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Coronavirus Global Update


Daily updates on the coronavirus and its impact on health, business and travel around the world.

Daily updates on the coronavirus and its impact on health, business and travel around the world.


United Kingdom




Daily updates on the coronavirus and its impact on health, business and travel around the world.




Scientists breakthrough on AstraZenica vaccine

Discovery of link to rare blood clots. Also: Pfizer to roll out vaccine which can be stored in a fridge and South Africa sees a surge in Omicron cases.


Governments tighten travel rules

Governments brings in restrictions despite WHO warnings. Also: Fiji opens up to tourists after 600 days and the UK PM is accused of having party during last year’s lockdown.


Confusion over Omicron variant

Concern varies over vaccine effectiveness for Omicron. Also: the UK introduces new restrictions and Greece will fine unvaccinated pensioners


WHO warns new variant poses a very high global risk

As the Omicron variant spreads, borders close and health leaders call for action. Also: a couple are arrested in the Netherlands for fleeing a quarantine hotel, and a three day vaccine blitz begins in the Philippines.


Israel imposes travel ban

Israel bans foreigners coming in as it tries to limit the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Also, England brings back mandatory face coverings in shops and public transport. And Moderna says it needs a fortnight to know if its vaccine will work against Omicron.


European countries check Omicron cases

The mutated virus has been listed as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation. Also, South Africa says it is being punished for detecting the new variant, and airlines want the EU to extend Covid passport validity to 12 months.


WHO meets to consider new variant found in southern Africa

Experts in Geneva will decide if it should be designated a variant of concern. Also, South Africa has expressed disappointment after several countries imposed travel bans, and stock markets have fallen in reaction to news of the discovery.


Scientists discover new coronavirus variant

A new strain with a high number of mutations is being investigated. Also, countries in Central Europe struggle to respond to a surge in Covid cases, and Pfizer accuses an employee of stealing confidential documents on its vaccine.


New Zealand to reopen to vaccinated citizens

The move eases strict curbs that have locked out many citizens and tourists since borders were shut at the start of the Covid pandemic. Also, South Korea considers the introduction of new emergency measures around Seoul, and more teenagers in Kenya and Rwanda receive vaccines.


US travel warning for European countries

The US State Department warning comes amid increasing Covid infection rates. Also, France appeals for calm in Guadeloupe following unrest over Covid restrictions, and AstraZeneca is to unveil a 1.3 billion dollar research facility in the UK.


WHO condemns the world's failure to act together to end the pandemic

The WHO is warning that progress the world is making is too slow. Also: Austria re-enters Covid lockdown as Europe battles a surge, and Australia to ease its border ban on some foreign citizens.


A second night of rioting in the Netherlands

Nearly 30 are arrested over further rioting in the Netherlands. Also: a review into potential racial bias in the design of medical devices, and Britain puts its faith in booster jabs.


The Dutch justice minister condemns rioting in Rotterdam

Ferd Grapperhaus said the police faced extreme violence. Also: the WHO calls for a debate on compulsory vaccination, and Vietnam welcomes its first foreign tourists in nearly two years.


Austria announces general lockdown

New restrictions imposed by Vienna include a vaccine mandate. Also, Japan approves a multi-billion dollar Covid relief stimulus package. And a British doctor calls for health workers to receive better care.


Germany's parliament approves stricter Covid restrictions

The move comes as more than 65,000 infections are registered. Also; studies find that mask-wearing is the most effective non-pharmaceutical way to tackle the spread of Covid-19, and the election in Tonga sees many citizens unable to vote because of travel restrictions.


US hopes COVID-19 could be reduced to endemic illness early next year

Dr Anthony Fauci believes an increase in vaccination rates could lessen its impact. Also: The UK Health Security Agency has warned of a "hidden pandemic" of antibiotic-resistant infections if people don't act responsibly when all Covid restrictions end, and New York's Times Square will be open for revellers on New Years Eve if they've been vaccinated.


Low-cost access to Pfizer's Covid pill

Pfizer is sharing the licence to its antiviral pill but not to its vaccine. The medicine is yet to be approved in the US. Also: the Dutch government lodges a police complaint against a provider of Covid tests and vaccination certificates. And Austrians react to the lockdown for 2 million unvaccinated people.


The UK extends boosters to 40-year-olds

UK extends second vaccines to 16 & 17 year-olds. Also Austria imposes a lockdown on unvaccinated people; and Germans prepare to work from home.


Lockdown for unvaccinated people in Austria

The Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg says the step is "necessary". Also: three people die in a fire at a covid hospital ward in Bulgaria and Cambodia relaxes quarantine for immunised visitors.


WHO criticises global vaccine gap

Booster shots in rich nations six times the number of primary doses in poor countries. Also: Tough restrictions come into force in the Netherlands after surge in cases; Japan to boost hospital bed capacity; and is the office Christmas party likely to be a superspreader event?