Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A nurse checks the temperature of a passenger arriving in Sydney airport. Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

A recent study found countries with certain international travel restrictions have suffered fewer COVID-19 deaths.

Why it matters: Before the novel coronavirus, most experts believed border closures weren't effective in slowing the spread of a pandemic. But it's become clear that addressing how people move is key to controlling a disease, even if closures come with serious costs.

What's happening: Researchers in Germany studied the effect of entry bans and mandatory quarantines on COVID-19 mortality, and found the earlier such measures were implemented, the greater the effect they had on limiting deaths.

  • Countries that put in place travel restrictions in early March had morality rates 62% less than countries that implemented them after mid-March, or not at all.

Of note: The study found mandatory quarantines for incoming travelers were more effective than outright entry bans, largely because such bans often exempted citizens and permanent residents, while quarantines usually applied to everyone.

  • That was the case with the U.S. ban on travel from China, which was applied a month after China first reported COVID-19 outbreaks and which exempted citizens and permanent residents.
  • The U.S. lost track of at least 1,600 people flying in from China in just the first few days after the ban went into effect, according to reporting from the AP.
  • Border controls are of little use if governments don't track and quarantine travelers coming from infected areas.

Between the lines: Travel within a country — which is much harder to restrict than international movement — clearly spread the virus as well.

  • A recent paper from researchers at New York University found "urban flight" — people fleeing large cities that hosted some of the first major outbreaks of the novel coronavirus — led to greater COVID-19 case growth in the regions they arrived in.

The bottom line: A virus only moves with its host. One lesson we should learn for future pandemics is that restricting that movement is key to controlling a new pathogen, even though the costs of such controls will only grow in a globalized world.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.
Dec 1, 2020 - Health

Expert: Pandemic has disrupted 80% of The Global Fund’s AIDS and HIV programs

Axios founder Mike Allen (left) and Gayle E. Smith, president and CEO, ONE Campaign. Photo: Axios

80% of The Global Fund's AIDS and HIV programs around the world have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, ONE Campaign president and CEO Gayle E. Smith said on Tuesday at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: The pandemic has diverted resources and attention from efforts to care for patients with AIDS and HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as restricted medication delivery to regions that are the most affected, per The New York Times.

Updated Nov 30, 2020 - Health

Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is ramping up, with three major candidates now reporting efficacy rates of more than 90%.

Why it matters: Health experts say the world can't fully return to normal until a coronavirus vaccine is widely distributed. But each potential vaccine has its own nuances, and it's likely that multiple vaccines will be needed in order to supply enough doses for universal vaccination.