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China: Single-Use Plastic Straw and Bag Ban Takes Effect

(Mar. 23, 2021) On January 1, 2021, a plastic ban took effect in China that prohibits restaurants throughout the country from providing single-use plastic straws and stores in the major cities from providing plastic shopping bags. These are among the restrictions on the production, sale, and use of single-use plastic products set out in a […]

China: Digital Vaccination Certificate for Citizens Traveling Overseas Launched

(Mar. 18, 2021) On March 8, 2021, China launched a digital vaccination certificate for its citizens, named the International Travel Health Certificate, to “facilitate safe and orderly cross-border travel,” according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on the same day. The certificate shows details about the holder’s current COVID-19 vaccination […]

United Kingdom: Uber Drivers Are Workers Entitled to Employment Law Protections, Supreme Court Rules

(Mar. 17, 2021) The Supreme Court, the United Kingdom’s highest court, upheld on February 19, 2021, a ruling from the Court of Appeal that drivers who brought an employment law claim against Uber in 2016 were not independent contractors and were entitled to the protections afforded workers under U.K. employment law. The high court rejected […]

United Kingdom: Government Publishes Public Consultation on Environmental Impact of Commercial Spaceflight

(Mar. 2, 2021) On February 10, 2021, the United Kingdom’s government published a consultation (survey) seeking the public’s opinion about the environmental objectives the U.K.’s spaceflight regulator must consider when determining whether to grant a spaceport or launch operator license, along with guidance on how the regulator must implement these objectives. The government acknowledges both […]

Italy: Fines Updated, Auto Tax Refund Scheme Created Under New Traffic Code

(Feb. 18, 2021) On December 31, 2020, Italy’s Ministry of Justice issued a Decree updating the fines established for violations of the Traffic Code. The Decree became effective on January 1, 2021. (Decree, art. 3.) Indexing of Fines for Traffic Violations The new legislation updates the amounts of the administrative pecuniary penalties established under article 195(3) […]

International: United Nations Welcomes Loosening of Sanctions in Gulf Region

(Feb. 17, 2021) On January 5, 2021, United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement welcoming the news that Saudi Arabia had lifted the economic and political sanctions it had imposed on Qatar since 2017. Guterres was joined two days later by U.N. Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights Alena Douhan, […]

Brazil: Carnival Canceled in City of Rio de Janeiro

(Feb. 12, 2021) On February 4, 2021, the mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, enacted Decree No. 48,500, which establishes, on an exceptional basis, rules for the use of public areas and for the exercise of economic activities between 12:00 a.m. on February 12 and 6:00 a.m. on February 22, 2021. […]

Saint Lucia: Restrictions on Use of Tobacco Products in Public Places Adopted

(Jan. 29, 2021) On June 2, 2020, Saint Lucia Minister of Health Mary Isaac issued the Public Health (Smoking Control) Regulations, 2020. The regulations were issued on the basis of the minister’s authority in accordance with section 9 of the Public Health Act, Cap. 11.01, as amended by the Public Health (Amendment) Act, 2019. According […]

Italy: New Law Contains Measures on Visas, Territorial Waters, Virtual Proceedings in Drug Trials, and Refugee Centers

(Jan. 22, 2021) On December 20, 2020, Italy’s government issued Law No. 173 of December 18, 2020, which contains new measures concerning visas, vessels in territorial waters, virtual proceedings in drug trafficking prosecutions, and refugee center security and detainee welfare. New Provisions on Student Visas, Resident Visas for Refugees The new legislation allows foreign students who […]

Italy: Amendments to the Nautical Sports Code Approved

(Jan. 4, 2021) On November 12, 2020, Italy’s government issued Legislative Decree No. 160, which amends and corrects the consolidated text of the Nautical Sports Code. Regulated Activities The code applies to navigation carried out in maritime or inland waters, exclusively for sporting or recreational and nonprofit purposes, using pleasure boats having any method of […]