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Coronavirus - 29th May


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Join date : 2011-03-19
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Coronavirus - 29th May Empty Coronavirus - 29th May

Post by Kitkat on Fri May 29 2020, 08:16

Summary for Friday, 29th May

  • More than 200 schools across South Korea are forced to return to online teaching just days after being allowed back in classrooms
  • Most of the affected schools are in an area outside of Seoul which has seen a fresh outbreak of the virus
  • On Thursday South Korea reported 79 new cases within 24 hours - its highest number in two months
  • Japan has seen a new cluster of infections emerge in the south-west, just days after the PM lifted the state of emergency
  • Brazil reported a daily record of 26,417 new coronavirus cases on Thursday
  • Moscow more than doubled the official death toll from Covid-19 for the month of April
  • There are more than 5.8m cases globally and the death toll stands at 359,791, according to Johns Hopkins University

Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the pandemic. We will keep you posted on developments worldwide - moving through the day from our teams in Asia and Australia via Europe and Africa to the Americas.
Here’s what you need to know this morning.

  • South Korea is reimposing some of its social-distancing measures in response to a recent uptick in new infections. Some schools are closing again while hundreds are delaying plans to reopen
  • Japan has seen a new cluster of infections just days after the country lifted the state of emergency
  • Russia has more than doubled the April death toll for the capital Moscow - the city now says 1,561 people died with the disease
  • Brazil has reported a new daily record of 26,417 infections
  • The number of Americans filing new unemployment benefit claims last week was over 2m for the 10th week in a row, with a recent total of over 40m
  • The UN has warned that global tourism may fall by 70% this year
  • Nearly six million people have tested positive for coronavirus worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll has risen to over 359,000.

School's out again - for some - in South Korea

Laura Bicker - BBC News, Seoul
More than 200 schools have closed just days after they re-opened in South Korea after a spike in coronavirus cases.
Some 56 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the past 24 hours, down from a two-month high yesterday of 79 - but the concern is that these infections are close to highly populated areas.
Most of the new cases are linked to a distribution centre in Bucheon, just west of Seoul. The warehouse is run by the country’s biggest e-commerce firm, Coupang, and officials have said the facility was not strictly complying with infection control measures.
Health officials even discovered traces of Covid-19 on workers' shoes and clothes. They have managed to track, trace and test thousands of employees from the centre and there will be further checks on other distribution facilities across the country over the next two weeks.
The fear of infections has forced 251 schools in Bucheon to close after reopening, while hundreds of others have had their reopening delayed.
A student in Seoul, whose mother worked at the Coupang warehouse, was also found to have the virus. Health authorities have re-imposed some restrictions and called for a tighter social distancing campaign over the next two weeks.
Public parks and museums will be closed in Seoul and surrounding cities, businesses are being urged to encourage more flexible working, and people are once again being asked to avoid mass gatherings.
There has never been a lockdown in South Korea - instead the country relied on aggressive tracking and testing measures. Most of the social distancing measures are voluntary but the appeal to the public is an emotional one.
The message is - abide by these measures to let our children go to school and stop the disruption to their education. It’s a plea that has worked in the past. Health officials will hope it works once more.

Japan sees new regional virus cluster

After Japan lifted its state of emergency, there has been a small rise in infections in the south of the country.
The city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka has recorded 22 new infections since the weekend. The national government has sent a response team to prevent it from spreading.
Prime Minister Abe lifted the nationwide state of emergency - which allows governors to push for lockdown restrictions - on Monday, but the prefecture of Fukuoka had its state of emergency lifted on 14 May.

Singapore looks to set up 'travel bubbles'

Authorities in Singapore are considering setting up travel bubbles or "green lanes" with countries where Covid-19 is under control.
Singapore National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said they were in talks with several countries, though "some [are] at more advanced stages, some we're just starting".
He added that people would have to be tested before being allowed to travel."The idea is to have clear protocols that would include testing of travellers from one country to Singapore and vice versa....[then] we can have assurance that the traveller is free from infection and then essential travel can resume."
The key phrase, though, is essential travel - rather than "mass-market" travel or tourism.
"I think [mass-market travel] will take a lot longer to resume," Mr Wong said. "Not just in Singapore, but also internationally."

Moscow doubles April death toll

Moscow's authorities have more than doubled the official death toll from Covid-19 in the Russian capital for the month of April.
The city's health department now says 1,561 people died from the disease - not 639 as initially announced.
The department stressed the new tally included even the most "controversial, debatable" cases.
Russia has had 380,000 confirmed infections - the world's third highest number behind the US and Brazil.
Despite this, Russia's official death toll is only 4,142.

Only one case left in New Zealand

...and the nation has reported no new cases for an entire week.
New Zealand has been hailed a world leader for its efforts to contain the virus - which included plunging into a full lockdown on 25 March when there were no deaths recorded and just over 100 cases.
The Kiwis have since recorded around 1,500 cases and 22 deaths. Last month, it announced it had effectively "won the battle" against community transmission.
As the country further eases restrictions - allowing 100 person gatherings from today - its focus is on potentially opening its borders in a "travel bubble" with Australia.
Experts working on the plans say the bubble could be in place by September.

Philippines to ease Manila lockdown

The Philippines will lift some lockdown measures in Manila, President Rodrigo Duterte has said. The capital region has been under one of the world's longest lockdowns, with restrictions beginning in mid-March.
Most businesses will be permitted to reopen on Monday and public transport will also partially resume. Schools, dine-in restaurants, and tourist spots will remain closed.
The announcement came despite health officials recording 539 new infections nationally, the highest daily toll since the outbreak began.
The country has had more than 15,000 confirmed cases and just under 1,000 deaths. Experts believe that due to limited testing, the actual number might be a lot higher.

Keep working from home, says Australian state

Ahead of a meeting between Australia's prime minister and state premiers, Victoria has ordered all workers who are currently working from home to continue doing so for all of June.
The second most-populous state (which includes Melbourne) has consistently enacted tougher lockdown rules than other states under the tight reins of Premier Daniel Andrews.
On Friday, Andrews said the order was designed to keep office workers off public transport as other restrictions ease. Restaurants and households can have bigger groups of people from next week, and transport data shows movement has increased by 23%.
In neighbouring New South Wales (which includes Sydney) - people have already begun to head into the office on a staggered basis.

Free fares and water for migrants after train deaths

India's Supreme Court has ruled that returning migrant workers should not be charged a train or bus fare - and that state governments must foot the bill.
It also said that Indian Railways will have to ensure that passengers are given food and water, after nine people died in hot carriages.
The court's order on Thursday came amid a rising backlash against the government's handling of one of the world's harshest lockdowns.
Announced with just hours' notice in March, it saw hundreds of thousands of migrants stranded in cities away from their homes when all transportation was halted.
Industries were shut overnight, which meant many lost their livelihoods, with no way of returning to their homes, often hundreds of miles away.
Earlier this month, the government started operating special trains for migrants wanting to get back home.
Local media reported that at least nine people aboard the trains had died this week amid levels of extreme heat. Officials say the majority of those who died had pre-existing health problems.

India's death toll passes China

More people have now died with Covid-19 in India than China, according to latest figures from India's health ministry.
The number of deaths has increased to 4,706 - in comparison, China has confirmed 4,638.
With more than 160,000 total infections, India's cases surpassed China's a few weeks ago.
While India's fourth stage of lockdown is close to an end, it remains unclear what to expect going forward.
Some experts say the outbreak hasn't peaked, and will do so only in June or July.

Rise in Germany's daily infections

Germany has recorded 741 new virus infections over the past day, taking the total to 180,458.
The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 rose by 39 to 8,450.
The number of new infections was almost double what it had been in recent days, while the deaths remained at roughly at the same level.
Like much of Europe, the country is currently easing lockdown restrictions - while keeping a nervous eye out for a possible resurgence of the virus.

African Union repeats debt relief call

BBC World Service
The chairman of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said the pandemic is a major threat to developing countries' efforts to meet their development goals - which include targets on education, health and eradicating poverty.
Addressing a UN meeting, the South African president repeated a call for debts to be halted for a period of two years, and for debt relief.
Last month the G20 group of leading economies, including China, offered to suspend debt repayments from dozens of the world's poorest countries for the rest of the year.

Bollywood actor charters plane for stranded workers

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Sood has also arranged hundreds of buses to take stranded migrants home

Indian Bollywood actor Sonu Sood has chartered a flight to take home more than 170 women who were stranded in a factory in the southern state of Kerala after India announced its lockdown in March.
The sudden announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the year left hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in the lurch, as they scrambled to find a way back home.
Many attempted to walk hundreds of miles. And some, walking under blistering heat with little access to food and water, died along the way.
The 177 women are aboard a flight from Cochin and will land in Bhubaneshwar on Friday morning.
They will be taken in buses to their homes from the airport. When the lockdown was enforced in March, these women were working in the factory - and they've been stuck there since, with limited food and water.
It is not the first time Sood has stepped in to help.
"It gave me sleepless nights when I saw visuals of people walking hundreds of kilometres to reach their villages," the actor told the BBC in an earlier interview.

'Don't go to church, it's a trap, you'll die'

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The opposition figure urged religious leaders not to reopen churches

South Africa's firebrand opposition politician Julius Malema has told South Africans not to fall for the "trap" of going to church - saying they will die after contracting coronavirus.
Malema urged religious leaders not to open churches if they care about the well-being of their people.
And he advised members of his Economic Freedom Fighters party not to attend worship, saying "it's a set-up".
Malema was speaking during a media briefing by the party.

English Premier League set to restart on 17 June

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Manchester City were originally due to play Arsenal on 11 March but it was the first Premier League game to be postponed due to the pandemic

The Premier League is set to restart on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, subject to government approval.
A full round of fixtures would then be played on the weekend of 19-21 June.
All matches will take place behind closed doors and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport or Amazon Prime.
BBC Sport will air four live matches for the first time since the Premier League's inception in 1992.

BBC to show live Premier League games for the first time

Four Premier League games will be broadcast, free to air, live on BBC Sport when the season resumes.
It is the first time since the league's inception in 1992 that games will be shown live by the BBC.
It was announced on Thursday that the league is set to restart on 17 June, subject to government approval.
"This opportunity creates an historic moment for the BBC and our audiences," the director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater said.
As well as the four live games there will be additional Match of the Day highlights programmes.

Rugby team returns to Samoa after two and a half months

Imagine heading abroad for a game with your rugby team, and instead of flying back a few days later - you end up stuck for more than two months because the world just shut down.
That's what happened to the Manuma Samoa rugby sevens team, who played in Perth, Australia, on 14 March in the opening match of their Global Rapid Rugby season.
They lost the match, and on their way home, were stranded in New Zealand.
After weeks in lockdown, they are now headed home. And - after 14 days of quarantine in Samoa - the players will finally be allowed to return to their families.
"It's been a long couple of months for them...there's some pretty happy boys right now," said Seilala Mapusua of the Pacific Rugby Players association.

The latest news from the UK

If you're joining us from the UK, here are the latest stories this morning:

What's the latest sports news?

We reported earlier that the English Premier League is due to resume, with no fans present, on 17 June. Here's the rest of the sports news:

  • Italy's Serie A will return on 20 June, the country's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora has confirmed. The league was suspended on 9 March but players returned to individual training earlier this month before group sessions restarted this week
  • The England and Wales Cricket Board has extended the shutdown on domestic cricket until at least 1 August. The season, due to start on 12 April, was postponed until 28 May and then 1 July. England are set to begin a three-Test series against West Indies on 8 July
  • The Boston Marathon has been cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history. The race had initially been postponed from 20 April to 14 September but Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the race could not be held because of public health fears

Could there be a second wave?

Reality Check
As countries around the world consider when and how to ease restrictions, fears remain of a "second wave" of cases.
The BBC's Reality Check looks back at the best ways to avoid that second - or even third - wave.

What are the new lockdown measures in the UK?

The UK lockdown is starting to be eased after more than two months of restrictions.
Decisions on relaxing the lockdown are the responsibility of each national government, so the new rules are slightly different in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • From Monday in England, you will be able to meet up to six people from different households outside - either in parks or now also in private gardens - as long as you remain 2m (6ft) apart

  • From today in Scotland, members of two different households will be allowed to meet up outdoors if maintaining social distancing. Groups cannot be bigger than eight, and people are "strongly recommended" not to meet more than one other household per day
  • In Wales, the BBC understands that people from two different households will be able to meet each other outdoors from Monday
  • Groups of four to six people who are not in the same household can meet outdoors in Northern Ireland, although outdoor weddings with 10 people present may be allowed from 8 June

Read our explainer to find out more about the new rules.

Croatia reopens its borders to 10 countries

Croatia has reopened its borders to 10 countries including many of its key tourism markets, such as Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.
But any visitors will need to show a negative test for Covid-19 in order to enter.
Croatia has recorded around 100 deaths from coronavirus, and it responded quickly to the outbreak.
The Institute of Public Health published guidelines even before the arrival of a busload of tourists from Wuhan, China, in late January.
But the pandemic has hit the country’s vital tourism industry hard. Salvaging the summer tourism season is likely to be a top priority for the government.
People from the following countries will be permitted to enter without restrictions from Friday: Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Germany.

Australia 'on track' two weeks out of lockdown

It's been a fortnight since Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave the go-ahead to start easing Australia out of lockdown - and so far, things are going according to plan.
Health officials say the nation has only two patients on ventilators, is finding fewer than 20 infections per day from 30,000 tests, and "is in good shape" overall.
"We may see more cases as we relax restrictions but our aim is to make sure that outbreaks are small and controlled," said chief medical officer Dr Brendan Murphy.
With businesses open and public life slowly getting back to normal, there are concerns about public transport. Australia has never advised people to wear a mask in public (initially to protect supplies for health workers) - and says that advice will continue.
While people can wear them, there's no need, Dr Murphy said.
PM Morrison also reiterated interest in opening leisure travel with New Zealand in the near future - and said that travel could even occur sooner than that between Australian states.
Queensland, Western Australia and others have refused to open their borders - despite federal pressure.

Labour: Government breaking test and trace promise

Labour has accused the government of not having a full test and trace system up and running by June as promised.
"We don’t have, for example, the local authority plans all around the country. And the app which was said to be so important is now being described as a cherry on top of the cake rather than something that’s central," shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
England's test and trace system launched on Thursday but a planned contact tracing app is not yet ready to be rolled out across the country.

UK sees almost no car manufacturing in April

British car manufacturing nearly came to a halt in April, down 99.7% on the same month last year.
It was the lowest output since the Second World War, according to industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Just 197 premium and luxury sports vehicles rolled off factory lines, with 45 of those sent to UK customers.
Instead, some plants rejigged to make 711,495 items of personal protective equipment for health workers.
The loss of 400,000 cars that would normally have been made is expected to cost the British car industry up to £12.5bn in revenues.

New South Korea outbreaks a 'crisis situation'

A cluster of new outbreaks in the South Korean capital, Seoul, has been described as a "crisis situation" by health officials.
Most of the new infections are linked to a distribution centre in Bucheon, just west of the city. Traces of Covid-19 have been found on the shoes and clothes of workers at the centre.
At least 56 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours, down from a two-month high yesterday of 79.
But the concern among health officials is that these infections are close to highly populated areas.

