Among the first countries in the world to accept vaccination certificate s, Iceland has since the end of January welcomed travellers from the Schengen area as long as they can prove they've received their two vaccine doses.
Show the magic proof and open sesame: Iceland on Thursday became the first Schengen country to welcome all international travellers who can prove they've either recovered from Covid-19 or been vaccinated.
AdDeutsche Senioren staunen über bahnbrechende Schuheinlage.South China Morning PostWashington warns it could restrict Cathay Pacific Airways flights over Hong Kong quarantine rulesWashington has warned it may restrict flights from local carriers such as Cathay Pacific Airways over objections to Hong Kong’s quarantine rules, which it says are denying “fair and equal opportunity” to US airlines. The US Department of Transportation said in an order on Tuesday it was considering retaliating against Hong Kong’s aircrew quarantine regulations, which forced American cargo carrier FedEx to move 180 pilots out of the city to protect its flight schedules against future disruption. The American agency also asked Cathay Pacific to submit its schedules for all US flights within seven days so it could assess whether they might “be contrary to applicable law or adversely affect the public interest”.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Hong Kong on February 20 imposed quarantine measures on any flight crew members who had stayed outside the city – but excluded from the rule those arriving from mainland China and Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska is a critical cargo transit stopover for Cathay flights. Cathay Pacific warns quarantine rules for aircrew could slash passenger flights by two-thirds “The manner in which Hong Kong has imposed its restrictions disproportionately impacts US carriers to the exclusive benefit of Hong Kong carriers. This imbalance denies US carriers their bilateral right to a fair and equal opportunity to compete in the US-Hong Kong market,” the department said. It added that the “carve out” allowed Cathay’s cargo operation to continue “without impact” from the crew quarantine requirements. It pointed out FedEx’s Hong Kong crew, who flew within Asia, would not benefit from such an exemption. The fact that only Anchorage was exempted from the crew quarantine requirement can support the argument that the playing field is not level Jae Woon Lee, aviation law expert, Chinese University FedEx was forced to relocate its Hong Kong-based flight crew to San Francisco to maintain the stability of its operations, and so as not to force them to undergo repeated isolation and be separated from their families. The US consulate in Hong Kong has repeatedly raised the issue with the city’s government, while FedEx has also proposed strict health and safety measures for its crew to secure a quarantine exemption. The consulate wrote to the government on February 26 “to take actions as a matter of urgency to restore the level playing field in the US-Hong Kong market”. It said the American authorities might otherwise be left with no choice but to consider regulatory action. Washington previously took action against China and India for not permitting US carriers to operate routes amid the pandemic, while the other countries’ airlines had unfettered rights to fly to the States. US carriers also lodged grievances in Washington against Qatar and the United Arab Emirates under the “fair and equal opportunity” clause over airline subsidies they said put American jobs at risk. A FedEx spokeswoman said the company would continue to work with the US and Hong Kong governments and its pilots’ union to address the quarantine restrictions. “We hope the action taken by the US Department of Transportation on March 16 will aid in resolving this matter.” Hong Kong set to hit aircrew on long-haul flights with strict quarantine rules HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines were also cited in the order, but neither flies to the US. Jae Woon Lee, an aviation law and policy expert and an assistant professor at Chinese University, explained international air transport had mainly been governed by around 4,000 bilateral air services agreements. “The fact that only Anchorage was exempted from the crew quarantine requirement can support the argument that the playing field is not level,” he said. “However, this is not a clear-cut case, as the exemption is not based on the nationality of airlines.” He added: “A bigger question is whether and to what extent Hong Kong’s international aviation hub status could be affected.” Hong Kong goes ahead with quarantine requirements for aircrew over objections Cathay Pacific has also been hit hard by the quarantine requirements. It cut its already skeletal passenger and cargo flight schedules by 60 and 25 per cent, respectively. The measures increased its monthly cash burn by HK$300 million (US$39 million) to HK$400 million a month, taking its total losses to up to some HK$1.9 billion every four weeks. Last week, Cathay announced a record loss for 2020 at HK$21.6 billion. Hong Kong earlier imposed three weeks of quarantine on any flight crew arriving to the city who had previously been in four “extremely high-risk” countries, including Britain, over the preceding 21 days. The city’s quarantine restrictions have also fallen foul of expats, diplomats and the business community lately, including bankers, who warned the measures could harm the Asian financial hub. The Transport and Housing Bureau said the US accusations were “unfounded”. “Such [accusations] do not serve the best interest of all airlines serving Hong Kong and the US,” a government spokeswoman said. She added authorities were discussing with FedEx how “to address the company’s business and operational issues while upholding the need to safeguard the public health of our community”. Cathay Pacific said it would comply with all aviation regulations in Hong Kong and destinations it flies to. “Cathay Pacific believes the matter should be resolved as soon as possible in the interest of the general and travelling public,” a spokeswoman for the airline said.