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Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 10th Jul 2020

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Coronavirus: Pools, gyms, team sport and outdoor gigs to return

Dowden said normal life was "slowly returning" and that this was an important milestone for the country's performers and artists, who had been "waiting in the wings since March". "I'm really urging people to get out there and to play their part," he said. "Buy the tickets for outdoor plays and musical recitals, get to your local gallery and support your local businesses." But the culture secretary warned the measures were conditional and reversible, adding that the government would impose local lockdowns if cases started to spike.
9th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Can big countries realistically eliminate COVID-19 without a vaccine? Four experts discuss

The UK should change its COVID-19 strategy to try to eliminate COVID-19 even without a vaccine rather than simply managing the disease, according to Independent SAGE, a group of scientists set up as an alternative to the government’s advisory body. New Zealand has effectively managed to eliminate the virus, but can states with much larger, denser populations that have experienced much bigger outbreaks hope to do the same? Or is it more realistic to accept that the disease is likely to continue to circulate at some level and plan for that? We asked four experts for their views.
9th Jul 2020 - The Conversation UK

Coronavirus Cases Show No Sign of Slowing in Worst-Hit U.S., Brazil and India

India on Thursday reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections, as the disease continued its ominous spread through the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people. The virus is showing no signs of slowing in the worst-affected countries: the United States, Brazil and India. The three nations are accounting for more than 60% of new cases, according to recent tallies from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. reported nearly 59,000 new daily cases, just short of the record 60,000 cases set a day earlier, as President Donald Trump insisted that schools reopen in the fall. Brazil reported nearly 45,000 new cases. The virus has also been spreading rapidly in South Africa, which reported nearly 9,000 new cases in its latest daily update. A provincial health official said 1.5 million grave sites are being prepared and it’s the public’s responsibility “to make sure that we don’t get there.”
9th Jul 2020 - TIME Magazine

Morocco to Start Reopening Borders After Strict Lockdown

Morocco will start gradually reopening its air and maritime borders next week after one of the world’s strictest border lockdowns, which trapped tourists inside the country and left thousands of Moroccans stranded abroad and unable to come home. Only Moroccan citizens and expatriates living in Morocco will be allowed to travel in the first stage of the reopening starting July 14, according to a government statement Thursday. National airlines will schedule as many flights as necessary to return Moroccans living abroad as well as foreigners living in Morocco. Passengers are required to present both a PCR virus test taken within fewer than 48 hours of the flight, as well as an antibody test, before boarding planes heading for Morocco. Ferries from the French port Sete and Italian port Genoa will be allowed to resume serving Moroccan ports. All other ports will be excluded from this operation for now.
9th Jul 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Scotland is entering phase 3 in the route map out of lockdown, but when will hairdressers reopen again?

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday 9 July that Scotland can now enter into phase 3 in the easing of lockdown restrictions, with hairdressers able to reopen their doors on Wednesday 15 July. Ms Sturgeon also announced she stressed that beauticians and nail salons will be able to open on Wednesday 22 July. The First Minister reminded the Scottish public that face masks are now compulsory on public transport and will become mandatory in shops from Friday 10 July.
9th Jul 2020 - The Scotsman

How does Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown compare with overseas responses to community transmission?

The hard lockdowns placed on Melbourne's public housing towers may be a first in Australia, but similar scenes have played out in countries around the world. Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said earlier this week the tower block lockdown was a "major escalation" and something we had not seen in the country before. But he said it was a similar decision to those made by officials in other parts of the world, such as "New York, China and in Europe". "The way [the increase in cases in Victoria] will come under control is very clear, we know how to do that, it is led by the data," Professor Kelly said. "Testing, trace and isolate [are] crucial and fundamental public health responses."
9th Jul 2020 - ABC News

Warning of possible virus resurgence, France rules out another 'total lockdown'

The French government on Wednesday warned that a surge in coronavirus cases in coming months remained a distinct possibility, though it ruled out another nationwide lockdown that would further cripple the country's economy. "My aim is to prepare France for a possible second wave while preserving our daily life, our economic and social life," Jean Castex, the newly appointed prime minister, said in an interview on RTL television. "But we're not going to impose a lockdown like the one we did last March, because we've learned... that the economic and human consequences from a total lockdown are disastrous," he said. Instead business closures or stay-at-home orders would be "targeted" to specific areas, Castex added.
9th Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Popular Australian ski resorts closed due to coronavirus concerns

Two popular Victorian ski resorts have closed effective immediately due to the coronavirus crisis in the state. Falls Creek and Mount Hotham ski resorts have closed as a result of new restrictions and the NSW border lockdown. "We have made the difficult decision to suspend operations at Hotham and Falls Creek, effective Thursday July 9 through to at least August 19," Vail Resorts, the US company which owns the ski fields, said in a statement. "We recognise the impact this has on our guests, employees and communities and did not make this decision lightly." Vail Resorts cited the recent rise in cases of coronavirus and say public health and safety is their key motivator.
9th Jul 2020 - 9News

Australia to release most from COVID-19 high-rise lockdown despite surge

Australia’s second-most populous state will relax restrictions on many of the 3,000 people locked down in nine public-housing towers despite surging numbers of COVID-19 cases, state premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday. Victoria state on Saturday confined residents of the towers in their homes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting widespread criticism from residents. Andrews said that after testing all 3,000 people in the towers, residents in eight of the high-rise buildings would be allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, the same rules in force throughout the state. “There are such numbers of positive cases, together with known close contacts, that the assumption has got to be that everybody in that tower is a close contact of someone who is positive,” Andrews said of the tower that will remain in lockdown.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Safety for students, staff and teachers key to reopen schools

Now President Donald Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are threatening to cut funding unless we fully reopen with in-person instruction, without regard for safety. The Washington state Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, Department of Health, and Labor & Industries have provided scientifically based guidance for safely reopening schools. Districts across the state are making decisions about which model to offer in accordance with that guidance. Very few districts are finding that five days a week of in-person instruction is safe or appropriate given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. No matter the model, Washington Education Association and our local associations are advocating that school administrators guide their decisions based on what is best and safest for students and educators. Health and safety must remain the priority. Science and guidance from health experts must direct and inform reopening decisions. Schools must employ effective screening and cleaning protocols and provide protective equipment to keep students, staff, families and communities safe. We’ll need more school nurses to provide health checks and monitoring, and custodial staff to clean and sanitize buildings.
9th Jul 2020 - Seattle Times

Coronavirus: Filling middle plane seats may DOUBLE transmission

A new statistical model shows COVID-19 infections rising on commercial flights The MIT produced model shows nearly double the transmissions with middle seats filled, and more than 80 additional deaths from COVID-19 a year. Without federal guidelines, airline policy on middle seat sales is inconsistent
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 9th Jul 2020

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The rules returning and support ending as lockdown eases, from free NHS parking to evictions

The coronavirus pandemic has had a wide-ranging impact on the lives of many people, leading the Government to suspend various policies to support Britons during these unprecedented times. But as the country begins to emerge from the lockdown, it appears that business is returning to normal. Some of those policies – many of which were unpopular in the first place – are beginning to be reinstated or are slated to return over the next few months.
8th Jul 2020 - iNews

People refusing coronavirus treatment may face jail in Italy's Veneto

People who test positive for the coronavirus but refuse hospital treatment could face a prison sentence under a new regulation introduced in Italy’s northeastern region of Veneto. The order by Governor Luca Zaia says that until the end of July hospitals must tell the public prosecutor’s office of anyone refusing admission after testing positive. Anyone returning to Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, must also be given two compulsory swab tests, Monday’s regional order says if they are returning from a business trip outside the European Union or a non-Schengen country.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Global report: Catalonia makes mask-wearing in public compulsory

Spain’s northern Catalonia region will make wearing a mask in public spaces compulsory at all times from Thursday morning, as French prosecutors charged two men with with attempted murder after a bus driver was attacked and left brain dead for refusing to drive a group of mask-less men. The move in Catalonia was announced as the region struggles with a renewed outbreak of coronavirus around Lleida that has forced a new lockdown for 200,000 inhabitants and pushed hospitals to the brink. The announcement by the Catalan regional leader, Quim Torra, came as authorities around the globe confronted fast-emerging new peaks of the disease even as they looked for ways out of economically damaging nationwide lockdowns. “Masks in Catalonia will be mandatory,” said Torra. Spain has since June ordered the use of masks indoors and outside where 1.5 metres of social distancing cannot be maintained.
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

France Can’t Afford Another Lockdown If Covid Returns, PM Says

France’s new government would seek to preserve the economy should a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic force it to bring back lockdown measures, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday. “We won’t survive, economically and socially, an absolute and generalized lockdown,” Castex told BFM TV and RMC radio, adding that he advocated more targeted restrictions. With the World Health Organization advising countries to prepare for a second wave of pandemic spread, it’s a balancing act that officials around the world are also contemplating. But with public finances already battered by the first wave, the tradeoffs look increasingly bleak.
8th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

COVID-19 lock-down: How the Gauteng government plans to safely reopen schools

Since the gradual opening of the economy after lock-down there has been a sharp incline of COVID-19 cases. The government has the task of balancing the health of the people with keeping the economy going and opening the schools. How is the Gauteng provincial government helping? The Gauteng MEC for education is laying out the plans to welcome back school goers….
8th Jul 2020 - CNBC Africa

How Rishi Sunak could kickstart UK's post-lockdown economy

Rishi Sunak is preparing to announce a wide-ranging package of tax and spending measures to kickstart Britain’s economic recovery from the coronavirus lockdown. Designed to cushion the blow from rising unemployment and to help businesses back to their feet, the summer economic update on Wednesday comes as Britain grapples with the worst recession in living memory. Here are the key announcements to look out for from the chancellor.
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

French PM says any new coronavirus lockdown would be targeted

New French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday that any new lockdown will be targeted, and not imposed nationwide, if there is a major new coronavirus outbreak. The previous French government enforced a strict nationwide lockdown from mid-March to May 11 to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, and some restrictions on public gatherings are still in place. “We must be ready for a second wave, but we would not proceed to a general lockdown like in March, as that has terrible economic and human consequences. Any new lockdown would be targeted,” Castex told BFM television.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Mexico posts new case record to overtake Spain; official says virus 'slowing'

The government has said the real number of infected people and deaths is likely significantly higher than the confirmed numbers due to low levels of testing. Lopez-Gatell, the deputy health minister and who spearheads Mexico’s coronavirus response, said the new figures do not mean the spread of the virus is accelerating. “The epidemic in Mexico is slowing down,” he said, adding that the velocity of the spread was decreasing. He highlighted progress in Mexico City, the epicenter of the virus. He said despite officials in the capital loosening restrictions and reopening for business two weeks ago, there have been no signals the virus was on the rise.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

South Africa prepares 1.5 million gravesites as coronavirus cases rise

A health official in South Africa’s new coronavirus hot spot of Gauteng province says authorities are preparing over 1.5 million gravesites as confirmed cases rise.
8th Jul 2020 - 1News

Strains of hope: Chilean nurse serenades COVID-19 patients with violin

When most Chilean nurses finish their long shifts caring for the country’s many COVID-19 patients, there is little else on their minds but seeing their families, eating and sleeping. Not so Damaris Silva, who twice a week when she finishes her shift at 6 p.m. picks up her violin and returns to the ward. Silva, 26, spends several hours walking the corridors of the Hospital El Pino, in the capital Santiago’s poor southern La Pintana neighbourhood. She plays a mix of popular Latin songs, bringing a moment of levity for both patients - some of whom have spent weeks in critical care - and exhausted colleagues. “As soon as I walk in the patients brighten, they seem happier; they smile and applaud,” she told Reuters.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th Jul 2020

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A return to tighter lockdown restrictions could be harder to enforce

New research by academics led by the University of Pretoria models three scenarios for the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, combining previous models with new data. The results paint a worrying picture for the rate of infection against the country’s ICU capacity, amid decreasing levels of compliance to lockdown regulations. To curb the spread of Covid-19, many governments around the world have implemented tiered lockdowns with varying degrees of stringency. Lockdown levels are typically increased when the disease spreads and reduced when the disease abates.
7th Jul 2020 - BusinessTech

New lockdown rules for the reopening of cinemas and sport in South Africa

Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has published a new directive outlining the new reopening rules for cinemas, sports, and libraries. The directive, which comes into immediate effect, forms part of the country’s ‘advanced level 3 lockdown’ which saw a number of business sectors reopen to the public. While the amended level 3 directive sets out a number of core regulations which all business must follow, the latest directive from Mthethwa also introduces specific guidelines for the arts and sports sectors. The changes are outlined in more detail below.
7th Jul 2020 - BusinessTech

Italy could ‘section’ people who refuse treatment for Covid-19

Italy’s health minister has proposed “sectioning” people who refuse hospital treatment for Covid-19 and has suspended flights from Bangladesh as the southern European country grapples with several new coronavirus outbreaks. The potential move towards forced hospitalisations came after a cluster of infections arose in the northern Veneto region, triggered by a man who developed coronavirus symptoms on the day he returned from a business trip to Serbia and initially resisted treatment in hospital.
7th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Global report: South Africa cases pass 200,000 as Kenya plans 'phased reopening'

South Africa’s coronavirus cases have passed 200,000, the highest total in Africa, as Kenya’s leadership announced that it was pressing on with plans to ease the country’s lockdown despite a steep increase in cases. There are currently 205,721 cases and 3,310 deaths in South Africa, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, making it the 15th worst-affected country worldwide. South Africa’s Times newspaper reported that the country’s cases have increased by almost 160,000 in the last month alone.
7th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Fleeing coronavirus outbreaks overseas: New Zealand restricts entry for Kiwis escaping coronavirus

New Zealand began restricting the return of its own nationals Tuesday as the country faces an accelerating influx of citizens fleeing coronavirus outbreaks overseas and limited quarantine facilities. National carrier Air New Zealand put a three-week freeze on new bookings and the government is in talks with other airlines to limit capacity, officials said. New Zealand has gone 67 days without any cases of coronavirus in the community and its 22 active cases are all in managed quarantine facilities for New Zealanders flocking home from worsening epidemics elsewhere.
7th Jul 2020 - RTL Today


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 7th Jul 2020

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Coronavirus: Scotland reopens beer gardens and outdoor cafes as lockdown eases

People in Scotland are now able to return to beer gardens and pavement cafes after they opened for the first time in 15 weeks. But customers are being warned that al fresco eating and drinking will not be the same as it was before the lockdown. As well as following strict distancing and hygiene rules, they will have to leave their contact details so they can be traced in the event of an outbreak. Pubs and restaurants should be able to welcome customers indoors from 15 July. That will be part of phase three of the Scottish government's route map out of lockdown, which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to confirm on Thursday.
6th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Australians could soon be allowed to travel to New Zealand

Travel-bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been on table since May But the plan is being held back by a massive coronavirus outbreak in Victoria Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said is prepared to restart trans-Tasman flights But it would be on a state-by-state basis meaning Victorians are banned
6th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

India puts back Taj Mahal reopening citing COVID-19 risks

India has withdrawn a planned reopening of the Taj Mahal, citing the risk of new coronavirus infections spreading in the northern city of Agra from visitors flocking to see the 17th century monument to love.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Kenya announces phased re-opening of the country from coronavirus lockdown

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Monday a phased reopening of the country from a COVID-19 lockdown, lifting restrictions on travel in and out of the capital Nairobi and allowing air travel to resume.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

"Mona Lisa" back at work, visitors limited as Louvre reopens

The “Mona Lisa” is back in business. Paris' Louvre Museum, which houses the world's most famous portrait, reopened Monday after a four-month coronavirus lockdown and without its usual huge throngs. The reopening of the world's most-visited museum was a bright spot in what is otherwise shaping up as a grimly quiet start to the summer tourist season in France, with far fewer visitors than was normal before the pandemic closed borders.
6th Jul 2020 - ABC News

Saudi Arabia makes masks mandatory, bans gatherings during Hajj

Saudi Arabia on Monday said all the intending pilgrims in 2020 Hajj must wear face masks at all times, while workers would ensure no overcrowding or gatherings take place during the pilgrimage. The kingdom has drastically curtailed the pilgrimage amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying that only the few thousands who reside in the country could perform the Hajj, scheduled for July ending. Saudi Arabia’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SaudiCDC) released a list of instructions for pilgrims and workers to follow.
6th Jul 2020 - The Nation Newspaper

Coronavirus: Pubs close after positive tests

A number of pubs in England have closed after customers tested positive for coronavirus. At least three establishments announced they had shut their doors again just days after reopening at the weekend. They were among hundreds of venues that welcomed customers for the first time in three months as lockdown measures were eased. Crowds descended in some towns and cities, prompting fears social distancing was being disregarded. The affected pubs announced their closures via Facebook. The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said it was "slowly" working through a list of customers who had left details at the weekend. In Batley, West Yorkshire, the Fox and Hounds said a customer had phoned to say they had tested positive for coronavirus. The pub said staff had taken tests and the venue would be deep-cleaned prior to reopening.
6th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Fiji reports first coronavirus case in 78 days

Fiji's 78-day run without coronavirus is over, with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama confirming Monday a 66-year-old man tested positive after returning from India. It is the 19th case in the small South Pacific island nation, and more are now expected. "We've confirmed a border case of COVID-19 among a returning citizen while he was securely in the confines of government-funded quarantine," Bainimarama said. All arrivals to Fiji have to undergo 14 days of quarantine. The acting permanent secretary for health, James Fong, said Fiji had deliberately refrained from calling itself 'COVID-free' and was not surprised when the positive test was recorded Sunday.
6th Jul 2020 - Medical Xpress

Bali holds mass prayers for reopening from coronavirus lockdown

Bali conducted mass prayers on Sunday as the Indonesian resort island prepares to reopen to tourists shut out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a thousand people attended a prayer at Besakih Hindu temple in the town of Karangasem, expressing gratitude for the handling of the new coronavirus on the island and seeking blessings for the start of a “new normal”. Bali has reported 1,849 coronavirus infections and 20 deaths so far, while Indonesia as a whole has recorded 63,749 cases and 3,171 deaths since early March.
5th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 6th Jul 2020

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Coronavirus: Arts venues welcome £1.57bn government support

The government has unveiled a £1.57bn support package to help protect the futures of UK theatres, galleries, museums and other cultural venues. It follows several weeks of pressure, with industry leaders warning that many venues were on the brink of collapse. Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will also be eligible for the new emergency grants and loans. Guidance for a phased return of the performing arts is expected to be published by the government shortly. A string of theatres have announced plans to make staff redundant in recent weeks, after being closed since the coronavirus pandemic took hold earlier this year. The announcement of the new funding comes just two days after theatres across the UK were covered in colourful messages of support.
5th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Ireland to ease foreign travel restrictions from July 20

Ireland is to ease quarantine restrictions on people travelling from abroad on July 20, with people from a “green list” of countries with low COVID-19 rates to be exempt from isolating themselves for 14 days, transport minister Eamon Ryan said. Former prime minister Leo Varadkar in June said that the restrictions would be eased from July 9. “A so-called green list... will be published on July 20,” Ryan said in an interview with Newstalk radio station. “The green list will be operating after that.”
5th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Former WHO director Anthony Costello: 'Opening pubs before schools says something about our priorities'

Well it’s very odd in Britain that we’re opening pubs before schools. It says something about our priorities. Being outdoors the risks are pretty low – 19 times lower risk according to a Japanese study. I would have said open pubs as long as you serve outside.
5th Jul 2020 - MSN UK

Lockdown heroes: couriers get Moscow monument

A group of Russian e-commerce companies said Friday they had erected a monument in Moscow thanking couriers for helping people through the coronavirus lockdown. The tribute comes after some delivery workers, many of whom are impoverished migrants from Central Asia, protested against conditions they said were unfair. Online shopping company Ozon, sometimes called the Russian Amazon, as well as several supermarkets and food delivery services said they clubbed together to put up the sculptural tribute in the south of the capital.
3rd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Brazil set to pass 1.5 million coronavirus cases, cities reopen anyway

Brazil was set to pass 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, as the virus continues to ravage Latin America’s largest country even as cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms sparking fears infections will keep rising. Brazil has the world’s second largest outbreak after the United States and the virus has killed over 60,000 people in the country. In Rio de Janeiro, crowds gathered to drink on the sidewalk of an upscale beach-side neighborhood on Thursday night, the first evening bars in the city were allowed to reopen. Pictures of the revelry in Leblon, where few were wearing face masks and people were huddled close together, went viral on social media drawing condemnation and concern.
3rd Jul 2020 - Reuters


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 3rd Jul 2020

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'Bubbles' - How England plans to reopen schools to all pupils

All pupils in England will be expected to return to school in September as part of government plans unveiled on Thursday, which include dividing students into separate groups to limit the spread of COVID-19. Schools will be asked to maintain distinct student groups, known as bubbles, which strive to not mix with pupils in other bubbles. They could be the size of a class or a year group. This makes it easier to pinpoint who needs to self-isolate if there is a positive case and will keep that number to a minimum, the education ministry said. Officials acknowledge younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing and that could be challenging for everyone when using shared facilities such as dining halls, toilets and playgrounds.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Cuban capital to ease lockdown, joins rest of the country

Cuba said on Wednesday it will begin easing a pandemic lockdown on Havana on Friday, while most of the rest of the country will move to phase two of a three-phase process towards normalization. The capital’s 2.2 million residents will once more be able to move around on public and private transport, go to the beach and other recreation centers, and enjoy a seaside drive just in time for the summer break. They can also dine and have a drink, although social distancing and wearing masks remain mandatory. Optional medical and other services will also resume. Only a handful of COVID-19 cases were reported in Cuba last month, all but a few in Havana. Most of the Caribbean island, home to 11.2 million inhabitants, has been free of the disease for more than a month.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

High-flying facemasks arrive at Mexican hospitals by drone

To eliminate the risk of contagious human beings, a Mexican company has launched a drone delivery service to get clean medical supplies to hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. Mexico-City based firm Sincronia Logistica has begun deploying unmanned drones to deliver personal protective gear and other essential equipment to public hospitals in the central state of Queretaro, north of the capital. Mexican healthcare workers have staged protests nationwide over the lack of personal protective equipment. The drones help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus by allowing for quick, contact-free drop-offs. “In addition to reducing time, we’ve also reduced human contact,” said Diego Garcia, director of business excellence at Sincronia Logistica. The innovation comes as the pandemic has surged in Mexico to give the country the sixth-highest death toll worldwide, with some 28,510 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities.
3rd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

How will schools return safely in September?

All pupils should be back in school in England by September under new government guidelines announced on Thursday by the education secretary. From the beginning of the autumn term, limits on attendance will be lifted to allow schools to open at full capacity, and schools and colleges are being asked to return to a full curriculum ahead of exams next summer. But, after several false starts, how will schools open safely to all pupils after the summer break according to the latest government blue print set out by Gavin Williamson on Thursday.
2nd Jul 2020 - ITV News


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 2nd Jul 2020

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Miami-Dade, Broward Order Mandatory Face Covering When in Public

As coronavirus cases continue to climb in South Florida, Broward and Miami-Dade counties have issued emergency orders requiring people wear face masks when out in public. In a statement, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the two counties agreed to a "blanket facial coverings" order in order to avoid overwhelming smaller hospitals. "I want to once again reiterate that if everyone follows the New Normal rules of social distancing of at least six feet, wear facial coverings (which can be homemade) and stay safer at home unless they need to go to work or to a store, we can get back to opening up our economy," Gimenez said in a statement. Broward's emergency order also required that business remain closed between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. Take out, delivery and drive-thru are still permitted. Miami-Dade issued a similar order late Tuesday night, which goes into effect Wednesday night at midnight.
2nd Jul 2020 - NBC 6 South Florida

No 2nd second lockdown in Colombia's capital after major ICU capacity boost

The mayor of Colombia’s capital Bogota said she wouldn’t call a second lockdown, claiming the health ministry would provide more intensive care units (ICU’s) to treat COVID-19 patients. Following a meeting with Health Minister Fernando Ruiz, Mayor Claudia Lopez said the ministry vowed to give the capital more than the 425 ICU’s promised before the end of August. “There won’t be another lockdown” Consequently, “there’s won’t be another lockdown,” said Lopez. Lopez had stepped up pressure on the government of President Ivan Duque, threatening to suspend the government’s economic reactivation plans if a 75% ICU occupancy rate forced her to declare a red alert. The increased number of ICU’s, however, “added to those already bought by Bogota,allow us to have a good care system in July,” according to the mayor.
1st Jul 2020 - Colombia Reports

Two Brazilian cities limit reopening as cases rise

The Brazilian cities of Belo Horizonte and Cuiaba this week rolled back reopening to only essential businesses due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the last few days. The Brazilian cities of Belo Horizonte and Cuiaba this week rolled back reopening to only essential businesses due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the last few days. While the cases and deaths caused by the new virus were falling in cities like Rio de Janeiro an Sao Paulo, reopening commerce and easing the restrictive measures meant the virus spread was moving to the countryside, affecting other cities and small towns. According to Dr. Margareth Dalcolmo, pneumologist and researcher at the renowned FIOCRUZ Institute, less than 20% of the Brazilian municipalities have the ability to properly treat patients in serious conditions.
1st Jul 2020 - Republic World

EU reopens to outside visitors in bid to save tourism

The European Union has reopened its borders to visitors from 15 countries, but excluded the United States where deaths are rising again and a top health official warned the country was heading in the "wrong direction". The final list of nations safe enough to allow residents to enter the EU did not include Russia, Brazil or the US, where the daily death toll passed 1,000 yesterday for the first time since 10 June. US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said the US could see 100,000 cases a day if the current trend continued, and several US states imposed 14-day quarantines on travellers from other states.
1st Jul 2020 - RTE.ie

Italy keeps travel ban in place as EU opens borders

Most EU countries have agreed to reopen their external borders on July 1st to visitors from 15 countries - but Italy will be keeping its travel ban in place. Here's what you need to know. The EU 27 member states on Tuesday agreed on a list of 15 countries whose citizens would be allowed to travel to European Union from July 1st. But later on Tuesday Italy, which had seemed to be in favour of reopening, announced it would not be lifting its ban on travel from outside Europe. The 15 non-EU countries on the "safe list" are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
1st Jul 2020 - The Local Italy

Korea’s Export Slump Eases on More Work Days, Lockdown Lifts

South Korea’s exports fell at a slower pace in June as economies emerged from lockdowns, offering a sign that the worst of a slump in overseas demand may be over, though economists warned a recovery would likely be slow. The value of overseas shipments fell 11% from a year earlier, according to trade ministry data released Wednesday, improving from declines in excess of 20% in the previous two months. Economists had forecast a 9.1% contraction. The snapshot of Korean export health was complicated by extra working days in June that likely masked some weakness.
1st Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Coronavirus is growing': Jacinda Ardern rejects calls to open New Zealand borders

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hit out at calls from her political opponents to reopen the nation’s borders - calling the suggestion “frankly dangerous”. The pacific island nation has been able to keep its coronavirus case number dramatically low after introducing lockdown measures early - with only 22 instances of the virus currently confirmed in the country and one hospitalisation. The result has been a return to normality for much of the country - including mass attendance at sports events and a full return of the nation’s hospitality sector.
1st Jul 2020 - The Independent

Post COVID-19 lockdown, new direct flights from Delhi may open up international travel destinations

During the nationwide lockdown, thousands of Indian stranded aboard were flown back to the country from across the world and several foreigners were also sent to their countries. To facilitate their safe travel, Delhi airport served as one the largest transit points, which handled about 92 international flights connecting 28 destinations for the first time. The list includes several long-haul routes such as Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington in New Zealand, Brisbane in Australia, Cairo and Marsa Alam in Egypt, Domodedovo in Russia, Dublin in Ireland, Ankara in Turkey, Hamburg-Finkenwerder in Germany, Johannesburg in South Africa, Manila in the Philippines, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and Ras Al Khaimah in UAE.
1st Jul 2020 - The New Indian Express

Lockdown easing pits Irish health officials against airline bosses

Ryanair used its return to a more regular schedule on Wednesday to pile pressure on its home market of Ireland to ease travel restrictions in a debate that has pitted airline bosses against increasingly cautious health officials. Ireland’s then caretaker government said last week it planned to lift a 14-day quarantine for anyone travelling to and from countries that have also suppressed the coronavirus from July 9 and would publish a list of safe countries. However, new prime minister Micheál Martin, appointed last weekend, said on Monday he would take a cautious approach to opening up air travel after health authorities warned this could reignite the coronavirus crisis in Ireland. “We can’t say we’re somehow different, close the doors and throw away the keys. On that basis we may as well move out to the Aran Islands,” Eddie Wilson, chief executive of Ryanair’s main airline unit, told the Newstalk radio station, referring to the tiny Irish islands off its west coast.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

U.S. already at 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day, it just isn't testing them all, former FDA Commissioner Gottlieb says

While the U.S. has ramped up coronavirus testing to more than 500,000 tests per day, it still won’t be enough, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said. The U.S. has struggled to roll out rapid and effective diagnostic testing since the beginning of the outbreak. By the time the coronavirus had infected more than 1 million people in the U.S., the country had tested just over 6.3 million people. The U.S. already has 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day, it’s just not testing enough to detect all the new patients, Gottlieb said.
1st Jul 2020 - CNBC


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 1st Jul 2020

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Indigenous peoples of South America face 'genocide' as coronavirus pandemic exposes historic inequalities

Berlin Diques oversees the well-being of some of the most vulnerable peoples in the world. As a regional president of the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest (AIDESEP), he supervises three regions of remote Amazonia, at the Peruvian borders of Colombia and Brazil, territories that are home to 15 different indigenous groups. Managing their well-being during the pandemic, he says, is harder than ever. “We are in danger of extinction,” he told ABC News. “If one of us got the virus in a remote community and starts the contagion it will be the death of us . . . it will be a genocide. This is my biggest fear.”
30th Jun 2020 - ABC News

Uruguay’s Covid success: ‘We cannot cry victory just yet’

In contrast, in far smaller Uruguay — which is also favoured by a low population density and much lower inequality and poverty — only 25 people have died of coronavirus, with just two deaths in the last month. “We cannot cry victory just yet. We have to stay alert,” said Daniel Salinas, Uruguay’s health minister. Last month, President Luis Lacalle Pou was briefly quarantined before testing negative for Covid-19 after meeting with an infected official from the town of Rivera on the border with Brazil, where the death toll has spiralled above 50,000. Most agree that Uruguay’s strong public health system has helped it combat the pandemic. After 15 years of rule by the centre-left Broad Front coalition that invested heavily in the health sector, Uruguay has one of the highest numbers of hospital beds per inhabitant in Latin America.
30th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

European Union says it will bar Americans when bloc reopens to international visitors July 1

Americans will not be allowed to travel to European Union countries when the bloc opens up to international visitors July 1, the European Council announced Tuesday. Travelers from 14 countries will be welcomed to the EU, including Canada, South Korea and Australia. But those from the U.S. and many other nations will be barred as too risky because of spiking coronavirus cases in their home countries. Chinese travelers will be allowed to visit if that country's government confirms a policy of reciprocity, the council's announcement said.
30th Jun 2020 - USA TODAY

UK's mental health has deteriorated during lockdown, says Mind

Lockdown has been devastating for mental health and the worst could be yet to come, a leading charity has said. The mental health charity Mind says a survey has revealed that lockdown has had a dramatic impact on the nation’s mental health, warning that unless action is taken now, the problem could grow. “Overall there has been a deterioration in people’s mental health, regardless of whether they had the mental health problem before [lockdown],” said Megan Pennell, the parliamentary and campaigns manager at Mind. The charity said the government must take urgent action not just to address immediate need but to invest in services and put safety nets in place for the future, noting stressors including unemployment and housing problems were set to worsen.
30th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

As EU prepares to reopen borders, Spanish experts stress importance of coronavirus safety measures

The European Union agreed on Monday to open its borders to a list of 15 countries, which have reciprocal deals with the EU and are considered safe due to their epidemiological situation. Under the agreement, which needs to be approved by a majority of the 27-member bloc, travel to and from the following countries will be permitted from July 1: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The list also includes China, but only if visitors from the EU receive reciprocal treatment, given that is one of the conditions for reopening. We should not be guided by whether there are active outbreaks, but rather whether they are controlled
30th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

No countrywide lockdown but concentrated confinements to deal with new Covid-19 outbreaks, says Spain’s Health Minister

Concetrated confinements rather than another countrywide lockdown is the way to deal with new Covid-19 outbreaks, believes Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa. The minister said he is inclined towards “surgical” lockdowns of specific localities, buildings or companies, assuming the relevant regional governments are of the same opinion. According to Illa a second wave of the virus in Spain is avoidable if society acts responsibly. If it does happen, he believes it will be “less intense and smaller scale,” mainly because the country’s health system is, in his view, better prepared. At the same time, he said it was necessary to work on the basis of the worst possible scenario occurring.
30th Jun 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Jacinda Ardern says opening New Zealand border too quickly would be ‘dangerous’

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has responded forcefully after copping criticism of her government’s coronavirus border policies from both sides. The country’s Opposition leader Todd Muller says keeping its current border restrictions in place over the long term is “simply untenable” and will leave New Zealand “on its knees”. “The New Zealand strategy cannot be that we stay locked up until everybody else gets to zero or we have a vaccine. This country would be on its knees if that was the case,” Mr Muller said during a speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce yesterday. “Just because (the virus) is present in a country shouldn’t mean that nobody from that country has the capacity to visit this country. “We’ve got to be able to imagine a different engagement with the world than that.” Meanwhile, some parts of the New Zealand media, foremost among them Newshub host Duncan Garner, actually want restrictions tightened.
30th Jun 2020 - News.com.au

Coronavirus: EU to allow in visitors from 14 'safe' countries

The EU has decided that from Wednesday EU borders will be reopened to citizens from 15 non-EU countries, including Canada, Morocco and Australia, but not the US, Brazil and Russia. China is on the list, but subject to a reciprocal agreement, still pending. The unanimous decision by the European Council is not legally binding, so states can choose not to open up to all those countries. Diplomats spent five days debating the list, amid varying pandemic concerns. The so-called "safe travel destinations" are, besides China: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The UK and four other non-EU states - Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway - are automatically included as "safe".
30th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Thailand to ease nightlife lockdown, allow some entry to foreigners

Thailand's nightlife will restart with some restrictions this week, the kingdom announced Monday, part of a return to normalcy as it prepares to welcome business travellers and medical tourists after a ban on foreign entry. So far Thailand has 3,169 cases and 58 deaths from the coronavirus -- a low toll considering the kingdom in mid-January became was the first country outside China to register a case. But the country's tourism-reliant economy has been hit hard by the border closures, while a halt to its infamous nightlife has left the kingdom's informal workers -- in bars, massage parlours, and karaoke lounges -- adrift. Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the "most at-risk businesses" will be allowed to reopen from Wednesday, as there has been no local transmission of the virus for more than a month.
29th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 30th Jun 2020

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The UK Government has advised people to work from home, rather than their usual workplace, wherever possible

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced several changes to current lockdown restrictions following the government’s latest review on 23 June. The changes, which include plans to allow family visits overnight, the reopening of businesses, and a reduction of the 2m social distancing rule, will take effect in England from Saturday 4 July. But what do the latest rules mean for office workers? Here’s everything you need to know.
29th Jun 2020 - Yorkshire Evening Post

Coronavirus: Shops reopen in Scotland as lockdown restrictions ease

Shoppers queued early as non-essential retailers across Scotland prepared to reopen their doors. Shops with on-street access and some workplaces such as factories are reopening following further easing of lockdown. Small weddings and civil partnerships can be held outdoors and zoos can reopen, but only to local visitors. However the first minister urged people to act responsibly and "not to squander" Scotland's progress. The resumption of non-essential retail is one of the biggest changes to restrictions to date.
29th Jun 2020 - BBC News

UK coronavirus death toll rises by 25 as England prepares for lockdown lifting

A further 25 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total death toll to 43,575. The increase, announced today by the Department of Health (DoH), includes the number of people who have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in hospitals, care homes and the wider community in the 24 hours up to 9am this morning. However, government officials, including England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, have warned that infection numbers “will rise again” if people ignore social distancing guidelines. A major incident was declared in Bournemouth last Thursday, after thousands of sun seekers flouted lockdown rules to head to the beach. Johnson has warned that he “will not hesitate to apply the handbrakes on a local or indeed national level” should the number of infections rise in the country.
29th Jun 2020 - City A.M.

Austria lifts travel warning for German state of North Rhine-Westphalia

Austria has withdrawn a general travel warning for Germany's most populous state issued after a massive coronavirus outbreak at a meat processing plant. The country put the warning in place for people travelling from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) following the outbreak at Tönnies meat plant in Gütersloh. Now it has been lifted – but the ban remains in place on the Gütershloh district of NRW. "As of today (Sunday) at midnight, the general travel warning for North Rhine-Westphalia will be lifted; it will only apply to the district of Gütersloh," said Elisabeth Köstinger, the Austrian minister responsible for tourism, during a live broadcast organised by German newspaper Bild. If people from Gütersloh want to visit neighbouring Austria, they have to present a negative coronavirus test that is less than 48 hours old. Those who can do this will "be able to start their vacation in Austria", said Köstinger.
29th Jun 2020 - The Local Europe

Spain Plans to Open its Borders with Morocco Wednesday

Spain is planning to reopen its borders with Morocco on Wednesday after months of suspended international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schengen Visa Info quoted the President of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, Eduardo de Castro, who said PM Pedro Sanchez informed him of Spain’s plans to resume international travel on July 1. The outlet added that the reopening of borders might be a “one-side action, as Spain expects that Morocco’s government will maintain its borders closed until winter.” Spanish outlet El Pais also reported that Spain will allow travelers from outside the Schengen area to visit the country starting July 1, “providing there is a reciprocal agreement on travel and taking into account the epidemiological situation in the country of origin.”
29th Jun 2020 - Morocco World News

Thailand to ease nightlife lockdown, allow some entry to foreigners

Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the "most at-risk businesses" will be allowed to reopen from Wednesday, as there has been no local transmission of the virus for more than a month. "The most important thing we care about are the people who have no income for their families," he said. "Secondly we are confident that our health system is ready to handle (the situation)." Beginning July 1, bars, clubs and karaoke lounges can reopen, though they must adhere to a midnight closing time and have social distancing measures, said Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVDI-19 Situation Administration. Massage parlours and teahouses -- which sometimes act as fronts for brothels -- will also have to register customers using the government's tracking app. "Staff must be tested for COVID-19 from time to time and there should be no sex trade," said Taweesin.
29th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Thailand To Ease Nightlife Lockdown, Allow Some Entry To Foreigners

Thailand's nightlife will restart with some restrictions this week, the kingdom announced Monday, part of a return to normalcy as it prepares to welcome business travellers and medical tourists after a ban on foreign entry. So far Thailand has 3,169 cases and 58 deaths from the coronavirus -- a low toll considering the kingdom in mid-January became was the first country outside China to register a case. But the country's tourism-reliant economy has been hit hard by the border closures, while a halt to its infamous nightlife has left the kingdom's informal workers -- in bars, massage parlours, and karaoke lounges -- adrift. Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said the "most at-risk businesses" will be allowed to reopen from Wednesday, as there has been no local transmission of the virus for more than a month.
29th Jun 2020 - International Business Times

Covid 19 Lockdown Measures in France: Déconfinement

As of 22 June France is now in the 3rd phase of “déconfinement“, the relaxation of lockdown rules. Cinemas, holiday centres, sports halls for group sports, all crèches, schools, and collèges are fully open but with strict adherence to sanitary regimes. Earlier in June restrictions were lifted on restaurants, bars, travel distances, tourist accommodation, parks and more. The 2nd phase also saw the end of the 100km travel limit restriction so people are now free to travel without carrying documents proving their purpose of travel. Residents now no longer need to carry an attestation form to travel further than 100km from their home, and the limit has been dropped. Hotels, restaurants, gites, B&B’s, cafes, parks and gardens were also opened during the 2nd phase. France is still under an official ‘state of health emergency’ whereby government can fast track legislation and local authorities have the power to restrict movements, stop gatherings, festivals, concerts etc in their own departments if they deem these to be a health risk.
29th Jun 2020 - France Today

US, Russia not on welcome list when EU reopens Wednesday

Europe will allow tourists from countries and regions outside of the bloc to begin entering again on Wednesday, but the US and Russia are now among the nations considered too risky because they have not controlled the novel coronavirus outbreak, The New York Times reported on Friday. Travelers from more than a dozen countries that are not overwhelmed by the virus are set to be welcomed when the bloc reopens on Wednesday after months of lockdown, the newspaper said. According to the report, countries that made the safe list were judged on a mix of scientific criteria that included their infection rates and the credibility of their public health reporting data.
29th Jun 2020 - China Daily USA

Testing stepped up as India’s virus cases jump with another daily high

Governments were stepping up testing and warily considering their next moves on Monday as the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases surges in many countries. India reported 20,000 new cases on Monday, while the US confirmed more than 40,000 new infections for the third straight day. As infections rise along with summer temperatures in the northern hemisphere, many governments are stepping up testing and mulling more aggressive moves such as renewed lockdowns to stem fresh outbreaks. India’s 20,000 new infections was a new daily record. Several states reimposed partial or full lockdowns after the total number of cases jumped by nearly 100,000 in one week to 548,318.
29th Jun 2020 - The Argus

Australia, New Zealand Recovery Paths to Differ on Virus: HSBC

Australia’s suppression of the coronavirus in contrast with New Zealand’s elimination will bring different outcomes in their growth paths, according to Paul Bloxham at HSBC Holdings Plc., as cases spike Down Under while Kiwis are heading to the rugby. Australia’s southern state of Victoria has seen an isolated sharp rise in new cases in recent days. New Zealand, on the other hand, has recorded no community transmission for 38 days -- the 20 active cases are recent overseas arrivals and are in quarantine. Given these outcomes, HSBC said in a Monday report it expects a “U-shaped” recovery in Australia, with a sharp fall in second-quarter GDP of 7.5% followed by a modest rise of 0.4% in the next three months. It sees a much sharper slump of 14.7% in New Zealand for this quarter, but expects the economy to be on track for a “V-shaped” rebound with a 12.6% surge during July-September.
29th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

New Zealand government sat on Palantir Covid-19 data tracking offer

Emails released to RNZ show a US offer to rapidly set up Covid-19 data-crunching capabilities sat with the government for more than a month during the lockdown period before being rejected
29th Jun 2020 - RNZ

'Get Britain moving again', PM Johnson to unveil new infrastructure plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch a plan this week to get Britain “moving again” after the coronavirus lockdown, when the government will set out measures to boost infrastructure construction, interior minister Priti Patel said on Sunday. Johnson will make a speech on Tuesday to set out plans to fast-track building projects such as hospitals, schools, housing, and road and rail infrastructure, part of efforts to try to stem a fall in support for his government. The British leader has been criticised for his response to the coronavirus crisis, with opposition parties and some scientists saying the government was too slow to bring in a lockdown, too slow to carry out widespread testing and not clear in its messaging.
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Has Covid Testing Gone Wrong?

Is the biggest mistake in the Covid-19 crisis about to happen? As the country comes out of lockdown, the UK needs a test and trace system that can stop the disease from spreading again. So is that system ready to keep us safe? Reporter Richard Bilton investigates the rapid expansion of our testing capacity and asks whether we have got the world-beating service the prime minister promised.
29th Jun 2020 - BBC Panorama

Spain maintains ban on cruise ships even as tourism sector reopens

Spain is to uphold a ban on cruise liners from docking at its ports to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a ministerial order published on Saturday. Cruise liners carrying thousands of passengers regularly stop off at ports in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Barcelona and Malaga, but were prohibited when Spain went into lockdown on March 14. With their crowds of often elderly passengers, cruise ships have been especially vulnerable to outbreaks of the virus and have been barred from disembarking in several countries. Spain's ban on the vessels will continue until the coronavirus epidemic is brought under control, according to the Official State Gazette, even as the country otherwise reopens to tourists in an effort to revive an industry hammered by the coronavirus lockdown.
28th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Egypt eases restrictions despite surge in coronavirus infections

Egypt on Saturday lifted many restrictions put in place against the coronavirus pandemic, reopening cafes, clubs, gyms and theaters after more than three months of closure, despite a continued upward trend in new infections. Authorities also allowed the limited reopening of mosques and churches, and lifted the nighttime curfew. President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi's government has been keen to save the Egyptian economy that was hit hard by the virus outbreak. On Friday, the International Monetary Fund approved another $5.2 billion loan for Egypt, to be added to the $2.8 billion the fund had already promised to stave off the pandemic’s worst economic effects.
28th Jun 2020 - AlAraby.co.uk

Singapore ‘bans Britons from working over lockdown bar crawl’

Several Britons have been banned from working in Singapore after reportedly going on a bar crawl during lockdown. Six people found guilty this week of breaching anti-coronavirus measures have had their work permits revoked, authorities said. They had meet-ups near the city-state's Robertson Quay while social gatherings were banned to limit the spread of the virus, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM).
28th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Australian supermarkets limit toilet roll sales amid panic-buying, as country eases coronavirus lockdown despite spike in cases

Australian supermarkets have restricted toilet roll sales after a new bout of panic-buying, as the country continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown despite a spike in infections in its second-most-populated state. Despite assurances from prime minister Scott Morrison that Australia’s coronavirus curve is “flat”, the country’s largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, on Friday introduced a two-pack limit on toilet paper and kitchen towels across all of its stores. Claire Peters, managing director of Woolworths’ supermarkets division, said the company was “taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying”.
27th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Australian supermarkets limit toilet roll sales amid panic-buying, as country eases coronavirus lockdown despite spike in cases

Australian supermarkets have restricted toilet roll sales after a new bout of panic-buying, as the country continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown despite a spike in infections in its second-most-populated state. Despite assurances from prime minister Scott Morrison that Australia’s coronavirus curve is “flat”, the country’s largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, on Friday introduced a two-pack limit on toilet paper and kitchen towels across all of its stores. Claire Peters, managing director of Woolworths’ supermarkets division, said the company was “taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying”.
27th Jun 2020 - The Independent


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Coronavirus: UK 'on knife edge' ahead of lockdown easing, scientist warns

The UK remains "on a knife edge" and must act "sensibly" over the summer months to stop a second wave of coronavirus, a scientist has warned. Sir Jeremy Farrar said he is "worried" about a surge in cases ahead of pubs and restaurants reopening next month. Home Secretary Priti Patel said people have to be "conscientious" about the risk of a second wave. She said the city of Leicester could face a localised lockdown after a rise in cases. Sir Jeremy, a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and director of the Wellcome Trust, has warned there could be a "very nasty rebound" of the virus in the winter. He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "We're on a knife edge, it's very precarious the situation, particularly in England at the moment, and I would anticipate we would see an increase in new cases over the coming weeks."
29th Jun 2020 - BBC News

English tourists may face quarantine in Scotland if cases rise south of the border

English holiday-makers crossing the border into Scotland could be told to go into quarantine for two weeks or face a fine if cases of coronavirus rise again. On Friday Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland was edging towards “total elimination” of Covid-19 after no new deaths were recorded on a weekday for the first time since March. However, Scottish government sources say there is a fear that the progress in suppressing the virus could be undone when the tourism season begins next month, with an expected influx of visitors from England. Confirmed cases of Covid-19 continued to rise in England last week. The first minister warned of “devastating consequences” after the hot weather prompted thousands of people in England to flout lockdown rules to visit the south of Scotland.
28th Jun 2020 - The Times

Leicester MP demands government initiate local lockdown

The Labour MP for Leicester feels that there needs to be a lockdown in the city to quell the coronavirus spread. Through the weekend Claudia Webbe, Labour MP for Leicester East called for the government to impose a local lockdown on her constituency. She branded the situation there "a perfect storm" and wanted the government to act.
28th Jun 2020 - LBC

Coronavirus: More care urged for pregnant BAME patients

NHS England is asking doctors and midwives to provide more checks and support to black, Asian and ethnic-minority (BAME) pregnant women because of their greater risk from coronavirus. Black mums-to-be are eight times more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19 than white pregnant women. Pregnant Asian women are four times as likely to end up in hospital. Maternity services remain open and mums-to-be are urged to keep in touch with their midwives to stay safe.
27th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Amid coronavirus surge, Texas has a contact tracing problem: reporting cases by fax

Manual, archaic technology and people's mistrust of government agencies are blunting contact tracing efforts, even as the persistent rise in coronavirus cases forces several Western and Southern states to dial back their reopening plans. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, raised a question Friday as to whether contact tracing is even worth the endeavor. And in Texas, a health official in Austin revealed this week that information about hundreds of new cases is pouring in daily across the state via an archaic form of technology: the fax machine. That has made the confirmation of positive cases extremely time-consuming, the official said, which in turn has hindered contact tracing, a labor-intensive commitment that involves calling people who are confirmed ill with COVID-19, asking for their recent contacts and reaching out to those people to determine if they need testing and if they should self-isolate, all in the hopes of breaking the chains of infection. "The cases we receive come in by fax machine," Dr. Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health, told Travis County commissioners. "And sometimes those faxes are positives and sometimes they're negatives. Sometimes they have information like the person's phone number that was tested and sometimes they don't. So we have a whole team of people who have to sort through more than a thousand faxes a day to sort out the positives versus the negatives."
26th Jun 2020 - NBC News

IMF's Georgieva says virus crisis could ultimately test IMF resources

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday that the global economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus could ultimately test the Fund’s $1 trillion in resources, “but we are not there yet.” Georgieva told a Reuters Newsmaker webcast event that it was now clear that recovery from global business and travel lockdowns would have to get underway amid the widespread presence of the virus, and that IMF member countries were standing by to provide more support to the Fund if necessary.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Australia gets second wave of toilet paper hoarding - The Jakarta Post

Australia's supermarket chains on Friday reintroduced purchase limits on toilet paper and other household items as a spike in coronavirus cases in the state of Victoria set off a fresh round of panic-buying over fears of a new stay-at-home order. Woolworths Group Ltd and Coles Group Ltd, which together account for two-thirds of Australian grocery sales, said they were once again limiting purchases of toilet paper and paper towels to one or two packs per person after photos circulated on social media showing empty shelves in stores. The buying restrictions - and images of stripped shelves - are a reminder of Australia's initial response to the arrival of COVID-19 when shoppers stockpiled household goods in anticipation of a protracted shutdown.
26th Jun 2020 - Jakarta Post


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Uruguay and Paraguay buck Latin America coronavirus trend

Latin America has become the new centre of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic but two small countries, Uruguay and Paraguay, have bucked the regional trend and can claim a near total victory against the virus. Though they are strangely dissimilar – Uruguay is a progressive enclave with the lowest poverty index in Latin America, while Paraguay has poverty estimates of 30-50% and is rife with corruption – both nations have kept their coronavirus death rates surprisingly low. There have been just 13 deaths in Paraguay and only 25 in Uruguay so far, despite the porous land borders both countries share with Brazil, where the pandemic has claimed more than 50,000 lives. Free of the endemic corruption and political strife that has plagued most other Latin American nations in recent decades, Uruguay in March switched painlessly from 15 years of centre-left administration to the centre-right administration of its new president, Luis Lacalle Pou, who has maintained the social advances of the previous administration. Uruguayans can point to their long history of progressive social policies – including extensive public health coverage and almost 100% access to running water – as a key factor in containing the virus.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

These are the countries seeing a surge in coronavirus cases

Despite successfully containing its COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam has no plans to open up to international tourists yet over fears that doing so could lead to a second wave of infections, the Southeast Asian country's prime minister said on Wednesday. Thanks to an aggressive, targeted testing programme and a centralised quarantine system, Vietnam has contained infections numbers to a relatively low 352 cases, most imported.
25th Jun 2020 - CNBC

US states put brakes on reopenings as new Covid-19 cases hit record

The US has suffered its biggest daily increase in new coronavirus cases since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting state governments and businesses to put the brakes on an easing of lockdown measures. Texas, California and Florida reported record increases in confirmed infections on Wednesday, lifting the nationwide tally by 38,672 and bringing it close to 2.4m, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The sudden rise prompted the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — states once at the heart of the US pandemic — to impose a two-week quarantine on visitors from states with elevated infection rates.
25th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Easing Lockdown in England Raises Questions for Welsh Government

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister made a raft of announcements related to easing coronavirus restrictions in England. This included relaxing the 2 metre rule to 1 metre ‘plus’ and announcing that hospitality, tourism and some other businesses can reopen on 4th July, alongside some other changes. Whilst the Prime Minister’s announcement relates singularly to England, it does raise questions about how we ease out of lockdown around the UK, including here in Wales. This news will be welcomed by many businesses across the border and there will be inevitable pressure on Welsh Government to review how we can reopen more of Wales in a way that keeps Welsh businesses competitive with their English counterparts as well as ensures the safety of employees, customers and business owners themselves.
25th Jun 2020 - Business News Wales

Life almost as we know it: England's lockdown changes on 4 July

As multiple lockdown measures are eased on 4 July, England will enter uncanny valley territory: life almost as we know it, but with notable exceptions. Weddings can go ahead at religious venues – but with a cap of 30 participants and no singing. Two households can meet indoors, but must make an effort to stay physically distanced. Hugs will have to wait for now. Playgrounds and pubs can open, but casinos and swimming pools will remain shut.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

New shielding advice gives vulnerable people hope 'but the lockdown has been hard'

People deemed most vulnerable to Covid-19 received 'shielding' letters outlining restrictions which, while protecting them from the coronavirus, meant a more challenging lockdown. We spoke to two of them
25th Jun 2020 - The Irish News

Loved and loathed, Sweden's anti-lockdown architect is unrepentant

As the architect of Sweden’s unorthodox response to the coronavirus pandemic, Anders Tegnell has got used to receiving death threats and being urged to resign. But he says he has no plans to step down or step back and remains convinced that, over time, the anti-lockdown strategy that has seen his country break ranks with much of the world will prove its worth. “I think a number of countries should have thought twice before taking the very drastic measure of a lockdown,” he told Reuters in an interview. “That’s what’s experimental, not the Swedish model.”
25th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Turkey not considering lockdowns despite rise in COVID-19 cases

Turkey has witnessed an increase in the daily number of infections after the government authorised cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches and museums to reopen and eased stay-at-home orders for the elderly and young at the start of June.
25th Jun 2020 - Business Insider India

Spain to extend furlough schemes by three months until Sept. 30

Spain is set to extend until Sept. 30 national furlough schemes aimed at mitigating the effect of the coronavirus lockdown under a government agreement with labour unions and the main employers’ association, the labour ministry said on Thursday. Hard-hit sectors like hospitality will receive the most support, though other industries not yet able to return to normal activity will also be included. Originally due to expire on June 30, the current system of public aid, known as known as ERTEs, had been linked to Spain’s state of emergency, which ended on June 21. “Measures to protect workers and businesses will be adapted to the current context in order to continue supporting the most affected sectors,” the ministry said. The extension will be approved at a cabinet meeting on Friday.
25th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Britons will be able to holiday in France, Spain and Italy from NEXT WEEK when the government unveils its first 'air bridges' after months of restrictions

Boris Johnson will give the green light to foreign holidays next Monday when the Government unveils its long-awaited travel corridor plan. Ministers will say Britons can visit any one of around ten countries without having to quarantine – reviving summer holidays after almost four months of travel restrictions. 'Air bridges' to France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey have been all but confirmed, sources disclosed, with the first flights set to take off on July 4.
25th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

U.S. Sets Record for Daily New Cases as Virus Surges in South and West

More than two months after the United States recorded its worst day of new infections since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation reached another grim milestone on Wednesday as it reported 36,880 new cases. The number of infections indicated that the country was not only failing to contain the coronavirus, but also that the caseload was worsening — a path at odds with many other nations that have seen steady declines after an earlier peak. Cases in the United States had been on a downward trajectory after the previous high of 36,739 cases on April 24, but they have roared back in recent weeks.
25th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

This easing of the lockdown offers nothing to Britain's performing arts sector, writes ADRIAN VINKEN

Try to imagine a world without your local theatre: Christmas without panto for the children, or trips to London’s West End. This joyless prospect came a step closer this week as the Prime Minister announced an easing of the lockdown that offered nothing to Britain’s once-booming performing arts sector. The irony is that – as thousands of workers face redundancy – the Government is allowing theatres to reopen from July 4, providing it is not for the performance of live theatre! At the Theatre Royal, Plymouth – one of Britain’s most successful regional theatres – we have had to let go of our freelancers and this week we started consulting on laying off 110 people: One-third of our full-time staff.
25th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Japan business travellers first foreigners to be allowed back in Thailand

About 100 businesspeople per day from Japan – the largest foreign investor in Thailand – will be among the first foreigners allowed back into the country as the lockdown eases. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam made the announcement on Wednesday (June 24) after talks with Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) president Atsushi Taketani. The number of hotels acting as alternatives to state quarantine accommodation will also be increased, Wissanu added. The deputy PM said he was collaborating with the Foreign Ministry and related agencies to help foreign business operators in Thailand. Resolutions made would be proposed to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), he added.
25th Jun 2020 - The Star Online

Coronavirus: As queues grow, Covid-19 testing priorities change

Queues at some testing centres have grown longer than during lockdown, as people seek to be checked following news of new cases at the border. But the Ministry of Health on Thursday changed the rules for people seeking Covid-19 tests. The 'suspect' case definition has been removed, meaning greater priority will be given to those considered to have a higher risk of having the virus. The ministry denied the change would make it more difficult for others to get a test, saying instead that it allows those at higher risk to be managed better.
25th Jun 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Masks and bleach: Europe's cities gear up for post-lockdown tourism

Anyone visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris when it reopens on Thursday will have to take the stairs - all 674 of them - because France’s iconic monument is keeping the lifts shut. After months of lockdown many Europeans are dreaming of a summer holiday, but vacations will look a bit different this year - breakfast buffets, guided tours and club nights may well be out; masks and temperature checks are definitely in. Tourist attractions from Rome’s Colosseum to Amsterdam’s Hermitage museum have introduced a slew of measures to minimise the risk of a new outbreak of coronavirus which has killed about 170,000 people in western Europe.
25th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Afghanistan uses green stimulus to hire lockdown jobless, boost Kabul's water supply

Zaker Hussain Zaheri was a cook in Afghanistan’s capital who lost his job in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, he digs trenches to capture rainwater and snowmelt on a mountain on the outskirts of Kabul, as the city grapples with both a water and health crisis. Lockdown measures to curb the spread of the disease have taken their toll on Afghanistan’s economy, so the government is employing more than 40,000 jobless workers to rehabilitate groundwater supplies for its fast-growing capital. “This is a tough job, but I have to do it to earn enough for food, and I have pride that I take part in the reconstruction of my country, this is good for the future of our country,” Zaheri, 28, said.
25th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK


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3 new lockdown changes announced for South Africa

Government has begun introducing new regulations around South Africa’s ‘advanced level 3’ lockdown, with more set to be introduced in the coming weeks. Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to an ‘advanced’ level 3 lockdown, with a number of business sectors reopened to the public. Ramaphosa said that many businesses that stopped operating on 27 March when the lockdown first came into effect have not been able to operate. Following discussions with industry representatives, provincial heads, scientists as well as cabinet, Ramaphosa said that restrictions will be eased for:
24th Jun 2020 - BusinessTech

Coronavirus: WHO warns UK of ‘year of living differently’ as Boris Johnson set to further ease lockdown

World Health Organisation (WHO) officials have warned “this is the year of living differently” and urged caution in the UK ahead of further easing of lockdown restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday that the hospitality industry can reopen from 4 July, with the two-metre social distancing rule set to be halved. While the UK has made progress in suppressing the virus, Dr Margaret Harris cautioned that the pandemic is not over, adding that there is a link between rising reproduction rates and the easing of lockdown measures.
24th Jun 2020 - The Independent

The Pandemic’s Worst-Case Scenario Is Unfolding in Brazil

As Asia, Western Europe, and parts of the U.S. emerge from what will hopefully be the worst of the pandemic, the virus in Brazil isn’t slowing down. Between late May and mid-June the country galloped past Spain, Italy, and the U.K. in total fatalities, which now exceed 51,000, the second-highest toll after the U.S. It’s second in overall cases too, with more than 1 million confirmed infections. With local officials now lifting quarantines despite continued growth in cases, it’s conceivable that, when Covid-19 finally recedes, Brazil will have been hit harder than any other country.
24th Jun 2020 - BloombergQuint

Coronavirus deaths in Latin America and Caribbean top 100000 with Brazil hardest hit by far

Latin America and the Caribbean on Tuesday surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths, more than half of them in Brazil, according to an AFP count based on official figures. The pandemic is accelerating across the region, which now has a total of 2.1 million cases, with Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Chile the most affected countries. Brazil has the second-highest COVID-19 death toll in the world, after the United States, at more than 52,640 fatalities out of 1,145,906 confirmed cases.
24th Jun 2020 - CBS News

Coronavirus: Scottish pubs and restaurants to reopen in July

People in Scotland will be allowed to meet up with two other households indoors from 10 July and pubs and restaurants can re-open from 15 July. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also said the five-mile travel limit will be lifted from 3 July, while beer gardens can re-open from 6 July. Hairdressers and barbers can open from 15 July, as can holiday accommodation. Ms Sturgeon said the move was possible thanks to the "real sustained progress" made in suppressing coronavirus. But she said the changes depended on keeping the virus under control, and could be reversed if there was a fresh outbreak. And they will not apply to people who are shielding, who will be given further advice "before the end of July".
24th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Nicola Sturgeon: no 'reckless race' with rest of UK on lockdown easing

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is not prepared to put lives at risk “in some kind of reckless race with other parts of the UK”, as she faced criticism for maintaining the 2-metre rule for businesses despite having announced plans for school pupils to return from August with no distancing in place. Scotland’s first minister set out indicative dates for further easing of the country’s lockdown rules – including lifting the five-mile travel restriction from next Friday and reopening beer gardens from the following Monday – as weekly data from the National Records of Scotland showed a reduction in deaths for the eighth consecutive week. Continuing to urge caution, she told the Scottish parliament: “Our pace is slightly slower than England but it is, in my view, right for our circumstances and, I hope, more likely to be sustainable than if we went faster now.”
24th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Testing ALL of Britain for coronavirus every week 'could prevent second lockdown'

Testing everyone for coronavirus every week could drive out the coronavirus without a second wave or another lockdown, according to scientists. Researchers led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said routine testing, contact tracing and household isolation could stop Covid-19 'quite quickly'. They said Britain should do a single-city trial of the system to see whether it could bring down new infections and deaths faster than the current situation.
24th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Scotland Joins Rest of U.K. Easing Lockdown Amid Economic Pain

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accelerated the easing of lockdown rules amid growing political pressure to get people back to work and restart the critical tourism industry. The changes, which in parts echo moves announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, are earlier than planned and come as a report showed the economy may not recover until 2024 in a worst-case scenario. “Our pace is slightly slower than England’s, but it is, in my view, right for our circumstances,” Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Wednesday. Progress in tackling coronavirus means Scots could get back to normality “more quickly than we could have imagined a few weeks ago.”
24th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Operators of gyms and pools query England's new lockdown rules

The government has given the green light to a night out in a pub or restaurant in England but gym workouts, swimming pools, nightclub dance floors and even manicures are still off limits – prompting accusations of glaring inconsistencies as the lockdown is eased. The chief executive of PureGym, the UK’s biggest gym chain, said he was “bitterly disappointed” by the delay in opening its 269 gyms and questioned the government’s commitment to tackling obesity. “It is a strange war on obesity that sees pubs and restaurants open before gyms,” said Humphrey Cobbold who highlighted that the company had already safely reopened its gyms in Switzerland and Denmark.
24th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Wednesday briefing: Holiday hopes as PM eases lockdown

Boris Johnson hailed the easing of lockdown measures from 4 July as “the end of hibernation”, but some experts said the move could allow Covid-19 to regain a “foothold”. They fear the lack of an effective track and trace system and the heightened risk of transmission indoors: 97% of super-spreader events, those with five or more transmissions, have taken place indoors. Bars and restaurants face a privacy minefield after being told they must record customers details when they reopen next Saturday.
24th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

French give cool reception to Covid-19 contact-tracing app

France’s coronavirus-tracing app has failed to take off, with only 68 people using it to register a positive test result in the three weeks since its launch, despite 1.9m downloading it on their phones. The StopCovid app, which is meant to automatically inform users if they come into contact with an infected person, has sent only 14 notifications to other users. In recent days, the pace at which people uninstalled the app from their phones has also picked up, even as France lifted its final lockdown restrictions on businesses and schools, according to Cédric O, France’s junior minister for digital affairs. “We can only infer that, just as people are not adhering as much to mask-wearing and social distancing lately, that some do not think they need the app now that the virus is less active,” he said. “It may reflect that French people are simply less worried about the epidemic right now.” Olivier Blazy, a computer science professor at the University of Limoges, questioned whether the app would actually contribute to the public health effort. “Adoption has been derisory and the results are ridiculous,” he said. “There were more people involved in the creation of the app than people who have benefited from it.”
24th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Moscow, center of Russia’s Coronavirus crisis eases lockdown restrictions

Residents of the Russian capital emerged Tuesday from a strict coronavirus lockdown, a day after Moscow authorities announced they would lift key restrictions.
24th Jun 2020 - WION

Sierra Leone eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Sierra Leone eased COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed to curb the spread of the virus, the president said on Tuesday. In a series of tweets, President Julius Maada Bio said the country has seen high recovery and discharge rates, lower infection rates, and proportionally lower death rates. “Effective immediately, the curfew is adjusted to the period 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. I announce the lifting of the ban on inter-district travel starting on Wednesday, 24th June 2020. Once all measures are in place, commercial flights will resume in the very short run,” Bio said. “The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School, in consultation with stakeholders, has developed comprehensive health and safety guidelines for teachers, pupils, and communities for the purpose of providing safe environment for students who are taking public examinations,” he added.
24th Jun 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Japan’s struggle to reimagine the post-pandemic world

Japan’s strength has been the consensus about making necessary changes to daily life to keep infection rates low, but when it comes to leveraging the pandemic to think outside of the box, its response has been muted
24th Jun 2020 - The Japan Times

Restrictions eased in South Australia from Monday

Pubs and restaurants in South Australia will be allowed to double their customer numbers from Monday, in the latest lift on lockdown restrictions. The state government is lifting the current limit to 50 per cent capacity, meaning one person per two square metres in public premises. Businesses will be able to accept more customers without turning people away to comply with current restrictions.
24th Jun 2020 - 9News

Coronavirus: EU considers barring Americans from travel list

EU ambassadors are to continue talks on Friday to plan reopening external borders on 1 July, and travellers from the US could be among those not allowed in. Some European countries are keen to open up to tourists but others are wary of the continued spread of the virus. On Wednesday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he expected a solution "in the coming weeks". The virus is spreading in the US, so it is likely Americans would be barred. The 27-member bloc must first agree the measures that non-EU countries should meet before deciding on a safe list. Brazil, Russia and other countries with high infection rates would also be left off a safe list, according to reports from Brussels.
24th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Countries around the world scramble to contain coronavirus flare-ups as U.S. states remain open

Within the countries in question, the new flare-ups are mostly rooted in identifiable regions, where officials launched or expanded aggressive containment efforts this week. German authorities said Tuesday they would impose a new regional lockdown in a district of the country’s northwest to contain an outbreak linked to a meat-processing plant, after more than 1,500 workers were infected. Portugal cracked down on mass gatherings. Australia’s Victoria state re-shuttered several schools. An area in the northeast of Spain reintroduced restrictions. Even New Zealand, which has just 10 confirmed, active cases, tightened border measures as an increasing number of citizens abroad began to fly home.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Washington Post

As coronavirus rages worse than ever, Tennessee leaders forge ahead with reopening

Gov. Bill Lee and Nashville Mayor John Cooper are marching forward with plans to reopen businesses and lift coronavirus restrictions, despite a worsening outbreak infecting, hospitalizing and killing more Tennesseans than ever before. Lee and other state officials said Tuesday they are monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and developing “hot spot plans” for counties where infections were surging. But the governor didn't provide specifics on if, or when, he would reverse the reopening of the state. When asked if his administration was treating the outbreak with an appropriate seriousness, Lee maintained they were not underestimating the virus. “There is a genuine understanding that COVID-19 is a serious public health crisis for our state, and we take it seriously every single day ... We are encouraged that we have one of the lowest death rates per capita in the country, but every single death is a very serious issue for me,” Lee said.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Tennessean


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Sports activities in Kuwait to resume as coronavirus restrictions ease

Sports activities in Kuwait will resume as of June 28 according to a plan announced by the Public Authority for Sport (PAS) on Monday. Athletes in track and field, fencing and shooting have been tested for coronavirus ahead of reopening for training, PAS Deputy Director General Saqer Al-Mulla said. Sport facilities will undergo disinfection and will have to follow coronavirus safety measures set by the Ministry of Health (MoH), he added. The resumption plan was set by PAS, Ministry of Health and Kuwaiti Olympic Committee, according to state news agency KUNA. Last week, the country’s cabinet decided to eases curfew hours and start from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m.
24th Jun 2020 - Arab News

How lockdown now compares across the UK as England lifts more lockdown measures

Key changes to lockdown rules have been announced in England with the announcement that pubs, restaurants and cinemas will be allowed to open from July 4. But in Wales, the next review is due to be held on Friday, July 10. First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Monday June 22 said that the Welsh Government would be assessing the two-metre rule themselves. Mr Drakeford said they will follow the advice that Mr Johnson is relying on as well as the advice from Wales' chief medical officer and medical networks. "We put the health of the public first," he said. The Welsh Government says: "Decisions on the rules for preventing the spread of the virus in Wales are for the Welsh Government.
23rd Jun 2020 - Wales Online

Coronavirus: Lockdown to be relaxed in England as 2m rule eased

Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can open from 4 July in England, when social distancing rules will be eased. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should remain 2m apart where possible but a "one metre plus" rule would be introduced. Two households in England will also be able to meet indoors and stay overnight - with social distancing. The prime minister warned that all the steps were "reversible". The government's chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, said the relaxation represented a "reasonable balance of risk". Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford and Northern Ireland's Arlene Foster have said the 2m rule will remain in place in their nations for the time being.
23rd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Britain gets its summer back: PM halves 2m rule, opens pubs and lets households mix inside from July 4 - but warns he could 'put the handbrake on at any time' with 95% of UK still in danger of catching coronavirus

PM announced key sectors including tourism and hospitality can reopen next week for first time since March. Changes will be reversed if people abuse new rules and Covid-19 takes off again, Boris Johnson has warned. Comes amid optimism that virus which has killed over 42,000 in UK is reducing to manageable proportions Indoor venues, including cinemas, museums and art galleries, are allowed to reopen in England from July 4.
23rd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Lockdown rules: How England’s lifting of coronavirus measures compares to the countries that have reopened already

After three months of lockdown the UK is on the verge of returning to some sense of normality in the coming weeks. Vulnerable people who have been shielding will be able to leave the house to meet friends and family in groups of six and join support bubbles with other houses from 6 July.
23rd Jun 2020 - iNews

When can I travel to France? Latest guidance for UK visitors - and quarantine rules explained

Despite France’s major recent changes to its lockdown measures, arrivals from the UK and some other countries are still being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) also currently advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice took effect on 17 March, and while it initially applied for a period of 30 days, the travel ban is now listed as “indefinite”. On top of that, a two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving back in the UK – including UK nationals – has been in place since 8 June.
23rd Jun 2020 - Edinburgh News

COVID-19 cases in SA breach 100,000, recoveries at 52%

The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa breached the 100,000 mark, with the number of deaths now standing at 1,991.
23rd Jun 2020 - EWN.co.za

New Zealand citizens returning home may be quarantined in campervans

New Zealand's government is considering using campervans on a Navy base in Auckland for its citizens to isolate in after returning from overseas to stop the spread of coronavirus. As hotels reach capacity in the city, the most populous in the country, an increase in people returning from overseas as coronavirus restrictions relax may cause a lack of accommodation for the mandatory two-week isolation period. Whangaparaoa military base was already used to isolate New Zealand nationals returning on repatriation flights from Wuhan, China, then the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. Dr Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health and the public face of the country's battle against the disease, was asked if the Whangaparaoa military base in Auckland would once again be used.
23rd Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

French StopCovid app led to 1.8 million activations as of June 22

France's state-supported "StopCovid" contact-tracing app has been downloaded by 1.9 million people, roughly 2% of the population, leading to 1.8 million activations as of June 22, digital affairs minister Cedric O said on Tuesday. The "StopCovid" smartphone app, which was launched on June 2, warns users if they have come into contact with anyone infected with the coronavirus to help to contain the epidemic as France emerges from lockdown.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Chronicle Herald

PM Johnson eases coronavirus lockdown thanks to reduced infections

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a significant easing of England’s coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday, saying it had been allowed by a decline in the number of new infections and the belief that currently there is no risk of a second peak. “The number of new infections is now declining by between two and four percent every day,” he told parliament. “This pandemic has inflicted permanent scars and we mourn everyone we have lost ... While we remain vigilant, we do not believe there is currently a risk of a second peak of infections that might overwhelm the NHS (National Health Service)”
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

UK COVID-19 death toll tops 54,000 including suspected cases: Reuters tally

The United Kingdom’s suspected COVID-19 death toll has hit 54,139, according to a Reuters tally of official data sources that underline the country’s status as one of the worst hit in the world. The Reuters tally comprises fatalities where COVID-19 was mentioned on death certificates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland up to June 12, and up to June 14 in Scotland. It also includes more recent hospital deaths. Unlike the lower death toll published daily by the government, the death certificate figures include suspected cases. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which updates the figures on a weekly basis, said on Tuesday the number of deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales up to June 12 rose to 48,866.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Lockdown to ease for vulnerable people in England from next month

The more than 2 million people who are “shielding” from COVID-19 in England because clinically they are extremely vulnerable to the virus will be allowed to spend more time outside their homes from July 6, the health department said on Monday. Bringing the guidance for them into line with rules set for the wider population, the health ministry said they will be able to meet outside in a group of up to six people and, if single or living alone, create a so-called “support bubble” with one other household of any size. From Aug. 1, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield and those who cannot work from home will be able to return to the workplace as long as it is COVID-secure.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Canada's biggest city, Toronto, to reopen businesses, ending three-month lockdown

Toronto, Canada’s most-populous city and financial capital, will allow businesses to reopen starting on Wednesday, joining other regions in the province of Ontario in ending a three-month pandemic lockdown, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Monday. Malls and restaurants in Toronto, along with Peel Region, which includes some of the city’s densely populated suburbs, will be able to open their patios, according to the government’s plan.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Saudi Arabia announces drastic curbs to numbers for annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca

The decision to limit the hajj — which in 2019 drew nearly 2.5 million people to the city of Mecca — will probably hit Saudi Arabia economically and deliver a blow to individuals and families who had saved up and planned to perform the pilgrimage. According to an announcement made Monday by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, this year’s pilgrimage will be available only to “very limited numbers” of people who are already in the kingdom but that it will include different nationalities, not just Saudis. The announcement did not explain how the pilgrims will be chosen.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Washington Post

California governor urges mask use as hospitalizations rise

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is imploring people to wear face coverings to protect against the coronavirus and allow businesses to safely open.
23rd Jun 2020 - Action News Now


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Coronavirus: Cinemas and museums set to reopen in England from 4 July

Cinemas, museums and galleries will be able to reopen in England from 4 July, Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday as he outlines a further easing of coronavirus restrictions. Venues closed since the middle of March will be able to welcome visitors as long as safety measures are in place. The PM is also due to set out how pubs can safely reopen following a review of the 2m distancing rule. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday the virus was "in retreat". Mr Hancock said England was "clearly on track" to further ease lockdown restrictions but No 10 warned the moves would be reversed if they led to a surge in new infections.
23rd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Peru: Authorities cancel reopening of Machu Picchu amid coronavirus concerns

-Just after a week of announcing Machu Picchu’s reopening, officials have now said that the famous tourist spot would not open in July due to coronavirus concerns. Machu Picchu, a world heritage site and the main attraction in Peru, is a 15th-century Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains. The site, however, was shut down in March after Peruvian authorities imposed a lockdown due to the pandemic. According to reports, the site’s management group made the decision after evaluating reports from authorities in the Cusco region, which houses the citadel. Speaking to international media reports Darwin Baca, the Machu Picchu district mayor said that it has been decided that the ancient citadel “would not open” on July 1 as per the previous schedule. In addendum, he also revealed that there were a series of health measures, like testing, still pending in the area.
22nd Jun 2020 - Republic World

Europe Eases Lockdown – But The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Still Getting Worse Globally

A recent analysis by the Covid-19 Brazil group – an initiative bringing together scientists from Brazilian universities and research centres – and Johns Hopkins University found Brazil has the highest growth rate of confirmed cases in the world. “We are the only country in the world where the number of cases and deaths is accelerating,” Domingos Alves, a member of the Covid-19 Brazil group, told HuffPost Brazil.
22nd Jun 2020 - HuffPost UK

NYC re-opens restaurants, shops and salons in Phase Two after months of lockdown

Restaurants, shops and salons are now allowed to reopen in New York City, three months after they were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Monday, New Yorkers are now able to eat at tables outside of restaurants, children are allowed to visit playgrounds, and department stores such as Macy’s, can reopen. It has been estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 people will go back to work on Monday, according to the Associated Press. The reopening is part of the city’s Phase Two of easing lockdown restrictions, after construction and manufacturing jobs were allowed to restart two weeks ago, in Phase One. There will be four phases in total, and as part of Phase Two, restaurants, salons, shops and offices are allowed to reopen at 50 per cent capacity.
22nd Jun 2020 - The Independent

New York to ease COVID-19 lockdown

New York City is getting ready to loosen a number of coronavirus restrictions, three months after the pandemic brought life there to a standstill. On Monday, some offices and non-essential business will be allowed to partially reopen, but the United Nations campus in New York will not be following suit. Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor, James Bays, has more.
22nd Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Coronavirus lockdown easing: Groups of six can meet indoors in NI from Tuesday

Groups of up to six people in Northern Ireland can meet indoors from Tuesday, the executive has agreed. First Minister Arlene Foster said it would be a "new milestone" in NI's journey out of the Covid-19 lockdown. It means Northern Ireland will become the first part of the UK to permit limited indoor gatherings. People will still be required to maintain social distancing when meeting indoors with family and friends. The executive said people were "strongly advised" to wear face coverings during indoor gatherings, and the regulations did not extend to overnight visits.
22nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Spain lifts national state of emergency after 3-month coronavirus lockdown

The country's 47 million residents can freely travel for the first time since mid-March and visitors from Britain and the 26 European countries that allow visa-free travel can visit Spain without going through a two-week quarantine. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that hygiene controls must be followed and had this warning: "The virus can return and it can hit us again in a second wave, and we have to do whatever we can to avoid that at all costs." BBC News said Spain usually attracts some 80 million tourists a year, providing 12% of the country's GDP. The Associated Press reports there was only a trickle of travelers at Madrid-Barajas Airport as the travel restrictions were lifted, a stark contrast to a normal June day when it would be crowded.
22nd Jun 2020 - CBS News

Spain lifts lockdown after 98 days to enter a 'new normality'

Spain’s state of alarm, the emergency mechanism propping up the nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, expired at midnight on Saturday (20 June), three months and one week after it first came into effect. From Sunday, Spain entered what politicians around the world have billed the “new normality.” The state of alarm will be lifted but social-distancing, hygiene protocol and obligatory mask use will remain in force until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found. With the gradual easing of restrictions several weeks ago, life has already slowly returned to the streets, squares, shops, highways, factories, offices, bars and beaches up and down the country.
22nd Jun 2020 - EURACTIV

France Enters Phase 3 Of Lockdown; Borders Open But These Rules Still Must Be Followed

On Monday, France enters phase 3 of lockdown or déconfinement. EU borders and all restaurants, cafés and bars opened on June 15 but from today, cinemas, sports halls, holiday parks and casinos can reopen too, meaning much of the French economy is back open for business. With some international borders expected to be lifted gradually from July 1 with EU countries, there are still a few key rules to remember:
22nd Jun 2020 - Forbes

WHO reports largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases

The World Health Organization on Sunday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases by its count, at more than 183,000 new cases in the latest 24 hours. The UN health agency said Brazil led the way with 54,771 cases tallied and the U.S. next at 36,617. Over 15,400 came in in India. Experts said rising case counts can reflect multiple factors including more widespread testing as well as broader infection. Overall in the pandemic, WHO reported 8,708,008 cases — 183,020 in the last 24 hours — with 461,715 deaths worldwide, with a daily increase of 4,743.
22nd Jun 2020 - NBC News

Surge in coronavirus cases jolts prospects for world economy

The global economy’s fragile recovery is facing a fresh hurdle as a surge in coronavirus cases threatens to keep businesses closed and consumers on edge. Cases of the deadly virus rose by a record for a single day on June 21, according to the World Health Organization, with flare-ups across the U.S. and new scares in Germany and Australia. While China said the latest outbreak in Beijing is under control, other large emerging economies including Brazil, India and Indonesia continue to see cases soar. "The fight is nowhere close to being over,” said Tuuli McCully, the Singapore-based head of Asia Pacific economics at Scotiabank. "A second significant wave of infections in advanced economies is a huge risk for the global economy that is still in very early stages of recovery.”
22nd Jun 2020 - The Japan Times

Coronavirus Surge Threatens Developing Nations Exiting Lockdown

Developing countries face an explosion in coronavirus infections as they exit lockdowns amid worsening outbreaks because the economic cost of remaining shuttered is too great. From Pakistan to the Philippines, Brazil to South Africa, governments have been choosing to end orders confining people to their homes even as the global pandemic envelopes the developing world. Researchers at the University of Michigan predict India’s infections could almost double from current levels to more than 750,000 by mid-July, while Brazil just hit 1 million cases -- the second-highest tally globally - with more increases forecast for this month.
22nd Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Roadmap out of lockdown: McGowan announces Phase 4

The next phase of Western Australia's COVID-19 roadmap out lockdown has been outlined with a number of restrictions to be eased on Saturday, June 27. The two square metre rule will still be in place but the capacity limit on all gatherings is set to be removed as part of Phase Four. Many Western Australians will be excited as patrons will now be able to stand up and have drinks at the bar without ordering a meal and unseated performances will be permitted. Major events can now occur with large stadiums such as Optus and RAC Arena reopening for events, but only at 50 per cent capacity. The casino floor at Crown will also reopen for gambling, but every second machine will be switched off.
22nd Jun 2020 - Mandurah Mail

India has the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases, but the Government denies community transmission

India now has the fourth highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, trailing only the US, Brazil and Russia, with more than 380,500 confirmed cases and more than 12,500 deaths. It marks a rapid rise. At the start of June, there were fewer than 200,000 cases. A month before that, it was fewer than 38,000. Last Friday's tally of more than 13,500 was the biggest spike in cases in a single day.
22nd Jun 2020 - ABC News

UK's Johnson to announce lockdown easing plans on Tuesday

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unveil the latest easing of Britain's coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday when he will also announce the conclusion of a review into whether a two-metre rule on social distancing should be relaxed, his office said. Britain's economy has been hammered by the lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 and although non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen last Monday, many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors, have remained closed. Some lawmakers in Johnson's party have been vocal in calling for him to drop the two-metre rule saying it was having a devastating impact on the economy which shrank by a quarter over March and April. But the government has been cautious, saying it did not want to risk a second spike in novel coronavirus cases. Johnson's office said the prime minister would tell parliament on Tuesday which sectors would be allowed to reopen on July 4 under the government's roadmap out of the lockdown. Detailed guidance would be provided to each sector so businesses were "Covid secure".
21st Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Johnson to Set Out Lockdown Easing Plans as Virus Cases Fall

Boris Johnson is preparing to relax social distancing rules in a major boost to the U.K.’s hospitality industry, as the government seeks to re-open more sectors of the economy that have been shut during the lockdown. Johnson will meet officials on Monday to discuss the conclusions of a review into the rule requiring people to keep 2-meters (6 feet 7 inches) apart. He will provide details of the plans in Parliament on Tuesday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested distancing can be reduced so long as other measures are brought in, such as wearing face coverings, using clear plastic screens and sitting back-to-back.
21st Jun 2020 - Bloomberg


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German coronavirus tracing app downloaded almost 10 million times: government

Germany’s smartphone app to help trace coronavirus infections has been downloaded 9.6 million times, a government spokeswoman said on Friday. The app, which SAP and Deutsche Telekom helped develop, was launched earlier this week.
19th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

NYC virus tracing off to a bumpy start: report

New York City’s effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus through contact tracing has been hampered by the reluctance of some people with the virus to provide information to tracers
21st Jun 2020 - ABC News

Cross-party group urges chancellor to consider four-day week for UK

A group of cross-party MPs have urged the government to consider a four-day working week for the UK post Covid-19, arguing the policy could be “a powerful tool to recover from this crisis”. The MPs – from Labour, the Scottish National party and the Green party – have written a letter to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, asking him to set up a commission to explore the option, similar to Scotland’s post-Covid-19 Futures Commission which is looking at the possibility of a four-day working week to generate more jobs. The letter, signed by MPs including the former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, SNP MP Mhairi Black and Green MP Caroline Lucas, said a four-day working week would reduce stress and overwork, boost mental health and wellbeing, and increase productivity.
20th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Mannequins and decontamination chambers: Future of dining after coronavirus

Mannequins will be set up at tables, customers will have to undergo temperature checks and there will be plenty of outdoor dining when the coronavirus lockdown is eased to allow bars and restaurants to finally reopen
21st Jun 2020 - Mirror Online

California mandates masks for most public activity as coronavirus numbers surge

Face coverings are "critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy," Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
18th Jun 2020 - NBC News

Ireland speeds up plan to reopen economy

Ireland on Friday announced another acceleration of the reopening of its economy from COVID-19 restrictions, with the reopening of churches, gyms and team sports brought forward to June 29, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar said. Gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors will be allowed from June 29 with gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors from July 20, he said.
19th Jun 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Covid-19 news: UK coronavirus alert level lowered from four to three

The UK’s chief medical officers today said the country’s coronavirus alert level has reduced from four to three. This level of the alert system corresponds to the virus being in general circulation, but at a level where it’s possible to gradually relax some restrictions. However, restrictions in England have already been progressively relaxed throughout June, even while the alert level remained at four – which corresponds to high or exponentially rising levels of the virus and warrants continued social distancing. For the first time, the government today published the daily rate at which coronavirus infections are growing, alongside the UK’s R number, which remains unchanged at around 0.7 to 0.9. For the UK as a whole, the growth rate is believed to be anywhere between -2 per cent and -4 per cent, meaning that infection numbers are declining slightly. At a regional level there is a chance that new cases may be growing in London. However, the government’s science advisers believe that growth in infection numbers is unlikely.
19th Jun 2020 - New Scientist

UK reviews social distancing rules as COVID-19 cases fall

The review follows warnings from the hospitality sector that businesses and jobs could be severely affected when they reopen if the current restrictions remain in place.
19th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Saudi Arabia to reopen Mecca mosques as cases surpass 150,000

Saudi Arabia will allow more than 1,500 mosques to reopen in the holy city of Mecca more than three months after they were closed to congressional prayers. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs said Friday that personal prayer rugs and social distancing will be required among worshippers. Gulf News reports that volunteers have posted signs on carpets showing the distances that must be kept during prayers. Saudi Arabia confirmed an additional 4,301 cases of the virus Friday, bringing the total 150,292. Health officials say 1,184 people have died of the virus.
19th Jun 2020 - Al-Monitor

Nation's capital could move to phase 2 reopening next week

Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that she would make a final decision and announcement on Friday. But if the numbers continue "trending in the right direction," Bowser said she expects to launch phase two next week. Playgrounds, libraries, gyms and nail salons would be able to reopen on a limited basis. All nonessential businesses would be allowed to let customers inside up to 50% capacity. Restaurants will be able to seat diners indoors, also at 50% capacity. "We always have the ability to turn up or turn down our reopening," Bowser said. "This virus is not gone. It is still here. It is still spreading."
17th Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress


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Latin America opens up before it’s ready

Three months later, Dr Mercado and his hospital are at breaking point. For every covid-19 patient to whom he can offer a bed, he must turn away five. More than 90% of the city’s hospital beds are taken, and the number of registered deaths nearly tripled to 660 in the first half of June. Dr Mercado’s days are filled with suffering patients, exhausted staff and visitors who cannot approach loved ones. Most distressing of all is knowing that “people who do not comply” with government orders to stay at home, wear masks and keep social distance have made the pandemic worse
20th Jun 2020 - The Economist

India's Coronavirus Death Toll Is Surging. Prime Minister Modi Is Easing Lockdown Anyway

On Monday, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, one of the worst-hit states in the country, said a stringent lockdown would be reimposed in the south Indian city of Chennai and its surrounding districts, beginning on Friday. Confirmed cases in the city have now passed 48,000. And earlier in June, the deputy chief minister of Delhi warned the number of cases in the capital could rise as high as 550,000 by the end of July, requiring 80,000 hospital beds—more than eight times the city’s current capacity. On Sunday, India’s central government announced Delhi would receive 500 more train carriages converted into hospital wards, adding an extra 8,000 beds.
18th Jun 2020 - TIME

Exclusive: Peru Miners Restart Pandemic-Hit Operations With Mass Testing, Isolating Workers

Peru's miners are revving up stalled operations with mass testing, isolation periods and revamped shift patterns, setting up the world's No. 2 copper producer to hit 80% of production capacity by the end of June, industry officials said. The restart is key to Peru's economic engine and metals output which was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and a nationwide lockdown. But unions for mine workers have voiced concerns that some planned shifts are too long while testing and protective measures need to be strengthened.
18th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus: Shops in Scotland to reopen from 29 June

Most shops in Scotland are to reopen from 29 June as part of a further easing of the country's lockdown rules. The changes will also see anyone who lives on their own - or only with children - to form an "extended group" with one other household from tomorrow. People will also be able meet outdoors with two other households at the same time rather than just one. Face coverings are to be made compulsory for everyone using public transport from Monday. And people who have previously been told to shield during the lockdown because they are at high risk are now able to meet other people outside for the first time. No decision has yet been made on when pubs, restaurants or beer gardens will be able to reopen.
18th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Most German Trade Fairs to Resume From September

Most German trade fairs are expected to resume across the country from September as authorities continue to gradually lift coronavirus lockdown measures, an association said on Thursday. Following an agreement between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state premiers, regional governments are responsible for making their own decisions on allowing trade fairs to be held. The Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) said that North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate were already allowing fairs to go ahead, while Bavaria announced it would give the go-ahead from September. "So in Germany, trade fairs are planned again from September," AUMA Managing Director Joern Holtmeier said.
18th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Spain to trial coronavirus tracing app on holiday island

Europe’s latest scheme using Bluetooth technology to log contacts between people and send a warning if any of them test positive for the virus will start in late June on La Gomera, near tourist hot spot Tenerife. “The aim is to explore the potential of this mobile tracing application in a real-life scenario,” the archipelago’s government said in a statement, adding the results will be used to decide whether to roll out the app nationwide. Local authorities have committed to promoting widespread take-up to improve the reliability of the trial’s findings, the statement said. Germany’s national app was downloaded 6.5 million times in the 24 hours after its launch.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

France lifts its limit of 20 mourners at funerals

The French government has scrapped the limit of 20 participants who can attend a funeral, a measure introduced during the lockdown as the country fought to contain its Covid-19 transmission rate.
18th Jun 2020 - The Local France

Qantas to axe all international flights until October as Australia’s borders close for rest of 2020

Australian airline Qantas has said it will axe all international flights until October - bar those to New Zealand - as Australia’s borders remain closed to foreign tourists. The news comes as Australian tourism minister Simon Birmingham told the National Press Club that keeping Australia’s borders closed until 2021 is ‘most likely the case’ . Birmingham continued: “I do sadly think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off. Just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first."
18th Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

New Zealand changes flight rules for Australians after coronavirus outbreak

Passengers on flights from Australia to New Zealand will be forced to wear masks as officials scramble to recover lost faith in the quarantine system. NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the whole of New Zealand feels let down by her health department after a series of bungles which threaten the country’s COVID-19 recovery. The border is paramount in the country’s fight against COVID-19 after a 51-day lockdown allowed NZ to to ‘eliminate’ the deadly virus.
18th Jun 2020 - 7NEWS.com.au

Government abandons own coronavirus contact tracing app to focus on Apple and Google technology

The British Government has abandoned the development of its own coronavirus test-and-trace app for a version based on technology provided by Apple and Google. Following days of questioning over the progress of the app, the Department of Health and Social Care announced the u-turn today. It sees the UK will following Germany, Italy and Denmark in switching to a "decentralised" model. In a statement setting, NHS Test and Trace chief Baroness Harding and NHSX boss Matthew Gould said there had been “specific technical challenges”.
18th Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

Coronavirus: why did England ignore an army of existing contact tracers?

The New York Times has reported that despite the UK having had nearly 300,000 cases of the disease and more than 40,000 deaths, some contact tracers have not yet spoken to a single person. But when the coronavirus pandemic broke out, there was already a group of people who were very well prepared to help the government’s tracking efforts – the NHS workers who carry out contact tracing in cases of sexually transmitted infections. In the world of sexually transmitted infections, contact tracing is known as partner notification. The task of health advisers, employed in sexual health clinics since the 1950s, is to support people who have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections to get their sexual contacts tested and treated as well.
18th Jun 2020 - The Conversation UK

Italy's message to UK: 'Don't consider easing social distancing until masks become norm'

On the steps above Piazza Popolo a couple teenagers were making the most of post lockdown time with some non-social distance kissing. Beside them a rather bored friend waited for them to get back to chatting. Covid-19 hasn’t changed everything. But enthusiastic teenagers aside, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the Italian way of life. No more the double kiss greeting or the warm embrace. It looks and feels so alien.
17th Jun 2020 - ITV News

Is Japan's pandemic response a disaster or a success?

Japan has gone its own way on the coronavirus pandemic from its beginning, with a delayed response, limited testing and a gentler lockdown. But with cases of COVID-19 nearing 20,000 in the country, public health experts are asking whether Japan’s handling of the crisis should be applauded or criticized. Special correspondent Grace Lee reports from Tokyo.
17th Jun 2020 - PBS NewsHour


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ITV News investigation finds majority of NHS Trusts have not completed full risk assessment on BAME staff

Back in April, the head of the NHS Sir Simon Stevens wrote to all hospital Trusts advising them to risk assess all their BAME staff. So far, so good. It's now mid-June, and we have discovered a tiny proportion of those Trusts have actually carried out all the assessments. In fact, only 14 of the 80 NHS Acute Hospital Trusts in England that replied to ITV News' inquiry have completed risk assessments of all BAME staff. And that's not all.
18th Jun 2020 - ITV News

Coronavirus: Health minister says app should roll out by winter

Lord Bethell, the Minister for Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care, said he was unable to give a date for its launch. But he insisted that the trial "has gone very well indeed". He was responding to questions at the Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday afternoon. "We are seeking to get something going for the winter, but it isn't the priority for us at the moment," Lord Bethell said in answer to a question about the app. He admitted that was "an expectation of management answer, saying I can't give you a date".
18th Jun 2020 - BBC News

EU to Host Global COVID-19 Vaccine Summit

The European Union called on the international community Wednesday to ensure potential coronavirus vaccines are equally available to all nations. In a video statement, EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen called a global vaccine summit on June 27 at which the EU and its partners will solicit countries to pool their resources and reserve future vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.
17th Jun 2020 - VOA News

German govt seeks ban on big events until October

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is seeking to ban big events until at least the end of October over fears of renewed transmission of the coronavirus, according to an official draft seen by AFP. Berlin also plans for schools to return to normal operations after the summer holidays. However, recommendations for social distancing and mask wearing in shops and on public transport will stay, according to the document to be discussed by Chancellor Merkel and premiers of Germany's 16 states later today.
17th Jun 2020 - RTE.ie

Spain will do PCR tests on all close contacts of Covid-19 cases

Spain’s Health Ministry and the regional governments have agreed to a stricter protocol for coronavirus testing. From now on, all close contacts of a positive case will undergo PCR testing, regardless of whether they show symptoms or not, healthcare sources told EL PAÍS. These sources said that the new document is being finalized and has been sent to the relevant health authorities: “It’s just a matter of days before it goes into effect.” Scientific groups have expressed satisfaction at the change. In recent days, several experts had voiced concerns about what they’d described as “an open crack” in the Covid-19 containment effort.
17th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

How major airlines are ramping up safety precautions so you can travel again post-lockdown

Most airlines advertise their use of High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filters, which eliminate approximately 99.9% of viral contaminants in recirculated air. Some have swapped cabin crew uniforms for PPEs; while others have introduced contactless check-in and boarding procedures. Passengers can expect adapted inflight food services, prolonged airport waiting times as well as the mandatory use of face masks from take-off until landing.
17th Jun 2020 - Metro

Disinfection tunnels installed to protect Russia’s Vladimir Putin from pandemic

A special disinfection tunnel has been installed in the residence of Russian President Vladimir Putin outside Moscow and two more in the Kremlin, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Reports about the tunnel spraying anyone passing through it with disinfectants appeared in Russian state media on Tuesday night.
17th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Putin has a 'disinfection tunnel' to protect him from the coronavirus

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a “disinfection tunnel” installed at his residence to protect him from contracting the coronavirus, Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported Tuesday.
17th Jun 2020 - CNBC

Macron Address on Phase Three of the Lockdown

President Macron tried to be very positive on his way to handle the pandemic, but his address also showed that he wasn't listening to the difficulties regarding racism issues and police violence, says Andrew Smith from the University of Chichester.
16th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24


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Face masks compulsory on public transport as UK further eases Coronavirus lockdown

As non-essential stores reopened and more students headed back to schools in England on Monday for the first time in almost three-months, a new rule also came into force in requiring people travelling on public transport to wear face coverings during their journeys. Under the new rule which took effect on Monday, people in England travelling on trains, buses and commuter ferries, as well as the London Underground, must wear face coverings, according to the media reports. The UK government said masks can be homemade, such as a scarf or bandana.
16th Jun 2020 - The Statesman

Germany appeals to nation to download coronavirus app

The German government has appealed to its citizens to download a newly available coronavirus warning app as it launched what it insisted was its most sophisticated tool yet for tackling the pandemic. The Corona Warn App suffered setbacks including disagreements over data privacy and functionality, but is seen as being introduced just in time as lockdown regulations rapidly relax with a decreasing infection rate. The app will complement a human tracking and tracing system that has been in place across the country since February. It will alert users whether and for how long they have been in contact at a distance of 2 metres or less with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
16th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Spain may quarantine British tourists, minister tells BBC

Spain is considering imposing a quarantine on British travellers when it reopens its borders next week, in response to a similar policy at London’s end, its foreign minister said. Arancha Gonzalez Laya told the BBC she hoped Britain would lift its restriction, making a reciprocal Spanish one unnecessary. “We will be in a dialogue with the UK to see whether or not we should be introducing reciprocity as they have different measures than the rest of the European Union,” she said in an advance excerpt from current affairs programme HARDtalk. Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said the two countries would take a decision in their mutual interest in coming days.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters

NAB survey reveals many Australians don't want life to return to how it was before coronavirus

As coronavirus cases decline in Australia, restrictions are easing across country. NAB survey has revealed many Australians are happy living under restrictions. Respondents asked to rate out of ten how much they preferred pre COVID-19 life. Out of 2,000 respondents on average people scored 6.5 points out of ten
16th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Botswana lifts coronavirus lockdown in capital city

Botswana on Monday lifted a recently reinstated coronavirus lockdown on its capital city Gaborone and surrounding areas after most of the cases reported last week turned out to be negative, the health department said. Botswana ended a 48-day national lock down on May 21, allowing businesses and schools to reopen, but reinstated strict control on movement in the greater Gaborone region on Friday after health officials reported eight new coronavirus cases at one hospital. But on Monday health officials said national government had retested the patients and the results had come back negative.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Europe Rolls Out Contact Tracing Apps, With Hope and Trepidation

Italy and Germany activated apps this week as tools to avoid a second wave of coronavirus infections, fueling a debate about privacy rights.
16th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Why South Africa’s coronavirus outbreak could be a ‘catalyst for transformation’

The three-point line and bleachers are the first signs that Khayelitsha Field Hospital is atypical. Once a community sports hall, there are now roughly 60 hospital beds lining centre court. Jerseys have been swapped for face masks, visors, and green scrubs, which the medical staff wear to tend to COVID-19 patients. The hospital sits in a sprawling patchwork of shacks and low houses on the outskirts of South Africa’s second-largest city. Here, dense living conditions and poor sanitation make handwashing and social distancing difficult. Subsistence incomes mean the lockdown takes an immediate toll on livelihoods....
16th Jun 2020 - National Geographic UK

African Countries Scramble to Ramp up Testing for COVID-19

Nations in the continent, which have had to import testing supplies and bid against richer countries, are trying to develop their own tests
16th Jun 2020 - Scientific American


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Coronavirus: Contact-tracing apps face further hitches

Norway's health authority has had to delete all data gathered via its Covid-19 contact-tracing app and suspend further use of the tool. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority ruled the Smittestopp app represented a disproportionate intrusion into users' privacy. A switch to a rival design backed by Apple and Google is being considered. Elsewhere, researchers say a bug in the latest version of Australia's app means many iPhones fail to log matches. In mid-April, Norway became one of the first places to introduce a contact-tracing app, when the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and software company Simula rolled out their tool to three of the country's municipalities.
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Should UK employers offer employee mental wellness support post-lockdown?

A survey of 2,000 UK consumers by digital health company BioBeats finds that nearly a quarter (21%) of UK employees say that their mental health will be negatively impacted by extending remote working measures post-lockdown. Only 5% of respondents state that their mental health will improve as a result of extended remote working but alarmingly only 3% say they would ask for help in coping with this new way of working, which presents a striking gap between employees’ needs and their ability to seek support from their employer. “As companies such as Twitter announce that remote working policies will remain in place through the end of the year or even longer, the transition to a more permanent new way of working will have an impact on employee wellbeing that HR departments must be prepared to proactively address,” stated David Plans, Founder & CEO of BioBeats.
15th Jun 2020 - Business Leader

New lockdown rules explained: What’s changed in the UK today, from non-essential shops opening to face masks on public transport

From today, Monday 15 June, thousands of non-essential shops across England are reopening their doors to customers for the first time in almost three months, with many retailers eager to get back to business. Business secretary Alok Sharma said the move would allow the High Street to “spring back to life”, but shops must follow social distancing guidelines and retailers will have to complete a coronavirus risk assessment. Shoppers will have to employ their patience as they join queues at stores due to limits on the numbers of people who can enter at any one time. Boris Johnson has urged the public to “shop with confidence” and said he did not know whether to expect “a flood or a trickle” when the shops reopened but that he hoped people would return in “sensible” numbers.
15th Jun 2020 - iNews

Welsh lockdown review this week will cover three main areas, First Minister confirms

The review of lockdown measures in Wales this week will look at three key areas, the First Minister has confirmed. Restrictions are being reviewed on Thursday with First Minister Mark Drakeford likely to make the decisions public on Friday.
15th Jun 2020 - Wales Online

Spain to open borders on June 21 to most European visitors, including British

Spain will reopen its borders to most European visitors from June 21, 10 days earlier than previously planned, the government said on Sunday, in a further easing of coronavirus restrictions but a week later than some other EU member states. From June 21 - when Spain’s state of emergency ends - it will allow the entry of visitors from the European Union and the open-border Schengen area, which also includes non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya tweeted. Visitors from outside the EU or Schengen area will be able to visit Spain from July 1, though that will hinge on their country’s public health situation, Laya said. British visitors would be able to travel to Spain from June 21 since Britain is still considered part of the EU, a Spanish foreign ministry source said.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Emmanuel Macron lifts lockdown in Paris as borders and restaurants reopen

Restaurants and cafés were reopening fully in Paris today after President Macron announced he was accelerating the lifting of lockdown in France. It coincided with borders opening across Europe after three months of closures due to the coronavirus.
15th Jun 2020 - London Evening Standard

France Speeding Up Post-Lockdown Restart

To spur the restart of the French economy, President Emmanuel Macron announced a quicker end to restrictions put in place to contain the coronavirus. Bloomberg’s Maria Tadeo reports on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe.”
15th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Germany and France reopen borders as Europe emerges from lockdown

France and Germany became the latest European countries to reopen their borders as the continent emerges from its three-month Covid-19 lockdown. Speaking on Sunday evening, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, said the country’s Schengen borders would be open from Monday and its non-EU borders from 1 July. He said that while France could be proud of its response to the pandemic, it needed to reflect on the crisis.
15th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Covid 19 coronavirus: More calls for New Zealand to include Cook Islands in 'bubble'

The Aotearoa Society of the Cook Islands has joined the call for New Zealand to open up its borders to allow travel with south Pacific nations that are free of Covid-19. Spokesman Derek Fox said, in the Cook Islands' case, the economy is almost totally reliant on tourism, but this had stopped dead, despite there having been no coronavirus in the country.
15th Jun 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Greece welcomes foreign visitors, restarts summer tourism

Tourism employs about 700,000 people and accounts for some 20% of Greece’s economic output, so how the sector fares is significant for the country’s recovery. Greece emerged from a decade-long debt crisis two years ago. About 33 million tourists visited the Mediterranean nation last year, generating revenues of 19 billion euros. Passengers arriving from airports deemed high-risk by the European Union’s aviation safety agency will be tested for the coronavirus and quarantined up to 14 days, depending on the test result. Restrictions remain for passengers from Britain and Turkey. Arrivals from other airports will be randomly tested. Restrictions on movement imposed in March helped Greece contain the spread of COVID-19 infections to just above 3,000 cases, a relatively low number compared with other EU countries. But it brought the economy to a standstill.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Moscow lifts virus lockdown despite thousands of new cases

Moscow emerged last week from one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns as City Hall abruptly lifted all restrictions on movement, despite nearly 6,000 new cases of Covid-19 in three days, and gave the green light to shops and businesses to reopen ahead of a referendum that could keep President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036. On the Old Arbat, a bustling pedestrian zone near the Kremlin, the grim realities of Covid-19 seemed to fade in the summer heat as cafes and restaurants prepared to welcome their first customers for months. In an underpass near Red Square, musicians entertained an enthusiastic crowd with raucous rock music, while on Friday, the Russia Day national holiday, City Hall urged people to bake cakes, decorate them with the national flag and “invite your grannies and grandads” in for a slice. The end of the lockdown came as a major surprise. Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow and head of Russia’s Covid-19 taskforce, had previously insisted that coronavirus curbs would only be lifted once the number of new daily cases in the Russian capital had fallen to “the tens, or hundreds”.
14th Jun 2020 - The Times

Australia's largest states further ease coronavirus curbs

Australia's two largest states will further ease public coronavirus restrictions at libraries, community centres and nightclubs, officials said on Sunday, despite recording increases in new infections. New South Wales (NSW), the most populous state, said that from July 1, a 50 person limit on indoor venues such as restaurants and churches would be scrapped, so long as the venues observed a one person per four square metre rule. Nightclubs and music festivals would also be allowed to operate from August if new cases remain low, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. The state on Saturday reported the first locally transmitted COVID-19 case in weeks, and state officials on Sunday said there had been nine new infections since late Friday. In neighboring Victoria, where pubs and other venues are currently limited to 20 people, indoor businesses will be allowed to have up to 50 seated patrons from June 22, said state premier Daniel Andrews.
14th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Britain reviews distancing rule for next stage of easing lockdown

Britain is reviewing its two-metre social distancing rule ahead of the next stage of lockdown easing planned for July 4, when bars, restaurants and hairdressers could reopen in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday. Progress in tackling the coronavirus pandemic had created “room for manoeuvre” on the rule, which many employers have said will make it harder to get back up to speed, Johnson said at an east London shopping centre preparing to reopen next week.
14th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Swiss Covid-19 second wave response plan excludes national lockdown

The Swiss government is against imposing nationwide lockdown restrictions if a second wave of Covid-19 strikes the Alpine nation, according to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper. The weekend press also took stock of how Switzerland has handled the pandemic overall.
14th Jun 2020 - SwissInfo.ch

New Zealand did 'support bubbles' first. Here's what England can learn from them

First, support bubbles made a huge difference. Whether it was having grandchildren stay over, reconnecting with a partner, or simply being able to cook and clean for a loved one, bubbles allowed people to provide and receive much-needed forms of support. As they did so, they rediscovered their sense of value and purpose....
12th Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Coronavirus: Lockdown shouldn't be eased more until 'effective' contact tracing in place, says WHO official

England's lockdown restrictions should not be eased further until the government's contact tracing system is "robust and effective", a World Health Organisation (WHO) official has said. WHO's regional European director Hans Kluge said the UK remains in a "very active phase of the pandemic" and should be cautious in lifting any restrictions. "Contact tracing is key especially as the UK starts to relax the social and physical distancing measures," he told The Guardian. "There has to be a robust track-and-trace system in place of operation."
15th Jun 2020 - Sky News

WHO cautions against further lifting of lockdown in England

England’s coronavirus lockdown should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system has proven to be “robust and effective”, the World Health Organization has said after widespread criticism of the first results of the new tracking operation. As shops across England prepared to reopen, and people were encouraged by the government to come out of their homes and on to the high street, Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO’s director for Europe, cautioned that the UK remained in a “very active phase of the pandemic”. His remarks came as ministers confirmed a review of the 2-metre distancing rule, with the government coming under pressure from business leaders, Tory backbenchers and rightwing media to further ease the lockdown. Boris Johnson said on Sunday that the falling numbers of coronavirus cases has given the government “more margin for manoeuvre” in easing the 2-metre physical distancing rule.
15th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Agenda: We should follow Estonia's lead in the digital revolution

BEFORE Covid-19, the Scottish Government was active in fostering existing and new relationships with our Nordic and Baltic neighbours. Now that the world has been turned upside down by the horror of this pandemic, connections with these smaller northern nations seem all the more important in terms of what we can learn from their individual responses to the crisis. Estonia is a case in point, a small nation state with a population of 1.3million, with one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU and one of the highest standards of living in the world. This success is in no small part due to its digitisation and e-governance revolution since becoming independent in the 1990s, adding leading digital nation status to its many accolades.
13th Jun 2020 - HeraldScotland

Covid 19 coronavirus: Thailand eyes travel bubble with New Zealand

Thailand is considering forming travel bubbles with countries that have comparably low Covid-19 rates of infection, government officials said this week. The country closed borders at the beginning of April, which devastated the tourism industry and led to millions of job losses. The tourism industry alone accounts for 20 per cent of the country's GDP. Now, in an attempt to revive the economy, the country is looking at establishing travel bubbles with countries with low rates of coronavirus, including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.
13th Jun 2020 - New Zealand Herald

U.S. government to send nearly 100 million face coverings for transit passengers

The U.S. Department of Transportation unveiled plans on Friday to send nearly 100 million face coverings to airports, transit agencies and U.S. passenger railroad service Amtrak over the coming weeks, in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The cloth coverings will be provided as a supplement for passengers, DOT said in a statement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces, which are reopening after months-long shutdowns aimed at stemming the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. Nearly 87 million of the masks, procured by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will go to airports, DOT said. The allotment is in addition to some 15 million committed to critical infrastructure workers in the transportation sector.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus bubble bursts for China’s low-end mask makers

Tens of thousands of opportunist manufacturers entered China’s mask-making industry to capitalise of the boom during the coronavirus pandemic. But the gravy train has ground to a halt for some producers of meltblown and nonwoven fabric, who have been forced to shut their factories.
12th Jun 2020 - South China Morning Post

Japan aims to launch coronavirus contact tracking app next week

Japan aims to launch a smartphone app based on technology from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google next week to help curb the spread of coronavirus by tracking close contact with those infected, the health ministry said on Friday. Smartphones with the app installed can detect each other via Bluetooth short-range wireless and log those who have come in close contact. If a phone user is found to be infected, people who spent more than 15 minutes within a radius of one meter (3.3 feet) of that individual sometime over the previous 14 days will be notified that they were in close contact with a coronavirus-infected person, and be prompted to seek medical consultation. Such a message will be sent only if the infected individual gives consent, and the person with a positive diagnosis will remain anonymous to the receivers of the notification.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Thermal imaging and e-forms: How Spain will screen for Covid-19 when the travel ban is lifted

Now that the coronavirus epidemic is considered to be under control in Spain, the next big danger will be the imported cases, warn health officials. If everything goes according to plan, the first tourists will arrive this coming Monday as part of a pilot project in the Balearic Islands. Then, on July 1, Spain will officially lift travel restrictions at the border, including the quarantine requirement. Despite the travel ban, a total of 33,500 people entered Spain during the month of May through air and maritime borders, thanks to exceptions made for specific workers, residents returning to their homes, and certain emergency situations. But this number is expected to soar as soon as the country reopens, and authorities are scrambling to get health teams ready in time to detect all incoming cases.
12th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus: What does a working 'test and trace' system look like?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has expressed "renewed confidence" NHS Test and Trace will become the "world-class system" promised by the prime minister - although Mr Hancock acknowledged the system needed to get "better and better" as it developed. But what does an already world-beating test and trace programme look like? There is no need to look as far as Singapore, South Korea or even Germany for one; an extremely successful example can be found much closer to home. Guernsey has not recorded a new coronavirus case in 43 days and there are no active Covid-19 patients in the island. This has led to significant easing of its lockdown rules and the Channel Island's 63,000 residents can go shopping, get a haircut and meet up with friends and family.
12th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus contact tracing apps were tech's chance to step up. They haven't.

Most states are giving the cold shoulder to smartphone apps, though some developers think there's still a chance for them to catch on.
12th Jun 2020 - NBC News

Formula One cancels Singapore, Japan races due to coronavirus

Singapore GP organisers said ‘prohibitions imposed on access and construction of the event venue’ had forced the cancellation of the night race. Formula One had already cancelled four other races, including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix in May.
12th Jun 2020 - South China Morning Post

Two hairstylists who had coronavirus saw 140 clients. No new infections have been linked to the salon, officials say

No cases of coronavirus have been linked to two Missouri hairstylists who saw 140 clients last month while symptomatic, county health officials said. Both stylists worked at the same Great Clips location in Springfield. The clients and the stylists all wore face coverings, and the salon had set up other measures such as social distancing of chairs and staggered appointments, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said this week. Of the 140 clients and seven co-workers potentially exposed, 46 took tests that came back negative. All the others were quarantined for the duration of the coronavirus incubation period. The 14-day incubation period has now passed with no coronavirus cases linked to the salon beyond the two stylists, county health officials said.
11th Jun 2020 - CNN


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Oxford vaccine testers chase coronavirus to Brazil where it is rampant

The Oxford team has already recruited about 10,000 volunteers in the UK, who were split into two groups. One got the vaccine, the other a placebo. The scientists are now looking for evidence that the vaccinated cohort has been protected. An ideal result would see none of the vaccinated individuals becoming infected. But to prove that the jab works it is also necessary for unvaccinated volunteers — the number will be set by regulators and depend, in part, on the size of the cohort — to develop Covid-19. The likelihood of people becoming infected determines how long it takes to get a result. “If it’s low, it’s going to take you ages,” Trudie Lang, director of the Global Health Network at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Medicine, said. If there is little virus circulating your trial may run aground, leaving you without answers.
12th Jun 2020 - The Times

England’s Contact Tracers Fail to Reach a Third of New Cases

Britain’s coronavirus contact tracers failed to track down a third of the cases referred to them in England in the first week of an operation aimed at stemming the pandemic. Among 8,117 people who tested positive for the virus, 5,407 were reached and asked to provide details about their contacts with others, the Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement on its website on Thursday. Contact tracers then reached some 85% of people identified as having been exposed to the infection and advised them to self-isolate. “For the first week of a scale citizen service, this is good performance,” Dido Harding, the chair of NHS Improvement who is overseeing the Test and Trace Service, told reporters Thursday. “Clearly it can and needs to and will get better.”
12th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Brazil’s favelas, neglected by the government, organize their own coronavirus fight

Favelas have long been cradles of activism. Many have been overrun by violent criminal gangs that ­impose restrictions on who can enter and leave. Cut off from government services, informal communities have often created parallel institutions — including mail, Internet and sanitation systems — and supplemented weak health and education systems. That tradition of creative problem-solving has spread during the outbreak. When the people of Rio de Janeiro’s Complexo do Alemão favela saw that the city’s coronavirus statistics were leaving out cases from slums, they created their own database to track the disease. The residents’ association in Rio’s Cantagalo community joined with a local nongovernmental organization to spray disinfectant.
11th Jun 2020 - The Washington Post

Coronavirus: BAME safety plan not published

A report containing measures to protect ethnic minority groups from coronavirus has been drawn up for government, BBC News has learned. Public Health England (PHE) published a review last week confirming coronavirus kills people from ethnic minorities at disproportionately high rates. But a senior academic told BBC News a second report, containing safeguarding proposals to tackle this, also existed. And PHE now says this report will be published next week. Labour described the decision not to immediately publish the second report as "scandalous and a tragedy".
11th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Rwanda: COVID-19 - Mass Testing for Rwandan Peacekeepers in South Sudan

Rwanda has started mass testing and sampling for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) targeting its peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The testing spearheaded by the Ministry of Health started on Tuesday in Malakal where Rwanda Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) hybrid contingent of 239 officers, is deployed. Rwanda FPU-1 lost one of its members-Police Constable (PC) Enid Mbabazi-who succumbed to Covid-19 on June 2, at the King Faisal Hospital after she was evacuated back home for further treatment. Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that the testing which started in Malakal was inline with the prevention measures against the spread of coronavirus/Covid-19 and the exercise will continue to all Rwandan peacekeepers serving in South Sudan.
11th Jun 2020 - AllAfrica.com

Toronto to make face coverings mandatory on public transit, will hand out 1M masks to riders

Toronto plans to make face coverings mandatory on its public transit system, a rule that could go into effect starting July 2. Mayor John Tory announced the updated regulations for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on Thursday. "This will help to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our city," Tory said. "As the restart and reopening begins, we know that more people will be back on the TTC… at the same time, physical distancing will become a greater and greater challenge." The TTC board will need to approve the recommendation at its meeting next week, though TTC CEO Rick Leary has already said he supports the plan. "I want to make sure people know our system is safe for both customers and employees," Leary said.
11th Jun 2020 - CBC.ca

Egypt to reopen tourist destinations less hard-hit by virus

Egypt will reopen select tourist destinations to international charter flights starting July 1, its cabinet said Thursday, allowing travelers from around the world to return to parts of the country less hard-hit by the coronavirus. The government hopes to draw tourists to popular yet remote attractions that have been spared the ravages of the virus. Those include the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, home to the major resort and beach destination of Sharm el Sheikh, the Red Sea resort areas of Hurghada and Marsa Alam, as well as Marsa Matrouh, on the Mediterranean coast.
11th Jun 2020 - The Times of Israel

'Ticking time bomb:' Lack of beds slows Delhi's virus fight

In New Delhi, a sprawling capital region of 46 million and home to some of India’s highest concentration of hospitals, a pregnant woman’s death after a frantic hunt for a sickbed was a worrying sign about the country’s ability to cope with a wave of new coronavirus cases. “She kept begging us to save her life, but we couldn’t do anything,” Shailendra Kumar said, after driving his sister-in-law, Neelam, and her husband for hours, only to be turned away at eight public and private hospitals. Two and a half months of nationwide lockdown kept numbers of infections relatively low in India. But with restrictions easing in recent weeks, cases have shot up, rising by a record of nearly 10,000 on Thursday, raising questions about whether authorities have done enough to avert catastrophe.
11th Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

Houston Weighs New Lockdown, Sees ‘Precipice of Disaster’

Houston-area officials are “getting close” to reimposing stay-at-home orders and are prepared to reopen a Covid-19 hospital established but never used at a football stadium as virus cases expand in the fourth-largest U.S. city. The announcement by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Thursday came a day after the Lone Star state recorded its highest one-day tally of new cases since the pandemic emerged.
11th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Germany in close contact with Turkey over travel warning - minister

Germany is in close contact with countries outside Europe, including Turkey, over whether travel warnings in place due to the coronavirus pandemic can be lifted, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Thursday. Lifting the warnings would depend on factors like the number of infections and capacity levels at local health systems, Maas said after talks with ministers from several popular holiday destinations for Germans.
11th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Britain's test and trace system reaches 26,985 in first week

Britain's Department of Health said its coronavirus tracing system contacted 31,794 people between 28 May and 3 Jun and of those it was able to reach 26,985, or 85 per cent, and advise them to self-isolate. The government's test and trace system is seen as key to helping to ease lockdown measures. The 31,794 people were contacts of a group of 5,407 people who had tested positive for coronavirus and provided details of those they had met to the system, said the Department of Health on Thursday (Jun 11). However only two-thirds of the 8,117 people who tested positive for the virus during the period provided details of recent contacts to the system, with the remaining number not able to be reached.
11th Jun 2020 - Channel NewsAsia Singapore

Kremlin defends Russia's coronavirus death data after WHO questions its exceptionally precise Covid-19 data

The Kremlin denied on Thursday there was anything untoward with Russia's official coronavirus death data after the World Health Organisation said this week that Russia's low death rate was "difficult to understand". Russia has reported more than half a million cases of the new coronavirus, the third largest caseload in the world, and 6,532 deaths, a number that is many times lower than other countries with serious outbreaks. Asked if the Kremlin thought the data was strange, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "no", but that Russia's consumer health regulator would be ready to explain the data to the World Health Organisation.
11th Jun 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Internal document reveals federal plan to ask nurses to reuse masks

Internal Federal Emergency Management Agency data show that the government’s supply of surgical gowns has not meaningfully increased since photos first emerged in March of nurses wearing trash bags for protection. “The demand for gowns outpaces current U.S. manufacturing capabilities,” a document released Tuesday says. The document confirms the fears of nurses and other health care providers. After months of pressure on federal officials to use wartime powers to mobilize U.S. plants, the document's slides show that domestic manufacturing of gowns and surgical masks has ticked up by a few thousand per month since the pandemic hit, falling far short of need. The United States still does not manufacture any nitrile rubber gloves.
9th Jun 2020 - Roll Call


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Coronavirus: PM's plans to get more pupils back to school 'lie in tatters', Starmer says

Government plans to get more pupils back to school in England during the coronavirus pandemic "lie in tatters", Sir Keir Starmer has said, as he told the prime minister the UK's number of COVID-19 deaths should "haunt us". The Labour leader and Boris Johnson clashed in the Commons at PMQs. It was the first time they faced each other since it was confirmed ministers have dropped plans for all primary school pupils to return before the summer holidays during the coronavirus outbreak.
10th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Ex-Ofsted chief: failure to plan for reopening of schools is ‘astonishing’

The government’s failure to plan to get children back to school safely is “absolutely astonishing” and must be remedied before September, Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former chief inspector of schools in England, has said. Wilshaw, who led Ofsted from 2012 until 2016, said schools will need to put in place recovery programmes, appeal to teachers to run catch-up classes over the summer and even allow some of the most affected to repeat their school year. The government has been criticised by MPs from all parties and unions for lacking a coherent plan, after announcing that primary schools in England would return in June before backtracking this week. There is particular annoyance after ministers revealed that zoos, theme parks and outdoor cinemas would be able to open shortly – on the same day as confirming that not all primary schools could get back to operation before the end of the summer term.
10th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Leicester parents told to self-isolate after coronavirus outbreak at Humberstone schools

Parents of pupils at Leicester primary schools which shut after a coronavirus outbreak have been told to self-isolate for 14 days. Humberstone Infants school and Humberstone Junior School have both been closed ‘for the foreseeable future’. Humberstone Academy, which runs both schools, took the decision after they were shut on Monday when a teacher tested positive for Covid-19. The schools reopened on Tuesday but have now closed. Annemarie Williams, the executive headteacher at the schools, which share a site in Main Street, sent an e-mail to parents last night telling them of the decision to close.
10th Jun 2020 - Leicestershire Live

Netherlands sends first herring catch to German medics as coronavirus thank you

Some 4,000 new-season herrings are to be delivered to German medics as thanks for treating Dutch Covid-19 patients. The salty delicacies go to Münster clinic staff who coordinated Dutch transfers to German hospitals.
10th Jun 2020 - DW (English)

Malaysia to reopen schools in stages from June 24

Malaysia will begin reopening schools from June 24, its Education Minister said yesterday, as the country enters recovery mode after three months of strict curbs on movement and businesses to contain the spread of the coronavirus. South-east Asia's third-largest economy began lifting most coronavirus restrictions from yesterday, after the government declared that the outbreak was under control. Schools will be reopened in stages, beginning with students facing public examinations and equivalent international school examinations this year, Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said.
10th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Thailand, Vietnam and the ‘Covid dividend’

Bangkok, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are roaring back to life after their coronavirus-related partial lockdowns. Thanks to a disciplined public health response by their governments, companies and people, Thailand and Vietnam are now getting back to a “new normal” that looks suspiciously like the old one — traffic jams and all. The beaches nearest to Bangkok are heaving with visitors. Vietnam’s schools, restaurants, cinemas and nightclubs are open again, while football matches at stadiums packed with cheering spectators have been allowed to resume. Most Vietnamese have stopped wearing masks. While a second wave of infections is a risk here, as everywhere, the authorities in both countries have been encouraged by a drop in new local Covid-19 infections to zero in recent weeks.
10th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Poland rolls out privacy-secure coronavirus tracking app

Poland has released its latest version of a smartphone application to help to track coronavirus outbreaks, which has been adapted to address concerns about privacy, the country’s digital minister said on Tuesday. Dozens of countries have launched or plan contact tracing apps using either Bluetooth or location-tracking technology to notify people quickly of possible coronavirus exposure. But the first generation of contact tracing apps rushed out in March and April raised privacy alarms. Poland’s latest app comes after the country lifted some restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus and after a few days of record high new coronavirus cases mainly due to the spread among miners.
9th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK


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Five things that could change in Phase Two of easing lockdown restrictions in Scotland

The Scottish Government is reviewing what lockdown restrictions could be eased from the end of next week - with more businesses likely to reopen.
9th Jun 2020 - Daily Record

When will pubs and restaurants reopen? The new UK lockdown rules explained

After nearly two months in lockdown, the UK started to ease certain restrictions on travelling to work, exercise and going outside. New rules allow people to exercise outside more than once a day and spend time in parks and outdoor spaces – sunbathing and having picnics – even if they’re not exercising. But what does this all mean for the hospitality industry? Not only are pub and restaurant owners wondering about the future of their business but people are asking when they might be able to start drinking or eating out again, especially as the weather gets warmer.
9th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Scotland's lockdown could be eased soon after deaths diminish

Nicola Sturgeon has signalled that Scotland’s strict lockdown regulations could be eased more quickly after the country recorded no Covid-19 deaths in the last two days. The first minister is under growing pressure to relax the lockdown rules and allow more businesses to reopen, with prominent hoteliers and retailers warning that their businesses could fold, causing heavy job losses. Sturgeon announced on Monday that no deaths had been recorded overnight for the second day running. Before then, the previous time none had been reported was 13 March. There were only 18 confirmed new Covid-19 infections on Sunday, and the seven-day average was at its lowest since mid-March. Sturgeon said new fatalities were expected, partly since recorded cases were generally lower at weekends, but she said she agreed there was now “very encouraging” evidence “of real and sustained suppression of this virus”
9th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Johnson Continues U.K. Lockdown Easing But Retreats on Schools

Johnson Continues U.K. Lockdown Easing But Retreats on Schools
9th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Italy’s launches new Immuni contact tracing App to combat the spread coronavirus

The Italian government has released its new contact tracing App for Covid-19 called ‘Immuni’. Testing of the App begins this week in four Italian regions: Liguria, Abruzzo, Marche and Puglia and will then be extended nationwide, although Italians are already able to download the App to their phones now if they want. . The Italian government’s official exposure notification app was developed by Italy’s Extraordinary Commissioner for the Covid-19 emergency in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Innovation Technology and Digitalization.
9th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Italy's cultural cities strategize after tourism losses post-lockdown

Italians become tourists at home and embrace 'slow tourism' as the country reopens. As pandemic restrictions were lifted this past week, with Italy opening its borders to EU travellers and allowing inter-regional travel, the country's world-renowned museums and cultural sites also reopened. With only a trickle of EU tourists arriving, Italians have a historic opportunity: the chance to see their own masterpieces free from throngs of tourists and by booking just days in advance, rather than weeks or months.
9th Jun 2020 - CBC.ca

Spain says it is 'not discussing travel corridor with UK' despite reports

Spain has said it is not discussing a possible “travel corridor” which would allow UK tourists to enter the country on holiday without needing to self-isolate. A Spanish foreign ministry source told news agency Reuters that British tourists would receive the same treatment as EU nationals once the Iberian nation decides to reopen its borders. Government ministers have publicly said they are considering travel corridors, or so-called "air bridges" with countries with low infection rates, but there have not been any formal deals so far. “Spain has called for a common (European Union-wide) approach to opening the borders. If this is not done, it will establish its own criteria,” the source said.
9th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Spain makes masks mandatory until coronavirus defeated

Wearing masks in public will remain mandatory in Spain after the country’s state of emergency ends on June 21 until a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus is found, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday. Spaniards must continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors if they cannot guarantee a 1.5 metre distance from other people as part of a decree to govern conditions after the lockdown is lifted, Illa told a news conference. The obligation to wear masks will remain until “we definitively defeat the virus, which will be when we have an efficient therapy or an effective vaccine,” Illa said.
9th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Covid-19 patients most infectious when first showing symptoms - WHO

Maria van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist, is the WHO's technical lead on the pandemic. In a briefing today, she said that a sub-set of people do not develop symptoms, but can still infect others, and as many as 40% of transmissions maybe by asymptomatic cases. Yesterday Ms van Kerkhove said that on the basis of studies carried out in several countries, transmission of the virus by an asymptomatic person seemed "very rare". Her remarks, which were widely relayed on social media networks, sparked a reaction from part of the scientific community.
9th Jun 2020 - RTE.ie

Summer Season in Spain is Back On as UK Government Replaces Quarantine with Air Bridges

Bosses of the travel and hospitality industry have been privately assured by the government that ‘air bridges’ will be introduced for foreign summer holidays from June 29 to replace blanket quarantine. The ‘Quash Quarantine’ group made up of more than 500 of the biggest names in the industry said that as a result of the news they would suspend their threatened legal action to overturn quarantine. This is great news for Spain’s tourism industry, still trying to shake off the shackles as the country emerges from its almost three-month lockdown. “There’s a desire by the group to take action and we are not ruling it out in the future but we have had these assurances from senior government sources that travel corridors will be in place from June 29,” said Paul Charles, a spokesman for the group whose businesses turn over £10 billion a year.
9th Jun 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Regional airports reopen in France as lockdown eases

Airports in France that were closed during the lockdown are reopening as the country continues to ease restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. Nantes airport in the west of France and Biarritz on the southwest coast opened on Monday, with Lille in the north slated to restart flights on 15 June and Bordeaux on 6 July. The airport in Nantes is seen as the gateway to the western Atlantic region.
9th Jun 2020 - CGTN

Moscow lifts Coronavvirus lockdown as Russian death toll tops 6,000

Moscow on Tuesday lifted a strict anti-coronavirus lockdown after more than two months of restrictions as Russia reported over 6,000 deaths. Traffic jams returned to Moscow’s notoriously congested roads as residents spilled out onto the streets on a warm late spring day in the Russian capital. Many Muscovites were in good spirits after spending weeks cooped up at home, and most were not wearing the obligatory masks.
9th Jun 2020 - The Statesman

Moscow lifts coronavirus lockdown as Russia partially reopens borders

Moscow is lifting its months-long coronavirus lockdown, mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Monday, declaring that the pandemic was on the wane and it was possible to resume normal life during the course of June.
9th Jun 2020 - Reuters

UK PM Boris Johnson to set out further lockdown easing as COVID-19 deaths fall

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will talk his cabinet through his plans for easing the country’s lockdown on Tuesday after officials reported the lowest number of daily deaths since restrictions were imposed. Last month, PM Johnson had said that non-essential retailers would be able to reopen on June 15 if the threat of the virus continued to recede, On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that positive data means the government can press on with its plans.
9th Jun 2020 - The Statesman

India lifts lockdown measures despite COVID-19 surge

The number of reported cases of coronavirus worldwide has topped seven million. In India, malls, restaurants and places of worship have re-opened despite a surge in new infections. There are more than a quarter of a million cases and over 7,000 people are reported to have died. Al Jazeera's Elizabeth Puranam reports from New Delhi.
9th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Moscow lifts virus lockdown as Russian death toll tops 6,000

Many Muscovites were in good spirits after spending weeks cooped up at home, and most were not wearing the obligatory masks. "It's nice out and there are a lot of people on the streets. It's a beautiful day, in every sense of the word," Olga Ivanova, a 33-year-old marketing manager, told AFP in central Moscow. The easing of restrictions was announced Monday and comes as the Kremlin is gearing up for a crucial July 1 vote that could extend President Vladimir Putin's grip on power until 2036. The 67-year-old leader also wants to stage a major World War II military parade which was postponed because of the epidemic and rescheduled for June 24.
9th Jun 2020 - AFP on MSN.com

COVID-19 travel bans separate families even as lockdowns ease

When Julie Sergent's father died, she faced an agonising decision: If she travelled from her home in Japan to attend the funeral in France, she wouldn't be allowed back. Across Asia, domestic lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus are easing, but international travel restrictions in the region remain tight. Many countries have banned non-citizens from entry or even closed their borders altogether, with devastating consequences for some living far from family. In Japan, citizens can leave and re-enter the country. Those coming from designated high-risk areas are tested for the virus on arrival and asked to observe a quarantine. But foreign residents, even those with long-term ties or married to Japanese citizens, cannot do the same
9th Jun 2020 - CNA

Moscow to start easing lockdown on Tuesday

The mayor of Moscow says the city will ease its two-month-long coronavirus lockdown restrictions, starting on Tuesday. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Monday said residents of the capital can move around without restrictions, and some service sector businesses, including beauty parlors and photo studios, can reopen. He said from June 16, libraries and art museums will be allowed to resume operations, and restaurants and cafes can reopen their terraces. He said he expects all restaurants, swimming pools, and gyms can return to normal operations from June 23.
9th Jun 2020 - NHK WORLD

Australian state lets sports fans back in stadiums as COVID-19 cases slow

As Australia moves ahead with relaxing a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, a state government gave the all clear for more than 2,000 fans to attend an Australian Rules Football game at a stadium in Adelaide this weekend. “Football and crowds are back in South Australia,” Steven Marshall, South Australia’s premier told reporters in the state capital on Tuesday, heralding the match between the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide. Professional sport was allowed to resume in Australia last month after a two-month hiatus, but it will become one of the first nations to admit spectators to stadiums as lockdowns begin to be relaxed in many countries.
9th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: NSW looking to further ease restrictions

New South Wales is looking to further ease its coronavirus restrictions despite health authorities remaining on high alert for new outbreaks. Australia recorded two new cases in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Greg Hunt said, taking the national figure to 7265. There have been only 62 cases in the past week.
9th Jun 2020 - 9News


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Qatar to lift coronavirus restrictions in four phases

Qatar will start lifting coronavirus restrictions under a four-phase plan starting June 15. Government spokesperson Lolwa Rashed al-Khater said on Monday that some mosques would be allowed to reopen from June 15 and some stories in malls will also be allowed to reopen if certain conditions are met.
8th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Coronavirus: Plan dropped for all primary pupils back in school

The plan for all primary school years in England to go back to school before the end of term is to be dropped by the government. There had been an aim for all primary pupils to spend four weeks in school before the summer break. But it is no longer thought to be feasible and instead schools will be given "flexibility" over whether or not to admit more pupils. Head teachers' leaders said it had never been a practical possibility. It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock conceded at Monday's Downing Street briefing that secondary schools in England may not fully reopen until September "at the earliest".
8th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Spain Looks to a New Kind of Tourism After COVID-19

Antonio Peréz, the present day mayor of Benidorm, said last year the town attracted 16 million tourists but as it tries to recover what is left of this season, the emphasis must be on safety. “We are working on a series of protocols in hotels, for the beaches and in restaurants so that people can feel safe when they come here,” he told VOA in a telephone interview. Peréz said cleaning hotels, making staff and customers wear masks, enforcing social distancing in restaurants, bars and even nightclubs will be essential. Avoiding crowding on the beaches will also be imperative. Known as the Manhattan of the Costa Blanca, Benidorm is famous for its skyscraper-like hotels. The close proximity of guests in these buildings is likely to prove a problem until an effective vaccine is found for COVID-19
8th Jun 2020 - VOA News

Canary Islands Considers Paying for Tourist’s Covid-19 Tests Before Arriving to Spain This Summer

The Canary Islands are considering paying for Covid-19 tests as they gear up to welcome tourists in Spain after the pandemic. The Canary Islands have had one the most positive epidemiological evolutions in Spain during the coronavirus crisis and therefore the region is a top contender for welcoming tourists during the summer season. The tests will be conducted before the passengers at their original destination even board their flight. This decision to test passengers falls under the umbrella of marketing the Canary Islands as a safe and Covid-free destination.
8th Jun 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Saudi Arabia considers limiting haj pilgrims amid COVID-19 fears

Saudi Arabia could drastically limit numbers at the annual haj pilgrimage to prevent a further outbreak of coronavirus after cases in the country topped 100,000, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. Some 2.5 million pilgrims visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long haj, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. Official data show haj and the lesser, year-round umrah pilgrimage earn the kingdom about $12 billion a year. Saudi Arabia asked Muslims in March to put haj plans on hold and suspended umrah until further notice.
8th Jun 2020 - Morung Express

Iran urges people to wear face masks amid fears of new coronavirus wave

Iran’s health ministry urged people on Monday to wear face masks in public areas, following warnings that the Islamic Republic could face a new wave of coronavirus infections, reported Reuters. Health officials said last week there could be a second, stronger wave of novel coronavirus infections if people ignored social distancing rules.
8th Jun 2020 - Middle East Monitor

South African schools reopen as COVID-19 lockdown is eased

Most schools in South Africa have reopened and pupils in their final years of primary and secondary school are allowed to return.
8th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Video: Thai businesses develop robots to adapt to coronavirus era

The coronavirus outbreak has accelerated the development of the robotics industry in Thailand, as companies race to devise solutions to meet increased hygiene and medical needs. Robotics is one of 10 strategic sectors that the government wants to focus on, but the industry's development had been slow until now. The coronavirus pandemic has moved things forward rapidly and companies have now developed robots that can take body temperatures, check mask usage, as well as conduct remote medical examinations.
8th Jun 2020 - Nikkei Asian Review

Cuba declares coronavirus pandemic 'under control'

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has declared the coronavirus pandemic "under control" after the island nation registered an eighth straight day without a death from COVID-19. It paves the way for an announcement next week on Cuba's strategy to gradually lift its lockdown. The country of 11.2 million has recorded just under 2,200 cases and 83 deaths from the virus. With 1,862 people having recovered, Cuba has only 244 active cases
8th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Hong Kong eases travel restrictions—but only for its business elite

Hong Kong is lifting restrictions on travel to mainland China—but only for premier business executives. And the easing of mandatory quarantine rules only works one way. On Monday, the city’s financial services secretary Christopher Hui Ching-yu relaxed travel restrictions for executives at the top 480 companies listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, providing more leeway to firms whose corporate travel between the mainland and Hong Kong has been curtailed by 14-day mandated quarantines as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The companies getting the free pass include Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent, state-owned enterprises like the Chinese oil giant Sinopec, and the international bank HSBC. In total, the 480 firms represent roughly 95% of the total market capitalization of the 2,107 companies listed on Hong Kong’s exchange.
8th Jun 2020 - Fortune

Coronavirus shutdowns prevented 60 million infections in the USA, study says

Researchers found the USA may have been able to avoid an additional 4.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases, which translates to about 60 million more infections, as a result of statewide lockdowns and mandated social distancing restrictions, according to the report published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature.
8th Jun 2020 - USA Today


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th Jun 2020

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Coronavirus: PM to set out plans to rebuild economy amid fears of lack of strategy over second surge

Fear is growing among ministers that millions of jobs may be lost if pubs and restaurants are not allowed to reopen this summer and Mr Johnson is understood to have tasked his team with developing plans to get business moving as soon as possible to prevent a major economic slowdown. But medical professionals have warned that the prime minister must not take his focus away from coping with the coronavirus as the death rate remains high and the rate of transmission has risen above 1 in some areas.
7th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Bali to target tourists from nearby countries in new normal

The tourism industry in Bali is planning to target travelers from nearby countries, such as Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam, once the province is reopened for international visitors under the new normal protocols. The industry and all stakeholders engaged in tourism and the creative economy in Bali are currently preparing for the new normalization of tourism by implementing hygiene, health, and safety protocols, said secretary of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (Bali), I Putu Winastra, in a statement received here on Saturday. "The protocol will be applied to every tourism sector, including transportation, accommodation, restaurants, and all tourism objects," he informed.
7th Jun 2020 - ANTARA English

No infection control

If someone were to draw on everything the world has learned about Covid-19 in the past six months and write a playbook about what not to do in the event of a high-fatality pandemic, our government’s strategy could comfortably feature as a case study of what happens when the wrong decisions are made. Where many countries rightly rely on data, mass testing, and science-led strategies to enforce lockdowns and limit the spread of Covid-19, our government has been defensive, slow to act and adopted a hands-off approach in which citizens are left to protect themselves.
7th Jun 2020 - DAWN.com

Coronavirus: EU to start allowing in outside travellers from July

The European Union will not fully open internal borders before the end of June, meaning restrictions on travel to and from other countries will only start easing in July, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Friday (June 5). She told a news conference after a video call among EU and Schengen zone interior ministers that most governments would lift internal border controls by June 15, but that some were not ready to do so until the end of the month. "So that means that (all) internal border controls are lifted by the end of June, I guess. We should consider the gradual lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU (in) early July," Johansson said.
6th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Contact-tracing and peer pressure: how Japan has controlled coronavirus

What we found at an early stage was that efforts to find cases through testing those who had had contact with patients was not particularly effective. Further investigation revealed that while many patients do not infect anyone, some end up infecting many, thereby forming “clusters” of infected people from a single source. Therefore, in addition to contact tracing, we focused on a retrospective tracking of links between patients and found unrecognised cases surrounding the possible source, thereby identifying clusters. In addition, monitoring of the number of unlinked cases led to an early detection of exponential growth in the number of patients, which enabled the government to provide the public with an effective early warning.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Japan's Coronavirus Numbers Are Low. Are Masks the Reason?

In the United States, where masks only recently arrived on the scene, they have been a less comfortable fit — becoming an emblem in the culture wars. A vocal minority asserts that nobody can force anyone to put a mask on. Protesters have harassed mask-wearing reporters. The president himself has tried to avoid being seen in one. As Japan has confounded the world by avoiding the sort of mass death from coronavirus seen in the United States, I began to wonder whether the cultural affinity for masks helped explain some of this success. It also got me thinking about the evolution in my own feelings about face coverings.
6th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Europe’s big two kiss and make up for pandemic rescue deal

From champion of austerity to Europe’s biggest spender – Germany has travelled a long way in just a few months. The notoriously frugal ministry of finance has agreed to spend €130bn – a sum equal to 4% of national income – on more than 50 initiatives to promote growth across the country. This breathtaking investment programme comes on top of the almost 30% of GDP the government has so far spent on rescuing businesses and protecting jobs during the coronavirus crisis.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Britain halts trial of hydroxychloroquine as 'useless' for Covid-19 patients

British scientists halted a major drug trial on Friday (June 5) after it found that the anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine, touted by US President Donald Trump as a potential “game changer” in the pandemic, was “useless” at treating Covid-19 patients. “This is not a treatment for Covid-19. It doesn’t work,”Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the Recovery trial, told reporters. “This result should change medical practice worldwide. We can now stop using a drug that is useless.
5th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Less than 10% of people in Britain are immune to coronavirus. There's no room for mistakes

This isn’t a game. Recent data from both Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics shows that less than 10% of the UK population is now immune to this virus. Reliable antibody tests at scale from multiple sources indicate approximately the same figure. We must discard any foolish optimism about “immunological dark matter” that will mysteriously prevent infection, or any other clutching at straws. The great majority of us are still susceptible to this virus, and if we allow it to transmit easily between us we will see a second wave – possibly during the winter, where it may be even more deadly.
5th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Japan to require virus testing, itinerary in travel restriction easing

As Japan is considering ways to safely ease travel restrictions over the new coronavirus, travelers to and from the country will be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 and submit a trip itinerary, government sources said Friday. Japan is already in talks with Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand to mutually reopen borders, with businesspeople and professionals such as medical staff expected to be fast-tracked. Under the plan, travelers leaving Japan will first have to get a negative result in a polymerase chain reaction or PCR test, which they will then submit to the embassy of the country they plan to visit.
5th Jun 2020 - Kyodo News Plus

Europe’s Patchwork Reopening

As countries consider reviving tourism, the calculus is complicated, involving “travel bubbles,” ever-shifting timelines, virus testing and, in some cases, self-quarantines.
5th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Covid-19: R value in England rises to between 0.7 and 1.0

Peter Benton, the director of population and public policy operations at the ONS, said: “That, we think, is a real reduction in the number of people being infected.” Previously, the ONS had said the trend looked flat and stable, but as more data has accumulated a downward trend is now evident, the analysis said. However, Benton said it remained a concern that of those who had tested positive in the study so far, only 30% had reported experiencing any symptoms either when the swab was taken or in the weeks before or after, suggesting that in the majority of cases, people may be unaware they are infected.
5th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Thailand to tout 'trusted' tourism in coronavirus era

Thailand is positioning itself as a trusted destination for international tourists after travel restrictions ease, capitalising on its relative success in containing the coronavirus outbreak, industry officials say. The Southeast Asian country, the first to report a virus case outside of China, wants to build on its reputation and remake its popular image as a destination for big tour groups. "After COVID eases, we plan to refresh the country's image to a trusted destination where tourists will have peace of mind," Tanes Petsuwan, the Tourism Authority of Thailand's (TAT) deputy governor for marketing and communications, told Reuters. The campaign, to be launched later in the year, will be aimed at young affluent travellers from places that are considered low-risk such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, Tanes said. It will highlight scenic beaches and parks, part of a "tourism bridge" that could emerge in Asia including Hong Kong and Japan.
5th Jun 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Brazil, Peru, and Mexico are easing restrictions despite a rapid rise in cases

The coronavirus outbreak continues to spread globally as the number of confirmed cases rise to more than 6.3 million, with the death toll of at least 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. Moreover, the situation in Latin America seems to be alarming as Brazil, Peru and Mexico are easing restrictions despite a rapid rise in cases. Meanwhile, the situation in the United States is grim as concerns of a fresh wave of coronavirus cases are intensifying due to protests breaking out across the country. Already, the United States has more than 1.8 million infected people with over 106,000 deaths.
4th Jun 2020 - The Yucatan Times

The 6 most successful anti-Covid strategies so far, and the reasons why they worked

Five months have passed since the Wuhan outbreak. Although no cure is in sight, we have had the opportunity to learn from the successes of some, and the failures of others. While the battle is still raging, the following might be the top six factors that made the difference between success and failure so far....
3rd Jun 2020 - Onmanorama


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 5th Jun 2020

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Coronavirus: ROI expected to ease lockdown further on Monday

The taoiseach (Irish prime minister) said he believes Ireland will move to the next phase of its Covid-19 relaxation measures on Monday. This includes reopening small retail outlets where social distancing is possible and an increase in travel restrictions to 20 kilometres. Leo Varadkar said he was concerned by some calls to accelerate the five-stage relaxation plan
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Breaking Down Wuhan's Blueprint for Lifting Lockdown

People were restricted to their compounds from Jan. 23 when Wuhan went into a lockdown that lasted 76 days. Extensive surveillance infrastructure and strict housing registration rules already in place helped to facilitate implementation of the restrictions and the easing of them later. Now, Wuhan residents live and move under the auspices of coloured QR codes embedded in WeChat and Alipay smartphone apps that use automatically collected travel and medical data. A green rating allows for unrestricted movement in and out of residential compounds and public areas, while orange and red signify a quarantine for seven and 14 days respectively.
4th Jun 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

Thousands of homeless people face being evicted as lockdown is loosened

Crisis urged the Government to step in with contracts between local authorities in England and hotels are due to finish at the end of June, when current state funding runs out. Almost 15,000 people are now in emergency accommodation such as hotels, according to the latest Government figures, after local authorities moved people into safe accommodation during the coronavirus crisis. But Matt Downie, Crisis’ director of policy, says the vast majority of contracts between local authorities and London hotels are due to expire at the end of June. He believes it is a similar picture for the rest of the country. He claimed that the charity has received ‘no indications at all’ from the Government that more money is forthcoming to extend the Everyone In scheme.
4th Jun 2020 - Metro

Parents' view on children's first week back at school in Surrey as lockdown measures lifted

The message to reopen primary schools to allow pupils in reception, year one and year six back was not lost on local authorities, teachers and parents up and down the country as it sparked an outburst of concern that they would not be ready in time. Indeed, it came to light that as many as 18 councils would rebel against the proposals and keep classrooms shut, The Guardian reported. Here, in Surrey, the county council broke its silence to say it would not sanction any parents for keeping their children at home, and schools will "only open to more students when it is safe to do so".
4th Jun 2020 - Get Surrey

Coronavirus: Thousands of homeless 'back on streets by July'

Thousands of homeless people who have been housed during the coronavirus pandemic could return to the streets by the end of June, a charity has warned. Since the lockdown began, more than 14,500 people who were on the streets or at risk of sleeping rough have been given emergency accommodation. But Crisis has warned contracts between local councils and hotels are due to end as government funding runs out. The government said councils must continue to provide accommodation. But councils have asked the government to be clear on what extra practical support they will get.
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

What phase of lockdown is the UK in - what does phase 3 entail?

The UK is slowly easing its way out of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, with some non-essential shops and services having re-opened this week while some primary school years returned to the classroom. Under the new rule, people in England can also meet outdoors in groups of up to six, provided social distancing measures are maintained – while other non-essential retail is preparing to re-open from 15 June. The measures are being introduced in a phased easing of lockdown – but what phase are we in now and when will we move on to the next one?troUK/
4th Jun 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Coronavirus: Stormont gives green light to more lockdown easing

The easing of more lockdown restrictions in Northern Ireland has been given the green light by the Stormont Executive. The move, which was expected, was dependent on the R-number staying below one when ministers met on Thursday. From Monday, vulnerable people advised to shield will be allowed outdoors. Large retailers including car showrooms and shops in retail parks can also reopen, and outdoor weddings with 10 people present will be allowed. The executive has also confirmed that from Monday, anyone who enters Northern Ireland from outside the Common Travel Area will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says easing lockdown restrictions depends on public following rules as he warns of second UK wave

In a message to the millions watching at home, he said: “We want to take some more steps to unlock our society, and try to get back to as normal as possible. Eventually I would like to do such things as reducing the two-metre rule for instance. But all those changes, all that future progress, depends entirely on our ability to keep driving down the disease, and that depends on us following basic rules – wash your hands, self-isolate, if you have symptoms take a test, and observe social distancing”.
4th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Germany unveils €130bn coronavirus recovery package | World news

Germany has unveiled a €130bn (£116.4bn) package of tax and spending measures designed to boost the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Announcing measures to drag Europe’s largest economy out of recession as lockdown measures are removed, Angela Merkel’s government said it would use the package of sweeping temporary tax cuts and increase benefits to turbocharge its recovery. Measures included a cut in VAT until the end of this year and substantial payments for every child in the country designed to help ordinary German families, alongside the launch of a €50bn fund to tackle global heating and finance new technologies. A state financial incentive to buy an electric car has been doubled to €6,000.
4th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Italy's Conte offers hope as travel restrictions end

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte offered a hopeful message as the country moved to its final stage in easing lockdown restrictions. "We deserve to smile, to be cheerful, after weeks of great sacrifice," he said on Wednesday. He added that now was the time for the country to enact economic reforms. With more than 33,600 fatalities and almost 234,000 cases since the coronavirus outbreak began, Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries. Only the US and the UK have recorded higher death tolls. Mr Conte's comments came the same day as the country entered its final phase in easing lockdown restrictions, allowing domestic travel between regions and opening its international borders.
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Sweden’s Dr. No-Lockdown denies ‘tactical retreat’

The debate over Sweden’s controversial no-lockdown coronavirus strategy flared again after its architect, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, appeared to suggest the country's approach had been flawed. “If we encountered the same disease, with what we know about it today, I think we would end up doing in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did," Tegnell told public service radio station Sveriges Radio in an interview broadcast Wednesday. “Clearly there is room for improvement.”
4th Jun 2020 - POLITICO

Spain to open land borders with Portugal, France from June 22

Spain played down the possibility of reopening its land borders on June 22 after a government minister announced earlier on Thursday it would do so, prompting confusion in neighbouring Portugal, which asked for clarification. Frontiers with France and Portugal have been shut to most people since Spain went into lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus in mid-March, faced with what was then one of the world's worst outbreaks of the virus. A government source said Madrid was still considering the plan to reopen land borders and would discuss it with France and Portugal, rowing back on remarks by Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto earlier in the day.
4th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Shops to reopen in June as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease

Non-essential shops can reopen in England from 15 June if they meet guidelines to protect staff and shoppers – but what will social distancing rules mean for the way we shop for clothes, books and more? All shops in England will be able to open with social distancing measures in place from Monday 15 June, provided that the government continues to consider that its five key tests are being met.
4th Jun 2020 - Which

France scraps Bastille Day military parade over coronavirus

Members of France's military will not march down the Champs-Elysée this year, as they usually do on Bastille Day, in order to ensure social distancing guidelines are respected. Instead, 2,000 participants and 2,500 guests will take part in a ceremony held at Place de la Concorde, where the traditional parade usually ends. "The ceremony will include an aerial parade and will honor the participation of our armies in the fight against COVID-19," an Elysée official said in reference to troops setting up field hospitals and other efforts to manage the pandemic. The ceremony will also pay homage to healthcare workers as well as other professions that took part in the fight against coronavirus. More than 29,000 people have died from coronavirus in France. The country is gradually lifting its lockdown and life is slowly getting back to normal with social distancing rules still in place.
4th Jun 2020 - POLITICO

Coronavirus and the EU: Lockdown tensions between Italy and its neighbours rise as countries only reopen borders to some tourists

Northern neighbour Austria has said it would end border controls for all countries except for Italy
4th Jun 2020 - iNews

Italy calls for reciprocity from EU partners as borders reopen over Covid-19 lockdown

As Italy reopens its borders for EU citizens, Italian government has called on partners to do the same as reciprocity measures, after the whole continent decided lockdown measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic. French ministers were the first officials to make the trip across the Alps, as FRANCE 24’s Rome correspondents report
4th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Coronavirus: Executive to confirm if lockdown easing can proceed

The Stormont Executive is to meet later to confirm whether some planned changes to Northern Ireland's lockdown can start on Monday. Vulnerable people advised to shield should be allowed outdoors from 8 June,
4th Jun 2020 - BBC News

When Will the TV and Film Industry Emerge From Lockdown?

And yet, there are more eyeballs on screens than ever before, because the coronavirus has dramatically accelerated the shift that had already begun toward streaming devices as the viewing point of choice for consumers. In our new pandemic world, when so many people are stuck at home, streaming devices have become our main source of information, education and entertainment. So even as revenue from movie theaters has dried up, cash is flowing fast and furiously to the streamers. And deal-making in Hollywood, says entertainment attorney Tara Kole, has continued apace.
4th Jun 2020 - BRINK

Study reveals slow easing of lockdowns might be good for global economy - ​Easier rebound

The study found that stricter lockdowns imposed earlier - such as the two-month lockdown imposed in China - are economically preferable to more moderate lockdowns imposed for four or six months, as the duration of lockdown matters more to economies than their severity. This is because businesses can absorb the shock of a brief lockdown better by relying on reserves and because shorter lockdowns cause less disruption to regional and global supply chains. This is the first peer-reviewed study to comprehensively assess potential global supply chain effects of Covid-19 lockdowns, modelling the impact of lockdowns on 140 countries, including countries not directly affected by Covid-19.
4th Jun 2020 - Economic Times

Breaking down Wuhan's blueprint for lifting COVID-19 lockdown

From outbreak to lockdown and reopening, the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus emerged late last year, has been through all stages of dealing with the health crisis. Specific characteristics allowed Wuhan to impose some of the tightest restrictions in the world on its 11 million residents until the outbreak was under control. Much of the city, the capital of Hubei province, is organised in residential compounds of apartment blocks, outdoor spaces, convenience stores and other basic services. The compounds are often walled off from the street and gated.
4th Jun 2020 - CNA

Uzbekistan eases COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

Uzbekistan has further lifted lockdown restrictions, allowing restaurants, clothing markets and kindergartens to reopen starting from June 15 depending on the sanitary and epidemiological situation of COVID-19, the country's Special Republican Commission to Combat Coronavirus said Thursday. Uzbekistan has divided the country into red, yellow and green zones depending on the level of quarantine severity. It also allowed resumption of domestic tourism, educational, recreational and sports centers in green zones starting from Friday. In green zones, people are also allowed to hold weddings and other ceremonies with no more than 30 relatives, and inter-regional bus commuting will reopen.
4th Jun 2020 - China.org.cn

China reopens to more foreign airlines after coronavirus lockdown

China will allow more foreign airlines to resume flights to its cities, in a move that comes a day after the US government threatened to bar Chinese carriers if the country did not reopen to American passenger aircraft. Foreign airlines that were at present unable to send international flights into China would now be able to fly to one city each week from Monday next week, the country’s transport regulator said on Thursday. The Civil Aviation Administration of China did not refer to specific countries. But it said the measures would apply to any foreign airlines not included in a plan unveiled in March that rationed international flights. That plan barred US carriers from mainland China.
4th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

The Latest: New Zealand on verge of eradicating virus

New Zealand is on the verge of eradicating the virus from its shores after it notched a 13th straight day with no reported new infections. Only a single person in the nation of 5 million people is known to still have the virus, and that person is not hospitalized. However, it remains likely that the country will import new cases once it reopens its borders, and officials say their aim remains to stamp out new infections as they arise. The country has already lifted many of its virus restrictions and could remove most of those that remain, including limiting crowd sizes, next week. Just over 1,500 people have contracted the virus during the outbreak, including 22 who died.
4th Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

June 15 to mark New Zealand's COVID-19 elimination day

New Zealand finally has a date for when it will achieve its lofty goal of elimination of COVID-19: June 15. After weeks of urging by public health experts and government wrangling, the Ministry of Health has settled on a definition of elimination of the deadly virus. New Zealand has followed an elimination policy path since the arrival of the virus, eschewing lighter approaches by countries including Australia.
4th Jun 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

Will Warm Weather Slow Spread of Novel Coronavirus?

We’ll obviously have to wait a few months to get the data. But for now, many researchers have their doubts that the COVID-19 pandemic will enter a needed summertime lull. Among them are some experts on infectious disease transmission and climate modeling, who ran a series of sophisticated computer simulations of how the virus will likely spread over the coming months [1]. This research team found that humans’ current lack of immunity to SARS-CoV-2—not the weather—will likely be a primary factor driving the continued, rapid spread of the novel coronavirus this summer and into the fall. These sobering predictions, published recently in the journal Science, come from studies led by Rachel Baker and Bryan Grenfell at Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton, NJ. The Grenfell lab has long studied the dynamics of infectious illnesses, including seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Last year, they published one of the first studies to look at how our warming climate might influence those dynamics in the coming years
2nd Jun 2020 - National Institutes of Health


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 4th Jun 2020

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Brazil surpasses 30,000 coronavirus deaths; in Sao Paulo City partial lifting of the lockdown delayed

Brazil surpassed 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday as the disease continued to rip through South America's worst-hit country. Figures released by the health ministry showed a new record 1,262 deaths in the previous 24 hours, as well as 28,936 new infections. The figures come as some Brazilian states began to emerge from weeks of economically-stifling quarantine measures despite warnings from the WHO and epidemiologists.
3rd Jun 2020 - Mercopress

Lockdowns ease across the world as U.S. protests continue

Protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis continued throughout the U.S. overnight, raising fears of a wave of new infections. According to NBC News' tally there have been 1.8 million coronavirus infections in the U.S. and 105,000 related deaths, the highest of any country on both counts. Meanwhile, countries across the world were lifting lockdown measures, with schools and businesses opening as a new way of life after the coronavirus pandemic emerges. Paris' famous street-side cafes will reopen Tuesday, while restrictions are also being eased in parts of Latin America. Schoolchildren returned to classes in Singapore Tuesday, all wearing face masks, following the United Kingdom on Monday and several other European and Asian countries last month.
3rd Jun 2020 - NBCNews.com

Universities UK publishes principles for 'emerging from lockdown'

Universities UK has confirmed that the sector is planning a blended learning approach for the coming academic year, while student “bubbles” and an optional January start date for overseas students are being considered by some institutions. The organisation published a set of principles on 3 June outlining how universities should prepare for the next academic year, stating that institutions will provide “as much in-person learning, teaching, support services and extra-curricular activities as public health advice and government guidance will support”. This will include “new ways of providing practical sessions in socially distanced forms” and “innovative approaches to extra-curricular activities such as welcome week programmes”, it said.
3rd Jun 2020 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Lockdown rules: what is allowed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The latest coronavirus rules, from Monday 1 June, are plentiful and complicated. This is your ultimate guide.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Germany lifts travel restrictions for 31 countries, including UK

German foreign minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday announced that the country will lift its travel restrictions for 31 countries on 15 June. As well as allowing its citizens to travel to 26 EU member states, Germany will also lift its warning for Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the UK. However, Maas said that the government does not recommend travel to the UK while the country still has a 14-day quarantine period in place. “I realise that this decision will raise great hopes and expectations, but let me say that travel warnings are not travel bans — and travel advisories are not invitations to travel,” Maas said.
3rd Jun 2020 - Yahoo Finance UK

Britons can travel to Italy for holiday but must quarantine for 14 days on their return

The Italian tourist board has announced that British visitors can now travel to Italy with no quarantine restrictions. But before you start packing, it’s worth noting that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all but essential travel abroad. What’s more, if you visit Italy from 8 June you will likely have to quarantine for 14 days on your return.
3rd Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Italy opens borders ahead of neighbors, beckoning tourists

Italy officially ended its long coronavirus lockdown Wednesday, opening regional and international borders in a bid to boost summer tourism, but found itself alone as European neighbors viewed the move as premature and remained wary of visitors from Italy. Italy's long-awaited internal and external opening after nearly three months allowed residents to finally reunite with friends and family members, and brought a flood of French shoppers across the border for less expensive groceries and cigarettes. But normalcy was a long way off.
3rd Jun 2020 - ABC News

Spain’s football fans allowed back into stadiums to watch matches in lockdown Phase three not ruled out

Spain's Health Ministry has not completely ruled out allowing football fans back into stadiums during lockdown Phase three to watch matches when La Liga kicks off again next week. At a press briefing on Tuesday, Health Emergency Coordinator Fernando Simon said the issue is being looked at, but also made the point it would be “unfair” if not all football grounds could open their doors to supporters.
3rd Jun 2020 - Euro Weekly News

German coalition parties agree 130 billion euro stimulus package

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition on Wednesday agreed a bumper stimulus package to speed up Germany’s recovery from the coronavirus. Speaking at a news conference after marathon talks that extended well into the night, Merkel said the package would amount to 130 billion euros (116 billion pounds) and include lower value-added tax (VAT) to boost consumption. “The size of the package will amount to 130 billion euros for the years 2020/2021, 120 billion of which will be spent by the federal government,” Merkel said. “So we have an economic stimulus package, a package for the future.”
3rd Jun 2020 - Reuters

Asia Today: S. Korea opening schools despite spike in cases

South Korea on Wednesday reported 49 new cases of COVID-19, continuing a weekslong resurgence of the virus as the government defended its decision to reopen schools despite health risks. The figures announced by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on brought national totals to 11,590 cases and 273 deaths. All but one of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where hundreds of infections have been linked to entertainment venues, church gatherings and a massive e-commerce warehouse. Mayors and governors in the greater capital area have shut thousands of nightclubs, hostess bars, karaoke rooms, churches and wedding halls to slow the spread of the virus. Some entertainment venues in Seoul, Incheon and Daejeon began collecting the personal details of their customers through smartphone QR codes this week so they could be located easily when needed, a requirement that will be expanded nationwide on June 10.
3rd Jun 2020 - KVIA

South Korea reopening schools despite spike in cases

South Korea on Wednesday reported 49 new cases of COVID-19, continuing a weekslong resurgence of the virus as the government defended its decision to reopen schools despite health risks. The figures announced by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on brought national totals to 11,590 cases and 273 deaths. All but one of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where hundreds of infections have been linked to entertainment venues, church gatherings and a massive e-commerce warehouse. Mayors and governors in the greater capital area have shut thousands of nightclubs, hostess bars, karaoke rooms, churches and wedding halls to slow the spread of the virus.
3rd Jun 2020 - CP24

Australians will be among the first tourists to be allowed into Japan in the coming months

Australian tourists could soon be able to take a trip to Japan as the nation considers opening its borders to countries that have low rates of coronavirus. On Monday in Tokyo, lockdown restrictions began to be lifted with the Japanese capital reopening sports clubs, cinemas, department stores and schools. The country had previously closed its border to overseas travelers in February to stem the spread of COVID-19. Japan is now considering allowing in tourists from New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam over the next few months.
3rd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Rethinking the world's largest cities in wake of COVID-19

Remote working was already on the rise in many parts of the world before the pandemic. Now, as firms grapple with social distancing rules that limit how many workers can return, they are thinking about what their offices are really for. That in turn will force planners and city officials to reconsider and redesign central business districts, said Tony Matthews, a senior lecturer in urban and environmental planning at Australia’s Griffith University. “If daytime working populations fall, new populations are likely to be needed to keep these areas buzzing and generating incomes,” he said. “Some areas may need to be redesigned if they are no longer economically viable — retail districts, for example. Some office buildings may be demolished or repurposed, with the surrounding infrastructure and public space also changing in time,” he said.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Japan Times

Gradual easing of lockdown better for global supply chain, study suggests

Easing coronavirus lockdown measures over a 12-month period will minimise the impact on the global supply chain compared to lifting restrictions quickly, new research suggests. The study, led by University College London (UCL) and Tsinghua University in China, assessed how the world’s economy could be affected by Covid-19 lockdowns. It found that a gradual easing of restrictions – rather than lifting them over a two-month period and introducing a second lockdown in January next year – would be “less disruptive” for the global supply chain. It also suggests that stricter lockdowns implemented over a shorter period of time were “economically preferable” to more moderate measures imposed for four to six months.
3rd Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Facebook data to show Australians' movement as they emerge from coronavirus lockdown

Researchers hope the addition of Facebook de-identified movement data will give a better overview of people slowly returning to their regular travels as we emerge from the coronavirus lockdown period, and help identify any potential places where physical distancing may be an issue. Several companies, including Google, Apple and Citymapper, make public de-identified data from their mapping and other location-based apps to track traffic flow across cities, states and countries. Researchers have been using this data to model the massive traffic reductions seen as public health orders were put in place, businesses closed and some people began working from home.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

New Zealand could return to normal life as early as next week

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday she could lift all social distancing measures to return the country to normal life, bar the international border closure, as early as next week. Ardern will decide on Monday whether the country is ready to shift to alert level 1, more than two months after she imposed a strict level 4 lockdown, shutting most businesses and forcing people to stay home, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Arden said waiting until Monday would allow her to see if recent changes, like the removal of restrictions on the number of people in bars and at social gatherings, had led to a rise in cases. "If it hasn't, then we will be in a good position to move," she said during a televised news conference.
3rd Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

New Zealand is set to scrap social distancing next week: Jacinda Arden confirms it will decide whether to move to alert level 1 on Monday

PM Jacinda Ardern said: 'Our strategy of go hard, go early has paid off.' New Zealand has not recorded a new case of coronavirus in the last 11 days. And there was just one active case of COVID-19 in the country on Tuesday. Level 1 will remove almost all restrictions and life will 'feel very, very normal'
3rd Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Dodgy data and double counting - the UK's testing data is a mess

Testing - doing it well, accounting for it well and using the results sensibly - is clearly a crucial part of the solution. Yet here in Britain we don't know how many people have been tested for the disease. Indeed, while the government was up until recently producing numbers on people tested, it recently admitted those figures are suspect and will have to be revised. This is only one of the issues the Statistics Authority has with the government, as covered in a highly critical letter from its head, Sir David Norgrove, to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
3rd Jun 2020 - Sky News

This is the latest France travel advice as ‘Phase II’ of easing lockdown with cafe reopenings begins

In France, lockdown measures have been slowly relaxing over the past few weeks, after one of the strictest quarantines in the world. The latest development sees bans on journeys of more than 100km/62 miles ending from today (2 June), along with cafes, bars and restaurants in ‘green areas’ – where the virus is not circulating widely – also reopening on the same date. No more than 10 people will be allowed to sit together, and tables must be spaced one metre apart, with staff wearing masks. Establishments in ‘orange areas’ – such as Paris – will only be able to reopen outside terraces.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Scotsman

Coronavirus: New Zealand could lift all lockdown restrictions next week after 11 straight days with no new cases

New Zealand could lift its remaining restrictions on social distancing and group gatherings next week, after recording no new coronavirus cases for an 11th consecutive day. "Our strategy of go hard, go early has paid off," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday. "In moving to level one so soon, we will be one of the first countries in the world to have experienced a COVID-19 outbreak and then return to that level of normality so quickly."
2nd Jun 2020 - Sky News


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Coronavirus: UK banks draw up £15 billion support fund for small businesses struggling under lockdown

Small firms today welcomed a £15 billion support fund backed by UK banks to aid businesses struggling with debts. The Business Growth Fund was founded in 2011 by big banks including Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds, and is run by former JP Morgan banker Stephen Welton. Welton warns that a large number of businesses will fail in the fallout from Covid-19 and that unless there is some degree of debt flexibility an economic crisis could turn into a banking crisis.
2nd Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

Coronavirus: Germany divided as states lift lockdown

Germany's calm and successful handling of the pandemic attracted international attention. But its next moves have been chaotic, characterised by squabbling between regional leaders which has culminated in a faster lifting of restrictions than Chancellor Angela Merkel would have liked. The leaders of Germany's 16 states have the power to decide how and when they do that. Unable to agree a common strategy, they've instituted a patchwork of rules and regulations, with people in one state able to, for example, use the gym again, while in another region, fitness centres have remained closed. It's fuelled an intense public debate about the "Lockerung" or relaxation policy, with many fearing that Germany could squander its initial success.
2nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

When can I travel to Spain? Latest FCO guidance as country relaxes quarantine rules – but not to UK visitors

With no real end in sight to the current coronavirus crisis, it’s understandable. Having been cooped up for months, and with a handful of other countries slowly relaxing their own virus-tackling measures, the public are itching to get away from it all. But just how likely is is that we’ll see the usual summer holidays in 2020?
2nd Jun 2020 - The Scotsman

Top Ibiza clubs to introduce extreme safety measures for revellers when lockdown ends

Clubbers will have to wear face masks. All drinks must be served through straws Social distance markings must be introduced on dancefloors to keep clubbers apart. Reserved areas and VIP sections encouraged to guarantee distance between revellers. Staff must regularly monitor restrooms and hand sanitiser and washing will be compulsory. Dancefloor capacity will be limited. Drinks will be ordered via apps and menus and price lists will appear online.
2nd Jun 2020 - Wales Online

France lifts some coronavirus restrictions

France began the second phase of easing lockdown rules, after two months of nationwide restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Under the new rules, cafes and restaurants are allowed to reopen indoor sitting in the so-called green zones,
2nd Jun 2020 - New Europe

What future for sport and sponsors after the coronavirus lockdown?

Global sport is facing the "mother of all wake-up calls" as it emerges from the coronavirus lockdown, with uncertainty over what the landscape for participants and sponsors will look like. Former head of Olympic marketing Michael Payne believes that although "it will be very painful pulling through it", sport will nevertheless emerge "healthier and stronger".
2nd Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

France begins 'Phase II' of easing lockdown measures as coronavirus abates

France began a second phase of easing lockdown rules on Tuesday as official figures show the novel coronavirus outbreak continuing to diminish in the country following an initial loosening of restrictions that began on May 11.
2nd Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Covid-19: France reports slight drop in hospitalisations on eve of further easing of lockdown

It said in a statement that as France readies for a second phase of the easing of lockdown measures on Tuesday, with bars and restaurants permitted to fully or partially reopen, the "good news should not make us forget the danger of the virus”. The health ministry said that 18,506 coronavirus deaths have been reported in hospital since March 1, while there were still 14,288 cases in hospital on Monday, a slight drop from 14,322 on Sunday.
2nd Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

COVID-19: Russia death toll crosses 5,000 as lockdown eases

Despite a drop in the number of virus cases, the country continues to grapple with the epidemic, although Russian President Putin last week had announced Russia would be hosting a parade on June 24 at Moscow's Red Square to celebrate the country's victory over Nazi Germany in World War-II. Moscow which was the epicenter of the virus eased the lockdown which was in place since March 30 allowing residents to go out but they were allowed to take walks within two kilometers of their homes. However, mass gatherings including cinemas, cafes and restaurants continue to remain shut.
2nd Jun 2020 - WION on MSN.com

Moscow eases nine-week lockdown despite high virus caseload

Moscow residents ventured out to exercise, stroll and shop on Monday as the city eased a strict nine-week lockdown, but millions remained largely confined to their homes as Russia recorded thousands more coronavirus cases.
2nd Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus: Lockdown eased in Moscow after nine weeks

Moscow has been the epicentre of Russia's outbreak. In May Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said he feared the number of cases there could be three times higher than reported. Now, Mr Sobyanin has ordered a swathe of businesses to reopen in the city from Monday - including car dealerships, book shops, launderettes and shopping malls. Parks too are allowing visitors, with new exercise rules announced. Mr Sobyanin said people would be allowed out for walks three times a week between 09:00 and 21:00, using a rota system determined by their home address.
2nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Robot enforces health measures as South Korea relaxes social distancing

SK Telecom and Omrom Electronics have demonstrated an autonomous robot which is capable of helping encourage public health measures by taking bodily temperatures, dispensing hand sanitiser and disinfecting its surroundings.
2nd Jun 2020 - IET

Coronavirus: How dangerous is lifting lockdown?

