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

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Some economies are bouncing back. But recoveries can easily go wrong

Most forecasters reckon that advanced-economy output, after plunging in the first half of 2020, is likely to regain its pre-crisis level some time after 2021. But not all recoveries will be equal. Some rich countries, such as Germany and South Korea, look best placed to bounce back—a “v-shaped recovery”, in the jargon. The path of gdp elsewhere may look more like an l or a w. The Economist’s analysis of real-time mobility data also shows how easily economic recoveries can go wrong, as consumers react to the possibility of fresh outbreaks.
11th Jul 2020 - The Economist

In race to bring vaccine to market, big pharma struggles to protect its intellectual property rights

The pharmaceutical industry is being careful to not set any dangerous precedent that may weaken their future intellectual property rights, Milena Izmirlieva from IHS Markit said. The World Health Organization said 21 candidate vaccines are in clinical trials at the moment, meaning they are being tested on human volunteers. Three of them are said to be in the third phase of those trials, according to the WHO.
9th Jul 2020 - CNBC

Coronavirus: Sweden's death rate falling faster than the UK's

Sweden's death rate is falling despite the country avoiding lockdown altogether On June 9 the country had the highest deaths per million figure in Europe, at 4.11 and since then it has come down to 1.6, a change of 2.51. In the same time the UK's death rate fell by just 1.88, and is now at 1.4 per million. Britain's death rate has largely stalled since lockdown started being lifted.
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

125 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 21 in the community and 1 imported

There are 125 new coronavirus patients confirmed as of Thursday noon (July 9), taking Singapore's total to 45,422. They include 21 community cases, comprising four Singaporeans or permanent residents and 17 work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Of these 21 cases, five were close contacts of earlier cases and had already been placed on quarantine, MOH said. Epidemiological investigations are being done for the other cases.
9th Jul 2020 - The Straits Times

Asia Today: India’s cases jump, transmission rate increases

India reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections Thursday and its transmission rate is increasing for the first time since March. The new cases bring the total in the world’s third worst-affected country to 767,296. India’s health ministry said the COVID-19 death toll had risen to 21,129. Research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai shows that India’s virus reproduction rate ticked up in the first week of July to 1.19 after steadily falling from peak transmission of 1.83 in March. The rate needs to be below one for new cases to start falling.
9th Jul 2020 - WTOP

South Korea finds just one case of coronavirus antibodies out of 3,000 tested

Just one person in a South Korean survey of more than 3,000 people showed neutralizing antibodies to the novel coronavirus, health authorities said on Thursday, indicating the virus has not spread widely in the community. While the sample size is small it is believed to be a reliable indicator of a low infection rate among the 51 million people of a country held up as a coronavirus mitigation success story. “The results indicate that each citizen has taken an active participation in tough social distancing,” Kwon Jun-wook, the deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease and Prevention (KCDC), told a briefing.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

LME trading floor to stay closed despite Britain's lockdown easing

The easing of social distancing in England will not allow the London Metal Exchange (LME) to reopen its open-outcry trading floor, which has been closed for more than three months, the exchange said on Wednesday. The exchange, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said last month it would examine whether it could reopen the floor, known as the ring, after the government announced less strict social distancing rules, which took effect on July 4.
9th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Pandemic costs world's economy $3.8TRILLION

Researchers studied the global impact of coronavirus and lockdown measures The impact was worse due to the interconnected nature of the world economy The airline and wider travel industry was hardest hit by coronavirus lockdown Global wages dropped by $2.1 trillion or about 6 per cent of worldwide income $536 billion or 21 per cent was lost because of a reduction in international trade The team say that easing coronavirus lockdown measures prematurely could have more severe and prolonged economic impacts than remaining in lockdown
9th Jul 2020 - Daily Mail


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

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Miami rolls back restaurant dining as U.S. coronavirus deaths top 130,000

Florida’s greater Miami area became the latest U.S. coronavirus hot spot to roll back its reopening, ordering restaurant dining closed on Monday as COVID-19 cases surged nationwide by the tens of thousands and the U.S. death toll topped 130,000. Restaurants also were targeted for a weekend crackdown on coronavirus enforcement in California, where hospitalizations for COVID-19 have jumped 50% over the past two weeks and the state capitol building in Sacramento was temporarily closed for deep cleaning. For an eighth straight day, Texas registered an all-time high in the number of people hospitalized at any one moment with the highly contagious respiratory illness, up more than 500 admissions from the day before to nearly 8,700.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Philippines Virus Cases Soar Past 50,000 as Lockdown Eases

Confirmed coronavirus infections in the Philippines soared past 50,000 on Wednesday in a troubling milestone for a country that has reopened an economy on the brink of recession while still struggling to combat the pandemic. The Department of Health reported 2,539 new cases, bringing the country's total to 50,359, including 1,314 deaths. The Philippines' caseload is the second largest in Southeast Asia, where the combined number of infections has surpassed those in China, where the pandemic emerged.
8th Jul 2020 - Voice of America

U.S. Consumption May See Quick Pickup If Lockdown Is Short-Lived

“We estimate that the combination of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and stimulus payments should be sufficient to allow a swift recovery in consumer spending to its pre-crisis levels,” they wrote. However, if the shutdown lasts for a year and the unemployment rate hits 20%, “we find that the return of spending toward its no-pandemic path takes roughly three years.” Although recent U.S data has proved better than expected, Atlanta Federal Reserve chief Raphael Bostic earlier this week cautioned that parts of the economy are showing signs of leveling off amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
8th Jul 2020 - BloombergQuint

What regions of Spain are in lockdown and is it safe to travel there?

Europe might have eased many of its lockdown measures, raising hopes that summer holidays might still be on the cards – but it’s not such good news for some parts of Spain. That’s because two regions have found themselves in a local lockdown there, following a surge in Covid-19 cases. It comes after the country lifted its state of emergency last month, and reopened to most of Europe – but which areas are back in lockdown, and is it safe to visit Spain? Here’s what you need to know…
8th Jul 2020 - Metro

Scam calls will rise as lockdown eases, says UK trading standards

Trading standards bosses have warned of an imminent spike in scam telephone calls as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease and call centres around the world – including bogus ones operated by criminals – start to reopen. Between the end of March and May the percentage of nuisance calls made to UK homes as a proportion of total calls was much lower than the usual average of 37% a month, as all office-based call centres were forced to close. However, National Trading Standards (NTS) is now predicting a sharp rise in the coming weeks as fraudsters exploit coronavirus fears and prey on vulnerable and older people self-isolating at home. Analysis by the NTS of the latest data from call blockers trueCall – which it has used in household pilot schemes – reveals that the number of nuisance calls in March was 34% below expected levels and 77% less in April. However these figures are picking up, it says.
8th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Signs of normalcy emerge as China reopens

While we have seen a few clusters where the virus has resurged in recent days after lockdowns were eased, events by and large in China are giving us hope: the re-opening of factories, migratory workers going back to work since January’s Chinese New Year celebrations, and industrial activity returning to at least 90% capacity utilization. As other emerging economies come out of lockdown, we’ll be watching closely whether consumers will behave as they were before the coronavirus. It’s too soon to describe what a broad economic recovery will look like, but we believe China and other trade-sensitive neighboring economies will have to be more reliant on domestic recoveries, given the short-term challenges they face with disrupted global trade routes.
8th Jul 2020 - BusinessWorld on MSN.com

Chinese factories to face headwinds in next phase of post-lockdown recovery

Orders for infrastructure materials and equipment have helped industrial output recover faster in China than most places emerging from COVID-19 lockdowns, but further expansion will be hard to attain without stronger broad-based demand and exports.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Homeless choose to stay housed, but new faces appearing on streets

People who have been chronically homeless are choosing to stay in permanent housing - some for the first time in more than 20 years. Organisations working with rough sleepers say the change in attitudes is "phenomenal". But they are warning it's no time to get complacent about homelessness, especially as new faces start to emerge on the streets. Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly is well acquainted with people sleeping rough. There is one man in particular he never thought would be housed. He's been on the streets for 22 years. "He was reluctant. Three days into lockdown, when all of his mates had gone, he was sitting there alone and said to his case-worker 'I think it's time to go inside. But, I want a room with a view'." He's been in housing for three months now. Last weekend he took his first trip in many years out of Auckland, to visit family.
8th Jul 2020 - New Zealand Herald

California coronavirus cases surge more than 10,000 in single day

California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks. California is one of several U.S. states that have reported surging numbers of new COVID-19 infections over the past week, raising questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump has handled the crisis and impeding state plans to lift lockdowns. The 10,201 new cases reported on Tuesday took the total number of cases in California since the start of the pandemic to nearly 284,00. In June, California infections more than doubled with over 117,000 new cases.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters

Japan's service sector mood jumps in June as lockdowns ease

Japan’s service sector sentiment jumped at a record pace in June as businesses re-opened after lockdown measures were lifted in late May, data showed on Wednesday, offering hope that the economy’s coronavirus-induced slump has bottomed out. But a recent rise in new infections in Tokyo is clouding the outlook, leaving few analysts predicting a V-shaped recovery. “Japan’s economy will hopefully pick up as business re-opens and the effect of government stimulus measures appears,” said Takeshi Okuwaki, economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute. “But it will take some time for economic activity to return to pre-pandemic levels. The outlook remains severe,” he said. A government survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff - called “economy watchers” for their proximity to consumer and retail trends - showed their confidence about current economic conditions jumped a record 23.3 points to 38.8 in June from the previous month.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Iran coronavirus death toll exceeds 12,000 as lockdown curbs ease

Iran’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 12,000 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased. The total number of infections has reached 248,379, with 209,463 people having recovered, ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a statement on state TV. Iran recorded 200 deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period on Tuesday, the highest official figure recorded by the ministry. President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday launched new measures to try to curb the spread. Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, he said.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Norway's economy rebounded in May as lockdown lifted

The Norwegian economy rebounded in May after two months of steep decline as a gradual reopening of businesses from coronavirus lockdowns helped turn activity around, Statistics Norway (SSB) said on Wednesday. The mainland economy, which excludes the volatile offshore oil and gas production, grew by 2.4% in May from April but has still contracted by 8.9% since February, the agency said.
8th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Novavax, maker of a Covid-19 vaccine, is backed by Operation Warp Speed

Novavax has joined the ranks of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers being supported by the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration announced Tuesday. The Gaithersburg, Md.-based biotech has been awarded $1.6 billion to support late-stage clinical trials and expansion of its manufacturing capacity. In return, Novavax will supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses — likely enough product to vaccinate 50 million people, assuming the product is safe and effective — starting in late 2020. The full amount is expected to be made available by February, Stanley Erck, the company’s president and CEO, told STAT.
7th Jul 2020 - CNBC


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

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Shops and bars reopen in São Paulo as Brazil reels from world's second-worst coronavirus outbreak

In Brazil’s largest city São Paulo, shops and bars started to reopen on July 6, 2020, after the city spent over three months in lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that reopen are being allowed to operate for six hours a day at 40 per cent capacity. But Covid-19 continues to spread across the country, which reported 1,603,055 cases and 64,867 deaths as of July 6. Brazil’s outbreak is the world's second-largest following the US.
7th Jul 2020 - South China Morning Post

Coronavirus: Pubs close again after punters test positive for COVID-19

A number of pubs which reopened for the first time since lockdown measures were imposed have had to close again after punters tested positive for coronavirus. Bars across England welcomed drinkers on Saturday more than three months after the coronavirus outbreak closed down the hospitality sector. But three pubs have since alerted their patrons that they have had to shut again after cases of COVID-19 were detected.
7th Jul 2020 - Sky News

Birmingham has highest number of coronavirus cases in England as lockdown lifted

Birmingham has still seen the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country as the lockdown is lifted across England. The city has seen nearly 4,800 cases of the deadly bug, which has killed over 44,000 Brits, since the beginning of the outbreak in February. There have been 4,797 confirmed cases out of a local population of 1,141,816 to 6 Jul, with 1,155 coronavirus-related deaths registered to 19 Jun. 28% of all deaths involved coronavirus between 29 Feb and 19 Jun. The number of Covid-19 cases has been confirmed as pubs, hotels and restaurants begin operating across the city once more.
7th Jul 2020 - Birmingham Live

Coronavirus: Italian beach nudists fined as police crack down

Authorities in the northern region of Lombardy have been struggling to stop people converging on local beaches in the summer weather. Some 70 people were spotted on the beaches, mainly visitors from South American and Eastern Europe as well as neighbouring provinces. Lombardy has been hit harder by Covid-19 than any other Italian region. Although the lockdown is gradually being lifted it is compulsory to wear a mask, even outdoors. The Corriere website noted that it was not just masks that the six nudists had failed to wear.
7th Jul 2020 - BBC News

Brits now required by law to wear face masks on beach in Spain

Sunbathers can ditch their facemasks once they are on the sand in most regions of Spain but following a surge of new Covid-19 cases, La Marina north of Lugo in Galicia has been put on lockdown and people must wear face masks all the time
7th Jul 2020 - The Mirror

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic. The court in the Ural Mountains region ordered Father Sergiy to pay 90,000 rubles ($1,250). The 65-year-old monk, who has attracted nationwide attention by urging followers to disobey church leadership and ignore church closures during the pandemic, didn’t attend the court hearing. On Friday, a Russian Orthodox Church panel in Yekaterinburg ruled to defrock Father Sergiy for breaking monastic rules. He didn’t show up at the session and dismissed the verdict, urging his backers to come to defend the Sredneuralsk women’s monastery where he has holed up since last month.
7th Jul 2020 - The Associated Press

Few masks and little distancing as thousands pack Black Sea beaches

Tens of thousands of people descended on Black Sea beaches in Russia and Ukraine over the weekend but despite significant COVID-19 outbreaks in both countries, there was little evidence anyone was heeding public health advice. Few were seen wearing face masks or trying to maintain social distancing on the overcrowded beaches of Odessa and Sochi. Both are even more packed this year because of the EU's ban on travellers entering from outside the bloc. Fifteen countries have been exempted from the prohibition, but neither Russia nor Ukraine are on the list.
7th Jul 2020 - Euronews

India's coronavirus death toll hits 20,000 as infections surge

India’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 20,000 on Tuesday and case numbers surged as the south Asian nation pushed ahead with relaxations to its almost two-month lockdown amid grim economic forecasts. The rate of both new virus infections and deaths are rising at the fastest pace in three months, as officials lift a vast lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion people that has left tens of thousands without work and shuttered businesses. The country reported 467 new deaths on Tuesday, taking the toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new infections, increasing the total to 719,665. India on Monday overtook Russia as the third most affected country globally, behind the United States and Brazil.
7th Jul 2020 - Reuters


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

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'It's a tsunami': pandemic leaves vulnerable Latin America reeling

Four months after Latin America’s first Covid-19 case was recorded in Brazil, the region’s biggest economy is far from the only country struggling. Mexico, where 30,000 have died, has overtaken Spain as the country with the world’s sixth highest death toll – despite claims from its president, the leftwing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, that the outbreak had been “tamed”. Nicaragua’s political elite has been hammered by an epidemic its authoritarian leaders are accused of trying to conceal, with at least 20 prominent Sandinistas dying after showing Covid-19 symptoms. Peru, initially praised for its swift and strict lockdown, has lost more than 10,000 citizens, while the number of cases in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia has been rising too. Fears that Venezuela’s already broken health system could be rapidly overwhelmed appear not yet to have been confirmed, with Nicolás Maduro’s administration recognising just 57 deaths and 6,273 cases. But many doubt those official figures, and reports suggest a worrying surge of infections in the western state of Zulia.
6th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Britain beyond lockdown: what we learned from two weeks on the road

Britain is crying out for a better normal. Communities across the country are emerging from lockdown with a new sense of what is possible and what is necessary – and the answers to both go a lot further than Westminster’s efforts to drive the country back to business as usual. That was the overriding impression from a two-week reporting trip around Britain, asking people in different regions how they view recovery and whether there is an appetite for more fundamental change. The answer, overwhelmingly, was that we cannot just go back to the way things were, that there are elements brought out by lockdown that should continue, and that more needs to be done to prepare the country for the economic, mental health and climate crises to come.
6th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

German restaurants still hungry for customers post-lockdown

For now the glass remains half full for many businesses. "The situation is dramatic," the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) summarised, noting that restaurant owners expect June revenues on average to be 60 percent lower than last year. "Sure, customers are coming back but very, very slowly," said Sahin Ciftci, the owner of Zeus pizzeria in Berlin's trendy Friedrichshain district. "People are still afraid to come and sit inside," he sighed, surveying his empty dining room at midday.
6th Jul 2020 - Bangkok Post

India becomes third worst-hit country as coronavirus cases rocket by 24,000 in a day after lockdown eased

India has seen a surge of more than 24,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. The country now has the third-highest number of infections in the world - 697,413, including 19,693 deaths.
6th Jul 2020 - London Evening Standard

Coronavirus pushes US hospitals to the brink as India hits record new cases

Hospital beds are full in parts of Texas, while calls for fresh stay-at-home orders are growing. Some mayors say their cities reopened too early, as President Donald Trump tries to downplay the disease that has gripped much of the country. India faces similar challenges as it clocked a record daily number of cases across a vast nation where medical facilities are uneven and many COVID-19 infections are likely to be undiagnosed.
6th Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Vietnam reports 14 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

Vietnam’s health ministry on Monday reported 14 new coronavirus infections, all among Vietnamese citizens held in quarantine upon their arrival from overseas. The Southeast Asian country has been 81 days without a domestically transmitted infection due to successful programmes to contain the virus. It has yet to report any deaths from the coronavirus and has confirmed 369 cases in total, over 90% of which have recovered.
6th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

African nations reopening airspace despite rising COVID-19 cases

Kenya continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with cases steadily rising each day. Government have locked down a handful of counties including the capital Nairobi and imposed a night-time curfew as part of containment efforts. Kenya as of May 10 was the fourth most impacted country in the East / Horn of Africa region only behind Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. Government also rolled out mass testing in virus hot spots, borders remain shut and a ban on public gatherings continues.
6th Jul 2020 - Africanews English

India surges to 3rd-highest in cases as virus slams US hospitals

India on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections. The Indian government—like many around the world—has gradually lifted virus restrictions to help the battered economy, but the number of cases has continued to climb, with 24,000 reported in 24 hours to take the total to nearly 700,000 on Monday. India's major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed.
6th Jul 2020 - Medical Xpress

India just surpassed Russia as the country with the 3rd-most coronavirus infections

India recorded tens of thousands of new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, raising the country's total number past Russia's as the third-largest in the world. The country has recorded nearly 700,000 cases despite strict lockdowns imposed from March to May. A lack of testing and external factors preventing social distancing among the population of 1.3 billion are thought to be to blame as some cities are preparing to impose lockdowns again.
5th Jul 2020 - Business Insider

Peru Coronavirus Cases Top 300,000 as Andean Nation Eases Lockdown

The South American copper producer, which locked down in March against the virus but struggled to enforce a nationwide quarantine in the face of rising economic hardship, trails only Brazil in the region in terms of case numbers. Peru's death toll from the virus now stands at 10,589, the 10th-highest in the world, according to Reuters calculations. President Martín Vizcarra's government has eased restrictions this month to allow economic growth to revive, including the key mining sector. Peru is the world's second-largest producer of copper.
5th Jul 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

France's Louvre reopens after 16-week virus shutdown

The world's most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, reopened Monday after nearly four months of coronavirus closure, with a restricted number of visitors enjoying a rare chance to view the "Mona Lisa" without the usual throngs. Several dozen visitors queued outside the vast former palace of France's kings, eagerly awaiting the opening as the famed museum hopes to start recuperating losses estimated at more than 40 million euros (US$45 million) due to the lockdown. The museum's most popular draws, including Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Louvre's vast antiquities collection will be accessible.
5th Jul 2020 - CTV News

Arrests as revelers defy distancing rules after pubs reopen in England

Lockdown restrictions were eased, the pubs opened and crowds flocked onto the streets of English cities Saturday, many ignoring social distancing rules and prompting complaints from the police. A number of arrests were made. John Apter, chair of the Police Federation for England and Wales, warned that it was "crystal clear" that drunk people cannot observe social distancing. Apter, who was on patrol in Southampton, a city on England's south coast, wrote on Twitter that officers dealt with "anti-social behavior, naked men, possession of class 'A' drugs, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights, more angry drunks."
5th Jul 2020 - NBC News

'Beautiful' to have a pint, 'brilliant' to get a haircut - England reopens after lockdown

People relished their first pub drinks in more than three months, went to restaurants and finally got haircuts on Saturday as England took its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life after the coronavirus lockdown. Some pubs started serving from 6 a.m., sparking worries of over-indulgence on what the media dubbed a “Super Saturday” of restrictions being eased. Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight. “It’s beautiful just to get back and have a pint,” said Jim Martin, a 56-year old carpenter enjoying a beer at The Holland Tringham pub in south London, part of the JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) chain. It opened at 8 a.m. and was about three quarters full by 11.20 a.m.
4th Jul 2020 - Reuters


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

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Malawi cancels independence celebrations over virus spike

Malawi's president Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday called off planned independence celebrations and drastically scaled back on his inauguration ceremony following a spike in coronavirus infections in the southern African country. The cancellation will put a dampener on the euphoria generated by the historic opposition triumph in a recent landmark election re-run after last year's fraudulent polls were overturned.
5th Jul 2020 - The Peninsula Qatar

S.Africa reports record rise in COVID-19 cases

South Africa has reported a sharp rise in novel coronavirus infections with 7,210 cases reported in a single day on Saturday, and another 6,334 on Sunday, the Health Ministry said. “We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the latter winter months of July and August,’’ Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced in a statement Sunday night. Mkhize said as of Sunday the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 138,134, with the death toll hitting 2,456 and recoveries standing at 68,925. The minister said 43 new fatalities were reported on Sunday, while a day earlier the country recorded 73 deaths from the disease. The highest fatalities were recorded in the tourism hub of Western Cape.
5th Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Nearly 25000 Covid-19 cases in India in record daily jump

India’s tally of the coronavirus disease reached 673,165 with the biggest single-day increase of 24,850 new cases and 613 deaths, data from the Union health ministry on Sunday showed. The country’s death toll due to the disease has reached 19,268 and there are 244,4814 active cases of Covid-19 in the country, according to the health ministry’s dashboard, reports Hindustan Times. The number of recoveries stands at 409,082 with 14,856 people cured of the viral disease in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate is now 60.76%, slightly down from Saturday’s 60.80%. This is the third consecutive day when coronavirus disease cases have increased by more than 20,000.
5th Jul 2020 - Dhaka Tribune

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 239 to 196,335 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 239 to 196,335, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,012, the tally showed.
5th Jul 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

'Let’s do karaoke!': Bangkok nightlife eases out of lockdown

The city’s bars, clubs and even massage parlours are beginning to buzz again but the absence of tourists is taking its toll
4th Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina Get Best Marks in Latin America for Pandemic Response-Poll

Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina are the Latin American countries that earned the best grades for their response to the coronavirus, according to a poll conducted in the region and released on Friday, while Brazil was tagged as the worst performer.
3rd Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus mortality in Italy is highest among poor, study shows

Poor Italians are significantly more likely to die of the coronavirus than higher-income groups, the country’s first significant study into the disease’s disproportionate social impact showed on Friday. Italy is one of the world’s worst-hit countries with almost 35,000 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 and it was the first European nation to report large-scale infections. In its annual report, national statistics bureau ISTAT studied mortality rates for each month from January 2019 to March 2020, when the outbreak took off, focusing on the education levels of those who died. On average, Italians who leave school early with few qualifications have lower life-expectancy than those who study for longer, ISTAT said, and this “excess mortality” remained roughly constant through February this year.
3rd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Switzerland publishes list of ‘high risk’ travel quarantine countries

The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are among 29 countries listed as posing a high risk of coronavirus infection by the Swiss authorities. From July 6, travellers entering Switzerland from these countries must go into quarantine for ten days.
3rd Jul 2020 - SwissInfo.ch


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

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Will Europe or the US Recover Faster from Coronavirus?

After the devastating financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the United States recovered much more quickly than Europe, which suffered a double-dip recession. This time, many economists say that Europe may have the edge. The main reason America did well was the rapid response of the government and the flexible nature of the American economy, quick both to fire workers but also to hire them again. Europe, with built-in social insurance, tries to keep workers from layoffs through subsidies to employers, making it harder to fire and more expensive to rehire. But this is a different kind of collapse, a mandated shutdown in response to a pandemic, driving down both supply and demand simultaneously. And that difference creates the possibility that the European response, freezing the economy in place, might work better this time.
2nd Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Uruguay rides out COVID threat without imposing a lockdown

Uruguay's president was recently photographed surfing in the early morning ahead of a cabinet meeting, symbolizing his government's relief that a policy of "freedom with responsibility" in containing the COVID-19 pandemic is succeeding. Photos of 47-year-old Luis Lacalle Pou emerging from the South Atlantic in a wetsuit with a board under his arm and a smile on his lips hit the newsstands on Tuesday, as Europe reopened its borders to 15 countries. The list included only one Latin American country: Uruguay. With less than 1,000 registered novel coronavirus cases and just 27 deaths, the country of 3.4 million is a notable exception in a region that has become the epicenter of the global health crisis. Uruguay currently has just 83 active cases, while its giant neighbor Brazil is the world's worst-hit country after the United States.
2nd Jul 2020 - FRANCE 24

Sweden's prime minister orders an inquiry into the failure of the country's no-lockdown coronavirus strategy

Sweden's prime minister has ordered an inquiry into the country's decision not to impose a coronavirus lockdown after the country suffered thousands more deaths than its closest neighbours. "We have thousands of dead" Swedish PM Stefan Lofven said at a press conference on Wednesday, while admitting the country's handling had exposed Sweden's shortcomings, The Times reported. "The question now is how Sweden should change not if"
2nd Jul 2020 - Business Insider India

Young Americans are partying hard and spreading COVID-19 quickly

COVID-19 is increasingly a disease of the young, with the message to stay home for the sake of older loved ones wearing off as the pandemic wears on. The dropping age of the infected is becoming one of the most pressing problems for local officials, who continued Wednesday to set curfews and close places where the young gather. U.S. health experts say that they are more likely to be active and asymptomatic, providing a vast redoubt for the coronavirus that has killed almost 130,000 Americans. In Arizona, half of all positive cases are people from the ages of 20 to 44, according to state data. The median age in Florida is 37, down from 65 in March. In Texas’s Hays County, people in their 20s make up 50 percent of the victims.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Japan Times

Return to class to be reviewed 'day-by-day' as school spread widens

Victoria's Chief Health Officer will review the planned reopening of schools within Melbourne's locked-down suburbs as new evidence of recent student-to-student transmission of COVID-19 emerges. Professor Brett Sutton said he still expected schools in the lockdown zones to return to face-to-face learning at the start of term three, but that he wanted a reduction in transmission rates. "It will certainly be reviewed on a day-to-day basis. I will give as much notice as I can around the resumption of school in those restricted postcodes," Professor Sutton said. The Chief Health Officer said there was evidence of student-to-student and especially teacher-to-teacher transmission.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Age

New Zealand health minister resigns after blunders

New Zealand's health minister has resigned after criticism of the government's response to coronavirus and his own breaches of lockdown rules. David Clark had already been demoted after breaking rules to take his family to the beach. He said continuing in his role was distracting from the government's overall response to the pandemic. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Thursday that she had accepted his resignation. New Zealand has been hailed as a success story when it comes to tackling the coronavirus. The country has recorded 1,528 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases and 22 people have died. Last month, all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and the nation was declared virus free.
2nd Jul 2020 - BBC News

New Zealand health minister David Clark resigns after breaking coronavirus lockdown to go mountain biking, passing the buck on border failures

New Zealand's health minister has resigned following a series of personal blunders during the coronavirus pandemic. David Clark had earlier described himself as an "idiot" for breaking the nation's lockdown measures and then last week appeared to blame a respected health official for border lapses, generating an angry response from the public. Announcing his resignation, Mr Clark said he had put all his energy into the job. "But it has become increasingly clear to me that my continuation in the role is distracting from the government's overall response to COVID-19," he said.
2nd Jul 2020 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

New Zealand health minister David Clark quits over handling of Covid-19 outbreak

New Zealand’s health minister has resigned after a series of major missteps during the coronavirus crisis which saw him draw the ire of the public and the prime minister. Dr David Clark has held the health portfolio since Labour was elected in 2017 but has largely been viewed as an ineffectual minister who has struggled to make an impact during his term. During New Zealand’s lockdown, Clark was twice discovered breaching the strict stay-at-home rules; once by going mountain biking, and a second time when he took his family for a beach trip 23km from his Dunedin home.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown has been eased too soon in the US - and was never strict enough - warns Dr Fauci as he slams young people hitting beaches, bars and protests infecting the vulnerable amid 'disturbing' spike in cases to over 52,000 a day

Anthony Fauci has warned that America's coronavirus lockdown was lifted too soon, was never strict enough in the first place, and that young people are driving a second wave that has seen daily infections top 50,000. Dr Fauci, the White House's top virus adviser, said the 'very disturbing' new rise in cases is being caused in part by the fact that the US never got its first wave under control - only locking down around 50 per cent of the country compared to 97 per cent as happened in most of Europe where daily infections are now very low. That meant that when the economy started to reopen, the virus began spreading rapidly almost immediately because there were still a large number infected people to pass the disease along, he told BBC Radio 4 in the UK.
2nd Jul 2020 - Daily Mail

Border town pays price for Sweden's no-lockdown as Norway reopens

The Swedish border town of Stromstad is paying a heavy price for Sweden’s decision not to lock down its economy like neighbouring Norway and other Nordic nations to halt the spread of COVID-19. Stromstad is just a two-hour drive from Oslo and popular with Norwegians who shop for cheaper consumer goods in Sweden, but Norway’s lockdown, imposed in mid-March, put a stop to that. And now, though Norway has lifted its lockdown following a sharp fall in COVID-19 cases, it still quarantines people returning from Sweden, which has registered more than four times the combined number of deaths in Norway, Denmark and Finland. “When Norway closed its borders, (Stromstad) went overnight from full activity to total stillness,” said Kent Hansson, the town’s mayor. “The border retail trade, it is (still) completely dead. The large supermarkets close to the border are completely deserted.” Sweden kept most businesses and schools open when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, bucking the international trend.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

End of lockdown fails to boost jobs market in Spain

The end of the coronavirus lockdown in Spain failed to bring a surge in employment as government data showed that the 900,000 jobs lost at the pandemic’s peak had not been regained, while the tourism sector has not yet returned to regular activity. The number of people in Spain registering as jobless rose by 0.13% in June from a month earlier, or by 5,017 people, leaving 3.86 million people out of work, Labour Ministry data showed on Thursday. The number of registered jobless people had risen in May by 0.68%. Overall there were 847,197 more jobless people in June than in the same month a year ago. A net 99,906 jobs were lost in June. According to data from the Social Security Ministry, on average 68,208 new jobs were registered in June compared to May, but 161,500 people were fired on the last day of the month.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

India's coronavirus cases cross 600,000 amid easing of lockdowns

India’s coronavirus infections surpassed 600,000 on Thursday, with 17,834 deaths, as authorities battled to contain the pandemic while easing lockdown rules, officials and the health ministry said. Fresh challenges to protect people from the virus emerged for disaster management officials in the northeast state of Assam amid torrential rainfall, where floods and landslides killed 57 people this week and more than 1.5 million were forced to flee their homes. Assam’s health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said the state had started testing aggressively to identify coronavirus cases among villagers forced to take shelter in community halls, schools and government buildings. “We were isolating new coronavirus hotspots; the situation is very critical,” Sarma told Reuters. The increase in infections presents a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Lockdown ends in Nigeria's Kano, where coronavirus killed hundreds

The Nigerian state of Kano ended its novel coronavirus lockdown on Thursday, the local ministry of health said, months after an outbreak of what was originally called a “mysterious disease” killed hundreds of citizens. The easing comes weeks after other parts of Nigeria relaxed restrictions, and marks an effort to resume everyday life in Kano, the commercial and cultural heart of predominantly Muslim northern Nigerian. In April and early May, roughly 500 people died in the state, a government probe found, saying the deaths were likely due to coronavirus. Local authorities did not acknowledge the outbreak at the time. Kano’s health ministry on its official Twitter account did not provide details of the state lockdown ending except to say civil servants would return to work from July 6. The end of Kano’s lockdown and other policies to relax restrictions come as coronavirus cases mount in Africa’s most populous country.
2nd Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

Swiss restrict entry from 29 countries to prevent coronavirus spread

Travellers to Switzerland from 29 countries will from July 6 have to register with the authorities and go into self-isolation to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus, the government said on Thursday. The list includes the United States, Sweden, Brazil and Russia, which have been designated as countries with a high risk of infection.
2nd Jul 2020 - TODAYonline

Other deaths spike in Indian city ravaged by COVID-19

A large Indian city badly hit by the coronavirus has recorded a sharp rise in deaths not attributed to the outbreak, according to official data and burial records, highlighting how the pandemic has affected general healthcare. The spike in deaths in Ahmedabad, the most populous city in western Gujarat state, is due to patients with serious illnesses either not able to go to hospitals or being afraid to visit them because of the virus, doctors said. The numbers contain "ominous signals" for the rest of the country, said Dr Rajib Dasgupta, a professor of community health at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University.
2nd Jul 2020 - CNA

Peru looks to restart economy after months-long lockdown

Peru entered the final stage of its economic reopening on Wednesday after ending a months-long lockdown to try and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The government said in a decree that “phase 3” of economic reactivation, which includes 96% of production activities, will restart all mining activities, industrial sectors and commerce, though they must comply with health protocols for the pandemic. Restaurants and shops will reopen to cater to a limited capacity of customers. Officials are also weighing health protocols for resuming domestic air and land transport. “The goal is to revive the economy and create jobs,” said President Martin Vizcarra, speaking at an event to announce the purchase of 400 ventilators from China. At least 240,000 companies received an economic stimulus from the government to help them reopen, Vizcarra said.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters

Peruvians fill streets as lockdown ends despite infections

Blocks-long lines formed at bus stops, food markets and shopping centers in Peru's capital Wednesday as people left their homes en masse to go to work or shop as a 106-day coronavirus lockdown ended in many parts of the country. For the first time in months, food vendors offered breakfasts for 50 cents from street carts covered in clear plastic in Lima's historic center. Vendors hawked face shields and disinfectants outside crowded public markets. City workers cleaned statues with jets of water. “God always accompanies me,” said 73-year-old newspaper deliverer Segundina Lolo when asked if she feared the virus with infection rates in the country still high and scientists warning against ending three months of strict stay-at-home orders too soon.
1st Jul 2020 - YAHOO!


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

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Peru's biggest LGBTQ nightclub reopens as grocery store to survive pandemic

As Peru begins to ease its strict coronavirus lockdown, the country's biggest LGBTQ nightclub opened its doors on Tuesday, but there will be no nighttime revelers; its dance floor will instead be filled with shelves stocked with groceries. Instead of slinging cocktails at the bar or dancing on stage, ValeTodo Downtown's famed staff of drag queens will sell customers daily household products as the space reopens as a market while nightclubs are ordered to remain closed. The Peruvian government will lift the lockdown in most regions of the country at the beginning of July, but will keep borders closed, as well as nightclubs and bars. The lockdown has been a struggle for the club's 120 employees like drag queen Belaluh McQueen. Her life completely changed when the government announced the quarantine. Her nights were spent at home, rather than performing as a dancer at the club in vivid-colored costumes.
1st Jul 2020 - YAHOO!

Peru's biggest LGBTQ disco gets a new look

Peru's biggest LGBTQ nightclub opened its doors on Tuesday as the government began to ease a strict lockdown due to coronavirus. But there will be no nighttime revelers and its dance floor will be filled with shelves stocked with groceries.
1st Jul 2020 - Reuters

Prague celebrates end of coronavirus lockdown with mass dinner party at 1,600-foot table

People in the Czech capital, Prague, built a 1,600-foot table and held a massive public dinner party on Tuesday, to celebrate the end of the country's coronavirus lockdown. Residents stretched through the city's streets and over its famous Charles Bridge after the government lifted restrictions on large gatherings. The Czech Republic was quick to implement a lockdown at the start of the global coronavirus outbreak and became one of the first countries to tell its citizens to wear masks -- helping it avoid the worst of the pandemic and ease restrictions earlier than many other nations. This meant that locals could enjoy a jaw-dropping spectacle of alfresco dining and forgo social distancing to celebrate the country's progress.
1st Jul 2020 - CNN

Spain and Portugal reopen land border three months after lockdown

The leaders of Spain and Portugal marked the reopening of their land border, more than three months after shutting it because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spain’s King Felipe VI and prime minister Pedro Sanchez met with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and prime minister Antonio Costa for border ceremonies in Badajoz on the Spanish side and later in Elvas, Portugal. Wearing masks, which they removed to hear their national anthems played, the Iberian leaders toured a Moorish fortress and museum in Badajoz before visiting a 14th-century castle in Elvas, 12 miles away.They gave no speeches in Wednesday’s event.
1st Jul 2020 - ShropshireStar.com

Ryanair resumes flights from Leeds Bradford to Spain and France | ITV News

The airline Ryanair will resume 40 percent of its flights from today - including from Leeds Bradford Airport to Spain and France. It's introduced new guidelines such as fewer bag checks, online check-in and temperature measures at airport entry, More than 1,000 flights per day will be operated by Ryanair, which has run a skeleton schedule since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is restoring almost 90% of its route network but frequencies will be lower than normal, with just 40% of its normal July capacity.
1st Jul 2020 - ITV News

Russia: Coronavirus cases to date top 650,000

The number of coronavirus cases Russia has seen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic crossed the 650,000 mark on Wednesday. Over the last 24 hours, 6,556 more people tested positive for COVID-19, briging the tally to 654,405, the country's emergency task force said in its daily report. Over the same period, a spike in coronavirus-related fatalities was seen, with 216 people since yesterday, raising the death toll to 9,536, compared to an average of 100-plus fatalities reported over the last month. Single-day recoveries came in at 10,281, bringing the total number to 422,931. Russia will continue to increase the number of tests although the number of new cases is declining across the country to "identify new cases quickly, helping the patients and preventing them from infecting those around them," said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. To maintain testing, the government allocated nearly 3.5 billion rubles ($500 million) for the production of COVID-19 test kits for use at federal and municipal establishments, Mishustin added.
1st Jul 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Government's $70 million lifeline for New Zealand film and TV industry

The Government has handed a $73 million lifeline to New Zealand's film and TV industry, which has been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday's funding boost will cover new and existing projects and is expected to save thousands of jobs. While many people heralded the resurrection of high-profile movie Avatar last month, most of New Zealand's domestic film industry remains in lockdown. "There were 47 films in production at various stages before COVID lockdown, but only one has started up again," Dame Kerry Prendergast, chair of NZ Film Commission, said. The $3 billion, 16,000 job industry was at serious risk of a dramatic shrinking but after continued pleas, they netted a huge multi-million dollar cash injection. Kelly Martin, the producer of the upcoming Robyn Malcolm film This Town says it's "amazing". "It's fantastic that the Government is acknowledging the screen sector needs support," Martin said.
1st Jul 2020 - Newshub

Post-Covid New Zealand tackles a new threat – anxiety over an uncertain future

“It’s not so much the presence of Covid-19 that presents us with our greatest challenge, but the absence of it,” says Sarb Johal, a clinical psychologist based in Wellington, New Zealand. “We’re living with this reduced visibility of what’s coming in the future, and it feels sort of ominous and foreboding at the same time.” “It’s not so much the presence of Covid-19 that presents us with our greatest challenge, but the absence of it,” says Sarb Johal, a clinical psychologist based in Wellington, New Zealand. “We’re living with this reduced visibility of what’s coming in the future, and it feels sort of ominous and foreboding at the same time.”
1st Jul 2020 - The Guardian

Czechs mark end of lockdown with bridge dinner

Crowds gathered on Prague's Charles Bridge on Tuesday to celebrate the end of the Czech Republic's coronavirus crisis with a group dinner along a gigantic table set up on the historic landmark. The EU member of 10.7 million people has by now eased most of the anti-virus measures it introduced early on -- thanks to which it has fared relatively well, registering fewer than 12,000 coronavirus cases and under 350 deaths. On the 14th-century bridge, merrymakers munched on snacks and sipped drinks they brought from home, sharing their fare with others at the table spanning 500 metres
30th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24


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

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Toronto makes masks mandatory, citing US problems

Canada’s largest city has made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces. “You have told us you don’t want to see a repeat of what you see when you turn on your TV and see reports from the United States," Toronto Mayor John Tory said. Toronto city council approved a bylaw and it will come into effect July 7. Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, said there is growing evidence that shows non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and noted many cities in the U.S. are seeing a resurgence in cases since reopening. De Villa said she made the recommendation to help Toronto move from Stage 2 of the Ontario’s reopening plan to Stage 3.
1st Jul 2020 - ABC News

The Covid-19 changes that could last long-term

From the extinction of the daily commute to transforming our relationship with food, Covid-19 is changing our world already – and in some ways, it looks set to get better.
30th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Jacinda Ardern decries 'dangerous' calls to reopen New Zealand borders

The prime minister appeared to be responding to the opposition leader, who has said keeping the borders closed for months or years is ‘untenable’
30th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

EU agrees 'safe' list of 14 countries for travel resumption

European Union governments have agreed an initial “safe list” of 14 countries from which they will allow non-essential travel from July, with the United States among the most notable of absences. The “safe” countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, the European Council said on Tuesday. In addition, China would be included if it reciprocated by allowing in EU travellers.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters

U.S. coronavirus cases double in 14 states during June

Coronavirus cases more than doubled in at least 10 U.S. states, including Florida and Texas in the month of June, a Reuters analysis on Tuesday showed. Arizona recorded the biggest jump in cases for the month at 294%, followed by South Carolina and Arkansas. Cases also more than doubled in Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Utah. Nationally cases rose by at least 43% and deaths increased by 20%. Several states have yet to report cases on Tuesday.
30th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Latin America COVID-19 Deaths Could Rise to 438000 by October, Says WHO Director

The Americas is the world epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and the toll for the whole region could almost treble to 637,000 by Oct. 1, the WHO official said, though she cautioned that mathematical model projections should not be taken literally but only as planning guides. Under current conditions, the pandemic is expected to peak in Chile and Colombia by mid-July, but in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru not until August, and Costa Rica will not flatten its curve of infection until October, she said.
30th Jun 2020 - The New York Times


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

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The demise of British pubs has slowed- but lockdown could be the calm before the storm

Last year, figures published by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) showed pubs were closing at a rate of one every 12 hours, with 378 locals shutting permanently between July and December 2019. It was the worrying continuation of an existing trend and Covid-19 has only brought further concern across the industry. And yet a new report suggests the number of pubs “vanishing” from UK towns and cities has slowed, despite coronavirus.
29th Jun 2020 - iNews

Police across UK braced to quell disorder as lockdown eased on ‘Super Saturday’

Police will mount operations all over the country this weekend to prevent new outbreaks of violence when lockdown rules are eased. Martin Hewitt, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said forces recognised “people have had frustrations” and would be ready to enjoy the “new freedom” that will come when pubs, restaurants, hotels and other businesses reopen on Saturday. But he said it remained vital that the public acted responsibly to prevent the risk of a second wave of Covid-19.
29th Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

As coronavirus lockdown eases, U.K. domestic abuse charity sees huge surge in calls for help

The London-based domestic violence charity Solace says it saw a 200% rise in calls to its helpline during the first easing of Britain's coronavirus lockdown in May, and that it is preparing for a massive rise in demand for its services when restrictions relax even further on July 4. "As restriction ease, as partners go back physically to work or come off furlough, for example, then they will be able to, they will be trying to seek those means of escape," Fiona Dwyer, chief executive of Solace, told CBS News. Coronavirus lockdowns around the world sparked warnings about an increase in domestic abuse, as partners were trapped in close proximity to one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dwyer says the numbers of people fleeing abusive relationships is expected to increase as lockdown restrictions ease further and escape starts to feel like more of a possibility for some victims and survivors.
29th Jun 2020 - CBS News

First UK night out of lockdown – camping in Northern Ireland

In the same week Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to allow camping, a new glampsite opened in the Sperrin mountains’ dark sky park
29th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

'They are the new poor': Covid-19 fuels rising poverty in Italy

The new faces are among the 1 million Italians who will be pushed into poverty this year as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates from Coldiretti, the farmers’ association. “What is happening is right before everyone’s eyes,” said Lorenzo Bazzana, an economic adviser to Coldiretti. “Families who perhaps were not in difficulty before are now shouldering a very heavy economic burden and are turning to food banks for help.”
29th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Cheers! Irish pubs reopen as end of lockdown nears

Irish pubs unlock their doors and begin pouring pints on Monday, ending a 15-week dry spell forced by the nation's coronavirus lockdown. Pubs serving food as well as restaurants and hotels are permitted to open as the republic enters the penultimate stage of its plan to lift stay-at-home restrictions. All domestic travel restrictions were also lifted, as churches, hairdressers, cinemas and museums opened and mass gatherings of 50 indoors or 200 outdoors were permitted.
29th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Rise in coronavirus transmission seems inevitable as lockdown lifts

The June 29th milestone should be seen as end of the beginning but not the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. We are a long way from an effective vaccine and there are no drug treatments for the virus on the horizon, so the best we can hope for is a gradual step-by-step reduction in infection. One of the country’s leading infectious disease specialists, University College Dublin’s Prof Paddy Mallon, certainly punctured any immediate optimism when he told the Oireachtas health committee “it is inevitable that we will experience a resurgence of cases as we relax restrictions and permit more travel”.
29th Jun 2020 - The Irish Times

Can I go clubbing? Yes – in New Zealand! Your guide to easing and the arts

Actors, dancers and comedians could find themselves experiencing a different kind of lockdown. Fancourt mentions film sets in the US, where entire casts and crews are agreeing to isolate for two weeks before a shoot. “We might have companies of people locking themselves away over a period,” she says. “Alternatively, if we’re able to exist in a state of semi-lockdown, with some social interaction permitted, theatres may be able to adapt their models. “Instead of having multiple different shows with different companies coming in and out, we might end up with scenarios like the Royal Shakespeare Company, where you have companies of actors who stay and do shows as a collective in one place. So the number of social interactions among the company is limited and it’s easier to track and trace if an infection does occur.”
29th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

High Street gets set to reopen as Scotland continues to emerge from lockdown

The first stage of Scotland's High Street recovery launched on Monday, with retailers opening their doors to customers for the first time in 14 weeks.
29th Jun 2020 - The Courier

Russia reports lowest number of coronavirus infections since April 29

Russia on Monday reported 6,719 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the lowest one-day reported increase since April 29, pushing its nationwide tally to 641,156. The national coronavirus taskforce said 93 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,166.
29th Jun 2020 - Reuters

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!

