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As international concerns mount over the COVID-19 (or coronavirus) pandemic, the world of travel is keeping close tabs on ongoing developments. With several countries employing border shutdowns after months of stringent airport screenings, the war against novel coronavirus has intensified. Across the world, over 4,911,902 people have been infected, as the epicentre has shifted from China to the U.S.A. and Western Europe. While more than a million cases have been reported in the U.S.A., and Russia more than 300,000. Brazil, U.K., Spain, and Italy have recorded more than 200,000 infections each (Johns Hopkins University). India is currently in its extended lockdown which will now officially continue till May 31. The country has registered 106,750 positive cases of the COVID-19 virus as of May 20. The Ministry of Health 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.
May 19, 11 p.m.: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed that the government will ease lockdown measures in the country gradually through June. Primary schools will reopen on June 8, followed by secondary schools and higher education centres a week later. Restaurants, cinemas,and other public places may open for up to thirty people at a time after June 1. Face masks will be mandatory on public transport.
May 19, 10 p.m.: Indian Railways will operate 200 non-AC trains everyday starting June 1. Bookings for these trains will only be carried out online, and will begin in a few days. Details of the trains and the schedule will be released in a few days’ time, announced the Railways Ministry.
May 19, 9 p.m.: The ban on non-essential travel between the U.S.A. and Canada has been extended by 30 days till June 21. Though the Covid-19 outbreak is under control in Canada, the state of New York, which is an epicentre in the U.S.A., borders the Canadian states of Ontario and Quebec.
May 19, 8 p.m.: Beaches in Barcelona will reopen on Wednesday, May 20, but visitors will have to adhere to certain restrictions. Citizens are allowed to take walks on the beach, and swim in the sea, but cannot sunbathe. The city’s parks will also reopen on Wednesday, so that people can exercise.
May 19, 6 p.m.: The historic al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem will resume prayer services next week, after two months. The mosque, along with the Dome of the Rock were closed for the public on March 15. However, as the spread of the novel coronavirus has slowed down, authorities have decided to open the mosque. Further details on any restrictions will follow in the days to come.
May 19, 5 p.m.: Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways has reportedly cut hundreds of jobs this month, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Officials have cited a slump in global demand for air travel as the reason behind the layoffs, and industry sources expect more jobs to be cut.
May 19, 4 p.m.: The Thai government declared that though it will not issue a bailout package to resurrect the national carrier Thai Airways, the airline will be allowed to restructure its debt to avoid bankruptcy and continue operations. The airline was suffering heavy losses even before the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted airlines the world over.
May 19, 3 p.m.: Australian airline group Qantas has rolled out coronavirus precautions for flights, but social distancing on flights is not on the cards. Officials have cited low transmission rates on flights, and impracticality of enforcing social distancing measures in an airplane as reasons behind the notable omission. Contactless check-ins, hand sanitizing stations, restricted movement on the plane and making face masks available for passengers are some of the precautions announced.
May 19, 2 p.m.: Authorities plan to extend social distancing measures in Hong Kong by two more weeks, according to government sources. However, gatherings will likely be allowed to take place in places of worship at 50% of the venue’s capacity. Moreover, lounges, nightclubs and karaokes are expected to reopen after May 28. Hong Kong has reported 1,055 Covid-19 cases and four deaths so far.
May 19, 1 p.m.: Tight lockdown measures similar to those imposed in Wuhan have been imposed in the northeastern city of Shulan in China, as a new cluster of Covid-19 cases was detected in the city last week. The northeastern part of China, which is close to its border with Russia, has emerged as a high-risk area over the past few days.
May 19, 11 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has risen to 101,139, and the death toll stands at 3,163.
May 19, 10 a.m.: The government of Seychelles has announced that no cruise ships will be permitted into the country till the end of 2021, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Whether travellers will be allowed to visit the country by air remains unclear.
May 19, 9 a.m.: Qatar’s state news agency reports that the Cabinet has decided to enforce a complete shutdown of all shops and commercial activities in the nation, from May 19 to May 30 to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. Pharmacies, food supply stores and food delivery services will be allowed to continue operations.
May 19, 8 a.m.: A few days after announcing that it will lay off 3,700 employees, cab service company Uber will cut a further 3,000 jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an email written by the CEO to employees.
May 18, 11 p.m.: Mount Fuji in Japan will be off-limits for climbers this summer season because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Officials of the Shizuoka prefecture have announced that the climbing routes will be closed from July 10 to September 10, which is the climbing season for the iconic mountain. This is the first time that climbing routes have been closed since at least 1960.
May 18, 10 p.m.: Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced that shopping malls, theatres and cinemas will reopen in Slovakia starting May 20. Moreover, starting May 21, Slovakian citizens can travel to the neighboring countries of Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland and Slovenia, and will not need to furnish a negative coronavirus test, or undergo quarantine measures on their return.
May 18, 9 p.m.: Qatar Airways announced that its cabin crew will wear protective equipment on flights, and that passengers will be required to wear face masks starting May 25. The airline will be cutting 20% of its workforce due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and has been flying to only thirty destinations for the past few weeks. However, the airline plans to resume flights on more routes, and service up to 80 destinations by June.
