IMF to help countries buy vaccines

The new distribution of the so-called. Special drawing rights would be the largest such expansion of foreign exchange reserves in the history of the IMF. If final approval is received from the IMF’s board of directors, as expected, the reserves could become available by the end of August.

“This is a shot in the arm for the world,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF. “The allocation of SDRs will help each IMF member country – particularly vulnerable countries – and strengthen their response to the COVID-19 crisis.”

Georgieva made the announcement as finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 gathered in Venice, Italy to discuss international tax reform, climate change and the global economic response to the pandemic. The IMF, set up in 1944 to try to mediate economic cooperation, warned of a two-stage economic recovery, leaving poor countries abandoned while developed economies experiencing rapid expansion.

(New York Times)

British airlines are challenging travel restrictions

LONDON – A group of British airports and airlines have sent the UK government to court on Friday, demanding to reveal the evidence behind the restrictions on travel with coronavirus, which they believe are destroying their business.

Manchester Airports Group, which owns airports in Manchester, Stansted and the East Midlands, filed the case with Ryanair, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet, travel business Tui and the parent company of British Airways, IAG. Travel companies say the government’s “traffic light” system for classifying low-, medium- or high-risk countries is not transparent.

Only 27 countries and territories are on the “green list”, which allows British residents to travel there without having to quarantine on return. Arriving from dozens of “amber-listed” countries must isolate themselves at home for 10 days, while people arriving from “red-listed” countries, including India and Brazil, must be quarantined in a government-approved hotel.

The government says it will lift the self-isolation requirement for fully vaccinated Britons returning from amber-listed countries on July 19th. (AP)

Spain backed after France called for caution

LISBON – Spain’s top diplomat on Friday rejected French warnings about a holiday on the Iberian Peninsula, as holiday hotspots in southern Europe are worried that repeated changes to the rules on who can visit will delay people from traveling.

On Thursday, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Bonn advised people to “avoid Spain and Portugal as destinations” when booking their holidays, as the French government is considering travel restrictions to its Iberian neighbors, where COVID-19 infections are on the rise.

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said the current jump was not turning into more hospitalizations and called on people to be “proportionate” in their response to pandemic trends.

“This is a time for caution, not panic,” she told a news conference in Madrid. “Right now, there’s no reason to ask people to cancel their vacations.”

Visiting French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian, he urged people to strike for COVID-19 before traveling.

“The vaccine is the door to Spain,” he said.

Millions of tourists arriving each year in Spain and Portugal are crucial to the Iberian economy and jobs. Both hope that tourism will help economic recovery after the pandemic.

French tourists standing aside would be a big blow.

Germany on Friday described the whole of Spain as a “risk zone”, potentially discouraging travel there.

Portugal was also overshadowed by a change in the rules.

Last month, Portuguese companies cheered when the country was placed on Britain’s “green list”, allowing British tourists to skip quarantine on their return home. Three weeks later, amid a spike in COVID-19 infections, Portugal was excluded from the list and the British market dried up.

It is hoped that this may change again after July 19, when the British government abolished the requirement for people who go abroad to be quarantined, as long as they are fully vaccinated.

Germany eased its latest strict travel restrictions to Portugal this week, discouraging the Portuguese tourism sector. Now a negative test is enough for Germans returning from vacation to avoid quarantine.

Portugal, like Spain, expected this summer to be a little worse than last. The French minister’s comments have changed that perspective, according to Viegas.

“There is no doubt that demand will fall now,” he told the Associated Press. (AP)

South Korea is tightening social distancing

South Korea is raising social distance in Seoul to its highest level by banning the gathering of three or more people after 6 pm and ordering the closure of nightclubs as coronavirus cases increase in the capital.

The country will move social distance rules to the highest level 4 next week for Seoul, where most of the new cases in recent days have emerged with widespread outbreaks in restaurants, bars and shopping malls, officials said on Friday.

The latest leap is an obstacle for a country that has been hailed as a model for controlling the outbreak without blocking it. South Korea has opposed tough measures as it has tried to prevent serious damage to the economy by managing outbreaks with targeted quarantine restrictions.

South Korea, where about 11 percent of its population is fully vaccinated, is among a number of countries facing an increase in infections with inoculation rates well below those in developed economies such as Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, where more than 40 percent of the population is vaccinated. fully vaccinated. Japan, with a full vaccination rate of just 15.6%, imposed a state of emergency in Tokyo due to a jump about two weeks before hosting the Olympics.

The measures, which will be imposed on the wider Seoul region, will be the toughest since the South Korean government restricted business in the city of Daegu, after a mega-church outbreak earlier last year led to the country’s first major leap.

The restrictions will take effect on July 12th and last for two weeks, Prime Minister Kim Bu-kum said in a televised address. The country reported another day on Friday with a record case of 1,316, compared to the previous record of 1,275 days earlier and 826 a week ago. (Bloomberg)