What Italy's Post-Lockdown Life Reveals About The New Normal

Italy, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, has been easing restrictions for two months. Here are the lessons now emerging.
26th Jun 2020 - HuffPost


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 29th Jun 2020

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Ireland to keep its 14-day quarantine on British travellers: Sunday Times

Ireland will maintain a 14-day quarantine for travellers from the British mainland in July even as it plans to ease travel restrictions with some countries, the Sunday Times newspaper reported, citing a memo. The memo with the Irish cabinet committee said it was "highly unlikely" that Britain would be included in Ireland's safe travel list, the report added. Ireland plans to lift from July 9 a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries that have also suppressed the coronavirus, the Irish government said on Thursday.
28th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Australia's Victoria state mandates coronavirus testing for travellers

Australia's Victoria state will implement mandatory coronavirus tests for returning travellers after a sharp spike in infections over the past two weeks, the state's premier said on Sunday. The country's second-most populous state had 49 new cases on Sunday, its highest in more than two months and the 12th consecutive day of double-digit rises. The rest of Australia has seen almost no infections. "Much like a bushfire, putting this out is challenging," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a press conference, alluding to wildfires at the end of last year that burnt through vast swaths of the country. "Containing it, though, is something that we can do, and test and trace is the most effective thing to do."
28th Jun 2020 - MSN.com

Patient 91: How Vietnam saved a British pilot and kept a clean Covid-19 sheet

"If I'd been almost anywhere else on the planet, I'd be dead. They would have flicked the switch after 30 days," says Stephen Cameron from his hospital bed. The 43-year-old Scottish pilot spent 68 days on a ventilator, thought to be a longer stretch of time than any patient in the UK. He did so not in a hospital in his hometown of Motherwell, but in Vietnam's sprawling and hectic Ho Chi Minh City, with no close friends or family for thousands of miles. Cameron, the last Covid-19 patient in an intensive care unit in Vietnam, has been the sickest doctors have had to deal with during the outbreak. The country, home to 95 million people, has seen only a few hundred confirmed cases, single-digit ICU admissions and not a single recorded death. So rare was a case of Cameron's severity in Vietnam, every minute detail of his recovery was reported in national newspapers and on TV news bulletins. He's now known nationwide as Patient 91, the moniker given to him by public health officials when he fell ill in March.
27th Jun 2020 - BBC News

China, S. Korea report new cases in double digits

China has reported an uptick in new coronavirus cases, a day after the nation’s CDC said it expects an outbreak in Beijing to be brought under control soon. The National Health Commission said Saturday that 21 cases had been confirmed nationwide in the latest 24-hour period, including 17 in the nation’s capital. City officials have temporarily shut a huge wholesale food market where the virus spread widely, re-closed schools and locked down some neighborhoods. A report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that testing has found only a few infected people without a link to the market and that the steps taken mean the risk of further spread is low, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Anyone leaving Beijing is required to have a negative result from a nucleic acid test within the previous seven days. Many Chinese are traveling during a four-day holiday weekend that ends Sunday.
27th Jun 2020 - Asahi Shimbun

Mexican economy shrinks record 17.3% in April as industry swoons

Mexico’s economy posted a record contraction in April, official data showed on Friday, as the effects of the coronavirus lockdown devastated economic activity, particularly in manufacturing. Adjusted for seasonal swings, Latin America’s second-biggest economy contracted 17.3% from March, the biggest fall since modern data began being published in early 1993, according to figures put out by national statistics agency INEGI. The decline, however, was not as sharp as the 19.4% drop forecast by a Reuters poll of economists. In unadjusted terms, the economy shrank 19.9% in April compared with a year earlier, the figures showed.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Costa Rica to accept tourists from countries with virus under control

Costa Rica will will open its international airports on Aug. 1 to tourists from countries that have “controlled transmission” of coronavirus, Health Minister Daniel Salas said on Friday. Starting this weekend, Costa Rica will also open more public spaces such as movie theaters, shopping centers and beaches in most of the country, Salas said.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Viruses do not take breaks. The world can learn from how the DRC is beating Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has ended. Thursday marked 42 days since the last person with Ebola was discharged from care, double the maximum length of time it takes for symptoms to appear. Nearly two years of hard work and leadership by the communities in DRC has paid off, with the end of the first Ebola outbreak in a conflict zone. It’s a time for celebration but not complacency. Viruses do not take breaks. DRC’s 10th Ebola outbreak may have come to a close but an 11th, in the north-west part of the country, was detected on 1 June. Cases are appearing 240km away from Mbandaka, the centre of this latest outbreak.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

South Africa to reopen casinos and cinemas despite COVID-19 spread

Tourism is an important revenue-earner and three months of lockdown has left many businesses fighting for survival. “We are continuing with the effort to reactivate the tourism sector so that we can save businesses and jobs in the sector,” Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said in a televised briefing, after warning last month that up to 600,000 jobs were at risk if the sector remained shut until September. Business travel has been allowed from June 1, but overnight leisure stays are still forbidden to try to contain the spread of the virus.
26th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

COVID-19: France reports more than 1,500 new cases since end-May

France reported more than 1,500 new confirmed novel coronavirus cases on Friday (Jun 26), a spike unseen since May 30, while the number of additional fatalities linked to the virus rose by the highest amount in three days. French health authorities said in a statement the total of newly confirmed infections rose by 1,588, way above both the daily average of 498 seen over the last seven days and the 430 daily average since the beginning of June. The number of people who died from the disease increased by 26 to 29,778, compared to 21 on Thursday and 11 on Wednesday and an average of 19 over the past seven days.
26th Jun 2020 - Channel NewsAsia

Corona and the Age of Ubuntu

Melinda Gates, speaking on CNN, predicted that the pandemic would devastate the developing world and that she would imagine bodies lying on the streets of African countries. This was when refrigerated trucks were carrying off the corpses of COVID-19 victims from US hospitals, and sports arenas were being repurposed as intensive care units in the US. It seemed inevitable that Africa, which has felt the brunt of virtually all epidemics to hit the world over the last 50 years, would become the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. If even the highly advanced medical teams and state-of-the-art equipment in Europe and the US could not halt its relentless march, what hope had Africa? Well, the hammer did not fall – or rather, it fell rather lightly, causing very little damage, relatively speaking. Let’s look at some comparative figures as at May 20:
26th Jun 2020 - The Southern Times

Beijing eases lockdown as mass testing gathers pace

Beijing has partially lifted a weeks-long lockdown imposed in the Chinese capital to head off a feared second wave of coronavirus infections after three million samples were taken in two weeks, officials said. Dozens of residential compounds across the city were shut down, with authorities rolling out a mass testing campaign to root out any remaining cases. A vast majority of them are linked to the sprawling Xinfadi market in the city's south that supplies about 80 percent of Beijing's fresh produce and meat. The lockdown was eased on Tuesday for seven apartment blocks after residents tested negative for the virus, officials said at a Friday briefing. The remaining blocks are still in lockdown. Eleven new virus cases across Beijing were announced on Friday, bringing the total number of infections in the capital since the June 11 outbreak to 280.
26th Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

COVID-19 cases triple in Latin America in only a month

Number of cases in Latin America and Caribbean have risen from nearly 690,000 in late May to more than 2 million, says PAHO
25th Jun 2020 - aa.com.tr


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 26th Jun 2020

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Texas Covid-19 cases soar weeks after state lifts lockdown restrictions – video

Texas reported an all-time daily high of 5,489 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, weeks after the state became one of the earliest in the US to ease its coronavirus lockdown measures. The significant increase in cases has left hospitals in Houston near capacity, with some adult ICU patients treated at Texas Children’s hospital
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

US Daily Coronavirus Cases Once Again At Peak As Lockdown Measures Lift

“Our #COVID19 numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote on Twitter. He told the city council Wednesday that Houston’s intensive-care units were at 97% capacity, with more than one-quarter of patients infected with the coronavirus. Several states have considered imposing orders mandating that people wear masks outside. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) did so this week, saying the move was “about saving lives,” and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) followed suit, delaying reopening measures for at least three weeks. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut went a step further, announcing a travel advisory for visitors from a handful of states that have “significant community spread.” Those travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the tri-state area.
25th Jun 2020 - HuffPost UK

Coronavirus: Europe cases rise for first time in months. WHO says

Health systems will be "pushed to the brink" if new outbreaks are not controlled
25th Jun 2020 - Daily Telegraph

England leaves lockdown

On june 23rd Boris Johnson declared an end to “our great national hibernation”. Pubs, restaurants, hotels, heritage sites and hairdressers would be able to reopen from July 4th, he announced, albeit with dividing screens, lots of protective kit and doors wedged open “to reduce touchpoints”. Two households would be able to meet indoors, so long as they kept at a safe distance once there. Weddings would be allowed, too, so long as the guest list did not extend beyond 30 people. And the two-metre rule would become the “one-metre-plus rule”, with people encouraged to cover their faces, but allowed to get closer than they have in months
25th Jun 2020 - The Economist

UK coronavirus deaths rise by 149 as lockdown lift looms ahead

A further 149 coronavirus deaths have occurred in the UK, the Department for Health and Social Care announced today. The new toll takes the total number of Covid-19 deaths in Britain to 43,081. The figure takes into account people who have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm yesterday. It does not include all deaths involving coronavirus in the UK, which are thought to have exceeded 54,000.
25th Jun 2020 - City A.M.

Once the Center of the Coronavirus Crisis, Europe Now Looks Ahead With Hope

After lockdowns, Europeans are cautiously optimistic that any second wave won’t be as bad as the first. When the coronavirus first hit Europe, the continent was ill-equipped to detect or contain it. Now, many governments and health experts believe so much has changed that a crisis on the scale of this spring’s probably won’t be repeated. More than a month since Europe began lifting its lockdowns, new coronavirus infections are continuing to decline in most countries, despite concern about some new clusters, including among meat-processing workers in Germany.
25th Jun 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Europe sees surge in cases since lockdown eased says WHO

Europe has reported an increase in weekly coronavirus cases for the first time in months, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Hans Kluge, the regional director of the WHO in Europe, said the continent continues to report nearly 20,
25th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Spain squashed coronavirus. Will British tourists undo all that hard work?

In this first round of the Covid-19 pandemic, two countries vie for the gruesome title of having suffered the most deadly consequences – Britain and Spain. Between them, they currently share 107,000 dead, measured in terms of excess mortality. The comparisons end there. Spain had Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdown, with children housebound for weeks and army patrols to enforce it. That has produced a dramatic tail-off. Spain’s mortality rate returned to normal on 10 May, after exactly two months of excess deaths compared with the same period over the previous five years. Britain continues to register excess deaths and, in the downward race to be the worst, has edged ahead. This is not just a matter of contrasting British failure with Spanish success. For, as Spain opens its frontiers, it threatens to become something else – a clash of Covid-19 cultures in which Spaniards can only lose.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

France closes two Paris schools as precaution after coronavirus cases

French authorities have closed two schools in Paris as a precautionary measure after the discovery of coronavirus cases but they have not been classed as potentially dangerous clusters, authorities said Wednesday. France, unlike some other European countries which have taken a much more cautious approach, on Monday resumed obligatory schooling for all pupils after the coronavirus shutdown. Some schools had already been open at least partially for several weeks after the initial easing of the lockdown. But a school in the 12th district of Paris with 180 pupils has been closed until the end of the week after three cases were discovered, the local health authority told AFP.
25th Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

What it's like to visit Paris post-lockdown

To preserve the ambience, Jégo was forced to rethink the layout of the restaurant he's helmed over the last 17 years. He quickly came up with a concept that takes the bistro back to its original roots, when it sold coffee, wine and sandwiches alongside newspapers and produce to the neighborhood locals nearly a century ago. The reinvented restaurant now features a small garden market in the front window that sells local produce -- cherries, heirloom carrots and tomatoes -- along with housemade paté and terrines. To draw in the after work and apéro crowd, bar stools, high tables and a tapas bar have been set up at the front of the bistro, while a separate space inside sells a selection of the chef's favorite wines. In a bid to make Chez L'Ami Jean more accessible, only a few reservations will be accepted at a time, according to the chef.
25th Jun 2020 - CNN

'Tears of joy': Eiffel Tower opens after 104-day virus lockdown

Tourists and Parisians ready for a workout gathered at the Eiffel Tower on Thursday as the iron monument reopened after its longest closure since World War II, a highly symbolic move as France emerges from its coronavirus lockdown. Journalists from around the world outnumbered about 50 people, mainly French, who began the steep climb by stairs to the first two levels, as elevators and the top observation deck will remain closed because of social distancing concerns. "I'm tearing up, but they're tears of joy. It's an emotional moment after these difficult months," said Therese, visiting from the southern French city of Perpignan.
25th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Professional tennis set to return to Australia following lockdown

For the first time since March, professional tennis is returning to Australia. Competitors will play for prize money in a UTR pro series starting this weekend in Sydney. The series, which will involve local competition for Australia-based men and women according to the Associated Press, is set to probably run through August. Former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur is going going to take part in it, while top-ranked Ash Barty is opting out to focus on practicing instead. In Australia, players have returned to practice at the national tennis academy and community tennis has returned in recent weeks. Those participating must adhere to social distancing guidelines, but the moves have made way for tennis to return not just in the aforementioned Sydney, but also in other hub cities across the country.
25th Jun 2020 - CBS Sports

'Stay away from us': New Zealanders returning home to Covid 'lifeboat' face backlash

Some Kiwis find a harsh homecoming amid concern about importing coronavirus after months of lockdown sacrifice by ‘team of 5 million’
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Trump administration sent $1.4bn in stimulus checks to dead people

The Trump administration sent almost $1.4bn in coronavirus stimulus payments to dead people, according to its own watchdog’s report. In the report released on Thursday, the US Government Accountability Office (USGAO) said almost 1.1 million dead people received payments of about $1,200 each, as of 30 April. The payments were part of about $3tn in economic relief approved by Congress in March and April. The need for help remains: on Thursday it was revealed that another 1.48 million Americans filed for unemployment assistance last week, bringing the total since the pandemic began to about 47 million.
25th Jun 2020 - The Guardian


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th Jun 2020

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Chile celebrated success against the coronavirus — and began to open up. Infections have soared.

It wasn't that long ago that Chilean President Sebastián Piñera boasted that the country was ready for the coronavirus. "Far better prepared than Italy," is how he put it in March. And after locking down the population, bolstering hospitals and testing aggressively, the country did appear to be faring well against the pandemic. With a comparatively advanced health-care system, it kept numbers of cases and deaths lower than in neighboring Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. By April, officials were touting plans to distribute a first-in-the-world “immunity passport,” enabling Chileans who had recovered from covid-19 to get back to work. They now appear to have been overconfident. After weeks of soaring infections, Chile has now reported more than 250,000 cases of the coronavirus, seventh in the world, and 4,500 deaths. Officials said over the weekend that 3,000 more deaths were probably caused by covid-19. Its 1,338.9 cases per 100,000 people lead Latin America.
24th Jun 2020 - The Washington Post

Face masks and class ‘bubbles’: Spain prepares plans for a safe return to school

Spanish education officials have for weeks been debating how to get non-university students safely back to school in the fall for in-person classes. Schools shut down across Spain in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and classes were moved online, but educators have been warning about the gaps in access to technology and the risk that some students could be left behind. Central and regional officials are now working toward the goal of getting all children in pre-university studies back to school despite the logistical problems involved. One of the main issues is how to maintain a safe physical distance between students in facilities with large class sizes and reduced space.
24th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

French connections - Life after lockdown: Exploring the 'new normal' in France

As France eases out of lockdown, people are heading back to their old ways of life, but these feel so unfamiliar. Though the places are the same, the way the French are supposed to navigate life is just different, whether it's wearing a mask or avoiding a kiss to say hello. What long-term impact are the coronavirus and the two-month lockdown going to have on French society? In this episode of French Connections Plus, Genie Godula and Florence Villeminot take a look at the "new normal" in post-lockdown France.
24th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Putin declares a Russian victory over coronavirus, but warns 'epidemic isn't over yet'

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that further social support measures and incentives for businesses will be introduced as he hailed the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic in the run-up to a vote that could extend his rule until 2036. Speaking in a televised address, Putin declared that Russia has successfully gone through the most dangerous phase of the outbreak. "Together we have proven that we are capable to fulfil the most difficult tasks," he said.
24th Jun 2020 - CTV News

Russia holds World War Two victory parade in coronavirus shadow

Russia is celebrating its biggest public holiday, Victory Day, with a military parade in Moscow that was meant to be held on 9 May. It is 75 years since the then USSR defeated Nazi Germany. World War Two cost more than 20 million Soviet lives. President Vladimir Putin reluctantly postponed the big annual celebration because of the coronavirus pandemic. But it was rescheduled ahead of a key constitutional vote, which could allow him a further two terms in power. Moscow's lockdown eased this month, but mass gatherings technically remain banned. Soldiers taking part had to go into quarantine ahead of the parade. The number of confirmed cases in Russia rose above 600,000 on Wednesday, with another 7,176 new infections reported over the previous 24 hours. This is, however, lower than in May, when the country reported more than 10,000 new cases a day for more than a week.
24th Jun 2020 - BBC News

No name, no pint - new rules for England's pubs after lockdown

Drinkers in England’s pubs will have to give their name before they order a pint, and there will be no live acts or standing at the bar, the government said in advice for reopening the sector next month. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will have to keep a record of customers for 21 days to assist the state health service’s test and trace operation, which aims to identify and contain any local flare-ups of COVID-19 and stop a second wave of infections. Live performances, including drama, comedy and music, will also not be allowed, the government said. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said that pubs, restaurants and hotels could reopen in England on July 4, easing the coronavirus lockdown that has all but shut the economy.
24th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Putin ploughs ahead with Victory Day parade despite coronavirus threat

Russia is holding its postponed Victory Day military parade on Wednesday despite steadily rising coronavirus infections, as Vladimir Putin seeks a popularity boost in the run-up to a referendum on extending his time in office. The parade celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany and has grown to outsize proportions in the years since Putin came to power at the turn of the century. On 1 July Russians will vote on amending their country’s constitution to allow Putin to run twice more for president, potentially extending his stay in the Kremlin to 2036. Online voting will begin less than 24 hours after an estimated 14,000 Russian troops, as well as tanks, artillery, and aircraft, traverse Red Square in a patriotic display of the country’s military prowess.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 24th Jun 2020

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Shielding in England: how do you feel about coming out of lockdown?

From 6 July, people in England with underlying health issues who have been shielding since March will be allowed to leave their homes. They will be able to meet up outside in groups of up to six people from different households, provided they keep 2 metres apart, and they will no longer have to remain 2 metres apart from the rest of their household at home.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Italian cities see bicycle boom after COVID-19 lockdown

Italy has seen a surge in bicycle sales since the government ended its coronavirus lockdown as people steer clear of public transport and respond to government incentives to help the environment. Some 540,000 bikes have been sold nationwide since shops across the country reopened in early May, according to sector lobby Ancma, a 60% increase in the first month compared to the same period in 2019. To keep people off metros and buses and avoid road congestion, the government has offered to contribute up to 500 euros ($562.70) for city-dwellers who buy traditional or “pedal-assisted” electrical bicycles. The subsidy, which kicked in on May 4 and runs to the end of the year, has accelerated a trend in place even in small centres where it is not available.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Summer solstice parties cancelled in Spain amid coronavirus concerns

Beach parties on the eve of the summer solstice have been cancelled across Spain as authorities tried to avoid crowds to prevent a new outbreak of Covid-19. Traditional bonfires and spectacular firework displays next to the sea were also prohibited by health chiefs from Valencia to Barcelona along the Mediterranean coast and in Galicia in the northwest.
23rd Jun 2020 - iNews

Spain reopens to tourists as lockdown ends amid surge in global spread

Spain reopened its borders to European tourists yesterday in a bid to kickstart its economy while Brazil and South Africa struggled with rising coronavirus infections. The head of the World Health Organisation has warned that the global spread of the virus is accelerating after a daily high of 150,000 new cases was reported last week. The new coronavirus has infected more than 8.8 million people and killed more than 464,000, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University. The true number is thought to be much higher because many cases go untested. Spain yesterday ended a national state of emergency after three months of lockdown, allowing its 47 million residents to freely travel around the country for the first time since March 14. Spain also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Ireland, Britain and other European countries to boost its vital tourism sector.
23rd Jun 2020 - Independent.ie

Cinemas re-open in France, the birthplace of film

After a three-month coronavirus hiatus, French movie fans made a comeback on Monday as cinemas across the country re-opened in the latest phase of the country's relaxation of lockdown measures.
23rd Jun 2020 - Reuters

End of télétravail? France's new rules for employees to return to work

Working from home will cease to be the norm as France lays out new protocols for people returning to work. The French government will this week lay out new protocols that will allow more people to return to work, including abolishing the recommendation that everyone should work from home if possible. As France has gradually reopened, government advice has remained the same as it was at the height of the lockdown - that people who can work from home should continue to do so if possible. The recommendation was intended to avoid large numbers of people in workplaces, as well as easing crowding on public transport at peak times in cities. But now a new protocol, set to be published in its final form later in the week, scraps this recommendation.
23rd Jun 2020 - The Local France

The French Are in No Hurry to Return to Work

After bringing everything to a screeching halt in an all-out war against the coronavirus, French President Emmanuel Macron wants to get the economy going again. The dark draconian days of the Covid-19 lockdown are over, confirmed cases have continued to fall, and Monday marks a new roll-back of stay-at-home curbs as cinemas, museums and more schools reopen. To do so, he’s harking back to themes from his 2017 presidential campaign as a pro-jobs candidate who would be judged on his ability to shake up the country’s rigid labor market and complex pensions system.“France must fully get back to work,” he said in a national televised speech on June 14. “We must work, and produce, more.”
23rd Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

France’s Revival Sees Economy Unexpectedly Return to Growth

The French economy’s revival from the coronavirus lockdown appears stronger than anticipated, with a measure of private-sector activity showing growth for the first time in four months. IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index jumped to 51.3 in June from 32.1 in May, beating economists’ expectations for 46.8. The individual gauges for both manufacturing and services also climbed above the 50 key level.
23rd Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Russians Throng River Cruises as Moscow Lockdown Eases Ahead of Vote

Russians soaked up the sun on boat cruises on the river Moskva on Tuesday for the first time in three months after authorities lifted many of the city's last remaining restrictions aimed at halting the novel coronavirus. Officials in the city of 12.7 million, the epicentre of Russia's outbreak, say new infections have been falling from a peak in May and stood at just over 1,000 on Tuesday. Russia's national case load, the world's third highest, is nearly 600,000. The city, which began rapidly relaxing an array of lockdown restrictions earlier this month, on Tuesday allowed restaurants, cafes, libraries, playgrounds and gyms to open properly and for river cruises to resume.
23rd Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus surge threatens poor nations exiting lockdown

With fragile healthcare systems in poorer countries, those governments are now left with few potent tools to combat a virus which has the ability to overwhelm the health-care systems of these nations.
23rd Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times

Coronavirus surge threatens poor nations exiting lockdown

With fragile healthcare systems in poorer countries, those governments are now left with few potent tools to combat a virus which has the ability to overwhelm the health-care systems of these nations.
23rd Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times

Only lockdown has eased, for many life’s looking more difficult now

People from different walks of life opine that just the easing will not end the hard times or wariness or confinement soon, and that they are bracing themselves to tackle the situation. And regarding COV- ID-19, another said, “I have got over the fear. But still I take all precautions necessary.” Suggesting ways to cope the situation, she said, “Let’s not wait for government or any other body to support us. We have nobody and we are nobody. Let’s help ourselves and that is the least we can do to survive.”
23rd Jun 2020 - The Himalayan Times

Belgium Gives Free Rail Travel To All

But travel abroad will be anything but clearcut, with the reimposition of border controls and cancellation of flights possible this summer. For those with concerns about international travel, the Belgian government has given them a major incentive to take a Belgian ‘staycation’ instead: free rail journeys for the rest of the year to anywhere in the country. Every Belgian resident aged 12 and over will be entitled to a “national tour” rail pass giving them 12 free journeys, in an attempt to boost the country’s tourism sector which suffered badly from the lockdown. The free journeys can be claimed at a rate of two per month, from August 2020 to January 2021
23rd Jun 2020 - Forbes

13 New Coronavirus Cases Reported, Highest Number Since 24 April, Six Imported

Slovenia saw a surge in coronavirus cases on Monday, when 13 out of 984 tests came back positive. This is the highest number of new daily infections since 24 April, when 15 new cases were reported. Six out of 13 infections were imported - three from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one each from Serbia, Croatia and Kosovo, Mario Fafangel, the head of the centre for contagious diseases at the National institute for Public health (NIJZ), told the press today. Five other cases were related to the imported ones, one is still being investigated and in one case the source of infection is not known.
23rd Jun 2020 - Total Slovenia News


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 23rd Jun 2020

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Saudi ends virus lockdown despite spike in infections

Saudi Arabia on Sunday ended a nationwide coronavirus curfew and lifted restrictions on businesses, including hair salons and cinemas, after three months of stringent curbs, despite a spike in infections. Prayers were also allowed to resume in mosques in the holy city of Mecca, state media reported, just weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage is due to start. International flights and religious pilgrimages, however, remain suspended and social gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, according to the interior ministry.
21st Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Spain to decide this week which non-European tourists can visit

Borders between European Union (EU) nations have reopened, prompting thousands of French to cross into Spain on Sunday seeking cheap tobacco and alcohol. Spain is the world’s second most-visited nation, with roughly one in five of its normally 80 million annual visitors coming from Britain. Health Minister Salvador Illa told Cadena SER radio station that Madrid would discuss with European Union (EU) partners whether to also let in travellers from outside the continent and make a decision this week. Would-be holidaymakers and Spain’s tourism industry are waiting anxiously. “This year it isn’t a question of making money, it is about losing less,” said Miguel Fluxa, owner of the Iberostar hotel chain, at a news conference on Mallorca island.
22nd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Russia reopens ahead of Victory Day and Putin referendum -- but coronavirus threat remains

And Moscow is reopening just in time for the festivities. The last set of lockdown restrictions on gyms and restaurants will be lifted Monday, a week earlier than originally planned by the mayor and just in time for the big military parade in Red Square. The festivities are all part of the run-up to another big event for Putin: a nationwide vote on amendments to the country's constitution, scheduled for July 1. It's a return to normality for Russians exhausted by lockdown and economic uncertainty. But coronavirus has left a cloud of uncertainty over the festivities, which were postponed amid pandemic fears. By tradition, World War II veterans occupy the viewing stand next to Putin as thousands of soldiers march across Red Square. But this year, those veterans are quarantined at a health resort outside of Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has asked residents to watch the event on TV, saying attendance will be limited.
22nd Jun 2020 - CNN

France shows Europe can keep Covid-19 in check after reopening

With social-distancing measures still in place and the wearing of face masks made compulsory on public transport, new cases have lately stood at about 450 per day, from a peak of 7,500. Since easing the lockdown, the weekly number of Covid-19 patients sent to hospital has more than halved. France is to allow all businesses to resume and all children to return to school from Monday. “We are going to get back to our art de vivre and recover our taste for liberty,” Mr Macron told the French on June 14
22nd Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus: French defy lockdown with Festival of Music

Thousands of people gathered across France on Sunday to celebrate an annual music festival, defying coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Revellers ignored social distancing rules and danced in the streets for the Fête de la Musique, known as Music Day in English. Police clashed with some revellers in Paris and with demonstrators in Nantes, using tear gas against protesters. Images posted online of the celebrations drew sharp criticism.
22nd Jun 2020 - BBC News

French schools reopen as more COVID-19 restrictions lifted

Millions of children returned to school in France on Monday as the country entered phase three of the loosening of COVID-19 lockdown rules. There has been no recent spike in infections in France and new cases have stood at around 450 per day from a peak of 7,500. Social distancing measures are still in place and wearing face masks on public transport is compulsory. But what else has changed after more than two months of lockdown?
22nd Jun 2020 - Euronews

How to rebuild a business after the coronavirus lockdown

“Go back to basics,” she says. “Who are your ideal customers, what problem do you solve for them, how has that changed, can you adapt? Approach people, don't wait for them to update you. Look at what others are doing, in and outside your industry, see if you can get ideas.”
22nd Jun 2020 - Wired.co.uk

COVID-19 Has Exacerbated School Exclusion: UNESCO

The agency's 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report says poorer children, girls, the disabled and immigrants are among those at a disadvantage, and that the situation got worse with COVID-19 when more than 90 percent of the world's schoolchildren found their learning affected by closures. While those from better-off families had internet and wifi connections and were able to use laptops and mobile phones, millions of youngsters were left out. "Health crises can leave many behinds, in particular the poorest girls, many of whom may never return to school," wrote Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO's director-general.
23rd Jun 2020 - Spotlight Nepal


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd Jun 2020

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Germany struggles to impose local lockdowns as coronavirus infections spike

Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections and trouble getting people to adhere to isolation rules. Health authorities needed police reinforcement to maintain lockdown conditions at a tower block in Goettingen after a riot broke out on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine. “Around 200 people tried to get out, but 500 people complied with quarantine rules,” Uwe Luehrig, head of police in Goettingen, said at a press conference on Sunday. In the ensuing fracas, eight police officers were injured after residents started to attack law enforcement officials with bottles, fireworks and metal bars, Luehrig said.
21st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Spain reopens its borders as state of emergency comes to an end

Passengers wearing masks and wheeling suitcases arrived at Madrid’s main airport and French people crossed the border to buy bargain alcohol and tobacco on Sunday as Spain opened its borders to most European countries and ended a state of emergency imposed to contain COVID-19.
21st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Germany's coronavirus reproduction rate jumps above key containment level

The coronavirus reproduction rate in Germany jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health said, taking infections above the level needed to contain it over the longer term. A reproduction rate, or ‘R’, of 2.88 means that out of 100 people who contracted the virus, a further 288 other people will get infected. A rate of less than one is needed to gradually contain the disease. The number, a sharp increase from 1.06 on Friday, is based on RKI’s moving 4-day average data, which reflects infection rates one to two weeks ago. RKI said outbreaks have been reported in nursing homes and hospitals, institutions for asylum seekers and refugees, in meat processing plants and logistics companies, among seasonal harvest workers and in connection with religious events and family gatherings.
21st Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus: R number jumps to 1.79 in Germany after abattoir outbreak

The coronavirus reproduction rate, known as the R number, has jumped to 1.79 in Germany. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health confirmed the rate was now far above what is needed to contain the outbreak over the longer term. The R number equates to how many people, on average, will be infected by each person who has COVID-19. If R is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but if it is below 1, the number of infections shrink and coronavirus can be brought under control.
20th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Saudi ends virus lockdown despite spike in infections

Saudi Arabia on Sunday ended a nationwide coronavirus curfew and lifted restrictions on businesses, including hair salons and cinemas, after three months of stringent curbs, despite a spike in infections. Prayers were also allowed to resume in mosques in the holy city of Mecca, state media reported, just weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage is due to start.
21st Jun 2020 - Medical Xpress

Dubai allows foreign tourists to enter from July 7

Those entering would have to present certificates to show they had recently tested negative for the coronavirus. Citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from Tuesday June 23
21st Jun 2020 - Arab News

How will countries pay off their debt after COVID-19?

As economies struggle and job losses increase, government debts are headed towards World War II levels. The full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was laid bare when the United Kingdom became the first G20 nation to release its economic data. In April, the first full month of the lockdown, the UK's economy tanked a staggering 20 percent. It is heading towards the worst recession in 300 years. The government is expected to spend $60bn from March to October as they pay 80 percent of salaries of furloughed workers. The scheme is currently supporting 8.7 million jobs, or a third of all working people
20th Jun 2020 - Aljazeera.com

Coronavirus: 75 staff at Anglesey chicken plant positive

More workers have tested positive for coronavirus after an outbreak at a chicken factory on Anglesey. All staff at the 2 Sisters meat processing plant in Llangefni are self-isolating after a number of workers were confirmed to have the virus on Thursday. On Saturday the number had risen to 75, Public Health Wales confirmed. Health officials said the number of cases were expected to rise and samples have been taken from about 350 staff. Testing sites were set up at Llangefni and Holyhead, and at an existing facility in Bangor, following the outbreak. All staff and contractors working at the processing plant, which has 560 workers, have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days, and are being contacted for testing.
20th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Poland to lift restictions on numbers of aircraft passengers

Poland will allow aircraft to fly with all their seats occupied as of July 1, Deputy Prime Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz has said. However, critics have argued that it is too early to lift all restrictions as it could trigger more infections leading to deaths. Poland has been easing lockdown restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic and opened its borders with other European Union countries on June 13. Despite that many countries have opened their economies, the epidemiological threat has not subsided yet and virus hotspots have sprouted in various parts across the world. In Poland, over 31,300 people have been infected so far resulting in over 1,300 deaths and more than 15,000 recoveries. Around the world, the virus has infected over 8.6 million, resulting in over 457,000 deaths and more than 4.5 million recoveries.
19th Jun 2020 - Warsaw Business Journal

Macron wants to find quick agreement on EU recovery fund in July: French official

French President Emmanuel Macron told European Union leaders it was necessary to find a quick agreement on a proposed 750 billion-euro recovery fund in July to maintain the current momentum, a French official said on Friday. Failing to agree on the recovery plan would send the wrong signal, Macron said, according to the same official. In the same call with EU leaders, the French president added that out of 750 billion euros, preserving the 500 billion euros in grants was France’s top priority, in line with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. France finds possible and legitimate to link grants with national reforms, though not through Troika-type mechanism, the official added.
19th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Spain expects swift decision on travel corridor with Britain

Spain expects a decision very soon in its talks with Britain on whether to establish a travel corridor to facilitate tourism and avoid imposing a quarantine on travellers, a Spanish foreign ministry source told Reuters on Friday. The source did not say if he expected a deal. Amid repeated changes over the past weeks on when and how to open its borders to much-needed foreign tourists, Spain said on Tuesday that it was considering imposing a quarantine on British travellers in response to a similar policy announced by Britain. Britons account for more than a fifth of the roughly 80 million tourists Spain receives every year, and Madrid had said it would talk with London to try to avoid such a quarantine at both ends. "Spain is willing to be open to the United Kingdom, we are in talks with them about their quarantine. We are in a position to open [our borders to UK tourists] without a quarantine," the foreign ministry source said, adding that he expected a decision before Spain opens its borders to tourists from most European countries, including Britain, on Sunday.
19th Jun 2020 - Gibraltar Chronicle

Switzerland lifts most remaining coronavirus restrictions

From Monday 22, events drawing up to 1,000 people will be allowed (as opposed to 300 at present), provided contact tracing can be guaranteed. Only gatherings of more than 1,000 remain banned until the end of August. Restrictions on when businesses such as bars and restaurants can be open will also be lifted. People will no longer be required to sit down inside. From tomorrow civil and political gatherings and demonstrations will be allowed but people are required to wear masks. The government is also ending its recommendation that people work from home wherever possible. It will be up to employers to decide and put the necessary safety measures in place.
19th Jun 2020 - swissinfo.ch

Singapore lifts most virus lockdown restrictions

Malls, gyms, massage parlours, parks and other public facilities reopened their doors on Friday in Singapore after nearly three months of coronavirus lockdown. While observing strict social distancing and healthy safety rules, Singaporeans can wine-and-dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and hold social gatherings of up to five people with the removal of most lockdown restrictions. Tuition classes also resumed, except for singing lessons. Minor prohibitions remain including contact sports and places of worship.
19th Jun 2020 - Republic World


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Catalonia to enter “new normality” after lifting state of alarm

Catalan premier Quim Torra on Thursday announced that the region is lifting the state of alarm imposed in mid-March by central authorities in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The move, effective at midnight, means that Catalonia as a whole will have spent just 24 hours in Phase 3, the last stage of a national deescalation plan that’s been underway for weeks. Barcelona and its metropolitan area as well as Lleida only entered Phase 3 on Thursday morning, while other parts of the northeastern region did so earlier.
18th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Post-lockdown divorce: jump in number of Australian couples seeking help

The coronavirus lockdown has put a strain on couples, new data has confirmed, with family therapists and lawyers noting a jump in clients seeking counselling or divorce. A study on the impacts of Covid-19 by Relationships Australia, the leading national provider of relationship support services, found that 42% of people had experienced a negative change in their relationship with their partner during the last few months. Its national executive officer, Nick Tebbey, said this statistic was directly related to the finding that 55% of people reported feeling challenged by their living arrangements during this time.
18th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus lockdown: International students to begin returning to Australia

Hundreds of international students will be brought to Australia on charter flights as part of a plan developed by the government in concert with universities.
18th Jun 2020 - 9News

Many Jordanians struggling as country emerges from COVID-19 lockdown, U.N. agency says

Mohammed Natour, who went from selling airline tickets to selling fruits and vegetables, after the coronavirus outbreak brought the tourism industry in Jordan to a sudden halt, waits for customers at his office in Amman, Jordan
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Some Venezuelans welcome relaxing of lockdown after 14 weeks inside

Maduro decreed a national quarantine on March 17 to contain the virus, which so far has killed 26 people among 3,000 confirmed cases, according to the socialist government. Medical experts have expressed doubts about the government’s testing regime and the validity of the official figures. Authorities began to relax the lockdown on June 1, allowing some complexes like gyms, shopping centers and drive-in cinemas to open, while courts, schools and bars remain closed. Health workers warn that a recent acceleration in the number of cases coincides with the easing of lockdown measures, with the weekly case count rising from 45 to 450. They say Venezuela’s dilapidated health system, where some hospitals lack basics like soap and running water, would be unable to deal with a significant leap in severely sick patients.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Bulgarians complain of long border queues after Greece eases lockdown

Hundreds of trucks and cars from Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia waited in long queues at the border with Greece on Wednesday after Athens eased coronavirus restrictions to try to salvage the summer tourism season. A line of cars stretched back more than 10 km (six miles) at the Kulata-Promachonas border crossing between Bulgaria and Greece, and the queue for trucks was over 15 km long, witnesses said. “People are angry, because the queues are scary. We are travelling with two kids. We had no idea it would be such a nightmare,” Bulgarian public radio BNR quoted a woman in the queue of cars as saying.
18th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus Isn't Over. New Yorkers Are Acting as if It Were.

