New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic continues to worry the world as cases remain high amid ongoing vaccination drives. The current count stands at 24,04,15,089 cases and 48,97,679 deaths.
While Italy’s stringent Covid Green Pass became mandatory for workers nationwide Friday, South Korea announced the lifting of restrictions on social gatherings and Australia announced lifting its outbound international travel ban from 1 November.
Italy makes Covid Green Pass mandatory for workers
Italy made its Covid Green Pass mandatory nationwide for all workers Friday, but port workers went on strike over the move, the BBC reports.
First introduced in August, Italy’s Green Pass requires workers to show proof of one of the following — double vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test taken in the last 48 hours, or recent recovery from Covid-19.
Any worker who fails to follow the Green Pass rules may be suspended without pay or be fined up to 1,500 Euros, while employers who do not check if workers are flouting the rules set, may be fined as well.
Although Italy is estimated to have vaccinated over 70 per cent of its population, 10,000 people, including members of the far-right party Forza Nuova had stormed Rome’s Piazza del Popolo on 9 October, protesting against the Green Pass and Covid vaccine mandates.
Italy has reported 47,09,753 Covid cases and 1,31,461 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
South Korea to lift restrictions on social gatherings
Amid increasing vaccination rates, South Korea Friday announced that it will ease curbs on public social gatherings next week as part of a nationwide strategy to switch to “living with” the virus, Reuters reports.
According to the relaxed policy, gatherings of groups of maximum eight people are now permitted in the Seoul area as long as four are fully vaccinated, while outdoor sports events will allow crowds, provided that 30 per cent of the attendees are vaccinated, Deputy Minister of Healthcare Policy Lee Ki-il said.
The South Korean government had Wednesday formed an expert panel to draw up a plan to “live with” the virus by lifting restrictions and reopening the economy after at least 70 per cent of the population is double-vaccinated.
South Korea has so far recorded 3,39,361 total Covid cases and 2,626 deaths.
All Australians allowed to travel abroad from November
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that the country’s ban on outbound international non-essential travel, which has been in place since the initial outbreak in March 2020, will be lifted from 1 November, The Guardian reports.
Morrison’s statement follows the New South Wales state government’s Friday announcement to lift any quarantine restrictions for international travellers arriving in the state from November onwards.
PM Morrison, however, noted that the developments in New South Wales do not mean that all travellers returning to Australia will be immediately allowed in, as citizens, residents and immediate family members would be prioritised first.
“It is for the Commonwealth and federal government to decide when the border opens and shuts at an international level and we will do that,” PM Morrison added.
Australia has reported 1,38,720 Covid cases and 1,507 deaths overall.
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