The latest global headlines

if you're just joining our live coverage, good morning. Here are the latest coronavirus headlines from around the world:

  • Hundreds of schools in South Korea have closed due to a spike in infections, just days after they reopened to millions of children. Most of the new cases are in Seoul. It comes after officials reported the highest daily rise in new infections in more than two months
  • Brazil, which is at the centre of the Latin American outbreak, has also reported a surge in new cases. It said a record number of infections - more than 26,400 - had been confirmed over the past 24 hours
  • In Lebanon, the security forces will begin issuing fines to anyone caught in public without a face mask. Passengers on public transport risk a fine of around $16 (£13) if they do not wear one
  • Croatia, which has been quick to limit the spread of the virus, reopened its borders to 10 European Union countries, including Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. It is hoping to salvage its vital tourism sector
  • The number of Americans filing new unemployment benefit claims last week was more than two million for the 10th week in a row, bringing the recent total to a record 40m
  • Nearly six million people have tested positive for coronavirus worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll has risen to more than 359,000.

Steps to ease lockdown in England are 'cautious' - minister

From Monday, groups of up to six people from different households will be able to meet outside in England , as the lockdown begins to ease across the UK.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Environment Minister George Eustice was asked about concerns that it was too soon to take the step and could lead to more cases.
Eustice said the government's objective was to keep the R number - the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to - below one. If the R number is higher than one, then the number of cases increases exponentially.
He said the R rate was currently "close to one and that's why we are being very cautious in the steps we are taking".
He said that the risk of transmission outdoors was "much lower" than indoors and you have to be in close contact - at a distance of less than two metres for more than around 15 minutes - for there to be a likelihood of transmission.

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Join date : 2011-03-19
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Coronavirus - 29th May Empty 'Why I spent the lockdown with 70 spiders'

Post by Kitkat on Fri May 29 2020, 10:39

You think you've got it bad ??

Have a look at this poor girl's traumatic situation during lockdown:  scared

'Why I spent the lockdown with 70 spiders'

Caitlin Henderson was working for a spider exhibition when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
The venue closed, and suddenly she was living in lockdown with 70 spiders in her bedroom.  hairpull  run


Posts : 8253
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 29th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th May

Post by Kitkat on Fri May 29 2020, 11:08

How Turkey took control of the virus emergency

Orla Guerin - BBC News, Istanbul
Covid-19 came late to Turkey - on 11 March - but soon spread to every corner of the country. Within a month, all 81 provinces had been affected.
Turkey's became one of the fastest growing outbreaks in the world - worse than China or the UK. There were fears that the death toll would soar, turning Turkey into another Italy, which was then the hardest hit country.
But three months on, that hasn't happened, even without a total lockdown.
The official death toll is 4,397. Some doctors here dispute that, claiming the real figure could be twice as high because Turkey only includes those who test positive. Either way, in the annals of the Covid-19 era, it's a relatively low number for a population of 83 million.

We must be prepared for new outbreaks - WHO special envoy

Coronavirus "has not gone away", and as people's movements increase we have to be prepared "for new outbreaks to build up very quickly", the World Health Organization's special envoy for Covid-19 has said.
Dr David Nabarro told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that as lockdown restrictions are eased, people will have to continue to practice physical distancing as much as they can, and isolate straight away if they get ill.

When might those shielding be able to leave the house?

The World Health Organization's special envoy for Covid-19 was asked about whether those in the shielded category , who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, will have to wait until there is a vaccine until they can leave the house.
Dr Nabarro said he was in the shielded category himself and wanted to be able to see his family.
"I think people will have to make their own choices about the level of risk they want to take," he said.
“I just hope that over time we ourselves will be given the responsibility for making choices, guided by a series of really clear, not so much rules, but sort of directives on what best we can do."

Sweden to resume professional sport

Maddy Savage - BBC News, Stockholm
Professional sports matches have been given the go ahead to take place in Sweden without spectators from 14 June.
Elite athletes of all levels will be able to compete. They will be allowed to travel to different parts of the country for competitions and training, as long as they are symptom-free.
Sweden currently bans gatherings of 50 people and has issued general guidelines against travelling more than one to two hours from home.
However, Sweden’s Minister for Culture and Sport, Amanda Lind, told a news conference that the decision shouldn’t be seen as “us rolling back the recommendations”.
The director of Sweden’s Public Health Agency, Johan Carlson, said that he expected the current ban on large public gatherings to remain in place throughout the summer, indicating that sports fans will have to wait some time before they can attend matches.

What if your mouth is your hand?

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Many disabled people face difficulties adapting their routines to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
How do you deal with coronavirus when you use your mouth for simple tasks, instead of your hands?
Thalidomide Society chairman Geoff Adams-Spink says some thalidomide survivors have been left perplexed after realising how often they use their mouths and feet for tasks.

National Trust to reopen some parks

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Corfe Castle in Dorset is one of the sites scheduled to reopen on 3 June

The National Trust is to reopen some gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland from 3 June.
Twenty-nine sites are due to open to people with pre-booked tickets, with more to follow in the coming weeks.
But only around a third of the usual number of visitors will be permitted in order to maintain social distancing.
All properties and car parks in Wales will remain closed, however, in line with Welsh lockdown rules.
[url='s open]You can find the full list of sites that are scheduled to reopen here.[/url]

British and Australian MotoGP races cancelled

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The 2020 MotoGP season is yet to begin but riders took part in a virtual race event on 29 March

This year's British and Australian MotoGP races have been cancelled because of coronavirus, organisers said on Friday.
The British Grand Prix had been scheduled for Silverstone on 30 August while the Australian round had been due to take place at Phillip Island on 25 October.
"We’re saddened to have to announce the cancellation of these iconic events after finding no way through the logistical and operational issues resulting from the pandemic and rearranged calendar," Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of the commercial rights holder Dorna, said in a statement .

'Time to move on from Cummings row' - minister

Environment Minister George Eustice has said it is time to "move on" from the row over the UK prime minister's chief aide's travel during lockdown .
Echoing other Conservative government ministers, Eustice told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Dominic Cummings had dealt with the issue "comprehensively" on Monday, when the aide defended driving 260 miles from his home in London to County Durham, then taking a second trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son.
However, when asked how many emails he had received from constituents concerned about Cummings' actions, Eustice admitted he'd probably had "well over a hundred".
“That I think is inevitable when you have a big media story that runs for several days," he said.

What's the latest around Europe?

Russia has reported 232 more deaths, its highest number in a 24-hour period, bringing the total to 4,374. New infections, at 8,572, are well down from their peak. That death toll may be under-reported too, as our story on Moscow's decision to revise its number explains .
Swimming in outdoor pools and holding weddings with up to 100 people are now allowed in Austria. After a relatively minor outbreak with 645 deaths in total, restrictions are being lifted fast.
Another meat processing plant in the Netherlands has reported an outbreak - 21 out of 130 staff have tested positive at Van Rooi Meat in the southern city of Helmond.
Spain has decided to move 70% of the country to Phase Two of lifting the lockdown on Monday - cinemas, theatres, concert halls and shopping centres will reopen, in a limited way.
Croatia's reopened its borders to 10 EU countries including Austria, but as Croatia is not on Austria's "white list", returning tourists will need a negative Covid-19 test to come back.

Austrian hotels reopen as lockdown eases

Bethany Bell - BBC News, Vienna
Hotels are reopening in Austria today, in a further easing of the country's lockdown restrictions.
For now they are only open to citizens, but there are hopes that foreign tourists will be able to visit once the borders with neighbouring countries open in mid-June.
There are also plans to mass test hotel staff in order to try and reassure tourists, and banish the memory of outbreaks of Covid-19 at popular ski resorts earlier this year.
The country hopes to test 65,000 hotel workers a week by the beginning of July, and these tests will be paid for by the government.
Theatres and concert halls are also reopening, but audiences are limited to 100 people and strict social distancing rules apply. There are step-by-step plans to increase audience sizes over the coming weeks.

