Coronavirus LIVE: Latest Updates

2021 brings with a renewed sense of hope. But what does the new strain of the virus mean to the rest of the world?  
Coronavirus LIVE: Latest Updates 20
Photo by: By Mo and Paul / Shutterstock

As international concerns mount over the COVID-19 (or coronavirus) pandemic, the world of travel is keeping close tabs on ongoing developments. After months of stringent airport screenings and border shutdowns, governments around the world are now preparing for mass vaccination programs following encouraging developments on the vaccine front. Across the world, over 96,857,616 people have been infected, as Europe and the U.S.A. are battling a resurgence of infections. India has recorded more than ten million confirmed cases (Johns Hopkins University) and was under coronavirus lockdown from March 25 till June 30, 2020. Curbs on movement and economic activity have been gradually relaxed since. The country has recorded  10,610,883 COVID-19 cases, out of which 192,308 are active cases, as of January 21. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has activated toll-free number (1075) for coronavirus support. Here is the link for a state-wise breakdown of helpline numbers. As nations across the world race to contain the virus, we track the latest updates.

 

January 21, 10 p.m.: Amid rapidly rising infections, the government of Lebanon has extended the nationwide lockdown by two weeks. The country’s health infrastructure is reported to be under immense pressure because of a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases over the past few days. 

 

January 21, 7 p.m.: Authorities will ease some coronavirus measures in Russian capital Moscow as the infection rate has declined steadily over the past few days. Among other restrictions being eased, colleges will be allowed to reopen in full swing.

 

January 21, 4 p.m.: Reports suggest that the European Union states will consider banning travellers from the U.K. to control the spread of the mutant Covid-19 strain. Additionally, movement across the EU’s internal borders will likely be restricted. 

 

January 21, 2 p.m.: The Norwegian government announced today that it will help refinance the country’s budget carrier Norwegian Air. The airline has been forced to ground most of its fleet due to the pandemic.

 

January 21, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,610,883 and the death toll stands at 152,869.

 

January 21, 10 a.m.: In 2020, United Airlines faced losses of 7.1. billion USD, as revenues fell by 64.5 % due to the pandemic. However, the airline is hoping for a partial recovery in 2021 and a return to pre-Covid-19 profit levels by 2023. 

 

January 21, 8 a.m.: Amid concerns over the spread of a mutant Covid-19 strain in Europe, the government of France is likely to make medical grade face masks mandatory in public places. Germany has already made medical masks mandatory on public transport and in shops.

 

January 20, 4 p.m.: The WHO reports that the mutant strain of Covid-19 that was first identified in the U.K. has now been detected in over 60 countries. This strain is believed to be 50-70% more infectious and has prompted governments around the world to impose stricter measures to avoid rapid transmission. 

 

January 20, 2 p.m.: International visitors to Japan dropped by 87% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. An estimated 4.1 million people visited the country last year, the lowest number since 1998.

 

January 20, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,595,660 and the death toll stands at 152,718.

 

January 20, 10 a.m.: As Beijing is facing its worst outbreak of Covid-19 since March 2020, authorities have stepped up restrictions on movement and have announced that all foreigners who arrived after December 10 will be investigated. 

 

January 20, 8 a.m.: The partial lockdown measures in Germany have been extended till February 14. The extension comes despite the steady decline in cases over the past few days, and the government has cited the spread of the more infectious Covid-19 variant in Europe as the reason behind the decision.

 

January 19, 10 p.m.: In light of a sudden spike in infections, a state of coronavirus emergency has been imposed in the Japanese state of Okinawa. The emergency will last till February 7. 

 

January 19, 7 p.m.: Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that the government may extend Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the country beyond February. Though new infections have been declining in the country, there are concerns about the spread of the mutant Covid-19 strain that was identified first in Britain.  

 

January 19, 5 p.m.: Amid surging Covid-19 infections, the Rwandan government has re-imposed tough lockdown restrictions in capital Kigali. All non-essential movement in and out the city has been banned. 

 

January 19, 3 p.m.: Reports suggest that the German government has proposed an extension of the ongoing lockdown measures in the country till February 15. Additionally, face masks will likely be made mandatory on public transport and in shops. 

 

January 19, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,581,837 and the death toll stands at 152,556.

 

January 19, 10 a.m.: The night curfew in Colombian capital Bogota has been extended by two weeks. The entire city will go under a quarantine this weekend, and movement will be restricted.  

