(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Germany backs EU vaccine curbs
Germany’s health minister supported European Union proposals to introduce restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday as tensions grew with AstraZeneca and Pfizer over sudden supply cuts just a month after the bloc started vaccinating citizens.
The EU has proposed setting up a register of vaccine exports, amid frustration over delivery delays of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot and other supply problems.
Britain will announce on Tuesday whether it will bring in mandatory quarantine in hotels for some or all arrivals, the country’s coronavirus vaccination minister said as he warned the public not to book summer vacations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he was looking at the option of introducing quarantine hotels for those coming to Britain to prevent the risk of “vaccine-busting” new coronavirus variants entering the country.
California eases lockdowns
California eased strict stay-at-home orders on Monday, allowing restaurants to reopen for outdoor dining and greater social mixing, as public health authorities reported slower infection rates and hospitalizations.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Mario Cuomo plans to relax a number of unspecified restrictions in the days ahead, as long as transmission rates remain low.
France’s hospitalisations rise
The number of people hospitalised in France rose by more than 1,000 over the last two days and the number of patients in intensive care units exceeded 3,000 for the first time since early December.
A growing number of medical experts have called for a third lockdown while France rolls out the vaccine, but French media reported that President Emmanuel Macron was trying to avoid such a measure.
Spanish infections hit new high
Spain reported a record 93,822 new infections over the weekend, while the two-week average jumped to a new high of 885 cases per 100,000 people on Monday as regional authorities scrambled to ramp up restrictions.
Grim milestone for Indonesia
Indonesia surpassed a million confirmed cases on Tuesday, a grim milestone for the Southeast Asian nation that has struggled since last March to get the epidemic under control.
The world’s fourth-most-populous country has recorded 28,468 deaths from the disease.
New Zealand’s borders to stay shut
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand’s borders will remain closed for most of this year, but it will pursue travel arrangements with neighbouring Australia and other Pacific nations.
Medical authorities, meanwhile, may approve a COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week, Ardern said, as pressure mounts for a start to vaccinations after the country confirmed its first case of the virus in the community in months.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes)