highest official coronavirus death toll - 75,024 - and the number of new infections is soaring across the country. As Johnson mulled tougher measures for England, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the new variant accounted for nearly half of new cases in Scotland and is 70% more transmissible. Scots, she said, would be legally required to stay at home for January from midnight. Schools will close for all but the children of essential workers.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

UK health minister does not rule out new national lockdown

Scotland on Monday imposed the most stringent COVID-19 lockdown since last March and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would shortly impose tougher curbs in England to contain a rapidly spreading outbreak of a new variant of the coronavirus. The United Kingdom has the world’s sixth-highest official coronavirus death toll - 75,024 - and the number of new infections is soaring across the country. As Johnson mulled tougher measures for England, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the new variant accounted for nearly half of new cases in Scotland and is 70% more transmissible.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

'Stay at home': Sturgeon imposes new Scottish lockdown from midnight

Scotland will go into a new lockdown with people ordered to stay at home for January to tackle the escalating COVID-19 crisis, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Monday. Sturgeon told the Scottish parliament that from midnight on Monday people would face a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes, similar to the lockdown imposed at the start of the pandemic in March last year. “The situation ... is extremely serious,” she said.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

COVID variant-fueled surge, health system pressure trigger new UK lockdown

Amid a third surge of COVID-19 in Europe, likely fueled by holiday gatherings and made worse by a more transmissible UK coronavirus variant (B117), Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced a new lockdown, following recent announcements by Ireland and Scotland. Cases in the region continued to soar, with Britain today reporting a new record daily high of 58,784 new cases, according to Public Health England, and Ireland reporting a single-day high of 6,110 cases.
4th Jan 2021 - CIDRAP

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Colombia's Bogota puts three neighborhoods in quarantine once more

Colombia’s capital Bogota will implement strict two-week quarantines in three neighborhoods beginning Tuesday to try and control a second wave of coronavirus, the mayor’s office said on Sunday. Home to a combined 2.7 million people, Bogota’s neighborhoods of Usaquen, Suba, and Engativa will enter strict quarantines with restrictions on movement and the shuttering of non-essential retail, as well as restaurants and bars, until Jan. 18, the mayor’s office said. “We’re taking action due to the accelerated increase in the occupancy of COVID intensive care units that we have seen in the last 48 hours,” acting Mayor of Bogota Luis Ernesto Gomez said in a press conference. The sale of alcoholic drinks in these three neighborhoods will also be banned on weekends during the quarantine period, the mayor’s office added.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters

'Overwhelmed' Zimbabwe tightens COVID-19 restrictions, orders most businesses closed

Zimbabwe extended a nationwide curfew, banned gatherings and ordered non-essential businesses closed for a month on Saturday in an effort to curb a surge in coronavirus infections. Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also health minister, said some of the tighter restrictions were effective immediately and included a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and a ban on inter-city travel. From Tuesday, non-essential businesses would also be suspended, he said. “People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives,” Chiwenga told a news conference.
4th Jan 2021 - Reuters India

Australia's NSW tightens restrictions as virus cluster expands

Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales on Saturday made masks compulsory and imposed new restrictions as its coronavirus cluster expanded by seven, while neighbouring Victoria recorded 10 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian banned dancing and singing at night clubs while restricting numbers at gym classes, weddings, funerals and places of worship. However, the five-day Cricket test match between Australia and India, scheduled to begin on Thursday, will go ahead with attendance at 50% capacity.
2nd Jan 2021 - Reuters

Stronger worker safety measures and transparency around workplace outbreaks on the way as Toronto reports record COVID-19 cases

Stronger worker safety measures and detailed data around workplace outbreaks on the way as Toronto reports record COVID-19 cases
30th Dec 2020 - Toronto Star

Japan Considering Virus Emergency as Cases Surge, Suga Says

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is considering declaring a state of emergency to stem a surge in coronavirus infections that has sent the country’s number of confirmed cases to record highs in recent days. Suga told a news conference Monday the government will finalize the extent of the emergency declaration shortly as it pushes to strengthen measures against the virus. He also urged people to avoid unnecessary outings and said he will ask parliament to amend an act on virus management when it convenes this month.
4th Jan 2021 - Bloomberg

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Ireland is in ‘dark place’ on Covid-19 and full Level 5 lockdown may be imminent, Harris says

A Government Minister has said an exponential rise in hospital admissions with Covid-19, the presence of a new coronavirus variant in Ireland, and a tripling in the number of referrals for Covid-testing strongly suggest a return to a full Level 5 lockdown is imminent. Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said that the State – like many other countries – found itself in a “dark and worrying place” in relation to Covid-19 right now. He was speaking shortly after Ministers were notified a Cabinet meeting has been hastily arranged for Wednesday afternoon, to discuss the deteriorating situation as regards the Covid-19 pandemic.
29th Dec 2020 - The Irish Times

Punjab govt imposes smart lockdown in Lahore's coronavirus hotspot areas

The Punjab government has imposed a smart lockdown in district Lahore, controlling the entry and exit of people in certain areas of the city identified as "coronavirus hotspots" on Tuesday. "There has been a constant increase in positivity percentage and prevalence of COVID-19 in the Province of Punjab during last two weeks which poses a serious and imminent threat to public health," read a notification from the Primary and Secondary Health Department issued today.
29th Dec 2020 - Geo News

China's capital locks down part of district in coronavirus fight

Beijing has reported 16 infections and three asymptomatic cases since Dec. 18, when the first cases were found. Most of the cases were in Shunyi, which has banned couriers from entering residential compounds. Six villages, three buildings and one industrial zone were among the areas locked down, a Beijing municipal official told a news conference. While Beijing’s new cases are modest in number compared with June and July, municipal authorities have beefed up steps to rein in the coronavirus, which has surfaced in three districts, where hundreds of thousands of residents have been tested.
29th Dec 2020 - Reuters

No new lockdown in France for now despite spike in virus cases

France will not enforce a new lockdown for the time being to curb the spread of the coronavirus but it could soon impose an earlier curfew in eastern areas of the country, the worst-hit by infections, the health minister said on Tuesday. “We’re ruling out the idea of a lockdown for now, whether it be nationally or locally”, Olivier Veran said on France 2 public TV channel. “But we will propose an extension of the curfew that could start at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. in all the areas where it will be deemed necessary”, Veran said.
29th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

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Sydney residents discouraged from Boxing Day shopping, some suburbs to re-enter lockdown

Sydney residents were urged not to head to the shops for Boxing Day bargains, while those in some northern beach suburbs prepared to re-enter a strict lockdown for three days from Sunday as the city seeks to stamp out a coronavirus outbreak. The state of New South Wales recorded nine new coronavirus cases, eight of them directly linked to the northern beaches outbreak, which now stands at 116 confirmed cases. Lockdown measures for some suburbs were first imposed on Dec. 19 but were eased slightly for the Christmas break. “Our strategy is to make sure we nip this in the bud as soon as we can,” the state’s premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

UK imposes more lockdowns as mutated COVID variant causes record cases

The British government said huge swathes of England would be placed under its strictest COVID-19 restrictions as a highly infectious virus variant sweeps the country, pushing the number of cases to a record level. Britain reported almost 40,000 new infections as the mutated variant of the coronavirus, which could be up to 70% more transmissible than the original, causes the number of cases and hospital admissions to soar.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Israel imposing third national COVID-19 lockdown

Israel will impose a third national lockdown to fight surging COVID-19 infections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, as the country pursues a vaccination campaign. The restrictions will come into effect on Sunday evening and last for 14 days, pending final cabinet approval, a statement from Netanyahu’s office said. They include the closure of shops, limited public transport, a partial shutdown of schools and a one-kilometre (two-thirds of a mile) restriction on travel from home, except for commuting to workplaces that remain open, and to purchase essential goods. Such measures will cost Israel’s economy about three billion shekels ($932.6 million) a week, the Finance Ministry said.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Israel speeds vaccines, locks down in hope of March exit from pandemic

Israel will enter what officials hope will be its last coronavirus lockdown on Sunday as they ramp up vaccinations to a pace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said may allow an emergence from the pandemic by March. If realised, that could help Netanyahu’s re-election hopes after missteps that include lifting a first lockdown with a premature declaration of victory in May, inconsistent enforcement of curbs and sluggish economic relief. After beginning vaccinations a week before the European Union’s roll-out on Sunday, Israel’s centralised health system is now administering around 70,000 shots daily. Netanyahu wants that raised to 150,000 by next weekend, with the opening of 24/7 vaccination stations among proposals.
27th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Widespread Boxing Day lockdown looms as UK bans South Africa travellers

Millions more people will be under the toughest coronavirus restrictions from Boxing Day as the UK implemented a travel ban on South Africa amid concerns over another new strain of Covid-19. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the “highly concerning” new variant is believed to be more transmissible than the mutant strain that resulted in the creation of the new Tier 4 restrictions. It is believed to be behind an increase in cases in South Africa, and has been discovered in two people in the UK thought to be contacts of those who travelled between the two countries in the last few weeks.
24th Dec 2020 - Yahoo Finance

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UK fashion retailers pushed deeper into crisis by tighter Covid curbs

Non-essential British retailers have been plunged deeper into crisis, as concern over a more infectious strain of coronavirus prompted fresh store closures in the south-east of England as well as border restrictions. Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, whose brands include Sports Direct and Evans Cycles, on Monday withdrew the profit guidance it had laid out only 10 days ago, citing “the high likelihood of further rolling lockdowns nationwide over the following months”. Frasers’ share price fell 10 per cent on Monday morning, while rival fashion stores Next, Ted Baker and Superdry were also hit. Superdry shed 12 per cent, while Next was down about 5 per cent
21st Dec 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus: Empty streets and squares amid Germany’s second lockdown

Many of Germany's busiest streets and squares have never been so empty shortly before Christmas. Strict COVID-19 rules, which have hit many hard, are in place throughout the country.
21st Dec 2020 - Deutsche Welle

In Germany, ‘tis the season to point fingers

If there’s one thing Germans excel at (aside from engineering and self-deprecation), it’s what they call nörgeln, an ancient Teutonic exercise in unrelenting complaint that can border on the pathological. As it happens, there’s no better time than Christmas for nörgeln, and amid this year’s lockdown, Germans are going full bore over the country’s handling of the coronavirus, blaming everyone from politicians to the press for ruining the holidays. For months, Germans basked in the accolades they received for their handling of the pandemic. Then November hit, and infection rates began to skyrocket, plunging the nation into a fit of Nietzschean angst.
21st Dec 2020 - POLITICO.eu

Spanish village in COVID-19 lockdown after barber’s Turkish hair transplant trip

A village in south-west Spain is reeling after a severe outbreak of COVID-19 has been linked to a barber's trip to Turkey for hair transplant treatment. The municipality of Calamonte, east of Badajoz, Extramadura, has seen 29 of its 6,000 residents test positive for Covid-19 this month. The outbreak has caused the school to close to students and numerous businesses to shut their doors
21st Dec 2020 - Olive Press

Canada's most populous province makes clear 'hard lock down' needed to fight COVID-19

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, on Monday announced a partial shutdown of some businesses starting Dec. 26 and banned most indoor gatherings as it struggles to control a second wave of COVID-19. Essential retailers, such as those selling food, will have to impose capacity limits while many other stores will only be allowed curbside pick-ups. Indoor dining is to be banned. “Thousands of lives are at stake,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters. “If we fail to take action right now the consequences will be catastrophic.” The measures appear to fall short of the immediate four-to-six-week “hard lockdown” that Ontario’s own expert medical panel had called for earlier on Monday.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters

Thailand considers more lockdowns as seafood workers hit by virus

While a lockdown hasn’t been imposed in Bangkok, the capital’s chief administrator said residents with businesses in the neighboring province should work from home and ordered more stringent screening of migrant workers.
21st Dec 2020 - Hindustan Times

Covid: Australian states enforce travel bans amid Sydney outbreak

Australian states and territories have begun enforcing entry bans on Sydney residents amid a growing coronavirus outbreak in the nation's largest city. The border closures outside New South Wales (NSW) have dashed Christmas plans and family reunions for many people. Airlines cancelled several flights leaving Sydney Airport on Monday, following a midnight deadline. The city has recorded 83 cases so far in this outbreak, all linked to Sydney's Northern Beaches region. Speaking from Canberra on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "2020 is not done with us yet."
21st Dec 2020 - BBC News

New Covid variant to delay normality by ‘up to four months’ and tip vast swathes of England into lockdown

The new Covid variant is so infectious it is likely to delay any return to normality by up to four months and force vast swathes of the country into the toughest tier four restrictions, leading scientists have warned.
21st Dec 2020 - iNews

Sydney isolated from rest of Australia as COVID outbreak grows

Sydney was isolated from the rest of Australia on Sunday after all of the country’s states and territories imposed travel restrictions on its residents as a coronavirus cluster in the city grew to around 70. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) sent a stern ‘do not come to us’ message to Sydney, the country’s most populous city of more than five million people, warning its residents they would be quarantined for 14 days if they arrived. "If you are not an ACT resident and have been in greater Sydney...our message is simple: do not travel to the ACT,” the ACT health department said. The states of Victoria and Queensland, and the Northern Territory, banned people arriving from Sydney as of Monday.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Royal Mail halts deliveries to Europe amid transport turmoil

Royal Mail has halted deliveries to Europe, except for the Republic of Ireland, due to a UK travel ban triggered by the discovery of a new faster spreading coronavirus strain. The company has also added Canada and Turkey to its "on suspension" list due to delays caused by "severely limited" air capacity. In addition, Royal Mail said it could not guarantee special delivery items posted on 23 December would arrive before Christmas due to tighter COVID-19 restrictions being introduced in England.
21st Dec 2020 - Sky News

UK business despairs at new lockdown restrictions

Business groups reacted with despair and anger this weekend as they called for urgent government support to help companies survive “the hammer blow” of UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s clampdown on pre-Christmas trading. A clutch of trade bodies issued pleas for further financial relief to help non-essential retail, leisure and entertainment businesses to cope with a shutdown in high-risk areas in south-east England during a crucial period for sales. The Welsh government also enforced a new national lockdown at the weekend. Specific demands include an extension of the rates holiday for a further 12 months from January, VAT relief and additional direct support for businesses forced to shut their doors.
20th Dec 2020 - Financial Times

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Thailand reports over 500 new coronavirus cases, Samut Sakhon province to go on lockdown until Jan 3

Thailand reported over 500 cases of coronavirus from the centre of its seafood industry where there are many migrant workers on Saturday (Dec 19), in by far the biggest one-day rise in a country that had previously brought the epidemic largely under control. The new cases were reported in Samut Sakhon province, south-west of Bangkok, where four infections were reported at a shrimp market on Friday - the first a 67-year-old woman. Disease Control Department director-general Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference that 516 new cases were found after testing that included 1,192 migrant workers.
20th Dec 2020 - The Straits Times

Tier 4 rules for London as Christmas cancelled by stay at home lockdown

Christmas bubbles have been axed for London and many surrounding areas as they were slammed into Tier 4 as a new fast-spreading variant of Covid-19 was blamed for a surge in cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson effectively cancelled Christmas gatherings for millions of families in London and the wider South East on Saturday as he sought to contain the spread of the mutant virus. The Christmas relaxation for the rest of the country was dramatically scaled back to three households being able to meet on Christmas Day alone rather than for five days in England.
19th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

Wales to go into lockdown from midnight as new rules announced for Christmas

Wales will go into lockdown from midnight as new level four restrictions start and new rules are announced for Christmas. First Minister Mark Drakeford met with representatives from the four UK nations and held an emergency meeting with his cabinet on Saturday afternoon about a new strain of coronavirus that is believed to be behind a surge in infections across the UK. Non-essential retail, close contact services, gyms and leisure centres and hospitality will close at the end of trading on Saturday and stay-at-home restrictions will be in place from midnight. Christmas rules are also changing. The two-household bubble now only applies on Christmas Day rather than a five-day period between December 23 and 27. Mr Drakeford said: "Many of you will have heard the Prime Minister this afternoon setting out the pattern of transmission in London and the South East of England, which has been linked to this new variant of coronavirus.
19th Dec 2020 - Wales Online

Britain tightens lockdowns over virus mutation with ‘significantly faster’ transmission rates

Faced with a newly emerging coronavirus mutation with "significantly faster" transmission rates, Britain on Saturday announced tightened pandemic restrictions that returned London and parts of the country to virtual lockdown and reversed earlier promises for relaxed rules over the holidays. The new mutation, or variant, was first detected in southeast England in September and is quickly becoming the dominant strain in London and other regions in Britain. Experts said it does not appear more deadly or resistant to vaccines. At a news conference from 10 Downing Street, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new variant “may be up to 70 percent more transmissible” than previous versions of the virus here.
19th Dec 2020 - The Washington Post

Germany’s Shuttered Retailers Turn to Online Rival for Help

For most high-street retailers, the hard lockdowns across Europe mean they’re missing out on the lucrative holiday shopping period. That’s unless they team up with the enemy. Kaufhaus Ganz, a department store near Frankfurt that sells clothing, toys and stationaries, is doing just that. Even as it has been losing customers to online rivals, the business this year turned to Zalando SE to sell wares on the Internet giant’s websites. The move helps keep revenue flowing now that its physical shop had to close, said Managing Director Tatjana Steinbrenner.
19th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

Virus surge causes Christmas lockdown in Germany | World

My five-year-old German nephew, Finn Gustav, was devastated last week to hear the news of a Christmas lockdown. There will be no markets to sample marzipan sweets and stollen. No merry-go-rounds or Ferris wheels. He lives in the central city of Weimar, home of the country’s enlightenment, but even the ice-skating rink set up every year in the main square around the bronze statues of Goethe and Schiller will be missing. “Alles wegen dem doofen corona” – “all because of that stupid coronavirus,” he says...
19th Dec 2020 - The Times

U.K. Faces Fresh Lockdown to Curb New Covid-19 Strain

The U.K. imposed a fresh lockdown across London and surrounding areas of England to combat a new strain of Covid-19 that appears to be significantly more contagious than earlier variants of the pathogen. Scientists say the new variant might be as much as 70% more transmissible than more established strains, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a news conference Saturday. Though it spreads more easily from person to person, there is no evidence it is any more deadly or resistant to vaccines, he said. The new lockdown means many families won’t be allowed to gather for Christmas. Mr. Johnson, who only days ago noted it would be “inhuman” to put curbs on Christmas celebration, said: “It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.”
19th Dec 2020 - Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus: Festive lockdown as bodies pile up in Italy

Italy will crack down on festive gatherings as bodies of coronavirus victims are stashed in churches and hospital car parks in the hard-hit northern region of Veneto. Giuseppe Conte, the prime minister, announced new rules last night ordering Italians to stay at home and closing all restaurants and non-essential shops on December 24-27, from New Year’s Eve to January 3 and on January 5-6.
19th Dec 2020 - The Times

Greater Sydney lockdown fears as Gladys Berejiklian warns coronavirus cases to worsen

The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has warned residents of greater Sydney to prepare for an increase in restrictions if the outbreak of Covid-19 expands beyond the northern beaches. Meanwhile travellers from NSW to Queensland will needed a border pass declaration from 1am Sunday and Western Australia announced it was reinstating its hard border with NSW. The Sydney to Hobart yacht race was cancelled after Tasmania also introduced border restrictions with Sydney.
19th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Sydney imposes lockdown on beach suburbs as COVID cluster grows

A quarter million people in Sydney’s northern beach suburbs were ordered on Saturday into a strict lockdown until Christmas Eve to help contain a coronavirus cluster with authorities fearing it may spread across Australia’s most populous city.
19th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Italy government orders Christmas, New Year lockdown to prevent COVID surge

Italy will be placed under nationwide lockdown for much of the Christmas and New Year holiday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday, as the government looks to prevent a fresh surge in coronavirus cases. The announcement ended days of indecision and wrangling within the coalition, which was split between those wanting a complete shutdown and those pressing for more limited action to help struggling businesses and to allow some family reunions. Under the new rules, non-essential shops will be shuttered between Dec. 24-27, Dec. 31- Jan. 3 and Jan. 5-6. On those days, Italians will only be allowed to travel for work, health or emergency reasons.
19th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Switzerland adopts 'lockdown light', urges people to stay home

Switzerland headed for a second lockdown on Friday as the government ordered restaurants and sports and recreation centres closed for a month from Tuesday and urged people to stay home. Backing away from its “middle path” approach that had aimed to avoid business-crippling consequences, the government conceded immediate, strong action was vital to curb stubbornly high coronavirus infection rates that had prompted calls from scientists and medical professionals for tighter measures.
19th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Italy to go into Covid lockdown over festive period

Italy will go into a nationwide lockdown during the Christmas and new year period as the government tries to impede a rise in coronavirus infections that could be triggered by the festivities. The Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said it had not been an easy decision but the measures were necessary. The whole country will be under “red-zone” lockdown on between Christmas Eve, and 27 December and then again between 31 December and 3 January and 5-6 January, when Italy celebrates the feast of the epiphany.
19th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Wales to enter national lockdown from midnight, with rules relaxed on Christmas Day only

