Coronavirus - 27 September


• Japan to lift state of emergency this month

• New South Wales details its reopening plan

• Applications for Northern Ireland’s £100 high street voucher scheme opens

• UK Government figures show that 66.6% of UK population fully vaccinated

• Thailand to further ease restrictions and allow vaccinated tourists

World news

• Applications for Northern Ireland’s high street voucher scheme have opened today. Everyone aged 18 or over can apply for a £100 “spend local” card to use in shops by the end of November.

• Letters offering vaccination appointments are being sent out to 12 to 15 -year - olds in Scotland.

• In New South Wales movement restrictions in are going to be lifted gradually from 11 October, when the vaccination rate is set to hit 70%, the state premier has announced today.

• NHS England data has shown that waiting lists have grown by 50% in the most deprived parts of England since the start of the pandemic, compared with nearly 35% in the most affluent areas. The data looks at waiting lists from April 2020 to July 2021 (the latest available data) and includes planned hospital treatments such as knee and hip replacements, cataract surgery and other common procedures.

• In total, 500,000 vaccine s have been allocated to the UK in March from Covax, the organisation ensuring fair global access to the vaccine. Covax has largely allocated doses according to population size, but regardless of the vaccination coverage already in place.

• A study published on today by Oxford University showed life expectancy of American men dropping by more than two years compared with 2019, and by more than six months in 22 of the 29 countries analysed.

• Fully vaccinated foreign visitors will be allowed to visit Thailand from November. This will end the mandatory quarantine in Bangkok and nine other regions including Chang Mai and Pattaya, following the reopening of Phuket and Samui islands in pilot schemes earlier in the year

• Thailand will also further ease its restrictions later this week. As of Friday, more businesses including spas and cinemas will reopen in 29 provinces, including the capital Bangkok.
South Korea has announced it will begin vaccinating children aged 12 -17 and offering vaccine booster s to those 75 years and above.

• Japan will lift its state of emergency in all regions at the end of September. The restrictions have included asking restaurants to close early and refrain from serving alcohol. Residents are currently being asked to work from home as much as possible to cut down on travel.

• UK government figures show that 44.7m second vaccines have been given, which works out as just over 66.6% of the UK’s population. Portugal (84%) has the most coverage and other countries to have already passed this figure include Canada (70%), Chile (73%) and Singapore (76%), Italy (67%), Belgium (71%), Ireland (73%) and Spain (77%).