Americans will be advised not to travel to over 160 countries due to "unprecedented risk" from COVID-19. Meanwhile, the UK wants to boost global preparedness for the next pandemic. Follow DW for the latest.
The US State Department has announced plans to expand its "Level 4: Do Not Travel" guidance to about 80% of countries worldwide, citing the "unprecedented risk to travelers" from the coronavirus.
The US already had 34 countries, including Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Argentina, Russia and Tanzania on the Level 4 warning. About 130 more will be added now.
Americans were already restricted from traveling to much of Europe due to COVID-19. Washington has also barred entry to almost all non-US citizens who have recently been in most of Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa.
"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented risks to travelers. In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends US citizens reconsider all travel abroad,'' a statement from the department said.
The US hasn't had a global travel advisory warning in place since August, when guidance was revoked by the Trump administration.
Authorities in Colombia say there will be an extension of rules such as a nighttime curfew and limitations on shops and businesses, as the country tries to counter a third wave of infections.
Colombia will also be going into a planned three-day weekend lockdown.
Cities with an ICU occupancy of above 85% will have a curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., while those with between 80% and 85% capacity will have curfews beginning at 8 p.m. In the capital, Bogota, total ICU occupancy is currently at 84.2%, according to local authorities.
"We are literally between life and death, between the possibility of the health system collapsing and ICU occupancy reaching its limit," said Claudia Lopez, the mayor of Bogota.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador received his first AstraZeneca shot on Tuesday as he called on all older people to get the vaccine.
"There are no risks whatsoever," Lopez Obrador said, who contracted COVID-19 in January.
Schools opened in Mexico's southern state of Campeche for the first time in a year on Monday. This was the first state to get its teachers vaccinated.
Grade school students were allowed back, but in small groups. They were asked to wear masks and face shields, and maintain social distancing.
The European Union is planning to send some 651,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to Balkan countries that are not part of the bloc.
Austria is coordinating the campaign, which runs from May to August, on behalf of the EU.
The Pfizer-BioNTech doses were already reserved for delivering help to EU neighbors, and so are not expected to have any effect on the bloc's own vaccination program.
Vaccines will be distributed according to need, rather than on a per capita basis.
Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia, where few people have had a shot, will get almost 500,000 doses.
The remainder will go to Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.
Serbia is the least in need of help having already administered Russian and Chinese vaccines on a massive scale and given at least one dose to 26% of the population.
The UK has announced plans to set up a new international expert group to help bolster the world's preparedness for the next pandemic and expedite the development of vaccines against future diseases.
It will be launched under Britain's presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations. The Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) will report to the G7 leaders summit in June this year.
Germany registered 9,609 more cases on Monday, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The death toll rose by 297 to 80,303.
Israel says it has registered eight cases of the coronavirus variant initially detected in India, and that it believes the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine is at least partly effective against it.
"The impression is that the Pfizer vaccine has efficacy against it, albeit a reduced efficacy," the health ministry's director-general, Hezi Levy, told Kan public radio.
The Philippines has approved emergency usage of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson and India's Bharat Biotech. These are the fifth and sixth vaccines to receive approval in the country, which has been battling one of the worst outbreaks in Asia.
The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration said both vaccines can be administered to people aged 18 and above. Johnson & Johnson is conducting late-stage clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters the virus was detected in a person who boards aircraft to clean them after they have arrived carrying passengers from countries considered coronavirus "red zones."