Coronavirus latest: Red Cross slams US and Brazil response

Coronavirus latest: Red Cross slams US and Brazil response

The Red Cross has decried the politicization of the pandemic, warning that the “divisive” responses by leaders in countries such as Brazil and the United States was taking its toll. Follow DW for the latest.

  • The Red Cross says the Americas are paying “the highest price” for political divisions over the pandemic
  • Switzerland implements mandatory quarantine for travelers from high-risk regions
  • The UN estimates the COVID-19 crisis will cost the tourism industry at least $1.2 trillion
  • Germany announces restrictions to ease on travelers from up to 11 non-EU countries

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

23: 40 New Zealand Health Minister David Clark has resigned over recent missteps in the government’s response the pandemic as well as personal mistakes. 

“It has become increasingly clear to me that my continuation in the role is distracting for the government’s overall response to COVID-19 and the global pandemic,” Clark said in a news conference in parliament.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had accepted his resignation, he said. 

In June, New Zealand’s border controls allowed two arrivals from the UK out of quarantine early, despite one of them displaying symptoms of the virus. They both later tested positive for COVID-19, breaking New Zealand’s 24-day streak with no new infections.

23: 25 Coronavirus fatalities in Brazil have topped 60,000 after the country recorded more than 1,000 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the latest Health Ministry figures. 

For the past week, Brazil has reported the largest number of daily coronavirus deaths globally. It is the second-worst affected nation after the US in total cases and fatalities. 

Over 46,000 new cases were reported in Brazil in the past day, bringing total infections to 1.44 million in the country of 212 million inhabitants. 

In Rio de Janeiro the coronavirus death rate of 584 per million inhabitants is over double the national average of 284.

21: 35 Over a thousand food delivery employees on motorcycles gathered on Sao Paulo’s main thoroughfare, blocking traffic in protest of working conditions set by Uber and other apps.

With their services in high demand due to the coronavirus lockdown in Brazil, the drivers demonstrated to demand increased pay and improved health measures. Similar protests took place in cities around the country.

Brazil is a coronavirus hot spot, second to only the United States in total coronavirus infections and fatalities.

Lockdown measures there have increased the demand for food delivery services, with the delivery app iFood telling Reuters news agency that orders had increased by 30% since the coronavirus crisis began. 

However, drivers say the apps are paying them less while requiring them to work more, threatening them with suspension if they do not comply. 

Customers and restaurants on social media also supported the drivers. Wednesday’s protest was not the first time Brazil’s delivery drivers have demonstrated against the apps they work for, but it appeared to be the largest gathering yet. 

The delivery apps classify drivers as freelance workers who retain the freedom to set their own hours. But drivers disagree. 

“An algorithm determines everything for them: the value of the work, the duration of their work, even the route they should take, and if you don’t accept, there are penalties,” said Tatiana Simonetti, a Brazilian labor prosecutor.

Uber declined to comment, instead pointing to a statement issued by a trade group representing several apps that said the firms had provided alternative income for people at a time when they needed it. 

According to recent government figures, over half of working-age Brazilians are out of work due to the coronavirus outbreak.

20: 10 The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a worldwide ceasefire resolution in the wake of the pandemic.

After more than three months of impasse over a unified response to the crisis, the resolution supports UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ March 23 call for a ceasefire so that the World can concentrate on dealing with COVID-19.

The text, submitted by France and Tunisia, “demands a general and immediate cessation of hostilities” in key conflicts, such as Syria, Libya and Yemen.

It also “calls upon all parties to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days” to enable the delivery of aid and medical evacuations.

“This is a sign for hope for all people currently living in conflict zones around the World,” said Christoph Heusgen, Germany’s ambassador to the UN, who assumed the council’s rotating presidency for a month.

“The negotiations were not easy, but this resolution shows that differences can indeed be overcome, especially in the face of this pandemic,” Heusgen added.

Efforts by the 15-member panel to approve a COVID-19 bill had been thwarted by a dispute between the United States and China over the role of the World Health Organization (WHO). China were keen for the UN’s health arm to be mentioned in any resolution, while the US, given their skepticism over the WHO’s role, did not.

The resolution does not directly mention the WHO, instead referring to “relevant parts of the United Nations system.”

The United Nations flag at the UN headquarters in New York

The UN Security Council approved the resolution after months of impasse

19: 30 Germany’s parliamentary budget committee has approved a second supplementary budget worth €217.8 billion ($245 billion) to finance a bumper package with the aim of stimulating its economy in the wake of the pandemic.

Europe’s largest economy is facing its deepest recession since World War II and after minor alterations, record new debt is planned for this year.

The realignment is down to a reallocation of funding, rather than an overall reduction in the deal, which involves a temporary cut in sales tax, a child bonus and assistance for companies and municipalities.

“The record new debt of 217.8 billion euros does not make me happy, but it is essential in light of the severity of the
economic collapse caused by the corona pandemic,” said Eckhardt Rehberg, budget spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

“We must reduce deficits again in coming years and return to the path of balanced budgets,” Eckhardt added. The Bundestag lower house of parliament is expected to pass the bill on Thursday.

19: 05 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said there have now been a total of 2,624,873 cases in the United States, an increase of 43,644 from its previous count.

The CDC announced its updated death toll which is now 127,299, up 560 on yesterday’s figures.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has revealed he supports another coronavirus stimulus bill but wants it to include incentives for citizens to return to work, a move likely to upset Democrats in Congress over jobless benefits.

“We want to create a very great incentive to work. So, we’re working on that and I’m sure we’ll all come together,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

18: 00 As of today, Egypt restarted international flights and opened up its major tourist attractions.

The Great Pyramids of Giza and other famous historical sites welcomed visitors for the first time in over three months. The country closed its airports and shut tourist attractions in mid-March as the government sought ways of preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Tourism and antiquities minister Khaled al-Anany said two chartered flights arrived Wednesday morning to airports in South Sinai and the Red Sea, bringing visitors from Ukraine.

These provinces by the Red Sea, as well as Marsa Matrouh by the Mediterranean, were allowed to open up once more as they had reported very few infections. Egypt has so far recorded 68,311 cases, from which 2,953 people have died from the novel virus.

Tourists ride a cart in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza after reopening for tourist visits

Tourists ride a cart in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza after reopening for tourist visits

16: 45 The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the Middle East is at a “critical threshold” in its fight against the coronavirus as cases continue to surge in the region, while lockdowns ease.