May 18, 8 p.m.: The Hungarian and Slovenian governments have come up with a plan to gradually reopen their shared border by June 1, according to a Facebook post by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
May 18, 6 p.m.: The Delhi government has announced a slew of relaxations for the fourth phase of lockdown in the Union Territory. Taxis and cabs will be allowed to resume services, under certain seating restrictions, as will public transport buses. Moreover, standalone shops can reopen, and markets will be allowed to stay open on an odd-even basis.
May 18, 5 p.m.: CNN reports that the state of emergency officially ended in the Czech Republic. The nationwide emergency was imposed on March 12. However, face masks are still compulsory, gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited, and border controls will remain in place. The country has recorded 8,475 confirmed cases and 298 deaths so far.
May 18, 4 p.m.: The Guardian reports that the quarantine measures previously announced for travellers coming into the U.K. by air, will likely be applicable to arrivals by sea, car and rail too. The government has not yet released the measures, and will do so this week. There will most probably be a 14-day quarantine enforced on all arrivals, but there might be a few exemptions.
May 18, 3 p.m.: As coronavirus restrictions eased across Italy, the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City reopened today, and public Masses were held for the first time in two months. All visitors to the Basilica, for Masses and otherwise have to wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing norms.
May 18, 2 p.m.: The Acropolis and other historic sites in Athens have been reopened for visitors in Greece. Shopping malls, schools and means of travel on the Greek mainland were also reopened. Travellers from outside Greece are still largely prohibited from visiting the country.
May 18, 1 p.m.: Russia reported 8,926 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the country’s tally to 290,678. This is the lowest daily increase in the number of cases over the past few days, as over 10,000 cases were reported for 11 straight days earlier this month.
May 18, 11 a.m.: Tourism Australia, in a bid to push local tourism in Australia hosted a Facebook Live event titled, “Live from Aus” over the May 16-17 weekend. The event virtually took viewers to iconic destinations in Australia, accompanied by Australian zookeepers, wildlife experts and chefs. Tourism Australia hopes to increase domestic tourism, which was hit severely by the bushfires in early 2020, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.
May 18, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is 96,169, and the death toll is 3,029.
May 18, 9 a.m.: China reported 25 new Covid-19 cases today, 14 of which are asymptomatic cases detected in Wuhan. Wuhan has 337 asymptomatic cases, the highest in the country.
May 18, 8 a.m.: Qatar imposed a strict penalty of imprisonment for upto three years for not wearing a face mask when in public. Qatar has one of the world’s highest infection rates, and has reported more than 30,000 Covid-19 cases, and fifteen deaths.
May 17, 10.30 p.m.: Elvis Presley’s home and estate, Graceland, is set to reopen on May 21 two months after it was shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee is a popular tourist site frequented by music lovers. Though visitors are allowed to tour the estate, they will be required to follow social distancing norms.
May 17, 9 p.m.: Prime Minister Hassan Diab has announced that Lebanon will ease coronavirus curbs starting Monday, May 18. The government had earlier released a five point plan to lift restrictions in a phased manner, but has set no date for the reopening of its airport for commercial flights.
May 17, 8.30 p.m.: The nationwide coronavirus lockdown in India has been extended till May 31. However, in this fourth phase of lockdown, there will be significant relaxations in regions other than containment zones. Though domestic and international flights and metro services will not run, buses and private vehicles are allowed to move between states, reports The Indian Express.
May 17, 6 p.m.: The Tamil Nadu government has extended the coronavirus lockdown in the state till May 31. Though existing restrictions will continue in most of the state, there will be some relaxations announced in certain low-risk districts.
May 17, 5 p.m.: For the first time in two months, Spain’s daily increase in Covid-19 deaths has dropped below 100, as 87 deaths were reported today. The death toll stands at 27,650, and the number of infections is 231,350.
May 17, 4 p.m.: The Thai government has extended the ban on international flights coming into the country till June 30. Thailand has reported 3,025 Covid-19 cases, and 56 deaths so far.
May 17, 3 p.m.: The state government has announced that the lockdown has been extended till May 31 in Maharashtra. The fourth phase of the lockdown will begin on May 18, but some relaxations will be announced soon, authorities have said. Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in India, and has recorded over 30,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 1,100 deaths so far.
May 17, 2 p.m.: Russia reported 9,709 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 281,752. The death toll stands at 2,631.
May 17, 1 p.m.: Greece continues to ease lockdown measures in the country as shopping malls, zoos and botanical gardens will reopen from May 18. The government also announced that restaurants and cafes will be allowed to reopen on May 25, a week earlier than was previously planned. The country has reported 2,819 cases so far.
May 17, 11 a.m.: Daniel Andrews, the Premier of the Australian state of Victoria announced that cafes, restaurants and pubs will reopen starting June. This easing of restrictions is part of a phased reopening of the entire hospitality sector in the state. Social distancing measures will still have to be followed, and establishment owners must adhere to guidelines about the number of patrons permitted at a time.
May 17, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has risen by 4,987 to 90,927. The death toll stands at 2,872.
May 17, 9 a.m.: The tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Brazil has risen to 233,142, surpassing that of Spain and Italy. The South American country is now the fourth worst-hit country after the U.S.A., Russia and the U.K., in terms of number of infections. The death toll stands at 15,633.
