Tag Archives: Travel restrictions and advice

The Australian city of Melbourne began its third lockdown due to the cluster | Instant News


Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, is set to initiate its closure of all three due to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 cluster centered on hotel quarantines.

A five-day lockdown will be put in place across the state of Victoria to prevent the spread of the virus from the state capital, said Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.

Only international flights that were already airborne when the lockdown was announced will be allowed to land at Melbourne Airport. Schools and many businesses will be closed. Residents are instructed to stay at home except for sports and for essential purposes.

A population of 6.5 million will be isolated from 11:59 p.m. to the same time on Wednesday due to the British virus variant first detected at a Melbourne Airport hotel which has infected 13 people.

Andrews said the rate of deployment demanded drastic action to avoid a new surge in Melbourne.

“The game has changed. It’s not a 2020 virus. It’s very different. Much faster. It spreads a lot easier, “Andrews told reporters. “I am sure that this sharp, short circuit breaker will be effective. We’ll be able to withstand this. “

Melbourne came out of a 111-day lockdown in October following a new wave of infections that peaked at 725 cases a day. That was largely blamed on lax infection control procedures at two Melbourne hotels in which international travelers were required to be quarantined for 14 days.

At that point, the rest of Australia relaxed restrictions due to the low number of cases following the initial national lockdown.

Several Australian states have imposed border restrictions on travelers from Melbourne. Federal lawmakers on Friday rushed to the state capital Canberra to attend Parliament on Monday fearing that the Australian Capital Territory government would restrict their entry.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt are in Melbourne to inspect the plant for biotechnology company CSL Ltd. where a local version of the AstraZeneca vaccine is being produced.

Morrison said before the lockdown was announced he was confident the state government could handle the cluster.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in myself,” Morrison told reporters. “I just flew in from Sydney today. That’s why I’m here. Business as usual for me is in Melbourne today. “

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Little fun as Italy reopens after the Christmas lockup | Instant News


Most of Italy has been carefully reopening from its pre-Christmas coronavirus shutdown

While many European countries remain under harsh lockdown amid surging infections and variants of COVID-19, five other Italian regions fall into the coveted “yellow” risk category from Monday. That means the museum and Colosseum can reopen, sit-down restaurants and bar services can resume during the day and many high school students can return to part-time classes.

“Finally we can breathe again after a long stay at home,” said waitress Elsafty Rashad as she set up a table outside the La Nonna Betta restaurant in Rome’s Ghetto neighborhood. “Without jobs, staying at home every day is too difficult for us young people who are working, who have to pay rent and whatnot.”

Italy is not out of the woods at all: The country averages about 12,000-15,000 new confirmed cases and 300-600 COVID-19 deaths every day. But it appears to have avoided a severe post-Christmas spike in Britain and elsewhere thanks to tightened restrictions over the holiday that saw ski slopes shut and prevent residents from traveling outside their area for extended family gatherings.

Tuscany, for example, was declared “yellow” last week and on Monday its famous Uffizi Gallery reported that some 7,300 visitors had passed through its doors. Museum director Eike Schmidt said he hopes the government will allow the museum to reopen at the weekend as well although for now, visitors are almost exclusively locals as travel between regions is still restricted.

In Rome, Monday’s “yellow” designation means that the Vatican Museums are welcoming visitors for the first time in 88 days – the longest closing ever. Museum director Barbara Jatta said staff took advantage of the weeks-long closure to rearrange some of the exhibition spaces and that maintenance work would be difficult to complete with nearly 7 million visitors who usually flock to see Michelangelo’s “Final Judgment” and Raphael’s masterpiece each year.

“I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it so empty,” amazed Julia Lammer, a visitor from Austria who said she had been in Rome for several weeks before being able to pick up tickets online to see the Sistine Chapel on the first day it reopened.

Italy, the first country in the West to catch COVID-19, closed its museums in early November during the height of its autumn revival and divided the country into three-tiered risk zones, with the regions setting the most severe restrictions. (red) to least (yellow) based on the level of infection and the health care system’s ability to respond.

Hardest-hit Lombardy was declared a “red zone” as it once again suffered massive numbers of infections and died. But even Lombardy passed to “orange” on Monday, allowing shops to reopen and take-out services in restaurants and bars. However, not all shops are taking advantage, with many still closed on typically slow Monday mornings.

In Rome, where the appointment and reopening of the “yellow” coincided with a few days in the spring, the population was out taking full advantage.

“We can’t wait,” said Giulia Marcelli as she basked in the morning sun. “Look, my first morning here with my dad buying a cappuccino, sitting at the table, outside.”

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Nicole Winfield contributed to this report.

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Brazil’s neighbors have restricted travel to stop the spread of the virus | Instant News


Neighboring Brazil has started to limit international travel amid concerns about the spread of a new coronavirus variant that experts say may be more contagious and fuel a second wave of infections.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Neighboring Brazil has begun to limit international travel amid concerns about the spread of a new coronavirus variant that experts say may be more contagious and fuel a second wave of infections.

The government of Guyana closed its border with South America’s largest country on Friday, two days after Colombia suspended passenger flights to and from Brazil; both countries cite the new variant as their reason. The Argentine government decided to cut the number of flights to Brazil in half from February 1, according to a January 27 report on state news agency Telam. And Peru on January 26 banned air traffic from Brazil; The governor of Peru’s Loreto department bordering Brazil asked the government to close land crossings as well.

The crackdown came as Manaus, the largest city in the Amazon rainforest and the location of a variant outbreak, suffered a brutal second wave of infections. Overflowing hospitals watched this month as their oxygen supplies ran out, leaving dozens of patients dying from asphyxiation. The government has rushed to replenish supplies with an ad hoc plan, but the situation remains touching and family members of the patient are still looking for oxygen cylinders on their own, although fewer than earlier this month.

There is speculation that Manaus may be just the first city to be destroyed by this new virus. Other cities in Brazil’s Amazon region have been destroyed since, including Porto Velho, the capital of the neighboring state of Rondonia. Like Manaus, Porto Velho has started transporting patients to hospitals outside the state. Former Brazilian health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta told the O Globo newspaper on Thursday that the new strain could cause a “mega-epidemic” across Brazil within 60 days.

Alarms are growing, but science hasn’t caught up yet. Viruses keep mutating, and new versions – called variants – appear frequently, almost all of them no more dangerous than previous iterations.

Felipe Naveca, a researcher at the state-owned institute Fiocruz Amazonia in Manaus, said in an interview with The Associated Press this week that the new strain accounted for two-thirds of the 90 samples taken between December and mid-January. Of those taken in January alone, new strains reached 91%. Naveca said it appeared that the variant was more transmissible, based on the frequency with which it was found, and on indications that the British and South African variants had a similar mutation.

Most of the samples his laboratory analyzes come from Manaus, but the new strain has also been found in cities deeper in the Amazon, including Sao Gabriel Cachoeira on the Colombian border.

Sylvain Aldighieri, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization’s health emergencies department, said it was too early to determine whether the variant accelerated the spread of the virus and more genetic sequencing was needed. However, he asked the government to remain vigilant.

Speaking in an interview with the AP on Friday, Guyanese Health Minister Frank Anthony said local private laboratories had said they were equipped to test the new strain. The first 30 days of suspension were carried out with increased border patrols by army and police.

“We don’t have any evidence yet that a new strain of the COVID-19 virus is here, but we are just being careful,” he said.

Anthony acknowledged that the 1,606 kilometer (1,000 mile) border was practically impossible to patrol. Thousands of Guiana and Brazilians use the official Takatu River Bridge to cross into Guyana every day, while others cross several other small rivers that separate the two South American countries for trade, visit relatives, or work. Many from every country live in one country and work in another so crossing is normal for many people.

Officials in Bolivia and Venezuela, which share two of Brazil’s three longest borders, have not announced any changes to restrictions recently.

Jose Gregorio Díaz Mirabal, general coordinator of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon Basin, warned this week that effective barriers have not been implemented.

“There is no guarantee it will not reach the (Brazilian) border with Venezuela, with Colombia, Suriname, Guyana,” said Díaz Mirabal, of the Wakuenai Kurripako ethnicity, in Zoom’s call to reporters. ——— AP author Bert Wilkinson reporting from Georgetown. AP author Melinda Ulloa contributed from Washington, Franklin Briceño from Lima, Almudena Calatrava from Buenos Aires, Regina García Cano from Bogota, and Scott Smith from Caracas.

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The first world parkour championships were postponed again in Japan | Instant News


Posted: Thursday, 28 January 2021 10:54 am
|

Updated: 11:17 am, Thu 28 Jan 2021.

The first world parkour championships were postponed again in Japan

Associated Press |


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Thursday, 28 January 2021 10:54 am.

Updated: 11:17 am.

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The Pompeii Museum comes to life to showcase its amazing finds | Entertainment | Instant News


Pompeii is one of Italy’s top tourist attractions, and when mass tourism finally resumes, admission to the ruins will also include a visit to the Antiquarium.

The museum’s reopening after decades of tribulation is “a sign of great hope during very difficult times,” said Pompeii’s longtime director Massimo Osanna. He was referring to the blow that the pandemic’s travel restrictions have caused on tourism, one of Italy’s biggest sources of income.

On display in the museum’s final chamber is a poignant plaster cast from the remains of several Pompeii residents who tried to escape but were overcome by explosions of volcanic gas or were hit by a shower of lava rock emitted by Vesuvius.

“I found specifically touched the last room, which is dedicated to the eruption, and where on display objects deformed by the heat of the eruption, casts of victims, casts of animals,” said Osanna. “Really, one touch with his hand the incredible drama that the 79 AD eruption”

Most of Pompeii remains to be excavated. While tourism has almost stalled during the pandemic, archaeologists are continuing to work.

A month ago, Osanna revealed the discovery of an ancient fast food restaurant in Pompeii. Once fully excavated, the discovery helped uncover a dish popular among the ancient townspeople who seemed to eat out mostly, including what was on the menu the day Pompeii was destroyed.

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