This is a roundup of the latest on the coronavirus pandemic from around the U.S. and the world.

CANNON BEACH, Ore. — As the coronavirus raced across America, this quaint seaside town did what would normally be unthinkable for a tourist destination.


Gwen Partlow and her sons fly a kite on May 28 in Cannon Beach, Ore. With summer looming, Cannon Beach and thousands of other small, tourist-dependent towns nationwide are struggling to balance fears of contagion with their economic survival. Associated Press/Gillian Flaccus

Spooked by a deluge of visitors, the tiny Oregon community shooed people from its expansive beaches and shut down hundreds of hotels and vacation rentals overnight. Signs went up announcing that the vacation getaway 80 miles from Portland known for towering coastal rock formations was closed to tourists – no exceptions.

“It was unprecedented,” said Patrick Nofield, whose hospitality company Escape Lodging owns four hotels in Cannon Beach and abruptly laid off more than 400 employees in March. “We really went into survival mode.”

Now, with summer looming and coronavirus restrictions lifting, the choices facing Cannon Beach are emblematic of those confronting thousands of other small, tourist-dependent towns nationwide that are struggling to balance their residents’ fears of contagion with economic survival. It’s a make-or-break summer in these vacation spots – and the future is still terrifyingly unclear.

Answering that question is especially critical for small, rural towns like Cannon Beach and many more in Maine, which are too far from major cities to benefit from their economies and remote enough that they worry about medical care should infections spike again. Far-flung communities that are gateways to national parks or fly fishing or hiking destinations have similar concerns, said Carl Winston, director of the Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism at San Diego State University.

Read the full story about tourist towns’ dilemma here.

Major League Baseball rejects 114-game schedule

NEW YORK — If Major League Baseball and its players take the field for a coronanvirus-delayed 2020 season, it will be after acrimonious negotiations that resemble their labor war of a generation ago.

Rob Manfred

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is shown in 2019. Major League Baseball rejected the players’ offer for a 114-game regular season in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts and told the union it did not plan to make a counterproposal, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press. LM Otero/Associated Press

MLB rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game regular season with no additional salary cuts, and will turn its attention to a shortened slate of perhaps 50 games or fewer. Owners last week proposed an 82-game schedule starting in early July.

“We do not have any reason to believe that a negotiated solution for an 82-game season is possible,” Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote in a letter Wednesday to chief union negotiator Bruce Meyer that was obtained by the Associated Press.

MLB’s plan included a sliding scale of pay decreases that would leave players at the $563,500 minimum with 47 percent of their original salaries and top stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole at less than 22 percent of the $36 million they had been set to earn.

Players insisted they receive the prorated salaries agreed to in a March 26 deal, which would give them 70 percent pay at 114 games. That agreement called for the sides to “discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators.” The union has said no additional cuts are acceptable.

There has not been a schedule averaging fewer than 82 games per team since 1879.

“Despite what it sounds like with some of the Twitter bickering back and forth and some of the posturing back and forth, I am optimistic that we are going to play baseball this year,” Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “I’m optimistic that both sides genuinely want to play baseball this year, that there’s a path to doing so, even if it’s a shorter season, even if it’s 50 games.”

Ballparks without fans appear certain due to the pandemic. MLB claims large losses due to the virus, which the union disputes, and teams want additional salary reductions. Halem said 27 of the 30 teams would lose money with each additional game.

A 50-game schedule would result in players receiving about 30 percent of their full salaries under the March 26 deal.

Read the full story about baseball here.

How restaurants around the world are adapting to the coronavirus

Masks. Gloves. Partitions. Socially distanced lines. Hand sanitizer.

As countries around the world begin to emerge from the lockdowns that marked the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants — at least the ones that have survived — are taking steps to lure customers back.

A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield in a restaurant of Paris. Associated Press/Thibault Camus

On Tuesday, cafes in Paris opened their outdoor terraces, after nearly three months closed, with tables a meter apart. In the rest of the country, restaurants reopened fully. In many countries that put in place strict measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, similar steps are underway.

But in some cases, a return to business does not look like a return to the way things were.