May 17, 8 a.m.: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the government will seek a month-long extension to the ongoing state of emergency in the national parliament. This will likely be the last extension of the emergency which was imposed on March 14, and is due to expire on May 24.
May 16, 10 p.m.: President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe has said that some coronavirus curbs will be relaxed in the country. Businesses like manufacturers, supermarkets and banks will be allowed to stay open for longer hours. However, the lockdown will stay in place for the time being, and the situation will be reviewed every two weeks.
May 16, 9 p.m.: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that coronavirus restrictions will be lifted gradually in the capital city of Budapest from Monday. The lockdown in the rest of the country was lifted two weeks ago. 3,473 cases and 448 deaths have been reported in the country so far.
May 16, 8 p.m. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered a ban on movement between Kenya and its neighboring countries of Tanzania and Somalia to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Cargo trucks are exempted from this ban, given that the truck drivers have been tested for Covid-19.
May 16, 6 p.m.: After announcing an easing border controls with Germany, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, the Austrian government announced that Austria will reopen its borders with Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. The borders will fully reopen by June 15, the Interior Ministry has said.
May 16, 5 p.m.: Spain reported 102 deaths since yesterday, the lowest daily death toll since mid-March. One of the worst-hit nations in the country, Spain seems to have overcome the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak. The total number of deaths recorded in the country is 27,563, and the tally of infections stands at 230,698.
May 16, 3 p.m.: The Health Ministry of Indonesia announced that all Indonesian citizens and foreign travellers coming into the country will require a health certificate issued by their country of origin. The health certificate must state that the individual has tested negative for a Covid-19 test, and will be valid for only seven days after its issue. Those who do not have a said certificate will have to undergo a Covid-19 test.
May 16, 2 p.m.: Russia reported 9,200 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, a significant decrease from yesterday’s tally of 10,598. The total number of infections in the country has risen to 272,043, and the death toll stands at 2,537.
May 16, 1 p.m.: South Korea today reported the lowest daily increase in Covid-19 cases in a week. All of the 19 infections belong to the cluster of cases associated with Seoul’s nightclubs. 162 cases have been identified as part of the cluster so far.
May 16, 11 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the total number of Covid-19 cases in India has risen to 85,940, and the death toll stands at 2,752. India’s tally of total infections has now crossed that of China.
May 16, 10 a.m.: Mainland China reported eight new cases today, an increase from the four reported yesterday. The country was the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak initially, and is now fighting a potential second wave of infections. The official tally of infections from mainland China is 82,941.
May 16, 9 a.m.: The Italian government has resolved to allow all kinds of travel, including to and from abroad starting June 3, a major step towards the lifting of the strict lockdown in the country. Restrictions on domestic travel will also be lifted in the country on the same day. Italy is one of the worst-hit countries and has reported more than 31,000 Covid-19 related fatalities.
May 16, 8 a.m.: For the first time since March 13, Denmark reported no new Covid-19-related deaths over the last 24 hours. The total number of cases rose to 10,791, an increase of 78. The death toll stands at 537.
May 15, 10 p.m.: The states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware will partially reopen their beaches for the Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25. The announcement came soon after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the stay-at-home order has been extended to June 13 in most of New York state.
May 15, 9 p.m.: The Airports Authority of India has published a set of guidelines for flight passengers as domestic flights are expected to resume operations soon. Passengers will be required to install the Aarogya Setu app, carry a printed out boarding card after web check-in, maintain a distance of at least four feet from other passengers and wash their hands regularly with a sanitizer, according to these guidelines. Moreover, passengers will be allowed to carry a 350 ml bottle of sanitizer. However, there is no official confirmation yet, on when domestic flights will resume in India.
May 15, 8 p.m.: After announcing that Austria’s border with Germany will be opened up, the Austrian government declared today that similar measures will be applied to Austria’s borders with Switzerland and Lichtenstein. A significant easing of border control measures has been undertaken from today, with the aim of removing all restrictions on travel by June 15.
May 15, 6 p.m.: Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has said that the state of emergency imposed in Georgia due to the novel coronavirus will not be in effect after May 22.
May 15, 5 p.m.: Free movement between the different regions within Italy likely to be permitted from May 18, reports Reuters. One of the worst-hit countries in the world, Italy started loosening coronavirus restrictions in May to revive the economy.
May 15, 4 p.m.: The German Interior Ministry announced that the country will relax quarantine restrictions for visitors from the European Union, the passport-free Schengen zone, and Britain. Citizens from these countries will only be recommended a quarantine period if their country or origin has reported a high infection rate. A two-week quarantine will remain mandatory for those visiting from outside the EU.
May 15, 3 p.m.: Spain’s Mallorca Island may allow German tourists in late June, as part of a special pilot project for the revival of the tourism industry, which has taken a hit because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The authorities will likely tie up with German travel operators TUI for said project. Mallorca is a part of the Balearic Islands, a Spanish archipelago in the mediterranean Sea that has recorded a low infection rate.
May 15, 2 p.m.: Russia reported 10,598 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours. The total number of infections in the country is 262,843, and the death toll stands at 2,418.
