Covid-19 Movement Restrictions

Regional News • World
Canada, Ireland and several other countries also halt flights from UK over new Covid-19 variant
Canada, Ireland and several other countries also halt flights from UK over new Covid-19 variant
Credit: unsplash/Daniel Klein

More countries are banning flights from the UK after the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant that is said to spread much faster. Canada is banning UK travellers for at least 72 hours. Several South American countries followed suit on Sunday, including Argentina, Chile and Colombia. British flights are banned from landing in the Republic of Ireland on Monday and Tuesday. After France suspended travel from and to the UK, both the Eurotunnel and Port of Dover were closed.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
Credit: unsplash/Max van den Oetelaar

After a new Covid-19 strain was detected in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly imposed a Tier 4 lockdown on southeast England, including London, banning Christmas gatherings beyond individual households and support bubbles.

All non-essential shops and businesses have to close at midnight and residents are to stay at home except to travel for work or education. The new restrictions apply in London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London) and the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring). The new restrictions will be reviewed on December 30.

Health
Several European countries halt landing of British flights after detection of new virus mutation
Several European countries halt landing of British flights after detection of new virus mutation
Credit: unsplash.com / Daniel Klein

After a new strain of Covid-19 was detected in the UK, several European countries have imposed a landing ban on British flights. Trains to Belgium have also been banned.

The Netherlands have banned British Flights until January 1. Italy's foreign minister has announced that his government joins the ban on flights. Austria and Germany are planning to impose similar measures, but no immediate details are currently known.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany enters lockdown as daily death record reaches 952
Germany enters lockdown as daily death record reaches 952
Credit: Bluemel1, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Germany is entering a strict lockdown on Wednesday as it reports its highest daily death count. 952 people have died of a Covid-19 infection over the past 24 hours, bringing the total death count to 23,427.

From today on until January 10th non-essential businesses will remain closed, including restaurants, museums and beauty salons.

Regional News • Europe
Netherlands: Five-week strict lockdown imposed
Netherlands: Five-week strict lockdown imposed
Credit: Illustration for Pendect by Ashley Winkler

The Netherlands imposed a five-week strict lockdown nationwide on Monday. Nonessential businesses, eateries, schools and cultural places will remain closed. The lockdown is set to end on January 19th.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte: "We have to bite through this very sour apple before things get better. The reality is that this is not an innocent flu as some people — like the demonstrators outside — think. But a virus that can hit everybody hard."

Regional News • Oceania
Two-way Travel Bubble between New Zealand and Australia
Two-way Travel Bubble between New Zealand and Australia
Credit: unsplash/Will Waters

New Zealand agreed Monday on a two-way travel bubble with Australia, allowing quarantine-free travel between the two nations in the first quarter of 2021.

“It is our intention to name a date ... in the New Year once remaining details are locked down,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference in Wellington.

Regional News • Europe • France
France imposes night curfew, cultural venues to remain closed
France imposes night curfew, cultural venues to remain closed
Credit: unsplash/Fran Boloni

The government of France has delayed easing Coronavirus restrictions for another three weeks as infection rates are still not decreasing fast enough. In addition, a nighttime curfew (8pm-6am) will be imposed on December 15th, and will include New Year's Eve as well but an exception will be made on Christmas Eve. Museums, cinemas and other cultural venues will remain closed into early January.

Regional News • Europe • France
France will delay lockdown easing if necessary
France will delay lockdown easing if necessary
Credit: unsplash.com / Kevin Dellandrea

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal has said that France will delay lockdown easing if necessary to avoid the further spread of the Coronavirus. France is due to ease many restrictions on December 15th.

“If we consider that ... we must modify this second phase (of lifting lockdown measures), then of course we will do it,” Attal told CNews television.

Health
Quebec government cancels Christmas gatherings
Quebec government cancels Christmas gatherings
Credit: unsplash.com / Jamshed Khedri

Although the Quebec government was going to wait until December 11th, Legault broke the bad news early, saying that “With the numbers we have, it’s unrealistic to think we will be able to change the situation in time for Christmas." Red zones will not be able to have gatherings, while in yellow zones, ten people will be allowed to gather, in orange zones, six.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany: Bavarian government calls a case of disaster
Germany: Bavarian government calls a case of disaster
Credit: Olaf Kosinsky / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 DE)

Because of the ongoing Covid19 situation in Bavaria, Minister-President Markus Söder has now called officially a case of disaster. The infection numbers have to go down, he said on Sunday. New restrictions, especially curfews will be in effect beginning with Wednesday, December the 9th.

Regional News • Americas • United States
San Francisco Bay Area issues stay-at-home order, ahead of state mandate
San Francisco Bay Area issues stay-at-home order, ahead of state mandate
Credit: Billie Grace Ward from New York, USA, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Five Bay Area counties, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara and the City of Berkeley, said Friday in a joint announcement that they will adopt the state's stay-at-home order ahead of the state mandate in hopes to curb the further spread of Covid-19 and numbers of hospitalizations.

"The virus is spreading rapidly throughout the city like never before. We need to move fast, keeping ahead of this virus as much as possible," so Dr Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of public health, during a news briefing Friday afternoon, warning that at the current rate San Francisco's hospitals will run out f hospital beds the day after Christmas.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria to ease lockdown restrictions on Monday; quarantine mandatory for arriving travellers
Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz Credit: Пресс-служба Президента России (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Austria will ease its lockdown measures on Monday, reopening stores, museums and schools while hotels and gastronomy have to remain closed until January 7th. The 24-hour-lockdown is being lifted, but a nighttime curfew between 8 pm and 6 am will still apply. Ski slopes will be opened on December 24th "so that the Austrian population has the chance to engage in sporting activity over the holidays."

