As protesters flood streets across the country, officials worry that they could be spreading the virus.
Mass protests over police violence against black Americans in at least 75 U.S. cities have spurred concern that the gatherings will seed new outbreaks.
Speaking on CNN, Atlanta’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said she was concerned that the protests could increase infections in communities of color, which are already being disproportionately hit by the disease. Death rates among black Americans are double those of whites, and the economic toll of lockdowns has also inflicted disproportionate economic pain.
“I’m extremely concerned we are seeing mass gatherings,” Ms. Bottoms said. “We’re going to see the other side of this in a couple of weeks.”
Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, echoed those concerns. Mr. Hogan told CNN the gatherings of “thousands of people jammed in together in close proximity” could lead to a spike in cases.
Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor of global health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, urged protesters to take safety precautions, including wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.
On the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, noted that Minnesota had seen an uptick in cases before the protests. He also predicted that the protests would ignite chains of transmission.
“This country isn’t through this epidemic,” he said. “This is continuing to expand, but at a much slower rate, but it’s still expanding.”
Dr. Theodore Long, who is leading New York City’s contact tracing efforts with its public hospitals agency, urged anyone who had been involved in the demonstrations to get tested for the virus.
The protests, spurred by the killing of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police, are pulsing through a country ragged with anger and anxiety. More than 100,000 Americans who were infected have died, and some 40 million are out of work.
The outbreak has inflicted disproportionate health and economic tolls on black and Latino communities.
“To have corona, and then this — it’s like a gut shot,” said Jimmy Mills, a barber in a working-class area of Minneapolis.
The protests could affect planned reopenings. Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County said on Sunday that the unrest had prompted him to keep local beaches closed, rather than reopening on Monday as scheduled.
This week, as global coronavirus cases pass six million, many nations are entering a pivotal period, giving students, shoppers and travelers more freedom to return to some sense of normalcy after months under lockdown.
Greece, seeking to bolster its crucial tourism sector, announced one of the more aggressive reopening plans. After initially announcing on Friday that it would allow entries from 29 countries whose outbreaks were mostly contained, it shifted to allow flights from all countries.
From June 15 to June 30, the Greek foreign ministry said on Saturday, the flights will go to Greece’s two largest airports, in Athens and Thessaloniki. Passengers from the 29-nation list, including Germany, Australia and South Korea, will be subject to random tests. Those flying in from countries deemed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency to have a high risk of virus transmission will be tested.
As of July 1, all Greek airports will reopen to international flights, with random screening for all passengers. Arrivals by sea will be allowed as of July 1, also subject to random testing.
In Britain, more stores will be allowed to open starting Monday, and small groups from different households can meet outdoors. Primary schools will open in England with new social-distancing rules and spaced seating. The government also gave the green light for professional sports to resume under strict protocols, according to government guidelines published on Saturday.
Other countries are creating “travel bubbles,” allowing visitors from nations with low infection rates.
Norway and Denmark will allow leisure travel between the two countries, excluding Sweden, where coronavirus infections are higher. Norway will also allow entry to business travelers from the other Nordic countries from Monday, the government said.
But in Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Sunday that he would ask Parliament for a sixth and final extension to the state of emergency, allowing his central government to keep control over the lockdown in Madrid, Barcelona and other parts of the country until June 21.
Mr. Sánchez told a news conference that Spain needed to “immediately” recover its tourism sector, but that quarantine rules for outside visitors would be kept in place until July 1. “We cannot throw away all the work that we have done,” he said.
Congregations emerge from quarantine to celebrate the Pentecost and to call for change.
In communities from the Deep South to California, congregations that had been sequestered for months ventured forth at a social distance on Sunday in search of comfort, prayer and political expression.
With their sick and elderly at home and their nation wracked by the pandemic, evangelical congregations across California violated state health rules in the name of unity.
“Outside the confines of these walls we hear the sound of a very broken world,” Samuel Rodriguez, the pastor of a church in Sacramento, said.
At least a dozen evangelical churches in California made a coordinated return to church timed to Pentecost, a holy day particularly tied to fundamentalist worship. Some in that group were also seeking to pressure the state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, into dropping a 100-person cap on church attendance that the state had enacted to curb the spread of the disease.
