Coronavirus - 25 May


• Austria bans direct flights from the UK
• US CDC advises travellers to avoid Japan
• Taiwan extends its alert level 3
• Vietnam widens its northern lockdown
• Poland launches vaccine lottery prize

World news

• The US CDC has issued its highest Level 4 travel warning for Japan, saying ‘travellers should avoid all travel’.

• Austria bans direct flights from Britain.

• A hospital in Bolton is taking "urgent actions" to manage demand. Yesterday was one of its busiest days ever in its emergency department with 41 inpatients with Covid, including eight in critical care.

• The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 14 May 2021 was 11,556, which was 5% below the five-year average, according to figures from the ONS.

• The ONS has said total trade in goods – which includes imports and exports – with EU countries fell by 23.1% in the first three months of the year, compared with the first quarter of 2018.

• Sri Lanka has extended its ongoing travel ban for another two weeks.

• New Zealand pauses quarantine-free travel with Australian state of Victoria.

• Moderna vaccine stops transmission in people aged 12 to 18, trial finds.

• Madrid regional authorities have said they will allow a friendly football match between Spain and Portugal to be held with the crowd at 30% capacity.

• Vietnam has widened lockdown measures in its industrialised north. Bac Ninh, home to production facilities of Samsung Electronics, started a curfew and other travel restrictions from Tuesday.

• Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has reinstated restrictions. Home gatherings will be limited to five guests, only 30 people are allowed at public meetings, and face masks will be mandatory in restaurants, pubs and other indoor venues.

• Taiwan has extended its level 3 alert until at least 14 June. Restrictions include mandated mask-wearing outside the home and limits gatherings to five indoors and 10 outdoors. Public venues, sporting venues, entertainment and recreation venues are closed, but shops and restaurants remain open with enhanced social distancing and customer registration requirements.

• A number of French influencers and YouTubers say they have been approached by a marketing campaign with the aim of publicising false information about the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine.

• Indian police have visited a Twitter office after the company flagged a tweet criticising the government's handling of the pandemic.

• UK government borrowing fell yoy in April, as parts of the economy reopened after lockdown measures eased. Borrowing was £31.7bn, official figures show, which was £15.6bn lower than April last year.

• Alabama governor signs bill that prohibits 'vaccine passports' in the US state.

• Serbia’s military trade union has objected to the compulsory vaccination of soldiers and threatened legal action against the chief of staff.

• EU leaders have agreed to donate at least 100m vaccines to poorer countries by the end of the year.

• Poland will launch a lottery with prizes of as much as 1m zlotys to encourage people to get vaccinated.