The fact that Spain is on the amber list – meaning it’s a Covid-risk country – and that there is a 10 day mandatory quarantine on return doesn’t seem to intimidate Britons. The number of flights from England and Spain has tripled in just a few days.
Last week, 1,344 flights departed from the UK to amber and red list destinations, being Spain and Greece the most popular ones.
“The number of flights between England and Spain has tripled in just a few days. Tourists seem to ignore the Government’s warnings not to travel to the territories that are on the amber list,” reported The Times.
The Government strongly advises not to travel to amber list destinations, and tourists who don’t follow the 10 day quarantine on return could face fines up to £10,000.
Spain expects to be included on the green list after its next review, on June 3.
The Canary and the Balearics Islands have already asked the Government to be treated separately and to be added to the green list even if mainland Spain doesn’t make it.
Although the Government is considering all the options, according to reports, some of Britain’s favourite island holiday destinations, including Ibiza and Mallorca, could stay on the amber list.
That is because there are concerns regarding the UK Border controls as the influx of holidaymakers increases.
Just a few days ago, controversial images showing a packed airport in Palma de Mallorca were shared on social media.
Agglomerations of passengers waiting for passport control were seen and many raised concerns.
There were big crowds of people without any safety distance, in an airport that clearly lacked personnel.
Mallorca airport assured that it was a specific moment due to the arrival of different international flights at the same time and that the agglomeration disappeared in a matter of 15 minutes.
However, many worry that the situation could become unsustainable once the real tourism boom begins.
At this point, it seems unlikely that Spain will be added to the green list this week.
The first review will take place on June 3 but it changes will come into effect a week later, on June 10 at 4am.
The UK Government plans stipulate that the travel rules will be reviewed every three weeks.
Some countries that could potentially make it to the green list next are Malta, the Canary Islands, Crete, Corfu or Rhodes, in Greece.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 2.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be sent to Texas hubs and providers next week, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Friday.
Of the entire allotment of doses, just over 1 million first doses will be shipped for 2,011 providers across 200 counties, the most doses and providers to date, DSHS said. The state is also ordering 626,290 second doses for people to complete the vaccine treatment, and an additional 900,000 doses — both first and second — are headed to pharmacies, federally-qualified health centers and dialysis centers by the federal government.
Pharmacies at HEB, Randalls and Walgreens around the area received 100 Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses each, so be sure to check your local stores for availability.
Austin Public Health received 12,000 Moderna doses and 1,000 Johnson and Johnson doses.
DSHS said the state has administered 11.8 million doses of the vaccine, adding about 1.8 million from last week’s total and 360,000 more than what was reported Thursday.
More than 4.3 million Texans are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, while almost 7.8 million have had at least one of two required shots for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
The stage play is expected to bring back some of the most well-known characters from George R.R. Martin’s ‘Game of Thrones’ series.
WASHINGTON — Move over winter, a Broadway play is coming.
George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series, which became a globally popular HBO drama, is getting a Broadway spin-off, according to multiple reports.
The New York Times said Tuesday that Martin, who still hasn’t finished his long-awaited novel “The Winds of Winter,” plans to develop a play for New York City, London’s West End and Australia by 2023.
The play is expected to center around the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, which took place about 16 years before the events in “Game of Thrones,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Martin is reportedly working with playwright Duncan Macmillan and theater director Dominic Cooke on the project.
“The play will for the first time take audiences deeper behind the scenes of a landmark event that previously was shrouded in mystery,” the official description reads, according to The Guardian. “Featuring many of the most iconic and well-known characters from the series, the production will boast a story centered around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy, in the process revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now.”
“It ought to be spectacular,” Martin said in a statement announcing the play on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
The characters in the play, which doesn’t have a title yet, are expected to include young versions of Ned Stark, Lyanna Stark, Jaime Lannister, Robert Baratheon, Rhaegar Targaryen and Oberyn Martell, CNBC said.
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The Broadway play is the latest in a series of “Game of Thrones” prequel projects following the show’s conclusion in 2019.
Just this week, George R.R. Martin signed a five-year deal with HBO to help develop content for both HBO and HBO Max, according to NPR. It added that he’s expected to executive produce an apocalyptic series “Who Fears Death.”
HBO has already approved a “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon,” which HBO says is “coming soon.”
“Game of Thrones” isn’t the first wildly popular book series to give the Great White Way a shot. In 2016, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a new story based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series debuted in London.
SAN SABA, Texas (KXAN) — Rita Jackson likes the slower pace of living in San Saba.
“My neighbors? We help each other all the time. If I can’t do it, they help me and vice versa,” she explained.
The county has a population of roughly 6,000 — but around half that live in the City of San Saba itself. Rita’s husband, Ricky, suffered a serious injury working in Midland-Odessa, so the couple relocated to the small Central Texas town eight years ago.
“He’s on oxygen 24/7,” Jackson explained, talking about Ricky’s high-risk for catching coronavirus. “That’s why I said to him and myself, ‘we need to [get the vaccine] in case, because I don’t want to give it to you. I don’t believe you’d survive.’”
Just like the pace of life in San Saba, the coronavirus spread at a slower rate, too. The county’s first case wasn’t reported until May. State data shows 23 people died, but county management officials told KXAN they believe that number is too high.
“We haven’t really been decimated by COVID,” County Judge Byron Theodosis said. “We have a nursing home here — my mother-in-law is one of the residents — so, of course, we were terrified about what would happen if it went through there. That was our main concern.”
