SPAIN and its archipelagos are welcoming UK tourists for leisure purposes. However, there are some important rules holidaymakers must ensure they follow. What is the latest advice from the Foreign Office?
India’s federal government Friday said there was a need to take precautions against the third wave of COVID-19 that is likely to break out in the country and the next 100 to 125 days are crucial, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
The warning was given by V K Paul, a member (health) of government think-tank National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog (commission) during a media briefing in New Delhi.
“Our population is still vulnerable … The next 100 to 125 days will be crucial and we all need to remain vigilant and follow the protocol,” he said.
Paul said the warning about the third wave of the COVID-19 which the World Health Organization has recently issued is for the global situation, which is reflecting the impact.
On Thursday, head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at India’s top health research body — Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr Samiran Panda said the third wave of COVID-19 is likely to hit the country at the end of August.
Panda, however, said there are chances that the third wave will be a mild one and not as intense as the second wave.
Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon are ramping up offerings on a platform that lets people enjoy high-quality games on any device.
Imagine video gamers, untethered from their computers and consoles, playing crystal-clear versions of their favorite games anywhere. They might traverse the futuristic world of the sci-fi shooter game Halo on their mobile phones while riding the subway, or dust off old MacBook computers and hop straight into the jungle of the battle arena game League of Legends.
That’s the rosy future promised by cloud gaming, a nascent technology that could reshape how people play games. And depending on whom you ask, that future might have arrived already.
On Thursday, Facebook announced that it had expanded the reach of its cloud gaming platform, which was released last fall, to cover 98 percent of the mainland United States. Also this week, Microsoft made its cloud gaming service available on more devices. And Amazon broadened access to its burgeoning cloud service, giving Prime members a free trial version during its Prime Day last month.
It has been a busy period for the small but growing cloud gaming industry, which is expected to surpass $ 1 billion in revenue and 23 million paying customers by the end of this year, according to Newzoo, a gaming analytics firm. Revenue is projected to grow to more than $ 5 billion by 2023 as the technology improves.
“After years of development, now is a crucial time for cloud gaming to gain mainstream prominence,” said Rupantar Guha, a gaming analyst at the analytics company GlobalData.
Cloud gaming, at its core, is the ability to separate the technical power required to play a video game from the device it is being played on. That is accomplished by using remote data centers, which harness a company’s processing power and stream a game directly to a user’s device.
That means games will no longer be tied to specific platforms or devices, so Halo could be played not only on an Xbox console but on a mobile phone or streamed directly to a television. Someone could use the power of the cloud to play a high-quality, graphics-intensive game on an older or weaker device.
That could lead people to spend less time and money on expensive video game consoles from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, and to turn away from pricey gaming computers. They could theoretically play new games instantaneously on any device anywhere.
It sounds great in theory. But cloud gaming, which is still in an experimental phase, is sometimes bogged down by glitches that frustrate users. And it requires a strong local internet connection.
Cloud gaming could also shake up the supremacy that Sony, Microsoft and other hardware manufacturers have enjoyed in video games. Instead, tech giants like Google and Amazon are barreling in and “see this as a breakthrough opportunity to get into the global games market,” said Guilherme Fernandes, Newzoo’s cloud gaming expert.
The road has not been smooth.
“Big Tech has a sense of arrogance that they can take over an industry segment and disrupt it entirely,” said Joost van Dreunen, a New York University professor who studies the business of video games. “So far in gaming, they all suck at that.”
Google was first big tech company off the mark in cloud gaming, releasing its Stadia subscription service in November 2019. For $ 10 a month, subscribers could play the initial library of 22 games on their phones, Google Chrome web browsers or televisions, with a controller. People who chose free access to Stadia could buy games individually.
The service was immediately criticized for poor performance and a scarcity of games. Jack Buser, Stadia’s director of games, said the service had stabilized over time and now had more than 180 titles.
“There hadn’t been a new major entrant in the gaming space in 20 years,” Mr. Buser said. “It does give us an advantage to do something different in this industry and push it forward in a way that consoles can’t.”
Stadia has since gone through other ups and downs. While the blockbuster game Cyberpunk 2077, released in December, turned into a buggy mess on many older consoles, users reported smooth sailing on Stadia. But in February, Google announced that it would stop designing its own exclusive games for Stadia, and the service’s top games developer, Jade Raymond, left the company.
