Sept 27 (Reuters) - Here's what you need to know about the
coronavirus right now:
Sydney's lockdown to end sooner for the vaccinated
Australian authorities announced plans on Monday to
gradually reopen locked-down Sydney, unveiling a two-tiered
system that will give inoculated citizens more freedoms than
their unvaccinated neighbours for several weeks.
Movement restrictions across New South Wales, the country's
most populous state and home to Sydney, will be lifted gradually
between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1 as vaccination rates push through
70%, 80% and 90%.
However, people who are not fully inoculated will be barred
from resuming community sports, dining out, shopping and other
activities until the end of the period.
New Zealand to begin letting travellers isolate at home
New Zealand is to begin allowing small numbers of vaccinated
travellers to isolate at home instead of in state-run quarantine
facilities as part of a phased approach to re-opening its
borders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.
The pilot project starting next month will be open to 150
people, who must be New Zealand citizens or residents and are
fully vaccinated, Ardern said at a news conference.
"While this is a pilot, it gives you a sense of where we
intend to go on our borders," Ardern said.
Thailand to reopen to more vaccinated visitors
Thailand will waive its mandatory quarantine requirement in
Bangkok and nine regions from Nov. 1 to vaccinated arrivals,
authorities said on Monday, as the country tries to boost its
immunisation rate and revive its battered tourism sector.
The regions include popular tourist areas Chiang Mai,
Phangnga, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Cha-am, and follow the
successful reopening of Phuket and Samui islands to vaccinated
people in pilot schemes since July.
The country is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after
nearly 18 months of strict entry policies that contributed to a
collapse in tourism, a key sector that drew 40 million visitors
South Korea to vaccinate 12 to 17 year-olds
South Korea said on Monday it would begin inoculations next
month for children aged 12 to 17 and offer booster shots to
those 75 years and above as the country starts to transition to
normalcy by the end of October.
South Korea, which has been battling a fourth wave of
infections since early July, scrambled over the weekend to
contain a surge in cases. Infections topped 3,000 for the first
time fuelled by last week's public holidays.
The vaccination advisory committee of the Korea Disease
Control and Prevention Agency has ruled that the benefits
outweigh the risks in vaccinating children.
Pandemic cut life expectancy by most since World War Two
The pandemic reduced life expectancy in 2020 by the largest
amount since World War Two, according to a study published on
Monday by Oxford University, with the life expectancy of
American men dropping by more than two years.
Life expectancy fell by more than six months compared with
2019 in 22 of the 29 countries analysed in the study, which
spanned Europe, the United States and Chile. There were
reductions in life expectancy in 27 of the 29 countries overall.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Andrew Heavens)