The UK is set to announce that passengers coming from China will have to provide a negative Covid test before they travel to Britain.
The UK has become the latest nation to bring in screening for travellers from China after cases surged following Beijing’s decision to relax its zero-Covid policy.
China has said it will fully reopen its borders on 8 January.
Several countries, including the US and India, are also bringing in testing.
It is understood the UK will demand a negative test before travellers can board a flight from mainland China – bringing Britain into line with the approach taken by the US.
While the announcement has not yet been formally made, the UK defence secretary confirmed on Friday that the government was reviewing the need for testing for passengers from China.
Asked whether the government would consider restrictions, Ben Wallace said: “The government is looking at that, it’s under review, we noticed obviously what the US has done and India and I think Italy has looked at it.”
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was “understandable” that some countries were imposing these fresh restrictions.
But China’s foreign ministry said earlier this week that its “epidemic situation” overall was “predictable and under control”.
The Chinese government is reporting about 5,000 cases a day, but analysts say such numbers are vastly undercounted – and the daily caseload may be closer to one million.
The true toll of daily cases and deaths in China is unknown as officials have stopped requiring cases to be reported, and changed classifications for Covid deaths.
It is understood the UK enforced testing on visitors travelling from China partly due to concerns about the lack of reliable Covid data from country.
Spain, Israel and South Korea also announced on Friday that they will introduce testing requirements in response to the increasing number of infections in China.
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What’s behind Southwest Airlines’s nightmare meltdown?
Not everyone got a white Christmas this year, but pretty much everyone did get a cold one. The Arctic chill that swept across the country left thousands without power, and (according to Southwest Airlines) was responsible for thousands of canceled flights as well.
The airline canceled over 2,900 flights on Monday alone, as well as 2,500 for Tuesday and many well into Wednesday too. That’s between 60% to 70% of its overall daily flight schedules. But while Southwest blamed the weather for the meltdown, other airlines did not experience similar issues.
In fact, 50% of all canceled flights on Monday were on Southwest. Delta canceled a mere 262 flights in comparison, followed by United with 133 and then American with only 12 (though they did have nearly 800 delays). Many are calling the implosion at Southwest one of the biggest travel debacles in history, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
The company’s hotline reportedly had a five hour plus wait, which mirrored times customers waited in line to speak to a gate agent as well.
Southwest is blaming the weather for the situation. But that can’t explain it all, given that other airlines experienced nowhere near the same amount of problems. What’s more, it conveniently seems meant to get the airline out of its obligations to consumers. Most airlines provide hotel accommodations and other travel vouchers for delays—except for when they’re caused by weather or other “acts of God.”
Using this excuse may help Southwest get out of paying for the needs of the people it is stranding across the country. (Although they’re saying you can submit expenses to them and they’ll honor “reasonable requests.”) And since few can even get through to a representative for assistance, their only real option is to bite the bullet and cough up a pretty penny to book last-minute on another airline.
But while the company seems to be less than forthcoming on its internal problems, a Reddit thread filled with (self-identified) staff of the airline is spilling the tea. In part, they explained the collapse as due to outdated technological issues the company had neglected.
One anonymous employee wrote on Reddit: “This shitstorm is because the crew scheduling software went belly up and it almost all has to be unraveled over the phone with crew members calling scheduling. If we had better technology which eliminated the need for phone calls, this would have been fixed by now.”
And a union representing their flight attendants has also spoken out while pointing to the real cause of the disruption, “years of neglect to technological improvements that would fix operational issues.”
In response to the disaster, the Department of Transportation announced it will launch an investigation into the matter.
It’s important to mention here that a free market hasn’t been seen in the airline industry in decades. Rather, we consistently bail them out with taxpayer dollars, regulate the industry to the point it’s almost impossible for new competition to spring up, and our government sets up policies that typically favor the companies over the consumers. Most airlines should have been allowed to fail a long time ago.
Given the current conditions, it is worth demanding answers on behalf of taxpayers. If they’re going to give our tax dollars to these companies we shouldn’t be left with the bill when they screw up.
We need a free market on the ground and in the skies. But in the meantime, we need accountability and reparations when a government-backed company messes up at this scale.
Judicial Watch and New York City Settle Federal Lawsuit on Voter Registration Clean-Up after City Removes 441,083 Ineligible Names from Voter Rolls
Judicial Watch announced today that it is settling a federal election integrity lawsuit against New York City after the city removed 441,083 ineligible names from the voter rolls and promised to take reasonable steps going forward to clean its voter registration lists
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in July against New York City after it failed to clean voter rolls for years. The lawsuit, filed under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), pointed out that New York City removed only 22 names under the federal law over six years (Judicial Watch v Valentine et al. (No.1:22-cv-03952)).
The Judicial Watch lawsuit detailed that New York City’s “own recent data concedes that there were only 22 total” removals under this provision “during a six-year period, in a city of over 5.5 million voters. These are ludicrously small numbers of removals given the sizable populations of these counties.” Moreover, the “almost complete failure of Kings, Queens, New York, Bronx, and Richmond Counties, over a period of at least six years, to remove voters” under a key provision of federal law “means that there are untold numbers of New York City registrations for voters who are ineligible to vote at their listed address because they have changed residence or are otherwise ineligible to vote.”