Supporters acknowledged the legal and health risks, but said their congregants’ spiritual health would suffer if they delayed their return to public worship.
“It’s been terrible, an unimaginable tide of grief,” said the Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, the senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, N.Y., said of the moment. Mr. Richardson, who is African-American, noted that during the worst of the pandemic, he was making three to five condolence calls a day.
Still, he said, the church has not, and cannot, abdicate its central role in pushing for positive change. “I think the church has to help make sure it is a wake up call,” he said of the unrest. “The church has had to be a safety net for a society that has ignored the community.”
Nicaragua has resisted imposing lockdown rules. Now the virus appears to be raging through the country.
Nicaragua is one of the last countries to resist adopting strict measures to curb the spread of the virus. It never closed its schools. It did not shutter businesses. Throughout the pandemic, the government not only allowed mass events — it organized them.
Now there are signs everywhere that the virus is raging across the country, though the government insists it has the situation under control.
Long lines have formed at hospitals, and pharmacies have run out of basic medicines. Families of people who die of respiratory illnesses are being forced to hold “express burials” at all hours of the night, for fear of contagion.
Health organizations are struggling to get accurate case numbers. Testing is limited and controlled by the government. Doctors and activists are bracing for disaster, just two years after antigovernment uprisings against President Daniel Ortega turned violent.
Facing withering criticism, the government released a report last Monday stating that critics were trying to sow chaos, and that the vast majority of people in the country, the second-poorest in the hemisphere, could not afford to lose work under a strict lockdown.
Elena Cano said her 46-year-old son, Camilo Meléndez, the facilities manager at the National Assembly building, died on May 19 from “unusual severe pneumonia,” after trying to get medical care several times.
“The whole world has to understand the truth of the crime that our government is committing,” she said.
Once more, the pronouncements arrived in a torrent, though this time they were about rebirth rather than cancellation.
The N.B.A. was planning to start up again in late July. The N.H.L. announced a playoff tournament would take place through the summer. Major League Baseball was continuing negotiations with its players for a shortened season. The N.F.L. was moving toward opening training facilities. Soccer leagues for both men and women in North America were working toward finalizing plans for summer tournaments. Top-tier soccer leagues in England, Italy and Spain announced they would resume play in June.
After months filled with pessimism, hesitation, quiet planning and uncertainty about whether major sports would happen again in 2020, nearly every sport was preparing to come back, provided that work agreements with players could be negotiated and that public health authorities raised no objections.
With reopening plans underway in all 50 states and with elected officials and the public anxious for business activity to resume, league officials had a growing sense that there would be minimal opposition if they moved ahead with plans.
Also, people who work closely with the leagues and team owners said, the financial consequences of not returning, potentially billions of dollars in losses across the leagues, made trying to come back vital.
Pope Francis appeared in person on Sunday to bless a gathering of the faithful in Saint Peter’s Square for the first time since the coronavirus exploded in Italy and the government imposed a national lockdown in March.
“Today since the square is open we can return,” he said to a scattered audience that applauded as he approached an open window of his private study. “It is a pleasure.”
Francis recited the Regina Coeli prayer and gave his blessing to the crowd.
“You know that from a crisis such as this we will not be the same as before,” he said. “Let’s have the courage to change in order to be better than before.”
The pope began reciting the Angelus prayer from the Library of the Apostolic Palace on March 8 because of the pandemic. “It is a bit strange this Angelus prayer today,” he said then, “with the pope ‘caged’ in the library. But I can see you. I am close to you.”
Earlier Sunday, the pope celebrated a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in front of a limited number of worshipers. In his homily, he urged people to fight three enemies: narcissism, victimhood and pessimism, saying that they “prevent us from giving ourselves” during the pandemic.
Most tenants have been able to pay their rent, but those in smaller buildings are struggling more.
Since April, U.S. landlords have looked to the first of the month fearing that tenants would stop paying their rent. For the most part, that has not happened. Despite a 14.7 percent unemployment rate and millions of new jobless claims each week, collections are only slightly below where they were last year, when the economy was booming.
How can this be? Part of the answer is a little negotiation and a lot of government money. The $2 trillion CARES Act, which backstopped household finances with stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits, has kept many tenants current on their monthly balances. At the same time, many landlords have reduced rents or are partly or completely forgiving overdue payments.
