CORONAVIRUS ALERT | Sydney Isolated From Rest Of Australia As COVID Outbreak

Sydney was isolated from the rest of Australia on Sunday after all of the country’s states and territories imposed travel restrictions on its residents as coronavirus cluster in the city grew to around 70.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) sent a stern ‘do not come to us’ message to Sydney, the country’s most populous city of more than five million people, warning its residents they would be quarantined for 14 days if they arrived…
‘If you are not an ACT resident and have been in greater Sydney…our message is simple: do not travel to the ACT’, the ACT health department said.
The states of Victoria and Queensland, and the Northern Territory, banned people arriving from Sydney as of Monday.
Queensland police will reintroduce road checkpoints in the New South Wales (NSW) state border to help enforce the new declaration of greater Sydney as a COVID – 19 hotspot.
South Australia state imposed a 14 – day quarantine for Sydney arrivals on Sunday and banned travelers from affected suburbs. The island state of Tasmania took similar steps on Saturday. Western Australia state imposed a hard border closure.
Travellers from elsewhere in NSW, where Sydney is the state capital, will require documents showing they are not coming from the affected Sydney suburbs if they wish to cross state borders.
About a quarter of a million people in Sydney’s norther beach suburbs where the outbreak has occurred have been put into a strict lockdown until Christmas Eve.
‘If we can lockdown here and get rid of it, fantastic and everyone else can be free’, Rachel Buxcon, a retired northern beaches resident said. ‘But if it extends, then we’re all in it together’.

Christmas Holiday Chaos

On Sunday, BSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said public gathering across the rest of Sydney will be limited, with household gatherings capped at 10 participants and hospitality venues at 300, among other restrictions,
‘We must take this action now to ensure we keep on top of this outbreak’, said Berejiklan.
She also urged people in the greater Sydney are to wear masks in public, although it was not mandatory.
‘If you’re going grocery shopping anywhere in NSW, please wear a mask, if you’re going to a place of worship in NSW, please wear a mask…and for goodness sake, do not get on public transport unless you’re wearing a mask’, she said.
Until this week, Australia had gone more than two weeks without any local transmission and had lifted most restrictions ahead of Christmas. The Sydney outbreak and border restrictions have thrown Christmas holiday travel plans into chaos.
The annual Sydney – to – Hobart yacht race starting Boxing Day Dec. 26 has been cancelled for the first time in its 76 year history as crew and their families would have to quarantine on arrival in Tasmania.
Hotels and holiday rentals in NSW have been swamped with mass Christmas cancellations and restaurants have seen the number of patrons drop significantly, local media reported.
‘An important reminder as we come into the Christmas holiday season is that the virus has not gone anywhere and we must remain careful’, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a video message.
Australia has avoided the worst of the pandemic due to border closures, lockdowns, widespread testing and social distancing. It has recorded around 28,100 infections, the overwhelming majority in Victoria state, and 908 deaths.

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

JEDDAH – – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a new five – year strategy for the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund as Saudi Arabia drives toward achieving its Vision 2030 goal to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pump at least $40 billion a … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Announces New 5-Year Strategy For Kingdom’s Economy

CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

PARIS – – France’s top health advisory body on Saturday recommended doubling the time between people being given the first and second Covid-19 vaccination to six weeks from three  in order to increase the number getting inoculated . The gap between the first and second injection in France is currently three weeks for people in … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS ALERT | French Health Body Recommends Delaying Second Covid Shot To Six Weeks After First

BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

Police detained more than 350 people across Russia on Saturday and broke up rallies around the country as protesters defied bitter cold and a ban by authorities to demand the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Navalny had called on his supporter to protest after being arrested last weekend as he returned to Moscow … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Police Round Up More Than 350 At Russia Protests Backing Jailed Kremlin Foe Navalny

BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

WASHINGTON – – The United Arab Emirates confirmed that it signed agreements with the United States on former President Donald Trump’s last full day in office to purchase up to 50 F-35 jets, 18 armed drones and other defense equipment in a deal worth $23 billion. The UAE embassy in Washington said in a statement … Continue reading BUSINESS | UAE Confirms It Inked $23 Billion To Buy F-35 Jets, Drones From U.S.

Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia said Saturday it intercepted an apparent missile or drone attack over its capital, Riyadh, amid the kingdom’s yearlong war against neighbouring Yemen’s Houthi rebels.Social media users posted video of what appeared to be an explosion in the air over Riyadh. Saudi State TV quoted authorities in the kingdom acknowledging the … Continue reading Breaking News | Saudi TV Says Missile Or Drone Intercepted Over Riyadh

TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

 DUBAI – Denmark has temporarily suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five days after suspicion arose that the coronavirus tests that can be obtained before leaving Dubai are not reliable, authorities announced Friday. The development, which comes amid a surge of infections in the UAE, poses a direct challenge to the mass … Continue reading TRAVEL | Denmark Suspend Dubai Flights Amid Doubts Over Virus Tests

BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

PARIS – – Google and a French publishers’ lobby said on Thursday they had agreed to a copyright framework for the U.S. tech giant to pay news publishers for content online, in a first for Europe.The move paves the way for individual licensing agreements for French publications, some of which have seen revenues drop with … Continue reading BUSINESS | Google Seals Content Payment Deal With French News Publishers

Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

MILAN – European countries should use all available vaccine doses provided by biotech firm BioNTech and its partner Pfizer because there will be enough for the requisite second booster shot due to a planned production ramp – up, BioNTech’s largest investor said. Some countries were believed to be withholding some vaccines for fear of shortage … Continue reading Business News | BioNTech Investors, Amid Worry Over Shortage, Vows Vaccines To Be Delivered For Second Shot

BREAKING NEWS | Arab Coalition Thwarts Two Houthi Attacks

The Saudi – led coalition fighting against Yemen’s Houthi movement said it thwarted two attacks by the Houthis on Friday morning, including destroying an explosive – laden boat in the southern Red Sea, Saudi State TV said on Twitter. The coalition also intercepted and destroyed an explosive – laden drone launched by the Houthis toward … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Arab Coalition Thwarts Two Houthi Attacks

ARTS & CULTURE | Lebanon Return Two Stolen 18th – Century Religious Icons To Greece

ATHENS – – Lebanon handed back two 18th – century religious icons of Jesus and Mary to Greece on Tuesday after they were seized during an auction, a judicial sources said. The paintings were stole from an exhibition in Athens in 2016, and Greece put out an international notice calling for their return. Icons are … Continue reading ARTS & CULTURE | Lebanon Return Two Stolen 18th – Century Religious Icons To Greece

CORONAVIRUS | Saudi Arabia Reschedules COVID-19 Vaccinations Amid Pfizer Delay

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia has rescheduled appointment for the administration of COVID-19 vaccine due Pfizer delivery delays, the Ministry of Health announced on Thursday in a tweet. Authorities said that those with appointments to receive their first dose will be rescheduled ‘due to the delay of the manufacturer in supplying the Kingdom and all … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS | Saudi Arabia Reschedules COVID-19 Vaccinations Amid Pfizer Delay

ENTERTAINMENT | Dubai Suspends Live Entertainment Permits As Covid-19 Cases Surge

MILAN – – Dubai has suspended live entertainment permits for hotels and restaurants amid a surge in COVID-19 cases according to an official circular issued by Dubai Tourism. ‘The Department observed, through field inspection, an increase in number violations during entertainment activities in hotels and restaurants. Accordingly. the Department directs all concerned in hotel establishments … Continue reading ENTERTAINMENT | Dubai Suspends Live Entertainment Permits As Covid-19 Cases Surge

BREAKING NEWS | Trump Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

U.S. President Donald Trump granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued in his final hours in office, but did not pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump leaves office on Wednesday, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron in which they discussed bilateral relations. ‘During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries and opportunities for joint cooperation. Regional and international developments were discussed, and a number of issues of common interest … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia expects to re-open its embassy in Qatar in the coming days, Saudi’s foreign minister said on Saturday, following a U.S.-backed détente last week in a three – year-old dispute between Arab states. It is just a matter a logistics, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told journalists in Riyadh … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

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