Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announces a ban on meetings in the country. The Chancellor’s Office announced that no place should meet more than five people at a time. The only exceptions are anti-virus activities. Playgrounds and sports fields are closed. Restaurants will be closed from Tuesday. The food supply is guaranteed through supermarkets and delivery services. Briefly appealed to people to isolate themselves and to maintain only those social contacts with whom they live.
Previously, the entire Paznaun valley with the municipalities of Ischgl, Kappl, See and Galtur as well as the municipality of St. Anton am Arlberg had been placed in quarantine. Foreign guests may leave the corresponding places in Tyrol but should go to home quarantine at home. According to the Ministry of Health, there are now 800 confirmed coronavirus cases in Austria. So far, a dead person has been reported.
Vatican celebrates Easter without visitors
Because of the coronavirus epidemic, the Vatican canceled all public events for Easter. Easter in the Vatican will be celebrated this year without visitors, it said in a message from the Vatican. All Holy Week liturgical celebrations take place “without the physical presence of the faithful”. Usually, thousands of people from all over the world come to the celebrations.
Spain imposes an emergency
To fight the coronavirus epidemic more effectively, Spain has imposed a two-week emergency, which amounts to restricting freedom of movement across the country. The Council of Ministers of the Left government issued a corresponding decree on Saturday in Madrid, as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced late in the evening.
The decree takes effect on Monday at 8 a.m. Sánchez spoke of “drastic measures”. The state of emergency had been declared for the longest possible period of 15 days, said the socialist politician. An extension would have to be approved by the parliament in Madrid.
The Spaniards are only allowed to leave the house in exceptional cases. According to the decree, journeys to work, to the doctor and the purchase of food and medication are permitted. Citizens can also leave the house to look after children, the elderly and those in need. Vacationers and other people are also allowed to return to their main residence. According to the decree, the security forces will monitor compliance with the instructions.
After Italy, Spain is the country most affected by the crisis. The number of coronavirus cases has been skyrocketing for days – the Ministry of Health reported on Saturday evening: more than 6,000 infections and over 190 deaths. It was also announced that the wife of the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Begona Gómez, was infected with the coronavirus.
In addition to the measures mentioned, Madrid can now ration and, for example, ration and confiscate food and other important goods, order interventions in factories and other production facilities and mobilize all security forces and the army to implement the measures.
Trump tested negative for the coronavirus
US President Donald Trump has been tested negative for the coronavirus, according to the White House. This was announced by the US President’s physician. Trump was in contact with at least two people who visited Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in his vacation home Mar-a-Lago last weekend and later tested positive for the coronavirus.
However, Trump refused to test for a long time. On Saturday, he then surprisingly announced that he had had the coronavirus tested on Friday evening. A few minutes before midnight on the night of Saturday, the White House had sent a letter from Trump’s doctor saying that a test was not appropriate because Trump did not show symptoms of Covid-19.
Israel closes the courts
The start of the trial against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is postponed to May 24. Netanyahu is accused of bribery, infidelity, and fraud in three cases. The trial should have started on Tuesday. The closure of the courts are measures to curb the coronavirus. In addition to educational institutions, restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, cinemas and theaters are now also closed.
Estonia closes borders, Australia restricts entry
Estonia will refuse entry to foreigners from Tuesday. The government also plans to isolate compatriots returning from abroad for two weeks. The government in Tallinn imposed restrictions on passenger traffic between the Estonian Baltic islands and the mainland on Saturday – initially only residents are allowed to the islands for two weeks. Nationwide, sports and leisure facilities must also close. In Estonia, the number of coronavirus cases has recently skyrocketed to 115.
Australia orders a 14-day self-isolation of all passengers who come from abroad. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the measure would apply from midnight on Sunday. All cruise ships coming from foreign ports are prohibited from docking for 30 days. The government advised people to keep a distance of 1.50 meters from other people. Australia has 280 confirmed cases of Sars-CoV-2, three people died as a result of the infection. Formula One should also start the new season in Australia on this Sunday, but the season opener was canceled due to the coronavirus crisis.
Lithuania: Government quarantines land for two weeks
The government of Lithuania will quarantine the entire country for two weeks. The cabinet in Vilnius decided on Saturday evening. The measure applies from Monday and includes the closing of the borders for foreigners. All shops except for pharmacies and food markets must also close, public events are prohibited. The Baltic state had previously reintroduced fixed border controls at its EU internal borders with Poland and Latvia.
Government officials say that once the quarantine enters into force, it is forbidden for Lithuanians to leave the country. Conversely, foreigners are prohibited from entering the country unless they work and live permanently in Lithuania. Exceptions also apply to diplomats and NATO personnel. The limits remained open for goods traffic. So far there have been seven proven cases of infection in Lithuania. The government has declared a state of emergency because of the spread of the coronavirus.
France closes shops and restaurants
France closes all restaurants, shops, and bars in the fight against the coronavirus. Pharmacies and grocery stores or banks should remain open, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Saturday evening. However, from midnight all public places that are not necessary for life should close. Philippe justified this with the sharp increase in coronavirus cases in the country. The previous measures were not sufficient.
According to the health authorities, France had 4,500 cases on Saturday, compared to 3,661 the previous day. 91 deaths were recorded. However, according to Philippe, the first round of local elections is still to take place on Sunday – “strictly following the instructions”. France had previously announced numerous precautions for the election. New mayors are being elected across the country.
“The best way to stop the epidemic from spreading is by geographical distance,” said Philippe. After the speech by French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday evening, there were still too many people in restaurants or cafes in France, he complained. Macron addressed the French with a speech and explained that all educational institutions will close on Monday.
“Phase 3” now applies in France, said Jerome Salomon, the national health director. This is the highest level in the fight against epidemics. The second stage had previously applied.
Israel: Netanyahu announces closure of shops, restaurants, kindergartens and more
In Israel, kindergartens, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, hotels, gyms and shopping centers must be closed from Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference on Saturday evening that everyone who didn’t necessarily have to be on-site should work from home. The closure of schools and universities had already been announced. Soldiers must prepare to remain in the barracks for at least 30 days. There is no reason to storm supermarkets, pharmacies, banks or petrol stations, there is enough replenishment. “We are at war. The enemy is a virus,” said Netanyahu, announcing that these measures would apply “in the next few weeks,” perhaps for months. He announced that Israel’s technology used in the fight against terrorism will be used to track and control those who have contracted the coronavirus.
Meetings of more than ten people are prohibited, the minimum distance between people is two meters. The number of infected people in Israel rose to 193 on Saturday evening. Netanyahu repeated his call for the formation of an emergency government in Israel.
Trump extends entry stop
Trump announced on Saturday that the 30-day entry freeze for travelers from across Europe would extend to the UK and Ireland. Pence added that the measure will come into effect at midnight on Monday night. Americans and permanent green card residents residing in these two countries may continue to enter the United States afterward. However, you would have to undergo tests and should go into a 14-day self-quarantine.
Madrid and Tyrol are risk areas
The Robert Koch Institute has included Tyrol and Madrid in the list of international risk areas. To date, this has included Italy, Iran, the Chinese province of Hubei, a province in South Korea and the Grand Est region in France, which includes Alsace, Lorraine, and Champagne-Ardenne. If you come from a designated risk area, you should stay at home for 14 days if possible and, in the event of symptoms, notify your doctor or health department – first by telephone.
Other African countries report cases
The virus has reached four other African countries. The Republic of the Congo confirms the first coronavirus case. Affected is a 50-year-old man who traveled from Paris to the Congo on March 1st. A Spanish couple tested positive in Namibia. Rwanda reported infection to an Indian citizen, Mauritania registered the infection of a foreigner who had entered Europe. In the mountainous kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), a woman has been infected who had previously been in the United States. According to WHO data, 226 infections in 24 countries have been confirmed on the African continent.
USA launch aid package
The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved an aid package to deal with the Corona crisis on Saturday night. 363 MPs voted for the measures, only 40 opposed. These include free tests for the virus, two weeks’ sick pay, more unemployment benefits and an increase in food aid for children, families and the elderly. The Democrats in the House of Representatives had previously agreed to the law with President Trump. He has already announced on Twitter that he wants to sign the law as soon as possible. This increases the likelihood that the Republican-controlled Senate will approve it next week. “We are proud to have reached an agreement with the government,” said the chairwoman of the House of Representatives,
Previously, US President Donald Trump had declared a national emergency in the United States to provide more aid to states and communities. He said that at a press conference on Friday. The measure would release additional funds of up to $ 50 billion. A national emergency in the United States does not mean a nationwide state of emergency like in some other states, in which fundamental rights are overridden in such a case.
Declaring a state of emergency gives Trump far-reaching powers. Among other things, the measure provides access to a fund with disaster relief funds that Congress has endowed with $ 42.6 billion (€ 38.5 billion). Democrats in the US Senate had already sent Trump a letter on Wednesday to declare a state of emergency to make these funds accessible.
According to the national health agency CDC, more than 1,600 Covid-19 cases have been registered in the United States to date. However, according to the CDC, fewer than 14,000 tests have been carried out since mid-January. For comparison: According to media reports, South Korea tests up to 20,000 people a day. Given the few tests in the USA, the number of unreported cases is likely to be significantly higher. According to the CDC, more than 40 deaths have so far been recorded in the United States.
Other travel restrictions
The Czech Republic reintroduced the fixed border controls on Germany and Austria on Saturday night due to the coronavirus. Germans, Austrians, Swiss and citizens of a further twelve risk countries are no longer allowed to enter the EU member state and are rejected. Czechs are not allowed to travel to Germany and Austria. Exceptions only apply to Germans residing in the Czech Republic and commuters in a strip 100 kilometers deep on both sides of the border. From Monday the entry stop will be extended to all foreigners.
The government also ordered on Saturday night that restaurants and many shops that are not necessary for basic services must remain closed. Grocery stores, pharmacies, pet food stores, drug stores, and optician shops, as well as company canteens, may remain open. The measure should come into effect at 6 a.m. and is initially valid for ten days.
Even Denmark closes its borders until further notice, as well as Poland. The measure will apply from noon on Saturday, the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference in Copenhagen. Closing the borders means that the Danes are introducing border controls by the police and the military. According to Frederiksen, these apply up to and including Easter, i.e. until April 13. Tourists and other foreigners without a specific reason for entry would no longer enter the country. This does not apply to truck drivers who bring goods across the border, as Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup emphasized.
Russia closes its borders to Poland and Norway for foreigners. The government in Moscow has announced that as a tourist, student, you want to work or travel beyond these borders for private reasons, you will no longer be allowed into the country. Citizens of Belarus and official delegations are excluded.
The turkey is as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus flights to Germany and links to eight other European countries temporarily. From Saturday at 8 a.m. local time (6 a.m.CET) there will be no flight connections to Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden, said Turkish Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan in Ankara on Friday. The measure will apply until April 17.
Spain calls the alarm state because of the Corona crisis. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced in Madrid on Friday that this measure should be adopted by an extraordinary Council of Ministers. “We want to mobilize all means of the state to better protect the citizens,” said the socialist, who spoke of an “extraordinary crisis”, at a press conference. Spain is “facing tough, difficult weeks”. The alarm condition is the third-highest of the emergency levels provided for in the Spanish constitution. The alarm condition had previously only been called once in Spain after the return to democracy in 1975: in 2010 because of an air traffic controller strike.
WHO calls Europe the center of the pandemic
Europe has replaced China as the center of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. There are now more cases reported each day than China reported at the peak of its epidemic, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva on Friday. There are now more reported infections and deaths in Europe than in the rest of the world, except China. The United States has banned people from many European countries except Great Britain from entering the country.
Memorial service for victims of Christchurch terrorist attacks canceled
The central public memorial service planned for Sunday to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been canceled due to the dangers posed by the spread of the coronavirus. “We are very sad to cancel it,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement. But you don’t want to take any risks. “On March 15th, every New Zealander has the opportunity to reflect on the events of a year ago in their way,” added the head of government. On March 15, 2019, an Australian racist killed 51 people in the attack.
Wife of Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau infected with coronavirus
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife has contracted the coronavirus. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau had tested positive for the virus, but she was fine, Trudeaus said. She had previously returned from a trip to the UK with flu-like symptoms. The prime minister himself has no symptoms, but will remain in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution, it said. From his house, he wanted to make appointments in conference calls and video switches.
New York City announces a state of emergency – first case with the United Nations
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a state of emergency over the metropolis. “We see intense increases in the number of cases in the city,” said de Blasio. “I think we’ll be at 1,000 cases next week.” The Metropolitan Museum, Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic had previously announced that they would close and cancel events starting Friday. The famous St. Patrick’s Day parade planned for March 17 has also been postponed.
The United Nations headquarters is also located in New York. The first Corona case has also occurred there. A Philippine diplomat has been tested positive, according to an internal letter from the UN mission, which is available to the German Press Agency. The entire Philippine UN mission is cordoned off, the employees are in voluntary quarantine. “We assume that we were all infected,” it continues. The case could affect precautionary measures throughout the UN headquarters.