Travel restrictions

Hong Kong travel restrictions could have dire consequences

International business groups are urging Hong Kong to restart international flights after a rating group warned that travel restrictions, imposed last week due to COVID-19 outbreaks, could have disastrous effects on the country. economy of the territory.

Fitch Ratings said: “A new wave of restrictions on various social activities in Hong Kong and a further tightening of controls on international travel… are likely to weaken prospects for economic growth.

Some Hong Kong leaders who have traveled out of the territory for the winter holidays have found that they cannot return to Hong Kong due to new restrictions designed to be in place for at least two weeks but may last longer. Fitch said, “We believe that the tightening of restrictions on international arrivals will create further obstacles to the territory’s ability to serve as a regional headquarters” for foreign multinational companies.

the Cyprus Mail reports that a scientist from the University of Cyprus and his team have discovered a new variant of COVID. Dr Leontios Kostrikis told the publication that deltacron has the genetic background of the delta variant and some of the omicron mutations.

“The frequency of mutations was higher in those hospitalized, which could mean that there is a correlation between deltacron and hospitalizations,” Kostrikis told the To post.

The Australian state of New South Wales on Sunday reported 16 deaths from COVID-19, its deadliest day in the two-year pandemic. The state, Australia’s most populous, already has 200,000 isolated people and has reported more than 30,000 new cases.

New South Wales Health issued a statement on Sunday allowing essential workers to return to work if they have no symptoms, if their employer says they are needed. They should wear a mask and have a daily rapid antigen test. Some employers report that up to half of their workers stay home because they have been in contact with an infected person.

Victoria, Australia’s second-largest state, has reported more than 44,000 new cases and four deaths, Reuters reported. The whole country will surpass one million infections on Sunday, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

On Saturday, more than 100,000 people took to the streets of France to protest against proposed new restrictions that will require proof of vaccination to eat in restaurants, travel on intercity trains or attend a cultural event. The turnout was four times the government’s estimate of 25,000 protesters who marched on December 18, Agence France-Presse reported.

People wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait for a bus in Hyderabad, India on January 9, 2022.

Protesters also marched through several German cities on Saturday, demanding an end to restrictions on those who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The main events took place in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Magdeburg.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Friday that proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test will now be required to enter bars and restaurants across the country. Currently, proof of vaccination is required to enter many public places.

Protests against government restrictions on coronaviruses also took place in Turin, Italy and Beirut on Saturday.

Global push

The UK death toll from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic topped 150,000 on Saturday, more deaths than any other European country except Russia. Britain reported a record 146,390 new cases on Saturday.

“The coronavirus has wreaked havoc in our country and today the number of recorded deaths has reached 150,000,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. “Our way out of this pandemic is for everyone to get their booster or their first or second dose if they haven’t already.”

India’s capital New Delhi was closed on Saturday to halt the spread of the coronavirus, after a nationwide spike in infections almost quadruple in the last week alone. Most stores were closed, but some essential services remained open.

More than 140,000 new cases across the country were reported on Saturday, the most since late May, the health ministry said. It has also reported more than 280 new deaths, for a total of nearly 484,000 since the start of the pandemic.

The spike in infections in India is being fueled by the highly contagious variant of omicron, as political rallies attended by tens of thousands continue to be organized by candidates ahead of elections in the state later. This year.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.