Corona Virus Covid 19

UNLOCKING THE WORLD
Australia reveals plan to reopen international borders to fully vaccinated citizens
Ben Westcott and Angus Watson, CNN • Updated 1st October 2021


(CNN) — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday, October 1 announced plans to reopen the country's borders to fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents, moving from a strict zero-Covid strategy to a model of living with the virus.
The move -- expected to take effect in November -- comes more than 18 months after Australia closed its borders to the world in response to the pandemic, imposing quotas on arrivals that left thousands of citizens stranded overseas and mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine for those able to make the journey.
Morrison also said that with 55% of the country now fully vaccinated and first dose rates approaching 80%, the government "has been finalizing plans so Australian families can be reunited, Australian workers can travel in and out of our country, and we can work towards welcoming tourists back to our shores."

"Many countries around the world have now safely reopened to international travel and it will shortly be time for Australia to take the next step," he added.

Australia's tough restrictions, combined with localized measures including lockdowns, have helped the country mostly control Covid-19 inside its borders. To date, Australia has reported more than 107,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,311 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
But as states and territories have struggled to contain outbreaks of the highly-contagious Delta variant in recent months, the Australian government said it had been forced to reexamine its zero-Covid approach.
Under the plan outlined by Morrison Friday, Australians and permanent residents would be allowed to quarantine at home -- which would essentially remove the caps limiting the number of people allowed into the country. Those travelers would also only face seven days of quarantine.
The move was "anticipated" to follow the completion of home quarantine trials in two states, Morrison said.
"To reopen safely and to stay safely open, firstly we need home quarantine pilots in New South Wales and South Australia to conclude and be successful so they can role out at scale."
For those not vaccinated with an approved shot, 14 days' quarantine in a government managed facility will still be in place.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration had previously approved four vaccines -- made by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. Morrison said Friday that two more had been added to the list as of Friday -- China's Sinovac and India's Covishield.
"Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated -- for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition -- will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel," a statement from the government added.
Without naming an exact date, Morrison estimated that an 80% fully vaccinated target set by the government as a condition for the border changes to come into effect was likely to be reached sometime in November.
Thousands of Australians have been stranded overseas for months due to the country's tough border conditions, which has led to huge frustration among citizens who felt their country had abandoned them.
Last Christmas, an estimated 39,000 Australian residents were not able to make it back into the country to celebrate the holiday.
While the new border opening will allow them to return, Morrison was less clear on when people who are not citizens or permanent residents will be able to visit the country.
"We will also work towards completely quarantine-free travel for certain countries, such as New Zealand, when it is safe to do so," Morrison said Friday.
But Jennifer Evans, chief executive officer of the National Association of Testing Authorities, said she was waiting to hear how the government planned to handle Covid-19 testing for incoming travelers, given even vaccinated people can carry the disease.
"Right now there's nothing mandated by the federal government. I'm asking that we follow the UK government's example and require accreditation for all labs and facilities doing pre-travel testing," she said in a statement.
"Let's make testing mean something and give Australians confidence in their results."


Australia reveals plan to reopen international borders to fully vaccinated citizens
 
UNLOCKING THE WORLD
Travel to Australia during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go
CNN Staff • Updated 1st October 2021


Australia's tough border controls have worked in its favor during the pandemic.



Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you're fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on October 1.
(CNN) — If you're planning a trip to Australia, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics
As one of the countries to have performed better in the pandemic, Australia's borders are still closed. After murmurs that visitors may be allowed to trickle in by the end of 2021, the government is now suggesting it will be 2022 at the earliest. On May 12, Qantas announced it was canceling international flights (other than to New Zealand) until December 20, 2021. A travel bubble with New Zealand started April 19 -- although on July 22 it was suspended for eight weeks, and has now been paused until the end of the year.

Within Australia, travel from New South Wales is currently paused, and major cities are under lockdown as the country battles the Delta variant which is now taking a grip on a country that until now had been largely unaffected.
However, it's not all about closures. The Australian government has announced that fully vaccinated residents will be allowed to travel out of the country starting in November, facing quarantine on return. The new policy will start with areas holding the highest vaccination rates. Tourists to Australia are not yet allowed.

