(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
U.S. vacation travelers defy warnings
Millions of Americans seemed to ignore public health warnings and travel before Thanksgiving.
Although there are fewer than last year, people are flocking to airports and highways despite the advice of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, the U.S. Chief Surgeon, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s chief infectious disease expert.
About one million passengers passed through the airport’s security gates on Sunday, the highest since March.
England shortens quarantine through testing
England will introduce a new system on 15 December that will allow passengers from high-risk countries to take a COVID-19 test after five days of quarantine and, if negative, will be released from any further self-isolation.
Airlines and other companies in the travel and tourism industry have been pushing for this system for months as it suffered devastating consequences as a result of a 14-day quarantine rule that deterred people from traveling.
England’s current closure bans most international travel, but when it ends on Dec. 2, people will be free to go abroad, no matter what restrictions are imposed on their territory, Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Tuesday.
Germany will let ten celebrate Christmas together
Germany’s 16 federal states plan to allow gatherings of up to 10 people at Christmas and New Year and ease restrictions on families and friends celebrating together, a draft proposal said Tuesday.
The prime ministers of the states are due to discuss their plans with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday. Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller told ARD television that he was confident that the measures adopted by leaders late on Monday would be adopted.
The prime ministers of two states also said there is widespread agreement to extend a national “lock lamp” until December 20 to allow for family reunions at Christmas.
Australia is opening new borders
Australia will lift several internal border restrictions to boost tourism as new coronavirus infections trickle in, while the first vaccinations will be available in March, a government minister said Tuesday.
A popular holiday destination, the state of Queensland will allow visitors to the country’s two most populous states, New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, next week after it closed its borders in August.
NSW has not reached COVID-19 for a month since then, where the source is unknown and restrictions on Sydney arrivals will be eased on December 1, Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Vaccination of Russia is cheaper than rivals
Russia is charging less for Sputnik V COVID-19 than its competitors, as Moscow aims to produce more than a billion doses at home and abroad next year, the head of the Russian sovereign wealth fund said on Tuesday.
Details of the exact pricing are expected later on Tuesday, but Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund, told Reuters that the price of Sputnik V will be significantly lower than that of other rivals of similar efficiency.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes, edited by Ed Osmond)