The debate over the effectiveness of COVID-19 travel restrictions

December 22, 2020

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An airport terminal is shown nearly empty with black stripes along the flooring and a large hand sanitizing station in the center of the photogragh.

A hand-sanitizing pump stands in the middle of a near-empty departure terminal as few passengers board an Air France flight to Paris at Johannesburg's airport, Dec. 21, 2020.


Jerome Delay/AP

The discovery of new variants of the coronavirus in the UK and South Africa have prompted a wave of travel bans around the world. But it's an open question as to whether these measures are actually effective. And, there's a potential humanitarian disaster unfolding along the border between Ethiopia and Sudan as a simmering conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region has displaced tens of thousands of people. The $900 billion pandemic relief package approved Monday night has a lot in it, including one of the most significant pieces of climate change legislation that the US Congress has ever passed.

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US Congress passes bipartisan relief bill; Pfizer, Moderna test against variant; Lockerbie bombing suspect charged

After many months of fits and starts, the US Congress on Monday passed a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill that is being celebrated by both parties as a carefully negotiated agreement. Pfizer and Moderna are both testing their COVID-19 vaccines against the new faster-spreading mutated variant in the United Kingdom. And, on the 32nd anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland, the US has charged the bomber.