May 15, 1 p.m.: Slovenia has declared that the Covid-19 epidemic has ended in the country, and has eased border controls. Though some restrictions will have to be followed, tourists from other EU nations will not have to go through a quarantine period after they arrive in Slovenia. A 14-day quarantine will still be applicable to tourists from non-EU countries. Slovenia becomes the first European country to make such a declaration, after reporting less than seven cases a day for the past two weeks.
May 15, 11 a.m.: The Hawaii Tourism Authority has released a statement announcing that a 14-day mandatory quarantine will be applicable to anyone arriving in Hawaii after March 26, and before May 31. The Governor David Ige has also urged visitors who have scheduled trips to the tropical islands in this period to postpone their visit, so as to help curb the Covid-19 outbreak.
May 15, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 81,970 and the death toll stands at 2,649.
May 15, 9 a.m.: Korean Air announced that all domestic flight passengers will be required to wear face masks starting Monday, May 18. The airline is considering making face masks compulsory on all its international flights too, and might resume operations on 19 international routes, including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Frankfurt, Singapore, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur.
May 15, 8 a.m.: Brazil reported a record daily increase of 13,944 new Covid-19 cases, taking its tally past 200,000. The country now has 202,918 confirmed infections and 13,933 deaths so far, and is the sixth worst-hit country in terms of confirmed cases.
May 14, 10 p.m.: The Sri Lankan government has decided to impose a day-long curfew across the country on Sunday, May 17. The country was under lockdown since March 20, and restrictions were lifted on Monday, May 11 in all districts, except for Colombo and Gampaha. Currently, the country has 918 Covid-19 positive patients,and close to 400 have been discharged.
May 14, 9 p.m.: In Poland, restaurants and hairdressers will be allowed to resume operations from June 2 as part of the country’s measures to ease coronavirus restrictions. However, schools will remain closed in the country till June 26, to help curb the spread of the virus.
May 14, 7.30 p.m.: In an unprecedented move, French Prime Minister Edouarde Philippe announced a 18 billion euro financial package to support the country’s tourism industry, which has been hit severely because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures include investments of upto 1.3 billion euros into tourism enterprises through state banks, and partial reimbursement of the wages of tourism company employees put on furlough during the crisis.
May 14, 5.30 p.m.: Air India will ramp up its operations in the second phase of the ongoing repatriation effort from May 16, and will conduct flights to 32 countries. Currently Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express are flying to and fro twelve countries. In the second phase, the airlines will also ferry special domestic flights which will cater to the repatriated citizens.
May 14, 5 p.m.: Bookings for flights from India to certain destinations in the U.S.A, U.K., Australia, Frankfurt, Paris and Singapore are now open on the Air India website. Only citizens of these countries will be allowed to travel on these flights. However, some citizens of other countries holding a valid visa for travel and stay in these countries are also permitted.
May 14, 4 p.m.: Singapore reported 752 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the nation’s tally to 26,098. Most of the new cases were migrant workers, and only two were Singaporeans or permanent residents.
May 14, 3 p.m.: Russia reported 9,974 new Covid-19 cases today, taking the total tally of infections in the country past 250,000. This is the first time that the daily increase in confirmed cases has dipped below 10,000 in more than a week. The death toll stands at 2,305.
May 14, 2 p.m.: The Armenian government extended the state of emergency in the country till June 13 today. The country has seen a drastic increase in infections since the end of April, and has reported a total of 3,860 Covid-19 cases and 49 deaths so far.
May 14, 1 p.m.: The Japanese government resolved earlier today to lift the ongoing state of emergency in 39 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The state of emergency will remain in the Hokkaido, Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures. Though the emergency is lifted in the majority of the country, the government has urged all citizens to observe social distancing norms. The country has reported more than 16,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 700 deaths so far.
May 14, 11 a.m.: Indian Railways has announced that all tickets booked on passenger trains for journeys before June 30 stand cancelled. Passengers will get a full refund for their cancelled tickets. The Shramik trains carrying labourers back to their home states, and the special passenger trains plying between Delhi and fifteen other cities since May 12 will continue to run as scheduled.
May 14, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 78,003 and the death toll stands at 2,549.
May 14, 9 a.m.: The USA’s National Park Service released a statement announcing that the Yellowstone National Park will be reopened on a limited basis on May 18. The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona also announced that the park will reopen partially sometime between May 15 and May 18. Authorities have also announced plans to reopen the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and the Zion National Park in Utah.
May 14, 8 a.m.: The European Commission, the executive governing body of the European Union (EU) proposed a gradual reopening of national borders within the EU, to make the most of the remaining holiday season, and resurrect the travel and tourism industry. The proposal – which is not binding on the member nations – also recommends that airlines, airports and hotels take the necessary measures to ensure social distancing and travellers use face masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
May 13, 10 p.m.: The government of Kazakhstan has decided to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions from May 18. Passenger trains services will resume, and mosques, hotels and restaurants will reopen. 5,417 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 32 deaths have been related in the country so far.
May 13, 9 p.m.: A week after lifting lockdown restrictions, Lesotho has reported its first confirmed Covid-19 case today. All countries on the African continent have reported confirmed Covid-19 cases now.