One restaurant in France is even trying to attract diners with lampshade-like plastic coverings, which are also a novelty in themselves. Mathieu Manzoni, the director of the Parisian restaurant, H.A.N.D., told the Associated Press that the shields offered a “pretty, more poetic” option for virus-weary customers. The designer of Plex’Eat, as the plastic bubbles hanging from the ceiling are called, told the AP he was inspired by pods he saw in a store in Thailand.

Cases rise in Arizona weeks after stay-at-home order is lifted

Coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in Arizona just two weeks after the state lifted its stay-at-home measure.

The state health department reported 973 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 40 related deaths on Wednesday, a day after it registered a record rise in infections: 1,127 in 24 hours. In total, the state has confirmed 22,223 coronavirus cases and 981 deaths.

Kristina Washington arranges her desk in her classroom June 1 in Phoenix, returning to her classroom for only the second time since the coronavirus outbreak closed schools. Associated Press/Ross D. Franklin

While bars and nightclubs remain closed, salons, gyms and restaurants, among other businesses, are can now operate if they implement preventive measures.

The return to economic and social activities, however, probably will come at a cost to public health, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Wednesday.

“A state like Arizona is concerning,” he said. “The scope of the rise and the velocity of it is concerning. I think its going to be vary hard, though, for a lot of these governors to hear a suggestion to go backward and start implementing the mitigation again.”

States and other countries have struggled to contain new coronavirus outbreaks amid pressure to reopen businesses and reduce restrictions on movement. That, said Gottlieb, could mean officials in Arizona and other states accept a higher rate of new cases going forward than they did at the height of the virus’s first wave.

“And that just sets up more risk — that a state like Arizona can have a very large outbreak and end up reseeding parts of the country,” he said.

UN health agency to resume clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine

LONDON — After suspending the hydroxychloroquine arm of a clinical trial of experimental COVID-19 drugs, the director-general of the World Health Organization said experts had reviewed the safety data and were now recommending the trial continue as planned.

The recommendation means doctors will soon be able to resume giving the drug to patients enrolled in the U.N. health agency’s study.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that the WHO’s safety monitoring committee for the global trial had now examined all available mortality data about hydroxychloroquine. Some studies had suggested that people who were taking the drug for COVID-19 had a higher chance of dying than those who were not.

Tedros said: “The members of the committee recommended that there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol.”

U.S. President Trump has said he is taking hydroxychloroquine even though he has not tested positive for the coronavirus; there are no studies that have proven the drug is effective against COVID-19.

Tedros said the executive group running the WHO’s trial endorsed the continuation of all arms of the trial, including hydroxychloroquine. Other treatments being tested, including remdesivir and an HIV combination therapy drug, were unaffected.

Tedros said that to date, more than 3,500 people have been recruited into the trial in 35 countries.

Alaska’s plan to make coronavirus testing mandatory for travelers runs into backlash

Alaska’s plan to test all travelers for coronavirus is facing backlash as tourists cancel their summer vacation plans, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Friday that out-of-state visitors would no longer be subject to a 14-day quarantine period as long as they tested negative for coronavirus within 72 hours of their flight, or upon arriving at the airport. But officials have yet to clarify what tourists are supposed to do if they’re unable to get tested where they live, or if they test positive once they arrive in Alaska.

Sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout popular for taking in views of North America’s tallest peak, Denali, in Denali National Park and Preserve in 2016. Associated Press

Some tourists are simply opting to rethink their summer plans. At the Denali Lakeview Inn in Healy, Alaska, 85 percent of bookings already had been canceled before Dunleavy’s announcement. “The 15 percent left were kind of hanging on to see what the governor was going to say,” co-owner Daryl Frisbie told the paper. On Saturday morning, he said, the lodge got “nothing but cancellations.”

Sheri Woodbeck, who had planned to travel to Alaska for a halibut-fishing excursion next week, told the Daily News she had canceled her flight after realizing she wouldn’t be able to get results until she was already on the plane. “What happens if I did test positive?” she asked. “I would be in trouble.”

Many Alaska communities rely heavily on tourism, particularly from cruise ships. Meanwhile, the state’s geographic isolation and mandatory quarantine period has helped prevent a major coronavirus outbreak. Only 10 Alaskans have died of covid-19, and the state has one of the lowest infection rates in the country.

No other state has instituted mandatory coronavirus testing for outsiders, though Hawaii is weighing the possibility.

