World

Global concern about the coronavirus pandemic is growing, with a number of countries detecting confirmed cases of the Omicron variant for the first time. Travel restrictions are also being imposed once again as governments suspend flights from southern Africa, the region where this strain was first detected. Here is a look at the latest COVID-19
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Vaccine manufacturers have expressed confidence that they will be able to rapidly adapt their jabs if the Omicron variant spreads. The new strain – previously known as B.1.1.529 – features some “concerning” mutations, and early evidence suggests it brings an increased risk of reinfection. There are also fears that the variant could be more resistant
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Fully vaccinated travellers will finally be able to enter New Zealand from 30 April 2022, easing border restrictions that have been in place since March last year. Meanwhile, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in neighbouring Australia will be able to enter the country from 16 January. Fully vaccinated residents and visa holders
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Austria is beginning another COVID-19 lockdown, as the government seeks to limit the spread of the virus. The lockdown is the first since vaccines became widely available, but it comes as just 65% of the population is fully vaccinated. Most gathering places – such as restaurants, cafes, bars, theatres, non-essential shops, and hairdressers – will
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Seven people have been arrested after rioters clashed with police in The Hague for a second night of violence in the Netherlands, sparked by protests over new COVID-19 restrictions. The unrest came a day after police opened fire on protesters in Rotterdam amid what the port city’s mayor called “an orgy of violence”, leaving three
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