Live Updates

May 28 coronavirus news

Sweden releases early results of 'herd immunity' strategy
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What you need to know

  • The numbers: More than 5.7 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported worldwide, as well as more than 358,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • 100,000 deaths: The US has passed the bleak milestone. It took less than four months.
  • Brazil spikes: The Latin American country has the second-highest number of cases globally. Some experts say the toll could quintuple by August.
  • Russia’s health workers face mistrust: Medical staff in Russia are being treated with fear and open hostility, as rumors and conspiracy theories abound.
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Our live coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

CNN's town hall on the coronavirus has ended

CNN’s global town hall on the coronavirus has now concluded.

Actress Taraji P. Henson and famed science writer and author of “Spillover” David Quammen spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta during tonight’s weekly global town hall on coronavirus.

Check the Town Hall tab above to catch up on what happened during the show.

The loss of community during Covid-19 is "tragic and traumatizing," says actress Taraji P. Henson

Actress Taraji P. Henson, known for her roles in “Empire” and “Hidden Figures,” joined CNN’s ongoing town hall to discuss the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the African American community.

“One of the things that is so destructive about this virus … is the sense of community, a loss of a sense of being able to reach out and hold the hand of your grandmother or your mother or your best friend and just talk about what is going on,” said CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“We know that African Americans and people of color are disproportionately affected by not only the virus but the secondary mental health impacts associated with the virus,” added psychologist and mental health researcher Alfiee Breland-Noble.

Some context: African Americans are dying at disproportionately higher rates compared to all other ethnicities.

As of May 11, 17,155 black Americans are known to have died due to Covid-19, according to an analysis from the American Public Media (APM) Research Lab.

That’s out of nearly 65,000 deaths for which race and ethnicity data was available. More than 80,000 people total had lost their lives to coronavirus at the time of the analysis.

A second trauma in the community: Henson also pointed to the trauma the black community is facing regarding the death of George Floyd, which has sparked outrage and protests against police brutality across the country.

“At this point, it seems like we have to save ourselves because these issues keep coming up. Racism, police brutality, these are traumas that have been passed down through generations since slavery. We still have not dealt with that trauma. And here we are,” she said.

Watch:

Actress Taraji P. Henson: "I'm trying to stop a bleeding wound and it just keeps bleeding"

Taraji P. Henson

Actress Taraji P. Henson has launched a mental health program to help those suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Because of the stigma around mental health, I had to do something. So we created a virtual fund-raising campaign for free sessions for people of color and, you know, disadvantaged neighborhoods,” Henson said.

Henson, who is perhaps best known for her roles in “Hidden Figures” and the hit TV show “Empire,” also discussed the death of George Floyd and the impact that has made on the black community.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 after pleading for help as a police officer used his knee on Floyd’s neck to pin him — unarmed and handcuffed — to the ground in Minneapolis. His death sparked outrage and protests across the country, demonstrations that continued today.

“It’s just like it won’t let up, you know? It’s like I’m trying to stop a bleeding wound and it just keeps bleeding, you know? But I’m raising money to help those who can’t,” Henson said. “It’s tragic and it’s traumatizing. And I mean, at this point it seems like we have to save ourselves.”

Watch:

Here's how you can protect yourself when eating at a restaurant

As more and more states reopen restaurants, there are a handful of things Americans can do to protect themselves and others when eating out during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta shared a few tips Thursday evening during CNN’s global coronavirus town hall, which included bringing your own cleaning wipes just in case tables and chairs aren’t being sanitized quickly.

“I’m obviously not going to wear the mask when I eat but you’re going to have a hard time maintaining physical distance. You get up to go to the bathroom or anything, wear the mask. I’m one of those people that carries hand sanitizer everywhere I go. You probably should as well. If your restaurant has an online menu, check it out ahead of time,” Gupta said during CNN’s global coronavirus town hall.

