Germany to lift travel ban for E.U., Schengen countries, U.K. starting June 15
Germany will lift a travel ban for European Union member states, other Schengen countries and the U.K. starting June 15.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced Wednesday that bans will be replaced by travel advice for individual countries.
Travel warnings could be put in place if infections in certain countries rise, or if there are entry restrictions or quarantine measures for arriving travellers.
Maas warned that the coronavirus pandemic is not over and travelers should continue to be cautious, so that the reintroduction of cross-border travel would not turn into a second pandemic wave.
More than 182,000 cases have been reported in Germany so far, with 8,551 deaths.
Spain seeks to open up to some foreign tourism from late June
Spain is working on plans to gradually open its borders to tourists from countries deemed more secure in the fight against the coronavirus, possibly starting from June 22, the tourism ministry said on Wednesday.
After losing more than 27,000 people and months of economic activity to the epidemic, Spain had previously designated July 1 as the date to reopen to foreign tourism, which accounts for 12 percent of its output.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government is due to lift a state of emergency on June 21, meaning that Spaniards will be able to start to move more freely again as the epidemic recedes.
A tourism ministry spokesman said it was likely the same would start to apply to some foreigners on Monday, June 22 or possibly as early as Sunday, June 21.
Opera returns to Vienna with hotel ‘window concert’
COVID-19 patients among 100,000 evacuated as cyclone slams Mumbai
100,000 people — including COVID-19 patients — have been evacuated from low-lying areas as a powerful cyclone hit the west-coast Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
In Maharashtra’s largest city Mumbai, home to some 18 million people, 200 coronavirus patients had to be evacuated from a field hospital built beneath a tent as strong winds and torrential rain blew in.
Bidisha Pillai, chief executive of Save the Children in India expressed fears that damage to clinics and hospitals will complicate the fight against the virus by making it “virtually impossible” to follow social distancing measures.
Maharashtra is home to a third of India’s 200,000 recorded infections.
Italy re-opens its airports, allows movement between regions
After more than two months of strict lockdown and more than 33,500 coronavirus deaths, Italians are once again free to travel from one region to another as of Wednesday.
The country’s airports have also re-opened their doors, with passengers subjected to temperature checks.
In a move that’s expected to, at least partially, help save this year’s tourism season, all passengers travelling within Europe’s 26-nation Schengen zone will not be required to quarantine themselves upon arrival.
“It’s an important message, of reassurance, that we are giving as Italy to the whole world,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in a Facebook post Wednesday. “The total opening of the country enables us to show foreign states a united and compact Italy, inside which it is possible to move freely.”
Fears of outbreak as first Rohingya refugee dies from coronavirus in Bangladesh
An elderly Rohingya man has become the first person to die from COVID-19 in the refugee camps in southern Bangladesh, the U.N. Refugee Agency confirmed on Twitter Tuesday.
The death has raised fears of a serious outbreak in refugee camps that house over a million Rohingya, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority group that were forced to flee a brutal military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar.
“We are all working round the clock to ensure that testing is available to those refugees,” said Louise Donovan, the refugee agency spokesperson.
The camps are overcrowded, with shared water sources and communal toilets and washing facilities.
At least 29 Rohingya have tested positive for the virus so far since the first case was detected in the camps on May 14. Bangladesh has so far reported 52,445 coronavirus cases and 709 deaths.
Second city in China to test all city residents for coronavirus
Municipal government in Mudanjiang, a city in Heilongjiang province in northeast China, said it will carry out nucleic acid testing of all of the city’s 2.5 million residents.
China spent 900 million yuan ($127 million) and tested almost 10 million people in Wuhan, finding no new cases and 300 asymptomatic carriers of the virus, officials said on Tuesday. Authorities launched the vast testing campaign on May 14, and reached 9.9 million out of 11 million people, after a cluster of new cases raised fears of a second wave of infections.
More than 4,600 people have died from the virus in mainland China, according to the country’s health officials, with more than 83,000 confirmed cases.
British Vogue devotes July cover to essential workers
The British edition of fashion magazine Vogue has, for the first time, devoted its July cover to the nation’s essential workers.
The story features three key workers from London who have kept working in key roles throughout the pandemic. They are Narguis Horsford, a train driver on London’s rail network, Rachel Millar, a midwife, and Anisa Omar, a grocery store worker.
“The July 2020 cover story celebrates the millions of people in the U.K. who, at the height of the pandemic, and in the face of danger, put on their uniforms and went to work,” the magazine said.
“As our nation perseveres against COVID-19, we find ourselves leaning not on the powers that be, but on ordinary people and their extraordinary strength and kindness,” it added.