 

January 19, 8 a.m.: The reopening of Disneyland Paris has been delayed by almost two months amid tight Covid-19 measures in the country. Initially, the theme park was to reopen on February 13, but will now reopen on April 2. 

 

January 18, 10 p.m.: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced an easing of Covid-19 curbs in the country today, starting January 20. The country was under strict restrictions since January 4, to prevent a spike in cases post the holiday season. 

 

January 18, 7 p.m.: The Australian government announced that even though Covid-19 infections are on the decline in the country, borders are likely to remain closed for most of 2021to avoid the spread of the virus. Australia will begin a coronavirus vaccination drive next month. 

 

January 18, 4 p.m.: Amid rising Covid-19 infections, the government of Malawi announced that lockdown measures will be imposed in the country this week. In the process, the government will be overruling the country’s High Court, which previously banned the government from confining the public to their homes.   

 

January 18, 2 p.m.: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has vowed to go ahead with preparations for the Olympic Games scheduled to be held in July-August 2021 in Tokyo. Over the past few weeks, surveys have revealed that many Japanese citizens and residents are against holding the Olympics as planned given the spike in Covid-19 cases in the country. 

 

January 18, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,571,773 and the death toll stands at 152,419. 

 

January 18, 10 a.m.: Brazilian drug regulator Anvisa has given the approval for emergency use of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine and China’s Sinovac vaccine. Brazil’s vaccination program will begin over the next couple of days, the government has said. 

 

January 18, 8 a.m.: Portugal’s health system is at risk of buckling under the pressure of a surge in Covid-19 infections even as the country is under lockdown. Portugal has the highest per capita infection rate in Europe over the past week with capital Lisbon accounting for most of the new cases being reported.

 

January 17, 10 p.m.: Citing the spread of a highly infectious mutant Covid-19 strain, the Omani government announced that the country’s land borders will be sealed for a period of one week starting January 18. 

 

January 17, 7 p.m.: The U.A.E. reported a record daily increase in Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. This was the fifth consecutive day that the record has been breached, as 3,453 new cases were registered.  

 

January 17, 4 p.m.:  Reports suggest that Ireland will remain under tough lockdown restrictions for the time being as the country battles a third wave of infections. It is likely that the hospitality establishments will remain closed till April.

 

January 17, 2 p.m.: The Austrian government announced the lockdown in the country will be extended by two weeks till February 7.

 

January 17, 12 p.m.:  According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,557,985 and the death toll stands at 152,274. 

 

January 17, 10 a.m.: The Singaporean government announced that all foreign travellers and returning Singaporean citizens will be required to undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR test on arrival starting January 25. Additionally, short-term tourists are required to have travel insurance to cover the cost of Covid-19 treatment. 

 

January 17, 8 a.m.: Brazil reported more than 1000 deaths over the past 24 hours marking the  fifth consecutive day that the milestone has been breached. The country is the third worst-affected in the world in terms of Covid-19 infections, after the U.S.A. and India.

 

January 16, 10 p.m.: Starting January 27, flights from Moscow to the capitals of Finland, Vietnam, India and Qatar will resume, Russian authorities announced today. Flights between Russia and these four countries have been suspended since the early months of the pandemic in 2020. 

 

January 16, 8 p.m.: The Pakistan government has approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University for emergency use. This is the first vaccine to receive the regulator’s nod in the country.  

 

January 16, 6 p.m.: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has imposed tougher lockdown restrictions in Scotland starting today. The country is witnessing a spike in cases driven by the spread of the mutant coronavirus over the past few days.  

 

January 16, 3 p.m.: The Azerbaijani government announced that starting February, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to reopen, but other Covid-19 restrictions will be extended till April. 

 

January 16, 12 p.m.: According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre the number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths reported all over the world has crossed the 2 million mark. The U.S.A. has recorded the highest death toll of more than 390,000. 

 

January 16, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,542,841 and the death toll stands at 152,093. Today, the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination program will kick off in India, and frontline workers, health workers and senior citizens will receive the vaccine first.

 

January 16, 8 a.m.: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country’s borders will be tightened in order to control the spread of the coronavirus. All foreign arrivals will have to quarantine on arrival, and produce proof of having tested negative for Covid-19 on arrival. 

 

January 15, 11 p.m.: Portugal entered a new coronavirus lockdown today, during which shops will remain closed, but schools will be allowed to function. Portugal recorded its highest ever daily Covid-19 death toll over the past 24 hours, reporting 159 deaths. 

