Hong Kong will quarantine all visitors from Italy and parts of France, Germany and Japan for two weeks from March 13 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the French consulate in the city has said.
Visitors from Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand Est in France, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, and Hokkaido in Japan will be quarantined from midnight on Friday, it said.
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The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, told the country’s 17 million residents to stop shaking hands to help combat coronavirus, then immediately broke the new rule.
“From now on we stop shaking hands,” he said during a Monday evening news conference. “You can foot-tap or elbow-bump, or whatever you can come up with … but from today on we are going to stop shaking hands.”
Minutes later Rutte turned and enthusiastically shook the hand of Jaap van Dissel, the head of the Dutch centre for infectious disease control who was also giving the press conference.
“Sorry, sorry! No, that’s not allowed! Let’s do that again,” Rutte said, breaking into a laugh.
The Netherlands had reported 321 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday.
All air traffic to Denmark from areas severely hit by coronavirus, will cease later on today, the prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, has said.
“Effective from later today, all air traffic to Denmark from red areas will be suspended,” he said, referring to areas hard hit by the coronavirus such as northern Italy, Iran and South Korea.
Serbia has closed its borders for travellers from countries most affected by the coronavirus outbreak to prevent spreading of the disease, the government has said in a statement.
The temporary ban applies to people arriving “from Italy, certain provinces in China, South Korea, Iran and Switzerland”, it said. The government did not say when the ban would be lifted.
So far, four people in Serbia, including a Chinese national, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Barcelona’s Champions League match with Napoli will take place without spectators due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus. More details to follow…
Kazakhstan has barred entry to travellers from Italy over coronavirus and is adding France, Germany, and Spain to the list from March 12, Reuters reports chief sanitary doctor Zhandarbek Bekshin has said. There are so far reported no cases in the country.
Lebanon has recorded its first death from the coronavirus, local broadcasters said, adding that the patient had been in quarantine since returning from Egypt.
The government has halted flights for non-residents from epicentres of the virus, shut schools and warned against public gatherings as the total number of cases rose to 41 this week.
Stormont’s leaders have cancelled plans to travel to the United States later this week to attend St Patrick’s events in Washington DC, deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said.
Ms O’Neill and First Minister Arlene Foster were due to fly to the US capital on Wednesday. They had already cancelled the New York leg of their itinerary.
“We remain in the containment stage, however as leaders of the Executive we have decided to suspend our travel to the United States this week since our full attention is on civil contingency planning around the coronavirus outbreak and protecting public health,” said Ms O’Neill.
“We are fully engaged in the Cobra meetings alongside England, Scotland and Wales in assessing the response to the outbreak on advice from our chief medical officer.
“There is all-Ireland co-ordination between health and medical professionals on a daily basis also. I am in regular contact with Tanaiste Simon Coveney and health ministers north and south are also working closely.”
The Czech Republic is to close schools indefinitely and ban events hosting more than 100 people in new measures to contain the coronavirus, its prime minister said on Tuesday.
The country has reported 40 cases of coronavirus since detecting the first infections on 1 March. In most cases, the virus appeared in people coming from northern Italy, the worst-hit area of Europe.
“Our paramount task is the health of our citizens,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis told a news conference. “We understand this will be very unpleasant for people, but we want to prevent, by all means, what happened in Italy from happening here.”
Officials said the measures were decided after a Prague taxi driver was diagnosed with the disease, the first case where the source of infection could not be identified.
The new measures will close schools and universities, but not kindergartens, from Wednesday. A ban from Tuesday night on events ranges from film and theatre to other cultural, sports and religious gatherings.
The Czech government has already banned flights with Italy, and issued mandatory quarantines for thousands returning from vacation in the southern European country.
On Monday, it banned hospital and retirement home visits, and started border checks including taking temperatures and testing any foreign travellers feeling ill.
British Airways has cancelled all flights to and from Italy, Reuters is reporting.