Starting mid-December, arriving travellers will have to go into quarantine for 10 days but will be able to take a free test after five days and can leave quarantine early if the test comes back negative. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz appeared to blame Austrian residents with family abroad for bringing back the virus to Austria after returning from visits at the end of the summer, sparking criticism in the country.

"We had very, very low infection rates in the summer after the lockdown, and then the virus brought back into the country by people returning from their home countries, especially those who had spent the summer in their countries of origin," so Kurz.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany extends partial lockdown until January 10th
Berlin Alexanderplatz Berlin 11 during the first Covid-19 lockdown
Berlin Alexanderplatz Berlin 11 during the first Covid-19 lockdown Credit: Neomicro (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that the country's partial lockdown will be extended until at least January 10th, aiming to reduce the seven-day incidence (confirmed Covid-19 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days) to less than 50.

Hotels, eateries, bars and cultural and leisure facilities will remain closed and gatherings will now be limited to a maximum of five people from two households. During December 23 and January 1, up to ten people will be able to gather to allow for families to celebrate.

"If the infection situation continues to develop as in the last days, we will meet again on January 4th and the states are extending the directive (for a shutdown) to January 10th," Merkel said following a five-hour meeting with the 16 German state leaders on Wednesday.

Regional News • Europe
Italy bans internal travel over Christmas; keeps ski resorts closed until 7 January
Italy bans internal travel over Christmas; keeps ski resorts closed until 7 January
Credit: unsplash/Gabriella Clare Marino

On Thursday night, Prime MinisterGiuseppe Conte signed a new decree banning travel between regions in Italy from December 20 to January 6 and travel between municipalities between December 25 and December 26 to discourage large private gatherings. The government also resisted pressure from leaders of Alpine regions and will keep ski resorts closed until 7 January.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Los Angeles issues stay-at-home order, bans all gatherings
Los Angeles issues stay-at-home order, bans all gatherings
Credit: unsplash/Joel Muniz

Los Angeles County has issued a new stay-at-home order as Covid-19 infections surge, reporting 4,544 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Friday. Starting Monday, the county prohibits all private and public gatherings with people outside a household for three weeks.

Indoor retail businesses are allowed to remain open at 20% of capacity, and exceptions are made for churches protests as they "are constitutionally protected rights".

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Germany, Italy, France urge to shut ski slopes until Jan 10; EU waves off
Germany, Italy, France urge to shut ski slopes until Jan 10; EU waves off
Credit: unsplash/https://unsplash.com/photos/vZz5RKpVIyg

Germany joins Italy and France in their demand to ban ski resorts from opening until January 10, stating it would be a "great risk, even crazy, to open ski-slopes."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and multiple prime ministers addressed an appeal to all citizens to refrain from "all not absolutely necessary professional and private journeys, in particular, tourist journeys to foreign countries, especially considering the start of the ski season."

"The Federal Government is asked to come to coordinated regulations at European level in order to prevent ski tourism from being permitted before 10 January", the paper continues.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides opposes a Europe-wide ski ban over the Christmas holidays, saying that "there is no formula that applies to all EU countries because every country has a different situation."

Regional News • Americas • United States
US considers lifting entry bans for Europeans
Cologne Bonn Airport in April 2020
Cologne Bonn Airport in April 2020 Credit: © Raimond Spekking (via Wikimedia Commons) (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Reuters reports that the White House is considering lifting travel bans for Brazil, UK, Ireland and numerous European countries. Even though President Trump has not made a final decision on the matter, the White House coronavirus task-force, as well as public health and federal agencies, back the plan to reopen the borders for international travel.

Regional News • Oceania
Queensland borders to open to NSW and Victoria from start of December
Queensland borders to open to NSW and Victoria from start of December
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter / Annastacia Palaszczuk

Queensland will open its borders to Victoria on December 1 after the state recorded 26 days with no new coronavirus cases, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today.

Ms Palaszczuk announced yesterday that Queensland would also open up to all of New South Wales on the same date.

No decision has been made about when Queensland will open borders to South Australia. Parts of the state were declared a hotspot following a coronavirus cluster outbreak last week.

Regional News • Oceania
South Australia to enter "circuit breaker" lockdown after coronavirus cluster grows
South Australia to enter "circuit breaker" lockdown after coronavirus cluster grows
Credit: unsplash.com / Marcus Wallis

South Australia will begin a six-day lockdown from midnight on Wednesday night to prevent the further spread of a coronavirus cluster.

It's set to be the harshest lockdown implemented anywhere in Australia, with the closure of schools, universities, cafes, pubs, takeaway shops and restaurants.

The cluster originated at a hotel quarantine, with a worker spreading the virus to family members.

There have been 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state after Australia had recorded over a week with no local cases.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian government announces hard lockdown starting on Nov 17th, hopes for "mood of solidarity"
Closed café during lockdown in Vienna
Closed café during lockdown in Vienna Credit: Herzi Pinki, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Austrian government has announced a "hard lockdown" starting November 17th to contain rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. The country has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks, averaging over 7000 daily cases in the past seven days. Aa partial lockdown was introduced two weeks ago but was deemed ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus.

The new and stricter measures, which will be in effect until at least December 6th, include the closing of schools and all non-essential businesses as well as a 24-hour curfew. People are urged to stay inside their homes except for a few exceptions, e.g. for emergencies, job-related purposes, "necessary basic needs of daily life", help and care of family members and "physical and mental recovery". Restaurants, gyms and museums have already been closed since early November.