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

News Highlights

Hollywood to release first major movie since coronavirus lockdown

Months after coronavirus lockdowns forced cinema halls shut, U.S. film lovers will have something to look forward to as the film 'Unhinged,' starring Russell Crowe, is set to be released in the USA on July 1, earlier than planned

Australia: Children return to schools after weeks of absence

Several Australian states including New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania resumed full-time learning in schools after two months of lockdown. More than one million students came back to class on Monday and the state of Victoria will follow suit on Tuesday, with social distancing measures in place, and parents not being allowed onto school premises.

Primary schools, non-essential shops to reopen in UK

PM Boris Johnson confirmed the phased reopening of England's primary schools by June 1 and said that all non-essential retailers would be allowed to reopen in England from 15 June. However, he said the decision was 'contingent on progress in the fight against the coronavirus' and that retailers would have to follow new guidelines to protect workers and shoppers.

German state completely abolishes enforced lockdown restrictions

The east German state of Thuringia has drawn criticism for its plans to completely lift its coronavirus lockdown and replace it with non-binding advice. From June 6 onwards, there will be no ban on mass gatherings, or any obligation to wear facemasks in shops or a requirement to stay at least 1.5m apart in public.

Lockdown Exit
Coronavirus: All non-essential shops to reopen from 15 June - PM
All non-essential retailers will be able to reopen in England from 15 June, Boris Johnson has announced, as part of plans to further ease the lockdown. However, the move is "contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus", and retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, the PM added. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June. It comes as the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK rose by 121 to 36,914. Mr Johnson said new guidance had been published for the retail sector "detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards". "Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen," he said. "This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take."
Life after lockdown in Athens: 'The marble had space to breathe'
When archaeological sites opened up again – along with shopping centres, beauty parlours and high schools – in Greece on 18 May, I wanted to be the first up on that hill. But my plan was foiled by an unseasonal heatwave that kept Athenians confined indoors; there was no question of scrambling up the Acropolis hill in 37C.
'We're expendable': black Americans pay the price as states lift lockdowns
Black Americans face greater risk. Across the country African American populations are concentrated in major cities, where coronavirus cases have so far been highest. Majority black counties already account for more than half of all coronavirus cases in the US and nearly 60% of deaths. African Americans are also disproportionately on the frontlines of life during the pandemic.
Coronavirus: Britons flock to beaches as UK basks in hot bank holiday weather
Hundreds of Britons have flocked to beaches and parks to bask in the warm bank holiday weather, prompting authorities to urge people to "use common sense". Images have emerged of packed beaches on Bank Holiday Monday, with reports of congestion around beauty spots as people take advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England earlier this month. Shortly before 12pm, Bournemouth Council said all its seafront car parks were full and told residents to "think twice" before visiting the beach.
Once the Helpers, Now Those in Need—Effects of Pandemic Lockdown in Italy Reaches Essential Workers
In Italy, where hairdressers, daycare centers and bars have begun to reopen, many are still trapped inside their homes. They are dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic by staying at home, waiting for help or finding other ways of coping while furthering the country's extended humanitarian crises. The systems and volunteers which have worked to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are now, after two months of lockdown, battling a rise in abuse, extortion, and what are known as "deaths of despair" (suicide, alcohol and drug overdose). In April, the National Council of the Order of Psychologist
Italy grapples with a new rhythm as it emerges from 2-month lockdown
The tension between embracing change and upholding tradition is palpable on the streets of Milan. A decade ago, when the city moved to reduce smog, the linchpin to its sustainability plan was increasing use of public transit. Now, with a 30 per cent cap on transit capacity because of social distancing requirements, the city is boosting other alternatives to private cars: bicycles, electric scooters, mopeds and vehicle sharing.
Spain begins reopening restaurants, cafes and beaches as lockdown loosens
Coronavirus lockdown rules are being eased in Spain after two months of restrictions. Beaches, cafes and restaurants are reopening to visitors from Monday. The country was among the worst hit in Europe with its death toll climbing to over 28,000.
Masks, distancing as Kiev metro opens after lockdown
Ukraine's capital on Monday welcomed passengers into its subway system after more than two months of lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Kiev metro, which normally transports 1.5 million people daily, remained deserted, with only 20 passengers or fewer in each car even during rush hour, AFP journalists saw. Posters at platforms urge passengers to observe social distancing of at least 1.5 metres (five feet) and audio messages encourage Ukrainians to "protect their health".