Wales will enter a national lockdown from midnight on Saturday, with festive bubbles cancelled for all but Christmas Day. Mark Drakeford, the first minister, announced the “stay at home” rules after hosting an emergency cabinet meeting amid concerns over a new strain of coronavirus, which he said is present “throughout Wales”. He detailed how the pattern of transmission in London and the southeast of England, which has been linked to the new variant, is “remarkably consistent with the rapid acceleration of transmission in Wales” and the high case rates seen in recent weeks.
18th Dec 2020 - The Independent

U.K. Imposes Harsher Lockdown on London, Citing New Version of Virus

The variant is up to 70 percent more transmissible than earlier versions, officials said. People in southeast England, including London, were told to stay at home.
18th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

New strain of Covid-19: Boris Johnson backtracks on relaxing Christmas rules

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of stricter coronavirus restrictions, tightening rules around household mixing that were due to be relaxed over Christmas in England, while leaders in Scotland and Wales also introduced more stringent measures. The UK has among the highest Covid death rates in Europe, with more than 67,000 fatalities, and over 2 million cases.
18th Dec 2020 - CNN on MSN.com

Nearly all of California under stay at home order as FDA authorizes second vaccine

Nearly all of California is under regional stay-at-home orders triggered by alarmingly low capacity in intensive care units. Statewide, a sliver of those critical beds were available: 2.1 percent. The news came as a second coronavirus vaccine received emergency authorization Friday, an unprecedented scientific feat that gives the United States two powerful tools to fight a pandemic that emerged almost exactly a year ago.
18th Dec 2020 - The Washington Post

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Two-thirds of England to be under toughest COVID-19 measures

Large areas of England will be added to the ‘very high alert’ COVID-19 category this weekend, placing residents under the most stringent set of restrictions to tackle a rising number of infections. Britain, like other countries, is struggling to tame a second wave of novel coronavirus cases and deaths, and the government is having to defend a plan to relax contact restrictions for five days over Christmas. In a sign of mounting anxiety over the potential consequences of Christmas socialising, the government said most secondary school pupils would have a week of remote learning before returning to classrooms in January
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Uruguay to close its borders over holidays due to COVID-19

Uruguay will temporarily close its borders next week to non-commercial traffic, and urged citizens to limit holiday gatherings due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Borders will be closed from Dec. 21 to Jan. 10, except for cargo transportation, the government said late on Wednesday. Uruguay’s lockdown measures largely held the virus at bay during the first months of the pandemic. “The second wave to hit the world is our first wave,” President Luis Lacalle Pou said in an evening televised event. “We cannot compromise what has been achieved so far,” said Rafael Radi, coordinator of the government’s COVID-19 advisory group. He said the hardest hit areas are the capital Montevideo and surrounding areas.
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Greece tightens COVID-19 curbs in west Athens boroughs

Lockdown restrictions will tighten in parts of western Athens from Friday to contain a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, authorities said. Greece has seen a rapid rise in infections since October, forcing it to impose a second nationwide lockdown. But, despite those curbs, infections have shown no sign of abating in three western boroughs of Athens, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said in a televised briefing. In those areas, a curfew will be extended by four hours and run from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time from Friday, Hardalias said. Bookstores, hair salons and some of the few retailers that Greece allowed to re-open on Monday will also close for a week.
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

Covid-19: Millions move into tier 3 of virus rules in England

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announces results of review into England's tier rules. A number of areas move into tier three: all of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant, Hastings and Rother, and Surrey, except Waverley. Just two areas move down a tier: Bristol and North Somerset into tier two, while Herefordshire moves to tier one. The new rules kick in at 00:01 on Saturday 19 December.
17th Dec 2020 - BBC News

Northern Ireland could be heading for a six week lockdown

The Executive has agreed to go into a six week lockdown that will begin on Boxing Day. Ministers met on Thursday amid growing concern about the rise of coronavirus cases in Northern Ireland. The Health minister said the restrictions will come into effect from midnight on Christmas Day, taking effect on the 26th. Robin Swann said: "The Executive has probably taken its hardest decision, its most deep decision, in regards to how we have had to combat Covid-19 collectively. "We will be looking to a six week lock down where the message will be work from home, stay at home."
17th Dec 2020 - ITV News

Italy Weighs Holiday Lockdown That Would Dash Hopes for Christmas Respite

Italy's government is debating a lockdown over the holiday period, something it promised Italians it would do its best to avoid. Some ministers are pushing for the closure of stores, restaurants and bars for a few days around Christmas and again over New Year, as well as tight restrictions on nonessential movement. Some in the government want to preserve freedom of movement for people who want to visit their close relatives. A decision could come as early as today. Italy has struggled to suppress its recent surge of coronavirus cases, despite imposing an array of social-distancing measures last month. Infections and deaths have peaked but are declining only slowly. Italy recorded around 17,500 new infections on Wednesday and 680 deaths.
17th Dec 2020 - Wall Street Journal

Denmark will shut down completely during Christmas, New Year - PM

Denmark will impose a hard lockdown over Christmas and the New Year to limit the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Wednesday. Shopping malls will close starting Thursday, and other stores, with the exception of supermarkets and food shops, will close from Dec. 25. Students still in school will be sent home as of Monday.
17th Dec 2020 - Reuters

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Wales to enter post-Christmas lockdown

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced tougher new measures to tackle Covid-19, including a post-Christmas lockdown. "We must move to alert level 4 and tighten the restrictions to control the spread of coronavirus and save lives," he said. Mr Drakeford also advised that "only two households should come together" at Christmas. Under rules agreed for all nations of the UK up to three households are allowed to meet for a limited period.
16th Dec 2020 - BBC

Wales imposes fresh Covid lockdown rules from Christmas Eve

Fresh lockdown measures are to be imposed in Wales beginning on Christmas Eve, while the law will be changed to limit Christmas mixing to two households, the first minister, Mark Drakeford, has announced. Amid surging cases, all non-essential shops, plus leisure and fitness centres and close-contact services, will shut at the end of trading on Thursday 24 December. Hospitality premises, including pubs and restaurants, will close from 6pm on Christmas Day. On 28 December, tighter restrictions for household mixing, staying at home, holiday accommodation and travel will apply. This new set of “level 4” restrictions will apply to the whole of Wales.
16th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Germany faces hard lockdown until Easter as deaths spiral

Germany’s Covid-19 death toll has risen by nearly 1,000 in a single day, leading to speculation that its lockdown could last until Easter. One of the country’s regional chief ministers has warned that the hospital system is for the first time “seriously on the brink of overload” as the infection rate continues to mount and spare intensive care capacity dwindles. This morning the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which compiles the government’s coronavirus statistics, reported 952 deaths within the previous 24 hours, well above the previous single-day record of 590, which was set on Friday.
16th Dec 2020 - The Times

South Korea warns of first potential lockdown as coronavirus numbers continue to rise

South Korean health officials have warned residents to take current restrictions seriously, as the country faces the possibility of entering into its first potential lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic amid an alarming rise in new infections.
16th Dec 2020 - CNN Philippines

Last gasp: Londoners party on eve of tougher rules

One woman waved purple burlesque feather fans while dozens cheered with beers and some sang Karaoke in the streets for one last gasp of revelry in London’s partyland before the capital went into the strictest level of COVID restrictions. For much of 2020, the pubs of London’s West End and the hedonistic nightclubs of Shoreditch have lain silent - devoid of the fun that has, over the centuries, attracted drunken poets, louche musicians and the lonely seeking a liaison. As tougher restrictions loomed at the stroke of midnight, a few hundred revellers brushed away the COVID-19 doom and gloom in Soho by partying on the streets, mostly without masks.
16th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Denmark to close shops and shopping malls during Christmas, Ekstra Bladet newspaper reports

Denmark will impose a hard lockdown over Christmas and the New Year to limit the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Wednesday. Shopping malls will close starting Thursday, and other stores, with the exception of supermarkets and food shops, will close from Dec. 25. Students still in school will be sent home as of Monday. “Our healthcare system is under pressure,” Frederiksen said. “We have to act now.” Danish authorities expect the coming months to be the worst of the pandemic, she said.
16th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

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London returns to strict lockdown, following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases

61% of England will be in toughest Tier 3 lockdown by TONIGHTDaily MailNew variant of coronavirus identified in UK; London in tier 3 lockdownWIONLondon to move into top tier of restrictions as UK identifies new Covid variantCNBCLondon placed in Tier 3 lockdown as new strain of Covid-19 feared to be driving up casesThe TimesView Full coverage on Google News
15th Dec 2020 - CNN

South Korea warns of tougher coronavirus restrictions if rules ignored

South Korea’s prime minister pleaded with residents on Tuesday to abide by social distancing rules to avoid even greater restrictions in the face of the country’s largest wave of coronavirus infections. Daily infection rates are hovering at record levels with another 880 new cases reported as of midnight Monday, up from 718 a day earlier, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters India

Delivery Workers in South Korea Say They’re Dying of ‘Overwork’

At a logistics depot the size of an airplane hangar in southern Seoul, couriers recently held a ritual at the start of another grueling work day: They stood for a moment of silence to remember more than a dozen fellow couriers who they say died this year from overwork. “We won’t be surprised here if one of us drops dead, too,” said Choi Ji-na, one of the couriers. Ms. Choi, 43, and other delivery workers in South Korea say they feel lucky to have jobs amid growing unemployment, and that they are proud to play an essential role in keeping the country’s Covid-19 cases down by delivering record numbers of packages to customers who prefer to stay safe at home.
15th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

South Korea among several nations eyeing lockdowns

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea has been hailed as a model for other countries, using extensive testing and tracing to keep COVID-19 cases low. But a surge in infections that began in October and is centered around the capital city of Seoul has the country on the verge of its first nationwide lockdown. "Our back is against the wall," South Korean President Moon Jae-in said yesterday during a meeting at the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, according to Reuters. "This is a crucial moment to devote all our virus control capabilities and administrative power to stopping the coronavirus spread."
15th Dec 2020 - CIDRAP

Netherlands set for five-week coronavirus lockdown with schools, shops and gyms closing until mid January

The Netherlands is set to enter a tough second lockdown for at least five weeks, the country's prime minister has announced. The tough new nationwide measures mean schools, non-essential shops, museums and gyms will close at midnight until January 19. In a rare televised address, Mark Rutte told the nation: "We have to bite through this very sour apple before things get better.” As he spoke from his office in The Hague, protesters could be heard blowing whistles outside. "The reality is that this is is not an innocent flu as some people - like the demonstrators outside - think," he said. "But a virus that can hit everybody hard.”
15th Dec 2020 - London Evening Standard

Dutch shopkeepers grapple with sudden Christmas lockdown

Shopkeepers in the Netherlands on Tuesday were grappling with the effects of a new lockdown, which meant they suddenly had to close their doors in what should have been the busiest and most lucrative part of the year. “Obviously it is a big loss, this time of year is extremely important to us”, said Robert Reuter, the owner of City Diamonds in the center of Amsterdam. “It is a very hard decision, it is bitter for us, but I think it is necessary.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday night announced a tough second lockdown in the Netherlands, in a push to drive down the coronavirus infection rate, which has rapidly moved back to record levels in the past week.
15th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Netherlands and Czech Republic to enforce strict Christmas lockdowns

The Netherlands and the Czech Republic have said they will follow Germany into strict second lockdowns over the holiday period, with Italy weighing similar measures to avoid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections over Christmas and new year. In a rare television address, the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, said non-essential shops and businesses, gyms, museums, cinemas and theatres would close for five weeks after the country’s seven-day new case average rose by more than 40% in the past week. Bars and restaurants in the Netherlands have been closed since mid-October but the partial lockdown has not slowed the spread of the virus enough, Rutte said, as anti-lockdown protesters booed and whistled outside his office.
14th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Dutch shopkeepers grapple with sudden Christmas lockdown

Shopkeepers in the Netherlands on Tuesday were grappling with the effects of a new lockdown, which meant they suddenly had to close their doors in what should have been the busiest and most lucrative part of the year.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters on MSN.com

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Covid-19: London mayor calls for schools to close early

London's mayor has urged the government to ask all secondary schools and colleges in the capital to shut early ahead of Christmas. In a letter to ministers, Sadiq Khan said he also wanted schools to reopen later in January amid "significant" Covid outbreaks in 10 to 19-year-olds. It comes as the BBC was told London was likely to move into tier three. Greenwich and Islington councils are the first in England to urge schools to switch this week to online learning. Council officials in Greenwich have advised schools to shut from the end of Monday, although some academies will remain open, while Islington schools have been asked to move online from the end of Tuesday.
14th Dec 2020 - BBC

Europe's biggest economy is heading into lockdown. Will recession follow?

Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, is heading into a national lockdown that could send it into another recession — a major warning as countries like the United States try to battle a spike in coronavirus cases over the winter. What's happening: Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that Germany will go into a "hard" lockdown starting this week and continuing through the Christmas period. Non-essential shops and schools will be shut starting on Wednesday, and Christmas gatherings will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households. The announcement comes after Germany recorded nearly 30,000 new coronavirus infections and almost 600 deaths within 24 hours on Friday, surpassing records.
14th Dec 2020 - CNN

New rapid strain of coronavirus identified as London and south east moved into Tier 3 lockdown

Matt Hancock told MPs that a worrying new strain of covid-19 has been identified which may be the cause of a rapid spread of the virus in the south east of England. A new strain of coronavirus that spreads more rapidly has been identified, leading to surges in cases in London and the south east of England. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed the discovery to MPs as he confirmed plans to move London and parts of the surrounding area into Tier 3. Hancock said the new variant of Covid may explain the fast rise in cases in the south. He said: “We have identified a new variant of coronavirus, which may be associated with the fastest spread in the south-east of England. Initial analysis suggests that this variant is growing faster than the existing variants. "We’ve currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant, predominantly in the south of England, although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas, and numbers are increasing rapidly.”
14th Dec 2020 - Daily Record

London set to move to Tier 3 of lockdown restrictions

London is being moved into the highest level of coronavirus restrictions, after a surge in cases across the city.
14th Dec 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Germany calls on all to forgo Xmas shopping before lockdown

The German government called on citizens Monday to forgo Christmas shopping, two days before the country heads into a hard lockdown that will shut most stores tighten social distancing rules and close schools across the country. “I wish and I hope that people will only buy what they really need, like groceries,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said late Sunday. “The faster we get these infections under control, the better it is for everyone.” Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed Sunday to step up the country’s lockdown measures beginning Wednesday and running to Jan. 10 to stop the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases.
14th Dec 2020 - The Independent

Germany back in hard lockdown for Christmas

Germany will be placed under a hard lockdown from Wednesday, with schools, nurseries and all but the most essential shops to be closed through Christmas and the new year, Angela Merkel has announced.
14th Dec 2020 - The Times

German Economy Hit Hard as Abrupt Lockdown Strikes Fresh Blow

Anneliese Kleinschmidt was gearing up for a brisk Christmas season, but now stands in a sea of roses, lilies and chrysanthemums that will perish if she can’t sell them by the end of Tuesday.
14th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

Italy considers new COVID-19 restrictions for the holidays

Italy is considering more stringent nationwide coronavirus restrictions during the Christmas holidays, the health minister said on Monday, after scenes of big gatherings in many cities over the weekend raised worries of a new spike in infections. Italy, the first Western country hit by the pandemic, on Saturday passed Britain as the European nation with the worst official death toll, with more than 65,000 dying since the start of the outbreak in February. With pressure on hospitals easing and daily cases falling, the government relaxed some restrictions put in place last month. But scenes of crowded shopping districts in cities such as Milan and Rome have caused concern. Police were forced to close off popular sites such as Rome’s Trevi fountain due to large crowds.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Italy likely to follow Germany with Covid Christmas lockdown

The Netherlands and the Czech Republic have said they will follow Germany into strict second lockdowns over the holiday period, with Italy weighing similar measures to avoid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections over Christmas and new year. In a rare television address, the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, said non-essential shops and businesses, gyms, museums, cinemas and theatres would close for five weeks after the country’s seven-day new case average rose by more than 40% in the past week. Bars and restaurants in the Netherlands have been closed since mid-October but the partial lockdown has not slowed the spread of the virus enough, Rutte said, as anti-lockdown protesters booed and whistled outside his office.
14th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Germany braced as hard lockdown set to trigger double-dip recession

Germany is heading for a double-dip recession this winter after Berlin imposed a hard lockdown, economists have predicted, denting hopes that Europe’s largest economy will rebound to pre-pandemic levels by the start of 2022. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government announced at the weekend that schools and most shops would be closed from Wednesday until January 10 in an effort to contain a surge in coronavirus infections. “Germany must brace itself for a second recession,” said Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank. “The additional closures affect, among other things, all stores except those for daily needs . . . hairdressers and largely schools and day care centres for children.”
14th Dec 2020 - Financial Times

Germany to close shops and schools in Covid Christmas lockdown

Germany will close most shops from Wednesday until 10 January and ban the sale of fireworks for New Year’s Eve, after Angela Merkel and state leaders agreed to impose a national lockdown in order to regain control of rising coronavirus infection rates before a “very difficult Christmas”. Non-essential shops, excluding food retailers, pharmacies and banks but including hairdressing salons and beauty parlours, will have to close their doors from 16 December. Schools and nurseries will also be required to offer only emergency care for essential workers for the last three days before the start of the scheduled Christmas holidays, with parents asked to look after their children at home “whenever possible”.
14th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Lifting of Germany's lockdown early next year unlikely -Merkel aide

A broad lifting of anti-pandemic measures in Germany early next year is unlikely, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, said on Monday. Germany goes into full lockdown on Wednesday to tackle high infection rates. Braun told broadcaster n-tv he was very optimistic that the stricter measures would help to bring new infection numbers down. However, during winter and as long as not enough vaccines are available for everyone, “we are going to have some difficult days ahead,” he said. “A comprehensive easing is very, very unlikely.”
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters India

Lithuania orders tougher lockdown, to last until January 3

Lithuania told citizens to stay at home for three weeks from Wednesday as it seeks to rein in a raging coronavirus spread that has seen the country jump from 18th to third worst-hit in the European Union in just six weeks. Leaving home will be permitted only for work, essential shopping, caring for the sick, funerals and for people to take walks in single household groups, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte announced. All non-essential shops will be closed and meetings between households banned. As of Sunday, Lithuania reported 1,178 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, three times more than the 340 cases per 100,000 when a lighter lockdown was announced on Nov. 4.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Tough Christmas lockdown looming in Netherlands

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte held emergency meetings on Monday about the soaring rate of COVID-19 infections and was expected to announce tougher lockdown measures during a television address in the evening. Key members of the Dutch government were weighing stricter social curbs and Rutte took the unusual step of inviting the heads of all political parties in parliament for talks, the national news agency ANP reported. He was set to address the country from his office in a rare broadcast at 1900 local time
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Tighter COVID-19 restrictions imposed in London as infections surge

London will move into England’s highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions, the government said on Monday, citing increased infection rates that may be partly linked to a new variant of the coronavirus. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said more than 1,000 cases of the new variant had been identified, mainly in southeastern England. Although there was currently nothing to suggest the new strain was likely to cause more serious disease or that it would not respond to a vaccine, Hancock said that it could be contributing to higher infection rates.
14th Dec 2020 - Reuters

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Germans deprived of mulled wine in Christmas lockdown

Germany’s tightened lockdown measures have eliminated one remnant of seasonal frivolity: “Gluehwein” or mulled wine, a staple of Christmas markets usually served in steaming mugs on cold days in town squares round the nation. A blanket outdoor alcohol ban, starting mid-week, was announced on Sunday among measures to curb the coronavirus second wave. Offenders will be fined.
13th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Germany to close shops and schools in tightened Covid lockdown

Germany will close most shops from Wednesday until 10 January and ban the sale of fireworks for New Year’s Eve, after Angela Merkel and state leaders agreed to impose a national lockdown in order to regain control of rising coronavirus infection rates before a “very difficult Christmas”. Non-essential shops, excluding food retailers, pharmacies and banks but including hairdressing salons and beauty parlours, will have to close their doors from 16 December. Schools and nurseries will also be required to offer only emergency care for essential workers for the last three days before the start of the scheduled Christmas holidays, with parents asked to look after their children at home “whenever possible”.
13th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Germany to impose stricter lockdown to battle COVID-19

Germany will close most stores from Wednesday until at least Jan. 10, cutting short the busy Christmas shopping season, as it tightens coronavirus restrictions and tries to rein in the spread of the disease, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday. “I would have wished for lighter measures. But due to Christmas shopping the number of social contacts has risen considerably,” Merkel told journalists following a meeting with leaders of the country’s 16 federal states. “There is an urgent need to take action,” she said. Only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as banks, are to remain open from Dec. 16. Hair salons, beauty salons and tattoo parlours will also have to shut.
13th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

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U.S. Jobless Claims Surge to 853000 Amid Covid Lockdowns

U.S. unemployment benefit applications exceed expectations last week, reflecting the impact of lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bloomberg’s Michael McKee reports on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
10th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

More California Counties on Lockdown as COVID-19 Explodes

California's coronavirus surge has caused so many hospitalizations and deaths that the numbers brought usually stoic public health officers in major metropolitan areas to pleas — and even near to tears — as they urged people to heed safety rules. Los Angeles County, the nation's largest with 10 million residents, had a “devastating increase in deaths" from about a dozen a day in mid-November to an average of 43 a day this week, the county's health director, Barbara Ferrer, said Wednesday. “Over 8,000 people who were beloved members of their families are not coming back,” Ferrer said in a choked voice. She called the deaths “an incalculable loss to their friends and their family and the community.”
10th Dec 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Berlin seeks tighter lockdown to rein in pandemic

Berlin wants to close shops and extend the school Christmas holidays to try to get the coronavirus pandemic under control, the mayor of the German capital said on Thursday as the country reported a new record number of cases of COVID-19. Berlin’s mayor Michael Mueller said he would seek the approval of the city’s parliament next Tuesday to close stores apart from supermarkets until Jan. 10, and also to extend the school break until that date or put lessons online for a week. Germany’s coronavirus cases rose by 23,679 on Thursday to 1,242,203, setting a new record daily rise, while the death toll increased by 440 to 20,372, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases (RKI).
10th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Denmark widens coronavirus lockdown after record infections

Denmark said on Thursday it will expand lockdown measures announced earlier this week to more cities, placing almost 80% of the population under the tight restrictions after registering its highest number of new daily infections yet. “There is widespread infection throughout society and incipient pressure on the hospital system,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke told reporters, adding a further rise in infections in the coming days is expected.
10th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Ukraine will introduce tight lockdown restrictions in January

Ukraine will introduce tight lockdown restrictions in January, hoping to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus infection, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Wednesday. The measures, which include the closure of schools, cafes, restaurants, gyms and entertainment centres and a ban on mass gatherings, will be in force from Jan. 8 to 24, Shiygal told the televised government meeting. The government last month introduced a lockdown at weekends, closing or restricting most businesses except essential services such as grocery shops, pharmacies, hospitals and transport. It lifted the restrictions on Dec. 2
10th Dec 2020 - Reuters

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Ukraine will introduce tight lockdown restrictions in January

Ukraine will introduce tight lockdown restrictions in January, hoping to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus infection, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Wednesday. The measures , which include the closure of schools, cafes, restaurants, gyms and entertainment centres and a ban on mass gatherings, will be in force from January 8-24, Shmygal told the tlevised government meeting.
9th Dec 2020 - The Times of India

David Staples: Alberta's new measures can wipe out COVID but how far should we go?