At the same time, many of the numbers showing only a slight dip skew toward higher-end buildings. Other surveys show that buildings with poorer tenants have lower collection rates.
And deferrals and partial payments appear to be increasing: Apartment List, a rental listing service, said 31 percent of respondents failed to make the full May payment on time, up from a quarter the month before. Hoping for a swift recovery, many landlords are telling tenants they can pay later, knowing this often won’t happen.
The rate of those who have been able to continue paying rent is unlikely to remain stable without a swift and robust recovery, which is becoming increasingly unlikely, or without another big injection of government money, which Senate Republicans say will not happen anytime soon.
American households were struggling with rent long before the economy went into free fall, and there are signs — from an increase in partial payments to surveys that show many tenants are putting rent on their credit cards and struggling to pay for essentials like food — that this pressure is building.
Air travel has plummeted in the pandemic, but private jet service has not fallen as hard, in part because of a rise in new paying customers.
For years, jet service providers have ferried executives and wealthy leisure travelers who pay high fees for the privacy and security. Now, with business travel curtailed, those same companies are shifting to meet rising demand from people worried about getting on a commercial flight.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest travel times in the United States in years past, traffic in the private jet industry was 58 percent of the volume from the same time last year, according to Argus, a company that tracks aviation data. But commercial flights fared worse, plunging to 12 percent of the 2019 level.
Five weeks ago, private flights had fallen to 20 to 25 percent of what they were the same time last year, said Doug Gollan, the founder of Privatejetcardcomparisons.com, a research site for consumers. “Now to be back to 60 percent of pre-Covid levels shows the people who have access to private travel are getting back out there,” he said.
NetJets, the largest private jet operator in the world, is seeing a rush in interest from new customers, said Patrick Gallagher, its president.
“May is on track to be the best month of new customer relationships that we’ve seen in the past 10 years,” Mr. Gallagher said.
Companies that carved out a niche with private international flights are also reporting an increase. Thomas Flohr, founder and chairman of VistaJet, which has longer-range jets, said the company’s refueling landings in Anchorage, a major stop for transcontinental flights to Asia, were up 250 percent since the pandemic began.
Thousands of maskless vacationers flocked to the Maryland town of Ocean City this weekend as the Greater Washington region began to emerge from a coronavirus lockdown.
As Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland has emphasized, the state is at Phase 1 of his “Roadmap to Recovery,” which includes restrictions to keep the virus from spreading. Among them are a requirement that face coverings be worn inside businesses.
But at the Quiet Storm Surf Shop, a clerk folding T-shirts said, “We make them optional.” On the boardwalk outside, a police officer said that the problem was that merchants have to enforce the mask order, but many are reluctant to alienate their first summer customers.
Not all of the tourists were nonchalant about the restrictions. Sitting on a wall dividing the boardwalk from the beach, Kelly and Dan Goddard, who live in a Baltimore suburb, were wearing masks. Their children were sporting tie-dyed cloth ones sewn by relatives.
“There are a lot of unknowns and not a lot of real clear guidance,” Mr. Goddard said. “But I don’t think people realize how serious things are, or they don’t care.”
Patrick Kingsley, an international correspondent, and Laetitia Vancon, a photojournalist, are driving more than 3,700 miles to explore the reopening of the European continent after coronavirus lockdowns. Read all their dispatches.
PRAGUE — To attend her first play in more than two months, Marie Reslova, a prominent Czech theater critic, drove into Prague, headed to a large vegetable market, parked next to a convertible sports car and switched off her engine.
Soon, actors from the Czech National Theater strode onto a platform a few yards from Ms. Reslova’s windshield.
The play had begun. And she hadn’t even left her car.
The Czech Republic enforced tighter restrictions than most European countries to combat the coronavirus pandemic. For several weeks, Czechs were barred even from jogging without a mask. Even after the government eased that restriction, masks were still mandatory in most other public contexts.
But the country also loosened the lockdown earlier than most — and that has made it a laboratory for how arts and culture can adapt to a context in which some restrictions on social life have been lifted, while others remain in place.
