- UK beachgoers trigger ‘major incident’
- Texas halts reopening, US cases soar
An English seaside resort declared a major incident Thursday after thousands of people flocked to the beach on the hottest day of the year so far, despite the threat of coronavirus.
Britons were on Friday urged to abide by social distancing rules over fears over a coronavirus resurgence.
The possibility that beaches could be closed has been raised by health secretary Matt Hancock, who said ministers would “take action” if rules continued to be broken.
Local authorities in Bournemouth said they were “appalled” at the scenes on its beaches, as the sunny weather saw an influx of thousands of people.
Texas halts reopening as US cases soar
Texas halted steps to reopen its economy after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, as the United States hits some of its highest infection rates since the start of the pandemic.
Twenty-nine states are now experiencing new surges, with more than 37,667 new cases recorded Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – a level approaching a new record – with 692 new deaths reported.
Texas was among the most aggressive states in reopening in early June after months of lockdown, its leadership confident it had escaped the worst of the pandemic that has claimed almost 122,000 lives in the US, by far the highest number in the world.
“The State of Texas will pause any further phases to open Texas as the state responds to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” Governor Greg Abbott’s office announced in a statement.
Toilet paper limits imposed in Australia
Supermarkets imposed purchase limits on toilet paper across Australia Friday following panic buying by people rattled over a surge in coronavirus cases in the country’s second-biggest city.
“Stop it, it’s ridiculous,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told his compatriots after the rush on stores, insisting the COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne did not threaten the country’s so far successful containment of the epidemic.
Officials reported 30 new coronavirus infections in Melbourne overnight – the 10th straight day of double-digit rises in new cases in the city and surrounding Victoria state, while most other Australian regions have seen no or low single-digit new infections for weeks.
The Melbourne outbreak has sparked fears of a second wave of the epidemic as most parts of the country push ahead with relaxing restrictions on business, public gatherings, and travel.
Paris-Orly airport reopens
Paris’s Orly airport reopened on Friday for the first time in nearly three months after air travel collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic, but flights will be a fraction of the usual rate.
A plane operated by low-cost carrier Transavia took off for the Portuguese port city of Porto, the first commercial flight since the airport south of Paris came to a halt on March 31.
Two fire trucks on either side of the plane shot a festive arc “water salute” over the stationary aircraft, with the passengers inside waiting to taxi to the runway.
Airlines including Transavia, Air France, easyJet, Vueling, and Air Caraibes account for most of the traffic at Orly, flying to the Caribbean, Reunion Island, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, and Croatia, among others. AFP