• Omicron : l’OMS déconseille aux personnes vulnérables de voyager, mise en garde du PDG de Moderna
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/11/30/omicron-pekin-reconnait-que-le-variant-complique-les-jo-mise-en-garde-du-pdg

    Omicron : l’OMS déconseille aux personnes vulnérables de voyager, L’Organisation mondiale de la santé estime, cependant, que les interdictions générales de voyager n’empêcheront pas la propagation du variant Omicron.Au lendemain de l’alerte des ministres de la santé des pays du G7 déclarant dans un communiqué commun que le variant Omicron exige une « action urgente », la Chine a reconnu, mardi 30 novembre, que le nouveau variant serait synonyme de difficultés supplémentaires pour l’organisation des Jeux olympiques d’hiver de Pékin, qui doivent se tenir du 4 au 20 février 2022.
    Dans une interview au Financial Times mardi, le président-directeur général (PDG) de Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, s’est montré pessimiste quant à la réponse des vaccins existants contre ce nouveau variant du coronavirus. L’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) estime qu’Omicron présente « un risque très élevé » au niveau mondial. Elle a, cependant, conseillé aux personnes les plus vulnérables, « notamment les personnes âgées de 60 ans ou plus et celles qui présentent des comorbidités », d’éviter de voyager.De nombreux Etats ont suspendu les voyages vers l’Afrique australe et instauré des dispositifs préventifs. Après plusieurs pays de l’Union européenne, dont la France, l’Allemagne et l’Italie, l’Espagne a annoncé, mardi, la suspension des vols en provenance d’Afrique australe à compter de jeudi et jusqu’au 15 décembre. En Asie, le Japon, trois semaines après avoir assoupli certaines restrictions, interdit depuis mardi « toutes les entrées de ressortissants étrangers ». Le gouvernement a confirmé, mardi, son premier cas d’Omicron, chez un homme revenu de Namibie.
    Au Royaume-Uni, porter un masque dans les transports et les magasins est redevenu obligatoire mardi. Tous les voyageurs y arrivant doivent faire un test PCR et s’isoler jusqu’au résultat. Depuis ce week-end, Londres n’acceptait déjà plus les non-Britanniques venant de dix pays africains (Afrique du Sud, Namibie, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambie et Angola).
    Tout en reconnaissant des difficultés supplémentaires, la Chine a réaffirmé mardi sa confiance dans la réussite des Jeux olympiques d’hiver à Pékin, en dépit du nouveau variant Omicron, dont aucun cas n’a été à ce jour détecté dans le pays, hormis dans le territoire autonome de Hongkong. La Chine a largement maîtrisé l’épidémie sur son sol grâce à des mesures draconiennes : très forte limitation des vols internationaux, quarantaine obligatoire à l’arrivée, dépistages massifs ou encore isolement des cas contacts, identifiés grâce aux applications de suivi des déplacements. La vie a quasi repris son cours normal dès le printemps de l’année dernière. Mais le pays reste confronté à l’apparition de petits foyers sporadiques. Alors que les frontières chinoises sont pratiquement fermées depuis mars 2020, les Jeux de Pékin se dérouleront dans une bulle sanitaire dont ne pourront sortir les quelque 2 900 sportifs attendus. Ils devront être soit vaccinés soit se soumettre à une quarantaine de vingt et un jours à leur arrivée. Tous seront soumis à des tests de dépistage quotidiens. Seuls des spectateurs résidant en Chine pourront assister aux épreuves. La Chine fait état ces dernières semaines de seulement quelques dizaines de nouveaux cas quotidiens de Covid-19.
    Les autorités sanitaires néerlandaises ont annoncé mardi avoir détecté le variant Omicron dans un test effectué le 19 novembre, une semaine plus tôt que ce qui était estimé jusqu’ici, et des contrôles sont en cours pour voir dans quelle mesure il s’est propagé. « L’Institut néerlandais de la santé et de l’environnement a détecté le variant Omicron dans deux échantillons de test qui avaient déjà été prélevés aux Pays-Bas (…) les 19 et 23 novembre 2021 », a-t-il déclaré dans un communiqué. Les Pays-Bas avaient annoncé lundi que quatorze personnes étaient porteuses du variant Omicron dans le pays, figurant toutes parmi les passagers partis d’Afrique du Sud et diagnostiqués positifs au Covid-19 vendredi à leur arrivée à Amsterdam. Or, les deux échantillons avaient été prélevés avant même que l’Afrique du Sud rapporte à l’OMS avoir détecté ce nouveau variant, le 24 novembre, suscitant un vent de panique et une interdiction de nombreux territoires des voyageurs en provenance d’Afrique australe.Il n’est pas encore possible de savoir « si les personnes concernées [dans les cas précédents] se sont également rendues en Afrique australe », a précisé l’Institut néerlandais de la santé, ajoutant que les personnes testées avaient été informées et que les services de santé municipaux avaient commencé à enquêter sur leurs contacts. Avec 16 cas désormais confirmés, les Pays-Bas comptent l’un des chiffres de contamination par le nouveau variant les plus élevés d’Europe, à ce stade.

    #COvid-19#migrant#migration#monde#sante#chine#afriqueaustrale#paysbas#grandebretagne#sante#variant#omicron#criculation#frontiere#oms#test#quarantaine#vaccination

  • Omicron : l’OMS déconseille aux personnes vulnérables de voyager, mise en garde du PDG de Moderna
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/11/30/omicron-pekin-reconnait-que-le-variant-complique-les-jo-mise-en-garde-du-pdg

    Omicron : l’OMS déconseille aux personnes vulnérables de voyager, L’Organisation mondiale de la santé estime, cependant, que les interdictions générales de voyager n’empêcheront pas la propagation du variant Omicron.Au lendemain de l’alerte des ministres de la santé des pays du G7 déclarant dans un communiqué commun que le variant Omicron exige une « action urgente », la Chine a reconnu, mardi 30 novembre, que le nouveau variant serait synonyme de difficultés supplémentaires pour l’organisation des Jeux olympiques d’hiver de Pékin, qui doivent se tenir du 4 au 20 février 2022.
    Dans une interview au Financial Times mardi, le président-directeur général (PDG) de Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, s’est montré pessimiste quant à la réponse des vaccins existants contre ce nouveau variant du coronavirus. L’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) estime qu’Omicron présente « un risque très élevé » au niveau mondial. Elle a, cependant, conseillé aux personnes les plus vulnérables, « notamment les personnes âgées de 60 ans ou plus et celles qui présentent des comorbidités », d’éviter de voyager.De nombreux Etats ont suspendu les voyages vers l’Afrique australe et instauré des dispositifs préventifs. Après plusieurs pays de l’Union européenne, dont la France, l’Allemagne et l’Italie, l’Espagne a annoncé, mardi, la suspension des vols en provenance d’Afrique australe à compter de jeudi et jusqu’au 15 décembre. En Asie, le Japon, trois semaines après avoir assoupli certaines restrictions, interdit depuis mardi « toutes les entrées de ressortissants étrangers ». Le gouvernement a confirmé, mardi, son premier cas d’Omicron, chez un homme revenu de Namibie.
    Au Royaume-Uni, porter un masque dans les transports et les magasins est redevenu obligatoire mardi. Tous les voyageurs y arrivant doivent faire un test PCR et s’isoler jusqu’au résultat. Depuis ce week-end, Londres n’acceptait déjà plus les non-Britanniques venant de dix pays africains (Afrique du Sud, Namibie, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambie et Angola).
    Tout en reconnaissant des difficultés supplémentaires, la Chine a réaffirmé mardi sa confiance dans la réussite des Jeux olympiques d’hiver à Pékin, en dépit du nouveau variant Omicron, dont aucun cas n’a été à ce jour détecté dans le pays, hormis dans le territoire autonome de Hongkong. La Chine a largement maîtrisé l’épidémie sur son sol grâce à des mesures draconiennes : très forte limitation des vols internationaux, quarantaine obligatoire à l’arrivée, dépistages massifs ou encore isolement des cas contacts, identifiés grâce aux applications de suivi des déplacements. La vie a quasi repris son cours normal dès le printemps de l’année dernière. Mais le pays reste confronté à l’apparition de petits foyers sporadiques. Alors que les frontières chinoises sont pratiquement fermées depuis mars 2020, les Jeux de Pékin se dérouleront dans une bulle sanitaire dont ne pourront sortir les quelque 2 900 sportifs attendus. Ils devront être soit vaccinés soit se soumettre à une quarantaine de vingt et un jours à leur arrivée. Tous seront soumis à des tests de dépistage quotidiens. Seuls des spectateurs résidant en Chine pourront assister aux épreuves. La Chine fait état ces dernières semaines de seulement quelques dizaines de nouveaux cas quotidiens de Covid-19.
    Les autorités sanitaires néerlandaises ont annoncé mardi avoir détecté le variant Omicron dans un test effectué le 19 novembre, une semaine plus tôt que ce qui était estimé jusqu’ici, et des contrôles sont en cours pour voir dans quelle mesure il s’est propagé. « L’Institut néerlandais de la santé et de l’environnement a détecté le variant Omicron dans deux échantillons de test qui avaient déjà été prélevés aux Pays-Bas (…) les 19 et 23 novembre 2021 », a-t-il déclaré dans un communiqué. Les Pays-Bas avaient annoncé lundi que quatorze personnes étaient porteuses du variant Omicron dans le pays, figurant toutes parmi les passagers partis d’Afrique du Sud et diagnostiqués positifs au Covid-19 vendredi à leur arrivée à Amsterdam. Or, les deux échantillons avaient été prélevés avant même que l’Afrique du Sud rapporte à l’OMS avoir détecté ce nouveau variant, le 24 novembre, suscitant un vent de panique et une interdiction de nombreux territoires des voyageurs en provenance d’Afrique australe.Il n’est pas encore possible de savoir « si les personnes concernées [dans les cas précédents] se sont également rendues en Afrique australe », a précisé l’Institut néerlandais de la santé, ajoutant que les personnes testées avaient été informées et que les services de santé municipaux avaient commencé à enquêter sur leurs contacts. Avec 16 cas désormais confirmés, les Pays-Bas comptent l’un des chiffres de contamination par le nouveau variant les plus élevés d’Europe, à ce stade.

    #COvid-19#migrant#migration#monde#sante#chine#afriqueaustrale#paysbas#grandebretagne#sante#variant#omicron#criculation#frontiere#oms#test#quarantaine#vaccination

  • Coronavirus: Hong Kong further tightens quarantine rules on arrivals from 8 African nations in fight against new ‘Omicron’ variant | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3157589/coronavirus-unvaccinated-hongkongers-could-find

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong further tightens quarantine rules on arrivals from 8 African nations in fight against new ‘Omicron’ variant. City residents returning from South Africa, Botswana and six other nations must spend the first of three weeks of quarantine at a government facility
    Hong Kong has further tightened quarantine rules for its residents arriving from eight African countries following the detection of a new, highly infectious coronavirus variant, requiring them to complete the first week of their mandatory confinement in a government facility. The Centre for Health Protection said on Saturday that Hong Kong residents arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe would immediately be sent to Penny’s Bay quarantine centre. The measure takes effect on Sunday.

    #Covid-19#migrantt#migration#afriquedusud#hongkong#sante#variant#omicron#quarantaine#afrique#circulation#frontiere

  • Coronavirus: Omicron variant fears prompt Australia, Japan, Philippines, Thailand to impose new travel curbs | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/3157590/coronavirus-omicron-variant-fears-prompt-australia

    Coronavirus: Omicron variant fears prompt Australia, Japan, Philippines, Thailand to impose new travel curbs. The restrictions are similar to those brought in by Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere after the discovery of the new variant triggered global alarm on Friday
    Australia imposed new restrictions on Saturday on people who have been to nine southern African countries, a day after the Philippines made a similar move, as the new Omicron variant raises concerns about another wave of the coronavirus pandemic.Effective immediately, the Australian government will ban non-citizens who have been in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, eSwatini, the Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique from entering and will require supervised 14-day quarantines for Australian citizens and their dependents returning from the countries, said Health Minister Greg Hunt. These restrictions also apply to people such as international students and skilled migrants arriving from countries with which Australia has travel bubbles, who have been in any of the nine countries within the past 14 days.Anyone who has already arrived in Australia and who has been in any of those countries within the past 14 days must immediately isolate and be tested.The Australian government will also suspend all flights from the nine southern African countries for two weeks.
    Meanwhile, Japan said it would tighten border controls for the southern African nations of Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, requiring a 10-day quarantine for any entrants, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
    The new rules, taking effect from midnight, come a day after Japan tightened border controls for those arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.
    The Philippines has also suspended flights from South Africa and six other countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, eSwatini, and Mozambique – until December 15, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a statement on Friday night. Passengers who have visited any of these countries in the 14 days before their arrival will also be temporarily barred from entry, he said. Earlier in the day, the Philippines had announced the reopening of borders to tourists from what it considers low-risk areas, as part of an easing of restrictions after weeks of declining coronavirus infections.Thailand said on Saturday it would also ban the entry of people travelling from eight countries – Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – from December.
    “We have notified airlines and these countries,” senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference. “Those that have already been approved to enter the country from these eight countries will be ordered to undergo an additional 14-day mandatory quarantine, starting now,” Opas said.People from other African countries who have already secured approval to visit Thailand will be subject to 14 days in hotel quarantine. No African countries are on a list of 63 nations eligible for quarantine-free travel to Thailand which started this month, Opas said.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#afrique#australie#japon#philippines#variant#omicron#sante#circulation#frontiere#quarantaine#bulledevoyage

  • Universities tell stranded international students to prepare for return to campus in China | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3155587/universities-tell-stranded-overseas-students-prepare-return

    Universities tell stranded international students to prepare for return to campus in China. Duke Kunshan University and New York University Shanghai have both sent out emails saying they could be allowed back in time for next semester. Borders have been closed to most foreigners since March 2020 and no official announcement has been made on reopening to international students
    New York University Shanghai told international students it is confident they will be able to attend campus next semester. Photo: Shutterstock New York University Shanghai told international students it is confident they will be able to attend campus next semester. Two international universities in China have told their overseas students to prepare for a return to campus as early as March, after they were shut out of the country because of the pandemic.While there has been no official announcement on when China’s borders will reopen to foreign students, Duke Kunshan University in Suzhou and New York University Shanghai have both sent out emails saying they could be allowed back on campus in time for the next semester. China’s borders have been closed to most foreigners since March 2020, with special exemptions granted for work or family reasons, as part of its zero-tolerance strategy to Covid-19. That has left many of the country’s half a million international students stranded overseas and unable to attend classes in person. International students have taken to social media to appeal to Chinese authorities to grant them visas so they can return to the country to continue their university studies, including via the Twitter campaign #TakeUsBackToChina. But at present, the only international students receiving China visas are from South Korea, after the two countries agreed in July last year to resume issuing student visas. South Koreans make up about 10 per cent of China’s international students.
    The email from DKU, addressing students and parents, advised students to get vaccinated and prepare their visa applications.“The DKU leadership understands that China is now working on a detailed plan to facilitate international students’ safe entry to the Chinese mainland. Early indications suggest that this procedure, once finalised, will allow students to enter gradually in groups over time to ensure suitable and sufficient quarantine measures,” according to the email, which was posted on Twitter on Monday by a reporter with Duke University’s student newspaper, The Chronicle.
    There was no date for when students might be able to start applying for visas or when they might be able to enter China, but the email said the progress was “encouraging”.
    International students received a similar email from NYU Shanghai on Monday, saying it was confident they would be able to attend campus next semester. Sent by David Pe, the dean of students, it said they should work with their academic advisers in the coming month to register for classes in Shanghai, get vaccinated, and begin looking at direct flights. The email, which was also posted on Twitter, said students would have to complete a 21-day quarantine period before the end of January.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#sante#etudiantinternational#retour#vaccination#quarantaine#economie#politiquemigratoire#circulation#frontiere

  • Coronavirus: Hong Kong may restrict movements of quarantine-exempt aircrew in light of Cathay pilots’ infections | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3155516/hong-kong-axe-new-zealand-only-low-risk-covid-19

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong may restrict movements of quarantine-exempt aircrew in light of Cathay pilots’ infections Health officials say they are worried about the infections of the two aircrew staff because they had high viral loads and were highly transmissive. But Cathay Pacific warns any tightening of cargo aircrew quarantine rules may force it to cut flights, not just harming airline but also choking city
    Hong Kong authorities may restrict the movements of local aircrew who are exempt from quarantine on their return from overseas, after two cargo pilots tested positive for Covid-19 and triggered the isolation of 120 pupils linked to the family of one of them.
    The infection of the two pilots, who were among five cases confirmed on Wednesday, sparked fears the city’s negotiations with mainland China on fully reopening the border would be delayed. But the aviation industry also hit back strongly on any potential tightening, with Cathay Pacific warning the move would disrupt the global supply chain.Local health officials expressed concern about the cases.“We are rather worried about the infections of these two aircrew members … as they had high viral load and were highly transmissive,” said Dr Albert Au Ka-wing, principal medical and health officer of the communicable disease branch at the Centre for Health Protection (CHP).Centre controller Dr Edwin Tsui Lok-kin warned the risk of community spread was “relatively high”.“We will work with Transport and Housing Bureau colleagues to further review if there is a possibility to consider further restricting the movements of exempted persons, [such as] aircrew, in Hong Kong,” he said, adding authorities would also look into “locations of isolation or quarantine”.Tsui said the government would try to strike a balance between public health needs and cargo and aviation operations.He conceded that if Hong Kong were to adopt a total closed-loop system in managing people exempted from quarantine, such as having specific transport to take arrivals back to their isolation place, much effort would be involved. Relevant government departments would need to look into the feasibility of such an approach.
    Cathay Pacific said any tightening of cargo aircrew quarantine rules could force it to cut flights, not just harming the airline but also choking the city and affecting global supply chains.“Tightening the travel restrictions for aircrew operating cargo services would significantly impede our ability to continue to mount these important flights,” an airline spokeswoman said.
    Aircrew would need to volunteer for closed-loop operations, flying for three weeks and living in airport hotels throughout, but Cathay already had a shortage of pilots and cabin crew volunteering to fly and spend considerable time in quarantine. Staff have expressed concerns about being separated from families for a long time.The bureau said it “attaches great importance to the concerned cases and will maintain close communications with the CHP and the airline”.Earlier in the day, health experts had called for tighter quarantine arrangements for aircrew to close any remaining avenues of coronavirus transmission in Hong Kong.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#hongkong#chine#frontiere#circulation#sante##quarantaine#restrictionsanitaire

  • En Grèce, une eurodéputée témoigne du refoulement de réfugiés vers la Turquie
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/11/08/en-grece-une-eurodeputee-temoigne-du-refoulement-de-refugies-vers-la-turquie

    En Grèce, une eurodéputée témoigne du refoulement de réfugiés vers la Turquie. En mission sur l’île de Samos, Cornelia Ernst, du parti allemand de gauche Die Linke, a rencontré cinq demandeurs d’asile qui disent avoir échappé à cette pratique illégale.