Churches hold first Sunday mass across France as lockdown eases
French government allows churches, mosques and synagogues to reopen after two months of coronavirus lockdown.
France has lowest daily increase in new Covid-19 cases, deaths since lockdown
Epidemiologist Laurent Toubiana, director of the IRSAN health data institute, suggested the worst of the epidemic had passed and said the coronavirus may not come back, unlike previous pandemics such as the 1918 Spanish flu. "If we do not see a quick resurgence of the epidemic, we might get a break for a few weeks," he said on BFM TV.
French officials stunned as hundreds defy coronavirus lockdown at football match in Strasbourg
Local authorities have been shocked as up to 400 people showed "stupidity and irresponsibility" by attending a local game. Authorities in Strasbourg have reacted with dismay after hundreds of fans gathered for an illicit football match. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned under Covid-19 measures in France, yet a large crowd attended Sunday's game between Neuhof and Hautepierre. Video apparently taken at the match, played at the Stade Paco Meteo, can be seen on YouTube and shows social distancing measures being ignored. Local reports claim 300 to 400 people flocked to watch after the match was announced on Facebook.
Spain eases Covid-19 lockdown in Madrid, Barcelona and reopens beaches
Coronavirus lockdown measures will finally be eased for people in Madrid and Barcelona from Monday, while elsewhere in Spain the first beaches are due to reopen. Residents in the two cities can now meet in groups of up to 10 people in their homes or on the terraces of bars and restaurants. The gates of the capital's parks will also be reopened, and major museums will be able to receive a limited number of visitors.
Gaganyaan cosmonauts resume training in Moscow after COVID-19 lockdown ends
The training of four Indian astronauts for the country's first manned mission to space, Gaganyaan, which had been halted in Russia due to COVID-19 lockdown, has resumed. "Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) on May 12 resumed training of the Indian cosmonauts under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)." Russian space corporation, Roscosmos pointed out in the official statement.
Reopening Hollywood: First major movie to be released since coronavirus lockdown
The makers of the first major movie to be released since the coronavirus lockdown have told Sky News it is the "canary in the coal mine" for an entertainment industry looking to reopen. The film Unhinged, a road rage thriller starring Russell Crowe, will hit cinema screens in the US on 1 July, months earlier than originally planned. It bucks the trend of films being delayed or released instead on television and streaming services.
Dancing with disinfectant: China's nightclubs back in the groove post-Covid-19 lockdown
Nightclubs in China have mostly come back to life as owners and customers feel increasingly comfortable that the novel coronavirus epidemic is under control, but disinfectant, disposable cups and masks have become part of the experience. At 44KW, a club for electronic music lovers in the financial hub of Shanghai, customers sat, danced and mingled with little sign of social distancing on the weekend. The club reopened in mid-March after closing for about six weeks, but it took a while for business to get back to normal.
Children Return to Australian Schools After Weeks of COVID-19 Lockdowns
More than one million students are back in class Monday, as state and private schools in New South Wales resume full-time learning after two months of lockdown. Authorities in the neighboring Australian state of Queensland have also reopened schools. Many children in Tasmania are also returning to class. Victoria will begin a phased return to on-site schooling Tuesday. Social distancing measures are in place, and parents and carers are not allowed onto school premises.
Coronavirus lockdown made many of us anxious. But for some people, returning to 'normal' might be scarier
We surveyed a representative sample of Australian adults at the end of March, about a week after restaurants and cafes first closed, and with gatherings restricted to two people. Even at this early stage, it was clear levels of depression and anxiety were much higher than usual in the community. Surprisingly, exposure to the coronavirus itself had minimal impact on people’s mental health. We found the social and financial disruption caused by the restrictions had a much more marked effect.
New early childhood centre opens after lockdown delays
A new early childhood education centre has sprung up in a growing part of Palmerston North after the national lockdown delayed its start. The Ruahine Kindergarten Association has just opened the Summerhill Early Learning centre on Ruapehu Drive, the association's 25th kindergarten or early-learning centre in the region.
New Zealand to stage pro competition as virus restrictions ease
New Zealand will stage a team-based tennis tournament for local-based men’s players from June 3, organisers said on Monday, an event marking the southern hemisphere’s first pro competition since the COVID-19 pandemic brought global sport to a halt. All 112 matches of the “NZ Premier League” will be played in Auckland without spectators but broadcast live on Sky Sport or the Youtube channel, Sky Sport Next, Tennis New Zealand said on Monday.