The drive-in theater at Prague’s vegetable market was an ambitious example. To circumvent restrictions on public gatherings, audience members watched plays, concerts and comedy from behind their steering wheels — in a monthlong program that ended with a variety act by the National Theater last Sunday evening, attended by Ms. Reslova.
Across Europe, drive-ins have become a familiar means of circumventing pandemic restrictions. By default, cars keep their occupants socially distanced, leading even nightclub owners and priests to set up drive-in discos and churches.
President Trump told reporters on Saturday that he was postponing a Group of 7 meeting scheduled to be held in the United States next month. Earlier Saturday, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany had said she would not attend in person, citing concerns about the coronavirus.
Mr. Trump also said he wanted to invite Russia to rejoin the group.
Making the announcement while returning from the SpaceX launch in Florida, the president said he also planned to invite Australia, India and South Korea to the summit, with an adviser adding that the idea was to bring together traditional allies to discuss China. He said he now wanted to hold the meeting in September.
“I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,” Mr. Trump said. But his intention to unilaterally invite Russia — which was indefinitely suspended in March 2014 after the annexation of Crimea — is certain to inflame other member nations.
In March, with the coronavirus spreading around the world, Mr. Trump said that the June summit would take place virtually. But he changed plans this month, saying he might invite the participating leaders to Washington as a demonstration of a return to normalcy.
Australia said on Sunday that it would welcome an official invitation, and a government spokesman told reporters that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the United States had made contact to discuss the matter.
Did that donation reach those who need it?
As U.S. unemployment claims exceed 40 million and those filing them grow more desperate, an altruistic instinct has emerged among some people who are more financially secure. Yet the sheer breadth of the pain is almost overwhelming, and the appeals are widespread.
So what is the best way to give money to those who require it for food, shelter and other necessities?
Sites and services like GoFundMe can connect donors with real people, but they may lack vetting of recipients, their back stories or their plans. They also may not make it possible to be identified or anonymous based on the preference of a giver or a beneficiary.
Donors with large amounts to give may want to use tax deductions to increase what they can afford to donate but may not be able to get them through one-off cash transfers.
Two of Islam’s holiest sites reopen to worshipers.
Throngs of Muslim worshipers returned to formal services in Israel and Saudi Arabia on Sunday as two of Islam’s holiest sites reopened for the first time since being closed more than two months ago because of the coronavirus.
At the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third-holiest site, worshipers entering the compound for dawn prayers were greeted by officials who took their temperatures, distributed masks and implored them to follow social distancing guidelines.
“We are depending on your heedfulness,” Omar Kiswani, the mosque’s director, said through a loudspeaker system.
Ibrahim Zaghed, 25, an unemployed resident of Jerusalem, wept as he laid down his prayer mat. “Today is no different than a holiday,” said Mr. Zaghed, who was not wearing a mask. “I feel like a complete person again.”
The compound, which Jews revere as their holiest site and refer to as the Temple Mount, is often at the center of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
In Saudi Arabia, the government said that 90,000 mosques across the kingdom had reopened on Sunday, including parts of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, considered Islam’s second-holiest site. The most revered site in Islam, the Kaaba in Mecca, remains closed.
Imam Kiswani of the Aqsa Mosque, who estimated that about 3,000 people participated in the prayers on Sunday, said that while most followed social-distancing guidelines, some needed to exercise “greater attentiveness.”
Manal Balala, 50, a housekeeper from Jerusalem who was wearing a mask and gloves, was overjoyed as she socialized with her friends after prayers.
“I feel like my soul has been restored,” she said.
Reporting was contributed by Antonio de Luca, Dave Taft, Umi Syam, Alfonso Flores Bermúdez, Frances Robles, Alexander Villegas, Patricia Mazzei, Niki Kitsantonis, Roni Caryn Rabin, Raphael Minder, Karen Zraick, Conor Dougherty, Mark Landler, Stephen Castle, Ron Lieber, Paul Sullivan, Emma Bubola, Jack Healy, Dionne Searcey, Patrick Kingsley, Sharon Otterman, Elizabeth Williamson, Elian Peltier, Yonette Joseph, Hannah Beech, Maggie Haberman, Mike Ives, Aimee Ortiz, Suhasini Raj, Adam Rasgon, Kai Schultz and Derrick Bryson Taylor.