“We are at a critical threshold in our region,” the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean director, Ahmed al-Mandhari, said in a virtual press conference.

There have been more than one million infections across the 22 countries that the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region covers, stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. Over 80% of all COVID-19 deaths in the region have occurred across five countries: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, according to the UN’s health arm.

Mandhari said it was a “concerning milestone.”

“The number of cases reported in June alone is higher than the total number of cases reported during the four months following the first reported case in the Region on 29 January,” he said.

16: 10 The Red Cross has criticized a number of countries, particularly the United States and Brazil, for their handling of the pandemic.

Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), warned that in the Americas especially, there were terrible consequences to the mixed and partisan rhetoric from politicians, often contradicting scientific advice.

“America as a continent is paying the highest price for this kind of division or not following the advice coming from the scientific community,” he told a virtual briefing hosted by the UN correspondents’ association in Geneva.

The United States is the worst-hit country in the World, with a quarter of global cases and deaths, followed by Brazil, which has suffered almost 60,000 fatalities and more than 1.4 million infections of the novel virus.

Rocca said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro “underestimated the consequences of COVID, and his country is living the consequences.”

Bolsonaro has frequently ignored social distancing guidelines, while shaking hands and giving hugs at rallies, as well as hosting barbecues, all of which have been conducted with no sign of a face mask. The president also once compared the coronavirus to a “little flu.”

15: 00  The economic crisis brought about by the pandemic could cost global tourism and related sectors at least $1.2 trillion (€1.06 trillion) in lost revenue, the United Nations said, while adding the figure could wind up being as much as $3.3 trillion.

Lockdown restrictions have devastated the tourism industry, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said, and the sector is set to lose at least $1.2 trillion in the best-case scenario. In the most pessimistic scenario, UNCTAD projected losses of $3.3 trillion or 4.2% of global GDP.

  • Urlauber Strohhut Strand Meer türkis blau Himmel Kuba Varadero (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zimmermann)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Caribbean states reopen for tourists

    Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas have been letting foreign tourists cross their borders again since July 1. In Cuba, only charter flights and stays in all-inclusive resorts are permitted, which avoid contact with the population. In the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas, hotels and beaches are again open to visitors. There are capacity restrictions and hygiene restrictions.

  • Ägypten: Die Giseh Pyramiden (picture-alliance/H. Champollion)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Development Minister Müller: Reviewing travel restrictions for Africa

    Development Minister Gerd Müller has called on the German Foreign Ministry to reassess the coronavirus travel restrictions for Africa. As long as the countries have low infection rates and hygiene standards, there would be no reason to cut them off from tourism. Around 25 million people in Africa live from tourism, for example in Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia or Namibia, Müller said.

  • EU relaxes entry restrictions (picture-alliance/NurPhoto/N. Economou)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    EU relaxes entry restrictions

    Starting from July 1, people from third countries with low infection rates may enter the EU again as regular travellers. These countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China will only be considered if it also lifts its entry restrictions for Europeans.

  • Deutschland Corona-Testzentrum am Flughafen Frankfurt (picture-alliance/dpa/B. Roessler)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Corona test center opened at Frankfurt Airport

    A corona test center has been in operation at Frankfurt Airport since June 29, 2020. Here, passengers both departing and arriving can be tested to avoid quarantine. The standard procedure, in which the results are available as a download within six to eight hours, costs 59 euros. Around 300 tests can be performed per hour.

  • Frankreich Paris Eiffelturm (picture-alliance/dpa/F. Gierth)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Paris Eiffel Tower is open again

    The Parisian landmark was closed for three months, and now visitors can go up it again. But only in limited numbers and on foot. There are 765 steps to the second floor viewing platform. Wearing a face mask is mandatory. The top of the Eiffel Tower will remain closed until further notice, as will the elevators. The number of tickets on sale is limited and they must be ordered online in advance.

  • Sanssouci bathed in red light, Potsdam, Germany (picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Sohn)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Night of Light – nationwide protest of the event industry

    Just like Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, 8900 buildings in Germany and neighboring states were bathed in red light on Monday (June 22). With the illuminated memorials, the event industry wanted to draw attention to their precarious situation and demand more state aid. Concert halls, music clubs and other event locations have been closed since mid-March and are not generating any income.

  • Semperoper Dresden, Germany | Dresden (picture-alliance/Arco Images)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Semperoper in Dresden reopens

    On June 19, after a three-month coronavirus break, the curtain will rise again at the Semperoper: Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov will star in the concert performance of Verdi’s opera “Don Carlos”. The approximately 300 tickets (out a total of 1300 seats) were sold out within 15 minutes. Until the summer break on July 18, there will be further weekend performances at Dresden’s Semperoper.

  • Alhambra Castle, Granada (picture-alliance/blickwinkel/K. Thomas)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    World famous Alhambra in Granada opens again

    The Alhambra Castle in Granada in southern Spain will open its doors to tourists again on June 17. Initially, only 4,250 visitors are to be admitted at the same time — only half as many as usual. In addition, masks are mandatory. The Alhambra is considered the most important testimony to Arab architecture in Europe and is a World Heritage site.

  • Louvre Paris France (picture-alliance/abaca/A. Yaghobzadeh)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    “Re-open EU”: A connection with travel rules for Europe

    Entry regulations, masks, quarantine? The new EU overview connection “reopen.europa.eu” provides information on the coronavirus rules of individual EU countries — and in 24 languages. Tourists can enter their destination country on the connection and find out about regulations that apply there. So far, the site contains information on 27 EU countries and is to be continuously updated.

  • Border between Germany and Danmark (picture-alliance/dpa/C. Rehder)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Germany’s borders are open again

    During the night of Monday (June 15), the federal police ended the border controls that had been introduced three months ago because of the coronavirus crisis. Complete freedom of travel between Germany and its neighboring countries is back in effect. At the same time, the Foreign Office’s travel warnings for 27 European countries ended.

  • two young women with trolley bags on the island Spiekeroog, Germany (picture-alliance/dpa/I. Wagner)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Bookings on Airbnb are picking up again

    In Germany, Airbnb accommodation bookings in the past week were 60 per cent higher than a year ago, the global provider announced on June 11. These bookings were mainly for places within a radius of 80 to 320 kilometers (50-220 mi) of the users’ home. However, things at Airbnb are far from business as usual. The company had to cut about 1900 jobs worldwide because of the coronavirus crisis.

