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Covid: Travel allowed between Wales and parts of the UK

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Wales’ Covid rules previously banned all but “essential” travel between Wales and England

People will be able to travel from Wales to tier one and two areas in England and Scotland from Friday.

The new regulations prohibit travel into tier three zones in England, tiers three and four in Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland.

Previously people could
only travel out of Wales if it was “essential”.

But the Welsh Government said it still strongly advised people against travelling to other parts of the UK to help control the spread of the virus.

England’s lockdown ended on 2 December and it now has a
three-tiered system.

The Scottish government has a
five-level alert system
of Covid-19 restrictions.

It means for people in Wales, travel to London will be possible, but not Birmingham or Bristol.

Large parts of the Midlands, North East and North West, including Manchester, as well as Kent,
are in tier three.

A majority of England is in the second highest level – tier two – including London and Liverpool city region.

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Wales has different coronavirus rules to England

The new regulations were announced after the cabinet met on Wednesday to decide on the latest travel restrictions as England’s lockdown came to an end.

It comes as Welsh pubs, restaurants and cafes face a
ban on serving alcohol on their premises
from Friday and will be unable to open to customers beyond 18:00 GMT.

‘A mockery’

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The Boat Inn / Facebook

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The owner of The Boat Inn in Chepstow says she feels like everything is stacked against Wales’ pubs

Mandy Symonds has owned The Boat Inn in the border town of Chepstow in Monmouthshire for 18 months.

She said she was “gutted” when she realised the new regulations meant her customers could go into England – “a 20 second walk away” – to drink alcohol in a pub when she could not serve them any.

“I’m closing… everything’s stacked against you,” she said.

“It’s a mockery. I feel like he [First Minister Mark Drakeford] is deliberately trying to drive us out of business.

“The rules should be the same all over the country…

“I’ve spent so much money here, invested in a marquee and put heating in there, lost half our tables, put screens up, staff are wearing masks, there’s track and trace… I feel beaten down over it all now.”

She said she did not know when she would reopen but it would depend on restrictions.

‘So confusing’

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Clare Davenport says the lifting of the travel rules will make little difference to her

Boundary Lane in Saltney is the border between Wales and England.

Claire Davenport lives in Flintshire but works on the English side of the border. She said the lifting of travel restrictions would not affect her too much.

“My family tend to keep within Wales and don’t go into England really because we’ve got Broughton shopping park. But it

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Emotional Support Animals May Not Be Allowed To Travel With You On Your Next Flight

No longer considered service animals, in accordance with new rules issued by the Department of Transportation, passengers might have to check their pets into the cargo hold for a fee.

It’s a sad day for the Emotional Service Animal (ESA) owners of the world.

According to a final ruling issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Wednesday, major changes to the rules around flying with animals are underway.

Most notably, animals with Emotional Support Animal status will no longer be considered service animals and could be subjected to flying in cargo for a fee.

Until today, airlines would only require passengers to provide a doctor’s note stating that they needed the animal for emotional support. The issue has been the subject of major controversy over the years, causing major rifts amongst passengers and airline personnel. In the end, the DOT says they received more than 15,000 comments on the proposed ruling.

The final decision, which was made in accordance with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), will go into effect within 30 days. Here’s a look at some of the changes you can expect to find around traveling with pets:

  • Defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability;
  • No longer considers an emotional support animal to be a service animal;
  • Requires airlines to treat psychiatric service animals the same as other service animals;
  • Allows airlines to require forms developed by DOT attesting to a service animal’s health, behavior and training, and if taking a long flight attesting that the service animal can either not relieve itself, or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner;
  • Allows airlines to require individuals traveling with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) up to 48 hours in advance of the date of travel if the passenger’s reservation was made prior to that time;
  • Prohibits airlines from requiring passengers with a disability who are traveling with a service animal to physically check-in at the airport instead of using the online check-in process; 
  • Allows airlines to require a person with a disability seeking to travel with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) at the passenger’s departure gate on the date of travel;
  • Allows airlines to limit the number of service animals traveling with a single passenger with a disability to two service animals.

Here’s a look at the DOT’s final rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals.

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South African president says travel to all countries will be allowed

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa will open up travel to all countries in an effort to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday, despite having the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent.

Africa’s most advanced economy, which has recorded more than 740,000 COVID-19 cases and over 20,000 deaths, has seen infections rise since it eased lockdown restrictions in September to their lowest levels.

Ramaphosa, in a televised national address, said normal trading hours of alcohol would be restored too, after sales were restricted on weekends in an effort to reduce pressure on hospitals due to alcohol-related accidents.

“We are also opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative COVID-19 certificate,” he said.

“By using rapid tests and strict monitoring we intend to limit the spread of the infection through importation,” he added. “We expect that these measures will greatly assist businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors.”

The president did not give further details, or a specific date for the reopening. A presidency spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

South Africa opened its borders to some international travellers at the beginning of October after a six-month ban, but restricted entry from high-risk countries, with the latest list including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Brazil and India.

The country depends heavily on tourism, which prior to the pandemic contributed nearly 9% of its gross domestic product and employed over 4% of the workforce.

The economy was already in recession before the pandemic struck, and one of the world’s strictest lockdowns has exacerbated its woes with millions of its citizens losing their jobs or being pushed deeper into poverty.

Ramaphosa, however, warned of a potential resurgence in infections, saying the number of new cases in the Eastern Cape province was 50% higher than the week before, with higher infection rates also seen in the Northern Cape and Western Cape regions.

“We have also seen in other countries how a resurgence can dash hopes for a swift economic recovery,” he said.

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg and Wendell Roelf; Editing by Chris Reese and Pravin Char)

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Winnipeg woman isolating in hotel to be allowed to help ailing father at embattled care home

A Winnipeg woman is taking it upon herself to help her ailing father at a city long-term care home that is most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.



a large brick building with grass in front of a house: Maples Personal Care Home


© Google Maps
Maples Personal Care Home

Eddie Calisto-Tavares told 680 CJOB that her dad is a resident at the embattled Maples Personal Care Home, which recently saw a large outbreak, with dozens of residents — including her father — testing positive for the coronavirus.

She’s now isolating at a hotel in order to be allowed into the care home to care for him.

“He’s very weak. I found him on the floor when I arrived at the home,” she said. He was “very confused, very weak, he couldn’t get up, and very, very cold,” she said.

“One of the symptoms of COVID I’ve noticed on him is that he doesn’t have a fever but he’s very cold — his body is like ice.”

Calisto-Tavares said leaving him abandoned wasn’t an option, as her father has severe dementia and no longer remembers how to speak English.

“This is the third time he’s been isolated from family throughout (the pandemic),” she said.

“In his world, if he doesn’t see anyone that he either recognizes (by) the voice, or potentially the face, then he feels very abandoned.”

Read more: 69 residents at Maples Personal Care Home test positive for COVID-19

Calisto-Tavares said the staff at the care home are trying their best to manage with the resources they have, and she has no intention of shaming or blaming them for any part of the situation — but she needed to do something to help her father.

“I wrote to management, I told them exactly what I would do. I’d move into a hotel, I have a car, I don’t go into society. I just go between the hotel and the home and I’m there to check and see what his needs are, to hold him, to tell him we love him, and just to translate for him,” she said.

The government, she said, needs to make a greater effort to get the virus under control — and should have been ready for this months ago.

“In the next two weeks, how many more of my fathers will be happening all over Manitoba, not just at the Maples?”

Global News has reached out to Revera Living, the company that owns Maples Personal Care Home (as well as Parkview Place, which has also seen an outbreak with a high number of cases) for comment.

Read more: Red Cross called in to help at Winnipeg personal care homes as coronavirus cases mount

According to the latest outbreak numbers, Maples Personal Care Home has seen 166 positive cases, 120 of which are residents.

Eight people have died at the home due to the virus.

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Migrant workers in dorms allowed to visit recreation centres

SINGAPORE — From Saturday (31 October), eligible migrant workers living in dormitories will be allowed to visit recreation centres (RCs) on their rest days.

In a media release on Wednesday, the Ministry of Manpower said that this easing of restrictions comes after more than two months of trials, and with COVID-19 infection rates in the community and dormitories maintained at low levels over a period of time.

From Saturday, recovered workers who still have immunity against COVID-19, as well as those who have been tested negative recently under the rostered routine testing regime, will be allowed to visit RCs.

They will be able to access amenities and services such as food and beverages outlets, minimarts, telecommunications shops, barbers and remittance services. They will also be able to meet with their friends for activities in the RCs’ communal facilities, with strict safe management measures in place.

Before this, migrant workers are allowed to leave their dormitories only for work and essential errands.

Exit passes to visit Recreation Centres

Eligible workers will be able to book an exit pass via the SGWorkPass mobile application to visit their dormitory’s assigned RC, up to seven days in advance. Checks will be conducted by dormitory operators and the RCs to ensure workers have valid exit passes before allowing entry and exit.

To mitigate possible overcrowding at the RCs, workers will be staggered to visit the centres at different time slots. The number of exit passes issued for each time slot will be controlled through the application system.

In addition, MOM has worked with sector agencies and employers to stagger the rest days for workers in the construction, marine and process sectors.

The ministry has also review and refine the safe rest day measures amid the trials. For instance, time slots were lengthened from two hours to three hours based on feedback from industry associations. An additional 8pm to 11pm time slot will also be added to cater to workers who perform overtime work on their rest days.

30,000 workers took part in trials

To date, around 30,000 migrant workers from over 300 dormitories – including a mix of purpose-built dormitories, factory-converted dormitories and temporary living quarters – have booked exit passes as part of the trials.

“When there is greater assurance that COVID-19 transmission has been sustained at negligible levels, we will work with our stakeholders to review when dormitory residents could be allowed to visit other popular social and recreational spots beyond the RCs,” said Tung Yui Fai, chief of the Assurance, Care and Engagement Group under the MOM.

“We appreciate the cooperation of workers, employers, dorm operators and NGOs in working towards the goal of letting dormitory residents enjoy their rest days safely.”

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Migrant workers who test negative for COVID-19 allowed to visit recreation centres from Oct 31

SINGAPORE: All foreign worker dormitory residents who test negative for COVID-19 will be able to visit recreation centres on their days off from Saturday (Oct 31), said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday.

They must also come from a dormitory that has no active COVID-19 cases. 

This comes after more than two months of trials when around 30,000 workers from about 300 dormitories were allowed to visit recreation centres on their rest days.  

Eight recreation centres across Singapore will open by the end of the week and workers will choose from one of five three-hour slots from 8am to 11pm. 

At these centres, they will be able to shop for groceries, remit money, get a haircut and dine with their friends. Safe distancing officers will be on the ground to make sure the workers adhere to COVID-19 safety measures. 

READ: Antigen rapid tests piloted for quicker detection of COVID-19 among migrant workers

So far, workers have only been permitted to leave their dormitories for work and errands.

To visit their dormitory’s assigned recreation centre, they will have to apply for an exit pass via the SGWorkPass mobile application and can do so seven days in advance. 

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Workers can shop for groceries at the recreation centre. There is a clothing shop, a hardware store, and two supermarkets – one catered for the Indians, and the other for the Bangladeshis. (Photo: Rachel Phua)

As part of safety measures, workers – who currently have their rest days staggered throughout the week – have to pre-book time slots on the SGWorkPass mobile application to prevent overcrowding at these centres. 

“The number of exit passes issued for each time slot will be controlled through the application system,” said MOM.

Dormitory operators and personnel at the recreation centres will check that workers have valid exit passes before they are allowed to enter or exit.

Apart from taking company-charted buses to the locations, those who live in the vicinity are allowed to walk or cycle there as well. 

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Workers can purchase beer and other food items at the centre. (Photo: Rachel Phua)

JTC Corporation (JTC), which runs five of eight recreation centres, used to welcome between 3,000 and 4,000 workers a day before the pandemic, said the agency’s housing and community division assistant manager S Darison Kumar.

Mr Darison, who runs the Tuas South recreation centre, said JTC will cap the capacity of each session at an average of 300 workers. 

IMPROVEMENTS TO TIME SLOTS

Several improvements were made following feedback from workers during the trial period, said MOM’s director of occupational safety and health Christopher Koh.

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Workers have to get their temperatures measured and check in before entering the recreation centre. (Photo: Rachel Phua)

The ministry will add an additional time slot of 8pm to 11pm to cater to workers who do overtime work on their rest days, as some of them are unable to make it for the current last slot of 5pm to 8pm. 

MOM will also extend

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Eligible foreign workers from dorms allowed to visit recreation centres at staggered times, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Eligible foreign workers staying in dormitories will be allowed to visit recreation centres on their rest days at staggered times from Saturday (Oct 31) to buy necessities, get a haircut and remit money home.

These centres also have food and beverage outlets, mini-marts and communal facilities, and workers can visit only the centre assigned to their dorms.

There are eight such recreation centres across the island – in locations like Kranji, Tuas, Woodlands and Kaki Bukit – that have been built over the years to serve dorm residents.

On average, each centre can accommodate about 300 dorm residents.

The eighth centre will soon be operational, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday.

The move is one of the measures to ease restrictions for migrant workers safely within and outside dorms.

It comes after a two-month trial run since Aug 24 that allowed selected healthy residents from cleared dorms to visit the centres on their rest days.

The low infection rates in the community and dorms over a period of time also played a part in this decision, said MOM.

To be eligible to visit the recreation centres, the workers must have recovered from Covid-19 and have immunity from the disease, or tested negative recently under the Government’s rostered routine testing regime.

Dorm residents have to apply – up to seven days in advance – for an exit pass via the SGWorkPass mobile application to visit their dorm’s assigned recreation centre.

The dorm that the workers are living in must also not have any active coronavirus cases.

Workers must also download and activate their TraceTogether app at all times.

There are currently four staggered three-hour time slots between 8am and 8pm for foreign workers to visit the recreation centres on their rest days.

A fifth time slot from 8pm to 11pm will be added from next Monday, said MOM. This is in response to feedback that some workers prefer to visit the centre after their working hours.

The rest days for foreign workers in the construction, marine and process sectors have also been staggered after MOM worked with sector agencies and employers on it.

For many migrant workers, being able to visit recreation centres marks the first time they will be stepping out of their dorms since March this year.

Suicides and attempted suicides reported by the media and documented in videos shared online have renewed concerns over the mental and emotional health of workers, many of whom spent the past few months confined to their living quarters.

On Wednesday, Mr Christopher Koh, director of occupation safety and health unit of MOM’s workplace policy and strategy division, said the recreation centre visits initiative is “important for the mental well-being of our workers and to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives”.

Speaking at the Tuas South Recreation Centre where journalists were given a tour of the area, he added that staggering the workers’ visit days to the centres helps to spread out the load of visitors at

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