Across the UK we can meet more people, while in England some children are back in school and car showrooms and open-air markets have reopened. But some scientists, even those advising government, have been in mutinous mood - saying ministers are acting too soon. And the lifting of restrictions has been described as a "dangerous moment" even by England's deputy chief medical officer.
2nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

Japan might reopen its borders to travellers soon

Countries all over the world are tentatively starting to come out of lockdown and reopen their borders. Just this week Spain, Greece, Thailand and the Maldives have announced plans for travellers hoping to enter their countries in the next few months.
2nd Jun 2020 - Time Out

North Korea eases coronavirus lockdown because even totalitarian states need trade

Universities and final-year high school students had already resumed classes in April, but all other schools, kindergartens, day-care centers and nursing homes will now reopen early this month, state radio reported late Monday. “Thermometers and hand sanitizers have been installed at the main gates, classrooms and offices, while teachers and helpers are thoroughly observing the hygiene rules and parents are advised to educate their children,” the Korean Central Broadcasting Committee said. The broadcaster encouraged people to use takeout services from restaurants while stressing hygiene rules across a range of industries “to prevent people from lowering their guards even just a little bit.”
2nd Jun 2020 - The Washington Post

Coronavirus: New Zealand could lift restrictions next week, says Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand could lift its remaining coronavirus restrictions next week, Jacinda Ardern has said. Social distancing measures and limits on gatherings would no longer apply if the country – which looks close to eliminating the virus domestically – moves to alert level one, the prime minister said on Tuesday. However, Ms Ardern said borders will remain closed. “Our strategy of go hard, go early has paid off ... and in some cases, beyond expectations,” the PM said. New Zealand recorded no new cases of coronavirus for a 11th consecutive day on Tuesday.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Independent

Global round-up: South American countries ease lockdown despite rise in coronavirus cases

South American countries have begun easing Covid-19 restrictions even as the region hurtles towards its viral peak. Some of Brazil’s hardest hit cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, are starting to allow more activity, while Bolivia and Venezuela are also unwinding restrictions. The moves comes despite a warning from World Health Organisation that South America has become an “intense zone of transmission for this virus”.
2nd Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

New Zealand Could Lift Major Coronavirus Restrictions Next Week

New Zealand leaders could decide as early as next week to lift restrictions on social distancing and group gatherings due to the country’s success in halting the spread of the coronavirus. “Our strategy of go hard, go early has paid off,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday. The country instituted strict lockdown measures for more than six weeks and now has reported 11 consecutive days with no new confirmed cases. Cabinet members will decide Monday whether to move into the next phase of the government’s slow easing of restrictions under which the country’s borders would still remain closed.
2nd Jun 2020 - Voice of America

Ardern says New Zealand on track to eliminate coronavirus 'ahead of schedule'

New Zealand’s Ardern says she is ‘horrified’ by George Floyd’s deathThe HinduNew Zealand May Remove Most Virus Restrictions Next WeekBloombergNew Zealand may remove all virus restriction next weekReuters UKCoronavirus update: New Zealand could lift COVID-19 restrictions next weekABC NewsView Full coverage on Google News
2nd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Easing Italy's lockdown 'is a risk we're taking': health minister

Ahead of the further easing of restrictions on Wednesday, some of Italy's top health experts have been questioning the accuracy of contagion data being released by regional governments during the reopening phase. One independent report also warned that three northern regions were "not ready" to safely reopen.
1st Jun 2020 - The Local Italy

Coronavirus: New laws come into force as England lockdown eases

Police in England can order people to leave a property if they are breaking new coronavirus laws - but do not have powers to forcibly remove them. It is now a crime to stay at someone else's home overnight, or to hold gatherings of two or more people indoors or more than six people outdoors, under new legislation. Officers can fine rule-breakers and arrest them if they do not co-operate. The laws came into force to coincide with lockdown restrictions being eased. Gatherings of as many as six people from different households can now take place outdoors - such as in parks or gardens - in England, so long as people remain 2m apart.
1st Jun 2020 - BBC News

Australia relaxes lockdown further, intensifies economic recovery efforts

Several Australian states eased social distancing restrictions further on Monday, allowing restaurants to host more people and public attractions to reopen, as the government moves to revive an ailing economy through accelerated infrastructure spending. Australia has recorded about 7,200 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. And, with new infections now largely under control, the government has embarked on a three-step plan to remove the bulk of curbs by July. In Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), a maximum of 50 people are now allowed to sit down for a meal in a cafe or restaurants, while 20 can attend a funeral. The previous limits were set at 10.
1st Jun 2020 - YAHOO!


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 2nd Jun 2020

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The Lost March: How the UK Government's COVID-19 Strategy Fell Apart

“We have taken the right steps at the right time based on the best scientific advice”. This is the standard ministerial response to any insinuation the UK may have been slow to act during the early stages of the Coronavirus outbreak. And since we’re not allowed to see that scientific advice in any detail, the argument is circular. The trouble is, even on the available evidence, the claim falls apart at the slightest interrogation. At each step of this process, the Government’s timing appears to have been anything but right.
1st Jun 2020 - Byline Times

Restaurants reopening: How lessons from the US provide hope for UK businesses preparing to open after lockdown

The findings, published by research firm CGA Nielsen, reveal the preferences of US consumers in multiple cities where lockdown restrictions have been loosened, and offer UK firms an insight into the types of measures customers would like to see implemented once restaurants reopen here. One third of consumers in key cities in two US states - Texas and Florida - went out to eat in a restaurant or bar in mid-May, according to the findings. Of those that had ventured into a restaurant or bar, one in three had done so three times or more. Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) of those polled stated they were satisfied with their overall experience.
1st Jun 2020 - iNews

What you can and can't do from today as lockdown rules change

As of Monday, people in England will be able to gather outdoors in socially-distanced groups of six. This means that groups can meet in parks and private gardens for chats and barbecues. Outdoor gatherings will also be allowed in Wales from Monday, with people from two different households able to meet. Scottish citizens do not have to wait until Monday to visit family and friends, with restrictions being eased from Friday to allow people to meet one other household at a time outdoors, with the gathering involving a maximum number of eight. Meanwhile, groups of up to six people are already allowed to gather outdoors in Northern Ireland after some restrictions were lifted earlier this month.
1st Jun 2020 - Wales Online

Coronavirus: Parents choosing to keep schoolchildren at home after easing of lockdown

Many parents are choosing to keep their children at home after the easing of lockdown measures - as the health secretary insists the UK is "winning the battle against coronavirus". On the day many classrooms re-opened in England, Matt Hancock said that the falling death rates mean the government has been able to make some "cautious changes to the lockdown rules, safely and carefully". He said: "The data show that we are winning the battle against coronavirus."
1st Jun 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Restaurants and theatres to reopen in Finland, as Europe continues to ease lockdown

Finland and other European countries relaxed a string of coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Monday, permitting a wider range of leisure and social activities as well as limited travel. Helsinki said it would allow public gatherings of up to 50 people from 1 June, recommending that people stick to social distancing and hygiene guidance. Such gatherings can include demonstrations, competitions, and entertainment events, the government said in a statement. Theatres, libraries and swimming pools will reopen, while cafes and restaurants will be allowed to use only half their capacity. Domestic tourism within Finland is to be allowed once more, subject to safety standards. The Finnish government also said it would phase out restrictions on the interest rate.
1st Jun 2020 - The Independent

Spain says will guarantee health safety when opening tourism to foreigners

Spain will guarantee health safety when reopening the country to foreign tourists next month after the coronavirus contagion prompted a three-month closure, industry and tourism minister Reyes Maroto said on Monday. "This will be our strength," she told Telecinco TV station.
1st Jun 2020 - MSN

Spanish to lift lockdown on June 21 as Greece opens up

Pedro Sanchez (pictured) will ask parliament to agree to a final extension, despite protests against it, after the nation’s infection rate reduced dramatically. Meanwhile, Greece has taken steps to welcome back tourists as it eases virus restrictions. From June 15, the country will not quarantine passengers flying in from 29 countries — which do not include the UK. In July, all airports that can handle international traffic will reopen to foreign flights, as ports and land borders also open for tourists.
1st Jun 2020 - Metro Newspaper UK

Phase 3 of lockdown de-escalation in Spain begins today

By the beginning of last week, all of Spain was officially at some point of the de-escalation process, including Madrid which was finally allowed to enter Phase 1. As of today, most of the territories proceed to stage 2 (or remain there) and very few alleviate restrictions further to Phase 3. Phase 2 allows for all commercial premises, retailers and professional services to reopen at 40% of their capacity, including shopping centres. Travel within the respective territory is also relaxed. As of 1 June, just 4 territories are allowed to enjoy the far less restrictive measure associated with Phase 3, the most advanced towards the “new normal”. These are Formentera (Balearic Islands) and La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa (Canary Islands).
1st Jun 2020 - TheMayor.EU

Deescalation gets even more complex in town split between Spain and France

At the border checkpoint in Le Perthus, the letters on the police signs are faded. An “L” is missing in one, an “E” and an “I” on another. There had been no daily police presence here since 1995, when the Schengen Agreement allowed for freedom of movement in Europe. But the coronavirus crisis has thrown up the barriers again and only authorized workers, freight truck drivers and individuals with written authorization are now allowed through.
1st Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus: Lockdown eased in Moscow after nine weeks

Authorities in Moscow have eased lockdown restrictions, even as case numbers continue to rise. Parks and shopping centres in Russia's capital reopened and people were allowed out for walks and limited exercise for the first time in nine weeks. President Vladimir Putin announced last week the country had passed the peak of its outbreak. But infections are still rising, and some question lifting restrictions. Russia reported another 9,035 cases and 162 deaths on Monday. In total the country has recorded 414,878 infections - the third-highest number in the world after the US and Brazil - and a death toll of 4,855.
1st Jun 2020 - BBC News

Latin America virus cases top 1m as UK, Russia ease lockdowns

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Latin America have surged past one million, while hard-hit Britain and Russia eased lockdowns Monday, despite not having their outbreaks fully under control. Governments around the world are moving to ease restrictions that have wrecked their economies, even as the number of cases tops 6.1 million and virus deaths exceed 371,000.
1st Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

Coronavirus lockdown eases in Moscow as cases fall in Russian capital

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin last week told President Vladimir Putin he would relax some lockdown rules in the Russian capital, which has a population of 12.7 million, and that an array of shops could reopen. Shops in Moscow that were ordered to close in late March including car dealerships, dry cleaners, shoe repair stores, book shops and launderettes, are set to open. Residents will be allowed out for walks three times a week on designated days that are determined by the address they live at. People can also jog or do outdoor sports, but only between 5am and 9am, officials say.
1st Jun 2020 - Reuters

Russia Coronavirus Cases Surge Past 414K as Moscow Eases Lockdown

Russia confirmed 9,035 new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 414,878. Over the past 24 hours 162 people have died, bringing the total toll to 4,855 — a rate considerably lower than in many other countries hit hard by the pandemic.
1st Jun 2020 - The Moscow Times

Robot greeter fights coronavirus in South Korea

There's an new, high-tech greeter at the lobby of SK Telecom in Seoul, South Korea. It checks body temperatures, dispenses hand sanitiser, disinfects the floor and can see who is and isn't wearing a mask -- an AI-driven helper in the fight against COVID-19. SK employee Lim Yeon-June said she's realised how useful it can be. "At first, I felt awkward when I heard it was a robot doing this. But when my colleagues and I were talking to each other, the robot said 'please move away from each other for social distance', I found myself walking away and it was really impressive."
1st Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

COVID-19: Thermal imaging cameras to play crucial role as Japan reopens

As Japan plans to get rid of its months-long lockdown restrictions post the COVID-19 pandemic, thermal imaging cameras are expected to play a crucial role.
1st Jun 2020 - Republic World

Southeast, South Asian countries easing lockdowns

Countries in Southeast and South Asia are easing restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Some countries will resume economic activities while infections are still on the rise. India is easing its stay-at-home order on Monday, which has been in place since late March. Restrictions will also be lifted on retail and manufacturing sector operations. India's government stressed it will further reopen business activity, after measures to deal with the pandemic caused mass unemployment and seriously affected the country's economy. However, coronavirus infections have yet to decline in India, with the number of new cases exceeding 8,000 per day.
1st Jun 2020 - NHK WORLD

Australia relaxes lockdown further, intensifies economic recovery efforts

Several Australian states eased social distancing restrictions further on Monday, allowing restaurants to host more people and public attractions to reopen, as the government moves to revive an ailing economy through accelerated infrastructure spending. Australia has recorded about 7,200 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. And, with new infections now largely under control, the government has embarked on a three-step plan to remove the bulk of curbs by July. In Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), a maximum of 50 people are now allowed to sit down for a meal in a cafe or restaurants, while 20 can attend a funeral. The previous limits were set at 10.
1st Jun 2020 - Japan Today

Rwanda cancels further easing of lockdown after reassessment

The Rwandan government on late Sunday cancelled its earlier decision to further loosen COVID-19 lockdown after reassessing the situation. Transportation between provinces and the capital city Kigali as well as motorcycle passenger services, which had been scheduled to resume on Monday, will remain closed until further notice in the interest of public health and further measures against COVID-19 would be announced by the cabinet on Tuesday, the Prime Minister's office said in a tweet. Rwanda's Health Ministry on Sunday reported 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and six recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases and recoveries to 370 and 256, respectively
1st Jun 2020 - China.org.cn

Russia lifts lockdown at China-designated natural gas field

Local authorities have fully lifted the coronavirus-related quarantine at Russia’s Chayandinskoye natural gas field, the source of the country’s first pipeline gas supplies to China, the coronavirus response centre said on Monday. The lockdown at the field in the eastern Yakutia region was introduced in mid-April to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Siberian gas field was launched in December to move gas supplies via pipeline to China for the first time. Around 10,000 workers from Russian gas company Gazprom and its contractors are usually engaged at the field.
1st Jun 2020 - Reuters

What we can learn from China and Sweden about post-lockdown traffic and travel

China has the most post-lockdown experience because it's believed that's where the novel coronavirus originated. Sweden, meanwhile, decided not to shut down its economy like most developed countries and can offer a glimpse of how people could act when the economy in Canada and other countries is fully open again even though the threat of COVID-19 still exists. Travel data from the two countries provides some insight into what to expect in terms of how many people will continue to work from home, traffic patterns on city streets, the eagerness of shoppers to return to stores and how long until travellers will have the confidence to catch a flight, among many other observations. Peoples' new travel habits will have broad implications for the economy, especially the oil sector, which saw demand plummet for fuel during the pandemic.
1st Jun 2020 - CBC.ca

Australia’s coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions explained: how far can I travel, and can I have people over?

Australians have been slowly emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns since the federal government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease restrictions across the country. Here, you can find the official state and territory restriction guides for NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian on MSN.com

Coronavirus Lockdown: Japan considering re-opening door to some foreigners - media

Japan is considering re-opening its borders to travellers from selected countries which have low levels of coronavirus infections, as it begins to ease restrictions put in place earlier this year to control the outbreak.
1st Jun 2020 - Deccan Herald

Two-metre distance far more effective than one, study finds

A two-metre distance is significantly more effective at reducing the transmission of Covid-19 than one metre, according to the most comprehensive study of viral transmission to date published in The Lancet on Monday. Wearing face and eye protection also significantly reduces the risk of transmitting the virus, the peer-reviewed paper stated, based on 172 observational studies of virus behaviour in community and healthcare settings. “The overwhelming message is that physical measures are effective in preventing Covid-19,” said Trish Greenhalgh, professor of primary care health services at the University of Oxford. “This is a major step forward in our knowledge, since previous meta-analyses were mainly based on prevention of influenza and other diseases which don’t behave the same way as the Covid-19 virus.”
1st Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Public trust in UK government over coronavirus falls sharply

Public trust in the UK government as a source of accurate information about the coronavirus has collapsed in recent weeks, suggesting ministers may struggle to maintain lockdown restrictions in the aftermath of the Dominic Cummings affair. According to surveys conducted on behalf of the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute by YouGov, less than half of Britons now trust the Westminster government to provide correct information on the pandemic – down from more than two-thirds of the public in mid-April.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

India to start lifting lockdown in phases from Monday

The Indian government said it will reopen economic activities in a phased manner from Monday with the number of coronavirus infections in the country topping 170,000. The guidelines announced by the interior ministry on Saturday indicated that designated COVID-19 containment zones, including accompanying lockdowns, will remain in place until June 30.
31st May 2020 - Kyodo News Plus

The Guardian view on lockdown choices: who to trust?

The week ahead will confront parents of school-age children, 2.2 million people who have until now been “shielding” at home, and millions more adults who have been told they can return to work, with an impossible choice. Should they do what the government says, and begin to let down their guard against the risk of catching the virus? Or should they heed the warnings of the five members of Sage (the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) who believe the lifting of lockdown is premature, and the deputy chief medical officer for England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, who on Saturday described the present moment as “very dangerous”?
31st May 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown rules UK: how restrictions have changed in England as country enters phase 2 - and rules on seeing family and friends

A further lifting of restrictions is to be implemented across England from June, following the government’s latest lockdown review
29th May 2020 - Yorkshire Evening Post


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 1st Jun 2020

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Chile surpasses 1,000 coronavirus deaths, almost 100,000 cases confirmed

More that 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Chile, the health ministry reported on Sunday, with 827 of the deaths occurring in May alone as the pandemic spreads quickly in the South American mining powerhouse.The country has had 99,688 confirmed cases of the disease so far, 1,054 of them fatal, the ministry said. “We know we are in the most difficult weeks,” Undersecretary of Health Paula Daza said in a televised address. “We are making decisions and taking measures every day to contain the spread,” Daza added.
31st May 2020 - Reuters

Local lockdowns could be used if coronavirus cases rise, says Raab

The government could impose geographically targeted measures to combat coronavirus such as locking down specific cities if an easing of restrictions in England brings about a rise in new cases, Dominic Raab has said. The foreign secretary defended the decision to allow bigger outdoor gatherings and other new freedoms, which has prompted alarm from some government scientific advisers, but said he accepted it was a “delicate and dangerous moment”.
31st May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: India to loosen lockdown despite record cases

India has announced plans to further ease a strict national lockdown even as the country reported a record daily rise in new coronavirus cases. From 8 June, restaurants, hotels, shopping centres and places of worship will be allowed to re-open in many areas in the first stage of a three-phase plan. Weeks later, probably in July, schools and colleges will resume teaching. But areas with high numbers of Covid-19 cases will remain under tight lockdown. The plan comes after India registered a new record single-day rise in confirmed infections, with nearly 8,000 cases reported on Saturday. In total India has recorded some 174,500 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths. The nation of 1.3 billion has been hit less hard by the coronavirus than many other countries.
31st May 2020 - BBC News

How to use the toilet at a friend's house under new lockdown rules for England

Lockdown rules in England will change from Monday allowing you to have up to six people at a time visit your home. But there are strict rules that go along with the changes - including no physical contact,
29th May 2020 - Wales Online

South Korea postpones school reopening due to new outbreak

South Korea has postponed the planned reopening of more than 800 schools as it battles a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus, with cases now at their highest level for almost two months. The country’s easing of lockdown measures has gone into reverse, with museums, parks and art galleries closed again on Friday for two weeks. Kindergarten pupils, and some primary and secondary school students were due back from Wednesday, in the last phase of school reopenings. According to the education ministry, however, 838 schools out of 20,902 nationwide remain shut. They are located in areas hard hit by the latest wave of infections, including the capital, Seoul, and the cities of Bucheon and Gumi.
29th May 2020 - NBC News

What a post-lockdown lockdown bar could look like - including thermal imaging cameras and some staff in visors

Thermal imaging cameras, bar staff in visors and orders on an app: this is how one of Manchester's most popular bars plans to finally reopen. Albert’s Schloss has today revealed the measures it’s putting in place to keep staff, customers and the venues performers safe. It could be a taste of things to come at hospitality venues across Greater Manchester and the rest of the UK. Before being seated or served, customers will face a temperaturescreening from a thermal imaging camera which alerts staff to anyone with an elevated temperature. If staff suspect anyone on site is unwell - customer or otherwise - they are likely to be asked to leave and seek medical attention.
29th May 2020 - ITV News

UK lockdown rules: what are the key changes?

The prime minister announced on Thursday that groups of up to six people could meet outdoors in England from Monday, permitting what he described as “a long-awaited and joyful moment” as family and friends reunite after 10 weeks in lockdown. He set out the next stage in the easing of restrictions with a caveat that “there may still be some anomalies, or apparent inconsistencies, in these rules”. The UK government was yet to publish the promised guidance on the new rules on Friday afternoon but here is what has been announced so far.
29th May 2020 - The Guardian

'It's going to get wild': Scotland begins to ease coronavirus lockdown

As Nicola Sturgeon used her daily press briefing to urge the public to “err on the side of caution” and avoid flocking to beauty spots, the anticipated exodus to lochsides and beaches took time to gather momentum. And if some appeared relaxed in their interpretation of guidance to remain within five miles of home, the practical limitations of barricaded car parks and insufficiently robust bladders had their effect. It is the first time in more than two months that Scots have been able to socialise beyond their immediate households. The relief was palpable for Barry Gillies, watching his 6-year-old son paddling at Duck Bay Marina, on the west shore of Loch Lomond, as jetskiers roared across the water. “I’m a single dad, so it’s good to get out and talk to adults,” he said.
29th May 2020 - The Guardian

UK public is getting used to living in lockdown as government moves to lift restrictions

As restrictions in the UK start to loosen from 1 June, over a third of the public say they’re getting used to living in lockdown conditions, which allow them to work flexibly from home. An Ipsos Mori poll found that more than a third – 38% of 2,254 respondents – said the restrictions will not become “extremely difficult” to cope with, up by more than 10 points at the beginning of April.
29th May 2020 - Financial News

UK lockdown rules: what you are allowed to do from Monday

The prime minister announced on Thursday that groups of up to six people could meet outdoors in England from Monday, permitting what he described as “a long-awaited and joyful moment” as family and friends reunite after 10 weeks in lockdown. He set out the next stage in the easing of restrictions with a caveat that “there may still be some anomalies, or apparent inconsistencies, in these rules”. The UK government was yet to publish the promised guidance on the new rules on Friday afternoon but here is what has been announced so far.
29th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Lockdown eased across UK and calls to extend self-employed support

In the latest small step towards a return to normality, people from two different households in Scotland can now meet outdoors after 66 days in full lockdown. Similar measures are to be announced for Wales later, coming into force on Monday - which is also when up to six people from different homes in England will be able to gather. Northern Ireland, meanwhile, looks ahead to 8 June for the reopening of retail parks and even outdoor weddings with 10 guests.
29th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Scotland begins to ease out of lockdown

People in Scotland are now able to meet friends and family again as the country begins to ease its lockdown after 66 days. The new rules mean that people from two households can meet outside so long as they keep at least two metres apart. Groups of no more than eight should meet at a time, and you should not go into anyone else's house. At her daily media briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for "caution" as the new rules take effect. She also stressed that people should still stay at home as much as possible.
29th May 2020 - BBC News

Extra legroom and no interval: Germany plans for post-lockdown theatre

Berliner Ensemble unveils auditorium with most chairs ripped out, but some left in pairs, for a socially distanced audience who can visit the toilet during the play
29th May 2020 - The Guardian

Spain will open gradually to tourism, beginning with European countries

Spain usually welcomes more than 80 million visitors each year, making it one of the most visited countries in the world, with tourism a key part of its economy. But it has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis and wants to be cautious as it opens to visitors from Jul 1, Gonzalez Laya said. “In this very atypical year of 2020, we will not be able to behave as usual,” she said. “It's health. It's making sure that we do not import cases as we are trying to control the cases we have in the country. It's very prudent management on our side to make sure we put COVID under control.” Much remains to be decided as to who will be able to travel where and on what criteria, with talks going on first with European countries on when a territory can be deemed safe, Gonzalez Laya said.
29th May 2020 - MercoPress

Spain continues to relax lockdown measures

Spain will continue to relax its containment measures from Monday, authorities announced on Thursday. Andalusia, the Valencia region, a large part of Catalonia and the archipelagos of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands will be able to move on to phase 2 of deconfinement.
29th May 2020 - The Brussels Times

Iconic sites stay shut as France lifts lockdown restrictions

The Eiffel Tower is shown lit with the word 'merci,' French for 'thank you,' in Paris in late March. The famed tower, the Louvre museum and the Palace of Versailles will remain off-limits for the immediate future, as France lifts most of its remaining coronavirus lockdown restrictions next week
29th May 2020 - CBC.ca

French, Germans and Italians divided on pace of lockdown easing says Euronews poll

A survey commissioned by Euronews shows that people in Italy, France and Germany have different views on the pace of easing restrictions. The poll, carried out by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, involved 1,500 participants from each of the three EU countries. While 45 per cent of Italians surveyed say lockdown measures are being eased at the right pace, 42 per cent of Germans think things are moving too fast. In contrast, the prevailing view in France is that the pace is too slow. The question of social distancing is also divisive. It's not only difficult to maintain in urban settings, it's alien to cultures where shaking hands and greeting others with kisses are a reflex.
29th May 2020 - Euronews

Coronavirus rules: Scotland's sedate stroll out of lockdown

People across Scotland have been heading out into the sunshine to take advantage of the relaxation of some the lockdown restrictions. And it seems that those gathering in parks and beaches have been keeping their distance and adopting a cautious approach to their new freedoms.
29th May 2020 - BBC News

Kazakhstan to ease lockdown next week

Kazakhstan will take down police checkpoints between its regions next week and reopen kindergartens and gyms as it moves to ease its coronavirus lockdown, the government said on Friday. The Central Asian republic, which has reported 9,932 cases of the new coronavirus and 37 deaths, plans also to restart railway transport in big cities and regional centres from June 1, as well as long-distance bus routes. Sports and cultural facilities will also reopen, but spectators will not yet be allowed, the prime minister’s website said.
29th May 2020 - Reuters.com

Contact tracing may help avoid another lockdown. Can it work in the US?

To contain the spread of Covid-19, Alaska is planning to triple its number of contact tracers. Utah has retrained 150 state employees. And New York and other states are hiring thousands of people. And that, health experts say, might not be enough. To suppress their epidemics to manageable levels, countries around the world have turned to contact tracing — tracking down people who might have been exposed to the coronavirus to ensure they don’t pass it to others, a way of stalking routes of viral spread and severing them before they reach more people. And, to varying degrees, it has worked. But, for it to succeed in the United States, experts are cautioning that it’s going to take more people, more money, and more cooperation than the country has in place.
29th May 2020 - STAT News

Indonesians return to mosques, at a distance

Muslims in some parts of Indonesia attended Friday prayers as mosques closed by the coronavirus for weeks were allowed to start reopening in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. The guidelines for worship facilities released by religious affairs minister Fachrul Razi on Friday change many traditions in mosques. Worshippers usually pray shoulder to shoulder, and they huddle, hug and shake hands once the prayer ends, with cheek-to-cheek kisses common. Muslims in the Jakarta satellite city of Bekasi were expected to stay at least one meter (yard) apart with no handshaking, and heard shorter sermons. No children were allowed to join the prayers, and police and soldiers ensured health protocols such as social distancing and mask wearing were observed.
29th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Small outdoor gatherings permitted as UK eases lockdown

Six people will be allowed to gather outdoors in the United Kingdom after the prime minister announced an easing of restrictions. Boris Johnson praised the public for its efforts in the fight against the coronavirus, saying the government’s five requirements were being met – including a consistent fall in the death rate and ensuring the health system could cope.
29th May 2020 - Sky News Australia

Western Australia to finally relax lockdown laws with gyms to open and 300 people allowed in pubs

Western Australia will enter stage 3 of eased lockdown restrictions on June 6. The relaxed laws will increase gathering limits and allow up to 300 people. Patrons must be seated at all times inside pubs, restaurants and food courts. Gyms, health clubs and beauty services will be able to operate as normal
29th May 2020 - Daily Mail

What is phase 2 of lockdown? New rules for England explained, and how the rest of the UK is easing measures

While lockdown measures have slowly begun to ease, a further lifting of restrictions will soon be implemented across England. The UK government must review lockdown measures every three weeks, with the next update due to take place on 28 May. Any amendments made to the current rules will then come into force a few days later, from 1 June.
29th May 2020 - iNews

New Zealand close to coronavirus eradication, despite grim global figures

New Zealand has all but eradicated coronavirus from its shores, with just one person in the nation of five million known to be still infected. The development is in stark contrast to the global outlook, however, where the spread of the pandemic generally remains grim - with India reporting another record increase in cases, and deaths reaching a new peak in Pakistan.
29th May 2020 - ITV News

France’s PM Édouard Philippe cautiously lifts most of Covid-19 lockdown measures

France will allow most restaurants, parks and schools to progressively reopen from June 2, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. “The results are good regarding the health plan… Good, but not sufficiently good for everything to return to normal,” Philippe said. He called for everyone to remain alert. Parks and gardens will open, but meeting in groups of more than 10 people are still prohibited. Parks and gardens will once again be open as Parisians cooped up in small apartments will be able to enjoy the outdoors. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo had repeatedly called on the government to open the parks for Parisians.
28th May 2020 - RFI


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How China emerges from lockdown will affect global tourism

You can wave to the giant Mickey Mouse mascot, but not get close enough for a jolly selfie. Such are the rules at Disneyland Shanghai, which reopened on May 11th. Visitor numbers are capped at 30% of the sprawling park’s capacity. Meanwhile the Forbidden City in Beijing can now take only 5,000 visitors a day, just 6% of its normal cap.
30th May 2020 - The Economist

Dubai gives the green light to reopen gyms, movie theaters and other non-essential businesses as lockdown lifting continues

The Dubai government announced new measures to lift restrictions on businesses, allowing gyms, movie theaters, leisure venues, educational and training institutes, child learning centers and all retail and wholesale establishments to reopen at varying limited capacities. The emirate of 3.3 million, the UAE's commercial capital, is pushing ahead with reopening its economy after a grueling two months of lockdown that included a three-week stretch in April of some of the strictest measures imposed anywhere in the world
28th May 2020 - CNBC on MSN.com

US jobless claims top 40m as economy struggles to reopen

The number of Americans to have sought unemployment benefits during the pandemic has eclipsed 40m after more than 2m people applied for the first time last week, even as the number of people actively receiving benefits unexpectedly fell. New jobless claims have slowed for eight consecutive weeks, and the decline in continuing payments was the first since the coronavirus crisis began, as states have begun to emerge from Covid-related shutdowns and restart economic activity.
28th May 2020 - Financial Times

'Lockdown is not over': Nicola Sturgeon reminds us to abide by rules as first phase of restrictions are eased

The First Minister said it does not mean picking just one household to meet with but only one other household at a time and only one a day. She said she knows there will be “emotional reunions” adding “we have all waited a long time for this but please respect the parameters." Nicola Sturgeon said: “The only reason we can make any changes is we have made progress in suppressing the virus and that is down to the sacrifices you have made.”
28th May 2020 - Glasgow Times

What is phase 2 of lockdown? New rules for England explained, and when the rest of the UK will ease measures

While lockdown measures have slowly begun to ease, a further lifting of restrictions will soon be implemented across England. The UK government must review lockdown measures every three weeks, with the next update due to take place on 28 May. Any amendments made to the current rules will then come into force a few days later, from 1 June.
28th May 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: Schools and workplaces could see 'local lockdowns'

Local lockdowns could see schools and workplaces targeted in areas of England that have "flare-ups" of coronavirus, the communities secretary has said. Robert Jenrick said restrictions could be introduced at "a micro level" to control the virus in particular communities. The measures will be part of the test and trace system, which will be ready by next week, he said. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will give more details shortly, Mr Jenrick added.
28th May 2020 - BBC News

Germany supports struggling restaurants by slashing their VAT

Germany's parliament voted on Thursday to slash value-added tax on restaurant meals by more than half for a year to help them recoup devastating losses caused by the lockdown and social distancing introduced to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
28th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Philippines' Duterte eases lockdown in capital from June 1

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (May 28) approved a recommendation to ease the lockdown in the capital Manila from Jun 1, resuming much-needed activity in an economy on the brink of recession. Strict restrictions on commerce and movement since mid-March have ravaged the economy, which is facing its deepest contraction in 34 years. The nation reported 17 more deaths and 539 new infections on Thursday, the largest number of cases reported in a single day since the virus was first detected in the country.
28th May 2020 - Channel NewsAsia Singapore

Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal all issue travel advice to Brits over holidays this summer

Birmingham Airport is set to spring into life in the coming weeks as the tourism industry is given a jolt of adrenalin across the continent. Europe will welcome British holidaymakers once more from June and July, with summer holiday hopes revitalised for bored Brits at home. Birmingham Airport has been eerily quiet in recent weeks - with one week seeing just six flights take off from the transport hub, situated near Solihull. But now, as the UK emerges from lockdown, travel firms from TUI, Ryanair and Jet2, to British Airways and Easyjet, are committing to restarting flights.
28th May 2020 - Birmingham Mail

Spain lifts lockdown rules on exercise and walks in Phase 2 areas

From Wednesday, children living in areas of Spain that have entered Phase 2 of the coronavirus deescalation plan will be able to go outside as many times as they like, without any restrictions on how far they can go or for how long. That’s according to the Health Ministry order published Tuesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), which has formalized what many families have been doing since last week, when the timetables for walks and exercise were removed for areas under Phase 2, with the exception of the time slot allocated to senior residents.
28th May 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Relief for restaurants as France prepares new lockdown easing

The French government is expected to announce Thursday new measures to ease the coronavirus lockdown, allowing restaurants in areas where the outbreak remains contained to open as soon as next week.
28th May 2020 - AFP on MSN.com

France Triples Emergency Budget For Cycling To Keep People Out Of Cars As Lockdown Eases

“In a few weeks, the [COVID-19] crisis has won more for cycling than years of bicycle campaigning,” French environment minister Elisabeth Borne told Paris Match on May 28 as she announced that France would be tripling the amount to be spent on getting more people on bicycles to avert urban gridlock in cities across France. At the end of April Borne said France would spend €20 million on emergency cycling measures, including €50 vouchers for repairing bicycles. The budget has now been increased to €60 million, which will pay for more repair vouchers and more generous subsidies for purchasing e-bikes.
28th May 2020 - Forbes

Coronavirus: Russia reports over 4,000 deaths as medics warn of bursting hospitals

Health officials reported that 4,142 people had died in Russia from the virus, with 174 new deaths over the last 24 hours. The number of new deaths equaled Russia’s highest daily toll recorded yet on Tuesday. Officials said last week Russia would see a sharp rise in the mortality figures for May as they anticipate deaths of patients who were admitted to hospitals during the peak of the epidemic several weeks ago. Although the number of new cases has steadily declined, medical workers in Saint Petersburg said hospitals remain at peak capacity. Sergei Sayapin, a doctor at the Pokrovskaya municipal hospital, told local media that 650 patients were being treated at his hospital last week, which has just over 540 beds. “People lie on examination benches, without mattresses or pillows,” Sayapin was quoted as saying on Wednesday. He declined to speak to AFP.
28th May 2020 - AlArabiya

Moscow to ease lockdown from Monday as pandemic stabilizes

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Wednesday announced an easing of the Russian capital's lockdown starting June 1 after the Kremlin said the coronavirus pandemic had passed its peak in the country. "Today we can already talk about the next steps out of the crisis situation," Sobyanin told President Vladimir Putin during a televised video conference. "I propose from June 1 to reopen not only food retail but all non-food retail."
28th May 2020 - Jakarta Post

US passes 100,000 coronavirus deaths as states relax lockdown measures

The United States has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, moving past a grim milestone even as many states relax mitigation measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The US has recorded more deaths from the disease than any other country in the pandemic, and almost three times as many as the second-ranking country, Britain, which has recorded more than 37,000 Covid-19 deaths. The latest count of fatalities is 100,047 according to Johns Hopkins University data.
28th May 2020 - The Guardian

Many fear a surge in hate crime once lockdown is over – the government has to step up and help

The prime minister will review the lockdown today, but any increase in our freedom sadly comes with the risk of a rebound in hate crime. A recent Home Affairs Select Committee session heard that Facebook had deleted 9.6 million hate speech posts in the first quarter of 2020. Surely, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Community Security Trust, Stop Hate UK and Tell Mama UK have all raised concerns about closed online groups mobilising to incite hatred and violence against communities who are becoming Covid-19 scapegoats.
28th May 2020 - The Independent

Is this the future of dining? Restaurants could feature bubble pods after lockdown

A French designer has created transparent bubble pods for restaurants so that diners can eat safely once lockdown comes to an end. The plastic cylinders would create a see-through barrier for those sitting at the same tables, helping limit the spread of coronavirus. Christophe Gernigon, who designed the pods, said they would hang from a cable in a ceiling and would have a cut out section at the back to allow people to sit and stand up without having to bend over
28th May 2020 - YAHOO!

No lockdown, few ventilators, but Ethiopia is beating Covid-19

Instead of strict lockdown, Ethiopia chose a response built around public messaging. “This is not a disease you fight by ventilators or intensive care units,” says Mr Arkebe, “90 per cent of the solution is hand washing and social distancing. The only way we can play and win is if we focus on prevention.” The government has leaned heavily on a community-based health system built by Meles Zenawi, prime minister until his death in 2012, and his health minister, one Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, now director-general of the World Health Organization. Shunning flashy hospitals, Ethiopia has instead poured what money it can into basic healthcare: vaccination campaigns and child and maternal support.
28th May 2020 - The Financial Times

How Japan tackled coronavirus without a lockdown, avoided the 3 Cs

Many people predicted that Japan would be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but the country has been relatively unscathed. People have posited several reasons for Japan's success, including an existing culture of mask-wearing. Others have said it was the government's clear messaging about avoiding the three C's: closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings. Some experts have said that Japan might not be as successful as we think and that there may be significant underreporting.
28th May 2020 - Business Insider

National Gallery of Australia first to open its doors on Tuesday, June 2 as lockdown restrictions ease

For art and culture lovers, at least, the end of lockdown is well and truly in sight - the National Gallery of Australia will be opening its doors to the public again on Tuesday June 2. The National Museum of Australia is following suit, opening Tuesday with visitors able to finally see the landmark Endeavour exhibition that was two weeks from opening when lockdown was announced.
28th May 2020 - The Canberra Times


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 28th May 2020

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Putin says worst case coronavirus scenario in Moscow averted as lockdown unwinds

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow, the epicentre of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak, had succeeded in preventing what he called worst-case scenarios as the city announced it would ease tough lockdown measures within days.
27th May 2020 - Reuters

Pandemic Lockdowns Loosen as U.S. Deaths Near 100,000

Crowds hit beaches in Florida, Italy; protections on foreclosures and evictions lifted
27th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

What can and can't you do as the coronavirus lockdown rules ease across the UK?

It's a long way from life as we knew it but the lockdown measures have been easing across the UK as our “new normal” continues to evolve. All four nations have been independently reviewing their measures every three weeks and expanding the freedoms of residents as the rate of coronavirus cases lessens. So what can you do now in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that you couldn’t before? What are you still stopped from doing? And when might that change?
27th May 2020 - ITV News

Coronavirus: How many of the five tests has the UK passed to ease lockdown?

The government has set out five tests the UK needs to meet before it can ease lockdown restrictions further. These are: knowing the NHS can cope, a sustained fall in daily death rate, a drop in the infection rate to manageable levels, adequate testing capacity and protective equipment supply, and the confidence that a second wave of infections won’t hit. England is set to reopen schools for reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils from 1 June. Open-air markets and car showrooms will also open up again from this date and all non-essential shops can trade from 15 June if they follow social distancing. But how many of the five tests has the UK actually passed?
27th May 2020 - YAHOO!

New lockdown plans ‘to be announced tomorrow’

The government is expected to announce a review of lockdown at the daily press briefing tomorrow, which is likely to give the all-clear for schools to begin reopening next week. Downing Street said the announcement on lockdown plans would happen after ministers consider advice from Sage – the group of advisers responsible for giving scientific information to the government during times of crisis. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told to a Westminster briefing: ‘Cabinet has discussed the road map and the decision which the Government would like to implement on the proviso that it’s in line with the five tests and any package we bring forward wouldn’t risk a second spike in the virus that would overwhelm the NHS.’
27th May 2020 - Metro

Coronavirus UK: Whole towns could be put in lockdown 'from tomorrow'

Whole towns could face tough ‘local lockdowns’ if there are regional ‘flare-ups’ of coronavirus. The Prime Minister is set to announce more about the new measures and the Government’s ‘track and trace system’, which could be thrown in place from Thursday. Boris Johnson had pledged to introduce the system by June 1, but it is being rushed forward before primary school classes return on Monday, The Sun reports. An army of 25,000 contact tracers will reportedly begin work hunting down new cases so coronavirus sufferers can be rapidly isolated.
27th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

UK plans to further ease lockdown as new case rate remains high

“Lockdown is being released very gradually, as has been the case in many other countries,” says Linda Bauld, a public health specialist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. “Most of the changes at the moment involve more activity outdoors, where the risk of transmission is low and therefore we wouldn’t expect this to result in a rapid rise in cases if social distancing is maintained.” But the scandal surrounding Dominic Cummings, the prime ministerial aide who drove more than 400 kilometres from his London home with his son and ill wife in March, at a time when the UK government was urging the public to “stay home”, may put this progress in jeopardy.
27th May 2020 - New Scientist

This is what theatres could look like when they reopen after lockdown

A theatre company in Germany has offered a first look at how social distancing will work when audiences return. Normally there is space for around 700 people in the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin – but, amid the coronavirus crisis, only 200 guests will be welcomed to watch plays at one time. A picture posted to the Berliner Ensemble’s social media shows the bizarre circumstances theatre-goers will find themselves under, with seats arranged metres apart, in groups of one or two. Speaking on Twitter, the theatre company said it would be the ‘new reality’ from when it reopens in September.
27th May 2020 - Metro

Germany's government have agreed to extend social distancing rules until June 29

Germany's government and its state premiers have agreed to extend social distancing rules until June 29 to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said. Tuesday's deal, confirmed by the spokesman after being revealed to Reuters by a source, follows a dispute over how quickly to ease lockdown measures that have helped Germany weather the outbreak with far fewer deaths than European peers. Under the agreement, public gatherings of up to 10 people would also be allowed from June 6, the government spokesman said.
27th May 2020 - News24XX.com

Covid-19 news: Boris Johnson admits UK was unprepared for pandemic

Covid-19 news: Boris Johnson admits UK was unprepared for pandemic. Johnson admits the UK was unprepared for the coronavirus crisis. “We didn’t learn the lesson on SARS and MERS,” UK prime minister Boris Johnson said today as he faced questions from the House of Commons Liaison Committee, referencing the government’s pandemic planning and a lack of capacity at Public Health England to detect outbreaks of coronavirus around the country.
27th May 2020 - New Statesman

Coronavirus: Spain could lift lockdown faster to be ready for tourists

Spain is considering easing its lockdown more quickly to avoid having millions of citizens under travel restrictions when foreign tourists jet in to soak up the sun.Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister,
27th May 2020 - The Times

US deaths from the coronavirus surpass jarring 100,000 milestone

The U.S. surpassed a jarring milestone Wednesday in the coronavirus pandemic: 100,000 deaths. That number is the best estimate and most assuredly an undercount. But it represents the stark reality that more Americans have died from the virus than from the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. “It’s a striking reminder of how dangerous this virus can be,” said Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington. The once-unthinkable toll appears to be just the beginning of untold misery in the months ahead as Las Vegas casinos and Walt Disney World make plans to reopen, crowds of unmasked Americans swarm beaches and public health officials predict a resurgence by fall. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, issued a stern warning after watching video of Memorial Day crowds gathered at a pool party in Missouri.
27th May 2020 - News 12 Networks

Coronavirus: Spain seeks lockdown exit before tourist flights land

Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister, said this week that he would welcome visitors from abroad and that they would not be quarantined on arrival. Health experts have said that to meet a deadline of mid-June and please the tourism sector may involve loosening Spain’s cautious plan to ease restrictions for its citizens. The government presently envisages the country coming out of lockdown towards the end of June, in four steps, each lasting two weeks and dependent on criteria including infection rates and the readiness of health services.
27th May 2020 - The Times

Malaga and Granada expected to move into Phase 2 of Spain’s Lockdown in less than a week

The President of the Junta de Andalucia, Juanma Moreno, believes that Malaga and Granada provinces have now met the requirements to move into the next phase of the lockdown. Business owners in Malaga and Granada were dismayed recently when other regions were allowed to move into the next phase and petitioned the government heavily regarding the move against them. “With infections and death rates well down there is no reason why the move to Phase 2 can not be allowed,” said a local Costa del Sol bar owner. “We need to hurry up and open before the season is lost,” he went on to say.
27th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

High hopes as French PM prepares to reveal second phase of lockdown exit

After a defence council meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is expected to announce measures that could pave the way for the reopening of restaurants, cinemas and high schools and put an end to rules limiting movement to within 100 kilometres. Lockdown restrictions were first eased on 11 May according to a colour-coded map of France indicating where the coronavirus causing Covid-19 was most dangerous, with more stringent measures maintained in designated “red zones”.
27th May 2020 - RFI English

Entire towns could face local lockdown from tomorrow to strictly isolate new COVID-19 sufferers

Parts of the UK will have to undergo very tough local lockdowns in a bid to control the virus. From tomorrow onwards, certain areas of Britains might need to enforce strict local lockdowns to isolate new coronavirus sufferers. The Sun announced that Boris Johnson's new track and trace programme is set to be announced tomorrow, with its purpose being to stamp out any new COVID-19 contagion trails. The Prime Minister has stated the programme is set to go ahead either tomorrow or Friday, when a whopping 25,000 contact tracers will begin their work in finding out where all of the new cases are.
27th May 2020 - HeartFM

India will ruin its economy very quickly if it had a severe lockdown: Swedish health expert to Rahul

Professor Johan Giesecke of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden claimed that India will ruin its economy very quikly if it had a severe lockdown. Claiming that a strict lockdown may disrupt India's economic growth, Giesecke during an interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said "In India, you will do more harm than good with strict lockdown measures."
27th May 2020 - Times of India

Coronavirus: China's plan to test everyone in Wuhan

China has been carrying out an ambitious plan to test everyone in Wuhan, the city where the Covid-19 pandemic began, following the emergence of a cluster of new infections. The authorities had pledged to test the city's inhabitants over a 10-day period, starting on 14 May. We've looked at what was achieved, and over what period of time.
27th May 2020 - BBC News

What is phase 2 of lockdown? New rules for England explained, and when the rest of the UK will lift restrictions

While lockdown measures have slowly begun to ease, a further lifting of restrictions will soon be implemented across England. The UK government must review lockdown measures every three weeks, with the next update due to take place on 28 May. Any amendments made to the current rules will then come into force a few days later, from 1 June.
27th May 2020 - iNews

First to close — first to reopen: Denmark’s gain from virus response

Its swift response seems to have paid off. As Covid-19 cases plummeted, Denmark last month became the first EU nation to reopen primary schools. Its restaurants, hairdressers, shops, museums and zoos have now all followed suit. The authorities in Copenhagen are promising a massive ramping up of testing to minimise the risk of a second wave of infections. “Denmark is top of the class when it comes to a fast response. We have built a bubble around Denmark,” said Soren Riis Paludan, professor of virology and immunology at Aarhus University. But he added that the country’s biggest challenge was not a second wave of infections but ensuring the economy recovered. “We have been hit at the very heart of our economy and our culture. We are an outward-facing nation and we can’t be that at the moment — that is the challenge,” he said.
27th May 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus: Denmark opens borders to divided lovers

Denmark has opened its borders to couples who were separated from their partners by the coronavirus lockdown. As of Monday, cross-border couples who reside in the Nordic countries or Germany can now visit Denmark. Rules currently require people to prove their relationship with photos, text messages and emails. But the justice minister has announced these regulations will be relaxed in the coming days, so all that is needed is a letter signed by both parties. "If you say you are a boyfriend and sign [the letter], we will assume it [is true]," Justice minister Nick Hækkerup told broadcaster TV2.
26th May 2020 - BBC News

More COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions to Be Eased in New Zealand

“The shift to [a] 100-person maximum means many more gatherings will be able to occur from now on," said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. "These changes are good news for business and for those looking to plan larger gatherings. It is another step in [the] renormalizing of life as we continue to stamp out the virus. It is the government’s view that we should also move as quickly as we safely can to alert level one.”
26th May 2020 - VOA News

What are New Zealand’s social bubble rules as UK considers system?

New Zealand has been widely praised for its approach to fighting the spread of coronavirus and for the country’s success in all but eliminating the virus. One of many measures implemented by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her government to ease New Zealand’s lockdown restrictions has been to introduce a so-called ‘social bubble’ strategy to allow the public to socialise with people outside of their households. This model is one that the UK government is said to be considering when further easing lockdown over the next few months. But how does New Zealand’s social bubble strategy work and when will families and friends be able to see each other again in the UK?
26th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Here’s How Wuhan Tested 6.5 Million for Coronavirus in Days

In Wuhan, medical workers armed with coronavirus test swabs scoured construction sites and markets to look for itinerant workers while others made house calls to reach older residents and people with disabilities. Officials aired announcements over loudspeakers urging people to sign up for their own good. These are the front lines of an unprecedented campaign to screen virtually all 11 million people in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began. Nearly two weeks in, the government is getting close to reaching its goal, with 6.5 million tested so far. “Our community was checked in a day,” said Wang Yuan, a 32-year-old resident who lined up under red tents near her home and had her throat swabbed by medical workers wearing protective suits and face shields. She expected to get her results within two to four days. While other governments have struggled to provide testing for their populations on a broad scale, China has embarked on a citywide campaign to prevent a resurgence of infections at all costs. It has succeeded, according to residents and Chinese news reports, by mobilizing thousands of medical and other workers and spending hundreds of millions of dollars.
26th May 2020 - The New York Times


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 27th May 2020

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Coronavirus lockdown: Which shops will open next month?

After 10 weeks of lockdown, thousands of high street shops, department stores and markets across England can start reopening from next month. At a daily news briefing in Downing Street - overshadowed by Dominic Cummings' response to claims he broke lockdown rules - the prime minister outlined which businesses can begin trading again from Monday. Boris Johnson said Step 2 of the plan to "unlock the lockdown", in place since 23 March, would see the following changes.
26th May 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Can we stay safe as lockdown eases?

The most obvious is distance. Research that began in the 1930s showed that when someone coughs, most of the droplets they release either evaporate or fall to the ground within about one metre. That's why the World Health Organization (WHO) settled on its "one metre" rule for social distancing. Some governments have opted for a safer limit of 1.5m with the UK and others preferring an even more cautious 2m. The guidance essentially means that the further you're apart, the safer you ought to be but it's not distance alone that matters. The second key factor is timing - how long you're close to someone.
26th May 2020 - BBC South East Wales

Germany aims to ease distancing, lift European travel warning - media

Germany's government and its state premiers have agreed to extend social distancing rules until June 29 to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said. Tuesday's deal, confirmed by the spokesman after being revealed to Reuters by a source, follows a dispute over how quickly to ease lockdown measures that have helped Germany weather the outbreak with far fewer deaths than European peers. Under the agreement, public gatherings of up to 10 people would also be allowed from June 6, the government spokesman said. Chancellor Angela Merkel originally suggested extending the distancing rules, which require people to stay 1.5 metres apart, until July 5, as the conservative leader is worried about a second wave of cases that could require another costly lockdown.
26th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Germany's corona detectives led way out of lockdown

As the coronavirus permeated Germany with a speed that was scarcely credible, there was no technology in the world that could track it. Instead, the job of mapping and slowing the advance of the pandemic has been carried out largely by hand, often with little more than a telephone, a fax machine and many cups of coffee. The secret of Germany’s much-lauded contact-tracing system, one of the central pillars of its relative success in managing Covid-19, is not ingenious software nor an all-seeing state. It is an impromptu army of students, off-duty planning inspectors, social workers, police officers, military health workers, administrators and, in at least one case, the local fire brigade.
26th May 2020 - The Times

Italian Leaders Threaten to Reimpose Restrictions After Sunshine Draws Out Crowds

Italian politicians threatened to reinstate restrictions on people’s movements and announced plans to recruit 60,000 unemployed volunteers to help oversee social distancing, after thousands of Italians celebrated the end of the country’s lockdown by going out for a drink. Many Italians hit beaches, parks and bars over the weekend, sometimes flouting distancing rules and requirements to wear face masks when near other people. The return of crowds to places that have been deserted for most of the spring sparked an angry reaction from some politicians, who warned that Italy’s progress in containing the coronavirus could reverse if people relaxed the restriction rules too much.
26th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Italy won't re-allow travel if post-lockdown partying continues, warns minister

The Italian government will revise its plans to allow travel between regions again if people keep socializing in the streets after Italy's long coronavirus lockdown, a cabinet minister has warned.
26th May 2020 - The Local Italy

Coronavirus: Tourists can visit Spain from 1 July with no quarantine

Tourists will be able to visit Spain from the beginning of July without having to quarantine for two weeks, after the government eased coronavirus lockdown rules. The world’s second-most visited nation currently demands all foreign visitors isolate themselves for 14 days on arrival, but has decided to lift the controls in an attempt to revive its tourist industry for the holiday season. Prime minister Pedro Sanchez has said he wants Spain to establish reciprocal “safe corridors” with other countries in Europe, so long as “they don’t bring risks to our country”.
26th May 2020 - The Independent

When can I travel to Spain? Latest FCO guidance as country relaxes quarantine rules

Despite there being only vague ideas of when lockdown measures might fully end in the UK, people are already thinking about the potential of summer travel
26th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Spain Wants Common EU Rules on Cross-border Movement as Pandemic Lockdowns Ease

In a discussion paper submitted by Spain to a Future of Europe consultation process between EU member states, Madrid also called for the monitoring of tourists' health via individual checks as part of a common EU-wide procedure. "It would be appropriate to consider, in coordination with UNWTO and WHO, options for health checks, either upon the purchase of tickets or at the airport itself, should the results of those checks be available within a reasonable timeframe," read the document, seen by Reuters. "The definition of a safe and operational passenger transit system is key to restoring the normality of tourist flows in a sustainable manner," it said.
26th May 2020 - VOA News

Confidence rises in Germany as lockdown is relaxed

A regular business survey by the Ifo Institute offered a glimmer of hope by beating expectations. “Sentiment has recovered somewhat after a catastrophic few months,” the Munich-based researcher said. Its index reading was 79.5 points in May, up from a downwardly revised 74.2 points in April. Klaus Wohlrabe, economist at the institute, said: “The German economy is again seeing light at the end of the tunnel. But we are still far away from optimism.” Although the outlook is improving, second-quarter growth will be dismal. Ifo said that German GDP would shrink by more than 10 per cent. Factory order books remain weak and businesses still expect exports to fall. Germany is already in recession after contracting in both the final quarter of last year and the first three months of 2020.
26th May 2020 - The Times

What can we expect from 'phase 2' of France's lockdown?

The initial loosening of France's strict lockdown on May 11th was a three-week phase, so as that moves to a close what can we expect from phase 2 of the 'déconfinement'?
26th May 2020 - The Local France

South Korea unveils new coronavirus rules, including bars registering all patrons

South Koreans will be required to wear masks when using public transportation and taxis nationwide starting Tuesday as health authorities look for more ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus as people increase their public activities. Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho on Monday said masks also will be enforced on all domestic and international flights from Wednesday. From June, owners of "high-risk" facilities such as bars, clubs, gyms, karaoke rooms and concert halls will be required to use smartphone QR codes to register customers so they can be tracked down more easily when infections occur.
26th May 2020 - CBS News

Poor Countries Weigh Easing Lockdowns as Coronavirus Cases Continue to Rise

“We looked into all the scenarios, including total lockdown, but to be honest we can’t afford it,” Egyptian Information Minister Osama Heikal said in a television interview last week. Pakistan’s top court last week ordered all stores to be allowed to open, including shopping malls in Karachi, arguing that the government was focusing too much on stopping the spread of the pandemic. While leaders in wealthier countries face similar trade-offs, the dilemma for leaders in developing countries is especially stark: Each week that the reopening is postponed creates more poverty, increasing chances of social unrest and violence. But reopening too soon may cause new outbreaks.
26th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Japan Ends Coronavirus Emergency With 850 Deaths and No Lockdown

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced the end of his state of emergency declaration for the novel coronavirus pandemic, with just 851 deaths reported and without ever implementing a lockdown. "I have decided to end the state of emergency across the nation," Abe said during a televised press conference on Monday. "In just over a month and a half, we almost brought (the infection) situation under control." Abe cautioned that lifting the order did not mean that the novel virus was gone from Japan. "Our battle against the virus will continue," he said, while urging the Japanese people to continue following stringent social distancing guidance.
26th May 2020 - Newsweek

Europe lifts virus shutters as Japan ends emergency - The Jakarta Post

Europeans flocked to parks, gyms and pools on Monday as more countries eased coronavirus restrictions, while Japan lifted its state of emergency but urged vigilance to avoid another wave of infections. In the United States, as the pandemic death toll approached the horrific milestone of 100,000, stir-crazy Americans also headed en masse to beaches and parks for the big Memorial Day weekend.
26th May 2020 - Jakarta Post

Call to fast-track bike lanes to boost jobs and take advantage of lockdown-induced bicycle sales

Australia’s peak cycling organisation is calling on governments to capitalise on a surge in lockdown-induced bicycle sales by fast-tracking the construction of all 750km of planned bike lanes around the country, a move it says would promote physically distanced commuting while taking “tens of thousands” of cars off city roads. The rising interest in cycling has also been noticed by Queensland’s transport and roads minister, Mark Bailey, who told the Guardian the Palaszczuk government would consider “further investments in cycleways across Queensland in the near future” as a result of the demand.
26th May 2020 - The Guardian

Australia to outline economic recovery plans as lockdowns ease

With Australia confident it has suppressed the spread of coronavirus, Morrison will on Tuesday turn to how to revive the country’s economy as debt levels rise to about 30% of GDP. Morrison will say in a speech that tax reform, deregulation and lower energy costs will be central to stimulating economic growth as Canberra begins to unwind its more than A$250 billion worth of stimulus.
26th May 2020 - Financial Post

Coronavirus update: German COVID-19 restrictions could be eased earlier than expected, local media reports

Thailand will extend its state of emergency until the end of June, despite the country’s dwindling number of Covid-19 cases and a gradual easing of lockdown measures. Germany may ease social-distancing steps a week earlier than previously planned and aims to lift a travel warning for 31 European countries, German media reports. Brazil has recorded more coronavirus deaths in a day than the United States, even as some leaders in the South American nation consider loosening lockdown measures. Closer to home, the southern hemisphere's first human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine have started in Melbourne, with the program set to expand to Brisbane within a week
26th May 2020 - ABC News

Australia’s coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions explained: how far can I travel, and can I have people over?

Australians have been slowly emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns since the federal government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease restrictions across the country. It is up to each state and territory to decide when and how far they will relax restrictions. Here we try to answer some of the most common questions people have about the laws, based on the information current as of 25 May.
26th May 2020 - The Guardian

Dr Hilary Jones replacement explains lockdown guidelines means you can’t travel 50 miles to sit in garden

The telly doc went on to explain the rationale behind the current rules against meeting loved ones in their gardens, saying it’s very easy to slip into bad habits such as using their toilet. ‘Those are the rules,’ Dr Mark added. ‘You cannot and should not go to your sister’s garden but you can meet her in a park near her house.’
26th May 2020 - Metro

BBQs, groups of 10 and seeing parents again in June lockdown plans

The Prime Minister revealed during Monday’s press conference that markets and car dealerships will be able to open from June 1, while all ‘non-essential’ retail will begin resuming from June 15. The changes are dependent on the coronavirus daily death toll continuing to fall. Now the government is reportedly working on proposals to allow small social gatherings outdoors, such as garden parties or barbecues. The plans are said to be part of a wider implementation of ‘social bubbles’, which could see people mix with up to 10 other people at a time.
26th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

A four-day work week in New Zealand could boost domestic travel

According to Prime Minister Ardern, 60 percent of New Zealand is dependent on tourism. Therefore, New Zealanders should travel domestically in order to support the tourism industry. She believes that a four-day work week will leave enough time for domestic travel. She has left employers and employees to decide on the four-day work week scenario; and rightly pointed out that the lockdown has caused us to learn a lot about our work; about how it is really possible to be productive while working from home.
26th May 2020 - Times of India

Coronavirus: Ireland records no new COVID-19 deaths as Varadkar hails 'day of hope'

"First day with no reported #CoVid19 deaths since March 21st. This is a day of hope. We will prevail." Dr Tony Holohan, Ireland's chief medical officer, said figures over the past week indicated "we have suppressed COVID-19 as a country". He added: "It has taken strict measures to achieve this. "It will take another week to see any effect on disease incidence that might arise from the easing of measures in Phase 1."
25th May 2020 - Sky News

The full list of lockdown measures that will be lifted next week as Australia's active coronavirus cases fall below 500 for the first time since March 17

WA lifting most internal travel restrictions but interstate borders remain shut. Tasmania eases aged care restrictions, announces infrastructure spend. South Australia to open venues from June 1 to up to 80 people in groups of 20. NSW suspects a newly diagnosed Sydney woman may have been sick for weeks Hospitality industry lobbies for spillover trade onto parks and footpaths in NSW Victoria lifts restrictions, prepares for Stage Two easing on June 1 Queensland, WA remain firm on border closures despite industry pressure Tasmania allows aged care residents to have two visitors in a single day
25th May 2020 - Daily Mail


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th May 2020

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Belgium will not return to tough lockdown: minister

Belgium will not return to the strict measures imposed for nearly two months to combat the coronavirus outbreak even if there is a second wave of COVID-19 cases, the country’s interior minister has said. The country of 11.5 million people effectively closed down in mid-March, with only shops selling food and pharmacies operating, although other activities have steadily resumed in May, including the reopening of non-food stores. “The first lockdown has taken care of the situation in which we have ended up. These were exceptional circumstances, but we never had Italian or Spanish conditions,” Pieter De Crem told VTM broadcaster on Sunday.
25th May 2020 - Metro US

When will hotels open in the UK? The latest on domestic holidays resuming, and current lockdown rules explained

Lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease across the UK, with some businesses beginning to reopen their doors to the public. But when will hotels, B&Bs and other holiday accommodation be allowed to do the same? This is everything you need to know.
25th May 2020 - iNews

UK ready to move to phase two from next week with more lockdown easing

Family ‘bubbles’ could be extended to one other household and non-essential shops are set to reopen from next week as lockdown measures will be lifted. Speaking at the daily No 10 press briefing on Sunday evening, Boris Johnson announced that the country is ‘now in a position’ to move to phase two of Covid-19 restrictions. According to the government’s 50-page coronavirus exit strategy, phase two will kick in from June 1
25th May 2020 - Metro

Coronavirus: Government publishes 'phase two' contact training guidelines

The government has given the go-ahead for elite athletes to return to contact training - when individual sports deem it safe to do so. The government advises beginning with clusters of two or three athletes, then progressing to groups of four to 12 and ultimately full team training. It is up to individual sports to assess the risk and consult athletes, coaches and support staff. The Premier League will discuss the guidance at a meeting on Wednesday. Clubs in England's top flight returned to 'phase one' non-contact training on 19 May. Contact training is phase two in a three-stage plan, with the final phase - the resumption of sport behind closed doors - expected to begin in June.
25th May 2020 - BBC News

Phase two of UK lockdown could see family 'bubbles' widen and shops reopen

Boris Johnson's latest signal that the lockdown is easing as the Prime Minister confirmed the phased reopening of England's primary schools will commence on June 1. He is also, according to Government sources, set to reveal plans to ease restrictions for certain sectors of the economy - with the changes expected to signal the reopening of some non-essential shops - when the Cabinet meets on Monday. The Prime Minister is sticking to his date for schools opening in England but acknowledged "it may not be possible" for all of them to do so by June 1.
25th May 2020 - Liverpool Echo

German state is first to abolish enforced lockdown restrictions

A region of Germany has drawn heavy criticism for its plan to become one of the first in Europe to abolish its coronavirus restrictions wholesale and replace them with non-binding advice. The eastern state of Thuringia plans to lift every vestige of its lockdown — including a ban on mass gatherings, an obligation to wear facemasks in shops and a requirement to stay at least 1.5m apart in public — from June 6. Its left-wing chief minister has been accused of “trivialising” the threat from the disease only a fortnight after the infection rates in two of its counties breached a national safety limit set by Angela Merkel, the chancellor.
25th May 2020 - The Times

Putin back in Kremlin, Russia looks to ease lockdown in some regions

President Vladimir Putin made a rare lockdown appearance in the Kremlin on Monday after officials said improvements in the coronavirus situation may allow Russia to re-open some tourist resorts soon and relax restrictions in many regions. Russia, which has reported the world's third most coronavirus cases, confirmed 8,946 new infections on Monday, bringing its nationwide tally to 353,427. Officials reported 92 new deaths, pushing the toll to 3,633. Moscow, Russia's worst-hit region, is entering its ninth week of lockdown. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said it is too early to lift restrictions but allowed state registry offices to open in the capital from Monday. Russia's borders remain closed, as are schools and most non-essential shops, but Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin urged Russians on Monday not to travel abroad on holiday this summer.
25th May 2020 - YAHOO!

German state causes alarm with plans to ease lockdown measures

Negotiations in Germany over a nationwide approach to relaxing lockdown measures were said to be in disarray after the state of Thuringia announced it was going it alone. The federal government cancelled a meeting of its “corona cabinet” after Thuringia’s premier, Bodo Ramelow, announced his state would end both the obligatory wearing of face coverings and the limit on the number of people allowed to gather within the next two weeks.
25th May 2020 - The Guardian

Italy seeks 60,000 volunteers to enforce coronavirus rules

Italian officials have proposed creating a 60,000-strong corps of volunteer civic assistants who would remind people of the need to observe measures against coronavirus infection as the country emerges from lockdown.
25th May 2020 - The Local

Spain urges tourists to return from July as lockdown eases

Spain urged foreign holidaymakers on Monday (May 25) to return from July as one of Europe's strictest lockdowns eased, though tourism businesses were sceptical about salvaging the summer season. The world's second-most visited nation closed its doors and beaches in March to handle the Covid-19 pandemic, imposing a two-week quarantine on overseas visitors. But that requirement will be lifted from July 1, a government statement said. "The worst is behind us," Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya tweeted with emojis of a bikini, sunglasses and a suitcase.
25th May 2020 - The Straits Times

Coronavirus outbreak: Five ways Europe is easing lockdown

Europe is opening up further, with its citizens tasting freedoms they missed during the coronavirus pandemic. The scope of the relaxation varies but here are some of the highlights.
25th May 2020 - BBC News

What can we expect from 'phase 2' of France's lockdown?

The initial loosening of France's strict lockdown on May 11th was a three-week phase, so as that moves to a close what can we expect from phase 2 of the 'déconfinement'?
25th May 2020 - The Local

Palestinian government ends coronavirus lockdown

The Palestinian government is ending its two-month coronavirus lockdown in the occupied West Bank, prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh announced Monday after a steady decline in new cases. Shops and businesses will operate as normal from Tuesday, while government employees will return to work after the Eid holiday on Wednesday, Shtayyeh told a press conference. Mosques, churches and public parks will also reopen, though with social distancing measures. Public transport will resume.
25th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Countries try 'travel bubbles' to save post-lockdown tourist season

The European nations of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have already created what they are calling a "Baltic travel bubble," allowing one another's citizens to travel among the three states without having to self-isolate on arrival. All three countries managed to contain their viral outbreaks with only dozens of deaths. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told NBC News the "bubble" is important for the country's tourism sector, which makes up five percent of its gross domestic product, or GDP, and is the first of its kind in the European Union. For nationals of other countries, quarantine restrictions will still apply, he said.
25th May 2020 - NBC News

Press review: Russian regions lift quarantines and Sweden isolated for being lockdown-free

"The epidemiological situation is now stable in Moscow and the Moscow Region," Head physician of the Leader of Medicine Center, and infectious disease specialist Evgeny Timakov told Izvestia. "But it is important to continue social distancing and wear masks when visiting public places and using transport," he added. So far, 44 of the 85 Russian regions can begin the first stage of lifting the Covid-19-related restrictions, according to the country's chief sanitary officer Anna Popova. The acute period of the pandemic in Russia is ending, but there are still regions where the incidence rate is higher than average, Chief infectious diseases specialist at the Ministry of Health Elena Malinnikova told Izvestia. According to her, even if the second wave of the pandemic begins, it will be less active
25th May 2020 - TASS

South Korea to send masks to Korean adoptees living abroad

South Korea will this week send 370,000 face masks to Korean adoptees living in 14 countries severely affected by the coronavirus, with about 60 percent going to the United States. About 50 masks would be made available to each adoptee who had submitted a request via their consulate, the director-general for overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Bureau of South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Byun Chul Hwan, told NBC News.
25th May 2020 - NBC News

Asia Today: South Korea to require masks on transit, flights

South Koreans will be required to wear masks when using public transportation and taxis nationwide starting Tuesday as authorities look for more ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus as people increase their public activities. Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho on Monday said masks will also be required on all domestic and international flights from Wednesday. From June, owners of “high-risk” facilities such as bars, clubs, gyms, karaoke rooms and concert halls will be required to use smartphone QR codes to register customers so they can be tracked down more easily when infections occur.
25th May 2020 - ABC News

Japan lifts state of emergency after fall in coronavirus cases

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzō Abe, has lifted the country’s state of emergency after a marked fall in new coronavirus cases in Tokyo and other hard-hit regions that were still subject to the measure. Abe declared the state of emergency in Tokyo and several other areas on 7 April before quickly expanding it nationwide. After lifting the restrictions in most areas earlier this month, he said on Monday that new infections had slowed enough to justify an easing of restrictions on businesses, bars and restaurants throughout the country, adding that hospitals were treating far fewer patients than at the height of the outbreak. But he urged people to remain vigilant and adopt a “new lifestyle” based around avoidance of the “three Cs” – confined and crowded spaces, and close human contact – to prevent a second wave of infections.
25th May 2020 - The Guardian

‘Japan model’ has beaten coronavirus, Shinzo Abe declares

Prime minister Shinzo Abe has declared victory for the “Japan model” of fighting coronavirus as he lifted a nationwide state of emergency after seven weeks. Speaking at a press conference on Monday evening in Tokyo, Mr Abe said that Japan had avoided an explosive increase in cases without the compulsory lockdowns used in Europe or the US. The ending of the state of emergency in the last five prefectures it covered — Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Hokkaido — will mean that the world’s fourth-largest economy can start to reopen for business.
25th May 2020 - The Financial Times

South Africa moving to ease lockdown

South Africa's government says it will ease its coronavirus lockdown measures next month despite a recent surge in cases. The South African government closed its borders, imposed restrictions on the movement of people, and shut down its economy in late March in an effort to contain the virus. But the measure has led to a sharp rise in the unemployment rate and has imposed burdens on poor people who account for nearly a half of the population. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday, saying that the burden brought on by the lockdown has been most severe for those least able to bear it, and that it is time for most of South Africans to return to work.
25th May 2020 - NHK WORLD

How Did Japan Beat Coronavirus Without Lockdowns or Testing?

Analyzing just how Japan defied the odds and contained the virus while disregarding the playbook used by other successful countries has become a national conversation. Only one thing is agreed upon: that there was no silver bullet, no one factor that made the difference.
25th May 2020 - TIME

Coronavirus Australia: How each state is easing COVID-19 restrictions

Physical distancing and handwashing are still the order of the day but socialising, in moderation, and gathering in (small) groups outdoors are back in our tentative post-ISO world. With the number of COVID-19 cases relatively low compared with most other nations, the federal government has provided a three-step roadmap for states and territories to start carefully relaxing some restrictions on our movement. The usual "common sense" caveats remain. "Regulation can achieve things but every individual has to do more than regulation," says Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy.
25th May 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

The latest on which coronavirus lockdown restrictions will be eased in each state and territory across Australia this week

Another week means another batch of coronavirus restrictions are soon to be eased. On Sunday, a number of state and territory leaders announced new plans to reopen their jurisdictions, and this week more scheduled changes will come into effect. Get a quick snapshot of what each state and territory has planned for this week and the weeks ahead.
25th May 2020 - ABC News

'Highly unlikely' we'll return to lockdown, Health Minister says

Health Minister Greg Hunt says states and territories are not likely to return to a lockdown situation again once restrictions to curb COVID-19 are lifted. Mr Hunt said in the case of any future outbreak of the coronavirus, "localised rings of containment" would instead be deployed."That is the model we have for Australia. If there is a suburban, facility-based, or regional outbreak, we want those localised rings of containment," the Health Minister said. Mr Hunt added that it would only be "if there was systemic, statewide" community transmission that a state or territory would revert back to a lockdown.
25th May 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

Spain welcomes new stages of coronavirus deescalation plan

Residents in Spain welcomed relaxed lockdown conditions on Monday, as much of the country moved to a new stage of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan. The regions of Madrid and Castilla y León as well as the metropolitan area of Barcelona entered Phase 1, which allows sidewalk cafés to reopen at 50% capacity and social gatherings of up to 10 people, while 14 of Spain’s 17 regions either partially or completely transitioned to Phase 2, which permits beaches and schools to reopen.
25th May 2020 - El Pais


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th May 2020

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Lufthansa to resume flights to 20 destinations from mid-June

Lufthansa which is in talks with the German government over a 9 billion euro ($9.8 billion) bailout, will resume flights to 20 destinations from mid-June, including some holiday hot-spots, a spokeswoman said on Sunday. The destinations include Mallorca, Crete, Rhodes, Faro, Venice, Ibiza and Malaga, the spokeswoman said, adding flights would depart from the airline’s main hub in Frankfurt. Further destinations will be unveiled at the end of next week, she said.
24th May 2020 - Reuters

Cuomo says New York State is 'decidedly in the reopening phase'

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the state will take steps toward reopening this week even as the battle against the coronavirus continues. Though daily deaths in the state went above 100 again on Saturday, the overall numbers in the coronavirus battle are trending in the right direction, he said during a daily briefing held at Jones Beach. "We're decidedly in the reopening phase," he said.
24th May 2020 - CNN

Australia calls on younger people to get virus tests as reopening accelerates

New South Wales in Australia said it recorded just three new cases of the coronavirus yesterday and urged younger people to get tested as it prepares to further loosen restrictions on pubs and restaurants. NSW, which includes the city of Sydney, is home to nearly half Australia's roughly 7,100 coronavirus cases and plans to let pubs and restaurants host up to 50 seated patrons from 1 June, 40 more than currently allowed. That has prompted health officials to remind people to maintain social distancing measures and increase testing to prevent a "second wave" of infections. "As we move forward and as we try to relax the restrictions that we have lived under for the past two months, it is ... absolutely crucial that people come forward for testing if they have the slightest hint of any respiratory issues," NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said in a televised news conference."
24th May 2020 - RTE Online

The government can’t just follow the science – we need ethics to guide us out of lockdown

We need leadership that openly and transparently consults with ethicists to determine the best, most ethical, way for our country to navigate the pandemic. Ethics is the cartographer that can show us the right road to take. It can help us determine not what we can do, but what we should do. For example, we can collect personal data through track and trace technology, but what should we do with that data? How do we use it in such a way that it protects the public, while also preserving privacy, avoiding use of that data to discriminate or profit from those affected by the virus? We need to follow the ethics just as much as the government claims to be following the science in order to answer those questions.
24th May 2020 - The Independent

Boris Johnson announces schools will reopen on 1 June as UK enters phase 2 of lockdown exit

The partial reopening of primary schools will go ahead as planned on 1 June as part of phase 2 of the lockdown exit strategy, Boris Johnson has announced. The announcement was made in the face of widespread opposition from unions and councils,
24th May 2020 - The Independent on MSN.com

Spain to reopen to tourists as South America named virus hotspot

Spain said on Saturday it would let in foreign tourists and restart top league football in the coming weeks, accelerating Europe’s exit from strict coronavirus lockdowns, even as the disease continued its deadly surge in parts of South America. Brazil saw its death toll passing 22,000 on Saturday from more than 347,000 infections, the second biggest caseload of any country in a pandemic. And as much of the United States tiptoed out of lockdown at the start of the Memorial Day weekend which unofficially marks the beginning of summer, President Donald Trump sent a clear signal he was personally embracing normalization — he went golfing, his first such outing since March 8.
24th May 2020 - Manila Bulletin

Boris Johnson announces schools will reopen on 1 June as UK enters phase two of lockdown exit

A major teaching union has warned that Boris Johnson's decision to press ahead with a partial reopening of primary schools in England on 1 June is "seriously at odds" with scientific evidence about the risk of coronavirus infection to pupils, teachers and parents sparking a second wave of Covid-19. And a second union said it would not be right for schools - which have been open only to vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers during lockdown - to open more widely at the start of next month.
24th May 2020 - The Independent

Uhuru and Magufuli agree to resolve border stand-off caused by COVID-19

Kenya and Tanzanian governments have moved to resolve their border standoff that has paralysed transport for several days over a tedious COVID-19 testing procedure that locked out many drivers. The stand-off escalated this week when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the closure of the Namanga border and all other routes to and from the country following increased cases of COVID-19 by drivers from the neighbouring country. By the time he announced the closure, more than 20 Tanzanian truck drivers had been turned away at the border after testing positive for the virus.
23rd May 2020 - Capital FM Kenya

Spain Relaxes Lockdown As South America Named New Epicentre

Spain said on Saturday it would let in foreign tourists and restart top league football in the coming weeks, accelerating Europe's exit from strict virus lockdown, as South America was labelled "a new epicentre" by the World Health Organization. Brazil led the surge across South America, its death toll passing 21,000 on Friday from 330,000 infections, the third biggest caseload of any country in a pandemic that has infected 5.25 million globally and killed more than 338,000.
23rd May 2020 - International Business Times

Study estimates 24 states still have uncontrolled coronavirus spread

The coronavirus may still be spreading at epidemic rates in 24 states, particularly in the South and Midwest, according to new research that highlights the risk of a second wave of infections in places that reopen too quickly or without sufficient precautions. Researchers at Imperial College London created a model that incorporates cellphone data showing that people sharply reduced their movements after stay-at-home orders were broadly imposed in March. With restrictions now easing and mobility increasing with the approach of Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer, the researchers developed an estimate of viral spread as of May 17.
23rd May 2020 - The Washington Post

Spain will reopen to tourists in July

Spain will open its borders to international tourists from July, the prime minister has announced. In a televised speech setting out further details of his country’s lockdown exit plan, Pedro Sanchez said: ‘From now, foreign tourists can plan their holidays in our country.’ He added: ‘Spain needs tourism, and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination. We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks and they will not bring us any risks. ‘There will be no opposing forces between health and business. Spanish tourism will now have two hallmarks: environmental sustainability and health safety.’
23rd May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Over 40 Churchgoers Who Attended Service After Lockdown Have Contracted Coronavirus In Germany

More than 40 churchgoers who attended a service after lockdown was eased in Germany earlier this month have contracted coronavirus, officials say. The service was held on 10 May at a Baptist church in Frankfurt. Church officials say they followed social distancing rules and disinfected the building ahead of the service. Each of Germany's 16 states determines its own lockdown exit plans. Hesse, where Frankfurt located, relaxed restrictions on worship on 1 May.
23rd May 2020 - Peace FM Online

All 50 U.S. states have taken steps toward reopening in time for Memorial Day weekend

The coronavirus’s U.S. death toll surpassed 90,000 on Tuesday, as states moved forward to reopen as Memorial Day weekend approaches. By Wednesday, all 50 states will have begun lifting restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Many public health officials and politicians, however, continued to raise concerns that increased activity would put Americans at greater risk of a new surge of infections.
22nd May 2020 - The Washington Post

COVID-19 cases rise in Juarez and El Paso as Mexico readies for reopening of factories

The target date for reopening is June 1, although some officials say work may begin as early as Monday. The massive, multibillion-dollar international supply chain — which connects cities across Mexico and the U.S., including Dallas — stretches across El Paso and Juarez, one of the border regions hardest hit by COVID-19.
22nd May 2020 - The Dallas Morning News

'Communicate In Clear Terms Lockdown Exit Strategy': Opposition Lists 11 Demands For Centre On Covid-19

Leaders of 22 opposition parties on Friday accused the Centre of “unabashedly” usurping powers of states and demanded restoration of Parliament functioning and oversight with immediate effect. The opposition parties also demanded immediate reversal of all 'unilateral policy decisions', especially on the changes in labour laws. The leaders, who attended a meeting of opposition parties convened by the Congress through video conferencing, discussed the current situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown induced by it. They put forth an 11-point charter of demands for the Centre at the virtual meeting.
22nd May 2020 - Outlook India

Hitting the lockdown exit sweet spot

There’s a middle ground between a hard lockdown and a hard exit. Amid rising frustration and anxiety levels, policymakers are working on finding it
21st May 2020 - Business Day


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd May 2020

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Scotland's lockdown to be eased from May 28 but Nicola Sturgeon says schools won't return until August

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled a “careful relaxation” of lockdown measures from Thursday, May 28. The gradual easing of restrictions will allow non-contact sports, such as golf and tennis, and meeting people from “one other household” outside and while social distancing will be permitted. But schools will not return until August 11 - with the start of a new school year. Garden centres and waste and recycling facilities will also be allowed to open as part of phase one of the route map.
21st May 2020 - ITV

Coronavirus: New rules for flyers as India looks to start domestic flights

India is set to resume domestic flights on Monday, two months after a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. However, the "new normal" will also see new rules for flyers - passengers will need to have downloaded a government contact-tracing app, and they will also be subject to thermal screening. Flyers will also need to wear masks and gloves while inside airports. Civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri said all airports and airlines had been told to prepare for operations.
21st May 2020 - BBC News

The Road to Recovery: How Targeted Lockdowns for Seniors Can Help the U.S. Reopen

The choice between protecting lives and economic recovery is complex and difficult–not least because politicians and the public alike disagree on the trade-off between excess deaths from the pandemic and the economic damages. But our study shows, no matter what the priorities are, targeted policies bring both public-health and economic benefits.
21st May 2020 - TIME

Massachusetts and Connecticut join rest of US in lifting COVID-19 lockdowns

Connecticut and Massachusetts both lifted COVID-19 restrictions this week. It means all 50 states have now at least partially reopened following weeks-long shutdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus. Connecticut on Wednesday allowed the reopening of outdoor dining areas, offices, retail shops, museums and zoos, and outdoor recreation businesses. Massachusetts on Monday allowed manufacturing and construction to start. Offices, personal care services and retail businesses can start from next week. Currently, there are more than 1.5 million infections in the US and over 92,000 deaths.
21st May 2020 - Daily Mail

Scotland lockdown route map explained: How each phase of the Scottish exit plan to lift coronavirus rules will work

The Scottish Government has published its route map for exiting the coronavirus lockdown, which will be done in four phases. Here is a summary of its main points.
21st May 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: Scottish lockdown easing to begin next week

Lockdown restrictions in Scotland are likely to be relaxed slightly from 28 May, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed. The first minister made the announcement as she unveiled a four-phase "route map" aimed at restarting society while suppressing the virus. The first phase will include allowing people to meet outside with people from one other household. Schools will reopen on 11 August - meaning many will return a week earlier than planned after the summer holiday. But the first minister said children will return to a "blended model" where they will do a mix of school and home learning
21st May 2020 - BBC News

Will summer holidays go ahead in 2020? When might tourism in the UK and abroad start after lockdown?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently said he would certainly not be booking a summer holiday at present. Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme in April, Mr Shapps said that "clearly people will want to see what the trajectory of this disease is in the next few weeks". "I won't be booking a summer holiday at this point, let's put it that way."
21st May 2020 - The Scotsman

As Italy prepares to open borders to tourists, Spain opts for caution

While Italy has reactivated almost all business activity in the country and will open its borders to tourists on June 3, the Spanish government has decided on a more cautious route. Under Spain’s deescalation plan, travel within the country will not be allowed until at least the end of June. Health authorities have indicated that the summer holiday season will start later this year and be focused on domestic – not international – tourism. Indeed, Spain has not set a date to reopen its borders to tourists, and just recently introduced a 14-day quarantine for international travelers, which will be in place until at least June 7, when the current state of alarm is set to end.
21st May 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

In Spain, Valencia stands alone in not requesting looser lockdown

The Valencia region has become the first area of Spain to voluntarily slow down its coronavirus deescalation process. The eastern territory will wait one more week before requesting a transition to Phase 2 of the four-phase plan introduced by the central government to slow the spread of Covid-19. The decision comes after regional health authorities detected a slight spike in contagion figures. “We don’t have any outbreaks, but we want to wait out this week,” said the regional health chief, Ana Barceló. “We will remain in Phase 1 for another seven days.”
21st May 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Cyprus ends virus lockdown but airports stay shut

The Cypriot government ended a strict coronavirus lockdown Thursday, reopening outdoor restaurants, barber shops and beaches, but keeping the Mediterranean resort island's vital airports and hotels closed for now. After two months of living in self-isolation, Cypriots are allowed to move around freely again. Some 32,000 more people went back to work as part of the government's second stage out of lockdown.
21st May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Maryland offering coronavirus tests to asymptomatic people to support lockdown being lifted

Maryland governor Larry Hogan said on Tuesday that people who have been exposed to the novel coronavirus but show no symptoms can get tested at state-run sites, an expansion that follows complaints from local leaders that a lack of testing has made it more difficult to ease shutdown restrictions. Although hospitalisations and deaths have mostly flattened across Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, dozens of fatalities are still reported each day, including the death over the weekend of a 15-year-old girl from Baltimore County.
21st May 2020 - Independent

Immunity passports could help end lockdown, but risk class divides and intentional infections

If you’ve already recovered from the coronavirus, can you go back to the workplace carefree? This is the question governments including in the UK, Chile, Germany and Italy are trying to answer by considering immunity passports. These would be physical or digital documents given to people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 and are immune from the disease for a period of time. This would enable them to return to the workplace or even travel. But there are serious concerns that immunity passports could create two classes of citizen and provide a perverse incentive to contract the virus deliberately.
21st May 2020 - The Conversation AU

Coronavirus: Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore have had no Covid deaths in care homes - so what can they teach us?

