Israel bans entry of travellers from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini and discourages its citizens from travelling to those countries due to the emergence of the Lineage B.1.1.529 variant.
Canada, the EU, Israel, Japan, Morocco, the Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, and the U.S. ban flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, and Eswatini due to the Omicron variant.
Indonesia reports 12,990 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, which is the highest single-day total of new cases since late-January. It brings the nationwide total of confirmed cases to 1.96 million. [https:--www.straitstimes.com-asia-se-asia-indonesia-reports-12990-new-coronavirus-infections-290-deaths ("The Straits Times")]*The Palestinian Authority cancels a planned vaccine exchange with Israel involving at least one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, saying the first batch of doses Israel was going to send were near expiration. The swap was previously announced earlier in the day. [https:--www.aljazeera.com-news-2021-6-18-palestinians-to-get-1-million-covid-vaccine-doses-in-israel-swap (Al Jazeera)]*Oman speeds up its COVID-19 vaccination as the number of cases increases in the country, which has seen only a small percentage of the population vaccinated. [https:--www.reuters.com-world-middle-east-oman-slowest-vaccinator-gulf-pushes-campaign-amid-covid-19-surge-2021-06-18- (Reuters)]*Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin closes the Euro 2020 fan zone due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Russian capital. [https:--www.dw.com-en-moscow-closes-euro-2020-fan-zone-as-covid-cases-surge-a-57950652 (DW)]*Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announces that as of June 26, it will no longer be mandatory to wear a face mask outdoors. [https:--www.lavanguardia.com-vida-20210618-7539733-mascarilla-exteriores-espana-26-junio.html ("La Vanguardia")]*Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. [https:--www.lavanguardia.com-politica-20210618-7541594-pedro-sanchez-recibe-primera-dosis-vacuna-covid-19-madrid.html ("La Vanguardia")]***British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expands COVID-19 vaccinations to people aged 18 years and older amidst concerns about the Lineage B.1.617 Delta variant. [https:--www.nytimes.com-2021-06-18-world-uk-vaccine-eligibility.html ("The New York Times")]*Restrictions are eased in Melbourne as the number of cases decreases. Melbournians will now be allowed to travel anywhere in the state of Victoria, public gatherings increase to 20 people and masks are no longer required outdoors. Private gatherings of up to two people will be allowed, gyms and indoor entertainment reopen, and workforce capacities increase. These new restrictions bring Melbourne into line with the rest of Victoria. [https:--www.9news.com.au-national-victorian-lockdown-restrictions-melbourne-coronavirus-covid19-rules-what-can-i-do-61700b39-6f71-4bd3-85c8-c2fa1f99a520 (9 News)]***Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern receives her first dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. [https:--i.stuff.co.nz-national-health-coronavirus-300336289-important-milestone-prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-gets-first-covid19-vaccine (Stuff.co.nz)]*Papua New Guinea receives 146,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from New Zealand, facilitated through the COVAX initiative. [https:--www.rnz.co.nz-international-pacific-news-445020-png-receives-146-thousand-vaccine-doses-from-nz (RNZ)]President Yoweri Museveni announces that the country has imposed new restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including a ban on vehicular movements except for essential workers. [https:--www.reuters.com-world-africa-uganda-imposes-new-anti-coronavirus-measures-stem-raging-pandemic-2021-06-18- (Reuters)]COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand
The German Ministry of Interior bans entry to all travellers from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Portugal, and South Africa from tomorrow until February 17 in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants. In addition, travellers from Lesotho and Eswatini will also be banned beginning January 31.
Cyclone Eloise leaves at least thirteen people dead and more than 8,000 people homeless after making landfall in central Mozambique. Major flooding is also reported in Eswatini, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In a deal brokered by South African mediators, Lesotho's government says that Prime Minister Tom Thabane "will immediately resign", in a "dignified and secure" exit from power. Thabane is accused of murdering his ex-wife Lipolelo Thabane in 2017.
The death toll from flooding in South Africa rises to 70 and more than 8,000 families are homeless. Five other nearby countries - Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe - are threatened by killer heavy rains.