The Alberta government is imposing the kind of severe lockdown measures that have worked to stop COVID-19 spread in places like Canada’s Maritime provinces, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan, jurisdictions which in the past two weeks have had zero COVID-19 deaths. Compare that to Alberta and B.C., each with 35 deaths per million in the past two weeks, Quebec with 51 per million and Manitoba with 124 deaths per million, with all of those death rates trending up quickly.
9th Dec 2020 - Edmonton Journal

Merkel pushes for tougher German lockdown

Chancellor Angela Merkel threw her weight behind calls for a fuller lockdown in Germany that would include closing shops after Christmas, telling legislators that vaccines alone would not majorly alter the pandemic’s course in the first quarter. Europe’s largest economy has been in partial lockdown for six weeks, with bars and restaurants closed but shops and schools open. That has stopped the coronavirus’s exponential growth but infection levels remain at a high level. Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Merkel said regional leaders should follow scientific guidance, which has called for people to further reduce their contact with others.
9th Dec 2020 - Reuters

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Germany inches towards stricter COVID-19 lockdown

Germany inched towards stricter measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus on Tuesday, as an eastern region said it would close schools and most businesses and the health minister warned a partial lockdown had not stopped the disease. Europe’s biggest economy is struggling to squash new infections in a second wave of COVID-19 that is both proving far more difficult to tame than the first one and extracting a heavier human toll as daily deaths hit record highs. The governor of the eastern state of Saxony, which has the highest seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 residents anywhere in Germany, said schools and non-essential businesses will be shut from Dec. 14 as hospitals struggle to take in patients.
8th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Experts urge Germany to impose strict coronavirus lockdown over Christmas

Germany should introduce stricter measures before and especially during the Christmas holidays to bring down stagnating coronavirus numbers, a group of experts said Tuesday. In a statement, the country's National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina recommended a two-phase "hard lockdown" until at least January 10. In the first phase, from December 14, the experts want Germans to reduce contacts and work from home while authorities should lift the requirement for children to attend school. In the second phase, from December 24 — when Christmas is traditionally celebrated in Germany — non-essential shops should close, larger gatherings should be banned and contacts reduced to a minimum
8th Dec 2020 - POLITICO

German leaders to discuss tighter COVID-19 measures this week

The German government and states will discuss tighter measures this week to suppress the COVID-19 virus, RBB broadcaster reported on Tuesday, citing the Brandenburg state premier Dietmar Woidke. Woidke said a number of state premiers would exchange views ahead of the meeting with the federal government. A partial lockdown and social distancing rules in place since the start of November have slowed, but not stopped the spread of the disease.
8th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Azerbaijan to introduce lockdown in major cities from Dec. 14

Azerbaijan will impose a strict lockdown in all of its major cities for just over a month from Dec. 14 to limit the spread of COVID-19, the government’s emergency coronavirus department said on Tuesday. Azerbaijan already has a raft of restrictions in place but cases have roughly doubled in the past three to four weeks. Restaurants, cafes, beauty salons and shops are closed at weekends, with public transport not in operation.
8th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Californians endure another lockdown as COVID-19 patients overwhelm hospitals

Most Californians face heavy new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, while New York’s governor threatened to ban indoor restaurant dining in New York City as the United States feared infections would continue skyrocketing. Restaurants in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area and the state’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley shut for all but takeout and delivery. Playgrounds closed, stores reduced capacity and hair salons and barbershops shuttered. The moves affected about three-quarters of the nearly 40 million people in America’s most-populous state. California Governor Gavin Newsom’s order allowed some schools to continue to hold classes.
8th Dec 2020 - Reuters

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Millions of Californians put under strict Covid lockdown

Stay-at-home order will stay in place through Christmas after hospital intensive care beds filled almost to capacity. More than three-quarters of California’s population are now living under the harshest lockdowns in the US, as Covid-19 cases hit record levels in the country’s most populous state. Regional stay-at-home restrictions went into effect for nearly 23 million residents in southern California and 4.4 million residents in a large swath of the Central Valley on Sunday night, as ordered by the state governor, Gavin Newsom. The orders take effect on a region-by-region basis when hospital intensive care unit beds in the region dropped to below 15%.
7th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Tighter German Lockdown Looms as Virus Rates Remain High

Germany is looking to impose tougher measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic after a soft shutdown failed to bring contagion rates down to manageable levels. Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday told legislators in the CDU-CSU parliamentary caucus that the current, partial lockdown is insufficient and needs to be revised with the heads of the country’s 16 states, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions who asked not to be named because they were private.
7th Dec 2020 - Bloomberg

Merkel warns Germany needs tougher lockdown to get through winter

German leaders came out on Monday in favour of stricter measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a few days after the country posted its highest one-day death toll so far. Chancellor Angela Merkel told party colleagues that existing lockdown measures - with bars and restaurants closed and shops admitting limited numbers - were too little to get the virus under control. “The situation is getting very serious: these measures will not be enough to get us through the winter,” participants said she had told a meeting of her conservative bloc’s legislators.
7th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Southern California goes into virus lockdown

Southern California went into a strict lockdown Monday, with more than 20 million people under stay-at-home orders triggered after hospitals faced being overwhelmed by record Covid-19 cases. Governor Gavin Newsom last week announced new statewide bans on gatherings and "non-essential" activities would come into effect once 85 percent of intensive care unit beds have been filled. Under the lockdown, most offices will close and gatherings of people from different households are banned. Bars and personal services such as hair salons will be temporarily closed, and restaurants will only be allowed to offer take-out and delivery.
7th Dec 2020 - FRANCE 24

Los Angeles restaurant owner’s tearful response to lockdown goes viral

Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he is sorry for Angela Marsden’s suffering, but with the virus raging out of control he has no choice. A California restaurant owner whose tearful video complaining about her patio being closed, while a film company shot scenes next door, has received over $90,000 in donations from well-wishers after the clip went viral. Angela Marsden's video, showing the scene at the Pineapple Hill Saloon, in the Sherman Oaks district of Los Angeles, has been seen by 8.5 million people since she posted it on Saturday. In the clip she walks viewers around her restaurant, showing off the outdoor patio with its picnic tables under an awning.
7th Dec 2020 - The Independent

Cargo ship in lockdown off WA coast after crew member falls ill

A cargo ship is in lockdown off Western Australia after a crew member experienced flu-like symptoms overnight. The Matsuyama ship is docked at the Kwinana terminal in Fremantle with no one on board allowed to leave as they await the results of a coronavirus test for the unwell crew member. 9News Perth reports the unwell crew member is being isolated from the rest of the crew on board.
7th Dec 2020 - 9News

California faces strict new coronavirus lockdowns; some sheriffs push back

More than 23 million people in Southern California were preparing on Sunday for the harshest lockdowns in the United States as COVID-19 cases spiked to record levels in the country’s most populous state. The restrictions in California, ordered by Governor Gavin Newsom to take effect on a region-by-region basis as hospital intensive care unit beds are filled almost to capacity, call for bars, hair and nail salons and tattoo shops to close again. As of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, the affected regions were also required to shut down even outdoor restaurant dining. Newsom, a first-term Democrat, has threatened to withhold funds from local governments that refuse to carry out the restrictions.
7th Dec 2020 - Reuters

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California heads for Covid lockdown as US records 200,000 cases a day

As large parts of California went back into lockdown and healthcare systems in many states began to waver under the strain, new cases of Covid-19 in the US remained above 200,000 on Saturday, with more than 2,000 deaths. Members of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force heralded the imminence and efficacy of vaccines, but asked Americans to keep their guard up. Johns Hopkins University recorded 213,875 new cases, down from nearly 228,000 on Friday in a week of surging figures after a Thanksgiving lull in record-keeping. Amid figures worsened by holiday travel and gatherings whose full impact experts say is not yet apparent, there were 2,254 new deaths, making the full death toll 280,979 from nearly 14.6m cases.
6th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Germany's Bavaria region to tighten coronavirus lockdown

The southern German region of Bavaria, which has so far recorded the country’s highest coronavirus death toll, announced on Sunday that it will impose a tougher lockdown from Wednesday until Jan. 5. People in Bavaria will only be able to leave their homes with good reason, state premier Markus Soeder told a news conference, adding that there would be some relaxation in the rules for Christmas but not for New Year celebrations. While Germany brought the pandemic under control in March and April, it is now dealing with a more deadly second wave and imposed a “lockdown light” at the start of November, closing restaurants and bars and limiting public gatherings. While daily infections are no longer rising as sharply as before, case numbers have stagnated at a high level, and Germany reported its highest single-day coronavirus death toll on Wednesday.
5th Dec 2020 - Reuters

Portugal to ease COVID-19 rules for Christmas, but not New Year

Portugal will ease coronavirus rules over the Christmas period to allow people to visit loved ones, but measures will be reimposed a few days later to crack down on New Year’s Eve parties, the government said on Saturday. While a ban on domestic travel will not be imposed between Dec. 23 and Dec. 26, Prime Minister Antonio Costa urged people to avoid spending too long in large festive gatherings without wearing a face mask. “It’s essential that this Christmas is a time of sharing but that in this sharing there is no involuntary transmission of the virus,” Costa told reporters as he announced the measures.
5th Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

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Tier 3 lockdown rules in England: latest Covid restrictions explained

England’s new three-tier system came into effect on 2 December after the national lockdown was lifted. Non-essential shops in all areas can reopen, as can gyms, hairdressers and other personal care businesses, with the formal instruction to stay at home coming to an end. The “rule of six” will again apply for outdoor gatherings in all areas. Places of worship will be able to open and weddings will be allowed within local restrictions.
3rd Dec 2020 - The Guardian

LA residents are ordered to stay in their homes: Mayor Garcetti tells 4million citizens to remain indoors, restricts travel, closes non-essential businesses and says it's 'time to cancel everything' as hospitalizations and cases surge

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the city's 4 million residents to stay at home Wednesday night. The mayor told the public to 'cancel everything' and banned all travel, including walking and bicycling. Non-essential businesses were ordered to close and officials threatened to arrest those breaking the rules. There are, however, a long list of exemptions included in the Mayor's order. People can leaves their homes if they need to engage in a number of the exempt activities such as visiting certain businesses and exercise, including at beaches and on trails. Businesses that are exempt from the order include healthcare operations, supermarkets and convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, banks, hardware stores, handymen services and laundromats. Retail stores that follow the county's in-person shopping health protocols are allowed to remain open. Indoor capacity, however, must be limited to 20 percent and be closed between 10pm to 5am. Personal care establishments such as hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and tanning salons must limit indoor capacity to 20 percent. Garcetti's order mirrors a directive put in place by Los Angeles County health officials last week. During a press conference, Garcetti said Los Angeles County saw increase of 5,987 new cases on Wednesday. 40 new deaths were reported, bringing county's toll to 7,740, which could hit 11,130 by end of the year. According to Garcetti, 2,572 Angelenos were hospitalized as of Wednesday; there are only 479 beds left across county and at current rate, health officials are predicting county will run out of beds in next 2-4 weeks.
3rd Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

Business owners in Serbia demand government aid ahead of coronavirus lockdown

Owners of small businesses in Serbia on Wednesday demanded government aid as the country prepared for its first weekend coronavirus lockdown since May. Several dozen people, including restaurant owners and travel agents, protested in front of the Finance Ministry. A crisis committee, made up of doctors and members of the government, has proposed a weekend lockdown for all except food stores and green markets. The government is expected to formally adopt the measure - which will see cafes, restaurants, hair salons, shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools and other businesses close at the weekend - on Thursday. Vladanka Rakic, owner of a small travel agency in the western town of Uzice, said: "We (travel agencies) are on ventilators, we have not been working since March.
2nd Dec 2020 - Reuters

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Covid-19: Shoppers return to stores under England's new tier system

Shoppers have returned to the High Street in England, after non-essential retailers opened their doors at the end of a four-week national lockdown. A three-tiered system of Covid-19 rules has now come into force in the nation, with gyms and businesses such as hairdressers also able to open. More than 55 million people are in the strictest two tiers and cannot mix indoors with those in other households. The government said it would "safeguard the gains made during the past month". At a Downing Street briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he accepted that the tiered system was "tough", but insisted that regional restrictions and mass testing were the way to "keep the virus under control".
2nd Dec 2020 - BBC

Spreading virus pushes German regions towards tougher lockdowns

Germany inched towards tougher lockdown measures on Wednesday, with one regional premier promising a stricter course now that regions that had been spared the worst of the coronavirus pandemic are seeing case numbers surge. A partial lockdown that was imposed at the start of November was last week extended into December, and state and federal leaders are expected to discuss a further prolongation into January at a video conference due on Wednesday afternoon. More than 17,000 new cases were reported overnight, and 487 deaths - a new daily record.
2nd Dec 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: England’s national lockdown ends, as country moves into new tier system

England’s second national lockdown has come to an end, with the country moving into a new tiered system of coronavirus restrictions. As the clock struck one minute past midnight on Wednesday, nationwide restrictions expired and were replaced by a controversial, localised approach as the government attempts to further stem the spread of Covid-19. Around 99 per cent of the population are now under the toughest two levels of restrictions, tier 2 and tier 3, with only three areas in England - the Isle of Wight, Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly - in the lowest tier 1 level. In the highest tier - which currently includes the cities of Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Newcastle - pubs and restaurants will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery services.
2nd Dec 2020 - The Independent

Coronavirus tier system comes into force as England’s national lockdown is lifted

A new tougher tier system of Covid-19 restrictions for England has come into force, as the national four-week lockdown is lifted. The measures, which came into force at midnight, were approved by MPs in the Commons on Tuesday with the support of 291 votes to 78. More than 55 million people in the country are being placed in the top two strictest tiers, with London in Tier 2. The rules are tougher than in the previous tier system England was face with before its second lockdown began in November.
2nd Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

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Lockdown Restrictions May Return in Uttar Pradesh Soon

Earlier states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Rajashtan had extended the lockdown restrictions in the containment zones till December 31.
1st Dec 2020 - India.com

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Turkey tightens coronavirus curbs as death toll hits record high

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a new round of tight restrictions in a bid to stem a surge in coronavirus infections, extending curfews to weeknights and imposing a full lockdown during the weekend. After only reporting symptomatic cases for four months, Turkey last week resumed reporting all positive COVID-19 cases that saw logged daily infections jump to about 30,000. On Monday, the number of daily new cases reached a record high of 31,219, while the COVID-19 death toll hit a record high for an eighth consecutive day, with 188 fatalities in the last 24 hours, according to figures from the health ministry.
1st Dec 2020 - AlJazeera

Turkey expected to tighten weekend COVID-19 measures -sources

Turkey is expected to tighten weekend curfews after a record rise in new coronavirus cases and fatalities, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. The move is expected to be announced after a cabinet meeting on Monday, said the sources who requested anonymity. They said that new measures adopted on Nov. 17, including nightly curfews at weekends, had been insufficient. “It is highly probable that the scope of the weekend curfew restriction will be expanded,” said one of the sources, adding that a final decision would be made at the cabinet meeting chaired by President Tayyip Erdogan.
30th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Pubs ordered to close by 6pm from Friday as Wales enters new lockdown

Wales will be placed back under harsh new coronavirus restrictions just three weeks after a ‘firebreak’ lockdown ended, the First Minister has confirmed. Mark Drakeford announced that there will be a total ban on alcohol sales, with pubs, bars and restaurants across the country told to shut by 6pm on Friday, following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases. He said that without action, government modelling suggested 2,200 people could be in hospital by January 12, with 1,600 people also losing their lives over the winter period. Non-essential retail, hairdressers, gyms and leisure centres will remain open but cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues will be forced to shut in the run up to Christmas.
30th Nov 2020 - Metro

Kim Jong Un is cutting off his economic lifeline, China, to stave off Covid-19

Kim Jong Un appears to have kicked North Korea's pandemic prevention plan into overdrive, further tightening the country's nearly impassible borders, cutting off nearly all trade with China, and even allegedly executing a customs official for failing to handle imported goods appropriately. Beijing exported just $253,000 worth of goods to Pyongyang in October -- a drop of 99% from September to October, according to data published by China's customs administration. For context, that's less in terms of dollar value than China exported to Liechtenstein and Monaco during October.
30th Nov 2020 - CNN

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South Korea agency says North Korea leader Kim Jong Un ordered executions, locked down capital

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered at least two people executed, banned fishing at sea and locked down the capital, Pyongyang, as part of frantic efforts to guard against the coronavirus and its economic damage, South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers Friday. Kim's government also ordered diplomats overseas to refrain from any acts that could provoke the United States because it is worried about President-elect Joe Biden’s expected new approach toward North Korea, lawmakers told reporters after attending a private briefing by the National Intelligence Service. One of the lawmakers, Ha Tae-keung, quoted the NIS as saying Kim is displaying “excessive anger” and taking “irrational measures” over the pandemic and its economic impact.
28th Nov 2020 - USA Today

Los Angeles County to impose new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings

Nearly all social gatherings of individuals from more than a single household will be banned in Los Angeles County for at least three weeks starting Monday under new restrictions local health officials unveiled on Friday, citing a continued surge in COVID-19 infections. The public health order specifically exempts religious services and protests under constitutionally protected rights in an apparent nod to Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a New York state order that had restricted the size of religious gatherings. The Los Angeles County measures, affecting some 20 million people living in and around the nation's second-largest city, go beyond a curfew imposed last week by California Governor Gavin Newsom barring social gatherings and other non-essential activities across most of the state between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
28th Nov 2020 - Japan Today

Lockdown in Los Angeles: LA County asks its 10 million residents to stay home for THREE weeks - but churches and protests are exempt

Los Angeles County confirmed 24 new deaths and 4,544 new cases on Friday Officials banned most gatherings but stopped short of full shutdown on stores Restrictions were brought on by average of 4,751 cases a day for last five days Residents of nation's most populous county are being urged to stay home People are also not allowed to gather with those from outside their household Exceptions are being made for church services and protests, officials said Non-essential retail businesses could stay open, but at 20 per cent capacity
27th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Panicking Kim Jong Un has had two people executed and locked down Pyongyang as he tries to tackle coronavirus and its economic damage, South Korea claims

Kim Jong Un is taking 'irrational measures' against Covid-19, South Korea says North Korea executed a high-profile money changer in Pyongyang last month Key official was executed in August for bringing in goods from abroad, NIS says
27th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

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Sunday lockdown to return in Dehradun from this week

Uttarakhand's Dehradun district will be locked down on Sundays from this week to contain the spread of COVID-19. Only shops selling essentials like medicines, fruits, vegetables, milk, petrol pumps and LPG agencies will be allowed to open. Weekend lockdown had been temporarily suspended in the district due to the festive season. COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Uttarakhand with Dehradun district reporting the maximum number of infections in the state for several weeks.
26th Nov 2020 - The New Indian Express

No lockdown on weekends or border sealing: Minister

In Uttar Pradesh, State health minister Jai Pratap Singh ruled out night and weekend lockdowns or sealing of border areas in the state. Target and random sampling, he added, will continue in vulnerable areas. “There is no question of a night or weekend lockdown, or any steps towards sealing of borders. All rules of unlock will continue to apply. We will, however, continue with target sampling in designated areas, such as urban slums, jails, sweet shops, malls and (other) high-risk areas. Random testing at the borders will also continue,” Singh said.
26th Nov 2020 - The Times of India

Covid-19: Should Indian states consider lockdowns again – even as a last resort?