When the vaccine started arriving in other parts of Texas, the judge and other county officials were thrilled. However, for weeks San Saba has ranked as the least-vaccinated county in the State of Texas, per capita.
“We maybe didn’t holler loud enough, because we knew it was coming. It was always still coming. Then we realized, maybe it’s not coming,” said Marsha Hardy, who operates the county’s Emergency Management Division.
That’s when Theodosis and Hardy said their “bad luck” began.
Supply problem, demand problem or just ‘bad luck’?
“We want to get farther down the road, but we are running into bad luck or bureaucracy,” Hardy explained.
First, San Saba officials said they had planned to move the location of their clinic long before the coronavirus ever threatened their community. Unfortunately, that meant their freezers hadn’t been up and running long enough to be eligible to receive the vaccine right away.
“Red tape is always frustrating, when you know the freezers are working and they are not apt to go bad. But regulations are regulations, so we suffered through it. We never were panicky about not getting it,” the judge said.
Then Everett’s Pharmacy, the sold pharmacy in town, saw a months-long delay in getting doses from the federal program in which they had enrolled.
“We applied a long time ago. I want to say it was like September or October we started the process,” said pharmacy manager Joseph DeBons.
Everett’s finally got a shipment of 100 doses in mid-March, and DeBons said the doses went fast.
“Set up a little station out front. We had seven ‘bays’ out front, and you sat in your car,” he said. “A lot of patients were very happy we got the Johnson and Johnson single dose.”
Once the doses started arriving, Hardy said they came in inconsistent quantities — making it tough to plan clinics. The logistical problems were amplified when trying to book locations for these clinics — one week a pre-planned school sports event prohibited them from setting up at the local Civic Center, the next week they worried how long lines of cars for the clinic would impede traffic on the main thoroughfare.
With 17.2% of residents receiving at least one vaccine and 6.6% of its residents fully vaccinated, San Saba remains behind all 15 other Central Texas counties in the KXAN viewing area.
Across the state, they moved up to the second-to-last spot for fully vaccinated individuals on Friday, after spending weeks at the bottom of the list. At the top sits Presidio County — home to the state’s art oasis, Marfa, but very similar to San Saba in size. Presidio has fully vaccinated more than 40% of its residents, but state data reveals it has received 4,200 doses of the vaccine.
San Saba has been allocated 1,200, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“You almost want to go, ‘Duh, we know that.’ We’ve been trying. We’ve been doing everything we can think to do,” Hardy said, noting she spends a lot of time each week calling residents personally to line up appointments.
She went on, “We have reached out. We have put out the information. We have talked to every person and dog out there — and we are still doing that.”
When Rita Jackson got the call in mid-March, she hesitated but only for a moment.
“Several people said, ‘It’ll make you sick!’” she said. “They said, ‘No, no, no, don’t get it.’ I said, ‘Well, I need to, because I don’t want my husband to catch it.’”
She signed them both up, and thankfully, neither Jackson experienced serious side effects — aside from a sigh of relief. So, Rita has started encouraging her neighbors.
County officials worry, however, a strong sense of vaccine hesitancy could hinder their efforts.
“For every ten calls I make there are going to two that are, ‘No, thank you. Appreciate it. Take me off your list. Don’t call me again,’” Hardy said. “For the biggest part — now that we’ve done it this long — if they wanted it, they would have called. So, now you are taking the chance you are going to call someone and really tick them off. They don’t want to talk about it.”
With smaller clinics, Hardy said they can manage, but 500 doses of the vaccine are headed to San Saba next week.
Biggest shipment yet
A spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services explained their public health region was partnering with San Saba County to host a vaccine clinic on Tuesday with the 500 doses.
“It’s something all our regions do from week to week with the rural counties we serve across the state,” the spokesperson said.
Hardy wants to continue to prioritize their own residents and other rural communities like theirs in the Hill Country. Still, she said if any from other counties has struggled to get vaccinated, they could call her at 325-372-8570.
“If we can do 500 — even if it’s not all us and even if we are helping other counties in the area — hey, get a vaccine,” Hardy said.
Judge Theodosis told KXAN he was extremely worried about “misinformation” spreading, and he wants every San Saba resident to speak with their doctor or a reputable medical expert about their decision on the shot.
“I’m afraid we are going to go from not having enough vaccine, to not having enough people to give the vaccine to, if we are not careful,” he said. “If we allow the fearmongers or we allow this to become a political football, the numbers might not get anywhere close to 70 percent.”
The trouble with second doses
At his first clinic, Debons said there were “tensions and questions about side effects” but patients were relieved when they learned which brand they’d be getting — Johnson & Johnson.
“You can tell patients are nervous about it,” he said. “Valid concerns by the patients, but we didn’t have any problems. All 100 went smoothly.”
Hardy said she’s heard the same sentiment — people prefer the Johnson & Johnson one-shot option, and from a logistics perspective, she agrees.
She knows many of their residents qualifying in Phase 1B drove to places like Lubbock or even Austin to try and get the shot back when their allocation was coming more slowly. Now, some of those folks are trying to get their second dose at home in San Saba.
“Nearly all the clinics will tell you, go back to where you had your first shot because they are not set up to do that,” Hardy said.
She noted they have been trying to coordinate second doses with the state for as many locals as they can.
Still, the trouble with second doses and the rocky rollout reveals itself in the numbers. There are a few counties below San Saba when it exclusively to first doses — it’s the “fully vaccinated” statistic where they fall short.
Hardy, however, has hope.
“If we can fill the 500, it will definitely be a turning point.”