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Coronavirus live news: Italy reports record deaths after close to a thousand Covid-linked fatalities in 24 hours | World news

Rich nations stand to lose hundreds of billions of dollars in economic output over the next five years if poorer countries do not get equal access to Covid-19 vaccines, a report has said as concerns grow about “vaccine nationalism”.

As the World Health Organization (WHO) seeks to plug funding gaps in its ACT Accelerator programme for global Covid-19 treatments, researchers said their findings showed there was a financial – as well as a moral – case for ensuring equal access.

“Governments are increasingly focusing on investments that can help their own economies to rebound,” said Hassan Damluji, deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which commissioned the report by the Eurasia Group research firm.

“The ACT Accelerator is precisely one of those investments. It is both the right thing to do, and an investment that will pay dividends by bringing the global economy back from the brink, benefiting all nations.”

As nations prepare to roll out mass Covid-19 vaccination programmes, with Britain becoming the first to approve a vaccine for use this week, there has been concern that “vaccine nationalism” could see poorer countries left behind.

The WHO says the programme needs $38bn (£28bn) – of which about $28bn is still outstanding – without which lower-income countries will not be able to get prompt access to Covid-19 drugs including vaccines.

Thursday’s report assessed the economic benefits of ensuring swift, equal global access to vaccines to 10 major economies – Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.

It found boosts to the global economy as a result meant they stood to gain at least $153bn in 2020-21, and $466bn by 2025, in an analysis based on IMF World Economic Outlook forecasts of varying vaccination scenarios.

The WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, hailed the report, and said contributing to the ACT Accelerator was “the smart thing for all countries – socially, economically and politically”.

Its findings are in line with an earlier study that found wealthy countries stood to lose $119bn a year through uneven vaccine access, said Andrea Taylor, a researcher at the Duke Global Health Institute’s project tracking Covid-19 data.

“It is in the best interests of wealthy nations to invest in equity and it will cost all of us more if we don’t, both in terms of mortality and GDP,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Recreation facilities close as Windsor-Essex moves to Red



Multiple recreational facilities are temporarily closing down as Windsor-Essex enters the Red-Control level of the COVID-19 response framework on Monday.

Based on advice from the Windsor Essex County Heatlh Unit, (WECHU) The Nature Fresh Farms Recreation Centre (NFFRC) in Leamington said it will close on Monday until further notice. The facility also stated that all expiring memberships will be extended for the duration of the closure. Elsewhere, the Vollmer Complex in LaSalle also announced that it will be closing on Monday. Virtual services will be offered by both facilities, more information on virtual programs can be found on municipal websites.

On Friday, Ontario announced it would be moving Windsor-Essex into the Red level as the region began to surpass thresholds on the provincial scale.

As of Monday, at 12:01 a.m. restaurants will only allow 10 people to be seated indoors, and must close by 10 p.m. Casinos and bingo halls are also only permitted to have 10 people inside at one time and indoor movie theatres are required to close. Social gatherings and organized public events must be limited to five people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

A full list of the restrictions in place for regions in the Red-Control level can be found here.

-With files from Maureen Revait

 

 

 

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As hotel occupancy drops, some Albany hotels close again

ALBANY— With another wave of coronavirus infections surging across the country, fewer people are staying at hotels, making the already slow winter season even more intimidating for hotel owners.

At the end of October, the country saw the lowest occupancy levels since mid-June. This month that level continued to slip lower, while short-term rentals, like Airbnb, are selling better than hotel rooms, according to data from industry monitor STR.

In response, hotels in the Capital region have made a wide array of decisions from closing temporarily to adding apartment-style rooms and virtual learning packages trying to preserve their business.

Hotels in upstate New York have not been evenly hit. Full-service hotels in Albany that rely on corporate travel or their guests coming for restaurants and bars inside the hotel are struggling, while hotels that provide easy access to nature and social distancing activities like those in Lake George and Lake Placid are having record success.

“Since we reopened in late June, we are busier than we can ever remember,” said Seth Dow, the front-office manager at Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid. “Lake Placid in general has not been this busy since the 1980 Olympics.”

