News

France further eases Covid-19 lockdown with Paris cafes to reopen – as it happened

All of mainland France now in ‘green zone’; Spain’s border to open to EU countries except Portugal on 21 June; deaths worldwide pass 430,000. This blog is now closedFollow the latest global coronavirus live blog here 12.32am BSTWe’ve launched a new blog at the link below – head there for the latest: Related: Coronavirus live news: Beijing enters ‘extraordinary period’ as it races to contain new Covid-19 outbreak 12.03am BSTHere’s a summary of the key developments of the last few hours. I’m handing over to my colleague Helen Sullivan in Sydney – thanks for reading along and writing in. 11.15pm BSTGhana’s health minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu is in a stable condition after contracting the coronavirus, Reuters reports president Nana Akufo-Addo announcing.“Let us wish our hardworking minister for health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, a speedy recovery from the virus, which he contracted in the line of duty,” Akufo-Addo said in a broadcast. 11.07pm BSTVeteran Congolese politician Pierre Lumbi, once an advisor to former president Joseph Kabila and latterly a leading opposition figure, has died from the coronavirus, Reuters is reporting.A prominent member of civil society in the 1990s, Lumbi held several ministerial portfolios before advising Kabila on security. In 2016 he was elected as a senator for South Kivu province and worked as campaign manager for Martin Fayulu in his bid to win the 2018 election. 10.55pm BSTChilean copper miners’ unions have demanded a re-evaluation of the operational continuity plans of the country’s biggest mines during what they said was an “alarming” increase in coronavirus cases among workers, Reuters reports.In a statement signed by the union leadership of state-owned Codelco, the Mines Federation – which groups the majority of workers for Chile’s major copper mines – rejected the “business as usual” discourse advanced by miners and the mines minister, Baldo Prokurica. 10.40pm BSTBrazil has registered a further 612 deaths, taking the country’s death toll to 43,332, Reuters reports. The health ministry announced 17,110 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total to 867,624. 10.35pm BSTSignificantly more women than men are experiencing problems with their mental health as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jamie Doward writes.New research by Lisa Spantig and Ben Etheridge, economists at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, suggests it is because women are more adversely affected by social isolation during lockdown. Related: One third of UK women are suffering from lockdown loneliness 10.09pm BSTHere are the ten countries with the highest number of known cases, according to Johns Hopkins tracker. The true figures for deaths and cases are likely to be higher, due to differing definitions and testing rates, time lags and suspected underreporting.US 2,090,358 9.52pm BSTUK care homes are receiving far more coronavirus testing kits than they order, raising concern that the extra supplies help the government inflate the number of people it claims have been tested.The apparently widespread nature of the practice in England has prompted fresh suspicion that ministers are counting swab kits sent out as tests done to exaggerate official figures. Related: Oversupply of kits to care homes raises concern over Covid-19 test figures 9.07pm BSTFrance has reported nine new coronavirus deaths taking the total to 29,407 and marking the fifth day with under 30 fatalities, Reuters reports.The government also reported the number of people in hospital fell by 28 to 10,881 and those in intensive care units fell by two to 869, with both tallies continuing weeks-long down-trends. 9.01pm BSTHere’s our latest summary of coronavirus developments worldwide. 8.36pm BSTRepublican lawmakers are downplaying concerns that a Donald Trump indoor rally planned for Tulsa, Oklahoma, for next weekend could contribute to the spread Covid-19, amid an increase in cases in the city.Tulsa city-county health department director Bruce Dart said he worried the rally could be dangerous for attendees as well as the president. Related: Republicans insist Trump Tulsa rally won’t spread coronavirus – despite local concern 8.27pm BSTIsrael said on Sunday it was deporting the son of American media magnate Shari Redstone. Associated Press reports that it was for violating the country’s coronavirus quarantine rules while paying a secret visit to his model girlfriend.Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority said it had granted Brandon Korff an exceptional permit to enter the country on Friday to visit his brother, who is serving in the Israeli military. 