Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
My name is Helen Sullivan, you can get in touch with me here, and I’ll be bringing you the latest for the next while.
As the US confirmed its highest 24 hours total to date – with a world record of 136,000 cases confirmed in one day, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced new curbs on Wednesday.
Restaurants, bars and gyms will have to close at 10 p.m. across New York state, and people will also be barred from hosting private gatherings with more than 10 people.
Cuomo says the new restrictions going into effect Friday are necessary because new coronavirus infections have been traced to those types of activities. Businesses can reopen each morning.
Cuomo spoke as rates of coronavirus infection continued to rise in New York and elsewhere. He said that 1,628 people were hospitalised across the state for Covid-19 on Tuesday and that 21 people had died.
The new closing time applies to all establishments that are licensed by the State Liquor Authority. Only carry-out service will be allowed after that.
Here are the other key developments from the last few hours:
- Cyprus has announced partial lockdowns in the towns of Limassol and Paphos to curb a surge in Covid-19 cases. The local measures, which include a ban on travel into and out of the towns and a nightly curfew, will take effect from Thursday and last until the end of November.
- Texas became the first US state with more than 1 million confirmed Covid-19 cases. California is also closing in on that mark as a surge of coronavirus infections engulfs the country from coast to coast.
- Sweden’s PM, Stefan Lofven, said his government plans to ban nationwide the sale of alcohol after 10pm in bars, restaurants and night clubs from 20 November in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. Sweden has witnessed record numbers of new coronavirus infections in past weeks, which is burdening the country’s health care system and intensive care wards.
- Spain’s coronavirus death toll surged to over 40,000 with infections passing the 1.4 million mark, while the rate of new cases continued to grow, health ministry data showed. A further 349 people died in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 40,105 in Spain – the fourth-highest within the European Union after the United Kingdom, France and Italy.
- Despite having the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the continent, South Africa will open up travel to all countries and restore normal trading hours of alcohol in an effort to boost the tourism and hospitality sectors, the president Cyril Ramaphosa said.
- Officials and doctors in Pakistan urged people to stay at home as the air quality in Lahore deteriorated to hazardous levels, putting an additional burden on the fragile healthcare system amid a surge in coronavirus deaths and new infections.
- The New York governor Andrew Cuomo imposed a new round of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as the infection rate climbed and hospitalisations soared in the state. Taking effect on Friday, Cuomo ordered bars, restaurants and gyms in the state to shut down on-premises services at 10pm nightly, and capped the number of people who could attend private parties at 10.
- Turkey banned smoking in crowded public places to slow a recent surge in symptomatic patients with coronavirus, as the government warned citizens to abide by protective measures. It comes as daily cases surged to 2,693 on Wednesday.
- Greek authorities announced stricter restrictions on movement, extending a curfew nationwide after infections broke fresh records, reporting 2,752 new cases on Wednesday. Four days after the country went into a second lockdown to curb the surge in cases, the government said all circulation would be banned between 9pm and 5am.
- Spain will demand a negative Covid-19 test for all travellers arriving from countries with a high risk for coronavirus from 23 November. Visitors will need to show evidence of a negative PCR test result within the previous 72 hours to be granted entry and officials will be allowed to ask for proof of the test results.
- The total number of coronavirus cases registered in Italy since the start of the pandemic surpassed the one million mark, the health ministry said.
- Slovakia’s government will extend its state of emergency powers for the rest of the year to battle a surge in coronavirus cases.