Coronavirus - 19 April


• UK retail footfall up 88% last week
• 32.5% of the US adult population fully vaccinated
• Portugal and Switzerland begin to lift restrictions
• Greece lifts traveller quarantine requirements
• UK PM cancels India trip

World news

• Footfall in retail destinations across the UK rose 88% from the previous week, following the reopening of non-essential shops in England and Wales last week, according to the data company Springboard. Overall footfall is now 25% lower than the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

• In the US 50% of all adults have received at least one vaccine dose, the US government announced yesterday; 32.5% have been fully vaccinated.

• Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines for two weeks from 20 April.

• New Delhi is to impose six-day lockdown starting tonight.

• UK PM Boris Johnson has cancelled his planned trip to India.

• The UK High Court will this week consider hospitality leaders’ court challenge arguing there is no justification or scientific basis for hospitality to be kept closed for five weeks, after non-essential retailers in England were allowed to serve customers indoors from 12 April.

• A Greek cargo ship sailing from Egypt has been quarantined in Crete after a sailor was found dead and 10 others tested positive.

• The US has expanded its vaccine eligibility to everyone aged 16 years and above, while those with underlying medical conditions should be among those offered the vaccine first, the CDC has announced.

• Greece has removed its seven-day quarantine requirement for travellers coming from the European Union, the UK, the USA, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Serbia and Israel. Instead of quarantining upon arrival, travellers will have to show documentation proving they have been fully vaccinated, or proof of a negative PCR test administered 72 hours before landing in Greece.

• Portugal began its latest phase of relaxing restrictions today, reopening shopping centres, secondary schools and universities, as well as allowing indoor dining.

• Switzerland has begun relaxing restrictions. Bars and restaurants will be able to reopen outdoor terraces, some university teaching can resume, and gyms and cinemas can open as long as strict safety measures are observed.

• The Isle of Man has begun lifting restrictions. Shops, pubs and cafes have reopened and the mandatory requirement to work from home has been lifted.