Cyprus brings forward end of lockdown by 3 weeks

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus has accelerated the lifting of most of the country’s remaining coronavirus restrictions by three weeks, citing its consistently low infection rate since the May 4 end of a stay-at-home order.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Wednesday the third phase of the country’s gradual rollback of restrictions will be completed by June 24 instead of July 14.

That means that as of June 9, shopping malls, airports and the interior seating spaces of hotels, bars and restaurants, open-air theaters and cinemas will be back in business. Sports events without spectators, kindergartens, playgrounds, summer schools and school canteens also re-open on that date.

Casinos, dance schools, gyms, theme and water parks open their doors four days later.

A 10-person limit on public gatherings will stay in effect at least until June 24.

Indoor cinemas and theaters are expected to open in early August, while music concerts, festivals, wedding and christening receptions and graduation ceremonies will again be permitted on Sept. 1.

To date, Cyprus counts 952 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 17 deaths.

British lockdown citations show racial bias

LONDON — British police statistics show that black and ethnic minority Londoners were more likely than their white counterparts to be fined or arrested for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules barring gatherings and non-essential travel.

Metropolitan Police figures show that black people received 26% of the 973 fines handed out by police between March 27 and May 14 and accounted for 31% of arrests. They make up about 12% of London’s population.

People from Asian, black, mixed and other backgrounds received more than half of fines and arrests, but account for about 40% of the city’s population.

The police force said the reasons for the discrepancy “are likely to be complex and reflect a range of factors.”

Owen West, a former police chief superintendent, said racism was a potential factor. He said “the U.K. police service has massive issues with discrimination … and I really do think now is the time to confront it.”

The statistics are the latest evidence that ethnic minority communities are being hit disproportionately hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

They were published a day after a government-commissioned report confirmed that ethnic minority people in Britain experienced a higher death rate from the coronavirus than white compatriots. The government has vowed to uncover and confront the issues behind the difference.

Britain will impose 14-day quarantine on visitors

LONDON — The British government is confirming plans to impose a 14-day quarantine for people arriving in the country starting next week, despite pleas from the travel industry to drop the idea.

Airlines and tour companies say the quarantine will derail plans to rebuild business. It comes as other European countries reopen their borders and ease travel restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Others say the measure comes too late. Britain’s official COVID-19 death toll stands at more than 39,000, the highest in Europe. Officials say the quarantine will help prevent a second wave of infections, though most of Britain’s European neighbors currently have lower infection rates.

Starting Monday, travelers and returning Britons coming from all countries except Ireland, which has a long-standing free-movement agreement with the U.K., will be asked to self-isolate for two weeks.

Breaches can be punished with a $1,220 fine, or by prosecution and an unlimited fine. But it’s unclear how the quarantine will be enforced. The U.K. government has said only that people “could” be contacted to ensure they are complying.

Germany plans to lift travel warning on June 15

BERLIN — Germany’s government says it plans to lift a travel warning for European countries on June 15 — but it may still advise against travel in some cases, for example to Britain if quarantine rules there remain in place.

Germany issued a warning against all nonessential foreign travel in March. The aim is to change that for Germany’s 26 European Union partners, other countries outside the EU that are part of Europe’s passport-free Schengen travel area and Britain.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday that the warning would be replaced with more conventional travel advice “so long as there are no longer entry bans and no large-scale confinement” in the countries concerned. He said all countries except Norway and Spain, where entry restrictions are expected to last longer, now fulfill those conditions.

Maas said that the new travel advice won’t amount to “an invitation to travel,” and in some cases may advise against trips – “for instance to Britain, so long as there is still an obligatory 14-day quarantine for everyone arriving there.”

Czech Republic, Slovakia open common border

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic and Slovakia are fully opening their common border for travelers, fully lifting restrictions that have been adopted to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The prime minister of the two countries, Andrej Babis of the Czech Republic and Igor Matovic of Slovakia, announced the move that becomes effective on Thursday at the start of their meeting in Prague.

The Czechs and Slovaks together with Hungarians have been allowed to travel to their three countries without showing a negative test on the coronavirus or be quarantined if they return home from the trip in 48 hours.

The two countries have not been hit by the pandemic as hard as some other European countries, including Italy, Spain, France and Britain.