What Life Feels Like Once Lockdown Lifts, According to New Zealand
Even in New Zealand, where they've essentially eliminated the virus, anxiety persists. Not just surrounding health, but in relation to the economy. “Now we've seemingly tackled the health crisis, most people are acutely aware of the impact that this is going to have on our economy, so I'd say the general vibe is still a bit wary about what's coming next in terms of unemployment, financial stability and some of NZ's most important industries like tourism,” says Alexx.
Remaining backpackers make most of NZ after lockdown
Our borders may be closed but some international backpackers are still making the most of their New Zealand travel dreams. There are estimated to be up to 150,000 overseas visitors still in the country and despite various repatriation flights, many have decided to stay on. Aotearoa has long been a dream destination for backpackers, and for some lucky travellers their plans to see the country have carried on after lockdown.
Exit Strategies
Belgium will not return to tough lockdown: minister
Belgium will not return to the strict measures imposed for nearly two months to combat the coronavirus outbreak even if there is a second wave of COVID-19 cases, the country’s interior minister has said. The country of 11.5 million people effectively closed down in mid-March, with only shops selling food and pharmacies operating, although other activities have steadily resumed in May, including the reopening of non-food stores. “The first lockdown has taken care of the situation in which we have ended up. These were exceptional circumstances, but we never had Italian or Spanish conditions,” Pieter De Crem told VTM broadcaster on Sunday.
When will hotels open in the UK? The latest on domestic holidays resuming, and current lockdown rules explained
Lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease across the UK, with some businesses beginning to reopen their doors to the public. But when will hotels, B&Bs and other holiday accommodation be allowed to do the same? This is everything you need to know.
UK ready to move to phase two from next week with more lockdown easing
Family ‘bubbles’ could be extended to one other household and non-essential shops are set to reopen from next week as lockdown measures will be lifted. Speaking at the daily No 10 press briefing on Sunday evening, Boris Johnson announced that the country is ‘now in a position’ to move to phase two of Covid-19 restrictions. According to the government’s 50-page coronavirus exit strategy, phase two will kick in from June 1
Coronavirus: Government publishes 'phase two' contact training guidelines
The government has given the go-ahead for elite athletes to return to contact training - when individual sports deem it safe to do so. The government advises beginning with clusters of two or three athletes, then progressing to groups of four to 12 and ultimately full team training. It is up to individual sports to assess the risk and consult athletes, coaches and support staff. The Premier League will discuss the guidance at a meeting on Wednesday. Clubs in England's top flight returned to 'phase one' non-contact training on 19 May. Contact training is phase two in a three-stage plan, with the final phase - the resumption of sport behind closed doors - expected to begin in June.
Phase two of UK lockdown could see family 'bubbles' widen and shops reopen
Boris Johnson's latest signal that the lockdown is easing as the Prime Minister confirmed the phased reopening of England's primary schools will commence on June 1. He is also, according to Government sources, set to reveal plans to ease restrictions for certain sectors of the economy - with the changes expected to signal the reopening of some non-essential shops - when the Cabinet meets on Monday. The Prime Minister is sticking to his date for schools opening in England but acknowledged "it may not be possible" for all of them to do so by June 1.
German state is first to abolish enforced lockdown restrictions
A region of Germany has drawn heavy criticism for its plan to become one of the first in Europe to abolish its coronavirus restrictions wholesale and replace them with non-binding advice. The eastern state of Thuringia plans to lift every vestige of its lockdown — including a ban on mass gatherings, an obligation to wear facemasks in shops and a requirement to stay at least 1.5m apart in public — from June 6. Its left-wing chief minister has been accused of “trivialising” the threat from the disease only a fortnight after the infection rates in two of its counties breached a national safety limit set by Angela Merkel, the chancellor.
Putin back in Kremlin, Russia looks to ease lockdown in some regions
President Vladimir Putin made a rare lockdown appearance in the Kremlin on Monday after officials said improvements in the coronavirus situation may allow Russia to re-open some tourist resorts soon and relax restrictions in many regions. Russia, which has reported the world's third most coronavirus cases, confirmed 8,946 new infections on Monday, bringing its nationwide tally to 353,427. Officials reported 92 new deaths, pushing the toll to 3,633. Moscow, Russia's worst-hit region, is entering its ninth week of lockdown. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said it is too early to lift restrictions but allowed state registry offices to open in the capital from Monday. Russia's borders remain closed, as are schools and most non-essential shops, but Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin urged Russians on Monday not to travel abroad on holiday this summer.