8.20pm BSTEngland’s coronavirus lockdown should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system has proven to be “robust and effective”, the World Health Organization has said after widespread criticism of the first results of the new tracking operation.As shops across England prepared to reopen on Monday, and people were encouraged by the government to come out of their homes and on to the high street, Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO’s director for Europe, cautioned that the UK remained in a “very active phase of the pandemic”. Related: WHO cautions against further lifting of lockdown in England 8.08pm BSTAgence France-Presse has more details on the French moves. It reports that President Emmanuel Macron said that France has marked its first victory in the fight against the coronavirus, even if the struggle to contain the outbreak is not over.“The fight against the epidemic is not finished but I am happy about this first victory against the virus,” Macron said in an address to the nation. 7.15pm BSTThe French president, Emmanuel Macron, is giving an address now from the Elysée Palace. He says that all of France will move into the ‘green zone’ regarding coronavirus risks from tomorrow. He says gatherings will remain tightly controlled but restaurants will reopen in the Paris region. The president says France has mobilised around €500 billion to prop up the economy following the coronavirus crisis. 7.10pm BSTGermany’s smartphone app to trace coronavirus infections is ready to be launched this week, the health minister, Jens Spahn, said on Sunday.After delays to ensure the bluetooth technology would work at the correct distance, the government says the app will be a vital tool to help avoid a second wave of infections.“It’s coming this week,” Spahn told ARD television, but he declined to confirm German media reports that the app would be launched on Tuesday. 7.06pm BSTIn the UK, the row over the alleged breach of lockdown rules by the prime minister’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, continues to rumble on. Nazir Afzal, a former regional chief prosecutor, has joined a legal campaign for a new investigation into the incident. Related: Nazir Afzal joins legal fight for new inquiry into Dominic Cummings 6.58pm BSTThe number of new coronavirus cases in Turkey rose to 1,562 in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Sunday, almost double the level to which they had fallen in early June when Ankara lifted travel restrictions and reopened facilities.The daily number of cases had been below 1,000 from late May until last Friday, hitting a low of 786 on 2 June. In the last 24 hours, 15 people died, bringing total fatalities to 4,807, the ministry data showed. 6.47pm BSTEgypt will reopen all its airports on 1 July, the civil aviation minister said on Sunday, after suspending regular international flights in March.“Starting from 1 July we will restart the air traffic at all the airports in the republic … with countries that will reopen with us,” Mohamed Manar Anba told a news conference, according to Reuters. 6.12pm BST 5.55pm BSTBeijing carried out mass testing for the coronavirus on Sunday after a new outbreak in the city that prompted travel warnings across the country amid fears of a second wave, AFP reports.China has largely stemmed its outbreak through strict lockdowns that were imposed early this year but have since been lifted. But a fresh cluster linked to a wholesale food market in the capital has sparked widespread alarm and raised the spectre of a return to painful restrictions. 5.37pm BSTHelena Smith has sent in this dispatch from Greece:As Greece prepares to open up to foreign tourists after a three-month hiatus, museums nationwide are also preparing to open their doors. 5.23pm BSTItaly registered a further 44 deaths on Sunday, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the number of new cases rose by 338.The total death toll now stands at 34,345, the agency said, the fourth highest in the world after those of the US, the UK and Brazil. The number of confirmed cases amounts to 236,989, the seventh highest global tally behind those of the US, Russia, Brazil, Spain, Britain and India. 5.06pm BSTChile’s finance minister Ignacio Briones has announced a new two-year $12 billion citizen support and economic stimulus package to help tackle the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, after reaching a cross-party agreement in the early hours of Sunday.With the country facing its toughest weeks of fighting the pandemic, Briones said Chile was navigating a “unique moment” in its history and cross-party cooperation is needed to offer citizens a “sign of hope”. 4.34pm BSTThousands demonstrated in Berlin against racism and for broader fairness, including sharing the coronavirus burden, as they formed a socially-distant human chain through the German capital on Sunday, AFP reports.Hundreds also turned out in other cities like Leipzig and Hamburg, although some faced rainstorms during a weekend of harsh weather across Germany. 4.18pm BSTThirty-six migrants travelling from Turkey were spotted off Lesbos and transferred to a temporary settlement in the north of the island, Greece’s coastguard has said.Among the group, “one person had to be hospitalised”, a coastguard press office official told AFP, without giving further details. The rest of the group were moved to a migrant facility on Lesbos and quarantined for seven days under measures to combat coronavirus, the source said.32 people still denied rescue despite distress situation and reported dangers to their health. Small children and a pregnant woman are in critical health condition, according to the people in the boat. Greek and Turkish Coast Guards leave them alone in the sea. 4.04pm BSTHello, I’m Clea Skopeliti and I’ll be with you for the next few hours. If you spot a story you think I’ve missed or have a tip, please do get in touch on Twitter @cleaskopeliti or by email. I won’t always be able to reply but will read everything. Thanks! 4.02pm BSTAFP is reporting that Pakistan’s planning minister has warned the number of coronavirus cases in the country could double by the end of June and peak at more than a million infections a month later.The warning from Asad Umar comes amid concerns that many in the country continue to ignore guidance on social distancing, hygiene and other measures to tackle the disease. Expert estimates say the number of confirmed cases could go up to 300,000 by the end of June if we keep on flouting SOPs (standard operating procedures) and taking the problem lightly. We fear the number of confirmed cases could go up further to 1.2 million by end of next month. 3.53pm BSTThe UK’s coronavirus death toll rose by 36 to 41,698, according to government data released on Sunday.As of 9am 14 June, there have been 6,772,602 tests, with 144,865 tests on 13 June. 295,889 people have tested positive. As of 5pm on 13 June, of those tested positive for coronavirus, across all settings, 41,698 have sadly died.More info:➡️https://t.co/r2YbE2e3O8 pic.twitter.com/1SejuJ9rou 3.33pm BSTAlmost 11,000 German holidaymakers will begin arriving in the Balearic islands from Monday as part of a pilot scheme to help Spain reactivate its tourism sector following disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.The Guardian’s Sam Jones reports that the “safe tourist corridors” initiative will serve as a trial run as Spain prepares to reopen its borders to countries in the EU’s Schengen area on 21 June. At the request of the Portuguese government, the land border with Spain will not open until 1 July. Related: Balearic islands prepare to welcome 11,000 German tourists 2.58pm BSTSri Lanka has staged a mock election to test measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus during a parliamentary vote in August.The poll was due to be held on 25 April but was cancelled and postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic, which official figures show has infected nearly 2,000 people and killed 11 in the country.We were very pleased to see that all those who volunteered to take part in this exercise today wore face masks. Officials and polling agents will be behind clear plastic screens or wear face shields. We have also ensured that voters will stand a metre apart when they queue up. 2.42pm BSTPresident Vladimir Putin has said that Russia is emerging from the coronavirus crisis with minimal losses, having handled it better than the United States where party political interests got in the way.With 528,964 confirmed cases, Russia has the third-highest number of infections after Brazil and the United States.However, its official death toll stands at 6,948, much lower than in many other countries, including the United States which has had over 115,000 deaths. The veracity of Russian statistics has been called into question.We are working rather smoothly and emerging from this situation with the coronavirus confidently and, with minimal losses… But in the (United) States that is not happening.I can’t imagine someone in the (Russian) government or regions saying we are not going to do what the government or president say. It seems to me that the problem (in the United States) is that group, in this case party interests, are put above those of society’s as a whole, above the interests of the people. 2.22pm BSTAfghanistan has detected polio in areas previously declared free of the disease after immunisation programmes were paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials have said.The polio virus has spread to three provinces that had not reported cases for up to five years, said Jan Rasekh, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s polio eradication programme. Balkh, Herat and Badakhshan have each declared a single case. 1.58pm BSTThe Australian government will spend another A$1.5bn on infrastructure and fast-track approval for projects in a bid to stimulate the country’s economy post-lockdown, prime minister Scott Morrison will say on Monday.Due to lockdown measures introduced in March to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Australia is on course for its first recession in 30 years.As we come out of the COVID crisis, infrastructure can give us the edge that many countries don’t have. 1.40pm BSTA century after the 1918 pandemic, South America’s largest country has passed Britain to claim the world’s second-highest death toll. The Guardian’s Tom Philips looks at Brazil’s deepening Covid-19 catastrophe. Related: ‘The country is adrift’: echoes of Spanish flu as Brazil’s Covid-19 catastrophe deepens As a child growing up in 1940s São Paulo, Drauzio Varella remembers his grandmother’s tales of how the Spanish flu ravaged the blue-collar immigrant community they called home.“So many people died that families would leave people outside on the pavements, and early each morning the carts would come by to collect them and take them off to burial in mass graves,” remembered Varella, who would go on to become Brazil’s best-known doctor. 1.21pm BSTUzbekistan will reopen its borders to some air travellers from 15 June with quarantine procedures depending on their country of origin, Reuters reports.The borders of the Central Asian nation, closed since March, will reopen for diplomats, their family members, investors and medical tourists, as well as Uzbeks leaving the country for study or medical treatment, the cabinet said in a statement. 1.20pm BSTHello, it’s Frances Perraudin here, back to guide you through the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic.If there’s anything you think I’ve missed, you can email me on [email protected] or message me on twitter @fperraudin. 12.53pm BSTDelhi is to use 500 railway coaches as hospital facilities after a surge in the number of coronavirus cases led to a shortage of hospital beds.India’s federal government said on Sunday it will provide New Delhi’s city authorities with 500 railway coaches that will be equipped to care for coronavirus patients, Reuters reports. 12.29pm BSTIran’s daily virus death toll has exceeded 100, for the first time in two months, AFP reports.In televised remarks, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari announced 107 Covid-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, raising the overall toll to 8,837.It was very painful for us to announce the triple-digit figure. This is an unpredictable and wild virus and may surprise us at any time. 12.10pm BSTHello, I’m Nicola Slawson and I’m taking over the liveblog from Frances Perraudin while she gets something to eat. Drop me a message or email if you think there is a story I’m missing:Email: [email protected]: @Nicola_Slawson 12.01pm BST 11.44am BSTA steep rise in coronavirus cases in Chile has plunged the government into crisis and prompted intense criticism of its management of the pandemic, reports John Bartlett. Related: Chile’s health minister quits over government response to Covid-19 10.42am BSTHere are some newly released coronavirus case figures from around the world. 10.28am BSTSpain will open its borders to countries in the European Union’s Schengen area – excluding Portugal – on 21 June, Spanish media including El Pais newspaper and Ser radio station reported. The country’s border with Portugal will open on 1 July, as previously announced. The two countries were in dispute earlier this month after Spain announced that they would open the border without consulting the government in Lisbon. 10.11am BSTThe Afghan health ministry has said that it is not able to test for coronavirus due to a lack of laboratories and an overload of suspected patients, reports Akhtar Mohammad Makoii. The news comes as the number of confirmed infections in the capital Kabul topped 10,000.Ahmad Jawad Osmani, acting health minister, said on Saturday that medical workers would determine new coronavirus patients through their symptoms, rather than through tests, as the country heads towards the peak of the crisis.We could not activate testing centres in [all] 34 provinces. Right now, we have laboratories in 11 provinces, but the medical equipment which was pledged to us by UNICEF has not arrived. The equipment that would have enabled us to expand the testing process to 34 provinces.We have a plan to increase testing capacity in 34 provinces, but this needs time and it is out of the control of the Ministry of Public Health. 9.27am BSTGermany plans to make €500m available to firms to prevent a collapse in company training and apprenticeships due to the coronavirus crisis, a document seen by Reuters has showed.Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has already agreed two stimulus packages totalling €880bn to mitigate the impact of a lockdown to contain the pandemic as Europe’s biggest economy braces for its worst recession since World War Two.We must prevent the COVID-19 crisis from turning into a crisis for the professional future of young people and for securing skilled workers. 9.06am BSTTokyo has confirmed 47 new coronavirus infections, the highest since the government lifted the state of emergency nationwide in late May.The daily figure was also the highest since May 5, the Asahi television reported. 8.48am BSTThe way Russia counts fatalities during the coronavirus pandemic could be one reason why its official death toll of 6,829 is far below many other countries, reports the Associated Press. Despite the comparatively low number of fatalities, Russia has reported 520,000 infections, behind only the United States and Brazil.The paradox also has led to allegations by critics and Western media that Russian authorities might have falsified the numbers for political purposes to play down the scale of the outbreak. Even a top World Health Organization official said the low number of deaths in Russia certainly is unusual. 