Tag: quarantine

Tycoons and sports stars to be exempt from quarantine in controversial English travel rule

From Dec. 5, high-value business travelers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to England from countries not in a travel corridor.


daniel leal-olivas/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Senior company executives, elite sportspeople, and television production staff are among those travelers who will be exempt from COVID-19 quarantine restrictions for international arrivals in England, the government has announced.

“From 4 a.m. on Sat 5th Dec high-value business travelers will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to ENGLAND from a country NOT in a travel corridor, allowing more travel to support the economy and jobs. Conditions apply,” transport secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter
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Under current rules, travelers from nonexempt countries have to quarantine for 14 days. However, from Dec. 15, they can cut this time to five days if they pay for a private coronavirus test under the government’s new Test to Release program. The tests will cost between £65 and £120.

Read: ‘Test to Release’ option can cut travelers’ quarantine time to five days — and make Christmas in England a possibility again

In a more detailed statement, the Department for Transport said that “individuals undertaking specific business activity which would deliver a significant benefit to the U.K. economy — including activity that creates or preserves 50+ U.K. jobs — will no longer need to self-isolate when traveling or returning from nonexempt countries.”

It added that all travelers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the U.K., unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.

The move was criticized by Jim McMahon, shadow transport secretary of the opposition Labour Party, who tweeted: “Are you loaded? No quarantine.

“I hope the virus has been made aware of the rules and keeps well away from them.”

Labour lawmaker Ben Bradshaw also slammed the move, tweeting: “Is this a joke? What Is high value?”

However, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, welcomed the government’s initiative, saying the decision will bolster business travel and provide a significant boost to the fragile U.K. economy.

“Last year, international business travel contributed £7.5 billion ($10 billion) to the U.K. economy, which demonstrates how vital it will be to reviving the country’s battered economic fortunes,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and Chief Executive.

The news lifted shares in British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines
IAG,
+5.02%
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which rose 2.06%, while Ryanair
RYAAY,
+2.80%

was up 1.22%, and easyJet
EZJ,
+2.66%

edged 0.81% higher in Friday morning trading in London.

New guidelines published by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency on Dec. 2 suggest that there is no increased risk to the spread of COVID-19 from passengers arriving by air.

“Travelers should not be considered as a high-risk population, nor treated as contacts of COVID-19 cases, unless they have been in known contact with a confirmed positive case,” the guidelines said, adding:

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Covid quarantine hotel staff won’t be banned from other sites, NSW premier says

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has backed hotel quarantine employees working across several hotels as authorities race to understand how a cleaner who worked at a quarantine hotel and a regular hotel in Sydney contracted Covid-19.



a tall building: Photograph: Jenny Evans/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Jenny Evans/Getty Images

The state’s chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, also acknowledged on Thursday that interim public health advice meant thousands of commuters who caught trains and trams in Sydney should get tested immediately and self-isolate until updated advice is issued within 48 hours.

Health officials are worried about the potential spread of coronavirus given the cleaner travelled on public transport while potentially infectious.

Berejiklian said “at this stage” there was no reason to delay Monday’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions relating to larger venue and event capacities and the reopening of dancefloors. But the premier said she would not rule out altering her position if the health advice changed following further investigations.



a tall building: Authorities are racing to determine how a Sydney quarantine hotel worker, who also worked at a neighbouring property, contracted coronavirus despite having no direct contact with infected returned travellers.


© Photograph: Jenny Evans/Getty Images
Authorities are racing to determine how a Sydney quarantine hotel worker, who also worked at a neighbouring property, contracted coronavirus despite having no direct contact with infected returned travellers.

Related: Stranded Australians promised free quarantine on return face $5,000 government bill

Urgent genomic testing will help authorities better understand how the woman contracted the virus. Chant said the cleaner didn’t come into direct contact with returned travellers so “there isn’t a smoking gun in terms of how we would say the transmission event happened”.

The cleaner developed symptoms on Saturday – mostly signs of fatigue – but was only tested on Wednesday night. After her positive result, her family also was tested late on Wednesday night, with all five members returning negative results. They will be required to isolate for 14 days.

Authorities believe the cleaner was infectious when she worked at the Ibis Hotel in Sydney’s Darling Harbour on 27 November – which is not a quarantine hotel – as well as when she later worked three shifts at the Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour on 28-30 November. The hotels are next door to each other and are owned by the Accor group.

The Novotel is a police-guarded quarantine hotel for returned travellers. If a guest subsequently tests positive for Covid-19 they are sent to a health hotel managed by NSW Health.

Chant said “there’s a very narrow window when actually anyone is infectious in the police hotels”. She said once urgent genomic sequencing showed what strain of the virus the cleaner had authorities could “do the detective work” to understand how she became infected.

Colleagues who worked with the woman at the hotels and anyone who caught the same public transport services have been asked to get tested immediately and self-isolate.

Chant said the woman wore a mask on her more than hour-long daily commute from Minto to the Darling Harbour hotels.

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New Covid case in NSW as Sydney hotel quarantine cleaner tests positive | Sydney

A Sydney hotel quarantine worker has been diagnosed with Covid-19, raising infection fears after she worked at a second hotel.

The New South Wales health minister, Brad Hazzard, said he had been notified of the new case at 1.22am on Thursday. “She worked at the Novotel and the Ibis at Darling Harbour,” he told Seven’s Sunrise program. “One of those is a police quarantine hotel.”

The woman is understood to have worked shifts as a cleaner at the Novotel, which is being used to quarantine returned international travellers between 28 November and 30 December, and at the neighbouring Ibis, a regular non-quarantine hotel, a day earlier – on 27 November.

NSW Health urged anyone who worked at the hotels on these days to monitor for symptoms, self-isolate and get tested. Guardian Australia has sought clarification as to whether the woman regularly worked at both hotels, thus potentially increasing Ibis guest and staff risks of exposure, or had permanently shifted to the Novotel on 28 November.

“The good news is her five family members were tested overnight and they are all negative, so that is a good outcome,” Hazzard said.

The woman’s family will still be required to isolate, and urgent genome sequencing is being undertaken to confirm whether the woman contracted the virus at the hotel or picked it up in the community.

The hotels are both owned by the Accor Hotel group and sit next to each other at Darling Harbour.

Ensuring hotel quarantine staff do not work across multiple venues has been one of the key takeaways from both Victoria’s second wave of Covid infections and the Adelaide clusters.

The woman lived in Minto in south-west Sydney and health authorities are urging anyone in the area to get tested, even if they have the mildest symptoms.

“She travelled the days that we’re particularly concerned about, which is last Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, she travelled from Minto to Central on our rail system,” Hazzard told the ABC. “And then from Central she travelled on a light rail system down to Darling Harbour.

“To anybody who was using that particular railway line or the light rail, please look out for symptoms, get tested, and listen to the advice from New South Wales Health until the results are through.”

The news comes a day after NSW recorded 25 straight days without a single Covid case in the community and the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced a swath of social restrictions would be eased from Monday. As this case was discovered after 8pm, it will be counted in Friday’s numbers, so Thursday will be recorded as the state’s 26th Covid-free day.

The NSW chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said on Wednesday she believed that the state had “probably virtually eliminated” community transmission. Berejiklian said she anticipated there would be more cases. Hazzard said he also expected there would be more cases “because we are in a pandemic”.

He told ABC News Breakfast this case was unlikely to change the easing of restrictions scheduled

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Australia politics live: NSW hotel quarantine worker tests positive for Covid | Australia news

NSW Health is calling on people in Sydney’s north-west to get tested if they have even the mildest Covid-19 symptoms, after the state’s sewage surveillance program detected traces of the virus at a sewage treatment plant in Riverstone.

Fragments of the virus that causes Covid-19 have been detected in samples taken on Sunday 29 November from the sewerage system that drains parts of Riverstone, Vineyard, Marsden Park, Shanes Park, Quakers Hill, Oakville, Box Hill, The Ponds, Rouse Hill, Nelson, Schofields and Colebee.

Detection of the virus in sewage samples could reflect the presence of known cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in recent weeks in the area served by this sewage treatment plant. However, NSW Health is concerned there could be other active cases in the local community in people who have not been tested and who might incorrectly assume their symptoms are just a cold.

Particularly in light of the easing of restrictions on gatherings announced [yesterday], it is important that people in these areas be aware of any symptoms of illness, and immediately isolate and get tested should even the mildest of symptoms appear. Cold-like symptoms, including a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, tiredness, fever or other symptoms could be Covid-19.

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GovGuam still paying for unused hotel rooms for COVID-19 quarantine

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Pacific Daily News

The government of Guam continued to use federal pandemic-related funds to pay for unoccupied rooms in hotels contracted to be quarantine and isolation facilities, at rates of $90 and $120 a day, purchase orders show.

The governor in May said the agreements in facilities were changed so only occupied rooms would be paid for. Purchase orders from May through October note hotels got different amounts for empty rooms.

Unused rooms are paid for to ensure rooms are available and is a protective measure, said Jenna Blas, acting administrator of the Office of Civil Defense.

“Securing the non-congregate shelter as a whole ensures there is availability when needed for COVID-19 positive persons. It is also a protective measure to ensure there are no other members of the community in that facility who are not either COVID-19 positive or assisting with the operations of the isolation facility in order to reduce exposure to others,” Blas said.

Blas also said this also applies to the quarantine facility.

The government of Guam continued to use federal pandemic-related funds to pay for unoccupied rooms in hotels such as The Bayview Hotel Guam and the Dusit Beach Resort. (Photo: Pacific Daily News)

Hotel rates

Dusit Beach Resort Guam is contracted to be the quarantine facility for incoming travelers. Core Tech Resort, which does business as Bayview Hotel Guam, is contracted to be the isolation facility for positive COVID-19 patients.

Dusit Beach Resort’s unoccupied room rate was $120 a day, according to an October purchase order. Bayview’s unoccupied room rate was $90 a day, purchase orders show.

When asked about the reasoning behind the different rates for unused rooms in the current facilities, at the Dusit Beach Resort and the Bayview, Blas said, “They’re two different locations.”

Purchase orders from May to October show $1.9 million was spent and allocated to Dusit Beach Resort, Bayview, Days Inn and Wyndham Garden hotels for quarantine and isolation facilities.

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When Days Inn was the isolation facility, the unoccupied room rate was $90 a day. When Wyndham Garden was the quarantine facility, the unoccupied room rate was $65 a day from May to mid-July and then after mid-July it was $66 a day, according to purchase orders.

GovGuam agreed to a definite use of 300 rooms at Dusit Beach Resort that were unoccupied and occupied with an agreement to use other rooms if necessary. At the Bayview, the purchase order noted 48 to 150 rooms would be needed for isolating COVID-19 positive patients. 

The occupied room rate at the Dusit Beach Resort is $159 a day for one room. At the Bayview, the occupied room rate is $175 a day for one room and $50 for an additional occupant, purchase orders from September and October show.

Blas said the total $175 a day rate is inclusive of three meals.

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San Francisco, San Mateo County move into purple tier; Santa Clara sets travel quarantine

A flurry of coronavirus tier-list updates were announced by health officials Saturday, bringing greater restrictions to several Northern California counties, including San Francisco, which slid back to the state’s most-restrictive purple tier as coronavirus cases continue to surge at an exponential rate statewide.

Calaveras, Plumas, San Mateo and San Francisco counties will move from the red tier to the purple tier, the state’s most restrictive designation due to rising infection rates, while Modoc County will move from the orange tier to purple. Alpine, Inyo and Mariposa counties, meanwhile, will go from the orange tier to the red tier.

Just as it has elsewhere in Northern California, cases of COVID-19 has been rapidly rising in recent weeks in San Francisco and its southerly neighbor San Mateo County. The most recent weekly average for daily infection reports from the San Francisco Department of Public Health reached a new high of 137, compared with July’s high of 131 at the height of the summer surge.

Although data from the California Department of Public Health indicates a relatively low COVID-19 test positivity rate of 1.8%, San Francisco is averaging more than 14 daily infections per 100,000 city residents.

The majority of the Bay Area is already in the purple tier, with the lone exception being Marin County, which is just one step below in the red tier.

That means both San Francisco, which has nearly 900,000 residents, and San Mateo County, home to about 765,000 people, will be placed under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s limited curfew order, which affects purple-tiered counties and is set to last until Dec. 21. The order takes effect Monday.

Under the curfew, all nonessential activity is limited between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., including in-person dining.

Now, only a few counties in California are exempt from the curfew. Seven counties in total are not in the purple tier, many of which lie along the Sierra Nevada on California’s eastern border.

San Francisco is now required to shut down all indoor dining services — although officials already took the step earlier this month of eliminating indoor dining due to an alarming increase in coronavirus cases.

“This is the most aggressive surge SF has seen to date,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “I don’t know how to be more clear — this is the most dangerous time we’ve faced during this pandemic. Do not travel or gather with others.”

Thus far, 15,342 San Francisco residents have contracted coronavirus, and 160 have died of COVID-19.

Los Angeles County, meanwhile, imposed a stricter lockdown due to the COVID-19 surge on Friday. There, all public and private gatherings with members of multiple households — barring church services and protests — have been banned.

Sacramento County has been in the purple tier and under state curfew orders for some time.

Local health officials said they do not, at the moment, plan to institute any similar full shutdown in Sacramento, but said they will be following the governor and state health officials

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A trip to Guam means accepting COVID-19 quarantine

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Mark Torre Jr. and his attorney Jay Arriola react after a jury found Torre not guilty of all charges on Nov. 23, 2020.

Pacific Daily News

Traveling to Guam means accepting a 14-day quarantine, delivered meals and a coronavirus test.

The island is closed to almost everyone except incoming residents. Military escorts await arrivals at the airport. Health workers ensure travelers have filled out a declaration form and been briefed on the government’s latest safety measures.

That’s the easy part. Then comes the rest.

You wait in line — socially distanced, of course — as military and airport personnel ask you about your recent travel locations and connecting flights.

“Then you wait in a separate room six feet apart,” said Wendy De Osambela, a recent traveler from Pennsylvania.

A flight status display shows just how few flights are scheduled to arrive and depart from the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in this Nov. 19 file photo. (Photo: Rick Cruz/PDN)

Other passengers of your flight, sometimes up to 100 people, follow the same procedures.

“Most of us come in here and are trying to get away from quarantine in a hotel,” Osambela said. “Because it’s news for everybody, it takes a little time to explain the process to everyone. There is no way around it.”

Testing: Public Health to start daily community testing; 14 test positive Saturday

Not even proof of a negative test before boarding a flight gets you out of quarantine. Only health workers endorsed by the Department of Public Health and Social Services are exempted.

The waiting

“We’re waiting for everyone on the plane to get screened,” Osambela said.

At another station, you receive the authorization forms for consent to join the mandatory quarantine. Next, you wait until the school buses arrive. Once they park, you find an open spot among a sea of empty seats. 

“There are at least 10 buses waiting outside the airport. They have spaces in between, so we’re six feet apart,” Osambela said.

After a quick drive, passengers shuffle off the buses, then to the lobby of Dusit Beach Resort Guam.

“The whole process between getting off the plane to the hotel was two hours,” Osambela said.

A quarantine room at Dusit Beach Resort Guam. (Photo: Wendy De Osambela)

Military guards confirm your personal information. They ask you about your allergies and diet preferences, then escort you to your room. You can carry your luggage yourself or ask the escorts to bring them for you.

If your flight arrives late at the night, you get a dinner box at the hotel, even if it’s 11 p.m.

Read More: Food distribution this week in Agana Heights, Sinajana, MTM, Talofofo

New Testing: Public Health to change testing strategy

Room confinement

Those in quarantine aren’t permitted to go out for a stroll or food or even to take out the garbage. Guards deliver three meals to your room and knock on the door. Once you open the door, wearing a mask, you pick up

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Bay Area tightens COVID-19 restrictions; Santa Clara County orders travel quarantine

As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly worsens across California, San Francisco and San Mateo counties on Saturday were moved into the state’s most restrictive tier, which forces the closure of indoor gyms and movie theaters.