  • the beach of island Ko Phi Phi, Thailand (picture-alliance/CPA Media/Pictures From History/O. Hargreave)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    German government extends worldwide travel ban

    The beaches of the World people dream of, like here on Ko Phi Phi in Thailand, will have to do without German tourists. The German government has extended the travel warning for tourists due to the coronavirus pandemic for more than 160 countries outside the EU until August 31. However, exceptions can be made for individual countries where the spread of the virus has been sufficiently contained.

  • Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (AFP/J. Reina)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Tourist pilot project launched on Mallorca

    6000 Germans will be the first foreign tourists to be allowed to travel to the Balearic Islands from Monday (June 15). According to Spanish media, the pilot project is intended to test the security precautions at airports and hotels before all of Spain opens its borders on July 1. Germany was chosen because the epidemiological situation there is similar to that on the Balearic Islands.

  • people onthe beach, baltic sea, Germany(picture-alliance/dpa/S. Sauer)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    App to regulate beach visits on the Baltic Sea coast

    A new app is to help manage the flow of visitors to the Baltic Sea beaches, Schleswig-Holstein’s state premier Daniel Günther announced on June 7. Visitors use the app to register their desired time slot on the beach. If there is enough space available, they will be given an access authorization. The municipality of Scharbeutz developed the system, which could now also be used by other places.

  • USA | Las Vegas | Hotel Bellagio (picture-alliance/AP Photo/J. Locher)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Las Vegas reopens casinos

    After having to close because of the coronavirus crisis, the casinos in Las Vegas reopened on Thursday (June 5). Hygiene precautions are to reduce the risk of infection. Visitor capacity has been reduced to half, plexiglass panels separate players from croupiers, and the casino tokens (chips) are regularly disinfected. Nightclubs and big shows in the casinos are still not allowed at the moment.

  • Germany Berlin Tegel airport (picture-alliance/dpa/T. Schöning)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Tegel Airport to remain open — for the time being

    Berlin’s Tegel Airport will not be temporarily closed after all. Airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup said on Wednesday (June 3) that the number of passengers was even expected to rise again. Earlier, the German government had announced that it would lift its travel warnings for 29 European countries on June 15. On that day, Tegel was supposed to go off the grid.

  • people on the beach of Ostia, Italy (picture-alliance/dpa/A. Medichini)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Italy reopened for Europeans

    Starting on Wednesday (June 3), tourists from Europe have been allowed to enter Italy again, the country that was one of the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic worldwide. A two-week quarantine for travellers from Europe is no longer required. This should save the travel season. Italians will again be able to move freely throughout the country and travel to other regions.

  • View of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany at dusk (picture-alliance/DUMONT Bildarchiv/T. Roetting)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Neuschwanstein Castle is open again

    Neuschwanstein Castle — since Tuesday June 2 — is again open to tourists. Previously, the Bavarian state government had made a whole range of tourist attractions such as the boat trip on Lake Starnberg or Nymphenburg Castle accessible again. One of the attractions that will remain closed due to the coronavirus because of restricted space is the royal house at Schachen.

  • Zugspitze Cable car (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Cable cars in Bavaria are back in operation

    The Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain at 2962 meters (9718 ft.), is accessible again. From Saturday (May 30) the cable cars and chair lifts in Bavaria are allowed to run again. Physical distancing and compulsory facemasks are a matter of course, the number of passengers is limited to 35% of the transport capacity. The first mountain huts are also opening again.

  • Roller coasters at Europapark Rust, Germany (picture-alliance/Arco Images)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Roller coasters are running again at Europapark Rust

    This is the first large amusement park in the World to resume operations. Rules are: Facemasks must be worn in the queue and every second seat must be left empty. More than 2.5 million tickets have already been requested online for the coming weeks. The Europapark Rust, located in the triangle of Germany, France and Switzerland, attracted 5.7 million visitors last year.

  • cruise ship Aidablu (picture-alliance/dpa)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Aida cancels cruises until end of July

    The 14 cruise ships of the German Rostock-based shipping company Aida Cruises will remain in port until July 31. In many holiday destination countries the regulations for international tourism are still being discussed, the company announced. The Italian shipping company Costa is also extending the cruise suspension for its fleet until July 31.

  • Colosseum, Rome, Italy (picture-alliance/ROPI/L. Bianco)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Colosseum and other sights in Italy open again

    Rome’s 2,000-year-old landmark can finally be visited again from June 1, and the Vatican Museums will also reopen on that day. Ancient Pompeii, south of Naples at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, is already welcoming visitors again, but only those from within the country. From June 3, however, foreign tourists will be able to return to Italy and visit the ancient sites.

  • Mosaics in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, West Bank (Getty Images/AFP/T. Coex)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem can be visited again

    From today (May 26) one of the most sacred places of Christianity will be open to the public again. Only 50 people can enter the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem; wearing facemasks is compulsory. While Jews have already been allowed to pray again at the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is to open to Muslims at the end of the week.

  • a white church with a blue dome on the island Santorini, Greece (Dimitris Koutoulas)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Tourism on Greek islands starts again

    From Monday (May 25), Greece’s islands will be accessible again by plane and ferry for domestic tourists. Taverns, bars and cafes are reopening nationwide. Ferries are to sell only 50% of their tickets, and taverns are only allowed to occupy half of their tables. The list of countries from which foreign tourists can enter Greece without a two-week quarantine will be announced at the end of May.

  • Berlin TV Tower Berlin and the Alexanderplatz, Germany (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Schlesinger)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Berlin Television Tower reopens

    Starting on May 22, visitors will again be allowed on to the viewing platform and restaurant of the Berlin TV tower. Only about 50 people are allowed in at any one time, masks are mandatory, and tickets must be reserved online. At 368 meters (1207 ft.), the Berlin Television Tower is the tallest building in Germany and a popular tourist hotspot.

  • Mount Fuji Japan (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Zastavkin)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Climbing season on Japan’s highest mountain Fuji cancelled

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese authorities have imposed a climbing ban on Mount Fuji on May 18, and all four routes on the mountain have been closed. Normally during the climbing season in summer, which lasts only two months, thousands of people climb the slopes of the volcano daily in single file. At 3,776 meters (12,389 feet), the mountain is the highest in Japan.