Watch:

The six-foot social distancing recommendation is a "rule of thumb," experts say

Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the Covid-19 response at the World Health Organization

Earlier today, researchers in California and Taiwan suggested that six feet of distance may not be enough to protect people from being infected with Covid-19.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the Covid-19 response at the World Health Organization, and Leana Wen, an emergency physician, joined CNN’s ongoing town hall to explain what we know about transmission so far:

  • What is the WHO’s recommendation for social distancing? The organization recommends one meter (about 3.3 feet) or more. “The longer the distance, the better,” said Van Kerkhove. “If you can do more, you should do more.”
  • Use common sense: The six-feet measure is just a rule of thumb, said Wen. “It’s not as if you are five feet from someone, you will get coronavirus, and if you’re seven feet you are safe. I think it is important for us to use common sense.”
  • How does the virus transmit? It’s a respiratory virus, meaning the virus travels through droplets from our noses and mouths. The bigger droplets tend to fall straight to the ground, while smaller droplets can stay in the air for a little longer. If you cough, sneeze, or sing, the droplets are being projected out and can travel — but typically, the virus isn’t traveling long distances through the air.
  • What exactly is “close contact”? When authorities try to gauge who has been exposed to the virus, they have to consider not just physical distance, but time duration and the nature of contact. The WHO uses a guideline of 15 minutes — but that’s quite long, and someone in a high-risk environment could get infected in less time than that, Van Kerkhove said.

Watch:

Writer predicted killer pathogen similar to coronavirus 8 years ago

David Quammen

Author David Quammen spoke with Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta Thursday about how he managed to predict a scenario that look much like the coronavirus pandemic in his book “Spillover” eight years ago. 

In the 2012 book, Quammen predicted the next pandemic that would kill millions would be “strange, unfamiliar, but it won’t come from outer space, odds are that the killer pathogen, most likely a virus, will spill over into humans from a non-human animal.”

Quammen said he was able able to foretell many of the details of this pandemic by simply listening to the scientists.

“The only reason I predicted it in ‘Spillover’ in 2012 was because I was listening to a select group of shrewd infectious disease scientists and they were saying this: ‘It’s coming,’” he said. 

Quammen said many of the details he learned while researching the book ended up being eerily similar to the breakout of Covid-19.

“It’ll be a virus out of an animal, possibly a bat, possibly a coronavirus, or an influenza… possibly in a place like a wet market… and then it will transmit, and spread around the world if we are unlucky,” he said.

Quammen said really the only surprise is how “how unprepared we have been to deal with it.”

Watch:

Brazil hits record high for new coronavirus cases

Brazil reported 26,417 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, a record high for the country, bringing the nationwide total to 438,238, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry.

The country also recorded 1,156 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, according to its health ministry, raising the overall death toll to 26,754.

Thursday is the third day in a row that Brazil has recorded more than 1,000 deaths in a day.

CNN's global town hall on the coronavirus pandemic will start soon

Actress Taraji P. Henson and famed science writer and author of “Spillover” David Quammen will take part in CNN’s weekly global town hall on coronavirus tonight.

The town hall starts at 8 p.m. ET.

How to watch: The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will stream live on CNN.com’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps, without requiring a cable log-in.

You can also watch on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.

We’ll also be covering it with live updates here.

Masks and disinfectants can reduce the spread of Covid-19 at home, study says

Face masks worn at home can help to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus among people who live together, but it’s only protective before someone starts showing symptoms, according to a study published Thursday in BMJ Global Health.

Disinfecting surfaces regularly was also helpful at reducing spread, the study said.

Researchers in China wanted to find out what would help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the one place where the most person-to-person transmission happens – at home, between family members. Earlier studies showed 70% of human-to-human transmission was in families.

The study included 124 families with 335 people. Each family had one lab-confirmed case of Covid-19 sometime between late February and March. Usually families had three generations in one household. The family members had lived with the person who was infected up to four days before, and more than 24 hours after the patient’s symptoms appeared.

The infection spread to another 77 adults and children in 41 out of the 124 families, making the “attack rate” 23% among families.

Opening windows, keeping more than about three feet apart and using disinfectants on shared surfaces seemed to lower the risk of passing the virus on to family members, even in households that were considered crowded. 

If a person wore a face mask before they showed signs that they were sick, it was 79% effective at reducing transmission. But once someone has symptoms, wearing masks doesn’t seem to be protective in the home, according to the study.

Disinfecting surfaces regularly was about 77% effective at reducing the risk of people getting sick. 