8.21am BSTThe Guardian’s Paris correspondent, Kim Wilsher, has this report from Paris, where streets have been pedestrianised and the mayor has turned parking spaces into cycle lanes. Related: Cafe society spills on to Paris cobbles as drivers bid to reclaim post-lockdown streets It is evening rush hour and the Rue de Rivoli, a major east-west road through central Paris, is heaving. Pre-coronavirus, it would have been one long traffic jam, paralysed by increasingly frustrated and angry motorists. Now, though, with private cars banned, it is busy with pedestrians, cyclists and a smattering of taxis and buses.North of Rue de Rivoli, in the Marais, a maze of narrow cobbled streets, cafes, restaurants and bars have spread out across pavements and parking places. 8.11am BSTHello from London. I’m Frances Perraudin and I’ll be guiding you through the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic across the world. You can send me hints and tips on [email protected] and contact me on twitter @fperraudin. 8.00am BSTThat’s it from me, Helen Sullivan for today. Thanks for following along. Here are the key global developments from the last few hours: 7.53am BSTChina has reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases in months as parts of Beijing remained under lockdown, offering a second-wave warning to the rest of the world as the pandemic rages in South America and global cases approach 7.8 million.The shock resurgence in domestic infections on Sunday has rattled China, where the disease emerged late last year but had largely been tamed through severe restrictions on movement that were later emulated across the globe. Related: Global report: China reports most cases since April as pandemic gathers pace in Latin America 7.43am BSTDo I need tell you that I miss restaurants? I miss their noise and promise and menus and dishwashers. That got me thinking. I can’t bring the restaurant into my home, but perhaps I could bring the food. Wouldn’t that be great? Pick a few of my favourite dishes and scatter them through my week like suddenly-blooming nasturtium seeds. It would be my food fantasies made flesh, and many other food groups besides. Related: With time on his hands our restaurant critic turns chef 7.33am BSTLess than a third of the public now approve of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer.The poll found that approval of the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis is down four points to a new low. Only three in 10 people approve, giving the government an overall approval rating of -18 for its handling of the pandemic. Related: Poll: UK government losing public approval over handling of virus 7.23am BSTSignificantly more women than men are experiencing problems with their mental health as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.New research by Lisa Spantig and Ben Etheridge, economists at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, suggests it is because women are more adversely affected by social isolation during lockdown. Related: One third of UK women are suffering from lockdown loneliness 7.13am BSTThere is a school of thought that says now is not the time to criticise the government and its scientific advisers about the way they have handled the Covid-19 pandemic. Wait until all the facts are known and the crisis has subsided, goes this thinking, and then we can analyse the performance of those involved. It’s safe to say that Richard Horton, the editor of the influential medical journal the Lancet, is not part of this school. Related: The Lancet’s editor: ‘The UK’s response to coronavirus is the greatest science policy failure for a generation’                                                                           ‘ 7.02am BSTIf the struggle against the pandemic resembles a war, as Boris Johnson believes, then it’s pretty clear who is losing. By any pertinent measure, including the most damning one – the number of excess deaths compared with last year – Britain is being outdone by countries across Europe, most notably Germany. Johnson dislikes international comparisons. It’s shamefully obvious why. Britain is not second rate. He is.Late into lockdown, late on PPE, late on testing, test and trace, late on halting the avoidable care homes catastrophe and late on the reopening of schools, Johnson’s government now lags behind in launching an economic stimulus package to mitigate the potentially disastrous long-term effects of the virus. Last week’s report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows just how urgent the need is. Related: The Observer view: as Britain flounders, Europe charts its recovery | Observer editorial 6.49am BSTAustralian trade minister, Simon Birmingham, says the federal government has secured weekly freight flights from Queensland to Hong Hong and Singapore to get farmers’ produce into key overseas export markets.From Sunday, Cathay Pacific will start a weekly direct freight flight carrying local beef, pork, eggs, fruit and vegetables from Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport to Hong Kong. From Friday, Singapore Airlines will also start a weekly freight flight between Toowoomba and Singapore, carrying between 30-40 tonnes of local produce.Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said that the Covid-19 pandemic had created barriers for exporters and these flights would make it easier for local farmers to get their high-quality produce overseas.“With very few passenger planes flying overseas at present, we need to make sure local farmers and producers across south east Queensland still have avenues to get their produce over to their overseas customers,” Minister Birmingham said in a statement on Sunday.“The more local product we can get out the door, the more local jobs we can protect and the more export dollars we can generate for the region.” 6.36am BSTSenior Morrison government ministers have flagged shorter quarantine periods for international students and business travellers as part of a suite of measures to reopen Australia to international travel.On Sunday, the health minister, Greg Hunt, confirmed that modifications to the existing mandatory two-week hotel quarantine could be enacted in addition to travel bubbles with safe countries, such as New Zealand, which would not require quarantine. Related: Australia considering shorter Covid-19 quarantine for students and low-transmission countries 6.22am BSTPlunging oil prices and collapsing state revenues have seen Nigerian authorities vow an end to a controversial fuel subsidy scheme long criticised as a graft-ridden drain on public finances, AFP reports. But there are major doubts that Africa’s most populous country is finally ready to wean itself off a system that has helped some in high places syphon billions from government coffers. 6.11am BSTBeijing should expand the scope of nucleic acid testing for the new coronavirus in and the scope of sampling in the Chinese capital, a city government spokesman said on Sunday.He told a news conference Beijing has entered an “extraordinary period” after the city reported a record 36 confirmed new cases of the virus for Saturday. 5.55am BSTHere are the key developments from around the world from the last few hours: 5.44am BSTThe Seattle Times reports that a 70-year-old man named Michael Flor, who was in hospital with coronavirus for 62 days, has received a bill for more than $1 million for his stay. The man is insured and may not have to foot the bill himself, but the 81-page document explaining the charges is a reminder of the dire state of the US healthcare system. A 70 year old coronavirus survivor in Seattle has received a hospital bill charging him $1,122,501.04 for life saving healthcare. The bill is 181 pages long. https://t.co/hPuVY3FpOxThe total tab for his bout with the coronavirus: $1.1 million. $1,122,501.04, to be exact. All in one bill that’s more like a book because it runs to 181 pages.The bill is technically an explanation of charges, and because Flor has insurance including Medicare, he won’t have to pay the vast majority of it. In fact because he had Covid-19, and not a different disease, he might not have to pay anything. 5.32am BSTNew York saw its lowest death toll since the pandemic started. State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday in the US, and the lowest number of hospitalisations since late March: Yesterday we lost 32 New Yorkers to Coronavirus.This is the lowest number of COVID-related fatalities since this pandemic started.We also saw the lowest number of total hospitalizations since March 20th. 5.23am BSTJoe Parkin Daniels reports for the Guardian from Bogotá, Colombia:An evacuation flight of British nationals and residents is about to take off from Colombia, headed for London Heathrow. The scene at Bogotá’s El Dorado airport, as 230 passengers queue to check-in for the evacuation flight to London Heathrow. Photo from @LukeStTaylor pic.twitter.com/q5vnaLyYj6 5.09am BSTAustralian animal welfare groups are outraged a live export ship is being allowed to sail from Western Australia to the Middle East despite the northern summer ban, after the federal Department of Agriculture granted an exemption, AAP reports. The Al Kuwait has been stranded at Fremantle Port for the past three weeks due to a coronavirus outbreak among crew.Rural Export and Trading WA was initially denied an exemption to the three-and-a-half month ban, which began on June 1 and was prompted by thousands of sheep dying from heat stress aboard the Awassi Express in 2017. But on Saturday the department said it had approved a fresh application.WA agriculture minister Alannah MacTiernan said a 25% reduction in stocking density and stopping at only one port should go some way toward addressing animal welfare concerns. Animals Australia says the decision is “inconceivable” and has collected more than 15,000 signatures against it in an online campaign.“Clearly these new welfare laws aren’t worth the paper they’re written on,” the organisation wrote.World Animal Protection said the exemption should not have been granted. 4.54am BSTThe state of Western Australia has reported no new cases of Covid-19 overnight, with the State’s total number of cases remaining at 602, according to the WA Department of Health:There are currently 11 active cases in the state, five are Western Australians and six are crew members from the Al Kuwait livestock carrier.To date, 582 people have recovered from the virus in WA. 4.47am BSTThat announcement comes as Queensland announced no new coronavirus cases and just five active cases across the state.Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said more than 3,200 tests had been conducted over the past 24 hours.She said the reopening of borders was still pencilled in for July 10 when Stage 3 restrictions would be triggered although she left room for the date to be brought forward.“If things were a lot better, then of course we could bring that date forward, as it happened for this month on Stage 2,” Dr Young said.“It’s really what happens at the end of June as to what will happen then for that Stage 3 of the road map.”Mr Miles said modelling had been undertaken on opening up to NSW first but their preference was “to lift the borders all at once.” 4.40am BSTIn Australia, the Queensland state government is committing AU$250m (US$172m) to reduce elective surgery waitlists which have blown out following the pandemic, AAP reports. The state health minister, Steven Miles, outlined the quarter of a billion dollar investment on Sunday that will ease the rising patient waitlist numbers and include ramping-up specialist appointments.More than 7,000 Queenslanders have waited longer than medically recommended for their procedures.“We will be able to deliver 6000 additional operations, effectively clearing that long wait list,” Mr Miles told reporters.He said the funding would assist with 25,000 specialist appointments. The additional funds will also provide extra theatre lists at night and on weekends and also buy theatre time in the private sector.Queensland had more than 52,200 patients on elective surgery lists on 1 June. 4.32am BSTWe’ve got the latest update from Germany. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country increased by 247 on Saturday to 186,269, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. The reported death toll rose by six to 8,787. 4.22am BSTHundreds of demonstrators angered by a deepening economic crisis rallied across Lebanon for a third consecutive day on Saturday, after violent overnight riots sparked condemnation from the political elite.Protesting against the surging cost of living and the government’s apparent impotence in the face of Lebanon’s worst economic turmoil since the 1975-1990 civil war, protesters in central Beirut brandished flags and chanted anti-government slogans. Related: Fresh protests in Lebanon over worst economic crisis in decades 4.00am BSTMore than half of people in Britain support an extension to the Brexit transition period, while three-quarters believe the UK should work very closely with the European Union to combat coronavirus, a survey suggests.Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove formally told the EU on Friday that the UK would not ask for a delay despite concerns that its departure would compound the economic chaos inflicted by the pandemic. Related: Half of British people support Brexit transition extension, survey finds 3.48am BSTAccording to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government figures, there have been 429,666 known coronavirus deaths worldwide since the start of the pandemic. The number of cases stands at 7,764,977. 3.37am BSTNSW recorded nine new Covid-19 cases from 13,591 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.Eight of the cases are among returned travellers in hotel quarantine and one is a teacher at Laguna Street Public School in southern Sydney. 3.27am BSTAustralian trade minister Simon Birmingham hopes China agrees to talks to soothe tensions between the two countries “sooner rather than later”, AAP reports. Senator Birmingham’s Chinese counterpart has previously ignored his phone calls to try and and heal growing frictions, which appeared to start when Australia pursued an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. 3.15am BSTMexico’s health ministry reported 3,494 new confirmed coronavirus infections along with 424 additional fatalities on Saturday, bringing the total in the country to 142,690 cases and 16,872 deaths.The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the official count. 3.05am BSTGuardian Australia’s Greg Jericho has this explainer on what is happening to stock markets at the moment: When the coronavirus hit, stock markets around the world sank as fast as they ever have. Both in Australia and in the US, the market fell about 35% in less than a month.That at least makes sense to people: the economy is about to shut down so you would expect the value of companies’ stocks to fall. Related: Reality and the stock market don’t always align. Don’t be fooled into thinking the economy is back on track | Greg Jericho 2.50am BSTOxford University researcher and founder of Our World In Data explains below why Chile’s coronavirus infections are so worrying: The outbreak in Chile is now much worse than those in the worst-hit European countries.And as you can see on the line color, Chile is testing very little. In the last week a case was confirmed per every 3! tests.