Cancer charity calls for clearer guidance for shielders

A leading cancer charity in the UK has called for the government to provide clearer guidance for those who are shielding and have been asked to stay at home because they are most at risk from Covid-19.
Macmillan Cancer Support's policy director Steven McIntosh told BBC Radio 4's Today programme there had been issues with people being missed off the shielding list or removed without notice.
"So there is a real lack of communication and, in terms of priorities, the guidance and support available to the people who are most at risk and most isolated should be at the top of the list," he said.
"A brief mention in a press conference from the prime minister is not a substitute for working with the organisations who are most in touch with these people to get clear communications about what the next few months of total isolation means for them."
During Thursday's press conference, Boris Johnson said that despite the slight relaxation of the lockdown rules in England, those who have been asked to shield themselves should continue to do so. However, he said ministers were "looking carefully at how we can make your life easier" and hope to "say more on that soon".

Tourists will need tests when Bali reopens

Resty Woro Yuniar - BBC News, Jakarta
Tourists looking to visit the Indonesian resort island of Bali will need to prove they are free of coronavirus before they start their holiday.
The island hopes to reopen in July - but tourists will need a negative test result from their home country, or Indonesian city of origin, before being allowed in.
They will also need to fill in an online form, set up by the local government, to enable tracing in case needed. Bali saw a decline of nearly 100% in foreign tourists arrivals in April, according to Bali deputy governor Tjokorda Oka Sukawati.
However, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said yesterday that tourist destinations shouldn’t reopen “in haste”.
It remains uncertain when Bali will reopen, but Rai Suryawijaya, a member of Bali's Covid-19 economic recovery team, has told BBC Indonesia that the new normal protocols will be applied to Bali in July.
The island had confirmed 420 Covid-19 positive cases as of Thursday, and four virus-linked deaths.

Chancellor in delicate game of economic Kerplunk

Simon Jack - BBC Business Editor
In the family game Kerplunk, a collection of marbles is balanced on top of a lattice of supporting rods.
Players of the game take turns to attempt to remove these supporting rods one by one without allowing the marbles to come crashing down.
That is precisely what Chancellor Rishi Sunak will attempt when he starts to remove the government furlough scheme - the most significant pillar of support for millions of businesses and workers.
Can he delicately and gradually remove it without the economy crashing down as unemployment rockets?
We expect that as soon as today, the government will give more detail on its plan that after July employers bear some of the cost of the Job Retention Scheme.
The JRS, or furlough scheme, is currently paying 80% of the wages of over 8 million workers to the end of October at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of £80 billion pounds.
Read more from Simon here.

'No plan' for Dominic Cummings to leave post

The BBC understands the prime minister’s top adviser Dominic Cummings told No 10 officials this morning that there is no plan for him to leave his post and the situation remains that he’ll decide after an operation that was delayed again in March.
The aide has been embroiled in a row over his travel during lockdown , including a 260 mile journey from his home in London to Country Durham.
It comes after the Daily Mail reported Cummings was considering leaving his job later this year.

Scottish golf courses ready for action

People in Scotland are now able to meet friends and family again as the country begins to ease its lockdown.
People will also be able to take part in some non-contact sports, including golf, which means courses around the country are preparing for play to resume.
Here at The Old Course in St Andrews, staff can be seen readying the greens and fairways.
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Coronavirus - 29th May Empty Re: Coronavirus - 29th May

Post by Kitkat on Fri May 29 2020, 16:16

Care home residents more than half of NI deaths

People residing in care homes have accounted for more than half of Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland, official figures show .
The figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency show that by last Friday, 380 (53.1%) of the 716 deaths it recorded in total had been care home residents.

What's behind the rise in Russian deaths?

Sarah Rainsford - BBC Moscow Correspondent
Russia has reported its highest single-day rise in coronavirus deaths, with 232 fatalities. The surge appears to reflect an increase in people catching the virus in several regions earlier this month.
Outside of Moscow, the majority of deaths were recorded in the southern republic of Dagestan.
It emerged recently that doctors there had been struggling with overflowing wards, minimal protective clothing and a dire shortage of medicines. At least 50 deaths were added to the national count overnight.
The increase comes as the Health Ministry more than doubled its initial count of Covid-19 fatalities in Moscow in April, amid claims that Russia had been under-reporting its statistics.
The ministry said it was applying a "new methodology" and the tally now included cases where an autopsy revealed coronavirus, despite a negative test result. It also said it now included those cases where the virus was a "catalyst" to existing illnesses.
That revision is not yet reflected in the country's overall statistics.

New dates announced for FA Cup ties

England's Football Association has announced that the FA Cup quarter-finals have been rescheduled for the weekend of 27-28 June.
The semi-finals will take place on 11-12 July, with the final set for Saturday, 1 August.
On Thursday it was confirmed the Premier League season would resume on 17 June, subject to government approval.
"The competition has been an integral part of the English football calendar for nearly 150 years, and we’d like to thank the Premier League executive and clubs for their support in scheduling the remaining matches during this unprecedented time," said the FA's chief executive Mark Bullingham.
There have been no FA Cup ties since 5 March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The quarter-final draw, which was made on 9 March, is: Leicester City v Chelsea, Newcastle United v Manchester City, Sheffield United v Arsenal, Norwich City v Manchester United.

When will public toilets be reopened in the UK?

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People have been returning to beaches, parks and beauty spots - and now each others gardens - to enjoy the warmer weather in England and Scotland.
But many are finding public toilets are still closed, leaving them with an urgent question - where do I go when I need to go to the loo?
Even when visiting other people's gardens people in England have been advised to wipe everything down if they do need to spend a penny. But in Scotland people have been urged not to go to other people's homes at all .
The British Toilet Association (BTA), said there would need to be a "complete rethink" of public toilets for the post-Covid age.
We've been speaking to those most affected by the loss of the public toilet and ask those most in the know - what is the future of the public toilet?

Study abroad dreams now in turmoil

Given the restrictions on international travel, it's no surprise that hundreds of thousands of students who were planning to study abroad this year have been left in limbo.
After China, India sends more students abroad to study than any other country .
The BBC's Nikita Mandhani spoke to some of those students who are worried about what will happen next.
"There's a lot of stress and anxiety and tension at this time but not enough clarity," said Meehika Barua, 23, who wants to study in the UK.
Another student said: "It feels a little unfair, especially after spending a year-and-half to get admission into one of these schools."
You can read more here.

Virtual Zoom grandstand allows fans to watch Danish Superliga

Is there anything we do not use Zoom for while social distancing measures are in place due to the cornavirus pandemic?
People have taken to the video conferencing platform for meetings, quizzes and generally keeping in touch with family and friends during lockdown.
Danish Superliga club AGF Aarhus used the technology to bring 10,000 fans to the side of their pitch, despite the season being played behind closed doors, on Thursday.
During their 1-1 draw against Randers, AGF installed a giant screen along the side of the pitch, creating what they call "the world's first virtual grandstand" so fans could support the team for free via Zoom.
Three screens were joined together to make a giant screen with space for 200 fan images at a time.

Pilot lands at military airfield in Wales 'to go to the beach'

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The picturesque beach at Llanddwyn island, off the coast of Anglesey

A pilot of a private plane has landed at a military airfield in north Wales without permission, because he wanted “to go to the beach”.
He’d taken off from Fairoaks Airport in Surrey, and landed at the military site on the Anglesey coast on Monday, according to a report by safety officials.
Wales' restrictions are more stringent than England's - people have been told to stay local and not to drive - and tourists have been urged not to visit.
“The pilot informed the crew manager that he had flown from London to go to the beach", a report by the Defence Aviation Safety Occurrence Report read.
“When informed that this was a military airfield and that the coronavirus restrictions were still present in Wales, the pilot stated that ‘it was okay, because he had it two months ago’."
Scientists believe those who have had the disease may have some immunity to it but it is not known how much or for how long.
The unnamed man - and his aircraft - were allowed to leave the following day, the Royal Air Force (RAF) said.
A statement added: “Whilst irregular, it was assessed that there was no threat to station personnel or the wider public."