    Lors de sa visite de trois jours en compagnie d’une délégation de la commission des libertés civiles du Parlement européen, en Grèce, et notamment sur l’île de Samos, où a été inauguré début septembre un nouveau camp ultrasécurisé, l’eurodéputée a rencontré cinq réfugiés somaliens qui affirment avoir échappé à un refoulement vers la Turquie. Une pratique contraire aux droits international et européen qui consiste à ne pas enregistrer les demandeurs d’asile en Grèce et à les renvoyer de force vers les eaux territoriales turques.Le 3 novembre, lorsque Cornelia Ernst et ses collègues rencontrent plusieurs ONG à Samos, un avocat et des humanitaires de Médecins sans frontières (MSF) les informent qu’« à ce moment même sur l’île un groupe de personnes a peur d’être refoulé et a appelé une ligne téléphonique d’urgence pour demander de l’aide ». Cornelia Ernst dit alors avoir pris la « décision personnelle » de suivre les humanitaires pour voir de ses propres yeux ce qu’il se passait. La délégation a suivi le programme qui était prévu pour leur visite et n’a pas souhaité se joindre à l’expédition.
    Avec trois membres de MSF, l’eurodéputée se rend donc sur la localisation indiquée au numéro d’urgence par les demandeurs d’asile. Dans un premier temps, la police ne les laisse pas passer, mais Cornelia Ernst montre sa carte de membre du Parlement européen. « Il y avait au moins quatre voitures de police autour du site, (…) certains policiers avaient des uniformes, d’autres non. Deux hommes en uniforme bleu sans insigne portaient des masques noirs recouvrant leur visage », décrit l’élue.
    Après quinze à vingt minutes de recherches, quatre hommes et une femme sortent des buissons. « Ils disaient qu’ils étaient somaliens et qu’ils étaient arrivés dans la nuit avec dix-neuf autres personnes qu’ils ont perdues de vue après leur débarquement. Parmi eux se trouvaient des femmes et trois enfants », explique Cornelia Ernst. Effrayés, les demandeurs d’asile se cachaient par peur d’être renvoyés de force en Turquie par la police.
    « La police ne nous empêche pas de faire notre travail mais nous intimide », explique-t-il, affirmant toujours informer par courriel « la police grecque, les gardes-côtes, le directeur du camp, pour ne pas être accusés à tort de faciliter l’immigration illégale vers la Grèce ». « Le 25 juin, un collègue a été arrêté et mis en garde à vue pendant douze heures sans raison. De mauvais vents soufflent sur l’Europe, et la criminalisation de l’aide aux réfugiés se banalise. » Les cinq demandeurs d’asile ont bien été enregistrés le 3 novembre dans le camp de Samos et doivent désormais rester quinze jours en quarantaine, en raison de l’épidémie de Covid-19.
    Cornelia Ernst a demandé aux gardes-côtes grecs et au ministère des migrations des informations sur cette affaire. Lors d’une conférence organisée à la dernière minute le 4 novembre, à Athènes, le ministre grec des migrations, Notis Mitarachi, a précisé qu’il allait demander « une enquête au parquet », mais a aussi trouvé « très particulier qu’un habitant sache où et quand étaient cachés des migrants ». Des propos visant directement Dimitris Choulis, un avocat spécialisé dans le droit des réfugiés qui défend depuis des mois les rescapés de refoulements vers la Turquie et dénonce les agissements des autorités grecques.
    Des hotlines comme celle gérée par l’ONG Aegean Boat Report informent en direct des arrivées sur les îles grecques, souvent avec des photos et des géolocalisations précises envoyées par les migrants, d’où les informations obtenues par l’avocat. Les défenseurs des droits de l’homme, les enquêtes journalistiques, et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés ont documenté ces refoulements illégaux de migrants vers la Turquie. La Commission européenne a appelé Athènes, en octobre, à mettre en place un mécanisme indépendant pour enquêter sur ces violations aux frontières. Mais M. Mitarachi a toujours nié ces accusations et affirme que la Grèce dispose « d’autorités indépendantes pour enquêter ». Cornelia Ernst en est pourtant persuadée : « Si nous n’avions pas été là [le 3 novembre], ces réfugiés n’auraient pas été capables de demander l’asile.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grece#sante#quarantaine#samos#demandeurdasile#refoulement#turquie

  • Covid-19 : La Thaïlande accueille ses premiers touristes vaccinés sans quarantaine
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/11/01/australie-thailande-coree-du-sud-des-pays-assouplissent-les-restrictions-de-

    La Thaïlande accueille ses premiers touristes vaccinés sans quarantaine
    Des touristes se prélassent près de la piscine d’un hôtel sur l’île
    Depuis ce lundi, le gouvernement thaïlandais autorise les voyageurs vaccinés de plus de 60 pays à séjourner en Thaïlande sans effectuer de quarantaine. Les premiers ont atterri ce matin à Bangkok et sur l’île de Phuket, un espoir de renaissance pour l’industrie touristique thaïlandaise exsangue après un an et demi de verrouillage.La pandémie de Covid-19 a frappé de plein fouet l’économie du royaume, qui dépend beaucoup du tourisme et a enregistré l’an dernier ses pires résultats depuis la crise financière asiatique de 1997, avec une baisse de plus de 80 % des arrivées de visiteurs internationaux.« La chose la plus importante à laquelle le gouvernement et moi-même pensons en ce moment est de faire en sorte que les moyens de subsistance des gens reviennent à la normale », a déclaré vendredi le premier ministre, Prayut Chan-o-cha. Le tourisme représente près d’un cinquième de l’économie, et l’impact de la pandémie s’est répercuté sur divers secteurs, de la restauration aux transports.
    Le retour des touristes sera progressif, et les autorités tablent sur 10 millions à 15 millions de visiteurs l’année prochaine, encore loin du record de 2019, de près de 40 millions. Les recettes attendues pour 2022 sont d’environ 30 milliards de dollars. « En 2023, nous pensons qu’elles seront proches du chiffre de l’année 2019 », a déclaré le ministre du Tourisme, Pipat Ratchakitprakarn.Mais l’industrie se veut moins optimiste, dans la mesure où les touristes chinois, qui constituent le principal marché pour la Thaïlande, sont toujours soumis à une quarantaine stricte à leur retour chez eux et ne devraient pas venir en masse avant de nombreux mois. De plus, le royaume enregistre encore environ 10 000 cas de Covid-19 par jour, et seulement 40 % environ de la population a reçu deux doses de vaccin. A Bangkok, ce taux est de 80 %.En Uruguay, le choix a également été fait d’ouvrir les frontières uniquement aux étrangers vaccinés.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#thailande#sante#frontiere#circulation#tourisme#economie#vaccination#chine#quarantaine

  • Covid-19 : L’Australie rouvre ses frontières à ses ressortissants vaccinés
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/11/01/australie-thailande-coree-du-sud-des-pays-assouplissent-les-restrictions-de-

    L’Australie rouvre ses frontières à ses ressortissants vaccinés
    L’Australie a rouvert ses frontières lundi, près de six cents jours après leur fermeture. Le 20 mars 2020, l’immense île-continent a instauré l’une des fermetures des frontières les plus strictes au monde afin de se protéger de la pandémie de Covid-19.Des dizaines de milliers d’Australiens vivant à l’étranger n’ont pas pu rentrer dans leur pays natal pendant dix-neuf mois. Les vols étaient rares, et les ressortissants autorisés à rentrer devaient effectuer une coûteuse quarantaine de quatorze jours à l’hôtel. Les deux plus grandes villes du pays, Sydney et Melbourne, ont décidé d’abandonner ces mesures, et les Australiens entièrement vaccinés peuvent désormais voyager sans quarantaine. Certains Etats australiens, pour lesquels le taux de vaccination demeure faible, resteront quasi fermés. Une quarantaine obligatoire de quatorze jours restera en vigueur.Plus d’un million de résidents étrangers demeurent bloqués en Australie, dans l’impossibilité de rentrer pour retrouver leurs amis ou leurs familles, les mesures d’assouplissement s’appliquant principalement aux citoyens australiens.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#australie#sante#retour#vaccination#frontiere#circulation#quarantaine

  • Coronavirus: Hong Kong adds 1,500 quarantine rooms ahead of Christmas holidays as 5 more hotels join approved list | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3152831/hong-kong-add-estimated-2000-quarantine-hotel

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong adds 1,500 quarantine rooms ahead of Christmas holidays as 5 more hotels join approved list

    Hong Kong officials have added five hotels to the government’s approved list of coronavirus quarantine facilities, ramping up room supply by 15 per cent ahead of an expected rush of inbound travellers over the Christmas holiday season.The administration revealed on Tuesday that a total of 40 designated quarantine hotels would provide about 11,500 rooms between December 1 and February 28, a period also covering Lunar New Year.
    Hong Kong’s expansion of the quarantine facilities from the current level of 10,000 rooms emerged as the city confirmed two new coronavirus cases carrying the L452R mutant strain on Tuesday – both imported – taking the overall tally of infections to 12,301,­ with 213 related deaths.The two cases ­involved a 51-year-old man from the United Kingdom and a three-year-old from Mongolia. Fewer than 10 preliminary-positive infections were recorded. The 36 hotels currently approved to serve as quarantine hotels – a list that is updated every three months – were booked at 84 per cent capacity from September to November, according to the Food and Health Bureau. The net increase in the number of designated hotels for the coming round is four after it was previously announced that Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers in Tsim Sha Tsui would stop running quarantine services on November 9. Michael Li Hon-shing, executive director of the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners, earlier on Tuesday predicted that the government would introduce another 2,000 quarantine rooms, as he said the industry was readying for a busy time in the coming months. He noted that while the government had typically chosen mid-range and budget hotels priced between HK$600 (US$77) and HK$800 per night, adding some five-star accommodation to the mix could help meet demand among returning travellers for a higher level of service and more comfortable rooms.“I think the demand for that is not that huge, but it must have its own market,” he said. “I believe the market for rooms priced at about HK$1,000 is larger.”Last month, the Hong Kong government sent letters to about 2,000 hotels and guesthouses holding relevant licences to encourage them to join the designated hotel scheme in a bid to meet customer demand, driven by residents returning to their home city.Li said hotels considering joining the scheme had to weigh their own strategies, including whether they preferred to focus on longer-term tenants or the burgeoning “staycation” market.“They may worry that future customers could be concerned that they had been a quarantine hotel before … But they may also hope to boost the occupancy rate by becoming a quarantine facility. It’s up to the hotels’ business strategy,” he said.
    Hong Kong has imposed one of the world’s strictest policies for inbound travellers, requiring those from countries deemed high-risk – a list that includes Britain, the United States and Thailand – to complete up to three weeks of compulsory hotel quarantine.The limited supply of government-approved hotels had left thousands of travellers to the city scrambling to book rooms and rearrange flights in recent months. Meanwhile, foreign domestic helpers, who mainly come to the city from the Philippines or Indonesia, have just two options – the 409-room Silka Hotel Tsuen Wan or the government-run Penny’s Bay quarantine facility, which has 1,000 slots.
    Every room at both properties was snapped up within minutes of becoming available, as employers and employment agencies rushed to reserve slots for their workers.According to government figures, the city had a total of 315 licensed hotel properties supplying 87,318 rooms as of August.