What's on offer
Are you looking for wild open spaces? World-class beaches? A thrumming food and drinks scene? Australia has all of that in spades. From Uluru to the Sydney Opera House, its icons span the Outback to the cities, sacred spaces to cultural centers. Plus, of course, there's that laidback, beach-driven lifestyle.

Who can go
Only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents, their immediate family, and travelers with exemptions can enter. Those claiming exemptions must apply to the Australia authorities. Transit passengers are allowed, if connecting from the same airport. If your transit includes an overnight, you will be put up at a designated quarantine facility and must remain there until your next flight. You may need a visa for transits of more than eight hours.
The long-awaited "travel bubble" between Australia and New Zealand began April 19 but has now been paused until the end of the year, following the arrival of the Delta variant.
For more information on the bubble, see here.
On June 2, Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted that the travel bubble could be widened out to Pacific islands -- possibly including Fiji. Morrison had also suggested earlier in 2021 that the priority in future would be to allow vaccinated Australians to fly in and out of the country.
Indeed, on September 30, the government announced a first step in the easing of border restrictions. Residents will be allowed to travel outside the country from November, as long as they are fully vaccinated and quarantine on their return.
On June 10, Australia and Singapore held talks about the possibility of starting a travel bubble. However, the Singapore government has suggested that a majority of both states' populations would have to be vaccinated before this begun. As of October 1, just over 44% of the population has been vaccinated.

Entry requirements
All arrivals and transit passengers other than those traveling from New Zealand must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure, before boarding. On arrival, all travelers must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility -- including Australian citizens. This is likely to be at your own expense -- prices depend on the state or territory.
Passengers from some destinations in the Pacific may present a test taken within 96 hours of departure.
The bubble with New Zealand is currently paused till the end of the year, but when it returns, passengers won't be allowed to travel if they had a positive Covid-19 test in the previous 14 days or present flu-like symptoms. They must also have spent the 14 days before departure in either Australia or New Zealand.

Daily reported Covid-19 cases
1633229796041.png




US CDC Travel Advisory:
Level 1: Low. You should be fully vaccinated before traveling. There have been 107,181 cases and 1,311 deaths as of October 1.


Useful links
Covid-19 travel restrictions
Travel exemptions
Travel FAQs



Travel to Australia during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go
 
September 27, 20214:15 PM ISTLast Updated 6 days ago
Asia Pacific

Japan to lift state of emergency in all regions at end of month - NHK
Reuters

2 minute read

People wearing protective masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, make their way at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan, September 9, 2021.   REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


People wearing protective masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, make their way at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan, September 9, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

TOKYO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Japan plans to lift its COVID-19 state of emergency, which covers 19 prefectures, in all of the regions at the end of September, broadcaster NHK reported on Monday.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he discussed easing measures with relevant ministers on Monday, and would seek the views of a government panel of advisers on Tuesday.
"We will make a final decision on the matter based on the advice and discussions we have with the government expert panel tomorrow," he told reporters on Monday evening.
If approved, Japan would be free of such emergency restrictions for the first time in nearly six months.

Current measures require restaurants to close early and refrain from serving alcohol. People have been asked to avoid non-urgent outings and refrain from crossing prefectural borders.
Even when the state of emergency ends, authorities are considering keeping some curbs in place, fearing a spike in infections if the country opens up completely, according to local media.
Tokyo is considering limiting the opening hours of restaurants, for example, and only allowing alcohol to be served at pre-approved eateries, broadcaster NHK reported on Monday.
Japan saw a spike in cases over the summer as it struggled to contain the contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, reaching a record high of 25,000 new daily infections.