Mr. Buser declined to comment on February’s changes.
Amazon also unveiled a cloud service, Luna, in September. It is so far available only to invitees, who pay $ 6 a month to play the 85 games on the platform. The games can be streamed from the cloud to phones, computers and Amazon’s Fire TV.
Like Google, Amazon has struggled to assemble a vast library of appealing games, though it does offer games from the French publisher Ubisoft for an added fee. Amazon has also had trouble developing its own games, which Mr. van Dreunen said showed that the creative artistry necessary to make enticing games was at odds with the more corporate style of the tech giants.
“They may have an interesting technological solution, but it totally lacks personality,” he said.
Amazon said it remained dedicated to game development: It opened a game studio in Montreal in March and, after a long delay, is releasing a game called New World this summer.
Even console makers have jumped into cloud gaming. Microsoft, which makes the Xbox console, released a cloud offering, xCloud or Xbox Cloud Gaming, last fall. For a $ 15 monthly subscription, users can play more than 200 games on various devices.
Sony also has a cloud gaming service, PlayStation Now, where games can be streamed to PlayStation consoles and computers.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in an interview last month that he did not think it was possible to be a gaming company “with any level of big ambition” without cloud gaming. Sony declined to comment.
Other companies have waded in, too. Nvidia, the chip maker that produces gaming hardware, has a $ 10-a-month cloud program, GeForce Now.
Phil Eisler, a Nvidia vice president who leads GeForce Now, said the service was still not as fast as a powerful gaming computer.
“We think it’s the way of the future,” he said. But “we don’t know exactly when the future’s going to come in terms of everybody’s going to switch over.”
Facebook has also dabbled. Unlike other companies, it has eschewed a subscription service and focused on making games load instantly within the Facebook app and website. That way, people may spend more time on the social media platform.
Facebook also used cloud technology to test a twist on video gaming: From December to March, it hosted a type of interactive reality television game, Rival Peak, where millions of viewers could vote on how characters should act and interact.
Vivek Sharma, the vice president of Facebook Gaming, said cloud gaming made it easier for people to immediately jump into games with their Facebook friends.
“The whole point of cloud is, ‘Dude, let’s chill out, now!’” Mr. Sharma said. “If things are easy and simple and fast, people will do it.”
Many of the cloud programs have not been as easily available because Apple has essentially barred them from its App Store. Apple, which prohibits apps that offer a library of games, declined to comment.
Elijah Dolosa, a professional video game player for the e-sports organization XSET, has tried Nvidia’s GeForce Now service and said he was “excited and optimistic” about cloud gaming.
Other gamers were more cautious. Patrick Riley of Cincinnati, who has used Stadia, xCloud and Luna, said technical glitches would keep many people from embracing cloud gaming for several more years.
“I have not had any luck finding any of the services playable at this moment,” he said.
The moment Zelda Breath of the Wild 2 fans had been waiting years for finally came this week. At the end of the jam-packed Nintendo Direct on Tuesday the House of Mario revealed a brand new Breath of the Wild 2 trailer. This was the first time Zelda fans got a glimpse of BoTW 2 since it was revealed at E3 2019.
And the latest trailer didn’t disappoint, once again hinting at a much darker theme than the original Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo also announced a release date window for BoTW 2, with the highly anticipated sequel scheduled to launch in 2022.
The latest Breath of the Wild 2 trailer has sparked plenty of fan theories, with fans trying to piece together any clues to the story and how the game fits within the Zelda lore.
And it looks like there’s one crucial detail, which could help to give fans some answers, that Nintendo is keeping close to its chest.
In an interview with IGN, Nintendo’s Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff discussed some of the big E3 2021 announcements.
And during the conversation the Treehouse duo dropped an interesting tidbit of information about Breath of the Wild 2.
They said BoTW 2 does have a subtitle that has been confirmed in-house, but this hasn’t been announced as it could hint what’s going to happen in the sequel.
Trinen said: “As for why we’re holding back on the name, you’ll just have to stay tuned because, obviously, Zelda names are kind of important.
“Those subtitles… they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen.”
So, for the time being we’ll simply having to refer to the new Zelda games as Breath of the Wild 2 or – as Nintendo likes to call it – the sequel to Breath of the Wild.
The reveal of the latest Breath of the Wild 2 trailer has sparked plenty of speculation about the story of the BoTW sequel.