    #Covid-19#migration#migrant#hongkong#sante#vaccination#quarantaine#hotel#frontiere#circulation

  • Coronavirus: Singapore expands no-quarantine scheme for vaccinated travellers despite reporting record cases | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3152808/coronavirus-singapore-expands-no-quarantine-scheme

    Coronavirus: Singapore expands no-quarantine scheme for vaccinated travellers despite reporting record cases
    Singapore on Tuesday began quarantine-free entry for fully vaccinated passengers from eight countries, part of a plan to ease restrictions as the business hub gears up to live with the coronavirus.This came as its health ministry reported 3,994 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic, while it recorded seven new deaths from the disease.The latest easing expanded a programme that began with vaccinated air travel lanes with Germany and Brunei last month, and is now open to passengers from the United States, Canada, Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.Singapore Airlines said flights under the scheme were expected to depart from Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles and New York on Tuesday.“We have seen very strong demand for our Vaccinated Travel Lane flights,” it said. “This is across all cabin classes, as well as various travel segments including leisure, families, and business travel.”Passengers arriving as part of this scheme – which will include South Korea from November 15 – will not have to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated and test negative for the virus before they depart and when they arrive.To enable families to travel, Singapore has allowed entry to unvaccinated children aged 12 years and under if they are accompanied by someone flying under the scheme.In the almost deserted tourist district, restaurant manager Raj Samuel said he was optimistic about the potential for more business.“I think it’s an excellent move by the country to help open up the economy … especially for the food and beverage sector,” the 36-year-old said.Kylie Jens, a 29-year-old lawyer from New Zealand based in Singapore, said she was planning to go to Britain for Christmas under the scheme.“Singapore is just such a small island, it’s nice to have a chance to get away and know that that’s possible pretty soon,” she said.
    The city state initially fought the Covid-19 pandemic by shutting borders, imposing lockdowns of varying intensity and aggressive contact tracing. But with more than 80 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, authorities are keen to revive the economy. “Singapore cannot stay locked down and closed off indefinitely,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said earlier this month when he announced a raft of measures under the “Living with Covid-19” strategy.“The Delta variant is highly infectious, and has spread all over the world. Even with the whole population vaccinated, we still will not be able to stamp it out,” he said. “Almost every country has accepted this reality.”The regional offices of thousands of multinational corporations are in Singapore, which rely on its status as a business and aviation hub for their operations.“We must continue to reopen our borders safely,” Lee said. “Companies and investors need to carry out regional and global business from Singapore. People working for them need to travel to earn a living.”
    Vaccinated travel is a “very significant step forward in re-establishing Singapore’s role as one of the Asia-Pacific’s leading international hubs for finance, regional headquartering and commercial aviation,” said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit.The scheme may also provide a shot in the arm for the pandemic-hammered airline and tourism industries, analysts said. Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for about 5 per cent of Singapore’s GDP, said Song Seng Wun, a regional economist with CIMB Private Banking. “We used to get 1.6 million tourists every month, our airport used to handle over a thousand flights a day pre-pandemic. Now it is just over 300 flights a day,” he said. Statistics from the Singapore tourism board showed international visitor arrivals plunging to less than 2.8 million last year from a record 19.1 million in 2019. Allowing in travellers without quarantine “instils a bit of fear” in some people, said Singaporean Simon Chow, 22, but added that people need to live with the virus. “At the end of the day, we’re a country that needs travel.”

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#hongkong#sante#frontiere#circulation#vaccination#quarantaine#tourisme#economie#asie#pacifique

  • Pour atteindre le « zéro Covid », Hongkong impose une quarantaine éprouvante aux résidents revenant sur l’île
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/10/13/pour-atteindre-le-zero-covid-hongkong-impose-une-quarantaine-eprouvante-aux-

    Pour atteindre le « zéro Covid », Hongkong impose une quarantaine éprouvante aux résidents revenant sur l’île. Longtemps considéré comme l’un des plus libres de la planète, le territoire est en train de se couper du reste du monde.
    Depuis fin août, les résidents de Hongkong qui rentrent de France, du Royaume-Uni, des Etats-Unis ainsi que de vingt-trois autres pays ne sont admis dans la région administrative spéciale de Chine qu’au terme de vingt et un jours d’une quarantaine éprouvante tant pour leur santé morale et physique que pour celle de leurs finances. Le voyageur doit en effet rester enfermé dans une chambre d’hôtel – l’un des trente-cinq « DQH » (« hôtels conçus pour quarantaine ») habilités par le gouvernement – sans la moindre sortie à l’air libre autorisée. Le nombre de personnes qui souhaitent rentrer à Hongkong étant bien supérieur à l’offre disponible, les délais s’allongent, les prix grimpent. Certains hôtels, surtout bas de gamme, abusent de ce filon en proposant des chambres non seulement minuscules mais aussi sales, voire insalubres. Au cours de ce séjour, le voyageur (nécessairement vacciné et ayant déjà été testé au moins deux fois au cours des quarante-huit heures qui précèdent son arrivée à l’hôtel) doit se soumettre à six tests obligatoires, qui ont lieu avec des précautions qui semblent dignes d’un laboratoire de haute sécurité. Pour les gens qui voyagent seuls, ces visites leur offrent néanmoins les seuls contacts humains de tout leur séjour, même si ces intervenants aux allures de cosmonaute ont la réputation d’être peu causants. Même la livraison des plateaux-repas est organisée de sorte à éviter toute interaction entre le personnel et les personnes placées en quarantaine. Certains hôtels exigent que ces derniers attendent deux minutes avant d’ouvrir leur porte pour laisser au personnel le temps de quitter l’étage. Une porte ouverte trop tôt ou trop longtemps, un pied posé dans le couloir ont provoqué des sanctions. « Sortir de la chambre sera considéré comme une violation des règles de quarantaine et donc un délit, passible de peines allant jusqu’à six mois de prison et 25 000 dollars de Hongkong [environ 2 800 euros] d’amende », précise le site du gouvernement.Dans la plupart des hôtels, il est en outre impossible d’ouvrir la fenêtre, ce qui accentue le sentiment de claustrophobie, les migraines, les réactions aux moisissures… « Entre la valse des plateaux-repas et l’air conditionné non-stop, on sort de là aussi pâteux et vaseux que d’un mauvais voyage en avion, qui aurait duré vingt et un jours », témoigne un jeune homme en quarantaine qui n’avait pas les moyens de s’offrir un hôtel de bon standing.Surfant sur cette niche, des entreprises se sont créées pour livrer tapis de course et vélos d’intérieur, alors que les tutos et les groupes d’entraide en tout genre sont apparus en ligne pour aider à passer cette épreuve. On y apprend l’importance de structurer ses journées, mais aussi comment élaborer un minibowling avec la réserve de bouteilles d’eau livrées en début de séjour et une orange, ou comment faire sa lessive dans la bouilloire électrique… Pour soulager leurs clients captifs, certains hôtels subventionnent une « Happy hour » sur Zoom le vendredi soir.
    La rigueur extrême dont use le gouvernement pour gérer la situation se répercute sur les compagnies aériennes, qui peuvent être suspendues pendant plusieurs semaines si elles importent un certain nombre de cas parmi leurs passagers. Par conséquent, les contrôles à l’embarquement sont devenus particulièrement tatillons. Certains passagers ont été laissés sur le tarmac pour un prénom mal orthographié, un test PCR ayant dépassé de quelques minutes le délai de soixante-douze heures ou faute d’avoir pu fournir la preuve (traduite en anglais) de la certification ISO du laboratoire qui avait réalisé leur test… Récemment, à la suite du test positif d’une hôtesse de l’air arrivée de Los Angeles, tout l’équipage du vol a été mis en quarantaine pour trois semaines dans le centre de quarantaine du gouvernement, Penny Bay. La menace d’être envoyé à Penny Bay pèse d’ailleurs désormais comme une épée de Damoclès sur n’importe quel citoyen de Hongkong. Car le gouvernement peut décider, ou non, d’isoler certains cas contacts…Le gouvernement justifie cette approche radicale par son ambition de « zéro Covid », en ligne avec le régime de Pékin mais en contraste avec la quasi-totalité des pays développés.Vendredi 8 octobre, un employé de l’aéroport a été testé positif, alors que Hongkong n’avait pas enregistré un seul nouveau cas de Covid-19 depuis cinquante et un jours. Depuis la première apparition du virus à Hongkong en janvier 2020, sur les 12 251 qu’a connus l’île, seuls 213 ont entraîné le décès des patients, pour 7,3 millions d’habitants.Ces mesures ne sont justifiées par aucune étude scientifique et dénoncées par plusieurs médecins. La chambre de commerce européenne de Hongkong a, en outre, à plusieurs reprises, averti des effets dévastateurs de cette quarantaine sur l’économie locale et sur l’image de Hongkong. Son président, Frederik Gollob, a déclaré, début octobre, qu’à cause de ces mesures, de nombreuses entreprises européennes envisageaient à présent de quitter Hongkong.Des exemptions sont toutefois prévues par la loi, notamment pour certains hommes d’affaires de haut niveau et pour les diplomates. L’apparition de l’actrice australienne Nicole Kidman, en train de faire du shopping à Central mi-août, deux jours après son arrivée à Hongkong pour le tournage d’une série, a fait scandale.
    A Canton, de l’autre côté de la frontière chinoise, c’est un « centre international de santé », un camp de quarantaine de la taille de quarante-six terrains de foot et d’une capacité de 5 000 chambres qui devrait remplacer d’ici peu les quarantaines obligatoires à l’hôtel. Et les Hongkongais redoutent que leur gouvernement, de plus en plus soucieux de faire comme la Chine, ne reprenne l’idée.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#hongkong#chine#sante#santementale#quarantaine#test#resident#retour#santepublique#zerocovid#frontiere#hotel#economie#exemption

  • L’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande actent l’échec de la stratégie « zéro Covid »
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/10/09/l-australie-et-la-nouvelle-zelande-actent-l-echec-du-zero-covid_6097738_3244

