U.S. Lifts Travel Ban for Vaccinated Foreigners - 34 minutes read

Travelers arrive at Heathrow Terminal 3 in London as flights to the United States resume on Monday.Credit...Alex Ingram for The New York Times

The United States reopened its borders for fully vaccinated travelers from dozens of countries on Monday, ending more than 18 months of restrictions on international travel that left families separated from loved ones and cost the global travel industry hundreds of billions of dollars in tourism revenue.
Under the new rules, fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to enter the U.S. if they can show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test taken within three calendar days of travel. Unvaccinated Americans and children under the age of 18 are exempt from the requirement, but must take a test within one day of travel.
The shift has come in time for the holiday season, when the beleaguered tourism industry is eagerly awaiting an influx in international visitors, especially in popular big-city destinations like New York, Los Angeles and Miami. The extended ban on travel from 33 countries — including European Union members, China, India and Iran — devastated the sector and resulted in losses of nearly $300 billion in visitor spending and more than one million American jobs, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
“It is a monumental day for travelers, for the communities and businesses that rely on international visitation, and for the U.S. economy overall,” said Roger Dow, the association’s president and chief executive officer.
At Miami International Airport, a major hub for travel to and from South and Central America, Natalia Vitorini, a 28-year-old student living in Miami, waited for her parents to get off the morning’s first arriving flight from São Paulo, Brazil, with her 3-week-old son.
Her mother, Debora Vitorini, and her husband, Sergio, arrived a little after 6 a.m. The last time they had seen each other was in March 2020. “I was waiting for the border to open so my mom can come to see my baby,” Natalia Vitorini said.
And thousands of Canadians — “snowbirds,” typically retirees — are already on their way to Florida, Arizona and California, among other warm destinations, with campers and boats in tow.
“We’re ready to enjoy what the United States has to offer,” said Wayne Peters of Kelowna, British Columbia, who is about to embark on a 1,520-mile journey south to Yuma, Ariz., with his wife for five months of hiking, golfing and playing pickle ball.
Delta Air Lines said that many of its international flights on Monday were fully booked. The carrier’s first flight into the United States under the looser restrictions, DL106, arrived from São Paulo, Brazil in Atlanta on Monday, just before 10 a.m. Eastern time. By the end of Monday, Delta expects to fly 139 mostly full planes from 38 countries into the U.S.
Hotels across the country, particularly those in cities, also felt the impact of the reopening announcement, with increased bookings and interest over the holiday season. Hyatt, the hotel group, said that approximately 50 percent of its bookings by international travelers to the U.S. for the week of Nov. 8 came after the date was announced in mid-October, with travelers flocking to top cities.
The chef Daniel Boulud, who owns several restaurants in New York City, said that customers from overseas had already started to call for reservations or to go on a waiting list.
He added that while his restaurants were already “quite busy,” buoyed by domestic tourism and a trickle of international visitors, “the faucet was not open for tourism yet.” International tourists, he said, will bring necessary foot traffic, in particular to his restaurants near the Theater District.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic celebrated the re-opening of the United States border for fully vaccinated international travelers, by taking off simultaneously from Heathrow Airport in London.CreditCredit...Alex Ingram for The New York TimesMany of the airplanes departing for the United States over the coming weeks will be full of travelers reuniting with family and friends after more than a year apart. Felicity Fowler, a retired homeopath from London, missed the birth of her grandson. He was born in New York in April; she hasn’t seen her daughter, his mother, since February 2020.
“It’s been emotional torture to be so far away from my girl at a time when she has needed me the most,” she said in an interview. “We need to make up for lost Board Flights From London After U.S. Lifts Travel Ban
Thousands of passengers departed Heathrow Airport in London for the United States after the Biden administration lifted travel restrictions for vaccinated international travelers.

“So my nephew, my mom’s first grandson, we haven’t met him. He’s just turned one. So we’re really excited. I haven’t seen my brother and sister-in-law for two years. So yeah, we’re really looking forward to seeing them.” “We don’t have words.” “Really, really exciting. I mean, I was meant to go just before Covid happened, and obviously it’s been delayed this long, so it’s really exciting to finally be able to go, yeah.” “Excited — it’s been a long time, so I think mostly, mostly relieved that we have a concrete date, so, very happy.”