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: Hong Kong set to hit aircrew on long-haul flights with strict new quarantine measures from next week in bid to contain surge of infectionsFedEx Express balks at Hong Kong’s new coronavirus quarantine measures, will temporarily relocate aircrew and families to San FranciscoHong Kong third wave: FedEx pilots want US company to suspend flights to city, say Covid-19 measures present ‘unacceptable risk’Hong Kong third wave: UPS pilots demand right to refuse to fly to city, days after FedEx Express crew call for suspension of all flightsThis article Washington warns it could restrict Cathay Pacific Airways flights over Hong Kong quarantine rules first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
2 days agoSouth China Morning PostSMIC joins Shenzhen government in US$2.35 billion chip foundry as China pushes for self-sufficiency in semiconductorsChina’s leading chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) said it has entered into an agreement with the Shenzhen government to build a new wafer fabrication plant in the southern tech hub, adding more capacity amid a global chip shortage. SMIC Shenzhen will focus on mature chipmaking technologies of 28-nanometer and above, with the aim of producing 40,000 12-inch wafers per month, according to a stock filing from SMIC on Wednesday. Production at the new factory is expected to begin in 2022. SMIC and a Shenzhen government-backed investment fund will invest a total of US$2.35 billion in the facility, with the Shanghai-based foundry taking a 55 per cent stake and the Shenzhen fund holding 23 per cent. Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. “By seizing the opportunity in Shenzhen to develop the integrated circuit industry, the project can meet growing market and customer needs, and promote our development,” SMIC said in a statement issued late Wednesday. In November 2020, the China Semiconductor Industry Association said it expected the country to be self sufficient in 28-nm technology within two years. The 28-nm node is considered the sweet spot between low-to-mid-range chips and the mid-to-high-end, which has now become more difficult for Chinese fabs given US restrictions. Shanghai adds advanced chip production to its 2021 priority list along with Tesla, digital currency The 28-nm node, introduced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC) in 2011, moved into volume production for smartphones three years later. In August 2015, SMIC announced it was using 28-nm technology to manufacture Snapdragon 410 processors for US chip giant Qualcomm. The technology node has since become a workhorse for mature products like smart TVs, according to market research firm Omdia. The Shenzhen foundry announcement comes almost two weeks after SMIC said in a separate filing that it secured supply of deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography systems from ASML in The Netherlands, in what analysts interpreted as a sign of relaxed US sanctions after Washington had reportedly pressured the Dutch government to block exports of higher end EUV systems to China. The US Commerce Department requires SMIC’s US suppliers to apply for a licence to sell equipment and materials to the Chinese wafer fab over national security concerns. SMIC said the restrictions would undermine its efforts to develop chips using advanced nodes below 10-nm. SMIC is China’s leading foundry and the world’s fifth-largest player in the field, capable of producing chips in volume from the mature 0.35 micrometre node to advanced 14-nm, although customer demand for 14-nm is only a small fraction of its total revenue. Despite the US sanctions, SMIC reported record-high full-year results of US$3.91 billion last year on robust demand for semiconductors in consumer electronics, boosted by demand created by the Covid-19 pandemic. In reporting its results, SMIC also said it planned to invest US$4.3 billion in capital expenditure this year, with most of the investment supporting the expansion of mature nodes, a move that could help ease the global chip shortage that has spilled over from the car industry to consumer electronics. SMIC has a total of seven wafer fabs in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Shenzhen, with four producing chips on 12-inch wafers and three specialising in production of more mature 8-inch wafers. The Shenzhen government fund, founded in May 2019, has a mandate to invest in the city’s strategic and innovation industries.More from South China Morning Post:US-China tech war: hopes rise for Washington to ease restrictions on SMIC amid chip shortageChina will ‘vigorously support’ semiconductor industry, IT ministry head says, as country seeks self-sufficiency in chip-makingUS-China tech war: calls for Biden to fund US semiconductors grow louder in WashingtonSMIC urges China’s chipmakers to embrace advanced packaging as Moore’s Law slows nanometre node progress and US sanctions biteThis article SMIC joins Shenzhen government in US$2.35 billion chip foundry as China pushes for self-sufficiency in semiconductors first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