  • parasols on the beach of Glyfada near Athens, Greece (picture-alliance/ANE)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Successful start of the beach season in Greece

    In Greece, all beaches in the country were reopened on May 16. According to media reports, strict regulations were observed: The distance between parasols had to be four meters and only two sunbeds per parasol were allowed. Beach bars could only sell packaged food and not serve alcohol. Is this a preview of summer holidays in Europe despite the coronavirus pandemic?

  • Motorway at the border between Germany and the Netherlands (picture-alliance/dpa/O. Berg)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Quarantine restrictions for entry into Germany to be relaxed

    From May 15, people entering North Rhine-Westphalia from other EU countries and Schengen states no longer have to go into a 14-day home quarantine. The other German states are to follow in the next few days. Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are also exempt from the quarantine regulations, making travel to neighboring countries much easier.

  • Couple hugging each other across a border barrier, Kreuzlingen on Lake Constance, German-Swiss border (Reuters/A. Wiegmann)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Borders are opening, for lovers too

    On May 16, Germany opened its borders to neighboring countries France, Austria and Switzerland. There will only be random checks, and no more checks at all for Luxembourg. However, there must still be “good” reasons for crossing the border. And love is accepted as such. For example, German-Swiss couples at Lake Constance (photo) — can visit each other again.

  • Motorway at the border crossing between Germany and Austria (picture-alliance/SvenSimon)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Austria to open border to Germany again

    The Austrian government has announced that the border with Germany will be opened on June 15. Tourism in Austria has been effectively suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. On May 29, hotels and other accommodation in Austria will be allowed to reopen. Austrian tourism is heavily dependent on guests from Germany.

  • Sunrise and dramatic sky over the beach on the north sea island Juist, Germany (picture-alliance/dpa/D. Rueter)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Start of the season on the North Sea Islands

    Borkum, Juist (photo) and the other East Frisian islands are happy to be able to greet tourists again, even if it’s a limited surge of visitors. Since May 11, overnight stays in holiday apartments and camping sites throughout Lower Saxony have been allowed again. Holidaymakers must stay at least one week. However, day tourists and hotel overnight stays are still prohibited.

  • Frauenplan street, Weimar, Germany (picture-alliance/Bildagentur-online/Schoening)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Weimar permits outdoor catering again

    Thuringians are pioneers. Weimar is the first city in Germany to reopen restaurants and cafés. Since May 6, people have been sitting in the sun with a coffee or beer and enjoying a step back towards normality — while keeping their distance. Restaurants and hotels in the other federal states will also resume their limited operations by the end of May.

  • Empty sandy beach with rock outcrops and pine trees on Paguera beach, Mallorca (picture-alliance/dpa/T. Reiner)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Will travel within Europe soon be possible again?

    Holidaymakers might also be able to travel to the Balearic or Greek Islands in summer. “If there are very few new infections there and the medical care works, one could also think about a summer holiday in those places”, the government’s commissioner for tourism, Thomas Bareiss, told the Tagesspiegel newpaper. Long-distance travel, however, is likely to be cancelled this summer.

  • Beer garden in Bamberg, Germany (Bamberg Tourism & Congress Service)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Bavaria’s beer gardens reopen

    On May 18, the coronavirus lockdown for Bavaria’s outdoor gastronomy ended and the beer gardens have reopened. Of course under strict conditions — waiters have to wear masks, for example. On May 25, indoor gastronomy is to follow, restaurants and cafes, with a limited number of guests. From May 30, the operation of hotels, and holiday homes in Bavaria will be allowed again.

  • the selling Pier at the Baltic Sea, Germany(picture-alliance/Zoonar/G. Kirsch)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Holiday season at the Baltic Sea to start

    Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the first federal state to reopen to tourists from all over Germany: From May 25th they can again stay in hotels, guest houses and holiday homes. 60 percent of the bed capacity will be released for this purpose. This means that the tourist season can start with the Whitsun holidays in popular holiday regions like the Baltic Sea and the Mecklenburg Lake District.

  • Forbidden City in Beijing (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Schiefelbein)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Forbidden City in Beijing will reopen

    One of Beijing’s most important sights can be visited again after months of closure due to the coronavirus crisis. From Friday (May 1), visitors are allowed back into the palace complex on Tiananmen Square under strict security conditions. Instead of the previously usual 80,000 visitors, a maximum of 5,000 guests are to be admitted daily.

  • Empty beach near Barcelona, Spain (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Oesterle)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Germany extends worldwide travel warning

    Germany extended on Wednesday (April 29) its worldwide travel warning due to the coronavirus crisis to at least June 14. The Federal Foreign Office said that “severe and drastic restrictions in international air and travel traffic and worldwide entry restrictions, quarantine measures and restrictions on public life in many countries can still be expected.”

  • North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf: Empty chairs stand in front of the town hall (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Vennenbernd)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Empty chairs a warning from restaurant owners

    Gastronomes have set up empty chairs in central locations in Germany, such as here in Düsseldorf, to draw attention to their situation in the coronavirus crisis. “Without direct financial aid, most of our businesses will not survive,” says Guido Zöllick, President of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. “Suppliers and partners are also increasingly being drawn deeper into economic crisis.”

  • Empty jetty at Wolfgangsee Lake, Austria (picture-alliance/dpa/B. Gindl)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Travel between Austria and Germany will soon be possible again

    Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is confident that the border between Austria and Germany will soon be opened again for tourists. Both countries are on the right track in containing the spread of the coronavirus, Kurz told ARD television on Wednesday (April 22). This is the precondition for a revival of tourism. He did not name an exact date for the opening of borders.

  • Höllentalangerhütte mountain hut at Höllental (picture alliance / Bildagentur-online/Schickert)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Not a normal holiday season this summer

    “A normal holiday season with crowded beach bars and busy mountain huts will not be possible this summer. That would be unacceptable,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday (April 21). However, he did not rule out the possibility that borders for tourists could be reopened before the summer and that holiday travel with certain restrictions might be possible.

  • München Oktoberfest 2019 O´zapft is (picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Schrader)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    The Oktoberfest in Munich has been cancelled

    The Oktoberfest has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bavaria’s premier Markus Söder and Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter announced the decision on Tuesday (April 21). ”It pains us, and it is a great pity”, said Söder. But in times of the coronavirus, the danger of infection at the folk festival, which attracts about six million visitors annually, would just be too great.