German state causes alarm with plans to ease lockdown measures
Negotiations in Germany over a nationwide approach to relaxing lockdown measures were said to be in disarray after the state of Thuringia announced it was going it alone. The federal government cancelled a meeting of its “corona cabinet” after Thuringia’s premier, Bodo Ramelow, announced his state would end both the obligatory wearing of face coverings and the limit on the number of people allowed to gather within the next two weeks.
Italy seeks 60,000 volunteers to enforce coronavirus rules
Italian officials have proposed creating a 60,000-strong corps of volunteer civic assistants who would remind people of the need to observe measures against coronavirus infection as the country emerges from lockdown.
Spain urges tourists to return from July as lockdown eases
Spain urged foreign holidaymakers on Monday (May 25) to return from July as one of Europe's strictest lockdowns eased, though tourism businesses were sceptical about salvaging the summer season. The world's second-most visited nation closed its doors and beaches in March to handle the Covid-19 pandemic, imposing a two-week quarantine on overseas visitors. But that requirement will be lifted from July 1, a government statement said. "The worst is behind us," Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya tweeted with emojis of a bikini, sunglasses and a suitcase.
Coronavirus outbreak: Five ways Europe is easing lockdown
Europe is opening up further, with its citizens tasting freedoms they missed during the coronavirus pandemic. The scope of the relaxation varies but here are some of the highlights.
What can we expect from 'phase 2' of France's lockdown?
The initial loosening of France's strict lockdown on May 11th was a three-week phase, so as that moves to a close what can we expect from phase 2 of the 'déconfinement'?
Palestinian government ends coronavirus lockdown
The Palestinian government is ending its two-month coronavirus lockdown in the occupied West Bank, prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh announced Monday after a steady decline in new cases. Shops and businesses will operate as normal from Tuesday, while government employees will return to work after the Eid holiday on Wednesday, Shtayyeh told a press conference. Mosques, churches and public parks will also reopen, though with social distancing measures. Public transport will resume.
Countries try 'travel bubbles' to save post-lockdown tourist season
The European nations of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have already created what they are calling a "Baltic travel bubble," allowing one another's citizens to travel among the three states without having to self-isolate on arrival. All three countries managed to contain their viral outbreaks with only dozens of deaths. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told NBC News the "bubble" is important for the country's tourism sector, which makes up five percent of its gross domestic product, or GDP, and is the first of its kind in the European Union. For nationals of other countries, quarantine restrictions will still apply, he said.
Press review: Russian regions lift quarantines and Sweden isolated for being lockdown-free
"The epidemiological situation is now stable in Moscow and the Moscow Region," Head physician of the Leader of Medicine Center, and infectious disease specialist Evgeny Timakov told Izvestia. "But it is important to continue social distancing and wear masks when visiting public places and using transport," he added. So far, 44 of the 85 Russian regions can begin the first stage of lifting the Covid-19-related restrictions, according to the country's chief sanitary officer Anna Popova. The acute period of the pandemic in Russia is ending, but there are still regions where the incidence rate is higher than average, Chief infectious diseases specialist at the Ministry of Health Elena Malinnikova told Izvestia. According to her, even if the second wave of the pandemic begins, it will be less active
South Korea to send masks to Korean adoptees living abroad
South Korea will this week send 370,000 face masks to Korean adoptees living in 14 countries severely affected by the coronavirus, with about 60 percent going to the United States. About 50 masks would be made available to each adoptee who had submitted a request via their consulate, the director-general for overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Bureau of South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Byun Chul Hwan, told NBC News.
Asia Today: South Korea to require masks on transit, flights
South Koreans will be required to wear masks when using public transportation and taxis nationwide starting Tuesday as authorities look for more ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus as people increase their public activities. Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho on Monday said masks will also be required on all domestic and international flights from Wednesday. From June, owners of “high-risk” facilities such as bars, clubs, gyms, karaoke rooms and concert halls will be required to use smartphone QR codes to register customers so they can be tracked down more easily when infections occur.