Parents shamed for back-to-school choices

Kirstie Brewer - BBC News
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Blogger Harriet Shearsmith has said she won't be sending her children back when schools reopen in June

As some schools in England prepare to reopen on Monday, some parents' social media feeds have turned toxic.
Marsha's WhatsApp group went into overdrive as soon as it was announced that primary schools and nurseries would reopen for some children on 1 June.
There was outrage, relief, excitement, anxiety. Everyone seemed to have an opinion.
Marsha - not her real name - wrote that she'd be happy to send her son back to school. Then immediately another mum shared a news item about a teacher who'd tested positive for coronavirus.
"This is why I will be keeping Rosie safe at home with me - I'm not putting her life at risk," the other mum wrote.
Parents who have decided to keep their children at home haven't escaped the crosshairs either.
Blogger Harriet Shearsmith was told by some that she didn't care about her children's education, after she wrote that she wouldn't be sending them back when school's reopen in June.
Read more from Kirstie Brewer, who has been speaking to mothers who feel judged or shamed for their decisions.

South Africa's test backlog a serious problem

Andrew Harding - BBC News, Johannesburg
South Africa is wrestling with a huge backlog of coronavirus tests and doctors say this is undermining the country's entire testing scheme.
Tens of thousands of individual samples are being left for a week or more in laboratories before being tested. A shortage of equipment appears to be the main problem.
Doctors here say that such long delays render the results worthless. By the time a positive case is confirmed, that person could have passed the virus on to dozens of others and would probably no longer be infectious themselves.
It's clear that South Africa has developed a serious problem.
The country had some early successes in containing the pandemic, but the infection rate is rising. Cape Town’s hospitals are now close to being overwhelmed and experts say other major cities are likely to follow suit in the coming weeks.

Russia announces record daily death toll

Russia has reported 232 deaths in the last 24 hours, a record one-day total that has pushed the nationwide death toll to 4,374.
Officials said on Friday that 8,572 new infections had been confirmed, bringing the national tally to 387,623 - the world's third highest after the United States and Brazil.

UK chancellor urged to extend help for self-employed

A scheme to give financial support to millions of self-employed people in the UK is due to end this weekend.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is coming under pressure to extend the scheme, with a cross-party group of 113 MPs telling him it offers a "lifeline" to many workers.
Those who qualify get a grant of 80% of their average profits, up to £2,500, for three months. So far, 2.3 million have signed up to grants totalling £6.8bn.
Among them is musical director Yshani Perinpanayagam who said the self-employed have "a very difficult corner to fight".
“If people are missing mortgage payments, there is already an understanding that they need help without them having to prove anything," she said.
"But the self-employed will really have to justify why we can’t pay our bills if the government is not taking a stance that we are worthy of help," she said.
A similar scheme for furloughed workers has been extended to October.
Sunak is expected to set out plans later to ask employers to contribute towards this “furlough” scheme, which currently helps about eight million workers.

Japan air force salutes medical workers

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The Blue Impulse aerobatics team of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force flew over Tokyo on Friday to salute medical workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been 884 coronavirus-related deaths in the country and 16,636 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University. "We have been working under strain for the past four months," said Shuichi Mikami, a spokesman for Tokyo’s Ebara Hospital. "I heard them [medical workers] saying the demonstration lifted their spirits."
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Will I still get paid if I have to self-isolate? And other questions

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People who've been in close contact with someone found to have Covid-19 in England and Scotland are now being traced by thousands of health workers.
BBC Reality Check has been answering some of your questions on how the schemes will work.
If you have to self-isolate will you only get statutory sick pay, or will your employer pay your salary?
The government advises that people who are self-isolating should work from home wherever possible and be paid as normal.
If they can’t work from home, employers must ensure any self-isolating employee gets sick pay or is allowed to use paid leave days if they prefer.
Employees in self-isolation are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay for every day they are in isolation, worth £95.85 per week, as long as they qualify .
However, employers can choose to pay staff their full wages during this period if they wish.
How will we know the difference between a genuine contact tracer and a potential scammer?
If you are concerned about whether a call, text or email is genuine, you can check the NHS England Test and Trace service website or the Scottish Government Test and Protect website or the Public Health Agency website in Northern Ireland.
Genuine contract tracers will never ask you for any financial information such as credit card or bank details.
They will also not ask you to set up a password or Pin over the phone, or to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087.
If you don’t want to talk over the phone in England, you can ask for an email or text inviting you to log into the web-based service instead.
We've answered more of your coronavirus questions here.

Welsh first minister sets out changes to lockdown rules

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has set out changes to lockdown rules in Wales.
He's already confirmed people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors from Monday.
They will need to stay in their local area - within five miles as a "general rule" - and remain two metres apart.
However, beauty and tourist spots will remain closed.
From Monday, weddings and civil partnerships will also be allowed to take place if the bride or groom is terminally ill.

Politicians targeted amid tensions in Italy

Italy is relaxing its strict lockdown measures but tensions have boiled over into sexist attacks and threats against politicians.
Education Minister Lucia Azzolina now has police protection. Her abusers include right-wing Senator Giuseppe Moles of Forza Italia, who warned her that credibility was like virginity and was "easy to lose".
A deputy health minister and a regional governor also have police guards now. The deputy minister, Pierpaolo Sileri, received threats linked to coronavirus aid.
Italy has recorded more than 33,000 coronavirus-related deaths, but most businesses in the country, including bars and hairdressers, are reopening after more than two months of nationwide lockdown measures.

Cybercrime reports surge during UK lockdown

Danny Shaw - BBC Home Affairs Correspondent
A new UK cybercrime service launched during lockdown to investigate suspicious emails says it has had more than 600,000 reports in its first five weeks.
It allows people to alert the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to online scams, including those offering fake Covid 19-related products.
As a result, the centre says it has removed 4,000 links to suspect websites and uncovered 1,100 scams - 20% more than before the system started.
Chief executive Ciaran Martin said many fraudsters and organised criminal gangs had taken advantage of the pandemic.
“Cyber-attackers always follow fear and they follow what people are concerned about,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
The NCSC - which is a part of the government’s listening centre GCHQ - said victims of scams should report the matter to Action Fraud.

'Stay away from crowded places' in Scotland - Sturgeon

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to stay within the rules, after some lockdown restrictions were eased today.
Groups of up to eight from two different households are now allowed to meet outdoors. But Ms Sturgeon said that "ideally, it should be less than that".
She said people should bring their own plates and cutlery to barbecues, and that people should only travel within their own local area.
The first minister also asked people to consider whether beauty spots and tourist destinations were too crowded and to change their plans if so.
She told today's coronavirus briefing: "If you are in doubt about whether your plans are within the rules or not, err for now on the side of caution.
"Because however harsh these rules might feel right now ...abiding by them will never ever be as harsh as grieving the loss of a loved one."
If people did not follow the rules it could take Scotland "back to square one", she warned.
Her message came as latest daily figures for Scotland show a further 15 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in hospitals.
It takes the total number of hospital deaths there to 2,331.
Follow further updates from the briefing here.

Reopening non-essential retail to be considered in Wales

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh government would also consider further easing at the next review of the lockdown on 18 June, including:

  • Reopening non-essential retail
  • Increasing capacity for childcare and public transport to support a wider return to work
  • Facilitating moving house to boost the housing market
  • Reopening outdoors sites, including outdoor markets, sports courts, outdoor showrooms and outdoor museums
  • Reopening facilities for non-professional elite athletes to train safely

Decisions will depend on the scientific and medical evidence but Drakeford said shops should use the next three weeks "to begin the process of preparing to reopen".
Speaking at the Welsh government's daily briefing, he said the R number - the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to - was "no better today than it was three weeks ago" but the "good news" was the number of new cases had been steadily declining since the beginning of April.