 

January 15, 9 p.m.: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the curfew in the country will be extended till March 5, and inter-provincial travel will be banned till February 15, in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. 

 

January 15, 7 p.m.: Reports suggest that coronavirus restrictions in Germany could be tightened even further as the number of confirmed cases has passed the 2 million mark.

 

January 15, 5 p.m.: The French government announced that starting January 18, non-EU travellers coming to the country will not be granted entry based on antigen or lateral flow Covid-19 tests. Antigen or lateral flow tests are currently being used frequently by travellers as they deliver a result quickly.

 

January 15, 2.30 p.m.: The Philippines government extended the ban on travellers from more than 30 countries, by two weeks. The list comprises countries where the new variant of Covid-19 has been detected, and includes Japan, Australia, China and the U.S.A.

 

January 15, 12 p.m.: A shortage of oxygen cylinders has prompted authorities in Brazil’s Amazonas state to impose an immediate coronavirus curfew for ten days. The state’s medical infrastructure has been under immense pressure amid rapidly rising infections.  

 

January 15, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,527,683 and the death toll stands at 151,918.

 

January 15, 8 a.m.: French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the coronavirus curfew that is currently in effect in parts of Eastern France will be extended to the entire country starting tomorrow. He also said that the government may impose a lockdown in the days to come, if the infection rate worsens.   

 

January 14, 10 p.m.: The U.K. government has banned travellers from Portugal and South America, citing concerns about a new variant of the coronavirus spreading in these countries. The travel ban will come into effect tomorrow.

 

January 14, 7 p.m.: Japanese Cabinet Minister Taro Kono said today that the Olympics might not go ahead in the summer this year as is currently planned. The statement comes amid a surge of Covid-19 infections in Japan. 

 

January 14, 4 p.m.: Authorities in Moscow announced that while schools will be allowed to reopen, all other coronavirus restrictions in the city will be extended till January 21. 

 

January 14, 2 p.m.: Today, Lebanon has entered an 11-day coronavirus lockdown, during which land and sea borders are to remain shut. Additionally, a 24-hour curfew will be in place for the duration of the lockdown.

 

January 14, 12 p.m.: China reported its first domestic Covid-19 death since May 2020, and recorded its highest daily increase in infections in the last ten months, over the past 24 hours. Authorities are battling a resurgence in cases and have imposed lockdowns in some affected cities. 

 

January 14, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,512,093 and the death toll stands at 151,727.

 

January 14, 8 a.m.: Colombian President Ivan Duque announced that existing coronavirus measures in the country will be extended till the end of February. After more than five months of strict lockdown, restrictions were relaxed in September 2020, to what the government has called ‘selective quarantine’ measures. 

 

January 13, 10 p.m.: Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced today that the lockdown measures in the country will be extended by three weeks till February 7. The existing lockdown is supposed to expire on January 17. 

 

January 13, 7 p.m.: The Italian government announced a partial reopening of the country’s museums starting January 16. However, other anti-coronavirus measures like a ban on inter-provincial travel are set to be extended.  

 

January 13, 4 p.m.: China reported its highest daily increase in coronavirus infections since July, over the past 24 hours. Authorities have tightened coronavirus restrictions in affected provinces like Hebei, and ordered lockdowns in a handful of cities to bring the infection rate under control. 

 

January 13, 2 p.m.: The President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizing committee has said that it is “absolutely impossible” to delay the Olympic Games any further. Surveys have revealed that a majority of the Japanese population doesn’t want the Olympics to go ahead this summer, given the surge in infections in the country over the past few weeks.

 

January 13, 12 p.m.: Starting January 26, most international travellers arriving in the U.S.A. will be required to test negative for Covid-19 before departure. Previously, the government only required travellers from the U.K. to test negative before flying, but testing requirements have been expanded to prevent further transmission of the virus in the U.S.A. 

 

January 13, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,495,147 and the death toll stands at 151,529.

 

January 13, 8 a.m.: The Pacific island nation of Micronesia recorded its first confirmed Covid-19 infection yesterday in a crew member onboard an arriving ship. The country was one of the few countries in the world to escape the spread of the coronavirus thus far. 

 

January 12, 10 p.m.: Reports suggest that the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to extend the nationwide coronavirus lockdown by three weeks. The number of new infections has fallen over the past two weeks, and authorities believe that the drop in numbers is due to lockdown restrictions imposed in the country in December.   

