(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Chinese cities issue travel warnings
China’s COVID-19 outbreak in Fujian province, which has reported 152 cases in five days, has prompted other cities to issue travel warnings ahead of major holidays, though state media warn against imposing blanket travel curbs.
The travel warnings come ahead of the week-long National Day holiday starting on Oct. 1, a major tourist season, as well as a shorter Mid-Autumn Festival holiday next week.
The last outbreak in July-August, which saw strict movement restrictions in some cities, hit tourism, hospitality and transportation sectors and significantly slowed retail sales growth.
Sydney nightly curfew to end
A curfew imposed on more than two million people in the 12 Sydney suburbs hardest hit by the spread of the Delta variant will end on Wednesday night, authorities said, stopping short of easing more lockdown restrictions.
Officials said first-dose vaccination levels have reached 80% of the New South Wales adult population, while the dual-dose rate in Sydney’s home state stands at 48% now. That’s above the national average of 43%, but well below the 70% level that will trigger the easing of other curbs first imposed three months ago.
Authorities expect to achieve the 70% rate around the middle of next month, and plans to relax more restrictions once it has climbed to 80%.
White House encouraging state, local vaccine mandates
The Biden administration is advocating for state and local leaders to enact COVID-19 vaccine mandates, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’re encouraging everyone … from the private and public sector to take actions to require vaccination,” she said, when asked if the White House was encouraging states to enact their own vaccine mandates.
Army officers who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus could be suspended from their duties and possibly discharged, the U.S. Army said on Tuesday.
Portugal fully vaccinates 80% of population
Portugal has fully inoculated 80% of its population, official data showed, becoming one of the world’s most vaccinated nations as authorities gradually drop most restrictions.
According to a Reuters tracker, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates have the same rate of complete vaccinations, jointly leading the world.
The southern European nation, which at the start of this year battled what was then the world’s worst coronavirus surge, has vaccinated around 8.2 million people out of its population of just over 10 million.
EU to donate another 200 mln vaccine doses
The European Union will donate a further 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries and close gaps in its own vaccination coverage, the EU executive chief said on Wednesday.
Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in a speech in Strasbourg that the EU’s first pandemic priority was to speed up global vaccination, given less than 1% of doses globally administered had been in low-income countries.
India considers resuming vaccine exports soon
India is considering resuming exports of COVID-19 vaccines soon, mainly to Africa, as it has partly immunised a majority of its adults and supplies have surged, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
India, the world’s biggest maker of vaccines overall, stopped vaccine exports in April to focus on inoculating its own population as infections exploded.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Bernadette Baum)