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Santa Claus at the 2019 Macy's Thanksgiving parade. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Macy's said Santa Claus won't be greeting kids at its flagship New York store this year due to the coronavirus, interrupting a holiday tradition started nearly 160 years ago, AP reports.

The state of play: Before taking a picture with the jolly old man, crowds walk in tight quarters through a maze-like Santaland that's filled with Christmas trees, running toy trains and elves in green costumes.

  • Santa also won't be showing up at its Chicago and San Francisco stores, which have similar Santalands.

The big picture: The Macy's decision differs from big mall owners, which will still go ahead with in-person Santa visits by banning kids from sitting on his lap and making sure they stay six feet away from him.

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  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.