Coronavirus: Latest global developments

·2-min read
US President Donald Trump brands a massive Covid relief package passed by Congress "a disgrace", demanding an increase in the direct payments to less well-off Americans.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- UK-France border reopens -

Cross-border travel between Britain and France resumes but only for EU residents and lorry, bus and train drivers following a snap 48-hour ban to curb the spread of the new virus strain.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says those travelling for "urgent reasons" will be allowed to cross the Channel "provided they have a certified negative Covid test".


- Trump rejects relief bill -

US President Donald Trump brands a massive Covid relief package passed by Congress "a disgrace", demanding an increase in the direct payments to less well-off Americans.


- Swiss vaccinations -

Switzerland starts its vaccine rollout, with a care home resident in her 90s becoming the first person to receive a shot.


- Dubai also starts -

Dubai begins its vaccination campaign using the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. Its ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum took part in trials for an experimental coronavirus vaccine last month.


- Egypt New Year -

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli calls off all New Year's celebrations in a bid to stem rising cases in the Arab world's most populous country.


- Sydney reprieve -

Australia's largest city eases lockdown restrictions for Christmas after it reports a second day of new cases in the single digits.


- Czech crackdown -

The government extends its state of emergency and announces tighter restrictions including closing shops, as the number of new cases starts to soar again.


- No frills Olympics -

Organisers of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics say they have picked a new creative director to redesign "simpler and more restrained" opening and closing ceremonies for next year's Games.

Advertising executive Hiroshi Sasaki replaces a previous seven-person creative team.


- Macron 'doing better' -

French President Emmanuel Macron, who contracted the virus last week, is doing better, his office said, after suffering fatigue, coughing and muscle aches.


- 1.7 million dead -

At least 1,718,209 people have died since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP.