Coronavirus - 3 March


• Deliberate explosion at Dutch test centre
• US able to offer vaccines to all adults by May
• Japan extends state of emergency in Tokyo
• Isle of Man begins three-week lockdown
• Four US states including Texas remove mask-wearing requirements

World news

• Japan’s government has extended a state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures by two weeks.

• Texas is lifting its mask requirement and will allow businesses to reopen at full capacity next week. Other states, including Michigan, Louisiana, and Mississippi have also ended their mask mandate.

• US President Joe Biden said the US will have enough vaccines for every adult by the end of May, two months earlier than previous expectations. The announcement comes after Merck agreed to produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

• Police in the Netherlands say there has been an explosion outside a Covid-19 test centre. It happened in Bovenkarspel, northeast of the capital Amsterdam. According to the police, the explosive was placed outside the building on a street set aside for testing and was reportedly hidden inside a metal pipe.

• Austria will be given an extra 100,000 Pfizer vaccine doses to administer to all adults in the Schwaz district of the province of Tyrol, which has become a hotspot for the South African virus variant.

• An app developed by The International Air Transport Association to store evidence of a negative test and vaccination details for future travel is due to be trialled in the next couple of weeks on a flight from Singapore to London.

• Schools in some areas of Italy have been ordered to close.The government has also extended travel restrictions inside the country until early April.

• The Isle of Man has begun a three-week lockdown. Under the new measures, people are required to stay at home unless for exercise or essential travel, avoid mixing with other households, and socially distance when outside. Schools are shut to most pupils and non-essential businesses are required to close. All hospitality and leisure venues have also shut, although takeaway and delivery services are still allowed.

• Angola, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda have received their first deliveries of the vaccine from the Covax scheme.

• Portuguese hotels saw their total revenues fall 73% YoY in 2020, according to the Portuguese Hotel Association.

• Slovakia has imposed an overnight curfew from today, with a government decree banning residents from leaving home between 8pm and 5am. The curfew is in place until 19 March but may be extended.

• Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has ruled that only people who have been vaccinated will be allowed to attend the Hajj this year.