Two hotels that were delinquent on their loans in September are now approaching foreclosure. There are now seven hotels in total in the region delinquent on their loans, up from five in September, according to data compiled by industry analyst Trepp.

In Albany, two hotels that reopened on Oct. 1— The Spring Hill Suites and The Holiday Inn Express— have closed yet again.

“It was bad, it was like two guests a day or three. No one was traveling anyway…” said Vicky Sindhu, the operating manager at the Holiday Inn Express, about the month of October. “There (were) no government officials, no trips, no events.”

In Saratoga Springs, The Gideon Putman hotel, starting this month, will not be open to overnight guests until April 2021, but its spa will remain open to visitors.

The Pavilion Grand Hotel, which originally was slated to be condominiums, has now converted all of their hotel rooms to apartments. As of Nov. 1 their length-of-stay requirement is a one-week minimum. They started accepting one-year rentals in September.

“It is more like a home now versus just a hotel stay,” said Susanne Simpson, the director of the hotel’s Hospitality Division. “When COVID-19 struck we had a lot of our clients that were very interested in renting much longer term because of the style of our hotel.”

Terra Stratton from the Washington Park Group echoed this. She is turning people away at their 4th Precinct Apartments in Center Square and she is building two private-entrance suites at their Washington Park Inn because of the high demand for rooms with private access.

Despite the trend, many full-service hotels located in downtown Albany are still struggling.

“Albany is very affordable for a stay right now,” said Bruce Rosenberg, the president of HotelPlanner.com. “I think hotels are taking the necessary steps to remain visible and

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The US is reportedly close to lifting its 8-month travel ban for Europe, now that its own COVID-19 outbreak is far worse



a group of people performing on a counter: Travelers walk through a nearly empty terminal at Boston's Logan Airport on November 20. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer


© AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Travelers walk through a nearly empty terminal at Boston’s Logan Airport on November 20. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

  • The White House is considering lifting the travel ban on non-US citizens coming from Europe and Brazil, Reuters reported.
  • President Trump has not made up his mind yet, but the plan is supported by members of the White House coronavirus task force and other agencies, according to Reuters.
  • The US barred entry to travellers from Europe in March as the outbreak surged there, but the US outbreak has now spent months as the world’s worst-affected country.
  • Currently, non-US residents who have been in European nations or Brazil in the previous 14 days can’t enter the US, though some travellers are considered exceptions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House is considering lifting its travel ban on inbound travel to the US from Europe and Brazil, Reuters reported early Wednesday.

It comes as the US’s coronavirus outbreak continues to be the worst in the world.

Reuters cited five US and airline officials saying that an end to the ban was close.

It reported that the plan is supported by members of the White House’s coronavirus task force and other federal agencies.

But it said that President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether he supports it. There is currently no date for when an easing may take place.

The US banned travellers from Europe in March in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and added Brazil in May.

But the US outbreak has spiralled since, and the US has now spent months as the country with the highest number of virus cases and deaths in the world.

Not long after the US put its ban in place, much of Europe likewise banned entry from the US.

Video: 2019: Trump signs executive order to overhaul organ transplant and kidney dialysis (The Washington Post)

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More than 12.5 million people in the US have now been infected by the coronavirus, and more than 259,000 people have died from it. The US is currently in the middle of a third surge, with its cases at an all-time high.

Europe’s cases rose rapidly in the last few months after the virus was brought under control over the summer. But the continent’s cases have started falling after countries implemented lockdowns and new restrictions.

Here’s how the US’s outbreak looks:



chart, histogram: The US's new daily coronavirus cases as of November 24. Worldometer


© Worldometer
The US’s new daily coronavirus cases as of November 24. Worldometer


 

And here’s the outbreak across Europe, where cases have started falling again:



The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EU/EEA and the UK, as of November 25. ECDC


© ECDC
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EU/EEA and the UK, as of November 25. ECDC

The lower infection rate in Europe may prompt Trump to decide against lifting the ban, Reuters reported.

Currently, non-US residents who have been in the European countries or Brazil over the last 14 days can’t enter, though there are

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White House close to lifting Europe COVID-19 travel ban: Reuters

  • The White House is considering lifting the travel ban on non-US citizens coming from Europe and Brazil, Reuters reported.
  • President Trump has not made up his mind yet, but the plan is supported by members of the White House coronavirus task force and other agencies, according to Reuters.
  • The US barred entry to travellers from Europe in March as the outbreak surged there, but the US outbreak has now spent months as the world’s worst-affected country.
  • Currently, non-US residents who have been in European nations or Brazil in the previous 14 days can’t enter the US, though some travellers are considered exceptions.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House is considering lifting its travel ban on inbound travel to the US from Europe and Brazil, Reuters reported early Wednesday.

It comes as the US’s coronavirus outbreak continues to be the worst in the world.

Reuters cited five US and airline officials saying that an end to the ban was close.

It reported that the plan is supported by members of the White House’s coronavirus task force and other federal agencies.

But it said that President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether he supports it. There is currently no date for when an easing may take place.

The US banned travellers from Europe in March in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and added Brazil in May.

But the US outbreak has spiralled since, and the US has now spent months as the country with the highest number of virus cases and deaths in the world.

Not long after the US put its ban in place, much of Europe likewise banned entry from the US.

More than 12.5 million people in the US have now been infected by the coronavirus, and more than 259,000 people have died from it. The US is currently in the middle of a third surge, with its cases at an all-time high.

Europe’s cases rose rapidly in the last few months after the virus was brought under control over the summer. But the continent’s cases have started falling after countries implemented lockdowns and new restrictions.

Here’s how the US’s outbreak looks:

Worldometer

The US’s new daily coronavirus cases as of November 24.

Worldometer


 

And here’s the outbreak across Europe, where cases have started falling again:

Europe infections

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the EU/EEA and the UK, as of November 25.

ECDC


The lower infection rate in Europe may prompt Trump to decide against lifting the ban, Reuters reported.

Currently, non-US residents who have been in the European countries or Brazil over the last 14 days can’t enter, though there are some travellers that are considered exceptions.

Reuters reported that many officials say the ban on Europe and Brazil doesn’t make sense because travellers from other countries with similarly severe outbreaks are not banned from coming to the US.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment to

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Portugal to ban domestic travel, close schools around national holidays

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal is to ban domestic travel and close schools around two upcoming holidays in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus ahead of Christmas, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask speaks with a driver of a tram during the coronavirus outbreak in downtown Lisbon, Portugal, October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

Travel between municipalities will be banned from 11 p.m. on Nov. 27 to 5 a.m. on Dec. 2, and then again from 11 p.m. on Dec. 4 to 5 a.m. on Dec. 9, to prevent movement around national holidays on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8.

Schools will close on the Mondays before both holidays, while businesses must close early. Employers are being encouraged to give workers the day off in order to minimise travel activity.

“We continue to have a very high number of cases which is a threat to our health,” Costa told a press conference. “We must persist to not only halt that growth rate but invert it.”

Masks, already mandatory in public and enclosed commercial spaces, are now also mandatory in the workplace, Costa said. Checks will increase to ensure that those who can are working remotely.

A night-time curfew and weekend lockdown after 1 p.m. in 191 municipalities since Nov. 9 will continue in 174 municipalities with particularly high infection rates for a further two weeks.

Portugal reported 62 deaths and 6,472 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, mostly in the north of the country, bringing the total infections to 255,970 cases, with 3,824 deaths.

The number of cases has increased significantly since late September, with average daily rates rising from around 300 in the summer to 6,000 in recent weeks despite testing only increasing approximately three-fold, health ministry data shows.

The country, with around 10 million people, ranks seventh in Europe for the number of cumulative cases per 100,000 people and 14th for the number of new deaths, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control figures.

(This story fixes incorrect advisory line to conform with final paragraph, making clear that Portugal ranks seventh in Europe for cases and 14th for deaths)

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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Old Course Hotel in St Andrews to close from today

The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews is the latest five-star hotel to close due to increased coronavirus restrictions.

The Old Course Hotel is to close from today.
The Old Course Hotel is to close from today.

The luxury venue, which is situated next to the famous golf course in the Fife town, said that all of its bars, restaurants and spa facilities would close from today, as well as the hotel itself.

The hotel’s golf course, the Duke’s Course, will remain open.

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The closure comes just days after Gleneagles Hotel said it would close until the end of January. Fife, as well as Perth and Kinross, where Gleneagles is situated, was moved into level three lockdown last week, amid rising cases in the area. The change means that restaurants and bars cannot serve alcoholic drinks with or without a meal and must close by 6pm – although hotels can serve food to guests in their rooms until 10pm.

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Read more: Gleneagles Hotel set to close doors from Friday

The business said in a statement. “All of us at Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa really appreciate our guests and our community for helping to make the last few months enjoyable and safe.

“We are committed to the health and safety of our guests, staff, and the public, so we will be temporarily closing the Old Course Hotel from Monday 16th November. This includes hotel bars and restaurants, Kohler Waters Spa, the Pro Shop, Jigger Inn and Hams Hame.

“This is a very difficult decision for us to make, but under the current Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions … we believe it is the right thing to do.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as we can. In the meantime, The Duke’s Golf Course and Clubhouse, and the Fitness Centre will remain open with Covid-19 cleaning protocols and social distancing measures in place.”

It added: “We will continue to monitor updates and follow guidelines from the Scottish Government and will keep our guests and staff informed as the situation evolves. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this time of unprecedented uncertainty.”

​The hotel, which has 144 rooms including 35 suites, overlooks the famous links courses and the West Sands Beach. The venue said that anyone with an existing booking for November would be contacted by staff.

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Gleneagles Hotel set to close doors from Friday

Gleneagls is to close down for the second time this year.
Gleneagls is to close down for the second time this year.

The closure is the second this year for the luxury hotel facility, which was shut for four months from March. During this shutdown, however, all golf courses and membership leisure facilities, including equestrian activities, will stay open.

It is understood that staff will be put on furlough after the UK Government extended the scheme earlier this month. Perth and Kinross was moved into level three lockdown on Tuesday, amid rising cases in the area. The change means that restaurants and bars cannot serve alcoholic drinks with or without a meal and must close by 6pm – although hotels can serve food to guests in their rooms until 10pm.

Gleneagles spokesman Conor O’Leary said: “Following the Scottish Government’s announcement that Perth and Kinross will be moved up to protection level three in the national coronavirus restriction system, we’ve taken the very difficult decision to temporarily close Gleneagles’ doors for the second time this year – from Friday, November 13 until Sunday, January 31, inclusive.”

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He said: “Having worked so hard to provide a safe environment across our estate, we are saddened by this development, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, the highlight of our calendar for both teams and guests.”

Mr O’Leary added: “However, we’re committed to taking the additional measures necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone at Gleneagles, and to play our part in minimising COVID-19 cases in the region.

“The support and well-wishes we’ve received over the past eight months, including our four-month closure period earlier this year, have been truly humbling, and we look forward to welcoming back our hotel guests from 1 February, subject to government regulations.

“We extend our sympathy to all the individuals, families and teams around the world who have been affected by this crisis and our gratitude to all the essential workers who continue to work tirelessly to keep everyone safe.”

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said: “The news that Gleneagles will be closing its doors until February comes as no surprise to me given the recent announcements. I have been having conversations with hoteliers the length and breadth of the country and many are doing similar. The costs of remaining open and providing a total experience which the customer expects, with limitations and uncertainty are too high.

“While furlough is a welcome support for staff who would almost certainly be without a job right now in many businesses had it not been extended, it offers no direct financial benefit to businesses and a much greater degree of financial support is needed immediately to enable those both open and closed to remain solvent and bounce back when we are through the crisis period and into recovery. We reiterated this on a private call between myself, STA Chair Stephen Leckie and the First Minister yesterday who acknowledged this and we would hope that

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UPDATE: Woodstock Recreation Center, Sage YMCA temporarily close after staff members test positive for COVID-19

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

The Woodstock Recreation Center temporarily closed its doors Friday until Nov. 13 after three staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the city of Woodstock said in a news release.

“To err on the side of caution, we are implementing a facility closure to ensure the health and safety of all of our members, visitors, residents and staff,” according to the release. “This will also allow time for a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the building to prepare for reopening.”

The rec center is scheduled to reopen Nov. 14.

Dave Zinnen, director of the city’s recreation department, said two additional employees were identified as having close contact with the three employees who tested positive. One of the contact’s tests came back negative, and the other one does not yet have his or her results. 

“We recommended the rest of the staff to go ahead and get tested because we do work in a very confined area,” Zinnen said.

City Manager Roscoe Stelford said the city does not think any members of the club or residents met criteria to be considered a close contact.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset – or, for asymptomatic patients, two days before being tested – until the time the patient is isolated.

Going forward, Zinnen said the recreation department likely will put more plexiglass between employees. A piece of plexiglass already is set up between the front counter staff and employees, he said.

A “tremendous amount” of safeguards have been put in place for the public because of COVID-19, Stelford said.

This includes changing the check-in process, in which members hold their card directly up to a scanner, so there’s no physical interaction between employees and members, as well as a lot of cleaning and sanitizing as people are done using the equipment. 

Because some classes are not being conducted now, they are able to put workout equipment in more places, Stelford said. 

Two area restaurants – Miller’s Diner in McHenry and Andy’s Restaurant in Crystal Lake – also have announced temporary closures in recent days after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Both restaurants had continued to offer indoor dining despite increased restrictions ordered by Gov. JB Pritzker. The intensified restrictions that have hit restaurants and bars have not affected fitness centers such as the Woodstock Recreation Center to the same degree.

Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake will be closed for 10 days after receiving three reports of COVID-19, involving both direct and indirect exposures. 

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close down the center immediately to undergo deep cleaning,” Man-Yee Lee, spokeswoman for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, said on Saturday. “After swiftly

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UPDATE: Woodstock Recreation Center, Sage YCMA temporarily close after staff members test positive COVID-19

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

The Woodstock Recreation Center temporarily closed its doors Friday until Nov. 13 after three staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the city of Woodstock said in a news release.

“To err on the side of caution, we are implementing a facility closure to ensure the health and safety of all of our members, visitors, residents and staff,” according to the release. “This will also allow time for a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the building to prepare for reopening.”

The rec center is scheduled to reopen Nov. 14.

Dave Zinnen, director of the city’s recreation department, said one additional employe was identified as having close contact with the three employees who tested positive, and that person’s COVID-19 test came back negative. 

“We recommended the rest of the staff to go ahead and get tested because we do work in a very confined area,” Zinnen said.

City Manager Roscoe Stelford said the city does not think any members of the club or residents met criteria to be considered a close contact.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset – or, for asymptomatic patients, two days before being tested – until the time the patient is isolated.

Going forward, Zinnen said the recreation department likely will put more plexiglass between employees. A piece of plexiglass already is set up between the front counter staff and employees, he said.

A “tremendous amount” of safeguards have been put into place for the public because of COVID-19, Stelford said.

This includes changing the check-in process, in which members hold their card directly up to a scanner, so there’s no physical interaction between employees and members, as well as a lot of cleaning and sanitizing as people are done using the equipment. 

Because some classes are not being conducted now, they are able to put workout equipment in more places, Stelford said. 

Two area restaurants – Miller’s Diner in McHenry and Andy’s Restaurant in Crystal Lake – also have announced temporary closures in recent days after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Both restaurants had continued to offer indoor dining despite increased restrictions ordered by Gov. JB Pritzker. The intensified restrictions that have hit restaurants and bars have not affected fitness centers such as the Woodstock Recreation Center to the same degree.

Also Friday, the Sage YMCA in Crystal Lake said in an email to patrons that a staff member was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The Crystal Lake fitness center will not be closing, but “out of an abundance of caution,” the employee was immediately sent home and told to get a
COVID-19 test and self-isolate for 14 days, per CDC recommendations, interim Executive Director

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