COVID-19: US to develop vaccine 'by the end of the year', says Trump

Donald Trump
Donald Trump Copyright Alex Brandon/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
By Lauren Chadwick with AP
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Here is the latest information from our live blog on coronavirus.

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic:



Austria’s bars and restaurants reopen with new social distancing rules


Amazon France reaches deal with unions to reopen warehouses

Amazon will gradually reopen its six French warehouses from May 19, the retail giant announced on Friday.
The warehouses have been closed since April 16 after courts ordered the retailer to investigate COVID-19 risks for employees.

Portugal eases restrictions further

Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters on Friday evening that lifting the first lockdown restrictions two weeks ago "did not change the trend of controlling the evolution of the pandemic".
"Therefore, there is no reason to postpone or reverse any measure planned to come into force on from 18 May," he added.
From Monday, stores of up to 400 square meters, as well as cafés, restaurants anbd pastry shops will be able to reopen provided they comply with social distancing measures and capacity is limited at 50%. 
Museums, monuments and palaces will also resume their activities although they will be restricted in the number of visitors. 
Finally, beaches will become accessible again with people encouraged to use an app that will let them know the level of occupation of each beach in order to respect social distancing rules. 

Madrid, Barcelona excluded from easing of restrictions

Most Spaniards will from Monday be able to meet up with family and friends and sit at the terraces of cafés and bars but residents of Madrid, the capital, and Barcelona will have to wait another week.
The two cities have been the hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Slovenia declares end to Coronavirus outbreak


Single during lockdown? Get yourself a 'sex buddy', say Dutch authorities

Credit: Pxhere

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has issued guidelines on coronavirus and sexuality as citizens remain advised to adhere to social distancing measures to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The new guidance states that although people must stay 1.5 metres away from each other at all times, "sex with your regular partner is possible".

For single people who do not have a regular partner but who "want to have physical contact", the RIVM advises that they "meet with the same person to have physical or sexual contact (for example, a cuddle buddy or 'sex buddy".



French death toll rises to 27,529

Health authorities have announced that 104 people have died over the previous 24 hours in France from COVID-19.
More than 27,500 people have died in hospitals and care homes across the country since the beginning of the pandemic. 
Authorities also flagged that 144 reports of atypical pediatric systemic diseases had been recorded since March 1 and that a 9-year-old child had died.
"We've also observed in France and in other countries, cases of a Kawasaki-like syndrome which affects older children, between the ages of 5 and 20," it added. 

Ireland to start easing restrictions from Monday

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday that "it is safe to proceed with Phase 1 of our plan to ease the COVID-19 restrictions on Monday."
"Today's announcement gives us reason to hope, but it is not a cause for celebration. We have a long way to go yet. there will be bumps in the road and we have to keep our guards up," he added.
Construction workers and gardeners can return to work while farmers' markets, garden centres, outdoor public amenities and tourism sites can reopen their doors provided social distancing rules are respected. 

New York to reopen beaches by next weekend

After two months of strict limits on business and social distancing, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo welcomed the first loosening of restrictions in many parts of the state on Friday and announced that beaches would be allowed to open in time for the Memorial Day weekend, on 23 - 25 May.

State and municipal beaches throughout the state will be allowed to open the Friday before the holiday, but with limits, Cuomo said.

Capacity will be limited to no more than 50% of normal, with parking limited to trim crowds.

Group activities will not be allowed. Picnic areas and playgrounds will stay closed. Employees need to wear masks.


Virus 'should have been stopped in China': Trump

US president Donald Trump on Friday blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic, saying: "This came from China, it should have been stopped in China before it got out in the world."

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