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Covid: New Zealand to open borders, and Serbia stands by Djokovic tests Covid: New Zealand to open borders, and Serbia stands by Djokovic tests
(6 months later)
Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We'll have another update for you this evening.Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We'll have another update for you this evening.
1. New Zealand to reopen borders1. New Zealand to reopen borders
New Zealand has announced a phased reopening of its borders, as the country starts to ease some of the world's toughest Covid restrictions. Vaccinated citizens in Australia can go home from 27 February, while jabbed citizens elsewhere will be allowed in from 13 March. They will still have to self-isolate for 10 days but the mandatory state quarantine programme will be scrapped. There has been growing criticism of New Zealand's controversial closed-border policy to keep out Covid-19 - one pregnant journalist said she had to seek refuge in Afghanistan after she wasn't allowed home.New Zealand has announced a phased reopening of its borders, as the country starts to ease some of the world's toughest Covid restrictions. Vaccinated citizens in Australia can go home from 27 February, while jabbed citizens elsewhere will be allowed in from 13 March. They will still have to self-isolate for 10 days but the mandatory state quarantine programme will be scrapped. There has been growing criticism of New Zealand's controversial closed-border policy to keep out Covid-19 - one pregnant journalist said she had to seek refuge in Afghanistan after she wasn't allowed home.
2. Djokovic tests were genuine, says Serbia2. Djokovic tests were genuine, says Serbia
Prosecutors in Serbia say there is no evidence that Novak Djokovic submitted falsified Covid test certificates to Australian authorities. A BBC report last week cast doubt over the tests, suggesting the serial numbers were out of sequence. The tests were provided to exempt him from rules barring unvaccinated people. His visa application was ultimately rejected and he was unable to play in the Australian Open after being deported - but this was not on the grounds that documents were falsified. The Belgrade public prosecutor's office now says the health ministry has confirmed the documents as authentic.Prosecutors in Serbia say there is no evidence that Novak Djokovic submitted falsified Covid test certificates to Australian authorities. A BBC report last week cast doubt over the tests, suggesting the serial numbers were out of sequence. The tests were provided to exempt him from rules barring unvaccinated people. His visa application was ultimately rejected and he was unable to play in the Australian Open after being deported - but this was not on the grounds that documents were falsified. The Belgrade public prosecutor's office now says the health ministry has confirmed the documents as authentic.
3. No movement yet on compulsory jabs for NHS workers in Northern Ireland3. No movement yet on compulsory jabs for NHS workers in Northern Ireland
The Department of Health in Northern Ireland says it has yet to publish a consultation on mandatory vaccines for new health and social care recruits. Last November, the health minister announced plans for a public consultation on mandatory Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for new staff. The compulsory scheme could involve all new recruits to health and social care and anyone who moves job within the health system. The consultation had been launched at the time England announced plans to make Covid jabs mandatory for front-line health staff by 1 April. However, this week that plan was scrapped. A spokesperson for the Department of Health in Northern Ireland said it wanted to "take into consideration the evolving situation in England".The Department of Health in Northern Ireland says it has yet to publish a consultation on mandatory vaccines for new health and social care recruits. Last November, the health minister announced plans for a public consultation on mandatory Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for new staff. The compulsory scheme could involve all new recruits to health and social care and anyone who moves job within the health system. The consultation had been launched at the time England announced plans to make Covid jabs mandatory for front-line health staff by 1 April. However, this week that plan was scrapped. A spokesperson for the Department of Health in Northern Ireland said it wanted to "take into consideration the evolving situation in England".
4. Canadian vaccine protest to continue 'for as long as it takes'4. Canadian vaccine protest to continue 'for as long as it takes'
Organisers of protests against Covid vaccine mandates for Canadian truckers have pledged to keep going for "as long as it takes". But patience is wearing thin among local officials and residents, particularly in the national capital, where daily life has been disrupted. Ottawa police have arrested three people amid several open investigations into the so-called "Freedom Convoy". Crowds participating in the demonstration have visibly thinned.Organisers of protests against Covid vaccine mandates for Canadian truckers have pledged to keep going for "as long as it takes". But patience is wearing thin among local officials and residents, particularly in the national capital, where daily life has been disrupted. Ottawa police have arrested three people amid several open investigations into the so-called "Freedom Convoy". Crowds participating in the demonstration have visibly thinned.
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Protesters at the weekend voiced their anger at Covid-19 measures in the Canadian capitalProtesters at the weekend voiced their anger at Covid-19 measures in the Canadian capital
Protesters at the weekend voiced their anger at Covid-19 measures in the Canadian capital
5. Life inside the Beijing Winter Olympics bubble5. Life inside the Beijing Winter Olympics bubble
Robots serving drinks, temperature-controlled sleep pods and disinfectant everywhere - these are the everyday scenes that Olympic athletes, officials and media will be living with for the next few weeks at the Winter Games in Beijing. "The counter-Covid measures are extraordinary," says one BBC producer. "The other day I asked for a little repair in my room and a man in a bio-hazard suit turned up to do it."Robots serving drinks, temperature-controlled sleep pods and disinfectant everywhere - these are the everyday scenes that Olympic athletes, officials and media will be living with for the next few weeks at the Winter Games in Beijing. "The counter-Covid measures are extraordinary," says one BBC producer. "The other day I asked for a little repair in my room and a man in a bio-hazard suit turned up to do it."
Dishes in the village are delivered by an automated canteen robotDishes in the village are delivered by an automated canteen robot
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And there's more...And there's more...
More than 88,000 Covid cases were reported in the UK on Wednesday - see all the latest data here. You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.More than 88,000 Covid cases were reported in the UK on Wednesday - see all the latest data here. You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
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