Removing furlough scheme would be 'sheer lunacy'

It will be "sheer lunacy" and "massively disappointing" if the UK government attempts to remove the furlough scheme, a London restaurant owner has told the BBC.
The coronavirus job retention scheme covers 8.4 million workers, paying 80% of their salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
The scheme aims to keep jobs in place until businesses are allowed to reopen, and demand for products and services has returned.
A few weeks ago Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme would run until October. Today, he is expected to give the bad news that the government will start reducing the amount they are willing to pay from August, with employers having to cover an extra share, and national insurance and pension contributions.
"It makes me deeply worried," David Moore, owner of the Michelin star Pied à Terre in London, told Radio 4's World at One.
"Will we have any money coming through the door to help contribute towards that? If not then a lot of businesses are heading down the pan.
"It would be a real shame if the retention scheme turned out to be a glorified waiting room for the unemployed."

Six-person meet-ups banned in England until Monday, government warns

Downing Street has warned people in England that new rules allowing groups of six to meet up outdoors do not come in until Monday.
Currently, people can only meet one other person from another household at a distance in a public place.
The prime minister's official spokesman said Boris Johnson had made the announcement on Thursday to "give a period of notice".
The reminder comes as much of the UK enjoys sunny weather, and on the same day that people in Scotland are given the go-ahead to meet in groups of up to eight.
When new rules do come in for England, people will be allowed to meet in parks and private gardens, as well as host barbecues, as long as households keep two metres apart.
Downing Street has confirmed that police do not have the powers to enter gardens to check on the six-person rule under coronavirus legislation, unless officers "believe serious criminality is taking place".
The PM's spokesman added that they were "sure that members of the public will show common sense and will want to abide by the rules".
But one behavioural expert has suggested the government has not been clear enough on the rules for maintaining social distancing during barbecues.
Professor Patricia Riddell, from the University of Reading, suggested people consider one-way systems around the grill and bringing their own condiments.
Further guidance is expected to be published tomorrow.

Six-person meet-ups banned in England until Monday, government warns

Downing Street has warned people in England that new rules allowing groups of six to meet up outdoors do not come in until Monday.
Currently, people can only meet one other person from another household at a distance in a public place.
The prime minister's official spokesman said Boris Johnson had made the announcement on Thursday to "give a period of notice".
The reminder comes as much of the UK enjoys sunny weather, and on the same day that people in Scotland are given the go-ahead to meet in groups of up to eight.
When new rules do come in for England, people will be allowed to meet in parks and private gardens, as well as host barbecues, as long as households keep two metres apart.
Downing Street has confirmed that police do not have the powers to enter gardens to check on the six-person rule under coronavirus legislation, unless officers "believe serious criminality is taking place".
The PM's spokesman added that they were "sure that members of the public will show common sense and will want to abide by the rules".
But one behavioural expert has suggested the government has not been clear enough on the rules for maintaining social distancing during barbecues.
Professor Patricia Riddell, from the University of Reading, suggested people consider one-way systems around the grill and bringing their own condiments.
Further guidance is expected to be published tomorrow.
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Drop-off in fines since lockdown eased in England

Danny Shaw - BBC Home Affairs Correspondent
The number of people fined for alleged beaches of lockdown laws has reduced significantly in the past two weeks since the measures were eased.
In England, 841 fixed penalty notices have been issued since 13 May, when some curbs were relaxed and the minimum fine was raised from £60 to £100.
In total, 15,552 fines have been recorded by police forces in England since the lockdown began in late March. In Wales, 1,395 fines have been issued.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council says most fines were issued to young men, aged 18 to 24.
Among the main reasons for fines, the NPCC listed driving with non-household members, house parties, large gatherings and camping.

Nigeria hospitals 'refusing to treat patients'

The head of Nigeria's coronavirus task force says more people are dying because they are not receiving hospital treatment for other diseases than are being killed by the virus.
Boss Mustapha told reporters that it was sad and unacceptable that both private and government hospitals were rejecting patients due to fears of contracting Covid-19.
He said the health ministry was ordering hospital chiefs "to continue providing regular medical services so that we do not end up with avoidable deaths", Punch newspaper reported .
"Truth be told, we are having more deaths from non-attendance to other diseases than Covid-19," he added.
Nigeria has nearly 9,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 259 reported deaths, although experts say a lack of testing means the true figures are likely to be much higher.

Polish football fans allowed back on 19 June

Poland will let fans back into stadiums to watch professional football from 19 June, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said.
The stadiums hosting matches from the top-tier league, the Ekstraklasa, will be no more than a quarter full to allow for social distancing. Matches will be broadcast in 16 countries.
"For me, football is more than just a game, it is something more than just sport. It is a great, excellent promotion of Poland, Polish business and of our will to fight," Mr Morawiecki said.
The Ekstraklasa resumes its season today but without fans. Poland began easing its lockdown on 20 April, when parks were allowed to reopen. Hotels, shops, museums and galleries reopened on 4 May and primary schools restarted earlier this week.

Sage member questions easing of lockdown in England

A scientist on the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has suggested he does not agree with easing the lockdown at this stage.
In a briefing to health journalists Prof John Edmunds, from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, said that 8,000 new infections a day in England, as calculated by the Office for National Statistics , was “a very high incidence” level.
"Many of us would prefer to see incidence down to lower levels before we relax measures," he said.
He said that with an "untested" test and trace system "we are taking some risk here" and "even if we keep it flat, that’s still quite a level".
“Lifting the lockdown is a political decision. Lifting it now, means we’re keeping incidence at this level," he added.

Daily death toll rises in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

A further 149 people have died in hospitals in England after testing positive for coronavirus, latest daily figures from Public Health England show.
It brings the total number of hospital deaths to 26,383.
In Wales, a further 10 people have died with Covid-19, taking the total number of deaths to 1,317.
In Northern Ireland, three more deaths were reported in a day, bringing the total death toll 521.
Earlier, Scotland reported a further 15 hospital deaths - increasing the total number to 2,331.
UK-wide figures are expected shortly.

Denmark and Norway exclude Sweden from travel deal

Norway and Denmark say they will open up tourism between their two countries from 15 June, but will maintain restrictions for Swedes.
Sweden, unlike its Nordic neighbours, did not impose a lockdown and more than 4,000 people have died from Covid-19 there - far more than elsewhere in Scandinavia.
Sweden's 10 million population is also bigger than that of Denmark (5.8 million) or Norway (5.4 million).
Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen argued that Denmark and Sweden were in different places concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
And at a joint video news conference with her, Norwegian PM Erna Solberg said: "We can't open too suddenly, that would jeopardise everything we've accomplished."
Denmark is also allowing tourists from Germany and Iceland to visit, though they cannot stay in Copenhagen, which has the most coronavirus cases.
Danes can travel to those two countries too, without having to go into quarantine on their return.

Greece to admit tourists from 29 countries - but not UK, Spain, Italy and France

Greece is to open its doors to visitors from 29 countries from 15 June as it tries to relaunch its vital tourism industry.
However those countries do not include the UK, Italy, Spain and France - which have been badly hit by the pandemic.
The countries are: Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Israel, Switzerland, Japan, Malta, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Hungary, South Korea, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Finland.
Greece imposed a strict lockdown early on in the outbreak which helped to contain the numbers of infections and deaths to relatively low levels. Since easing restrictions it has put tourism - vital to its economy - at the centre of its plans.