All over the city, bars, stores and people themselves are bending or ignoring social distancing rules, irking officials trying to keep the coronavirus curve flat.
18th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Which international destinations are reopening to tourists?

Although most governments are still advising against "nonessential" international travel, a host of popular destinations are beginning to ease their Covid-19 lockdown measures and border restrictions and are moving toward welcoming tourists back. Back in May, the European Union unveiled an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for summer, while countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed "travel bubbles," lifting restrictions for each other's citizens. Some Caribbean islands are already beginning to open their doors to foreign visitors again, while destinations such as Mexico and Thailand are planning to reopen region by region in the coming weeks. If you're one of many travelers eagerly awaiting news on where you can travel to this year, here's a guide to the top destinations making plans to reopen, as well as some of those that are keeping their borders firmly closed for now.
17th Jun 2020 - CNN


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Brazil records its biggest ever jump in coronavirus cases and 1,282 deaths in a day

Brazil recorded 34,918 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday and 1,292 new deaths. The figures came the same day as officials said the outbreak was under control. Some Amazonian villagers are drinking tea of jambú as a treatment for Covid-19. Protests have broken out in Sau Paulo over the death of a 15-year-old body
18th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Italy, battered by Covid-19, slowly emerges from lockdown despite deaths

Italy entered Phase 3 of its gradual release from lockdown this week as the number of deaths from coronavirus hit 26 on Monday, the lowest recorded since March 2. The number of new cases registered was 303 with 256 recorded in the hardest affected region of Lombardy. As the downward trend for both fatalities and new cases continues, nearly all businesses have gone back to work, operating in a new manner and with restrictions and what authorities insist are necessary precautions still.
17th Jun 2020 - RFI English

Moscow Flocks to Reopened Restaurant Patios After Virus Lockdown

Moscow's outdoor restaurant verandas opened to diners Tuesday as the Russian capital continues to gradually reopen following a two-and-a-half-month coronavirus lockdown. While the patios packed with people dining in the sunshine might look like a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is grinding to a halt in Russia, cases have continued to rise in the thousands across the country. Here's a look at Moscow's first day back to dining out....
17th Jun 2020 - The Moscow Times

Australia’s State Borders Slowly Begin to Reopen After COVID-19

South Australia has become the first state in the country to relax its border controls imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. From Wednesday, travellers from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania are allowed to enter South Australia without going into quarantine. Australia has had 7,300 confirmed coronavirus cases. 102 people have died. South Australia closed its borders to other parts of the country in March when the COVID-19 crisis was intensifying. It was an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.
17th Jun 2020 - Voice of America

Fifteen friends get coronavirus on first night out at bar after lockdown

A group of 15 friends have fallen ill with coronavirus after meeting up for a drink for the first time since lockdown restrictions were eased. Erika Crisp, 40, who lives in Florida, US, fell ill after going for a drink with friends at a bar ten days ago. So far, 10 of her friends have tested positive with four more waiting for their test results. She said she was suffering from the ‘classic’ symptoms including shortness of breath before she got her positive test result. Erika identified where and when she caught the virus, pinning it down to Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach, on June 6. She has been sick for well over a week after showing symptoms just three days after the bar visit.
17th Jun 2020 - Metro.co.uk

India to 'reimagine' streets for walkers, cyclists after coronavirus

India will make its streets and markets more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists as it emerges from one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, a move urgently needed to curb pollution and improve liveability, urban experts said. An advisory issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recommended the pedestrianisation of up to three markets in each city, and adding more bicycle lanes. City authorities must select the markets by June 30, and begin implementing short-term measures from Oct. 1, it said. “COVID-19 presents us with an opportunity to reimagine streets for people,” Durga Shanker Mishra, the ministry’s secretary, said in a statement last week.
17th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Covid-19: Transmission fears spark bicycle frenzy in post-lockdown Paris

While Paris has long yearned to become the world’s No. 1 biking capital, it wasn’t until the coronavirus prompted widespread fears of transmission on public transport that Parisians really started to pedal. Since France began to lift its lockdown measures on May 11, the number of cyclists has exploded – and both vendors and repair shops are struggling to keep up with demand.
16th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24 English


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Coronavirus: US airlines threaten to ban passengers who refuse to wear masks

Passengers could be barred from flying with US airlines if they refuse to wear face coverings during their journey, the industry's main lobby group said. United said those who do not comply with the rule will be placed on an internal travel restriction list.
17th Jun 2020 - Sky News

Tens of thousands return to England’s high streets as non-essential shops reopen

Tens of thousands of people have poured onto England’s high streets as non-essential shops were allowed to reopen for the first time since lockdown began. While many of those who stepped out despite coronavirus fears to engage in some long-awaited retail therapy cited concerns about looming job losses in the sector and a need to restart the economy, the overwhelming sense was of people urgently seeking to regain a sense of normality after 11 weeks in stasis. Despite the busy street scenes captured across the country, with reports of overnight queues which sometimes remained throughout the day, the unseen majority will have remained at home, with some newly returned employees questioning why customers were physically shopping rather than purchasing online.
16th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Experts predict summer of illegal raves in England as coronavirus lockdown is eased

Experts have warned that England could experience a wave of illegal raves over the summer as the coronavirus lockdown is eased. With the summer festival and live music season effectively wiped out by the coronavirus outbreak, it’s now feared that many young people will turn to these illegal mass gatherings throughout the summer. Speaking to The Guardian, Night Time Industries Association chief executive Mike Kill said “the youth of today want to be out and want to be engaged”.
16th Jun 2020 - NME

Moscow reopens museums and terraces a week after lockdown lifting

For the first time in more than two months, residents of Moscow are now able to return to museums and summer terrace as the Russian capital rolled back more coronavirus curbs despite continuing to record over 1,000 new daily infections. Starting on Tuesday, museums, libraries and zoos in the city of nearly 13 million are reopening their doors, albeit with continued limits on the number of visitors at any one time. Dentists are getting back to business too. Authorities are also allowing sporting events to resume, though spectators must take up no more than 10 percent of a venue's given capacity.
16th Jun 2020 - CGTN

A warning from South Korea: the ‘fantasy’ of returning to normal life

A warning from South Korea: the ‘fantasy’ of returning to normal life - Vigilance and nimbleness over coronavirus outbreaks are critical in restarting economies
16th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Rise in infections shows need for vigilance as world reopens

European countries reopened borders Monday after a three-month coronavirus shutdown, although international visitors are still being kept away and there was uncertainty over whether many Europeans will quickly embrace travel outside their home countries. Reopening continued in Mexico and Brazil despite cases climbing in the two largest nations in Latin America, where authorities struggled to handle the pandemic’s effect on already-weak medical systems. In the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors to highlight the “good news” around efforts to fight the virus despite several states reporting a rise in infections, which could intensify as people return to work and venture out during the summer.
16th Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

Australia's most populous state doubles public transport capacity as coronavirus curbs ease

Australia’s most populous state said on Tuesday it would nearly double its public transport capacity starting July 1, allowing more locals to avoid driving as it continues to ease curbs designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The relaxation of rules will allow more passengers to board buses, trains and ferries, whose capacity the state restricted last month. Additional ‘green dot’ stickers showing passengers where to sit and stand will be put on buses, trains and ferries to help people adhere to social distancing rules, New South Wales (NSW) premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a media briefing.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Lessons in tackling coronavirus from New Zealand | News

In the First Wave series, Times and Sunday Times foreign correspondents investigate responses to Covid-19 and ask what happens next. Bernard Lagan looks at New Zealand’s approach — and the impact on its economy
16th Jun 2020 - The Times

Delhi's local health minister in hospital as infections surge in India

The health minister in Delhi’s state government checked into hospital with high fever and was being tested for coronavirus on Tuesday as India reported more than 10,500 new infections that are threatening to overwhelm hospitals. India has opened up businesses, public transport and shopping malls to resuscitate a battered economy but the ending of the nearly 70-day lockdown has come just as cases are rising at their fastest daily levels.
16th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Coronavirus Accelerates Across Africa

The virus was slow to start in many African countries, but epidemiologists say the number of confirmed cases on the continent is now rising fast.
16th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus in South Africa: tobacco smugglers benefit from world's strictest lockdown

In the First Wave series, Times and Sunday Times foreign correspondents investigate responses to Covid-19 and ask what happens next. Jane Flanagan explores how South Africans are scheming to survive amid the most intrusive policies since apartheid
16th Jun 2020 - The Times


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Long queues, social distancing wardens and discounts: What to expect as UK high streets reopen after lockdown

Retailers have introduced Perspex screens, quarantine periods for items, and lots of hand sanitiser to help persuade shoppers it’s safe to visit
15th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Social bubble: 'Pure joy' for families reuniting after lockdown

This is the moment a brother is reunited with his sister after living apart for weeks. The Ashby family, like thousands across the country, have been separated during lockdown but reunited over the weekend. David Sheriff, who has Down's Syndrome and autism, and sister Elizabeth Ashby were reunited over a Sunday lunch in Stourbridge, West Midlands. Mum Helen Ashby said the day had brought "pure joy" for the whole family. Ms Ashby said David, 31, had found lockdown and being separated from his sister "very difficult".
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Shoppers rush to the High Street as England stores reopen

Demand across England's High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres surged on Monday as some shops reopened after a three-month lockdown. Research firm Springboard said that by 17:00, footfall was 38.8% higher than last week, as pent-up demand led to reports of long queues. However, shopper numbers were generally far below the same time last year. But at Bicester Village, near Oxford, crowding was so great that 3,000 people signed a petition to close it.
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Lockdown anxiety levels in the UK fall as restrictions ease but remain higher than usual

As restrictions continue to ease across the UK, fewer Britons are suffering increased anxiety levels compared to the start of lockdown, new figures show. But average anxiety scores are still higher than last year, with an estimated 19 million adults in Britain suffering high levels of anxiety. At the beginning of lockdown, there was a “marked” increase of anxiety, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Between March 20-30, almost half (49.6%) of people reported high anxiety. This reduced to 37% between April 30 and May 10. Older people were twice as likely as younger adults to report high levels of anxiety while one in five said they had found working from home had affected their mental health.
15th Jun 2020 - ITV News

German tourists arrive in Spain's Mallorca after lockdown

A select group of German tourists arrived in Spain's island Mallorca on Monday (June 15) as part of a pilot project which will bring 10,000 holidaymakers to the Balearic Islands to find out how mass tourism can work in a time of coronavirus.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Shops reopen for first time in three months as huge swathe of lockdown restrictions ease

People will be allowed to hit the shops for the first time in three months as England’s non-essential retail sector emerges from lockdown. Among a swathe of lockdown restrictions being eased today, department stores and high street shops are opening with spacious floor plans, limited numbers of customers and plenty of hand sanitiser stations. Businesses have had to ensure they are ‘Covid-secure’ according to Government guidelines, and many have been keen to stress the extra precautions they are taking, from deep cleaning stores to putting items that have been tried on or returned in quarantine. While masks are mandatory on public transport from today, they are not compulsory in shops and most retailers are emphasising a sensible approach, using floor markings and signs to remind people to keep two metres apart and regularly wash or sanitise their hands.
15th Jun 2020 - Metro

End of lockdown could trigger ‘extreme’ congestion and worse air quality as commuters swap public transport for cars

Studies warn of surge in road users amid fear of coronavirus spreading on buses and trains. As lockdown measures have eased, authorities in cities around the world have warned against people crowding onto public transport where they could inadvertently cause another wave of coronavirus infections. The result is that commuters who may usually have opted for public transport may use personal cars more, experts have suggested.
15th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Paris restaurants reopen fully, still wary about post-lockdown

Parisian restaurants cautiously reopened their indoor dining halls on Monday as the government relaxed one of the last major coronavirus constraints, but with virtually no tourists and many French people still working from home, the mood was cautious. President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that restaurants and cafes in Paris could reopen fully from Monday, the same day France lifted border restrictions for European Union travellers, bringing much needed relief for the hospitality industry.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Germans off to sunny Spain as Europe loosens border lockdown

European nations eased border controls on Monday as coronavirus cases declined after three months of lockdown, with German tourists heading for Mallorca and French bargain-hunters streaming into Belgium to buy cheap cigarettes. Greece allowed more international flights as it sought to salvage the summer season, German tourists flocking to neighbouring Denmark caused an 8 km (5 mile) queue and Italians popped into France to buy lottery scratch cards. Spain is initially allowing in about 1,500 visitors from Germany as part of a pilot project to begin opening up the Spanish tourism market in the coming weeks. Hundreds of German tourists, the first to visit Spain since borders were closed in March, arrived in Mallorca on Monday on a flight from Düsseldorf.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Public space a 'lifeline' for post-lockdown cities

Public and outdoor space has been at a premium during the coronavirus pandemic: bike sales have leapt, park use is way up, and even pavement chalk drawing appears to be having a moment. Now as many cities start to reopen, some are looking at their sidewalks, squares, parking lots and even streets as a hidden asset in boosting their economies. “The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our relationship with our streets, open public spaces and public facilities,” said Laura Petrella, chief of planning, finance and economy at UN-Habitat. “Public space has emerged as a critical lifeline for cities and their residents,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The city of Braga in northern Portugal has opened public squares, sidewalks, parks and more throughout the city to restaurants and local businesses seeking to reopen to customers while maintaining social distancing.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters

From crowded tubes to pedal power, London's COVID transport challenge

The crowded daily commute in London has long been a source of misery for millions. But getting to work will be even more of a challenge following Britain’s coronavirus lockdown. Capacity on the transport network in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs has been reduced by 85% to comply with social-distancing rules, protecting commuters by preventing them cramming into trains, the London Underground and buses. Everyone using public transport must also now wear a face covering. As the lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, many now face the quandary of how to reach the City of London, Canary Wharf and other business areas both quickly and safely.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Primark pulls the crowds as stores reopen in England after lockdown

Long queues of shoppers snaked around stores in England on Monday, with discount fashion retailer Primark proving a particular draw as shops reopened their doors after 83 days of lockdown. Queues formed from early morning outside several branches of Primark, which does not sell online so has not made a penny in the UK for months. The chain reopened some of its stores early, including its biggest in Birmingham, to avoid overcrowding as hundreds of people lined up outside. At its Leeds store, the estimated afternoon wait time to get in was up to an hour. There was also a big queue outside the Nike Town store on London’s Oxford Street, the capital’s busiest shopping street, with many shoppers ignoring social distancing rules.
15th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Shoppers rush to the High Street as England stores reopen

Demand across England's High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres surged on Monday as some shops reopened after a three-month lockdown. Research firm Springboard said that by 17:00, footfall was 38.8% higher than last week, as pent-up demand led to reports of long queues. However, shopper numbers were generally far below the same time last year. But at Bicester Village, near Oxford, crowding was so great that 3,000 people signed a petition to close it.
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News


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France to reopen for business as Emmanuel Macron declares 'first victory' over Covid-19

France will reopen for business on Monday after President Emmanuel Macron announced a 'first victory' against coronavirus. In an upbeat live TV address on Sunday night, the head of state said virtually all lockdown restrictions for bars, restaurants and cafes would end at the start of this coming week. Schools, colleges and nurseries will then be back with all their pupils in a week's time.
14th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

COVID-19 social media vigilantes: A valid or harmful way of dealing with rule breakers?

What would you do if you saw someone not wearing a mask in public? Mind your own business, or perhaps advise the person to wear a mask because it is now required by law and helps reduce the spread of COVID-19? Another option might be to report the infringement to the authorities. However, some people have decided on a different approach: Snap a photo and post it on social media. With numerous Facebook groups and Telegram chats providing a platform for this in Singapore and elsewhere, experts CNA interviewed have explained why online vigilantism has appeared to become more prevalent during the pandemic. They said some see it as a social responsibility borne out of genuine concern for public health, while others cannot stand seeing others get away with breaking the rules as they themselves are compliant.
13th Jun 2020 - CNA

Coronavirus could push global poverty past one billion mark, new study suggests

The number of people in extreme poverty around the world could rise beyond 1 billion as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, new analysis has suggested. Figures from the World Bank suggest that 736 million people currently live in destitution, surviving on less than $1.90 a day (£1.53). But in a study published on Friday, researchers at King’s College London and Australian National University have warned that the pandemic could trigger “substantial” poverty increases and reverse decades’ worth of progress.
13th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Mexico City to begin gradual exit from lockdown on Monday

“We think next week the city can begin a process of very orderly transition,” said Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, noting there had been a slight drop in hospital occupancy rates and that the city’s contagion alert level was close to coming down a notch. Curbs on vehicle traffic and public transport are due to be eased on Monday and factories will start opening on Tuesday under strict sanitary protections, the city government said. On Thursday, small shops will have permission to reopen, while professional services and scientific workers linked to “industry” can go back as of Friday, it added. If conditions are deemed suitable, street markets and the historic center of the city will reopen the week of June 22-28.
13th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Confusion reigns as countries loosen coronavirus lockdowns and cases rise

There is a wide discrepancy in approaches to the coronavirus by the world's political leaders, some countries are lifting lockdowns as Covid-19 deaths continue to rise, and global health agencies are backtracking on their guidance. It's hardly surprising that the situation might seem unclear.
13th Jun 2020 - CNN

Medical workers resort to parking-lot deals and DIY projects to get safety gear

Medical shortages in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, have left many healthcare workers in a desperate hunt for medical supplies. Community clinics, nursing homes and independent doctors, in particular, find themselves on the fringe of the supply chain for masks, gowns, gloves and ventilators. Desperate administrators wire money to offshore banks to acquire supplies. Most medical supplies – from isolation gowns to the filtration components of N95 masks – originate in China in factories that manufacture so-called spunbond polypropylene out of toxic chemicals. Decades of honing has turned the supply chain into an efficient
12th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Hungary's health care services to restart on June 15: minister

All restrictions on Hungary's health care services will be lifted next Monday, while the measures on anti-epidemic preparedness remain in force, the country's Minister of Human Capacities Miklos Kasler announced here on Friday. "Practically this means that in hospitals, 80 percent of the beds previously set aside for the care of coronavirus-infected people can be re-used for other treatments, but 20 percent should still be reserved for the care of COVID-19 patients," Kasler said at a press conference. Appointments to seek the help of specialist doctors will still have to be requested by phone, patients will be triaged for their appointments, and suspected COVID-19 patients will be monitored, according to the minister. Kasler said that Hungary's health care system will need about two months to catch up on surgeries that had to be postponed during the state of emergency. According to official figures, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hungary stood at 4,053 on Friday, with 2,447 recoveries and 555 fatalities
12th Jun 2020 - Xinhua

Spain's Galicia to be first region to exit coronavirus lockdown

Spain’s northern region of Galicia will be the first to exit the country’s coronavirus lockdown from Monday, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday, part of a gradual opening up that Spain hopes can save its summer tourism season. A state of emergency, declared country-wide in mid-March, will be effectively lifted in Galicia, while it remains in force in all the other 16 of Spain’s regions. The government will lift some restrictions in other regions, which have been following a four-phase plan to gradually exit from lockdown as the epidemic ebbs. “From Monday, as many as 34 million citizens will be in the last phase, that’s three out of four Spaniards,” Illa told a news conference.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Norway snubs COVID-19 hotspot Sweden in lifting travel curbs

Norway will allow travel to and from Finland, Iceland and the Swedish island of Gotland from Monday, but maintain travel restrictions on mainland Sweden due to its higher level of COVID-19 cases, amid concerns of a second wave of infections. Denmark, Finland and Norway have lifted some of the controls on leisure travel they imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic, but have kept most of those imposed on Sweden, the richest and most populous of the Nordic countries.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Canada to mandate temperature checks for airline passengers, Trudeau says

Canada will take airline passengers’ temperatures before they fly and anyone with a fever will not be allowed to travel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday. “Temperature checks will not be detecting people with COVID-19,” Trudeau said in a news conference. “It’s an extra layer of safety to encourage people who might feel sick to stay home and not put others at risk.” The screening will be phased in, with those arriving in Canada being screened by the end of June, and then for those leaving the country as well as for domestic travelers at the country’s four biggest airports by the end of July. If a traveler is found to have a fever after two separate measurements 10 minutes apart, they will be asked to rebook after 14 days have passed, the transport minister said.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

France unveils plan to reopen non-Schengen borders

France will gradually reopen its borders to countries outside the Schengen zone from July 1, the interior and foreign ministers said in a joint statement on Friday. The borders were shut in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but the European Union recommended on Thursday that the bloc reopen to some countries in the Balkans from July 1. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in their statement that France's reopening would be in harmony with the rest of the EU. "This opening will be gradual and will vary according to the health situation in each of the third countries, and in accordance with the arrangements that will have been agreed at European level by then," the ministers said.
12th Jun 2020 - Digital Journal

Rising Star: How Vietnam’s organisational skills during Covid have pumped up its economic profile

Vietnam has only had 333 Covid cases and zero deaths from the disease. But what is even more interesting is that today the world is bullish on Vietnam from an economic point of view. As multinational firms look to relocate out of China in the wake of Covid, Vietnam is fast emerging as the preferred destination of choice. True, India too is eyeing these relocating firms. But given that the Covid situation here isn’t quite under control — India is now in the fourth spot globally in total number of Covid cases — firms aren’t exactly queuing up to set up bases.
12th Jun 2020 - Times of India

Somalia's Islamist group al Shabaab says sets up COVID-19 treatment centre

Somalia’s Islamist group al Shabaab said on Friday they had set up a COVID-19 treatment centre in the country, and said the disease posed a grave threat, citing international health authorities. “Al Shabaab’s corona(virus) prevention and treatment committee has opened a COVID-19 centre,” the group said in a broadcast on their radio Andalus, adding the centre had been set up in Jilib, about 380 kilometres (236 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu. “International health organisations said COVID-19 is terribly spreading in countries of Africa continent.” For more than a decade the group has been fighting to topple the Horn of Africa’s Western-backed central government and establish its own government based on its own strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
12th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Brazil overtakes UK with world's second-highest Covid-19 death toll

Brazil has overtaken Britain as the country with the world’s second-highest Covid-19 death toll after a further 843 deaths pushed its total to 41,901. The tally was published on Friday night by a coalition of news outlets which has been compiling independent statistics since Brazil’s health ministry was accused of seeking to conceal the full figures last week. According to the British government 41,481 lives have been lost in the UK since late January although the number rises to more than 50,000 when suspected cases are included. Brazil’s death toll is also considered an underestimate. Only in the US, where the official death toll stands at more than 116,000, have more died. Medical experts have voiced despair at what they call Jair Bolsonaro’s calamitous response to the pandemic.
12th Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Brexit: UK backtracks on full EU border checks amid coronavirus crisis

The government is expected to apply much less rigorous EU border checks on imports than it initially had planned, after the Brexit transition period finishes at the end of this year. The Financial Times reports ministers have abandoned plans to introduce full checks after pressure from businesses. A government source told the BBC it would take a "pragmatic and flexible approach" due to coronavirus. The UK had committed to introduce import controls on EU goods in January. But the source said ministers recognised the impact the virus was having on businesses, and so pragmatism and flexibility on imports made sense - "to help business adjust to the changes" that were now imminent.
12th Jun 2020 - BBC News

In post-lockdown China, student mental health in focus amid reported jump in suicides

The heightened post-lockdown anxiety has become a matter of central government concern as domestic media report a spate of suicides by young people. It has also led to unprecedented measures by schools and local governments to focus on student mental health - a topic that like suicide has often been taboo in Chinese society. "There have been some heartbreaking incidents as schools reopened," Yan Wu, vice mayor of the southern city of Zhuhai, said at China's annual parliamentary meeting last month. "This highlights the importance and urgency of promoting mental health development in young students," he said. At the parliamentary meeting, at least four delegates put forward proposals for more attention to be paid to students' psychological needs.
11th Jun 2020 - The Jakarta Post

Mexico City to increase COVID-19 testing in break from feds

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Wednesday the capital will embark on a large-scale COVID-19 testing effort as the centerpiece of its plan to reopen its economy, diverging from the federal government’s strategy, which has shunned widespread testing as a waste of resources. The goal will be performing some 100,000 tests per month by July and with those results trying to detect and isolate new infections as quickly as possible, Sheinbaum said in a news conference. It will be paired with an intensive information campaign. The sprawling city of 9 million — with an equal number or more in the suburbs — has confirmed more than 32,000 infections and more than 3,200 deaths, both considered to be undercounts because of limited testing.
11th Jun 2020 - Yahoo News UK

Most UK coronavirus cases traced to France and Spain after airports were not locked down

Just 0.08 per cent of the UK's cases came directly from China where Covid-19 originated - with the majority coming from the likes of Spain, France and Italy - all holiday destinations favoured by Brits, a study shows
11th Jun 2020 - Mirror Online

Quarantined surfers return to Peru's famous waves

Peruvian surfers are returning to their nation’s world-famous waves after three months spent in lockdown due to the coronavirus. Wearing masks and carrying their boards, the surfers this week descended onto Lima’s rocky beaches for the first time since the pandemic shutdown. “It was about time, no?” said a smiling Alessandro Currarino, sporting a black wetsuit and matching face mask after hitting the waves. “Peru has some of the best waves in the world and we need to take advantage of them.”
11th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Mexico City to Launch Aggressive Coronavirus-Testing Campaign

Mexico City is launching a massive COVID-19 testing program as it aims to begin reopening the capital city's economy. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced Wednesday that officials intend to conduct 100,000 tests a month by July, with the help of an aggressive information campaign. Mexico City's approach is counter to that of President Andres Manuel López Obrador's administration, which dismissed mass testing as a waste of money. Mexico federal Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell praised Mexico City's effort, but he made no mention of expanding federal coronavirus testing.
11th Jun 2020 - VOA News

Norway allows airlines to fly full planes again- minister

Norway will no longer require airlines to leave middle seats on planes empty, a measure previously introduced to reduce the risk of contamination with the novel coronavirus, the country’s transport minister said on Thursday. The Nordic country, which advised its citizens in March not to travel abroad, is to open its borders for tourists coming from Denmark, and plans to update travel advice for other countries by June 15.
11th Jun 2020 - Reuters


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Italy PM says prosecutors to question him over coronavirus response

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he will be questioned by prosecutors on Friday over the way the coronavirus outbreak was handled in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, one of the areas most badly affected by the epidemic. “I am not at all worried,” Conte told reporters outside the prime minister’s office in Rome. “We will speak on Friday and I will pass on all the facts I am aware of,” he said, adding that he was not under investigation himself. The prosecutors are looking into why badly hit areas around Bergamo were not closed down early in the outbreak, and have already questioned the regional governor of Lombardy, which includes Bergamo, and Lombardy’s health chief.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters

'We are still in a pandemic': In some states, summer months may not provide a hoped-for lull

Banner Health, the state's largest health care system, has reported that since May 15, the number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators has quadrupled. "This trend is concerning to us," the hospital system wrote in a tweet Monday. Dr. Matthew Heinz, an internist with Tucson Medical Center in Arizona, has witnessed the rise in COVID-19 cases following a lull. "Our case numbers were trending down in terms of hospitalizations," Heinz said. Within the past week, though, he and his colleagues have noticed an uptick in confirmed and in probable cases of the coronavirus, at least in that hospital. Two recent confirmed COVID-19 admissions were among ride-share drivers — one in his mid-twenties, and the other in his 50s.
10th Jun 2020 - NBC News

Going viral: A walk on a ‘new’ beach has never felt so good

I went for a walk on a new beach on Monday afternoon that’s some 25 kilometres from my house. Under new rules that kicked into effect in Ireland on Monday, I have a new sense of freedom – even if there are still many restrictions in place. Actually, chances are that you’ve seen the beach I walked on. If you’ve watched the Tom Hanks movie Saving Private Ryan, then you’ll be familiar with Curracloe Beach. It was the stand-in for Omaha Beach, where United States forces landed on D-Day 76 years ago on Normandy.
10th Jun 2020 - Gulf News

What Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Turkey say about an airbridge with the UK

There are a number of countries planning to reopen their borders to tourists in the coming weeks. However, in recent weeks there has been a concerns raised by a number of countries over the coronavirus record of the UK. The hope is that the government can agree to 'airbridges' which would allow Brits to travel freely to and from those nations.
10th Jun 2020 - Kent Live

Hairdressers, beauty salons reopen in Malaysia

Malaysia reopened nearly all economic and social activities Wednesday after nearly three months of lockdown successfully brought down virus infections. Malaysians can now travel for domestic holidays, get their hair cut and visit street markets, while schools and religious activities will gradually resume. While happy to be back at work, hairstylist Shirley Chai said she is nervous about the strict health rules for hairdressers. She is especially worried about the one-hour time limit for each client. The government says the country will enter a "recovery" phase until the end of August, and warned that restrictions will be reinstated if infections soar again.Night clubs, pubs, karaoke, theme parks and reflexology centers will stay shut during the recovery period.
10th Jun 2020 - Republic World

Africa’s coronavirus cases top 200,000

World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Ethiopian, warned Africa to “prepare for the worst” back in March, but the virus has been slow to spread on the continent. Expertise developed from previous outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, HIV/Aids and cholera proved useful, and many countries moved quickly to impose lockdowns, closing borders and bringing in contact tracing systems. However, there is now growing concern that some countries are under-reporting cases due to limited testing capacities, or downplaying their figures because of political pressure.
10th Jun 2020 - The Irish Times

Canada's political consensus over coronavirus aid programs starts to fray

Canada’s political consensus over help for those hit by the coronavirus outbreak began to fray on Wednesday when opposition legislators blocked a government move to approve a proposed expansion of benefits.
10th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Egypt- WHO announces 670000 COVID-19 infections across Eastern Mediterranean

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean region has reported almost 670,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and over 15,000 deaths, according to the WHO's Regional Director for the area, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari. In an announcement made on Wednesday, Al-Mandhari added that the Eastern Mediterranean region's figures for the virus make up almost 10% of the global caseload.
10th Jun 2020 - MENAFN.COM

Coronavirus Has Thailand Putting out Multiple Fires at Once

The novel coronavirus has led to a diverse array of crises for Thailand. Paramount are the nation’s healthcare and economy. But the pandemic has also impacted Thailand politics, with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha delaying a necessary cabinet reshuffle and extending a state of emergency. Analysts say the postponed reshuffle has placed the government in political limbo. The military, which came to power in a 2014 putsch, governs Thailand with a coalition of parties. One of them, the Palang Pracharath Party, saw 18 members resign last week after a schism over how Thailand is responding to Covid-19. The resignations force an election within the party, which in turn could change which party members are part of the executive cabinet.
10th Jun 2020 - VOA News

Coronavirus infections in Denmark are FALLING are lockdown eased and restaurants and shops reopened

Just 14 new Covid-19 cases were counted on 9 June - the lowest in two months Denmark has been in phase two of easing lockdown measures since late May. New cases continue to fall even as more tests are carried out, officials said
10th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Turkey lifts lockdown for seniors, minors:

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifts stay-at-home orders for minors and for people aged over 65. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey is lifting stay-at-home orders for people aged over 65 and for minors as part of a further easing of restrictions.
10th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Peru coronavirus crisis deepens: oxygen in focus

The covid-19 (coronavirus) crisis continues to deepen in Peru, where gasworld understands there is a significant supply shortage of oxygen and individuals have been pictured taking supply into their own hands.
8th Jun 2020 - gasworld

Exclusive: Half of Singapore's new COVID-19 cases are symptomless - taskforce head

Tiny Singapore has one of the highest infection tallies in Asia, with more than 38,000 cases, because of outbreaks in cramped dormitories housing thousands of migrant workers. It reopened schools and some businesses last week after a near two-month lockdown, but many residents are still required to work from home and mix socially only with their families. “Based on our experience, for every symptomatic case you would have at least one asymptomatic case,” said Lawrence Wong, adding that the discovery was made in recent weeks as Singapore ramped up testing. “That is exactly why we have been very cautious in our reopening plans,” Wong said.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK


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Spain sees rise in air pollution as coronavirus lockdown eases

As Spain began to deescalate the confinement measures, more traffic has returned to the roads, and nitrogen dioxide levels are once again on the rise. This increase was calculated by EL PAÍS based on the data from air-monitoring centers from the 15 most populous cities in Spain, which are home to more than 10.7 million people, or around one fourth of the total population. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has been compiling and sharing the weekly evolution of several pollutants as recorded by around 3,000 air-monitoring centers in the European Union. Thanks to the work of the EEA, it is possible to follow the changes in air-pollution levels during the crisis.
9th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Moscow's lockdown ends as coronavirus cases in Russia pass 485,000

Sobyanin's critics accuse him of rushing to ease the lockdown in time to allow a Red Square military parade later this month and a July 1 nationwide vote that could extend President Vladimir Putin's rule until 2036. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he did not think the decision to lift Moscow's lockdown was hasty because some restrictions would remain in place until later in June. Sobyanin has cited a steady fall in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks, an easing of strains on the health system and Muscovites' responsible behaviour as reasons for lifting the lockdown. Most commuters wore masks on Tuesday while using Moscow's metro system, which was still less busy than before the outbreak.
9th Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Chinese businesses adapt to post-lockdown reality

China’s big cities have started to come back to life but worries remain about a potential second wave and businesses are struggling with a shortage of customers. Most urban centres are free from the virus yet companies are implementing disease control measures, ranging from checking guests’ temperatures and having staff and customers wear masks to conducting regular deep cleans of facilities. To understand how China’s service industry is adapting to the post-virus environment, the Financial Times spoke to three representative businesses in Beijing and Shanghai.
9th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

NY emerges from lockdown today

New York will begin reopening today after 78 days of stay-home-orders due to the coronavirus pandemic which claimed the lives of nearly 22,000 New York residents and infected more than 205,000. Non-essential construction and manufacturing workers will return to work sites and retail stores will reopen to instore pickups. Hair salons, offices and indoor seating at bars and restaurants will be permitted in the next phase of reopening.
9th Jun 2020 - Sky News Australia

New Zealand ends its lockdown after eradicating Covid-19

New Zealand has completely eliminated coronavirus from within its borders. A woman in her 50s recovered in St Margaret's Hospital Auckland on Monday. The country had been battling the COVID-19 pandemic since February 28. The country will now end social distancing restrictions as it moves to level 1. Under the level 1 alert daily life resume to normal, borders remain closed. NZ had 1,154 cases of COVID-19 but has had no new cases in the last 17 days.
9th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

New Zealand has lifted most of its lockdown restrictions after reporting it has no more active cases of coronavirus

New Zealand has lifted most of its lockdown restrictions after reporting it has no more active cases of coronavirus
9th Jun 2020 - The Scotsman

New Zealand lifts lockdown as Jacinda Ardern declares it free of coronavirus

New Zealanders breathed easy yesterday as the government announced it was ending all coronavirus restrictions after the last known patient recovered and the country was free of active cases. The authorities lifted the last internal containment measures at midnight (1pm BST) yesterday following one of the world’s toughest lockdowns that was from the outset designed to eliminate the virus. However, border controls remain and all travellers entering the country are required to isolate for 14 days. Shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and public transport will resume almost normal operations, limits on public gatherings have been removed and social distancing will no longer be required although it will still be encouraged. Weddings and funerals will also be allowed to go ahead. New Zealanders will be the first
9th Jun 2020 - The Times

In New Zealand, shopping, parties and big hugs mark start of 'COVID-free' life

New Zealanders hugged and kissed, shopped, and planned parties on Tuesday as the country took off all coronavirus restrictions for the first time in more than three months, while much of the rest of the world is still grappling with the pandemic.
9th Jun 2020 - Reuters

New Zealand gears up for 1st rugby match with spectators post lockdown

New Zealand will host the inaugural match of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition on June 13 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. This decision comes as the New Zealand government confirmed that the country will proceed to Alert Level 1, lifting all restrictions and allowing the first major sporting event with a live mass audience at the stadiums in the country, a statement said. Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO, Roger Clark, said he is delighted that level 1 has arrived in time for crowds to attend their first home game. "No one can ever underestimate the sacrifices New Zealanders have made to allow this special event to take place. In many ways the staging of this game in front of a crowd represents our country''s success in fighting the pandemic, and while we appreciate there is still some work to do, it''s certainly a good time to celebrate what we have achieved so far.
9th Jun 2020 - Outlook India

The Latest: SKorea Requires QR Codes at ‘high-risk’ Venues

South Korea has reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 as officials begin requiring nightclubs, karaoke rooms and gyms to register their customers with smartphone QR codes so they could be easily located when needed. The figures from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday brought national totals to 11,902 cases and 276 deaths. At least 41 of the cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have struggled to trace transmissions linked to entertainment venues, church gatherings and low-income workers who couldn’t afford to stay home. Since late May, the country has been reporting around 30 to 50 new cases per day, a resurgence that has threatened to erase some of the hard-won gains against the virus as people begin to ease on distancing.
9th Jun 2020 - NBC New York

New Zealand Declares Coronavirus Eliminated, Lifting Lockdown

Crowds will gather again in New Zealand’s restaurants. Weddings will include as many hugs and guests as the happy couple wants — and even social distancing will not be needed. New Zealand has no active coronavirus cases and no new cases, officials said on Monday, declaring that life could return to a form of pre-pandemic normal. Since the pandemic began, the country has reported 1,504 cases and 22 deaths nationally, and has been widely praised for its stringent approach to combating the virus. “While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding: “Thank you, New Zealand.”
8th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

With China's Economy Battered By Pandemic, Millions Return To The Land For Work

Seasonal agricultural workers plant peanuts next to wheat fields in China's Henan province. With tens of millions of urban and factory jobs lost, many of the newly unemployed have returned to their rural villages.
8th Jun 2020 - NPR


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Coronavirus in Ireland: Holohan insists time is right to ease lockdown

Now is the right time to ease Covid-19 restrictions, the chief medical officer has said, despite the view of dozens of medics and scientists who say Ireland has to eliminate and not live with the coronavirus. Tony Holohan said that the National Public Health Emergency Team was always willing to listen to those with a “different perspective” but that the country could not restrict movement for ever. Other countries that have lifted restrictions, such as France, have yet to record a resurgence in cases. The authorities have never claimed that any level of infection among the public is tolerable, Dr Holohan said. There is a “very low level of infection” in Ireland now and “if we can get down to zero we will be very pleased"
9th Jun 2020 - The Times

Coronavirus latest: Half of population in Italy hotspot tests positive for antibodies

More than half the residents of Bergamo have come into contact with the disease, a new study has shown. Brazil now has more than 700,000 infections, the second-highest number after the US.
9th Jun 2020 - DW (English)

COVID-19 cases yet to peak in Pakistan: Imran Khan

Pakistan's coronavirus cases are expected to peak by the end of July or August, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday. Addressing the nation, he warned the country of "a very difficult time" ahead if people continued to ignore the standard operating procedures (SOPs), Geo News reported. The prime minister said that that the entire world has now understood that lockdowns are not a solution for the COVID-19 pandemic. "We already know that the virus will spread, the trend that our experts have observed is that it spreads, then peaks and then the curve flattens. And the purpose behind flattening the curve is to reduce pressure on hospitals," Dawn quoted Khan as saying.
9th Jun 2020 - Afghanistan News

Tunisia orders lifting of coronavirus lockdown

Tunisia's president has ordered the lifting of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown. The decision came after health authorities said they continued to see a drop in the number of new infections. The country has record 1 087 coronavirus cases and 49 related deaths to date
8th Jun 2020 - News24

New Zealand lifts COVID-19 restrictions crowds free to attend Super Rugby Aotearoa

Crowds will be permitted to attend the opening round of Super Rugby Aotearoa this weekend, after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the country would shift to Alert Level 1 from midnight Monday [NZT]. In what is believed to be a first since the coronavirus pandemic put most professional sports on hold, there will be no restrictions on the size of the crowd that can attend this weekend's opening games between the Highlanders and Chiefs in Dunedin (Saturday), and the Blues and Hurricanes in Auckland (Sunday). New Zealand has not had a new COVID-19 case for 17 days, and there are no longer any active cases of the virus across the country.
8th Jun 2020 - ESPN.co.uk

New Zealand's star tourism attraction struggles as visitors stay away post-Covid

For now, with New Zealand's borders shut to almost all foreigners, only people already in the country can visit Queenstown. In the past, New Zealanders have avoided Queenstown as it has so many international tourists. Now the town is trying to lure them there -- Boult even did a bungy jump to mark the easing of the country's coronavirus restrictions in May. Over a recent holiday weekend, businesses reported seeing a boom as people from around the country descended on the town. But, Boult says, businesses "won't survive" on domestic travelers alone. He's hoping that the trans-Tasman bubble will be up and running by July for the ski season, where Australians make up 30-40% of customers. "This really is make or break," he says, adding that if there is no trans-Tasman bubble by July, more businesses will fail and more jobs will be lost.
8th Jun 2020 - CNN

New Zealand lifts all Covid restrictions, declaring the nation virus-free

At midnight local time (12:00 GMT), all of New Zealand moved to level one, the lowest of a four-tier alert system. Under new rules, social distancing is not required and there are no limits on public gatherings, but borders remain closed to foreigners. New Zealand has reported no new Covid-19 cases for more than two weeks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters she did "a little dance" when she was told the country no longer had any active virus cases. "While we're in a safer, stronger position, there's still no easy path back to pre-Covid life, but the determination and focus we have had on our health response will now be vested in our economic rebuild," Ms Ardern said. "While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone. So can I finish with a very simple, 'Thank you, New Zealand'."
8th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Action! Film-makers back to work in New Zealand after coronavirus

New Zealand’s capital has had an extra buzz of excitement over the past week since Hollywood director James Cameron and his crew flew in to film the much-anticipated sequel of the epic science-fiction film “Avatar”.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

UK ministers face legal challenge for refusal to order PPE inquiry

Ministers are facing a high court legal challenge after they refused to order an urgent investigation into the shortages of personal protective equipment faced by NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors, lawyers and campaigners for older people’s welfare issued proceedings on Monday which they hope will lead to a judicial review of the government’s efforts to ensure that health professionals and social care staff had enough PPE to keep them safe.
8th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

France ‘looks to increase fines for littering’ amid coronavirus waste

France is reportedly looking to increase fines for people caught dropping litter – including face masks and gloves. The proposal comes amid concerns over waste linked to the coronavirus pandemic, which has been found washed up on the country's beaches. Littering fines could increase to €135 (£120), according to French media. Brune Poirson, a junior environment minister, told AFP news agency a draft decree would propose harsher sanctions for those caught dropping rubbish on the floor, Le Monde reported.
8th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Covid-19: Singapore and France agree to keep supply chains for essential food open and connected

Singapore and France have agreed to maintain open and connected supply chains for essential food supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic. Both countries affirmed their intention to do so in a joint statement by Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and France's Minister of Agriculture and Food Didier Guillaume on Monday (June 8).
8th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Vietnam reports two new coronavirus cases, taking tally to 331

Vietnam on Monday reported two new coronavirus infections, both of which were imported cases involving Vietnamese citizens returning from Mexico who were quarantined on arrival, its health ministry said. The Southeast Asian country has gone 53 days without a domestically transmitted infection and has a total of 331 cases, with no deaths, the ministry said. Over 90% of the confirmed cases have recovered.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Germany gets ready to launch coronavirus tracing app

Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn says a mobile phone app to help trace coronavirus infections in a bid to keep the spread under control will be made available to the public in the coming days. Alongside shutting down public life for around two months, Germany’s 'track and trace' system has played a huge role in slowing the spread of Covid-19 to stop it from overwhelming the country's health system. And the rollout of an app, which would use bluetooth to alert smartphone users when they have been in contact with someone infected with the virus, is considered crucial in the fight against the pandemic as Germany continues to relax lockdown measures. "We will present the app in the course of next week," said Spahn in an interview with regional newspaper RP Online published on Monday June 8th.
8th Jun 2020 - The Local Germany

Football in Vietnam returns to crowded stadiums

Football in Vietnam returned this weekend to packed crowds as the Covid-19 threat in the country appears to have abated. In one of three opening V.League 1 games played on Friday, the stadium in Nam Dinh was close to its 30,000 capacity. Hand sanitiser was available and stewards performed temperature checks on fans, who were asked to wear masks, however, few face masks were seen, Reuters reports.
8th Jun 2020 - SportBusiness

Italy rolls out covid-19 tracing app

Italy begins testing the Immuni contact-tracing app, designed to help contain fresh outbreaks of covid-19, begins on Monday 8 June after getting the green light from the country's privacy ombudsman. The first trials of the app will begin in the regions of Abruzzo, Liguria, Le Marche and Puglia, with Immuni expected to be in nationwide use by 15 June. The app, which has been available since 1 June, has so far been downloaded by more than two million people in Italy, according to the nation's special commissioner for the coronavirus emergency, Domenico Arcuri.
8th Jun 2020 - Wanted in Rome

Boris Johnson's government has the worst approval rating in the WORLD for handling of coronavirus

Britons rate PM even lower than Americans rate Donald Trump, YouGov found. That is despite the US death toll dwarfing even the UK's at more than 110,000. Just 41 per cent of Britons say the government is handling the crisis well
8th Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

A Million Volunteers Help Thailand Curb Coronavirus Infections

The nation -- the first to detect the illness outside of China -- has kept infections to about 3,100. New daily Covid-19 cases were mostly in the single digits for the past month, allowing officials to relax the lockdown gradually. Restaurants and shopping malls are open again and many hotels are accepting bookings from domestic tourists. As activity picks up, one part of the strategy to avoid a second virus wave is a network of more than 1 million health volunteers who monitor for cases so action can be taken quickly.
8th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Back to school for some, clubbing for others as Spain loosens restrictions

Some schools in the capital Madrid reopened for primary pupils on Monday and seniors preparing for university-entrance exams will return on Tuesday. Other regions are allowing different age groups to return. Children across the country were granted the right to play outside at any time of day, offering some relief after months spent indoors. A recent study showed nearly one in six children has felt regularly depressed during the crisis. Nightclubs reopened in much of Spain though a widely mocked ban on dancing will be enforced to prevent infections.
8th Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Moscow mayor says to lift all major coronavirus restrictions this month

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Monday that all major restrictions relating to the novel coronavirus would be lifted in the Russian capital in June. Writing on his personal website, Sobyanin said beauty salons and veterinary clinics could open from June 9, museums and outdoor areas at cafes from June 16, and gyms and restaurants from June 23
8th Jun 2020 - National Post

As India reopens, one state outnumbers China in coronavirus cases

As India begins to reopen more public spaces after a 10-week lockdown, its western state of Maharashtra has crossed a grim milestone by having more coronavirus cases than China. India's health ministry on Monday said Maharashtra - the country's most industrialised state - now has a total of 85,975 coronavirus cases, including more than 3,000 deaths.
8th Jun 2020 - Al Jazeera English

India reopens more public spaces despite record virus infections - The Jakarta Post

Malls and temples reopened in several cities across India on Monday despite the country recording a record daily number of new coronavirus infections, with the pandemic expected to ravage the country for weeks to come. After a 10-week lockdown the government has risked lifting some restrictions in a bid to ease the devastating blow to the economy dealt by the coronavirus. But the number of new cases rose by 9,983 to 256,611, according to government figures announced Monday, putting the country of 1.3 billion on course to overtake Britain and Spain among nations with the highest number of infections.
8th Jun 2020 - Jakarta Post

Government seeking to increase social gathering limit to 50

Due to the Coronavirus Crisis, the public in Denmark has had to limit their social gatherings to a maximum of ten people in recent months. But that could well change in the very near future after PM Mette Frederiksen sent a letter to members of Parliament proposing increasing the limit to 50 on June 8. The letter also revealed the government proposes additional increases to the gathering limit – up to 100 on July 8 and then to 200 on August 8.
8th Jun 2020 - Copenhagen Post

France identifies 150 coronavirus clusters, many in health centres and hospitals

France has identified 150 coronavirus clusters, many of them in health centres, officials have reported.
8th Jun 2020 - The Local France

America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic

Americans may wish the virus to be gone, but it is not. While the outbreak has eased in the Northeast, driving down the overall national numbers, cases have only plateaued in the rest of the country, and they appear to be on the rise in recent days in COVID Tracking Project data. Twenty-two states reported 400 or more new cases Friday, and 14 other states and Puerto Rico reported cases in the triple digits. Several states—including Arizona, North Carolina, and California—are now seeing their highest numbers of known cases.
7th Jun 2020 - The Atlantic


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Coronavirus: Pandemic ‘not over’, warns WHO as Brazil reports record number of daily deaths

The Covid-19 pandemic is “not over”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned after Brazil reported a daily record number of deaths on Thursday. Stringent lockdown restrictions are being lifted across much of Europe and the west but a number of countries have seen an “uptick” in cases, according to the WHO. Meanwhile, officials in Brazil announced 1,473 fatalities on Thursday night, taking the South America country’s death toll to more than 34,000 – the third highest in the world behind only the US and the UK.
7th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Global report: South Africa records biggest jump in Covid-19 cases since pandemic hit

South Africa recorded 3,267 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, the biggest jump since the pandemic began. The country is the worst hit in sub-Saharan Africa and has nearly a quarter of all cases on the continent, with 40,792 infections. With 848 deaths, it ranks only second to Egypt for fatalities (1,126). Nearly two thirds of the country’s cases are in the Western Cape province, where Cape Town is the biggest city, and health services are under pressure. The region is also a major tourist destination, and local authorities have implemented one of the most rigorous testing regimes in the country.
7th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Brazil overtakes Italy as country with third-highest coronavirus deaths

Brazil has overtaken Italy as the country with the third-highest Covid-19 death toll after a daily record of 1,473 fatalities took its total tally to more than 34,000. The figure was published by Brazil’s health ministry on Thursday night and means only the United States and the United Kingdom have registered more deaths because of the pandemic. The official number of infections rose to nearly 615,000, second only to the US. In an online broadcast shortly before the numbers were released, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro made almost no mention of the victims but continued to publicly attack efforts to slow the advance of coronavirus with quarantine measures and social distancing. “We can’t go on like this. Nobody can take it anymore,” Bolsonaro said of the shutdown efforts being implemented by state governors and mayors across Brazil. “The collateral impact will be far greater than those people who unfortunately lost their lives because of these last three months here,” Bolsonaro said.
7th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Europe threatens to block holidaymakers visiting from UK due to high coronavirus rates

British tourists could be blocked from holidaying in some of the most popular European Union countries this summer after ministers from the bloc yesterday (Friday) warned that the UK’s coronavirus infection rates are too high. While EU home affairs ministers agreed in a video conference call to lift border controls inside the territory by the end of June, France, Germany, Greece and Spain have all indicated that they could keep restrictions on British holidaymakers. The objections to British tourists are partly due to the UK’s plans for 14-day quarantines for visitors.
7th Jun 2020 - iNews

France, Germany, Greece and Spain threaten UK travellers with quarantine sanctions

The UK is facing backlash over its plans to impose a 14-day quarantine on all new arrivals, while some EU countries say they won't let Brits in until the infection rate is reduced.
7th Jun 2020 - Metro

Coronavirus pandemic | Thailand to position itself as 'trusted' destination after COVID-19 eases

Thailand, 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.
7th Jun 2020 - MoneyControl.com

Vietnam Breaks Out of the Covid Tourist Trap

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Vietnam is pulling ahead in the race to reopen Southeast Asia to city-hoppers and sunseekers. International arrivals were down 98% in May from a year earlier, after a record 2019. Yet success in containing the coronavirus epidemic means domestic travel has already restarted. Thailand, by comparison, is still under a state ...
7th Jun 2020 - Yahoo! News

Wearable device for Covid-19 contact tracing to be rolled out soon, may be issued to everyone in Singapore

A wearable device for contact tracing may be issued to everyone in Singapore to help curb the spread of Covid-19. This was announced in Parliament by Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan on Friday (June 5), when he explained that technical difficulties have prevented Singapore's contact tracing app TraceTogether from working well on iPhones. "The app does not appear to work as well on iOS or Apple devices," he said.
7th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Wear masks in public, says WHO in update of Covid-19 advice

The World Health Organisation (WHO) updated its guidance on Friday (June 5) to recommend that governments ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public areas where there is a risk of transmission of Covid-19 to help reduce the spread of the pandemic disease. In its new guidance, prompted by evidence from studies conducted in recent weeks, the WHO stressed that face masks were only one of a range of tools that can reduce the risk of viral transmission, and should not give a false sense of protection. "Masks on their own will not protect you from Covid-19," the WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a briefing.
7th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Coronavirus 'a devastating blow for world economy'

The coronavirus pandemic is a "devastating blow" for the world economy, according to World Bank President David Malpass. Mr Malpass warned that billions of people would have their livelihoods affected by the pandemic. He said that the economic fallout could last for a decade. In May, Mr Malpass warned that 60 million people could be pushed into "extreme poverty" by the effects of coronavirus. The World Bank defines "extreme poverty" as living on less than $1.90 (£1.55) per person per day. However, in an interview on Friday Mr Malpass said that more than 60 million people could find themselves with less than £1 per day to live on.
7th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Diary of a Wuhan lockdown survivor

Towards the end of January, acclaimed Chinese writer Fang Fang (the pen name of Wang Fang) began to write a daily online diary as her home town Wuhan became the epicentre of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak. Within days, Michael Perry, Fang’s American translator, began to render her entries into English. Recently, these were collected and published as Wuhan Diary. Why should a personal account of lockdown by a 65-year-old writer matter to the rest of the world? Because she speaks truth to power like few in her country. In spite of stringent media and social media policing, Fang continues to ask hard questions of the authorities, points out lapses and challenges official claims—actions that most journalists in China can’t undertake. Her diary is not just a portrait of a society in lockdown but also that of a people muzzled.Fang’s book also feels like a warning as the world enters the sixth month of the outbreak.
7th Jun 2020 - Livemint

'Can't quite believe it': New Zealand tiptoes towards elimination of coronavirus

As health officials announce each new day of no new Covid-19 cases, social media explodes with New Zealanders celebrating the news. “That feeling like you got away with something that seemed impossible and you can’t quite believe it even though you want to believe it,” wrote one, on Twitter. “But for an entire country.” Twenty-two New Zealanders have died of Covid-19, ; thousands have lost their jobs and the nation’s largest export sector, tourism, lies in tatters. But as New Zealanders look to the hundreds of thousands of deaths recorded in other countries, there is a sense that the rest of the world faced a different pandemic, the disastrous scale of which never fully arrived here. Now, providing there are no new and unexpected cases to marr the country’s 14-day streak of zero fresh instances of Covid-19, scientists say they expect to be able to declare next week that the virus has been eliminated from New Zealand – making it the first country among the OECD group of wealthy nations, and the first country that has recorded more than 100 cases to make such a statement, analysts said.
7th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Prime minister told to dump rhetoric and plan for new Covid wave

Senior figures from across the NHS have issued an urgent plea for a comprehensive plan to tackle a second wave of coronavirus infections, as Boris Johnson continues to lose public confidence in his handling of the pandemic. Amid persistent fears among scientists that the virus remains too prevalent to ease the lockdown further, the prime minister has been urged to ditch “cheap political rhetoric” that risks eroding the public’s adherence to lockdown measures in the months ahead. Health chiefs say there should be no further easing before a comprehensive test and trace system has been proved to work, as NHS figures accuse the government of lacking a strategy and dodging an “honest and open” debate about Britain’s plight. They also warned of a “dramatic” drop in capacity at NHS hospitals.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus deaths continue to rise in Brazil, Mexico

As the novel coronavirus continues to ravage Latin America, the death toll in Brazil topped 35,000 on Saturday and passed 13,000 in Mexico. In Brazil, 1,026 more fatalities over the past 24 hours raised the death toll to 35,047, according to the Health Ministry. The total case count in the world’s second-worst hit country reached 646,006 as 31,065 more people tested positive for COVID-19. In Mexico, 625 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 13,170. A total of 4,346 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, raising the overall count to 110,026, the Health Ministry said. Earlier this week, the World Health Organization said Latin America has become the "red zone" of coronavirus transmissions in the world and that solidarity and support are needed for these countries to overcome the pandemic.
6th Jun 2020 - Anadolu Agency

Global report: India's Covid-19 case total surpasses Italy's

India’s health ministry reported 9,887 new cases on Saturday, bringing the official total to 236,657. The country has fewer confirmed cases than only the US, Brazil, Russia, Britain and Spain. India’s official death toll of 6,642 is relatively low compared with the other countries, but experts say the country is still nowhere near its peak and doctors fear what will happen once the imminent monsoon season begins. Despite there being no sign the infection curve flattening, the country will begin opening up on Monday after more than two months of the world’s largest lockdown, which has involved 1.3 billion people. Shopping malls and places of worship will open their doors, but no large gatherings, distributions of food offerings, sprinkling of holy water or touching of idols and holy books will be allowed.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Merkel among winners as Europeans give verdict on anti-Covid battles

One of the first EU countries to start easing its lockdown, Denmark’s per-million death toll is slightly lower than Germany’s, at just over 100. Public satisfaction with Frederiksen’s government has slipped just three points and remains at 85%, while support for her Social Democrats has surged from 27% to 35% – its highest share since 2006. In France, one of the Europe’s harder-hit countries with a per-million death toll of 433, Macron and his government – which has coped, on balance, reasonably well, and better than many comparable countries – have been the target of heavy criticism over an early shortage of face masks and a long delay in beginning widespread testing. But since public satisfaction in the government’s response slumped to 36% in the second half of March, it has climbed steadily back to 42% for a net fall of 14 points, while his personal approval rating stands at 44%, relatively high by French presidential standards.
6th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Want a vacation with no coronavirus quarantine? Iceland is charging $150

As more people yearn for a post-lockdown break, Iceland is seeking to get ahead of rival destinations while protecting the country from a spike in coronavirus cases. Travellers arriving at the island's international airport will soon be able to avoid a mandatory two-week quarantine by opting to pay 15,000 kronur (S$150) for an on-the-spot test as the nation seeks to salvage a tourism industry crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic. Testing will be free until the start of July, after which passengers landing at the country's main Keflavik hub will be given the choice of isolation or paying for the test, Iceland's Ministry of Health said on Friday (June 5).
5th Jun 2020 - The Straits Times

Spain adopts conservative attitude to restarting European travel

Spain is clearly siding with the most conservative members of the European Union when it comes to reopening borders. A meeting of interior ministers held on Friday revealed that most member states want to restore free travel by June 15 within the Schengen space, which includes 22 members of the EU plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechstenstein. Italy already lifted its restrictions on European travel on June 3. But Madrid is insisting on waiting until July 1. Spain is also very cautious about reopening Europe’s external borders to visitors from other countries, some of which are currently experiencing significant Covid-19 outbreaks, such as the United States, Japan and several Latin American nations.
5th Jun 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Spain’s Prado reopens its doors

One of the world’s greatest galleries will throw open its doors again on Saturday, but in circumstances very different from the past. The Prado, home to masterpieces by Hieronymus Bosch, Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya, will welcome visitors after its longest closure since the Spanish civil war, more than 80 years ago. The museum shut on March 11 as Spain’s coronavirus outbreak gained pace. Reopening has meant rethinking its basic facts of life, with only a fifth of its paintings on display, vastly reduced ticket sales and strict health guidelines in place. “It is obvious we can’t open in the same conditions the museum was in March, because of the health emergency,” said Miguel Falomir, its director.
5th Jun 2020 - Financial Times

Thousands of China’s movie screens could be shut forever

China has the largest number of movie screens in the world but all have been shut since January 23, the day the central Chinese city of Wuhan was locked down to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
4th Jun 2020 - Hindustan Times

Coronavirus: Spain considers reopening land borders with France and Portugal this month

Spain has announced it is considering plans to reopen its land borders with France and Portugal from 22 June. The country shut its borders in mid-March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with only Spaniards, cross-border workers and truck drivers able to cross into neighbouring countries. Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto said the country would probably lift quarantine measures for travellers coming from Portugal and France at the same time.
4th Jun 2020 - Sky News


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Tunisians Emerge From Lockdown Into Mosques and Cafes

Tunisians returned to mosques and cafes on Thursday as the country ended most lockdown restrictions after largely containing the spread of the novel coronavirus for now. Sitting with friends at the Brazil coffeeshop in the Ibn Khaldoun district of Tunis, schoolteacher Nizar Jamal said he was glad to resume his daily chats with friends.
4th Jun 2020 - U.S. News & World Report

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

UK Zoos May Never Reopen Post-Lockdown: 'Our Future Hangs In The Balance'

Across the UK, zoos have been ordered to remain closed for the foreseeable amid the coronavirus pandemic, sparking urgent requests for donations to save them from permanent closure. Chester Zoo launched a ‘Save Our Zoo’ JustGiving page on Wednesday after admitting it is facing debt in excess of £24m by the end of 2020. ZSL – which runs zoos in London and Whipsnade – is also urging the public to donate to its regular fundraising page, so the sites stand a chance of reopening once restrictions are lifted. Many other zoos across the country are facing a similar predicament, according to The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA).
4th Jun 2020 - Huffington Post UK

Coronavirus lockdown: Levels of anxiety and depression in the UK fall as restrictions ease

Ongoing UCL study of over 90,000 adults shows that depression levels have decreased particularly among the under-60s
4th Jun 2020 - iNews

‘I’m happy just to be with them again’: Families reunite but tourists stay away as Italy reopens its borders

Italy has reopened travel between regions as well to and from European countries, in a bid to lure tourists back in time for the summer season. This next phase marks an important milestone for a country where the virus walloped communities, killing over 33,000, and sent the economy into a tailspin.
4th Jun 2020 - The Independent

Change to death registration criteria cuts recorded Covid-19 deaths in Spain significantly, with no deaths reported for two days

Spain, holding its breath as it emerges from lockdown, reported no deaths for the second day in a row since the pandemic started. One of the hardest-hit countries by Covid-19, it was positive news for Spaniards who had lived through dark times when hundreds of people lost their lives each day to the virus.
4th Jun 2020 - iNews

France takes first small steps to normality after Covid-19 crisis

The renaissance of cafe society in France has taken cautious first steps amid hopes for gradual economic recovery but also apprehension about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the risk of a second wave. In Paris, on theIf keeping the distance between tables is impractical, dividing screens are installed and throughout the country, people took advantage of warm weather and the relaxation of restrictions to dine out or enjoy drinks on terraces on Tuesday for the first time since the president, Emmanuel Macron, ordered a lockdown in mid-March.
4th Jun 2020 - The National

Parisians decided to settle on the coast as France eases Covid-19 lockdown measures

As France continues to ease its lockdown measures in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic, some Parisians decided to move away from the highly-dense capital and settle in the coast, like in the city of Sables-d’Olonne, known for its sea-side activities and which is particularly visited during summer.
4th Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Moscow malls & parks open after 65 days of lockdown (PHOTOS)

Full body disinfection cabins for customers and no walking without masks and gloves. Muscovites are being forced to wake up to a new reality after self-isolation. On June 1, Moscow eased the self-isolation regime introduced on March 28, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shopping malls, car showrooms, churches and city parks finally reopened after 65 days, while Muscovites are allowed to walk “on schedule”. This is how it looks.
4th Jun 2020 - Russia Beyond

Foot traffic at Russia's leading malls jumps as rebound gets underway

The volume of foot traffic in Moscow’s leading malls increased sharply on June 1 as the lockdown restrictions in Russia’s capital start to be eased and residents go to the mall. Foot traffic volumes had collapsed by 65%-75% year on year during the lockdown, but rebounded on June 1 and were down only 43.1%, according to Watcom, which uses cameras to measure foot traffic at leading Russian malls in real time. As bne IntelliNews reported, the recovery in shopping traffic is part of a broader visible Russian rebound that has got underway in the last few days and seen the ruble break below RUB70 to the dollar for the first time in months, among other things.
4th Jun 2020 - BNE IntelliNews

China’s air pollution overshoots pre-coronavirus concentrations as life resumes after lockdown

Air pollution in China has risen above the levels measured in the same 30-day period last year, according to new data. Air pollutant levels dropped dramatically in February when China was under strict lock down measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and reached its lowest levels in March. As restrictions eased, and travel and industry resumed, air pollution is now overtaking the levels prior to the pandemic. The drop in air pollution during global lockdown led to clearer skies and a drop in emissions, not only in China, but around the world, offering a small glimmer of hope during the unprecedented crisis. People shared photos from Los Angeles to the Himalayas of skylines coming into crystal-clear view once the smog had cleared.
4th Jun 2020 - The Independent

New Zealand rapped for classifying 'Avatar 2' crew 'essential workers' - Insider

Over the weekend, director James Cameron and 55 film crew members flew into. New Zealand on a private plan to begin filming "Avatar 2." They are currently undergoing a two-week quarantine in Wellington, New Zealand's capital. They were allowed to enter the country under a recently announced exemption based on economic value, while thousands who already have temporary visas are unable. The exemption for Hollywood workers has sparked criticism from local politicians and immigration experts. David Seymour, the leader of a right-wing libertarian party, said Avatar's exemptions were an "insult to working New Zealanders," according to Stuff.co.nz.
4th Jun 2020 - INSIDER

COVID-19: Strict lockdown's economic benefits starting to show - economist

New Zealand's fast and hard lockdown is starting to show signs it was the right move not just from a health perspective, but an economic one, according to economist Shamubeel Eaqub. The New Zealand dollar (NZD) is rising against foreign currencies, increasing Kiwis' purchase power. The NZD is now trading at 64.1 US cents, up from 62c a week ago and 57c when we went into alert level 4, temporarily crippling the economy in order to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
4th Jun 2020 - Newshub

Peru Reopens More Industries, Undeterred by Almost 5,000 Deaths

Peru authorized more parts of the economy to reopen even as deaths from the virus surpassed 5,000 and hospitals in Lima begin running low on oxygen for patients. The government said a wide range of sectors, from roadbuilding to beermaking and printing, could restart, along with inter-provincial transport services, according to decree published Thursday. Seven of the country’s 25 regions were exempted from the measure given their high prevalence of Covid-19 cases. President Martin Vizcarra said the move would see 80% of the economy reopened, up from close to 50% now. ”We can’t support 100% of the country’s needs with just 50% of the economy’s output,” he said.
4th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Italians on the move again as lockdown restrictions ease

Italians were allowed to travel to other regions of the country on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three months, in a further relaxation of lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
3rd Jun 2020 - Reuters


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Restaurant bookings have fully recovered in Germany in a sign that activity rebounds quickly as lockdowns ease

Analysts at BCA Research compiled this chart, showing German bookings have actually fully recovered. Another place showing a strong recovery is Australia, which like Germany has been praised for its coronavirus response and has been further along in reopening than many countries. “Germany and Australia show that quickly after the lockdowns are eased, the number of reservations in restaurants rebounds strongly. This suggests that even if the behavior of households will not return to normal, there is significant scope for improvement from current levels,” said the analysts.
3rd Jun 2020 - MarketWatch

Italians on the move again as lockdown restrictions ease

Italians were allowed to travel to other regions of the country on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three months, in a further relaxation of lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Travellers boarding trains in Milan, capital of Lombardy in northern Italy, were excited at the prospect of finally being able to visit family and friends elsewhere in the country. “I work here in Milan and up until now I couldn’t move between regions,” said Anna Falcone, who was getting ready to board a train to Calabria, southwest Italy, to see her parents. “But now, with the possibility of smart working, I can return home and go and meet my parents and hug them again after three months of not seeing them,” she said. “I am happy and I can’t wait to see them.”
3rd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

Africa Has to Weather Covid-19 Trauma Without Massive Stimulus

At the same time, the predominance of the informal sector could offer some protection and help African economies rebound more quickly than advanced counterparts, said Amaka Anku, Eurasia Group’s Africa head in a May 22 interview. They’re less leveraged and less interlinked, “so there’s not as much of a contagion effect,” she said. But the economic shock could still be devastating on a continent that’s home to about half the world’s poor. Many African countries are pushing for a debt standstill to free up funds to focus on supporting citizens. Even before the pandemic, rising interest costs were crowding out crucial social and health spending.
4th Jun 2020 - Bloomberg

Spain's job haemorrhage dries up as country emerges from lockdown

The brutal job losses registered in Spain following the coronavirus outbreak reversed in May with the creation of net jobs for the first time since one of Europe's toughest lockdowns was imposed more than two months ago. As the lockdown gradually eased in May, a net 97,462 new jobs were created during the month, although the overall number of jobs in the country was still 885,985 lower than in May 2019. Data from the previous months had showed 900,000 jobs were lost in the second half of March alone. Spain registered 26,573 more people as jobless in May than in April, which represented a 0.69% increase. About 3.86 million people were out of work, data from the Labour Ministry showed on Tuesday.
3rd Jun 2020 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Coronavirus in Spain: No deaths reported for second day in a row as lockdown restrictions eased

Spain, holding its breath as it emerges from lockdown, reported no deaths for the second day in a row since the pandemic started. One of the hardest-hit countries by Covid-19, it was positive news for Spaniards who had lived through dark times when hundreds of people lost their lives each day to the virus.
3rd Jun 2020 - iNews

It’s like the 1944 liberation, say Parisians as they taste freedom from lockdown

The speed with which freedoms are being handed back has caught many restaurant owners by surprise. They were only informed on Thursday that they could open, and many have not had time to do so. Others, like Le Select, are serving drinks only. Jacques Viguier, the owner, who visited his brasserie every day during the two and a half months it was shut “to give myself something to do”, said he had yet to buy in the ingredients needed for a menu that features dishes such as duck confit, veal kidneys and beef tartare. He expects them to arrive in time to start serving meals tomorrow.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Times

'We will survive': life after lockdown in resilient Marseille

Before Covid-19 struck, Marseille was due to host the Manifesta art biennale in June. Now a reworked programme will tbe held in August. Joke Quintens, an adopted Marseillaise from Belgium, has brought visiting delegations from across Europe as part of her Moving Marseille cultural initiative. “Marseille has faced many challenges throughout its history,” she says. “Resilience is part of its DNA.”
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Covid-19: France records more than 100 new deaths as country's lockdown eases

The French health ministry said that the number of fatalities had risen by 107, or 0.4 percent, to 28,940, the fifth-highest tally in the world. It also said the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units fell to 1,253 from Monday’s tally of 1,302. The latest toll comes as the country entered the second phase of easing the lockdown, imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19. On Tuesday, restaurants, bars and cafés opened throughout the country for the first time in almost three months.
3rd Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Italy reopens to tourists from Europe after economically crippling lockdown

Switzerland has warned its citizens that if they go to Italy they will be subject to "health measures" on their return. The country will open its borders with Germany, France and Austria on June 15, but not with Italy. Austria is lifting restrictions in mid-June with Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary -- but again, not Italy, described last week by Vienna's health minister as "still a hotspot". Other countries, such as Belgium and Britain, are still advising against, or forbidding, all non-essential travel abroad. In response to perceived anti-Italian sentiment, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has warned countries not to treat Italy "like a leper"
3rd Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Air pollution in China back to pre-Covid levels and Europe may follow

Air pollution in China has climbed back to pre-pandemic levels, and scientists say Europe may follow suit. Air pollution causes at least 8m early deaths a year, and cleaner skies were seen as one of the few silver linings of Covid-19. Experts have called for action to help retain the air quality benefits of lockdowns, and measures taken to date have included expanding cycle lanes and space for walking in cities. Data from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (Crea) shows concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) across China are now at the same levels as one year earlier. At the height of the country’s coronavirus response in early March, NO2 levels were down by 38% from 2019 and levels of PM2.5 were down by 34%.
3rd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Avatar 2 'special permission' filming in New Zealand amid lockdown row

Production was halted as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, and prime minister Jacinda Ardern closed New Zealand’s borders in March. Having seemingly got the pandemic in the country under control, lockdown measures have been loosened, but some local businesses have employees still stuck overseas as New Zealand’s borders remain closed. As a result, the arrival of the film’s crew has upset many residents who are still affected by the lockdown. Speaking to RNZ, chair of the New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment, June Ranson criticised the move to grant permission as a ‘double standard’.
3rd Jun 2020 - Metro

Global report: Germany eases travel warning and cafe culture returns to Paris

Germany lifted its blanket European travel warning as coronavirus lockdowns across the EU continued to ease, with officials saying new cases in western Europe were now in steady decline. Parisians reclaimed their cafe terraces and Berliners took back their bars as normal life inched closer to returning in many parts of the continent. Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said his government was maintaining its travel warning for non-European destinations, but from Wednesday it would issue individual advice for all Schengen-zone countries to allow holidaymakers to decide where they could safely travel this summer.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Avatar 2: James Cameron’s ‘special permission’ to return to New Zealand for filming branded ‘totally unfair’

James Cameron‘s return to New Zealand for filming of Avatar 2, having been given special permission to do so, has been met with some controversy. Over the weekend, the director and 55 members of his crew were permitted to enter the country despite the country’s border being closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. While New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, recently relaxed lockdown guidelines leading to the reopening of some offices and schools, the border remains closed to all foreign nationals.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Independent


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Spain's job haemorrhage dries up as country emerges from lockdown

The brutal job losses registered in Spain following the coronavirus outbreak reversed in May with the creation of net jobs for the first time since one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns was imposed more than two months ago. As the lockdown gradually eased in May, a net 97,462 new jobs were created during the month, although the overall number of jobs in the country was still 885,985 lower than in May 2019. Most of the new jobs were recorded in agriculture, construction and services that were partly able to resume activity in May. Industry’s job creation remained stagnant.
2nd Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

‘We can’t relax’: Europeans face up to life after lockdown

When France first shut down on 16 March, Fornairon was one of many who believed bookshops like hers could have been kept open safely. Books, she says, “can help at times like this. They can deliver answers and provide peace. They lift you out of the everyday and away from the moment. They transport you to other worlds. They are anti-fear. But not everyone has them at home, and the libraries were shut. So I started delivering, on foot.”
2nd Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Shooting on period film resumes in Paris as lockdown eases in France

Shooting has resumed in Paris as Montmartre was transformed for a period movie amid the coronavirus lockdown. As restrictions ease in France, film crews were spotted getting straight back to work setting up for a new movie. The crew donned facemasks to ensure safety of everyone working in close proximity. Although it is unknown what the exact movie is being filmed, it is believed to be set in the 1940s.
2nd Jun 2020 - Metro.co.uk

Restaurants In France Are Reopening After Coronavirus Lockdown

In France, takeout is OK for burger joints, but what about gastronomy from a Michelin three-star chef? Restaurants in Paris will reopen Tuesday, but tight restrictions mean some will not survive (audio)
2nd Jun 2020 - NPR

Sobering US nursing home death report as lockdowns ease

The scope of the devastation in the nation’s nursing homes became clearer in a report prepared for U.S. governors that said nearly 26,000 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 — a number that is partial and likely to go higher. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 60,000 cases of coronavirus illness among nursing home residents, according to a copy of a letter addressed to the governors and an accompanying chart provided to The Associated Press.
2nd Jun 2020 - The Associated Press

Some students return to class as lockdown eases - Chinadaily.com.cn

A survey of 1,200 school leaders by the National Foundation for Educational Research found only around half of parents planned to send their children to school, and 25 percent of teachers were likely to be absent because of health concerns. The Association of Directors of Public Health, which represents senior managers in the health departments of local governments, said the lockdown was being eased too quickly. Jeanelle de Gruchy, the association's president, said on Radio 4's Today program: "A lot of people …are increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging this balancing act and lifting too many of the restrictions too quickly."
2nd Jun 2020 - China Daily

Pupils return to primary schools after coronavirus lockdown

Schools across the country have been preparing for some of their pupils to return to the classroom. Here is how one group of schools has been getting ready to make sure pupils can be taught safely and get on with lessons.
2nd Jun 2020 - Kent Online

Covid 19 coronavirus: Schoolchildren showing signs of mild trauma after lockdown

Two weeks after the reopening of schools, some pupils are showing signs of mild trauma from the lockdown. Otago Primary Principals' Association president Shelley Wilde said it might be another four to six weeks before more moderate signs of trauma appeared among children. She said the vast majority of children were pleased and happy to be back at school, and had responded well to the new "safe normal" hygiene and physical-distancing practices. However, some pupils were anxious about things such as making sure their hands were clean all the time, and some were taking advantage of the Chatbus (a counselling service for children) who might not have before.
2nd Jun 2020 - New Zealand Herald

First NZ film resumes shooting again after lockdown

Poppy has become the first feature film to resume shooting in New Zealand since the Covid-19 lockdown. The local drama tells the story of a young woman with Down syndrome who refuses to be defined by her disability and decides to take control of her life. The film was three hours into the final week of shooting when the Level 4 lockdown announcement was made. Shooting restarted on Friday at a private location on the Kāpiti Coast and is expected to take six days to wrap.
2nd Jun 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Kilometre long lines form at Ikea stores as UK lockdown lifts

Lines of up to a kilometre formed outside some UK Ikea stores as they prepared to reopen following the ease-up of lockdown restrictions. DIY and decor-mad Brits flocked to the Swedish furniture stores, spreading out in snaking lines through car parks where just days before Covid-19 testing stations had been set up. According to British tabloid The Daily Mail, some shoppers were so keen to be allowed to snap up flat packs again, they started lining up from 5.30am.
1st Jun 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Coronavirus: 'Highly variable' attendance at schools - as UK warned 'disease is not done yet'

Headteachers have reported attendance rates of between 40% and 70% of eligible pupils despite the relaxing of restrictions.
1st Jun 2020 - Sky News

Shopper numbers jump 31% as lockdown in England relaxed

Shoppers rushed back to high streets and retail parks on Monday as the reopening of car showrooms, markets and some Ikea stores marked the easing of lockdown restrictions in England. The number of shoppers out and about jumped by 31% across all retail destinations by 5pm in England compared with last week’s bank holiday Monday, according to analysts at Springboard. For the UK as a whole, shopper numbers rose by 28%.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Britain reopens for business: Huge queues form at IKEA as customers return

Aerial photos show hundreds of customers queuing around the block in the stifling heat to get into IKEA stores in Nottingham, Reading and Essex today as the Government urged the country to act 'sensibly'. Massive lines of people could also be seen snaking around the car parks at the Swedish furniture giant's branches in Wednesbury, West Midlands. Some eager shoppers had been queuing from as early as 5.30am - over four hours before the store was due to open at 10am today.
1st Jun 2020 - Daily Mail

Shopper numbers surge 36% as lockdown in England relaxed

Shoppers rushed back to high streets and retail parks on Monday as the reopening of car showrooms, markets and some Ikea stores marked the easing of lockdown restrictions in England. The number of shoppers out and about jumped by 31% across all retail destinations by 5pm in England compared with last week’s bank holiday Monday, according to analysts at Springboard. For the UK as a whole, shopper numbers rose by 28%.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

'Demand is huge': EU citizens flock to open-air cinemas as lockdown eases

From Berlin to Madrid the movies are back, albeit with hygiene and distancing restrictions. Open-air cinemas will begin reopening across Germany on Friday evening, and indoor cinemas are expected to get the go-ahead from July. Operators say they welcome the chance to be among the first cultural institutions to be able to inject joy back into people’s lives. They also recognise the responsibility they have. If successful, their navigation of hygiene and distancing regulations will serve as a blueprint for other cultural venues such as concert halls and performance venues.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Italy opens up its monuments and beaches to tourists

Italy is rolling out the red carpet for foreign visitors this week as it eases restrictions on tourism to help rebuild its decimated economy. On Wednesday a rule requiring new arrivals to self-isolate for two weeks will be scrapped for visitors from Europe, including the UK, while all travel between regions in Italy will be allowed as the country emerges from its coronavirus outbreak.
1st Jun 2020 - The Times

Italy to welcome overseas travellers as it records steady decline in coronavirus cases

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy today continued a steady decline despite a four-week easing of lockdown with the country now preparing to scrap its quarantine on international travellers. Active cases fell 1,600 to 42,075 over the latest 24-hour period, with only around 400 patients now reported to be in a serious or critical condition. The number of cases is less than half the level recorded on May 4, when the country that was once the epicentre of the pandemic began easing its lockdown.
1st Jun 2020 - Evening Standard

Picnics at last: Paris parks reopen after Covid-19 lockdown

Parks and gardens in Paris reopen on Saturday as France enters the second phase of its relaxation of lockdown rules that were imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19. Many Parisians can at last enjoy their first picnics of the summer. The city’s parks and green spaces reopen on Saturday following Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s address on Thursday, when he announced “good results” in the battle against Covid-19.
1st Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

France's second phase of easing Covid-19 lockdown measures causes confusion

France’s Covid-19 death toll has reached its lowest point for weeks, as the country’s numbers of coronavirus cases and of patients in intensive care also continue to decline. Although French citizens are now entering the third week of deconfinement measures, residents are becoming confused of what measures are to be followed, especially in public transports.
1st Jun 2020 - FRANCE 24

Japanese bathhouses awash with post-lockdown customers

Masazumi Kato sighed deeply as he lowered himself into a tub at a public bathhouse in a Tokyo suburb, enjoying a return to a Japanese tradition largely off-limits during the city's coronavirus lockdown. With the lifting of a nationwide state of emergency over the virus, Japan's onsen -- large bathhouses where patrons bathe naked in a series of warm pools and tubs -- are gradually reopening. And fans like 52-year-old Kato have few qualms about returning. "I believe they are taking anti-virus measures, like chlorine," he told AFP as he soaked in an outdoor tub, with other naked men submerged in pools nearby. "I trust them and I like to use this place," said Kato, a frequent patron of the Yumominosato facility in Yokohama, outside Tokyo.
1st Jun 2020 - YAHOO!

Asia Today: Philippines sees traffic jams as lockdown eases

“Many people are now allowed to go out and many industries are reopening so you’ll see a lot of vehicles ... but the situation remains abnormal,” said police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar. He warned that police will still go after violators who would not wear face masks and observe physical distancing. Classes remain suspended for the next two weeks. Barber shops and beauty salons can open next week at a third of their capacity. The Philippines remains a Southeast Asian hot spot for COVID-19, with more than 18,000 infections and 957 deaths.
1st Jun 2020 - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Covid 19 coronavirus: 50000 tourists still in New Zealand after lockdown

There are more than 50,000 tourists hunkering down in New Zealand at the moment; only 3000 left the country after lockdown ended. Figures released to the Herald by Immigration New Zealand show, as of May 27, there were 53,244 temporary visitors in the country, excluding Australians. These were people in New Zealand on a Visitor Visa, which allows them to stay for up to nine months but does not allow them to work. The figure also includes people travelling to New Zealand on a visa waiver agreement. The number is about 20,000 fewer than the same time last year.
1st Jun 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Spain's factories pick up pace in May as lockdown eases: PMI

IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of manufacturing companies rose to 38.3 in May from 30.8 in April, the biggest increase in a single month since the survey started in February 1998. Restrictions on non-essential economic activity in Spain and around the globe had sparked record falls in production, new orders and exports in April. The Spanish economy shrank by the widest margin on record in the first quarter. The International Monetary Fund has predicted a contraction of 8% in 2020 and Spain’s central bank has forecast a recession of up to 12.4%.
1st Jun 2020 - Reuters UK

New Zealand Has Just One Remaining Case of Coronavirus

New Zealand is down to its last known coronavirus case, approaching a milestone beyond reach in most countries: the elimination of the virus within its borders. It has been nine days as of Sunday since the last new Covid-19 case was confirmed. The only active case is an Auckland woman in her 50s who was diagnosed May 1. The last recorded death was a week ago and more than 1,100 people have recovered. The island nation of 5 million residents took advantage of a substantial easing of lockdown conditions—allowing people to travel outside their local area and gather in groups of up to 100—to enjoy a three-day holiday weekend that was nearing normalcy.
31st May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Life after lockdown: astronauts and adventurers on the ‘shock’ of getting back to normal

After circumnavigating the world solo at 16, spending 20 weeks in space, and summiting Everest (twice), Jessica Watson, Andy Thomas and Peter Hillary have learned a lot about life after isolation
31st May 2020 - The Guardian

'There's a huge amount of anxiety': New Zealand wrestles with back-to-school virus blues

'There's a huge amount of anxiety': New Zealand wrestles with back-to-school virus blues - Researchers call for mental health strategies for students after Covid-19, earthquakes and terrorist attack
30th May 2020 - The Guardian


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Covid-19 clusters emerge as lockdowns ease across Europe

Several European countries a few weeks ahead of the UK on the road out of lockdown have experienced local spikes in coronavirus infections, but all have maintained an overall downward trend in new daily cases of the virus. Most governments, though, continue to warn of the real threat of a second wave of Covid-19 cases and to insist on the importance of physical distancing if the spread of the virus is not to pick up again as restrictions ease further.
28th May 2020 - The Guardian

New Zealand's big bill for 'lockdown we didn't need'

New Zealand's spending on welfare support, and the exte nt of its quantitative easing, are significantly higher as a measure of gross domestic product (GDP), than other countries that have been more affected by Covid-19, Treasury data shows. Treasury's latest Covid-19 economic dashboard shows that New Zealand has made payments in support of welfare, wages, health and tax reductions equal to 20 per cent of GDP. The extent of central bank quantitative easing is expected to be equal to just under 20 per cent of GDP. That compares to quantitative easing expected to equal 10 per cent of GDP in the United Kingdom, with welfare support at about 5 per cent.
29th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Coronavirus: New Zealand has all but eradicated COVID-19 - but now comes the hard part

New Zealand has all but eradicated the coronavirus, with just one person known to still be infected. The Pacific nation of almost five million people recorded just 22 deaths from COVID-19, which has killed more than 360,000 worldwide. There were 1,504 infections recorded and all but one of the survivors has recovered.
29th May 2020 - Sky News

Australian pubs face a long road back after lockdown

Publican Leisa Wheatland says a large empty pub is a bit like a school with no kids, "it's pretty sad and lonely without patrons." Coffee windows, jam jar cocktails, takeaway dinners and "takeovers" by patrons are keeping Australia's shuttered pubs afloat, but as the industry toasts the lifting of lockdown laws next week, publicans say bouncing back from the brink is not as simple as pouring a pint.
29th May 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald

Calm before the storm for Japan suicides as coronavirus ravages economy

Health workers fear the pandemic’s economic shock will return Japan to 14 dark years from 1998 when more than 30,000 people took their lives annually. With the grim distinction of the highest suicide rate among G7 nations, Japan adopted legal and corporate changes that helped lower the toll to just over 20,000 last year. Worried the current crisis will reverse that downward trend, frontline workers are urging the government to boost both fiscal aid and practical support. “We need to take steps now, before the deaths begin,” said Hisao Sato, head of an NGO that provides counseling and economic advice in Akita, a northern prefecture long known for Japan’s worst suicide rate.
29th May 2020 - Reuters

Post-lockdown holidays in China show how weird summer will be

In China, where coronavirus recovery is further along than anywhere else in the world, anxiety about the virus still affects people’s travel decisions. Official data shows only a smattering of new infections over the past month, but even so, 30 per cent of travellers chose destinations near home, confining their travel to within their own province. Becoming infected with coronavirus is one concern. Not knowing what restrictions and measures are in place in other provinces is another — though China’s central government in Beijing sets the overall direction, many decisions are left to local governments.
29th May 2020 - Wired.co.uk

China's PMI to show gradual factory recovery from lockdown paralysis - Reuters poll

China’s factory activity likely rose for a third straight month in May as the economy recovered from strict lockdowns implemented to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has hammered global business activity. The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), due for release on Sunday, is forecast to rise to 51.0 in May, from 50.8 in April, according to the median forecast of 23 economists polled by Reuters. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity. Recent PMIs in many other economies have plummeted to previously unimaginable lows.
29th May 2020 - Reuters UK

French bistros turn on their stoves as lockdown eased

France was promised a return to an “almost normal life” yesterday as the prime minister authorised restaurants to reopen and city dwellers to start planning trips to the seaside. Édouard Philippe unveiled a battery of decisions to ensure “freedom will become the rule and restrictions the exception” in the second phase of the government’s lockdown exit strategy. Chefs will be able to turn on their stoves again, the Mona Lisa will once more greet visitors to the Louvre and tourists will be able to return to the Eiffel Tower. Mr Philippe said France wanted Europe’s internal borders reopened on June 15, but insisted that if Britain went ahead with its plan to quarantine people arriving from France for 14 days, Paris would impose a similar quarantine period
29th May 2020 - The Times

No room for complacency as France's strict lockdown lifts

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presented a new map for easing lockdown restrictions on Thursday, dividing the country into green and orange zones. "Things are looking good, but not good enough to return everything back to normal," Philippe announced Thursday as he unveiled the new map for easing lockdown restrictions. All of France went green, with the exception of Ile-de-France, Guiana and Mayotte where there is still cause for concern. The new orange classification takes Ile-de-France, Guiana and Mayotte out of the previous red danger zone.
29th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Older Italians Warily Eye Young Crowds, Fearing 2nd Coronavirus Wave

After months of living under a strict lockdown in Italy, a closely gathered group of teenagers welcomed a warm evening this week at a verdant park in Milan, gazing at phone screens, embracing and forming a small circle around a playful dog. No one wore a mask. Pinuccia Ciancalloni, 59, who was taking her daily walk through the park on Tuesday, pointed at the group with dread. To her, the expressions of young love and healthy sociability amounted to a profound threat. She complained that the dozen teenagers lacked civic sense and could potentially drive up the curve of coronavirus infections just as things had started to improve in the region of northern Italy that is the heart of Italy’s epidemic.
29th May 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus: Germans cautious dining out despite lockdown easing

Although Germany started easing lockdown measures earlier this May, it has yet to see a significant spike in infections, which experts say is because of the continuing cautiousness of Germans even after rules have eased. Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control has recorded only 300 to 600 new daily coronavirus cases in the past few days. Local authorities have also agreed to pull an "emergency brake" and reimpose social curbs if the infection rate rises above 50 cases per 100,000 residents over a week.
29th May 2020 - The National

Leaning Tower of Pisa among sites in Italy to reopen after lockdown

Some of Italy’s most famous cultural sites are coming back to life after being closed for more than three months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened on Saturday, the Colosseum and Vatican Museums will welcome visitors again from Monday and Florence’s Uffizi gallery from Tuesday. A huge exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of the death of the Renaissance painter Raphael will open at Le Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome on Monday. All sites and museums are reopening with strict safety measures in place. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, which usually attracts 5 million visitors a year, is only permitting 15 people in at a time. They have to wear face masks and an electronic device that warns them if they are less than a metre of anyone else.
1st Jun 2020 - The Guardian


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Cineworld is re-opening UK cinemas in July as country emerges from lockdown

Cineworld says it plans to reopen UK branches in July after the coronavirus lockdown. The cinema chain has been shuttered since mid-March, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a nationwide lockdown amid the health crisis.
28th May 2020 - Birmingham Mail

Ted Baker plans to reopen stores in June as UK eases lockdown

British retailer Ted Baker is preparing for a gradual reopening of its stores from mid-June and will recall furloughed staff based on the needs of its operations, the company said on Thursday. A coronavirus-triggered lockdown in the UK had forced the fashion retailer to shut all of its stores and furlough 75% of its staff. The British government said earlier this week that outdoor markets and car showrooms in England can reopen from June 1 followed by all other non-essential retail from June 15. Stores will look and operate very differently from how they did before a coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 23 as they comply with new health and safety and social distancing rules.
28th May 2020 - YAHOO!

French Take Their Apéros to the Streets, Testing Lockdown Limits

With bars still closed despite the loosening of France’s coronavirus lockdown, the pre-dinner drinking tradition of the apéro has given way to the apérue: clusters of revelers on the streets, or rues, of Paris, outside establishments that are allowed to offer takeout. “They’re forcing us to do infantile things all the time,” said Frédérick Cassea, who was having drinks with two friends in front of Le Syndicat, a bar in the 10th arrondissement. “We’re all adults, we’re all responsible, we’re all aware of what’s going on,’’ Mr. Cassea added, describing the apérue and other acts of “civil disobedience” as a reaction to the government’s “catastrophic” handling of the epidemic. “Treating us like kids doesn’t work for long.”
28th May 2020 - The New York Times

Italians Flock to Beaches, Hoping Tourists Will Follow

It is Italy, which endured one of Europe’s worst outbreaks, that is most counting on the economically restorative powers of its beaches and seas. Tourism accounts for 13 percent of Italy’s gross domestic product, and 40 percent of that is from beach activity. Officials and beach club owners have expressed hope that foreign tourists will spend time and money in their country when the borders reopen in June. But in the meantime, it is the Italians who must pick up the sunbathing slack.
28th May 2020 - The New York Times

‘Hunger queues’ and food bank use on the rise as Spain struggles to recover from coronavirus

Erica Camargo is close to tears when she arrives to pick up her first basket of food from the Red Cross. She lost her job in a hotel in Barcelona the night before and has not yet received any unemployment benefit. With three children and a disabled husband to feed, she is unsure how she will manage. “I am in shock. The worst thing is the uncertainty about the future,” she tells The Independent, as she picks up a box of fresh vegetables, frozen fish and rabbit from a pick-up point outside Barcelona. “I don’t know how I am going to feed my family.”
28th May 2020 - The Independent

Beaches introduce social distancing to keep sunbathers apart in France

A beach in France has shown what a summer holiday during the coronavirus pandemic could look like. Sunbathers have been seen relaxing in La Grande-Motte, in the south of the country near Montpellier, in roped-off social distancing zones over the last week. Visitors can reserve a slot for three and a half hours, but must stay within their designated area, MailOnline reports. There are 66 spots available and they were booked up within two hours when they first went on offer after France started to emerge from a two-month lockdown.
28th May 2020 - Metro

Air France-KLM to resume flights to Italy from June 1

The group will gradually resume flights to Rome, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Naples and Bari, the company said adding that by the end of June, 78 Air France and KLM weekly flights to Italy would be operational. "Returning to the Bel Paese is a great pride for us and confirms the importance of the Italian market for the Air France-KLM Group," said Stefan Vanovermeir, Air France-KLM East Mediterranean General Manager. He said more than 15% of its flights would be to and from Italy and the company had put in place all necessary measures to fly safely.
28th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Michelin-starred takeout: French chef Guy Savoy turns to lockdown deliveries

It’s not your typical takeout menu, even in Paris: raw trout in a sour cream followed by quail confit with a cauliflower and almond sauce. Then again, in normal times three-star Michelin chef Guy Savoy doesn’t do delivery. One of the world’s most celebrated chefs, Savoy opened one of his four Paris restaurants, Le Chiberta near the Arc de Triomphe, for takeaway after France partially relaxed some coronavirus lockdown restrictions earlier this month. “We wanted to do this to show people that we’re still here, still here to help them keep up their spirits,” said Gilles Chesneau, executive chef at Savoy’s restaurants.
28th May 2020 - Reuters UK

French cafés eye return to business as government prepares new lockdown easing

While restaurants, bars and cafés in so-called "green" zones with limited Covid-19 cases could open on June 2, those in "red" zones including Paris and a large swathe of the northeast may have to wait until July, a government source said. Cities will also be allowed to reopen parks and public gardens, though in red zones visitors will have to wear masks. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has urged the government to reopen parks for residents who have been cooped up for weeks, not least to avoid the mass gatherings witnessed on canals and esplanades as summer approaches.
28th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Rising caseloads in India, Russia underline reopening risks

India saw another record daily jump in coronavirus cases Thursday while Russia reported a steady increase in its caseload even as it moved to swiftly ease restrictions in sync with the Kremlin's ambitious political plans. The developments come as the United States crossed a somber landmark of 100,000 coronavirus fatalities, meaning that more Americans have died from the virus than were killed in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. India, home to more than 1.3 billion people, reported more than 6,500 new infections, another record daily surge that brought the nation's total to more than 158,000 infections. The spike comes as the nation’s two-month-old lockdown is set to end Sunday.
28th May 2020 - Associated Press on MSN.com

As Coronavirus Lockdowns Are Lifted, Slow Return to Normality Begins

Now some of that is easing, albeit tentatively. Official data take time to reveal the pace of recovery, but early figures show that consumers are venturing out to stores; factories are ordering more goods; and purchases of household goods have normalized.
28th May 2020 - Wall Street Journal

Horse racing returns in New Zealand as lockdown eases

New Zealand’s financially troubled horse racing industry reopened Thursday after being shuttered for months because of the coronavirus outbreak, leading the return of organized sports as the nation moves toward normality. A harness racing meeting which took place without fans at the Addington racecourse at Christchurch was the first since New Zealand went into strict lockdown on March 24.
28th May 2020 - Raleigh News & Observer

Vast majority of New Zealanders don't want to return to office after Covid-19

A study of New Zealanders working from home during coronavirus lockdown has found many were just as productive as when they were in the office, and a majority were reluctant to return to traditional workplaces. New Zealand went into lockdown for seven weeks from 25 March, and has become a global success story in containing the coronavirus, with fewer than 1,500 people infected and 21 deaths. During lockdown, many workers experimented with working from home for the first time, and a University of Otago study of more than 2,500 people found the arrangement suited many.
28th May 2020 - The Guardian


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Coronavirus toll on Italy's elderly strains 'nonni' safety net

A report by national statistics bureau ISTAT in February showed that in households where both parents worked, Italian grandparents were the primary childminders in slightly over 60%  of cases where children were aged between 0 and 5 years. This fell to some 47% when children were between 5 and 10. By comparison, a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center said 22% of grandparents in the United States provided regular child care. A 2014 report by King’s College London showed just 17% of British grandparents provided at least 10 hours of care a week. “We have taken care of our grandchildren since they were little,” said Paola, a former middle school teacher who lives in a quiet village in the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna. “But I think we will be somewhat scared of them when they start meeting their friends again.”
27th May 2020 - Reuters UK

La dolce vita? Italians embrace their freedom but crowded beaches and nightlife worry officials

Italians are embracing their freedom from a strict coronavirus lockdown. Many people have been heading to the country’s beaches and piazzas to enjoy the lifting of restrictions. Footage broadcast on Italian TV at the weekend showed young Italians partying and drinking in groups prompting some restrictions to be reimposed.
27th May 2020 - CNBC

Madrid toasts lockdown easing as outdoor terraces partially reopen

A year ago, it would have seemed like a perfectly ordinary spring day in the Spanish capital, but for most of its residents today, it was almost a landmark event. It was the first day after more than two months of a strict lockdown that citizens were able to meet up with friends and family from other households in groups of no more than 10 people. Monday was also the first day that the city’s restaurants, cafes and bars could reopen outside seating areas, albeit partially, as part of the first phase of the government’s four-stage easing of the lockdown. The terrace itself was sparsely populated, just four of the usual eight tables laid out with a distance of two meters between each. Wearing gloves and a mask, the waiter milled around the handful of people who had managed to grab a seat.
27th May 2020 - EURACTIV

Students return to school in South Korea

More than 2 million more South Korean students returned to school Wednesday as the country saw a resurgence of confirmed novel coronavirus cases. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed a total of 40 new cases, highest in 49 days, in the morning. Among them, 36 cases were reported in densely-populated Seoul and its surrounding areas. The rise in the number of cases is largely attributed to local transmissions from a club cluster infection that started in the nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul in early May. Amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, some 560 schools and kindergartens across the country postponed their reopenings.
27th May 2020 - Korea Herald

Concern over ‘silent’ oxygen deprivation prompts new approach to virus

Silent hypoxia is “quite newly observed but also quite significantly concerning”, said Jeremy Rossman, lecturer in virology at the University of Kent. Although telling people to self-isolate at home helps curtail the spread of the virus, some cases of serious illness are being “missed” until people are “critically unwell,” he said. A Covid-19 guide published by the UK’s health service in April warned that “‘silent hypoxia’ is common”, though the NHS could not provide any data to support the claim. A guide published by a group that represents London doctors said pulse oximeters — simple, clip-on-the-finger devices that measure oxygen — could be “a very useful tool in helping to monitor and assess patients”. In Brazil, Esper Kallas, an infectologist and professor at the University Hospital of São Paulo, said that by the middle of April: “We had begun to see a lot of people arriving at the hospital when they were already very sick. Most of them didn’t know they had hypoxia and were not feeling any shortage of breath.”
27th May 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus: Film workers among 150 given exemptions to enter NZ amid border lockdown

Film workers are among a few thousand people allowed past New Zealand’s closed borders amid the Covid-19 lockdown. It comes as the Government undertakes a review of its current strict border restrictions. It is understood Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford was given special powers on April 21 to use his discretion to let in key individuals from the screen industry.
27th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

How Europe has gone back to the shops after coronavirus lockdown

The UK's plan to re-open shops on June 15 comes more than two months after Austria started opening stores. Safety measures include compulsory masks, plexiglass screens and maximum numbers of people in shops. Some Italian stores say they will not get enough business because there are still few tourists and commuters
26th May 2020 - Daily Mail

The iconic venues that might be lost to social distancing rules

Could reopening under social distancing guidelines be doing more harm than good to our favourite bars and restaurants? Throughout the lockdown, worries have been high about the impact of forced closure on the global hospitality industry. But as we emerge from stasis, it’s becoming clear that the way bars and restaurants around the world are being asked to reopen may be just as damaging. Italy was among the latest countries to allow such venues to reopen on May 18, but many cafés, bars and restaurants weren’t rejoicing. Most notably, Harry’s Bar in Venice, an 89-year-old institution, publicly announced it would not be resuming service; potentially not ever. The reason? Social distancing
26th May 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

Covid-19: Daily hospital deaths in France remain below 100 despite easing of lockdown

French officials have said there is no sign yet that the relaxation of the nationwide lockdown on May 11 has led to an increase in cases. But caution is urged, with President Emmanuel Macron warning that the epidemic is not over. The government is to announce on Thursday what measures can be eased in the next stage of the relaxation on June 2.
26th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English


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'The price you pay': Sweden struggles with 'herd immunity' experiment

"I’d say it hasn’t worked out so well," said Dr. George Rutherford, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco. "I think the mortality in Norway is something like ten-fold lower. That’s the real comparator." (Norway's 7-day rolling average death rate is less than .01 per 1 million people.) "If you let this go or don’t try very hard or go about it in somewhat of a more restrained way rather than we have here, this is the price you pay," Rutherford said. "Maybe it didn’t hurt businesses, but you have twice the mortality rate of the United States. All those people who died were part of families and they were citizens and part of the fabric of Swedish society. And now they’re gone because of a policy that hasn’t worked out quite the way they thought it would."
26th May 2020 - SFGate

After The Health Crisis Comes Poverty, Italy Warns The World

Many Italians are now being forced to accept aid from criminal organizations who are capitalizing on the government's delays and those fearing to expose their involvement in undeclared work. The Mafia has been distributing food packages and providing loans in the South of Italy, in a move "to exploit the desperation of the new poor from coronavirus," according to the mayor of the Sicilian capital Palermo, Leoluca Orlando.
26th May 2020 - Forbes

Coping with coronavirus: return to work comes with scars for Italian family-run factory

In this series, the FT is following an Italian family-owned company through the pandemic crisis. After the initial shock of the lockdown, in this second instalment the factory and its workers grapple with their new reality as they go back to work.
26th May 2020 - Financial Times

Ryanair will ramp up services when Spain reopens to tourists on July 1

Ryanair confirmed plan to ramp up flights to 40 per cent of its normal schedule. The budget airline group has now launched a sale for flights in July and August. Spain said 14-day quarantine measures for passengers will be lifted from July 1
26th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Spain’s Costa del Sol police sanction 457 people for flouting lockdown restrictions with more than half fined for failing to wear masks or social distancing

Malaga’s police have reported that 457 people in Malaga over the weekend have been reported for flouting lockdown restrictions, with more than half receiving fines for failing to wear masks or social distancing. Of the 457 people reported, 92 have been sanctioned for not wearing face masks, such as in confined public spaces and on public streets where social distancing cannot be maintained. Another 236 people have been fined for not adhering to social distancing measures, and the rest for other state of alarm restrictions, such as not complying with outing timetables. That takes the total number of people reported for breaching lockdown restrictions to 8,636, since the beginning of State of Alarm, according to Malaga’s law enforcement authorities.
26th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

First post-lockdown concerts return to Spain

The first post-lockdown live music events are taking place in Spain this week, as the country embarks on phase two of its lockdown easing plan. As of 25 May, outdoor events of up to 400 people and indoor concerts with a maximum capacity of 50 people have been allowed to resume in Spain. Although the reopening measures have been criticised by members of the Spanish live industry for being unclear and unrealistic, a number of event organisers have taken the opportunity to restart business. This week, five concerts are taking place in the northern region of Cantabria as part of the local government’s ‘Culture Counterattack’ campaign. Performances by acts Rulo, Vicky Castelo, Billy Boom Band, Deva and Repion will take place this weekend (29 to 30 May) in the cities of Santander, Torrelavega and Muriedas.
26th May 2020 - IQ Magazine

France's cultural industry eager to bounce back after lockdown

In France, the month of May is usually synonymous with the Cannes Film Festival. But this year, the world's biggest movie extravaganza did not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whether it's cinema, theatre or music, all branches of France's prized cultural sector have taken a hit from the lockdown and it's unclear when things will improve. Facing harsh criticism from the artistic world, the French government recently unveiled a rescue plan. Will it be enough to save the country's prized cultural industry? Join us for this episode of French Connections.
26th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Lockdown-free Sweden's coronavirus death toll tops 4,000

Sweden reported 33,843 coronavirus cases on Monday and 4,029 deaths Totals far exceed Nordic neighbours, even when population taken into account Government under fire for shunning strict lockdown in favour of social distance State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell says approach will be best in the long-term
26th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Iconic sites reopen as world eyes life after lockdown

There were also signs of hope at some of the world's best known and symbolic destinations. In Bethlehem, the Church of the Nativity -- built on the spot where Christians believe their saviour Jesus was born -- reopened its doors after more than two months. Once inside, Greek Orthodox Bishop Theophylactos kissed an icon while a priest scattered holy water in the grotto where Jesus is said to have rested in a manger. Palestinian authorities believe the COVID-19 virus came to Bethlehem with a group of Greek tourists -- and the virus outbreak has devastated the travel industry worldwide. Nevertheless, in Italy -- once the world epicentre of infections after it spread to Europe from China -- the site of a previous natural disaster also reopened to visitors. The ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD and preserved through the centuries in a layer of ash, attracted four million visitors last year.
26th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Victims of lockdown abuse struggle to speak out

France and Spain show a sharp increase of requests for help during the lockdown, officials and support groups say many more victims have been afraid or unable to come forward. “There are women who have had the courage to leave the prisons that their homes have become,” said Mariti Pereira, from Spain’s Federation of Associations for Assistance to Victims of Gender and Sexual Violence, of the lockdown period now being phased out in both Spain and France. “But there are many victims of violence who have stayed where they are — because of economic concerns, or worries about coronavirus, or simply because they are scared.”
26th May 2020 - Financial Times

Coronavirus: French alarm at Covid-linked Med pollution

The group's founder, Laurent Lombard, who shot the underwater footage and posted it on Facebook, says "these masks - we haven't had them for long, and we're going to have billions, so I say watch out, it's the beginnings of a new type of pollution". Diving off Golfe-Juan, near Antibes, he found five disposable face masks and four latex gloves on the seabed, along with the usual plastic rubbish such as empty bottles.
26th May 2020 - BBC News

How Germany's coronavirus contact tracers helped to ease its lockdown

In our new series, the first wave, Times and Sunday Times foreign correspondents examine pandemic responses around the world and ask what happens next. Oliver Moody reports from Berlin
26th May 2020 - The Times

Robot barista helps maintain social distancing measures at South Korean cafe

A South Korean cafe has found an innovative way of serving its customers during the coronavirus pandemic, with an efficient robot barista. The new robot barista at the cafe in Daejon is "courteous and swift" as it delivers coffee and tea to its customers,
26th May 2020 - Evening Standard

NYSE Trading Floor Reopens as Lockdowns Loosen Further

Some developing countries are reopening in efforts to save their economies, even as caseloads continue to rise at worrisome rates. In Brazil and Mexico, car factories are firing back up, while mines are restarting in Peru. Domestic flights started taking off again in India, even though the country is hitting its highest levels of new cases. On Tuesday, India reported 6,535 new cases, extending a stretch of days above 6,000. Total confirmed cases stand at 145,380 with 4,167 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Iran reopened restaurants around the country Tuesday, the first day after the Eid holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The move followed weeks of easing lockdown restrictions that have included reopening religious sites, museums, shopping malls and bazaars.
26th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Life in Palestine back to normal after 82 days' coronavirus lockdown

Life in the West Bank has returned to normal after Palestinian government decided to lift most of the precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic. Big cities in the West Bank is unprecedentedly busy and crowded. Public transportation and traffic were all resumed in the area on Tuesday, the last day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. The West Bank cities, towns, villages, and refugee camps have also witnessed the return of busy trade and commercial activities, where all private sector establishments, stores, pubic parks, and squares were opened. The Palestinian ministries and official establishments will get back to work all over the West Bank on Wednesday amid the government's instructions for people to keep committed to personal precautionary measures
26th May 2020 - China.org.cn

European stocks rise as lockdown easing boosts sentiment

US stocks surged to the highest since March 5th as investors speculated the worst of the pandemic’s damage to the global economy has passed after countries moved to ease lockdowns. A dollar gauge fell by the most in almost two months. The S&P 500 jumped more than 2 per cent following a three-day holiday weekend, propelling it past 3,000 for the first time since early March. Merck and Co rose after it unveiled development plans on both a treatment and vaccine for Covid-19.
26th May 2020 - The Irish Times

Global report: Europe eases out of lockdown as Memorial Day draws big US crowds

Residents of Spain’s two biggest cities can now meet in groups of up to 10 in their homes or on the outside terraces of bars and restaurants, as both moved belatedly into the second phase of looser lockdown restrictions. Small shops can also open without appointments. Madrid’s mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, marked the occasion by tweeting a picture of himself in the city’s famous El Retiro park. “Open,” he tweeted. “Good morning, and let’s be responsible.” Almost half of Spain has already moved to phase three, with shopping centres allowed to open and restaurants to serve customers indoors at 40% capacity. Cinemas and theatres may also reopen, but sell no more than 30% of tickets for each performance.
26th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Kiwis more positive about farming after Covid-19 lockdown

Kiwis are beginning to see farmers in a new light after lockdown, research shows. Figures from UMR Research show 63 per cent of New Zealanders hold a positive view of sheep and beef farming, an increase of 9 per cent compared to just eight months ago. Support for dairy farmers has also jumped, rising from 51 per cent to 60 per cent. Horticulture tops the list with a positive rating of 65 per cent, while ratings for fisheries have clicked over into majority positive territory at 53 per cent, up from 47 per cent
26th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Life after lockdown in New Zealand: a night out in Wanaka

After a strict seven weeks of confinement, the atmosphere in the resort town’s reopened bars varies from restrained to raucous
26th May 2020 - The Guardian

New Zealand Reopens Bars After Two Months Of Lockdown

After three consecutive days of no new coronavirus patient, New Zealand decided to reopen bars and other businesses last Thursday, i.e., May 21st. The country was under lockdown for two months during which many bars struggled to stay afloat but the government decided not to open them early as they were deemed as high-risk spots. The lockdown got shifted from “Level 4” to “Level 2” with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying "level 2" restrictions will mean retail, restaurants and other public spaces including playgrounds can reopen from Thursday. "I am announcing that Cabinet agrees we are ready to move into level 2, to open up the economy, but to do it as safely as possible," Ardern told a news conference. However, businesses will be required to have physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in place.
26th May 2020 - Outlook India

Access Hollywood: Hundreds of foreigners slip through border as Avatar production resumes

Hundreds of foreigners have been allowed through New Zealand's closed borders, including key production crew to the blockbuster Avatar sequels. The film industry says allowing key film personnel, like producers and cast, into New Zealand would be "huge" as it could trigger thousands of jobs for Kiwis. Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford revealed today there was a little-known category for border exemptions for foreigners deemed essential to a project of "significant economic value".
26th May 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Spaniards can hit the beach and drink on the terrace as lockdown eases

Barcelona and Madrid will begin easing their lockdown rules from today, allowing residents to meet in groups of up to ten people either at home, in the park, or on terraces of bars and restaurants. Some major museums will also be allowed to reopen, but with a limited number of visitors and people will still be required to wear a mask when it is not possible to keep two metres apart. Barcelona and Madrid account for half of the country's deaths from COVID-19 but now move into phase one of deconfinement as the country shifts into the second phase of its lockdown.
25th May 2020 - Euronews


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

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Coronavirus: All non-essential shops to reopen from 15 June - PM

All non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June, Boris Johnson has announced, as part of plans to further ease the lockdown. However, the move is "contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus", and retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, the PM added. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June. It comes as the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK rose by 121 to 36,914. Mr Johnson said new guidance had been published for the retail sector "detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards". "Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen," he said. "This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take."
26th May 2020 - BBC News

Life after lockdown in Athens: 'The marble had space to breathe'

When archaeological sites opened up again – along with shopping centres, beauty parlours and high schools – in Greece on 18 May, I wanted to be the first up on that hill. But my plan was foiled by an unseasonal heatwave that kept Athenians confined indoors; there was no question of scrambling up the Acropolis hill in 37C.
25th May 2020 - The Guardian

'We're expendable': black Americans pay the price as states lift lockdowns

Black Americans face greater risk. Across the country African American populations are concentrated in major cities, where coronavirus cases have so far been highest. Majority black counties already account for more than half of all coronavirus cases in the US and nearly 60% of deaths. African Americans are also disproportionately on the frontlines of life during the pandemic.
25th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Britons flock to beaches as UK basks in hot bank holiday weather

Hundreds of Britons have flocked to beaches and parks to bask in the warm bank holiday weather, prompting authorities to urge people to "use common sense". Images have emerged of packed beaches on Bank Holiday Monday, with reports of congestion around beauty spots as people take advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England earlier this month. Shortly before 12pm, Bournemouth Council said all its seafront car parks were full and told residents to "think twice" before visiting the beach.
25th May 2020 - Sky News

Once the Helpers, Now Those in Need—Effects of Pandemic Lockdown in Italy Reaches Essential Workers

In Italy, where hairdressers, daycare centers and bars have begun to reopen, many are still trapped inside their homes. They are dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic by staying at home, waiting for help or finding other ways of coping while furthering the country's extended humanitarian crises. The systems and volunteers which have worked to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are now, after two months of lockdown, battling a rise in abuse, extortion, and what are known as "deaths of despair" (suicide, alcohol and drug overdose). In April, the National Council of the Order of Psychologist
25th May 2020 - Newsweek

Italy grapples with a new rhythm as it emerges from 2-month lockdown

The tension between embracing change and upholding tradition is palpable on the streets of Milan. A decade ago, when the city moved to reduce smog, the linchpin to its sustainability plan was increasing use of public transit. Now, with a 30 per cent cap on transit capacity because of social distancing requirements, the city is boosting other alternatives to private cars: bicycles, electric scooters, mopeds and vehicle sharing.
25th May 2020 - CBC.ca

Spain begins reopening restaurants, cafes and beaches as lockdown loosens

Coronavirus lockdown rules are being eased in Spain after two months of restrictions. Beaches, cafes and restaurants are reopening to visitors from Monday. The country was among the worst hit in Europe with its death toll climbing to over 28,000.
25th May 2020 - Evening Standard

Masks, distancing as Kiev metro opens after lockdown

Ukraine's capital on Monday welcomed passengers into its subway system after more than two months of lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Kiev metro, which normally transports 1.5 million people daily, remained deserted, with only 20 passengers or fewer in each car even during rush hour, AFP journalists saw. Posters at platforms urge passengers to observe social distancing of at least 1.5 metres (five feet) and audio messages encourage Ukrainians to "protect their health".
25th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Churches hold first Sunday mass across France as lockdown eases

French government allows churches, mosques and synagogues to reopen after two months of coronavirus lockdown.
25th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

France has lowest daily increase in new Covid-19 cases, deaths since lockdown

Epidemiologist Laurent Toubiana, director of the IRSAN health data institute, suggested the worst of the epidemic had passed and said the coronavirus may not come back, unlike previous pandemics such as the 1918 Spanish flu. "If we do not see a quick resurgence of the epidemic, we might get a break for a few weeks," he said on BFM TV.
25th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

French officials stunned as hundreds defy coronavirus lockdown at football match in Strasbourg

Local authorities have been shocked as up to 400 people showed "stupidity and irresponsibility" by attending a local game. Authorities in Strasbourg have reacted with dismay after hundreds of fans gathered for an illicit football match. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned under Covid-19 measures in France, yet a large crowd attended Sunday's game between Neuhof and Hautepierre. Video apparently taken at the match, played at the Stade Paco Meteo, can be seen on YouTube and shows social distancing measures being ignored. Local reports claim 300 to 400 people flocked to watch after the match was announced on Facebook.
25th May 2020 - Goal

Spain eases Covid-19 lockdown in Madrid, Barcelona and reopens beaches

Coronavirus lockdown measures will finally be eased for people in Madrid and Barcelona from Monday, while elsewhere in Spain the first beaches are due to reopen. Residents in the two cities can now meet in groups of up to 10 people in their homes or on the terraces of bars and restaurants. The gates of the capital's parks will also be reopened, and major museums will be able to receive a limited number of visitors.
25th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Gaganyaan cosmonauts resume training in Moscow after COVID-19 lockdown ends

The training of four Indian astronauts for the country's first manned mission to space, Gaganyaan, which had been halted in Russia due to COVID-19 lockdown, has resumed. "Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) on May 12 resumed training of the Indian cosmonauts under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)." Russian space corporation, Roscosmos pointed out in the official statement.
25th May 2020 - DNA India

Reopening Hollywood: First major movie to be released since coronavirus lockdown

The makers of the first major movie to be released since the coronavirus lockdown have told Sky News it is the "canary in the coal mine" for an entertainment industry looking to reopen. The film Unhinged, a road rage thriller starring Russell Crowe, will hit cinema screens in the US on 1 July, months earlier than originally planned. It bucks the trend of films being delayed or released instead on television and streaming services.
25th May 2020 - Sky News

Dancing with disinfectant: China's nightclubs back in the groove post-Covid-19 lockdown

Nightclubs in China have mostly come back to life as owners and customers feel increasingly comfortable that the novel coronavirus epidemic is under control, but disinfectant, disposable cups and masks have become part of the experience. At 44KW, a club for electronic music lovers in the financial hub of Shanghai, customers sat, danced and mingled with little sign of social distancing on the weekend. The club reopened in mid-March after closing for about six weeks, but it took a while for business to get back to normal.
25th May 2020 - The Straits Times

Children Return to Australian Schools After Weeks of COVID-19 Lockdowns

More than one million students are back in class Monday, as state and private schools in New South Wales resume full-time learning after two months of lockdown. Authorities in the neighboring Australian state of Queensland have also reopened schools. Many children in Tasmania are also returning to class. Victoria will begin a phased return to on-site schooling Tuesday. Social distancing measures are in place, and parents and carers are not allowed onto school premises.
25th May 2020 - VOA News

Coronavirus lockdown made many of us anxious. But for some people, returning to 'normal' might be scarier

We surveyed a representative sample of Australian adults at the end of March, about a week after restaurants and cafes first closed, and with gatherings restricted to two people. Even at this early stage, it was clear levels of depression and anxiety were much higher than usual in the community. Surprisingly, exposure to the coronavirus itself had minimal impact on people’s mental health. We found the social and financial disruption caused by the restrictions had a much more marked effect.
25th May 2020 - The Conversation AU

New early childhood centre opens after lockdown delays

A new early childhood education centre has sprung up in a growing part of Palmerston North after the national lockdown delayed its start. The Ruahine Kindergarten Association has just opened the Summerhill Early Learning centre on Ruapehu Drive, the association's 25th kindergarten or early-learning centre in the region.
25th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

New Zealand to stage pro competition as virus restrictions ease

New Zealand will stage a team-based tennis tournament for local-based men’s players from June 3, organisers said on Monday, an event marking the southern hemisphere’s first pro competition since the COVID-19 pandemic brought global sport to a halt. All 112 matches of the “NZ Premier League” will be played in Auckland without spectators but broadcast live on Sky Sport or the Youtube channel, Sky Sport Next, Tennis New Zealand said on Monday.
25th May 2020 - Reuters UK

What Life Feels Like Once Lockdown Lifts, According to New Zealand

Even in New Zealand, where they've essentially eliminated the virus, anxiety persists. Not just surrounding health, but in relation to the economy. “Now we've seemingly tackled the health crisis, most people are acutely aware of the impact that this is going to have on our economy, so I'd say the general vibe is still a bit wary about what's coming next in terms of unemployment, financial stability and some of NZ's most important industries like tourism,” says Alexx.
25th May 2020 - VICE UK

Remaining backpackers make most of NZ after lockdown

Our borders may be closed but some international backpackers are still making the most of their New Zealand travel dreams. There are estimated to be up to 150,000 overseas visitors still in the country and despite various repatriation flights, many have decided to stay on. Aotearoa has long been a dream destination for backpackers, and for some lucky travellers their plans to see the country have carried on after lockdown.
25th May 2020 - RNZ


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 25th May 2020

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When will hairdressers reopen in Scotland? Date salons could open after Scottish government reveals new lockdown route map

The First Minister has unveiled plans to ease Scotland out of lockdown restrictions. She said that several strict measures will be relaxed from 28 May in a four-phase "route map". However, retail services including hairdressers are not expected to be allowed to open for bookings again until phase three of the plan. In England, Boris Johnson said that his blueprint for a gradual easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England could see primary schools, nurseries and shops partially reopening from 1 June.
25th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Did Japan Just Beat the Virus Without Lockdowns or Mass Testing?

