(Reuters) – The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending curbs on non-essential travellers in place since March 2020 to address the pandemic.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Russia and the EU will discuss terms for the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates for their respective shots at talks, the Interfax news agency cited Russia’s health ministry as saying.
* Britain said people should buy normally for Christmas and there would be no shortage of gifts after shipping containers carrying toys and electrical goods were diverted from the country’s biggest port because it was full.
* Hungary will help Romania treat 50 COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.
* White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order barring employers and others from imposing a vaccine mandate is out of step with businesses in the state.
* A federal judge ruled that New York state cannot impose a vaccine mandate on healthcare workers without allowing their employers to consider religious exemption requests.
* Delta Air Lines Chief Executive Ed Bastian defended the company’s decision not to mandate coronavirus vaccines for employees despite pressure from the White House, saying mandates are not the only way to get people vaccinated.
* New South Wales could ease more restrictions in Sydney a week earlier than planned on Oct. 18 as Australia’s most populous state races towards its 80% double-dose vaccination target.
* Asia-Pacific airlines are ramping up flights and ticket offers as some of the world’s strictest pandemic-related travel rules begin to ease.
* South Korea established a panel to debate a strategy on how to “live with COVID-19” in the long-term, as the country seeks to phase out coronavirus restrictions and reopen the economy amid rising vaccination levels.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa could be potential locations for Moderna’s planned vaccine factory in Africa, the U.S. drugmaker’s co-founder and chairman said as it steps up its search for a site on the continent.
* People who received Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine will have a stronger neutralizing antibody response if they get an mRNA shot as the second dose, Axios reported on Tuesday, citing a person who has seen data collected by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
* India recommended emergency use of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 shot in the 2 to 18 age-group, as the world’s second-most populous nation expands its vaccination drive to include children.
* U.S. stock futures ticked up and European stocks reversed early losses on upbeat earnings on Wednesday, though markets were jittery ahead of U.S. consumer price data later in the session and oil dropped from recent multi-year highs.[MKTS/GLOB]
* OPEC has trimmed its world oil demand growth forecast for 2021 while maintaining its 2022 view, its monthly report showed, but it said surging natural gas prices could boost demand for oil products as end users switch.
* China’s export growth unexpectedly accelerated in September, as still solid global demand offset some of the pressures on factories from power shortages, supply bottlenecks and a resurgence of domestic cases.
(Compiled by Federico Maccioni and Ramakrishnan M.; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Giles Elgood)