 

January 12, 7 p.m.: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that tough lockdown restrictions in Germany could be extended by eight to ten weeks if the infection rate is not brought under control. Germany has been under lockdown since November 2, and restrictions have been gradually tightened since.  

 

January 12, 4 p.m.: After parts of Beijing were put under lockdown earlier this week, authorities announced that the city of Langfang, home to 4.9 million residents will also be put under lockdown restrictions after a spike in cases.  

 

January 12, 2 p.m.: The Malaysian King has announced a state of coronavirus emergency in the country today, which will be in effect till August 1. As coronavirus infections rise in the country, restrictions on public life and movement will be ramped up in some regions of the country.

 

January 12, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,479,179 and the death toll stands at 151,327.

 

January 12, 10 a.m.: The New Zealand government announced that most incoming international travellers will be required to produce proof of having tested negative for Covid-19 before departure, in light of the mutant Covid-19 strains spreading across the world. 

 

January 12, 8 a.m.: In the first incident of its kind, two gorillas in the San Diego zoo have tested positive for the coronavirus, while some others are also exhibiting symptoms. Authorities believe that a member of the park’s wildlife care team might have passed on the infection to the primates.

 

January 11, 10 p.m.: According to statistics released by the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre, Ireland currently has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the world. The country has reported more than 10,000 infections per million people over the past week.

 

January 11, 8 p.m.: The Lebanese government is considering tightening Covid-19 restrictions to battle a surge in infections over the past few days. The country is already under a lockdown following a spike in cases post the holiday season.

 

January 11, 6.30 p.m.: The Malaysian Prime Minister Muhiyiddin Yassin announced that coronavirus restrictions will be ramped up in capital Kuala Lumpur and the five states of Melaka, Johor, Penang, Selangor and Sabah to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

 

January 11, 5 p.m.: In an attempt to bring a coronavirus outbreak in Beijing under control, Chinese authorities have put over half a million residents of the capital under lockdown

 

January 11, 3 p.m.: Reports suggest that the Japanese government is likely to extend the coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo to Kyoto, Hyogo and Osaka amid rising coronavirus infections over the past few days.

 

January 11, 12 p.m.: According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections across the world has crossed 90 million. The U.S.A. is the worst-affected country, having recorded more than 22 million cases alone. 

 

January 11, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,466,595 and the death toll stands at 151,160.

 

January 11, 8 a.m.: The Japanese government has detected a mutant coronavirus in four travellers from Brazil. This variant of the virus is different from the other strains thought to have originated in the U.K. and South Africa respectively. 

 

January 10, 8 p.m.: The Guardian reports that a three-week long curfew has begun today in Cyprus in an attempt to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The country has reported an explosive rise in cases over the past month. 

 

January 10, 6 p.m.: South Africa is currently struggling with a second wave of coronavirus infections, spurred on by the rapid spread of a more infectious mutant strain of the virus. Health experts believe that the country will witness a third, and possibly a fourth wave of cases in the near future. 

 

January 10, 3 p.m.: In anticipation of the Chinese New Year, the Vitnamese government announced that inbound international flights will be limited till mid-February, when the celebrations are supposed to end. Only necessary flights approved by government ministries will be allowed during this period.

 

January 10, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,450,284 and the death toll stands at 150,999.

 

January 10, 10 a.m.: The Canadian province of Quebec has entered a four-week long curfew starting today, to prevent the spread of the virus. This is the first instance of a curfew being imposed in Canada because of the coronavirus. 

 

January 10, 8 a.m.: As coronavirus infections continue to rise in Cuba, authorities announced that inter-provincial travel and cultural activities will be suspended. Health experts believe that the spike in cases is driven by foreign visitors partying on and around New Year’s Eve.

 

January 9, 9 p.m.: The Indian government announced that mass Covid-19 vaccinations will begin in the country starting January 16. Doctors and frontline workers will receive the vaccine first, followed by citizens over 50 years of age, and citizens under 50 with co-morbidities.

 

January 9, 6 p.m.: Ahead of the Lunar New Year, the Chinese government has tightened coronavirus restrictions in the two cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai to mitigate coronavirus outbreaks detected in the cities over the past few days. 

 

January 9, 4 p.m.: The Australian government announced that all incoming arrivals will have to show proof of having tested negative for Covid-19 before flying, and that face masks will be mandatory on flights. Additionally, the cap on international arrivals is likely to be reduced even further starting next month.