At the same time, Santa Clara County issued its own tightened COVID-19 rules that in some ways are stricter than the ones issued by Los Angeles County on Friday. Under Santa Clara County‘s directive, people must quarantine for 14 days upon return from travel of more than 150 miles, hotels will be open for only essential travel or isolation and quarantine, and nonessential retail establishments will be limited to 10% of capacity indoors, down from the current cap of 25%.

The backward steps come as hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have tripled in the last month, coming perilously close to exceeding their summer peak.

According to data released Saturday by the state Department of Public Health, on Friday there were 6,972 people infected with the coronavirus in hospitals statewide. On Oct. 25, that number was 2,254. The all-time high for hospitalizations is 7,170, set July 22.

In all, more than 1.18 million people have been infected with the coronavirus and more than 19,000 have died in California.

San Francisco had been able to avoid the state’s most restrictive “purple” tier, but the rate of new coronavirus cases in the Bay Area has continued to explode up in recent days. In just the last six weeks, weekly coronavirus cases have quadrupled, from about 200 a week in mid-October to about 900 a week now,

A Times analysis published Friday found that most California counties are now suffering their worst daily new coronavirus case rates of the pandemic, surpassing even the summer surge that forced officials to roll back the state’s first reopening.

The state Department of Public Health announced Saturday that six counties had fallen into the most restrictive tier of the state’s reopening framework: San Francisco, San Mateo, Plumas, Lake, Modoc and Calaveras counties. Three counties fell into the red tier: Mariposa, Inyo and Alpine.

The changes mean that 51 of California’s 58 counties are now in the purple tier, accounting for 99% of the state’s population, or 38.8 million people out of California’s 39.1 million residents. Purple tier counties are required to shut indoor operations of restaurants, gyms and houses of worship.

Counties in the purple tier are subject to the state’s limited overnight stay-at-home order, which prohibits all gatherings between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and all nonessential activities outside the home during those hours, with exceptions such as to get groceries, take walks with members of your household, pick up takeout food and work in essential industries such as meal preparation.

The only counties not in the purple tier are Marin, Amador, Plumas, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono and Alpine, which are in the red, or second-most restrictive tier, and Sierra, which is the orange tier, the third-most restrictive tier.

San Francisco had already ordered the shutdown of indoor restaurant dining rooms starting Nov. 14. Beginning

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New cardinals quarantine in pope’s hotel ahead of ceremony – News – Austin American-Statesman

ROME (AP) ” The Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel was built to sequester cardinals during papal elections. It’s now sequestering soon-to-be cardinals in town for this weekend’s ceremony to get their red hats: A handful are in protective coronavirus quarantine, confined to their rooms on Vatican orders and getting meals delivered to their doors.

The 10-day quarantines, with COVID-19 tests administered at the start and finish, are just one example of how Saturday’s ceremony to elevate new cardinals is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen.

‘They told me it would be like this but I didn’t think it would be so strict!’ marveled Cardinal-designate Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the retired archbishop of Chiapas, Mexico.

During a Zoom call with The Associated Press from his hotel room, Esquivel said he had thought there might be some exceptions to the lockdown for new cardinals. ‘No! Here, it doesn’t matter if you’re a cardinal or a pope. The virus doesn’t respect anyone,’ he said.

Pope Francis on Saturday will elevate 13 clerics to the College of Cardinals, the elite group of red-robed churchmen whose primary task is to elect a new pope. It’s the seventh time Francis has named a new batch of cardinals since his election in 2013, and his imprint is increasingly shifting the balance of power away from Europe and toward the developing world.

The Vatican has said two new cardinals won’t make it to Rome for the ceremony, known as a consistory, because of COVID-19 and travel concerns: The Vatican’s ambassador to Brunei, Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim, and the archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula.

The Vatican is arranging for them, and any of the cardinals who might not make it, to participate in the ceremony remotely from their homes. They’ll get their three-pointed ‘biretta’ hats from a Vatican ambassador or another envoy.

For those who are participating in person, the public health crisis has posed an unusual set of challenges. Italy, where the pandemic erupted in late February, is currently in the throes of a second wave. The Vatican itself has returned to a modified lockdown in recent weeks, with the Vatican Museums shuttered and a dozen Swiss Guards testing positive.

Francis, 83, has been criticized for his rather lax mask usage, but he has abided by social distancing measures to a degree. He too lives at Santa Marta, where there has been at least one positive case reported in recent months.

Usually, consistories are full of parties and crowds: Cardinals come to town with family, friends and sometimes benefactors and parishioners who get to see the new ‘princes of the church’ up close and then attend receptions and dinners in their honor. Under normal circumstances, the consistory would be followed by ‘courtesy visits,’ where the new cardinals greet well-wishers and the general public from the grandeur of their own reception rooms in the Apostolic Palace or Vatican auditorium.

This year, there will be no courtesy visits, and each cardinal has a 10-person limit for guests. For Esquivel,

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New cardinals quarantine in pope’s hotel ahead of ceremony

Cardinal clothing accessories are seen on display in the window of the Gammarelli clerical clothing shop, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. The consistory to elevate new cardinals scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 28, in the time of coronavirus is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen. A handful of soon-to-be cardinals are in protective coronavirus quarantine, including African-American, Cardinal-designate Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington who explained that a U.S.-based ecclesiastical tailor took his measurements while he was still in Washington and sent them to Gammarelli, which then made them to order and sent them to Santa Marta hotel where he is undergoing the quarantine.

Cardinal clothing accessories are seen on display in the window of the Gammarelli clerical clothing shop, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. The consistory to elevate new cardinals scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 28, in the time of coronavirus is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen. A handful of soon-to-be cardinals are in protective coronavirus quarantine, including African-American, Cardinal-designate Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington who explained that a U.S.-based ecclesiastical tailor took his measurements while he was still in Washington and sent them to Gammarelli, which then made them to order and sent them to Santa Marta hotel where he is undergoing the quarantine.

AP

The Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel was built to sequester cardinals during papal elections. It’s now sequestering soon-to-be cardinals in town for this weekend’s ceremony to get their red hats: A handful are in protective coronavirus quarantine, confined to their rooms on Vatican orders and getting meals delivered to their doors.

The 10-day quarantines, with COVID-19 tests administered at the start and finish, are just one example of how Saturday’s ceremony to elevate new cardinals is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen.

“They told me it would be like this but I didn’t think it would be so strict!” marveled Cardinal-designate Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the retired archbishop of Chiapas, Mexico.

During a Zoom call with The Associated Press from his hotel room, Esquivel said he had thought there might be some exceptions to the lockdown for new cardinals. “No! Here, it doesn’t matter if you’re a cardinal or a pope. The virus doesn’t respect anyone,” he said.

Pope Francis on Saturday will elevate 13 clerics to the College of Cardinals, the elite group of red-robed churchmen whose primary task is to elect a new pope. It’s the seventh time Francis has named a new batch of cardinals since his election in 2013, and his imprint is increasingly shifting the balance of power away from Europe and toward the developing world.

The Vatican has said two new cardinals won’t make it to Rome for the ceremony, known as a consistory, because of COVID-19 and travel concerns: The Vatican’s ambassador to Brunei, Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim, and the archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula.

The Vatican is arranging for them, and any of the cardinals who might not make it, to participate in the ceremony remotely from their homes. They’ll get their three-pointed “biretta” hats from a Vatican ambassador or another envoy.

For those who are participating in person, the public health crisis has posed an unusual set of challenges. Italy, where the pandemic erupted in late February, is currently in the throes of a second wave. The Vatican itself has returned to a modified lockdown in recent weeks, with the Vatican Museums shuttered and a dozen Swiss Guards testing positive.

Francis, 83, has been criticized for his rather lax mask usage, but he has abided by social distancing measures to a degree. He too lives at Santa Marta, where there has

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