Thousands of passengers departed Heathrow Airport in London for the United States after the Biden administration lifted travel restrictions for vaccinated international travelers.CreditCredit...Alex Ingram for The New York Times
Thousands of excited passengers flocked to Heathrow Airport on Monday for the first flights to the United States out of London since the Biden administration lifted a travel ban on many international visitors.
The passengers were welcomed by dozens of airline employees, who beamed and waved American flags as they ushered guests toward designated areas for documentation and security checks.
As of Monday, foreign travelers can enter the United States if they show proof of full vaccination and a negative coronavirus test taken within three days of departure. Unvaccinated Americans and children under the age of 18 are exempt from the requirement, but they must take a test within one day of travel.
“New York, baby, here we come,” shouted one passenger as he high-fived a Virgin Atlantic staff member who was dressed as Elvis Presley. “God bless America,” yelled another.

Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. The daily average is calculated with data that was reported in the last seven

Long lines quickly formed at check-in counters as passengers fumbled through their phones and printed-out documents, preparing their required paperwork.
“Goodness, I feel so nervous,” said Bernadette Sumners, 56, from Stratford-on-Avon, England, who was taking her first flight since the start of the pandemic to visit her daughter in Oregon and her son in New York.
“There so many things to remember and organize,” she said as she sat on a bench in the departure terminal, refreshing her email feed every few minutes as she waited for her negative coronavirus test result. “It’s very stressful, but I know it’s going to be worth it when I see my children and meet my grandchildren,” she said, her eyes welling up with tears.
Others were surprised by how organized and quick the process was. “I came four hours early to give myself a good margin for error, but the whole process is super easy and efficient,” said Noah Cunningham, a 46-year-old screenwriter from London, who was traveling to New York for work.
“When governments impose these travel restrictions they act as if people just travel for leisure, but this ban has been a killer for business,” he said. “I didn’t want to lose a day. As soon as the lifting of the ban was announced I booked my ticket.”
A group of three women waited in line to check into their New York flight with stacks of luggage emblazoned with American flags. “Most of these bags are empty,” said Julia Jacobs, a 39-year-old real estate agent. “We’re off to the Big Apple for some Christmas shopping and Christmas cheer. It’s been such a depressing two years, we need to see those bright lights and do some retail therapy.”

Nirmit Shelat, 31, (left) hugs his girlfriend, Jolly Dave, 30, (right) after she arrived from India at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday.Credit...Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

As the United States reopened to fully vaccinated travelers from dozens of countries on Monday, it was a morning of joyous reunions, some hard-earned.
Jolly Dave’s odyssey started last weekend, with a seven-hour bus ride from the Indian city of Gujarat to Mumbai. There she took a three-hour flight to New Delhi, then boarded a 16-hour flight to Newark.
Ms. Dave, 30, was traveling to meet her boyfriend, Nirmit Shelat, 31, whom she had not seen since last winter, when she had returned to their home city of Gujarat, expecting to stay for a few months. But then India experienced a devastating coronavirus surge, and her travel was restricted.
Mr. Nirmit, a project manager at Bank of America, had stayed in the United States. When the United States finally lifted its restrictions on travelers from India, Mr. Nirmit went online, booked an Air India flight for Ms. Dave and paid $1,700 for the one-way ticket from New Delhi to Newark’s Liberty International Airport.
On Sunday night, Mr. Nirmit drove 600 miles north to New Jersey from their home in Charlotte, N.C., checked into an Airbnb in Freehold, N.J., at 6:30 a.m. and then headed to Newark’s Terminal B to greet Ms. Dave.
“My Lady Luck is back,” he said as he waited. “You can make daily calls, stay connected by FaceTime, but you want to experience her fingers, her touch, her kiss. She told me she wants to break the Apple wall.”
They saw each other from down a hallway, and embraced upon reuniting. She kept her mask on as they kissed. He grew emotional. She was carrying three roller suitcases and four bags.
“The Apple wall is broken,” she said.
At Miami International Airport, Natalia Vitorini, a 28-year-old student living in Miami, waited on Concourse D for her parents to get off the morning’s first flight from São Paulo, Brazil. She had her 3-week-old son in a stroller.
Her mother, Debora Vitorini, 56, who works in the biomedical industry in São Paulo, bought her ticket within hours of the announcement of the reopening date. She and her husband, Sergio, arrived a little after 6 a.m.
The last time they had seen each other was in March 2020. Natalia Vitorini got pregnant earlier this year, and gave birth to her son a few weeks ago. “I was waiting for the border to open so my mom can come to see my baby,” she said.
— Kevin Armstrong and Concepción de León

