How’s the COVID situation where you are?

We all listen to the news and visit the Government sites regularly to get updates on COVID restrictions in areas we want to visit but it would be good to get a personal viewpoint on what’s happening in your area?
In the South of England restrictions are easing but there is some concern about new variants. The over 30s are now being offered their first vaccination and most seem to be taking up the offer. The space between the first and second has been shortened.
Everyone is still wearing masks in enclosed spaces and most people are observing personal space. I can’t comment on pubs and restaurants as I don’t use them. Most people are following Government guidelines. Lots of people still working from home but schools and further education are all open again. I think everyone is just desperate to get back to some kind of normality.
How’s it where you are?

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Restrictions have been lightened in France since mid may.
Progressive reopening are sheduled until june 30th.
Rules differ a lot among locations (museums, supermarkets, campings, religious places or weddings for example) (look at info coronavirus : in ENGLISH
https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19

In Paris, where I sat last week, people were allowed (without masks, as they eat and drink…) on terraces of restaurants until 9 PM, so I’ve been surprised to see many ephemere terraces built on many streets in order to help restaurants which had no terraces before to survive economically

People were wearing masks in metro, buses, & streets. Quite disciplined (for french !)
Cinemas and exhibitions were opened (bookings must be made)

In Provence, where I live now people are less disciplined : many don’t wear masks in my small town… Young ones especially and I never see any authority obliging them to wear one !!

Curfew is theorically still at 9 PM, it will be at 11 PM from the 9th of june, curfew will end on the 30th of june. Fines are 130 € the first time
You need to fill up the app to explain why you are outside after 9PM (ok if you walk a dog)

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In Nz, we’re able to go wherever in the country but just a few precautions.

On public transport, we’re asked to wear face masks but tis personal choice (yes, i wear one).

We should be using the NZ Covid tracer app to log ourselves into places.

My husband just flew internationally & it was…odd. Huge difference from flying trans tasman…otherwise known as fortress OZ/NZ…

Still unsure when i’ll receive a covid vax as not in any priority age or work related group.

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Here in Victoria, Australia, we are in the middle of a 7 day lockdown with the strong possibility of it being extended. State borders, except New South Wales, are closed to us. We had been leading nearly a normal life for a number of months until a breach in hotel quarantine saw the Indian variant escape into the community. A positive to come out of it is the large numbers of people isolating; being tested; and being vaccinated as I feel we had become a little complacent. Sadly the cat sit I was to be doing at the beach had to be cancelled.

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Is there any word when international visitors will be welcome again, specifically from the UK?

Unlikely for quite some time I imagine. Some people are saying end of 2023! Let’s hope that it is sooner.

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Bad news for us. Good news for you. Your Government is doing all that it can. Stay safe.

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Canada is varied depending on the province but overall new cases are down and vaccinations are up. We’ve taken the approach to vaccinate everyone with one dose first and initially extended the gap to 16 weeks before the 2nd but now that we finally have more vaccine coming in regularly, in BC at least, the gap has been cut to 8 weeks.

Currently we have about 65% of people age 12+ with at least one dose. Anyone from 12+ can book an appointment now so it’s not hard to get a shot if you want one. And pretty much everyone 70+ will get 2nd shot within next week. I expect to get my 2nd before the end of June.

We started lifting some restrictions as of May 25th, with the next stage to be June 15th. By July 1st, stage 3, we will be allowed to travel freely anywhere in the country, and we are hoping that international travel restrictions will be lifted by Sept.

The international travel is guidance only, so we can leave and return if we want to, but there is a mandatory 2 week quarantine with 3 days stay in govt mandated hotel, even if you’re vaccinated. And for now, international travellers are only allowed in Canada for “essential” travel.

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Hubby and I won’t likely book international travel this year, but you never know. We would love to head to the UK or Europe in September but barring that, we hope to spend some time in the Maritimes. We don’t see many housesits in Nova Scotia and PEI, so it would likely be Airbnb’s etc.

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We spent a summer in Nova Scotia sailing. One of my all time favourite areas. Hopefully we will be spending next spring/summer in BC. Fingers crossed all goes well.
Elsie

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Thank you for posting @ElsieDownie getting local/national COVID news directly from our members around the world is invaluable, especially as the situation changes all of the time and can vary greatly from country to country and often within a country.

Thanks to everyone reporting back and contributing to the conversation your feedback is really appreciated.

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I live in Latvia and it is - like I think every country in Europe - slowly opening up again. However, Latvia has most of the time not made it completely impossible for people to visit. I have had two house sitters in November and May for two weeks each when going back to my home country to visit family. The sitters were both travelling within Europe. In Latvia, you have to “self-isolate” for 10 days, which is less strict than quarantine (you can go for walks, go grocery shopping). At present you need to register online before travelling, and my sitter claimed he was coming for work reasons (and nobody questioned him). Latvia has plenty of nature and not many crowded places, so if you like that, you can still enjoy it. The only downside is that we are considered a high-risk area in many countries and sitters would probably still need to quarantine back home.

I am personally hoping that during the second half of the year, everyone with a European vaccine certificate can skip the Covid tests and self isolation/quarantine and freely travel - including me.

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Thank you for this really informative update @Elke

The USA has different regulations in each state but in California, where I live, everything opens June 15. As per CDC, fully vaxxed persons can then go without masks almost everywhere but counties and businesses can enforce their own rules. Nearly 45% of the CA pop. is fully vaccinated and vax is open to age 12 and over. Here in Sonoma, north of SF, we are 65% vaxxed and case numbers are very low. Kids are in school, restaurants etc are open with lower capacity or outdoors, our movie theater just reopened, etc. This is a huge state, 40MM people, with huge disparity in politics, income, race, etc, which are all affecting vaccine status and case rates.

We can travel freely within the US though each state has its own requirements once you’re there. Flights still require masks. Overall the trends are positive, but I’m driving to Oregon and Washington in July and their cases are spiking amongst unvaccinated persons, mostly younger, and in metro areas. We will likely have to wear masks more often and even show our vaccination cards some places unless things improve, but generally things are looking up and I am feeling very grateful and hopeful!

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Thank you @Shafofo so very helpful. Safe and happy travels to the Upper Pacific NW, another beautiful part of our world.

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Thank you. It’s looking better and better. Be safe.

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To add a bit more about the US. Since the beginning of April I’ve done six sits.
Charlotte, NC; Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; Portland, OR; Brooklyn, NY; and currently Burlington (near Raleigh-Durham), NC.
As Shafoto notes, trends are looking up and required mask restrictions are mostly lifted for those who identify as vaccinated. I’m comfortable walking on the street, so long as there aren’t crowds, restaurant and coffee shop eating either outside or in well spaced restaurants (many New York city places take your temperature when you come in and a few require contact tracing info). You still must wear a mask when traveling - airports and airplanes, public transportation.
I did 1 non-sit trip to New Orleans with family to scatter our parents’ ashes and there were a few times when I was uncomfortable because things were too close.

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Germany is doing quite well with the vaccination programme (44% first, 20% second jabs as of today 5 June). Slowly life is picking up again, restaurants open outside and next week inside too. There are differences between the federal states (counties) depending on covid numbers. Campsites, hotels and entertainment parks are open again too.

I believe travellers from within the EU and soon from outside, who are fully vaccinated, will be able to visit the country in the near future (rumours have July).

We are off to Croatia next week and hoping for some 2021 pet sits in Florida in November :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

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Thank you @Annett so good to hear about countries opening back up … gives everyone hope for a brighter future. Enjoy Croatia and Florida in November!

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