The federal government has actually revealed travel passages for five more countries, suggesting they will be exempt from the coronavirus quarantine.
From Tuesday, people going back to England from Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.
More than 70 countries and areas were consisted of in the first wave of travel passages, which entered result previously this month.
Amongst the countries not on the list were the United States, Portugal, Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Iran, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.
Portugal’s prime minister has stated his nation remains in talks with the British federal government over its exemption.
The Department for Transportation has actually stated the authorized locations posture “a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens”, however the list will be kept “under constant review”.
The full list is as follows:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- St Barthelemy
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Vatican City
Virginia Supreme Court Grants Temporary Moratorium on Evictions
Virginia’s Supreme Court has granted a request from Gov. Ralph Northam to temporarily stop evictions proceedings, extending protections for tenants who can’t pay their rent through the beginning of September.
In a 4-3 ruling Friday, the court agreed to a moratorium on eviction proceedings through September 7, declaring that public safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic constituted a “judicial emergency.”
“The ease with which the COVID-19 virus can spread, the risks associated with traveling to and appearing in the courthouse for those … with certain health conditions that disproportionately afflict the economically disadvantaged, and the inability of many citizens to access the courts remotely or to hire lawyers who can argue on their behalf, may ‘substantially endanger’ or ‘impede’ the ‘ability of [tenants] to avail themselves of the court,'” the majority wrote in their decision.
Northam praised the decision on Friday. The Democratic governor had requested the moratorium in a July 24th letter to the court’s chief justice, Donald Lemons, as congressional efforts to provide relief for renters stalled, allowing for the expiration of federal protections for Americans facing economic hardships due to the pandemic.
Virginia had used some $50 million in federal coronavirus aid to fund rent-relief programs.
“As the ongoing Congressional stalemate leaves hundreds of thousands of Virginians without federal housing protection or unemployment relief, this is a critical step towards keeping families safely in their homes,” Northam said in a statement following the decision.
The court’s moratorium begins on August 10, granting time for Virginia’s legislature to take up potential relief efforts in a special session later this month.
In a dissenting opinion, the chief justice said relief efforts fell to “the legislative branch and its responsibility to provide sufficient appropriations to fund rent relief efforts and with the executive branch to effectively administer such programs.”
“If there is to be a subsidy, it is properly the responsibility of the legislative and executive branches. The judicial branch should not put a heavy thumb on the scales of justice and deny property owners access to the courts and enforcement of their long-established rights under the law,” Lemon wrote in his dissent.
Another dissenting justice, D. Arthur Kelsey, contended that a spate of evictions due to the pandemic did not constitute a judicial emergency, arguing that “the alleged inability of a tenant to pay rent” did not affect the operation of or access to courts.
Kelsey also argued that the decision infringed on the rights of landlords, taking away their ability to seek legal redress or action against non-paying tenants.
“It does not matter whether the landlord will eventually get paid everything that he is owed (a highly optimistic supposition at best) or whether he can collect future rents if the tenant becomes employed or starts receiving government subsidies. What the landlord wants is possession of his property. He does not want to continue in a breached lease against his will,” Kelsey wrote.
2 Out Of 3 Churchgoers: It’s Safe To Resume In-Person Worship
Five months after the coronavirus forced houses of worship across the country to close their doors, a new survey finds that two-thirds of regular churchgoers feel it’s now safe to resume in-person worship.
The Pew Research Survey nonetheless found that an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults also believe that houses of worship should be subject to the same restrictions on public gatherings that apply to other organizations or businesses in their local area. Although Republicans are somewhat more likely than Democrats to favor special treatment for houses of worship, they still oppose such exemptions by a 2-to-1 margin.
Among the respondents to the Pew survey who said they previously attended worship services at least once a month, 6% said their congregations were operating just as they had before the coronavirus outbreak. About half the respondents said they have personally engaged in worship only online or via television.
About 8 in 10 of all U.S. adults surveyed by Pew don’t expect their church attendance or nonattendance habits to change as a result of the pandemic. Of those who do anticipate a change, some said they will be more inclined to attend church when life returns to normal, with a smaller margin saying they will be less likely to go back to worship.
The strong support for reopening houses of worship suggests that Americans are eager to resume their routines, though important distinctions remain, especially along racial lines.
“White Christians are much more confident that it is safe to go to religious services right now than Black and Hispanic worshippers,” says Claire Gecewicz, the primary researcher on the Pew survey.
The greater reluctance to go back to church among people of color is not surprising, given that they have been hit much harder by the COVID-19 pandemic. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be essential workers, so they have faced more exposure to the coronavirus on the job. In addition, many people of color live in extended family households. A return to in-person worship would expose them to even greater risk of infection.
With respect to religious groups, the Pew survey found that Catholics and evangelical Protestants are more ready than other Christians to return to regular worship. Catholics are obligated under church teachings to attend Mass weekly. Evangelical Protestants may be generally less deferential to governmental authority.
Gov. Cuomo Clears The Way For In-Person Learning At Schools In New York State
Schools across New York state will be allowed to open for in-person learning this fall because of low coronavirus infection rates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
“We’ve been smart from day one. We do the masks, we do the social distancing, we’ve kept that infection rate down,” Cuomo said during the announcement. “And we can bring the same level of intelligence to the school reopening that we brought to the economic reopening.”
Last month, the governor announced that schools can reopen if they are in a region that’s in Phase 4 reopening and where the 14-day average daily infection rate remains below 5%. That’s now true for the whole state.
It’s up to the discretion of local school districts to decide whether they want to have in-person learning. The choice goes away if infection rates spike, Cuomo said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last month that the city’s schools would open in the fall with a mix of in-person and distance learning.
New York was once the state with the largest coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Then, new cases dropped to about 800 per day in mid-July, compared to about 10,000 in mid-April. According to the governor’s office, of the 70,170 test results reported to state health officials on Thursday, 714, or 1%, were positive.
The New York State Department of Health will review reopening plans submitted by school districts to ensure they meet the department’s guidelines. Cuomo said districts will be notified Aug. 10 of the department’s decision.
The governor also announced that school districts must publicly post their plans for distance learning and for testing and contact tracing, and hold three to five public meetings with parents before Aug. 21 and at least one with teachers.
Teachers have expressed concerns about returning to their classrooms too early.
“We have been clear all along: Health and safety is the most important consideration in reopening school buildings. Viral infection rates tell only one part of the story,” said Andy Pallotta, president of New York State United Teachers, which represents more than 600,000 members.
“Many educators and parents have anxiety about local school district reopening plans that have been submitted to the state — if they even have been yet, with 127 districts that didn’t bother to submit them by last week and 50 considered incomplete by the state,” Pallotta said. “Right now, there may be some areas where parents and educators are confident in their district’s plan, but in many others, we know they aren’t. No district should consider themselves ready to reopen buildings until their plans are safe and everything in that plan meant to keep the school community safe is implemented.”
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