Italy study finds virus traces from December: COVID-19 daily bulletin
Nilay Syam


- Scientists in Italy have detected traces of COVID-19 in wastewater collected from Milan and Turin in December 2019, indicating that the virus was present in the country before China reported its first cases.

- France will allow cinemas and casinos to open from midnight as the country gradually emerges from stringent lockdown measures.

- Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia faces the prospect of a renewed lockdown after a spike in infections at a major slaughterhouse, the region's premier warned.

- EU leaders who met to discuss a recovery fund worth $840 billion to tackle the coronavirus crisis have failed to reach consensus, although Germany called the talks "constructive."

- Ireland's two-week quarantine rule for people entering the country will remain in place at least until 9 July, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar said.

- Airbus extends furlough programmes for 5,300 of its employees in Spain and the UK as the European aircraft manufacturer reels from the fallout of the pandemic.

- A meat-processing plant operated by British supermarket Asda in northern England has shut down temporarily after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

- As of 1 July, Poland will allow passenger jets to fly with all their seats occupied, deputy prime minister Jadwiga Emilewicz announced.






The health ministry has raised its virus death toll to 28,313 after rectifying database inconsistencies, but insisted that the outbreak was under control in the country's nine remaining active clusters.

The government is preparing to lift the state of emergency on Sunday, which would allow free travel and open up the border to much-needed tourism from Europe.

All passengers would have their temperature taken, confirm if they have had the disease and also provide details of their stay in Spain. The authorities are mulling whether to impose a quarantine on British travellers in response to a similar policy announced by the UK.


United Kingdom

The UK government will declare in the coming days whether it will reduce the two-meter social distancing rule for England, a minister said.

Many businesses, especially in the leisure and hospitality sectors, have expressed concerns saying that the existing rule might make it difficult from getting back to speed even as restrictions are lifted progressively.

"We have committed to reviewing the two-meter to one-meter rule and we will be concluding on that shortly," culture minister Oliver Dowden told BBC radio.

Because health is a devolved matter in the UK, politicians in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own policies in relation to public health matters.





Ireland has decided to kickstart its economy and bring forward the date to reopen churches, gyms and team sports to 29 June, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar said.

The authorities have also decided to let up to 50 people gather indoors and 200 people outdoors from 29 June. Congregations of 100 people indoors and 500 outdoors are expected to be allowed from 20 July.


Guy Henderson in Germany

The World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is accelerating. The WHO logged more than 150,000 cases on Friday, the highest daily figure since the pandemic began.

Most of those come from the Americas, with a rise in numbers in south Asia and the Middle East as well.

In Europe, caseloads remain more stable as lockdowns continue to ease. France has announced sports stadiums will be allowed to admit a maximum of 5,000 people from 11 July.

However, the continent is still preparing for the possibility of a second wave this autumn. Luxembourg says it will become the first European country to test its entire population regularly as a means of containment.



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