Coronavirus live news: US death toll nears 500,000; UK roadmap out of lockdown revealed


Quarantine-free travel resumes from New Zealand to Australia

Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia has resumed ahead of a downgraded alert level expected in Auckland today. Australia reopened the one-way travel bubble this morning following a cluster of coronavirus cases in Auckland. The prime minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to downgrade the alert level in the city from level 2 to level 1 this afternoon after the outbreak was contained to officials’ satisfaction.

Auckland spent three days last week in a level 3 lockdown after Covid-19 was detected in a family of three in the community. Extra conditions for arrivals in Australia from New Zealand will be effective until 1 March, with anyone who has been in Auckland in the past fortnight (excluding the airport) required to show proof of having returned a negative Covid test result within 72 hours of departure. These rules will be reviewed by the end of the month.



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UK roadmap out of lockdown revealed

Boris Johnson will unveil the government’s eagerly awaited roadmap out of lockdown for England on Monday. Here’s what the prime minister is expected to tell MPs:

  • All pupils in all years can return to the classroom from 8 March.
  • Outdoor after-school sports and activities will be allowed to restart.
  • In a fortnight, socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person will be allowed.
  • On 29 March, restrictions will be eased further to allow larger groups to meet in parks and gardens.
  • Outdoor sport facilities will also reopen, as well as organised adult and children’s sport.

Ministers will assess the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence of vaccine efficacy, new variants and infection rates before proceeding to the next step of easing restrictions. More on that here:


US death toll nears 500,000