International mobility is gaining traction, even if it is still light years away from pre-pandemic times. The US State Department has eased its travel warnings for over 30 countries including Spain, where there are improved coronavirus figures and significant progress has been made with vaccination.
The agency said the changes were due to the fact that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed the methodology for its own travel notices, Bloomberg reported.
Following the update, dozens of countries have moved from level 4 (“do not travel”) to level 3 (“reconsider travel”). This means that the situation is not yet ideal for people who are not immunized.
Spain is now letting in immunized tourists from all over the world save for India, Brazil and South Africa
The list of countries includes Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Canada, South Korea and Singapore, among others, according to the US State Department website.
A few weeks ago the European Union announced it would allow fully vaccinated visitors from the US into its territory. Brussels is now hoping that Washington will reciprocate with a similar decision regarding European travelers to the US.
Spain for its part is letting in immunized tourists from all over the world (with the exceptions of India, Brazil and South Africa) who have received one of the following vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Sinopharm or Sinovac-Coronavac.
European authorities are also working to roll out a EU digital pass that will homogenize national certificates and make it easier for travelers to prove that they have either been vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative for coronavirus.
English version by Susana Urra.
Belgium might close schools and cultural activities
Today, Friday, Belgian governments are meeting again in order to decide on new Covid measures in order to stop the spreading of the virus as numbers are spiking. This time the concertation committee is gathering on the request of the Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon who suggested to close down all indoor events, including all concerts and theatre productions. The closing of schools is also on the agenda.
El Salvador ‘responsible for death of woman jailed after miscarriage’ | Global development
The Inter-American court of human rights has ruled that El Salvador was responsible for the death of Manuela, a woman who was jailed in 2008 for killing her baby when she suffered a miscarriage.
The court has ordered the Central American country to reform its draconian policies on reproductive health.
The decision on Tuesday marked the first time an international court has ruled on El Salvador’s extreme abortion laws and was celebrated by women’s rights activists, who believe it could open doors for change across the region.
Since 1998, abortion in El Salvador has been banned without exception, even in cases of rape and incest. Over the past two decades, more than 180 women have been jailed for murder for having an abortion after suffering obstetric emergencies, according to rights groups.
The case of Manuela v El Salvador was brought after the 33-year-old mother of two from the countryside died from cancer after receiving inadequate medical diagnosis and treatment, leaving her two children orphaned. She had been serving a 30-year prison sentence for aggravated homicide after a miscarriage.
When Manuela – whose full name has never been made public in El Salvador – went to the hospital after miscarrying, staff failed to provide her with timely treatment and instead subjected her to verbal abuse and accused her of having an abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Manuela was handcuffed to her bed and denied access to a lawyer while police interrogated her.
“There is no doubt that Manuela suffered an obstetric emergency,” the landmark court ruling stated. “Such situations, as they are medical conditions, cannot lead to a criminal sanction.”
The court also ruled that the state must pay reparations to Manuela’s family, and should develop comprehensive sexual education policies and guarantee doctor-patient confidentiality.
“The Inter-American court has done justice by recognising Manuela was another victim of an unjust legal context that originates in the absolute prohibition of abortion,” said Morena Herrera, at the Feminist Collective for Local Development, one of the parties in the case supporting Manuela’s family.
“Manuela’s story is a sad one, but it represents a change and becomes a path of justice and hope for all women in Latin America and the Caribbean who are criminalised for obstetric events.”
Most countries in the region respect the Inter-American court’s jurisdiction, opening the door for sweeping change, activists said.
“This is a huge advance for reproductive rights, not only in El Salvador but across Latin America,” said Catalina Martínez Coral, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights, another party in the case. “This is a standard we can apply to the constitutions and states across the region.”
Martínez Coral added that while the ruling was to be celebrated, the issue of poverty affecting access to reproductive rights remained a challenge.
“There are over 180 cases of women in jail, or that have been jailed, over these issues,” said Martínez Coral, who also worked as a litigator on the case against the Salvadorean state.
“What that means is we’re dealing with a state that criminalises women and, above all, criminalises poor women in the most rural and impoverished areas,” she said.
EU commission unveils proposal to digitalise justice systems
The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday a proposal to digitalise EU cross-border justice systems, aiming at making them more accessible and effective. Under the new draft law, the EU executive wants to tackle inefficiencies affecting cross-border judicial cooperation and barriers to access to justice in cross-border cases. Shifting paper-based communications to electronic formats would save up to €25m per year across the EU in postage and paper costs.
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