LONDON — Travel business officers have expressed dismay at French restrictions on arrivals from Britain, describing the brand new guidelines to forestall the unfold of the omicron variant as a hammer blow to the business.
The feedback by Mark Tanzer, chief government of journey and commerce affiliation Abta, got here after medical officers expressed alarm at what they described as the exceptional pace at which the variant is spreading. Travel officers demanded authorities assist to assist battered companies.
“The winter sports and school travel markets are particularly exposed, and the government must now bring forward a support package if we are not to see company failures and job losses,” Tanzer said.
Tanzer said the sector has had little opportunity to make money since the start of the pandemic, and will now be faced with another wave of cancellations.
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The new French measures place limits on reasons for traveling and requiring 48-hour isolation upon arrival. The new rules take effect first thing Saturday.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:
— EU leaders discussing rise of infections, spread of omicron
— France to restrict travel from Britain to fight omicron
— Vaccine skeptics in Eastern Europe having change of heart
— US sports leagues cope with COVID-19 outbreaks amid variants
— New California rules end distinction for vaccinated workers
— Israel to donate 1 million COVID vaccines to African nations
Go to https://APNews.com/coronavirus-pandemic for updates throughout the day.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:
WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s Health Ministry has confirmed the country’s first case of infection with the omicron coronavirus variant in a woman from Lesotho.
The case was found in a sample examined in Katowice. The ministry tweeted Thursday that the 30-year Lesotho citizen feels well but has been put in hospital isolation.
It said national health authorities have taken necessary steps. That usually means contacting, testing and putting under quarantine people who have had contact with the infected person.
The first Polish person diagnosed with omicron was a teenager who travelled to China this month and tested positive on arrival.
LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s prime minister says he intends to keep tighter COVID-19 border controls in place beyond their planned end on Jan. 9 because of the threat from the highly infectious new omicron variant.
He says Portugal is also likely to provide another booster shot next year for already vaccinated vulnerable people who are receiving a booster after having the COVID-19 jab earlier this year.
Portugal requires a negative test for all passengers on arriving flights.
Prime Minister António Costa told reporters Thursday that border controls will continue beyond Jan. 9 and could even be tightened. He didn’t elaborate.
The government had previously announced a “contention week” from Jan. 2-9, when working from house is necessary and faculties might be closed.
LONDON — British eating places and pubs demanded authorities assist because the omicron variant threatened companies with closure on the top of the essential and profitable Christmas season.
U.Ok. hospitality appealed to the federal government for enterprise charges aid and value-added tax reductions, warning that fears in regards to the new variant have already had an influence on the sector, with gross sales already having plunged by a 3rd within the final 10 days — reflecting 2 billion kilos ($2.6 billion) in misplaced commerce.
Jonathan Neame, the chief government of pub and brewery Shepherd Neame, mentioned the federal government feedback and issues will throw his enterprise again to the beginning of the pandemic.
“We’ve seen a significant number of cancellations and that’s accelerating every day, and will accelerate even further after the news last night, which seems to have thrown us back into that sort of zombie world of the first week of March, of the pandemic last year,” he advised Times Radio.
The U.Ok. recorded the very best variety of confirmed new COVID-19 infections Wednesday because the pandemic started.
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is providing COVID-19 booster pictures for individuals who acquired their second pictures at the least three months in the past as a measure to struggle the omicron variant.
The measure, introduced late Wednesday, cuts by three months the earlier six-month interval between the second shot and the booster vaccine.
The nation of practically 84 million has to date reported six instances of the omicron variant.
BRUSSELS — A summit of European Union leaders is making an attempt to coordinate motion to sort out the surge of coronavirus infections throughout the continent and the emergence of the brand new omicron variant whereas maintaining borders open.
The bloc’s leaders need to keep away from a complicated combination of guidelines with the festive season looming. And they need to guarantee all 27 member states are on the identical web page and that the COVID-19 certificates continues to ensure unrestricted journey.
But alarming rises in infections have prompted many European governments to implement public well being measures and new restrictions in current weeks.
PARIS — France will prohibit arrivals from Britain due to fast-spreading instances of the omicron virus variant.
The authorities spokesman mentioned Thursday that France will impose limits on causes for touring and a brand new requirement of a 48-hour isolation upon arrival. The new measures are taking impact very first thing Saturday.
The authorities is holding a particular virus safety assembly Friday that may deal with rising strain on hospitals in France from rising infections in current weeks.
Delta stays the dominant variant in France. But omicron is spreading so quick in Britain that it’s elevating issues throughout the Channel. The U.Ok. recorded the very best variety of confirmed new COVID-19 infections Wednesday because the pandemic started.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Swedish authorities say residents from fellow Nordic nations must present a sound COVID-19 vaccination certificates when getting into Sweden beginning subsequent week.
As of Dec. 21, individuals from Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland no lengthy could have an exemption to the certificates requirement and should additionally present their passes to enter Sweden.
The nation’s social affairs minister additionally inspired all vacationers to be examined for the coronavirus upon entry due what she referred to as a “deteriorating” public well being scenario. Sweden has beforehand stood out amongst European nations for its comparatively hands-off response to the coronavirus.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Some former vaccine skeptics in Eastern Europe are shifting over to the opposite aspect.
Fata Keco was afraid of potential antagonistic unwanted effects when she rolled up her sleeve within the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo to take her first COVID-19 vaccine shot. however the worst she needed to take care of was “moderately discomforting pain” in her left arm.
The 52-year-old joined the worldwide neighborhood of vaccine-believers after months of “being very susceptible” to what she now describes as “the most ridiculous theories.” She isn’t alone. Countries like Bosnia and Romania are seeing their vaccination charges rise amid tighter COVID-19 restrictions.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia has detected its first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in a cleansing employee at a hospital in Jakarta.
The affected person has no signs and is being quarantined on the Athlete’s Village emergency hospital, the place the affected person labored.
The authorities created the ability in March 2020 to deal with COVID-19 sufferers and as a quarantine venue for Indonesians coming back from overseas. Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin mentioned the case was discovered on Wednesday, and he urged individuals to proceed to observe beneficial well being protocols, together with carrying masks and sustaining bodily distance.
He additionally referred to as for elevated testing and to speed up the nation’s vaccination program.
DENVER — U.S. sports activities leagues are seeing quickly growing COVID-19 outbreaks with dozens of gamers in well being and security protocols, amid an ongoing surge by the delta variant of the coronavirus and rising instances of the extremely transmissible omicron mutation.
Both the NBA and NHL have postponed video games over the past month with so many gamers sidelined, and the lads’s basketball groups at Tulane and the University of Washington have had cancellations.
But don’t anticipate the leagues to return to “bubble” play or shut down till issues subside. Experts say managing outbreaks is less complicated with extremely vaccinated rosters, and there’s an excessive amount of at stake to chop again seasons.
SACRAMENTO, California — Workplace regulators are poised to increase California’s coronavirus pandemic laws into subsequent 12 months with revisions that companies say might worsen the labor scarcity.
The most important change within the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s revised rule Thursday is that it will erase present distinctions between vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.
Both could be barred from the office if they arrive in shut contact with somebody with the virus. Exposed, vaccinated however asymptomatic staff must keep dwelling for 14 days even when they take a look at unfavorable. If they return to work, they must put on masks and keep six toes (about two meters) from anybody else throughout these two weeks.
JERUSALEM — The Israeli authorities says it’s donating 1 million coronavirus vaccines to the U.N.-backed COVAX program.
The Foreign Ministry mentioned Wednesday that the AstraZeneca vaccines could be transferred to African nations within the coming weeks. It says the choice is a part of Israel’s strengthening ties with African nations.
COVAX is a world initiative that goals to supply coronavirus vaccines to poorer nations. Wealthier nations have acquired the many of the world’s vaccine provides, inflicting huge inequality in entry to jabs. Israel was one of many first nations to vaccinate its inhabitants. Early this 12 months, it got here beneath criticism for not sharing sufficient of its provides with the Palestinians.
NEW YORK — U.S. well being officers say pets and one other animals can get the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. But the danger of them spreading it to individuals is low.
Dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, otters, hyenas and white-tailed deer are among the many animals which have examined constructive, usually after contracting it from contaminated individuals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 ought to keep away from contact with pets, livestock and wildlife, in addition to with different individuals. The greatest option to forestall the virus from spreading amongst animals is to regulate it amongst individuals.
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