Travel between New Zealand and some states of Australia possible before end of the year; first virus death among migrants in Greece; Follow the latest updates

New Zealand reported no new cases of Covid-19, health officials said on Monday. There are 55 active cases of the virus in New Zealand, 28 of them imported in travelers returning from overseas, all of whom are staying at government-run isolation facilities. The other 27 are community-spread cases in Auckland, the largest city, which remains the only place in New Zealand with some Covid-19 restrictions in place.The Auckland cluster – which is reducing in size – prompted a second lockdown of the city, which is now easing. The rest of New Zealand has largely returned to normal life, except for strict border controls. One person is in hospital with the virus. There have been 1,477 known cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, with 25 deaths.

There are currently 996,084 deaths confirmed on the Johns Hopkins University tracker, just under 4,000 away from the devastating milestone of 1m people who have lost their lives in the nine months of the pandemic so far.

The number of tests coming back positive for Covid-19 is topping 25% in several states in the US Midwest as cases and hospitalisation also surge in the region, according to a Reuters analysis.

North Dakota’s positive test rate has averaged 30% over the past seven days compared with the prior week. The positivity rate has risen to 26% in South Dakota, up from 17% the previous week, according to the analysis using testing data from The Covid Tracking Project. Minnesota and Montana are averaging 7% of tests coming back positive, but Montana’s positivity rate rose on Sunday to 20%, according to the analysis.

The World Health Organization considers rates above 5% concerning because it suggests there are more cases in the community that have not yet been uncovered. Several states such as New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine have positive test rates of less than 1%.

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