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Tom Hammond climbs out of an ice crevasse at Adelaide Island, Antarctica, in March. Photo: Robert Taylor/British Antarctic Survey via AP

A "safe little bubble" exists that's isolated from coronavirus — where people mingle without masks, ski, socialize and watch the pandemic unfold from thousands of miles away, AP reports.

The state of play: That place is Antarctica, the only continent without COVID-19. As COVID-19 has shaken diplomatic ties around the world, the 30 countries that comprise the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs decided to keep the virus out. Now, as nearly 1,000 scientists and others who wintered on the ice are seeing the sun for the first time in weeks, a global effort wants to make sure incoming colleagues don't bring the virus.

Go deeper

Dec 20, 2020 - Health

U.S. surgeon general: No evidence that U.K.'s new COVID-19 strain will affect vaccinations

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday there are "no indications" that a new strain of COVID-19, said to be identified in England, will slow U.S. vaccination efforts.

Driving the news: Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium have announced plans to restrict travel from the U.K. due to concerns over the new variant, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "may be up to 70% more transmissible" than the original version of the disease.

Dec 20, 2020 - Health

CDC panel says adults over 75, essential workers should be next in line for vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Falmouth Health Centre on Dec. 20 in Falmouth, England. Photo: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images

Americans 75 and older along with roughly 30 million "frontline essential workers" should be next in line to get coronavirus vaccinations, a group of experts that make recommendations to the CDC voted on Sunday, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Adults over 75 are eight times more likely to be hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus. Essential workers are at an elevated risk for COVID-19 infections and are disproportionately people of color, who face higher mortality rates from the coronavirus than white people.

Updated Dec 21, 2020 - Health

Countries restrict travel from U.K. to curb spread of COVID-19 variant

London's Heathrow Airport. Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Canada on Sunday evening became the latest country to suspend travel from the United Kingdoms after the U.K. and World Health Organization said they'd identified a new variant of COVID-19 in England.

Driving the news: Dutch officials were first to impose the restrictions after they identified at least one case of the same variant in the Netherlands. France, Germany, Italy, the Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria have announced similar U.K. travel bans.