Spain’s national state of emergency has ended after three months of restrictions on movement to rein in its COVID-19 outbreak.
As of Sunday, 47 million Spaniards will be able to freely move around the entire country for the first time since the government declared a state of emergency on March 14. The lockdown measures have been rolled back gradually over recent weeks.
Travellers from European countries and Britain can also enter Spain now without having to quarantine for 14 days. That quarantine rule still applies to non-Schengen countries, except for the U.K. Spain is hoping it can save part of its summer tourist season, which provides a huge part of its economic activity.
Spaniards are still obligated to wear face masks both indoors and outside when in public spaces where it is impossible to guarantee a distance of 1.5 metres from others. Regional governments are now in complete charge of putting limits on attendance in public places, from theatres, to weddings, to classrooms.
Spain’s lockdown succeeded in stopping the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, which authorities say has claimed at least 28,000 lives in the country.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany reported 687 new cases, its highest one-day toll in a month, after earlier managing the outbreak better than comparable large European nations.
In England, pandemic lockdown restrictions prevented druids, pagans and party-goers on Sunday from watching the sun rise at the ancient circle of Stonehenge to mark the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
English Heritage, which manages the site, live streamed it instead, while a few people gathered outside the fence in the morning rain.
The new coronavirus has killed more than 464,000 people and infected more than 8.8 million, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The true number is thought to be much higher because many cases go untested.
WATCH | Infectious disease specialist on what we’ve learned about COVID-19:
At a campaign rally on Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he told his administration to slow down virus testing. He said the United States has tested 25 million people, but the “bad part” is that found more cases.
“When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases,” Trump said in Tulsa, Okla. “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.'”
The campaign of his Democratic rival in November’s presidential election, former vice-president Joe Biden, accused Trump in a statement of “putting politics ahead of the safety and economic well-being of the American people.”
WATCH | Trump supporter in Tulsa says she had COVID-19:
While some governments in Europe are relaxing controls and reviving business activity, case numbers are rising in South Africa, Brazil and the United States.
The state of Arizona reported 3,109 new infections on Saturday, just short of Friday’s record, and 26 deaths. The state of Nevada also reported a new high of 445 cases.
The outbreak has killed about 120,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins.
Elsewhere in the world
China and South Korea reported new coronavirus cases Sunday in outbreaks that threatened to set back their recovery.
Chinese authorities reported 25 new confirmed cases — 22 in Beijing and three in neighbouring Hebei province. It said 2.3 million people have been tested in an effort to contain the outbreak in the capital that led to the closure of its biggest wholesale food market.
In South Korea, authorities reported 48 new cases. Half were in the capital, Seoul. Ten were in the central city of Daejong, suggesting the virus was spreading more widely as anti-disease measures are relaxed. Nearly 200 infections have been traced to employees at a door-to-door sales company in Seoul, which mostly hired people over 60, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 70 infections have been linked to a table tennis club in Seoul whose members also passed the virus at a church.
Both China, where the outbreak began in December, and South Korea, the second country to report a spike in infections, had eased controls on travel and business as new cases fell. They have reimposed monitoring and some other restrictions following the recent jump in infections.
The agency in charge of the Ming Tombs, a tourist site northwest of Beijing, said indoor areas will be closed as a safety precaution. Visitors are allowed in outdoor areas but are required to wear masks and be checked for fever.
In Middle East, the Palestinian Authority reimposed restrictions in the West Bank after 86 people tested positive on Saturday. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced access to the city of Hebron was suspended and residents put under a five-day curfew. Another city, Nablus, is to be isolated for two days.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday his government will discuss possible steps to halt the spread of the virus after the country saw a major uptick in confirmed cases in recent days, warning that “we need to flatten the curve now.”
Israel has over 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the number of new cases increasing by more than 300 in recent days. At least 305 Israelis have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak in March.
What’s happening in Canada
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 101,019 confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases, with 63,488 of the cases considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial information, regional health data and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,455.
Quebec and Ontario continue to lead other provinces and territories for having the highest daily counts of confirmed infections.
WATCH | Canada surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 cases:
Ontario added 206 new cases on Saturday for a total of more than 33,300. Quebec recorded 124 cases, bringing the province’s total to more than 54,600.
All regions of Ontario except for Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex entered Stage 2 of the province’s phased reopening plan on Friday.
The second stage includes restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools. Child-care centres across Ontario can also reopen.