Indonesia is set to ban international visitors for two weeks, beginning on 1 January.
The foreign minister announced the ban, citing concerns around the new strains of coronavirus. So far, the two most alarming strains are currently spreading in England and South Africa.
Iâ€™ll bring you more news on this as I get it…
England is still planning a staggered return for secondary school pupils after the Christmas holidays, but this may change following the spread of a new strain of coronavirus in England, cabinet minister Michael Gove has said.
The current plan is for students taking GCSEs and A-levels this year, alongside the children of key workers, to return to school next week, with other secondary school students returning the week after. However, Gove suggested this could be changed.
â€œWe do keep things under review, and weâ€™ll be talking to head teachers and teachers in the next 24, 48 hours just to make sure that our plans… are really robust,â€ he told Times Radio.
The president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in the UK has warned hospitals were â€œwall to wallâ€ with Covid-19 patients on Christmas Day.
â€œWe see patients who are coming in who have Covid symptoms and then we have other people coming in with other symptoms who turn out to be Covid positive,â€ Dr Katherine Henderson told BBC Breakfast. â€œBetween that, thereâ€™s a great deal of difficulty getting those patients through into the wards.â€
Henderson said she thought that the NHS would be able to cope with the increased pressure, but that it would come at a â€œcostâ€ – â€œthe cost is not …being able to keep non-Covid activities goingâ€.
Henderson said that the health service was experiencing staff shortages, with many off sick or isolating, but insisted the NHS would â€œstretch staffâ€ with measures including double shifts and bringing people to work during their annual leave.
She also warned that there was a â€œbigâ€ delay before the impact of tier 4 restrictions would be felt in the NHS.
â€œAll the people we are seeing at the moment were infected two weeks ago,â€ she said.
Henderson also implored people not to â€œtake a chanceâ€ on New Year, saying â€œitâ€™s incredibly important that we donâ€™t get another surge.â€
The president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has warned that there will be a â€œcostâ€ for allowing household mixing on Christmas Day in Scotland.
â€œWhen there is increased mixing we know there is likely to be increased transmission, (Scotlandâ€™s) levels have never fallen to the kind of levels that we would have wished, so we are starting from a higher base,â€ Professor Jackie Taylor said on BBC Breakfast. â€œIn addition, the new variant strain we are seeing does appear to be significantly more transmissible and that does give us great cause for concern, when we add that to the usual winter pressures we are really very anxious for the potential of a further huge surge of cases.â€
However, Taylor did not condemn the Scottish Governmentâ€™s decision to relax the rules for a day during the festive season, saying that it was important to remember â€œhow important it is for some people to have had the ability to be with family even for a short timeâ€.
She also warned that non-urgent treatment in the NHS Scotland would have to delayed due to the pandemic.
â€œAs healthcare professionals, we want to be able to treat everyone, we want to ensure everyone gets the best of care, but unless we get a grip of Covid and really get on top of this then we wonâ€™t be able to open up the other services again,â€ she said. â€œWe have to focus on getting on top of the acute problems we have at the moment.â€
Taylor urged people to avoid mixing with members of other households over new year, and to continue handwashing, social distancing and mask wearing.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has told his ministers to stay ready to implement further coronavirus restrictions, after the number of daily cases hit record highs in recent days.
â€œThe virus recognises no year-end or New Year holidays. I ask each minister to raise the level of their sense of urgency and thoroughly carry out counter measures,â€ Suga told a meeting of the governmentâ€™s taskforce on coronavirus on Monday.
UK cabinet minister Michael Gove has said that GCSE and A-Level exams will â€œabsolutelyâ€ go ahead next year in England.
Gove said the exams were â€œcritically important in making sure students have a chance to show what theyâ€™ve learnt and what their skills areâ€ and gave them â€œrobust, independently verified qualificationsâ€ which were a â€œpassport to a better futureâ€.
This differs dramatically from the rest of the UK:
In Scotland, higher and advanced higher exams will not go ahead, and will be replaced with teacher assessed grades based on evidence of the studentâ€™s attainment.
In Wales, there will be no end of year exams for those taking GCSE, AS level and A level qualifications approved by Qualifications Wales and delivered by WJEC in summer 2021.
Northern Ireland is set to reduce their exams, but not cancel them entirely.
It is likely to be summertime before herd immunity is reached through a coronavirus vaccine programme in the UK, respiratory disease expert Professor Calum Semple has said.
Semple said between 70 and 80% of the population needed to be vaccinated before herd immunity could be achieved.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Prof Semple said: â€œObviously there is an urgency about this and we know that it is difficult to vaccinate lots of people at the same time – weâ€™ve got a population of just under 70 million people and weâ€™re going to move through them in an orderly fashion vaccinating people most at risk.â€
â€œThe people that have been vaccinated will be protected within a matter of weeks and thatâ€™s very important,â€ he added. â€œOn an individual basis these vaccines are so good that they will protect individuals, so we donâ€™t have to wait for this nonsense about herd immunity developing through natural infection, we can start to protect the individuals.
â€œTo get the wider community herd immunity from vaccination rather than through natural infection will take probably 70% to 80% of the population to be vaccinated, and that, Iâ€™m afraid, is going to take us right into the summer I expect.â€
Donald Trump has signed a $900bn coronavirus relief package to help the US economy recover from the pandemic, after threatening to reject the bill last week.
The aid package was agreed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress late last Sunday, after months of negotiations. But Trump unexpectedly demanded that the package, which had already been passed by the House and Senate and was believed to have Trumpâ€™s support, be revised to include larger relief checks and scaled-back spending on foreign aid.
Despite his initial protests, the president released a statement last night saying that he had signed the bill.
You can read the full story here:
What does the bill offer?
The aid package includes $286bn in direct economic relief, with more than half going on payments of $600 to individuals.
The US government will also restart pandemic unemployment benefits at $300 a week, which will last until 14 March. However, this is a drop in the amount offered from the $600 payments that expired in July.
It includes funding for businesses, the arts, and foreign aid.
You can read more about what it offers here:
Hello everyone, Iâ€™m Molly Blackall. Iâ€™ll be bringing you the latest updates in the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and around the world over the next few hours.
If you spot something you think we should be reporting on in this blog, you can drop me a message on Twitter. Tips and pointers are always much appreciated, so thanks in advance!