If there is a Covid-19 surge, can a lockdown be far behind? As a fresh wave of the coronavirus sweeps through North and West India again, speculation is rife that some states will once again go back to the blunt-force tool that people across the world have to come to associate with the virus: lockdowns. The Delhi government has shot down the possibility of a fresh lockdown, despite cases spiking and rumours in the city markets. But Maharashtra has kept the door open. A decision, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said, would be taken shortly. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, on the other hand, have already clamped down with night curfews and weekend lockdowns.
26th Nov 2020 - Scroll.in

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Night curfews allowed, lockdown needs Centre’s nod in new Covid protocol

In India, due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in various states, the Centre on Wednesday allowed states and union territories to impose local restrictions, such as night curfew, based on their assessment of the situation. However, they cannot impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the Centre. The MHA also said that state governments can consider implementing staggered office timings and other suitable measures in cities where the weekly case positivity rate is more than 10 percent so that the number of employees attending offices at the same time can be reduced.
25th Nov 2020 - Hindustan Times

Bulgaria imposes lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge

Bulgaria said on Wednesday it would close schools, restaurants, shopping malls and gyms until Dec. 21 as it struggles to contain a surge in new coronavirus infections. “Only one thing has been proven to have an impact on COVID-19 - decreasing social contacts or quarantine. To ease the pressure on hospitals that are on the brink, we are introducing measures for three weeks,” Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said. Like much of central and eastern Europe, Bulgaria weathered the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic relatively well in the spring, but cases have spiked across the region this autumn.
25th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

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All Hail The Lockdown

In a five-part series, made in lockdown, Ali Rae explores the complexities of our global response to the Covid-19 pandemic
24th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

Amid lockdown worries, PM Modi holds key meet with CMs on corona surge

As the major Indian cities battle with the sharp rise in the fresh Covid-19 infections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with several Chief Ministers to formulate the strategy for the coming days. The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. The brainstorming session gains importance as it is not only a stock-taking meeting but more centred on making urgent plans to tackle the corona surges, especially in urban areas. While nothing official has been communicated so far, there is a buzz that the state, as well as the Centre, maybe thinking on something akin to a ‘mini lockdown’.
24th Nov 2020 - The Financial Express

No lockdown in Maharashtra, state Cabinet decides

In India, putting speculations to rest, the Maharashtra government has decided against imposing any lockdown in the state amid rising cases of the novel coronavirus. The decision was taken at a key cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The cabinet also ruled out clamping of a night curfew in the state.
24th Nov 2020 - India TV News

Can India Afford Another Lockdown?

Several states across India have reimposed the lockdown restrictions with a sudden spurt in coronavirus cases. While the Delhi government has raised the fine for not wearing face masks and reverted to the earlier cap on the number of wedding guests, night curfews and Section 144 have returned in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and others. With these decisions, the reimposition of the total shutdown has started doing the rounds. Speculations are rife that PM Modi, after meeting the chief ministers on Tuesday, might announce another lockdown in states where the cases are rising.
24th Nov 2020 - India.com

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Bulgaria Plans Lockdown to Contain Coronavirus Infection Surge

Bulgaria plans to close schools, restaurants and shops and ban all sports events, private celebrations and excursions as it struggles to contain a coronavirus case surge. The Balkan country's health minister Kostadin Angelov said on Monday that the measures, to be debated by the centre-right government on Wednesday, were aimed at preventing a struggling health system from being overwhelmed. New coronavirus cases have doubled in the past week to 23,569, Bulgarian health ministry data showed, bringing the total number to 121,820 in the country of 7 million.
23rd Nov 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Toronto enters virus lockdown as US looks to vaccine rollout

Canada's biggest city entered lockdown on Monday in the latest bid to curb coronavirus infections, with case numbers surging across North America even as US officials said vaccinations could be available within weeks. Toronto banned private indoor gatherings and capped the size of weddings and funerals for four weeks from midnight, with officials warning that hospitals risked being overwhelmed without quick action. "I've been clear on this: the situation is extremely serious and further action is required," Ontario premier Doug Ford had told journalists ahead of the lockdown.
23rd Nov 2020 - Medical Xpress

Pizza worker at centre of South Australia lockdown 'unaware' of public attention

In Australia, the Spanish national at the centre of a police investigation into his failure to disclose to contact tracers he worked shifts at the Woodville Pizza Bar is unaware of the growing public focus on him as he remains in hotel quarantine, Guardian Australia has learned. The 36-year-old man, currently on a temporary graduate visa in Australia, had his devices seized by South Australian police over the weekend after they issued a search warrant to obtain them from his quarantine hotel room. All the focus on the one man is causing concern among contact tracing experts, who argue it might hinder people coming forward for testing. They say the best way to get the most accurate information from people during contact tracing interviews is to ensure their privacy and protect them from punishment.
23rd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

More English regions to face tougher COVID rules after lockdown ends

England’s tiered system of regional COVID restrictions will be toughened up when a national lockdown ends on Dec. 2 and some areas will move into a higher alert level than the one they were in before, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday. “I’m sorry to say we expect that more regions will fall, at least temporarily, into higher levels than before,” Johnson said in a statement to parliament.
23rd Nov 2020 - Reuters

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Trudeau warns Canada's hospitals could be swamped, Toronto to enter COVID-19 lockdown

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada’s hospital system could be overwhelmed by a possible quadrupling of new COVID-19 cases by year end as its biggest city Toronto prepared to impose a lockdown. Trudeau implored Canadians to stay home as much as possible as a second wave of the novel coronavirus rips across the country, forcing several of the 10 provinces to reimpose curbs on movement and businesses. Cases continue to spike and authorities complain some people are being more careless about taking precautions.
21st Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

South Australia says man's 'lie' caused coronavirus lockdown as harsh curbs eased

South Australia’s drastic six-day coronavirus lockdown was triggered by a “lie” to contact tracers from a man who tested positive and restrictions across the state are set to be lifted much sooner than first planned, authorities said on Friday.
21st Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Toronto is under a 28-day COVID-19 lockdown starting Monday. Here’s what that means

With the risk of overwhelming hospitals in red zones with COVID-19 patients now imminent, Premier Doug Ford is moving Toronto into a 28-day lockdown along with Peel Region. The new measures will return the city to an experience similar to the earlier days of the pandemic with widespread closures. In Toronto, here is what that means as far as closures and new limitations as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 23:
20th Nov 2020 - Toronto Star

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Lockdown 2.0 Shows Europe’s Businesses Are Learning From the Pandemic

European small businesses that survived the first coronavirus lockdowns are getting creative to weather the second wave and the long-term fallout from the pandemic. Faced with the prospects of another recession and uncertainty over how long the crisis may last, firms are fighting to retain existing customers and hunting for new ones to stay afloat. Many have learned from the painful experience of the first lockdown to navigate some of the drastic long-term changes to work and consumer behavior brought about by the virus.
19th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg Quint

Strict, six-day coronavirus lockdown begins in Australian state

One of Australia’s strictest lockdowns began on Thursday with outdoor gatherings, weddings, funerals, takeaway food all coming to a standstill as authorities try to stifle the latest flare-up of the novel coronavirus. Images on social media showed empty streets in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia state, on day one of the state-wide lockdown. Residents flocked to supermarkets to load up with supplies until late on Wednesday.The state, home to about 1.8 million people, has recorded 23 cases from the latest cluster. There were no new infections to report on Thursday while 3,200 close contacts of the infected were in quarantine, the state’s chief public health officer, Nicola Spurrier, said
19th Nov 2020 - Reuters

South Australia reports no new Covid cases and urges people to avoid lockdown loopholes

South Australia didn’t report any additional cases of coronavirus as the state entered a strict six-day lockdown in an attempt to halt an Adelaide cluster that authorities worry could become a second wave. The so-called Parafield cluster remained at 22 on Thursday with three people in hospital in a stable condition. There are 17 additional suspected cases. The state’s chief health officer, Prof Nicola Spurrier, revealed the news at a testy press conference where the police commissioner clashed with reporters who questioned whether security guards at quarantine hotels should be allowed to work multiple jobs.
19th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Health experts fear South Australia's extreme 'circuit breaker' lockdown may not work

A new 'dangerous' strain of coronavirus that sparked a sudden six-day hard lockdown in South Australia is so infectious it spread from a pizza box into the community. South Australians are in their first day of one of the world's harshest lockdowns, which aims to provide a 'circuit-breaker' to prevent the new strain spreading rapidly across the state. At the centre of the outbreak is a pizza shop in Adelaide's northern suburbs where an infected medi-hotel security guard had a second job making pizzas. Health experts are divided over whether the harsh lockdown enforced on South Australians will be enough to stop of the new wave from spiralling out of control.
19th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

SA police out on empty streets as state goes into first day of lockdown

The busy streets of Adelaide looked like a ghost town as South Australians woke up to their first day in lockdown. On Thursday morning, many chose to sleep in and remained indoors to keep cool as the mercury rose to 36C. Regular peak hour traffic heading into the CBD was nowhere to be seen. While the city was near-empty — with the exception of essential workers — SA Police officers hit the streets to hand out face masks to homeless people and essential workers that passed by. Police Commissioner Grant Stevens told ABC Radio additional patrols would be out over the next six days to ensure South Aussies were complying with the tough restrictions.
19th Nov 2020 - NEWS.com.au

Top doc warns Western Australia is 'rolling dice' with lockdown

A top Western Australian doctor has warned that the state is "rolling the dice" as South Australia heads into lockdown. The state head of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Andrew Miller said Western Australians should be told to buy a mask in preparation for a coronavirus outbreak. "Just go and get one now, while you can, while there's time, while it's easy," he said. "If you never have to use it, that's a big bonus."Dr Miller said there was a gaping hole in the security of Western Australia's quarantine system, with many people such as security guards both working on the front line of the outbreak and having a second job. "It's just rolling the dice — we may as well be down as the casino putting it all on red," he said.
19th Nov 2020 - 9News.com.au

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South Australia announces six-day Covid lockdown as ‘circuit breaker’ to avoid second wave

The South Australian government has announced an immediate six-day lockdown followed by a further week of tough restrictions as the state scrambles to avoid a second wave of coronavirus infections. The lockdown will take effect from midnight on Wednesday after the Parafield cluster, which started from a hotel quarantine breach, grew by two overnight to reach 22 confirmed cases. The premier, Steven Marshall, said the state needed a “circuit breaker” to allow for a contact-tracing blitz so South Australia didn’t face a crisis as Victoria experienced.
18th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

South Australia introduces 6-day lockdown as COVID-19 'circuit-breaker'

The South Australian government has announced comprehensive restrictions under a six-day lockdown as it fights to stamp out a coronavirus cluster. Universities, pubs, cafes and food courts will be at a standstill, and schools will be closed to everyone but vulnerable children and children of essential workers as of midnight Wednesday, local time.
18th Nov 2020 - SBS News

Panic-buying across South Australia as state goes into lockdown

Adelaide residents have started panic-buying in supermarkets after Premier Steven Marshall announced a six-day coronavirus lockdown. South Australia is battling a cluster of 22 cases in the city's northern suburbs and will introduce the harshest restrictions the country has seen to slow the spread from midnight. The lockdown - described as 'extreme' by state chief health officer Nicola Spurrier - bans residents from leaving home for exercise and allows one shopping trip per household a day.
18th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

South Australia plans six-day lockdown after 'highly contagious' virus outbreak

South Australia on Wednesday declared a six-day lockdown to stamp out what the state premier described as a highly contagious outbreak of the coronavirus disease that officials linked to a returned traveller from the UK. Most businesses will close except for some food outlets, and people will be largely confined to their homes, as the state tries to avoid a more severe breakout like the one that all but shuttered neighbouring Victoria for more than 100 days. “We need this circuit breaker, this community pause,” South Australian Premier Steven Marshall told media
18th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Crisis-weary Beirut residents defy new lockdown despite COVID surge

Beirut’s popular Sabra market teemed with shoppers this week, some of them unmasked, in apparent defiance of a full national lockdown imposed on Saturday to stem a resurgence of coronavirus infections. The Lebanese government ordered the two-week restrictions, including a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on Sundays, as new daily infections rose above 1,000. Lebanon reported 1,016 new infections on Monday, bringing its total to 106,446 cases and 827 deaths since Feb. 21. After city streets and roads emptied on Sunday, pedestrians were back on Monday and some motorists could be seen flouting a re-imposed odd-even licence plate alternate day driving rule.
18th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

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Teachers say Scots school closures should be on the cards as Level 4 lockdown is imposed in 11 council areas

School closures should be on the cards in the 11 local authority areas - including Glasgow - that face Scotland's toughest Covid restrictions on Friday. The level four rules will see the closure of non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms. Now the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, has said schools in Level Four should be allowed to implement blended or remote learning contingency measures
17th Nov 2020 - heraldscotland.com

Italy’s Covid Lockdown Empties Tourist Hotspots, Again

Italy’s spring lockdown, one of the longest and strictest in Europe, gifted extraordinary experiences and photos of the country’s iconic tourist attractions devoid of people. As Italy’s latest COVID rules see regional borders closing and international travel continues to be restricted, these tourist hotspots are once more emptying. The situation is bittersweet. Many businesses, particularly those dependent on tourism, wonder if they’ll manage to survive a second travel hiatus.
17th Nov 2020 - Forbes

Austria returns to lockdown to limit rise in Covid-19 cases

Austria will introduce a national lockdown on Tuesday in a bid to bring its soaring coronavirus infections under control, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday, confirming an earlier Reuters report based on a draft government decree.
17th Nov 2020 - FRANCE 24

Canada's remote Nunavut to impose COVID-19 lockdown after community outbreak

Canada’s remote Arctic territory of Nunavut is suffering its first community outbreak of COVID-19 and will close all non-essential services, as well as schools, for at least two weeks, officials said on Monday. “This is an outbreak,” Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s chief public health officer, told a news conference streamed online from the territory’s capital, Iqaluit. “There has been community transmission occurring in Arviat in the last little while.” COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada’s northern territories are particularly concerning because healthcare services are limited and because there are often numerous people living under the same roof, which facilitates the spread of the virus.
17th Nov 2020 - Reuters

People living in Scotland's toughest tiers could be arrested if they try to leave: Nicola Sturgeon makes it illegal to travel outside of Level 3 and 4 lockdown areas

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon today announced parts of Scotland that are home to millions of people will be moved into its toughest coronavirus level at the end of the week as she warned infection rates remain 'stubbornly high'. The First Minister said 11 council areas, which include the city of Glasgow, will be subject to Level Four restrictions from 6pm on Friday. The areas have a combined population of approximately 2.3million people. People living in Level Four areas are banned from meeting with other households indoors while all non-essential shops must close.
17th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

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Most Spaniards support a second home lockdown, according to new poll

The majority of Spaniards (six in 10) would support a second home lockdown if it was needed to contain the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to a survey by pollster 40dB commissioned by EL PAÍS. During the first wave of the pandemic, the Spanish government introduced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, with residents confined to their homes and only allowed out for essential business. In the past few weeks, with infections rising in some territories, several regional authorities called on the central government to authorize home lockdowns in areas with dangerously high incidence rates of the virus
16th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Mongolia imposes national lockdown after first Covid case reported

The Mongolian government on Sunday extended a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic by two weeks until December 1. Mongolia imposed a national lockdown effective from 6 a.m. on Thursday after the country confirmed its first Covid-19 case of local transmission, involving a woman who is the wife of a 29-year-old infected Mongolian transport driver, the Xinhua news agency reported. The driver returned home from Russia via Altanbulag border point and tested positive for the virus four days after he was released from the 21-day mandatory isolation on November 6. The extension is part of the efforts to identify all people who have had contact with cases of locally transmitted Covid-19 infection, Yangu Sodbaatar, the country’s deputy prime minister, said at a press conference.
16th Nov 2020 - India New England

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Italy to Continue Stop-and-Go Local Lockdowns Through Winter

Italy’s government is likely to extend its region-by-region lockdown system through the entire winter to counter the spread of the coronavirus while protecting the economy, the deputy health minister said. Pierpaolo Sileri, a lawmaker from the Five Star Movement, told Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua that the current decree dividing the country into areas of varying risk, with different restrictions on businesses and movement, will be extended beyond its current Dec. 3 expiration date. “We need to monitor these regions and, as I think exposure to the virus will decrease, we will see better numbers,” Sileri, a 48-year-old surgeon, said at his Rome ministry. “I do see an extension of that for the entire winter. Obviously this will help us avoid a national lockdown.”
14th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

Austria announces strict lockdown as virus cases soar

Austria’s government has ordered one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, with chancellor Sebastian Kurz telling the public to “meet nobody” as the country battles a surge in coronavirus infections. “One contact is one contact too many,” Mr Kurz said on Saturday, as he unveiled a raft of restrictive measures that will put much of public and economic life in the alpine country on hold. An “around-the-clock” curfew will apply from Tuesday, with people only allowed to leave their homes to buy groceries, travel to essential work or provide urgent care.
14th Nov 2020 - Financial Times

Austria's Kurz confirms national lockdown will start on Tuesday

Austria will introduce a national lockdown on Tuesday in a bid to bring its soaring coronavirus infections under control, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday, confirming an earlier Reuters report based on a draft government decree. Non-essential shops will close and the current curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be expanded into an all-day requirement to stay at home, with specific exceptions such as shopping for essentials or exercise, Kurz confirmed. People should work from home wherever possible, he added. The lockdown is due to last almost three weeks, with the last day being Dec. 6.
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Austria planning three-week lockdown from Tuesday, draft decree shows

Austria on Saturday ordered a three-week lockdown in a last-ditch effort to bring surging coronavirus cases under control and relieve the stress on the health service in time for retailers to reopen in the run-up to Christmas. The country had so far used a lighter touch in dealing with the second wave of cases than it did with the first outbreak, which it brought under control with a lockdown in the spring. A nighttime curfew is in place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. this month but shops are open; cafes, bars and restaurants are limited to take-away service; theatres and museums are closed.
14th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus Europe: Draconian lockdowns slow down second waves

Most European countries were hit with a tsunami of new infections in mid-September after schools went back. Blitz of cases triggered domino effect right across continent, with nations one-by-one announcing lockdowns. Most of these nations are seeing infections either decreasing dramatically or flatlining, data shows
13th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Lockdown 2.0: Food companies overhauled production to put more toilet paper, pasta sauce in stores

When rumors first began to circulate that the UK would go back into lockdown, Leanne Barnes despaired as bread and toilet roll flew off the shelves again at her local supermarket. But to her surprise, shelves were back to being fully stocked within a few days. Barnes stocked her pantry last time around with a few additional comfort foods - macaroni cheese, ravioli, soup and spaghetti. But as of last week, she said she felt no urge to stockpile goods. So far, consumers haven’t returned to the sort of panic buying frenzy that sent packaged-food manufacturers scrambling earlier this year.
13th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Italy extends partial lockdown as Naples hospitals struggle

The regions of Italy that include the cities of Naples and Florence were declared coronavirus red zones Friday, the latest signals of the dire condition of Italian hospitals struggling with a surge of new admissions. The director of the National Health Institute, Gianni Rezza, said the stricter measures were justified by a “worrisome increase in hospitalizations” as Italy's rate of new confirmed cases reached 650 per 100,000 people. Confirmed cases hit a daily pandemic high of nearly 41,000 and 550 people died of the virus in 24 hours, bringing the country's known death toll to 44,139. Italy has reported a total of more than 1.1. million virus cases.
13th Nov 2020 - The Independent

Coronavirus: Oregon and New Mexico impose restrictions

The US states of Oregon and New Mexico have announced strict measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 as the country faces growing outbreaks of the disease. Officials have ordered most non-essential businesses to close and urged people to limit their social interactions. On Friday, California became the second state to hit one million Covid cases, after Texas. On average, more than 900 people a day are dying with the disease in the US. Daily cases have topped 100,000 for the last 11 days and more than 67,000 people are currently in hospital.
13th Nov 2020 - BBC

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A national coronavirus lockdown would be 'the absolute last resort,' Democratic senator says

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President-Elect Joe Biden’s 12-person coronavirus task force, floated the idea of a four- to six-week lockdown to bring the coronavirus to heel. The virus that has killed around 250,000 people in the U.S. is on track to hit 150,000 new cases per day by the end of the week. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), in a separate interview with Yahoo Finance, said a lockdown would be “the absolute last resort” and suggested an array of priorities to fight the pandemic.
12th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!

An Expert Explains: A second wave of Covid-19, and is lockdown the answer?