However, that number has dropped in recent weeks, and the country recorded just over 2,000 cases on Sunday. Over 57% of the population is now fully vaccinated.
Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Pravin Char

Japan to lift state of emergency in all regions at end of month - NHK
 
Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Tokyo (September 29, 2021)
By U.S. MISSION JAPAN
11 MINUTE READ
SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

States of Emergency to be Lifted as of October 1
The Government of Japan has announced that, effective October 1, the states of emergency currently in place in 19 prefectures and the quasi-states of emergency currently in place in eight prefectures throughout Japan will be lifted. However, local and prefectural governments may maintain certain restrictions, including those curtailing the operations of restaurant/nightlife establishments. U.S. citizens are urged to continue to observe COVID-19 safety measures and to follow CDC and local guidance.

Restrictions for Travel to Japan – Shortened Quarantine for Vaccinated Travelers
Entry ban for most foreigners

The Government of Japan continues to enforce strict travel regulations that bar most non-resident foreigners, including tourists and non-resident business travelers, from entering the country. Japanese citizens and foreign residents with reentry permits are generally allowed to reenter Japan but must comply with strict pre- and post-travel testing requirements and quarantine upon arrival.
U.S. military and SOFA status personnel should speak with their command about upcoming travel, COVID-19 testing, and any restriction of movement (ROM) or quarantine requirements.

Pre-flight PCR test
All travelers inbound to Japan must receive a negative PCR test within 72 hours of flight departure. These tests must be presented in the prescribed format and must comply with very strict requirements. For details, please see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website . Failure to complete the prescribed form as required by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare may result in denied entry to Japan. Travelers arriving without proof of pre-travel COVID-19 testing completed no more than 72 hours in advance of the departure of their international flight may be denied entry into Japan.

Quarantine requirement
The Government of Japan has announced that, as of October 1, the quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers will be reduced to 10 days, subject to a negative PCR or antigen test on the 10th day of quarantine. Travelers who have received two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel are eligible for the reduced quarantine period.
Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include the CDC white card or a vaccine certificate issued by the following jurisdictions: Louisiana, Northern Marianas, New York, Philadelphia, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Washington. Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination for those vaccinated in Japan are the following: vaccine certificate for overseas travel (海外渡航用の新型コロナウイルス感染症 予防接種証明書); vaccine certificate issued by Japanese local authorities (日本の地方公共団体より発行された、新型コロナウイルスワクチン予防接種済証); and vaccine certificate issued by Japanese medical providers (日本の医療機関当により発行された、新型コロナウイルスワクチン接種記録書). For a complete list of acceptable evidence of vaccination, please consult this online site .
For complete information regarding the 10-day quarantine option, please consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare website . Currently, this information is only in Japanese. These websites are subject to change and are updated frequently.
All other travelers remain subject to the full 14-day quarantine period.
Travelers entering Japan are prohibited from using public transportation, including domestic flights, taxis, and rail services for the duration of their applicable quarantine period.
In addition, unvaccinated travelers arriving from certain areas may be required to stay in a government-designated location for the first three days of their quarantine period. Fully vaccinated travelers will be exempt from this enhanced quarantine measure. Travelers should check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website before traveling, as the list of areas requiring enhanced quarantine measures may change with little notice.
Travelers seeking to transit Japan en route to onward international destinations may continue to do so without quarantine if the transit occurs within the same airport and no overnight stay is required.

Important note
These complex regulations are subject to change with little notice. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to intervene on behalf of travelers denied boarding at their point of embarkation or denied entry upon arrival to Japan is extremely limited, and those travelers denied entry at Japanese ports of entry will likely be immediately reboarded on flights back to the United States.

COVID-19 Vaccination Updates in Japan
The Immigration Services Agency of Japan recently issued guidance on vaccination vouchers for foreign nationals living in Japan. For assistance regarding vaccine appointment scheduling, please contact your municipal government offices or the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare’s vaccine call center at 0120-761770.
The U.S. government does not provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Anyone considering traveling to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine should visit the vaccines.gov website for information.
The U.S. Embassy and consulates do not issue certificates for vaccinations, nor are we aware of any entity in Japan that will issue a vaccine certificate for those who received a vaccine overseas. We encourage those who need a vaccination certificate to continue to talk to their local city hall or Ward Office for clarification. When traveling internationally, people who received their vaccine in the United States should travel with their white CDC vaccination card. Those who received their vaccine in Japan and wish to apply for a vaccine certificate should contact their Ward Office for additional information.

