Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
Bahamas Bars Flights From U.S. Over Coronavirus Concerns — 7/20/20, 8:45 a.m.
The Bahamas announced Sunday that it will no longer permit flights from the U.S. to enter beginning Wednesday, due to coronavirus concerns.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, speaking in a national address, stressed that the Bahamas has seen a rise in cases since it largely reopened to international travel on July 1. All of its progress fighting the outbreak can be reversed, he warned, “because of how citizens and residents within countries are following or ignoring health guidelines.”
The U.S., particularly Florida, makes up a significant portion of the islands’ tourism industry.
“We are in a marathon, not a sprint. This is a marathon demanding discipline, endurance, demanding resilience and requiring determination,” Minnis said. “Our current situation demands decisive action, if we are to avoid being overrun and defeated by this virus.”
Commercial flights from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union may still fly into the Bahamas, but passengers must provide proof they tested negative for the virus at least 10 days ahead of their arrival.
— Nina Golgowski
Critical Talks Over European Recovery Plan Enter Fourth Day — 7/20/20, 8 a.m.
European leaders are yet to reach an agreement on a recovery plan to revive their COVID-hit economies after three days of heated talks.
On the table is a 1.8 trillion euro ($2.06 trillion) package for the European Union’s next long-term budget and coronavirus recovery fund.
HuffPost’s European editions report that a group of so-called “frugal” wealthy north European states, led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, are pushing for a smaller recovery fund and sought to limit how payouts are split between grants and repayable loans.
HuffPost France writes (in French) that French president Emmanuel Macron “punched his fist on the table” in frustration at the position of the northern states.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte accused the Netherlands and its allies — Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland — of “blackmail.”
HuffPost Italy reports (in Italian) that Macron accused Rutte of behaving like former U.K. prime minister David Cameron when negotiating the Brexit referendum. “That strategy ended badly,” Macron pointed out.
HuffPost Spain leads (in Spanish) on Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez rejecting the demand of the “frugal” countries for more cuts to direct aid from the recovery fund.
The meeting has been adjourned until 4 p.m. CET (10 a.m ET).
Australia’s Second-Largest City Makes Masks Mandatory — 7/20/20, 4:20 a.m.
People in Melbourne, Australia, must now wear masks when leaving their homes as the state of Victoria marked two weeks of triple-digit increases in new coronavirus infections on Sunday.
Victoria, which has forced nearly 5 million people into a partial six-week lockdown on July 9, reported 363 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, after 217 cases the previous day.
“We’re going to be wearing masks in Victoria and potentially in other parts of the country for a very long time,” said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.
“There’s no vaccine to this wildly infectious virus,” he said. Masks are “a simple thing, but it’s about changing habits, it’s about becoming a simple part of your routine.”
Melbournians not wearing face coverings will be fined $200. Australia has recorded about 11,800 coronavirus cases, a fraction of what has been seen in other countries or even some U.S. states, but an outbreak of community transmission in Victoria has been growing, prompting authorities to impose stricter social distancing measures.
Three deaths from the COVID-19 disease were reported in Victoria on Sunday, bringing the total to 38 and raising Australia’s death toll to 122.
Victoria became the first state in Australia, a country of a loose federal system, to require masks for part of its population. Read more
For more updates on the pandemic, go here.
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