MADRID – Spainâ€™s foreign minister says that the European Union is putting together a list of 15 countries that are not bloc members and whose nationals will be allowed to visit from Wednesday.
The final list will be announced later on Monday or Tuesday morning, Arancha GonzÃ¡lez Laya told Spainâ€™s Cadena SER radio.
She said she wasnâ€™t aware of pressure from the United States for the EU to reopen travel to their nationals, adding that countries have been chosen according to their coronavirus statistics – whether similar or not to that in the EU – trends of contagion and how realiable data is.
â€œThis is not an exercise to be nice or unfriendly to other countries, this is an exercise of self-responsibility,â€ GonzÃ¡lez Laya said.
Among the countries being discussed is Morocco, whose government doesnâ€™t plan to open borders until July 10. GonzÃ¡lez Laya said that the EU is considering to accept travelers from China if Beijing reciprocates accepting travelers from the EU starting on July 1.
The minister also confirmed that Spain will fully reopen borders with Portugal, despite a spike in infections in the neighboring country.
HEREâ€™S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
– Virus cases worldwide hit 10 million
– Businesses weigh reopening – or close again – as reported virus cases rise
– Experts see no proof of child-abuse surge amid pandemic
– A divided Poland holds presidential vote delayed by pandemic, while France holds municipal elections
– Nurses, doctors feel strain as virus races through Arizona
– The pandemic means that millions of women in Africa and other developing regions could lose years of success in contributing to household incomes, asserting their independence and expanding financial inclusion.
Follow all of APâ€™s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HEREâ€™S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
NEW DELHI – India on Monday reported nearly 20,000 new coronavirus infections, a new record for the country, as several states reimpose partial or full lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus.
India has seen a jump of nearly 100,000 cases over the past week, the health ministry said. In all, the country has confirmed 548,318 cases, making it the worldâ€™s fourth-worst affected country after the United States, Brazil and Russia. Indiaâ€™s death toll has reached 16,475.
The capital district of the northeastern state of Assam on the Bangladesh border has reimposed a full lockdown until July 12 following a spike in cases. Another border state, West Bengal, has extended its lockdown until July 31.
However, in Indiaâ€™s worst-affected states – Maharashtra, which includes Indiaâ€™s financial capital, Mumbai, and Delhi, home to the capital, New Delhi – most lockdown restrictions have been eased, with restaurants, shopping malls and parks reopened, and public buses and shared-ride services back on the roads.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Civil aviation authorities in the United Arab Emirates have suspended all flights to Pakistan over fears about the spread of the coronavirus.
The UAEâ€™s state-run WAM news agency issued a statement late Sunday from the countryâ€™s General Civil Aviation Authority announcing the decision.
Officials said flights would resume after the creation â€œof a special laboratoryâ€ to conduct coronavirus tests for those coming into the Emirates from Pakistan.
The decision comes after Pakistani media last week reported 27 passengers originating from Pakistan arrived in Hong Kong and tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. The passengers had transited through the UAE.
Pakistan restarted international travel earlier this month even as its critics said the airport precautions were limited and ineffective.
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine officials say authorities in a central village may face criminal or administrative complaints for allowing a street parade and dance amid a strict coronavirus lockdown.
Mayor Edgar Labella of Cebu city said officials of Basak village have been ordered to explain why the religious fiesta gathering in honor of St. John the Baptist was held Saturday despite a quarantine prohibition against public gatherings. Performers in native wear and face masks danced during the night procession, which drew a large crowd.
While the Philippines has eased quarantine restrictions in most regions to revive its contracting economy, officials placed Cebu city back under a strict lockdown this month and deployed more policemen to enforce restrictions following a spike in infections.
The Philippines remains a Southeast Asian coronavirus hotspot with more than 35,000 confirmed infections, including 1,244 deaths.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has reported 42 new infections of COVID-19 as infections steadily climb in the greater capital area, forcing authorities to consider stronger social restrictions.
The figures announced by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday brought the national caseload to 12,757, including 282 deaths. Twenty-four of the new cases were reported from capital Seoul and nearby metropolitan areas, which have been at the center of a virus resurgence since late May. At least 12 of the new cases were linked to international arrivals as the virus continues to strengthen its hold in southern Asia, the United States and beyond.
South Korea was reporting hundreds of new cases a day in late February and early March following a major surge surrounding the southeast city of Daegu, where the majority of infections were linked to a single church congregation with thousands of members.
But while health authorities had used aggressive testing and contact tracing to contain the outbreak in that region, they are having a much harder time tracking recent transmissions in the Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of the countryâ€™s 51 million people live. With people increasingly venturing out in the public, new clusters are popping out from just about everywhere, including nightspots, churches, restaurants, warehouses and among door-to-door salespeople.
Health Minister Park Neung-hoo during a briefing Sunday afternoon announced that the government is prepared to implement stronger social distancing measures if the epidemic continues to grow.
BEIJING – China on Monday reported a further decline in new confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a total of just 12, including seven cases of domestic transmission in Beijing, where nearly 8.3 million people have now undergone testing in recent weeks. The number of new cases in the city was down by half from the day before, the National Health Commission reported.
No new deaths were reported Monday, leaving the total at 4,634 among 83,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19, . Currently 418 patients are in treatment, and another 112 are under observation for being suspected cases or for testing positive without showing any symptoms.
Beijing temporarily shut a huge wholesale food market where the virus spread widely earlier this month, re-closed schools and locked down some neighborhoods. Anyone leaving Beijing is required to have a negative virus test result procured within the previous seven days.
About 7.69 million results on people tested in Beijing have been returned, city official Zhang Qiang said Sunday. Beijing has more than 20 million people but authorities have focused so far on high risk groups such as people working in the food and salon industry and those living in areas where cases have been discovered.