Coronavirus Updates: Trump Hosts July 4 Event at White House
The pandemic has shuttered Broadway through the end of the year (at least), and the United States’ big regional theaters and major outdoor festivals have mostly pivoted to streaming. But many theaters are still finding ways to present live performances before live audiences.
Of course, there is social distancing. Also, in some places, masks. Temperature checks. Touchless ticketing. Intermissionless shows. Lots of disinfectant. And at the Footlights Theater, in Falmouth, Maine, actors will perform behind plexiglass.
But these precautions mean there is dinner theater in Florida, street theater in Chicago, and drive-in theater in Iowa.
“Our commitment is to do live theater — there’s a huge difference between that and seeing something on a computer screen,” said Susan Claassen, managing artistic director of Invisible Theater in Tucson, Ariz., a state that has emerged as a Covid-19 hot spot.
There are also financial reasons for continuing: Some theaters say they cannot survive a year without revenue.
“We’d rather go down creating good theater than die the slow death behind our desks,” said Bryan Fonseca, the producing director of Fonseca Theater Company in Indianapolis. The company plans to stage “Hype Man,” a three-character play by Idris Goodwin, outdoors, for 65 mask-wearing patrons.
“I am hopeful and also very cautious,” Fonseca said, “careful that I don’t create a problem.”
And in New York City, Food for Thought Productions, a company that presents staged readings of one-act plays, plans to restart in a private club on July 13, with attendees required to have taken coronavirus tests.
England’s post-lockdown newlyweds toast ‘surreal day’ over Zoom | Coronavirus outbreak
After three missed hen dos, one lost wedding dress and a guest list savagely trimmed by four fifths, Fiona Sharples and Chris Fisher tied the knot on Saturday in one of the UK’s first post-lockdown weddings.
Kissing outside St Kenelm church in Gloucestershire – unaccompanied by banned confetti – the happy couple said it had been a dream day. Albeit, said Sharples, if that dream was “surreal and exciting and set our heads spinning.”
While an estimated 75,000 UK weddings have been postponed in the last three months, dozens of couples across England decided to celebrate the end of lockdown with their nuptials. Ceremonies adhered to strict rules: no more than 30 attendees, including staff and the registrar, no food or drink unless it was essential for the ceremony and a soft ban on singing and instruments to limit the spread of the virus. Social distancing rather than tipsy flirting was the order of the day.
“We’ve winged it,” said Sharples over videocall, the night before the wedding. “All the things you thought were essentials have gone out of the window. Chris is getting married in jeans and Converse. I only just managed to buy my wedding shoes in Asda. Bridal underwear? Forget it.”
The couple, both 34, met on a dating site eight years ago and have two children together. Fisher, a chef, proposed to Sharples, who works as a community nurse, over a Chinese takeaway in Watchet Harbour, Somerset, last summer. When they originally decided on a 4 July wedding – a date sandwiched between their two birthdays – they had envisaged a big sunny party with around 150 people, a picnic, a disco and massive marquee. In the end, they had four days to throw the event together.
“We had cancelled because of Covid obviously and then, as the rules were relaxed, [the vicar] called us on Tuesday and asked if we wanted to go ahead anyway,” said Fisher. Parents, apart from Fisher’s mum, were not able to attend because they were shielding; livestreaming the event was not allowed in the church because it required extra permissions. Flowers and a cake were donated by friends, and matching rings were sourced by Sharples’ mum.
A wedding dress had been dispatched but did not arrive on time. Sharples was beaming nonetheless: “I’m happy with my old faithful dress”. The day had been “hectic but lovely”. The couple were looking forward to settling down to a wedding tea served by the local chippy and a bottle of prosecco drunk over Zoom while chatting to family.
“People have been really wonderful, we’re lucky to have lots of loved ones helping us,” she said. “I very nearly lost my life in March to Sepsis, and sent my friends off to have my hen do in this big house in Devon without me. We tried to rearrange two different things since then but they got waylaid too.” Sharples shrugged.
“Basically, life’s too short,” said Fisher. “We didn’t have time to think too much about whether we should do the wedding this weekend – it will be more intimate but it’s been taken out of our hands.”
In the longer term, wedding planner Alice Higgins predicts that the industry will be adapting at pace: excess and frippery were out, she says, and a focus on low-key simplicity will become a more established norm in ceremonies to come.
“Weddings are wonderful occasions but they can get overwhelming and that is not how it should be,” she said. “It’s easy for couples to get caught up in the wedding whirlwind, but the Covid situation has made people really focus on stripping back to what is important to them and remembering the wedding is only the start of it – the marriage is what really matters.”
As for Mr and Mrs Fisher, their planned honeymoon was cancelled but an unromantic weekend with their children, Albert, 4, and two-year-old Mallory, in CBeebies Land beckoned. “So instead of going on our cruise and having two weeks of child-free romance in Croatia and Italy, we’ve got two nights booked in an Octonaughts-themed room instead,” said Fiona. The couple giggled. “There will probably be a comedown from all this,” said Chris, “but I don’t think anything will really change.”
Coronavirus: What’s happening around the world on Saturday
- England’s pubs, restaurants and hair salons reopen as lockdown eases further.
- U.K. scraps quarantine for arrivals from about 60 countries, excluding Canada, U.S.
- With cases spiking across the U.S., there’s concern Fourth of July parties will help spread coronavirus.
- Atlantic bubble opens, allowing travellers from within the four provinces to cross borders.
- India records its highest single-day spike in new coronavirus cases.
- Australian authorities lock down 9 public housing towers in Melbourne over outbreak.
The pints are being poured and the unkempt hairdos are being cut and styled as England embarks on its biggest lockdown easing yet this weekend.
In addition to the reopening of much of the hospitality sector on Saturday, including pubs and restaurants, for the first time in more than three months, couples can tie the knot and people can go see a movie at the cinema.
Museums and libraries have also reopened, but gyms, swimming pools and nail bars remain shut. Restrictions on travel and social contact have been eased — people from different households can now go into each other’s homes, for example.
And many of those despairing at what they see in the mirror can finally get their hair trimmed. In all cases, physical distancing rules have to be followed.
Stephanie Headley, the 35-year-old owner of a barber shop in Blaby in central England, was relieved to be back in business for the fist time since the full lockdown was announced on March 23.
Headley said she was a “little bit anxious” and that she has been inundated with booking appointments after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the latest easing of the lockdown last week.
“I can’t wait to see all the dodgy haircuts that have come out of quarantine,” she said.
WATCH | Pandemic creates loss for LGBTQ community:
Globally, the total number of coronavirus cases has now exceeded 11 million, with more than 525,491 deaths from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. Besides the United States, with 2.7 million confirmed cases and more than 129,000 deaths, the world’s current hot spots include Brazil, Russia and India.
On Friday, Florida reported 9,488 new confirmed cases and 67 deaths, a day after setting a new daily record with more than 10,000 cases.
Ten Democratic legislators urged Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday to require Floridians to wear masks. They want the governor to make masks mandatory in public spaces, indoors and outdoors, when physical distancing isn’t possible. The Republican governor has resisted those calls.
The U.S. headed into the holiday weekend with many parades cancelled, beaches and bars closed and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans’ self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, some governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
WATCH | U.S. records biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases:
Beaches that had been open for the traditional start of summer over Memorial Day weekend will be off-limits in many places this time, including South Florida, Southern California and the Texas Gulf Coast.
The U.S. set another record on Friday with 52,300 newly reported coronavirus cases, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have been hit especially hard.
Arizona has reached new peaks in hospitalizations and emergency room visits, indicating the state is intensifying as a coronavirus hot spot. State health officials say the capacity of intensive care units is at an all-time high of 91 per cent. The state reported Friday 4,433 new confirmed cases and 31 deaths. Its total during the pandemic stands at 91,858 cases and 1,788 deaths.
In California, the holiday beach closures began Friday from Los Angeles County northward through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. To the south in Orange County, hugely popular beaches such as Huntington and Newport were to close Saturday and Sunday, while San Diego did not plan any shutdowns. Many beaches in Northern California were open but parking was closed at some to reduce the potential for crowding.
In South Dakota, there were fireworks and a speech to supporters by President Donald Trump with Mount Rushmore as the backdrop. The U.S. president flew across the country to gather a big crowd of supporters, most of them maskless and all of them flouting public health guidelines that recommend not gathering in large groups.
Back in Washington, D.C., Americans were invited to see a fireworks display over the National Mall to mark Independence Day on Saturday. Up to 300,000 face masks will be given away, but people won’t be required to wear them.
The big party will go on over the objections of Washington’s mayor.
“Ask yourself, do you need to be there? Ask yourself, can you anticipate or know who all is going to be around you? If you go downtown, do you know if you’re going to be able to socially distance?” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada
As of 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, Canada had 105,091 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 68,694 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,712.
The Atlantic bubble started Friday, allowing travellers from within the four provinces to cross borders without having to self-isolate for 14 days. Each province has its own set of rules for visitors.
Proof of residency screening — showing a driver’s licence or health card — will be maintained at points of entry.
Visitors from other Canadian provinces and territories must adhere to the local entry requirements in place in each of the four jurisdictions. Other Canadian visitors to the Maritime provinces who have self-isolated for 14 days may travel within the region, but not to Newfoundland and Labrador, said P.E.I. Premier Dennis King.
As of Friday, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are the only Atlantic provinces with active cases, both currently having three, with N.S. recording two new cases this week.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
In the U.K., the easing of a lot more lockdown rules will only apply to England as the devolved nations in the United Kingdom — Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland — have been setting their own timetables for easing lockdown restrictions.
WATCH | Prince William visits pub as U.K. eases COVID-19 measures:
Pub-goers will find the atmosphere rather different from the usual Saturday night. Numbers will be limited, no one will be allowed to stand at the bar and there will be no live music. Patrons will also have to give their details to allow tracers to identify them if anyone later tests positive. Bars will also have to keep a record of customers in case of a local outbreak.
In another relaxation of lockdown rules, two households can now meet indoors as long as social distancing is maintained, and overnight stays are allowed.
Neither Canada nor the United States is on a newly released U.K. government list of countries whose residents won’t have to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Britain.
The U.K. government unveiled the list on Friday. It includes almost 60 countries deemed “lower risk” for the coronavirus, including France, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Travellers won’t have to go into isolation if they didn’t visit any other country or territory in the preceding two weeks before they arrive in Britain.The quarantine exemptions will start on July 10.
While Canada is not on the list, the U.K. said that beginning July 4, Canada will be exempt from its Foreign Office advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks, the U.K. government said on its travel advisory website.
In Germany, animal rights activists on Saturday attempted to block access to a slaughterhouse at the centre of a large coronavirus outbreak.
The slaughterhouse, owned by the Tonnies Group, has been linked to more than 1,000 coronavirus cases in the region, triggering a partial lockdown of two counties.
Police confirmed that about 20 people were protesting outside the entrance to the site. Animal rights activists and labour unions have criticized conditions for animals and workers at the plant, one of the country’s biggest.
Russia on Saturday reported 6,632 new cases of coronavirus, raising the nationwide tally of infections to 674,515.
Authorities say 168 people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10,027.
Indonesia reported 1,447 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto said, taking the Southeast Asian nation’s tally to 62,142, while 53 more deaths took its toll to 3,089.
India on Saturday recorded its highest single-day spike in new coronavirus cases, with 22,771 people testing positive in the past 24 hours.
The country has now confirmed 648,315 cases — fourth in the world behind the U.S., Brazil and Russia. It also has reported 18,655 deaths from the virus. Of the 442 deaths in the past 24 hours, 198 were in Maharashtra state.
Australia’s Victoria state recorded 108 new coronavirus cases Saturday, forcing authorities to lock down nine public housing towers and three more Melbourne suburbs.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said 3,000 people in the housing towers would go into “hard lockdown,” meaning “there will be no one allowed in … and no one allowed out.”
Residents in the Flemington and Kensington housing units will receive deliveries of food and medicine, along with alcohol support.
The suburbs of Kensington, Flemington and North Melbourne will join 36 others in being subject to Stage 3 coronavirus restrictions. Residents can only leave their homes for food or essential supplies, medical care or care-giving, exercise or for work or education.
After a recent flareup, Victoria has 509 active cases of coronavirus with 25 people hospitalized, including three in intensive care.
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