  • Schleswig-Holstein, St. Peter-Ording, empty beach (picture-alliance/dpa/W. Runge)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Schleswig-Holstein hopes for summer tourism

    The Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther, hopes that tourism on the North and Baltic Seas will be revived in the summer. Despite the coronavirus crisis, he “definitely did not write off the summer tourism business,” he said on April 19. While they are now proscribed, stays in secondary residences, holiday homes and finally hotels could be made possible again in three steps.

  • Empty cafe tables in a deserted town center in Germany, Hofbräuhaus, Munich (picture-alliance/dpa/F. Hörhager)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Poor outlook for tourism

    The government resolutions (April 15th) stipulate that people in Germany should continue to refrain from making private trips. The worldwide travel warning is to be upheld. Accommodation offers are only available for necessary and explicitly non-touristic purposes. Restaurants will also remain closed. Tourism is one of the industries that has been hit hardest in the coronavirus crisis.

  • Russian tourists at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, United States (picture-alliance/dpa/T. Stolyarova)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    US entry ban from Europe to remain in place for the time being

    The entry ban imposed by the USA on foreign nationals from Europe will remain in place for the time being. Italy and Spain are still struggling with the coronavirus crisis and France has just extended measures to contain infections by the virus, US President Donald Trump said on Monday (April 13). The entry ban will remain in force until the countries show signs of improvement, Trump said.

  • Exterior view of the Royal Palace in Palma de Mallorca (picture-alliance/GTRES/G3online)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Mallorca worried about the summer

    Hotels, cafes and souvenir shops are closed. It is unusually empty outside the Royal Palace in Palma (picture). The Easter season on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca has been cancelled. The Majorcan hotel association now fears that due to the uncertain situation in the main markets of Germany and Great Britain, some hotels will remain closed even during the peak season.

  • Coronavirus Nepal Kathmandu Touristen Flughafen (picture-alliance/dpa/N. Shrestha)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    More Germans brought back from abroad

    By Sunday (April, 5) 205,000 travelers had been brought back to Germany, according to the federal government. Airplanes from Peru and Colombia were the most recent to take off. More than 40,000 Germans however are still stranded abroad. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter. ”We will continue our efforts to find solutions for the travelers who have not yet been able to return.”

  • Coronavirus Neuseeland Fremantle Flughafen Symbolbild Touristen (Getty Images/P. Kane)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    New Zealand lets tourists leave

    Thousands of foreigners stranded in New Zealand because of the coronavirus crisis will be able to leave the Pacific state from Friday (April 3). On Thursday, the New Zealand government announced that it would allow the “safe and orderly departure of tens of thousands” of stranded people. Earlier it had stopped return flights by foreign governments.

  • Schweiz Corona-Botschaft auf Matterhorn (picture-alliance/KEYSTONE/V. Flauraud)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    A symbol of hope

    A light installation on the Matterhorn in Switzerland is giving a sign of solidarity and hope in the fight against the corona virus. Encouraging messages are also being projected on to many other tourist landmarks around the World. “Stay safe”, “Stay at home” could be see on Monday evening on the Great Pyramid in Giza near the Egyptian capital Cairo.

  • Cook Islands Rarotonga Auswirkungen der Corona-Krise auf den Tourismus (picture-alliance/Bildagentur-online/DeFreitas)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Repatriation mission will take at least two more weeks

    The repatriation process for Germans stranded abroad is ongoing. Until now, main destinations such as Egypt or Morocco have been addressed. “It will be more difficult with countries that only have small groups of scattered adventure vacationers,” said the crisis manager of the German Foreign Office. Tourists in the Pacific Islands must first be rounded up in New Zealand and then flown out.

  • Checkpoints in Thailand (picture-alliance/ZUMAPRESS/SOPA images/Y. Kongprasert)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Thailand closes its borders

    After long delays Thailand closed its borders on Thursday (March 26). The authorities had delayed the decision for a long time to safeguard the tourism sector. Now tens of thousands of tourists are stuck in the Southeast Asian tourist country. The German government has so far not organized a repatriation for German tourists, as Thailand is not considered a risk region.

  • Coronavirus Mallorca Spanien Flughafen (picture-alliance/dpa/C. Margais)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Huge repatrition drive

    The German foreign ministry announced on Wednesday (March 25) that, together with tour operators, it had brought back more than 150,000 Germans from abroad. Tour operator TUI added that almost 95 percent of the tourists who were stranded because of the coronavirus pandemic are now back in Germany. They were mainly flown out from Egypt, Spain, Portugal and the Cape Verde Islands.

  • Coronavirus Flughafen Frankfurt (picture-alliance/nordphoto/Bratic)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Travel warning extended

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that the warning against traveling abroad will remain in effect until the end of April. “This includes the Easter holidays,” he said on Twitter. “Stay at home! Protect yourself and your fellow human beings,” he appealed to the population. Many tour operators have also extended their travel ban until the end of April.

  • Coronavirus - Stuttgart (picture-alliance/dpa/T. Weller)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    EU pays for return to Europe

    The EU Commission is supporting the return to Europe of tens of thousands of long-distance travellers. It intends to cover a large part of the costs, since most of the flight connections have been cancelled. “We are here to help them return,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a video message.

  • Coronavirus in Südafrika Flughafen Polokwane Rückkehrer (picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Africa’s measures to deal with the pandemic

    African countries have also ordered numerous measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. South Africa, for example, has banned access to the country for people coming from risk areas. Nigeria is monitoring the temperature of travelers at airports, ports and borders. Cameroon has closed its borders indefinitely.

  • Coronavirus in Australien Brisbane (picture-alliance/Zuma/Sopa/F. Rols)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Australia bans foreign travel

    The Australian government has imposed an indefinite ban on all foreign travel by its citizens. Prime Minister Scott Morrison also called on all Australians who are abroad to return home. A 14-day compulsory quarantine for all people entering the country has already been in place for some time. Here, too, it has become quiet in the cities.

  • Coronavirus – leerer Bahnhof in Schwerin (picture-alliance/dpa/J. Büttner)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Tourism in Germany comes to a halt

    The coronavirus crisis is impacting travelers and the tourism industry with full force. Several tour operators, including TUI, has cancelled trips, and some airlines are shutting down. Germany’s federal and state governments decided that overnight stays should only be used for “necessary and explicitly not for touristic purposes”. Germans are to “no longer take holiday trips at home and abroad”.

  • Coronavirus -Kontrolle an der Grenze zu Frankreich (picture-alliance/E. Cegarra)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    EU external borders closed

    The EU has closed its entire external borders for 30 days as from Tuesday (March 17, 2020). “All travel between non-European countries and the European Union will be suspended for 30 days,” French President Macron said in a television address on Monday (March 16,2020) evening. The Schengen Area, which includes several non-EU countries, has also closed its external borders.

  • Airbus A320-200 der deutschen Fluggesellsschaft Lufthansa (picture-alliance/W. Minich)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Germany brings travelers back home

    More and more countries are sealing their borders, and many flights are cancelled. With special flights Lufthansa and its subsidiary Eurowings want to bring up to 6,500 stranded holidaymakers from the Caribbean, the Canary Islands and on Mallorca back to Germany. In Morocco, the German government is assisting German tourists who are stranded there due to their return flights being cancelled.

  • Grenzkontrolle Deutschland Frankreich | Grenze Saarbrücken (DW/B. Riegert)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Germany partially closes its borders to tourists

    On Monday morning (March 16, 2020), Germany introduced entry controls at the borders with the five neighboring countries: France, Denmark, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland. Border crossings will be reduced to what is strictly necessary. Goods can continue to pass through, including commuters, but not travelers without good reason. The duration of the measures remains open.

  • Der rotweiße Amrumer Leuchtturm (picture-alliance/M. Narten)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    North German islands closed for tourists

    Whether Spiekeroog, Sylt or Rügen: Vacation on the northern German islands in the North and Baltic Sea is no longer possible as of March 16, 2020. Those who had already moved into their accommodation have been asked to return home. The health systems of the islands are not equipped to deal with large numbers of infected people. Regulations are to follow for mainland tourism.

  • Disneyland Paris (picture alliance)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Disneyland Paris closes

    Disneyland Paris and Disney World Florida have closed until the end of the month. Disney Cruise Line have also suspended all new departure through the same period. The company said the decision was made “with great caution” to protect guests and employees. The company said the parks in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai, which had already been closed, will also remain shut.

  • Winter in Tirol (picture-alliance/dpa/A. Riedl)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Austrian ski regions end season early

    All ski areas in the Austrian provinces of Salzburg and Tyrol are ending the winter season early. Cable car operation will be discontinued as of Sunday (March 15, 2020). Hotels and accommodations will be closed from Monday. The provincial governments said that this should slow down the spread of the virus in the Alpine country. The two provinces account for most leading Austrian ski areas.

  • USA coronavirus Statue of Liberty in New York City (picture-alliance/dpa/J. D. Ake)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    USA: Entry ban for Europeans

    Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the USA is imposing a general 30-day travel ban on people from Europe. The entry ban comes into force on Friday (March 13, 2020) at midnight (local time). It does not apply to US citizens residing in Europe who have tested negative for the pathogen.

  • Tourists at Red Fort in New Delhi

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    India imposes entry ban

    India has declared all tourist visas invalid for 1 month because of the corona virus. Only travelers who are already in the country are allowed to stay, the Indian Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday (March 11, 2020). The entry ban is to last until April 15 for the time being.

  • Mount Everest as seen from Namche Bajar

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    China closes access to Mount Everest

    Climbing Mount Everest via the north side has been forbidden by Chinese authorities. The necessary permits for expeditions to the World’s highest mountain were withdrawn on Thursday (March 12, 2020).

  • Austria Coronavirus border checks (picture-alliance/AP Photo/K. Joensson)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Italy increasingly sealed off

    In order to reduce the spread, the border into neighboring Austria can only be crossed from Italy with a medical certificate. Slovenia has closed its border, and Albania has banned Italian air and ferry traffic. Many airlines have cancelled flights to Italy until at least 3 April. Germany, the UK, and Ireland tightened travel recommendations and called on their citizens to leave.

  • Italy cruise ship Costa Smeralda in the port of Civitavecchia (Reuters/G. Mangiapane)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Mediterranean cruises put on hold

    The Costa Crociere shipping company is cancelling all cruises in the Mediterranean for the time being. The cruises will be suspended until April 3, the Italian company announced on Tuesday (March 10). The measure affects thousands of passengers. Ships still operating in the Mediterranean will only call at Italian ports to let passengers disembark.

  • Germany Reichstag glass dome in Berlin (picture-alliance/Bildagentur-online/De Simone-AGF)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Reichstag dome closed for visitors

    The dome and roof terrace of the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin have been closed to visitors since Tuesday (March 10, 2020) until further notice to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus. The walkable dome and the roof terrace are visited by more than 2 million people every year, according to the Bundestag.

  • Ski piste Piz Boe in Dolomites Italy (picture-alliance/Bildagentur-online/Schoening)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Winter sports season in Italy ended early

    All ski facilities in Italy have been closed since Tuesday (March 10, 2020) due to the corona crisis. Prior to this, hoteliers and cable car operators in the South Tyrol region (photo) had already agreed to close their facilities. South Tyrol is particularly popular with winter sports tourists from Germany and Eastern Europe. The closure is effective until at least April 3.

  • Coronavirus - Czech Republic border checks (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Kube)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Travel warnings and border controls

    The Czech Republic (picture) and Poland are carrying out checks at the border with Germany to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. Since Monday (March 9), travelers have faced random temperature checks. The German government has warned against travelling to risk areas. And air passengers from China, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy will have to expect controls when entering Germany.

  • Coronavirus - Italy- empty cafe tables in Venice (picture-alliance/dpa/C. Furlan)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Italy in crisis

    On March 8 the Italian government issued an entry and exit ban for the more than 15 million inhabitants of the northern Italian regions, which include the key business center Milan and the tourist magnet of Venice (photo). Cultural, sporting and religious events are also banned for visitors. Museums, cinemas and theaters remain closed nationwide.

  • Costa Fortuna cruise ship is seen near Phuket, Thailand.

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Cruises a risk factor

    Repeatedly cruise ships have to be quarantined or prevented from docking. After cancellations in Thailand and Malaysia, the Costa Fortuna (photo) with 2,000 passengers, including 64 Italians, has been allowed to enter the port of Singapore. In Oakland, California, 2,000 passengers and 1,100 crew members of the Grand Princess are quarantined because 19 of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Japan Tourism Coronavirus (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Taga)

    Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

    Asia fears dramatic setbacks

    Sights in Asia are particularly affected by travel restrictions for Chinese tourists. Hotspots such as the Senso-ji temple (picture) in Tokyo and the temple complexes of Angkor Wat in Cambodia are reporting a sharp drop in visitors. On March 9, the Ministry of Tourism in Thailand reported a 44% drop for February. Tourism accounts for 11% of the gross domestic product.

    Author: Andreas Kirchhoff, Susan Bonney-Cox

14: 10 UK opposition leader Keir Starmer has said the coronavirus hit city of Leicester had been denied crucial testing data, resulting in “a lost week while the virus was spreading,” the Labour leader told parliament.

The mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, joined the chorus of government disapproval as he took to Twitter to vent his frustration. “We should have had this data right from the start. Councils up and down the land are the ones at the front line, we need to know what is happening in our communities and the Government needs to tell us.”

The city in the Midlands has 10% of all active cases in the UK, despite having a population of just 330,000. As a result of the spike, non-essential shops have been ordered to close again and pubs will not open as originally planned on July 4.

13: 40 Switzerland will now require masks for individuals on public transport, as the country has seen a rise in coronavirus cases after it relaxed restrictions. Authorities registered a rise of 137 new cases in 24 hours.

Travelers returning to the country from high-risk regions will now face a mandatory quarantine.

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health said it will update a list of high-risk countries, with Sweden being one of the countries that was already on the list.

11: 15 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the European Union has treated Turkey unfairly over the coronavirus, accusing Brussels of taking a political stance. 

Erdogan said the EU had behaved in a restrictive way.

While he did not provide further details, his comments came after the EU excluded Turkey, along with the United States and other countries, from an initial “safe list” of countries from which the 27-member bloc will allow non-essential travel.

10: 51 German carmaker Volkswagen is shelving plans to build a new factory in Turkey in response to a drop in demand for new cars during the coronavirus pandemic, according to DPA news agency.

Germany’s largest automaker had been planning to open the factory in Manisa on the western coast of Turkey.

The €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) plant was to build the Volkswagen brand Passat and the Superb, a sedan from its subsidiary Skoda.

The project had been on hold since last year. It had faced opposition from German labor unions and Volkswagen faced further criticism after Turkey launched a military incursion into Syria last October.

10: 37 China’s aviation authority has said it will suspend Sichuan Airlines from operating the Cairo-Chengdu route for a week from July 6, after six arriving passengers tested positive for coronavirus.

China has largely been quick to act on suspending travel routes that have imported COVID-19 cases. For example, last month when a China Southern Airlines flight from Dhaka to Guangzhou was suspended for four weeks after imported infections.

Many of China’s coronavirus cases over the course of the last month have been imported.

09: 56 Germany announced it is easing restrictions on travelers from up to 11 non-European Union countries, excluding four countries on the full list recommended by the EU earlier this week.

The travel ban will be lifted for Australia, Georgia, Canada, Montenegro, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. In a further step, Japan, South Korea and China will only be included if those three countries allow people from Germany to enter.

The German Interior Ministry chose to exclude Algeria, Morocco, Rwanda and Serbia, although residents of these countries may be allowed into other nations in the visa-free Schengen area.

The new rules will apply from Thursday.

09: 51 Austria has issued travel warnings for six Western Balkan countries because of an increase in coronavirus infections there. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said the measure applied to Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

The “highest level” warning does not apply to European Union member Croatia.

Travel is still possible, but those returning will only be allowed entry with a negative coronavirus test or a commitment to spend 14 days in quarantine. Both Serbia and Montenegro have reintroduced some restrictions after a spike in recent infections in the western Balkans.

In parts of the region, the rise followed a rapid end to lockdown measures, allowing mass outdoor gatherings such as sporting events with no maximum limit on the number of people attending.

09: 10 Health officials in Bavaria are racing to contain the further spread of a COVID-19 outbreak from a catering company. Tests are being conducted among the residents of refugee centers where many of the employees were living.

Officials said 45 cases of COVID-19 have already been identified by Tuesday evening among employees in the Upper Bavarian town of Gilching.

Further testing among those sharing accommodation with the workers was underway on Wednesday, along with a tracking operation for other contacts of those who were infected. 

Among the facilities refugee homes affected was one in nearby Hechendorf, where 10 of the employees who tested positive were living. That center and three others have been closed, and residents placed under a 14-day quarantine. 

“The important thing now is to break the chain of infection,” a spokeswoman for the municipality of Starnberg told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Municipality leaders say a more general lockdown for the wider municipality is not imminent. 

Catering firm Apetito said it was investigating the cause of the outbreak.

The catering plant at Gilching supplies Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-University hospital with more than 6,000 meals per day for staff and patients.

Germany’s first coronavirus cases nationwide were diagnosed in Starnberg in February after a visiting Chinese employee of the auto parts firm Webasto passed the virus on to a coworker.

08: 45 Thailand has begun a fifth phase of relaxations on restrictions, allowing schools to reopen and foreign visitors to enter on a controlled basis. Pubs and massage parlors will also reopen.

The number of foreign visitors arriving in the country will be limited to 200 per day and most flights entering the country will prioritize Thai citizens. Social distancing regulations remain in place and a contact tracing app has been introduced.

Despite the relaxations in restrictions, Thailand has also extended its state of emergency through to the end of July.

08: 20 German unemployment figures rose lower than expected in June, new data shows. The Labor Office said an additional 69,000 people were out of work in seasonally adjusted terms, pushing the unemployment rate to 6.4% compared to 6.3% in May.

This put the number of unemployed people in Germany at 2.943 million, hundreds of thousands fewer than many commentators and officials had predicted.

“The labor market remains under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic,” Labor Office head Detlef Cheele said, but said that the use of short-time work had stabilized the job market during the pandemic. The new figures may allay fears that coronavirus would have a devastating effect on Germany’s job market.

06: 58 German Development Minister Gerd Müller has warned that Germany will see a new “wave of refugees” because of the coronavirus pandemic. He announced that Germany has earmarked €3 billion ($2.25 billion) for foreign aid to developing countries.