Japan lifts state of emergency after fall in coronavirus cases
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzō Abe, has lifted the country’s state of emergency after a marked fall in new coronavirus cases in Tokyo and other hard-hit regions that were still subject to the measure. Abe declared the state of emergency in Tokyo and several other areas on 7 April before quickly expanding it nationwide. After lifting the restrictions in most areas earlier this month, he said on Monday that new infections had slowed enough to justify an easing of restrictions on businesses, bars and restaurants throughout the country, adding that hospitals were treating far fewer patients than at the height of the outbreak. But he urged people to remain vigilant and adopt a “new lifestyle” based around avoidance of the “three Cs” – confined and crowded spaces, and close human contact – to prevent a second wave of infections.
‘Japan model’ has beaten coronavirus, Shinzo Abe declares
Prime minister Shinzo Abe has declared victory for the “Japan model” of fighting coronavirus as he lifted a nationwide state of emergency after seven weeks. Speaking at a press conference on Monday evening in Tokyo, Mr Abe said that Japan had avoided an explosive increase in cases without the compulsory lockdowns used in Europe or the US. The ending of the state of emergency in the last five prefectures it covered — Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Hokkaido — will mean that the world’s fourth-largest economy can start to reopen for business.
South Africa moving to ease lockdown
South Africa's government says it will ease its coronavirus lockdown measures next month despite a recent surge in cases. The South African government closed its borders, imposed restrictions on the movement of people, and shut down its economy in late March in an effort to contain the virus. But the measure has led to a sharp rise in the unemployment rate and has imposed burdens on poor people who account for nearly a half of the population. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday, saying that the burden brought on by the lockdown has been most severe for those least able to bear it, and that it is time for most of South Africans to return to work.
How Did Japan Beat Coronavirus Without Lockdowns or Testing?
Analyzing just how Japan defied the odds and contained the virus while disregarding the playbook used by other successful countries has become a national conversation. Only one thing is agreed upon: that there was no silver bullet, no one factor that made the difference.
Coronavirus Australia: How each state is easing COVID-19 restrictions
Physical distancing and handwashing are still the order of the day but socialising, in moderation, and gathering in (small) groups outdoors are back in our tentative post-ISO world. With the number of COVID-19 cases relatively low compared with most other nations, the federal government has provided a three-step roadmap for states and territories to start carefully relaxing some restrictions on our movement. The usual "common sense" caveats remain. "Regulation can achieve things but every individual has to do more than regulation," says Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy.
The latest on which coronavirus lockdown restrictions will be eased in each state and territory across Australia this week
Another week means another batch of coronavirus restrictions are soon to be eased. On Sunday, a number of state and territory leaders announced new plans to reopen their jurisdictions, and this week more scheduled changes will come into effect. Get a quick snapshot of what each state and territory has planned for this week and the weeks ahead.
'Highly unlikely' we'll return to lockdown, Health Minister says
Health Minister Greg Hunt says states and territories are not likely to return to a lockdown situation again once restrictions to curb COVID-19 are lifted. Mr Hunt said in the case of any future outbreak of the coronavirus, "localised rings of containment" would instead be deployed."That is the model we have for Australia. If there is a suburban, facility-based, or regional outbreak, we want those localised rings of containment," the Health Minister said. Mr Hunt added that it would only be "if there was systemic, statewide" community transmission that a state or territory would revert back to a lockdown.
Spain welcomes new stages of coronavirus deescalation plan
Residents in Spain welcomed relaxed lockdown conditions on Monday, as much of the country moved to a new stage of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan. The regions of Madrid and Castilla y León as well as the metropolitan area of Barcelona entered Phase 1, which allows sidewalk cafés to reopen at 50% capacity and social gatherings of up to 10 people, while 14 of Spain’s 17 regions either partially or completely transitioned to Phase 2, which permits beaches and schools to reopen.
Partisan Exits
Protests continue across the world as countries ease lockdown restrictions
Many people across the world are protesting the lockdowns, calling them unnecessary and against personal freedom. While some of the protests have been more organised, others have seen people disregard social distancing rules, posing a threat to public safety. Amidst the protestors, there have also been conspiracy theorists, radical groups and anti-vaxx groups who have allegedly been using the pandemic and lockdown to exploit fears and gain support for their causes. From the United States to India, Europe and Latin America, let’s take a look at some of the protests:
California church appeals to U.S. Supreme Court over lockdown
In the California-focused case that reached the high court Sunday night, a 9th Circuit panel split, 2-1, with the majority declining to disturb the state government’s action in light of the health dangers posed by the ongoing pandemic. “We’re dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure,’” Judges Barry Silverman and Jacqueline Nguyen wrote. “In the words of Justice Robert Jackson, if a ‘court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.’”