    L’Australie et la Nouvelle-Zélande actent l’échec de la stratégie « zéro Covid »Débordés par la progression du variant Delta, Auckland et Canberra misent désormais sur une accélération de la vaccination, et non plus sur l’éradication du SARS-CoV-2. Le 17 août, quand le variant Delta a, pour la première fois, été identifié à Auckland, en Nouvelle-Zélande, le gouvernement a immédiatement déployé les grands moyens pour éradiquer le virus et ne pas avoir à abandonner sa politique du « zéro Covid ». Sept semaines plus tard, le constat est sans appel. La bataille est perdue. Le pays enregistre chaque jour quelques dizaines de nouveaux cas, le chiffre le plus haut depuis avril 2020. Après les Etats australiens de Nouvelle-Galles du Sud puis du Victoria, l’archipel a renoncé, lundi, à éliminer le virus.
    « Il est clair qu’une longue période de sévères restrictions ne nous a pas permis de revenir à zéro », a ainsi constaté, le 4 octobre, la première ministre, Jacinda Ardern. Dès le 17 août, elle avait placé la principale ville du pays sous cloche, réduisant les autorisations de sortie au minimum et fermant les écoles ainsi que tous les commerces non essentiels, dans l’espoir que des mesures fortes et rapides lui permettraient, une nouvelle fois, de débarrasser son territoire du SARS-CoV-2. Mais face à cette souche qualifiée de « tentacule », son gouvernement n’a pu que constater son échec. « L’élimination du virus était importante parce que nous n’avions pas de vaccin, maintenant nous en avons, donc nous pouvons commencer à changer la façon dont nous faisons les choses », a relativisé l’élue travailliste.
    Néanmoins, avec seulement 52,7 % des Néo-Zélandais de plus de 12 ans disposant d’un schéma vaccinal complet (à la date du 9 octobre) et un objectif de 90 %, le basculement vers la sortie de crise se fera d’abord à pas comptés afin d’éviter tout engorgement des hôpitaux. Le pays se résoudra-t-il ensuite à vivre avec le virus ? A ouvrir ses frontières, fermées depuis mars 2020 ? Les autorités n’ont pas encore répondu à ces questions, qui divisent dans le petit archipel de cinq millions d’habitants ayant fait de sa stratégie de l’élimination un modèle, reconnu dans le monde entier pour son efficacité. Non seulement la Nouvelle-Zélande n’a déploré que 28 morts depuis le début de la pandémie, mais sa population a pu vivre, la majeure partie du temps, dans un pays où le virus ne circulait pas.
    De l’autre côté de la mer de Tasman, le premier ministre, Scott Morrison, a tranché. L’Australie, qui doit actuellement faire face à quelque 2 500 nouveaux cas quotidiens, ne restera pas isolée du monde une minute de plus que nécessaire. Fin juillet, son gouvernement a présenté un plan de transition en quatre phases dont l’avancée sera fonction des taux de vaccination.Dès que sera franchi le seuil de 70 % de la population âgée de plus de 16 ans doublement vaccinée, les Etats ayant mis en place des mesures de restriction pour contenir des flambées épidémiques commenceront à les alléger. Une fois atteint le taux de 80 %, les confinements devront être rares et ciblés. Surtout, l’île-continent permettra aux Australiens de quitter le territoire, ce qui, depuis mars 2020, n’était possible qu’en cas de circonstances exceptionnelles.Ce moment très attendu ne devrait plus tarder. Les premiers avions pourraient décoller en novembre, selon Scott Morrison. A Sydney, les habitants n’ont pas attendu pour se ruer sur les sites de réservation en ligne. Dans un pays où la moitié de la population compte au moins un parent né à l’étranger, c’est l’une des restrictions qui ont le plus pesé. Pour les Australiens résidant en dehors du continent, aussi. Faute de places dans les rares appareils encore en circulation comme dans les hôtels de quarantaine, des dizaines de milliers d’entre eux sont restés bloqués loin de chez eux. Ils espèrent désormais pouvoir rentrer pour Noël. Le premier Etat susceptible de rouvrir ses portes devrait être la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud. Mercredi, l’Etat a déjà passé le cap de 70 % de sa population ayant reçu deux doses de vaccin contre le Covid-19. Lundi 11 octobre, les habitants célébreront la fin du confinement instauré par les autorités, fin juin, pour empêcher le variant Delta de provoquer une catastrophe sanitaire : le taux de vaccination flirtait avec les 5 %. En quatre mois, ce pourcentage a progressé à une vitesse fulgurante. « La stratégie de conditionner le retour des libertés au taux de vaccination a été efficace. La peur du virus a également joué. Selon nos analyses, on se dirige vers un taux de 85 % de la population adulte vaccinée », se félicite Anthony Scott, spécialiste des questions de santé au Melbourne Institute.
    Quelques Etats australiens – parmi lesquels l’Australie occidentale et le Queensland – qui n’ont pas connu de flambées épidémiques s’arc-boutent sur la politique du « zéro Covid ». Suivront-ils le plan de transition national et ouvriront-ils leurs territoires, ne serait-ce qu’à leurs compatriotes ? C’est une autre inconnue de l’équation australienne.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#australie#nouvellezelande#sante#zerocovid#vaccination#frontiere#circulation#retour#tourisme#confinement#quarantaine

  • Coronavirus: Hong Kong-mainland China border unlikely to reopen before February, government adviser says | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3151036/coronavirus-hong-kong-mainland-china-border

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong-mainland China border unlikely to reopen before February, government adviser says. Negotiations on reviving travel could stretch on for four to five months, according to government adviser’s estimate. Government steps up work on developing a health code for residents that must meet Beijing’s conditions for allowing quarantine-free travel. Reopening Hong Kong’s border with mainland China will take at least four to five months of negotiations, according to a Covid-19 adviser to the local government, which is also stepping up work on developing a health code for residents that must meet Beijing’s conditions for allowing quarantine-free travel.Professor David Hui Shu-cheong said the mainland border could only reopen to Hongkongers alongside the introduction of a health code app, adding the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) was looking at requiring users to share their vaccination records and 21-day travel history.“The ITB is developing a cross-border code which needs to hold records of negative Covid tests and vaccinations, and state that the [user] is not a close contact of any confirmed case,” Hui said. The groundwork for the app, which was initially based on Covid-19 screening results, was completed last year but Hong Kong’s fourth wave of coronavirus infections ended the prospect of the border reopening and the scheme was never implemented. The inability to track Hongkongers’ movements and contact-trace any infection when they cross the border has long been a major obstacle to allowing quarantine-free travel, as the city’s health code is not linked to the mainland’s because of privacy concerns.
    Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit Wing-hang confirmed that in preparation for the border reopening his bureau would look at how to refine the app. “We will conduct a full review to ensure more effective epidemic controls,” he said.But he did not answer any questions on whether the review would look at requiring residents to share their data with mainland authorities.Government adviser Hui, however, said that mainland authorities wanted the phone numbers required for signing up for the app to be registered under users’ real names.
    Earlier, Hui said in a television interview that his estimate for how long the border negotiations would take was based on Macau’s experience of reviving travel with the mainland.Hui, a respiratory medicine expert from Chinese University, said that authorities across the border would issue Hong Kong an action list for improving its current system of coronavirus controls, with mainland health experts likely to be sent to the city to inspect progress. “As long as we can prevent the coronavirus from entering the city from abroad, ensure there is no spread of the virus within the city and step up safety controls to the same level as China’s, then I believe we will be able to reopen the border,” he said. The government adviser added he expected a second meeting between health officials and experts from both sides after talks opened on September 26. As part of the initial discussions, Hong Kong has been asked to strengthen its epidemic controls through measures such as tightening quarantine exemption rules, as well as sharing data with the mainland.Hui added the city would also have to tighten its rules on discharging Covid-19 patients from hospital.In Hong Kong, coronavirus patients can be released if their cycle threshold (CT) value is above 33, suggesting they have a very low viral level. But that system is not used on the mainland, where patients can only be discharged after twice testing negative for the virus.“In Hong Kong’s case, we have seen that if the CT value is above 33, the body is essentially producing dead viruses and we haven’t seen any transmission from such patients,” Hui said. “But China says this standard is not recognised by the World Health Organization and does not have enough basis.”

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#hongkong#sante#circulation#frontiere#quarantaine#variant#test

  • Coronavirus: China wants permanent quarantine centres built for inbound travellers | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3150796/coronavirus-china-wants-permanent-quarantine-centres-built

    Coronavirus: China wants permanent quarantine centres built for inbound travellers. City governments have been told to provide 20 rooms per 10,000 people in dedicated facilities by the end of October. Guangzhou is already making the shift away from using hotels with a new facility due to open with more than 5,000 rooms

    Health authorities have ordered cities in China to build or convert facilities into permanent quarantine centres for overseas arrivals, as Beijing pushes ahead with its zero-tolerance policy on Covid-19. City governments have been told to move away from using hotels for quarantine and instead provide dedicated facilities. There should be 20 quarantine rooms per 10,000 people available by the end of October, according to National Health Commission official Cui Gang. “Centralised quarantine of inbound travellers plays a key role in preventing the spread of Covid-19 to China. Implementing quarantine measures has always been an epidemic prevention task of the utmost priority,” Cui said at a briefing on Wednesday. Large port cities that see a high number of international arrivals – and potentially Covid-19 cases – have been urged to build large-scale facilities, or “health stations”, that could be used for regular health care as well as emergency needs, Cui said.Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist from the University of Hong Kong, said the question was how long the government was planning to continue the current strategy and require on-arrival quarantine in China.
    “It would make sense to construct specialised facilities, and the larger the better. The suggested ratio of 20 beds for 10,000 people sounds reasonable,” Cowling said.Drones and robots will deliver meals and disinfect rooms at the Guangzhou International Health Station, according to a government document. China has banned entry to most foreigners since March 2020, with returning nationals mandated to go through at least two weeks of hotel quarantine, followed by at least one week of at-home observation. Some cities, such as Beijing, have even more stringent rules, requiring 21 days of quarantine for some cases, followed by seven days of observation.
    Cui’s comments came as the first of the large-scale quarantine facilities
    – with more than 5,000 rooms – was due to open in the southern city of Guangzhou, with a second phase also planned. The Guangzhou International Health Station will offer contactless service, with digital check-ins and health and temperature updates, and drones and robots delivering meals and disinfecting the rooms, according to a city government document.The rooms all have their own air conditioning, ventilation and sewerage systems to prevent cross-infection and the facility includes 2,000 beds for staff to live on-site, it said.But the facility is just a start for Guangzhou to meet the new requirements – the city is home to 18.68 million people, meaning it will need about 37,350 quarantine rooms.
    Leading respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan has said that using hotels for quarantine would not be enough to contain highly infectious strains such as the Delta variant.Almost 80 per cent of mainland China’s international arrivals enter through Guangzhou and nearby Shenzhen, so there are plans to build a similar “health station” in Shenzhen, according to Zhong. Even without such facilities, Shanghai has managed to contain outbreaks quickly and the National Health Commission and Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have called on other places to learn from its experience. Wu Jinglei, director of the city’s health commission, was invited to share tips at a briefing on Wednesday.“Speed is a very important factor in outbreak control. Shanghai has introduced a flat command hierarchy … and cross-office collaboration remains activated since the start of the pandemic. These ensure we can respond quickly to new outbreaks,” Wu said.
    China has managed to stamp out at least two Delta variant outbreaks, in Guangdong and separately in Nanjing, and remains committed to a zero-tolerance strategy, with authorities using measures like mandatory testing, stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.The mass vaccination drive is also part of that strategy, with 1.05 billion out of the 1.41 billion population fully inoculated as of Tuesday, and a third shot now being administered to high-risk and vulnerable groups to boost waning immunity.Guangdong, Henan and Zhejiang provinces have all announced a booster programme for medical and frontline workers, border staff, as well as elderly people and those with underlying conditions. But the Chinese CDC has said booster shots for the general population are still being studied.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#sante#quarantaine#variant#centredequarantaine#santepublique#circulation#frontiere#territoire