a day agoBeijing blasts US, Japan for ‘anti-China encirclement’ after Tokyo talksBeijing has blasted Washington and Tokyo for attempting “anti-China encirclement” after their officials raised concerns about its “destabilising behaviour” in the region during talks on Tuesday. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Wednesday issued Beijing’s toughest words yet on US efforts to revive alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. It followed a meeting in Tokyo between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. In a joint statement released after the “two plus two” diplomatic and security talks, the two countries said they were “committed to opposing [China’s] coercion and destabilising behaviour towards others in the region” and expressed “serious concerns” on the situation in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. They also highlighted shared concerns over China’s new coastguard law that took effect last month, calling it a “disruptive” development and “unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo or to undermine Japan’s administration of [the Diaoyu Islands]”. Zhao said Beijing had lodged representation to both countries and called the joint statement “a vicious attack on China’s foreign policy” and “gross interference in China’s internal affairs”. “The United States and Japan cling to a Cold War mentality, intentionally create confrontation between camps, and attempt to create an anti-China encirclement,” he said. “These efforts run counter to the current of the times … and will only bring chaos and even confrontation to the region.” US and China set to talk tough at Alaska summit – but it still may be progress of a kind The Tokyo trip has been seen as an effort to reaffirm America’s commitment to the region and its alliance with Japan, while setting a combative tone ahead of another high-level meeting, between US and Chinese officials. Blinken, along with national security adviser Jake Sullivan, is expected to meet Yang Jiechi, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo and the country’s top diplomat, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Anchorage, Alaska on Thursday. Washington has characterised the meeting as a one-off event and has indicated that American officials would be tough on a range of security and human rights issues, while China has wanted the meeting to be an opportunity for the two superpowers to reset their relations. Zhao said Beijing would not yield to diplomatic pressure from Washington ahead of the meeting. “The US and Japan have no right to unilaterally define international relations, much less the right to impose their own standards on others,” he said. But the Chinese official’s criticism of Tokyo was more targeted, calling Japan’s actions “contemptible” and accusing it of being a “strategic vassal” of the United States. “In order to fulfil its selfish interest in containing China’s rise and rejuvenation, Japan has allowed itself to be dependent on the whims of others, to become a strategic vassal of the United States, it has broken the promises it made and trust it gained and harmed Sino-Japanese relations,” Zhao said.More from South China Morning Post:Japan in ‘impossible situation’ over Diaoyu visit request, after Blinken blasts Chinese ‘aggression’US-China relations: No ‘unrealistic expectations’ for Alaska meetingChina likely to be hot topic when top US officials visit Japan, South Korea, observers sayThis article Beijing blasts US, Japan for ‘anti-China encirclement’ after Tokyo talks first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021. headtopics.comRead more: Yahoo Singapore »
Singapore sees ‘several important lessons’ from Tan Tock Seng Hospital COVID-19 cluster
SINGAPORE: Singapore has learnt 'several important lessons' from the COVID-19 cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), among them - that the ...
Salesforce to welcome vaccinated employees back to officeSalesforce.com said it would start allowing vaccinated employees to return to some of its offices, making it one of the first major ...
Tennis: Djokovic hopes COVID-19 vaccination will not be compulsoryWorld number one Novak Djokovic said Friday he hoped it would not become compulsory for players to be vaccinated against coronavirus and insisted ... Why do his words matter? He is a tennis player, not a medical expert. Shame on you to play this clickbait game too, CNA!
Djokovic hopes COVID-19 vaccine will not become compulsory for playersNovak Djokovic said he hopes it will not become mandatory for players to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to compete on the ATP circuit and that ...
Australia borders could be shut until late 2022: ministerAustralia is likely to remain shut to visitors until late 2022, the country's trade and tourism minister said Friday, as another global coronavirus surge smashed hopes of a quick reopening.