Washington to reopen borders to vaccinated international travelers: September 20 news

The essential

This Monday is the start of the academic year, placed under the sign of the covid certificate.

This weekend was marked by anti-covid measures protests in several cities including Winterthur, French cities and Melbourne.

■ Border tests: the first day went well

The first day of controls for Covid-19 measures at the Swiss borders took place without major problems, according to the Federal Customs Administration (AFD). As cross-border commuters are not affected by these new measures, their entry into Switzerland took place as usual.

Road traffic has been fluid at border crossing points, Donatella Del Vecchio, AFD spokesperson for AFD, told Keystone-ATS on Monday. Travelers were generally sympathetic to these new health measures, a very small number of people not being aware of the fact that there are now new health provisions for entering Switzerland.

Anyone who tries to enter Switzerland without testing will be fined 200 francs. These people will have to be tested quickly. The amount of the fine will be 100 francs for a person who has not completed the form.

■ Washington will reopen its borders to vaccinated international travelers

The United States will allow all travelers from abroad to enter from “early November” on condition that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the White House announced on Monday.

Travelers from overseas will also need to get tested and wear a mask, while a contact tracing system will be put in place, White House pandemic coordinator Jeff said. Zients.

Washington thus lifts restrictions that have been weighing since March 2020 on travelers coming from the European Union, the United Kingdom, or China, and then applying later to India or Brazil.

■ Bern will no longer tolerate anti-Covid measures protests

The City of Bern will no longer tolerate unauthorized anti-Covid measures protests, she announced on Monday. It thus draws the consequences of the escalation of violence observed Thursday during the rally of opponents of the measures in front of the Federal Palace.

The Bernese cantonal police have been ordered not to allow the protests announced for Thursday to take place, the City Council said on Monday. These were not allowed. The call for these new demonstrations was given on social networks by opponents of the Covid measures. Calls for a counter-demonstration are also circulating.

■ Decrease in cases in three days

Switzerland has 4,032 additional cases of coronavirus on Monday in 72 hours, says the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP).

This is a fairly marked drop compared to the last three weekends, respectively 6060, 6832 and 6198.

  • We deplore 15 additional deaths;
  • 102 patients were hospitalized;
  • In the last 72 hours, the results of 108,695 tests have been submitted. the positivity rate is 3.71%,
  • Over the last 14 days, the total number of infections is 30,518, or 353.02 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants;
  • The reproduction rate, which has a delay of ten days, is 0.86;
  • Covid-19 patients occupy 30.70% of available places in intensive care, with an occupancy rate of 77.20%.

■ Universities: few protests against the Covid certificate

The compulsory Covid certificate at several Swiss universities sparked little protest at the start of the semester. In Zurich, Bern and Lucerne, small demonstrations took place, bringing together up to 150 people.

TO Zurich, some 150 students marched Monday morning in the direction of the university and the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ). They carried signs demanding access to education without a certificate and chanted “freedom”.

TO Lucerne, a hundred students also gathered to protest against the compulsory certificate. It is the maturity, and not the Covid certificate, that should allow entry to university, said a student. He called for “education for all”.

■ A bill to extend the health pass

A bill to extend the health pass “is being prepared and will be presented to the Council of Ministers on October 13,” Prime Minister Jean Castex’s entourage told AFP on Monday.

Faced with an improvement in the situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in France, President Emmanuel Macron said he was ready on Thursday to “lift certain constraints” in “territories where the virus circulates less quickly”, without giving any information. timeline.

■ Extension of confinement in Auckland

The lockdown of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is being extended for two weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday. She said the city, which has a population of two million, will be downgraded by Tuesday evening to alert level three on a scale of four, as there “is no longer widespread and undetected transmission in Auckland. », She declared to the press.

“If everyone continues to do their part, we can continue to eradicate” the virus, she assured. The inhabitants will have to continue to stay at home but some businesses, such as restaurants, will now be able to deliver without any contact. New Zealand imposed a national lockdown on August 17 as soon as the first case of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus appeared.

■ Laos locks down its capital after a record number of cases

Residents of Vientiane, the capital of Laos, have been ordered to confine themselves until September 30 in an attempt to stem the wave of the coronavirus epidemic, official media said on Monday.

Exits are only allowed to buy food, medicine or go to the hospital, the official KPL news agency said. Entertainment venues, massage shops, malls, night markets and factories will remain closed, while religious ceremonies and travel between provinces affected by the virus are banned.

■ Fiji wants to reopen its borders

Fiji wants to welcome tourists again from November, in the hope of reviving an economy devastated by the pandemic. “The goal is for our country and our economy to emerge from the pandemic,” Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama recently said in a statement. So far, 66% of residents have received two doses of the vaccine and Frank Bainimarama estimates that this target will be reached by November 1.

When 80% of the eligible population has been vaccinated, tourists from countries on a “green list” will be able to stay on the archipelago without having to carry out quarantine.

The countries on this list are Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Singapore and parts of the United States. Visitors must be fully vaccinated and test negative before departure.

The archipelago is heavily dependent on tourism, which represents 40% of its economy. This sector is therefore essential to limit the growing pauperization of the population.

The main opposition party, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa), has criticized this project. “We have to have the right priorities – health before the economy,” Sodelpa manager Bill Gavoka told Radio New Zealand.

■ Test required to enter Switzerland

As of Monday, unvaccinated and unhealed people from Covid-19 will have to present a negative test to enter Switzerland. And this whatever the means of transport or the country of origin. Certain exceptions are foreseen, in particular for cross-border commuters.

In addition, everyone or almost everyone will have to fill out this travel form entitled “Passenger locator form”, the vaccinated and cured people too.

On this subject:
Tests to enter Switzerland: what conditions, what exceptions?

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