US officials are hoping to reopen travel between New York City and London by Christmas, with shortened quarantine periods.
With a growing availability of Covid-19 tests, officials at the US Transportation Department, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies are hoping to revive travel corridors with key international destinations, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A Homeland Security official said the agency’s work to “safely encourage trans-Atlantic travel while mitigating public-health risks” was in its early stages. The US is reportedly in talks with Germany about a possible travel corridor, as well.
Last week, the Telegraph reported that passengers using two of the world’s biggest airlines – United Airlines and Cathay Pacific – travelling through London Heathrow will be the first to test a new ‘All Clear Covid Passports’.
The volunteer passengers will upload their coronavirus test results from a validated laboratory onto a digital health pass up to 72 hours before departure. If the trials of the scheme are successful, it will allow passengers to reduce their time in quarantine in line with the self-isolation regulations and health requirements in whichever country they arrive.
Scroll down for more updates.
32 new Covid-19 deaths recorded in England
A further 32 people, who tested positive for Covid-19 have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 30,471, NHS England have said.
Patients were aged between 54 and 100 years old. All but one (aged 65) had known underlying health conditions.
The best options for a last-minute half-term escape
Missed out on a family holiday this year? You couldn’t make the most of the lockdown sunshine; your summer trip to the Med was cancelled; your staycation break was blown away by the August gales. Now schools are back, so you have one last chance for a rewarding trip for all – the autumn half term.
At the best of times you have to be selective about your destination – late October is a tricky time weather-wise. And the current Covid world of quarantine and cancellations and the unpredictability of the “air corridor” arrangements is going to make things even more complicated. You are going to have to tread very carefully and be prepared for last-minute changes. But don’t give up.
We’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the uncertainties and maximise your chances of getting away – whether you’re determined to find sunshine or just want a good dose of culture on a city break.
Discover the most likely destinations to be a safe bet this half-term.
Spanish regions get tighter restrictions as cases rise
The Spanish regions of Catalonia and Navarre will bring in new restrictions on working and public gatherings after worrying rises in Covid-19 cases, authorities said on Sunday.
Josep Maria Argimon, the Catalan health secretary, asked companies to tell employees to work from home for the next 15 days.
“Without establishing measures, we could reach the situation in Madrid in two or three weeks,” Mr Argimon told RAC1 radio station.
“But we will not reach the situation in Madrid, because we are going to take mandatory measures that will be announced this week.”
Madrid, where a state of emergency was imposed on Friday to halt soaring infection rates, is one of Europe’s Covid-19 hotspots.
Catalonia reported 2,360 Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths in the past 24 hours, health authorities said on Sunday.
In Navarre, which has a population of 650,000, regional leader Maria Chivite announced new restrictions after 463 coronavirus cases were reported on Sunday, the highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic.
From Tuesday, meetings will be limited to six people, bars and restaurants must close at 10 pm and their capacity will be limited to 50 per cent, while the capacity in children’s parks will cut to 30 per cent.
Prince William says we must act in this decade to save the planet
His grandmother has ceremonially planted more than anyone else on earth; his father famously talks to them.
The Duke of Cambridge has now fully embraced his family’s love of trees, it appears, as he delivers a landmark TED talk from beneath the boughs of a Windsor Castle oak which could date back to William the Conqueror.
The Duke, who this week launched his Earthshot Prize alongside Sir David Attenborough, to provide £50million towards initiatives saving the planet, told his online audience the tree had “never faced a decade like this” in its centuries of life, with the “stark facts” of climate change now “irrefutable”.
“Over my Grandmother’s lifetime, the last 90 years or so, our impact has accelerated so fast that our climate, oceans, air, nature and all that depends on them are in peril,” he said.
“If we do not act in this decade, the damage that we have done will be irreversible and the effects felt not just by future generations, but by all of us alive today.
Read the full report here.
Coronavirus cases tracker
Wondering where Covid-19 cases are highest, across the world?
Check out our map.
Fresh hopes for Asian-Pacific travel corridors as talks restart
Australia has opened talks with South Korea, Singapore, Japan and other South Pacific nations in the hope of reopening travel between the countries, as Covid-19 cases ease.
Australia’s borders have been shut since March, after the country imposed one of the world’s strictest border closures to slow the spread of the virus.
Now, however, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is looking to revive tourism to pull the country out of its first recession in three decades.
“There are a number of countries that have performed well on the health front, and Australia and those countries […] have had the same level of success,” Morrison said at a televised media conference.
Australia has contained the outbreak better than other countries. It has recorded 27,265 cases and 898 deaths. By comparison, the UK has recorded 590,844 cases and 42,760 deaths.