Internet issues see some UK workers hit a buffer

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Numbers of people working from home have rapidly increased across the world

Internet issues are the scourge and fear of millions of people who have been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
And many in the UK were left frustrated on Friday morning when their TalkTalk connection went down , for more than an hour in some cases.
Customers from all over the country - including London, Stockport, Wrexham and Brighton - complained to the firm, who said the problem was fixed about 11:30 BST.
No reason for the outage has been given.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri May 29 2020, 19:54

Spain fast-tracks basic income for poorest

Spain’s left-wing government has approved a flagship plan to pay the poorest households in the country a basic income of €462 (£410; $514) a month.
Larger households with receive a bigger monthly payment, up to a maximum of about €990 for households of five or more.
The scheme, which will be rolled out nationally, was fast-tracked due to the economic difficulties brought on by the pandemic.
It is thought that some 850,000 people will qualify, including migrants who have lived in Spain for more than a year. It is set to cost the government about €3bn a year.
"We'll be successful if we are able to help the identified households to transition to a better place in society," Social Security Minister Jose Luis Escriva told a briefing earlier today.
Spain is among the European countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

Reopened California waterfall closes again as crowds leave mess

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Park officials say they had to haul away "multiple truckloads of trash" from the falls each day

A popular waterfall hiking trail in Ventura County, California, has been forced to close again only two weeks after the park was given the green light from health officials to reopen.
The new closure of Wildwood Park and Paradise Falls is due to litter and human waste from "unprecedented crowds that behaved differently than they have in the past”, according to a statement from park officials.
The statement blamed the record crowds for violating the "sense of shared responsibility that makes safe park management and protection of the environment feasible".
"Then there were problems with human waste and sanitation as many used areas along the creek both upstream and downstream as a toilet, and wetland vegetation was trampled,” the release adds.
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Paradise Falls, pictured in 2014

How do rules on socialising differ across the UK?

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Lockdown measures in the UK are starting to be eased after more than two months of restrictions - but the rules for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are set by each national government.
The graphic above explains how many people you can meet up with, at what distance, where and from when.

The UK picture

We should be hearing from the UK government around 30 minutes, but if you’re just joining us, here’s a round-up of the latest developments in the country:

  • Up to eight people from two households can now meet outside in Scotland, as the country eases its lockdown
  • In Wales, it has been confirmed that people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors from Monday
  • Latest figures show police in England and Wales have issued nearly 17,000 fines for alleged breaches of lockdown rules
  • The first hospital dedicated to helping patients recover from the long-term effects of coronavirus has received its first patients

UK urged to scrap policy denying benefits to migrants

An "ill-advised" policy that prevents thousands of migrants living in the UK from accessing state benefits - despite paying taxes - should be scrapped, an independent humanitarian charity has said.
Migrants who have been given the no recourse to public funds [NRPF] status are not eligible for many state benefits.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that the government would review rules after hearing from an MP the story of a family where the husband had not been put on the job retention scheme and, although the wife was still working, her income was less than household rent - and the family had no recourse to public funds.
"Our staff have seen and heard first-hand the devastating impact of this ill-advised policy," said Doctors of the World's UK policy and advocacy manager, Anna Miller.
"Many people in excluded migrant groups live hand-to-mouth as a result of the NRPF condition, despite having the legal right to live and work in the UK and contributing to the very taxpayer-funded benefits programmes they are prohibited from accessing," she said.

Illinois reopens, except for Chicago

Illinois is joining other midwestern states in beginning to allow shops, restaurants, salons and other businesses to reopen but with new virus mitigation restrictions.
Starting on Friday, Governor JB Pritzker's office will allow outdoor seating at bars and restaurants, haircuts, massages and non-essential retail shopping with only 50% of the businesses' normal capacity. Masks are still required for anyone out in public.
Chicago, where cases are plateauing, will not see its lockdown eased until 3 June, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
But even when businesses can reopen next week, they will have harsher restrictions in place than other Illinois regions. Lightfoot says businesses in Chicago will only be allowed to operate at 25% capacity because "Covid-19 is still very much part of our present".

One million sign petition for UK PM's adviser to quit

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A petition for the UK prime minister's chief adviser to resign has gained more than a million signatures.
It follows accusations that Dominic Cummings breached lockdown rules last month, during a stay near Durham - about 260-miles from his home in London.
His journey - and what he did once he was there - has been the focus of intense media scrutiny and the concern of many Tory MPs since coming to light last week.
Durham Police says the political aide may have broken the rules but that he will not face further action.
Cummings has said he acted reasonably and legally. His boss, Boris Johnson, is sticking by him and says he wants to "draw a line under the matter".
But dozens of MPs from the PM's own party have also called for Cummings to quit, in what BBC Political editor Laura Kuenssberg says shows cracks in the relationship between the PM and the Tory Party.
The BBC's Reality Check team have been looking at the facts around the row .

Easing lockdown a 'risky' and 'political' decision

One of the UK government's top science advisers has warned that relaxing lockdown is a risk because coronavirus levels are still "very high".
Professor John Edmunds, from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, said many other advisers would also "prefer to see the incidence down to lower levels before we relax measures".
It comes as the UK government and devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland outlined varying plans to ease restrictions.
Meanwhile, new documents from meetings of Sage, the scientific group advising ministers, have also been released.
They contain details on some of the advice experts have given to ministers in recent weeks. BBC Health has been taking a look through.

Why has Thai king been staying in Germany during lockdown, MPs ask

German politicians have asked the country's foreign ministry to explain why the king of Thailand has spent several weeks in a luxury Bavarian hotel during the coronavirus lockdown.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been staying in the Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmisch Partenkirchen, a town close to the German-Austrian border.
Margarete Bause, a Green party member of parliament, said a ban on tourism should have prevented the king from staying there.
The hotel - which boasts of panoramic views of the Alps - is "currently unavailable" for bookings, according to its website.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn is a frequent visitor to Germany. He has made no comment.
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King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been staying in the picturesque German town of Garmisch Partenkirchen

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Pub group issues warning over furlough plans

A group representing UK pubs has issued a warning over government plans to gradually reduce support for its job retention scheme.
Pubs have been closed since March, and under current plans will not reopen until July at the earliest, when furloughed workers will be able to start working part-time under plans unveiled earlier.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said all pubs would have to be open by July for the changes outlined by the chancellor to work.
Keeping pubs closed while government subsidies are reduced would leave them with "no income to cover the additional staff costs," she added, "risking job losses and pubs staying closed for good".

Trump: 'We are terminating relationship with WHO'

President Donald Trump is now speaking in the White House Rose Garden, where he is announcing measures aimed at punishing China.
"We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and directing those funds" to other global public health charities, Trump says.
"The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government," he says, adding that China "instigated a global pandemic that has cost over 100,000 American lives".
China, he says, "pressured the World Health Organization to mislead the world" about the virus.
"Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe," he adds.

Trump: 'China has total control over WHO'

Trump's criticism of the WHO started last month when he threatened to permanently withdraw US funding if the body did not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days".
"It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world," Trump wrote in a letter to the WHO director-general on 18 May.
"The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China."
In today's White House speech, Trump said "China has total control over the World Health Organization", despite paying the organisation a fraction of what the US does.
China has accused the US of being responsible for the spread of the virus on its own soil, attributing the outbreak to American "politicians who lie".

Trump and Johnson discuss search for vaccine

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US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the global response to coronavirus during a phone call a little earlier.
Downing Street said the two men spoke about the "ongoing international co-operation to develop a vaccine".
Trials have begun on vaccines across the world, including in the US and UK.
A Number 10 spokesman said they also discussed the next G7 summit scheduled to be held in Washington next month and stressed the "importance of leaders meeting in the US in person if possible" .
Earlier this week, a White House spokeswoman said the US planned to hold the summit as planned “towards the end of June”.
The White House added that the two men also discussed "progress on reopening" their respective countries amid continued lockdowns.

No investigation over police's handling of UK aide controversy

More now on the saga involving the UK prime minister's top aide.
Dominic Cummings' decision in March to drive from his London home to his parents' farm near Durham with his wife - who had coronavirus symptoms - and his son, has dominated headlines in Britain this week.
On Thursday, it was announced that an internal police review of Cummings' trip concluded that Cummings might have broken the rules.
Some newspapers have reported that the force's chief constable could face another investigation into her handling of the recent probe.
But Durham Police say there is "currently no investigation into the force’s handling of this inquiry".
Boris Johnson's top adviser has faced calls to resign after accusations that he breached lockdown rules .
This timeline shows the significant developments in the affair so far.