  • England’s Covid travel rules spark outrage around the world | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/23/englands-covid-travel-rules-spark-outrage-around-the-world
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/63f5a3be4108753290c582388b2d34975d4490c7/0_9_3959_2377/master/3959.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    England’s Covid travel rules spark outrage around the world
    England’s Covid travel rules and refusal to recognise vaccines administered across huge swaths of the world have sparked outrage and bewilderment across Latin America, Africa and south Asia, with critics denouncing what they called an illogical and discriminatory policy.The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, described England’s rules, unveiled last Friday, as “a new simplified system for international travel”. “The purpose is to make it easier for people to travel,” Shapps said.But in many parts of the world there is anger and frustration at the government’s decision to recognise only vaccinations given in a select group of countries. Under the new rules, travellers fully vaccinated with Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen shots in the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea or an EU country will be considered “fully vaccinated” and exempt from quarantine when they arrive in England from an amber list country.
    But people who have been fully vaccinated with the same vaccines in Africa or Latin America, as well as other countries including India, will be considered “not fully vaccinated” and forced to quarantine for 10 days on arrival from an amber list country. In Europe, there is frustration at Britain’s refusal to accept as “fully vaccinated” people who have had Covid and then a single dose of a two-dose shot. Such people are considered fully vaccinated in most EU countries and are able to travel freely around the bloc with an EU digital Covid certificate.
    To visit the UK, however, they must quarantine for 10 days, with UK government guidelines currently requiring people vaccinated with a two-dose vaccine such as Moderna or Pfizer to have had both doses “even if you have recently recovered from Covid-19 and have natural immunity”.Britain did relax its rules on Wednesday to allow quarantine-free travel by people from Europe who have had doses of two different vaccines. Hundreds of thousands on the continent received mix-and-match shots after the use of AstraZeneca was restricted to older age groups over rare blood clot concerns. But amid mounting anger abroad at what many view as discriminatory treatment, the Indian politician Shashi Tharoor announced on Monday that he was pulling out of a series of appearances in England to protest the “offensive” decision to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine.“There isn’t a single person I have spoken to who isn’t angry about this. People are perplexed,” said one exasperated Latin American diplomat.“How can a Pfizer or Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine that is administered [in Latin America] not be sufficient for someone to be allowed in? I just don’t see how this can be acceptable. I simply cannot get my head around it,” they added. “I cannot explain what is behind this – I just know that it is very, very, very unfair.”A west African diplomat condemned the restrictions as “discriminatory”. “[But] it’s not even the discrimination that concerns me the most, it’s the message it sends out,” they added.
    “All around the world we’re struggling with vaccine hesitancy. There’s all sorts of fake news. When you say, ‘We are not going to accept the vaccine from Africa’, you lend credence to these kinds of theories. It’s only going to create a situation where it allows the pandemic to be prolonged.”
    Ifeanyi Nsofor, a doctor and chief executive of a public health consultancy in Nigeria, said: “The UK is one of the largest funders of the Covax facility and now the UK is saying that the same vaccines they have sent, will now not be considered. It’s sad, it’s wrong, it’s discriminatory.”
    The Moonsamys reunited in Oakland after a year of socially distanced gatherings.
    The new travel rules came as a severe blow to families who have spent many months separated from their England-based loved ones because of the pandemic. André Siqueira, a tropical diseases specialist from Rio de Janeiro, said he was desperate to see his four-year-old son who lives in London for the first time in a year. But the new rules made it almost impossible for him to travel to England – despite having been fully vaccinated in red-listed Brazil – since he would have to spend 10 days in an amber list country before spending another 10 days quarantining in England after he arrived. “Does the world do this for any other vaccines? Does the UK say we’re not going to recognise your polio vaccines from Pakistan? No. We accept that your vaccines are safely administered. If we’re worried that there are variants that are resistant to the vaccines, that’s happening all over the world. But the Delta variant is in 100 countries of the world and the vaccines do work against Delta.”
    Rees said she hoped the decision would be reconsidered. “I’m not worried that this is cast in stone but I think it’s something that really must be discussed. Not least because if the world starts closing borders to what looks like poorer countries, what does that mean for inequality? For refugees? We can’t close our borders, we must trust the vaccines and we must trust the governments that are administering the vaccines.”
    Asked to explain why vaccines administered in certain countries were acceptable but in others not, a government spokesperson said in a statement: “Our top priority remains protecting public health, and reopening travel in a safe and sustainable way, which is why vaccine certification from all countries must meet the minimum criteria taking into account public health and wider considerations.”
    The statement did not make clear what those wider considerations were.
    In response to international upset at the restrictions, the UK has pledged to work with some countries to recognise their vaccine passports. On Wednesday, the UK high commission in Kenya released a joint statement with the Kenya health ministry, saying the UK recognised vaccines administered in the east African country. The joint statement recognised there had been “significant public concern about the issue of vaccine certification” but added, “establishing a system to mutually recognise each other’s vaccine passport programme for travel takes time, particularly in an unprecedented pandemic”.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grandebretagne#sante#frontiere#circulation#restrictionsanitaire#vaccination#quarantaine#passepoortvaccinal

  • Covid-19 : au Royaume-Uni, le business très rentable des tests PCR pour les voyageurs
    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2021/09/23/covid-19-au-royaume-uni-le-business-tres-rentable-des-tests-pcr-pour-les-voy

    Covid-19 : au Royaume-Uni, le business très rentable des tests PCR pour les voyageurs. Chez les Français du Royaume-Uni, c’est devenu l’une des questions les plus récurrentes : « Connais-tu un fournisseur de tests PCR pas trop cher ? » Depuis le début de la pandémie de Covid-19, les voyageurs venant de l’étranger et qui arrivent en Angleterre (les règles sont différentes en Ecosse, au Pays de Galles et en Irlande du Nord) sont contraints de se plier à des tests PCR payants et à effectuer uniquement auprès d’une liste de laboratoires agréés. Face à cette clientèle captive, les entreprises ont élaboré une politique de prix exorbitants, qui, les premiers temps, atteignaient facilement 200 livres sterling le test (un peu plus de 230 euros), avant de devenir plus raisonnables ces derniers mois. Sachant qu’il fallait à l’origine réaliser des tests PCR obligatoires au deuxième et au huitième jours après l’arrivée sur le territoire britannique – plus un test non obligatoire le cinquième jour afin de pouvoir sortir de sa quarantaine –, le « budget test » d’une famille de quatre personnes qui souhaitait partir en vacances hors du Royaume-Uni pouvait allègrement dépasser le millier d’euros.Dans ces conditions, chacun s’échange conseils et bonnes adresses. Les noms des laboratoires efficaces et pas trop onéreux circulent activement. Un nouveau secteur semble émerger : la liste des fournisseurs officiels, initialement très resserrée, comprend désormais 435 entreprises. Comme s’il s’agissait de sociétés de plomberie, leurs noms sont parfois incongrus afin d’arriver en tête du classement alphabétique : la liste débute à «  ! + 0091 Aasha Testing » et se termine à « ZoomDoc Health ».
    Réduction sensible des bénéfices
    Longtemps, les prix n’étaient guère transparents et il fallait se renseigner pour chaque fournisseur. Au cours des dernières semaines, le gouvernement a amélioré les choses, rassemblant les prix sur un même site. Ceux-ci vont d’un inexplicable 675 livres (786 euros) le test – avec l’envoi à domicile d’un membre du corps médical pour le réaliser – à un très raisonnable 7,45 livres (8,70 euros), à condition de se rendre à un laboratoire à l’aéroport d’Heathrow. La grande majorité des tests sont à faire soi-même à domicile puis à renvoyer au laboratoire par la poste, moyennant une cinquantaine d’euros. A compter de « fin octobre », les voyageurs vaccinés en provenance d’un pays de la « liste verte » pourront se limiter à un seul test antigénique au deuxième jour de leur retour. La politique du gouvernement britannique sur les tests a toujours été claire : en cas de symptômes, ceux-ci sont gratuits. En revanche, il n’y a aucune raison que les frais découlant des séjours à l’étranger, qui relèvent de convenance personnelle, soient pris en charge par l’Etat.
    L’industrie, née de cette politique, risque de voir ses juteux bénéfices se réduire sensiblement. Le 17 septembre, les autorités ont annoncé qu’à compter de « fin octobre », les voyageurs vaccinés en provenance d’un pays de la « liste verte » pourraient se limiter à un seul test antigénique au deuxième jour suivant leur retour, ce qui devrait nettement limiter les coûts. Il ne restera comme clientèle captive seulement ceux qui viennent des pays de la « liste rouge », jugés dangereux. Ils devront respecter une quarantaine et se soumettre aux tests PCR.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grandebretagne#sante#test#economie#industrie#listeverte#listerouge#quarantaine

  • Coronavirus Hong Kong: 800 quarantine rooms for domestic helpers gone within minutes of becoming available | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3148646/hong-kong-coronavirus-800-quarantine-rooms

    A Hong Kong quarantine facility offering 800 places for the swelling number of foreign domestic workers headed back to the city was fully booked within minutes of its online reservation system opening on Tuesday morning.Users were allowed to start waiting 45 minutes before the bookings opened for the spots dedicated to inbound workers – mainly arrivals from the Philippines and Indonesia – at the government’s Penny’s Bay quarantine facility.
    Separately, the city’s “Come2HK” scheme, a quarantine-free travel arrangement for non-Hong Kong residents arriving from Guangdong and Macau, is slated to start on Wednesday. The scheme’s designated online booking system, offering 2,000 slots a day, will open every Wednesday for the next 2½ weeks, with reservations offered on a first come, first served basis.Also from Wednesday, arrivals to the city holding Covid-19 vaccination records issued outside Hong Kong will be able to receive a QR code showing proof of inoculation for local use, such as when entering certain bars and restaurants. Inbound air travellers will be issued the QR code along with their compulsory quarantine order, with the arrangement set to be extended to land arrivals from September 28.New arrivals who are already in Hong Kong can apply for the codes online or at designated post offices. The QR codes, which allow users to present their vaccination record in an electronic format, can be stored on the government’s “Leave Home Safe” app.
    Under the revised rule, participants in groups of no more than four will no longer need to stay at least 1.5 metres apart, as long as all staff are vaccinated and everyone is masked. Trainers, however, will need to remain in a fixed location at least 1.5 metres from anyone else.The rush on the Penny’s Bay booking system, which was offering reservations beginning on September 20, began at 9am, with online queues forming even earlier. By 9.30am, a Post reporter was unable to access the system at all.“The centre only accepts bookings until October 19 and was fully booked within five minutes,” said Cheung Kit-man, chairman of Hong Kong Employment Agencies Association. He estimated that about 300 employers were unable to book a slot and would have to try again when more became available.
    For those unable to secure accommodation in the latest round, bookings will open on September 17 at 9am for reservations starting on October 20, according to a government update.
    “It’s first come, first served. The faster you move, the higher your chances of securing a room,” Chan said. “If you spent even just two minutes longer to double-check the passport details of the domestic helper, you would’ve been too late to book a slot.”The speed at which bookings filled up has frustrated some families in urgent need of help. A first-time mother, who gave her name as Mrs Li, was reduced to tears after failing to book a quarantine room on Tuesday.Li had hired a helper from the Philippines in January this year to care for her newborn son, but ran into delays with flight suspensions and vaccine documentation.The secondary school teacher said the system returned an error message after her application was submitted, compounding her frustration.“I was in tears when I realised the application couldn’t go through quickly enough,” she said, adding the stress of the whole process had worsened her postpartum depression.Li said neither she nor her husband could afford to take more time off work. She was willing to pay more for a helper, “but there are simply no more domestic helpers left in Hong Kong that I could find to hire”. Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are paid a minimum wage of HK$4,630 (US$595) per month.Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong on Saturday said about 50 quarantine rooms at the facility would be released on a daily basis, estimating that all slots would be filled within 16 days.Even after a reservation has been successfully submitted online, the application does not necessarily guarantee the room, according to a notice on the system.
    The Labour Department must then process the applications to verify the travel documents and vaccination record of the helper.The entire process can take up to three to four days, with a phone call from the department to confirm the reservation. A 21-day quarantine stay at the government-run facility, including three meals per day, costs HK$10,080 (US$1,295).But as the facility does not have Wi-fi, helpers have been told to bring their own mobile phone and charger, along with a functioning SIM card, so they can communicate with health authorities.The government announced on Friday that the Lantau Island facility would begin operating as quarantine accommodation for fully vaccinated foreign domestic workers following complaints that the more expensive 409-room Silka Tsuen Wan hotel had been fully booked. Bookings at the Silka, which charges HK$800 per night, were all snapped up within 24 hours of its reservation system opening. Before Tuesday, it was the sole quarantine option for incoming workers after the government’s decision to begin recognising vaccination records from the Philippines and Indonesia.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#hongkong#philippines#indonesie#sante#travailleurmigrant#domestique#quarantaine#retour#vaccination#hotel