Large parts of Europe are in a second lockdown as a new wave of infection sweeps through the continent. Cases in the US are smashing new records. But overall numbers in India are falling — for reasons not yet fully clear. What is the way forward, given the cost of lockdowns? In an interview to The Indian Express, Professor Sunetra Gupta, a proponent of herd immunity, weighed in on this and related questions.
12th Nov 2020 - The Indian Express

Is India heading towards another lockdown from December 1? PIB clarifies

As coronavirus cases are continuing to spike significantly in the country, there are a lot of rumours doing the rounds that the government might impose another lockdown in the country in December. It is to be noted that Britain has also announced Lockdown-2 after France to control the outbreak which is overwhelming the public health system. In fact, the second wave also started in India. Recently, AIIMS Delhi director Randeep Guleria warned that the second wave of coronavirus in India has begun. People should not leave the house unless absolutely necessary, he added. Guleria's statement came at a time when the number of corona patients is increasing significantly across the country
12th Nov 2020 - DNA India

Romania enters lockdown as medical workers protest

News of a possible vaccine against the coronavirus has hit the headlines across the globe. The first effective coronavirus vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting COVID-19, a preliminary analysis shows. The developers, Pfizer and BioNTech, are a joint American and German effort. But these two countries are not the only ones currently busy trying to provide a vaccine to halt the health pandemic. So too is Kazakhstan which, while not quite at the same stage at Pfizer, is at the forefront of such efforts. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised. The companies plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month. No vaccine has gone from the drawing board to being proven highly effective in such a short period of time.
12th Nov 2020 - EU Reporter

New EU Travel Bans: Country By Country Covid-19 Restrictions As Europe Locks Down

In a week when most European countries saw hospitals reach near-saturation point, many nations had no choice but to implement lockdowns, curfews and new travel restrictions. The U.K. reached 50,000 deaths, many countries moved from implementing curfews to full lockdowns, Denmark and other countries restricted movement due to a Covid-19 outbreak in minks and many European countries entered red lists, meaning residents from those countries cannot travel without a negative PCR test.
12th Nov 2020 - Forbes

Biden COVID-19 adviser floats plan to pay for national lockdown lasting up to six weeks

A top health adviser to President-elect Joe Biden suggested that the nation is well-positioned financially to withstand a lockdown of more than a month in an effort to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. "When you look at the personal savings rate in this country, it's now gone from about 8 percent to over 22 percent. We have a big pool of money out there that we could borrow. The historic low interest rates by the federal government, we could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for our losses to small companies to medium sized companies, for city states, county governments. We could do all of that," said Michael Osterholm during a live event this week with Yahoo News.
12th Nov 2020 - The Hill on MSN.com

Biden COVID Advisor Says US Lockdown of 4 to 6 Weeks Could Control Pandemic, Revive Economy

Dr. Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden, said a nationwide lockdown would help bring the virus under control in the U.S. He said the government could borrow enough money to pay for a package that would cover lost income for individuals and governments during a shutdown. "We could really watch ourselves cruising into the vaccine availability in the first and second quarter of next year while bringing back the economy long before that," he said.
12th Nov 2020 - NBC Los Angeles

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US states resume lockdowns as COVID-19 hospitalisations skyrocket

Several US states on Tuesday imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus as people admitted to hospitals soared, straining the facilities and medical resources across much of the country. The number of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in California has risen by 32 percent over the past two weeks and intensive-care admissions have spiked by 30 percent, Dr Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary told reporters.
11th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

Italy May Have to Spend EU10 Billion a Month on Lockdown Aid

Italy may need to spend as much as 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion) a month to aid businesses and workers hit by coronavirus restrictions, according to people familiar with the matter. Authorities are working on plans that would help the country navigate through a surge in infections that’s derailed the rebound from one of Europe’s worst recessions. Lockdown measures similar to the ones imposed earlier this year are estimated to cost the government between 40 billion to 50 billion euros, or about 3% of Italy’s output, if they last until March, said the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions are confidential.
11th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

Beleaguered Italy needs to spend $11.8bn a month on lockdown aid

Italy needs to spend up to 10 billion euros ($11.8 billion) a month on extra aid for businesses and workers during restrictions to contain the coronavirus, according to people familiar with the situation. Government officials estimate that during lockdowns, the country requires support of at least 6 billion euros a month. Virus measures may have to become tougher through the winter, the people said, which would push the bill to the higher figure. That means a tougher lockdown running into March could cost 40-50 billion euros, the people said. That’s about 3% of Italian GDP
11th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

Italy Virus Cases Pass 1 Million With Second Lockdowns Under Way

Italy led the way in fighting the early wave of Europe’s pandemic back in March, imposing a strict three-month lockdown that halted the contagion but almost crippled its economy. Now, with cases topping 1 million, a second round of shutdowns has made Italians anxious about the economic impact and weary of the return to restrictions on daily life. The government’s wavering response hasn’t helped.
11th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

Virus restrictions deal European economy lesser blow than in spring

The wave of new coronavirus lockdowns that has swept across Europe in recent weeks has hit consumer services activity hard, but the wider economy is less affected than when the pandemic first hit in the spring, according to high-frequency data indicators. Alternative economic data such as truck mileage, trips to entertainment venues and offices, and restaurant bookings have become widely watched since the pandemic began as they offer a more timely gauge of the economy, although they are less comprehensive and reliable than official data. The indicators show the damage that the new restrictions are doing to Europe’s services industry, but they also suggest that more people are continuing to travel to work than they did in the spring and manufacturing is still operating.
11th Nov 2020 - Financial Times

Ukraine approves lockdown restrictions at weekends to fight COVID spread

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's cabinet voted on Wednesday to impose a national lockdown at weekends to strengthen steps to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said the weekend lockdown would be in force from Nov. 14-30. The decision will mean closing or restricting the activity of most businesses at weekends with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and transport. The cabinet also stepped up restrictions on operations of restaurants, cinemas, gyms, and public events.
11th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!News

Lebanon orders full lockdown to combat COVID-19, boost hospital beds

Lebanon ordered a full lockdown for around two weeks to stem a rise in COVID-19 infections and allow a badly strained health sector to bolster capacity as the country buckled under a financial meltdown.
11th Nov 2020 - Reuters

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Waiting in the wings: how a second lockdown halted theatre's comeback

Two of this autumn’s most anticipated UK theatre shows opened last Wednesday – and promptly closed that night. A revival of the classic musical Rent at Manchester’s Hope Mill and a sequel to the hit play Death of England at the National Theatre in London were scuppered by the introduction of a second lockdown in England on 5 November. Their sold-out runs ended after a handful of previews and a press night. This month was supposed to find England’s theatres welcoming back audiences, albeit at reduced capacity, and plotting a path through the turmoil wrought by coronavirus. Perhaps they would even learn of the long awaited date for stage five of culture secretary Oliver Dowden’s roadmap to fully reopen venues. Instead, productions around the country have been cancelled, postponed or streamed for an online audience instead.
10th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown 2 leaves music venues in search of an encore

On the genteel Royal Tunbridge Wells Common, a converted toilet has for almost three decades housed The Forum, the Kent town’s premier independent music venue. With a capacity of 250, acts from Oasis to Mumford & Sons have packed out this sweaty little building, epitomising what is most loved about live music. In these dreary lockdown days, we yearn for such evenings. The Forum shut on March 17, in accordance with the UK’s first lockdown, and has since subsisted on donations and sales of merchandise. With help from the government’s £1.6bn cultural recovery fund, the venue was ready to host socially-distanced gigs this month, albeit with a mere 55 patrons. Then came last week’s lockdown mark two, meaning more closures and cancellations.
10th Nov 2020 - The Financial Times

UK redundancies hit record before second Covid lockdown

The government’s furlough scheme and a recovering economy failed to prevent record redundancies in the period before tougher lockdown restrictions were imposed, according to the latest official data. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that young people have been the hardest hit by mounting job losses, with an unemployment rate three times the national average. The ONS said a record 314,000 people lost their job in the three months to September – a period in which the Treasury’s wage subsidy scheme became less generous.
10th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

How are people in Berlin handling 'lockdown light?'

German authorities have tightened restrictions on public life for a second time to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Bars and hotels are shut, and restaurants are open for takeout only. How are people in Berlin handling the situation?
10th Nov 2020 - Deutsche Welle

Italy’s Regional Lockdown Leaves Border Bar In Limbo

Plumb on the border between two Italian regions, legend has it this bar’s entrance is in Lombardy, now a red zone that can’t be entered from bordering regions, while the car park is in the “yellow” area of Emilia-Romagna, with the loosest COVID restrictions. Italy’s latest three-level coronavirus lockdown has plunged the bar and the surrounding village of Stellata di Bondeno into a regulatory nightmare restricting residents’ access to basic services and visiting relatives.
10th Nov 2020 - Forbes

UK consumer spending wilts even as new lockdowns spur stockpiling

Consumer spending, a rare bright spot for Britain’s economy during the coronavirus pandemic, faded in October although the re-introduction of lockdowns prompted a renewed stockpiling spree, surveys showed on Tuesday. Payment card provider Barclaycard said overall consumer spending slipped 0.1% in annual terms in October as people cut back on non-essential spending while stocking up on groceries. Another survey from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) similarly showed spending was skewed towards food sales.
10th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

German investor moral drops on concerns over second coronavirus lockdown

German investor sentiment dropped more than expected in November as a second wave of coronavirus infections and a partial lockdown to contain the disease increased uncertainty over the outlook for Europe’s largest economy. The ZEW economic research institute said on Tuesday that its survey of investors’ economic sentiment fell to 39.0 points from 56.1 points the previous month, undershooting a reading of 41.7 in a Reuters poll. “Financial experts are concerned about the economic impact of the second wave of COVID-19 and what this will entail,” ZEW President Achim Wambach said in a statement, adding that the data pointed to an economic slowdown in the fourth quarter.
10th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Lebanon orders full lockdown to combat COVID-19, boost hospital beds

Lebanon ordered a full lockdown for around two weeks to stem a rise in COVID-19 infections and allow a badly strained health sector to bolster capacity as the country buckled under a financial meltdown. The Supreme Defence Council said in a statement on Tuesday the lockdown starting Saturday would be in place until Nov. 30, with vital sectors and food delivery exempt. The airport and borders will remain open. “We have reached a very dangerous stage as public and private hospitals can no longer admit critical cases because all beds are occupied,” Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab said, warning the shutdown may be extended if people do not comply.
10th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

UK job losses underline scale of COVID-19 challenge - Sunak

British finance minister Rishi Sunak said figures showing a record increase in redundancies and a rise in the unemployment rate to 4.8% “underline the scale of the challenge we’re facing”. “I want to reassure anyone that is worried about the coming winter months that we will continue to support those affected,” he said in a statement after the data was published on Tuesday. Sunak last week extended until the end of March the government’s costly wage subsidy scheme.
10th Nov 2020 - Reuters

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Andalusia confines its municipalities and suspends all non-essential business activity from 6pm

The 8.4 million inhabitants of Spain’s Andalusia region will be confined to their municipalities from Tuesday, November 10 until November 23, as the regional government toughens its coronavirus restrictions. The hospitality sector and all non-essential activity will have to close at 6pm, apart from in the province of Granada, where the high rates of infection – currently at 1,194 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days – have prompted the authorities to implement a total shutdown. The nighttime curfew will be brought forward to 10pm and will last until 7am. Growing pressure on the region’s hospitals due to coronavirus cases has prompted the Andalusian government to take this action, which also includes obligatory online classes for university students. The plan was announced on Sunday by the regional premier, Juan Manuel Romero of the conservative Popular Party (PP), who explained that over this week a plan will be approved that will help to compensate the losses from the hostelry and retail sector, but did not go into detail about the assistance.
9th Nov 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus: Hungary and Portugal in partial lockdown

Hungary and Portugal are introducing new coronavirus restrictions to stem the second wave of infection now affecting most of Europe. Hungary's partial lockdown will include starting the current night curfew earlier, so it runs from 20:00 to 05:00 local time (19:00 to 04:00 GMT). Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the month-long curbs would include limits on public gatherings and closure of schools, restaurants and universities. Portugal has imposed a night curfew. Its state of emergency has started and is set to last at least two weeks. The curfew covers 70% of the population, including Lisbon and Porto. On weekdays it runs from 23:00 to 05:00 local time, but at weekends it will run from 13:00 to 05:00. Hungary's state of emergency is expected to get parliamentary approval on Tuesday, as Mr Orban's supporters have a majority.
9th Nov 2020 - BBC

New COVID Lockdown Triggers Fight Over Fate Of France's Bookstores

While small business owners across France are feeling the pinch of the nation’s second COVID lockdown, the economic plight of bookstores has taken center stage in the roaring debate about how to fight the pandemic. Late last month, President Emmanuel Macron announced the nation would go into confinement again as COVID rates raced out of control. But he also signaled that this second lockdown would be different based on lessons learned from the two-month shutdown in the Spring. For instance, schools that closed earlier this year have remained largely open.
9th Nov 2020 - Forbes

France to 'limit impact' of new lockdown with schools, public services open

The Banque de France predicts economic activity in November will decline by 12 percent under the country's second Covid-19 lockdown. That compares to a 31 percent decline during the first confinement in April, with the decision to maintain public services and keep schools open playing "a key role" in limiting the economic impact. The new figures were published on Monday in Banque de France's economic forecast under the new lockdown measures.
9th Nov 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Hungary announces lockdown measures to curb coronavirus infections -PM Orban

Hungary will close secondary schools, universities and restaurants and will impose an extended night-time curfew as of midnight on Tuesday to curb a fast rise in coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced on Monday on his Facebook page. Orban said sports events will be held behind closed doors, and all gatherings will be banned. He said the new lockdown measures were needed because “if coronavirus infections rise at the current pace... Hungarian hospitals will not be able to cope with the burden.”
9th Nov 2020 - Reuters India

Ukraine considers lockdown at weekends - President Zelenskiy

Ukraine may introduce a lockdown at weekends in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus and such a move would not have a serious negative impact on the economy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday. “A temporary lockdown at weekends, for about a few weeks, can help us to avoid a harder lockdown,” presidential press service quoted Zelenskiy as saying.
9th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

UK shopper numbers plummet as new English lockdown bites

Total shopper numbers, or footfall, across British retail destinations fell 15.4% in the week to Nov. 7 versus the previous week, reflecting the start of England’s new national lockdown, market researcher Springboard said on Monday. With COVID-19 infections rising at an alarming rate the British government imposed a second national lockdown for England, starting last Thursday and running until Dec. 2.
9th Nov 2020 - Reuters India

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Latvia to enter COVID-19 lockdown on Monday

Latvia’s government on Friday declared a four-week lockdown starting on Nov. 9 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has accelerated in recent weeks in the Baltic nation. Latvia reported 367 new cases on Friday, bringing the total number to 7,119 with 87 deaths. It had only 2,086 total cases on Oct. 1. Under the new rules, social contact is discouraged and a maximum of 10 people from no more than two households will be allowed to gather inside. Restaurants can serve only takeaway food and shops will limit the number of people inside.
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Greek PM orders nationwide lockdown to curb COVID cases surge

Greece’s conservative government on Thursday ordered a nationwide lockdown for three weeks to help contain a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new restrictions will come into effect on Saturday, November 7.
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Denmark tightens lockdown in north, mink cull devastates industry

Denmark announced strict new lockdown rules on Thursday in the north of the country after authorities discovered a mutated coronavirus strain in minks bred in the region, prompting a nationwide cull that will devastate the large pelt industry. The government said on Wednesday that it would cull all minks - up to 17 million - to prevent human contagion with a mutated coronavirus, which authorities said could be more resistant against future vaccines. Seven municipalities in northern Denmark, home to most of the country’s mink farms, will face restrictions on movement across county lines, while restaurants and bars will be closed, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a press conference.
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Italy imposes regional lockdown as Europe battles surges

Much of Italy is now in lockdown, including the densely populated northern Lombardy region, after the Covid-19 death toll for 24 hours hit 445 - a six-month record. Italy is now split into three zones: red for high risk, then orange and yellow. The red areas are Lombardy, Piedmont and Aosta Valley in the north and Calabria in the south. The whole country has a night curfew. In neighbouring Slovenia police clashed with violent anti-lockdown protesters. Riot police used water cannon and teargas to disperse the crowd of several hundred outside parliament in the capital Ljubljana. Some demonstrators threw bottles, stones and smoke bombs at officers.
7th Nov 2020 - BBC

Light coronavirus lockdown causes confusion across France

Oil for cooking is essential but the sale of essential oils is banned. Their statuses reflect the farcical side of a week-old second lockdown that scarcely resembles the harsh first round in the spring. Stumbling by President Macron’s government has compounded confusion over “le confinement, saison 2”, in which schools and public services remain open and much of the workforce troops to the office under pressure from the boss.
7th Nov 2020 - The Times

Parts Of Northern Denmark On Lockdown Over Coronavirus Variant Outbreak In Minks

Denmark is putting over a quarter of a million of residents on lockdown after discovering coronavirus outbreaks among bred minks, including a mutated strain. The government announced a number of restrictions on parts of northern Denmark, the area hit hardest by the infections. Two days ago, officials ordered the mink population to be killed, totaling up to 17 million animals. Restaurants in these areas are closed to diners. Public transportation within the region are shut down. Gatherings are largely limited to 10 attendees. Colleges are instructed to switch to online classes with a few possible exceptions. The regional health authority said it was preparing to test the 280,000 residents in the affected areas for the coronavirus.
6th Nov 2020 - NPR

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Greece orders nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19 surge

Greece ordered a nationwide lockdown for three weeks on Thursday, its second this year, to help contain a resurgence of COVID-19 after a sharp increase in infections this week. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was forced to act after a spike in cases in the past five days, saying that without a lockdown pressure on the healthcare system would be “unbearable”. “I’ve chosen to take drastic measures sooner rather than later,” said Mitsotakis, who had previously said a nationwide lockdown was a last option. Officials said that in the past week alone, there was a 20% increase in confirmed infections. From next Monday, people arriving by air will require proof of a negative coronavirus test, taken within 48 hours of travel.
5th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Greece Imposes Lockdown to Avoid Worst at Hospitals

With a surge in coronavirus cases straining health systems in many European countries, Greece announced a nationwide lockdown Thursday in the hopes of stemming a rising tide of patients before its hospitals come under “unbearable” pressure.
5th Nov 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Covid-19: Warning over tough fines as new lockdown begins

People who seriously flout new lockdown restrictions in England will face steep fines, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has warned. Under the rules, people have been told to stay at home and non-essential shops, pubs and gyms ordered to close. Households are also banned from mixing indoors or in private gardens, unless in a support bubble. Currently there is a £200 fine for each breach which doubles on every offence up to a maximum of £6,400. And organisers of large gatherings face a £10,000 fine. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a Downing Street press conference at 17:00 GMT, alongside NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens.
5th Nov 2020 - BBC

Coronavirus: Lockdown extension in England 'can't be ruled out', minister admits

A minister has admitted England's coronavirus lockdown could be extended beyond 2 December. "We've got to follow the evidence," Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Kay Burley. "If there isn't to be an extension of this we go back into the tier system anyway, so we'd leave on a regional or local basis.
5th Nov 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Germany and Sweden added to UK travel quarantine list

Germany and Sweden are being added to the UK's coronavirus quarantine list. Travellers returning from both countries will have to isolate for 14 days. The measure will come into force from 4am on Saturday, applying to people arriving in the UK. No countries are being removed from the coronavirus quarantine list this week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. He tweeted: "Travel corridors do remain critical to the government's COVID-19 response, keeping imported cases DOWN."
5th Nov 2020 - Sky News

Germany adopts loose lockdown despite record-breaking Covid-19 cases

Germany began its second lockdown on Monday but the bustling shopping streets in Berlin suggest locals in the capital are taking a liberal approach – as infections reach a new high. The so-called “lockdown lite” has forced the closure of pubs and restaurants, except for takeaway, as well as gyms, cinemas and all cultural events. Unlike in the spring, however, schools, childcare and hairdressers have remained open. Shops are still trading, with a new rule of one customer per 10 sq m floor space. “We’ve got 6,000 square metres of floor space so no capacity problems,” said a security man in an electronics store as 10 people waited to pay, none 1.5m apart. “It’s slightly quieter than usual now, but not much, and in two hours it’ll be very busy.”
5th Nov 2020 - The Irish Times

Germany says to distribute November lockdown aid to firms fast

Germany will ensure financial aid gets to firms and individuals hit by a partial coronavirus lockdown in November quickly, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Thursday, outlining further details of the 10 billion euro (9.03 billion pounds) programme. Europe’s biggest economy closed bars, restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theatres and domestic tourism on Monday for a month. The government has said small and medium-sized firms will be able to claim compensation worth 75% of their revenues from November 2019, up to 1 million euros. Aid of more than 1 million euros has to be agreed by the European Union.
5th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Europe's Second Lockdown Wave Risks Double-Dip Recessions

It’s 5:45 p.m., and a small square close to Rome’s Spanish Steps is full of the sounds of alfresco diners and children playing. Twenty minutes later, all that can be heard is the scraping of metal chairs on cobblestones as waiters close up for the night, the piazza darkening as they turn off the lights. To curb the resurgent coronavirus, Italy has locked down a few at-risk regions including Milan, while mandating milder rules for Rome and the rest of the country, including early closing hours for bars and restaurants. It’s not a lockdown—yet—but for Romans it might as well be. It “feels like 2 a.m., not 6 p.m.,” complains Angela Dimauro, pulling her jacket closed and her mask higher as she leaves the square.
5th Nov 2020 - Bloomberg

Reluctant last orders as England enters new lockdown

After downing a final round of drinks, queueing outside soon-to-close shops or getting a last haircut, England's 56 million people entered a second coronavirus lockdown on Thursday with more doubts about the stringent policy than the first time around. Prime Minister Boris Johnson abandoned a recently introduced system of regional curbs and announced an England-wide shutdown, after dire warnings that hospitals could soon be overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases. The death toll is hitting six-month highs.
5th Nov 2020 - FRANCE 24

Rishi Sunak set to unveil new economic boost as England goes into second lockdown

A new economic boost for the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic is later expected to be unveiled by the Chancellor. Rishi Sunak and the Bank of England will announce the measures as England goes into a second lockdown for four weeks, according to reports. Mr Sunak is set to confirm employees on furlough will receive 80 per cent per cent of their salaries if their employers have been made to shut down. The furlough scheme will be expanded after the scheduled end of the lockdown on December 2, the Telegraph reported.
5th Nov 2020 - London Evening Standard

Lockdown England: Police attacked as revellers hit streets after pubs call last orders for final time

The final hours before lockdown came into effect across England saw police tackling violent scenes around the country as revelllers gathered for the last night out in what could be more than a month.
5th Nov 2020 - The Independent on MSN.com

Bank of England pumps extra £150,000,000,000 into economy as lockdown begins

The Bank of England has injected another £150 billion into the economy amid fears the second lockdown will send GDP plummeting and wipe out thousands of jobs. Tighter coronavirus restrictions, including the national shutdown beginning in England today, are expected to push the UK into another downturn. Experts fear it could plunge the UK into a double-dip recession, but the Bank’s latest forecasts suggests the economy will narrowly avoid this as activity recovers at the start of next year. It said gross domestic product (GDP) will pick up in the first quarter of 2021, but warned that activity will still remain ‘materially lower’ than before the coronavirus crisis
5th Nov 2020 - Metro

Coronavirus France: Paris to see even tighter lockdown restrictions

Paris will be placed under more restrictions on top of France’s second national lockdown, the city’s mayor Anne Hidalgo told BFM TV early on Thursday. More shops will have to shut earlier in the evening in a bid to curb the worsening of the deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the city, Hidalgo said. In addition to the shops that have closed or must shut early under France’s second national lockdown, the new measures will force certain shops selling takeaway food and drink to shut at 10 pm local time. “When you get people who are not playing by the rules of the game and are therefore putting at risk the health of a large number of people, that is when you need to put in place new restrictions,” Hidalgo said.
5th Nov 2020 - The Independent on MSN.com

Denmark to lock down regions after mutated coronavirus traced to minks

Parts of Denmark will face new, tougher lockdown measures after health authorities discovered a mutated coronavirus strain in minks and people in the country’s northern regions. The government said on Wednesday it would cull all minks in the Nordic country to prevent human contagion with a mutated coronavirus, which authorities said could be more resistant against future vaccines for people. The move to cull up to 17 million animals, which could cost the state more than $800 million, has prompted some lawmakers to demand to see the evidence behind the decision.
5th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Barely back on their feet, UK small businesses face crushing new lockdown

Business has been tough for Mandy Yin, chef and owner of a Malaysian restaurant and takeaway in London, since she tentatively reopened in June after being forced to shut down for two months during Britain’s first national coronavirus lockdown.
5th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 5th Nov 2020

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UK parliament approves month-long COVID-19 lockdown for England

British politicians approved a month-long lockdown in England, voting in favour of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to try to prevent COVID-19 running out of control and overwhelming health services. Johnson insisted that the looming new coronavirus lockdown would end “automatically” in four weeks, as he tried to placate party critics over the spiralling economic fallout.
5th Nov 2020 - AlJazeera

Lloyds and John Lewis axe thousands of jobs on eve of second lockdown

More than 3,000 jobs are being cut after a number of big employers launched redundancy plans on the eve of the second national lockdown in England. They include 1,070 job losses at Lloyds Banking Group, as well as 1,068 roles at Do & Co, an Austrian catering company operating at Heathrow airport, according to Unite, Britain’s biggest union which has hit out against the plans.
4th Nov 2020 - The Times

UK lawmakers vote in favour of month-long nationwide COVID-19 lockdown

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom's House of Commons have voted overwhelmingly to approve the government's plan to introduce a four-week nationwide lockdown in England in order to curb the coronavirus disease. During the vote on Wednesday afternoon, members of parliament voted 516-38 in favour of approving the lockdown, which will come into force on Thursday. Labour leader Keir Starmer had said earlier in the week that he would support the government's proposal to impose the lockdown in England.
4th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!

Mass exodus of students is expected as lockdown starts

Students in cities across England could begin a mass exodus back to their families ahead of new lockdown measures coming into force on Thursday. Hilary Gyebi-Ababio, National Union of Students vice president for higher education, said students were "really wanting to go home". "There's a sense there could be a mass exodus," she told the BBC. It comes after Universities Minister Michelle Donelan urged students, in a letter on Monday, not to "rush home". Her message aimed to prevent these young people from travelling across the country to their families and potentially taking coronavirus with them, thus fuelling the pandemic.
4th Nov 2020 - BBC

Covid: Nine ways England's lockdown is different from last time

In March, you could only meet others from outside your household in a very limited set of circumstances. Meeting another person socially wasn't allowed until May. This time, you can catch up with a friend in an outdoor public place, like a park or beach, as long as you socially distance and neither of you is self-isolating. And this time, children of pre-school age are not included in the two-person limit, so those looking after youngsters can still have social contact.
4th Nov 2020 - BBC

Johnson refuses to rule out Covid lockdown extension for England

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out an extended national lockdown for England if the scheduled four weeks of restrictions fail to rein in coronavirus infections, telling MPs only that it was his “hope” to reopen the economy before Christmas. In a mixed message before an afternoon Commons vote on the lockdown, which is due to start on Thursday, the prime minister had earlier told the CBI conference that the restrictions would definitely end in four weeks.
4th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Italy adopts ‘light lockdown’ similar to German model

The new measures due to be enforced with the new decree are modelled after the German ‘light lockdown’ measures, said Health undersecretary Sandra Zampa. “We don’t want to paralyse the whole country,
4th Nov 2020 - Euractiv.com

Italy brings in curfew, regional lockdowns

Italy has registered 30,550 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry says, up from 28,244 on the prior day. The ministry also reported 352 coronavirus-related deaths compared with 353 on Tuesday. A total of 39,764 people have now died in Italy because of COVID-19, while 790,377 cases of the disease have been registered to date. The Italian government on Wednesday announced a new set of anti-coronavirus measures including a countrywide curfew and tighter rules for regions with high infection rates.
4th Nov 2020 - The Newcastle Herald

Italy opts for ‘flexible’ lockdown to stem coronavirus

Rome announced late Tuesday night new restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but stopped short of a full lockdown, according to the news agency ANSA. The measures include a national curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., as well as piecemeal regional lockdowns based on the local epidemiological situation. While Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had already made public the broad outlines of the new health measures at the start of the week, the government has now officially signed the full text of the new law.
4th Nov 2020 - POLITICO.eu

France ups its lockdown police patrols

France reinstated a one-month national lockdown on Friday (October 30) to try and contain the resurgence of the pandemic. Movement is restricted to 1 kilometre from one's residence, with exceptions for reasons such as work that cannot be done from home, family obligations and medical visits. Patrol commander Gilles Foliard said lockdown rules were generally being followed, but that they would be more strict in asking people to show certificates if they were traveling outside the 1-km zone. Violators faced an initial fine of 135 euros, and three violations over 30 days could be penalised by a 3750 euro fine and 6 months' imprisonment.
4th Nov 2020 - YAHOO!

French bookworms denied their fix in lockdown

First, bookstores across literature-obsessed France were ordered to close in a new lockdown seeking to curb an alarming rise in coronavirus cases. A few days later, bibliophiles were dealt a further blow as the government banned supermarkets, too, from selling books in a bid to parry claims of unfair competition. Bookworms were left befuddled as store owners, authors and local politicians fumed.
4th Nov 2020 - FRANCE 24

France, Germany and England impose new lockdowns as pandemic fatigue seeps in across Europe and Covid cases soar

Europe is already seeing new Covid cases and deaths soar, prompting governments to roll out strict lockdown measures to slow the spread. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many epidemiologists in the U.S. have looked to Europe as something of a harbinger of what’s to come to the U.S. Now, epidemiologists and public health specialists are warning that the U.S. could share a similar fate as Europe if action isn’t taken quickly to counter the autumn surge.
4th Nov 2020 - CNBC

Covid: The things we’re not being told as lockdown looms

Lockdown 2.0 is on its way, with ministers saying they have been left with no choice if lives are to be saved and the NHS is not to be overwhelmed. It seems to be an open-and-shut case. But as MPs prepare to vote on the lockdown a number of questions remain to be answered.
4th Nov 2020 - BBC

Lithuania to enter three-week COVID lockdown on Saturday

Lithuania’s government on Wednesday declared a three-week lockdown starting on Nov.7, to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus which has accelerated in recent weeks in the Baltic nation. Lithuania, which imposed a two-month lockdown in March, reported 639 new cases on Wednesday, three times more than the 205 daily cases reported on Oct. 20, bringing the total number of cases to 18,092 with 182 deaths. Europe has seen a second wave of COVID-19 infections with many countries, including France, Britain and Germany opting for new lockdowns.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Johnson says he is optimistic over medium term, despite looming lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said he was optimistic about the country’s longer term prospects despite the coronavirus pandemic presenting grave short-term problems. “While I am more optimistic now ... about the medium- and long-term future than I have been for many months, there can be no doubt that the situation before us today is grave, and the need for action acute,” Johnson said in a debate about whether to introduce a month-long national lockdown.
4th Nov 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Older children and teachers in England must wear face masks at school

All pupils and teachers at secondary schools in England must wear face masks in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, it has been announced. Under updated government guidance issued on Wednesday, staff and students in Year 7 and above have been told to wear face coverings in school communal spaces - outside of classrooms - where social distancing cannot be maintained. Face coverings had already been required for secondary school pupils within areas under Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions in England, with those local restrictions now to be replaced by the national measures.
4th Nov 2020 - Sky News

New lockdown, same economic victims: young, low-paid workers

As far as the labour market is concerned, lockdown 2 will be the same as lockdown 1: the main casualties will be young, low-paid workers employed by consumer-facing services. Retailing, hospitality and leisure make up around one-sixth of the economy’s output and anybody working in one of those sectors is more at risk of losing their job, of being furloughed and of not having their government-supported wages topped up by their employers.
3rd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 4th Nov 2020

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Students defy guidance and race home before lockdown in England

Students are defying government guidance that they should stay at university throughout lockdown to make a last-minute dash home before the new restrictions kick in across England on Thursday. The universities minister, Michelle Donelan, has written to students urging them to stay put. After a challenging first term, during which thousands of students have already had to lock down and self-isolate as a result of Covid outbreaks, many have decided to leave campus. With continuing uncertainty about what might happen over Christmas and the majority of learning now online, they plan to continue their studies at home during lockdown without fear of being trapped at university over the holiday.
3rd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

England lockdown will end on 2 December, Boris Johnson insists

Boris Johnson has told the cabinet that England’s lockdown restrictions will come to an end on 2 December, saying that was a hard deadline to develop a new solution to contain the spread of the virus. In a tacit admission that the current NHS test and trace system had not been enough to contain the virus, Johnson heralded a mass testing operation beginning in Liverpool, the start of an ambitious programme “Operation Moonshot” which would involve the entire population tested on a regular basis. The prime minister also appeared to affirm the government expected the four-week national lockdown in England would be enough to get the virus’s reproduction R number below one – raising questions as to whether the lockdown would be extended should that not occur.
3rd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Protest exemption set to be removed from England lockdown rules

Protections for protesters are set to be removed from the coronavirus rules under the second national lockdown, it has emerged, provoking anger from human rights groups and campaigners. An exemption that permits demonstrations to take place with additional conditions designed to mitigate the spread of the virus is expected to be omitted from fresh regulations being drawn up for the lockdown that will commence from this Thursday. There have been a series of a high-profile protests since the pandemic erupted in the UK including rallies for racial equality led by the Black Lives Matter movement, racist counter-demonstrations and marches against lockdown measures directed by conspiracy theorists and extremists.
3rd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Panic buyers strip shelves as England prepares for lockdown

In scenes reminiscent of the first lockdown in March, some supermarket shelves have begun emptying once more, ahead of the second lockdown in England. Social media users have shared pictures of empty shelves where usually there would be toilet roll, bread, vegetables and meat, despite stores insisting there are no stock shortages. All non-essential shops will close from Thursday, as England enters another strict coronavirus lockdown. But food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. The lockdown is due to end on 2 December, with the government hoping to then reintroduce a localised tiered system of restrictions.
3rd Nov 2020 - Sky News

Ministers add to confusion over England Covid lockdown rules

Ministers have prompted confusion over England’s new lockdown rules with Michael Gove apologising for incorrectly indicating tennis and golf could be played, as cabinet colleague Robert Jenrick apparently wrongly suggested a family would be allowed to meet a friend for a walk outside. Amid uncertainty over the lockdown coming into effect on Thursday, Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, issued an apology for signalling that singles tennis and golf in pairs could still go ahead. It came as Jenrick, the communities secretary, confirmed that a family could go for a walk with a friend – despite there being a two-person limit on people meeting outdoors when outside of households or support bubbles.
3rd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Is Germany's €10 billion enough for second lockdown?

Germany entered a second partial lockdown on November 2 to try to stem the soaring cases of coronavirus ripping through the country. Dubbed lockdown-lite, the measures aren't as severe as the virtual shutdown of the economy that took place in March and April. The impact on many businesses is still set to be wide reaching, particularly in the entertainment and leisure sector, as well as for self-employed workers. Many companies were tipped perilously close to bankruptcy by the pandemic's first wave. Announcing the partial shutdown on Wednesday the previous week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised an additional €10 billion ($11.6 billion) in support for affected businesses. Firms with up to 50 workers, and the self-employed, can have up to 75% of their previous year's November turnover reimbursed by the government.
3rd Nov 2020 - DW (English)

Germany is moving back into lockdown, but it hasn't suffered the same fate as Europe

Europe is in the grip of a surging second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. But with France, Germany and England moving into lockdown, its hold on the continent — as per the first wave in March-April — is again highly variegated. Based on the seven day average to November 1, new cases in Germany are trending up and have risen to almost 15,000 per day. But that is similar to Holland, with a population some five times smaller, and less than Belgium, with a population about eight times smaller. At the end of last week, daily case numbers reached almost 19,000 in Germany — in France, that figure was almost 50,000. As with the first wave, Germany — which was praised for increasing intensive care beds prior to the pandemic — is again taking patients from other European states.
3rd Nov 2020 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Europe's shopkeepers on the warpath over lockdowns

Many European shopkeepers reluctantly accepted the need to close during the coronavirus lockdowns in the spring, but the second round of shutdowns in the autumn is proving a more difficult pill to swallow for bookstore owners, florists and hairdressers from Italy to Ireland — and harder for governments to enforce. France’s small traders, backed in some cases by their local mayors, have complained about the injustice of the measures imposed by Emmanuel Macron’s government from last Friday, arguing the restrictions on shops favoured big chain stores and online retailers such as Amazon. They were further enraged by Amazon’s launch of a premature “Black Friday” sale, supposed to be on November 27, which prompted remonstrations from the French finance ministry and a promise from Amazon to stop publicising the presale.
3rd Nov 2020 - Financial Times

Primark calls for extended trading hours after UK lockdown

Primark has called for store trading hours to be extended in December to help retailers offset the impact of the latest round of lockdowns in the UK, its most important market. George Weston, chief executive of Primark parent company Associated British Foods, said extending Sunday opening hours in particular “would help us, help consumers, help the high street”. “In some locations we could even open 24 hours. We know the demand is going to be there,” he said on Tuesday, based on the experience when Primark reopened after the first lockdowns.
3rd Nov 2020 - Financial Times

French government details products that can be sold during second lockdown

France’s government on Tuesday updated its conditions for businesses to continue selling products deemed to be essential during the new confinement declared to fight the second wave of Covid-19. Large retailers have until Wednesday to close off sections selling goods not on the list.
3rd Nov 2020 - RFI English

New French lockdown to reduce economic activity by about 15% - Finance Ministry source

The new four-week lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in France is expected to reduce economic activity by about 15%, a Finance Ministry source said on Tuesday. "We expect a much more moderate impact than that (the lockdown) of April, notably in France," the source said. While the April lockdown cut business activity by some 30%, the impact this time would "more around 15%", the source added
3rd Nov 2020 - Yahoo Finance UK

English retailers fret over Christmas as lockdown 2.0 looms

This year, the annual illumination of the Christmas lights on London’s famous Oxford Street was very much a bittersweet moment. The lights, which were turned on this week, are celebrating the people who helped during the coronavirus pandemic. They should have symbolized the start of a keenly awaited retail season following a year marked by lockdown restrictions. But with a second lockdown in England set to come into place on Thursday, shops selling nonessential items such as books and sneakers have been ordered to close, at least until Dec. 2. During the first lockdown they closed for nearly three months until mid-June.
3rd Nov 2020 - Associated Press

What European leaders need to get right during second wave of lockdowns

Lockdowns are multiplying throughout Europe as Covid-19 cases rise exponentially, threatening to push health services across the continent to breaking point. Fearing all of its intensive care beds could be full by mid-November, France implemented nationwide restrictions at the end of October -- as did Belgium and Ireland. Germany's softer, so-called "lockdown light," restrictions began on Monday, and Austria is following suite on Tuesday. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a second lockdown to begin in England later this week, while daily record increases of coronavirus infections in Italy appear to foreshadow another round of severe restrictions.
3rd Nov 2020 - CNN

How much second lockdown will cost UK economy

Thousands of businesses are braced for a "truly devastating" blow from Boris Johnson's second lockdown amid fears that the economy will collapse 12 per cent this month. Britain is teetering on the brink of a dreaded double-dip recession following the Prime Minister's ban on household mixing and non-essential travel coupled with mass pub and restaurant closures, experts at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) warned. It is thought that the new measures to contain the spread of Covid will cost taxpayers billions of pounds, destroy swathes of companies and put millions of jobs at risk.
3rd Nov 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Protests of more than two ‘to be banned during second lockdown’

People gather in Trafalgar Square to protest against the lockdown imposed by the government (Picture: Reuters) Protests of more than two people will be prohibited when England goes back into a national lockdown,
3rd Nov 2020 - Metro

Ireland's latest coronavirus curbs put 85,000 temporarily out of work

Around 85,000 more people have claimed temporary COVID-19 jobless benefits since Ireland moved to the highest level of restrictions to fight the virus two weeks ago, data showed on Tuesday. Limiting restaurants to takeaway service and the closure of non-essential retail pushed claims up to almost 330,000, from 244,153 before the six-week measures were introduced on Oct. 22, but far below a peak of 600,000 during a stricter lockdown in May. Recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) have been on the rise since hitting a post-lockdown low of 205,000 at the start of October. They are expected to have helped push Ireland’s unemployment rate up to around 20% in October, from 14.7% in September. October unemployment data is due on Wednesday.
3rd Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Major banks tell London staff to return home ahead of England lockdown

Major banks in London have started directing all but essential workers to revert to home working, following the government’s plans for a month-long lockdown in England from Thursday. The switch will be a further blow to the City of London and Canary Wharf financial districts, whose skyscrapers have sat largely empty for most of the year with footfall at local businesses a fraction of normal levels. Several investment banks had been encouraging more staff to work in their offices in recent months since the first lockdown in March, but the latest measures by the government have forced them into a reversal of policy.
3rd Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

More debt, shrinking GDP: the impact of England's new lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered England back into lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, a move that will add to the country’s 2 trillion-pound ($2.6 trillion) debt mountain and cause the economy to shrink again.
3rd Nov 2020 - Reuters

France considers new Paris curfew as lockdown rules are flouted

France could reimpose a night curfew on Paris and possibly the surrounding region amid government frustration that too many people are ignoring lockdown rules as COVID-19 infections soar. France dramatically slowed the spread of the coronavirus in the spring with one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns. But 10 months into the epidemic and with winter drawing in, many are reluctant to endure another period of confinement. “It’s unbearable for those who respect the rules to see other French people flouting them,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told BFM TV. “We need to take all the steps needed to fight the epidemic.” A final decision on a curfew had not been taken, the office of Prime Minister Jean Castex said. It will be discussed at a meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and senior cabinet ministers on Wednesday, a government source said.
3rd Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

France Forces Closure Of Supermarkets For Non-Essentials During Covid-19 Lockdown

In order to appease small business owners, the French government made a U-turn in policy, Tuesday, and banned large supermarkets from selling anything other than ‘essential items’ during the current lockdown. The lockdown, which was brought in nationwide across France on 28 October to stem rising Covid-19 infection rates, made small businesses angry that they had been forced to close under the terms set by the government.
3rd Nov 2020 - Forbes

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 3rd Nov 2020

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Scottish Government 'cannot rule out' Scotland lockdown amid calls for furlough clarity