Another Pakistani lawmakers dies of coronavirus

ISLAMABAD — Health officials say one more Pakistani lawmaker has died at a hospital in Islamabad after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Mian Jamshed Kakakhel, who was a member of a provincial assembly in the northwest, died Wednesday. His death comes a day after two lawmakers died at different hospitals after testing positive for the coronavirus.

So far, four Pakistani lawmakers have died because of the coronavirus in the country, which recorded its highest single-day increase in infections with 4,131 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.

Pakistan on Wednesday reported 67 deaths in the past 24 hours from the outbreak.

Critics blame Prime Minister Imran Khan for an increase in deaths and infections. They accuse him of easing restrictions last month at a time when there was a need to enforce a stricter lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

Pakistan has recorded a total of 80,463 confirmed cases and 1,688 deaths since February.

Greenpeace says pandemic economic response steered to fossil fuels

BRUSSELS — Environmental group Greenpeace says the EU’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to the investment of several billion euros in polluting fossil fuels industries.

According to a Greenpeace analysis released Wednesday, the European Central Bank has purchased corporate bonds worth about 30 billion euros ($33.7 billion) between mid-March and mid-May 2020. Among that investment, 7.6 billion euros ($8.5 billion) were injected into fossil fuels industries, Greenpeace said.

“With the purchase of bonds from just seven big polluters, the ECB contributed an estimated 11.2 million tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, which is more than the entire annual emissions of Luxembourg,” Greenpeace said.

Last week, the European Commission pledged to stay away from fossil-fueled projects in its coronavirus recovery strategy, and to stick to its target of making Europe the first climate neutral continent by the mid-century.

Tanzania enters sixth week without updates

JOHANNESBURG — Tanzania is entering its sixth week without an update on its coronavirus cases as African health authorities worry and the U.S. issues a new statement of concern.

The East African nation’s data has been frozen at just over 500 cases since the end of April as the government of President John Magufuli claims the virus has been defeated. The opposition, however, has alleged that Tanzania’s cases could be in the tens of thousands.

The latest U.S. Embassy alert, posted Tuesday, says “there have been instances during the COVID-19 outbreak when hospitals in Dar es Salaam reached full capacity due to the high volume of COVID-19 cases” and that “the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains high.”

The alert recommends that U.S. government personnel stay at home except for essential activities.

Tanzania, unlike many African nations, has lifted its ban on international flights. Cases across the African continent are now above 157,000.

German school shuts down after outbreak

BERLIN — A city in central Germany has closed its schools for the rest of the week and is testing hundreds of people in a residential complex after 80 coronavirus infections were linked to private events marking the end of Ramadan.

Goettingen Mayor Rolf-Georg Koehler said on Tuesday that all residents of the complex at the center of the outbreak will be tested – up to 700 people. Officials said that 230 people in and around Goettingen and another 140 further afield are in quarantine after the infections were detected.

They say a hookah lounge in Goettingen where various people apparently used the same mouthpiece played a significant role. News agency dpa reported that, since the infected include 24 children, the city is closing its schools this week and will require the wearing of masks for the two following weeks.

Germany started easing coronavirus restrictions in late April and is continuing to do so despite some concern over various local outbreaks.

Wuhan completes near-universal testing

BEIJING — The central Chinese city of Wuhan has tested nearly every one of its 11 million people for the coronavirus in a mass effort that resulted in the isolation of 300 people, authorities said Wednesday.

The pandemic is believed to have originated last year in the industrial city that went under lockdown for 76 days to try to stop the outbreak. Wuhan still accounts for the bulk of China’s 83,021 cases and 4,634 deaths from the disease.

The testing effort carried out in the second half of May targeted every resident not already tested and excluded only children under age 6.

“This is extraordinarily rare anywhere in the world,“ National Health Commission expert Li Lanjuan told reporters. “It not only shows confidence and determination in the fight against the epidemic in Wuhan, but has also provided reference to other cities for their prevention.”

No new cases of COVID-19 were found, although 300 people who tested positive for the virus without showing symptoms were placed in isolation.

The executive deputy mayor, Hu Yabo, said the city spent 900 million yuan ($126 million) on the tests, a “totally worthwhile” expenditure as Wuhan looks to reassure residents and people elsewhere in China and get the city’s local economy humming again, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted him as saying.

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