Italy shortens quarantine, Greece eases curbs: COVID-19 daily bulletin
Updated 00:33, 06-Apr-2021
Sunniya Ahmad Pirzada


• Italy will allow travelers from 30 mostly EU countries to undergo a shorter, five-day quarantine on entering the country under new regulations that take effect on Tuesday. The list includes the UK, Austria and Israel.

• Further easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in England that Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today, is not expected to put unsustainable pressure on the National Health Service, even if it results in an uptick of COVID-19 infections, scientists advising the government said.

The UK's reopening of pubs, hairdressers, gyms and retail services will also be aided by an increase in testing availability, with everyone in England entitled to take a free rapid COVID-19 test twice a week to prevent outbreaks and find those people not displaying symptoms, a decision confirmed by UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock in a tweet.

• North Macedonia has started its mass-inoculation campaign with Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. The jabs have been donated to the country by Serbia.

• The board of Air France-KLM was meeting on Monday to approve new French government-backed refinancing measures designed to see the airline group through the COVID-19 crisis, sources close to the situation said.

• Authorities in Venice, Italy have turned a water bus, or vaporetto, into a floating vaccination center. Around 100 elderly people living in the small island of Sant'Erasmo were expected to make their way to it to get their jabs on Monday.

• More than 6,600 police officers were deployed across the Paris region on Sunday as France entered its third national COVID-19 lockdown. Their presence over the three-day Easter weekend was to conduct checks and ensure that people respect the measures.

• Greece's nationwide lockdown is being eased, with the opening of most retail shops. Customers must pre-book appointments before visiting stores and one customer will be allowed per 25 square meters. 

• Polish hospitals struggled over the Easter weekend, admitting a massive number of coronavirus cases. The country hit new records of more than 35,000 daily infections on two recent days and deaths have been in the hundreds each day.

• Portugal reopened museums, cafe terraces and secondary schools on Monday, nearly two months after tightening COVID-19 curbs following a wave of cases early this year.

• Scotland's COVID-19 measures are being relaxed and people will be able to visit hairdressers and garden centers from today. Non-essential click-and-collect services are also being allowed to resume.

• Russia reported 8,646 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, taking the official national tally to 4,589,540. The government coronavirus task force said 343 people had died in the past 24 hours, with the death toll now at 100,717. 

• Greece's government will provide more financial aid to businesses hit by COVID-19 restrictions. The $150 million package would help around 100,000 businesses, including some 10,800 retailers, with financial assistance ranging from 1,000-4,000 euros [$1,175-$4,670], depending on the number of workers employed, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said.

• The number of patients in intensive care units in France rose by 68 to 5,341 on Sunday, official data showed, as the country entered its third coronavirus lockdown.


In Greece, customers must pre-book appointments before visiting shops. /Yorgos Karahalis/AP

In Greece, customers must pre-book appointments before visiting shops. /Yorgos Karahalis/AP



Lucy Hough in Brussels

Belgium is now nearly half-way through a four-week lockdown, as the country grapples with a third wave of COVID-19. 

While the retail sector is complaining of the impact of new measures that allow customers to visit only by appointment, there are signs the wider set of measures may be starting to have an effect. 

While the rate of hospitalization is still continuing to increase at an average of 263.3 admissions per day, the rate of growth is starting to slow. 

The number of new cases has decreased slightly, by 6 percent to 4,435 infections a day.

Meanwhile, vaccine figures are climbing slowly. Almost 1.5 million people have now received a first dose of the vaccine and 569,101 have received a second dose.

Belgium, like elsewhere in Europe, is hoping for a turnaround in its vaccine campaign in April, with supplies to the bloc set to increase in the second quarter.


Poland hit new records of more than 35,000 daily infections on two recent days. /Omar Marques/AP

Poland hit new records of more than 35,000 daily infections on two recent days. /Omar Marques/AP



A report by a French television channel alleging "clandestine" luxury dinners in Paris, despite pandemic restrictions, has sparked an investigation and a political furore over the claims the elite were defying the rules they had set.

On Monday, the M6 private national television channel broadcast a report based on footage recorded with a hidden camera purportedly from a clandestine restaurant in a high-end area of Paris, where neither the staff nor the diners were wearing masks.

All restaurants and cafes remain closed in France for dining in and the country began a new limited nationwide lockdown to deal with surging COVID-19 infections this week.


Source(s): AP ,AFP ,Reuters

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