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Fears for pupils and queues for alcohol as states begin to scale back restrictions

  

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School visit: Emmanuel Macron. Picture: Reuters

School visit: Emmanuel Macron. Picture: Reuters

School visit: Emmanuel Macron. Picture: Reuters

More than 3.5 million people have been infected across the world by coronavirus, with the death toll passing 257,000.

Here are the latest updates on the pandemic from around the world:

FRANCE

President Emmanuel Macron has confirmed plans to gradually reopen schools next week amid concerns from mayors, teachers and parents.

Mr Macron, wearing a mask, visited a primary school in a suburb west of Paris that has remained open for children of health workers.

More than 300 mayors in the capital region denounced an "untenable and unrealistic timetable" to meet the sanitary and safety conditions required by the state, including class sizes capped to 15.

GREECE

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it appears "absolutely feasible" for restaurants and cafés to reopen on June 1 if the outbreak keeps slowing.

Greece began easing its lockdown measures on Monday, with the opening of a limited number of retail businesses, such as beauty salons and bookshops.

NETHERLANDS

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Riot police arrested some demonstrators who gathered in The Hague to call for an end to the partial lockdown.

Authorities allowed the unannounced demonstration by a few hundred people on condition they maintained social distancing. But the mayor withdrew permission when demonstrators refused to follow police instructions.

INDIA

The country has discovered two viral clusters since it partly lifted a nationwide lockdown on Monday, contributing to the largest single-day spike in cases and deaths. There has been a total of 3,900 infection cases and 195 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking India's total to more than 46,000 cases and 1,500 dead.

Meanwhile, authorities in capital Dehli are imposing a special tax of 70pc on liquor purchases to dissuade huge gatherings a day after thirsty drinkers formed long queues at stores across the country.

On Monday, after some lockdown restrictions were eased, thousands turned up at liquor stores without following social-distancing guidelines.

HONG KONG

Authorities are to relax some measures and schools will resume from May 27.

All residents will receive a locally developed reusable mask, and each household will get a packet of 10 disposable masks. Schools and homes for the disabled and vulnerable populations will receive face masks from the government.

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND

The leaders of Australia and New Zealand say they are committed to resuming travel between the two countries as soon as they can do so safely.

The announcement came after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took the unusual step of joining Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and his national cabinet for a discussion by video link.

Both countries have had success in suppressing their outbreaks. New Zealand reported no new cases yesterday for the second consecutive day, while Australia had 25 new cases.

IRAN

The coronavirus pandemic has brought back something unseen in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution: a drive-in cinema.

Customers tune into the film's audio via an FM station on their car radios.

Iran has reported more than 98,600 cases with over 6,200 deaths, though international and local experts acknowledge the toll is likely to be far higher.

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland


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