  • Coronavirus: Hong Kong pinning border hopes on vaccination, zero local infections, but Guangdong official says reopening unlikely before March | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3148059/coronavirus-hong-kong-pinning-border-hopes

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong pinning border hopes on vaccination, zero local infections, but Guangdong official says reopening unlikely before March

    A higher Covid-19 vaccination rate and a sustained zero-infection streak are among prerequisites for Hong Kong resuming quarantine-free travel with mainland China, according to experts and a pro-Beijing heavyweight, but an official across the border has said the status quo is unlikely to change before March.Local National People’s Congress Standing Committee delegate Tam Yiu-chung said on Wednesday he was optimistic that getting 5 million people vaccinated by the end of the month would be enough to convince the central and Guangdong governments to relax restrictions, even though authorities across the border have not set a concrete inoculation target for Hong Kong. “We have reflected to the mainland authorities that our coronavirus cases are all imported, and we have stringent testing measures, while our vaccination numbers have also picked up. There could be a possibility of resuming cross-border travel,” Tam said.
    Carrie Lam lobbies Beijing for border reopening, seeks medical expert dialogue 8 Sep 2021
    However, a Guangdong government source with knowledge of discussions between Hong Kong and the mainland poured cold water on that assessment, saying he believed that March or April would be a more realistic timeline for an arrangement to be reached, adding that the call was ultimately up to Beijing.“The mainland is just recovering from the previous round of outbreaks,” the source said. “With the politically sensitive October 1 National Day approaching and the Communist Party’s plenum in November, Beijing is hesitant to make the decision now as there is risk.”
    Professor Zhong Nanshan, one of China’s top respiratory disease experts, had said in June that quarantine-free travel could resume as early as July if Hong Kong and its neighbouring province continued to “interact and monitor” the situation.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#singapour#chine#sante#frontiere#circulation#quarantaine#politique

  • Coronavirus: Singapore eases curbs for migrant workers in dorms | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3148158/coronavirus-japan-extends-emergency-september-30-singapore

    Coronavirus: Singapore eases curbs for migrant workers in dorms Singapore’s manpower ministry on Thursday said it would begin easing measures for migrant workers living in dormitories, more than a year after imposing harsh movement restrictions that kept the labourers separated from the community.Under a pilot programme that begins on September 13, about 500 vaccinated workers from dormitories with a high inoculation rate and having had no Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks will be permitted to visit pre-identified locations for six hours each week.
    The first area under the scheme is Little India, a neighbourhood popular with Singapore’s Indian community.The workers are required to take an antigen rapid test before and three days after the visit, the ministry added.
    Separately, excursions to local attractions will resume and all other workers will also be allowed to visit recreation centres twice a week, up from once currently.Activists and migrant rights groups have long urged the government to loosen the strict measures imposed on the migrant workers.
    There are 323,000 low-wage workers in the city state who take on jobs shunned by Singaporeans in industries such as construction and estate maintenance. Most of them live in mega-dormitories or quarters at construction sites.After a large Covid-19 outbreak swept through the dormitories last year, the workers had most of their movement curbed. They were subjected to regular testing and ferried from dormitories to workplaces with minimal interaction with the outside world. Meanwhile, Singapore is shifting the focus of its daily reports to hospitalisation to turn attention to its medical capacity alongside plans to manage the virus as endemic, as the city state’s daily count of Covid-19 cases in the local community rose to the highest it’s ever been.At 81 per cent, Singapore has the highest vaccination rate in the world among countries of more than 1 million people. Yet daily cases – the vast majority of which are mild or asymptomatic – are on the rise.
    Migrant workers in Singapore fear job loss after coronavirus quarantine ends There’s signs that Singapore’s mass vaccination is holding down serious cases. While the overall number of daily local cases has doubled in the past week to 347, the number of serious infections requiring supplemental oxygen or intensive care is about the same as last week.
    Singapore is changing the way it reports the Covid-19 situation. The Ministry of Health is now leading its daily report with data on serious cases in a shift that focuses attention on its hospital capacity instead of the rising number of cases.The city state will no longer report the number of linked and unlinked cases “as this is no longer as relevant as before, given our current strategy of living with Covid-19”, the ministry said in a statement accompanying its daily update, which will also be cut to once instead of twice a day from Thursday.“We are now in a very different stage of our battle against Covid-19,” the health ministry said. The revamped reports will “reflect the salient issues” such as whether hospital capacity is getting overwhelmed, it said.While the daily report doesn’t list Singapore’s system-wide capacity, previous statements suggest the city state isn’t anywhere close to its limits. For example, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in July said as many as 1,000 ICU beds could be made available to Covid-19 patients if needed. Just six are in ICU now. At its peak, in April of 2020, there were as many as 32 people in ICU.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#singapour#sante#travailleurmigrant#dortoir
    #vaccination#inclusion#quarantaine#economie#santepublique

  • Coronavirus: Wednesday relaunch of quarantine-free ‘Return2HK’ scheme for Hongkongers, doors open to others from mainland 1 week later | South China Morning Post
    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3147811/coronavirus-quarantine-free-return2hk-scheme-hong

    Coronavirus: Wednesday relaunch of quarantine-free ‘Return2HK’ scheme for Hongkongers, doors open to others from mainland 1 week later
    Return of programme for residents will see six medium or high-risk areas excluded, with ‘Come2HK’ scheme for non-residents on September 15
    Hong Kong residents will soon be able to cross the border from mainland China without quarantine under the relaunched ‘Return2HK’ scheme.
    Quarantine free travel from mainland China and Macau to Hong Kong will resume on Wednesday for city residents, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has revealed, with the programme set to expand to non-residents a week later.
    The “Return2HK” scheme – first launched in November for Guangdong province and Macau, then expanded to the rest of the mainland in April – exempts returning Hongkongers who have passed a Covid-19
    test at least 72 hours before arrival.But when the programme relaunches on Wednesday, six areas currently considered medium or high-risk for Covid-19 will be excluded. Further details about those areas are expected to be announced later today.The plan, which sets a daily quota of 5,000 residents, was suspended last month for Macau and mainland provinces other than neighbouring Guangdong in a bid to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak across the border from spreading into the city.The decision meant most returning residents needed to spend 14 days in isolation at home and submit to five rounds of testing. “Since last November when the Return2HK scheme was launched, more or less 200,000 residents have returned, but not a single case of infection was found. So we can proceed with this plan without worries,” Lam told reporters ahead of her weekly Executive Council meeting.Additionally, Lam announced that a separate scheme, dubbed “Come2HK”, would finally be launched on September 15, enabling non-residents – including mainlanders and expatriates living across the border – to come to the city without undergoing compulsory quarantine.The plan will initially be capped at 2,000 people per day.On Tuesday, Hong Kong confirmed six new imported Covid-19 cases from Britain, the Philippines, Tanzania and the United States. They all carried the L452R mutation, which has been linked to several coronavirus variants, including the Delta one.
    All but one had been fully vaccinated. The remaining person had received one dose of vaccine. There were fewer than five preliminary-positive infections reported.Lam said the last locally transmitted Covid-19 case was on August 17, which was 21 days ago, an important milestone because it reflected the virus’ incubation period.
    Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said the two schemes were a step in the right direction, but doubted it would boost cross-border traffic significantly.“It signals that mainland Chinese authorities are willing to test the waters and allow people to enter or return to Hong Kong,” Yiu said. “But there’s still a long way to go before they allow travel to return to normal levels.“Cross-border travel has been stalled for a long time, even though both Hong Kong and the mainland have had stable coronavirus conditions, so we can expect business travellers and those with family or health matters to return to the city first.”Yiu added that the long-awaited “Come2HK” scheme was like a “tester” to see if there was sufficient demand among travellers from the rest of the mainland to come to the city. “Both schemes are not reciprocal, Hong Kong residents would still have to quarantine if they cross over, indicating that mainland China is still not ready to fully reopen its borders yet,” he said.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#hongkong#chine#macau#sante#quarantaine#test#frontiere#circulation#expatrie#retour#reciprocite

  • HK border reopening hopes fade with new outbreaks - Asia Times
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/08/hk-border-reopening-hopes-fade-with-new-outbreaks