John Swinney said he was not surprised by Boris Johnson’s move to put England into lockdown from Thursday and said he could not categorically rule out the Scottish government abandoning their new levels system introduced today at 6am. The new measures will see different parts of Scotland subject to a differing severity of restrictions depending on the prevalence of Covid-19. Much of the central belt will be in Level Three, with other areas in Level Two and parts of the Highlands and islands in Level One.
2nd Nov 2020 - The Scotsman

Scotland will have access to furlough scheme for any future lockdown

Scotland will have access to the furlough scheme if Holyrood brings in another lockdown, Boris Johnson has confirmed.
2nd Nov 2020 - The Scotsman

Covid-19: 'A lot of people think this lockdown is unfair'

North Norfolk has one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country, with a total of 25 cases reported in the most recent week for which data is available. What do the residents and businesses there make of being plunged into a second national lockdown from Thursday? "I think it is a shame for us around here because we don't have that many cases," says tobacconist and sweet shop owner Colin Page. His North Walsham shop remained open throughout the first lockdown and he plans to remain open throughout the second. Mr Page feels the second lockdown was "inevitable given the rise in cases". Across England, the most recent weekly figures are 202 cases per 100,000 people. In north Norfolk, the rate is 40.1 per 100,000.
2nd Nov 2020 - BBC

Students told not to rush home for lockdown

Universities say students in England should not move home for the lockdown - even if courses are switched to being taught online. They do not want a rush of students leaving universities as the new restrictions come into force this week. But the National Union of Students says students should have a choice to go home safely ahead of the lockdown. The government's guidance says universities should consider putting teaching online where possible. Universities UK says students should stay in their current accommodation and a mix of face-to-face and online teaching will continue through the lockdown.
2nd Nov 2020 - BBC

Rishi Sunak refuses to rule out extended lockdown in England

Rishi Sunak has refused to rule out the new coronavirus lockdown lasting longer than its intended four weeks, as one of the scientists advising the government said delays in imposing tougher restrictions were likely to have cost thousands of lives. Asked whether he could guarantee the lockdown across England, which begins on Thursday, would be lifted as planned on 2 December, the UK chancellor was less definitive. “Our expectation and firm hope, on the basis of everything we know today, is the measures we have put in place for the time they will be in place for, will be sufficient to do the job we need, and we will seek to exit these restrictions back into a tiered approach at the end of the four-week period,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
2nd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown: PM warns of Covid-19 deaths 'twice as bad' as spring

Covid-19 deaths could be twice as high over the winter as they were in the first wave of the pandemic, PM Boris Johnson has told MPs. In a Commons statement he said there was "no alternative", as he seeks to win support for a planned four-week lockdown in England from Thursday. But Mr Johnson explained he was "right to try every possible option" before ordering people to stay at home. Labour has said it will back the lockdown but criticised the delay. Mr Johnson announced at a Downing Street news conference on Saturday that strict measures will include closing pubs, restaurants, gyms, non-essential shops and places of worship.
2nd Nov 2020 - BBC

Germany imposes four week partial lockdown

Watch "Germany imposes four week partial lockdown; Chancellor Merkel says restrictions necessary to avoid an acute German national health emergency
2nd Nov 2020 - CBS News

Merkel says if lockdown works, Germany will have bearable December

Germany will have a bearable December if new lockdown measures introduced on Monday works, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, adding that much of the success of the measures depends on the participation and understanding of citizens. Merkel told a news conference that if people respected the restrictions over the next four weeks “to curb the spread of the virus, then we will be able to have the conditions for a tolerable December.”
2nd Nov 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Germany restricts social life in 'lockdown light'

Germany has entered the first day of a month-long "lockdown light", shutting restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment venues, but keeping schools, shops and workplaces open. The lockdown is not as restrictive as the March-April one, and food outlets can still provide takeaways. The coronavirus infection rate is still rising in Germany, though not as dramatically as in France and Belgium, which are now in tighter lockdowns. Italy is also planning tighter rules.
2nd Nov 2020 - BBC

Asturias asks for permission to impose full lockdown for two weeks

The escalation in the number of new cases and increase in pressure on hospital services due to Covid-19 has resulted in some of Spain's 17 Autonomous Regions proposing a tightening of the restrictions currently being applied if the epidemiological evolution in their regions does not improve soon.
2nd Nov 2020 - Murcia Today

'Lenient' start to France's lockdown as police dish out 5,000 fines

French police will be stepping up lockdown inspections from Monday after a “lenient” start to the nationwide reconfinement that saw nearly 5,000 people fined for breaking the rules. Interior Ministor Gérald Darmanin told BFMTV more than 100,000 checks have been carried out since strict new measures came into effect on Friday – with police now under orders to carry out “reinforced controls”. "The first days of real confinement, if I dare say so, are starting today", Darmanin said, adding the flexibility over the weekend – the end of school holidays – was to allow people to return from vacation. Non-essential businesses including restaurants, bars and shops have been closed until at least 1 December as France tackles a difficult second wave of coronavirus infections.
2nd Nov 2020 - YAHOO!

France fears fresh wave of domestic violence amid second Covid-19 lockdown

During its first Covid-19 lockdown in the spring, France saw a steep rise in domestic abuse cases. As the country’s 67 million have now entered a second lockdown, women’s rights groups fear that the isolation will spark a new wave of domestic violence, and have put a number of safety measures in place to try to help victims.
2nd Nov 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

China's Xinjiang Region On Lockdown Amid Report Of New Cluster Of Coronavirus Cases

China has reported a cluster of coronavirus cases in the western region of Xinjiang. The region is taking a well-worn approach to contain the cluster: mass, pooled testing and a lockdown.
2nd Nov 2020 - NPR

UK aviation needs government support for new lockdown pain: airport boss

Britain’s airports and airlines need urgent support to survive the “very bleak future” posed by a new lockdown in England, warned the boss of one of the country’s biggest airport groups. Very low levels of travel in recent months have put airlines and airports under renewed financial strain after they were effectively shut during Britain’s first lockdown, and they now face another month without income during its second. “An urgent package of support must materialise,” said Manchester Airport Group’s (MAG) chief executive Charlie Cornish in a statement on Monday. He said the new lockdown for England, due to start on Thursday and which bans international leisure travel, will make parts of the aviation sector unsustainable.
2nd Nov 2020 - Reuters

Labour Party will vote in favour of PM Johnson's lockdown plan

Britain’s opposition Labour Party will vote in favour of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for a second national lockdown when it is put before parliament on Wednesday, Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Monday. “Labour will provide the votes the prime minister needs to be sure of getting this through parliament, but we will also be clear: It must be accompanied by a comprehensive economic support package,” Starmer said in a speech.
2nd Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

More debt, shrinking GDP: the impact of England's new lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered England back into lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, a move that will add to the country’s 2 trillion-pound debt mountain and cause the economy to shrink again. Below are comments from analysts about the expected impact on the world’s sixth-biggest economy. They say the hit will be heavy but less severe than the record contraction of nearly 20% in the spring. Factors likely to soften the blow this time include: no closure of schools; manufacturing and construction firms asked to stay open; better preparedness by firms not asked to close; households more familiar with working from home.
2nd Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

‘Tragedy in the making’: Charities warn rough sleepers will have no protection during second lockdown

Charities are warning of a “tragedy in the making” due to the lack of measures in place to protect rough sleepers during the second lockdown. Ministers are being urged to re-introduce a scheme that housed homeless people during the first months of the pandemic, amid warnings that without urgent action, people will be forced to either sleep in the cold or take refuge in night shelters where social distancing is impossible. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the government has moved nearly 30,000 homeless people into emergency, self-contained accommodation, including hotels, under what has been termed the “Everyone In” scheme.
2nd Nov 2020 - The Independent

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Businesses say second second lockdown is ‘nightmare before Christmas’

Retail and hospitality leaders have laid bare the difficulties they face over the next month, as they rush to put measures in place to cope with the ‘devastating blow’ of a second lockdown. The British Retail Consortium described the latest restrictions as the ‘nightmare before Christmas’,
1st Nov 2020 - Metro

Lockdown in England could be extended, UK minister warns

The one-month lockdown for England announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this weekend could be extended as Britain struggles to contain a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior cabinet member said on Sunday.
1st Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

Panicked Johnson orders new lockdown, second wave on course to kill 85,000

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a sweeping national lockdown after being told the second wave striking England is more severe than the government's worst-case scenario and could collapse the health system. "Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day," Johnson said in a hastily convened press conference on Saturday night. "No responsible prime minister can ignore the message of those figures."
1st Nov 2020 - The Sydney Morning Herald

Britain may impose new national lockdown from Wednesday - Times

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering imposing new national lockdown measures next week, amid concerns that hospitals across the country are overwhelmed by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, The Times newspaper reported on Friday. The new restrictions could be introduced on Wednesday and remain in place until Dec. 1, the Times said. Johnson is expected to hold a news conference on Monday to announce the new measures, under which everything could be closed except essential shops and “educational settings,” the newspaper said. However, the new measures were still under discussion, and no final decision had been made, the Times added, citing a senior government source. Cabinet Office officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
31st Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Experts say coronavirus lockdown in Scotland may still be necessary

Academics have predicted that Scotland’s new Covid-19 tiers may have to be replaced with a series of national circuit-breaker lockdowns to suppress the virus. With cases rising across Europe there are concerns that hospitals could be swamped in a deadly second wave unless more drastic action is taken than that laid out by Nicola Sturgeon. The first minister yesterday announced a five-tier virus suppression strategy, which will begin from Monday, with low-risk areas such as the Highlands and Islands in Level 1 and high-risk areas such as the Central Belt in Level 3.
31st Oct 2020 - The Times

Covid: France returns to lockdown amid new surge

France is now in a new national lockdown that will last at least a month as it aims to curb one of Europe's biggest coronavirus surges and ease the pressure on its hospitals. There were record traffic jams around Paris on Thursday evening, with many people heading for rural accommodation, but now the queues are much shorter. The capital's streets are, however, busier than during the March lockdown. Schools and workplaces remain open, but people need permits to leave home. The downloadable exemptions are for essential shopping, trips for medical reasons or for getting to work. Home-working is urged wherever possible. People are also allowed to go out for exercise - for a maximum of an hour - in their local area. The fine for breaking the rules is €135 (£122).
31st Oct 2020 - BBC

Belgium announces second coronavirus lockdown

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced a national “reinforced” lockdown starting Monday, with shops deemed non-essential to close and family visits outlawed. A planned school holiday will be extended until November 15. “We took the decision of a reinforced lockdown,” De Croo said. “These are the last-chance measures.” At a press conference Friday, De Croo said that visits to the homes of family and friends will no longer be allowed, and only one close contact will be allowed outside the household. There is an exception for people who live alone, who are allowed to have close contact with two people from outside their household.
31st Oct 2020 - POLITICO.eu

UK extends 80% wage subsidies as England goes back into lockdown

Britain’s government will extend by a month its costly coronavirus wage subsidies to ensure workers who are temporarily laid off receive 80% of their pay, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday as he announced a new England-wide lockdown. Britain introduced the 80% wage subsidy scheme in March and it had been due to expire on Saturday to be replaced with a more targeted and less generous support. The scheme supported 8.9 million jobs at its peak, and had been forecast to cost around 52 billion pounds ($67.28 billion) over its eight-month lifespan.
31st Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Amazon drops French Black Friday ad campaign as lockdown starts

Amazon is withdrawing advertising for pre-Black Friday discounts in France, after the government said the campaign was unfair to small shops at time when a coronavirus lockdown has forced them to close. France entered its second national lockdown on Friday to try to contain a surge in infections. The curbs imposed under it include the closure of non-essential stores. A spokeswoman for Amazon AMZN.O said the group had agreed to halt its radio advertising campaign around pre-Black Friday sales. A page with discounted items under the header “Black Friday ahead of time” was live on its French website on Saturday, however.
31st Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Portugal reimposes partial lockdown in most of the country

Portugal’s government on Saturday announced new lockdown restrictions from Nov. 4 for most of the country, telling people to stay at home except for outings for work, school or shopping, and ordering companies to switch to remote working. A day after daily coronavirus infections hit a record high, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the measures would cover 121 municipalities, including the key regions of Lisbon and Porto. The affected areas are home to about 70% of Portugal’s population of roughly 10 million. The lockdown list includes municipalities where more than 240 new infections have been registered per 100,000 people for the past 14 days, and will be reviewed every 15 days, Costa said in a televised news conference.
31st Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Organised 'overkill': China shows off rapid lockdown system after latest outbreak

China’s strict formula of immediate lockdowns and mass testing even at the first signs of infection has been vital to its success in controlling the disease, allowing its economy to quickly recover from the crisis, officials say. The highly orchestrated strategy - described as “overkill” even by its own proponents - is unique among major economies at a time when Europe and the United States are facing a massive surge of new cases and often chaotic policies. At the time the girl was diagnosed, the Kashgar region of Xinjiang had reported no new cases for almost 70 days. “China has taken the most comprehensive, strictest and most thorough control and prevention measures since the COVID-19 pandemic started,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday. “The facts show China’s measures are effective.”
30th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: Parisians eager to 'get rid' of virus on day one of second lockdown

Paris is a strange place to be on this first morning of a new lockdown. Usually here you need to navigate the mass of people, the crazy traffic. There are some people and vehicles out there but it's the first time I've see the road around the Arc De Triomphe with free flowing traffic. On the usually busy streets nearby where you expect to queue for a morning coffee, the cafes, bars and restaurants are shut - the area missing the pulse of the people.
30th Oct 2020 - Sky News

28 areas coronavirus rates falling as 16 places plunged into stricter lockdown

See where your region ranks in the latest soaring case rates in our full list from Public Health England. It comes as sixteen more areas in England enter Tier 2 restrictions from Saturday with 32million people now under Tier 2 or Tier 3.
29th Oct 2020 - Mirror Online

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Coronavirus France: Gridlock as people flee Paris before lockdown

Thousands of Parisians caused massive traffic jams as they tried to flee the French capital for the country. Huge numbers of locals attempted a mass exodus in a bid to avoid the start of the second national lockdown. Many were enjoying their final night of freedom in France ahead of new lockdown restrictions from Friday Draconian measures will see people needing documents to show their reasonable excuse for leaving home. Europe has seen rising infections, with France recording 47,637 new infections in 24 hours and 235 deaths
30th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

Greece introduces regional lockdown in north after COVID-19 spike

Greece will impose regional lockdowns on its second-largest city of Thessaloniki and two other regions from Friday after a spike in cases of COVID-19, the government said. The country has recorded significantly lower numbers of COVID-19 than other countries in Europe but cases have been rising rapidly since early October. Testing has also increased.
29th Oct 2020 - Metro US

Europe and US facing new round of shutdowns amid virus surge

A new wave of lockdowns and business closings swept across France, Germany and other places in Europe on Wednesday as surging coronavirus infections there and in the U.S. wipe out months of progress against the scourge on two continents. The resurgence and the resulting clampdown sent a shudder through Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell 3.5%, its biggest drop since June, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 943 points, or 3.4%. French President Emmanuel Macron declared a new nationwide lockdown starting Friday, saying the country has been “overpowered by a second wave.” Many doctors had urged the move, given that 58% of the nation’s intensive care units are now taken up by COVID-19 patients. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and theaters. “We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency,” she said.
29th Oct 2020 - Associated Press

France and Germany thrust into lockdown as second COVID-19 wave sweeps Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered their countries back into lockdown on Wednesday, as a massive second wave of coronavirus infections threatened to overwhelm Europe before the winter. World stock markets went into a dive in response to the news that Europe’s biggest economies were imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations. “The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” Macron said in a televised address. “Like all our neighbours, we are submerged by the sudden acceleration of the virus.”
29th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Germany faces 'a difficult winter', Angela Merkel admits while defending new lockdown measures

Merkel told the Bundestag today that Germany faces a 'difficult winter' ahead Comments come a day after Germany rolled out a series of lockdown measures These included the closure of bars and restaurants and limits on social contacts In the past day, Germany reported 16,744 new confirmed cases of coronavirus In the same time period the Robert Koch Institute said 89 Germans had died
29th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

Some European countries are reinstating a national lockdown - could the UK follow?

Covid cases and deaths continue to surge in Europe, forcing France and Germany to reinstate some form of national lockdown in an effort to bring infection rates back under control. The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that European governments are “well behind” in the fight against Covid-19, with the continent becoming an epicentre for the disease. However, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, Dr Michael Ryan, said that if tougher measures were imposed, it should be possible to stay ahead of transmission rates providing public health surveillance is in place.
29th Oct 2020 - The Scotsman

France Braces for Economic Suffering as Lockdown Returns

Bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses will be forced to close, but unlike during the two-month lockdown imposed last spring, students will continue to go to school, Macron said during a televised address. French President Emmanuel Macron announced Wednesday a new lockdown aimed at halting an alarming acceleration of Covid-19 cases, to take effect from Thursday night until “at least December 1.”
29th Oct 2020 - The Hindu

French bookshops ask to be treated as essential services during new lockdown

French authors, booksellers and publishers are imploring the French government to allow bookshops to stay open because reading is “essential”, as the country enters a national four-week lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. France’s second lockdown, announced on Wednesday evening by president Emmanuel Macron, begins at midnight on Thursday. Macron said he hoped it would put a “brutal brake” on the infection rate, as France is “submerged by the acceleration of the spread of the virus”. All non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants, are to close, while individuals will require sworn declarations to leave home.
29th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

Kashgar in lockdown after completion of 4.7 million Covid-19 tests

Neighbourhoods cordoned off, shops closed after 100 infections confirmed in village on outskirts of city. Local woman says situation not as bad as in July, as people have learned to cope the restrictions
29th Oct 2020 - South China Morning Post

New French COVID lockdown may have to go beyond December 1 - government adviser

France’s new national lockdown, aimed at curbing the resurgence of COVID-19, may have to be extended beyond its initial deadline of Dec. 1, government scentific adviser Professor Jean-François Delfraissy said on Thursday. President Emmanuel Macron said late on Wednesday that France might start to ease back lockdown measures once COVID infections fell back to about 5,000 per day from around 40,000 per day at present. But Delfraissy said he did not think that could be achieved by Dec. 1.
29th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Toilet paper and pasta: France girds for second virus lockdown

Stores and businesses across France were filled Thursday by people racing to get supplies -- and maybe a last-minute haircut -- ahead of a new coronavirus lockdown coming into effect at midnight. Essentials like pasta and toilet paper were in high demand, as were printer ink and electronics for working from home, while yoga mats were no longer to be found at many sporting goods stores. "I'm stocking up, since we don't know when this will end," said Catherine Debeaupuis while shopping at an electronics retailer in central Paris.
29th Oct 2020 - FRANCE 24

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Coronavirus: France and Germany have announced second national lockdowns

President Emmanuel Macron confirmed his country's widely-expected measures, which will start this Friday and last until 1 December. The month-long measures will include: A 'stay at home' order except to exercise for one hour a day, seek medical care or buy essential goods - Shutting restaurants and bars - Non-essential shops to close - A travel ban between regions - Closing some external borders - Universities moving to online teaching
28th Oct 2020 - Sky News

German federal, state governments agree new lockdown steps from November 2

Germany’s federal and state governments have agreed to introduce new lockdown measures starting from Nov. 2 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday. “These are tough measures,” Merkel told reporters, adding that authorities would adapt the curbs within two weeks if need be.
28th Oct 2020 - Reuters

German govt, states agree partial lockdown from Nov. 2 - sources

German federal and state governments agreed on Wednesday on a partial lockdown that will see bars and restaurants closing from Nov. 2 to Nov. 30, sources with knowledge of the talks said. Under the partial lockdown, shops would be allowed to remain open on condition that they respect social distancing by allowing in just one person per 10 square metres, the sources added.
28th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Germany to compensate firms hit by new lockdown measures - sources

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz plans a coronavirus aid package worth up to 10 billion euros ($11.82 billion) to compensate firms hit by a new round of lockdown measures, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. “The situation is very, very serious. We need far-reaching measures now and we have to cushion their impact financially,” Scholz said during a virtual meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state premiers according to participants, according to one of the people. Scholz wants to pay small and medium-sized firms that will be forced to close 75% of their lost sales in November, the three people said. Large companies should get 70% of lost revenues for next month.
28th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Germany Moves to Shutter Bars and Restaurants for One Month

Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for a partial lockdown in Germany that would include closing bars, restaurants and leisure facilities through the end of November, as coronavirus infections continue to surge across Europe. Merkel is also urging citizens to keep social contacts to an absolute minimum and avoid all non-essential private travel, according to a draft federal government briefing paper obtained by Bloomberg. Germany will help companies affected by the toughest restrictions since the end of the spring lockdown by making up to 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in aid available in November, when the measures will be in place, according to a person familiar with the matter.
28th Oct 2020 - Bloomberg

Europe coronavirus: Germany announces new four-week lockdown

Angela Merkel announced four-week lockdown that will see all bars and restaurants shut from Monday. But shops and schools will remain open, while businesses will still be allowed to offer takeaway services. Emmanuel Macron was also set to announce harsher measures for France on Wednesday evening. Markets in Europe and the US tanked at the news, with the FTSE 100 hitting its lowest level since April. Meanwhile Italy and Spain were hit with fresh anti-lockdown protests at the recent curfews introduced there
28th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

Europe heads back into lockdown after warning hospitals are filling with COVID patients

A number of European countries are locking down again as COVID-19 surges across the continent. Tuesday’s World Health Organization (WHO) figures showed the region reported 1.3 million new cases in the past seven days, nearly half the 2.9 million reported worldwide, and over 11,700 deaths, a 37% jump over the previous week. The WHO’s Dr Margaret Harris warned that deaths are spiking and hospitals filling up across Europe. Germany and France are among the European countries preparing to announce restrictions that approach the severity of the blanket lockdowns seen in spring.
28th Oct 2020 - YAHOO!

