San Francisco and six other counties in the Bay Area have reinstated a universal mask mandate for indoor public places. The requirement will take effect on Tuesday and will require individuals to wear a face covering when indoors in public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
The US has administered at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to 70 per cent of American adults, reaching the milestone almost one month later than planned. Following a blistering start to the US rollout, daily vaccinations are now hovering at about 550,000 a day over the past week, down from a peak rate of more than 3.4m in mid-April, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Target and Home Depot have become the latest big US retailers to update their in-store mask rules owing to the continued spread of the Delta variant. Home Depot announced on Monday that effective immediately, all its workers would be required to wear masks indoors at its stores, distribution centres and customers’ homes or businesses, regardless of vaccination status. The DIY retailer said it would “ask” customers to wear face coverings while in its more than 2,200 stores in the US, but did not state this was a requirement.
Boris Johnson has killed the idea of creating an “amber watch list” for foreign holiday destinations, after warnings that it might have forced hundreds of thousands of tourists from England to cancel European breaks. The UK prime minister said he wanted to create a system that was “as simple and user-friendly for people as possible”, as the government prepared to update its traffic-light ratings for travel this week.
Fewer people will be asked to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app following modifications to the technology, the UK health department announced on Monday, following weeks of disruption and staff shortages across the country caused by the “pingdemic”. Previously, if an asymptomatic individual reported a positive coronavirus test, the app would contact anyone who had been in close contact with the individual in the five days before the test result was reported.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo repeated his call for private businesses in the state to deny service to people who are not vaccinated against Covid-19, as officials announced that transportation workers will be required to either get the shot or submit to regular tests. New York City has also issued a “strong recommendation” for people to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered authorities to look into the health ministry’s plea to impose a nationwide lockdown for the first time since the pandemic began following a new jump in fatalities caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Growth in the US manufacturing sector eased for the second consecutive month in July, weighed down by shortages of raw materials and worker absenteeism. The Institute for Supply Management’s index tracking factory activity slid to 59.5 last month from 60.6 in June. Economists had forecast a slight pick up to 60.9.
The Bank of England should cut back its quantitative easing programme before any tightening of interest rates once the UK has fully emerged from the Covid-19 crisis, a think-tank has suggested. The Resolution Foundation said that, given the remaining slack in the UK’s labour market and the slowdown in the economic recovery caused by the spread of the Delta variant, now was not the right time for the central bank to hike interest rates. Rising inflation would prove a “temporary” phenomenon, it said in a report on Monday.
The United Arab Emirates has approved the use of the Chinese-produced Sinopharm vaccine for children aged between 3 and 17. The ministry of health said it had approved the emergency use of the vaccine, which has underpinned the UAE’s successful inoculation drive, after strict clinical studies.