COVID-19 Testing for Travel to the United States
All air travelers, including U.S. citizens, to the United States are required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days prior to boarding their flights. Any travelers, including U.S. citizens, who do not show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 will not be permitted to board their flights. A list of some COVID-19 testing facilities can be found on the Embassy website. This list is not comprehensive.
U.S. military and SOFA status travelers should consult with their chains of command prior to commencing travel.
Being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 does not exempt travelers from the requirement to receive a negative PCR test no more than three days before boarding a flight to the United States.

Availability of Consular Services
The U.S. Embassy and consulates throughout Japan are open for routine services, but appointment availability remains limited. To schedule an appointment, visit our website for instructions. If you are renewing your passport, for faster service please renew by mail by following the instructions on our website.


Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Tokyo (September 29, 2021)
By U.S. MISSION JAPAN
11 MINUTE READ

SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

States of Emergency to be Lifted as of October 1
The Government of Japan has announced that, effective October 1, the states of emergency currently in place in 19 prefectures and the quasi-states of emergency currently in place in eight prefectures throughout Japan will be lifted. However, local and prefectural governments may maintain certain restrictions, including those curtailing the operations of restaurant/nightlife establishments. U.S. citizens are urged to continue to observe COVID-19 safety measures and to follow CDC and local guidance.
Restrictions for Travel to Japan – Shortened Quarantine for Vaccinated Travelers
Entry ban for most foreigners

The Government of Japan continues to enforce strict travel regulations that bar most non-resident foreigners, including tourists and non-resident business travelers, from entering the country. Japanese citizens and foreign residents with reentry permits are generally allowed to reenter Japan but must comply with strict pre- and post-travel testing requirements and quarantine upon arrival.
U.S. military and SOFA status personnel should speak with their command about upcoming travel, COVID-19 testing, and any restriction of movement (ROM) or quarantine requirements.
Pre-flight PCR test
All travelers inbound to Japan must receive a negative PCR test within 72 hours of flight departure. These tests must be presented in the prescribed format and must comply with very strict requirements. For details, please see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website . Failure to complete the prescribed form as required by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare may result in denied entry to Japan. Travelers arriving without proof of pre-travel COVID-19 testing completed no more than 72 hours in advance of the departure of their international flight may be denied entry into Japan.
Quarantine requirement
The Government of Japan has announced that, as of October 1, the quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers will be reduced to 10 days, subject to a negative PCR or antigen test on the 10th day of quarantine. Travelers who have received two doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel are eligible for the reduced quarantine period.
Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include the CDC white card or a vaccine certificate issued by the following jurisdictions: Louisiana, Northern Marianas, New York, Philadelphia, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Washington. Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination for those vaccinated in Japan are the following: vaccine certificate for overseas travel (海外渡航用の新型コロナウイルス感染症 予防接種証明書); vaccine certificate issued by Japanese local authorities (日本の地方公共団体より発行された、新型コロナウイルスワクチン予防接種済証); and vaccine certificate issued by Japanese medical providers (日本の医療機関当により発行された、新型コロナウイルスワクチン接種記録書). For a complete list of acceptable evidence of vaccination, please consult this online site .
For complete information regarding the 10-day quarantine option, please consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare website . Currently, this information is only in Japanese. These websites are subject to change and are updated frequently.
All other travelers remain subject to the full 14-day quarantine period.
Travelers entering Japan are prohibited from using public transportation, including domestic flights, taxis, and rail services for the duration of their applicable quarantine period.
In addition, unvaccinated travelers arriving from certain areas may be required to stay in a government-designated location for the first three days of their quarantine period. Fully vaccinated travelers will be exempt from this enhanced quarantine measure. Travelers should check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website before traveling, as the list of areas requiring enhanced quarantine measures may change with little notice.
Travelers seeking to transit Japan en route to onward international destinations may continue to do so without quarantine if the transit occurs within the same airport and no overnight stay is required.
Important note
These complex regulations are subject to change with little notice. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to intervene on behalf of travelers denied boarding at their point of embarkation or denied entry upon arrival to Japan is extremely limited, and those travelers denied entry at Japanese ports of entry will likely be immediately reboarded on flights back to the United States.
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates in Japan
The Immigration Services Agency of Japan recently issued guidance on vaccination vouchers for foreign nationals living in Japan. For assistance regarding vaccine appointment scheduling, please contact your municipal government offices or the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare’s vaccine call center at 0120-761770.
The U.S. government does not provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Anyone considering traveling to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine should visit the vaccines.gov website for information.
The U.S. Embassy and consulates do not issue certificates for vaccinations, nor are we aware of any entity in Japan that will issue a vaccine certificate for those who received a vaccine overseas. We encourage those who need a vaccination certificate to continue to talk to their local city hall or Ward Office for clarification. When traveling internationally, people who received their vaccine in the United States should travel with their white CDC vaccination card. Those who received their vaccine in Japan and wish to apply for a vaccine certificate should contact their Ward Office for additional information.
COVID-19 Testing for Travel to the United States
All air travelers, including U.S. citizens, to the United States are required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days prior to boarding their flights. Any travelers, including U.S. citizens, who do not show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 will not be permitted to board their flights. A list of some COVID-19 testing facilities can be found on the Embassy website. This list is not comprehensive.
U.S. military and SOFA status travelers should consult with their chains of command prior to commencing travel.
Being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 does not exempt travelers from the requirement to receive a negative PCR test no more than three days before boarding a flight to the United States.
Availability of Consular Services
The U.S. Embassy and consulates throughout Japan are open for routine services, but appointment availability remains limited. To schedule an appointment, visit our website for instructions. If you are renewing your passport, for faster service please renew by mail by following the instructions on our website.
 

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I got my Moderna booster last week. I love this vaccine. I will take it every year if it is available. This stuff is good for minor infections. I think having antibodies ready for lung infections is always good for cold season when air gets dry.
 
COVID-19 in China


Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19 in China
Key Information for Travelers to China

  • Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to China.
  • Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in China, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.

Level 1: Low

Level unknown
Learn more about COVID-19 levels.
See all COVID-19 travel notices.

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants.
Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated, there are additional recommendations to follow before, during, and after travel.
Before You Travel Internationally
Make sure to plan ahead:
  • Follow all airline requirements as well as any requirements at your destinationExternal Link, including mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine. Requirements may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
test icon

Testing
RECOMMENDED
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, get tested with a viral test 1–3 days before your trip.
Do NOT travel if…
  • You have been exposed to COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • You are sick.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven't ended isolation.
  • You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
Learn what to do in each of these situations and when it is safe for you to travel if you or your travel companion may have COVID-19.
During Travel
mask icon

Masks
REQUIRED
hands icon

Protect Yourself and Others
RECOMMENDED
  • Follow all recommendations and requirements at your destinationExternal Link, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet (2 meters) apart from anyone who did not travel with you.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

COVID-19 in China - COVID-19 Low - Level 1: COVID-19 Low - Travel Health Notices | Travelers' Health | CDC
 
China has given 75.96% of population complete COVID-19 vaccine doses
Reuters

1 minute read

A staff member gestures to a person to enter a booth to get a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination center, during a government-organized visit, in Beijing, China, April 15, 2021.  REUTERS/Thomas Peter


A staff member gestures to a person to enter a booth to get a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination center, during a government-organized visit, in Beijing, China, April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING, Nov 6 (Reuters) - China had given 1.072 billion people complete COVID-19 vaccine doses by Nov. 5, Mi Feng, spokesman at the National Health Commission, told a briefing on Saturday.
That accounts for 75.96% of the nation's 1.41 billion people, Reuters calculation showed.

A total of 37.97 million people in China had received a booster shot as of Friday, commission official Wu Liangyou said at the briefing.
The commission said in a bulletin that China had administered 2.312 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of Nov. 5, an increase of about 8.9 million from the previous day.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu and David Stanway; Editing by William Mallard

China has given 75.96% of population complete COVID-19 vaccine doses
 
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