[Source: https://t.co/R4O7zZfajb] pic.twitter.com/HUOUrSE7Jl 2.47am BSTChilean president Sebastian Pinera on Saturday replaced health minister Jaime Manalich amid controversy over the country’s figures for deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, AFP reports. Pinera said Manalich had spared “no effort” in carrying out his “difficult and noble duty” to protect Chileans’ health. He replaced him with Oscar Enrique Paris, an academic and medical doctor.Manalich, a tough-talking kidney specialist who once ran one of Chile’s top hospitals, has won praise for an aggressive campaign to keep hospitals supplied with ventilators and protective equipment and leading detailed daily press conferences. 2.32am BSTBack to Australia: The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has also given some guidance on restrictions. On Friday, the national cabinet agreed that under step three of the national guidelines, states could possibly remove the 100 person cap for venues and implement a one person per four square metre rule instead. Meaning that some larger venues could have more than 100. 2.26am BSTIn Beijing, AFP reporters saw hundreds of police officers, many wearing masks and gloves, and dozens of paramilitary police deployed at the market. The new cases have prompted worries about the safety of the food supply chain and some other markets in the city have also been closed. 2.23am BSTMore now on China, which on Sunday reported 57 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest daily figure since 13 April, as concerns grow about a resurgence of the disease.The National Health Commission said 36 of the new cases were domestic infections in Beijing, with 2 more domestic infections in northeastern Liaoning province. Local health officials said they were close contacts of the Beijing cases. 2.14am BSTThe 50-person limit at cafes, restaurants, and churches will be scrapped in NSW with venues instead to follow the one person per four square metres rule, AAP reports. The new rule, announced by the NSW government on Sunday, will be in place from 1 July and applies to most indoor venues including pubs and workspaces. It will allow for more people to attend gatherings, but the size of the space will be crucial with one person allowed for every four square metres. 2.05am BSTThe Australian government’s push for economic talks among finance ministers from countries in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance remains vague, with no details yet about the frequency of meetings or their agenda.But some experts have argued the move to coordinate economic policies with Australia’s traditional security partners reflects a “very deep misunderstanding” of our modern economic interests given the group excludes Asia and most of Europe. Related: Australia’s reliance on Five Eyes for Covid-19 economic strategy excludes top trade partners 1.56am BSTMoving away from Australia for a moment to China, which has reported 57 new coronavirus cases – the highest since April, according to AFP. More on this shortly: #BREAKING China reports 57 new virus cases, highest daily count since April pic.twitter.com/QvL5psK8nT 1.55am BSTIn addition to 50 people being allowed in cafes, restaurants and pubs and patrons being allowed to consume alcohol without a meal, restrictions on some community sports will be eased. Victorian health minister, Jenny Mikakos, also said that non-contact community sport would return on 22 June – for both adults and kids, both indoor and outdoor. 1.43am BSTThe state of Victoria, Australia has announced nine new cases of coronavirus today, three of whom are in hotel quarantine. One person contracted the virus from an unknown origin, and that is being investigated. Five cases are linked to two known outbreaks, including an outbreak linked to a GP who tested positive. “The GP worked at three different clinics but did absolutely the right thing,” the health minister, Jenny Mikakos, said. The doctor was tested and stopped working while waiting for results. Mikakos said they expect six new hotel quarantine cases each day in the state, as residents return home. 1.37am BSTStaying in Australia for the time being, the National Rugby League has postponed a match between Canterbury and the Sydney Roosters following a coronavirus scare. AAP reports that Canterbury forward Aiden Tolman was notified on Saturday night a teacher at his child’s school had tested positive to the virus. Related: NRL postpones Canterbury Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters match after Covid-19 scare 1.34am BSTIn Australia, the Premier of the state of Victoria has announced that restrictions will be eased further from midnight on 21 June – more on this shortly. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has just announced further restrictions to be lifted from midnight June 21. These include 50 people at cafes, restaurants and pubs. And it’s official, we can get on the beers – alcohol can now be consumed without needing to buy a meal. pic.twitter.com/vd4552xCLe 1.26am BSTHi, Helen Sullivan here in cold, wet Sydney. Cockatoos are making a fuss in the trees outside, there is a small, white dog asleep beside me and I’m on the blog.If you’re following along, get in touch on Twitter or via email: [email protected] I’d love to hear a bit about where you’re reading this from. Continue reading…