Euronews 8 Jan 2021

Coronavirus: Belgium lockdown measures to continue for two more weeks


Lockdown measures

An agreement has been reached between the UK and France to restart the flow of freight between the two countries.

The armed forces will be part of an operation to give rapid Covid tests to lorry drivers with a result in around 20 minutes.

It will take several days for the system to clear the backlog with around 3,000 lorries in Kent waiting to cross the English Channel.

France closed the border on Sunday due to growing concern about a new variant strain of coronavirus spreading across the UK.

Flights, ferry services and Eurostar trains will resume services under the agreement — but only for French nationals or residents and EU citizens who have tested negative for Covid.

Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reporting by transport correspondent Caroline Davies and business editor Simon Jack.
The UK is expected to remain in lockdown until March, with people being urged to stay at home, as the scale of the public health emergency becomes even more daunting.

More than 60,000 new Covid cases have been reported in the past 24 hour period, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. More than a million people in England are currently infected.

There is some progress, with more than 1.3m people having been given a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, including a quarter of people over 80. However some experts have warned that the government's target of delivering 13 million vaccines by mid-February is unrealistic.

Record numbers of people have been admitted to hospital since Christmas putting huge strain on the NHS.

And government advisers have warned that some restrictions may still be needed next winter to keep the virus under control.

Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reporting by deputy political editor Vicki Young, health editor Hugh Pym and health correspondent Dominic Hughes.
New coronavirus measures in Germany will last until at least January, Angela Merkel has told lawmakers in the German Parliament. A Christmas amnesty cannot be guaranteed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the extension of Germany's partial lockdown in a speech to lawmakers Thursday. She said current lockdown measures had enjoyed some success, but more was needed to avoid the health system being overwhelmed.

The current partial lockdown will be extended until at least December 20, and will probably be extended into January. Details include:
- Mandatory mask-wearing has been expanded in schools.
- Private gatherings are now limited to five people from two households, with children aged 14 exempted from the count.
- The start of school holidays is expected to be brought forward to December 16.
- Travel for holidays, particularly ski vacations, is strongly discouraged until at least January 10.
- Bars, restaurants, leisure facilities and concert halls, cosmetic studios, massage practices, tattoo studios remain closed.
- Masks must be worn in all publicly accessible indoor spaces, as well as in front of retail shops and in parking lots, and public transport.
- Overnight accommodation is only allowed for non-tourist purposes.
- The mandatory quarantine period has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
- Professional sports events may only take place without spectators.
- Individual sports as well as sports for two people or with members of your own household remain permitted.

Germany on Wednesday recorded its highest 24-hour death rate, with 410 people succumbing to the coronavirus. Roughly 20,000 new infections are being recorded each day in Germany, with 22,000 recorded on Thursday. The infection rate had been accelerating before the November lockdown, and total cases are approaching one million.
zech Republic trials faster & cheaper way to check for coronavirus.

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