Read the full report here.
A look at the UK’s travel corridors list
Here are today’s cases per 100,000 over a 7-day cumulative count. Any country with more than 20 cases per 100,000 will come under assessment for a possible quarantine.
WATCH: Crowds gather in London high streets after 10pm curfew
A game of cricket that broke out on a street in Peckham was described as a “sweet and exuberant moment of joy”.
Revellers were seen just after 10pm by Peckham Rye Station with a bat and ball surrounded by a large crowd.
“My guess was that it had recently started as everyone was kicked out of the local pubs and bars,” James Jones, a documentary maker who caught the game on video, told the PA news agency.
“I was there for about 10 minutes and it was still going strong.”
Mr Jones, himself from Peckham, said that the game felt like a “moment of joy”.
“Obviously on social media people are projecting all sorts of views onto it,” he told PA.
“Being there, it felt like a very sweet and exuberant moment of joy. And we could all do with some more joy at the moment!”
Watch the footage below.
With the closure of its pubs, Scotland has lost its soul
It beggars belief. Scotland without pubs is like Highland games without bagpipes, writes Gavin Bell, as the shutters came down on pubs and restaurants in Scotland’s central belt on Friday night.
It is so outlandish that Scots are struggling to understand how pubs in the heavily populated central belt can be shut down for at least two weeks and possibly longer.
Pubs are an integral part of social life in a nation that relies on them to meet up with friends, make new ones, watch football, enjoy lively folk music, and lighten the gloom of long, dark winters.
Throughout world wars and German blitzes, Scots kept calm and carried on drinking with their pals in local hostelries. Now these revered institutions have been shut by a wee bug you can’t even see. There is silent wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the land.
Read the feature, here.
Spanish way of life at risk in Madrid as second lockdown threatens to kill off restaurants
A steep rise in cases has led to new curfews damaging late night dining in the Europe’s worst-hit city.
Read the full report, here.
More than seven million infections in India
India’s confirmed coronavirus toll crossed seven million on Sunday with a number of new cases dipping in recent weeks, even as health experts warn of mask and social distancing fatigue setting in.
The Health Ministry registered another 74,383 infections in the past 24 hours.
India is expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country in coming weeks, surpassing the US.
The ministry also reported 918 additional deaths, taking total fatalities to 108,334.
The number of people who have died of Covid-19 has remained relatively low in south and south-east Asia – from India to Vietnam and Taiwan – compared to European countries and the United States, said Dr Randeep Guleria, a government health expert.
But others say India’s death toll may not be reliable because of poor reporting and health infrastructure and inadequate testing.
South Korea to ease restrictions as cases continue to fall
South Korea has said it will begin lowering social distancing rules on Monday, allowing the reopening of nightly entertainment facilities and sports fixtures, as new coronavirus cases have declined in recent weeks.
Daily infections have largely been in the double digits over the past two weeks, down from as many as 440 during outbreaks following a church and a political rally in August. Those prompted authorities to tighten curbs on gatherings and some businesses.
The eased rules mean entertainment facilities such as nightclubs and karaoke bars can reopen and limited audiences will be allowed at sports matches such as the popular Korea Baseball Organization League, as long as they comply with anti-virus guidelines.
But some stricter rules will be kept in the heavily populated Seoul area and high-risk venues including religious gatherings and door-to-door sales businesses, the government said.
“We will lower the level of social distancing nationwide but maintain the controls on risk factors such as the door-to-door sales industry,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a meeting.
“Many citizens are feeling fatigue over prolonged distancing, and we also took its negative impact on the economy into consideration.”
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 58 cases as of Saturday midnight, bringing total infections to 24,606, with 432 deaths.
The view from the ground in New York City
This is what awaits you, when the New York – London travel corridor opens up.
How are cases looking in the USA?
Here’s a quick look at cases in the USA:
And a quick look at the daily deaths:
Can I visit the USA, right now?
Frankly, it’s not straightforward. The FCDO says:
British nationals cannot enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil or China within the previous 14 days
If you are eligible to enter the USA you must be prepared to self-isolate for up to 14 days after arrival
The only people eligible to enter the USA are US citizens and permanent residents, certain specified close family members and certain other limited categories of visas holders (such as UN staff and diplomats).
What happened yesterday?
A quick re-cap of yesterday’s leading stories:
British holidaymakers cancel Italy holiday plans
Cases rising all over the UK, but especially in North
Russia reports record daily case rise
Australia records no deaths but hot spot faces prolonged lockdown
Hospitality workers in Scotland stage protest against closures
Now, on with today’s news.