Coronavirus - 12 October


• Thailand to reopen to tourists in November

• UK travel red list cut down to just seven countries

• Cases of severe depression increased globally by 53m in 2020

• Heathrow passengers down 38% from pre-pandemic levels

• Singapore to allow quarantine-free travel from the UK

World news

• The number of countries on the UK travel red list has been cut from 54 to seven, being Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

• NHS figures show there are about 39,000 vacancies for registered nurses in England, with 10% of nursing posts unfilled on acute wards in London and 20% of nursing posts empty on mental health wards in the South East.

• Sydney’s lockdown has ended. Residents can now dine at cafes and restaurants as well as visiting gyms, libraries, and pools. Canberra is due to exit lockdown on Friday, while Melbourne may reopen in late October.

• In Wales, NHS Covid -19 passes are compulsory for anyone over 18 in order to legally attend large events or nightclubs.

• An antibody therapy is being developed by AstraZeneca that can reduce the chances of high -risk people developing severe and life -threating infections, according to clinical trial results. The drug, called AZD7442 (given as an injection) showed a single dose cut the risk of severe infection by 50%, compared with a placebo.

• Heathrow's passenger numbers last month were at 38% of pre -pandemic levels. The airport has announced that 2.6m people travelled through the west London airport in September, compared with 6.8m during the same month in 2019.

• The latest Royal Bank of Scotland PMI suggests Scottish firms raised prices last month at the sharpest rate since at least 1999.

• Merck is seeking emergency approval for an oral treatment for mild to moderate Covid -19, in adults

• In Rome, protesters against the compulsory health pass forced their way past riot police into the headquarters of Italy’s biggest trade union, CGIL, on Saturday.

• The US CDC says that 187m people in the US are fully vaccinated.

• Thailand is to re-open its borders to vaccinated tourists on 1 November.

• Researchers from the University of Queensland have found that cases of anxiety and depression around the world increased in 2020 ; with an estimated 76m extra cases of anxiety and 53m extra cases of major depressive disorder s than would have been expected, had the pandemic not struck

• Singapore’s transport minister has said the country will allow quarantine -free entry to vaccinated travellers from Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Canada and the US.

• Hospitality venues in Greece are now allowed to serve vaccinated customers indoors without social distancing measures.

• In England, two million people have now received the booster vaccine.