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The UK has started an Australian-style hotel quarantine to fight the coronavirus variant. Will this work? | Instant News

Nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic began, the UK has introduced an Australian-style hotel quarantine system in an effort to stop the spread of the newly identified variant of COVID-19.

Travelers returning to the UK from 33 countries deemed high risk must be quarantined in a government-approved hotel for 10 days, while in Scotland all arrivals must be isolated in quarantine hotels.

A similar scheme has been implemented in Australia since last year.

So how many schemes will emulate the Australian model? This is what we know.

What is the UK trying to do?

Hotel quarantine schemes are required to expand travel restrictions already in place for 33 high-risk countries that have experienced cases involving a new variant of COVID-19.

The ban applies to persons who have entered or traveled through one of the “red list” countries 10 days prior to travel.

Under the new scheme, UK and Irish citizens, long-term visa holders and UK residents can now travel from the red list countries to the UK but they must quarantine at government-contracted hotels for 10 days upon their return.

Travelers from all other countries can enter provided they have a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to travel and they undergo a 10-day quarantine at their home or where they live.

Scotland goes one step further, with every arriving international tourist forced into hotel quarantine – as in Australia.

Those who have to undergo hotel quarantine are met with staff at the passport inspection department, where they are then monitored as they collect their bags and then directed to the special hotel transport bus.

The new regulations aim to prevent the spread of the new variant of COVID-19 in the UK.(Reuters: Henry Nicholls)

A hotel quarantine booked through a private travel company website costs 1,750 British pounds ($ 3,126) for a 10-day stay, with additional charges for additional guests or children.

These costs include hotel stays, transportation to hotels and COVID-19 testing, which occurred on the second and eighth day of the 10-day quarantine.

There is strict fines for those who violate quarantine rules, with the threat of imprisonment for those who deliberately lie on a passenger search form.

Is there a gap?

Scottish authorities have raised concerns over a change in rules between Scotland and Britain, with fears that people arriving at UK airports and ferry terminals from non-red list countries could then travel to Scotland.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he would speak with the Scottish Government about the possibility of those heading to Scotland via UK airports being asked to go into quarantine in the UK.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she welcomed the discussions and hoped there would be progress on this issue “in the days to come.”

There are currently no international flights into Wales and Northern Ireland, which have their own set of travel rules.

How does it compare to Australia?

A family with a small child who will undergo hotel quarantine is flanked by officers.
The latest outbreak in Australia has been linked to violations at hotel quarantines.(AAP: Jeremy Piper)

The UK’s 10-day mandatory hotel quarantine requirement will only apply to people originating from the red list countries – particularly South American and African countries – rather than all countries as is currently the case in Australia.

Scotland will enforce it for all arrivals, but the UK’s overall hotel quarantine system is less stringent than Australia’s.

The UK will allow people to go outside “for a breath of fresh air,” unlike in Australia where hotel guests are not allowed out of their rooms for two weeks.

Hotel quarantine guests in the UK are expected to be accompanied by security guards, and will not be allowed out of the hotel grounds, according to Interior Minister Victoria Atkins.


“I think allowing someone a breath of fresh air during a 10 day visit to the hotel, with all the very strict measures we have, I think makes sense – but of course we will continue to review these measures,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today Program.

But Michael Toole of the Burnet Institute in Melbourne told the BBC the strategy was “very risky”.

“We have cases where guests open the door and, with positive pressure, this type of virus goes out into the corridor, goes down and infects hotel staff,” he said.

There are also concerns that passengers from red list countries will mix with passengers from non-red list countries after disembarking their flights and before arriving at passport check.

What’s the reaction like?

People pushing bags and wearing masks walked past the international arrivals sign at Heathrow Airport.
While Australia is quarantining returning travelers for 14 days, the UK quarantine period will only last 10 days.(Reuters: Henry Nicholls)

In the run-up to the mandatory quarantine announcement, airline bosses including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet criticized the plan.

They ask for a support package if the plan works.

On Saturday, Heathrow Airport, Britain’s largest and busiest international travel hub, warned there was a “significant loophole” in the scheme and it was still seeking “necessary guarantees” from the Government of staffing border controls after queues of nearly five hours in several last day. .

He also warned of suspending some flights if passenger deposits could not be cleaned up sooner.

On Sunday a Heathrow spokesman said “good progress” had been made to address some of the problems, and the Border Force had assured the airport they had sufficient resources to avoid a similar incident.

Edinburgh Airport in Scotland has raised similar concerns, saying the Scottish Government’s original plans “lack basic details”.

ABC / cable


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Covid 19 coronavirus: The government is expanding pre-departure tests for more travelers | Instant News

The government has officially required nearly every traveler to New Zealand to test negative for Covid-19 before boarding a plane.

The new rules will come into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 25 – this is in an effort to minimize disruption to passengers leaving soon.

This regulation was signed last week by Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins. Previously, only travelers from the UK and US needed to test negative in order to come to New Zealand.

Starting January 25, it has been extended to any incoming tourists, except Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Island nations.

But not all Pacific Island countries are excluded – Papua New Guinea, which has nearly 1,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, is not on the list.

Likewise with French Polynesia, where 17,000 cases have been confirmed and 126 people have died from Covid-19.

Hipkins also said that the Government was “exploring several possibilities” whether they could get a small amount of the Covid-19 vaccine to frontline workers earlier than previously hinted at.

“If we can do it, we will be able to do it very quickly – but it all depends on whether the vaccine company will supply it,” he told a news conference this afternoon.

He would not elaborate because it is “quite a sensitive international negotiation”.

Hipkins said the new measures would not stop Covid from entering the country, but the government’s aim was to reduce the number of cases.

He said nearly all travelers had complied with the rules so far, and airlines were “very supportive”.

“New Zealand is not alone here – many countries are now proposing this.”

Hipkins said airlines have been vigilant to ensure travelers have followed the rules before they board their flights to NZ.

Asked about New Zealand’s access to the Covid vaccine, Hipkins said “we are very close to the front of the queue”. The first deliveries will arrive in the first quarter – “that’s the earliest time we can get … that’s the reality of manufacturing”.

Starting February 8, all passengers arriving in New Zealand – except those from exempt countries – without evidence of an approved negative test or medical certificate will be subject to an offense fee or a fine of up to $ 1000.

Hipkins said that so far only one person from the US or UK has not tested negative for Covid-19.

He added that airlines are increasingly refusing to board people who fail to produce negative tests.

But he said the Government could increase the fine if there was a higher level of non-compliance.

In addition to the new pre-departure requirements, the Government has also changed the rules surrounding Covid-19 testing in New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities.

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From now on, travelers arriving to New Zealand will be required to take the test on arrival – again, except for Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Island countries.

They still have to undergo quarantine for 14 days, and undergo routine tests on the third and 12th day.

“New Zealand already has some of the strictest border protection measures in the world,” Hipkins said this morning.

“Today’s amendments further strengthen that position in line with the Government’s overall elimination strategy, and more actions can be added as needed.”

Asked about potential contact between people at MIQ facilities, such as in designated smoking areas, Hipkins said the Government has tightened social distancing measures.

Hipkins said the primary obligation was on travelers to comply with regulations – but airlines were also expected to play a role in checking whether passengers had negative test evidence.

Full list of countries and territories not included in the expanded pre-departure requirements:

• Antarctica
• Australia
• Cook Islands
• Federated States of Micronesia
• Fiji
• Kiribati
• Marshall Island
• Nauru
• New Caledonia
• Niue
• Palau
• Samoa
• Solomon Islands
• Tokelau
• Tonga
• Tuvalu
• Vanuatu
• Wallis and Futuna.


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The sunscreen brand doesn’t live up to Consumer NZ’s retracted label claims | Instant News


Last November David Clark responded to a Consumer NZ report that revealed nearly half of sunscreens do not live up to label claims. Audio / Derek Cheng

The Cancer Society called for mandatory sunscreen testing after a NZ Consumer investigation found five sunscreens failed to provide claimed sun protection.

Of the 10 products tested, only half met the SPF claims and broad spectrum labels.

Those that passed were Cancer Society Everyday, Cetaphil Sun Kids Liposomal Lotion, Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face Superscreen, Skinnies Conquer with Manuka Oil Sports Sunscreen and Nivea Sun Sensitive Protect.

Cancer Society chief executive Lucy Elwood said her advice was that broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher were safe to use, if applied properly.

“But mandatory sunscreen standards mean the sunscreens sold here will meet reliable world standards, says the Cancer Society,” he said.

“We would like to see New Zealand introduce a regime similar to the Australian Therapeutic Goods Act. This will convince New Zealanders that standard sunscreens meet the same requirements as medicines. Currently, retail sunscreens are classified as cosmetic.

“It’s not good enough for a country like ours with the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world.”

In Australia, sunscreens are subject to strict production guidelines by the Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Act, said Elwood.

The Cancer Society is pleased that Consumer NZ’s recent test on their Cancer Society Everyday SPF50 + product meets SPF claims and broad-spectrum labels.

“Our products have demonstrated that they meet reliable standards for sun protection use. This adds to the assurance for New Zealanders who want to protect themselves from the sun.

Of the 10 products tested, only half met the SPF claims and broad spectrum labels.  Photo file / 123RF
Of the 10 products tested, only half met the SPF claims and broad spectrum labels. Photo file / 123RF

“The Cancer Society advises consumers not to panic – even if you have a sunscreen that doesn’t live up to its claims, the test results show all SPF 50+ products provide high protection,” he says.

“It’s a shame if consumers choose to throw away useful products that still provide sun protection.”

NZ consumer testing

All sunscreens tested by Consumer NZ have an SPF50 + label.

The other three sunscreens failed to live up to their SPF claims but lived up to their broad spectrum claims.

They are Banana Boat Daily Protective Sunscreen, Natural Instinctive Invisible Sunscreen, and Sukin Suncare Non-Touch Facial Sunscreen.

Banana Boat’s SPF rating is still high at 40.4 but it does not meet the SPF50 + claimed on the label.

Sukin and Natural Instinct turned out to provide only moderate protection, SPF15 to 25, rather than the advertised high SPF30.

New Zealand consumers say Sukin has advised that sunscreens are being retested.

Le Tan Coconut Lotion and Ecosol Water Shield Sunscreen do not live up to the SPF or broad spectrum claims made on their labels.

This is the second time Le Tan’s sunscreen has failed to live up to its SPF claims in testing, according to Consumer NZ.

Consumer NZ chief executive Jon Duffy said that in a country with such high rates of skin cancer, SPF claims had to be accurate.

“Making sure consumers can count on the claims labeling makes so they know they are getting a reliable product is very important,” he said.

“Second, as with any product, manufacturers need to be able to stand behind the claims they make on their labels.”

Duffy said sunscreen manufacturers found not living up to claims had to work to improve labeling.

Full test results are available at www.consumer.org.nz.

– Additional reporting: RNZ


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Wearing a face mask is now mandatory in Karachi as coronavirus cases increase | Instant News

Children riding bicycles with their families wear face masks as a precaution against the Covid-19 corona virus, in Karachi on October 29, 2020. – AFP / Files

The Karachi government on Friday decided to make face masks mandatory in the metropolis as coronavirus cases are on the rise.

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani warned that if residents did not comply with the rules, they would be slapped with a fine of Rs500.

The developments came soon after Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said “tough action” would be taken against those who failed to follow prescribed coronavirus safety measures.

Leading a meeting of the provincial coronavirus task force, Shah said that amid rising cases, the authorities needed to ensure that people followed security measures.

“Cases are increasing in Karachi and Hyderabad,” said the chief minister, adding that security measures had to be ensured everywhere in the province.

Karachi recorded the most cases, 380, in Sindh in the last 24 hours.

The province has registered 579 cases today – more than yesterday’s tally which had topped the infection rate by nearly three months.

Moreover, with 579 new cases, Sindh’s tally increased to 148,922.

The death toll in the province stood at 2,667 after three other patients died from the disease.


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The Karachi District Center requires masks as cases of the coronavirus increase | Instant News

A teacher shows a sign of social distancing at a public school following the government’s announcement to reopen educational institutions starting from September 15 after nearly six months due to COVID-19 in Karachi on September 14, 2020.- INP / Files

The Deputy Commissioner for Central Karachi District, Dr MB Raja Oharejo, on Thursday made the use of masks in confined spaces mandatory as coronavirus cases surged across Pakistan.

The decision was taken based on a recommendation from the National Command and Operations Center, said the deputy commissioner.

“Strict enforcement mandates wearing masks in confined spaces (indoors, public transportation, outdoor crowded settings such as markets and bus stops, and train stations, etc.),” ​​read the notice.

Apart from that, markets, shopping malls, wedding halls, and restaurants, etc. – excluding essential services such as medical shops, clinics and hospitals – have been ordered to close at 10pm.

The notification stated that it was “amused [and] public parks “will be closed at 18.00 every day.

Earlier in the day, Education Minister Sindh Saeed Ghan said the current situation for school closures was unclear.

The provincial minister has said schools have reopened to reduce the education loss suffered by students due to the pandemic. “Given the spike in COVID-19 cases, we don’t know yet if and when schools will close again.”

Karachi recorded 293 coronavirus cases as of Thursday, according to a statement from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

CM Murad revealed 109 cases of coronavirus were recorded in the East Districts, 99 South, 32 Central, 21 Malir, 17 Korangi, and 15 in the West in one day on Wednesday.

Sindh, so far, has recorded 144,765 coronavirus cases, 2,611 deaths and 137,656 recoveries from the pandemic, according to official statistics.

Coronavirus deaths in Sindh increased during October

Meanwhile, Sindh has seen an increase in coronavirus-related deaths in October, the provincial health department said.

At least 24 home deaths have been reported in the past 29 days – an increase of more than 100% from the 10 deaths in September.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, at least 80 people from all over the province died from COVID-19 during October, while 91 people died in September.

Data released by the department shows that men account for 70% of deaths and women 30%.

The COVID-19 surge

Pakistan reported 908 new coronavirus cases on October 28, the highest number of positive cases since July 29. Sindh has reported more than 900 cases and 13 deaths in the past three days.

Positive cases for the country crossed 3% with more than SARS-Cov-2 detected in over 900 samples out of 29,449 tests conducted on 28 October.


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