“We in Europe are beginning to get the virus under control, but in other parts of the World the virus is all-encompassing,” Müller told German broadcaster RND. “I fear that the peak has not been reached yet in many developing countries.”

Müller identified Yemen as a particularly worrying case, where civil war and famine have left the healthcare system in tatters and the virus is beginning to spread through the population.

05: 58 Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have reopened with social distancing guidelines, following four months of closure. Visitors had to undergo body temperature tests as they arrived at the parks. They are also not allowed to shake hands with or hug Disney characters and masks are compulsory.

Tokyo Disneyland (Reuters/Issei Kato)

“I was so looking forward to this day, it’s like a dream,” a man in his 40s told local broadcaster NHK.

The Japanese government ended a state of emergency for Tokyo and four other prefectures in late May.

Later in the day, Tokyo confirmed 67 new cases of coronavirus, the highest daily tally since the state of emergency was lifted.

Tokyo is the third Disney theme park to reopen, after Shanghai and Hong Kong. The site in Paris will reopen later in July while US parks have no set reopening date as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country. 

05: 25 Australian authorities will lockdown around 300,000 people in the suburbs of the city of Melbourne for a month beginning immediately. The fresh lockdown is an attempt to control a new outbreak of the virus that has seen more than 70 new cases per day in the country’s second-most populous state of Victoria.

The new regulations will see 30 suburbs return to “stage-three” restrictions, meaning residents are confined to their homes except for shopping, health appointments, work and exercise. The measures will be accompanied by a testing blitz.

State Premier Daniel Andrews warned that fresh restrictions across the entire city were still a possibility.

“If we stick together these next four weeks, we can regain control of that community transmission,” Andrews said. “Ultimately if I didn’t shut down these postcodes I’d be shutting down all postcodes.”

03: 53 South Korea is considering including religious facilities on a list of “high-risk” venues for the spread of COVID-19. It comes after a slew of transmissions tied to church gatherings. South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a virus meeting on Wednesday that more than 40% of the country’s newly confirmed infections over the previous three days have been traced back to places of worship.

He requested people to stay away from religious gatherings and criticized churches and other facilities for failing to implement proper preventive measures, such as requiring followers to wear masks and sit apart during services.

03: 37 Coronavirus infections in Germany increased by 466 in the past 24 hours to 194,725, according to figures shared by the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. The death toll rose by 12, bringing national fatalities to 8,985, the institute said. 

02: 26 The US recorded 1,199 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, the first time the national daily death toll has exceeded 1,000 since June 10, a Johns Hopkins University tally has shown. In total, over 127,322 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in the US. The US also registered 42,528 new infections in the past day.

The growing number of fatalities has caused several states to halt the process of relaxing coronavirus restriction measures. “Clearly we are not in total control right now,” infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, a key member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, said on Tuesday.

Fauci said that new cases could more than double to 100,000 per day if authorities and the public don’t take steps to curb the outbreak. He called on Americans to cover their faces in public and to avoid crowds.

01: 01 The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is making another attempt at a coronavirus ceasefire agreement in response to a drawn-out dispute between the US and China regarding the World Health Organization (WHO). France and China submitted a revised draft of the resolution on Tuesday. Results are expected Wednesday.

The resolution supports UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ March 23 call for global ceasefires in order to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. It asks for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in all conflicts on its agenda. This includes fighting in Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Congo. The resolution calls for at least 90 consecutive days of peace in order to provide safe delivery of humanitarian aid and medical evacuations. 

Last Thursday, Guterres announced that nearly 180 countries and over 20 armed groups had endorsed his appeal. “The difficulty is to implement it,” he said. Multiple attempts to pass the resolution have been blocked over a reference to the WHO. The US suspended funding to WHO in April after President Donald Trump accused the health agency of failing to stop the virus from spreading after it first appeared in China. 

China, meanwhile, strongly supports the organization and insisted that its role in calling for global action against the virus be included in the resolution. The US, for its part, demanded a call for “transparency” and no reference to the WHO. The new draft does not mention either the WHO, a UN health agency, or transparency.

00: 52 Mexico has reported 5,432 new coronavirus infections and 648 more fatalities in the past 24 hours. This brings total cases in the country to 226,089 and total deaths to 27,769, the Health Ministry said. The government has indicated that the real number of infections is likely significantly higher than the number of confirmed cases.

00: 38 China has reported three new cases of coronavirus in the mainland, compared to 19 the day before. All three cases were in Beijing, the National Health Commission said in a statement. The mainland also reported three new asymptomatic cases, meaning the patients had tested positive for the virus but displayed no symptoms, down from four the day before. Mainland China had a total of 83,534 confirmed coronavirus infections as of June 30, the health commission said.   

00: 05 Brazil is closing in on 60,000 deaths from the new coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the country’s Health Ministry. With 1,280 new deaths from COVID-19 registered in the past 24 hours, 59,594 people in Brazil have so far died from the infection. Confirmed infections rose by 33,846 to 1,402,041. Brazil is suffering the second worst outbreak worldwide, behind only the US in terms of total deaths and infections.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday signed a decree that will extend emergency stipends to informal workers affected by the coronavirus crisis, as unemployment continues to grow. The monthly stipend of 600 reais ($110, €98) had been set to expire this month. But it has proved a lifeline for struggling Brazilians and has boosted the far-right president’s popularity among poorer voters.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes cautioned, however, that the emergency spending cannot go on indefinitely and that the national debt may soon exceed gross domestic product (GDP). Tuesday figures showed that public debt in Brazil has risen to 81.9% of GDP.

Furthermore, Brazil’s military on Tuesday delivered protective supplies and medicines by helicopter to indigenous communities of the Amazon bordering Venezuela. The military also conducted rapid finger-prick tests on the Yanomami and Yekuana tribes. The army airlifted supplies like face masks, alcohol, gloves, tests and 13,500 pills of chloroquine, a controversial anti-malaria drug that President Bolsonaro is championing to combat the coronavirus.

00: 00 Catch up on yesterday’s coronavirus news here.

In reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, unless otherwise specified, DW uses figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center in the United States. JHU updates figures in real-time, collating data from World health organizations, state and national governments, and other public official sources, all of whom have their own systems for compiling information.

Germany’s national statistics are compiled by its public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These figures depend on data transmission from state and local levels and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from JHU.

rs, kp/rs (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)

Story continue

Leave a Reply