Germany: Central and regional government tussle over lifting lockdown
Germany's central and regional governments were at odds on Monday over when and how far to ease contact distancing rules, with allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel warning that scrapping them risks unleashing a new wave of coronavirus infections. The row erupted after Bodo Ramelow, premier of the eastern state of Thuringia, said on Saturday he would scrap rules on mask-wearing and distancing, relying instead on local measures. The states set most rules affecting day-to-day life in Germany. Though his proposal echoes federal government policy, which envisages gradually reopening the economy while responding fast to outbreaks with local lockdowns and contact-tracing, officials fear muddying the message could undermine public discipline
Germany's far right 'captures' coronavirus lockdown protests | World
German far right groups are believed by security services to be exploiting a wave of protests against lockdown measures by Angela Merkel’s government to control the spread of Covid-19. More than 40 demonstrations were held in Berlin alone yesterday, with dozens of others taking place across Germany. One of the largest, however, in Munich’s Theresienwiese, site of the annual Oktoberfest, was called off because of a rainstorm. The protests, organised on social media, have drawn a mixture of libertarians, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers, who are united in their opposition to what they consider to be illegitimate curbs on their freedom.
Protesters take to the streets of Berlin over government's lockdown response
Berlin saw new protests against the country's coronavirus lockdown over the weekend. As well as protests in the capital, crowds also gathered in Munich and Stuttgart to demonstrate the German government's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. They claim that restrictions on civil liberties during the lockdown, which has been notably less strict in Germany than elsewhere in Europe, are undemocratic. Germany's death tolls remain under 8,000, one of the lowest in western Europe, while schools, shops, places of worship, and museums have all reopened. In some cases, demonstrations have been started by left-wing groups or anti-vaccine campaigners, but what unites them is a lack of trust in the authorities, experts say.
Race, wealth and public spaces: US beaches are a new flashpoint of the lockdown
During the pandemic, this dichotomy has become even more obvious. Public health officials promote exercise and fresh air during citywide lockdowns, and virologists have said it’s largely safe to be outside as long as people observe physical distancing. But, as the Guardian reported earlier this week, 100 million Americans, especially people of color and poor communities, don’t have access to a decent park or public space, which includes beaches.
Far-right protests in Spain over lockdowns: Coronavirus updates
Spain eased restrictions but Madrid and Barcelona have remained in lockdown for longer because of more severe outbreaks.
Continued Lockdown
Police formally asked to investigate Dominic Cummings' trip during Covid-19 lockdown
Police have been formally asked to investigate a “plethora” of information surrounding Dominic Cummings’ controversial visit to the County Durham area during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Coronavirus: Cummings row raises fears over future of lockdown
The PM's decision to back his chief aide's lockdown trip to Durham has sparked fears that the government's coronavirus message will be undermined. Some Tory backbenchers have called for Dominic Cummings to resign to ensure public confidence in future measures. The row comes as plans to further ease lockdown restrictions will be discussed at a cabinet meeting later. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said Mr Cummings "at no stage broke the law or broke the rules".
Spain’s PM ponders need for potential sixth lockdown extension until end of June
The current lockdown extension will expire on June 7, and the sixth extension would potentially expire another 15 days later, during the latter part of June. “We are studying a sixth extension because it is our duty,” stated Sanchez in yesterday’s press conference. But he insisted it would depend on the country’s health and Covid-19 progress, and would make his decision after “listening to the experts and the regional heads”. During the last few weeks, Sanchez has found it increasingly more difficult to secure the support needed to extend the State of Alarm, particularly during this month. Opposition parties such as the far right Vox and Popular Party (PP) have either voted against or abstained from voting for more lockdown extensions, since the beginning of this month. They believe the Government can resort to other regulations and measures, instead of the current draconian measures to restrict the public’s movement.
Russian women stuck in coronavirus lockdown hell as abuse surges
Ineta Akhtyamova's husband flew into a rage in late April, about a month into Moscow's coronavirus lockdown. She was preparing a meal in the small apartment she shares with her partner when he exploded, calling her names, hitting her and shouting at her to get out. "So off I went. I just could not take it anymore," said Akhtyamova, a 50-year-old singer who lost her income due to confinement restrictions. "I'm bad if I stay quiet. I'm bad if I talk. I'm bad if I make soup. I'm bad if I cook potatoes," she told AFP. When her partner hit her before, she would run to friends. This time she had nowhere to go. Friends were reluctant to take her in over fears of coronavirus infection, and two women's shelters turned her away because of Moscow's city-wide quarantine.
Russian Police to Probe Siberia Street Party
Authorities in Russia have opened an investigation into a street party that saw dozens gather in the center of Novosibirsk despite an anti-coronavirus lockdown in the Siberian city. The local investigative committee said it was launching the probe after photos and videos were posted online of young Russians dancing as music played from loudspeakers in the city's central Lenin Square in the night of Saturday to Sunday. The committee said more than 300 people may have joined the street party in the city of 1.5 million — Russia's third-largest — under lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Russia’s small businesses left out in the cold by Covid-19
Small and medium-sized businesses such as Denis’s are trapped in the space between. For the whole of April they were forced by president Vladimir Putin to pay salaries to employees while also suspending their operations. Now they are subject to almost daily changes to local rules governing how they can operate, while waiting for state financial grants that pale in comparison with those offered in western countries. “We have got no loan vacations, no handouts,” Denis said, noting that Russia’s government has put companies such as McDonald’s on a list of entities which have been given permission to keep operating, but not enterprises such as his.
Scientific Viewpoint
Dr Deborah Birx refuses to rule out a second lockdown
Dr Deborah Birx on Sunday refused to rule out a second US lockdown in the fall saying, 'it's difficult to tell.' 'We're trying to understand during this period of coming out of the closure: How do we maintain openness and safety? And I think that's what we're going to be learning through May, June and July,' Birx said. During the interview, Birx also reminded beachgoers to socially distance and wear masks while outside. 'You can go to the beaches if you stay 6 feet apart,' she said, stressing importance of wearing face coverings. Crowds gathered on beaches across the country to kick off the Memorial Day weekend. Americans enjoyed some leisurely time on the shore after spending weeks on lockdown. States across the country have gradually started reopen their economies and allow people into public spaces Despite the lifting of the lockdown, authorities are reminding crowds to observe social distancing guidelines
New coronavirus outbreaks in Spain inevitable, warn experts
The new normality that Spain is moving toward as it leaves the worst of the coronavirus epidemic behind it will be a demanding place. The use of face masks will continue to be necessary, as will maintaining social-distancing measures, even when no dangers are evident. At the same time, citizens will have to be very flexible and change their plans when the virus rears its head once more. “There will be new outbreaks with the deescalation, it’s inevitable,” explains Pere Godoy, the president of the Spanish Epidemiological Society (SEE). “We will have to adapt to them and the measures that will be taken to control them.”
Coronavirus: German doctors warn of second wave ahead of holiday season
As European countries prepare to reopen to tourists, two leading German doctors on Sunday warned that the mass movement of holidaymakers could prompt a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Max Geraedts, a doctor and health researcher at the University of Marburg, told the dpa news agency that large gatherings could lead to "another sharp increase" in infections. "If you walk alone on the beach, no matter where in the world, then, of course it doesn't matter," he said. "But when you go to a bar where there are lots of people, that can have unpleasant results." Geraedts said that tourist destinations could be responsible for a second phase of exponential growth in cases which are then brought back to visitors' home countries.
Coronavirus Resurgence
One German church service resulted in more than 100 coronavirus infections
A single church service in Frankfurt, Germany, held in early May appears to have led to at least 107 reported cases of coronavirus in the area, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The outbreak highlights the risks that accompany easing lockdowns even in countries that have managed to control the spread of the virus relatively well. And it also serves as a reminder of the acute threat posed by “superspreader” events involving crowds, a pressing concern in the US as President Donald Trump encourages churches nationwide to reopen their doors to worshippers.
Concern grows after coronavirus outbreak at western German restaurant
More than 100 people are currently in quarantine in the Leer region in northwestern Germany after a coronavirus outbreak at a restaurant. Several people have tested positive for the virus, with others showing symptoms. The outbreak has led to questions about whether the lockdown was relaxed too soon - and whether the correct protocols were being followed in the restaurant. Eleven people have tested positive for the virus after visiting a restaurant in Moormerland, Lower Saxony, while 106 are now in quarantine.