 

January 9, 2 p.m.: Following the declaration of a coronavirus emergency in Tokyo, authorities in Osaka and surrounding prefectures have appealed to the government to declare a state of emergency in the country’s western cities to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

January 9, 12 p.m.: The U.S.A recorded more than 300,000 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours. The country continues to report high number of coronavirus-related deaths too, recording more than 4,000 deaths a couple days ago. 

 

January 9, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,431,639 and the death toll stands at 150,798.

 

January 9, 8 a.m.: Visitors to the world’s largest museum the Louvre fell by 70% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The drop in visitors corresponded to a loss of 90 million Euros in revenue.

 

January 8, 10 p.m.: A coronavirus state of emergency has been declared in London by Mayor Sadiq Khan. The city is currently struggling with a rise in number of infections and hospitalizations over the past few days. 

 

January 8, 8 p.m.: The Danish Health Ministry announced that it will roll out a digital ‘vaccine passport’ soon, which would enable vaccinated citizens to travel to countries that require documentary proof of being vaccinated. 

 

January 8, 6 p.m.: Cyprus will enter a new lockdown from January 10 as it battles a surge in cases, the government announced today. This will be the second nationwide lockdown in the country since the start of the pandemic. 

 

January 8, 4 p.m.: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a set of new rules for travellers returning to Delhi from the U.K. today. All arrivals will be tested for Covid-19 and those testing positive will have to undergo institutional quarantine. Those who test negative will have to undergo institutional quarantine for seven days followed by seven days of home quarantine. 

 

January 8, 2 p.m.: In an interview with the BBC, International Olympic Committee official Dick Pound said that he is unsure of whether the Olympic Games will take place in the summer of 2021 as is currently planned. The statement came just after a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo yesterday amid rising infections. The postponed 2020 Olympic Games are scheduled to be held between July 23 – August 8.

 

January 8, 12 p.m.: The British government announced that all international travellers coming to the country will be required to produce a negative Covid-19 result before departure. This measure will come into effect starting next week. 

 

January 8, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,413,417 and the death toll stands at 150,570.

 

January 8, 8 a.m.: French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that the French border with the U.K. will remain closed for the near future. The border was closed in December to prevent the spread of the mutant strain of the coronavirus in France.

 

January 7, 10 p.m.: The WHO Director for the European region, Hans Kluge, said today that the coronavirus is at a tipping point in Europe. The region has recorded more than 58,000 coronavirus-related deaths in 2020, and there are fears that the situation will worsen in the days to come because of the mutant strain that is spreading rapidly through the region. 

 

January 7, 8 p.m.: A 25-day nationwide lockdown began in Lebanon today as coronavirus infections continue to rise. Due to the rapid spread of the virus, the country’s health infrastructure has come under immense pressure over the past few days. 

 

January 7, 6 p.m.: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency in the Greater Tokyo region today. The emergency will remain in place till February 7, he said. 

 

January 7, 4 p.m.: The Guardian reports that the pandemic led to a slump of 65% in tourism revenue in Tunisia in 2020, as compared to 2019. It is estimated that the industry was hit by a loss of 749 million USD as the number of foreign visitors fell by 78%.

 

January 7, 2 p.m.: The U.S.A. reported its highest ever coronavirus-related daily death toll over the past 24 hours. With 3,865 confirmed deaths, yesterday marked the fifth day in the past three weeks that more than 3,500 people have died because of Covid-19 in the country.

 

January 7, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,395,278 and the death toll stands at 150,336.

 

January 7, 10 a.m.: Amid record daily increases in Covid-19 infections in Japan and Tokyo, a state of emergency will be declared in the Greater Tokyo area today by the government.

 

January 7, 8 a.m.: The Potuguese government extended the state of emergency in the country as infections continue to surge. The country reported a record increase of 10,027 new infections over the past 24 hours. 

 

January 6, 10 p.m.: The European Union’s drug regulator has approved the emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by American firm Moderna. The EU has already approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. 

 

January 6, 8 p.m.: The Indian government announced that a second vaccination dry run will be conducted across all states of the country on January 8. The government is expected to start mass vaccinations soon, and has already approved two vaccines manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech respectively, for emergency use. 

 

January 6, 6 p.m.: The Danish government announced that visitors from South Africa will be barred from entering Denmark to prevent the spread of the mutant strain of the coronavirus that has been detected in South Africa.

 

January 6, 4 p.m.: As Japan reported a record daily increase in infections over the past 24 hours, the government is expected to declare a coronavirus state of emergency in capital Tokyo on Thursday. 

