(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Japan eases border curbs
Japan confirmed on Tuesday plans to gradually ease COVID-19 border curbs, but fell short of demands by business lobbies to open up in line with major trading partners.
In relaxing its controls, Japan will take a phased approach, chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, responding to media reports that quarantine periods for business travellers would be cut to three days from 10.
The easing could start next Monday, while daily limits on the numbers of border entrants would be raised to 5,000 people later this month from 3,500, national broadcaster NHK said.
U.S. CDC advisers to vote on vaccine in young children
The United States could begin administering Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 as soon as Wednesday after a panel of outside experts votes on Tuesday on how broadly the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should recommend its use in the age group.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization of the vaccine in the age group on Friday, but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must make her recommendations before it can be rolled out.
Dutch weigh vaccine boosters as cases surge
Dutch health authorities are to decide on Tuesday whether to recommend vaccine booster shots for adults, while the government weighs a new package of restrictions, amid the latest surge in new infections.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to announce new measures at a press conference slated for 1800GMT.
Measures under consideration include the reintroduction of face masks in some settings, asking those who are able to work from home to do so more often, and broader use of the country’s proof-of-vaccination “corona pass” currently used to gain admittance to bars and restaurants.
Restrictions in Sydney to ease weeks ahead of schedule
Australia’s biggest city will lift more curbs for vaccinated residents ahead of schedule next week, while delaying freedoms it has promised for unvaccinated Sydneysiders as officials aim to boost inoculations.
Vaccinated people in the harbour city of around 5 million will be allowed unlimited numbers of guests in their homes from Nov. 8.
Pubs and clubs will also be able to accommodate more guests and reopen dance floors, in changes that were initially planned to come into force on Dec. 1.
New Zealand seals off northern region
Authorities planned to seal off the northern tip of New Zealand with police cordons on Tuesday, as they enforce a lockdown in the region over fears of an undetected community transmission of COVID-19 there.
Part of the Northland region, about 270 km (168 miles) from the biggest city of Auckland, is to begin a level 3 lockdown from midnight. The move follows two cases in the region that lacked a link to any known cases.
Two UK COVID test makers pull devices due to new review
Two producers of COVID-19 tests in Britain said on Tuesday they had pulled some of their tests from the market after a new review system came into force, which has not yet granted approval for their previously accepted products.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes)