Ireland is to begin its first phase of easing coronavirus restrictions on Monday as it reopens some social and economic activity. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that staff will return to outdoor workplaces and there will be the reopening of some shops, sports facilities and public amenities. However Ireland will also introduce a 14 day period of quarantine for people arriving into the country.

Irish Government signals it will relax Coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Tuesday
Irish Government signals it will relax Coronavirus lockdown restrictions

St Peter’s Basilica in Rome will also reopen to the public on Monday following it’s two month shutdown. However people attending public masses or liturgies will have their temperatures checked before being allowed entry.

As of Saturday, travellers could once again visit Austria, France and Switzerland for business and family reasons. Entry for reasons of tourism, shopping or refuelling is still not permitted however. Restrictions at the Luxembourg border have also been completely eliminated.

Also on Saturday people in France were able to enjoy their beaches, monuments and forests once again, but under the watchful eye of the authorities who have introduced some additional rules.

Russia now has the second highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, 232,000, in the world after the USA. Yesterday the country reported almost 11,000 new infections, the 10th consecutive day that it has been over 10k.

The President of the Madrid Community, has seen her second proposal to move to phase 1 of de-escalation rejected by the government which continues to reason that Madrid and Catalonia are not carrying out enough PCR tests while they continue to be the communities that register the most daily cases. Ayuso said that as a result local businesses are losing around 18,000 jobs every week.

Also in Spain Ryanair is to lay off 351 workers among it’s cabin crew. The cut is included in the adjustment plan of 3,000 employees across Europe. There is tension among the workers as many of them are still not receiving unemployment benefit despite being under an ERTE for two months. They blame it on the ‘bad management’ of the company before SEPE.

In the USA President Trump has launched ‘Operation Warp Speed’ aimed at producing a vaccine for coronavirus by the end of the year. He has also defended the need to resume economic activity, despite medical advice, saying “With or without a vaccine, we are back. We must begin to return to our lies as normal.”

The UK government has set out plans to begin a phased reopening of primary schools in England from 1 June but they are being met with resistance by some local authorities and teachers’ leaders. However the Children’s Commissioner for England has said that the government and teachers’ unions should “stop squabbling and agree a plan” to reopen schools safely. But the British Medical Association has backed teachers’ unions by saying Covid-19 infection rates are too high for England’s schools to reopen.