It is hard to fathom, given what we know now, that as recently as March care home operators were being told that they were “very unlikely” to experience an outbreak of Covid. The Public Health England guidance, first issued on February 25 and adopted UK-wide, twice states that people receiving care in the community or in residential homes were “very unlikely” to become infected. The document was finally withdrawn on March 13 –coincidentally the same date that Scotland’s first Covid patient died – though the majority of care home providers in Scotland had already closed their doors to visitors two days earlier as the scale of the potential threat became clear.
21st May 2020 - HeraldScotland

South Korea shows what "world-beating" coronavirus tracing programme looks like

This story from South Korea shows just how far they have to go to get a system which is truly "world-beating". Having thought they had beaten coronavirus completely, officials detected a coronavirus outbreak centred on a nightclub in the Itaewon district in Seoul. Their contact tracing system kicked into gear and tracked down and tested a remarkable 65,000 people who had been to the clubs in the area or been in contact with those who had. Results came back the next day and 170 tested positive for Covid-19 and were put into quarantine. 89 of those had been to the clubs and bars in Itaewon, while the rest had caught the disease from these people.
21st May 2020 - LBC

Why China and India shouldn't let coronavirus justify walking back climate action

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, India and China were positioning themselves as global climate leaders. While virus lockdowns have provided temporary blue skies from Delhi to Beijing, and beyond, as China and India prepare to resuscitate their economies experts warn doing so without environmental regard could wind back their previous good work on climate. That could have devastating effects on the health on billions of people. Air pollution already kills 7 million of us every year, damages our children's health and development, causes serious breathing and lung problems, and even affects babies in the womb.
21st May 2020 - CNN

Every US state eases lockdowns as Trump slams China for 'mass killings'

All 50 American states have now partially emerged from coronavirus lockdowns as President Donald Trump lashed China over global 'mass killings'. Connecticut has become the final state to begin lifting restrictions, allowing retail shops and restaurants to reopen their doors. Despite the reopening milestone, health officials say, Americans remain at risk of catching the highly transmissible and sometimes deadly virus. As of Tuesday, at least 17 states had registered an upward trend in average daily cases -- a rise of at least 10 per cent - over the previous seven days, according to an analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
21st May 2020 - 9News

Japan to ease coronavirus emergency in Osaka, nearby areas

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday lifted the state of emergency in the western Japanese prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, as the spread of the novel coronavirus has slowed enough to justify the gradual easing of curbs on economic activity. The Tokyo metropolitan area and Hokkaido in northern Japan will remain under the state of emergency but Abe said they may see it lifted as early as Monday after a review by health experts. The coronavirus emergency has ended in 42 of the country's 47 prefectures. In rejuvenating a recession-hit economy, the remaining five prefectures -- Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama and Hokkaido -- play an integral part as they make up about a third of national gross domestic product.
21st May 2020 - Kyodo News Plus

The Latest: Japan ending state of emergency in 3 prefectures

Japan’s economy minister says experts have approved a government plan to remove a coronavirus state of emergency in Osaka and two neighboring prefectures in the west where the infection is deemed slowing, while keeping the measure in place in the Tokyo region and Hokkaido. Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters that experts at the meeting approved the plan to lift the measure in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo. The measure will be kept in place in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, as well as Hokkaido, where the infections have slowed but need further improvement.
21st May 2020 - KTTC

Borders remain shut to avoid 'disastrous' return to lockdown

Cornerstone Group Senior Director James Cullen says it "makes sense" for state borders to remain shut in order to avoid a return to strict lockdown measures.He told Sky News it would be a “complete disaster for the economy and business” if the nation was forced to re-enter lockdown, but reiterated the national cabinet and leaders were “very reluctant to go backwards”.
21st May 2020 - Sky News Australia

Nicola Sturgeon lockdown announcement LIVE as First Minister reveals plan to lift restrictions

Nicola Sturgeon has outlined how Scotland will start the gradual process of easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions across the country. The First Minister's government has taken a very measured approach so far compared to England which has already begun to loosen the lockdown. Scots have been forced to stay indoor as much as possible in an attempt to prevent the spread of the deadly virus which has already killed more than 3,500 people. The SNP leader announced that restrictions will start to be eased from May 28. Earlier this week, the Daily Record exclusively revealed that school in Scotland will start to go back on August 11 under plans drawn up by the Scottish Government. And teachers would return in June to prepare for a new system of “blended” learning - with children spending half their school time in class and half at home.
21st May 2020 - Daily Record

New Zealand's Covid-19 Tracer app won't help open a 'travel bubble' with Australia anytime soon

New Zealanders finally have access to the government’s new tracing app to help people monitor their movements as lockdown continues to ease. As businesses can now open, the NZ COVID Tracer app allows people to keep a register of the places they visit. This “digital diary” can be used to contact people if it finds they have been in the same place as someone infected with COVID-19. But the app has some significant shortcomings. These won’t be addressed until at least June, which raises questions about whether it has been released too soon.
21st May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st May 2020

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What is level 3 of the UK lockdown? The next step of the coronavirus alert system explained, and what it means for lockdown rules

Moving down the 5-level alert system will bring with it a range of loosened lockdown restrictions
20th May 2020 - iNews

When is the next Scotland lockdown review? Date Scottish Government could change restrictions - and if shops will reopen

Lockdown measures across the UK are gradually starting to ease, with the Prime Minister outlining a three-phase plan to lift restrictions in England on 10 May
20th May 2020 - The Scotsman

The measures restaurants need to survive the UK lockdown and reopen, according to the industry

Two months into lockdown and the hospitality sector is still none the wiser on quite how it will emerge when the Government finally allows businesses to open. The industry was told this month that some restaurants, cafes and pubs will be allowed to open on 4 July, though much remains unclear as to how owners will do so safely, adhering to social distancing guidelines.
20th May 2020 - iNews

When is the next UK lockdown review? Date the government will review the coronavirus rules - and what to expect

Lockdown measures are now slowly starting to ease across the UK, with the Prime Minister announcing the first few changes to guidance in a national address on 10 May. Boris Johnson unveiled the government’s three-phase plan to bring the country out of lockdown, outlining a “road map for reopening society”. The changes announced in England included allowing unlimited amounts of exercise, sunbathing in local parks, outdoors picnics, driving to other destinations for day trips, and permitting one person from different households to meet in a public place, providing a two metre distance is maintained.
20th May 2020 - iNews

Parents in Germany receive 20 weeks' pay for loss of work while looking after children in lockdown

Parents in Germany will receive up to 20 weeks of wages if they have been unable to work while looking after children during the covid-19 pandemic. Under government proposals, single parents could be eligible for 20 weeks pay while cohabiting parents can apply for up to ten weeks of wages as a 'secondary salary payment', with an upper limit of €2,016 (£1,800) per month. A secondary salary payment would cover 67 per cent of cohabiting parents' post-tax salary if they have been unable to work while proving child care.
20th May 2020 - Daily Mail

From Gelaterias to Beach Resorts, This Is How Italy Is Getting Ready to Reopen After Coronavirus Lockdown

This week, two months after that lockdown was imposed, Italian shops, restaurants and other public areas will open their doors as the country hopes to bounce back. I spoke to the people I was supposed to meet during my trip back home, to try to understand how my country is preparing for this new, unknown, second phase.
20th May 2020 - TIME

Coronavirus: Spain makes masks compulsory in public

Spain has made it compulsory for all citizens, including children over six, to wear masks in public spaces as one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns gradually unwinds. The Health Ministry order said the masks – whose efficiency in curbing the coronavirus is hotly debated globally – would be needed from Thursday for indoor public spaces and outdoors when impossible to keep a two-metre distance.
20th May 2020 - Independent

Tourists welcome in Spain ‘as soon as possible’, with lockdown ‘lifted in June’

Holidaymakers will be welcomed back to Spain “as soon as possible”, but only when safe to do so, the country’s foreign minister has said. Spain, like the UK, was among the European countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and introduced lockdown measures on March 14, more than a week ahead of the UK. It has now begun lifting those restrictions in various regions, with plans to end lockdown next month.
20th May 2020 - YAHOO!

As Europe slowly exits lockdown, Sweden hunkers down for long haul

"This fight against COVID-19 is a marathon," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said recently, adding that his officials "strongly believe" their measures are viable for the long haul. While people in other European countries have gradually begun returning to their workplaces in recent weeks, Swedes have been strongly advised to continue working from home, and possibly not just for weeks, but for months to come.
20th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Emerging countries lift lockdowns despite Covid-19 cases surge

Brazil, India and Indonesia are leading a group of middle and low-income economies that have begun to ease lockdowns despite rising coronavirus infection numbers, as pressure grows to reopen businesses and curb rising poverty. These countries, together with Mexico, Russia and South Africa, account for more than a quarter of the global population, supply the world with crucial exports and have taken contentious decisions to start a return to normal life.
20th May 2020 - Financial Times

Lockdown Should Only Be Eased With Tracing System In Place, Says Government's Scientific Adviser

Asked whether it is too early to conclude, as ministers have, that the science says it is safe to return to schools on June 1, Dame Angela McLean told the Downing Street daily briefing: “Scientists have been very clear in our advice that changes to lockdown as we modelled them need a highly effective ‘track, trace and isolate’ system to be in place. “And we’re also very clear that any change to the social distancing measures should be based upon observed levels of incidence in places that those are going to be changed, not on a fixed date.”
20th May 2020 - Huffington Post UK

Test, trace, isolate is Scotland's only safe way out of lockdown

At long last a new contact tracing methodology is being piloted across three Scottish health boards. With 600 new trained workers in place, the exercise will test out software to collect data on a large scale, to build on existing contact tracing technology as part of a wider roll-out to extend testing, tracing and isolating measures along with support by the end of May. Only with this working effectively will Scotland safely and gradually be able to move out of lockdown.
20th May 2020 - The National

WHO reports record single-day number of new coronavirus cases

The World Health Organization on Wednesday reported the highest single-day increase of coronavirus cases worldwide, warning the gradual end of lockdowns in wealthier countries may be obscuring an increasing crisis in the developing world. Over the last 24 hours, 106,000 new cases of the virus were recorded, the body said, according to Reuters. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, said the world will “soon reach the tragic milestone of 5 million cases.”
20th May 2020 - The Hill

The man leading Wales' coronavirus lockdown strategy on what the future holds

People across Wales want to know when they will be able to arrange to go for a walk with their parents again, what the future holds for their lives, their families and their livelihoods. Cardiff West AM Mark Drakeford, the former social worker turned academic who is now Wales' First Minister, gave us an insight into his thinking about lockdown and what the future for all of us holds. We also asked him what he thought our lives might look like in January next year.
19th May 2020 - Wales Online


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th May 2020

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Mexico begins lifting Covid-19 lockdown despite fears worst is still to come

Local authorities across Mexico have resisted President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s call to lift emergency coronavirus measures in municipalities without confirmed Covid-19 cases, warning that the pandemic is far from over. The decision to resume comes amid questions over the Amlo administration’s coronavirus response, which has depended heavily on disease modeling and involved little testing and no contact tracing.
19th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: think tank ranks council wards in order of Covid risk, as it calls for lockdown to be lifted in low risk areas first

A map ranking the Covid risk for each of Scotland's 354 council wards has been created, with parts of Inverclyde and Clydebank most in danger. Researchers and analysts at new think tank Scotianomics used multiple dataset sets to draw up its Covid-19 Community Risks Index, the most detailed possible picture of which Scottish communities are most under threat.
19th May 2020 - HeraldScotland.com

Spain coronavirus lockdown: what restrictions have been eased - and if travel will be allowed this summer

Residents celebrated their restored freedom on Saturday (2 May) by cycling, walking and runing along the streets in Barcelona and Madrid, as the country begins its four-phase plan to lift its nationwide lockdown. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez aims to return the country to a “new normality” by the end of June.
19th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Coronavirus: Spain lifts ban on flights from Italy and reopens sea border as lockdown eased

Spain has lifted a ban on all sea and air travel coming from Italy as it looks to further ease lockdown restrictions, officials have confirmed. Travellers from Italy will have to comply, however, with a two-week quarantine like other foreign visitors, while a state of emergency remains in place. Officials in Madrid announced a nationwide lockdown on 14 March in a bid to help stop the spread of the disease, but have begun to loosen measures in recent weeks.
19th May 2020 - Independent

Spain says when UK tourists will be able to visit country again after lockdown

The country's transport minister has said that it hopes to restart its travel economy in time for the summer holidays. Currently, travel restrictions mean British holidaymakers cannot enter the country as its strict lockdown restrictions continue until May 24 - despite slight easing of the coronavirus confinement beginning to take place. The Spanish government extended its travel ban, meaning Brits and non-EU travellers will be denied entry, from May 15, up until June 15.
19th May 2020 - Manchester Evening News

France, Germany chart 500 bn euro virus rescue as European lockdown eases

France and Germany on Monday laid out plans for a 500-billion-euro ($544 billion) European fund backed by joint EU borrowing to fight the economic fallout from the coronavirus, as the continent pushed ahead towards normality with major landmarks reopening after a two month-hiatus. St Peter's Basilica and the Acropolis in Athens opened their doors to visitors alongside many European shops, restaurants and churches, as Italy reported that its daily death toll from the virus had fallen below 100 for the first time since early March. More than 4.7 million people have tested positive and 315,270 have been killed by the disease since it emerged in Wuhan late last year, according to an AFP tally. Recent days have seen soaring infections in Brazil, India and South Africa.
19th May 2020 - YAHOO!

French government ordered to lift coronavirus lockdown ban on religious meetings

France's highest administrative court ruled Monday that the government must lift a blanket ban on meetings at places of worship imposed as part of measures to combat the coronavirus. After receiving complaints from several individuals and associations, the Council of State said that such a ban on freedom of worship caused "a damage that is serious and manifestly illegal". It told the government to lift the ban within the next eight days. The latest government decree on measures to combat the coronavirus -- even after the lockdown in France was eased from May 11 -- bans all gatherings in places of worship except funerals which are limited to 20 people.
19th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Lockdown and release: Ontario's imperfect wall against COVID-19 is about to be severely tested

On Tuesday, the Ontario government begins the first stage of a gradual reopening of one of the country’s worst-hit provinces after almost two months of emergency lockdown. Mass physical distancing did little to prevent more than a thousand lonely deaths in long- term care across the province. It failed to prevent outbreaks among the homeless. It has still not brought the daily count of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario below 300. But as a first, imperfect, layer, physical distancing worked. It bought the province time: to shore up hospitals, to secure protective equipment, to expand testing and contact tracing. It gave the province space to prepare for what experts believe will be an 18-24-month fight against the virus in the community. It gave them time to build that imperfect wall.
19th May 2020 - National Post

Gujarat Lockdown 4.0 Guidelines Update: No relaxation in COVID-19 Containment Zones; Shops, offices to open

In a major relief to people affected due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Gujarat government on Monday announced several relaxations, including opening of markets and shops in non-containment zones, from Tuesday. While there will be no relaxations in containment zones, shops and offices in non-containment zone can remain open between 8 am and 4 pm, said Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. However, such business and commercial establishments need to follow odd-even formula, wherein only 50 per cent establishments can remain open on any given day. Moreover, the government has also allowed reopening of barber shops and salons in non-containment zones besides shops selling paan masala.
19th May 2020 - The Financial Express

Are New Zealand's new COVID-19 laws and powers really a step towards a police state?

Reaction to the New Zealand government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown has ranged from high praise to criticism that its actions were illegal and its management chaotic. Partly in response to the concerns, and to put the continued containment of the disease on a firmer legal footing, the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act was passed under urgency on May 14. It was quickly met with another wave of discontent.
19th May 2020 - The Conversation AU

Up to 1,500 English primary schools to defy 1 June reopening plan

Up to 1,500 primary schools in England are expected to remain closed on 1 June after a rebellion by at least 18 councils forced the government to say it had no plans to sanction them. As the backlash escalated over the government’s policy of lifting the coronavirus lockdown on schools in a fortnight, a number of new local authorities said on Tuesday they would not force primary schools in their area to follow the plan. Councils joining those already in opposition included Birmingham, Calderdale council in Yorkshire, and Conservative-controlled Solihull. In total they represent more than 1,500 maintained primaries.
19th May 2020 - The Guardian

Breaking: All University lectures to be online-only in 2020-21

A leaked email seen by Varsity outlines plans for all lectures in the 2020-21 academic year to be conducted virtually. Head of Education Services, Alice Benton wrote to Senior Tutors today (19/05) to inform them that the ‘General Board’s Education Committee’ has ‘agreed that, since it is highly likely that rigid social distancing will be required throughout the next academic year, there will be no face-to-face lectures next year.’ Benton writes that the ‘decision has been taken to provide a degree of certainty to facilitate Faculties and Departments when planning for educational delivery next academic year’ and proposes that the move is ‘in line with thinking across the sector’.
19th May 2020 - Varsity Online

Coronavirus: Security flaws found in NHS contact-tracing app

Wide-ranging security flaws have been flagged in the Covid-19 contact-tracing app being piloted in the Isle of Wight. The security researchers involved have warned the problems pose risks to users' privacy and could be abused to prevent contagion alerts being sent. GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) told the BBC it was already aware of most of the issues raised and is in the process of addressing them. But the researchers suggest a more fundamental rethink is required.
19th May 2020 - BBC News

Spain's King and Economy Minister at Event Over Lockdown Limit

Spain’s King Felipe gave a speech at a conference in Madrid on Monday attended by the economy minister and others in an audience over the size authorised for public events under the capital’s strict coronavirus lockdown rules. Pictures on the Spanish Royal House’s Twitter account showed at least 20 people at the event held by innovation foundation Cotec at the headquarters of telecom firm Telefonica. Spain is easing restrictions and regulations vary according to regions, but gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited in Madrid, Spain’s health ministry press office said in an email to Reuters.
18th May 2020 - Reuters


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 19th May 2020

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When will shops reopen? UK coronavirus lockdown plan for opening non-essential stores - and what the current rules say

Boris Johnson set out the government’s lockdown exit plan in a speech to the nation on Sunday (10 May), unveiling plans to begin to reopen some shops and getting the economy restarted. The UK entered lockdown on 23 March, with non-essential businesses temporarily closing their doors, including most retail outlets. The closure of shops during lockdown has had a significant impact on the retail industry, with clothing outlets Oasis and Warehouse closing permanently, resulting in the loss of 1,800 jobs.
18th May 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: Garden and recycling centre centres reopen as NI lockdown plan debated

Garden centres and recycling centres in NI can reopen from today, as part of the first steps to ease lockdown. Marriage ceremonies where a person is terminally ill are also allowed. Last week, the executive published a five-phase blueprint for lifting restrictions but it did not include a timeframe. Ministers have been meeting to decide whether the latest scientific advice means other restrictions can be lifted.
18th May 2020 - BBC News

Put Army on Scotland-England border to stop lockdown trips, says councillor

“The Scottish police force don’t have the capacity to stop every car that is crossing the Border. I personally would put the Army on the Border and get them to stop people. “It will get worse and I can see it getting steadily worse in Oban and if it’s the case in Oban, it’s the case across the Highlands and islands.” He added that there was a noticeable increase in the number people who were not local appearing in the area and said: “I have seen people in what are reported to be holiday homes, different people in different weeks. There are still people getting here one way or another and sitting in holiday homes.
18th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Fast in, first out: Denmark leads lockdown exit

Four weeks after Denmark began easing its lockdown, Danes on Monday returned to cafes and restaurants, confident that the coronavirus outbreak is under control. Denmark last month became the first country in Europe to reopen schools,
18th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Which European countries are easing travel restrictions?

As several European countries reopen restaurants, bars, shops and some attractions, we round up lockdown easing measures and travel restrictions country-by-country
18th May 2020 - The Guardian

Italy prepares to ease lockdown restrictions

Manfredi Catella, CEO of COIMA, discusses the lifting of lockdown measures in Italy.
18th May 2020 - CNBC

Coronavirus latest: Italy moves to lift travel restrictions as lockdown eases

The decision is a huge step in the country's efforts to kick-start its economy following two months of lockdown inactivity. Shops and restaurants are set to reopen on Monday providing that social distancing measures are adhered to. Religious services across faiths will also be allowed to go ahead from Monday. Worshippers will be asked to wear facemasks, as well as to adhere to social distancing restrictions.
18th May 2020 - iNews

Spain and Italy Ease Lockdown Restrictions

Spain and Italy, two of the hardest-hit European countries, eased coronavirus restrictions by opening shops and restaurants with new social distancing measures.
18th May 2020 - New York Times

Spain aims to reopen borders to tourism in late June

Tourism-dependent Spain aims to reopen its borders around the end of June as its coronavirus lockdown fully unwinds, a minister said on Monday, while deaths fell below 100 for the second day in a row. Madrid last week surprised its European Union partners by imposing a two-week quarantine on all overseas travellers and effectively keeping its borders closed, saying it wanted to avoid a second wave of COVID-19. But the move was meant to be temporary and Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said it would be phased out in parallel with travel being allowed within Spain.
18th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Lockdowns eased across Europe as UK, Italy and Spain record significant falls in daily death tolls

Lockdowns across Europe are being eased, as the UK, Italy and Spain recorded a significant drop in their daily Covid-19 death tolls over the weekend. On Monday, beaches, restaurants and bars will reopen in Italy, which was the first country in Europe to implement a national lockdown. The easing of restrictions comes after Italy recorded its lowest daily death toll since its lockdown started in early March, with 145 people dying from coronavirus in the 24 hours up to Sunday.
18th May 2020 - Independent

Coronavirus: European countries further relax restrictions

Italy and Spain are among a number of European countries further easing their coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Monday. Most businesses in Italy, including bars and hairdressers, are reopening after more than two months of nationwide lockdown measures. Spain meanwhile has slightly eased restrictions on some of its least affected islands. The measures follow consistent drops in the number of daily recorded deaths. On Sunday, Italy recorded the fewest daily deaths since it entered lockdown in March.
18th May 2020 - BBC South East Wales

Coronavirus: Don't book your holiday to France yet, as confusion over quarantine continues

The government then said there was no exemption for France and that talks were ongoing to negotiate how the border crossing would work to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is contained. Now, Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has said details of any quarantine between the UK and France are not yet confirmed. The Times has reported that lorry drivers travelling between the two countries could be among those who would be exempt from a two-week self-isolation period.
18th May 2020 - Sky News

ANALYSIS: The nervous wait to see if France got its lockdown strategy right

It was a couple of days before life started to look something like normal - perhaps too normal. There were reports on Sunday of crowds on beaches or river-banks all over France. In my tiny village in Normandy, I saw three large groups of walkers pass my house - three more than on a pre-virus Sunday. Who can blame them? Should we blame them? We will soon know. Confusing and contradictory figures exist but it appears to take three to five days - and up to 14 days - for the first symptoms of Covid-19 appear.
18th May 2020 - The Local France

Scotland aims to ease lockdown on 28 May

Coronavirus lockdown measures in Scotland could begin to be lifted from 28 May, Nicola Sturgeon has announced. The first minister said this would mean people could meet someone from another household as long as social distancing is maintained. More outdoor activities and sports like golf and fishing will also be allowed. Ms Sturgeon also announced that coronavirus testing will be extended to everyone in Scotland over the age of five who is displaying symptoms.
18th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus in the UK: Restaurants could sell food outdoors in next lockdown phase

Restaurants and pubs could be allowed to sell food and drink outdoors within the next few weeks as part of the next steps in easing the lockdown. The Government has now hired more than 17,000 contact tracers who will help to stop future outbreaks by identifying those who may have been infected with coronavirus. Ministers say the tracing system will be in place by the end of this month, potentially allowing further lockdown measures to be lifted.
18th May 2020 - iNews

NSW to unveil post-lockdown congestion management plan

The New South Wales government is set to unveil a plan today to manage the influx of people returning to work and school as the state moves out of lockdown. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has expressed concern over an increased use of roads and public transport, with more people likely to choose personal modes of transport to avoid being in close proximity to people on buses and trains. The plan to mitigate the added congestion would include new pop-up car parks, implementing social distancing on public transport and adding an extra cycling lane on some roads.
18th May 2020 - Sky News Australia

Expert says 4 key differences between US, Australia COVID-19 strategy

After months of lockdown, countries around the world are beginning to ease the lockdown restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus' spread. Some Australian states and territories have begun to loosen their coronavirus restrictions, which were implemented early on in the country's outbreak. The country's overall number of coronavirus cases per day has been largely decreasing since early April. The US is also eager to reopen its economy, and several US states have begun to loosen lockdown measures. But as a whole, the country is still seeing huge spikes in its number of cases, and experts say some states are yet to reach their peak. Dr. Lesley Russell, who advised both the US and Australian governments on health policy, told Insider how Australia managed to get ahead of the virus while the US continues to lag behind.
18th May 2020 - Business Insider

Australia’s coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions explained: how far can you travel, and can I visit my family or friends?

Politicians have said these rules are simple, but it is clear the public still has a lot of questions about coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions. In most states enforcement is left up to police officers’ discretion, therefore it is difficult to provide exact information on what is or isn’t allowed. Here we try to answer some of the most common questions people have about the new laws based on the information, though these answers should not be treated as legal advice. An asterisk indicates Guardian Australia has sought clarification from the state or territory government and will update when it is received.
18th May 2020 - The Guardian

This is where Australians can travel during coronavirus lockdown

Over the past several weeks, Australia has successfully flattened the curve, making it one of just a handful of countries ready to start easing restrictions designed to stop the spread of coronavirus. But with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in a war of words over when state borders should reopen, it is clear not every leader is ready for life to return to some semblance of normal. All over the country, there have been strict quarantines enforced with few, if any, exemptions. Here's a rundown of what to expect in each state and territory.
18th May 2020 - ABC News

New Zealand to roll out 'digital diary' app to help people track movements

New Zealand will launch a contact-tracing app on Wednesday to help people track their movements as the country eases one of the world's most rigid lockdowns designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the app can be best described as a 'digital diary' helping people to record their personal movements, adding the data would not be shared to anyone else besides the user. "It's just in case in the future if you find yourself with COVID-19, you've got an easy reference to tell where you've been over a period of time," Ardern said during a media briefing in Wellington. "It's for you, it's on your device, and it's your data and your information." New Zealand slightly eased curbs in late April and moved to 'level 2' in its scale of alert last week, allowing cafes, shops, restaurants and other public spaces including playgrounds to reopen under strict social distancing rules.
18th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus: Could London be allowed to ease its lockdown restrictions before the rest of UK?

Research suggesting the UK’s coronavirus infection rate varies significantly in different regions in England has sparked speculation over whether the government could lift lockdown restrictions at different times across the country. A study by Public Health England and the University of Cambridge‘s MRC Biostatic Unit found the rate of Covid-19 infections (R value) in England was on average 0.75 overall, but varied in different regions. This was most clear in London, which had an average R value of 0.4 ⁠— meaning for every 10 people who become infected with the virus, four other people will become infected.
16th May 2020 - Independent


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 18th May 2020

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Labour leader Keir Starmer calls for `four nations together'" approach for easing lock-down restrictions

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for a "four nations together" approach for easing coronavirus lock-down restrictions. Mr Starmer, who became party leader last month, said there had been an "incredible sense of solidarity" across the UK but the relationship between Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland "could" be put under strain if there was an increasing divergence in approaches from the respective governments to coronavirus. Mr Starmer was speaking on the BBC's Politics Wales programme one week after British Prime Minister Boris Johnston told people in England that they could "drive to other destinations" for exercise and leisure, during a live broadcast. In Wales, the Welsh Government re-stated people cannot travel "a significant distance" from home for exercise. The Labour leader blamed Mr Johnson for the way Wales and England had diverged in the easing of the lockdown. "I do think responsibility for that lies very largely with the prime minister, who I would have hoped could have got all the ducks in a row before he actually made his speech last Sunday," he said. "The sooner, frankly, we get back to operating as four nations together the better," he said.
18th May 2020 - The Irish News

Coronavirus: Italy set to throw open its borders in time for summer tourist season

Italy will reopen restaurants and coffee bars next week and allow travel in and out of the country next month as it continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown. A decree signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday means that the foreign travel ban will be lifted on 3 June - and people can also start moving freely across the country's regions on the same day. Mr Conte said that anybody entering Italy from an EU country from then onwards would not have to undergo a quarantine period. However he warned that while the Lombardy region could assess itself whether to reopen, the national government could intervene if the pandemic reemerged.
17th May 2020 - Sky News

Austrian borders with Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to reopen June 15

Austria’s borders with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary will fully reopen on June 15, the interior ministry said on Saturday, extending an easing of border controls to its eastern neighbours previously agreed with many of its neighbours to the west. The announcement follows a previously coordinated step to fully remove barriers on travel between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein from June 15 onwards and ease restrictions on who is allowed transit in the meantime. Restrictions remain in place for transit from Italy.
16th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Irish Government approves first phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions from Monday

The Irish Government has approved the first phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions from Monday. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced the easing of restrictions on Friday, but said the announcement is not cause for celebration. He said from Monday, the public will be able to meet small groups of four people outside while keeping two metres apart. Mr Varadkar also urged the public to wear face coverings when on public transport and in enclosed spaces.
16th May 2020 - Evening Standard

China, S. Korea Ask Japan to Allow Business Travel, Yomiuri Says

China and South Korea have consulted Japan about easing border controls on business travelers to help revive business activities, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday without citing sources. The idea, already implemented between South Korea and China, would allow a fast-track entry of business people if they test negative for the new coronavirus before departure and after arrival, the newspaper said. But Tokyo is cautious about relaxing border controls at this point due to fears of another spike in infections, as well as a lack of test kits for travelers, according to the report. Japan’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
16th May 2020 - Financial Post

Germany plans 57bn euro aid package for virus-hit municipalities

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is working on an aid package worth 57 billion euros ($61.65 billion) to help municipalities cope with plunging tax revenues caused by the coronavirus crisis, a ministry document showed on Saturday. Europe's largest economy is facing its deepest recession since the Second World War, even as a lockdown to fight the virus is gradually eased. The drop in business activity has hit tax revenues and left a hole in municipal finances. Scholz's aid package aims to help cities and towns stabilise their finances, according to the finance ministry document seen by Reuters. The plan also contemplates extra relief for some heavily indebted municipalities.
16th May 2020 - Business Recorder

Anger in Madrid but calm in Barcelona at extended lockdown

For the past five days, millions of people in Spain have once again been able to indulge in moments of luxury that would have been mundane routines just two months ago. Across half the country, they have been able to meet up with friends and family, and to sit outside bars and sip a café con leche or a cold, refreshing caña (beer). But not so in Madrid or Barcelona. On Friday the Spanish health ministry denied the Madrid regional government’s second request to join the 70% of the country in the next phase of relaxation of some of the strictest lockdown measures in Europe. Since it denied permission for such easing last week, people in and around the capital have been unable to meet up or enjoy a physically distanced alfresco drink or meal.
15th May 2020 - The Guardian

As Europe emerges from lockdown, the question hangs: was Sweden right?

The one table that glares at us daily is the international league table of deaths per million. Even if the aggregates are unreliable, there is a crude reality to a body count. Yet the only conclusion to be drawn from the figures is that the league table is no help to policy. There is no correlation between fatalities and lockdown stringency. The most stringent lockdowns – as in China, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and Britain – have yielded both high and low deaths per million. Hi-tech has apparently “worked” in South Korea, but so has no-tech in Sweden. Sweden’s 319 deaths per million is far ahead of locked-down Norway’s 40 and Denmark’s 91, but it’s well behind locked-down UK’s 465 and Spain’s 569.
15th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: How 'overreaction' made Vietnam a virus success

"It very, very quickly acted in ways which seemed to be quite extreme at the time but were subsequently shown to be rather sensible," says Prof Guy Thwaites, director of Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Ho Chi Minh City, which works with the government on its infectious disease programmes. Vietnam enacted measures other countries would take months to move on, bringing in travel restrictions, closely monitoring and eventually closing the border with China and increasing health checks at borders and other vulnerable places. Schools were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January and remained closed until mid-May. A vast and labour intensive contact tracing operation got under way. "This is a country that has dealt with a lot of outbreaks in the past," says Prof Thwaites, from Sars in 2003 to avian influenza in 2010 and large outbreaks of measles and dengue.
15th May 2020 - BBC News

Thailand follows Vietnam with no new coronavirus cases

Thailand reported zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases for the first time in over two months on May 13.
13th May 2020 - Nikkei Asian Review


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 15th May 2020

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Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by this time next year, says EU drugs agency

A coronavirus vaccine could be ready for approval in a year’s time in an “optimistic” scenario, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said. The head of vaccines for the EMA – the body which approves medicines for the European Union – said he had doubts over claims one could be available by September. Dr Marco Cavaleri said: “For vaccines, since the development has to start from scratch ... we might look from an optimistic side in a year from now, so beginning of 2021.”
15th May 2020 - The Independent

The United Kingdom's four countries take a divided approach to coronavirus crisis

The UK's coronavirus crisis has reignited one of the country's most bitter political debates: Can the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland survive as a union of four nations? On Sunday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the country from 10 Downing Street in a recorded message, announcing his plan for the UK to emerge from lockdown. He called on millions of people to return to work, and gave a rough outline of when schools and shops might reopen over the comings months. He also shifted his government's core message from the simple "Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" to the more ambiguous "Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives."
15th May 2020 - CNN

Chinese newspaper brands UK's coronavirus response a 'mess' that needs 'miracle' to correct

A state-run Chinese newspaper has lashed out at Boris Johnson’s coronavirus response as a “mess” that needs “a miracle” to fix. Global Times, a tabloid managed by the Chinese Communist Party, also accused the UK Government of being “flippant” and “ill-prepared” and putting the economy before controlling the virus.
15th May 2020 - Evening Standard

Gordon Brown: coronavirus must be 'eradicated in every continent'

Gordon Brown has warned that a second or third wave of coronavirus infection could emanate from poor countries with undeveloped health systems, saying the risks can be controlled only by coordinated international action. The global crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic will not end until it is “eradicated in every continent”, the former prime minister said. “It is in all our interests to prevent a second or third wave starting in the poorest, least protected countries with the most underdeveloped health systems. So a threat to others is a threat to us, and we help ourselves by helping others. Protecting ourselves locally means we need to act globally,” Brown wrote in the foreword to a report by the international development charity Christian Aid.
15th May 2020 - The Guardian

Are lockdowns being relaxed in my state? Here's how America is reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At the height of stay-at-home restrictions in late March and early April, more than 310 million Americans were under various directives – some called shelter-in-place orders, others labeled stay-at-home orders. The mandates generally required people to avoid all nonessential outings and stay inside as much as possible. Here is how all 50 states – plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – are making moves to roll back social distancing regulations. We will keep this file updated as measures are announced:
14th May 2020 - USA TODAY

Coronavirus in Scotland: FM 'not ruling out' easing rural lockdown first

Scottish ministers are "not ruling out" easing lockdown in some areas ahead of others, Nicola Sturgeon has said. Some parts of Scotland are less badly affected by coronavirus, with few cases currently in hospitals in Orkney, Shetland or Dumfries and Galloway. The first minister said she had "never ruled out" taking a "regionally varied approach" across Scotland. But she stressed that the government was not proposing that approach "at this stage" . And she said if it was to happen, it would need to be done in a "practical and clearly understandable way".
14th May 2020 - BBC News

When will hairdressers reopen? Date salons could open after UK Government reveals plan for easing lockdown rules

Hairdressers and barber shops remain temporarily closed, with many across the UK getting creative with cutting their own hair at home - with some very interesting results. When will hairdressers open? Date salons could reopen in UK as government issues new lockdown guidelines. But when are hairdressers due to open? Here’s what you need to know.
14th May 2020 - iNews

Will summer holidays go ahead in 2020? When tourism in the UK and abroad might start after lockdown

Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently indicated that the summer season for holidays abroad is very likely to be cancelled
14th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Ending Coronavirus Lockdowns Without a How-To Guide

Only by gently easing the stringent measures that reduced the spread of the virus can we improve our understanding of what works and what doesn’t, they say. “There’s so much uncertainty,” said Mike Tildesley, an associate professor in life sciences at the University of Warwick in England, who models infectious diseases. “As we start to relax, we will get more information. But that’s a really hard sell to the public.”
14th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

South Africa Set to Move Toward Easing Lockdown Restrictions

During a televised address Wednesday evening, Ramaphosa announced officials will immediately begin work on a proposal so that by the end of May, most of the country be placed on Alert Level 3 and certain businesses will partially reopen. South Africa's approach to slowing the spread of the coronavirus is measured on a tier system, with 5 being the most restrictive. The country began Level 4 on May 1 by allowing residents to exercise outdoors and some businesses to reopen. Ramaphosa said parts of the country with high infection rates would remain under Alert Level 4, and travel to areas with lower rates of infection will be restricted. Ramaphosa also defended his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying some citizens have questioned whether the nation’s approach in dealing with the coronavirus has been at the expense of the livelihood of its people. He said his administration’s strategic approach has been based on saving lives and preserving livelihoods.
14th May 2020 - VOA News

S. Africa to further ease COVID-19 lockdown

South Africa is preparing to further ease a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown later this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday. "We are now preparing for a further easing of the lockdown and a gradual opening of the economy," Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation. Consultations with relevant stakeholders have begun on a proposal to place most of the country on alert level three of a five-level system by the end of May, said the president. However, hotspot places with the most infections would likely remain into June on level 4. "It is important that we maintain stringent restrictions in these areas and restrict travel out of these areas to parts of the country with lower rates of infection," he said.
14th May 2020 - China.org.cn

The way forward is graded opening up, not an indefinite lockdown

My understanding of public health tells me that, unlike private healthcare, public health strives for the greatest good to the largest numbers. Lockdown may have inconvenienced the largest numbers, but mass quarantine should be the last step in our armamentarium. A total lockdown is like a nuclear weapon unleashed on society — with short-term and long-term collateral damage across the board. In low-income countries, it could mean starvation for people. Why would someone sentence so many people to death if there is another path that is known? The virus exploits the weakness in health and healthcare. The result? Poor people walking on the highways with their bags and baggage. A sea of humanity walking on the roads. Mass migration. While every death diminishes us as a society, I am more worried about all those marginalised for whom existence is now no more than being on the edge of extinction.
14th May 2020 - The Indian Express

Japan lifts state of emergency in most prefectures as Covid-19 cases fall

Japan has lifted a state of emergency across most of the country, marking a big step towards rebooting the world’s fourth-largest economy as coronavirus infections subside. The move also provides some vindication for Japan’s strategy of voluntary social distancing, which has brought about a reduction in infections without a compulsory lockdown. The decision, announced by prime minister Shinzo Abe in a press conference on Thursday evening, meant restrictions were immediately rescinded in 39 prefectures but maintained in Tokyo and other big cities.
14th May 2020 - The Financial Times

Coronavirus lockdown | Japan lifts state of emergency in most regions

Japan’s prime minister has announced the end of the state of emergency for most regions of the country, but restrictions are being kept in place in Tokyo and seven other high-risk areas, including Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday lifted the measure ahead of schedule in 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures, effective immediately.
14th May 2020 - The Hindu

New Zealand budget: $1bn for 'nature jobs' but dismay at lack of climate action

On Thursday the finance minister Grant Robertson unveiled more than NZ$50bn in recovery funding to get the economy back on track following a seven-week lockdown. Tens of thousands of people have lost work during the crisis, with further lay-offs expected. Some 11,000 new jobs will be created in environmental work in the regions, conservation minister Eugenie Sage said, with people employed in pest and weed control operations, biodiversity projects and Department of Conservation nature ambassador roles. “This investment in nature will not only support thousands of people with jobs but pay dividends for generations to come by giving nature a helping hand,” Sage said in a statement.
14th May 2020 - The Guardian

New Zealand budget: Robertson lays out $50bn plan to return jobs to pre-Covid-19 levels

The huge figure, announced alongside the annual Budget on Thursday, equates to about 17% of the nation’s GDP and 17 times more than what a New Zealand government usually allocates to new spending in its budgets. Underscoring the massive challenges facing the economy as it emerges from lockdown, Robertson said the fund was “the most significant financial commitment in modern history”. The spending, which includes an eight week extension to the government’s Covid-19 wage subsidy as well as spending on training and apprenticeships, public housing and infrastructure, will be funded by steep long-term borrowing, and could save 138,000 jobs according to Treasury models provided by the government. But a large tranche of the new funds were left unallocated as yet, with little detail on some of the government’s spending plans.
14th May 2020 - The Guardian

Oxford coronavirus vaccine found protective in small study on monkeys

A potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by scientists at Oxford University has showed promising signs in a small study of six monkeys. According to a report, some of the monkeys given a single shot of the vaccine developed antibodies against the virus within 14 days. All of them developed protective antibodies within 28 days, before being exposed to high doses of the virus, experts said.
14th May 2020 - Evening Standard

Novartis CEO Says Covid-19 Vaccine May Take Until End of 2021

Novartis AG Chief Executive Officer Vas Narasimhan said a vaccine for Covid-19 may only become available in the second half of next year, echoing the consensus view in much of the pharmaceutical industry. “The ultimate way to deal with this pandemic is likely to be a vaccine against Covid-19,” the CEO wrote in an opinion piece published in Switzerland’s Handelszeitung Thursday. “That will take more time -- my guess is about one and a half to two years.”
14th May 2020 - Bloomberg

FDA warns on rapid coronavirus test used by White House

The US drug regulator has warned the coronavirus test being used by the White House could be missing significant numbers of patients, after a study found it could be giving false negative results in almost half of cases. The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday night warned the test provided by Abbott Laboratories could be returning inaccurate results, just days after members of Donald Trump’s inner circle tested positive for Covid-19. The FDA said “early data” had shown Abbott’s ID Now test might be returning false negative results, adding that officials were investigating why that might be the case.
14th May 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus lockdown: Allowing family gatherings in England 'complicated'

Allowing family gatherings is an "important public health issue", England's deputy chief medical officer has said - but it is "complicated" to make the rules fair. Dr Jenny Harries said such a move could provide a "mental health boost". But she said if two large families wanted to meet "you end up effectively with quite a large gathering". Some lockdown measures have been eased in England but restrictions on how many people you can meet remain in place. Two people from different households can meet in outdoor settings, such as parks - as long as they stay more than two metres apart. But any larger meetings between different households at the same time are currently banned. The UK government has said this means someone cannot see both parents at the same time.
13th May 2020 - BBC News


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 14th May 2020

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Exclusive: First coronavirus antibody test given approval by Public Health England

One hundred per cent accuracy of test developed by Swiss firm Roche confirmed by experts at PHE's Porton Down facility last week
13th May 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

Coronavirus lockdown: How Northern Ireland differs to other UK regions and Republic

Despite the UK Government’s preference for a “four nations approach” towards softening the lockdown, clear differences have emerged between the countries. The devolved governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have diverged from England, notably in keeping the “stay at home” slogan after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his new “stay alert” message on Sunday. Here is a look at how the four UK nations – and the Republic of Ireland – differ in their approach to exiting the restrictive regime which was imposed across the board on March 23.
13th May 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

UK lockdown: Who is encouraged to return to work after Boris Johnson’s speech?

