(Bloomberg) -- Japan plans to allow business travelers and students across its borders but isn’t loosening curbs for tourists, Nikkei reported. Hong Kong moved in the other direction, tightening rules for some travelers. 

The U.S. said 80% of adults in the nation have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Tonga, which reported its first case last week after almost two years Covid-free, will lock down its biggest, most populated island for a week.

The World Health Organization reopened a search for experts to join a panel to study Covid-19’s origins to add more specialists in areas such as biosecurity.

Amazon.com Inc. said its vaccinated workers in the U.S. will no longer have to wear masks, unless required to do so by federal or local rules. 

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases surpass 247 million; deaths top 5 million
  • Vaccine Tracker: More than 7.08 billion shots given
  • Covid shots for kids will narrow biggest racial vaccine gaps
  • China’s Xi uses G-20 talk to push for mutual recognition of shots
  • China’s economy weakens as Covid curbs and power crunch hit
  • Covid-19 Impact: Best of Bloomberg Intelligence Research

Colorado Hospitals Near Rationing Care (5:30 a.m. HK)

Eighty percent of Colorado residents have received at least one Covid-19 vaccination, Governor Jared Polis announced Monday, while warning surging infections among the unvaccinated are bringing the state closer to rationing hospital care “in the next few days.”

“It’s the 20% who haven’t been vaccinated that are filling up our hospital wards,” Polis said at a news briefing in Denver. The state may soon ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to augment stretched hospital staffing, he said, in addition to employing the crisis standards that set guidelines for rationing care, he said. 

Nearby Idaho, a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S., is actively rationing hospital care. Nearby Idaho, a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S., is actively rationing hospital care. 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Tests Positive (3:50 p.m. NY)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian tested positive for Covid-19, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Monday. Amirabdollahian is working from quarantine and his “general condition is good,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Amazon Ends Mask Rule for Vaccinated Workers (3:20 p.m. NY)

Amazon.com Inc. says its vaccinated workers in the U.S. will no longer have to wear masks beginning on Tuesday, unless required to do so by federal or local rules.

“Vaccines are universally available across the U.S. and vaccination rates continues to rise which enables the ability to return to our previous mask policy,” the company said in a notice to employees on Friday. A spokesperson confirmed the decision.

The online retailer, the second largest U.S. employer after Walmart, in August ordered employees to resume masking up regardless of vaccination status, as the delta variant spread. The company has so far stopped short of mandating vaccinations in its ranks, instead offering cash raffles and other perks for vaccinated employees.

Tonga’s Main Island to Lock Down on 1st Case (2:50 p.m. NY)

The Kingdom of Tonga, which reported its first ever Covid case last week after almost two years virus-free, will lock down its biggest, most populated island for a week.

The lockdown on Tongatapu, home to the capital Nukualofa, will see schools, restaurants and bars closed and a nighttime curfew imposed, the Associated Press reported. Residents can only go out for groceries or to access essential services like medical help.

The single case, which came in via a flight from New Zealand, has come as a rude awakening to the South Pacific country, which has been spared the hospitalizations and deaths of nearby nations with greater international linkages, like Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Novavax CEO Sees Shot as ‘Ideal’ Booster (12:45 p.m. NY)

Novavax Inc.’s top executive said the company’s Covid-19 vaccine could be a good booster option for people who have received other shots, as the drugmaker looks to ramp up output and gain approvals around the world.

“Our vaccine is ideal for boosting,” Chief Executive Officer Stanley Erck said in an interview on Monday with Bloomberg Television.

Greece Cases Reach Another High (12:10 p.m. NY)

Greece recorded a new daily high of Covid-19 cases Monday with 5,449 positive tests in 24 hours. It’s the second day in a row that the country hits a daily high since the beginning of the pandemic. The authorities will discuss the imposition of further restrictive measures in areas with high levels of infections on Wednesday.

U.S. to Hit 80% Mark on Adult First Doses (11:41 a.m. NY)

The U.S. will surpass a new milestone in its vaccination effort on Monday, with 80% of adults having received at least one dose of a vaccine,  said Jeff Zients, President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 response coordinator.

The U.S. entered the day at 79.9% of those 18 and up having one shot, and will cross 80% when Monday’s data are reported midday. Biden once set a goal of having 70% of adults with at least one shot, and met that in August, a month behind schedule.

Romania Sends Patients to Germany (11:35 a.m. NY)

Romania, a European nation suffering one of the worst death tolls per capita in the world over the past two weeks, transferred six critically ill patients to Germany on Monday as its Covid intensive-care unit wards are full, the country’s health ministry said in a statement on its website. 

A total of 18 patients will be transferred to Germany by Wednesday, as the nation is battling the worst virus outbreak since the pandemic started, with more than 1,800 severely ill patients occupying all available Covid ICU beds in hospitals and field units for a few weeks already. The second-least vaccinated European Union nation has asked for international assistance last month and received medical supplies and staff from the World Health Organization and several nations, including Hungary, Poland, Serbia and Moldova.

NYC Says 91% of Workforce Vaccinated (10:30 a.m. NY)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the vast majority of municipal employees are complying with the city’s vaccine mandate, resulting in little disruption to services as the requirement kicked in.

De Blasio said Monday that 9,000 employees have been placed on unpaid leave for not receiving the shot and another 12,000 have asked for exemptions. That amounts to a small share of the more than 160,000 the city had said would be covered by the latest requirement.

Overrall, de Blasio said 91% of the city’s workforce has been vaccinated.

“I’m going to say upfront to every mayor in America, to every governor in America, to every CEO of a company in America, go to a full vaccination mandate because it will allow us to end the Covid era once and for all,” he said. “We’ve got to end it, this is how we do it.”

The 12,000 workers who have asked for exemptions will continue working while being tested weekly as their claims are being judged. 

WHO Wants More Experts to Study Origins (7:24 a.m. NY)

The World Health Organization reopened a search for experts to join a committee to study Covid-19’s origins to add more specialists in areas such as biosecurity.

Applicants have until Wednesday to express interest, and the WHO said Monday it’s looking for experts in social science, anthropology, ethics, political science and biosafety. 

H.K. to End Quarantine Exemptions (5.01 a.m. NY)

Hong Kong will end quarantine exemptions for most groups including senior bankers, listed company directors and consulate staff starting Nov. 12.

Home isolation is not allowed, except for consuls general or representatives in Hong Kong at equivalent or higher level, the government website showed. Only some essential groups linked to the city’s daily operations will get exemptions, including aircrew, sea crew of cargo vessels, government officials and cross-boundary goods vehicle or coach drivers.

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