Japan’s state of emergency is set to end with new cases of the coronavirus dwindling to mere dozens. It got there despite largely ignoring the default playbook. No restrictions were placed on residents’ movements, and businesses from restaurants to hairdressers stayed open. No high-tech apps that tracked people’s movements were deployed. The country doesn’t have a center for disease control. And even as nations were exhorted to “test, test, test,” Japan has tested just 0.2% of its population -- one of the lowest rates among developed countries.
25th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Total lockdown turns Karnataka into ghost state

A total lockdown on Sunday turned Karnataka into a ghost state, with an eerie silence and uneasy clam prevailing across its cities and towns. As decided by the state government to contain the coronavirus spread, the Sunday lockdown comes after a partial relaxation of restrictions on weekdays since May 19 to revive economic activity and restore near-normalcy
24th May 2020 - Times of India

Majority of businesses in Dubai may not survive Covid-19 lockdown

70% of businesses in Dubai may not survive Covid-19 lockdown with advisers telling business owners to get out before it is too late. If strict lockdown measures continue in Dubai, according to a new survey conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the city will be emptied of up to 70% of its businesses. Roughly half the companies surveyed said they would have to close if there is just one more month of lockdown.
24th May 2020 - Business Matters

Coronavirus: Churches, mosques and synagogues reopen across France

French churches were preparing to hold their first Sunday masses in more than two months after the government bowed to a ruling that they should be reopened -- provided proper precautions were taken. Nearly two weeks into the relaxation of its shutdown, the government finally allowed churches, mosques and synagogues to reopen. Last Monday, the France's Council of State, which instructs the government on legal issues, ordered it to lift its sweeping ban on all religious services, in place since the lockdown. The ruling said that such a ban on freedom of worship caused "damage that is serious and manifestly illegal", ordering the government to lift the ban within eight days. But priests, pastors, rabbis and imams will still have to ensure that the correct safety measures are in force.
24th May 2020 - The Local France

Spain to reopen to tourists as South America named coronavirus hot spot

Spain said on Saturday it would let in foreign tourists and restart top league soccer 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 the pandemic. And as much of the United States tiptoed out of lockdown at the start of 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 - The Japan Times

The Artisans Behind Italian Fashion Tremble at Their Future

“Nobody wants to spend money right now,” Ms. Grasso said. “Especially because we are expensive relative to rivals in countries like India. We will fight, of course, but it is going to be a struggle for businesses like ours to survive.”
24th May 2020 - The New York Times

How the Swiss have navigated crisis (mis)communication during Covid-19

The message was a perfect example of the clear, measured and earnest tone that the country’s authorities have tried to strike publicly from the start of the coronavirus outbreak. “It was received positively all over the country,” said Regula Hänggli Fricker, a professor of mass media and communication external link at the University of Fribourg. Clarity, consistency and transparency are all key ingredients of crisis communication, she added, “especially when trust is as important as [it is] in this pandemic”. Indications so far are that the government has gained effective control of communication during the pandemic. Public trust in government reached over 60%, according to a recent poll, and the decline in the number of new cases has allowed the country to pursue a gradual easing of confinement measures. Yet, at the start of the pandemic, it appeared as if the odds were stacked against the country and any response its leaders might muster. Switzerland, densely populated and sharing a border with Italy, one of the epicentres of the pandemic in Europe, quickly became one of the places most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
24th May 2020 - swissinfo.ch

At a busy East African border, testing truckers created perfect conditions for coronavirus to spread

Truck drivers line up Wednesday in Namanga, a town that straddles the Kenya-Tanzania border. The porous border, inefficient testing and limited contact tracing have made Namanga an ideal place for the novel coronavirus to spread.
23rd May 2020 - The Washington Post

Coronavirus: Over 40 Covid-19 cases traced to church service 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. Those attending services have to be kept 1.5m (5ft) apart, and provided with hand sanitiser.
23rd May 2020 - BBC News

Pandemic Swells in South America, as the U.S. Nears 100,000 Deaths

Since the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the world has tracked a pandemic that rapidly spread west, proliferating across Asia and Europe, seeding hot spots across Africa and exploding in North America. Gaza reports its first coronavirus death. New York is allowing gatherings of up to 10.
23rd May 2020 - New York Times

Coronavirus in New Zealand: How Jacinda Ardern Sold a Drastic Lockdown

Leading New Zealand from isolation, Ms. Ardern coaxed her “team of five million” into accepting extreme restrictions. But the lessons of her success go beyond personality or charm.
23rd May 2020 - The New York Times

Economic damage for India from lockdown to be significant: Moody's

Moody's Investors Service said on Friday that economic damage as a result of India's coronavirus lockdown will likely be extensive and reflect the country's inherent economic vulnerability and fiscal constraints.
22nd May 2020 - Moneylife

Coronavirus: Travel restrictions, border shutdowns by country

Countries around the world are increasingly adopting sweeping measures, including full lockdowns, shutting down airports, imposing travel restrictions and completely sealing their borders, to contain the new coronavirus. Below is a list of countries that have taken such measures in recent days. Travellers should visit government websites for updated information and more details.
22nd May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Trump urges quicker US reopening from virus lockdown - The Jakarta Post

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend -- the unofficial start to the American summer -- beaches are slowly welcoming sun worshippers. "We were just tired of waiting to get a normal life again, to get our freedom back. So we rented this big house by the beach," said Anne Miller, an Ohio resident visiting South Carolina. The same was true in Europe, where Cyprus bounded into its second stage of opening up, lifting curfews and allowing outdoor restaurants, barber shops and beaches to open. But the Mediterranean island's airports and hotels remain closed.
22nd May 2020 - Jakarta Post

States and beaches reopen ahead of Memorial Day weekend

After weeks under stay-at-home orders, Americans should feel free to go outside and enjoy Memorial Day weekend as long as they practice social distancing and follow other guidelines, the nation's leading infectious disease expert said. "We'll be having people who want to get out there and get fresh air," Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a CNN coronavirus town hall. "You can do that. We're not telling people to just lock in unless you're in a situation where you have a major outbreak going on, we don't have too much of that right now in the country." But that does not mean throw caution to the wind. "Go out, wear a mask, stay six feet away from anyone so you have the physical distancing," he said Thursday night. "Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go fishing. As long as you're not in a crowd and you're not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus."
22nd May 2020 - CNN

Global report: India and Indonesia announce record daily infection figures

India has reported more than 6,000 new Covid-19 cases, its biggest one-day increase, while China has abandoned setting a GDP growth target because of the “great uncertainty” caused by the pandemic. The sharp increase in new infections in India came after the government began easing lockdown restrictions and as airlines prepared to reopen selected domestic routes. “This surge has happened after movement of people was partially allowed,” said Giridhar Babu, an epidemiologist at India’s public health foundation. “But if you see overall, this is a much lower trajectory as compared to the rest of the world.” Babu said India “seems to have the capacity” to contain the coronavirus, after authorities reported a total of more than 118,000 cases – up 5% from Thursday’s figure - including 3,583 deaths.
22nd May 2020 - The Guardian

Downturn in economic activity starts to ease across the eurozone

The French PMI for services rose to 29.4 in May from 10.2 in April. The manufacturing PMI rose to 40.3 in May, from 31.5 in April. May’s flash PMI points to a faster recovery for Germany, reflecting a quicker lockdown exit and a lower reliance on hard-hit industries, such as tourism, than in other European large economies. “This, effectively, is evidence that the German economy is doing better than its peers,” said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
21st May 2020 - Financial Times


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 22nd May 2020

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US unemployment rises by 2.4m despite easing of coronavirus lockdowns

Another 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week even as states across the US began opening up for business again, betting that the coronavirus pandemic is now under control. The latest figures from the Department of Labor mean close to 39 million Americans have lost their jobs in just nine weeks. The rate of weekly losses has slowed sharply from its peak of 6.6m at the start of April but remains at levels unseen since the 1930s Great Depression.
21st May 2020 - The Guardian

Looser lockdown helps Germany's private sector gain some ground: PMI

Germany’s private sector recession eased in May as a loosening of lockdown measures in the coronavirus crisis helped services and manufacturers in Europe’s largest economy gain some ground, a survey showed on Thursday.
21st May 2020 - Reuters

Germany’s economic crash eases as it lifts coronavirus lockdown

The plunge in German business activity eased somewhat in May, survey data has shown, although Europe’s biggest economy remained in a dire position even as it eased coronavirus restrictions. IHS Markit’s composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which gauges the health of the private sector, rose markedly to 31.4 in May from 17.4 in April, according to today’s early estimate.
21st May 2020 - City A.M.

Italy's PM announces red tape cutting drive to boost investment

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told parliament on Thursday his government was preparing a raft of reforms to cut red tape, improve company governance and encourage investment to revive the coronavirus-battered economy. Conte promised a so-called "simplification decree" to attract foreign capital by streamlining bureaucratic procedures, and said Rome would help the recapitalisation of companies hit by the pandemic. "If we do not succeed in simplifying procedures even in a condition of absolute emergency, I say this very frankly, I doubt that it will be possible to do so in the future", he told the Chamber of Deputies. Italy's complex bureaucracy has long been blamed as one of the causes of its anaemic economic growth, and red tape delayed financial aid promised to business and families during a rigid lockdown to try to curb coronavirus contagion.
21st May 2020 - YAHOO!

As the Coronavirus Lockdown Eases, Italy Confronts an Epidemic of Poverty

Few major economies are likely to fall as far or take longer to recover—leaving millions without money for basics like food
21st May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Italians let their hair down as coronavirus restrictions eased

After months in lockdown, as Italy opens up, there are queues for fresh haircuts. But can the country bounce back?
21st May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Beachgoers lie on their towels in roped-off social distancing zones in France

Sunbathers in La Grande Motte can book out spots cordoned off on the beach. Visitors can swim in the sea and sunbathe in their roped-off zone for three hours. Officials warn that beaches will be closed again if people do not observe rules
21st May 2020 - Daily Mail

EasyJet to resume domestic flights across UK and France

EasyJet is to resume flights on a small number of routes from 15 June, with increased on-board safety measures including mandatory wearing of face masks, as it returns to the skies after grounding its fleet on 30 March. The airline will restart domestic routes in the UK and France initially, along with flights from four destinations elsewhere in Europe, where it says there is sufficient customer demand to support profitable flying. Further routes will be added in the following weeks, as and when passenger demand rises and lockdown measures ease further across Europe.
21st May 2020 - The Guardian

France says no sign of virus rise after lockdown eased

France on May 11 eased its almost two-month lockdown in a bid to revive an economy clobbered by the epidemic. Health Minister Oliver Veran warned that it was too early to assess the impact of the easing. But he added there was so far no sign that the virus was regaining impetus. "It takes at least 10 to 15 days for us to know if there is an impact on the epidemic," he told reporters after a cabinet meeting, while noting that the numbers in hospitals and intensive care were continuing to fall. "So we are not seeing a revival in the circulation of the virus, but that does not mean that the virus is not circulating," he added.
21st May 2020 - Medical Xpress

Coronavirus: The Russian republic enduring a 'catastrophe'

Dr Ibragim Yevtemirov still coughs every so often as he talks. A paediatric trauma surgeon in Dagestan, in the Caucasus region of southern Russia, his ward had been full of Covid-19 cases for a couple of weeks when he got infected himself. He says seven colleagues in his town have now died, including nurses, orderlies and laboratory staff, according to a count kept by local medics themselves. "All three doctors on my team got sick. We were replaced by dentists until we recovered," Dr Yevtemirov told the BBC by phone from Khasavyurt, where he's now back at work in the central hospital. "At the peak, there were 10, 11 patients dying a day here," he says.
21st May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus Australia: Aussies not ready for return to work amid COVID-19 pandemic

Workplaces across Australia are simply not ready to return staff to the COVID-19 frontline and are risking a second wave of infections. A shocking new poll of workers across Australia commissioned has found just one in 10 workplaces has increased basic preventive measures including purchasing hand sanitiser supplies. Only 4 per cent of those still attending the workplace said there was additional cleaning or disinfection occurring at work. A stunning 90 per cent of workers also said there was no plan in place in case they or a co-worker developed symptoms or tested positive. The Australian Council of Trade Unions released the poll on Thursday night to underline its push for paid pandemic leave for workers, particularly casuals who may not have access to any sick leave if they become unwell.
21st May 2020 - News.com.au

Italy's lockdown has taken heavy toll on mental health, say psychologists

Covid-19 has killed more than 32,000 people in Italy and wreaked havoc on the healthcare system and economy. But as the country creeps out of lockdown, the toll on mental health is beginning to become apparent. In a recent survey by Italy’s order of psychologists (CNOP), eight in 10 Italians said they needed psychological support to overcome the pandemic, a much higher response compared with similar surveys done in the past.
21st May 2020 - The Guardian

Charting recovery after the coronavirus crisis

Australians are heading back out onto the streets, they’re driving their cars again and more people are heading back to the shops, schools and offices. That’s a snapshot of a collection of datasets collated by the ABC in order to track how we’re progressing as the nation rebounds back to life after the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
21st May 2020 - ABC News

New Zealand goes back to the pub: Bars reopen as country continues its incredible success against coronavirus

The country has so far recorded only 21 deaths due to the coronavirus and has just 1,503 confirmed cases. Pubs reopening marks the final phase of the country entering 'Alert 2' of their coronavirus action plan. The loosening of restrictions on business, gatherings and travel were eased in three stages starting on 14 May
21st May 2020 - Mail Online

'Could be a bit strange': New Zealand bars to reopen but fun is kept at arm's length

Last week, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, moved the country from coronavirus lockdown level 3 to level 2, meaning most shops and restaurants could reopen, as well as schools, workplaces and public amenities. However, on advice from the Ministry of Health, bars and nightclubs remained closed for an additional week, because people’s close proximity meant they were deemed particularly high risk. One of the country’s largest outbreaks was spread at a St Patrick’s Day gathering at a Matamata pub in the North Island.
21st May 2020 - The Guardian

COVID-19: Glass only half full as New Zealand's bars reopen

New Zealand, with a population of five million, has recorded just 21 coronavirus deaths, largely due to its early lockdown. While domestic quarantine has ended, bars must limit numbers to fewer than 100 people, enforce social distancing and record personal details to help contact tracing if there is a COVID-19 outbreak. While pubs catering to older customers such as Hall will be affected, McLaughlin said the biggest impact would be on venues catering to a younger, late-night party crowd. "That business model is totally out the window," he said.
21st May 2020 - CNA

PH embassy reopens as New Zealand eases lockdown restrictions

The Philippine Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand has reopened its doors to the public after the government announced the easing of lockdown restrictions under New Zealand’s alert level 2. The DFA assured that they are ensuring that their workplace remains safe through sanitation, providing protective personal equipment (PPE) to their employees, and setting up contract tracing mechanisms in compliance with the New Zealand Government’s safety regulations. The Embassy’s office hours are currently still limited and only clients who were able to make prior appointments are being served.
21st May 2020 - Manila Bulletin

Covid 19 coronavirus: Stranded work visa holders' heartbreaking plea to return to New Zealand

The group who made the video, migrants stuck outside New Zealand, started from a small WhatsApp group of stranded temporary work visa holders in Brazil who eagerly waited for news from the Government after the border closure announcements. But after a few weeks passed, they were disheartened to receive no updates and decided they needed to take things into their own hands and raise awareness. Using the power of social media, they were able to connect with other stranded migrants and their group expanded.
21st May 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Kiwis Should Be Concerned If Lockdown Broke The Law, NZ Initiative Report Shows

Even in emergencies, democratic governments must comply with the law, according to a new report The rule of law or the law of rulers by the New Zealand Initiative. As legal challenges emerge to question the lawfulness of the Government’s restrictions, courts will decide whether the lockdown was illegal. New Zealand Initiative chairman Roger Partridge said it is crucial for the sanctity of the country’s institutions that New Zealand is governed according to the rule of law, not the law of rulers. “Alert Level 4 deprived Kiwis of many of their fundamental freedoms – to visit friends and family, including those unwell or dying, to undertake everyday recreational activities and to perform paid work. The restrictions caused immeasurable hardship, and Kiwis should be able to rely on the Government to restrict their freedoms lawfully,” he said.
21st May 2020 - Scoop.co.nz

Is this the future of clothes shopping in the UK? Australian stores insist on face masks, temperature checks and limits on customers as economy adapts to new normal after lockdown

The government will issue new advice about which stores will be able to open their doors to customers again. Australians are having to adapt to new changes at shopping centres amid reduction in COVID-19 restrictions. Temperature checks are a must at makeup giants Sephora and Mecca and anyone with a fever can not enter. Hand sanitiser is readily available and social distancing measures are compulsory - resulting in long queues. Apple is also carrying out fever checks as well as handing out compulsory masks which shoppers must wear
20th May 2020 - Mail Online

Japanese pub aims to clean up with disinfectant spray machine

The pub in Tokyo’s normally bustling Shinjuku district has installed a machine that sprays customers with hypochlorous acid water as they enter. Customers are first greeted by a hostess on a monitor, of course, who instructs them to disinfect their hands and check their temperature with a thermometer provided. They then step into a machine that looks like an airport security scanner, or a car-wash for humans, to get sprayed with a fine mist of the chlorine-based disinfectant for 30 seconds. Customers then pick up a map that guides them to their seat where they order with smartphones. Throughout the process they have not come into contact with a single person.
20th May 2020 - Reuters


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 21st May 2020

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Ice-cream vans return to UK streets as coronavirus lockdown eases

Zelica Carr, the CEO of the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), said: “Some of our members were receiving death threats, because the council said they could go out and trade, and operate with social distancing, but some of the general public were, quite understandably, stressing about the fact everyone should be at home.” But she said many ice-cream traders had taken steps to ensure customers’ safety, and the ICA had sent out guidance to members – reminding them that 2 metres is roughly the length of a van, asking them to use contactless payments where possible, wear protective equipment such as gloves and use cone-holders to hand over ice-creams.
20th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus lockdown: Why can some of us meet six people?

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own powers when it comes to easing the lockdown. In Northern Ireland, groups of up to six people who do not share a household can now meet outdoors, with social-distancing measures in place. But in England, the guidance is to meet only one other person outside your household outdoors. The different policies are down to a number of factors, including geography, science and politics, experts say. And as we "tiptoe out of lockdown", the lines between science and policy are likely to become ever more blurred.
20th May 2020 - BBC News

People in England flock to beaches following easing of lockdown restrictions as UK enjoys hottest day of the year

People in England made the most of their new found freedom and flocked to beaches and parks as the UK looked set to enjoy the hottest day of the year so far. Parts of the UK were set to see temperatures of 28C (82.4F) on Wednesday, looking to beat the 2020 record set on Tuesday at London’s St James’s Park when the mercury hit a high of 26.2C (79.16F). Lockdown restrictions were eased in England on Sunday 10 May allowing people to sunbathe, picnic and drive to beauty spots to enjoy "unlimited exercise". Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland remain under stricter restrictions.
20th May 2020 - ITV News

Nations struggle to define ‘new normal’ as lockdown restrictions ease

Schools, public transport, bars and restaurants are shaping up as the front lines as nations move out of lockdown but retain social distancing. How each of those key sectors manages social distancing and reduces expected new outbreaks will determine the shape of daily life for millions as researchers race to develop a vaccine that is still likely months, if not years, away from being available to all. What a return to normal looks like varies widely.
20th May 2020 - Evening Express

At The End Of The Lockdown, Italians Line Up To Get A Haircut

To help sustain hairdressers’ business and give them the opportunity to serve more clients in the same day, salons are now allowed to stay open for longer times (between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.) for seven days a week. Employees are going to have to wear protective masks and gloves at all times, and in waiting rooms a distance of two meters between people is going to have to be ensured. Entrance will be forbidden if the person has a temperature higher than 37.5°C or if they show respiratory symptoms.
20th May 2020 - Forbes

France prepares for first bank holiday rush since lockdown lifted

Traffic will also be heavier due to the easing of restrictions on trucks weighing over 7.5 tonnes which will now be able to move around on Thursday and Sunday. However, Bison Futé says it will not be as busy as it normally would have been due to the measures in place to curb the coronavirus, such as the ongoing closure of restaurants, bars, pools and most sports venues. Some small museums and historical sites have been given the green light to re-open, and are expecting an influx of people over the long weekend. In a statement published on Tuesday, the Ecology and Solidarity ministry reminded citizens that they must "respect the limit of 100 kilometres from one's home and continue to respect the hygiene measures in place", such as social distancing, and hygiene measures.
20th May 2020 - YAHOO!

France’s cinema bosses fear drive-in screenings that avoid lockdown laws are taking away their business

French cinema owners are furious as a novelty drive-in film festival is managing to steer clear of the country’s lockdown rules while they are forced to remain closed. The travelling drive-in film festival which began in Bordeaux this weekend, and which is set to cross the country showing a mixture of arthouse films and French hits. The Federation Nationale des Cinemas Francais said that the festival and other outdoor projections were leading audiences away when “local and national authorities should be concentrating on battling to reopen cinemas”.
20th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Global report: Covid-19 grips world despite lockdown easing in Europe

The Madrid region, the Barcelona metropolitan area and parts of of Castilla y León are still in the preliminary phase of lockdown de-escalation, and accounted for the majority of the new deaths and hospital admissions over the past 24 hours.
20th May 2020 - The Guardian

How to enjoy the holiday weekend within France's rules for lockdown phase 1

May is a good time for public holidays in France, with three falling in the same month. But this year the May 1st and VE Day (May 8th) holidays had limited options for fun, coming as they did when France was still under strict lockdown. Thursday, May 21st marks the Christian holiday of Ascension and as France is now in phase 1 of lifting its lockdown a long weekend trip away is possible - with limits. Trips away - Although people are now freer to travel, journeys of more than 100km can only be undertaken for essential travel and require a permission form.
20th May 2020 - The Local France

South Korean high school seniors return to school

South Korean students began returning to school on Wednesday, but not without some hitches, in a possible template for other countries struggling to reopen educational facilities.
20th May 2020 - Washington Times

NZ eyes shorter working week for economic recovery

Ms Ardern said she wanted to encourage "nimble" and creative ideas for recovery after a strict seven-week lockdown that helped New Zealand contain Covid-19 but stalled the economy. Suggestions included moving to a four-day week and creating extra public holidays to help boost spending in the tourism and hospitality sectors that have been hit particularly hard by the lockdown. "This is an extraordinary time and we should be willing to consider extraordinary ideas," she told reporters, adding: "I haven't ruled anything in or out."
20th May 2020 - RTE.ie

In a post-lockdown world, can special disinfectants keep workplaces and public spaces safe?

As countries lift restrictions, facilities managers must not drop their guard in the pandemic fight. Can a long-lasting disinfectant spray make their task easier?
20th May 2020 - Eco-Business

South Korean high school seniors return to school

Hundreds of thousands of high school seniors across South Korea entered their schools after having their temperatures checked and rubbing their hands with sanitizer — familiar measures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Students and teachers are required to wear masks, and some schools have installed plastic partitions at each student's desk, according to the Education Ministry. Only high school seniors returned on Wednesday. Younger students are scheduled to return to school in phased steps by June 8.
20th May 2020 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Japanese pub aims to clean up with disinfectant spray machine

The pub in Tokyo’s normally bustling Shinjuku district has installed a machine that sprays customers with hypochlorous acid water as they enter. Customers are first greeted by a hostess on a monitor, of course, who instructs them to disinfect their hands and check their temperature with a thermometer provided.
20th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Relaxed lockdown could hurt rough sleepers

There are concerns thousands of rough sleepers currently housed in hotels and motels will be back on the street once coronavirus restrictions ease. State and territory governments have paid hotels to accommodate homeless people to help them self-isolate. Advocates say the federal government needs to pump money into social housing construction to help people keep a roof over their head. Agreements between hotels and governments end in June and July, according to a representative body for the accommodation industry. Everybody's Home spokeswoman Kate Colvin says there are an estimated 4000 rough sleepers currently staying in hotels and motels across Australia.
20th May 2020 - 9News

Social distancing rules explained: Australia's current state by state coronavirus guidelines

Several states have already started relaxing physical distancing laws, while others are holding firm, but when will they end? Find out what’s illegal and what happens if you break the law
20th May 2020 - The Guardian

Job losses stabilise and stock market bounces back as Australia comes out of lockdown

The worst may be over for coronavirus job losses with fewer people losing work even before COVID-19 lockdowns were eased. In the seven weeks to May 2, total payroll employment fell by 7.3 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Wednesday. While the decline was steep, it was less severe than the 7.5 per cent drop in the five weeks between March 14 and April 18. The ABS's head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said the rate of decline in the labour market was moderating, even though 1.3million Australians are either officially unemployed or have given up trying to find a job.
20th May 2020 - Daily Mail

New Zealand PM Jacinda Arden Suggests Shorter Working Week Post-lockdown

From moving to a four-day week to creating public holidays, Arden came up with various suggestions to boost the economy of the country. While speaking to international media reporters, Arden said that this is an ‘extraordinary time’ and the citizens should be willing to consider extraordinary ideas. Although, she further also added that she hasn’t ruled out any in or out as of yet.
20th May 2020 - RepublicWorld

Coronavirus: Air New Zealand prepares to reopen koru lounges but buffets will be off the menu

Air New Zealand is preparing to reopen its domestic koru lounges but new hospitality rules designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will make it a different experience for travellers. The airline will begin reopening domestic and regional lounges from Monday but its international lounges in New Zealand and overseas will stay closed until further notice. Chief revenue officer Cam Wallace said Auckland and Wellington would be the first domestic lounges to open
20th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Coronavirus: Kids heading back to school hungry after lockdown

When Morrinsville School returned after level 4 lockdown they encouraged vulnerable families to send their children back just to make sure they were being fed. Between 50 and 80 students at the school, of around 200, access breakfast and lunch programmes, deputy principal Tania Anderson said. So when the lockdown was announced staff were concerned as they knew some families struggled to pick up those extra meals during school holidays. Anderson said they quickly packed up all the food they had left from KidsCan and delivered it to those in the community who needed it.
20th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

How do you think New Zealand should change after Covid-19?

Jacinda Ardern has suggested employers consider flexible working options as the nation emerges from the pandemic lockdown. Are there any other things you think should change?
20th May 2020 - The Guardian


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 20th May 2020

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Automakers back to work as US eases coronavirus lockdown

Some Detroit automakers started cranking out vehicles Monday, but it will take longer to fully restart other plants. Workers appeared reassured by the precautions. At a Fiat Chrysler pickup truck assembly plant in Warren, outside Detroit, workers entered a giant white tent with a sign reading, “Let's restart and keep each other safe." They had their temperatures checked and answered questions on whether they had COVID-19 symptoms. “I feel safer than being anywhere at any stores,
19th May 2020 - Deccan Herald

Can I go to the beach in lockdown? UK coronavirus rules explained, and the difference between countries

Boris Johnson recently unveiled plans for lockdown restrictions to ease in England over the coming months, as part of phased plans to reopen shops, pubs, restaurants and get kids back to schools. Exercise is now allowed on an unlimited basis, but is a day at the beach allowed? Here’s what you need to know.
19th May 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: Push for cycling despite safety fears

UK towns and cities must be made cycle-friendly if a change to commuting habits is to succeed, campaigners say. Cycling and walking are being backed as alternatives to public transport as people who are not able to work from home, are encouraged back to work. The latest government survey data before lockdown, however, showed three in five people thought cycling on the road was too dangerous - 61%. Campaign groups said infrastructure improvements would be key. The government has released a £250m "emergency active travel fund" aimed at helping towns prevent overcrowding as lockdown is lifted and it has issued guidance to councils. Cycling UK said now was a "golden opportunity" to encourage people.
19th May 2020 - BBC News

Here’s everything you need to know about level 3 of UK lockdown

The UK will soon be able to enter into ‘level three’ of lockdown, according to Business Secretary, Alok Sharma. Sharma’s announcement came at Sunday’s (17 May) daily press briefing, where he said such a move was only possible due to the public adhering to the government's social distancing guidelines. He thanked the public saying, “Throughout the period of lockdown we have been at level four. Thanks to you, people across the country, we have collectively helped to bring the R level down. We are now in a position to begin moving to level three, in careful steps.”
19th May 2020 - Lancaster Guardian

UK lockdown: Pedestrian activity soars 25 per cent as Londoners get back to work

The lag in pedestrian activity suggests employers and staff needed time to ensure safe working conditions and commutes were in place. In the seven days to 18 May pedestrian traffic was up 7.6 per cent to 11.24 points, according to Hoxton Analytics. A reading of 100 represents normal pedestrian levels. Last week the government announced the easing of some lockdown restrictions in England. People have been told to return to work if they cannot work from home and individuals that do not live together are able to meet up outdoors at a distance of two metres. Non-essential shops could reopen from 1 June at the earliest, while pubs and other hospitality venues will be waiting until at least 4 July before opening their doors to the public.
19th May 2020 - City A.M.

Germany Is Reopening. And Learning a Tough Lesson.

A bitter irony that in the country’s brief moment of vindication, all the old conflicts are re-emerging. It makes the early togetherness look shallow, a product of our instincts for survival rather than of humanitarian insight. So instead of solidarity, we have strife. In place of unity, division. It looks like this is Germany’s new normal, too.
19th May 2020 - The New York Times

'I can taste the flavour much more': Italians rediscover eating out

For some, being able to frequent Italy’s bars and restaurants on Monday after more than two months of lockdown was akin to ending a strict dietary regime. “I can taste the fullness of the flavour much more,” said Sandro Urbani as he drank a glass of white Sangiovanni wine outside Caffè Barrique in the Umbrian town of Orvieto. “It’s as if I’ve been on a diet over the past few months and all of a sudden I can eat a slice of salami.” Italians have been given another taste of freedom with the reopening of bars, restaurants, hairdressers and all other retailers on Monday as the country tries to revive its economy after the coronavirus emergency.
19th May 2020 - The Guardian

Italian cities reopen after two months of coronavirus lockdowns – video

Italy has started easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions and some shops, restaurants and museums have reopened for the first time in two months. Physical distancing remains but people in Rome were able to enjoy a drink or visit mass. In Venice, stores and restaurants reopened, though without the usual crowds of tourists around
19th May 2020 - The Guardian

The Taliban are joining Afghanistan’s fight against covid-19

The official in charge of the Afghan government’s response to covid-19 in a rural district near the city of Herat recently received a dressing-down by phone. The caller berated him for the lack of masks at a particular clinic. Local bureaucrats needed to get their act together quickly, the caller instructed. The man delivering the rebuke was not some big cheese from the ministry of health in Kabul, however, but a member of the Taliban, the rebels who have been trying to overthrow the government since 2001, when they themselves were ousted from power by American-backed forces.
19th May 2020 - The Economist

Italy Reopens Hair Salons as Coronavirus Crisis Eases

Italy Reopens Hair Salons as Coronavirus Crisis Eases - NYT reports on how Italy's hair salons are re-emerging from the coronavirus crisis
19th May 2020 - The New York Times

France’s highest court has banned police from using drones to watch the public in Paris and rest of country during ease of Coronavirus lockdown rules

French police have been banned from using drones to keep an eye on the public during the coronavirus pandemic. The ban will apply until there is a proper legal basis for their deployment or until they have been adapted so that individuals being filmed cannot be identified, the country’s highest court, the Conseil d’Etat, has decided. France’s Human Rights League announced the news on Monday May 18 saying it was a “real victory.” It took the case to the Conseil after its attempt to have the use banned was rejected by a lower court. Some 20 drones have been used by the police in Paris over recent weeks under the control of the Prefecture of Police whose head, the Prefect Didier Lallement is a controversial law and order disciplinarian. He has already had to formally apologise for having said that those in hospital resuscitation wards during the health crisis were people who had disobeyed the rules of the lockdown.
19th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

Volunteers helps Nevis Range prepare for life after lockdown

Volunteers are rallying around to prepare the Nevis Range resort for a return after lockdown and the biggest challenge in its 30-year history. The snowsports, mountain biking and outdoor activities destination near Fort William has organised a bike trail maintenance day and a litter-picking weekend in advance of re-opening when restrictions are lifted. Dates for the events will be scheduled when the lockdown eases and it is safe for staff and local volunteers to work alongside each other. Already more than 50 people have signed up to help and others have expressed interest in getting involved.
19th May 2020 - The Press and Journal

After the Coronavirus Lockdown Ends, Here is Life in China's Wuhan

For more than two months, the people of Wuhan, China, lived under lockdown as their city buckled beneath the weight of the coronavirus that emerged there. Then, gradually, cases ebbed. On April 8, the lockdown was lifted. Now, the residents of Wuhan are cautiously feeling their way toward an uncertain future, some of the first in the world to do so. There is trauma and grief, anger and fear. But there is also hope, gratitude and a newfound patience. Here are four of their stories.
19th May 2020 - The New York Times

Air pollution is already spiking in China with the virus lockdown lifted

Air pollution in China has already bounced back from astounding lows during the country's coronavirus shutdown to monthly levels exceeding those recorded during the same period last year, data show. Chinese government figures confirm a spike in April, which the Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) warns could herald the beginning of a "dirty" economic rebound from the crisis in China.
19th May 2020 - CBS News

Managing COVID-19 transmissions in post-lockdown China

COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan in December 2019, a few days before the Chinese Spring Festival. The three billion trips via China’s mass transit system during the Spring Festival travel rush may have contributed to its spread across the country. But in late March, China declared its COVID-19 peak over as Wuhan reported zero new cases for seven consecutive days. This was followed by the lifting of Wuhan’s lockdown on 8 April. However, a majority of China’s new cases are now imported, prompting a two-pronged strategy to control both imported cases and potential domestic transmission after lifting lockdown.
19th May 2020 - East Asia Forum

Cinemas start to reopen in Japan, showing Hollywood classics like The Wizard of Oz and Ben Hur

Cinemas across Japan have begun to reopen, after being closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Without any new blockbuster releases, however, cinemas are resorting to screening old Hollywood classics to draw in crowds. Sword-and-sandal flick Ben Hur and musical fantasy The Wizard of Oz are among the films returning to cinemas.
19th May 2020 - Independent

Drive-in concerts to be tested in Australia this week

This Thursday (May 21), singer-songwriter and Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan is set to perform with her band at Sydney’s first-ever live theatre drive-in. The performance is organised by Drive-In Entertainment Australia and will be held at the Robyn Webster Sports Centre from 12:00pm to 1:00pm AEST. In accordance with current social distancing rules, patrons will participate in the concert remotely from their vehicles with two options for sound: tuning into an FM radio frequency and/or rolling down their windows. Extra safety restrictions will be enforced to ensure the event complies with government-mandated regulations.
19th May 2020 - NME

NZ's economy likely to bounce back faster than Australia's due to stricter lockdown - expert

New Zealand's stricter lockdown and containment measures could lead to an earlier economic recovery than Australia, HSBC Australia's chief economist says.
19th May 2020 - 1News

New Zealand becomes the latest country to allow children back to school

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand children returned to lesson on Monday as schools around the world continue to reopen as coronavirus lockdowns ease. Excited youngsters greeted classmates for the first time in eight weeks in cities such as Wellington and Auckland after parents dropped them off at 'kiss and go zones' at the gate as part of strict social distancing measures. Schools in Austria, Belgium and Portugal also reopened their doors for the first time in weeks on Monday, while more children were allowed to return to lessons in Greece. Lessons have already resumed for pupils in France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Australia, parts of Canada and China as the global spread of disease slowed.
19th May 2020 - Daily Mail


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

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UK cities are awakening as lockdown is eased

alking and driving in the UK surged on Saturday, 16 May – the first weekend day since the government eased lockdown restrictions, new data show. The new rules, combined with warm spring weather, saw movement rates rise to 60 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels on Saturday, 16 May. That compares to nearer 30 per cent towards the end of March. Numbers have been edging up in recent weeks, with the Bank Holiday weekend between 8 May and 10 May showing an increase in walking in particular, ahead of the lockdown restrictions being partially lifted.
18th May 2020 - New Statesman

Coronavirus: Ireland begins first phase of easing lockdown rules

The Republic of Ireland is beginning the first phase of relaxing its Covid-19 restrictions. Some construction firms will return to work and garden centres and hardware stores can reopen. Tom Parlon, the director general of the Construction Industry Federation, estimates that about 30,000 builders - a fifth of the industry's workforce - will return to work. Social distancing will be observed on site and travelling to and from work. "Remaining two metres apart will be a big challenge," he said. "But builders will be using masks and shields to protect themselves."
18th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Commuters shun trains as they return to work after easing of lockdown

Commuters returning to work for the first time after Boris Johnson eased lockdown restrictions shunned train services despite rail firms adding extra carriages to help preserve social distancing. Network Rail, which manages Britain’s 20 busiest stations, said passenger numbers on Monday morning were “very similar” to last week, when they were around 93 percent below average.
18th May 2020 - iNews

Churches, beaches and restaurants in Italy open their doors as tough lockdown rules eased

The cornerstones of Italian life have opened their doors after three months of lockdown as the government's tough restrictions were cautiously lifted. Restaurants, bars, shops, church, museums, hairdressers and beaches reopened on Monday as life outside the home slowly returned to an altered normal in one of Europe’s hardest hit countries. Some churches welcomed worshippers to Mass as the second phase of the lockdown allowed the faithful to attend religious ceremonies.
18th May 2020 - ITV News

Restaurants, bars and churches reopen in Italy with Saint Peter's Basilica even taking visitors again

Once the worst-hit country in the world, Italy will take its latest step in a cautious, gradual return to normality, allowing businesses and churches to reopen after a two-month lockdown. Saint Peter’s Basilica also throws its doors open to visitors today. In the face of much opposition, including from Pope Francis, churches in Rome were shuttered at the beginning of the coronavirus emergency in early March. Most, however, opened shortly thereafter, with entry reserved for prayer only. “I share the joy of those communities who can finally reunite as liturgical assemblies, a sign of hope for all society,” Pope Francis said yesterday during his live-streamed prayer.
18th May 2020 - TheJournal.ie

Coronavirus: Italy reopens restaurants, cafes and hairdressers after 10-week lockdown

Shops, bars, cafes and restaurants have reopened in Italy, after more than two months of nationwide lockdown measures. Customers can again sip their morning cappuccino at their favourite bar after restrictions were eased on Monday, providing they stick to COVID-19 social distancing rules. "I haven't worked for two-and-a-half months. It's a beautiful, exciting day," said Valentino Casanova, a barman working in Rome's central Piazza del Popolo.
18th May 2020 - Sky News

Global report: Italy reopens cafes as Spain prepares for return of tourists

A handful of visitors, including nuns, queued up outside St Peter’s for the first time since 10 March. Police officers wearing face masks checked temperatures before allowing them to enter. Masses in churches across Rome also resumed. Worshippers sat apart on disinfected pews. In Venice gondoliers wearing face masks ferried passengers along the Grand Canal, while mothers with small children sat in cafes overlooking the Rialto. Clients in Milan got their hair done, while local markets in the city of Salerno reopened. The prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, described the ending of national curbs as a “calculated risk”. Italy was the first European country to go into full lockdown, more than two months ago. It is now returning to a semi-normality, after nearly 32,000 deaths. Its economy has shrunk by 10%.
18th May 2020 - The Guardian

France records 70 cases of Covid-19 in schools since lifting lockdown

70 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the 40,000 ‘maternelle’ and primary schools re-opened in France since 11 May. But this will not affect the gradual return to junior schools which resumes on Monday. In an interview with RTL radio, France's Education minister confirmed that several schools had been forced to close their doors since 11 May in Mayenne, Cantal, Haute-Garonne and Nice. These closures "show that we are strict," said Blanquer, who added that these cases "occured almost every time outside of school."
18th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus: People playing football and sunbathing in groups can still be fined despite lockdown relaxation, police say

People playing football or spending time with friends in parks will still be fined for breaking coronavirus laws, police have warned as another warm weekend begins. Officials are appealing for people not to flood to beaches and beauty spots to enjoy the weather following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England.
18th May 2020 - Independent

Schools reopening has not triggered rise in Covid-19 cases, EU ministers told

The reopening of schools in 22 European countries has not led to any significant increase in coronavirus infections among children, parents or staff, a videoconference meeting of education ministers from around the EU has heard. With a debate raging in the UK over the risks of allowing children back into the classroom, some member states are planning summer lessons to aid pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
18th May 2020 - The Guardian

Ireland cautiously begins to lift virus lockdown

Ireland took the first tentative steps to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions Monday, with outdoor workers returning to their jobs, some shops reopening and sports facilities unlocking their doors. The modest tweaks to the restrictions in place since March 28 start a staggered process that is set to last until August. "I'm both pleased and nervous," Health Minister Simon Harris told state broadcaster RTE. "I'm pleased that we've gotten to this point because of the incredible efforts of the Irish people in suppressing this virus."
18th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

'Yellow vest' protests restart on first weekend France loosens its lockdown

Although France has relaxed some rules as it moves into 'phase 1' of lifting lockdown, gatherings of more than 10 people in public places are still banned. Police broke up gatherings of around 50 protesters in Bordeaux and Paris and groups of 300 in Lyon and 350 in Montpellier. A female protester was injured in Montpellier. In Toulouse, shopkeepers held a counter protest, accusing 'yellow vests' of endangering public health and damaging the first weekend of trade for many businesses in two months
18th May 2020 - The Local France

Europeans savour lockdown easing but elsewhere virus cases surge

German football champions Bayern Munich played and won their first match in more than two months on Sunday as Spain and Britain recorded their lowest daily coronavirus death tolls since March, but the pandemic continued its devastation elsewhere. With a worldwide virus death toll above 314,000 and the global economy reeling from the vast damage caused by lockdowns, numerous European countries are lifting restrictions to provide much-needed respite for their beleaguered and impatient populations. But the virus is still surging in Brazil, which saw its number of deaths soar past 15,000 with more than 230,000 infections, making it the country with the fourth-highest number of cases.
18th May 2020 - France 24

Traffic jams, dining out, reopened schools — China resumes ‘normal life’ after lockdown

While some people still have concerns about dining out, others have no such qualms. “We’ve been staying at home far too long,” said Tom Long, a businessman in the southern province of Hunan who’s started regularly eating out now life’s returning to normal. It seems big restaurants are as much as 70% occupied, while hawker centers are full, Long said by phone.
18th May 2020 - ThePrint

9 Shanghai residents on life after lockdown

In one of China's most populated city restrictions are being eased, people are back at work, and stores and nightclubs have reopened — but life is still very different.
18th May 2020 - i-D Vice

China sees post-lockdown rise in air pollution

China's levels of some air pollutants have risen back to above last year's levels after dropping when the government imposed strict lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study published on Monday. The rebound was likely due to industrial activity, the researchers said, adding there were concerns that after months of unusually low pollution levels, a drive to kickstart economic activity was causing emissions to spike. "There are early warning signs that China's recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is reversing air quality gains," the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), which produced the study, said.
18th May 2020 - The Jakarta Post

Japan's economy falls into recession as virus takes its toll

Japan has fallen into recession for the first time since 2015 as the financial toll of the coronavirus continues to escalate. The world's third biggest economy shrank at an annual pace of 3.4% in the first three months of 2020. The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the global economy with an estimated cost of up to $8.8tn (£7.1tn).
18th May 2020 - BBC News

Good news for Australians hoping to get back to the gym as lockdowns are eased

Fitness fanatics were back in the gym today in some parts of Australia. Others stuck to outdoor training bootcamps after restrictions were eased. But many embattled businesses across the country are still unsure of their future. The NT, WA, SA, QLD and Tasmania have all given given dates for opening. But those in NSW, ACT and Victoria don't know when they'll open their doors
18th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Joy, tears and nerves as students return to class around New Zealand

Students across New Zealand have flocked to classes for the first time in nearly two months. In a day filled with hugs, tears, excitement and trepidation, schools reopened on Monday as part of the move to lockdown level 2. While classrooms have been open to younger children if needed since level 3, attendance levels have been low, with the vast majority opting to keep learning from home
18th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

New Zealand braces for spike in child abuse reports as Covid-19 lockdown eases

Head of children’s welfare agency says toll could start to emerge after lockdown created ‘perfect storm’ of stress for struggling families
18th May 2020 - The Guardian

Covid-19 coronavirus: Kiwis head back to office and school after months in lockdown

For the first time in nearly two months thousands of New Zealanders are swapping their slippers for shoes today as we enter our first full week of level 2. And with the mass return of Kiwis to offices and schools, the Prime Minister has confirmed the number of people allowed to attend church gatherings could also increase in the next two weeks. New Zealand is again the focus of headlines across the globe, with the Washington Post reporting how the country "quashed Covid in 49 days".
18th May 2020 - New Zealand Herald

Back to school for New Zealand kids after COVID-19 lockdown

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand children returned to school on Monday (May 18) after two months of home education as part of a COVID-19 lockdown. Excited youngsters greeted classmates for the first time in eight weeks, while teachers reinforced messages about social distancing and hand-washing to combat the coronavirus. Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the return to a noisy, bustling environment would be a "culture shock" after a challenging period for both children and parents. "Our message is it's safe to send kids back to school, we want kids back at school and catching up with any learning that they've lost during the lockdown," he told reporters.
18th May 2020 - CNA

'Still fearful': Wuhan struggles to recover after coronavirus lockdown

The economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak is only beginning to be felt by the city where the disease first emerged. The effects are being felt by everyone from farmers to kindergarten workers, and even working for the local government may no longer offer any security
17th May 2020 - South China Morning Post

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern turned away from cafe under virus lockdown rules

In New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was denied entry to a cafe because of her own social distancing rules. Ardern, her fiance Clarke Gayford and a group of friends were turned away from a cafe in Wellington on Saturday because it had already reached its customer limit. “I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organised and book anywhere,” Gayford tweeted in response to another diner, who had spotted the couple being turned away. As New Zealand eases out of its coronavirus lockdown, cafes were allowed to reopen on Thursday, but must maintain social distancing between tables and customers must remain seated.
17th May 2020 - The Statesman

Migrants will rebuild the UK economy post-lockdown

As the economy struggles under the strain of a partially lifted lockdown, and as politicians try to navigate a way back to some form of normality, one thing is certain: migrants will play a crucial role in the rebuilding process. We always do. The UK offers so much for us, and we offer so much in return. Many come from poor backgrounds and from parts of the world where opportunities are limited. We drive innovation and economic development.
17th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk


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Greece Reopens 500 Beaches as It Relaxes Lockdown Rules

Greece has opened up 500 of its beaches as the country eases lockdown restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Authorities authorized the move as a heat wave was expected to hit the country this weekend. But sizzling temperatures aside, the measure is seen as a crucial test of readiness for Greece’s biggest challenge: summer tourism. From early Saturday, sunbathers swarmed beaches across the country, taking cool respite from scorching temperatures and over a month-long period in lockdown. Yet as they entered ticketed facilities a new reality set in. Sun loungers at many sites were seen hammered down, fastened to the ground to secure social distancing. Kiosks were not allowed to play music and bars were prohibited from serving alcohol -- all for the sake of keeping crowds sober and orderly.
16th May 2020 - VOA News

Denmark reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since March

Denmark, the first country in Europe to gradually start reopening, reported no coronavirus-related deaths on Friday from the day earlier for the first time since March 13. Denmark’s total number of confirmed cases rose by 78 to 10,791 since Thursday, with the number of hospitalisations falling by 10 to 137. The death toll remained unchanged at 537. “Milestone today: In the last day we have had 0 deaths as a result of COVID-19 in Denmark,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter. On Tuesday, health authorities said Denmark was “very unlikely” to be hit by a second wave of the virus, as the country entered its second reopening phase, which allows schools for the oldest children, shopping mails and restaurants to reopen.
15th May 2020 - Reuters

Indonesia’s government was slow to lock down, so its people took charge

A veteran organiser, Diani took matters into her own hands. “I had trouble convincing people in my neighbourhood at first. People still thought we were untouchable because of the weather or prayers or whatever else. I had to convince them one by one, through WhatsApp and in person, that we needed to change our lifestyle because of COVID-19,” she said. “Eventually they understood.” By early March, Diani had mobilised a task force of volunteers to effectively close off her neighbourhood, persuade residents to stop working and stay at home when possible, and propagate hygiene practices such as handwashing. The volunteers even started making their own hand sanitiser, and initiated a neighbourhood-level “self-quarantine” on March 10— ten days before the Jakarta governor declared a state of emergency, Diani noted, proudly.
14th May 2020 - National Geographic UK

S.Korea races to contain new Covid-19 cluster linked to clubs as infections swell to 119

South Korea conducted more than 15,000 tests on Wednesday (May 13) as health officials raced to contain an outbreak of Covid-19 linked to at least nine clubs in the nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul. The promise of anonymous testing has encouraged more people to come forward, as the number of cases linked to the new cluster grew to 119 - up from 102 the previous day. New cases include a 27-year-old clubber from Busan who infected his 62-year-old father and one-year-old nephew. Eleven infections were traced to a 25-year-old private academy teacher from Incheon and three more infections in the military brought its total to 11. South Korea now has 10,962 cases, with 259 deaths. The Itaewon cluster came to light when a 29-year-old resident of Yongin city tested positive on May 6, after visiting five gay clubs in Itaewon on May 1-2 during a six-day-long weekend that saw many people going out to wine, dine and party.
14th May 2020 - The Star Online

India surpasses China in coronavirus cases to become new Asia hot spot

“It is becoming increasingly clear that Covid-19 will not disappear immediately, the economy will need to be managed alongside persistent infection risks, possibly for a prolonged period,” said Mr Rishi Sahai, managing director of financial advisory company Cogence Advisors. He said that the 130 districts classified as red-zone districts at present are some of the most urbanised and industrialised parts of the country and account for 41 per cent of national economic activity and 38 per cent of India’s industrial output. “Finding methods of keeping these red-zone districts operational and safe would be critical in keeping economic activity sustainable,” he said.
16th May 2020 - The Straits Times


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Coronavirus: Some return to work as lockdown eases slightly in England

The government urged people to avoid public transport if possible. But some commuters said Tube trains and buses were still too busy to observe social distancing rules. Meanwhile, new guidance issued by the College of Policing said officers had "no powers to enforce two-metre distancing" in England. Under the new rules in England, people can now spend more time outside and move house. Garden centres can reopen and sports that are physically distanced - such as golf - are now permitted. Two people from different households can meet in outdoor settings, such as parks, as long as they stay more than 2m apart.
14th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus lockdown: Am I allowed to move house?

