Tag: pushes

China pushes for QR code based global travel

Xi Jinping wearing a suit and tie

© Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a “global mechanism” that would use QR codes to open up international travel.

“We need to further harmonize policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of people,” he said.

The codes will be used to help establish a traveller’s health status.

But Human Rights advocates warn that the codes could be used for “broader political monitoring and exclusion”.

Mr Xi made the comments at the G20 summit, an online meeting of heads of state from the world’s 20 largest economies, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia over the weekend.

He said the codes could be used to recognise “health certificates based on nucleic acid test results”, according to a transcript published by Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

“We hope more countries will join this mechanism,” he added.

Mr Xi also called for the re-opening of the global economy, including restoring “global and industrial supply chains” and the “liberalisation of trade of key medical supplies”.

Reopening travel lanes remains a challenge for most countries, with spikes in the disease making it difficult for the authorities to lift travel restrictions.

A travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong, for example, was postponed shortly before it was due to start this weekend due to a sudden spike in cases in Hong Kong.

‘Trojan Horse’

In a tweet, the executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth expressed caution over Mr Xi’s proposal.

“An initial focus on health could easily become a Trojan Horse for broader political monitoring and exclusion,” he said.

QR codes – which are bar codes that can be read by mobile phones – have been widely used in China since February to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

Automatically generated QR codes have been assigned to residents as indicators of their health status.

a person standing on a sidewalk

© Getty Images

A green code allows someone to travel freely, while an orange or red code indicates that someone needs to quarantine for up to two weeks.

The city of Hangzhou has said it plans to make a permanent version of the QR code-based app, which would be used to assign citizens a personal score based on their medical history, health check-ups and lifestyle habits.

QR codes have been used differently elsewhere.

In Singapore and Australia, for example, they’re used for contract tracing, with residents using them to check into and out of places they visit, including malls, restaurants and their places of work.

Source Article

Continue reading

Australian PM pushes for quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand by Christmas

Scott Morrison wants quarantine-free international travel to New Zealand by Christmas, as part of a three-stage plan to get the nation to Covid-normal by the end of the year.

a close up of Scott Morrison wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

The prime minister outlined the plan at the national cabinet meeting on Friday, with a travel bubble potentially including other approved low-risk nations, and a trial, operating from early December, to allow seasonal workers and international students to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine outside of a supervised hotel setting.

a close up of Scott Morrison wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Prime minister Scott Morrison outlined plans to national cabinet to establish a quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand as well as approved low-risk nations

© Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Prime minister Scott Morrison outlined plans to national cabinet to establish a quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand as well as approved low-risk nations

Morrison also lobbied Victoria to accept international arrivals, as part of a push to increase the weekly cap on returned travellers to 6,000. The federal government has said it aims to have all 26,000 Australians registered to return home back in the country by Christmas.

The first repatriation flight from London landed in Darwin on Friday with 161 passengers who will quarantine at Howard Springs.

He said that, following discussions with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews in national cabinet, he was “hoping they will be able to make a move on being able to receive international arrivals”.

“That day isn’t here yet but I know it’s a priority for the premier because he wants to see Victorians come home,” he said.

Asked ahead of the national cabinet meeting if Victoria would be accepting international flights by Christmas, Andrews said that’s “certainly our aim” but not before the hotel quarantine inquiry had delivered its final report on 6 November.

Speaking at his daily press conference, the Victorian premier said an outbreak at a school in Melbourne’s northern suburbs would not delay a “significant” easing of restrictions from Sunday and he was “confident in where things are at the moment”.

Related: Victoria to conduct covert surveillance of businesses to ensure Covid compliance

As of Friday there were 800 people in Victoria under self-isolation orders as contacts and close contacts of coronavirus cases, including 400 people connected to the 83 families whose children attend East Preston Islamic school.

Authorities announced on Wednesday that a student had tested positive. A parent of another child who attends the school – but who did not have direct contact with the first student or their family – has also since tested positive.

It was the only new case recorded in Victoria on Friday. There are just five active cases in aged care and seven among healthcare workers.

Video: Premier Daniel Andrews treats Victorians as if they’re ‘dim witted’ (Sky News Australia)

Premier Daniel Andrews treats Victorians as if they’re ‘dim witted’



Meanwhile, New South Wales reported no new locally acquired cases on Friday, but seven new cases in hotel quarantine.

Andrews said the school outbreak did not necessarily mean there was broader transmission in the school community.

“We are very well placed to make some significant announcements on Sunday

Continue reading

Lake Havasu boat ramps open as Arizona pushes outdoor recreation | Coronavirus

All of the boat ramps in Lake Havasu City remain open as part of the essential function to provide outdoor recreation to residents per the governor’s stay-at-home order issued Monday.

Across the Colorado River, however, the Chemehuevi chairman Charles Wood said the tribe has basically shut down the boat ramps with “very limited traffic” remaining.

“There are some local residents that have boats, they are very understanding that we are trying to keep people even off the lake, and from traveling around,” he said.

Wood said the tribe started taking actions to limit movement about two weeks ago, and their efforts have slowly evolved over time as different declarations were announced.

Wood said the hotel and casino are completely vacant and they are not allowing any new campers into the area. Those who were already camping when the coronavirus situation arose have been allowed to stay, however.

As a federally recognized tribe the Chemehuevi have the authority to chart their own course, but Wood said they are relying heavily on advice from various government officials and entities.

“We are listening to the president, we are listening to the governor, and we are listening to Indian Health Services,” Woods said. “I would say 99 percent we are probably following what (California) Gov. (Gavin) Newson has put out — 99 or maybe even 100 percent.”

The Big River boat ramps in La Paz County are also closed.

Meanwhile the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Colorado River Station said all of the public boat ramps in Needles, California, are open.

Outdoor recreation encouraged

On Tuesday many local residents took advantage of the outdoor recreation essential function by heading out to the lake for some fresh air.

Lake Havasu City resident Russ Kavanaugh is an avid bass fisherman and regular on the lake but on Tuesday he had a little company in his boat.

“I’m out because I can’t take the house anymore — I had to get out,” said Russ’ wife Jean Kavanaugh. “This is so confining, but this is the only place you can go where you can social distance, so it is very nice to be out on the lake.”

Lots of locals seem to have had the same idea.

The parking lot at the Lake Havasu State Park boat ramps was mostly full late Tuesday morning. Russ noted that the parking lot looked more like it was a holiday weekend than a weekday in Havasu. Even with the extra crowds, however, Jean said people seem to be keeping to themselves and practicing proper social distancing while putting their boats in and out of the water and that there is plenty of room for everyone out on the lake.

Jean said they have had to tweak how they go about daily life without meetings or church to go to. She said they generally try to go out to eat a couple times a week, but have had to cut back as restaurants have been ordered to close their dine-in operations. Jean

Continue reading