 

January 6, 2 p.m.: Given the worsening Covid-19 situation in Los Angeles, the Grammy Awards have been postponed from January 31 to March 14.

 

January 6, 12 p.m.: Authorities have imposed stricter anti-coronavirus measures in China’s Hebei province near Beijing. The province accounted for 20 of the 23 new domestically transmitted infections reported in China over the past 24 hours.

 

January 6, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,374,932 and the death toll stands at 150,114. 

 

January 6, 8 a.m.: The first quarantine-free flight between New Zealand and Australia is set to arrive at Brisbane from Auckland tomorrow. However, travellers from Australia will be required to quarantine for two weeks after landing in New Zealand. A ‘Trans-Tasman’ air bubble between the two countries has been in consideration for a few months.

 

January 5, 10 p.m.: The Indian Express reports that the number of flights from India to the U.K. will be reduced by half, from 60 to 30 per week, in light of the mutant strain of the virus. Additionally, all travellers from the U.K. must now undergo a Covid-19 test on arrival too, apart from producing a Covid-19 negative test result before flying, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced. 

 

January 5, 8 p.m.: The Vietnamese government has decided to suspend inbound passengers flights from countries where the mutant Covid-19 strain has been detected. While flights from the U.K. and South Africa have been banned already, authorities have been instructed to put together a list of other countries which will be covered under the suspension. 

 

January 5, 6 p.m.: The Hungarian government announced that it will lift the ban on flights from the U.K. starting tomorrow. Hungary, like many other countries had banned flights from the U.K. due to the mutant strain of the virus that is spreading across England. 

 

January 5, 4 p.m.: Reports suggest that the Danish government is likely to impose further restrictions in the days to come to prevent the spread of the mutant strain coronavirus which is more infectious. 

 

January 5, 2 p.m.: The Italian government announced that coronavirus curbs which were due to expire on Thursday will be retained for the coming weekend to keep infections under check. However, some restrictions will be relaxed next week.

 

January 5, 12 p.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,356,844 and the death toll stands at 149,850. 

 

January 5, 10 a.m.: The Guardian reports that Samoa will restrict entry to foreign travellers who have transited through a list of 13 countries including Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Canada. The country recorded its first case of coronavirus in November 2020, but has since banned entry for travellers from the U.K. and South Africa over concerns about the mutant strain of the virus. 

 

January 5, 8 a.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will enter a full lockdown starting today, to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This will be England’s third nationwide lockdown. 

 

January 4, 10 p.m.: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that a full lockdown will be imposed in Scotland starting midnight today to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The lockdown will remain in place for the month of January. 

 

January 4, 8 p.m.: Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawala said today that the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine approved by the government will cost between Rs 219 and Rs. 292 per shot to the government. Additionally, the vaccine will likely cost between Rs. 438 to Rs. 534 in the private market.

 

January 4, 6 p.m.: Reports suggest that the coronavirus lockdown in Germany might be extended till January 31. Germany has been in its second nationwide lockdown since December 16. 

 

January 4, 4 p.m.: Authorities in Beijing announced that foreign travellers will have to quarantine for a period of 21 days to prevent imported coronavirus infections. Previously, international arrivals were required to quarantine for two weeks. 

 

January 4, 2.30 p.m.: Singapore Education Minister Lawrence Wong announced that the government might relax stay at home measures for vaccinated travellers arriving in Singapore, if the vaccines are found to be effective against the virus. He also said that the government is currently monitoring the effectiveness of vaccination against Covid-19, but vaccinated travellers will face the same border restrictions as non-vaccinated travellers for the time being. 

 

January 4, 12 p.m.: Amid a spike in coronavirus infections the South Korean government has extended a ban on private gatherings of more than four people across the nation. Additionally, strict social distancing rules are to be enforced in capital Seoul. 

 

January 4, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in India is 10,340,469 and the death toll stands at 149,649. 

 

January 4, 8 a.m.: To protect against the transmission of the mutant Covid-19 strain, the New Zealand government will require travellers from the U.S.A. and the U.K. to test negative for the coronavirus before departure. Six cases of the mutant strain have been detected in foreign arrivals to New Zealand so far. 

 

January 3, 10. 30 p.m.: The Indian drug regulator formally approved two Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use today. The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine will soon be administered to health workers and frontline workers. 

 

To read and subscribe to our magazine, head to our web forum here or our new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

Psst. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox?