Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
Care home worker Pillay Jagambrun (L), 61, reacts as he receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Croydon University Hospital in south London

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- End travel bans: EU -

The European Union's executive urges the bloc's nations to lift travel bans imposed on Britain to halt the spread of a coronavirus variant that has swept the UK.

- France to ease travel ban -

France says it will allow EU citizens, Britons and nationals of other countries residing in the EU to travel from Britain from Wednesday, on condition they have a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours old.

- German, Spanish, Irish bans -

Germany extends a ban on UK and South Africa arrivals until January 6. Spain and Ireland prolong their suspension of flights from the UK until January 5 and December 31 respectively. They are among the more than 40 countries worldwide which have suspended travel with the UK.

- Ireland's hard Christmas -

Ireland, which had one of Europe's lowest infection rates, imposes a hard lockdown until January 12 as the new virus variant appears in neighbouring Britain.

- Mutation-beating vaccine -

The co-founder of BioNTech says it is "highly likely" that its vaccine works against the new strain, but it could also adapt the vaccine if necessary in six weeks.

- Vatican cases -

Pope Francis will deliver his Christmas Day message indoors due to coronavirus restrictions, as two cardinals close to him contracted the virus.

- WHO to meet on new strain -

The World Health Organization in Europe is to convene its members on Wednesday morning to discuss how to handle the new UK strain.

- Night curfew in Mumbai -

The Indian state of Maharashtra imposes a night curfew on cities including financial hub Mumbai because of fears about the new strain.

Mumbai airport says all air passengers from anywhere in Europe or the Middle East will have to go into quarantine upon arrival.

- 'Urgency' in Nigeria -

Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari advises states in Africa's most populous country, to implement "urgent measures" ahead of the festive season, after a rapid increase in the number of new cases over the last two weeks.

- Taiwan case -

Taiwan reports its first local transmission, ending 253 days of being virus-free and dealing a major blow to the island that has been lauded for its pandemic response.

Health authorities say a woman in her thirties tested positive after coming into contact with a "foreign pilot" working for a Taiwanese airline.

- Expensive Olympics -

The coronavirus-delayed Tokyo Olympics will cost at least 1.64 trillion yen ($15.9 billion), organisers say, unveiling a final budget swollen by the postponement and a raft of pandemic measures.

- 1.7 million dead -

At least 1,703,500 people have died since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.

The US is the worst-hit country with 319,466 deaths, followed by Brazil with 187,291 fatalities, India with 146,154, Mexico with 118,598 and Italy with 69,214.