Basque Country Becomes Fifth Spanish Region To Lock Down As The Second Wave Hits Hard

A ban on movement between municipalities is in force throughout the basque region as well as perimeter confinement. The Basque Country has become the fifth of Spain's 17 regions to re-impose closure of the boundaries with other parts of the country in an effort to slow the spread of the second wave of Covid-19, following declaration at the weekend of a new national state of emergency in response to the pandemic.
28th Oct 2020 - Murcia Today

COVID-19: New cases spark second-wave fear in Pakistan, partial lockdown reimposed

In cities with more than two per cent positivity – Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur Peshawar, Quetta, among others – certain restrictions will be in place with effect from Thursday till further notice.
28th Oct 2020 - DNA India

France and Germany prepare for lockdown as cases surge in the two countries

Germany recorded 14,964 new cases across the country in the past days, taking the total since the start of the outbreak to 4,49,275. Meanwhile, France reported 523 virus-related deaths in 24 hours Tuesday, the highest daily tally since April, bringing its overall death toll to 35,541.
28th Oct 2020 - The Indian Express

India's only state to not report any Covid-19 death so far, registers first fatality

Amid the declining number of novel coronavirus cases and deaths across the country, there comes a rather unexpected news from the only Indian state to have not reported a single virus-related fatality yet. Mizoram, which is the only state in the country to have not reported a single Covid death since the pandemic hit the country several months back, registered its first fatality today. A 62-year-old man with existing co-morbidities was under treatment for the virus in a city hospital for last 10 days. “The first Covid-19 mortality in Mizoram comes as a huge shock to the entire state.
28th Oct 2020 - Mint

COVID-19 curb: Germany to impose emergency month-long lockdown

As COVID-19 infections spiral, officials in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, agree to go into an emergency lockdown from November 2, shutting down restaurants, bars and other leisure facilities.
28th Oct 2020 - AlJazeera

France will go into a new lockdown from Friday, says Emmanuel Macron

France will go back into lockdown from Friday to combat a surge in cases of COVID-19, President Emmanuel Macron has said in a televised address to the nation. Schools and creches will remain open, he added. The evolution of the virus in France has surpassed "even the most pessimistic projections", the president said. While remote working should be carried out where possible, Macron said citizens will be able to leave their homes for essential work purposes, medical appointments, to help vulnerable individuals and to do grocery shopping.
28th Oct 2020 - EuroNews

Partial covid-19 lockdown in Germany prioritizes in-person schools over dining out

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron each announced month-long national lockdowns Wednesday, saying health authorities have lost control of skyrocketing new infections while hospitals fill rapidly. The announcements came as governments across Europe struggle to contain a second wave of the virus in colder weather, even after the relative success of strict lockdown restrictions in the spring. “We in Europe are all surprised by the propagation of the virus,” Macron said in a televised address to the nation.
28th Oct 2020 - The Washington Post

France to enter second lockdown amid record coronavirus surge

France will introduce a new coronavirus lockdown from Friday, President Emmanuel Macron has announced. In his second major televised address in two weeks, Mr Macron said France was “overwhelmed by the pace at which the virus is spreading", which was “worse than even the most pessimistic projections”. Average daily infections more than doubled from 17,000 to 36,000 in the two weeks since his last address. The latest figures represent a record level of new cases in the country, more than seven times the peak from the first wave earlier this year.
28th Oct 2020 - The Independent

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Belgium faces decision on possible new lockdown by weekend: official

The Belgian government will convene on Friday to decide on a potential new national lockdown with the country now suffering the highest rate of coronavirus infections per 100,000 citizens, according to official data. The nation of 11 million people had 1,390 new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed on Tuesday.
27th Oct 2020 - Metro US

Germany braces for 'lockdown light' as virus cases surge

Germans were preparing themselves Tuesday for tough new measures to tame a surge in coronavirus infections, with media reporting that a concerned Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for a "lockdown light". Merkel is due to hold crisis talks on Wednesday with the leaders of Germany's 16 states, where she is expected to warn of a dire winter ahead as case numbers climb to record highs and hospital beds fill up.
27th Oct 2020 - Medical Xpress

Spain's Rioja wine region bans wining, dining as pandemic curbs grow

The wine-producing region of La Rioja on Tuesday ordered the closure of restaurants and bars in its two largest towns for a month as part of widening restrictions across Spain to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The number of cumulative infections rose by 18,418 to nearly 1.12 million and the health ministry added 267 deaths from Monday, the highest toll in the second wave of the pandemic, bringing the total to 35,298. Daily deaths during the first wave in late March peaked at almost 900. A nationwide curfew has been in place since Sunday, while a growing number of regions have banned people from entering or exiting their territory. Deputy head of the Madrid regional government, Ignacio Aguado, said on Tuesday he backed such a lockdown for his central region.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Spain’s new state of alarm: more regions close their borders

Aragón, Asturias and the Basque Country join Navarre and La Rioja in sealing their territory, while Catalonia is considering weekend home confinements
27th Oct 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus: France faces lockdown amid surging cases

The French government is holding emergency meetings on Tuesday over the growing coronavirus crisis. Officials are warning of potential new lockdowns as the country sees soaring case numbers and hospitalizations. "We must expect difficult decisions," Interior Minister Darmanin told France Inter radio ahead of the meetings. President Emmanuel Macron is holding a Cabinet meeting to address the pandemic, while Prime Minister Jean Castex is meeting with lawmakers, unions and business lobbies.
27th Oct 2020 - Deutsche Welle

Slovakia's blanket COVID-19 testing may prevent tighter lockdown, PM says

Slovakia may be able to avoid harsher anti-coronavirus measures as a result of its plans for nationwide testing scheduled to start this weekend, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Monday. Authorities conducted pilot testing in four badly hit regions over the weekend with more than 90% of people participating, producing an infection rate just below 4% of those tested. The country will conduct wide-ranging testing over the next two weekends.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Belgium faces decision on possible new lockdown by weekend: official

Belgium’s federal government should decide by this weekend whether a return to a nationwide lockdown is required, as the country grapples with a resurgence in novel coronavirus cases and hospitals risk running out of beds, an official said. New infections in Belgium, among the hardest-hit countries in Europe, hit a peak of more than 18,000 on Oct. 20, almost a 10-fold increase from the high of a spring wave of the pandemic. Health Ministry spokesman Yves Van Laethem told Belgian broadcaster RTBF on Monday evening that a decision on returning to lockdown would need to be taken by the end of the week.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Leading French medic Pialoux calls for new national lockdown to tackle COVID

Gilles Pialoux, an infectious diseases specialist at the Tenon hospital in Paris, urged the government on Tuesday to impose a new national lockdown to tackle a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. “I think we clearly need to lock down the country,” he told BFM TV, as President Emmanuel Macron’s government prepares to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss new measures to tackle the virus.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

More English cities face tightest COVID lockdown rules

Britain announced wider coronavirus restrictions on Monday which will take the number of people under England’s highest category of alert to nearly 8 million, as the government battles a sharp rise in cases.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Merkel plans 'lockdown light' to slow infection wave in Germany - Bild

Chancellor Angela Merkel in planning a “lockdown light” that will focus on closing bars, restaurants and public events to slow a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Germany, Bild newspaper reported on Monday. Shops will stay open, with some restrictions, under the plan and schools will keep operating, apart from in areas with particularly high numbers of cases, the mass-selling daily reported. A government spokesman neither confirmed nor denied the report and said no final decisions had been made. Infections have almost doubled in the past week in Germany and cases are also rising across Europe and large parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

France mulling month-long national lockdown to combat COVID-19 crisis: BFM TV

The French government is envisaging a month-long national lockdown to combat a rise in coronavirus infections which could take effect from midnight on Thursday, France’s BFM TV reported on Tuesday. French President Emmanuel Macron is due to make a televised address on Wednesday. His office did not comment on whether Macron would announce such a measure then. BFM TV added the lockdown under consideration would be “more flexible” than the strict restrictions on movement imposed in France in March this year.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters

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Groundhog day in Wales as country enters second-wave lockdown

Like the groundhog that peeks out and then retreats until winter is over, Wales has been forced back underground by the shadow of the coronavirus. Friday nights are usually heady and vibrant in the Welsh capital; its people are famous for being fiercely proud and incredibly hospitable. Cardiff, then, is a good place to welcome the weekend. At least, it was, until Friday, October 23, when Wales rolled back the clock to March 2020 to start a second national lockdown.
26th Oct 2020 - CNN

‘Mini-lockdown’ enforced in Italy

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte detailed on Sunday (25 October) the new measures to be enforced from Monday (26 October) to 24 November. “The analysis of the current situation shows a worrying increase of positive cases,
26th Oct 2020 - Euractiv.com

Spain enters COVID state of emergency to much dismay

The Spanish government faced a backlash on Monday over its plans to put the country, one of Europe’s worst COVID-19 hotspots, under a state of emergency for six months. Opposition parties said that was too long, epidemiologists said the move may be too little too late, and some citizens balked at nightly curfews. “The curfew doesn’t make much sense. Does the virus only infect people between 2300 and 0600? No,” said Marta Aragoneses, a 36-year old schoolteacher, enjoying a cigarette outside a cafe in Madrid’s historic La Latina neighbourhood.
26th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Europe Steps Closer to Lockdown-Level Curbs in Italy and Spain

Europe took a step closer to the stringent restrictions imposed during the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic as leaders struggle regain control of the spread. Italy introduced its strongest virus restrictions since the end of a lockdown in May, and Spain will impose new measures, including a nationwide curfew. Germany will discuss its next steps on Monday, when Chancellor Angela Merkel convenes her crisis task force.
26th Oct 2020 - Bloomberg on MSN.com

Spain's Catalonia mulls weekend virus lockdowns

Spain's Catalonia region said Monday it was studying imposing a lockdown on weekends to fight the spread of the coronavirus, a day after a nighttime curfew came into effect across the country. "It is a scenario which is on the table because it is during the weekend that there are more social interactions," the spokeswoman for the regional government, Meritxell Budo, told Catalan public radio.
26th Oct 2020 - Medical Xpress

Second German district to enter lockdown after spike in coronavirus cases

Chancellor Angela Merkel in planning a "lockdown light" that will focus on closing bars, restaurants and public events to slow a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Germany, Bild newspaper reported on Monday. Shops will stay open, with some restrictions, under the plan and schools will keep operating, apart from in areas with particularly high numbers of cases, the mass-selling daily reported. A government spokesman neither confirmed nor denied the report and said no final decisions had been made.
26th Oct 2020 - YAHOO!

France 'must impose a second coronavirus lockdown'

France has lost control of the coronavirus pandemic and should follow the examples of Ireland and Wales by heading back into lockdown, a leading expert on infectious diseases has warned. Professor Eric Caumes on France Info - "The virus is so present among us that I think that today we have no choice but to reconfine," Professor Eric Caumes (right) head of the infectious diseases department at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, said in an interview with Franceinfo on Monday.
26th Oct 2020 - The Connexion

Austria's Kurz sees second lockdown as "ultimate measure" to curb COVID-19

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Monday that a second lockdown might be the "ultimate measure" to contain the sharp rise of coronavirus infections. "The higher the infection rates, the more restrictive measures are needed," said Kurz on the Austrian National Day. "The ultimate measure is a second lockdown." He emphasized that the Alpine country is facing an "extreme challenge" with the "exponential growth" of infections. "Even for those who still do not want to believe it, the situation is very, very serious," said Kurz. The key is to prevent the intensive care units from being overwhelmed, added the chancellor.
26th Oct 2020 - Xinhua

Malaysia extends partial lockdown in capital amid COVID-19 surge

Malaysia on Monday extended a partial lockdown on its capital Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding state of Selangor for another two weeks, as the country recorded the biggest jump in coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. The Southeast Asian nation has seen a resurgence in infections, with the total number of cases more than doubling in the past month. The health ministry reported 1,240 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest daily rise on record.
26th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Second German district to enter lockdown after spike in coronavirus cases

Chancellor Angela Merkel in planning a “lockdown light” that will focus on closing bars, restaurants and public events to slow a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Germany, Bild newspaper reported on Monday.
26th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Italy imposes harshest coronavirus restrictions since spring lockdown as second wave sweeps Europe

Italy became the latest European country to announce new restrictions to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus on Sunday as countries across the continent continue to report surging infections. France on Sunday announced more than 50,000 new infections, a new record for the fourth day running. Germany, widely lauded for its initial handling of the virus, reported a surge of its own. The number of coronavirus cases in Poland has doubled in less than three weeks. And Spain has also imposed new restrictions.
25th Oct 2020 - The Washington Post

Europe Imposes New Covid-19 Restrictions as Second Wave Accelerates

Europe’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, forcing countries to impose ever-more social-distancing rules in a bid to avoid a return to full-blown lockdowns. France announced a daily record for coronavirus infections, with confirmed infections reaching over 52,000 on Sunday, compared with nearly 84,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. on Saturday, whose population is around five times bigger. Italy, struggling with an explosive rise in infections, imposed the toughest restrictions on its population since ending its lockdown, including the closure of all bars and restaurants at 6 p.m. In Spain, the government announced a state of emergency, as it did in March, giving national authorities greater powers to impose social-distancing and emergency health-care policies.
25th Oct 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Oct 2020

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Sturgeon unveils five-level Covid lockdown rules for Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a five-level system for restricting people’s movements and limiting physical contact as part of new measures to combat the spread of Covid-19. The system includes a top level that is tougher than the highest of England’s three tiers, which Sturgeon said would be closer to the lockdown imposed across the UK in late March. It would involve the closure of all non-essential shops, bars, restaurants and leisure venues; strict controls on travelling and using public transport; and potentially a “stay at home” message similar to that coming into force in Wales on Friday evening.
25th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

Spain's government to decree COVID-19 state of emergency, tighten controls: local media

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a new state of emergency on Sunday in an effort to curb soaring coronavirus infections, imposing local nighttime curfews and banning travel between regions in some cases. The measures go into force from Sunday night and will require all regions except the Canary Islands to impose a nighttime curfew and limit the number of people allowed to meet to six. “We are living in an extreme situation ... it is the most serious health crisis in the last century,” he told a news conference following a cabinet meeting. Catalonia was one of the first regions on Sunday to use the new legislation to impose a curfew, which will take effect at 10 p.m. Establishments open to the public will have to close at 9 p.m.
25th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Poland adopts nationwide 'red zone' lockdown

Poland's prime minister said on Friday that "red zone" measures including the partial closure of primary schools and restaurants would be adopted nationwide in the face of a record spike in coronavirus infections
24th Oct 2020 - The Times of India

Two-thirds of France in lockdown as coronavirus curfews extended

Around two-thirds of France’s population has been placed under lockdown as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hits Europe. France’s prime minister, Jean Castex, announced last week that a curfew imposed on Paris and eight other cities would be extended to 38 more departments. It confines 46 million of the country’s 67 million people to their homes from 9pm to 6am. "A second wave of the coronavirus epidemic is now under way in France and Europe. The situation is very serious," Mr Castex said at a news conference.
24th Oct 2020 - The Independent

Anger as Welsh supermarkets block off non-essential items during the firebreak lockdown

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government will review “how the weekend has gone” after thousands signed a petition calling for the ban on non-essential items being sold in supermarkets to be lifted. Mr Drakeford tweeted: “Thank you for all your efforts over the last 24 hours to stay at home. We know people are fed up. “It’s not easy, but we all have a responsibility to stop the virus spreading.
24th Oct 2020 - iNews

Italy's Campania region set for COVID lockdown, urges national curbs

Italy’s Campania region, based on the southern city of Naples, said on Friday it was set to impose a lockdown to stamp out a surge in coronavirus and urged the national government to follow suit. Daily infections have risen six-fold across Italy since the start of the month, hitting a record 16,079 on Thursday, raising fears that the pandemic is racing out of control in a country which already has one of the highest death tolls in the world.
24th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Czech PM tells health minister to quit after lockdown violation

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis moved to sack his health minister on Friday for holding a meeting in a restaurant closed under government restrictions as the country combats Europe’s fastest spread of the novel coronavirus. Health Minister Roman Prymula rejected calls to resign, including from Babis and his junior coalition partner, and said the meeting with two other officials took place in a private room and no regulations were broken. The Blesk newspaper published pictures of Prymula leaving a restaurant late at night and entering a car without a face mask, apparent violations of rules that closed restaurants and require wearing masks in most places, including chaffered cars.
24th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

'Eating rats': Myanmar's second lockdown drives hunger in city slums

After the first wave of coronavirus hit Myanmar in March, 36-year-old Ma Suu closed her salad stall and pawned her jewelry and gold to buy food to eat. During the second wave, when the government issued a stay-home order in September for Yangon, Ma Suu shut her stall again and sold her clothes, plates and pots. With nothing left to sell, her husband, an out of work construction labourer, has resorted to hunting for food in the open drains by the slum where they live on the outskirts of Myanmar’s largest city. “People are eating rats and snakes,” Ma Suu said through tears. “Without an income, they need to eat like that to feed their children.”
24th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Retailers urge Welsh government not to dictate what people can buy in 'fire-break' lockdown

Retailers in Wales have written urgently to First Minister Mark Drakeford expressing alarm over new regulations that restrict the sale of “non essential” products in essential shops during the country’s two-week COVID-19 lockdown. Wales’ “fire-break” begins on Friday at 1700 GMT and ends on Nov. 9. Everybody but essential workers will have to work from home. All non-essential retail, leisure, hospitality and tourist businesses will have to close. Retailers that can stay open, such as supermarkets, were told on Thursday that the regulations require them to only sell what the Welsh government deems to be “essential” product lines, partly to protect smaller businesses that do have to close being put at an unfair advantage.
24th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

Brussels edges towards lockdown as Belgian COVID-19 cases hit record high

City's curfew has also been tightened to 10pm-6am with shops shutting at 8pm. The new changes will come in on Monday Brussel premier Rudi Vervoort said. Working from home will be obligatory and masks will have to be worn in public
24th Oct 2020 - Reuters UK

New Lockdown - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 23rd Oct 2020

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Czechs Enter 2nd Lockdown to Avoid Health System Collapse

But amid a record surge of coronavirus infections that's threatening the entire health system with collapse, the Czech Republic is adopting on Thursday exactly the same massive restrictions it slapped on citizens in the spring. Prime Minister Andrej Babis had repeatedly said these measures would never return. “We have no time to wait,” Babis explained Wednesday. “The surge is enormous.” Babis apologized for the huge impact the restrictions will have on everyday life but said if they were not taken “our health system would collapse between Nov 7-11.”
22nd Oct 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Ireland goes back on lockdown: Residents must stay within 3 miles of home through November

Ireland is already focused on Christmas. It’s a major national priority. Unless the country can get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, there won’t be much Christmas cheer this year in Galway, Cork or Dublin. With infections on the rise, the government has imposed a tough new lockdown that began at midnight Wednesday, shutting down nonessential shops, limiting restaurants to takeout service and ordering people to stay within 3 miles of their homes for the next six weeks. The restrictions are among the toughest in Europe, and Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he imposed them in part to ensure Ireland can celebrate Christmas “in a meaningful way.”
22nd Oct 2020 - USA TODAY

Dublin 'eerie' as Ireland plunges into second lockdown

A "cloud of sadness" descended on the streets of central Dublin Thursday as Ireland became the first EU nation to return to a full coronavirus lockdown. Schools remain open but otherwise for six weeks, all Irish citizens have been told to stay home, with a strict five-kilometre (three-mile) travel limit for exercise. Restaurants, bars and pubs will be shuttered and visits between different households banned.
22nd Oct 2020 - FRANCE 24

More than seven million people in Spain now facing perimetral lockdowns

More than 7.2 million people in Spain live in municipalities or regions that are currently, or soon to be, subject to a perimetral lockdown, meaning residents cannot leave or enter the area unless it is for essential reasons, such as for work, to access care services or in the case of an emergency. This restriction – aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus – is already in place in 50 municipalities of greatly different sizes, from Madrid, with its 3.2 million inhabitants to Jerte in Extremadura, which is home to 1,266 residents. Over the past weeks and months, a series of measures has been introduced in the affected areas in a bid to slow contagion rates. But they have not worked.
22nd Oct 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Why countries are resorting to pandemic lockdowns again

The lockdowns are back. On Thursday, Ireland is set to become the first country in Europe to impose a second national lockdown as cases of the novel coronavirus surge once again. “We’re making a preemptive strike against the virus, acting before it’s too late,” Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said as he announced the measures. Ireland is not alone in moving toward drastic action, although the extent of measures varies. The Czech Republic, only months ago considered a rare pandemic success story, announced similar plans on Wednesday. Britain, France, Germany and Spain have set regional restrictions this month, prompting demands for nat