May 13, 8 p.m.: As coronavirus cases rise in Saudi Arabia, a 24-hour nationwide curfew will be imposed in the country from May 23 to May 27, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The middle eastern country has recorded 42,925 infections and 264 deaths.
May 13, 6 p.m.: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer announced that Germany will begin a gradual reopening of its land borders starting May 16, with an aim of having no restrictions on travel by mid-June. The existing general border controls with France, Switzerland and Austria have been extended till June 16, but some land crossings will be opened.
May 13, 5 p.m.: After three weeks, two locally transmitted Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Hong Kong. Authorities are in the process of tracing the source of the infection. The city-state has largely been successful in limiting the spread of the coronavirus, and has reported 1,051 cases and four deaths so far.
May 13, 4 p.m.: The Polish Interior Ministry said that the country’s strict border controls will stay in place till June 12, to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The country has reported more than 17,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases, and has started easing lockdown restrictions within the country.
May 13, 3 p.m.: The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Russia rose to 242,271, as 10,028 new cases were reported over the last 24 hours. The death toll also increased to 2,212, as 96 fatalities were recorded. In terms of total infections, Russia is now the second worst-hit nation, after the U.S.A.
May 13, 2 p.m.: Europe’s largest travel company Tui announced that it plans to cut 8,000 jobs, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely impacted the travel industry worldwide. A majority of its employees are already either furloughed or have had a pay cut.
May 13, 1 p.m.: The Austrian government announced that the country will reopen its border with Germany on June 15. Similarly, the government said that it is working out two-phased plans to reopen borders with Switzerland, Lichtenstein and other East European countries.
May 13, 11 a.m.: Travel restrictions have been imposed in northeastern China’s Jilin province after six new Covid-19 cases were detected yesterday. The risk level has been increased in the neighboring city of Shulan too, after five of the six cases were traced to another case in Shulan. After bringing the virus under control, China has reported new Covid-19 cases in seven provinces over the past two weeks.
May 13, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 74,281 and the death toll stands at 2,415.
May 13, 9 a.m.: After recording 9,258 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, Brazil’s tally of cases surpassed that of Germany, and stands at 177,589. The country also reported a record 881 deaths from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday.
May 13, 8 a.m.: The Icelandic government has announced that the country will ease restrictions on travellers coming from abroad by June 15. Foreign arrivals will be given a choice between a Covid-19 test and a two-week quarantine. Iceland has only reported three new Covid-19 cases in May so far.
May 12, 10 p.m.: The Delhi government has issued a Standard Operating Procedure for those arriving in the Union Territory through passenger trains that have resumed today. According to the document, the passengers will have to disembark systematically, in keeping with social distancing norms. Moreover, all arriving passengers will be screened by medical teams at the railway station, and only the asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to go home. Those who have symptoms will have to follow necessary testing and quarantine protocols.
May 12, 9 p.m.: As Covid-19 cases rise in Algeria, coronavirus measures restricting movement have been extended by 15 days till May 29. The country has recorded 5,891 infections and 507 deaths so far.
May 12, 8 p.m.: The government of Lebanon has announced that a four day curfew will be imposed in the nation, starting on the night of Wednesday, May 13. Though the country started easing coronavirus restrictions last week, a spike in cases has prompted this move. There have been 870 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 26 deaths in the country so far.
May 12, 7 p.m.: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has come up with a draft Standard Operating Procedure for the resumption of commercial passenger flights in India. Filling up a detailed questionnaire, no cabin baggage, thermal screening for all passengers and a mandatory green status on the Aarogya Setu app are some of the suggestions made in the proposal.
May 12, 6 p.m.: Lufthansa-owned Brussels Airlines has announced that it will cut 25% of its staff, and reduce its fleet by 30%, to ensure that the airline survives the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline has also asked for financial support from Lufthansa, as well as the Belgian government.
May 12, 5 p.m.: New York Mayor Bill De Blasio has said that New York City is likely to stay closed till June, even as three other regions of the New York state will start easing restrictions in a phased manner. The three regions as announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo are Finger Lakes,Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley.
May 12, 4 p.m.: Singapore reports 884 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the tally of cases to 24,671. The death toll increased by one and now stands at 21. Most of the new cases detected were migrant workers living in dormitories.
May 12, 3 p.m.: The Spanish government has mandated a two week quarantine period for travellers arriving in the country from abroad, starting Friday, May 15. This quarantine regulation will stay in place at least till May 24, when the nationwide state of emergency is due to be lifted.
May 12, 2 p.m.: Russia has confirmed 10,899 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the tally of infections to 232.243. The death toll stands at 2,116.
May 12, 1 p.m.: Irish airline Ryanair announced that it will resume 40% of its flight services starting July. The airline plans to operate around 1,000 flights per day in July, which will cover 90% of its network, but with a lesser frequency. The airline has come up with new rules for passengers, like a prohibition on queuing for toilets on flights, which will help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
May 12, 11 a.m.: Indian Railways has made it mandatory for all passengers travelling in its special trains starting today, to download the Aarogya Setu app. On Monday, May 11, Indian Railways had “advised” passengers to install the app, but has now made it mandatory.
May 12, 10 a.m.: South Korea is facing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, after a new cluster of infections linked to Seoul’s nightclubs and bars has been detected. The cluster now comprises a total of 101 infections thus far, up from the 86 reported till yesterday.
