The Latest: Summer solstice at Stonehenge to be livestreamed
The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
TOP OF THE HOUR:
— Expert warns many countries are driving blind as they reopen.
— Summer solstice sunrise at Stonehenge to be livestreamed due to the coronavirus.
— Visitors from abroad will have to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Spain.
LONDON — The coronavirus pandemic has scuttled summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge, a highlight of the year for thousands of British pagans, druids and assorted revelers.
English Heritage, which looks after the ancient stone circle, says restrictions on public events to slow the spread of the virus make it impossible to hold the event. It said it had decided to cancel the gathering “after much deliberation and in consultation with our partners in the police and the emergency services, the druid and pagan community and others.”
English Heritage says it will stream the sunrise online on the solstice, June 21.
Thousands of people usually gather to watch the sun rise behind the Neolithic monument in southwest England on the Northern Hemisphere’s longest day of the year.
Stonehenge, a World Heritage site, is believed to be 4,500 years old. It is known for its alignment with the movements of the sun.
MADRID — Spain will require all visitors from abroad to quarantine for 14 days if they arrive in the country after May 15.
The new Health Ministry order, published Tuesday in Spain’s official gazette, says the goal is to “limit the risks derived from the international traffic of people” during the rollback of the coronavirus lockdown.
Travel agencies and transport companies must inform their customers about the new regulations before they sell their Spain-bound tickets, and airlines need to make sure that passengers fill out a “location card” in case they need to be contacted after their trip.
Tourism-magnet Spain is starting to loosen the grip after seven weeks of strict confinement. Authorities have reported more than 26,700 deaths for the new coronavirus and over 268,000 infections confirmed by tests.
NEW DELHI, India — India is reopening parts of its colossal rail network and will run limited trains as the country begins easing its nearly seven-week strict lockdown amid an increase in coronavirus infections.
Special trains will depart from select big cities Tuesday, including Delhi and Mumbai, and run to full capacity. Passengers will be allowed to enter stations only if they are asymptomatic and clear thermal screening; they must maintain social distancing on board and will be given hand sanitizers upon entry and exit.
The train network often described as India’s lifeline spans 67,000 kilometers (42,000 miles) and carries more than 20 million passengers daily.
India’s rail, road and air services were suspended in late March as part of a tight nationwide lockdown that has helped keep confirmed coronavirus infections relatively low for a population of 1.3 billion. But in recent days, as the lockdown has eased and some businesses have reopened, infections and deaths due to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, are increasing.
India has confirmed 70,756 coronavirus cases, including 2,293 deaths.
SINGAPORE — Singaporeans will be able to get a haircut at the barber or pop in to their favorite bakery Tuesday as the government loosens coronavirus restrictions three weeks before a partial lockdown ends.
Despite an upsurge in cases due to an outbreak among foreign workers staying in crowded dormitories, the government says transmission in the local community has dropped and it plans a phased reopening of the economy. Barbers and hairdressers, food manufacturers and outlets, and laundry shops are among selected businesses that can open with strict health measures in place Tuesday after five weeks of shutdown.
Barbers are open by appointment only and notices outside shops call for face masks before entry. Officials reminded citizens not to rush out or loiter outside.
Singapore has reported 23,822 infections, the most in Asia after China, India and Pakistan. But it has a low fatality rate of 21 deaths. About 90% of cases are linked to foreign workers’ dorms, which have all remained locked down as testing continues.
SEOUL, South Korea — The mayor of the South Korean capital of Seoul says the number of recent coronavirus cases linked to the city’s clubs and other nightspots has surpassed 100.
Park Won-soon said in a virus briefing that 64 of the 101 cases detected as of 10 a.m. Tuesday came from Seoul, which is requesting that anyone who visited any clubs or bars in the Itaewon entertainment district between April 24 and May 6 get tested for COVID-19. He said more than 7,200 people have been tested so far.
More than 8,500 police officers have been deployed nationwide to track down thousands of people who were listed as customers of the Itaewon clubs and bars linked to infections but have been out of contact, according to Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho.
Health workers are also using credit card and telecommunications records to track down Itaewon visitors. Park said the city sent text messages to some 10,900 people urging them to get tested after receiving data from police and mobile phone operators that showed they used their devices in the area.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
Figures released by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday brought national figures to 10,936 cases and 258 deaths. At least 1,138 infections have been linked to international arrivals, but such cases have declined after the country strengthened border controls in April, enforcing two-week quarantines on all passengers coming from abroad.
The recent transmissions linked to club goers have alarmed a country that had eased up on social distancing and scheduled a reopening of schools, which was pushed back by a week to May 20.
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the massive lockdown that has restricted millions to their homes will be eased, but he warned that people who want to return to work must follow safeguards to avoid more deaths and a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Philippine economy contracted in the first quarter and the finance secretary reported that up to 1.5 million jobs have been lost during the lockdown on Luzon island, the country’s most populous region, which includes the capital, Manila.
Duterte made the announcement in videotaped remarks shown on nationwide television Tuesday. He said his spokesman will later disclose which regions will remain under lockdown and which areas would be released based on the scale and speed of infections. The two-month lockdown was supposed to last until May 15.
“Don’t gamble with COVID,” Duterte said.
The Philippines has reported more than 11,000 infections, including 726 deaths.
BEIJING — China reported just one new coronavirus case Tuesday as the government presses ahead with reopening measures, including allowing Beijing middle school senior students to return to class and Shanghai Disneyland to open its gates again to a limited number of visitors.
Other measures have included permitting Beijing’s ancient Forbidden City to expand its visitor numbers, as long as they book online first, show evidence they are healthy and wear a mask while touring the massive complex that was home to generations of China’s emperors.
Also on Tuesday, the National Health Commission said 115 people remain in treatment and 763 are being isolated and monitored as either suspected cases or after testing positive for the virus without showing symptoms.
China has not reported a new death from the virus in almost a month. In total, it has recorded 4,633 deaths among 82,919 cases since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year.
The single new case Tuesday follows double-digit increases over the previous two days that had set off renewed warnings from officials for citizens to avoid becoming overconfident and prompted the suspension of train service to one affected county in the northeastern province of Jilin.
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