What's happening in the sporting world?

The sporting world, like many others, is slowly re-emerging from the pandemic.
Here are the latest headlines:

  • Football: The game in which Liverpool could secure the English Premier League title could be held at a neutral venue
  • Football: Spain's La Liga will resume on 11 June
  • Cricket: Coronavirus replacements could be allowed in England's summer Test series against the West Indies and Pakistan
  • Tennis: Former world number one Andy Murray will play in a tournament organised by brother Jamie that will raise money for NHS Charities Together
  • Formula 1: Renault says it will stay in the sport beyond the end of this season, despite the French car manufacturer cutting 15,000 jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic

Trade body warns over support for freelancers

The UK government has missed an opportunity to provide additional help to freelancers, a trade body for the creative sector has said.
The Creative Industries Federation welcomed the announcement earlier that grants for the self-employed will continue until August .
But its chief executive Caroline Norbury said some freelancers - such as those paid via PAYE, contractors of limited companies and the newly self-employed - "continue to fall through the gaps".
She added that there remains a "worrying inequality" between employed and self-employed workers.

Toronto embraces park circles

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How do you stop people from crowding in public parks this summer?
An infamously crowded park in downtown Toronto plans to encircle people with safety - literally.
City staff have painted large rings on the grass at Trinity Bellwoods Park to show how far apart people should be. They recommend that only three people sit in one circle cross-legged, or two people lying down, to maintain social distancing.
The move came after last weekend, when as many as 10,000 people crammed into the park to enjoy one of the first truly glorious days of summer, coronavirus be damned.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford sharply criticised the parkgoers, and urged them all to get tested. Park circles have also been adopted in New York and San Francisco.

The Louvre set for July reopening

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The Louvre, like many of France's cultural attractions, has been closed since 13 March

The Louvre museum in Paris will reopen on 6 July as France's historical and cultural sites emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.
"Even if it was possible to discover the Louvre's treasures virtually during lockdown, nothing can replace the emotion of standing in front of a work of art; that is the raison d'etre of museums," said Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez.
With 9.6 million people going through the doors in 2019, the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world.
The reopening of France's historical and cultural attractions will begin with the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley on 5 June and the Palace of Versailles on 6 June.
In Paris, the Quai Branly Museum and Musee d'Orsay will also reopen in June. Exhibitions will begin again at the Grand Palais, Centre Pompidou and Picasso museum in July.

Canadian doctor 'exposed up to 150 people to virus'

A doctor from New Brunswick, Canada has been suspended after he exposed as many as 150 to coronavirus after flouting quarantine rules.
The doctor, who has not been named, had caught the virus in Quebec, which is one of the hardest-hit provinces in Canada.
He then went right back to work in New Brunswick, instead of self-isolating for 14 days.
At least eight people he has come in contact with have been infected, including his own child and a long-term care worker, officials say. Two of the infected are in intensive care, and he could have exposed as many as 150 to the virus.
Chief Medical Officer Jennifer Russell told CBC News this one case could trigger an "exponential rise" of cases in the province.

Singapore and China to restart business travel

Singapore and China are to reopen essential travel links for business and official purposes early next month, they said in a joint statement.
The "Fast Lane" arrangement will be applied first between Singapore and six Chinese provinces - Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
The statement said that "effective Covid-19 prevent-and-control measures" would be in place.
"The arrangement will be gradually expanded to the other Chinese provinces and municipalities. Both sides agreed to explore the increase of air links between the two countries for the Fast Lane," it added.
As we reported earlier, Singapore National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the city-state was considering setting up "travel bubbles" with countries where Covid-19 is under control. He said they were in talks with several countries, though "some [are] at more advanced stages, some we're just starting".

UK scientific adviser warns against relaxing lockdown

Relaxing lockdown is a risk because levels of the coronavirus are still at "very high" levels, Prof John Edmunds, one of the government's top science advisers says.
Read more here

New York City 'on track' for 8 June reopening

New York City - the epicentre of the US outbreak - is "on track" to enter the first phase of reopening on 8 June, according to state Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The announcement comes as five northern regions of the state have entered phase two, meaning they can open businesses such as hair salons and barber shops where customers and employees come into close contact.
New York City is the only one of the ten regions in the state not yet to have entered phase one of reopening.
Cuomo said that as many as 400,000 people will go back to work in New York City when non-essential construction and manufacturing resumes.
"I understand why people would be anxious about taking public transit," Cuomo said, pledging that buses and trains are being cleaned frequently. "The public transit system will be safe."

Names of 3,000 added to UK book of remembrance

Helena Wilkinson - BBC News correspondent
An online book of remembrance to commemorate those who have died from coronavirus in the UK has had more than 3,000 names entered since it launched a week ago.
The memorial book, called Remember Me, has been organised by St. Paul’s Cathedral in London with the support of the Prince of Wales.
The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend David Ison, said they had been “overwhelmed by the response” to the online book.
“It has been incredibly moving to see the messages from family, friends and carers," he said.
"It reminds us that every person who has died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is not merely a statistic in a health crisis - but a person, valued, missed and worthy of remembrance.”
Family members, friends and carers of anyone who has died can submit the name, photograph and a short message.
It’s open to people of all faiths, or none, and the deceased person must be British or have been living in the UK.
BBC Scotland has been telling the stories of some of those who lost their lives .

Dutch health authority to get access to phone data

The Dutch government has drawn up an emergency law that would allow the country's health authority (RIVM) to use anonymised mobile phone data.
Ministers say the information, from mobile phone masts, would be used to monitor the movement of people as coronavirus restrictions are eased and help health officials decide whether measures needed to be tightened up.
If approved by parliament, the new law would be in force for up to one year.
"The data is not suitable for identifying individuals," a government statement said. "It is a count, per hour, per municipality of the total number of mobile phones present there, and from which municipality."
Last month, Norway's largest mobile operator, Telenor, said it was collaborating with health officials to help them track the spread of the coronavirus.

Second UK scientific adviser says it's too early to relax lockdown

Another member of the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) says England is easing restrictions too soon.
Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust - Britain's biggest charitable funder of scientific research - tweeted that current infection rates were too high for the lockdown to be lifted.
He said a fully working system of test, trace and isolate (TTI) had to be in place to deal with any fresh surge.
Farrar said he agreed with fellow Sage member John Edmunds, who warned earlier that infection levels were still very high and relaxing lockdown was a "political decision".
"Agree with John and clear science advice," Farrar tweeted.
tweet :Left Quotes: Jeremy Farrar:

Covid-19 spreading too fast to lift lockdown in England. Agree with John & clear science advice. TTI has to be in place, fully working, capable dealing any surge immediately, locally responsive, rapid results & infection rates have to be lower. And trusted …

Covid-19 spreading too fast to lift UK lockdown – Sage adviser

Scientist says 8,000 daily infections in England makes relaxing restrictions too risky
Read more about Edmunds' warning here

That's all for today

We are now pausing our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you for joining us. Here are the main events from today:

  • President Trump said the US was severing Washington's relationship with the World Health Organization, criticising its handling of the pandemic and accusing it of being under the thumb of China. Mr Trump's critics say he is trying to deflect attention from his own handling of the outbreak
  • Two members of the UK government's scientific advisory body have expressed concern that the lockdown in England is being eased too soon
  • But UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the easing of restrictions in England was not being done in a "reckless or big bang way" and ministers were still following scientific advice
  • Scotland has announced a loosening of restrictions. People from two households can meet outside but must keep two metres apart
  • Greece will open its doors to tourists from 29 countries from 15 June, but they will not include the UK, France, Italy or Spain
  • Spain has approved a flagship plan to pay the poorest households in the country a basic income of €462 (£410; $514) a month. Larger households with receive a bigger monthly payment, up to a maximum of about €990 for households of five or more
  • Globally, about 5.9 million people are confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus and 363,000 have died

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 07:38