Coronavirus - 8 March


• 32% of global tourist destinations closed to travellers, UNWTO
• Germany to further ease its lockdown restrictions
• Thailand to reduce quarantine from 14 days to seven in April
• Italy approves AstraZeneca for over 65s

World news

• At the start of February, 32% of global holiday destinations completely closed to tourists, including 30 in Asia Pacific, 15 in Europe and 11 in Africa, According to a report by the UN World Tourism Organization. That is down from the peak in May 2020, when 75% of destinations worldwide were completely shut, but up from November when 27% were closed.

• Data from holiday rental analytics firm AirDNA showed the number of Airbnb listings with at least one night booked or available in the past month in Europe’s 50 largest cities fell 21.9% YoY in 2020.

• Most secondary schools in the UK have started a phased return, with pupils required to take regular Covid tests and wear facemasks in classrooms. Primary schools have opened for all pupils on Monday.

• Germany is further easing its lockdown restrictions, with five people from two households allowed to meet from today. Museums and galleries will also reopen.

• People aged over 65 and other high-risk groups in Moscow are no longer required to self-isolate, and their free travel on public transport has been reinstated today, following months of restrictions.

• Spain's government has cancelled all marches to celebrate International Women’s Day in the capital Madrid.

• Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg has warned that the country is likely to require stronger coronavirus measures following a rise in cases. Non-essential shops and some schools are already closed in and around the capital Oslo, with restaurants only allowed to provide takeaways.

• Italy has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged over 65, the Italian health ministry said today.

• Vietnam has launched its vaccination programme, with healthcare workers first in the queue.

• Thailand will reduce mandatory quarantine from 14 days to seven from April.

• Belgium’s ban on foreign travel has been extended by more than two weeks to 18 April.

Company news

Oil & Gas

 BP – has told office-based staff they will be expected to spend two days per week working from home after lockdown restrictions ease. The new "hybrid" work model will affect 25,000 BP staff, of which 6,000 in the UK.


 El Al Israel Airlines – has today run a test flight from New York where passengers were required to supplement negative PCR tests either with proof that they are immune to the disease or by undergoing rapid antigen testing before boarding.