The first property viewing will not be in person, but online. Virtual viewings have become more common recently and will continue, while open house viewings will not return for a while. When prospective buyers and tenants want to inspect a property in real life, government guidance states only one household should be shown around at a time. Internal doors should stay open, or door handles wiped down along with other surfaces after each visit. Washing facilities should be offered, towels washed, and visitors could bring their own hand sanitiser.
14th May 2020 - BBC News

The big restart: how businesses in England are coming out of lockdown

With just 16 of its 90-strong workforce back at its factory in Atherstone in the West Midlands, boss John Nollett was cautious as he digested the deluge of government guidance about how to reopen safely during the pandemic. “Staff were fully briefed for 30 minutes at the start of their shift with a Q&A session to ensure they were all happy to proceed,” said Mr Nollett of the company’s new workplace safety rules. “We believe we’ve done the right thing, but we’re not medics, just engineers.”
14th May 2020 - Financial Times

Marks & Spencer reopening cafes across the UK as coronavirus lockdown rules begin to ease

Marks & Spencer is to reopen 49 of its cafés across the UK tomorrow. The high street retailer said it had taken the decision to reopen the sites to takeaway customers after operating social distancing and extra hygiene measures in its stores. The retailer said its cafés would be opening for takeaway hot drinks only and the sites selected were located next to M&S Foodhall stores which have remained open through the lockdown.
14th May 2020 - iNews

Italy’s German-speaking majority region eases lockdown ahead of rest of country

Italy’s German-speaking region has defied Rome by easing lockdown restrictions quicker than in the rest of the country. Residents of South Tyrol have once again heard words like Freiheit and Los Von Rom – German for Freedom and Away From Rome – in echoes of historic calls of resistance. In decades past, the words ignited on a mountainside demanded independence from Rome’s rule for the province’s German-language majority. Now, they vent discontent in South Tyrol, which was once part of Austria, with the uncompromising and indiscriminate lockdown imposed by the Italian government to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
14th May 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Dentists re-open in France after two-month lockdown

Anyone who suffered through France's two-month lockdown with a toothache or other oral affliction of a non-emergency nature has a hope of licking the pain. Dental practices around the country are cautiously reopening and accepting appointments after the French government eased restrictions on some businesses, services and public activity. Yet getting back to work in the age of coronavirus requires caution, especially for over 40,000 dentists in France who are among the health professionals at highest risk of becoming infected.
14th May 2020 - SFGate

Emerging from lockdown, France’s cherished bookshops battle to avoid shutdown

France's bookstores were allowed to reopen on Monday for the first time since March 17 as the country began easing lockdown measures put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. After almost two months of confinement, the French government is trying to balance the need to resuscitate a crashing economy with the risk that the spread of the deadly virus accelerates once more.
14th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

From France to China, nations worry about low rates of coronavirus infection

In a worrying sign that coronavirus may not be done sweeping through nations that are beginning to emerge from lockdown, recent studies in Spain, France and England indicate that only a small fraction of these countries' populations had been infected with the virus. In France, where 16,642 people have died from coronavirus so far, according to an NBC News tally, a study led by the Pasteur Institute found only 4.4 percent of the population — or 2.8 million people — had been infected by the virus. This rose to between 9 and 10 percent in hard-hit regions such as Paris, according to the study released Wednesday.
14th May 2020 - NBC News

When will UK lockdown end? What restrictions have been eased as UK passes peak of infections

The UK has outined plans for its route out of lockdown after passing the peak of infeThe UK has outined plans for its route out of lockdown after passing the peak of infections, meaning the NHS is able to cope with the number of casesctions, meaning the NHS is able to cope with the number of cases
14th May 2020 - The Scotsman

China comes out of lockdown

China was once the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, but now the country is coming out of lockdown. Gideon Rachman talks to FT correspondents Yuan Yang and James Kynge about how quickly China can find a new normal.
14th May 2020 - The Financial Times

Lockdown restrictions eased worldwide as countries adapt to ‘new normal’

Flat dwellers in Rio de Janeiro were getting some much needed entertainment from children’s movies projected onto screens set up outside their buildings, similar to a drive-in theatre. Cesar Miranda Ribeiro, president of the city-owned RioFilme company, said the effort called “Cinema In The Windows” is aimed at “trying to take care of the mental health of the people”. Chinese looking for some stay-at-home retail therapy have tuned into livestream shopping. Others seeking spiritual support and human connections are worshipping remotely via online religious services from the Vatican to village churches, to mosques and temples.
14th May 2020 - YAHOO!

French tennis players taking things slow in return to court as lockdown ends in France

"What’s different is that this isn’t even like an injury. Everyone’s had an injury, and been away from the circuit for five, six months. But this was a different feeling," he said. "We weren’t on holiday — far from it for all the people who were confined — and we weren’t injured. It was a really complex situation to deal with.” What also felt strange was the many new obligatory measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 — such at not sitting down on a chair, using different balls than your opponent, and sliding on gloves to wipe down the net cord with disinfectant after the session. "Hopefully we can quickly have some normal training conditions again," Mahut said. "But you have to respect the rules … We’re already lucky enough to be back playing.”
14th May 2020 - The Japan Times

Beer today, gone tomorrow: Australian brewers tip 7.8m pints down the drain

One of Australia’s largest brewers is tipping 90,000 kegs of beer down the drain. Lion, which manufactures Tooheys, James Boag, XXXX and other well-known Australian beers, collected the untapped kegs from pubs and clubs in March, after the Australian government declared pubs and restaurants had to shut to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The beer has now passed its shelf life and will be tipped into the wastewater treatment plants at the Tooheys and XXXX breweries, which will produce biogas to offset the breweries’ natural gas use and be used to brew fresh beer.
14th May 2020 - The Guardian

How public transport usage is creeping back after coronavirus lockdown

It's the next big challenge for governments as coronavirus lockdowns ease. For those of us who are lucky enough to have a workplace to go back to, doing so safely is presenting major challenges. Millions of people would normally commute by public transport, but how can you stick to social distancing while cramming onto a packed train or bus? If buses were to enforce a four-square-metres per person rule, there would only be room for six passengers and the driver on board. It would require 10 times as many buses to cope with an ordinary peak hour.
14th May 2020 - ABC News

Coronavirus: New Zealand eases lockdown restrictions and moves into level two

During the pandemic, New Zealand has created a numerical system which details the specific measures that are being taken to protect people and prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is known as the "Alert System" and ranges from levels one to four, with four being the most restrictive. Level two allows for businesses to reopen safely, travel between regions and socialise with friends and family in groups of up to 10.
14th May 2020 - Sky News

'We're back!' – Playgrounds, barbers and schools reopen in New Zealand as country eases lockdown

New Zealand eases lockdown, with barbers, playgrounds and some tourist attractions reopening.
14th May 2020 - Independent.ie

New Zealand barbers opens at midnight as coronavirus lockdown restrictions eased

A New Zealand barber shop opened its doors as the clock passed midnight on Thursday to mark the moment most lockdown restrictions were eased across the country. Shopping centres, retail stores and restaurants were allowed to open their doors as of 12.01am, with many employees returning to their workplaces. Mass gatherings will still be limited to 10 people and social distancing guidelines remains in place under the country's Level Two restrictions.
14th May 2020 - ITV News

New Zealand sheds lockdown restrictions, reopens shops, restaurants, malls

Malls, retail stores and restaurants are all reopening Thursday in the South Pacific nation of 5 million, and many people are returning to their workplaces. But most gatherings will be limited to 10 people and social distancing guidelines will remain in place. The reopening reflects the success New Zealand has experienced in its bold goal of eliminating the virus. The country reported no new cases of the virus on Tuesday and Wednesday. More than 1400 of the nearly 1500 people who contracted COVID-19 have recovered, while 21 have died.
14th May 2020 - 9News

'Stay out of my moist breath zone': Covid-19 anthem takes the drool out of school

Shirley Șerban of Lake Brunner school in the South Island penned the song Moist Breath Zone as a health and safety message for students returning to school after the Covid-19 lockdown. A three-and-a-half-minute music video posted on YouTube features two dogs, two hugging chimps, a yawning llama, a coughing kitten and a sleepy Staffordshire terrier among others. “We’re back at school, it’s really cool, to all be here together. We made it through and I missed you, the country’s getting better,” the song begins. “I’ll share my news, but my food’s for me alone. If I smell your breath, I will go sit on my own. Always wash your hands – make them soapy, full of foam.” “And stay out of my moist breath zone!” A moist breath zone is the area in which you can feel or smell someone else’s breath. The song has been welcomed by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education, which called Șerban’s effort “fantastic”.
14th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: First flight, post Covid-19 lockdown, lands at Hamilton Airport

Hamilton Airport Chief Executive Mark Morgan stood at the arrival gate to welcome passengers from the Wellington flight. It was good to see domestic flights gradually return over the next six or seven weeks, he said. Return flights to Wellington started this week and flights to Christchurch start on May 18, with flights to Palmerston North a possibility later on. "Air New Zealand has said they may reschedule flights quickly, to respond to demand, but we should start to see three or four flights a day." Morgan said the airport had retained all staff and seeing flights resume would boost morale.
14th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

California hospitals brace for fresh coronavirus wave as Mexico comes hotspot

Over past few weeks, cases have increased in California counties near the border with Mexico, which is failing to tackle growing crisis
14th May 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

Tracking apps and thermal scanners: Life in post-lockdown South Korea

Thermal scanners at theme parks, shopping for makeup while wearing masks and constant tracking of people's whereabouts through apps and credit card data are markers of the new post-pandemic world in the country leading the way in its response to the virus. "Everyday distancing does not mean returning to life before COVID-19," Kim Kang Lip, vice minister of health and welfare, said Tuesday at a news briefing. "It means building new social norms and a culture based on exercising social distancing."
7th May 2020 - NBC News


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UK property website Rightmove sees signs of life as lockdown eases

British property website Rightmove said visits to its site rose 45% on Wednesday morning compared with a day earlier after the government moved to reopen the housing market which it had effectively closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown. Email enquiries to agents rose by 70% and new listings also increased with 2,115 new properties added in five hours, Rightmove said. Buyers and renters in England were given the go-ahead to move house again by the government on Wednesday when estate agents’ offices reopened and buyers and renters were allowed to able to view properties in person.
13th May 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Lockdown confusion at the borders

Lockdown rules are now different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But where does that leave those who live on a border, or live in one country and work in another? In England's northernmost town, Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland, some residents told us they felt torn. Boris Johnson encouraged people in England who could not work from home to go back to work. Yet over the border in Scotland, the message has remained "stay at home".
13th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Some return to work as lockdown eases slightly in England

Some people in England who cannot work from home are returning to their workplaces today, as the government begins easing some lockdown measures. The government urged people to avoid public transport if possible. But some commuters said Tube trains and buses were still too busy to observe social distancing rules. Meanwhile, new guidance issued by the College of Policing said officers had "no powers to enforce two-metre distancing" in England.
13th May 2020 - BBC South East Wales

Coastal towns tell visitors to stay away as lockdown eases in England

Britain’s coastal resorts have told visitors to stay away amid concerns that people may be drawn to the seaside as the weather improves and the lockdown is eased in England. The tourism body for Blackpool has rebranded as Do Not Visit Blackpool in an attempt to discourage visitors after new guidance came into force on Wednesday allowing people in England to “travel to open space, irrespective of distance”. Simon Blackburn, the leader of Blackpool council, said the UK government’s new message meant there was “nothing we can do” to stop visitors but he urged people to stay away.
13th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Union warns it will 'stop trains' after crowds on first day of eased lockdown

People who cannot work from home are now being urged to go back to work as the government eases lockdown rules in England.
13th May 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Moving home allowed as curbs lift on estate agents in England

The government has set out plans to restart England's housing market, which has been in deep freeze since the coronavirus lockdown. Estate agents can now open, viewings can be carried out and removal firms and conveyancers can restart operations. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the changes must be carried out under social distancing and safety rules. It is estimated there are 450,000 buyers and renters with plans on hold.
13th May 2020 - BBC News

England tiptoes out of lockdown as economy dives

England tentatively began easing its coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday, with some people who cannot do their jobs at home urged to return to work, as stark economic data showed the disastrous impact of the pandemic.
13th May 2020 - Reuters

Italians across country reflect on lockdown as restrictions ease

Italy began easing its coronavirus restrictions on May 4. Before that, the country had been carrying out one of the world's strictest lockdowns, and the country is still urging people to follow social distancing. Business Insider talked to a handful of people throughout Italy about how they had been navigating the lockdown and what they were doing with some of their new freedom.
13th May 2020 - Business Insider

Teachers in France paint squares to enforce social distancing for school children

Teachers in France are using paint and chalk to ensure social distancing measures are enforced as students return to school this week. France is gradually lifting stay at home measures following two months of coronavirus lockdown. Teachers have been told they must wear face masks and classes are capped at 10 students at preschools and 15 elsewhere. Images of school children playing in 'isolated squares' in Tourcoing, northern France were taken by Lionel Top, a TV journalist with the BFM news channel, on Tuesday. He said the children had been told to stay in their zones.
13th May 2020 - Evening Standard

Coronavirus: ‘Heartbreaking’ photo shows nursery children in France forced to play in isolation chalk squares after lockdown

A photograph of nursery school children sitting apart from each another in squares drawn on the ground in chalk has caused sadness and outrage in France. The picture was taken by TV journalist Lionel Top on Tuesday in the northern town of Tourcoing, on the border with Belgium. It shows a group of seven children trying to play while being isolated by chalk squares. Around 1.5 million elementary and primary school pupils returned to classes this week after the French government relaxed restrictions after almost two months of coronavirus lockdown.
13th May 2020 - The Independent

France Seen Facing 5,000 More Deaths in May as Lockdown Eases

France’s tentative exit from lockdown will probably allow coronavirus infections to rebound, leading to more than 150,000 new cases and 5,000 deaths this month, according to researchers at the business school Insead. As restrictions ease and the virus circulates more actively, the number of new Covid-19 cases will likely start rising again, Insead’s Phebo Wibbens and two colleagues said in a report. To bring new daily infection numbers to just 100, France would have needed to prolong its lockdown by three months, according to their statistical model.
13th May 2020 - Bloomberg

Bus drivers fear for safety as lockdown eases

Bus drivers have expressed concerns over their safety as lockdown measures ease and passenger numbers rise. The Office for National Statistics said road transport drivers had "some of the highest rates of death" involving coronavirus of any working group. Forty two London transport staff, including 12 bus workers, have died after contracting Covid-19. People in England are being encouraged to return to work if they cannot work at home, but avoid public transport.
13th May 2020 - BBC News

Russian factory workers return after Putin eases coronavirus lockdown as cases surpass Britain's tally

Factory and construction workers in Russia were set to return to work on Tuesday (May 12) after President Vladimir Putin ordered a gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown measures despite a sharp increase in new cases of the novel virus. Putin, in a surprise announcement on Monday, said it was time after six weeks to lift nationwide restrictions that had forced many people to work from home and businesses to temporarily close. He made the announcement on a day when Russia overtook Italy to become the country with the fourth-highest number of cases in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
13th May 2020 - The Straits Times

South Korea sticks with virus lockdown rollback despite nightclub outbreak

South Korea health authorities said on Wednesday they had no immediate plans to reinstate strict social distancing rules despite a fresh coronavirus outbreak in the capital of Seoul.
13th May 2020 - Reuters

New Zealand Sees No New Coronavirus Cases for Second Day Ahead of Lockdown Relaxations

New Zealand reported zero new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the second day in a row without any new cases and the fourth day since early last week. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it was encouraging news as the country prepares to ease many of its lockdown restrictions from midnight. Most businesses, including malls, retail stores and sit-down restaurants, will be able to reopen. Social distancing rules will remain in place and gatherings will be limited to 10 people. "The sense of anticipation is both palpable and understandable," Bloomfield said
13th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus: Hollywood looks to New Zealand amid US Covid-19 crisis

Segments of Hollywood are looking to move to New Zealand's near-Covid-free shores as the country's film industry stands to win big in coming months. New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Annabelle Sheehan's optimism is matched by BusinessNZ, Equity NZ, and the Wellywood councillor in charge of economic development. Sheehan said 47 local productions with a spend of around $200 million were stalled or unable to start when lockdown hit. That was on top of seven or eight international projects in production or about to start, employing about 3300 people and spending just under $400m.
13th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Lockdown life in New Zealand, the bubble that 'beat' coronavirus

Some might have been tempted to complain that such restrictions were draconian. But Ardern relayed the order with clarity and empathy. On that day she also introduced "the bubble", a concept to help New Zealanders visualise who they might have close contact with during lockdown - typically just their own household. The concept made social distancing into something tangible, like a two-metre shell protecting anyone who ventured outside. "Be strong, and be kind," the prime minister said that day, a five-word slogan that would come to symbolise the country's unity during the lockdown, as messages like "be kind" or "kia kaha" (te reo Māori for "be strong") were etched in chalk on pavements by children, while teddy bears were left in windows as part of a nationwide game of I-spy.
13th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Investors Optimistic as New Zealand Begins to Exit Lockdown

New Zealand equity investors are among the most positive in the region as Kiwis begin to exit from one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns. The nation’s stock market is the second-best performer in the Asia-Pacific since global benchmarks plunged to their March lows, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A fading infection count and moves to unwind virus restrictions have helped unwind virus restrictions and helped the market recover about 27% from its trough, trailing only South Korea’s 33% improvement.
13th May 2020 - Bloomberg

People Return to Sidewalk Cafes in Northeastern Spain as Lockdown Restrictions Eased

Restaurants, cafes, and some nonessential shops have reopened in Spain as parts of the country moved into “phase 1” of the nation’s coronavirus reopening plan on May 11. El Pais reported the government announced that more than half of the country’s population will be able to visit loved ones, attend funerals, go shopping without a prior appointment, and have a drink at a street cafe. In some regions, according to the report, restaurants and cafes can open their terraces at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 10 people per table.
12th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus Australia: Victorians wake to relaxed COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

Victorians can now invite five friends or family members over, attend mass or tee off at their favourite golf course, as the state officially relaxes its coronavirus restrictions. As of 11.59pm on Tuesday, Victorians can invite five friends or family members over to their home, but Premier Daniel Andrews has warned it is “not an invitation to host a dinner party every night of the week”. “It’s not about having a rotating roster of acquaintances and associates, or your third-best friend from primary school over for a visit,” he said earlier in the week.
12th May 2020 - 7NEWS.com.au

France reports 348 new Covid-19 deaths as country emerges from lockdown

People wearing protective face masks walk at the financial district of La Défense near Paris as France begun a gradual end to a two-month nationwide lockdown intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus causing Covid-19
13th May 2020 - RFI English


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Italy Emerges From Lockdown. Slowly.

We spoke to journalist Greta Privitera back in mid-March, a few weeks after she and her family isolated themselves at home in northern Italy. Now, with Italy taking baby steps toward normalcy, Greta says she’s enjoying her walks outside, she still worries about another surge in COVID-19 cases. And by the look of things, she’s not alone.
12th May 2020 - Slate

As lockdown eases in Rome the banal, everyday things mean so much more

Italians, however, are not used to spending the majority of their time inside. Which is why I am equally proud and amazed at how well the Romans have been cooperating during this period. Instead of protesting and condemning the restrictions imposed upon them, they have shown their will to fight to preserve their country and its culture at all costs. Coming up with mantras like “Andrà tutto bene” (It’s all going to be okay), singing from balconies and rooftops, and building neighbourhood support networks for those in need, they have shown the world that the communal Italian spirit grows even stronger in the face of adversity.
12th May 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus: An Italian grandmother's first trip outside after lockdown

Italy is one of several European countries which has started easing its lockdown. People across the nation were confined to their homes for almost two months. BBC World Service joined one 77-year-old grandmother as she ventured out for the first time in many weeks.
12th May 2020 - BBC News

People Return to Sidewalk Cafes in Northeastern Spain as Lockdown Restrictions Eased

Restaurants, cafes, and some nonessential shops have reopened in Spain as parts of the country moved into “phase 1” of the nation’s coronavirus reopening plan on May 11. El Pais reported the government announced that more than half of the country’s population will be able to visit loved ones, attend funerals, go shopping without a prior appointment, and have a drink at a street cafe. In some regions, according to the report, restaurants and cafes can open their terraces at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 10 people per table. Video taken in Zaragoza, in northeastern Spain, on May 12 shows local residents sitting at outdoor cafes and restaurants, following the guidelines to socially distance from one another. Local news website heraldo.es reported that many terraces did not open from May 11 because some establishments won’t make enough money from the tables they would have provided.
12th May 2020 - News.com.au

‘Shop till you drop?’ Luxury stores back in business as France eases lockdown

Only half of the avenue’s shops were open Monday, Edouard Lefebvre said, reflecting the extensive preparations needed to safely receive customers and the hesitant steps many people took toward pre-pandemic routines. “Clients won’t come back on day one. It takes time to get used to coming back to the Champs-Elysees, to come back to Paris,” Lefebvre said in an interview with the Associated Press. Still, pictures of long lines standing outside luxury stores, posted on social media later in the day, suggested many shoppers were willing to take the plunge.
12th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

French primary pupils trickle back to class after eight-week lockdown

Across France, primary school pupils on Tuesday sat at least a metre apart in small classes and listened to teachers in masks on their first day back after two months of home-schooling during the coronavirus lockdown. The lessons, though, did not cover maths or grammar, but hygiene amid a public health emergency: wash your hands, don’t touch your face and keep away from each other. That was the new reality as some 1.5 million elementary and primary pupils - roughly one in every four - returned to class as France tentatively emerges from lockdown. But with less than two months of the academic year left, some parents, teachers and their unions have questioned the wisdom of reopening schools when the virus continues to circulate, especially in the greater Paris region.
12th May 2020 - Reuters

French teachers anxious as schools gradually reopen after Covid-19 lockdown

Thousands of French schools started to reopen this week as the country emerged from an eight-week lockdown to contain Covid-19. Teachers prepared for pupils according to a strict protocol – with masks, hand sanitiser and markings on the ground for social distancing. But some worried that the measures might not be enough to keep staff and children safe.
12th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Coronavirus: Hairdressers among businesses to reopen in France

France has begun to ease its lockdown, and thousands of businesses have started to reopen. Among the businesses reopening are hairdressers. One salon owner in Paris spoke to the BBC about the safety of her staff, and the economic challenges she is facing.
12th May 2020 - BBC News

Paris bans drinking by the Seine after crowds celebrate lockdown-easing

Parisians have been banned from drinking alcohol on the banks of the Saint-Martin canal and the Seine river after police were forced to disperse crowds just hours after an eight-week coronavirus lockdown was eased. Many city dwellers stuck in flats without balconies, terraces or gardens for almost two months turned out on Monday evening to celebrate. Photos quickly circulated of unmasked revellers gathering by the water in the French capital. On the orders of the interior ministry, Paris’s police prefect issued a ban, saying it “deplored” having to do so in an indignant press release reminding everyone that the success of the déconfinement rested on “the principle of each citizen’s individual responsibility”.
12th May 2020 - The Guardian

Factory workers in Russia resume work after Putin eases coronavirus lockdown

Factory and construction workers in Russia were set to return to work on Tuesday after President Vladimir Putin ordered a gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown measures despite a sharp increase in new cases of the novel virus.
12th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Can I drive somewhere else to exercise or walk my dog? Lockdown rules in UK explained

Across the UK, different approaches to lockdown are being adopted - so knowing exactly what you can and cannot do as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread can be confusing. Under government guidance, people are allowed to leave their homes for exercise - but does this include driving to a beauty spot or park to run or walk your dog? Here’s what you should know.
12th May 2020 - iNews

Welsh tourism hotspots 'inundated' with booking requests after lockdown easing in England

Owners of hotels and hostels across Wales say they've been inundated with people trying to book accommodation over the coming weeks after it was announced lockdown restrictions would be eased in England. It comes after Wales’ three National Park Authorities are calling on all UK residents to respect rules and measures in place in Wales to protect everyone.
12th May 2020 - ITV

Ardern thanks 'team of 5 million' as New Zealand reopens schools and offices

New Zealanders will begin easing back to normality this week as almost two months of strict lockdown comes to an end following the country’s successful battle against Covid-19. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the country would downgrade from Level 3 to Level 2 restrictions on Thursday, allowing schools to reopen, workers to return to their offices, and restaurants and retail stores to resume trade. Recreational and competitive sport could also restart, and libraries, playgrounds and museums would open. Bars would reopen on 21 May, Ardern said, as they have been deemed “high-risk” by the director-general of health, and social gatherings would be limited to 10, including at weddings and funerals.
12th May 2020 - The Guardian

'A return of worry': relief mixes with anxiety as New Zealand eases lockdown

“The announcement of moving to Level 2 will bring a sense of relief for many. However, for a significant number the return to work and school may bring about a return of worry and anxiety,” Dr Dougal Sutherland, a clinical psychologist at Victoria University of Wellington said. “Despite the obvious downsides, Levels 3 and 4 did bring a sense of protection and security for some who suffer from anxiety. As we emerge from the shadows of strict lockdown old fears about becoming unwell may reappear. Triggers for anxiety that have lain dormant for weeks, such as the fear of social evaluation by others, may arise again.” With many having lost their jobs or been forced to take pay cuts, Level 2 may also drive home the stark reality of the social and economic consequences of the pandemic, Sutherland said.
12th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: New Zealand deserves Covid-19 level 2, with all of its confusing weirdness

Kiwis have overwhelmingly backed the Government's moves thus far, but that patience is not eternal. As the days with almost no new cases continue to stack up the streets of our major cities already look more and more crowded. The next decision day will be in two weeks' time. With the economy mostly back to normal then, the lobbying to ease restrictions further will be a lot more muted. But if the Covid-19 case numbers are still looking as good as they have for the last week then, New Zealand will want to have a party. And we'll deserve it.
12th May 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Coronavirus: Commuters pack London Tube platforms after PM's lockdown announcement

Commuters have packed some London Underground trains the morning after the prime minister revealed his plan for easing the lockdown in England. Footage showed platforms at Canning Town and Queensbury stations on the Jubilee Line filled with passengers early on Monday morning. A Tube driver, who asked to remain anonymous, said there was "no social distancing going on".
11th May 2020 - Sky News


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COVID-19 Cases Increase After Lockdown Suspension In Zambia

Zambia has recorded 100 cases of the novel coronavirus within the past twenty-four hours a development which comes immediately after that country’s president, Edgar Lungu had reopened the economy.
12th May 2020 - ZimEye

Wear face coverings, UK says, as lockdown easing mired in confusion

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a cautious plan on Monday to get Britain back to work, including advice on wearing home-made face coverings, though his attempt to lift the coronavirus lockdown prompted confusion and even satire. The United Kingdom has one of the world's highest official COVID-19 death tolls and, after criticism that he was slow to impose a lockdown, Johnson is wary of triggering a second wave of infection. "Our challenge now is to find a way forward that preserves our hard-won gains while easing the burden of lockdown," he told the House of Commons. "This is a supremely difficult balance."
11th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Stay away from Lake District despite easing of lockdown, police say

Police in the Lake District have urged people to “take a long hard look at your own conscience” and stay away from the national park – despite the prime minister telling people they can drive to beauty spots for exercise in England from Wednesday. Parts of Cumbria have the highest coronavirus infection rates in the UK, prompting fears that the relaxation of lockdown will lead to a further spike.
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

Confusion in Italy as it enters 'Phase Two' lockdown

Italy finds itself divided at the beginning of the so-called "Phase Two" of its lockdown. Some like the 'new normal' based on the measures announced by prime minister's Giuseppe Conte's government, while others do not. Experts, lobbies, and citizens consider some of its aspects both arbitrary and unreasonable . From last Monday (4 May), for instance, it is now allowed to visit family members - provided they live in the same region. "The law allows me to visit my second cousin, whom I only meet at Christmas, but not my dearest friend, whom I have known since I was nine-years old", complains Francesca, a 27-years-old Sicilian shop assistant, to EUobserver.
11th May 2020 - EUObserver

'We cannot afford another lockdown': Italy's cautious return to work

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and it is now one of the first beginning to ease its draconian lockdown measures to lessen the economic damage of the crisis. Last Monday the country began cautiously moving out of its tough lockdown with factories, building sites and offices reopening and citizens allowed to leave their houses for exercise. The government has planned a phased reopening with shops allowed to open from 18 May and restaurants and bars scheduled to re-open fully in June.
11th May 2020 - City A.M.

Outdoor terraces open as lockdown eases in much of Spain

Spaniards returned to outdoor terraces at cafes and bars on Monday as around half of the country moved to the next phase of a gradual exit from one of Europe's strictest lockdowns.
11th May 2020 - AFP on MSN.com

Gloved and masked, Belgians head back into shops after lockdown

Belgium allowed most of its shops to reopen on Monday with strict hygiene rules for customers, following in the footsteps of Spain in an easing of its eight-week lockdown as the number of COVID-19 cases fall.
11th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Spanish regions poised to exit lockdown

Spain is finally ready to begin lifting its strict lockdown restrictions after being forced into quarantine for the last couple of months in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. Late last week, the Spanish government unveiled a detailed map revealing which parts of the country will be allowed to advance to the first stage of the government’s plans for lifting the restrictions.
11th May 2020 - TheMayor.EU

Uncertainty looms as more businesses open in Spain under Phase 1

Spanish restaurants, cafés and stores were preparing to reopen or expand business on Monday as parts of the country moved into Phase 1 of the coronavirus deescalation plan. The move comes with a series of conditions to prevent a spike in transmission after Covid-19 deaths and infections declined from their peak in early April.
11th May 2020 - EL PAÍS in English

Coronavirus: Midnight opening for hair salon to mark France’s emergence from lockdown

So eager was Marc Mauny to reopen his hair salon after nearly two months of lockdown that he threw open its doors at the stroke of midnight on Monday and promptly received his first customer. As France battled to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Mr Mauny's salon in Mayenne, about 167 miles west of Paris, had to close under a government order that allowed only food stores, tobacconists and pharmacies to keep trading. A scheme to gradually relax the restrictions means that starting from 11 May, other business can now reopen, providing they put in place safety precautions.
11th May 2020 - Independent

France School Reopening Offers Dystopian Window Into Post-Lockdown Lessons

Teachers and parents in France have voiced concerns about president Emmanuel Macron’s controversial decision to reopen schools on Monday. Under strict protocols imposed by the government, parents will need to take the temperature of their children before arriving at school, lesson times will be staggered to avoid student contact, and class sizes will be limited to allow for a metre (3.2ft) spacing between desks. Despite being one of the countries hardest hit by coronavirus, France is one of a handful of western European nations to restart lessons, with Italy and Spain both delaying the return of students until at least September, while the UK is yet to give a date on the resumption of classes.
11th May 2020 - HuffPost UK on MSN.com

Shops and salons return as France eases its coronavirus lockdown

France took its first steps out of lockdown today as shops, factories and hair salons reopened amid alarm over scenes of overcrowding on public transport. People were also being allowed to travel up to 60 miles from their homes and some schools and nurseries were permitted to reopen. The relaxation of one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns is due to be followed by further measures over the coming weeks to take the country closer to normality after recording 26,383 deaths and 177,094 cases.
11th May 2020 - Evening Standard

'I'm a little frightened': Parisians edge their way out of lockdown

It nearly did not happen at all. According to local media, the government hesitated until the last minute before finally confirming last week it would lift the lockdown in the French capital and its surrounding area, the country’s most densely populated region and the hardest hit by Covid-19. Unlike most of the rest of France, classified green, and to a much greater extent than the three other regions coloured red for high-risk – broadly the country’s north-east quarter – the coronavirus is still circulating in and around Paris, where Covid-19 patients currently account for more than 10% of admissions to emergency care wards.
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

Outdoor terraces open as lockdown eases in much of Spain

Fearing a resurgence in cases if restrictions imposed in mid-March are lifted too quickly, the authorities decided that neither the capital Madrid nor Barcelona -- the two worst affected regions -- would be included on Monday in this first phase. A region can progress to the next phase depending on the evolution of the pandemic -- which has claimed nearly 27,000 lives in Spain -- as well as the capacity of its health care system to respond to a fresh wave of infections. One of the worst-hit countries, Spain plans a phased transition through to end-June to the end of its lockdown measures.
11th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Live: Millions cautiously emerge from eight-week lockdown in France

France cautiously emerged from one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns on Monday, allowing non-essential shops, factories and other businesses to reopen for the first time in eight weeks. Schools in France will be re-opened in phases and people can now leave home without government paperwork, although documentation is still needed for rush-hour travel around Paris. Although some trains and stations in the wider Paris region have been worryingly crowded, France's first day post-lockdown is "going as it should", the country's transport secretary, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said. The government has called for caution to avoid a sudden spike in cases amid the lifting of restrictions.
11th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Coronavirus live: France takes first tentative steps out of lockdown

Coronavirus infection rates will rise after lockdown rules relaxed, says French MP. Boris Johnson under fire for 'confused' lockdown strategy speech. Spain loosens restrictions further but prime minister warns of danger that virus could spread Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine also easing lockdowns to various degrees More than 130 detained after protests against coronavirus restrictions in Germany
11th May 2020 - Euronews

Coronavirus: Relief and fury as France comes out of lockdown

France took its first tentative steps out of lockdown today amid widespread criticism of President Macron’s handling of the pandemic. Restrictions were eased to allow the opening of businesses, shops and primary schools, but many employees stayed at home amid concern that a return to work could provoke a new wave of infections. Fears that the end of the lockdown would lead to congestion on roads around Paris proved unfounded at rush hour, a clear sign that people had continued to work from home.
11th May 2020 - The Times

In the press - ‘Return to abnormal’: French newspapers mark the end of lockdown

As France ends this nearly two-month lockdown period, many papers are taking a moment to recognise the essential workers that made it possible for us to get through it. "Thank you for everything" is the front-page headline from 20 Minutes. Papers are saluting healthcare workers, but also cashiers, custodians, delivery drivers and volunteers. "If we’re starting up again it’s thanks to them," writes Le Parisien. The paper is being sold along with a single-use mask today for readers in the Paris area.
11th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Germany: Infection R-rate still above 1, but restrictions still lifted

Germany's coronavirus reproduction rate has remained above 1 for the third day in a row. The news comes as lockdown measures are being relaxed across the country.
11th May 2020 - DW (English)

Can I visit my family and friends? Australia’s coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions explained

Can you get takeaway coffee with a friend? What about visiting your family or parents, or going fishing? Laws to stop spread of Covid-19 seem to change daily and in some states carry a big fine. Untangle them with our guide
11th May 2020 - The Guardian

Australians less ideological about COVID lockdown than Americans

Voters in Australia are far less partisan in their support of lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 than their American counterparts. Research led by the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney has found that Republican Party voters in the US are more likely to oppose lockdowns than their Democrat counterparts. In Australia, the measures have received far greater bipartisan support. Researchers attributed the united support in Australia to the bipartisan backing and trust in advice from medical experts.
10th May 2020 - Sydney Morning Herald


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 11th May 2020

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Italy, the first country in Europe to enter lockdown, starts to emerge

Magda vergari, co-owner of the Bar La Lastra in the hills above Florence, used to sell 80 to 100 pastries a day. “Now, I’m ordering 20,” she says gloomily. Despite an easing of Italy’s strict covid-19 lockdown on May 4th, her sales of coffee are also running at a quarter of the normal level. The problem is that customers are not allowed to enjoy their breakfast cappuccino and brioche at the counter. The new rules preserve social distancing, and only allow bars and restaurants to offer takeaways. Ms Vergari’s regulars must consume their purchases in the street outside
9th May 2020 - The Economist

South Australia takes first steps toward opening up

The resumption of local sport and travel within South Australia are two of the state's top priorities. "We've got one shot to get this right, so there will be a sensible, logical easing of restrictions," Premier Steven Marshall said. But as the state opens up, it could still close down further to outsiders, with Police Commissioner Grant Stevens looking at toughening border restrictions even further.
9th May 2020 - 9News

No, Sweden isn't a miracle coronavirus model

We do know that Sweden’s COVID-19 journey hasn’t been exceptional. Like other countries, it has experienced a surge in deaths in care homes, where about one in three virus deaths are estimated to have taken place. Visiting relatives and staff are expected to "self-regulate” but, according to reports, they don’t always do so. The Swedes have also had a lack of systematic testing and equipment shortages. Things might have been even worse without the Swedes’ demographic and cultural defenses. This is a population that does social distancing already in many ways. More than half of the country lives in single-person households, working from home is common and access to fast broadband is everywhere. But Swedes are becoming increasingly unconcerned about keeping their distance as time goes on, as images of packed restaurants indicate. Public health officials have warned about their behavior. In Stockholm they’ve threatened to shut bars and restaurants.
9th May 2020 - The Japan Times

Pakistan lifts lockdown amid jump in virus cases

The latest development comes two days after the prime minister Imran Khan said he was ending the lockdown in phases because his government was unable to financially help those millions of people who rely on their daily earnings to survive and feed their families. Khan says he tried to financially help the country’s poor amid the pandemic, but he was unable to support all those who lost their jobs due to the lockdown. So far, Khan has bowed to pressure from the country’s powerful clerical establishment by allowing mosques to remain open, even as the number of new cases has recently increased.
9th May 2020 - WMDT

China’s export rose and imports plunged amid lockdown restrictions to curb the coronavirus

Even though China is curbing the virus spread, demand seems to be a major concern for the country, according to economists. Though there has been some rise in the demand, the low-income group have been the worst hit by the lockdown restrictions on movement. Services expenditure will be lower compared to last year as people would be reluctant to go to malls, to dine or to move along with family.
9th May 2020 - WION

World gambles with looser lockdowns, risks coronavirus resurgence

With the new coronavirus exacting an economic toll unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s - wiping out millions of jobs and raising the spectre of unrest and hunger - governments around the world are trying to chart a way out of prolonged lockdowns and beginning to phase out restrictions. But without a vaccine or widespread testing to identify and isolate cases, health experts warn some leaders are taking a "gamble" that could result in a new surge of infections and deaths. "We are in uncharted territory," said Dr Annelise Wilder-Smith, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. "Governments are having to strike a balance between this virus and the negative impacts of lockdowns on societies, including economic downturns, societal strife and mental health concerns. It's a large experiment."
9th May 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Despite COVID-19 lockdown wiping off US$420bn from China's retail market, rebounding sentiment will boost H2 spend, say analysts

China started to ease the lockdown from 18 March 2020 and completely lifted it on 8 April 2020 in Wuhan city, the epicenter of the outbreak. Shopping malls, restaurants and retail stores in the country rushed to reopen to recover from the losses during lockdown. According to the Ministry of China, approximately 80% of restaurants and over 90% of commercial facilities had resumed operations across the country by 3 April. However, despite easing the restrictions, many consumers remain confined to homes due to the fear of infection, affecting businesses that are fully operational again but now do not have the required traffic to trade profitably. Customer traffic at a Walmart store in Shanghai had registered less than half of usual levels on 28 March, 10 days post lockdown, while electronics retailer Suning.com also received half of the usual customer volume at some of its physical stores. H&M recorded a sales decline of 23% for the week commencing 26 March 2020 against the same week in 2019 despite 99% of its stores being open.
9th May 2020 - Retail Times

The Latest: Pakistan lifts lockdown amid jump in virus cases

Pakistan has begun lifting the weeks-long lockdown that was enforced to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as authorities reported another big jump of 1,637 cases which rose to 27,474 with 24 new fatalities. Army soldiers who manned roadside checkpoints along with police since late March when the lockdown was enforced, were seen leaving for their barracks in the capital, Islamabad and elsewhere in the country on Saturday. The latest development comes two days after the prime minister Imran Khan said he was ending the lockdown in phases because his government was unable to financially help those millions of people who rely on their daily earnings to survive and feed their families.
9th May 2020 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

The two countries that show life beyond lockdown isn't what people think it will be

Life as we know it in much of the world has been turned upside down by the coronavirus. But two countries have been widely held up as examples of how to handle a pandemic: South Korea and Germany. Their approaches were markedly different -- but each is now in the enviable position of being able to ease restrictions imposed to quash the spread of coronavirus with some confidence that infections won't immediately spike again. So how are they preparing to return to "normal" life? In one word: Cautiously. And those watching enviously from other countries may notice that much remains far from normal.
8th May 2020 - CNN

New coronavirus cases in China and South Korea as world lockdowns ease

China and South Korea both reported more coronavirus infections Friday after reopening economies damaged by devastating outbreaks. Governments around the world are opting to accept the risks of easing pandemic-fighting restrictions, that left huge numbers of people without income or safety nets. In the US, some governors are disregarding or creatively interpreting White House guidelines in easing their states’ lockdowns and letting businesses reopen.
8th May 2020 - ExpressandStar.com

France to start 'very gradual' easing of lockdown from May 11

France would start to ease restrictions on movement from next Monday through "a very gradual process" which would stretch over several weeks at least to avoid a resurgence of COVID-19, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed on Thursday. "Following the data of the past few days, the gradual lifting of the confinement can be started on May 11. This is a new step in the fight against the epidemic," Philippe announced. "We must be very vigilant because an eventual resurgence of the virus will be very difficult for our country. That's why we opted for a progressive process," he stressed.
8th May 2020 - China.org.cn

Lifting lockdown: what Britain can learn from the rest of the world

As Boris Johnson considers easing the lockdown, he will look at neighbouring countries to help inform his decision. To limit the spread of coronavirus, governments have mostly followed the same script: as deaths increase, restrictions on people are strengthened. However, the speed of implementation has varied widely between countries. New data helps to visualise how Britain stopped short of taking the same steps as its European neighbours. Collated by the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, the data records how quickly different countries reacted to the pandemic. Each is rated according to a “stringency index” on which stronger measures and more decisive action earn higher scores.
8th May 2020 - The Times

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.Using an Australian word for a duvet, Mr Morrison said: "You can stay under the doona forever. You'll never face any danger. "But we've got to get out from under the doona at some time." He said the states will set their own pace in easing coronavirus restrictions. Each step will likely be separated by a four-week transition.
8th May 2020 - Sky

Covid 19 coronavirus: Why New Zealand had to go into lockdown

The story and document explanation of why New Zealand acted swiftly and moved the country into lockdown to combat the coronavirus
8th May 2020 - New Zealand Herald

France vows to 'test massively' as it relaxes lockdown

Olivier Veran said France will be able carry out 700,000 PCR tests a week for the virus from Monday when it begins the fraught process of relaxing its almost eight-week lockdown. The minister said the authorities—which have been heavily criticised for the lack of mass testing—now have enough capacity to cover the needs of the whole population.
7th May 2020 - Medical Xpress

Coronavirus Italy: Beaches open as lockdown eased

Italy began relaxing its coronavirus lockdown this week, after 50 days under one of Europe's strictest regimes. 4million people returned to work as public spaces were reopened and markets allowed to start trading. Social distancing continued after PM said freedom is dependent on people keeping each-other safe. Further easing will come on May 18 when Masses will restart, as governors push for shops to open sooner
7th May 2020 - Daily Mail

Spain's Reopening Is Stricter Than America's Coronavirus Lockdown

Here in Spain, even easing measures leaves them stricter than in most of the United States.
7th May 2020 - Foreign Policy

Germany eases lockdown, with 'emergency brake' on hand if needed

Declaring an end to the first phase of the pandemic in Germany, Merkel said there was still a long way to go in the battle against the virus, which has battered Europe’s largest economy. The government will decide on an economic stimulus package in June, Merkel said, adding this was a “very ambitious” time frame.
6th May 2020 - Reuters UK

How Singapore's second wave is exposing economic inequalities

Pandemics have a way of exposing softness in any national underbelly. “Epidemic diseases are not random events which afflict societies capriciously,” as Yale’s Frank Snowden writes in Epidemics and Society (2019), a book on the history of such diseases. “Every society produces its own specific vulnerabilities.” In Singapore’s case it took a few months for Covid-19 to hone in on the country’s migrant workers. Now those daily WhatsApp messages pointedly break down infections into subcategories, to make it clear that only a small proportion of cases are actually Singapore citizens. The vast majority of the rest fall within a group described as “work permit holders (residing in dormitories)”.
6th May 2020 - New Statesman

Anger as Italy slowly emerges from long Covid-19 lockdown

Last week, after Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, outlined plans to slowly ease the country’s quarantine, millions of people were overcome with feelings of anger and disappointment as their hopes were dashed by what many described as a “false reopening”. Italians will now be able to travel within regions to visit relatives, provided they wear masks, but schools, hairdressers, gyms and many other commercial activities will stay closed; cafes and restaurants will offer takeaways only; and all travel between regions will be banned except for work, health or emergency situations. Restrictions on funerals have been relaxed, with a maximum of 15 mourners allowed to attend, but masses and weddings will have to wait.
3rd May 2020 - The Guardian

With Coronavirus Lockdown Lifted, Chinese Splurge on Big Luxury Brands

Overall spending by Chinese shoppers was down for the quarter, Mr. Guiony said. That is because Chinese shoppers do most of their luxury spending on trips abroad to European capitals, big U.S. cities and elsewhere. With international travel locked down, it is unclear when Chinese will have the chance, or the desire, to splurge again overseas.
16th Apr 2020 - The Wall Street Journal


Lockdown Exit - COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis - 8th May 2020

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COVID-19: how Asia-Pacific is emerging from lockdown

Countries all over the world are announcing their plans to emerge from COVID-19-inflicted lockdown, and the Asia-Pacific region is no different. Even countries like Thailand and Viet Nam, that have not suffered a heavy infection rate or death toll, must now reckon with the economic damage caused by the pandemic, and are eager to cautiously reopen their schools and get people back to work. Here is a roundup of measures announced from countries and economies in the Asia-Pacific area:
8th May 2020 - World Economic Forum

What Canada can learn from Hong Kong’s Covid-19 successes

Professor Samuel Yeung-shan Wong says Canada should follow Hong Kong by supporting public mask wearing and testing all arrivals at airports for coronavirus A study by Wong, published in Canada, says Hong Kong’s aggressive contact tracing and quarantine measures also helped restrict the spread of the disease
8th May 2020 - South China Morning Post

How to stay safe on public transport under Italy's lockdown phase two

Italy's health ministry has issued new guidance on reducing the risk of infection when using public transport. The Italian government has also stated that masks must be worn when using on all forms of public transport. In addition to this, the Italian health ministry on Wednesday published official advice on staying safe when using public transport – assessed by workplace injury insurance agency INAIL.as being a “medium-high risk" environment for coronavirus infection, the Ansa news agency reports. The risk rises to “high” during peak times in urban areas, the insurers said.
7th May 2020 - The Local Italy

France to test controversial Covid-19 tracking app during lockdown exit

As France awakens from lockdown on 11 May, the government will start testing “under real conditions” a prototype for its much-criticised StopCovid contact tracking phone app, ahead of the product’s intended full roll-out on 2 June. The app works by using Bluetooth to interact with nearby phones and detect when users come into contact with potential coronavirus carriers. It generates an anonymous numerical ID that’s exchanged with other smartphones also running the app. The ID of anyone who tests positive is red-flagged, and a warning is then sent to those who have crossed paths with the infected person. The app does not, however, reveal details about where and when the encounter took place – unlike similar technology in China, geolocation data is not recorded. The use of StopCovid – developed in France by researchers and companies under the supervision of the government – will be purely voluntary, but it needs to be widespread if it’s to play any meaningful role slowing the epidemic.
7th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Coronavirus: Private renters facing ‘tsunami of evictions’ once lockdown ends, charity warns

Shelter says that those relying on benefits must find an estimated £13m a week in total to keep up with their rent payments. The government has suspended evictions for the duration of the crisis, but thousands could be forced out of their homes when the lockdown ends. Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, has warned of a “tsunami of evictions” amid the “serious financial difficulty” that people across the country are now facing. “As renters lose their jobs and see their incomes hit, many will have to rely on the welfare safety net for the first time,” she said. “Our services are already hearing from families in homes they could comfortably afford under normal circumstances, who are now in serious financial difficulty. “We’re facing an onslaught of people suddenly unable to afford their rent, at a time when people need to stay put and cannot safely move to a cheaper home.
7th May 2020 - MSN

Hugs, rugby on agenda as New Zealand continues to ease lockdown

Super Rugby in New Zealand is poised to resume when the country relaxes its COVID-19 lockdown, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday, with bars, retailers and schools also set to open. Ardern is due to announce next Monday whether New Zealand will move to 'Alert Level 2', which allows significantly more freedom than Kiwis have experienced since lockdown began in late March. While she stressed no decision had yet been made, Ardern acknowledged New Zealand's success in containing the virus had put it in a good position to cautiously relax the rules. "Think of ourselves as halfway down Everest," she said. "It's clear that no one wants to hike back up that peak and the descent is known to be even more dangerous."
7th May 2020 - FRANCE 24

Coronavirus: Lockdown bites poor as France eases grip

The government will set out on Thursday how it plans to lift restrictions on movement on Monday. But for many the damage from one of Europe's strictest lockdowns has been done. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe gave details of the changes on Thursday. The plan is to divide the country into red and green zones, with different rules for different places. "From Monday we will progressively unwind the lockdown that started on 17 March... but the country is cut in two, with the virus circulating more quickly in some regions, notably in the Paris region, which is very densely populated," the prime minister said.
7th May 2020 - BBC News

Exiled Parisians face bittersweet homecoming as France eases Covid-19 lockdown

Two months ago, some 1.2 million people fled the Paris region in a reverse rural flight that prompted howls of protests from countryfolk fearful of the spreading coronavirus. Now, residents of the French capital and its suburbs have been told they can head back the other way as the country prepares to end its lockdown on May 11. Already, the logistics of their return from exile is a headache for the SNCF, France’s national train operator, which is running a limited service and can only fill 50% of seats to comply with social distancing rules. But the government has pledged to let all Parisians return home, provided they carry a justification form required of all travellers who plan to cover a distance of more than 100 kilometres once the lockdown is lifted.
7th May 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

Parts of Asia that relaxed restrictions without a resurgence in coronavirus cases did these three things

South Korea and Hong Kong successfully relaxed pandemic restrictions without having another rise in cases by data sharing, using targeted testing and contact tracing. The varying results of efforts across Asia to contain the virus and reopen society present policy options and perhaps lessons for countries behind on the outbreak’s timeline. Public health specialists who spoke with CNBC said they’re not confident U.S. officials are taking note of what’s working and not working in Asia.
7th May 2020 - CNBC

Pew-pew woo-hoo! Hong Kong reopens video arcades shut by coronavirus lockdown

Hong Kong will reopen video game arcades as the city begins to ease its pandemic precautions and attempts to kick its economy into a higher gear. The new guidelines, announced yesterday, will allow bars, gyms, beauty salons, cinemas and "amusement game centres" to resume business on Friday with some restrictions. In arcades, operators will either need barriers between machines, or to leave every second console inoperable. The number of people allowed to gather in groups will be raised from four to eight and schools will resume in three phases starting 27 May. The reopening has been ordered because: "In light of the more stabilised situation in Hong Kong in terms of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the recent weeks... a window of opportunity exists for us to lift some of the social distancing measures at the moment," a spokesperson for the Food and Health Bureau said.
6th May 2020 - The Register

Less is more: Chinese consumers look for meaning after lockdown

After almost two months of lockdown and being out of work, Chinese consumers are not shopping as much as they used to.
4th May 2020 - Aljazeera.com


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Tracking the lockdown: what is opening up around the world

National and local authorities around the world are beginning to wind down restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, gradually lifting the lockdowns that have stunted economies,
6th May 2020 - Reuters

Jersey expected to ease lockdown restrictions even further next week

Jersey’s Chief Minister has said the island will likely move into Level three of lockdown next week. Level three has previously been described as a ‘soft lockdown’ with the stay at home order being lifted. Whilst there will be no limit to time spent out of the house, people will be asked to stay and work from home wherever possible. Currently Jersey remains at Level four, where islanders are limited to four hours outside and can meet with two people that do not live in your household so long as you socially distance.
6th May 2020 - ITV News

'This Is Freedom?': Post-Lockdown Italy Not How We Imagined

As lockdown begins to ease, there should be feelings of relief and hope, but the start of Phase 2 in Italy has been tainted by uncertainty and fear. The vague wording of the government’s rules and the continued need for a self-certification form justifying the motive for leaving the house means many Italians are still feeling anxiety about going outside. Those who have been permitted to restart work and reopen businesses have been overwhelmed by stringent safety measures that must be adhered to. Some bookshops, that had been allowed to reopen on April 14, chose to keep the shutters down as sanitizing books and maintaining distancing seemed unfeasible as well as expensive.
6th May 2020 - Forbes

How has Italy reacted to a cautious easing of lockdown?

In the economically disadvantaged south of the country, remaining closed for another month will result in the failure of many commercial activities and will aggravate the economic and social emergency that is brewing. Over the next few weeks, the government will have to find solutions that will keep at bay a second, possibly deadlier wave of coronavirus cases as well as avoiding economic collapse.
6th May 2020 - Euro Weekly News

How are Spanish pubs and bars trading during coronavirus lockdown?

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused significant headaches for countless businesses across the world, in some ways it has brought sectors closer together. With everyone facing the same challenges, now is the time to learn the challenges other operators in other countries have encountered and how they have overcome those hurdles.
6th May 2020 - MorningAdvertiser.co.uk

What to Expect When Lockdown Lifts, According to People in Norway, Germany and Italy

Now that the UK had passed the peak of the pandemic, speculation as to how the government will ease the lockdown has begun. Boris Johnson was originally set to review lockdown guidelines this Thursday, but the review has now been postponed until Sunday – a likely sign that the government is in no rush to get everything back to normal. Indeed, a report released this week from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) outlines the many considerations for easing a lockdown, including the potential economic, psychological and social costs and benefits.
6th May 2020 - VICE

Greeks' relief as coronavirus lockdown eased but fears over impact on vital tourism industry loom

Greece's fate lies instead in the hands of the millions of tourists from the US, UK and other European countries; tourism accounts for 20% of the Greek economy and one in four jobs, according to the country’s national statisticians. Greeks desperately want tourists to return, but at the same time they are worried that they will bring the virus with them. The two most important countries for Greek tourism, Germany and the UK, are both facing severe Covid-19 challenges. Germany saw a rise in cases after it begun lifting restrictions; the UK is now the worst-hit country in Europe. Such is the seriousness of the situation that Dr Tsiodras has mentioned the UK specifically almost every evening during the last few daily briefings. “It’s a paradox when it comes to pandemics and it is related to the [issue of] timely adoption of measures,” the Harvard educated professor told Greeks while trying to explain why fatalities in the UK have surpassed those of tragically-hit Italy.
6th May 2020 - ITV

Coronavirus: Germany opens up again as Merkel hands over to states

Germany will radically loosen its lockdown measures as chancellor Angela Merkel yields to pressure from the leaders of the country’s 16 states to make their own plans for opening up. The draft agreement for the meeting on Wednesday between the chancellor and the state premiers says that schools and shops can all reopen, but under strict new hygiene guidelines, including the 1.5-meter social distancing rules. States can also decide for themselves when they open restaurants, pubs, clubs and gyms, but big events like festivals are banned until 31 August. Already last week, churches, zoos, museums, and playgrounds were given the green light.
6th May 2020 - YAHOO!

Germany clamping down on golf clubs failing to follow safety rules

As golf courses start to reopen across Europe, the consequences of failing to follow strict guidelines aimed at delivering "safe golf" during the ongoing coronavirus have been highlighted in Germany.
6th May 2020 - The Scotsman

Coronavirus: Germany reopens shops as lockdown is relaxed

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany's goal of slowing the spread of coronavirus has been achieved, so all shops can be reopened as lockdown restrictions are eased. Bundesliga football has been given the green light to resume and schools will gradually reopen in the summer term. Germany's 16 federal states, under an agreement with the government, will take control of timing the reopening. They will operate an "emergency brake" if there is a new surge in infections. General contact rules involving will continue for another month. A limited resumption has already begun, but this easing of restrictions is far broader. Two households will be able to meet and eat together, and elderly people in nursing homes and facilities for the disabled will be able to have visits from one specific person.
6th May 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Germany reopens museums, galleries and gardens to the public

Germany has begun relaxing the lockdown measures put in place to control the spread of coronavirus, as officials say the infection rate has been declining for “at least four weeks in a row”. Museums, galleries and gardens, as well as many shops, were allowed to reopen this week. Individual states will decide about gradually opening universities, bars, trade fairs, theatres, cinemas, and more under certain hygiene and distancing rules. A draft document prepared by federal chancellery chief Helge Braun, seen by Reuters, also said amateur open-air sports could restart and schools should gradually reopen from 11 May.
6th May 2020 - The Independent

Coronavirus: Summer holidays abroad possible, German official says

Germans may be able to have summer holidays abroad, the country's tourism chief said, as European nations look at how to handle the summer break. Federal tourism commissioner Thomas Bareiss told Der Tagesspiegel newspaper that if the outbreak stayed under control, people might be able to take vacations abroad soon. Germany was in talks with other nations about summer holidays, he said. European governments are mulling how to handle the upcoming vacation period. More than 100,000 people are confirmed to have died amid the coronavirus pandemic in Europe.
6th May 2020 - BBC News

France’s Covid-19 epidemic continues to decline as end of lockdown approaches

The numbers of patients in hospital and in intensive care continued to decline. Patients in hospital have declined for three weeks, for a total of 24,775, down from a peak at 32,292 on 14 April. The number of patients in intensive care has dropped below half of what it was at the peak of the epidemic, now standing at 3,430, down from 7,148 on 8 April. Confinement measures imposed as of 17 March were to begin easing on 11 May, with officials warning lockdown has to be lifted gradually in order to ward off a second wave of the epidemic.
6th May 2020 - RFI English

Coronavirus lockdown plunges French services into record slump - PMI

IHS Markit’s overall PMI index, which includes services and already published data from the manufacturing sector, fell to 11.1 from 28.9 in March, marginally worse than the 11.2 originally reported. The lockdown, in place since mid-March, is due to be lifted from next Monday, but some restrictions will remain in place, leaving little prospect for a quick recovery for most firms. “Any return to long-term growth rates might be gradual, with consumers taking time to overcome hesitancy surrounding public health before they resume their previous spending habits,” IHS Markit economist Eliot Kerr said.
6th May 2020 - Reuters UK

How Slovakia Flattened the Coronavirus Curve With a Model Lockdown

Why isn’t Slovakia overrun by the coronavirus? Experts that I spoke to credit three main factors. The most important was the government’s quick decision to institute a national lockdown effective March 16, 10 days after the country confirmed its first coronavirus case. The lockdown included the closure of all schools, restaurants, bars, and shops except for grocery stores, pharmacies, and banks—as well as a ban on all public events and gatherings. The lockdown measures have only worked because of the second factor: an immediate and universal compliance by the Slovak population.
6th May 2020 - Foreign Policy

Britain’s Johnson Says Lockdown Announcement to Come Sunday

Boris Johnson assured members of the House of Commons they would be fully informed and would be given opportunity to question him or members of the government about any decisions. He said it would be “an economic disaster” for Britain if restrictions were lifted in such a way as to trigger “a second spike” in COVID-19 infections. Johnson said the government would work with the government in Scotland, the opposition, unions and business "to make sure we get the un-lockdown plan completely right."
6th May 2020 - VOA News

Coronavirus latest: Germany can be bold easing restrictions, Merkel says

Poland will postpone Sunday's presidential election, the country's governing parties announced on Wednesday. A new date for the election will be announced "as soon as possible," ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and coalition partner leader Jaroslaw Gowin said in a statement. "Having in mind Poles' safety, due to the epidemic, the elections will be held by postal vote," they said.
6th May 2020 - DW (English)

Covid 19 coronavirus: How Australia's businesses are preparing to leave their lockdown

No more shared cookie jars, fewer meetings, staggered start times and temperature checks before you leave the house – Aussies may be heading back to work, but the office will never be the same. On the plus side, hot-desking will likely be a thing of the past as the world makes the transition to "post-Covid workplaces", where hygiene, safety, social distancing and regular cleaning will take the driver's seat after decades of cost-cutting measures. And millennials who entered the workforce in the "open plan" era may soon be getting their first taste of the cubicle.
6th May 2020 - New Zealand Herald

U.S. States Roll Back Restrictions as Lockdowns Ease Across Asia

Swathes of the country remained under lockdown, and tensions escalated in some places over the restrictive policies that are designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Public-health officials have cautioned that lifting restrictions too hastily could lead to a surge in new cases. Before states reopen, they say, the number of new cases should fall under a certain threshold and state leaders should have a robust testing capacity in place and develop contact-tracing teams. Guidelines from the Trump administration recommend governors take steps toward reopening after they see a decline in documented cases or positive tests over a two-week period.
1st May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal


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Coronavirus: Italian workers swap lockdown for lockout | News

Italy’s efforts to breathe life into its crippled economy have been dealt a blow with the discovery that less than half the workers allowed to return to work on Monday actually got there. Of the 4.4 million people permitted to resume their jobs this week as the country’s coronavirus contagion slows, fewer than two million were taken back by employers, Rocco Palombella, the head of Italian union UILM, said. “People didn’t go back because companies cannot start full production when the market has collapsed,” he said.
6th May 2020 - The Times

Coronavirus: Several provinces begin to slowly loosen lockdown restrictions

Some provinces began easing their COVID-19 lockdowns on Monday, but top health officials cautioned many of the changes Canadians have made to their daily lives to slow the spread of the illness are here for the long haul. “It’s not over,” said federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu. “It is a cautious reopening in certain provinces and certain sectors, but … the new normal will have to include new ways of living, new ways of working that will protect us in this unique and difficult time.”
5th May 2020 - Global News

Sweden still hasn't locked down. But normal life is a luxury for only a few

I think there will be more restrictions in the near future, but I have a hard time imagining a complete lockdown. Swedes, who are too accustomed to their freedom, would protest. I don’t believe in a full lockdown; I think social distancing works to slow things down and flatten the curve. But it’s important to keep the economy rolling without risking more lives, and I know it can seem impossible to do both. “There are a few critical times in life when you must make sacrifices, not just for your own sake, but also for those around you, for your fellow human beings, and for our country,” said Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, in a national address on March 22.
5th May 2020 - National Geographic

German museums and shops open as lockdown eased

Cabinet minister Peter Altmaier told us in a Newsnight interview there had been "a decline in infections, for now, at least four weeks in a row". Noting that there is no German word for "serendipity", Professor Robert Kaufman of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology said: "We apparently did not have hotspots, it spread slowly and we were lucky." Applying its large-scale testing capability and tracing of thousands of early cases, Germany contained its infection at a relatively low level. So now restrictions are being relaxed. Religious services resumed on Sunday, many shops were able to reopen on Monday, some museums will follow on Wednesday - as well as cabinet decisions about further easing of the rules.
5th May 2020 - BBC News

Milan emerges from lockdown a different city

Italians are very wary and business is slow as some coronavirus-related restrictions are relaxed in Italy
5th May 2020 - Financial Times

Austria coronavirus under control despite lockdown easing

Austria's health minister said Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic in the country was under control, three weeks after it began to ease a strict lockdown. "The situation is very constant, very stable," Rudolf Anschober said, adding the daily increase in new infections had shrunk to 0.2 percent, down from up to 50 percent in mid-March. Small shops and hardware and gardening stores reopened in mid-April after a month-long lockdown though wearing masks in shops and public transport, and practising social distancing became mandatory. Bigger shops followed suit this weekend, and restrictions that largely forbid people from leaving their homes were lifted. Classes in schools are resuming this month, and restaurants are expected to reopen by mid-May. Anschober said the first phase of lockdown lifting had succeeded "excellently", but reminded people to remain vigilant despite more easing measures.
5th May 2020 - Medical Xpress

Spain's path out of Covid lockdown complicated by polarised politics

On Wednesday, Pedro Sánchez will once again ask Spanish MPs to approve an extension of the state of emergency that underpins one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns in Europe. If recent days and parliamentary sessions are anything to go by, the prime minister will not be in for an easy ride. At a time when opposition parties elsewhere in Europe are rallying around the flag, the adversaries of Sánchez’s socialist-led coalition are using the virus as a cudgel.
5th May 2020 - The Guardian

Europe’s reopening road map: How 11 countries are beginning to lift lockdowns

Europe is gingerly trying to get back to business, with restrictions loosening across the continent as the spread of the coronavirus slows. The German Spy Museum in Berlin opened its doors for the first time in weeks, bars in central Rome began offering takeaway services, and shaggy-haired Austrians flocked to barbers’ shops in Vienna. With Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Germany all relaxing some of their restrictions on Monday, Europe is settling down to a new normal as it returns to public life. It’s slower and less dynamic than before, and some restrictions will remain in place for weeks or even months, with face masks—ranging from clinical coverings to brightly colored homemade varieties—a ubiquitous reminder of the changes.
5th May 2020 - Fortune

Sweden state epidemiologist 'not convinced' no lockdown was right call

The strategy architect isn't sure it was the right call not to introduce a lockdown. The state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet he was "not convinced at all" and his team was constantly examining how it was going and what else should be done. He also said it was important to "be humble all the time because you may have to change," according to The Independent. Sweden has introduced only a handful of rules and has left places like parks and restaurants open, but its death toll is much higher than neighboring countries'.
4th May 2020 - Business Insider

How Germany's states are pushing to relax coronavirus lockdown measures

Germany is this week further easing restrictions put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus. Hairdressers and barbers are now allowed to open their doors after weeks of forced closure, and lots of school pupils are getting back to the classroom. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders agreed to allow church services again, and to reopen playgrounds. Museums and zoos can also reopen. There have to be strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place for the reopening of all facilities.
4th May 2020 - The Local Germany

Italy coronavirus lockdown restrictions relaxed as millions return to work

More than four million Italians were allowed back to work on Monday, while cafes also reopened in Europe's coronavirus epicentre. It marked the end of the the continent's first and longest, keeping people from their jobs and loved ones. Fabrizia Maselli was allowed to make the short 15-minute walk from home to visit her mother for the first time since the start of March, for an emotional reunion.
4th May 2020 - ITV News

‘The biggest shock was fresh air’: Italy begins cautious exit from virus lockdown

“I literally haven’t been out of the house,” said Rina Sondhi, who lives in the Umbrian town of Orvieto. “The biggest shock for me was the fresh air. Today I feel liberated, but with caution – that’s the important thing, we can have the freedom but we must be really careful.” An estimated 4 million people returned to work on Monday as part of what the Italian government called the second phase of the country’s coronavirus emergency, with the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, appealing to the public in a Facebook post on Sunday night to “act responsibly”.
4th May 2020 - The Guardian

Italy Starts Easing Lockdown, Rebooting Its Stricken Economy

Move to reopen will test whether one of Europe’s largest economies can restart without igniting a new surge in infections
4th May 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Coronavirus lockdown: Nigerians cautious as restrictions eased in Lagos and Abuja

In Nigeria, some businesses have reopened on the first working day after the easing of a lockdown imposed on key urban areas in a bid to restart Africa's largest economy. But the main doctors' association described the move as "very premature". In the commercial hub, Lagos, traffic jams were absent, indicating that many were remaining indoors. Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari said the measures had imposed "a very heavy economic cost". The lockdown began five weeks ago to contain the spread of coronavirus. As many in the big cities live a hand-to-mouth existence, the restrictions led to fears that it could leave people hungry as it cut off their means to earn money.
4th May 2020 - BBC News

Europe is in a new phase of reopening, but it's hardly a return to normal

The Italian government said that to fully reopen stores, bars and restaurants it must slow the reproduction rate of the coronavirus to 0.5, meaning that each infected Italian is infecting less than one other person (an "R0 value" of 1, for instance, means that every infected person is infecting one other person). To reopen theaters, conventions and stadiums, Italy wants the number to be as close as possible to 0. Currently the figure is around 0.6-0.7 nationally. Restaurant, bar and store owners around Italy were last week "handing over their keys" to local mayors in protest over the slow reopening, and Conte apologized on Friday for a delay to financial aid payments to businesses impacted by the pandemic. A joint letter from 13 of the 20 Italian regions last Wednesday asked the government "to guarantee the possibility of reopening activities to all those who respect the measures already provided" by the lockdown decree. "It's clear that health is the first essential objective, but it can't be the only one," the letter added.
4th May 2020 - CNN

Erdogan says Turkey to start easing coronavirus restrictions as of Monday

Turkey will start easing coronavirus containment measures as of Monday, President Tayyip Erdogan said, lifting intercity travel restriction in seven provinces and easing a curfew imposed for senior and youth citizens at the weekend after weeks. Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Erdogan said senior and youth citizens will be allowed outside for 4 hours for one day a week starting this weekend and that travel restrictions would be lifted for seven cities, excluding Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. He said shopping malls, barber shops and some stores will be allowed to open on May 11 as long as they abide by normalisation rules, adding that universities would return to their academic calendar as of June 15. But, Erdogan warned that the government would impose much harsher measures if the normalisation plan is not followed.
4th May 2020 - Reuters

Italy's St. Mark's Square Already Packed Again as Lockdown's Lifted

One of Italy's biggest hot spots -- for tourism, not coronavirus -- is packed again as the country's citizens rush out of nearly 10 weeks of lockdown. St. Mark's Square in Venice was filled Monday as Italy enters its phase 2 ... which allows visiting relatives within the region, taking part in funerals and exercising outside while maintaining social distancing. There's little social distancing going on in the Square ... but, on the other hand, almost everyone is wearing a face mask.
4th May 2020 - TMZ

‘My soul is dancing’: Spain comes out to play after Europe's strictest lockdown

On Saturday, Spaniards took to streets and beaches as they were finally allowed out to exercise, after quarantine. On the Costa del Sol, Lola Culsán joined them
4th May 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: Spain's capital Madrid adjusts to new normal

"I'm so glad to be finally able to walk outside for a bit," she says. "The people I work for are nice and treat me well but 48 days inside is a long time. "I'm grateful I could carry on working as many have lost their jobs."
4th May 2020 - BBC News

Italy, France, Spain ease lockdowns after low coronavirus deaths

Italy, France and Spain are all beginning to loosen their stringent, weekslong coronavirus lockdowns. It comes as all three countries on Sunday reported their lowest coronavirus death and new infection rates in weeks. These countries are among the hardest-hit in Europe, with Italy being the world's coronavirus epicenter for much of March. All three countries have imposed strict lockdown measures since mid-March. Now, many aspects of normal life are being eased back in. Restrictions to travel, exercise, shopping, dining, funerals, and working patterns are all being reconsidered or partially lifted.
4th May 2020 - Business Insider

Spaniards soak up sun after lockdown eased, as daily death toll lowest in 6 weeks

Spain is gradually beginning its de-escalation from the strictest lockdown rules in Europe, with adults allowed outside for solo exercise near their homes for the first time since the confinement began on March 15. Four islands in the Canaries and the Balearics will be the first to transition to so-called "Phase One" on Monday, which will see a further opening up of small businesses and lifting of restrictions on movement.
3rd May 2020 - CNN

France, Italy and Spain prepare to ease coronavirus lockdowns

The Guardian (late April) takes a closer look at European opening plans
26th Apr 2020 - The Guardian


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Coronavirus Northern Territory: Restrictions to be lifted in NT

Outdoor weddings, funerals and even playgrounds will be back in business under a “new normal” strategy being prepared in every state and territory across Australia and one of the safest regions has predicted its plan will provide a template for the nation. “Because being the safest in the nation means being the first in the nation to get back on track. Back to business, back to work, back to enjoying the great Territory lifestyle.” Promising a “new normal” by early June, Mr Gunner said the Territory could offer a model for other parts of the nation.
30th Apr 2020 - News.com.au

NT Government eases coronavirus restrictions on weddings, bars, gyms and funerals

From noon Friday, people in the NT will be able to use public swimming pools, waterparks, go fishing with friends and play golf. From midday on May 15, Territorians can head back to the gym, borrow a book from a public library, get their nails done or dine at a restaurant or cafe. On Friday June 5, the Government will lift its two-hour time limit and ease its restrictions on indoor activities, which means people can get a tattoo, visit a nightclub, and play team sports such as basketball and soccer.
30th Apr 2020 - ABC News

Germany faces having to bring BACK strict coronavirus lockdowns as cases surge just days after easing them

Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases, also urged caution. “Let's ensure we can continue to defend this success we have achieved together," he told a regular briefing. "We don't want the number of cases to rise again. Let's, insofar as is possible, stay at home, let's stick to the reduced contact."
30th Apr 2020 - The Sun

Slovenia to ease coronavirus restrictions, gradually reopen schools

Slovenia will from Thursday lift a restriction imposed at the end of March that prohibited citizens from travelling outside their local municipalities. Education Minister Simona Kustec told national TV Slovenia later on Wednesday that schools and kindergartens, which have been closed since the middle of March, would gradually start reopening from May 18. The government said earlier that hairdressers and beauty parlours, as well as outdoor bars and restaurants and a number of shops, would be able to open from Monday. Libraries and museums are also expected to open on Monday. Large public events, including large sports gatherings, in Slovenia and the rest of Europe would “most probably” only be possible after a vaccination or medication for the coronavirus is discovered and widely used. He also called on citizens to remain disciplined in the coming weeks to prevent the spread of the virus.
29th Apr 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus: Health officials urge vigilance as countries ease lockdowns

As governments move forward with plans to ease coronavirus restrictions, health officials around the globe are calling on the public to remain vigilant so that hard-won victories in the battle against the pandemic are not lost.
29th Apr 2020 - Global News

Slovenia to Ease Coronavirus Restrictions, Gradually Reopen Schools

Slovenia will from Thursday lift a restriction imposed at the end of March that prohibited citizens from travelling outside their local municipalities, Prime Minister Janez Jansa said on Wednesday. Education Minister Simona Kustec told national TV Slovenia later on Wednesday that schools and kindergartens, which have been closed since the middle of March, would gradually start reopening from May 18. She did not give details.
29th Apr 2020 - The New York Times

Cyprus unveils road map to easing coronavirus restrictions

Cyprus’ president unveiled a road-map Wednesday for gradually lifting a strict, stay-at-home order over the next month that has until now helped to contain the spread of the coronavirus. But Nicos Anastasiades said that the “danger hasn’t passed,” as health experts note that the virus won’t completely go away any time soon. He warned that “deviations from or acts of ill-discipline” to authorities’ guidelines would lead to a return to lockdown conditions “that nobody wishes.”
29th Apr 2020 - SFGate

Reopening puts Germany's much-praised coronavirus response at risk

But Merkel, like many of the country’s scientists, has pushed back, saying additional weeks of tight restrictions are needed to drive COVID-19 cases lower. “It is the right thing to do to lift some restrictions,” she emphasized. “But the way some states are going forward is rather brisk,” she said. “I would say too brisk.”
27th Apr 2020 - Science Magazine

Coronavirus restrictions will be eased in Queensland on Friday to allow some recreational activities

Queensland will be the first Australian state to ease strict lockdown conditions as the country's effort to flatten the coronavirus curve begins to get results. State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Queenslanders will finally be freed to go for a drive, sit at the beach, have a picnic, visit a national park and shop for non-essential items from midnight on Friday after weeks of restrictions. 'Because we have done such a terrific job of flattening the curve, after discussions with the Chief Health Officer, from next Friday we will be able to lift some of the stay-at-home restrictions,' she said on Sunday morning. Just hours later Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan announced his state would follow, allowing gatherings of up to ten people for non-work activities. Mr McGowan said it was a 'cautious relaxation' of restrictions, acknowledging it had been difficult for everyone, but especially the elderly, to not see family and friends during the pandemic.
26th Apr 2020 - Daily Mail

The big changes coming to your everyday life after Australia's coronavirus restrictions are relaxed

Australian National University microbiologist Peter Collignon last week told Daily Mail Australia pubs and hotels may not return to normal until September - although they could re-open under strict conditions in July. Sign-in and sign-out procedures to maintain contact tracing and a 50 per cent capacity limit at venues are among those measures being discussed by hospitality industry leaders. The implementation of a staggered return to work could also reduce the risk of transmission on buses - accompanied by a ban on standing and preventing passengers from sitting next to each other.
26th Apr 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Cemeteries in NI to reopen

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to reopen cemeteries during the coronavirus pandemic. First Minister Arlene Foster said it was about "balancing public health concerns with the basic human need to visit a loved one's grave". It falls to councils to reopen cemeteries and implement measures that will ensure social distancing. Some councils have announced their plans for reopening this weekend:
24th Apr 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: NI lockdown could lift at different pace, suggests Arlene Foster

Northern Ireland may emerge from coronavirus restrictions at a different pace than other parts of the UK, First Minister Arlene Foster has said. She said measures will be eased when scientific and public health criteria are met, not timetables or dates. That criteria "will be set down and agreed" by the NI executive as well as UK colleagues, she told Cool FM. This could mean "different parts of the UK move in different time" to other areas.
23rd Apr 2020 - BBC News

Scott Morrison announces the first coronavirus restrictions to be relaxed

Several types of elective surgery, dental procedures and IVF will resume next week as Australia begins the road out from coronavirus restrictions. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision to allow 25 per cent of operations to restart marked a step towards normal life. But, in a sign that normality is still far away, beachgoers in Sydney's east were yelled at by lifeguards to 'keep swimming' because they are only allowed to use the beach for exercise and can face $1,000 fines if police catch them milling around.
21st Apr 2020 - Daily Mail

Coronavirus: Queues at shops as Germany begins to ease coronavirus lockdown

Germany has taken the first steps to lifting its lockdown, by allowing some smaller non-essential shops to reopen. Shops no larger than 800 square metres were allowed to resume business on Monday morning, along with bookshops, car showrooms and bike stores. It follows an agreement reached last week between local and central governments over the coronavirus restrictions. Despite the lifting of some COVID-19 measures, Germany's government has stressed the move is an early step in the process.
20th Apr 2020 - Sky News

Coronavirus: Trump unveils plan to reopen states in phases

Trump issued guidelines for reopening states after lockdown called 'Opening up America Again' based on three phases to gradually ease lockdowns. Phase One avoiding non-essential travel, not gathering in groups, but large venues such as restaurants, places of worship and sports venues can open under strict physical distancing protocols. Phase Two would permit resumption of non-essential travel. schools and bars to open with diminished standing room occupancy. Phase 3 permits public interactions with physical distancing and unrestricted staffing of worksites. Vists to care homes and hsopitals can esume and bars can increase standing room capacity - the science would drive the decisions at governor and state level
17th Apr 2020 - BBC News