**WARNING – POTENTIAL SPOILERS TO FOLLOW**
From what we’ve seen so far, Breath of the Wild 2 will have a darker theme than the critically acclaimed original – which has led to plenty of people comparing the differences between BoTW 2 and BoTW with Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time.
And there’s one fan theory that could be in keeping with this potential darker theme.
One popular fan theory is that in BoTW 2 we won’t be taking control of Link.
Instead, we could actually be stepping into the shoes of Ganon.
If that ends up being the case it could be an earth-shattering twist, and make BoTW 2 unlike any other Zelda game seen before.
We’ll have to wait and see if that ends up being the case, but in the meantime the fan theories and speculation will continue to rumble along.
Bitcoin (BTC) price continues to limp lower as traders in the U.S. hit the BBQ to enjoy the upcoming Memorial Day holiday on May 31 and regulated futures and options markets like the CME are closed through the weekend.
Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after a brief attempt by Bitcoin (BTC) bulls to rally above $ 37,000 in the early morning hours on May 29, the price has tumbled below $ 34,000 as the support needed for a move higher failed to manifest.
Price action for Ether (ETH) was nearly identical to that of BTC, with an attempt to break above $ 2,500 met with stiff resistance that pushed the altcoin’s price down to $ 2,300.
$ 37,500 or bust
According to analysis from filbfilb, co-founder of Decentrader, Bitcoin’s price action is a major source of the market’s confusion as it remains a ways away from the 20 Week Moving Average (WMA) “which is typically the line between Bitcoin being either in a bull or bear market and as such remains a bearish scenario for Bitcoin.”
The analyst went on to further state that if Bitcoin is able to find solid support in the low $ 30,000s, the 20 WMA could turn into a major resistance zone in any attempt to move higher.
“A drop lower would likely make the low $ 20,000s or the 78.6% retracement a likely target. As such, price action over the next week is particularly important.”
At this point, according to filbfilb, it is crucial for BTC to reclaim $ 37,500 “to avoid a retest of weekly support.”
Should Bitcoin manage to stage a rally and break above $ 40,000, filbfilb identified the previous support/resistance zone at $ 45,500 to $ 46,500 as the next area of resistance that will need to be overcome.
Ether draws the line at $ 2,300
Ether performed slightly better than BTC after it sold off back to the 61.8% retracement as the price was able to bounce back above the 20 WMA, but was ultimately rejected at the “critical pivot price” of $ 3,000 as the recovery momentum faded.
Filbfilb identified $ 2,300 as an important area of support for Ether that would need to be held if bulls wanted to gather momentum for an attempt to break above the $ 3,000 level and retest $ 3,300, with this scenario be highly “dependent upon the strength of Bitcoin.”
Overall, the analyst expects that Ether will outperform BTC in any upside move and “at least match any bearish movement.”
“For now, eyes are on Bitcoin to see if the lows can be held going into the weekend, with particular attention being around the 200 DMA which is currently the line in the sand for the bulls.”
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
In the latest showcase of Brussels’ institutional disfunction, the EU Council and Parliament clash over the introduction of so-called “digital green certificates” to allow Europeans to travel this summer.
Negotiations between the two EU institutions are set to continue but the Council has already dismissed MEPs’ proposals on the plan.
Parliament members believe the travel passes should allow people to move around the bloc without further hurdles such as quarantines and should complement affordable COVID tests for those who are yet to be vaccinated but still wish to enjoy their summer holidays across the bloc.
Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the Spanish Social Democrat leading negotiations for the Parliament, said Parliament is “ready to go a certain distance – provided that the Council is also willing to”.
The goal, he claimed, is to restore free movement across the EU – a “major asset” of the bloc that’s “in a very bad shape because of the measures adopted by member states.”
But his ideas are a no-go for the Council.
The disagreements over the small print of the legislation saw the heads of four Parliament’s groups send a letter to the Portuguese Council presidency to “urge you to exhaust all possibilities and reach a compromise within the Council”.
In a clear denunciation of the dismissal of the democratic process of the only institution elected by EU citizens in Brussels, they added: “We strongly believe the coronavirus vaccination Certificate can only properly function within a solid legal framework established through the normal democratic process.”
MEPs had originally demanded COVID tests to be free of charge if requested as an alternative for those who wish to travel before they received their vaccination.
