Coronavirus News Update – June 16: Europe Could Open Borders to U.S. Tourists As Soon As Friday

By Anna Breuer on 16 June 2021
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The town of Melk, in Niederösterreich

Americans may soon be able to visit Europe more freely.  The European Union will lift the ban on non-essential travel for visitors from the United States, a move that was adopted during a meeting of permanent representatives to the bloc in Brussels. By adding United States to a list of countries considered safe from an epidemiological standpoint, individual countries will be able to then set their own rules for entry, which could still include a coronavirus test or a quarantine period upon arrival.

As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded over 175.5 million Covid-19 cases and has seen 3.84 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, over 161.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

In the United States, the death toll, which recently crossed the 600,000 mark, is now 615,736.  Since the start of the pandemic, the country has recorded over 34.4 million individual cases, a higher figure than any other country.

Since the start of vaccinations at the end of last year, over 2.42 billion doses have been administered across the globe as of Wednesday morning, the equivalent of over 31 doses for every 100 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, 174.7 million people in the United States – or 52.6% –have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 43.9%, or 145.7 million people, are fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of doses dispensed in the United States to 311.9 million. Breaking this down further, 64.6% of the population over the age of 18 – or 166.9 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 54.6% of the same group – or 141 million people – is fully vaccinated.

The CDC classified the India variant of the coronavirus, also referred to as the Delta variant, which is now circulating in the United States as well as in many other countries, as a “variant of concern.” Officials at the CDC fear the impact the variant will have on non-vaccinated individuals.  In the United Kingdom, the spread of the India variant forced the government there to postpone the lifting of pandemic restrictions, originally slated for June 21, by four weeks.

Finally, North Korea is facing possible food shortages and extended Covid-19 restrictions, Kim Jong-un, the country’s leader, warned at the opening of meeting of the Central Committee of his ruling Workers’ Party. He said that the “tense” food situation had been brought by extensive flooding, the pandemic, and international sanctions.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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