The following are current developments relating to the virus pandemic:
1:16 p.m. – According to the Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, the restrictions on hotel and guesthouse overnight stays for domestic German holidaymakers from risk areas, known as the ban on accommodation, will not last in the long term. “I have the impression that we are achieving a uniformity that means almost no ban on accommodation,” said the CDU politician in Berlin. The day before, courts in Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony had overridden the bans on accommodation there.
1:05 p.m. – Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn regrets the court decision in Berlin against the curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for bars, pubs and restaurants. The decision of the Berlin Administrative Court reminds politicians that all measures to contain the pandemic must be well justified, says the CDU politician in Berlin.
12.44 p.m. – Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes is going into quarantine. You may have Covid-19 symptoms, Wilmes said. Four days ago she took part in personal talks at the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg.
12.40 p.m. – Despite the nationwide increase in the number of infections, Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey sees no reason for preventive closings of daycare centers. “Children are not a source of infection, children are not drivers of infection,” says the SPD politician in Berlin. By October 12, 79 virus outbreaks had been reported in daycare centers and after-school care centers since the pandemic began. Closures would have affected less than one percent of the 56,000 daycare centers nationwide. Regular operations should therefore be maintained.
12:37 p.m. – In the UK, there are increasing signs of a corona vaccine study with people who are voluntarily infected. The UK pharmaceutical services group Open Orphan says it is in advanced discussions with the UK government and other partners. Such a so-called human challenge study would still require the approval of the regulatory authorities. Open Orphan claims to be the market leader for human challenge studies.
12.25 p.m. – In Switzerland, more than 3000 coronavirus infections were reported for the first time within one day. The number of new infections climbed on Friday to 3,105 from 2,613 the day before, as the health department BAG announced. In addition, five other people died in connection with the virus. In the country, the number of new infections in terms of population has risen faster in recent days than in most other European countries. The reason for this development is not clear. The day before, the German Foreign Ministry had declared other cantons to be risk areas, including Zurich, Zug and Schwyz.
12:19 p.m. – In Russia, the presidential office is concerned about the rapidly increasing number of cases. However, it says the situation is still under control. The authorities are currently reporting the record number of 15,150 new positive tests, 5049 of them in the capital Moscow. The nationwide total is now just under 1.37 million.
11.50 a.m. – According to a government spokeswoman, Chancellor Angela Merkel will continue to attend the EU summit and will then hold her planned press conference afterwards. Strict corona protection rules would apply at the summit in Brussels, she added, with a view to the fact that the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin had left the summit as a precautionary measure. On Thursday, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen had to leave the deliberations and go into quarantine.
11.47 a.m. – According to the Federal Foreign Office, several federal states are currently negotiating the admission of corona intensive care patients from other EU countries. This applies to both Bavaria with the Czech Republic and North Rhine-Westphalia with the Netherlands, says a spokesman. Negotiations are currently under way to extend the regulation that expired at the end of September to cover the costs of treating corona patients from other EU countries, says a spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
11:37 a.m. – The Berlin Administrative Court has canceled the curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. “The curfew has been suspended for the time being because the court considers it to be disproportionate to other measures to combat the pandemic,” said a court spokesman for the Reuters news agency. He referred to the continued ban on serving alcohol at this time, which was not related to the curfew. This ban was not challenged in the urgent application by eleven Berlin restaurateurs.
11.35 a.m. – Bavaria is letting the controversial ban on accommodation for hotel and pension guests from risk areas expire for the time being. The regulation, which applies until Friday, will not be extended, says a government spokesman, confirming a dpa report. The ban can be put back into force if necessary.
11.25 a.m. – The Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has left the EU summit as a corona precaution. She shares this on Twitter. She is represented by the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
10:59 a.m. – The heads of state and government of the 27 EU countries agree weekly consultations on the pandemic. There should be video conferences for this. The Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin says that the best approaches to dealing with a second virus wave should be discussed.
10:58 a.m. – Switzerland has secured access to the Covid-19 vaccine from the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. If the clinical tests are successful and the vaccine developed together with the University of Oxford is approved by the Swiss authorities, the country will receive up to 5.3 million doses, according to the government in Bern. The background to the contract is the agreement between the European Commission and AstraZeneca for the delivery of up to 400 million cans for Europe. The allocation is based on the population of the individual countries. In August, the Swiss government had already agreed to deliver 4.5 million vaccine doses from Moderna.
09.23 a.m. – EU Council President Charles Michel calls on the EU states to work more closely together in the Corona crisis. Closer coordination is necessary, especially when testing and quarantine rules, he says before the start of the consultations on the second EU summit day in Brussels. “The situation is serious,” he adds.
9:21 am – The UK is relying on targeted local restrictions to avoid a nationwide lockdown. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab says this on BBC television. With this approach, he said, further damage to the economy should be averted.
07:58 a.m. – Japan is firmly committed to hosting the Olympic Games, which have been postponed to next year due to the pandemic. The games should take place “at all costs” in 2021, says Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. To this end, the national Olympic Committee of his country and the International Olympic Committee would work closely together. The games were supposed to be played in Tokyo from July 24th to August 9th this year. Because of the pandemic, however, they were postponed in March. It should now be available from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
05.20 a.m. – In the United States, the number of people infected with the virus is growing by at least 63,710 to 8.01 million cases. That comes from a Reuters count. According to this, at least 866 people have died after being infected. This means that at least 217,734 people have died from or with the virus.
4.30 a.m. – The corona virus is spreading rapidly in Germany. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported a new high on Friday with 7334 new infections within a day. It was only on Thursday that the authority recorded an all-time high since the outbreak of the pandemic with 6638 cases. According to the institute, 24 people died of or with the virus. Germany recorded a total of 9,734 deaths in connection with the pandemic. The federal and state governments agreed on new restrictions on Wednesday night in view of increasing corona infections. Dealing with the epidemic is also a key issue at the current EU summit in Brussels.
1:37 a.m. – In the United States, the number of known coronavirus infections has exceeded eight million. That comes from a Reuters count.
1:20 a.m. – One of the most promising Chinese vaccine candidates has triggered the production of antibodies in human tests and has so far been free of side effects. This is what researchers report. The “BBIBP-CorV” vaccine was developed by the Beijing Institute for Biological Products. It is only recognized if it has successfully passed the so-called phase III studies. According to the World Health Organization, “BBIBP-CorV” is one of at least ten vaccines that have started “Phase III”.
00.01 a.m. – In Great Britain, according to a report by the online medical magazine “Pulse”, confidence is growing that it will be able to use a vaccine in December. This is currently being discussed between the National Health Service and the British Medical Association, reports “Pulse”. One person rated the chance of a vaccine being available in December as 50/50.