'Living with COVID-19' becomes a global trend

After more than a year and a half of dealing with COVID-19 and suffering heavy economic losses, some countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea have recently decided to switch from a "no COVID-19" strategy. " to "adapting safely to the epidemic".

Office workers in South Korea wear transparent masks to make it easier to talk to the hearing impaired. Photo: Yonhap
Office workers in South Korea wear transparent masks to make it easier to talk to the hearing impaired. Photo: Yonhap

Living with COVID-19

The South Korean government on October 15 announced a plan to gradually relax restrictions on COVID-19 prevention, amid a rapidly increasing vaccination rate in the country. According to the new plan, effective from October 18, the Seoul area - home to half of the Korean population - will still be subject to level 4 (highest level) epidemic prevention measures. The remaining areas will apply level 3.

However, the Korean Government will allow people in the Seoul area to gather in groups of 8 people (up from the current limit of 6 people) from 6pm daily if 4 of them are fully vaccinated. . In other areas, people will be able to gather in groups of up to 10 people if 6 people have been vaccinated.

Restrictions related to the operating hours of places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas, etc. will be eased. Sports events will be held on the field with spectators, if 30% of the total spectators have been vaccinated.

The new rules will be in effect until October 31. The Korean government will then consider announcing a more comprehensive opening-up strategy for small businesses and self-employed workers. Seoul hopes to be able to reactivate the entire economy by November, when it reaches its target of 80% of the adult population receiving the full dose.

Australia - one of the countries that have had success with a "no COVID-19" strategy - is moving towards living with the epidemic after admitting that the Delta variant is so contagious that it cannot be completely prevented.

From October 11, cafes, restaurants and gyms in Sydney (New South Wales state) have begun to open their doors to those who have received 2 doses of the vaccine.

In Victoria (Australia), the number of new cases of COVID-19 is continuing to increase. But the city of Melbourne - the capital of this state - on October 17 decided to lift the restriction on going out after setting a world record for the time of lockdown. One of the reasons the Melbourne government has decided to boldly open up is because Victoria's full-dose vaccination rate is close to 70%.

“From 23:59 on October 21, there will be no more lockdown, no more restrictions on going out, no more curfew,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced.

Although some types of businesses are allowed to reopen, they are still limited in the size of their operations. Restrictions will continue to be eased, including the opening of retail stores, when the vaccination rate in Victoria reaches 80%, expected no later than November 5.

Like Australia, New Zealand has maintained a "no COVID-19" strategy for more than a year. But since the beginning of October, the country has had to accept the transition to living with the virus after the outbreak of a new outbreak because of the Delta variant. People in the city of Auckland - New Zealand's most populous area - have begun to gather on a limited scale. However, New Zealand officials stressed that strict restrictions will only be eased after 90% of the eligible population (age 12 and over) of the country has been vaccinated. Currently, this figure is close to 60%.

Connect with the world

Not only gradually lifting restrictions, many countries have begun to open their borders and resume international flights to welcome tourists who have had enough vaccines.

Under Singapore's new regulations, from October 19, people who have received the full dose of the vaccine from eight countries including the UK, France, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the US can enter. Singapore without quarantine if the test result is negative. From November 15, this regulation will continue to apply to people coming from Korea.

In the US, travelers who have had the full dose of the vaccine can enter the country from November 8 and only need to present a negative test result within the previous 72 hours. The regulation applies to visitors from the Schengen Area (26 European countries), the UK, Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland and South Africa. Notably, instead of only accepting people who have received US vaccines, the White House claims visitors "have received vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization". (WHO) permit", even mixing vaccines, will be eligible for entry. This list includes vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca/Oxford (including versions of Serum Institute of India and Korea), Sinopharm, Sinovac.

In Australia, the Sydney government said the city will allow travelers with full vaccinations to enter without quarantine from November 1. Also from this date, Thailand will exempt quarantine regulations for fully vaccinated travelers from 5 countries including the UK, US, Germany, Singapore, and China. "We must act both quickly and cautiously so as not to miss the opportunity to attract tourists during the year-end and New Year holiday seasons," Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said. In August, Thailand announced it would switch to a "living with COVID-19" strategy and is speeding up vaccinations across the country. Up to now, about 30% of Thailand's population is fully vaccinated.

Acknowledging that the decision to open the border could carry some risks, Prime Minister Prayut said authorities would monitor the situation carefully and take "appropriate and proportionate action" if COVID variants -19 new dangers appear.

Google Tech News

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