Coronavirus Live Updates: Nations Forge Ahead With Reopenings, as Global Cases Surpass 6 Million


Nations broaden reopenings, as international instances go 6 million.

This week begins a pivotal interval within the coronavirus pandemic, as nations give college students, customers and vacationers extra freedom to return to some sense of normalcy after months underneath lockdown.

In Britain, extra shops will likely be allowed to open from Monday, and small teams from completely different households can meet outdoor. Primary faculties will open their doorways in England, although with new social-distancing guidelines and spaced seating. The authorities additionally gave the inexperienced gentle for skilled sports activities to renew underneath strict protocols, in accordance with government guidelines published on Saturday.

But fans of the Premier League should not expect to stream back into stadiums any time soon. All events will all be behind closed doors; no fans are allowed, everyone will be screened for coronavirus symptoms, and players will observe social distancing where possible.

Other countries are creating “travel bubbles” to rev up their economies, allowing visitors from nations with low infection rates. The moves come as the number of global cases of the virus grew to more than six million, with over 1.7 million in the United States. Rwanda’s health ministry on Sunday reported the East African nation’s first death caused by the new coronavirus, a 65-year-old driver who had recently returned from a neighboring country.

Greece will open its airports to visitors from 29 countries from June 15, the tourism ministry said, but Britain is not among them. Norway and Denmark will allow leisure travel between the two countries, creating a travel bubble that excludes Sweden, where coronavirus infections are higher. Norway will also allow entry to business travelers from the other Nordic countries from Monday, the government said.

They are parallel plagues ravaging America: The coronavirus, and police killings of black men and women.

Jimmy Mills’s life has been upended by both. His barbershop in Midtown Minneapolis was one of many small, black-owned businesses that have struggled to survive the pandemic. But Mr. Mills was hopeful because, having been shut down for two months, he was set to reopen next week.

Then early Friday, the working-class neighborhood where Mr. Mills has cut hair for 12 years went up in flames as chaotic protests over the death of George Floyd and police killings of African-Americans engulfed Minneapolis and cities across the country.

“To have corona, and then this — it’s like a gut shot,” Mr. Mills, 56, said.

The upheaval sparked by a video capturing Mr. Floyd’s last minutes as a white police officer knelt on his neck is pulsing through a country already ragged with anger and anxiety. Emotions are raw over the toll of a pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 Americans and cost tens of millions of jobs.

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 said she would not attend in person, citing concerns about the coronavirus.

Mr. Trump also said that 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 annexing of Crimea — is certain to inflame other member nations.

Earlier Saturday, Ms. Merkel’s spokesman said in an emailed statement, “As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, a trip to Washington.”

On Sunday, however, Australia said it would welcome an official invitation, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the United States had made contact to discuss the matter, a government spokesman told reporters.

Our correspondent Patrick Kingsley profiled a couple who were separated by the coronavirus lockdown in March. This month, he returned for an update.

In a bungalow near the Danish-German border on Saturday afternoon, an 89-year-old German man and an 85-year-old Danish woman sat side by side in front of the television. Then they held hands, turned to each other and smiled.

“I feel 100 times better!” said Karsten Tüchsen Hansen, the German.

Following weeks of separation, Mr. Tüchsen Hansen and Inga Rasmussen are finally returning to a normal romantic rhythm.

In early May, his doctor decided that his mental health was suffering in Ms. Rasmussen’s absence, leading the German authorities to give her special dispensation to stay at Mr. Tüchsen Hansen’s home every night.

The Danish government subsequently decreed that any couple in a cross-border relationship could meet again on Danish soil. But Ms. Rasmussen still prefers to spend each night in her partner’s bungalow — watched over by his collection of stuffed ferrets and garden gnomes.

When I stopped by, driving from Amsterdam to Copenhagen, I found them chatting happily on the patio outside. They were getting ready to eat mince meat with white cabbage, one of Ms. Rasmussen’s specialties.

Mr. Tüchsen Hansen was the more garrulous of the two. But as the afternoon wore on, Ms. Rasmussen also began to open up.

Their separation had been tough, but helped to affirm their commitment to each other, she said.

“I realized I can’t sleep without him at my side,” Ms. Rasmussen said. “We need each other.”

Mayor Eric M. Garcetti of Los Angeles said on Saturday that the city’s coronavirus testing centers had closed that afternoon “because of safety concerns” amid escalating nationwide protests over the death of a black man in police custody.

The death of George Floyd, 46, last week after being pinned down by a Minneapolis police officer and the unrest it has provoked has tugged at painful memories in Los Angeles of the beating of Rodney King in 1991 and the riots that occurred the following year after the acquittal of the four police officers involved in the case.