The Biden administration last week set Jan. 4 as the deadline for companies with 100 or more employees to mandate Covid vaccinations or enact weekly testing of workers. The mandate, in the works for some time, quickly faced legal challenges, and on Saturday, a federal appeals panel temporarily blocked the measure.
The court, in a two-page order, directed the Biden administration to respond by 5 p.m. Monday to a request for a permanent injunction.
The administration is “prepared to defend” the rules, Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, said on Sunday. “The president and the administration wouldn’t have put these requirements in place if they didn’t think that they were appropriate and necessary,” Dr. Murthy said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Dr. Murthy pointed to the nation’s history as precedent: George Washington required troops to be inoculated against smallpox in 1777. The mandate would allow for medical or religious exemptions, and companies that fail to comply may be fined.
One coalition of businesses, religious groups, advocacy organizations and several states filed a petition on Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana, arguing that the administration overstepped its authority.
On Saturday, a panel of the court temporarily blocked the new mandate, writing “the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate.”
The stay does not have immediate impact, as the first major deadline in the rule is Dec. 5, when companies with at least 100 employees must require unvaccinated employees to wear masks indoors.

Many travelers and flight crews arrived at airports like Newark Liberty International on Monday, where they faced new and sometimes confusing regulations.Credit...Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

When the U.S. travel ban on many international visitors was lifted at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, the situation may have seemed straightforward.
“If you’re departing before that, the new rules don’t apply. If you’re departing at the time or later, you’re under the new construct,” said Sharon Pinkerton, the senior vice president for legislative and regulatory policy for Airlines for America, an industry trade group.
But it caused considerable confusion for some eager travelers who booked overnight flights, and frustration for some who are being tripped up by the new rules.
Caroline Prado and Diego Paradella, a couple from Brazil, are in the first category. They had planned to celebrate their second wedding anniversary with a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., but had to put it off it because of the pandemic. When the reopening was announced, they rescheduled their departure as soon as they could.
They booked seats on an American Airlines flight leaving São Paulo for Miami at five minutes after midnight local time on Nov. 8.
But when Ms. Prado, 29, called the airline to double check what documentation they needed, she learned, by chance, that they would not be allowed to board: São Paulo is two hours ahead of Miami, so the flight was technically leaving before the presidential proclamation on the travel ban took effect.
The couple had already paid for a hotel, rental car and tickets to Disney World, so they decided to take a chance and go to the airport anyway. They boarded the flight without issue.
“Everything went perfectly well,” Ms. Prado said.
An American Airlines spokesman said that U.S. Customs and Border Protection gave the airline permission to allow two flights from Brazil to enter under the new framework, even though they departed before midnight. So Ms. Prado and Mr. Paradella, whose flight arrived in Miami around 7:40 a.m. on Monday, were among the first tourists from Brazil or 32 other previously banned countries to enter the United States in at least 18 months.
The new rules loosened travel restrictions for people from the previously banned countries. But for people from some other countries, they mean that entering the United States will now be more difficult.
At John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Sunday night, the pickup area at Terminal 1 was filled with people who had arrived on the last flight from Moscow before the new rules took effect. Russia was not one of the 33 countries under the old ban, but the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine is not on the list of coronavirus vaccines that are now being accepted for entry to the United States. So the door to the United States shut for many Russians at one minute after midnight Eastern time on Monday.
A woman traveling from Russia with two young children acknowledged that the vaccine rules had affected the timing of their trip, before declining to be interviewed.
Another arriving traveler, Vyacheslav Alexov, waited for a car to collect him and his carefully plastic-wrapped luggage. He had cut short a trip to see relatives in Kazakhstan in order to make sure he was back in the United States before the new rules took effect on Monday.
As a permanent U.S. resident, he is allowed to travel in and out of the country just as American citizens can, by showing a current negative coronavirus test. But Mr. Alexov, who said he was not vaccinated, was worried that he might be blocked anyway.
“It’s political,” he said of the new policy to require foreign travelers to show proof of vaccination, but not accept the Russian vaccine.

On Monday, the United States will lift travel restrictions for international visitors who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirusCredit...Andrew Seng for The New York Times

On Monday, the United States will lift travel restrictions for international travelers from 33 countries who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, ending an 18-month ban that has separated families and loved ones worldwide and taken a toll on the tourism industry. The reopening comes just ahead of the holiday season, and airlines are anticipating some chaos.
The complicated set of regulations may shift if new waves or variants of the virus emerge, but here is what we know right now about the long-awaited reopening.
Who is eligible to travel to the United States?
Under the new rules, fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to enter the United States if they can show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test taken within three calendar days of travel. Unvaccinated Americans and children under 18 are exempt from the requirement, but must take a coronavirus test within 24 hours of travel.
What vaccines are accepted?
The three available in the United States — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson Johnson — are accepted, as well as any of those cleared for emergency use by the World Health Organization: AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Covishield, BIBP/Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Who is considered “fully vaccinated”?
Anyone who has received either the first dose of a single-dose vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine a full 14 days before the day they board a flight to the United States is considered fully vaccinated.
It does not matter if you received these doses in a clinical trial, as long as you did not receive the placebo. People who received their second shot of the Novavax vaccine in a Phase 3 clinical trial are also fully vaccinated.
Lastly, the C.D.C. considers anyone fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of an accepted “mix-and-match” vaccine, with the doses given at least 17 days apart. The agency notes it does not recommend mixing and matching during the first series of vaccination (for example, the first two shots of an mRNA vaccine), but acknowledges this strategy is more common internationally.
What do I need to pack as proof of my vaccination?
Both paper and digital records of vaccination will be accepted. If you do not have your original record, such as a vaccination card, a copy or photo will also work. Any proof of vaccination must include your full name and at least one more identifier, such as date of birth and the name of the agency or provider issuing the vaccine. It must also include the vaccine manufacturer and dates of vaccination.
Are the rules different at land border crossings?
As of Nov. 8, the U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will reopen for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. While visitors will need to show proof of vaccination, there is no testing requirement for land-border crossings. Children under 18 are allowed entry if accompanied by a vaccinated adult.
Will I have to show proof of vaccination to fly domestically?
No. As of Nov. 8., only those entering the United States from abroad will have to show a vaccination certificate and proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure. Unvaccinated U.S. travelers are permitted to travel, but upon returning must present a coronavirus test taken within 24 hours of departure.
Masks continue to be required for domestic air travel.
What about children?
Unvaccinated children under 18 are permitted to enter the United States if they are over 2 years old, are traveling with a vaccinated adult and have taken a coronavirus test with negative results within three days of departure. If a child is traveling alone or with an unvaccinated adult, he or she will have to test within 24 hours of travel.

The swimming pool area at the Country Roads RV Village in Yuma, Ariz.Credit...Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

