Australian court upholds India travel ban
An emergency legal challenge to Australia’s contentious ban on citizens returning from Covid-hit India failed on Monday, dashing stranded travellers’ hopes of an immediate return. Federal justice Thomas Thawley ruled the government had not overstepped its biosecurity powers in banning Australians from returning home temporarily.
The move stranded an estimated 9,000 Australian citizens and threatened them with large fines and jail time if they tried to dodge the ban and return on non-direct flights.
Thawley ruled that Morrison acted within the law, dashing the hopes of an Australian man who brought the case as he tries to return from Bengaluru.
EU to launch Covid-19 health pass in June
The EU is “fully on track” to ensure all its citizens and residents are able to have a free Covid health pass next month to ease travel, a spokesman said on Monday. The EU is keen for anybody living in its 27 countries to be able to get a digital health pass - referred to as a “green certificate” - to display their vaccination status, results of Covid-19 tests and whether they recovered from a coronavirus infection.
Bring back oxygen tanks: Nepal to Everest climbers
Nepal is so short of oxygen canisters for critical Covid-19 patients that it has asked climbers on Mount Everest to bring back their empty cylinders instead of abandoning them on mountain slopes.
US biotech firm Novavax said it had positive results from preclinical studies of a shot combining its influenza and Covid vaccine candidates.
England, Scotland and NI report no daily deaths
No coronavirus deaths were announced for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Monday, the BBC reported. Wales was the exception in the UK, reporting four Covid-19 deaths on Monday.
The development came as the UK’s coronavirus alert level was lowered from four to three on the advice of experts. Alert level three means that although the coronavirus is still known to be in general circulation, transmission of the virus is no longer considered high or rising exponentially.