Mr. Garcetti said he would not be calling for the deployment of the National Guard, which patrolled the streets of Los Angeles during those riots. “This is not 1992,” he said.

The curfew is needed to clean up debris and restore order, Mr. Garcetti said.

Before the riots started in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon, several hundred people reflecting the diversity of the city — white, black, Latino, Asian-American — had protested peacefully.

Thousands of maskless vacationers flocked to the Maryland town of Ocean City this weekend as the Greater Washington region began to emerge from coronavirus lockdown.

And yet, as Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland has emphasized, the state is only at Phase 1 of his “Roadmap to Recovery,” which still requires the public to abide by restrictions to keep the virus from spreading.

By the governor’s order, face coverings are required 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 who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the news media said, “the problem is merchants have to enforce” the mask order, but many are reluctant to alienate their first customers of the summer.

Not all the tourists were nonchalant about following restrictions. Sitting on the 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.”

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 pandemic exploded in Italy and the government imposed a strict national lockdown in March.

“Today since the square is open we can return,” the pontiff 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 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.”

“We have such need of the light and the strength of the Holy Spirit,” Francis said. “The entire human family needs it, so as to move out of this crisis more united and not than divided.”

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 following the protocols that are still in effect in Italy and the Vatican. During the homily, he urged Christians to fight three enemies: narcissism, victimhood and pessimism, saying they “prevent us from giving ourselves” in this time of pandemic.

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 they were closed more than two months ago over coronavirus fears.

At the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third-holiest site, worshipers entering the massive 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 director of the mosque, could be heard saying through a loudspeaker system.

Ibrahim Zaghed, 25, an unemployed resident of Jerusalem, was weeping as he laid down his blue and silver prayer mat on an elevated outdoor space on the eastern side of the mosque.

“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.

Imam Kiswani of the Aqsa Mosque, who estimated that about 3,000 people participated in the prayers on Sunday, said that while most of them 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.

Asked whether she was concerned about the virus spreading at the mosque, Ms. Balala replied: “We all need to follow the rules, but I believe we will survive because God is protecting us from above.”

The Romanian prime minister, Ludovic Orban, paid a fine on Saturday for breaking his own coronavirus restrictions, after a photo widely shared on social media showed him with other cabinet members smoking in his office and not wearing a mask.

In a statement, Mr. Orban admitted to breaking the lockdown rules on May 25, his 57th birthday, when some cabinet members gathered at his office after work.

And in Belgium, a nephew of King Philippe tested positive for the coronavirus last week after attending a party in Spain, according to the Belgian royal palace.

The nephew, Prince Joachim, 28, tested positive on Thursday after he went to an event in the southern city of Cordoba, the palace said. Spanish news outlets reported that 27 people had attended the party, which would be in violation of regional lockdown rules that limit gatherings in private households to 15 people.

Prince Joachim traveled from Belgium to Madrid and then to Cordoba, where he contracted the virus and has been isolating since then. Under Phase 2 of Spain’s reopening plan, those who violate lockdown rules face a fine of 600 to 10,000 euros, or about $650 to $11,100.

World leaders, royals and human rights activists will headline a 24-hour online celebration of gay pride on June 27 that was organized after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of hundreds of L.G.B.T.Q. pride events around the world.

The virtual pride celebrations may allow some L.G.B.T.Q. people to participate for the first time, according to a president of InterPride, one of the chief organizers.

“This means people who aren’t out, or who are living in socially conservative countries, can take part,” the president, Julian Sanjivan, said in a statement.

President Shinzo Abe has lifted Japan’s state of emergency, but his government is urging people to continue avoiding what it calls the “Three Cs”: close contact in closed-off, crowded places.

That’s not a joke: The Japanese news media has lately helped to popularize the notion that talking loudly may be linked to increased aerosol transmission of the virus that causes Covid-19.

Some emerging scientific research, however, suggests that the rate of transmission may also be linked to how — and at what volume — you speak.

Among the questions to be studied further, they wrote, is why some people are “superemitters”; how far droplets travel once expelled from one’s mouth; and how fast they fall to the ground.

Reporting was contributed by Emma Bubola, Jack Healy, Dionne Searcey, Patrick Kingsley, Elizabeth Williamson, Elian Peltier, Yonette Joseph, Hannah Beech, Maggie Haberman, Mike Ives, Aimee Ortiz, Suhasini Raj, Adam Rasgon, Kai Schultz and Derrick Bryson Taylor.



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