(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Baltic neighbours open borders
The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia opened their borders to each other at the stroke of midnight, creating the first “travel bubble” within the European Union and possibly the world.
New Zealand and Australia had discussed the possibility of creating a similar “Trans-Tasman bubble” earlier this month, but had not set a date for its start.
The move takes place as other countries find that renewing international travel is likely to be a complicated, piecemeal process.
Jakarta airport’s snaking queues
Anyone worried about the difficulty of maintaining social distancing when international travel does begin again, has good reason, judging by the situation at Jakarta’s airport on Thursday morning.
Photographs posted on social media, days after the government announced that several airlines could conditionally resume operations, showed passengers queuing cheek by jowl in snaking lines to enter the airport and crowding inside the terminal.
In a statement, state airport operator Angkasa Pura said lines had thinned by afternoon and efforts were underway to ensure physical distancing.
Travellers are required to provide a clean bill of health, and a letter from their employer stating the purpose of travel to be able to board an airplane.
Rapid-fire testing in Wuhan
Residents stood in pouring rain on Thursday in queues of more than an hour to be tested for the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the global pandemic began last year.
State media reported the city of 11 million has tested over 3 million residents since April, and will now focus its testing efforts on the rest, prioritising residents who have not been tested before, people living in residential compounds that had previous cases of the virus, as well as old or densely populated estates.
Wuhan has conducted 1.79 million tests from April 1 to May 13, according to Reuters calculations based on daily reports published by the city’s health commission.
Not removing your face mask even indoors, casual dress codes and awkwardness over accepting handshakes are characterising the new normal as the first wave of financial professionals returns to the office, in Hong Kong.
But above all are the queues, as social distancing affects everything from taking the lift to grabbing a coffee.
“It’s refreshing to come back to the office, but with so many restrictions, I now wouldn’t mind working from home once in a while,” said one of a group of bankers who gave up on a team coffee and returned to the office after waiting for a table.
(Compiled by Karishma Singh)