Hong Kong and Singapore will postpone the world’s first quarantine-free travel bubble for two weeks after a surge in infections in Hong Kong.
Europe is risking a third virus wave early next year unless it takes more action now, according to David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on Covid-19 preparedness and response.
The U.S. reached a record for daily cases with more than 195,000 infections as states including Ohio and California posted new Covid-19 highs. Russia posted a record for daily deaths and infections.
Global Tracker: Cases reach 57.5 million; deaths 1.3 millionGermany May Extend Lockdown to Slow Virus Before ChristmasPfizer’s Covid vaccine still faces hurdles after FDA filing FridayOne in five U.S. hospitals face staffing crisis within a weekEU could approve BioNTech, Moderna vaccines in DecemberOnly the best London offices thrive in an emerging Covid divideVaccine Tracker: Encouraging breakthroughs offer hope
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Hong Kong and Singapore Delay Travel Bubble (5:30 p.m. HK)
Hong Kong and Singapore will postpone the world’s first quarantine-free travel bubble for two weeks after a surge in infections in Hong Kong. That’s a setback for their flagship airlines and tourism businesses looking to kickstart a recovery.
Under the current agreement between the two financial hubs, the arrangement is suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of unlinked cases rises to five in either city. The average rose to 3.9 on Saturday from 2.1 a day earlier. The details of the formal re-introduction of the plan will be announced early next month, according to Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development.
U.K. to Ease Restrictions Over Holidays (5 p.m. HK)
The government is preparing to relax the U.K. lockdown to allow “several” families to form a bubble for up to a week over the Christmas period, the Telegraph said on Saturday. The so-called winter plan will outline replacement measures to the current lockdown and will be announced as soon as Monday, the newspaper reported.
Separately, a British hospitality organization warned that the government cutting the job retention bonus will cost the industry 2.1 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) and lead to job cuts, the Telegraph said. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will unveil the government’s spending plans for the next year on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted on Saturday that he’s still self-isolating and working from his Downing Street office.
Iran Offers More Support as Lockdown Starts (5 p.m. HK)
The Iranian government will make monthly payments to almost 30 million people over the next four months to support the economy during the coronavirus outbreak, President Hassan Rouhani said. Iran started a two-week lockdown on Saturday, reducing economic activity to essential services and businesses in many areas.
Hungary Posts Record Deaths as Infections Plateau (4:50 p.m. HK)