Latest update: 26/05/2020 08:23
European countries need to join forces to shield their banks, one of the bloc’s top regulators said, potentially using a 500 billion euro ($545 billion) EU recovery fund to do so.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* More than 5.50 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus globally and 345,432 have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0448 GMT on Tuesday.
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, click here.
* Britain will reopen thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, setting out a timetable for businesses as part of moves to ease the coronavirus lockdown.
* Mink with the coronavirus have infected two people in the Netherlands in what are probably the first such cases of transmission during the pandemic, government and health authorities said on Monday.
* Montenegro’s prime minister on Monday declared the country coronavirus-free, a move vital for its Adriatic tourism industry and coming 69 days after it reported its first case and after 20 without a new one.
* Latvia aims to become one of the first countries to launch a smartphone app using a new toolkit created by U.S. tech giants Apple and Alphabet’s Google to help trace coronavirus infections.
* Iceland eased its national alert, allowing for public gatherings of up to 200 people and night clubs and gyms to reopen as the country nears complete recovery from the outbreak.
* Belgium will not return to the strict measures imposed for nearly two months even if there is a second wave, its interior minister said.
* The White House on Sunday said it was restricting travel from Brazil to the United States, two days after the South American nation became the world’s No. 2 hotspot for coronavirus cases.
* Americans paid a low-key tribute to those who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces on Monday, with many Memorial Day events cancelled because of the pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 people in the United States alone.
* Nearly 340 meatpacking workers at a single BRF SA plant in southern Brazil have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the company said on Monday.
* Three dozen inmates in Salvadoran prisons have tested positive for coronavirus, health authorities said Monday, adding that strict health and isolation protocols would be implemented to halt the virus’s spread in the facilities.
* Australia will not open the country’s borders “anytime soon”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, but added the country will continue its discussions with neighbouring New Zealand for a trans-Tasman safe travel zone.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Restrictions in Saudi Arabia will be lifted in three phases, culminating in the curfew completely ending — with the exception of the holy city of Mecca — from June 21, the state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.
* Syria reported 20 new cases on Monday, the largest single-day increase to date, the health ministry said
* Mosques, churches and businesses in the occupied West Bank will reopen on Tuesday in an easing of restrictions, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.
* Israel’s economy contracted by an annualised 7.1% in the first quarter, the Central Bureau of Statistics said, with the coronavirus outbreak hitting trade, investment and consumer and government spending.
* The number of Portuguese young people seeking jobless benefits spiked 52% last month from a year earlier, way above the increase for other age groups, data showed.
* French government measures to prop up the economy through the coronavirus crisis have cost $490 billion, the equivalent of 20% of gross domestic product, the finance minister said.
Pictured: People wearing face masks use their phones while sitting inside a shopping mall amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan