Korea temporarily suspends visa-free entry to Jeju amid nCoV threat
People wearing face masks take a photo next to a 'no tourists' sign amid concern over the spread of the SARS-like virus, at the main entrance of a university in Seoul on February 4, 2020. South Korea has confirmed 16 cases of the SARS-like virus so far and placed nearly 130 people in quarantine for detailed checks amid growing public alarm.
AFP/Jung Yeon-je
Korea temporarily suspends visa-free entry to Jeju amid nCoV threat
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - February 7, 2020 - 3:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — Visa-free travel to Jeju island in South Korea has been temporarily cancelled amid the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, the Bureau of Immigration said Friday.

In a release, Port Operations Divisions chief Grifton Medina said the Korean Embassy in Manila informed the bureau of the new travel ban policy on Monday that it was temporarily suspending the visa-free entry to the South Korean island.

The temporary suspension was announced a day after the Philippine government announced its first fatality due to the deadly virus. It was also the first death outside China, ground zero of the 2019-nCoV.

Medina said that immigration officers have already been instructed to not allow Filipinos bound for Jeju to depart “unless the passenger was issued a visa by the Korean embassy.”

Immigration said that the suspension of the visa-free privileges for travelers bound to Jeju does not only cover Filipino travelers.

Jeju Tourism Organization said in a Facebook post that the South Korean island province will now require travel visas from 61 other countries as well.

This temporary measure is aimed at stopping any new coronavirus infections in the province and mainland, by strengthening entry procedures,” the post read.

The latest figures post that there are 24 confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV in South Korea.

There are 31,161 people infected with the virus in China, with 636 deaths.

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LATEST UPDATE: September 20, 2020 - 12:31pm

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September 20, 2020 - 12:31pm

London's hard-hit live entertainment sector is hoping to prove it can resurrect itself from the coronavirus shutdown — and a series of gigs from a maze of tunnels could show the way to do it.

"Lockdown Town", which opens on October 2, will see socially distanced performances of American music from the 1920s to 1950s in a network of vaulted venues near Waterloo station.

Audiences will have their temperatures checked during staggered arrival times, move from one venue to the next wearing masks, and not stay in one area for more than 15 minutes.

The number of spectators has been capped at a maximum of 360 each evening —  well below the 500-700 capacity in normal times. — AFP

September 20, 2020 - 11:05am

Italians head to the polls Sunday — to the alarm of coronavirus experts — for a referendum and regional elections that could weaken the government and radically reshape the political landscape.

Just a week after a Herculean effort by schools to reopen in line with last-minute COVID-19 rules, classrooms across the country will be shut to pupils and transformed into ballot stations for the two-day vote.

A triumph for the far-right in this fiercely fought campaign would sound alarm bells in Brussels.

It will be the first test for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's center-left coalition government since it imposed an economically crippling nationwide lockdown to fight the virus, which has killed almost 36,000 people.

The referendum, on slashing the number of members of parliament — from 630 to 400 in the lower house, and 315 to 200 in the upper house — is expected to pass, though there has been a late uptick in the number of prominent 'no' declarations. — AFP

September 19, 2020 - 4:05pm

The Department of Health reports 3,962 additional cases of COVID-19 infections. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 283,460.

The Health department also announces 1,128 new recoveries and 100 new deaths.

September 19, 2020 - 2:12pm

Canada's conservative opposition leader Erin O'Toole tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office announces, one day after another federal party leader did, too.

Both O'Toole and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet were "feeling well" and were self-isolating, according to statements. 

Each had had close contact with staffers who tested positive for the COVID-19 illness. — AFP

September 18, 2020 - 7:28pm

Israel imposes a second nationwide lockdown to tackle one of the world's highest coronavirus infection rates, hours before the Jewish holiday season begins.

The three-week shutdown from 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) started just hours before Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, and will extend through other key religious holidays, including Yom Kippur and Sukkot. — AFP

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