Coronavirus - 17 May


• Taiwan imposes new restrictions
• France to reopen outdoor dining from Wednesday
• Dubai eases restrictions on hotels and sporting events
• GSK and Sanofi report strong results in vaccine trials
• 80% of Japanese citizens oppose Olympic Games

World news

• In England & Wales indoor meetings of up to six people, or outdoor meetings of up to 30, are now allowed with indoor hospitality also able to reopen.

• All mainland council areas in Scotland - with the exception of Glasgow and Moray - have moved from level three to level two restrictions, meaning indoor socialising and hospitality can restart.

• Non-essential retail has been allowed to re-open in the Republic of Ireland for the first time since December.

• In the UK footfall on high streets was down by 42%, compared with the equivalent Monday in 2019, 31.2% lower in shopping centres and 5.1% down in retail parks. That means overall footfall to all shopping destinations was 30.5% lower, Springboard data showed.

• Across the UK more than 20m have been fully vaccinated and 36m have had the first dose.

• Some 6,200 people were vaccinated in Bolton at the weekend after surge vaccines were encouraged.

• GSK and Sanofi reported positive results from early vaccine trials that will allow it to enter into late-stage studies within weeks. The vaccine could be on the market by the end of the year.

• Taiwan’s government is shutting down cinemas and entertainment venues until 28 May, while limiting gatherings to five indoors and 10 outdoors.

• France is reopening outdoor terraces of bars and restaurants from 19 May, as well as reopening all shops and pushing back the nightly curfew to 9pm.

• Cyclone Tauktae is moving toward India’s western coast. Vaccination has been suspended in some areas.

• More than 80% of Japanese citizens oppose hosting the Olympic Games this year, a new poll published on Monday showed. The weekend survey by the Asahi Shimbun daily newspaper found 43% of respondents want the Games cancelled, and 40% want a further postponement.

• The Netherlands will ease its lockdown measures this week. Amusement parks and zoos will be allowed to reopen as of Wednesday, while outdoor service at bars and restaurants will be extended by two hours until 8pm.

• Restrictions in Turkey are easing after a 17-day lockdown, during which people were only allowed outside for essential reasons. Now, residents will be allowed to leave their homes during the day, although curfews will remain in place overnight and during weekends.

• The European Medicines Agency said it has recommended extending the storage time for the vaccine developed by Pfizer to 31 days from five days for an unopened vial stored in normal refrigerators at 2°C to 8°C,

• Algeria will reopen its air and land borders on 1 June, but strict measures will be imposed.

• Dubai has eased restrictions, allowing hotels to operate at full capacity and permitting concerts and sports events where all attendees and participants have been vaccinated.

• Saudi Arabia has announced that travellers flying from most countries will no longer need to quarantine if they have been vaccinated.