However, the State Department stresses that travelers in the countries they visit are still required to comply with local rules and restrictions, including demonstrating a negative coronavirus test and self-isolation on arrival.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
– States, companies clarify what the new CDC mask management means
– Cuba introduces mass vaccines pending study results
– The ignorant are the target of COVID-19 lies on the internet
– A video promoting tourism in Turkey amid the pandemic caused an uproar on social media as tourism workers display masks that read “Have fun, I’m vaccinated”.
– Japan extends coronavirus state of emergency from six areas, including Tokyo, to nine as the government reiterated its determination to hold the Olympics in just over two months.
– The southern European countries are trying to reopen their tourism services, although the introduction of a planned EU-wide passport has been delayed.
For more information on the AP pandemic, please visit https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE HAPPENS WHAT OTHER HAPPENS:
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan has raised the COVID-19 alert level for the capital Taipei and the surrounding area of New Taipei city after the worst outbreak since the pandemic began.
The Level 3 warning announced on Saturday requires people to wear a mask outdoors and limits indoor gatherings to five and outdoor gatherings to 10. The warning will remain in effect for two weeks.
Health officials said 180 new locally distributed cases had been confirmed as of Friday, the majority in Taipei and New Taipei. The daily number of new cases had steadily increased from single-digit numbers earlier this week to 29 before the three-digit jump announced on Saturday.
“The epidemic is intensifying,” said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, noting that more and more cases are identified as authorities focus on hot zones.
Cinemas, museums, indoor swimming pools, and amusement parks were among the places closed under the Level 3 alarm, as were community colleges and senior activity centers.
NEW DELHI – India’s two largest cities have reported decreases in daily infections, but the government warns that the devastating increase is spreading to rural areas, home to nearly two-thirds of India’s 1.4 billion people.
India reported 326,098 new confirmed cases and 3,890 deaths in the past 24 hours, although experts say both numbers are under counted. The Ministry of Health had reported 343,144 cases on Friday and 362,727 cases on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday warned people to take extra precautions as the virus spread rapidly in rural areas. He said the government is mobilizing all resources, including the military.
News reports that unhappy villagers have taken the sick to nearby towns for treatment because of limited health facilities in the countryside.
India’s capital has reported fewer than 10,000 new cases in a day for the first time in over a month. 8,506 cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours.
After peaking at 11,000 daily infections, Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, has reported fewer than 2,000.
SANTA FE, NM – New Mexico has adopted Face Mask Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which means that, in most cases, fully vaccinated Americans will no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.
As part of Friday’s state Emergency Ordinance revision, masks for fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required in many public facilities, although businesses and workplaces may still require face-covering for everyone.
Public schools remain tied to universal mask requirements with meal allowances as the state gradually relaxes aggressive restrictions on public gatherings and some business practices.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico governor, said vaccination is critical to a safe future. The nationwide vaccination rate for eligible residents aged 16 and over recently exceeded 50%.
“We’re getting close and getting closer. But it all depends on New Mexicans continuing to protect themselves and their communities with vaccinations,” she said in a statement.
JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska lawmakers voted to make wearing masks in the state capitol optional and, after voting, ditched their own face coverings.
The Legislative Council’s decision followed new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for People Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19. The council is composed of House and Senate leaders.
Under the new directive, masks are optional in legislative bodies with a few exceptions. For example, the legislature can require masks in their respective offices.
The policy also further simplifies the test rules.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has further eased the state’s mask requirements.
Edwards largely dropped the state mask mandate on April 27, but there were exceptions. With the order on Friday, the access authorization for state office buildings for people who are fully vaccinated is no longer applicable.
The state continues to require masking in educational institutions, from early childhood grades to universities, as well as in state correctional and health facilities.
New Orleans, which had a stricter mask mandate than the state’s, also abolished the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people on Friday, with similar exceptions.
News from federal health officials that vaccinated people will not need to wear masks in most situations can confuse travelers.
Masks are still required under a transport security administration rule that is in effect through mid-September unless it is revoked beforehand. The Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates airlines, felt a need to remind passengers of the TSA rule.
A statement was released late Friday to “remind the traveling audience that at this point in time, if you travel, you must still wear a mask on planes, buses, trains and other public transport in, in, or out of the way of the country travel to the United States and in US transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. “
NEW YORK – Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said Friday that vaccinated shoppers or workers in its U.S. stores are not required to wear a mask unless state or local laws dictate otherwise.
Vaccinated buyers can go maskless immediately, the company said. Vaccinated workers can stop wearing them on May 18. As an incentive, Walmart said they are offering workers $ 75 if they can show they have been vaccinated.
Walmart said it won’t ask buyers if they have been vaccinated. However, workers must tell the company if they have been vaccinated to go maskless.
JUNEAU, Alaska – The incumbent mayor of Anchorage says Alaska’s largest city is revoking its mask mandate starting May 21.
The office of Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson says masks are no longer needed indoors and outdoors, and people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to wear masks.
The decision follows guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released Thursday for vaccinated individuals.
According to Quinn-Davidson’s office, applying a mask mandate only to those who are not vaccinated in Anchorage would have created enforcement problems and issues for companies.
In Juneau, city officials are relaxing the wearing of masks for people who are fully vaccinated.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas capital has dropped the requirement to wear a mask to fight coronavirus following a relaxed federal policy and new state law banning local mandates, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott said Friday.
Scott said the city’s mask mandate will end on Saturday, although private institutions, hospitals and churches can still enforce their own requirements for staff and patrons. People entering Little Rock town’s interiors will still be required to wear a mask, the mayor said.
“We strongly encourage residents to continue wearing face-covering in public until we have achieved the desired vaccination rates in our town, as pointed out by health professionals,” Scott said in a statement.
The decision comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention simplified mask wearing instructions for fully vaccinated individuals, so they can stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor spaces.
Arkansas dropped its mask mandate in March, but the governor allowed local governments to enforce their own. In July, however, a new state law goes into effect banning all state or local mandates.
ATLANTA – The 26 public universities and colleges in Georgia do not currently plan to require students, faculties, or staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall. This is evident from the guidelines of the University System of Georgia.
In March, the university system with 340,000 students called on all locations to “plan to resume normal operations for the fall semester 2021”. Thursday’s guidelines state that fully vaccinated people do not need to socially distance themselves or wear masks, while unvaccinated people are urged to be socially distant and wear a mask inside.
Universities are supposed to ensure that vaccinations are available, but schools are not “responsible for evaluating current COVID-19 vaccination rates for their facility”.
The university system said it made the decisions in coordination with the state health department and they are subject to change.
The Board of Regents insisted on at least having face-to-face teaching during the fall and spring semesters. These steps were taken despite resistance from some employees.