It had been a decade since Judy and Wayne Peters had spent the winter in their home country.
The pandemic forced the couple to hunker down last year in their hometown, Kelowna, British Columbia, instead of driving to Arizona for five months of hiking, golfing and playing pickle ball in the sunshine, an annual pilgrimage for them since 2010.
On Monday, the Peterses, fully vaccinated, were starting to pack up their cobalt gray BMW for the 1,520-mile journey south to Yuma, just after the U.S.-Canadian land border reopened to nonessential travel.
“It was a mild winter here, so that worked out in our favor,” said Mr. Peters, 69, speaking from Canada. “But we are looking forward to being in a nice warm environment again with our American friends.”
Hundreds of thousands of Canadian “snowbirds” like the Peterses, typically retirees, flock to the United States each year for the winter, often staying in RV resorts and mobile-home parks with swimming pools, golf courses and other amenities.
Now that pandemic travel restrictions have been lifted, thousands are already on their way to Florida, Arizona and California, among other warm destinations, with campers and boats in tow.
“For the Canadians coming across the border now, they are so excited, they have called ahead to let us know,” said Pat Tuckwell, president of the board of Country Roads RV Village, an upscale park in Yuma, halfway between Phoenix and San Diego, where the Peters own a manufactured home.
About 40 percent of Country Roads’s 1,290 properties are occupied by Canadians. Last year, that number plunged. Only those willing to fly to the United States could come.
“Everyone is saying, it’ll be so wonderful to see each other, talk to each other again, like when their grandkids tell them they can’t wait to go back to school to see their friends,” Ms. Tuckwell said.
Tickets are going fast for the first dinner-and-dance event of the season at Country Road’s newly renovated ballroom this weekend, she said.
Activity rooms for woodcarving, pottery-making and quilting have reopened for the first time since March 2020. Hundreds will be gathering for bingo nights and a weekly church service, as they did before the pandemic.
“Last winter was surreal: empty streets, organized activities canceled, common areas shut down,” said Kristi Getz, an American at the RV resort. Now, she said, “Our poker games are on again, awaiting the return of the Canadians.”
Added her husband, Timothy, “No one does happy hour like our Canadian friends!”
A big draw for Canadians is the ability to visit a nearby Mexican city, Los Algodones, for medical care, massages, manicures and entertainment at bargain prices.
Because they are older, snowbirds were particularly vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. Many cities, including Yuma, had high infection and hospitalization rates.
Nearly one million Canadians pumped $1 billion into the Arizona economy in 2019. Last year, that number plummeted to 257,000, who spent $325 million.
With borders reopening and vaccination rates high, the Arizona Office of Tourism is bullish about this season, said Becky Blaine, the office’s deputy director.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have said they expect heavy traffic and delays at border crossings for a while, because agents will need to verify that travelers are vaccinated.
But that is not deterring couples like the Peterses. “We’re ready to enjoy what the United States has to offer,” Mr. Peters said.

The Covid vaccine, like the polio vaccine in 1954, will be given to young children in schools.Credit...Getty Images

The first lady, Jill Biden, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, seeking to enlist schools in the effort to vaccinate 28 million young children against the coronavirus, will travel to Virginia on Monday to visit an elementary school that made history in 1954 when its students were the first to receive the polio vaccine as part of a nationwide clinical trial.
The trip to Franklin Sherman Elementary School in the Washington suburb of McLean, Va., will be the kickoff of what the Biden administration says will be a nationwide push to persuade parents and guardians to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11, and to engage schools in the effort.
The administration’s campaign to vaccinate young children does not look at all like it did when the vaccine was rolled out nearly a year ago for adults. There are no mass vaccination sites. Pediatricians are being enlisted to help work with parents. The vials — and the needles to administer doses — will be smaller.
Schools like Franklin Sherman Elementary, which is hosting its own vaccination clinic, will be central to the effort. By spotlighting the school, the White House hopes to offer the public a reminder of an earlier era when the country pulled together to fight a terrifying disease. (Among those who contracted polio is Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, who walks with a slight limp as a result.)
The school and its “polio pioneer” students are mindful of their place in history; one of them, Jackie Lonergan, now 75, told The Washington Post that parents did not question whether their children should get the experimental vaccine developed by Jonas Salk. (In a rare interview in 1993, Dr. Salk told a reporter that his vaccine had offered “freedom from fear.”)
Public health experts view vaccinating young children against the coronavirus as a critical step toward bringing the pandemic under control. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 at the end of October, and last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed suit by endorsing the recommendation.
But persuading parents to get their children vaccinated has sometimes been difficult, even when the children are older. In more rural and conservative areas of the country, school officials are treading lightly in promoting the vaccine.
A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation published last month before the F.D.A.’s action found that 27 percent of parents said they would “definitely not” get their 5-to-11-year-olds vaccinated against the coronavirus. An additional 33 percent said they would “wait and see” how the vaccine was working before getting their children the shots.
White House officials say that Dr. Biden will continue to visit pediatric vaccination clinics across the country in the coming weeks. On Monday morning, Xavier Becerra, the secretary of health and human services, and Miguel Cardona, the education secretary, sent a letter to to school superintendents and elementary school principals across the country urging them to encourage childhood vaccination, including by holding clinics.
“This is a very exciting development and a significant opportunity to protect some of our youngest learners and our communities,” they wrote.

International ticket sales at the Metropolitan Opera have averaged about 20 percent of the total box office over the last five seasons.Credit...Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Few sectors of New York City’s economy lean more heavily on foreign tourists for revenue than the arts, and, as international travel to the United States restarts Monday, the city’s cultural institutions are more than eager for them to return.
“We’re waiting with arms open,” said Victoria Bailey, the executive director of the Theater Development Fund, the nonprofit that operates the TKTS discount ticket booth, where about 70 percent of the tickets are bought by tourists and roughly half of those sales are to foreign travelers.
Indeed, billions of dollars and many thousands of jobs are at stake. Employment in New York City’s arts, entertainment and recreation sector plummeted by 66 percent from December 2019 to December 2020, according to a state report.
Tourists from outside the U.S. comprise about 15 percent of Broadway’s audience during a traditional season, said Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League. Across the last five seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, international ticket sales have averaged about 20 percent of the total box office.
And more than half of New York’s international visitors visit an art gallery or museum during their trip, according to data from NYC Company, the city’s tourism marketing organization. One in four people go to some kind of live performance when they are in the city — be it a concert, play, musical, dance performance or opera. And when they do so now, they will need to comply with the same vaccination rules that New Yorkers must follow in order to attend live events and enter museums.
Ken Weine, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said that before the pandemic, international travelers accounted for about a third of the museum’s visitors; without them, the museum has hit something of a “ceiling” on attendance, he said.
Currently, the number of people who visit to the Met daily is about half of what it was before the pandemic. And from a revenue perspective, welcoming back international visitors helps the bottom line: Mr. Weine noted that although New Yorkers may pay what they wish when they visit the Met, other visitors, including foreign tourists, must pay $25.
“The Met is an encyclopedic museum that collects art from 5,000 years of human creativity. Core to the Met mission is presenting this art to New Yorkers and to people around the world,” he said. “We’ve really missed that.”

About 28,000 public school students in New York City learned from shelters last year.Credit...Ashley Gilbertson/VII, for The New York Times

More than 101,000 public school students in New York City lacked permanent housing during the last school year, according to new city data released Monday, a staggering figure that demonstrates the profound stakes of school closures and educational disruptions during the pandemic.
That housing statistic, which has remained stubbornly high for years and represents a roughly 40 percent increase since 2010, also presents the city’s incoming mayor, Eric Adams, with an urgent crisis when he takes office in January.
Advocates for Children, an organization that collects data on homeless children annually, said the true number of homeless students in the school system may well be higher, but it was difficult for schools to track students’ housing status during the pandemic. The vast majority of public school students chose to learn remotely last year, even though schools were open for at least a few days a week.
About 28,000 public school students learned from shelters last year, some of which had spotty internet or no cell service. And 65,000 children learned while “doubled up” in unstable housing, sharing rooms with family and friends and with little or no room to study. Another 3,860 children lived in parks, cars or abandoned buildings.
As New York’s roughly one million public school children have returned to classrooms full time this fall, educators have confronted significant academic challenges and mental health issues. The needs of homeless students, many of whom were barely able to learn remotely last year, are especially pressing.
Advocates for Children and a coalition of other advocacy organizations are calling on Mr. Adams to hire 150 new shelter employees who can help families navigate the school system and to create an emergency program to bring together city agencies to tackle issues that have prevented homeless students from learning, including chronic absenteeism and transportation Eases Restrictions After Nearly 12 Weeks in Lockdown
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand said nonessential stores and public facilities like libraries, museums and zoos would be allowed to reopen in the country’s largest city.

Last week, cabinet made an in-principle decision to ease restrictions in Auckland to what has been termed Alert Level 3, that’s Step 2. And today, cabinet on the advice of the director general of health, has confirmed that decision to ease into that new set of settings at 11:50 p.m. tomorrow night. This will bring Auckland and the Waikato into alignment. At Step 2, retail businesses and malls open. However, just to be clear, event facilities like movie theaters and gyms will remain closed for now. Face coverings, record-keeping and physical distancing, of course, are required. The reasons for this decision today capture the transition phase we’re in as we continue to minimize the impact of Covid-19 and work to protect people from it. As you can see, we have high, increasingly high vaccination rates in Auckland, and that is a substantial part of our consideration now. Auckland hit 90 percent first dose and 80 percent second dose over the weekend, and it’s now a matter of weeks away from 90 percent double dose. And so while we’re getting those rates higher still, we are easing into our reopening.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand said nonessential stores and public facilities like libraries, museums and zoos would be allowed to reopen in the country’s largest city.CreditCredit...Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, will relax many virus restrictions nearly 12 weeks into its lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a news conference on Monday.
The easing of restrictions comes as the country records some of its highest daily case numbers since the pandemic began, with a record 206 cases reported on Saturday.
Starting before midnight on Tuesday, Auckland will allow the reopening of nonessential retail outlets and of public facilities like libraries, museums and zoos. Patrons will not be required to be vaccinated, though masks and physical-distancing restrictions will be in place. Up to 25 people will be permitted to gather outdoors, as well as for funerals and weddings.
Auckland, home to roughly a third of New Zealand’s population, went into a snap lockdown on Aug. 17 after a single case of the Delta variant was identified in the city.
The resulting outbreak has proved impossible to quash, prompting an end to the Covid-zero strategy that for most of the pandemic had allowed New Zealanders to live with few restrictions. The outbreak is largely contained to Auckland.
As of Sunday, more than 90 percent of eligible people ages 12 and older across the Auckland region had received at least one dose of a vaccine, Ms. Ardern said. The government expects to hit its target of 90 percent fully vaccinated around Nov. 29, she added, allowing it to move to a new system in which vaccination certificates will be required to access many services in the city.
“It will mean all businesses can be open and operate, it will mean we will manage Covid safely, but differently,” Ms. Ardern said.
Some health professionals had called for restrictions to remain in place, citing the disproportionate effect of the virus on New Zealand’s Indigenous Maori population, which makes up 37 percent of all cases in the outbreak despite constituting less than 17 percent of the wider population.

A banner reading, “No to vaccination — our children are not your guinea pigs,” at a protest in Bucharest, Romania, on Sunday.Credit...Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press

As a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic crashed over Eastern Europe last month, devastating unvaccinated populations, an Orthodox Church bishop in southern Romania offered solace to his flock: “Don’t be fooled by what you see on TV — don’t be scared of Covid.”
Most important, Bishop Ambrose of Giurgiu told worshipers on Oct. 14 in the small town of Copaceni, “Don’t rush to get vaccinated.”
The bishop is now under criminal investigation by the police for spreading dangerous disinformation, but his anti-vaccine clarion call, echoed by prominent politicians, influential voices on the internet and many others, helps explain why Romania has in recent weeks reported the world’s highest per capita death rate from Covid-19.
On Tuesday, nearly 600 Romanians died, the most during the pandemic. The country’s death rate relative to population is almost seven times as high as that of the United States, and almost 17 times as high as Germany’s.
Vaccine hesitancy, stoked by powerful forces online and in the real world, has left Romania with Europe’s second-lowest vaccination rate; around 44 percent of adults have had at least one dose, ahead of only Bulgaria, at 29 percent. Overall, the European Union stands at 81 percent, with several countries above 90 percent. Complicating matters, Romania has been without a government since last month, when a centrist coalition unraveled.

Health care workers preparing to administer a CanSino vaccination to a resident on Gaya Island, Sabah, Malaysia, in September.Credit...Annice Lyn/Getty Images

Shares of several drug makers in Asia fell sharply on Monday in response to Pfizer’s announcement that its antiviral drug was highly effective in treating Covid-19.
CanSino Biologics, the Chinese maker of a Covid-19 vaccine, dropped by 17 percent during trading in Hong Kong. Shanghai Fosun, which has marketing rights in greater China for the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, saw its Hong Kong shares drop by 7 percent before rebounding somewhat to end 2 percent lower.
WuXi Biologics of China, which is developing Covid vaccines and antibodies, fell by 9 percent in Hong Kong. And shares of Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi Co., which is also developing a Covid treatment drug, dropped 6 percent in Tokyo.
Pfizer said Friday that when its new pill was given within three days of the start of Covid symptoms, hospitalizations and deaths were reduced by 89 percent. The company said it planned to submit the drug for Food and Drug Administration approval as soon as possible. A panel of experts had recommended not enrolling any more candidates in the trial because it had already shown such effectiveness, the company said.

Van Morrison performing in London in 2020. He has been an outspoken critic of pandemic safety protocols.Credit...Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Northern Island’s health minister has sued Van Morrison, who has said the minister’s handling of Covid-19 restrictions was “very dangerous.”
Paul Tweed, the lawyer for the health minister, Robin Swann, confirmed on Monday that a lawsuit had been filed.
“Legal proceedings are now at an advanced stage, with an anticipated hearing date early in 2022,” Mr. Tweed said in an email, adding that he could not comment “any further at this stage.” The Belfast Telegraph reported the lawsuit on Sunday.
Joe Rice, a lawyer for Mr. Morrison, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. He told The Associated Press that Mr. Morrison would contest the claim, arguing “that the words used by him related to a matter of public interest and constituted fair comment.”
In June, Mr. Morrison denounced Mr. Swann from the stage at the Europa Hotel in Belfast after several other concerts were canceled because of virus restrictions.
Mr. Morrison, 76, who was born in Belfast and was knighted in 2016, has dismissed the coronavirus pandemic — the death toll for which surpassed five million people last week — as media hype and has criticized Covid-19 restrictions though his music.
In the fall of 2020, as another wave of the pandemic raged, Mr. Morrison released three protest songs that criticized the measures that Northern Ireland’s government had taken to slow the spread of the virus. One song, “No More Lockdown,” claimed that scientists were “making up crooked facts” about the virus.
At the time, Mr. Swann called the songs “dangerous” in an interview with BBC Radio Ulster.
“I don’t know where he gets his facts,” Mr. Swann said of the songs. “I know where the emotions are on this, but I will say that sort of messaging is dangerous.”
The songs also prompted Mr. Swann to write an opinion article for Rolling Stone in which he said that Mr. Morrison’s “words will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists.”
In August, Mr. Morrison dropped a legal challenge against a “blanket ban” on live music in licensed venues in Northern Island, according to the BBC. As Northern Ireland eased Covid-19 restrictions, live music was allowed to resume.
Mr. Morrison welcomed the news at the time but also said he was disappointed that he had to cancel some concerts in Belfast over the summer.
In May, Mr. Morrison, who is known for hits like “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Moondance,” released a double album, “Latest Record Project, Vol. 1.” The album, including the songs “Why Are You on Facebook?” and “They Control the Media,” has been assailed by critics who have accused Mr. Morrison of antisemitism and embracing conspiracy theories.

Eviction proceedings are rising across the country, leading tenants like these in Indianapolis earlier this month to seek legal help.Credit...Kaiti Sullivan for The New York Times

In Indianapolis, eviction courts are packed as judges make their way through a monthslong backlog of cases. In Detroit, advocates are rushing to knock on the doors of tenants facing possible eviction. In Gainesville, Fla., landlords are filing evictions at a rapid pace as displaced tenants resort to relatives’ couches for places to sleep or seek cheaper rents outside the city.
It is not the sudden surge of evictions that tenants and advocates feared after the Supreme Court ruled in August that President Biden’s extension of the eviction moratorium was unconstitutional. Instead, what’s emerging is a more gradual eviction crisis that is increasingly hitting communities across the country, especially those where the distribution of federal rental assistance has been slow, and where tenants have few protections.
“For months we all used these terms like eviction ‘tsunami’ and ‘falling off the cliff,’” said Lee Camp, an attorney who represents tenants facing eviction in St. Louis. But those simple terms missed the complexity of the eviction process and the lack of reliable statistics to track it, he said. “It was not going to happen overnight. Certainly it would take weeks and months to play out.”
And even now, experts say, the available numbers dramatically undercount the number of tenants being forced from their homes either through court-ordered evictions or informal ones, especially as rising rents make seeking new tenants increasingly profitable for landlords.

Source: New York Times

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