By the end of Tuesday’s negotiations, Parliament had dropped its demand and asked for the tests to be “affordable” and for EU cash to help pay for them.
They also dropped their demand on the need for people to quarantine despite holding a negative test or a vaccine passport upon entry.
But even these concessions were ignored by the Council.
Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, who represents the Parliament’s Renew group in the talks blasted: “Council just wipes it off the table.”
One EU diplomat called Parliament’s position “completely unacceptable in its current form,” adding that MEPs “should stop playing games where they try to power-grab and instead focus on those elements where they have a legitimate right to have a say.”
A second diplomat told Politico: “Is it really in the Parliament’s interest to have EU leaders jumping into this discussion?
“None of the leaders are interested in giving away national competencies.”
López Aguilar said the Commission should step in as an “honest broker” to get Council to move, “not simply to observe the Council misbehaving.”
On Wednesday, EU ambassadors backed plans to allow vaccinated holidaymakers to visit the bloc this summer.
They approved a European Commission proposal from May 3 to loosen the criteria to determine “safe” countries and to let in fully vaccinated tourists from elsewhere, EU sources said.
They are expected to set a new list this week or early next week. Based on data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Britain and a number of other countries would meet the new criteria.
The United States would not, although Americans with proof of vaccination would be welcomed.
One EU diplomat said cases of the Indian variant in Britain would need to be taken into account, although individual EU countries are already setting their own policies. Portugal lifted a four-month travel ban on British tourists on Monday.
Under current restrictions, people from only seven countries, including Australia, Israel and Singapore, can enter the EU on holiday, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.
Around 285,000 British expats currently live in Spain. As the vaccination roll-out pushes forward around the world, it may be confusing for expats to know where to obtain their jab – particularly if they aren’t registered to a health centre.
For those living in the Valencia region, which is home to Alicante and Benidorm, the FCDO explains they should go directly to their “local health centre to register”.
It continues: “You will be given a provisional health card to cover the vaccination and any other public health needs.
“You should visit the Valencia regional government health service website to check and update your contact details.”
The FCDO has also added new advice for those living in the Canary Islands.
It states: “We are awaiting further information from the Government of the Canary Islands regarding their vaccine plan for those who do not have public healthcare, and will update this section in due course.
“You should call 012 for information about registering for the vaccine.”
The FCDO continues: “British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside.
“Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities.
“We are aware that some people have been able to sign-up to the vaccine list in their region by registering temporarily at their local health centre with their residency document.
“This temporary registration is known as an ‘alta temporal’.
“You should contact your local health centre for further information.”
According to Statista, as of April 28, the total number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Spain was over 15 million.
Meanwhile in the UK, as of the week ending April 25 an additional 2,941,890 NHS vaccinations for COVID-19, including both first and second doses, were reported in England compared with the previous week.
This took the total number of vaccinations administered as of April 25 to 39,155,196.
Greece is set to welcome back UK tourists as soon as next week if they are able to meet specific entry requirements set out by the Greek authorities. However, television’s Dr Hilary Jones has warned Britons it might not be as simple as they might hope.
He advises sticking to the social distancing rules in a bid to save “travelling internationally”.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain earlier in the week, he warned the pandemic “isn’t over”.
Dr Hilary explained: “If people are behaving responsibly, we will keep this under control. But there will be the risk of another wave if we rely too much on vaccination because we have only vaccinated half of the population or thereabouts.
“We are on track to keeping things under control, but it depends on the behaviour of the population.”
When asked why cases may rise in some areas, he added: “It could well be the new variants, it could be people have thought that it’s all over.
“It certainly isn’t, this is going to run and we’re going to have to live with the virus for some time.
“If people want to get back to travelling internationally, or if people want to go back to work full time then they are gonna have to be really careful still.”
Under the current roadmap set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, some travel may resume from May 17.
However, this will depend on a specific “traffic light system” set out.
Nations will be ranked as “green”, “amber” or “red” based on their Covid “risk” taking into account the rate of infection in the country at that time and the progress of their vaccine roll-out.
Despite this, Greece remains confident holidaymakers will return.
Visitors will be permitted entry to Greece via nine airports, including Athens, Kos and Santorini. They will also be allowed to cross two land borders.
“We will gradually lift the restrictions at the beginning of next week ahead of the opening on May 14,” a senior tourism ministry official told Reuters.