Prevention from Covid-19
On Friday evening, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order making it mandatory to wear protective masks on all forms of public transport. The move was taken as part of a crackdown on the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The order, which goes into effect Monday night into Tuesday, requires the mandatory wearing of masks "when boarding, disembarking and travelling on any vehicle within the United States" and at "all transportation hubs providing transportation within the United States".
"The mandatory wearing of masks in... public transportation will protect Americans and instill confidence that we will again be able to travel safely even during this pandemic", the order states.
Also on Friday, Dr Rochelle Walensky director of the CDC, extended an order banning evictions for non-payment of rent or mortgage payments.
"The COVID-19 pandemic poses a huge threat to the health of our nation. Despite extensive mitigation efforts, COVID-19 continues to spread at a dangerous rate in America. The pandemic has also exacerbated major housing security issues for many Americans. Keeping people in their homes and out of public spaces, such as shelters, is a key step in combating the spread of COVID-19".
As the number of infections increases and new, more contagious mutations of the virus emerge, some countries have imposed new travel restrictions. French authorities have banned all travel to non-EU countries. From Sunday, EU travellers wishing to enter France will have to submit a negative test result for the coronavirus.
Entry to Germany has been banned from the UK, Brazil, Eswatini, Ireland, Lesotho, Portugal and South Africa.
Fourteen University of Michigan students have been quarantined after they were diagnosed with the British mutation of the virus. One of the students had reportedly travelled to the UK over winter break. Two cases of infection with the South African species COVID-19 have been detected in South Carolina. This is the first time this has happened in the US.