Coronavirus Update: UK, France set to ease restrictions, Germany braces for extension until Dec 20

With the continued escalation in the coronavirus cases on both sides of the Atlantic, the governments contemplating whether to ease or extend the lockdowns announced earlier this month.

The UK recorded 18,662 new coronavirus infections on Sunday and 398 deaths, according to official data published on Sunday.

Despite the surge in new cases, the government is mulling easing the COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over Christmas to allow families to get together.

In this regard, The Telegraph reported that the Transport Minister is likely to announce on Monday that the quarantine restrictions will end in time for Christmas.

On the contrary, Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Bild newspaper that “everything points to the fact that the current restrictions must be extended for some time beyond Nov. 30,

Separately, Germany is said to extend its measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic until December 20, Reuters reported, citing a senior politician and a draft proposal obtained.

Meanwhile, the French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Sunday, “Emmanuel Macron will give prospects over several weeks, especially on how we adjust our strategy. What is at stake is adapting lockdown rules as the health situation improves while avoiding a new flare-up in the epidemic.”

“There will be three steps to (lockdown) easing in view of the health situation and of risks tied to some businesses: the first step around Dec. 1, then before the year-end holidays, and then from January 2021,” Attal added.

On the other side of the Atlantic, heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, Los Angeles Country has announced a ban to all in-person dining at restaurants, effective from this Wednesday.  The US recorded its 12th million COVID-19 case on Saturday.

Elsewhere, an arrangement allowing some air travellers between Hong Kong and Singapore to forgo 14-day quarantine, beginning November 22, has been delayed by two weeks HK confirmed 43 new cases on Monday.

Welcome news, however, comes from Australia, as the country’s two most populous states – New South Wales and Victoria reopened their borders on Monday after more than four months.

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