Blog

Israel Begins Coronavirus Lockdown Exit Stage 4

The Israeli government voted Thursday in an online session to approve the fourth stage of the coronavirus lockdown exit plan.The new measures are to take effect Friday (March 18), just four days before Israel’s population goes to the polls for its f…



The Israeli government voted Thursday in an online session to approve the fourth stage of the coronavirus lockdown exit plan.

The new measures are to take effect Friday (March 18), just four days before Israel’s population goes to the polls for its fourth national election in two years.

According to the Stage 4 Exit Plan:

At indoor venues with more than 5,000 seats: up to 3,000 people may enter, or 30 percent of capacity.

At indoor venues with fewer than 5,000 seats: no more than 1,000 people may enter, or up to 50 percent of capacity.

At outdoor venues with more than 10,000 seats: up to 5,000 seats may be filled, or up to 30 percent capacity.

At indoor venues with more than 10,000 seats, up to 50 percent capacity may be filled, or up to 3,000 seats overall.

Rapid-result coronavirus testing will now be implemented for those without a Green Pass at the entrances to businesses such as hotels, event halls and synagogues. This includes people who have not had the virus and recovered, and who are unvaccinated.

Children – not yet permitted to be vaccinated – may enter open-air swimming pools and other outdoor attractions.

Effective next week, sporting facilities will reopen, sports events and fairs and events may be rescheduled at shopping malls. All must be conducted in accordance with the Green Pass guidelines.

Movie theaters will reopen next week for the first time in a year.

Food stands, “standing room only” events and other events in both confined and open spaces will also resume next week at 50 percent capacity, up to a maximum of 500 people outdoors, and 300 visitors indoors.

The above measures are to be in effect until April 3.

Swaziland relaxes coronavirus lockdown amid confusion over vaccines and fear of third wave

Swaziland relaxes coronavirus lockdown amid confusion over vaccines and fear of third waveThe Swaziland (eSwatini) Government has announced the reopening of schools and a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, even though vaccinations have been delaye…

Swaziland relaxes coronavirus lockdown amid confusion over vaccines and fear of third wave

The Swaziland (eSwatini) Government has announced the reopening of schools and a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, even though vaccinations have been delayed and there continues to be a threat of a third wave of the virus in the kingdom.

 

Themba Masuku, the Swazi Acting Prime Minister, on Thursday (18 March 2021) announced the reopening of schools; reopening of religious gatherings; resumption of community gatherings; reopening of low-contact sports and the resumption of the sale of alcohol.

 

Schools would start to reopen on 29 March, but Masuku did not announce details of how this would happen. But he did say testing, treating and isolation centres had been set up in all regions of the kingdom to be accessed by pupils and teachers.

 

Religious gatherings could restart on 19 March. Weddings of up to 100 people under coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols would also be allowed from the same date. 

 

In a statement he said, ‘Sporting codes being allowed to resume operations are: angling, athletics, cricket, cue sports, cycling, darts, equestrian, golf, shooting, tennis, teqball, chess, gymnastics, swimming as well as Premier League and National First Division football. The reopening of football also covers the operations of all junior and senior football national teams.’

 

The sale of alcohol would be allowed from 22 March 2021. Liquor outlets would be allowed to operate from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm. Alcohol consumption remained strictly for home consumption.

 

Public transport would be allowed at 100 percent seating capacity with no passengers standing with effect from Friday 19 March 2020. 

 

The Swaziland Government had issued mixed messages in recent days about the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. Countries across the world had suspended its use after fears it could cause blood clots.  At first Swaziland said it would continue to use it and then quickly changed its mind and suspended use.

 

Now, Masuku has changed the decision again. In his statement he said, ‘Let me take the opportunity to inform the nation that government has consulted widely with scientists and health experts who have all spoken with one voice that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for use.’

 

He added, ‘The vaccination exercise is completely voluntary. Health workers will be inoculated in the first phase followed by the elderly, those living with co-morbidities and essential workers. Government continues to source more vaccine candidates such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik V and Mordena to cover all Emaswati above the age of 18.’

 

The relaxation comes less than two weeks after they were extended amid fears that a third wave was about to hit Swaziland. On 6 March 2021 Masuku had said the 17,000 people testing positive and the 652 deaths in the previous year were ‘nothing short of alarming’. 

 

He added Swaziland expected a third wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) to strike. He called the situation ‘simply unimaginable and heart-breaking’.

Oman: Gulf country extends partial curfew until April 3

A gulf country has extended the partial curfew imposed in the country. Oman has announced this decision. The decision was taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. The Supreme Committee in Oman has announced this.Oman’s Supreme Committee ha…

A gulf country has extended the partial curfew imposed in the country. Oman has announced this decision. The decision was taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. The Supreme Committee in Oman has announced this.

Oman’s Supreme Committee has extended the partial curfew until April 3. All commercial establishments including super markets, malls, coffee shops and health clubs will remain closed from 8pm till 5am. Home delivery from restaurants as well as that of food and grocery items for home delivery can go on beyond 8pm.


The number of staff in administrative offices of government and other public offices has also been capped to not more than 70 per cent, effective March 21 Sunday. Only pharmacies, petrol stations and hospitals were exempted from the curfew.

Mauritius imposes fresh lockdown after 14 local Covid-19 cases

Mauritius on Wednesday went into a two-week nationwide lockdown, the second time the Indian Ocean archipelago nation has imposed such a restriction since the coronavirus pandemic began a year ago. "We had no other choice but total containment in or…

Mauritius on Wednesday went into a two-week nationwide lockdown, the second time the Indian Ocean archipelago nation has imposed such a restriction since the coronavirus pandemic began a year ago.

"We had no other choice but total containment in order to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the population," Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth announced Tuesday evening in a televised address.

"This containment became necessary after the appearance of four new local positive cases of Covid-19, bringing to 14 the number of local positive cases registered since March 5."

Only essential services will be operational from Wednesday, including the port, airport, hospital services and emergency relief.

As of Thursday, supermarkets, bakeries, petrol stations and pharmacies will be accessible on an alphabetical rotation basis.

"I am sure we will be able to resume our activities as soon as possible," Jugnauth said.

The latest lockdown follows one imposed in March 2020 in the island nation of 1.3 million.

Opposition leaders blamed the government for incompetence but Deputy Prime Minister Steven Obeegadoo said they had "rigorously implemented the health protocols".

"Mauritius had no choice but to impose this containment in order to break the chain of transmission of the virus," he said.

As of March 7, Mauritius had registered a total of 641 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, including 10 deaths and 40 active cases.

AFP