Paris and several other French cities face month of restrictions; numbers soar in Europe amid new lockdowns; Melbourne lockdown eased from midnight with travel distance increased to 25km – follow live
- Europe’s Covid fight takes a turn for the worse
- Police disperse drinkers protesting against tier 2 rules in London
- US records highest daily coronavirus case total since July
- See all our coronavirus coverage
Thailand reported three additional locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, a day after reporting its first local infections in more than a month.
The three new patients are family members of two Myanmar nationals who previously tested positive for the virus this week in the country’s northern province bordering Myanmar, the government’s coronavirus taskforce said.
Coronavirus survives on skin five times longer than flu: study
The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Airlines face a long, hard winter after a much hoped for rebound from the coronavirus crisis failed to materialise, prompting savage cost cutting programmes and fresh calls for government support.
Airline revenues plunged 80% in the first six months of the year, according to industry body IATA, but they still had fixed costs to cover – crew, maintenance, fuel, airport levies and now aircraft storage.
Millions of Europeans faced tough new coronavirus restrictions as governments stepped up efforts to slow the surge in infections, after the World Health Organization reported a “very concerning” 44% rise in European cases over one week.
From Saturday evening, Paris and several other French cities go under a night-time curfew that will last at least a month. England is banning mixed household gatherings in the capital and other areas, and Italy’s most populous region is limiting bar openings and suspending sports events.
The US Senate will vote on Wednesday on a $300bn Senate Republican coronavirus relief bill that is far below the estimated $2tn that Democrats have demanded.
The bill, dubbed a “skinny” relief bill for its pared-down funding, was already rejected by Democrats in September and is again expected to fail.
Reports coming from around the world:
China reported 13 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for 17 October, the same as a day earlier, the health commission said on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents inside the kingdom to perform prayers in one of the most holy religious sites in Islam, Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, for the first time in seven months, state television reported early on Sunday.
Earlier this month Saudi Arabia allowed citizens and residents to perform the Umrah pilgrimage at Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, after a seven-month pause due to coronavirus concerns.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation reports that the Covid-19 has left millions vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and trafficking:
Human traffickers are capitalising on the coronavirus pandemic to target people ranging from jobless migrants to out-of-school children, two United Nations specialists said, warning that the fallout from Covid-19 had driven the crime further underground.
It now seems up to 55 people who flew into Australia from New Zealand have travelled on to Victoria, despite that state not being part of the travel bubble. It’s exquisitely confusing, but Amy Remeikis has expertly summarised it here:
The Wallis and Futuna islands have recorded their first Covid-19 case.
The French island collectivity, north-east of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean, had been Covid-free since the beginning of the pandemic, aided by its remoteness, and the fact it can only be reached through New Caledonia (which has a mandatory quarantine regime in place).
Dan Andrews is into the nitty-gritty of how the new restriction regime will work.
After months of gruelling lockdown, Melburnians with disabilities or injuries will once again be able to access hydrotherapy pools.
Previously, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said people could access private hydrotherapy pools for medical reasons, but it’s clear this was not occurring as the vast majority of these facilities are not allowing outpatients inside.
Lina Pane, who suffers from a muscular disorder, has had her condition seriously deteriorate over lockdowns, as swimming in a heated hydrotherapy pool was her only viable form of exercise. She told Guardian Australia she was terrified that she might lose the ability to walk by the end of the pandemic.
It’s about bloody time! But you know I need to see it for real to believe it. I’ll be calling around all my local swim centres to see who is open to let me in.
It’s a relief. That fear of ending up in a wheelchair is further away now. I’m ready to start moving and get into the water. That will make such a difference to me.
All the pain I’ve gone through, being in my bed for so many hours a day, and the serious drugs that I’m on, it’s ridiculous that it had to get to this stage.
Back in Victoria, in Australia, premier Daniel Andrews, is answering questions.
He says that if any stage of the plan to ease restrictions can be moved to earlier than what has been announced today the government will do that, if it can be done safely.
Mexico’s health ministry reported on Saturday 5,447 more cases of the novel coronavirus and 355 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 847,108 and the death toll to 86,059.
Health officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Statement on further easing of restrictions in Melbourne and regional Victoria: pic.twitter.com/aGrrU3AFWO
Now here are the changes for regional Victoria from 11.59pm tonight:
More detail on Victoria’s easing of restrictions.
Again, worth noting while it’s been more than 100 days of restrictions in Victoria, the rest of the world demonstrates where this state, and Australia more broadly, could be. European cities are reimposing curfews and imposing month-long lockdowns as new cases climb into the tens of thousands every day.
In Victoria, Dan Andrews is getting down to brass tacks. It’s the AFL Grand Final this weekend – one of Melbourne’s most significant weekends (and with two Victorian teams in the granny). For the first time, the AFL’s decider will be played outside Victoria.
But Andrews says Victorian households cannot mix to watch the grand final on television.
A new community case of Covid-19 has been identified in New Zealand – the first case since 25 September.
The man is a port worker and has recently worked at the Ports of Auckland and Taranaki.
Now for the easing of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne in Victoria:
From 11.59pm tonight the following changes to restrictions will occur:
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, is on his feet, preparing to announce an easing of restrictions.
He confirms that there were two new cases in Victoria, one linked to a known outbreak, the other under investigation. There were no deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.
What it means is that as so many cities across the world head into what is going to be a deadly winter, we in Melbourne and across Victoria are well-placed to have a Covid-safe summer and a Covid-normal 2021.
In Australia’s most populous state, NSW, numbers remain low. Australia and New Zealand standing in stark contrast to the rest of the world.
NSW has reported 1 new case of locally transmitted #COVID19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
4 cases in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine were also diagnosed, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 4,149. pic.twitter.com/qQ2xbrSF1C
Staying in Australia: the acting federal immigration minister Alan Tudge has been speaking in Canberra about the 17 New Zealand travellers who flew into Melbourne via Sydney, which has reignited tensions over borders.
Tudge is referencing reports in the Age that the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet gave authorisation for one of the travellers to travel onward to Victoria, but the authorisation was given a week before the premier Daniel Andrews said the state would not be participating in the travel bubble.
For our Australian readers in particular. Victorian premier Dan Andrews is speaking at 11am to outline the easing of restrictions in that state as case numbers continue to dwindle (down to one Saturday, and two Sunday). Victoria’s capital Melbourne has endured one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world, including curfews and a 5km limit on all movement.
Andrews’s announcement is keenly anticipated, to say the very least.
Millions of Europeans faced tough new coronavirus restrictions on Saturday as governments stepped up efforts to slow the surge in infections, after the World Health Organization reported a “very concerning” 44% rise in European cases over one week.
From Saturday evening, Paris and several other French cities go under a nighttime curfew that will last at least a month. England is banning mixed household gatherings in the capital and other areas, and Italy’s most populous region is limiting bar openings and suspending sports events.
Good morning/afternoon/evening – wherever these words find you. Ben Doherty in Sydney here, helming our rolling coverage for the new few hours. If you’d like to be in contact, I can be found on email: [email protected] or reluctantly on Twitter @BenDohertyCorro.
To the state of play this morning (it’s morning where I am):