May 12, 9 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 70,756 and the death toll stands at 2,293.
May 12, 8 a.m.: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a curfew in Turkey from May 16 to May 19 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Additionally, inter-city travel restrictions have been lifted in nine more cities, but strict lockdown restrictions remain in major cities like Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir.
May 12, 7 a.m.: CNN reports that Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney Resort Hotels are now accepting reservations dated July 1 or later. However, it is not clear when these properties will re-open and should they resume operations before July 1, customers can change their bookings accordingly.
May 11, 10 p.m.: The European Commission, which is the European Union’s executive governing body, will instruct airlines and travel companies to issue vouchers valid for up to 12 months for customers whose travel bookings have been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Should some customers not want to use travel vouchers, they will be entitled to a full refund, up to 12 months since the issue of said vouchers.
May 11, 9 p.m.: Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that the nationwide coronavirus lockdown will be relaxed in the country. However, administrations of individual regions will decide the extent to which measures will be eased. Earlier today, Russia reported its highest ever daily increase of confirmed cases so far.
May 11, 8 p.m.: The U.K. government has allowed the English Premier League and other professional sporting events to be held behind closed doors starting June 1. The government has imposed certain conditions that must be met before any sporting event can go ahead.
May 11, 7.30 p.m.: Indonesian Health Minister Retno Marsudi said that the country is bracing for a fresh wave of new Covid-19 cases, after migrant labourers returned to the country from abroad. 14,265 confirmed cases and 991 deaths have been reported in the country so far.
May 11, 5.30 p.m.: ANI reports that bookings for fifteen passenger trains starting tomorrow, will be open from 6 p.m. today, on the IRCTC website. The bookings were initially supposed to open at 4 p.m.
May 11, 5 p.m.: The ‘physical’ Cannes Film Festival 2020 has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The prestigious film festival was supposed to be held mid-May, but in April, organizers decided to call it off and postpone the event. Instead of organizing a virtual festival experience, organizers have said that they will sponsor screenings of the chosen films at other festivals and cinema theatres.
May 11, 4 p.m.: Singapore reported 486 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 23,822. Only two cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents, and the rest are migrant workers. Today’s numbers indicate a significant reduction from the 876 cases reported on Sunday. However, authorities have clarified that fewer tests were processed in one of the laboratories, which might explain the smaller figure.
May 11, 3 p.m.: Russia saw a record daily increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases, reporting 11,656 new infections over the last 24 hours. The tally of infections is 221,344, and has crossed that of the U.K. and Spain. The death toll stands at 2,009.
May 11, 2 p.m.: Passengers from France coming into the U.K. will be exempt from the latter’s quarantine measures. The two governments have issued a joint statement, in which they have stated that the two nations will cooperate towards proper management of their common border. Quarantine measures have been put into place in the U.K. to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through people entering the nation from abroad.
May 11, 1 p.m.: Colombian airline Avianca has filed for bankruptcy, after not being able to meet a bond payment deadline. Avianca is Latin America’s largest, and the world’s second oldest airline, and is one of the many airlines that have been severely hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline will be shutting down its operations in Peru, and will be laying off hundreds of employees in the days to come.
May 11, 11 a.m.: The New Zealand government decided to further ease coronavirus curbs in the country starting Thursday, May 14.The country will move from a Level 3 alert to a Level 2 alert, which will allow retail stores, restaurants and public spaces to reopen starting Thursday. Schools will reopen next Monday, and gatherings of up to ten people will be allowed. The country’s borders remain closed, except for New Zealanders returning home.
May 11, 10 a.m.: South Korea reported 35 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, raising fears about a possible resurgence of cases after new cases had dropped considerably in the country over the last few days. This is the highest daily increase in the number of cases in more than a month, and the cluster of infections has been linked to the nightclubs and bars of Seoul. The country has recorded 10,909 confirmed infections and 256 deaths so far.
May 11, 9 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 67,152 and the death toll stands at 2,206.
May 11, 8 a.m.: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced relaxations to the coronavirus lockdown in the U.K. Those who cannot work from home will be allowed to go to their workplaces starting Wednesday, May 13. Moreover, citizens will be allowed to sunbathe, exercise and even play sports, he said. The U.K. is one of the worst hit nations, and more than 31,000 have lost their lives to the coronavirus so far.
May 10, 10 p.m.: The coronavirus lockdown in Greece’s migrant camps has been extended till May 21 by the government. The lockdown was previously expected to be lifted on May 11. The lockdown in the rest of the country was eased six days ago. 2,710 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 151 deaths have been recorded so far in the country.
May 10, 9 p.m.: Indian Railways has announced that passenger train services will gradually resume in the country, starting May 12. In the first phase, fifteen pairs of trains (thirty return journeys) will ply between New Delhi and fifteen important cities. Bookings for these trains can be made through the IRCTC website, after 4 p.m. on May 11.
May 10, 8 p.m.: As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Pune, all shops in the city’s 69 containment areas will remain shut from May 11 to May 17. Pharmacies, medical stores and hospitals will remain open.
May 10, 6 p.m.: Stringent lockdown measures have been reimposed in Iran’s Khuzestan region, after the country reported 51 new Covid-19 deaths over the past 24 hours. Officials said that 1,383 new cases were confirmed since yesterday, and that the country might be facing a resurgence of cases.
May 10, 5 p.m.: Kyrgyzstan will relax some of the lockdown curbs imposed in the country because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some businesses will be allowed to reopen on May 11 as part of the relaxations.
May 10, 4 p.m.: The tiny African nation of Djibouti will ease coronavirus curbs starting Monday, May 11. Public transport will resume and places of worship will be reopened. The country has 1,189 confirmed Covid-19 cases so far.
May 10, 3 p.m.: Russia’s tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases has risen past 200,000, as 11,012 new cases were reported over the last 24 hours. The total number of cases is 209,688, and the death toll stands at 1,915.
May 10, 1 p.m.: The conditional stay-at-home order in Malaysia has been extended by four weeks till June 9. Though the number of new cases in the country are decreasing, this movie is a preventive measure to ensure there is no resurgence in cases, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. 6,656 cases have been reported and 108 people have died from the virus.
May 10, 11 a.m.: China reported 14 new Covid-19 cases on May 9, the highest daily increase in the caseload since April 28. One of the new cases was reported in Wuhan, the original epicentre of the pandemic. This is the first case detected in Wuhan since April 3.
May 10, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 62,939 and the death toll stands at 2,109.
May 10, 9 a.m.: New South Wales, Australia’s biggest state will start easing the coronavirus lockdown starting May 15. Cafes, restaurants, playgrounds and outdoor pools will be allowed to reopen as part of the relaxations.
May 10, 8 a.m.: The Kerala state government announced that there will be a complete lockdown in the state today, and only essential services will be permitted to operate. This step has been taken to further limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.
May 9, 6 p.m.: The Tamil Nadu government has announced significant relaxations in the state starting May 11. Shops selling essentials, standalone shops, neighborhood shops and tea shops will be allowed to reopen under some conditions. Private enterprises will be allowed to operate with 33% staff in the Metropolitan Madras Police Boundary Area. The state is one of the worst-hit in the country, and has reported more than 6,000 Covid-19 cases.
May 9, 5 p.m.: After a six-week shutdown, Czech Airlines will resume some operations on May 18. Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Stockholm are the destinations the airline will fly to initially, followed by Kiev and Bucharest in the week after. All passengers will have to wear face masks.
May 9, 4 p.m.: Seoul city authorities have ordered more than 2,100 bars and nightclubs in the city to shut down, after a new cluster of newly detected Covid-19 cases were linked to clubs in the city.
May 9, 3 p.m.: Indonesia records its highest daily increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases, as 533 new infections were reported today. The total number of cases is now13,645, and the death toll stands at 959.
May 9, 2 p.m.: Russia reported 10,817 new confirmed Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the country to 198,676. The country has been reporting more than 10,000 cases since Sunday, and is among the countries worst-hit by the pandemic. The official death toll stands at 1,827.
May 9, 1 p.m.: Singapore reported 753 new confirmed Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, majority of which were migrant workers living in dormitories, and only nine are Singaporeans or permanent residents. The total number of infections recorded has thus risen to 22,460.
May 9, 12 p.m.: The states of New South Wales and Victoria in Australia have decided against easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions, even as other states have started relaxing curbs. New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has said that this move is a preventive measure so as to ensure that there is no resurgence of cases in the days to come.
May 9, 10 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 59,662 and the death toll stands at 1,981.
May 9, 9 a.m.: Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez has said that the quarantine in capital Buenos Aires will be extended, but restrictions will be relaxed in the rest of the country. The quarantine has been in place in Argentina since March 20, and has now been extended till May 24 in the capital. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the country is 5,611, and the death toll stands at 293.
May 9, 8 a.m.: Colombian capital Bogota will lift some restrictions on Monday May 11. The controversial restriction that will be lifted, requires men and women to shop on different days. The city’s mayor Claudia Lopez said that everyone will be required to wear face masks.
May 8, 11 p.m.: Al-Jazeera reports that a complete curfew will be imposed in Kuwait from May 10, to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. The decision was taken after the country reported a spike of 641 new cases in a span of 24 hours.
May 8, 10 p.m.: Ahead of easing coronavirus curbs in the U.K. on May 11, the government reports 626 new deaths in 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 31,241.
May 8, 9.30 p.m.: The number of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra has crossed the 19,000 mark as 1,089 new cases were reported over the past 24 hours. The death toll stands at 731, as 37 new deaths were recorded. 11,967 of the 19,063 cases in the state have been detected in Mumbai.
May 8, 8 p.m.: Bars, gyms, salons and restaurants reopened in Hong Kong, as coronavirus lockdown curbs were eased. No new local infections have been reported for the past 19 days, prompting city officials to allow some types of establishments to reopen, under certain conditions. The number of cases reported in the city is 1,044.
May 8, 6 p.m.: The Welsh government has announced that there will be some minor changes to the lockdown in Wales, starting Monday, May 11, allowing citizens to exercise more than once a day, and for garden centres, libraries and recycling centres to reopen.
May 8, 5 p.m.: The South Korean government has issued an advisory asking owners of clubs and bars to voluntarily shut down their establishments for a month, in order to prevent another wave of the novel coronavirus infection. South Korea has largely succeeded in fighting the Covid-19 outbreak, and hadn’t reported any local infections for a few days before a cluster of local infections were detected in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood, prompting this move.
May 8, 4 p.m.: Beaches in Barcelona were opened for residents from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. today, a step towards the easing of the coronavirus lockdown in the city. The government will decide what curbs will be eased in the second phase of easing curbs today, and the details will be released on Saturday, May 9.
May 8, 3 p.m.: The Danish government announced today that museums, amusement parks and cinema theatres will be allowed to reopen from June 8 in Denmark. Schools, restaurants and shopping malls will be reopened in the coming weeks. The novel coronavirus has infected 10,083 people and has claimed 514 lives in the country so far.
May 8, 2 p.m.: Russia reports 10,699 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, marking the sixth consecutive day that the figure has been in excess of 10,000. The total number of infections is 187,859, and the death toll stands at 1,723.
May 8, 1 p.m.: CNN reports that Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea will remain closed for the time being owing to the Covid-19 outbreak in Japan. The statement released by Oriental Land, a firm that operates the theme parks, said that reopening of the parks will be considered after the state of emergency has been lifted in the country.
May 8, 11 a.m.: French aerospace giant Safran lays off 3,000 employees in Mexico, citing a drastic reduction in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
May 8, 10 a.m.: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a three-stage plan to ease coronavirus curbs in Australia. According to the plan, all restrictions will be lifted by July in the country.
May 8, 9 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 56,342 and the death toll stands at 1,886.
May 8, 8 a.m.: A daily increase of 2,448 Covid-19 deaths was recorded in the U.S.A. The tally of cases has risen to 1,254,750, and the death toll stands at 75,543.
May 7, 11 p.m.: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced that the government plans to reopen most of the country’s businesses, private and public institutions till mid-June. The country went into lockdown on March 12, and allowed kindergarten and primary schools to reopen in April. Bars and amusement parks will reopen on June 1, and the country’s football league will resume on June 16.
May 7, 10 p.m.: The coronavirus lockdown will be lifted in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Monday, May 11. Another city, Rustavi will come out of lockdown on May 14, and domestic travel in the country will be permitted from June 15. The country will welcome tourists from other nations starting July 1.
May 7, 9.30 p.m.: Although the coronavirus lockdown in France will be lifted on May 11, the country’s borders will remain closed till at least June 15, said French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
May 7, 8 p.m.: The Notting Hill Carnival, one of the U.K.’s largest cultural events has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The carnival was supposed to be held on 30th and 31st August, in Notting Hill, London. Organizers have said that the event has been cancelled, they are arranging for alternative celebrations instead of the outdoor festivities of the carnival.
May 7, 7 p.m.: Reuters reports that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a limited easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions next week. However, the government will be cautious in its approach when easing curbs, so as to prevent a further rise in infections in the country, which has already reported more than 30,000 deaths.
May 7, 4.30 p.m.: Amidst reports of the highest daily increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country, Pakistan Prime Minister Imaran Khan announced that the lockdown restrictions in the country will be lifted starting May 9. The country reported 1,523 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 24,073.
May 7, 3 p.m.: Russia records the highest daily rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, reporting 11,231 new infections today. The total number of cases in the country has risen to 177,160, and the death toll stands at 1,625.
May 7, 2 p.m.: The World Health Organization has said that on an average, 80,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported on each day of April, globally. The coronavirus has infected more than 3.5 million people, and has claimed more than 250,000 lives worldwide. While European countries bore the brunt of the pandemic initially, the rate of new infections is on the decline now, said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. However, Asian countries like India and Bangladesh are now seeing drastic increases in the number of cases.
May 7, 1 p.m.: The Ruby Princess, a cruise ship that has been linked to Covid-19 infections and deaths in Australia and the U.S.A. has dropped anchor in Manila Bay, Philippines. The ship’s crew will soon be tested for the novel coronavirus.
May 7, 11 a.m.: The number of Covid-19 cases in Africa has crossed the 50,000 mark, and the death toll has surpassed 2,000. The last 30,000 cases have been reported in less than the period of less than three weeks since April 18, indicating a sharp spike in the past few weeks. South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria are the worst-hit nations on the continent.
May 7, 10 a.m.: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the government will consider downgrading the country’s alert level from three to two next week. Bars and hairdressers could reopen, and domestic travel might be permitted. Moreover, gatherings of up to a hundred people will be allowed too.
May 7, 9 a.m.: According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s latest update, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India is 52,952 and the death toll stands at 1,783.
May 7, 8 a.m.: Air India opened bookings for those wishing to travel from India to London, Singapore or select destinations in the U.S.A. between May 8-14. Passengers will have to meet the eligibility criteria set out by the airline to book tickets. A total of 64 flights will be operated during this period by Air India, meant to bring back Indians stranded abroad in different countries.
May 7, 7 a.m.: Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that starting May 11, nail salons, hairdresser and beauty parlors will be allowed to reopen,and restaurants, bars and movie theatres can reopen after June 1. The easing of restrictions comes as the number o f new cases continue to decline in the country, which has reported 41,319 confirmed Covid-19 infections and 5,204 deaths so far.
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