News digest: COVID-19



EU countries move to restrict air travel from southern Africa over new COVID variant

Concerns over a new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa have prompted fresh travel restrictions in Italy and Germany on as Brussels considers EU-wide flight restrictions. The EC will propose to suspend air travel from southern Africa amid concerns over the variant, EC President Ursula Von der Leyen said.
Germany and Italy have already announced measures to restrict air travel from the region. Rome has banned entry on its territory to anyone who has stayed in southern Africa “during the last 14 days”, said health minister Roberto Speranza, invoking “maximum precaution” in the face of the new variant.
The countries targeted by this measure are South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini, the minister said. German Health Minister Jens Spahn said airlines coming from South Africa will only be able to transport German citizens. Travellers will need to go into quarantine for 14 days whether they are vaccinated or not.

Source: Euro News, 26 November 2021

Some EU countries react to the 5th wave of Covid

Faced with the arrival of the 5th wave of the Covid-19 epidemic, some European countries have already taken measures, sometimes drastic, to deal with the worrying increase in the number of infections. In Austria, the entire population is once again confined as of 22 November 22 until 12 December. Non-essential businesses are closed again. Belgium has announced general wearing of masks and also wants to make telecommuting mandatory for jobs that allow it. In Germany, six levels have been set up with a number of measures. The test is no longer sufficient and non-vaccinated people will have reduced activities. The closure of stores or restaurants in the affected areas is not ruled out, but a general lockdown is not envisaged at this stage. In Ireland, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are closed from midnight and a health pass has been extended to theatres and cinemas. Teleworking is strongly recommended whenever possible.

Source: RFI, November 2021

High-level discussion on food security amid the pandemic

Stakeholders working in the fields of agricultural science and international development were invited to a high-level discussion exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected food security for millions of people around the world.
The panel of experts included senior representatives from the African Union, China Agricultural University, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Zambia and CABI.
The webinar which took place as part of CABI’s mission to help countries to develop quick recovery plans from the pandemic and to ensure a better response to future events which may affect food security. Dr Daniel Elger, CABI CEO said, “CABI sees this event as an important opportunity to explore insights, opinions and lessons learned on how to sustain food security amidst a global shock, to ask which policies and interventions have the greatest impact, and to explore how best to strengthen our resilience to, and preparedness for, future shocks.”

Source: CABI, 18 November 2021

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