On Sunday 10 May, Boris Johnson announced the implementation of new measures to ease lockdown in England. Among the new guidelines, the prime minister unveiled a change to the advice being given to workers across the nation. When the lockdown was first introduced on Monday 23 March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the government stated that if members of the public are able to work from home, then they should do so accordingly.
13th May 2020 - Independent

Coronavirus: How lockdown rules differ across the UK

After almost two months of being urged to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives, the terms of the UK lockdown have now changed. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to get parts of the British economy moving again, the restrictive measures we have become used to are now different depending on which of the home nations you live in.
13th May 2020 - Sky News

The UK seems to be betting on the R number to help lift lockdown, but it may not be the easy way out

Easing the lockdown so that people in the UK can slowly return to their pre-pandemic lives depends on many factors, but there is one number that is mentioned time and again. The R number, or R rate, refers to the reproduction rate of coronavirus - basically how many people on average an infected individual will pass Covid-19 to.
13th May 2020 - iNews

When will gyms reopen in the UK? If fitness centres could be among the last to open when lockdown is eased

The Prime Minister revealed the government’s plans for the “roadmap” out of lockdown on Sunday 10 May. However, Scotland is not replacing the “stay home” message with Johnson’s new “stay alert” slogan. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has instead ordered those in Scotland to follow different advice on outdoors exercise.
13th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Coronavirus: Italy allows bars, restaurants and hair salons to reopen from next week

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte lets regional leaders lift restrictions from 18 May. Italy’s bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons will be able to reopen next week after the government announced new moves to relax lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s regional authorities have been granted the power to lift restrictions on bars and other popular leisure businesses from 18 May. It follows pressure from local government leaders for an easing of the rules, as the number of new Covid-19 cases reaches its lowest level in more than two months.
13th May 2020 - Independent

Ski resorts in Europe set to reopen for summer as lockdown measures are eased

High-altitude ski resorts in France, Austria and Switzerland are to reopen their slopes for the summer as lockdown measures begin to ease around Europe.
13th May 2020 - The Daily Telegraph

Russia eases lockdown at the height of its coronavirus crisis

The "regime of non-working days," as the state of affairs in Russia has officially been called for the last six weeks, ended on Tuesday. The situation allows the gradual abolition of all restrictions, Putin said in his recent speech to the nation. This applies to all sectors of the economy, he said, adding that all businesses should be able to function again: heavy industry, construction, agriculture, transport and energy. People older than 65 and those in risk groups must, however, continue to stay at home, Putin said. Nationwide, people must wear face masks in public. Many citizens were surprised about the eased regulations because Russia, with more than 10,000 new cases per day, now ranks first in the worldwide statistics of new infections and second in the absolute number of infected people. Why then, many wondered, these relaxations? And why now and not a few weeks ago, when the official infection figures were much lower?
13th May 2020 - Deutsche Welle

What Canada can learn from other countries about lifting lockdown measures too soon

As Canada moves to start easing lockdown measures, experts say there are key lessons we can learn from other countries to avoid risking a sudden spike in new COVID-19 cases. Countries like South Korea and Germany lifted some restrictions and have faced setbacks — but also did some things right. What they've shown is that easing measures could result in new outbreaks and a return to restrictions if not handled correctly. Experts say effective testing, tracing and isolating of cases need to be put in place before reopening. "Shutting your eyes and trying to drive through this blind is about as silly an equation as I've seen," Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization's top emergencies expert, said this week. "And I'm really concerned that certain countries are setting themselves up for some seriously blind driving over the next few months."
13th May 2020 - CBC.ca

Coronavirus: Three mistakes Australia must avoid to prevent a deadly second wave

Australia should be looking to other countries for “cautionary tales” as it eases lockdown restrictions and the coronavirus curve flattens. Many countries overseas who have experienced soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, such as Germany and the UK, have started easing lockdown as Australia too announced rules would be relaxed. But with this comes the risk of a spike in coronavirus cases and the feared second wave of outbreaks. So what ‘mistakes’ have other countries made and what lessons can Australia learn to ensure cases can remain controlled.
13th May 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Australia is 'winning' against coronavirus, finance minister says as country eases restrictions

As authorities globally look to ease restrictions intended to contain the coronavirus and reopen economies, Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the country is on the path to victory against the coronavirus. Acknowledging that Australia remains “very focused on avoiding a second wave” of infections, Cormann said the health risk is “appropriately managed at the moment.” Australia has been among the countries in Asia Pacific that have announced plans to ease lockdown measures put in place earlier to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
13th May 2020 - CNBC

Life in a bubble: Britain embraces New Zealand’s method for halting coronavirus spread

The bubble method of social distancing being adopted in the UK was pioneered by New Zealand and is credited with helping the country to all but eliminate Covid-19 with only 21 deaths. For seven weeks, a lockdown forced five million people into household or family “bubbles” in which they had to stay. Company while exercising or shopping could only be drawn from an individual’s bubble, which could not include outsiders. Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, spoke often through social media to New Zealanders from her bubble in her official Wellington residence. It was limited to her partner, infant daughter and her parents. In late March, using Facebook Live, she apologised for wearing a casual green jumper, saying that she had just put her daughter
13th May 2020 - The Times

Russia moves to ease lockdown despite surge in virus cases

Russia moved to ease a nationwide coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday despite a surge in cases that has seen it register one of the world's highest number of infections. With pressure building to get the economy moving again, President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced an end to a national "non-working" period in place since late March. Containment measures remained in many parts of the vast country, including hard-hit Moscow which is on lockdown until the end of May, but others began to lift some restrictions. In Bashkortostan in the Urals officials reopened parks and river banks and in Magadan in the Far East residents were allowed to leave their homes to exercise. In Moscow some half-a-million construction and industrial workers were allowed back on the job, as wearing masks and gloves became mandatory in shops and on public transport.
12th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus in U.K.: Boris Johnson's Reopening Plans Leaves Britons Confused

Critics say the government has failed to answer some basic questions. Among them: 1) when to return to work and 2) how to get there.
11th May 2020 - The New York Times


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Coronavirus: NI Executive publishes plan for easing lockdown

A five-stage plan for easing the Covid-19 lockdown in Northern Ireland has been published by the executive. Unlike plans announced in England and the Republic of Ireland, NI's blueprint does not include a timetable - but the first minister said she hoped to reach the final stage by December. Progression will depend on key health criteria being met, Arlene Foster said.
12th May 2020 - BBC News

Public advised to wear face coverings under UK government's lockdown easing plan

People should “wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops”, the government document says. Children under the age of two should not have their faces covered, and nor should any of primary age who do not have somebody with them who is supervising them. This is aimed at preventing people who have the virus but are not experiencing symptoms from passing it on to others.
12th May 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown: subsidies announced for cyclists in Italy

Citizens of Italian cities of more than 50,000 inhabitants can get up to €500 in subsidies for buying a bicycle or an e-scooter, Italy’s Transport Minister Paola De Micheli announced on Monday. The measure is part of a €55 billion support package for the Italian economy and aims to keep people from using their cars and public transport as the country recovers from the crisis surrounding the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
12th May 2020 - The Brussels Times

Coronavirus: Italy allows bars and restaurants to reopen from next week

Italy’s bars, restaurants, hairdressers and salons will be able to re-open next week after the government announced new moves to relax lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s regional authorities have been granted the power to lift restrictions on bars and other popular leisure businesses from 18 May.
12th May 2020 - Independent

Italy to give regions powers to roll back coronavirus lockdown

At a meeting between ministers and local government leaders on Monday, the coalition agreed, however, that Italy’s 20 regions could set their own pace, defusing a growing source of strife among political parties. “We have always said that if the contagion data were encouraging, we would have brought forward the reopening,” said Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. “The regions will (shortly) receive guidelines to open bars, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty clinics from May 18,” he added on Twitter. Almost 31,000 Italians have died of COVID-19 since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21, the third-highest death toll in the world after that of the United States and the UK.
12th May 2020 - Reuters

Italy speeds up reopening with cafes and restaurants allowed to open on May 18th

The government agreed to demands from regions for an acceleration of phase two of the lockdown at a meeting of regional leaders, Italian media reports. These businesses were not set to get the green light to open until at least June 1st under the previous plan. But now they'll be allowed to open on Monday, when Italy's other shops are set to reopen. “This is the start of the phase of regional responsibilty,” said Francesco Boccia. , the minister for autonomy and regional affairs. The governors of ten regions – Abruzzo, Calabria, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Lombardy, Molise, Piedmont, Sardinia, Umbria and Veneto, as well as the president of Trentino province – had warned they would "act autonomously" if Rome failed to confirm that they can reopen shops, restaurants, salons and beaches as soon the current decree expires on May 17th.
12th May 2020 - The Local Italy

Spain set to impose 14-day quarantine on visitors

The Sun said an official announcement from the EU is expected tomorrow about international travel, but it quotes Spain’s Official State Gazette (BOE) as saying: “Travellers who come to Spain from abroad must quarantine themselves for 14 days following their arrival.” Quarantine would require visitors to stay in their hotel or apartment, and abide by a strict code of conduct limiting leaving accommodation only to buy essential items or in exceptional circumstances. Mask wearing will be mandatory. Spain’s BEO says the measures are necessary due to the international spread of coronavirus and the need to act with caution to make sure visitors do not cause more outbreaks.
12th May 2020 - Travel Weekly

Europe's press calls UK lockdown roadmap 'confusing'

European media have widely described the British prime minister's "conditional plan" to reopen society as a "mixed message" driven by "extreme caution". Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that "all clarity has been eliminated" after Boris Johnson presented his plan for easing the lockdown. "Prime Minister Johnson has presented a 'roadmap' for exiting the coronavirus crisis - and confused the British. Discontent is also growing in the cabinet and in parliament: the government has not discussed the plan in advance," the paper wrote. Newspapers elsewhere wondered whether the British public had understood the message at all. "What on earth does it mean to be alert?" wrote Spanish El Confidencial, pointing out that it was the most common question on social media.
12th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Putin eases Russian lockdown as cases rise

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that from Tuesday the nationwide coronavirus lockdown will be eased and businesses will go back to work. He said the country's "non-working period" imposed to curb the virus had lasted six weeks. The easing of restrictions will affect all sectors of the economy, Mr Putin said, but some regions may keep tighter controls if necessary. Russia now has the third-highest number of confirmed infections worldwide. In the last 24 hours it reported a record daily rise of 11,656 cases, bringing the official total to 221,344.
12th May 2020 - BBC News

Russia's Coronavirus Cases Surge Past 230K as Putin Eases National Lockdown

Despite reporting more than 10,000 new cases a day for over a week, President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced that a "non-working" period in place for six weeks would be lifted from Tuesday. A lockdown in Moscow, the epicenter of the crisis in Russia, remains in place until the end of May, but even in the capital some restrictions were being lifted. Some 500,000 employees of companies involved in industry and construction were allowed to resume work, though authorities made it mandatory to wear masks and gloves in shops and on public transport.
12th May 2020 - The Moscow Times

Asia Today: Singapore partly reopens despite rise in cases

Singaporeans were able to get a haircut at the barber or pop in to their favorite bakery Tuesday as the government loosened restrictions three weeks before a partial lockdown ends. Despite an upsurge in cases due to an outbreak among foreign workers staying in crowded dormitories, the government says transmission in the local community has dropped and plans a phased reopening of the economy. Barbers and hairdressers, food manufacturers and outlets as well as laundry shops are among selected businesses that can open with strict health measures Tuesday after five weeks of shutdown. Barbers can operate by appointment only and notices outside shops call for face masks before entry. Officials reminded citizens not to rush out or loiter outside to keep the city safe.
12th May 2020 - The Associated Press

As nations reopen, warning emerges about coronavirus tracing voids

Authorities have cautioned that the scourge could come back with a vengeance without widespread testing and tracing of infected people’s contacts with others. Fears of infection spikes in countries that have loosened up came true in recent days in Germany, where new clusters were linked to three slaughterhouses; in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the crisis started; and in South Korea, where a single nightclub customer was linked to 85 new cases. The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, Dr. Michael Ryan, said that robust contact tracing measures adopted by Germany and South Korea provide hope that those countries can detect and stop virus clusters before they get out of control.
12th May 2020 - The Japan Times

The Latest: Singapore loosens coronavirus restrictions

Singaporeans will be able to get a haircut at the barber or pop in to their favourite bakery Tuesday as the government loosens coronavirus restrictions three weeks before a partial lockdown ends. Despite an upsurge in cases due to an outbreak among foreign workers staying in crowded dormitories, the government says transmission in the local community has dropped and it plans a phased reopening of the economy. Barbers and hairdressers, food manufacturers and outlets, and laundry shops are among selected businesses that can open with strict health measures in place Tuesday after five weeks of shutdown. Barbers are open by appointment only and notices outside shops call for face masks before entry. Officials reminded citizens not to rush out or loiter outside.
12th May 2020 - Yahoo Canada Finance

Australian states to ease coronavirus lockdown

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said the transitions would happen gradually over the next three months. But the health authorities would continue to monitor the newly infected cases. The individual states will take the final decision on the exact changes. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday lifted few restrictions by allowing five visitors of family and friends and gathering of 10 outside as of Wednesday. On Sunday, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan announced a plan to allow cafes, bars, restaurants and pubs to reopen with a maximum of 20 people, with one every four square metres, effective May 18. In New South Wales, Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday confirmed several COVID-19 restrictions to be relaxed from Friday including the opening of cafes and restaurants for up to 10 patrons while in Queensland, families of up to five people have also been allowed to visit another home. Other states of Northern Territory, South Australia and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) also announced relaxing few restrictions including the limited number of indoors or outdoors gatherings within social distancing norm, non-contact outdoor sport, fishing, and open house inspections and auctions.
12th May 2020 - YAHOO!

'It's an experiment': The rocky road predicted for Australia as restrictions are relaxed

A public health expert has described Australia’s move into relaxed restrictions as “an experiment” and warns the nation may be subjected to more stringent rules if the strategy backfires and coronavirus cases spike. Stephen Leeder, a Professor in Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney, said while NSW’s first day of zero cases in over two months on Monday was good news, lifting restrictions is a matter of seeing what works and what doesn’t. NSW Health said Tuesday was the first time since February 29 there had been no new coronavirus cases in the state
12th May 2020 - Yahoo News Australia

Asia Today: Philippine lockdown to be eased, with caution

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the massive lockdown that has restricted millions to their homes will be eased, but he warned that people who want to return to work must follow safeguards to avoid more deaths and a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks. The Philippine economy contracted in the first quarter and the finance secretary reported that up to 1.5 million jobs have been lost during the lockdown on Luzon island, the country's most populous region and which includes the capital, Manila. Duterte made the announcement in videotaped remarks shown on nationwide TV on Tuesday. He said his spokesman will later disclose which regions will remain under lockdown and which areas would be released from it based on the scale and speed of infections. The two-month lockdown was supposed to last until May 15.
12th May 2020 - Your Valley

Global report: Fauci warns of 'needless death' as WHO urges vigilance in lifting lockdowns

The World Health Organization has called on countries to show “extreme vigilance” when loosening Covid-19 restrictions as the top US infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci, warned that prematurely reopening the American economy would cause “needless suffering and death”. The WHO’s emergencies chief, Michael Ryan, has hailed the gradual lifting of coronavirus lockdowns in some countries whose death and infection rates were dropping, as a sign of “hope”, but he cautioned that “extreme vigilance is required”. He urged countries to boost their public health responses, ensuring they could identify fresh cases, and trace and isolate all contacts, which he said could help “avoid a major second wave”.
12th May 2020 - The Guardian

Russia to ease its coronavirus lockdown despite a record number of new infections (Podcast)

President Vladimir Putin's decision comes after Russia registered a record number of daily cases on Monday. Also: The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defends his plan to relax restrictions in England, and White House staff told to wear masks at work after high-profile infections.
11th May 2020 - BBC News


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Coronavirus in Scotland: Germany's variable exit from lockdown could suit us, hints Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has signalled plans to lift lockdown restrictions at different speeds in the regions of Scotland. The first minister said that regional variation was not unusual in Europe, citing Germany, which has a relatively low death rate and one of the most decentralised healthcare systems in Europe. German experts say the federal system has allowed its states — called lander — to act decisively to control the outbreak. Boris Johnson was criticised for making a UK-wide broadcast advising citizens to return to work and relax in parks, without making it clear that this does not apply in Scotland where Covid-19 is spreading more widely. Ms Sturgeon said: “If you look across Europe, the different lander in Germany are doing things at different speeds.
12th May 2020 - The Times

Coronavirus: New Zealand to reopen shopping malls, cinemas and cafes from Thursday

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern thanks ‘team of five million’ ahead of relaxation of lockdown rules, but warns: ‘The battle is won, but the war is not over’ as New Zealand prepares for a partial opening up of the economy
12th May 2020 - Independent

People south of border could be mixing in social 'bubbles' as UK Govt reveals roadmap to easing lockdown curbs

People in England have been told to stay away from Scotland and respect the stricter health guidance in place north of the border. The guidance comes in the UK Government’s new 50-page roadmap, Our Plan to Rebuild, which lays out an easing of some restrictions in England and Wales, allowing people to engage in more leisure activities like golf and tennis, provided the social distancing rules are applied. The wearing of face masks on public transport and in restricted public settings like small shops is recommended as a complement to and not a substitute for social distancing.
11th May 2020 - HeraldScotland.com

Scots urged not to get distracted by lockdown messages from elsewhere in UK

Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to “try not to get distracted” by messages from other parts of the UK as she stressed the message in Scotland is to stay at home. The First Minister said Scots “shouldn’t be going out except for essential purposes”, with the only change the removal of the once-a-day limit on exercise, as she announced the death toll among people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland has risen by five to 1,862.
11th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Plan to lift Britain out of lockdown revealed in 50-page 'roadmap'

A 50-page document setting out how the UK’s lockdown will gradually be wound down has been published by the Government. The ‘Covid-19 Recovery Strategy’ says people should wear face coverings on public transport and in some stores while people may be able to link up with one other household in a ‘bubble’. Non-essential retail could open no earlier than June 1 if businesses are proven to be safe enough for shoppers. Cultural and sporting events including the Premier League will be able to take place behind closed doors for broadcast from next month, avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact. Businesses like hairdressers, beauty salons, restaurants, pubs, cinemas and places of worship could open from July 4 if they meet ‘Covid secure’ requirements.
11th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Coronavirus lockdown: what are the new rules announced by Boris Johnson?

The most significant immediate change is Johnson formally urging people who cannot work at home - for example in construction - to return to their jobs from Monday. Johnson said such people “should be actively encouraged to go to work”, while trying to avoid public transport and maintaining physical distancing. While the PM says every workplace should be “Covid-secure”, the plan for more people returning to work will bring fresh warnings from unions about the predicament of staff who feel they are not being kept safe.
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: How lockdown rules now differ between Scotland and England

Boris Johnson's changes to lockdown in England and plans to restart the economy have opened up differences with Scotland. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says her key approach remains the "stay at home" message, but she has given an indication of what might happen in her "Looking beyond lockdown" document. The prime minister has also outlined what the future holds in his "Our plan to rebuild" strategy. So how do the approaches differ?
11th May 2020 - BBC News

UK lockdown: Can I see my family and friends under new coronavirus rules?

There was no mention of people being allowed to see those outside of their own households - friends and family - despite people being allowed to go back to work. And, as weeks without any contact with relatives shift into months, concerns over mental health and loneliness are growing with many people desperate for the restrictions to ease. So, what do the new rules mean for seeing family and friends?
11th May 2020 - The Independent

Public advised to wear face coverings under lockdown easing plan

People should “wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops”, the government document says. Children under the age of two should not have their faces covered, and nor should any of primary age who do not have somebody with them who is supervising them. This is aimed at preventing people who have the virus but are not experiencing symptoms from passing it on to others.
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

Merkel: We must stick to basic rules even as coronavirus lockdown eases

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday stressed that people needed to continue keeping their distance from one another and covering their mouths and noses even as Germany eases some of the restrictions it had imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. “It’s very important to me to again draw attention to the fact that we’re entering a new phase of the pandemic and that it will now be necessary, with all the easing of measures, to be sure that people stick to the basic rules i.e. keeping their distance, wearing mouth and nose protection and showing consideration for each other,” Merkel told reporters
11th May 2020 - Reuters

When will hairdressers open? Date salons could reopen in UK as government issues new lockdown guidelines

The leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not replacing the “stay home” message with Johnson’s new “stay alert” slogan. The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has instead ordered those in Scotland to follow different advice on outdoors exercise. Although this will now be unlimited, Sturgeon said there must be “no sunbathing, picnics or barbecues”, which is in contrast to Johnson’s new advice.
11th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Sport after lockdown: what does the future of sport look like?

On Sunday evening, the Government announced a slight easing of the lockdown, permitting an increase in daily exercise. Some recreational sports can resume, so long as it is with members of your own household or one person from outside your household. That rules out team sports. Taking new guidelines and the most recent updates into account, we look at what the future may have in hold for sport and how it may have to be adapted to a variety of challenges, in the next few months.
11th May 2020 - The Daily Telegraph

No quarantine for people travelling between UK and France

Officials yesterday confirmed anyone flying into the UK will have to go into isolation for 14 days to help minimise the spread of coronavirus. But Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron issued a statement after speaking on the phone on Sunday setting out a mutual exemption between their two countries. While the announcement raises the prospect of holidays in France this summer becoming viable, they said the agreement could be revised in the coming weeks.
11th May 2020 - Metro

France's emergency law is delayed despite relaxing of coronavirus lockdown

In the absence of clarity, the government instead appealed to French people “to be responsible” to prevent them exploiting the gap in legislation and gallivanting hundreds of kilometres across the country. However, the confusion created queues in some meto stations in the Paris region, where commuters are obliged to show a work certificate for travel between 06:30 to 09:30 and 16:00 to 19:00 local time. Those rules will now be enforced from Wednesday and anyone failing to show a valid work certificate will be fined, according to Valérie Pécresse, the Ile de France regional president.
11th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Europe eases lockdown: Which countries are lifting coronavirus restrictions today?

Millions of people across Europe woke up to a relaxation of lockdown measures on Monday, with several countries taking their first steps this week towards a return to normality. The UK government announced a series of adjustments to its lockdown on Sunday night, including allowing unlimited outdoor exercise and encouraging more people to return to work, in a statement from Boris Johnson which was criticised as vague and confusing. Meanwhile in countries such as France, Spain and the Netherlands, leaders have gone further and allowed the reopening of shops and schools.
11th May 2020 - Independent

French Health Minister warns lockdown easing could be reversed

France could reverse the relaxation of its nationwide lockdown if there was a resurgence of the new coronavirus outbreak, Health Minister Olivier Veran warned on Monday. “If the virus were to resume its wild race, we would again take lockdown measures,” Veran told BFM television. France, with the world’s fifth-highest death toll, has enforced an eight-week lockdown since March 17 to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. It is gradually lifting those restrictions from Monday. Commenting on the recent discovery of new clusters of infection in the country, Veran said: “I am not surprised. It shows we are going to have to live with the virus. The more vigilant we are collectively, the fewer clusters we will have.
11th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Global report: Covid-19 lockdown rules relax in European nations amid confusion in UK

In France, from Monday members of the public were able to walk outside without filling in a permit for the first time in nearly eight weeks, teachers will start to return to primary schools, and some shops – including hair salons – will reopen. Bars, restaurants, theatres and cinemas will, however, remain closed. In Spain, urban hotspots such as Madrid and Barcelona remain under lockdown – but elsewhere people made plans to meet friends and family in bars and restaurants that have outdoor spaces.
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

New Zealand to end coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand will phase out its coronavirus lockdown over the next 10 days after successfully containing the virus, although some restrictions will remain, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday. Ardern said that from Thursday shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas and playgrounds will reopen -- with the country moving to Level Two on its four-tier system. The 39-year-old leader warned "none of us can assume COVID is not with us" but said New Zealand currently had only 90 active cases after a seven-week lockdown.
11th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

France, Spain ease virus lockdowns but UK wary

In France, people from Monday morning were able to walk outside without filling in a permit for the first time in nearly eight weeks, teachers will start to return to primary schools, and some shops—including hair salons—will reopen. Bars, restaurants, theatres and cinemas will, however, remain closed. Spaniards outside of urban hotspots such as Madrid and Barcelona—which remain under lockdown—made plans to meet friends and family in bars and restaurants that have outdoor spaces.
11th May 2020 - Medical Xpress

British Medical Association - Government’s ‘road map out of lockdown’ is too fast, too confusing and too risky, says BMA

“The Westminster Government’s plan to ease certain aspects of lockdown in England is too fast, too confusing and too risky. “As the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation tonight, the death toll in this country has indeed been tragic, and it would be irresponsible to allow any chance of a second spike of this virus, however, these measures risk doing just that. “There is no detail of how those being asked to return to work will be protected from the infection or prevented from infecting others and there are mixed messages about returning workers not using public transport when many will not own cars. These pose serious risks of further spread of the infection.
11th May 2020 - BMA Blog

New Zealand deserves level 2, with all of its confusing weirdness

At 11.59pm on Wednesday our long national nightmare comes to an end. Sort of. After 49 days in some form of lockdown things will suddenly get a lot more normal. You can go shopping, go to the movies, go out for dinner, go out for a haircut, go out to play sport, fly around the country, and best of all - go out to see friends and family. But some large restrictions remain, some of them jarringly out of step with each other. Those gatherings will be limited to 10 people, down from an initial limit of 100 - meaning anyone who has put off their wedding until now will probably not be happy. Schools won't fully open until Monday, and bars will remain closed for another week.
11th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Four 'Avatar' sequels start filming at the same time as New Zealand lifts lockdown restrictions

The coronavirus locdown is over in New Zealand, with government approving new health and safety measures. With the resumption of business activities in the country, The "Avatar" sequels are also likely to resume production. The government has allowed TV and movie productions and other activities after successfully handling the situation created by the coronavirus pandemic.
11th May 2020 - Geo News

White House requires masks for staff, Western states ask for $1 trillion in aid

As more foreign and state governments outline the early stages of reopening, World Health Organization officials say countries that have already lifted lockdowns saw a jump in Covid-19 cases. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said some of the state’s restrictions will lift on Friday, and LA County beaches were set to reopen Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration continues to fast-track coronavirus-related treatments and tests: A faster, cheaper Abbott Labs test was granted emergency use approval.
11th May 2020 - CNBC


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UK coronavirus app could be 'ditched for different model' after trials

The UK could either “adapt” its coronavirus contact-tracing app or ditch it and “move to a different model”, after piloting it in the Isle of Wight and learning lessons from other countries. About 40,000 people in the Isle of Wight have been trialling the app, designed by an arm of the NHS, which alerts users if they have been near to a suspected case of coronavirus. However, there has been intense speculation the UK could have to change its app to a “decentralised” model favoured by Apple and Google, which stores data about movements on a user’s phone rather than centrally in an anonymised form with the government. Amid reports of teething problems with the app, Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, suggested changes could be on the way.
10th May 2020 - The Guardian

Boris Johnson's lockdown release leaves UK divided

Boris Johnson urged the country to take its first tentative steps out of lockdown this week in an address to the nation that was immediately condemned as being divisive, confusing and vague. In a speech from Downing Street, Johnson said if the circumstances were right, schools in England and some shops might be able to open next month, and the government was “actively encouraging” people to return to work if they cannot do so from home. But he stressed that this was “not the time simply to end the lockdown” and that he intended to take a cautious approach guided by the science, otherwise a second deadly wave of the “devilish” virus would take hold.
10th May 2020 - The Guardian

Brits to be asked to 'wear masks to work' as part of PM's master plan to ease lockdown

Boris Johnson is likely to ask Brits to wear face masks at work, on public transport and while shopping when he reveals his blueprint for how the coronavirus lockdown will be eased on Sunday
9th May 2020 - The Mirror

Lockdown exit plan for May 17: Govt may ready a negative list of prohibited activities

India may draw up a negative list of activities that are prohibited in order to help ease the country out of the lockdown. The strategy is aimed at opening up a bigger share of the economy and preventing the kind of confusion that’s allowed district administrations to be more restrictive than intended. The government permitted the resumption of many activities in two stages, on April 20 and May 4, but lack of clarity over the guidelines has meant the impact of this relaxation has been much less on the ground than it should have been.
9th May 2020 - Economic Times

World reacts to Scott Morrison’s ambitious plan to reopen Australia

In the UK, The Independent wrote that: “While the country has been hailed for successfully containing the disease and preventing local hospitals being swamped by coronavirus patients, the lockdown measures have still taken a devastating toll on the economy.” India Today credited border closures, thought to have “drastically slowed” the number of new infections, but insisted Australia’s economy wouldn’t escape unscathed. “It has taken a devastating toll on the economy, which is on course for its first recession in 30 years,” wrote the media outlet.
9th May 2020 - News.com.au

Coronavirus lockdown: The world reacts to Britain’s ‘incomprehensible’ response, botched testing and care home crisis

No country has been spared the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, but some have handled it better than others, and there is almost universal agreement amongst the world’s media that Britain’s response has been abysmal. As Britain this week recorded the highest death rate in Europe – and the second in the world behind the US – an incredulous foreign press described the situation using colourful invective: it is “a shambles”, “a nightmare” reflecting “negligence”, “complacency” and “stupidity”.
9th May 2020 - iNews

Australia's biggest states hold off relaxing COVID-19 lockdowns

Australia’s most populous states held back from relaxing coronavirus restrictions on Saturday although other states began allowing small gatherings and were preparing to open restaurants and shops.
9th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Japan eyes lifting restrictions as coronavirus cases decline

Economic Revitalization Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who also serves as Japan's minister in charge of the coronavirus response, said on Friday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country is dropping, but before restrictions are lifted the slowdown in the pace of new infections must continue for a certain duration. Nishimura attributed the decline in new infections to efforts made by the public to adhere to the government requests including to refrain from going outside without good reason, work from home, significantly reduce human-to-human contact, avoid crowds and wear masks outside, among others.
9th May 2020 - India TV News

Coronavirus: Challenge of reshaping UK cities for after lockdown

The UK government is urging the public to walk and cycle to work instead of using public transport or driving. It comes as people across the UK have told BBC News they are finding it impossible to stay safe outside because our cities were not built for social distancing. How we will travel while maintaining social distancing is one of the biggest challenges the government faces as it seeks to start to lift the lockdown. It has led communities, UK transport groups and public health experts to call for radical changes - some already happening globally - such as wider pavements, traffic restrictions and cycle networks.
9th May 2020 - BBC News

Paths out of lockdown: questions Boris Johnson must answer

Boris Johnson will address the nation on Sunday to set out a road map for how England might leave the Covid-19 lockdown. Any immediate changes have been billed as modest and incremental, but people are expecting more details on how life could differ over the next few weeks. Here are the questions the prime minister needs to answer:
8th May 2020 - The Guardian

How do the UK nations differ over easing lockdown?

The Government has spoken of a "four-nations approach" to tackling the coronavirus crisis - where each UK country would ideally follow the same path and timings back to post-lockdown normality. But there have been signs of tensions between Downing Street and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - with warnings over "mixed messages" to the public. It follows reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson could allow sunbathing and picnics to be permitted in England from as early as Monday. This could mean the four nations will find themselves moving at different speeds as they move towards ending the full lockdown which was imposed on March 23, politicians have said.
8th May 2020 - ITV News

Coronavirus UK: Four nationals split in approach to lifting lockdown

All four leaders have spoken of the desire to follow the same path and timings back to normality. But there have been ‘mixed messages’ this week with Nicola Sturgeon saying she must extend the lockdown in Scotland to stop a resurgence of the virus and Boris Johnson considering the return of some outdoor activities. The prime minister is said to be planning on offering the public ‘unlimited exercise’ and outdoor picnics from Monday as a reward for staying inside since March 23. Some businesses could also reportedly be given the green light to reopen in order to kickstart the UK economy.
8th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Coronavirus: 'Modest' lockdown changes announced in Wales

People will be able to exercise outside more than once a day in Wales and some garden centres set to reopen, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said. Announcing only "modest" changes to the coronavirus lockdown, Mr Drakeford warned it was "too soon" to go further. The rest of the stay-at-home restrictions will be extended for another three weeks until 28 May.
8th May 2020 - BBC News

Government eyes flexible furlough extension to get Britain back to work

The UK government is looking at the return of some furloughed workers on a part-time basis beyond June as Boris Johnson prepares to announce a road map this weekend to get Britain back to work. The prime minister is under pressure to ease restrictions and start to unlock parts of the economy amid dire warnings that the UK faces its worst recession in three centuries. Ministers have signalled to business leaders that the furlough scheme could be phased out gradually over the summer rather than end abruptly in June as planned, while bringing in greater flexibility to allow some workers to return part-time initially.
8th May 2020 - Financial Times

Boris Johnson to keep Britain in lockdown until June

Boris Johnson will keep Britain in lockdown until next month at the earliest after he was warned that outbreaks in care homes and hospitals made significant easing any sooner too dangerous. He is being urged by cabinet ministers to give specific dates by which elements of the lockdown can be lifted to avert a collapse of consumer and business confidence. The prime minister told the cabinet that he would proceed with “maximum caution”, with only modest and incremental changes to the restrictions before the end of this month. “It is baby steps taken slowly and only when it’s clear they can be taken,” said an ally familiar with the plans, which will be finalised today and tomorrow and outlined at 7pm on Sunday.
8th May 2020 - The Times

I Left Norway’s Lockdown for the US. The Difference Is Shocking.

Compared to Norway’s strict, early measures and rigorous testing, the US response to the pandemic has been catastrophic.
8th May 2020 - The Nation

Coronavirus: Australia sets out three-point plan to lift lockdown by July

The country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison says states and territories have agreed a roadmap to remove most of the curbs.
8th May 2020 - Sky News

South Australia’s countdown to lockdown lift

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has urged locals not to become complacent about the threat posed by the coronavirus as the state looks to lift some restrictions on daily life. SA will lift a raft of measures from Monday, allowing alcohol-free outdoor dining at cafes and restaurants and the resumption of outdoor sports training. Universities and TAFE colleges will be allowed to resume face-to-face learning, public swimming pools, places of worship and libraries can reopen, and open house inspections and home auctions will be permitted
8th May 2020 - 7NEWS.com.au

Spain’s Army Predicts TWO More Coronavirus Outbreaks Ahead of Big Lockdown Easing

Spain's army is predicting two more coronavirus outbreak waves in the country, as lockdown restrictions get ready for a major phase of easing. The report was published in the ABC newspaper and said that it would take between 12 and 18 months for Spain to return to “normality.” The timings would also depend on when a vaccine is developed and administered.
8th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Factbox: From hairdressers to beaches - Spain's plan to phase out lockdown

Spain has a four-phase plan to lift a coronavirus lockdown and return to normal by the end of June. Following are the key points of the plan, which will vary from province to province. Advancing through the stages depends on factors such as how the rate of infection evolves, the number of intensive care beds available locally, and compliance with distancing rules.
8th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Spain Reports New Jump in Coronavirus Cases as Lockdown Eases

The country may be facing a patchy return to what Sanchez has dubbed the “new normal,” as regions still must individually seek authorization for their provinces to move to the next phase in gradually easing confinement measures. While regions such as the Balearic and Canary Islands reported fewer than 10 new daily infections in recent days and are pushing to relax restrictions in time to start the summer tourist season, Madrid and Catalonia, the country’s economic heartland, are still grappling with hundreds of new cases a day. Spain has the second-most extensive outbreak in the world, behind the U.S. and ahead of Italy, the original epicenter of the virus in Europe.
8th May 2020 - BNNBloomberg

French epidemiologist says massive Covid-19 testing needed to ease lockdown

As France prepares to start easing lockdown measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic, French Health Minister Olivier Véran said the country is ready to test up to 700,000 people per week. But for Parisian epidemiologist Catherine Hill, “testing patients with symptoms is just not enough”, she told FRANCE 24, since most people were infected by patients who had not yet symptoms or are completely asymptomatic. “The solution would be: we have to test much more wildly”, she added.
8th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Easing lockdown in France: What's the difference if you live in a red and green département?

France has published its final 'coronavirus map' showing which départements are coloured red and green for when lockdown is eased on May 11th. But what will the difference be for those living in red or green départements?
8th May 2020 - The Local France

France's gvt to ease Covid-19 lockdown measures but 'not a lot is being relaxed'

French government unveiled details as it is to ease coronavirus lockdown measures, including public transportation, the wearing of masks and labour conditions. But “not a lot is being relaxed”,
7th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Work after coronavirus: how will it change when the lockdown is over?

The economist Jim Stanford has been working from home for two months. It is, he says, driving him crazy. He says: “You know I’m very fortunate – I’ve a comfortable apartment, I have a desk that I can use as a kind of quasi office and I’m in a safe and loving family environment. And despite all that, to tell you the truth, it’s driving me crazy. “I miss the human interaction and I find it stressful to be working in close quarters with the people that I love and live with who are also going about their business in different ways.
7th May 2020 - The Guardian

The calculus of death shows the COVID lock-down is clearly worth the cost

With health economics consultant Daniel West, I have attempted to estimate the numbers involved in Australia. In order to provide a strong challenge to the status quo of lock-down the estimates we have used for increased deaths from a lockdown-induced recession are at the high end of the likely scale. The estimates we have used for deaths from COVID19 if the lockdown ends are at the low end. Our analysis suggests that continuing strict restrictions in order to eradicate COVID-19 is likely to lead to eight times fewer total deaths than an immediate return to life as normal.
7th May 2020 - The Conversation AU

France Eases Lockdown in Europe’s Bid to Stem Economic Pain

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the country was ready for a nationwide plan to relax curbs on public life, though strict controls will remain on public transport in Paris, where infection rates are too high. Looser restrictions on businesses and stores will start coming into effect on Monday in a gradual process designed to avoid a second wave of infections. “We are always looking for a balance between the indispensable return to normal life and the indispensable respect of all measures that will prevent the epidemic from restarting,” Philippe said on Thursday, adding that restrictions could be reimposed if infections rise. “The target of all the French people is that we can live with this virus” until a cure is found.
7th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Coronavirus UK: What will exit from lockdown look like

Boris Johnson has promised to set out a roadmap for lifting lockdown by the end of next week, but for many Brits, it’s hard to imagine how things can return to normal. It has been almost seven weeks since the stay at home order was issued, and though the daily death rates have finally started to decrease, the fight against coronavirus is far from over.
2nd May 2020 - Metro.co.uk


Exit Strategies - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th May 2020

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Pubs, transport and shops – how the UK’s lockdown measures could be eased

According to some reports, unlimited outdoor exercise will be allowed from Monday, however gyms and playgrounds are expected to remain closed. Public Health England has signalled the “stay home” message could be abandoned and reports suggest people using benches, having picnics or sunbathing will no longer be asked to move on, provided they keep two metres apart. Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested on Wednesday that outdoor “pavement cafes” could be put in place over the summer.
7th May 2020 - YAHOO!

How will lockdown be eased? Boris Johnson expected to relax some UK coronavirus rules - but it's not yet clear which ones

It is widely reported that the Government is going to scrap its key "stay at home" message from next week, and replace it with a new slogan. The main focus for easing the restrictions is likely to be about restarting the economy and allowing some people to return to work without risking their health. According to the Daily Mirror, employees at workplaces that stayed open during the lockdown will be encouraged to return. Some outlets have reported that the Government will advise Britons to wear face masks on public transport and in shops and offices where it is harder to stick to social distancing rules. Despite some reports about shops opening as long as social distancing can take place, The Daily Telegraph says non-essential retailers, including garden centres, will have to hold on a little longer before fully reopening.
7th May 2020 - iNews

Five-part plan to get UK out of lockdown over six months

Britain’s plan for returning to normal will be implemented in five stages over the next six months, it is understood. Boris Johnson is set to lay out his ‘roadmap’ for exiting lockdown on Sunday, with some changes hoped to take effect the next day. While that is sooner than expected, a 50-page blueprint being drafted by officials indicates some restrictions won’t be lifted until at least October, according to The Daily Mirror. The five-stage plan reportedly proposes reopening some garden centres and open-air markets as early as Monday, but keeping bigger indoor venues like pubs, bars and restaurants closed until August.
7th May 2020 - Metro

Don't expect a snapback for the UK economy after lockdown is lifted

One of the lessons of the last recession was that austerity measures were imposed too quickly and recovery was choked off, and the stakes are much higher this time. Whether or not there is a second wave of infections there is certainly the risk of a second wave of acute economic distress starting in the autumn. The psychological impact of Covid-19 on consumer behaviour meant it was never realistic for the UK to have a V-shaped recession. The aim now is to avoid a great depression.
7th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: NI Executive discusses plan for easing lockdown

Executive ministers met for more than three hours on Thursday, ahead of a call between the PM and leaders of the devolved institutions. They agreed to recommend that people in Northern Ireland should now wear face coverings when they were in enclosed spaces for short periods of time, where social distancing is not possible. The decision was taken in line with scientific advice, Mrs Foster told the Executive's daily press conference. Health Minister Robin Swann later said that while evidence on the overall protection provided by face coverings "is not conclusive, on balance it is sufficient to recommend that members of the public consider using them in particular circumstances". "In practice, these circumstances will largely relate to public transport and retail environments," he added. "Their use will not be mandatory. Crucially, face coverings must not lead to any false sense of security about the level of protection provided."
7th May 2020 - BBC News

UK due to extend lockdown ahead of deconfinement measures

Johnson suggested on Wednesday that some restrictions could be relaxed as of 11 May, while repeating that he wanted to avoid a second wave of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at all costs. “The reality is we’re still at a high point of the virus. We believe we are past the peak, but we have to make sure we do not create a situation we can have a strong second peak very quickly,” echoed Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on BBC Radio 4. “We’re going to make sure we go forward in a way that actually puts people’s health first,” he added. British media reported that citizens will soon be able to exercise unlimitedly outdoors, have picnics or even sunbathe in parks, as long as they keep a safe distance of two metres between people. People are currently only allowed to go out for groceries, medical treatment or exercise.
7th May 2020 - The Brussels Times

Britain heading for a limited easing of lockdown next week

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a very limited easing of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown next week, adopting a cautious approach to try to ensure there is no second peak of infections that could further hurt the economy. “If people don’t follow the rules or if we see that the R-level (the reproductive rate of the virus) goes back up, we will tighten the restrictions again.” The government has been criticised for moving too slowly to tackle the outbreak which has led to more than 30,000 deaths in Britain - the worst official death toll in Europe. But with an increasing number of anecdotal reports that more people are flouting the lockdown in anticipation of Sunday’s announcement and a public holiday on Friday, ministers are under pressure to make any new rules as clear as possible after being criticised for mixed messaging.
7th May 2020 - Reuters UK

When will the UK lockdown rules be reviewed, and what happens in phase two?

The Prime Minister has said we are now past the peak of the pandemic, and hinted that lockdown measures could be lifted soon. He will address the nation on Sunday 10 May at 7pm to outline the Government's plan to lift the lockdown. He said the "dates and times" of each measure being lifted would come when the Government had more data, but the UK is heading towards "phase two" of its coronavirus response, which will involve partially lifting lockdown. Here, we analyse when the lockdown could end and what the "new normal" might look like....
7th May 2020 - The Telegraph

Coronavirus in Germany: Summer holidays on the horizon as Angela Merkel agrees to ease lockdown restrictions

Germans are already planning their summer holidays abroad with the lifting of lockdown restrictions across the nation. Thomas Bareiss, the federal tourism commissioner, told German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel that, if the coronavirus outbreak remained under control in the country, then people may be able to holiday abroad soon.
7th May 2020 - iNews

Spain virus death toll declines as lockdown easing moves ahead

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez argues that his administration needs enhanced powers to coordinate the health service, which is normally under the remit of the 17 regional governments, and to implement economic policies designed to mitigate the impact of the lockdown. Even though Sanchez won the vote, it could be a prelude to another political crisis. The main opposition party, the conservative PP, abstained and threatened to vote against Sanchez if he seeks another extension. The PP had backed Sanchez's previous requests for a longer state of emergency and a negative vote could compromise the political legitimacy of the measure. The government is pursuing a cautious easing of confinement rules to avoid a resurgence in infections. Spain has the second-most extensive outbreak in the world, behind the U.S. and ahead of Italy, the original epicenter of the virus in Europe.
7th May 2020 - The Telegraph

Coronavirus: Germany moves to carefully lift lockdown as infection rates fall

Pressure to relax the rules had been growing as the lockdown achieved the country's goal in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Angela Merkel has laid out a plan for Germany exiting the lockdown as the rate of daily coronavirus infections in the country continues to drop. The German chancellor announced a loosening of the measures after meeting with the country's 16 state governors. She said restaurants and other businesses will be allowed to reopen in the coming weeks.
7th May 2020 - Sky News

When could hairdressers re-open in the UK after lockdown?