    HK border reopening hopes fade with new outbreaks
    Hong Kong is pushing to reopen its border with Macau and the mainland but new virus outbreaks could scupper the plans. Hong Kong’s retail and tourism sectors have become pessimistic about the resumption of quarantine-free travel across the territory’s borders with Macau and the mainland by October after new outbreaks were reported in the region.
    The Macau government said Tuesday it received notification from Zhuhai authorities that samples they collected from two Macau residents had tested positive. The couple’s son and daughter were then identified as infected.
    Macau’s health authorities said the four were infected with the more infectious Delta variant. They said it was likely that the daughter, who joined a dancing trip with 30 people to fly from Zhuhai to Xi’an in Shaanxi province between July 19 and 24, was the first infected person in the cluster. Her brother and parents later showed symptoms of the illness.
    It was said that the plane taken by the daughter on July 19 had arrived from Nanjing to Zhuhai earlier on the same day. Two passengers flying from Nanjing to Zhuhai on that plane previously tested positive.Due to the outbreaks, the Macau government declared a state of “immediate prevention” from 3:30pm on Tuesday and ordered Covid tests for the gaming city of 680,000 people. People must provide a negative Covid test result done within 12 hours if they want to leave the city. The latest outbreak also sparked panic buying in supermarkets as Macau has not seen a local case for more than 400 days.Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng said it was not necessary to shut down casinos for the moment as it was likely that the infected daughter contracted the virus on the July 19 flight. Ho said the girl sat on the same seat where two patients from Nanjing had occupied.
    The Hong Kong government also announced that from August 4, anyone who had been in Macau over the past 14 days could not return to the city under the Return2hk scheme, which allows Hong Kong residents quarantine-free entry upon returning to the territory if they test negative for the virus.A 13-year-old Hong Kong girl and her family are being sent to a quarantine camp as she stayed in the same room with the Macau girl during the dancing trip last month.
    Separately, a 43-year-old construction worker, who lived in Sham Shui Po in Kowloon, tested positive preliminarily on Tuesday. However, his sample tested negative for the coronavirus on Wednesday but positive for the Covid-19 antibodies, showing that he might have recovered from a previous infection.Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s Communicable Disease Branch, said Wednesday the man was probably a “re-positive” case, but authorities had not been able to find out the exact time of his infection yet.“The man has been undergoing regular testing, his regular testing started from May – although he had one or two tests at the end of March – so one of the possibilities is that he had an infection quite early on, maybe before May or March,” Chuang said.If the man has been infected recently through an unknown source, his case would have broken a 56-day streak of zero new untraceable local infections in Hong Kong.
    Since the second quarter of last year, Macau and the mainland have adopted a “zero infections” strategy by implementing tough anti-epidemic measures. As the two places successfully controlled their epidemic situations, they have resumed quarantine-free travel since last September.
    Last year, the Hong Kong government tried to maintain local infections at low level and avoided launching severe measures such as citywide tests and large-scale lockdowns. However, such strategy failed to prevent the city from being hit by the fourth epidemic wave between last November and January this year.Since then, the government has locked down infected areas, tightened quarantine measures and banned flights coming from high-risk countries to stay in line with Beijing’s “zero infections” strategy.
    Yiu Si-wing, a lawmaker representing the tourism sector, said his sector had previously expected that Hong Kong could reopen its border with Macau and the mainland by October but such hope seemed to have vanished due to the recent outbreaks in the latter two places. Yiu said the previously scheduled travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore had burst twice and would probably be unable to resume in the coming few months.
    He said among the 1,600 travel agencies in Hong Kong, only 100 to 200 were organising “cruise-to-nowhere” trips while 400 were running local tours. He said a majority of travel agencies were having no income while some of them might go bankrupt if the border between Hong Kong and the mainland could not reopen this year.Yip Kin-ming, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a director of the China Economic and Social Council, said the chance that the Hong Kong-mainland border could reopen in short term had become slim after the Delta variant was spread from Nanjing to a dozen of Chinese provinces in late July.
    However, Yip said the two places should continue to push forward the discussion about whether vaccinated people could be allowed to travel across the border with shorter quarantine periods. Health authorities in China on Wednesday reported 71 domestic cases, the highest since January. The country is fighting against the Delta variant by launching citywide tests and locking down millions.Infectious disease expert Leung Chi-chiu said it was right for Hong Kong to quickly remove Macau from the “Return2hk” scheme, so that from now on people who return from Macau would need to undergo home quarantine. Leung said if the situation became worse, returnees from Macau should be quarantined in hotels instead.
    “The Macau case does illustrate the fragility of a bubble with the mainland,” Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist from the University of Hong Kong, told RTHK. “I know that’s what we are going for. If we can maintain zero Covid for a period of time, if we can get the vaccine coverage up to a higher level, then we have the opportunity to establish a bubble with the mainland with free travel in both directions.” On Tuesday, the Hong Kong government launched several new measures to help boost the city’s vaccination rate. It said Hong Kong would have 70% of its population vaccinated with their first dose by the end of September.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#hongkong#chine#macau#sante#circulation#depistage#frontiere#confinement#quarantaine#bullesanitaire#vaccination#variant

  • Millions under lockdown after Delta surge in China - Asia Times
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/08/millions-under-lockdown-after-delta-surge-in-china

    Millions under lockdown after Delta surge in China
    An outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant has reached more than 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces. Millions of people were confined to their homes in China Monday as the country tried to contain its largest coronavirus outbreak in months with mass testing and travel curbs. China on Monday reported 55 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases, as an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant reached more than 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces.Local governments in major cities including Beijing have now tested millions of residents, while cordoning off residential compounds and placing close contacts under quarantine.
    The central city of Zhuzhou in Hunan province ordered more than 1.2 million residents on Monday to stay home under strict lockdown for the next three days as it rolls out a citywide testing and vaccination campaign, according to an official statement.
    “The situation is still grim and complicated,” the Zhuzhou government said.
    Beijing has previously boasted of its success in bringing domestic cases down to virtually zero after the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, allowing the economy to rebound.But the latest outbreak, linked to a cluster in Nanjing where nine cleaners at an international airport tested positive on July 20, is threatening that success with more than 360 domestic cases reported in the past two weeks.In the tourist destination of Zhangjiajie, near Zhuzhou, an outbreak spread last month among theatre patrons who then brought the virus back to their homes around the country.Zhangjiajie locked down all 1.5 million residents on Friday. Officials are urgently seeking people who have recently traveled from Nanjing or Zhangjiajie and have urged tourists not to travel to areas where cases have been found.Meanwhile, Beijing has blocked tourists from entering the capital during the peak summer holiday travel season. Only “essential travelers” with negative nucleic acid tests will be allowed to enter after the discovery of a handful of cases among residents who had returned from Zhangjiajie.Top city officials on Sunday called for residents “not to leave Beijing unless necessary.”The capital’s Changping district locked down 41,000 people in nine housing communities last week.Fresh cases were also reported on Monday in the popular tourist destination of Hainan as well as in flood-ravaged Henan province, national health authorities said.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#sante#confinement#deplacementinterne#tourisme#resident#deplacementessentiel#quarantaine

  • Covid-19 : l’Angleterre met fin à la quarantaine pour les voyageurs vaccinés aux Etats-Unis et dans l’UE, à l’exception de la France
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2021/07/28/covid-19-l-angleterre-met-fin-a-la-quarantaine-pour-les-voyageurs-vaccines-a

    Covid-19 : l’Angleterre met fin à la quarantaine pour les voyageurs vaccinés aux Etats-Unis et dans l’UE, à l’exception de la France. La présence du variant Beta sur le territoire français préoccupe les autorités britanniques, qui ont choisi d’exclure le pays de la liste des pays concernés par cette mesure très demandée par les expatriés.
    La France est le seul pays de l’Union européenne à ne pas bénéficier de cet assouplissement. Les voyageurs complètement vaccinés contre le Covid-19, dans l’Union européenne (UE) ou aux Etats-Unis, seront désormais exemptés de quarantaine en Angleterre, a annoncé, mercredi 28 juillet, le gouvernement britannique. Cette mesure, ardemment réclamée par les expatriés et par le secteur touristique, entrera en vigueur à partir de lundi à 5 heures, heure française, a précisé le ministère britannique des transports. Mais elle ne s’appliquera pas aux arrivées de France. Pour les voyageurs venus de pays classés « orange », soit la grande majorité des destinations touristiques, dont l’UE et les Etats-Unis, le Royaume-Uni impose une quarantaine d’au moins cinq jours, ainsi que de coûteux tests. Le pays avait déjà exempté de quarantaine les arrivants vaccinés par le service de santé britannique, mais pas ceux vaccinés à l’étranger, au grand désespoir des expatriés britanniques dans ces pays, pour lesquels tout retour à la maison est très difficile. Désormais, l’Angleterre appliquera la même mesure aux personnes vaccinées dans l’Union européenne ou aux Etats-Unis, pour les arrivées de tous les pays de la liste orange, sauf la France, en raison de la présence du variant Beta, répertorié pour la première fois en Afrique du Sud. « Des règles distinctes vont continuer de s’appliquer pour les arrivées de France », a affirmé le ministère dans un communiqué. Les voyageurs vaccinés aux Etats-Unis devront, eux, prouver en plus qu’ils sont résidents aux Etats-Unis. Un test PCR restera obligatoire deux jours après leur arrivée. En outre, ces mesures ne concernent pas les pays classés « rouge » par Londres, comme l’Inde, les Emirats arabes unis, ou les pays d’Amérique du Sud. Seuls les résidents du Royaume-Uni peuvent en revenir, en observant une coûteuse quarantaine à leurs frais, dans des hôtels réservés à cet effet.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grandebretagne#france#etatsunis#sante#vaccination#variant#quarantaine#expatrie#UE#frontiere#circulation

  • France fiasco to pingdemic U-turn: Boris Johnson’s week of chaos | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/23/france-fiasco-pingdemic-u-turn-boris-johnson-week-of-chaos
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/a97cbea6484796b00ac329d068602eb721f11b38/0_83_3500_2101/master/3500.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    France fiasco to pingdemic U-turn: Boris Johnson’s week of chaos. In the last seven days the UK government has flailed from one controversy or misstep to the next. Often, the political week heading into the Commons summer recess can feel almost soporific, with the thoughts of ministers and MPs geared more towards holiday sunbeds than rows. But the last seven days has been different, and not only because of the ongoing political flux of coronavirus, with the government seeming to flail from one controversy, U-turn or misstep to the next, day after day.
    The reports began earlier in the week: France, which in a normal years attracts 10 million-plus UK visitors, was to be put on Britain’s red list, in effect banning almost all travel, because of concern about the spread of the potentially vaccine-resistant Beta variant. Eventually, late on Friday, it was announced that although France would stay on the amber list, double-vaccinated Britons returning from there would still have to quarantine for 10 days, unlike the new, relaxed policy for other amber destinations. Cue: anger from holidaymakers and some Conservative MPs – and polite bafflement from France itself.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#grandebretagne#france#circulation#frontiere#quarantaine#paysarisque#vaccination#retour#sante