The risk of catching Covid-19 from a family member was 18 times higher if they had close contact with that person, like when they shared a meal or sat together to watch TV. The risk was four times higher if the person who became ill had diarrhea.

One limitation was that the study was completed using telephone interviews, which could result in recall bias among people who were interviewed.

Spain to start easing lockdown restrictions

A worker uncovers the front of a bar preparing to reopen in Madrid, Spain, Monday, May 25.

Spain will start easing lockdown restrictions starting Monday, the country’s Health Minister and a top aide announced Thursday. 

“From Monday, around 70% of the Spanish population, or 32 million people will be in phase two. Around 30% of the population or 15 million people will be in phase one and 45,000 people will be in phase three,” Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a news conference.

At the start of this week, just over half of the population was still on the more restrictive phase one.

Along with Illa, Spain’s director of the Center for Health Emergencies, Dr. Fernando Simón, announced that parts of the regions of Castilla, Valencia, Catalonia, Murcia, Andalucia and Castilla and Leon will move to phase two, which allows meetings of up to 15 people who don’t live together, some restaurant service indoors, and the opening of stores, cinemas and museums but with occupancy limits.

Meanwhile, four small islands in Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands, with low rates of Covid-19 infections and a combined population of 45,000, will advance to phase three, which eases even more restrictions on movement and gatherings.

“The data is good, we are in a good way, but I have to insist: it’s very important to know this is a very complex phase and to maintain an attitude of individual responsibility because a mistake can put at risk everything we’ve done so far,” Illa added.  

The Madrid region, which includes Spain’s capital and surrounding cities, will still remain in phase one without any changes, the health officials explained.

“All of this evolution is due to the effort made by the population and the health system to control this epidemic,” Simón said.

Simón also told reporters that “small re-emergences” have been identified very quickly and are being closely monitored by local authorities to “avoid a new outbreak and maintain this favorable tendency. This tendency is what allows us to move different parts of the territory to the different phases of the transition,” he added.

President Trump says Brazil travel ban is "very strong"

President Trump called the travel ban for Brazil, which started earlier this week, a “very strong ban,” but said US citizens would be permitted reentry. 

“Brazil now, we have the ban on. The ban’s been put on and it’s a very strong ban except we do have Americans that we have to allow – like I did with the China ban – we do have to allow people to come back into the country. We can’t be that tough where we don’t allow United States citizens to come back in,” Trump said.

“But they come back in under a very strict, whether it’s a quarantine or not, we test them and we go through a process,” he said, turning over to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

Wolf said US citizens and others coming into the US from Brazil and other countries with travel bans in place go through immigration checks where they are asked questions and receive random temperature checks and contact tracing is conducted.

About the ban: The proclamation is aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus coming into the United States from Brazil, the country with the second most cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. As of Sunday evening, Brazil had more than 347,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The White House released the proclamation Sunday, but updated it Monday to move up the effective date by two days to Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. 

Trump said Thursday that the US is “trying to help Brazil as much as we can,” with “ventilators and other things.”

He said Brazil has “very high” coronavirus numbers, calling it a “sad situation.”

Italy's top professional football league Serie A to restart season on June 20

Italy’s Serie A, the country’s top-flight professional football league, will restart its season on June 20.

After a meeting with the Italian Football Federation on Thursday, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora approved the go-ahead to resume the remaining current season fixtures. 

Following the decision, Spadafora said that he had consulted Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte who expressed satisfaction with the agreement. 

Also approved on Thursday was the continuation of the Coppa Italia competition. The three remaining fixtures could be played the week before the Serie A kicks off. 

Should the coronavirus pandemic take a turn for the worse in Italy, the Federation says they would again suspend the season. If that was the case, the Federation would either hold a playoff or freeze the standings to determine a champion.

CNN’s Nicola Ruotolo contributed to this report.

Turkey announces comprehensive reopening starting on June 1 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference on Thursday, May 28, in Istanbul.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced today there will be a comprehensive easing of coronavirus restrictions starting on June 1.

Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to reopen on June 1, but bars and hookah cafés will remain closed, Erdogan said.

A travel restriction prohibiting entry and exits from major metropolitan areas including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir will be lifted, he said. 

Beaches, parks and museums will open with social distancing and hygiene measures on June 1, according to Erdogan. 

Public servants will also return to work, he said.

Open air concerts will be allowed based on the venue but will not be allowed to go past midnight, he said.

Turkey’s age-based curfew, which prohibits people over the age of 65 and under the age of 20, has also been amended as a part of the reopening. The elderly will be allowed out on Sundays. The lockdown age for youth has been lowered to 18 and they will be allowed to go outside on Wednesdays and Fridays, Erdogan said. Nurseries and daycares will be allowed to reopen on June 1 but due to the age-based curfew it is unclear how permits will be issued for children to commute to these facilities.

Throughout the speech, Erdogan emphasized the need to wear masks, practice social distancing and proper hygiene. 

Beaches and lakes to reopen everywhere June 2 in France, prime minister says

Parks will reopen in France starting Saturday, and beaches and lakes will reopen on June 2, said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe today during a news conference in Paris.

Philippe said gatherings must be limited to 10 people and the capacity of outdoor spaces will be limited to 5,000 people, under the condition that social distancing rules are enforced.

Philippe added that it will be up to local mayors and regional officials to decide if masks should be mandatory for people visiting parks, beaches and lakes. 

Some context: Until now, parks were only open in regions where the coronavirus infection rate was low and hospitals’ intensive care units had low occupancy.

Despite the relatively higher rate of infection in Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo had repeatedly pushed for parks to be reopened, asking the government to consider “the need of Parisians” living in a “very dense city.”

Following the decision on Thursday, Hidalgo said in a tweet, “Finally! Common sense prevailed in the end. Parisiens will be able to breathe once again, in parks and gardens, as early as this weekend.”

Cultural and sporting venues in France will be allowed to open next week

A security officer guards the main entrance of the Louvre Museum in Paris on  April 2, in Paris.

France will allow cultural and sports venues to gradually reopen beginning on June 2, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday.

Museums and monuments, as well as indoor facilities such as theaters, concert halls, swimming pools and gyms will also be allowed to reopen on June 2 in “green zones,” where infection rates are low.

Masks will be mandatory “for a certain number of these activities,” Philippe said.

If businesses will qualify to enter into phase two will be determined by the infection rate in the region. For example, Paris is classified as an “orange zone” which means the “lifting of lockdown measures will be carried out slightly more cautiously,” Philippe said.

Cinemas will reopen across France June 22 as well – following a request from cinema operators who wished to coordinate reopenings nationally, Philippe said. 

The beginning of phase three of restriction lifting is expected June 22.

Sao Paulo announces gradual reopening plans despite growing number of coronavirus cases 

The mayor of Sao Paulo announced new guidelines on Thursday to gradually reopen the city, despite high levels of infections and deaths related to Covid-19. 

Mayor Bruno Covas said during a news conference today that several sectors in the city will be allowed to submit health and sanitary reopening plans to officials starting on Monday.

Once these plans are approved by the city government, they can reopen.

Among the businesses allowed to submit reopening plans are offices, retail stores, car dealerships, real estate agencies and shopping malls. Food courts and gyms are excluded. There is no outlook yet for the reopening of schools or parks.

Remember: Earlier this week a World Health Organization official warned Latin America is the new epicenter of the pandemic and cases are accelerating in Brazil. 

Brazil surpassed Russia over the weekend in the number of coronavirus infections and is now the second highest in the world, with more than 400,000 cases.

Currently ICU beds in Sao Paulo are at a 92% occupancy, the mayor said on Thursday. He added more ICU beds have been brought in and more are on their way, but the number of ICU bed occupied is slightly higher than it was two weeks ago.

Covas and Joao Doria, the governor of the state of Sao Paulo, have implemented a series of measures over the last couple of weeks aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and promoting social isolation.

Doria gave several municipalities in Sao Paulo state the green light to begin partial reopenings, including the capital city on Wednesday. Specialists say the move is risky. 

On Wednesday, Sao Paulo reported 129 new deaths and 3,096 new confirmed cases, which accounts for 15% of all the new cases in Brazil. The city has recorded a total number of 54,948 Covid-19 cases.

French government supports reopening internal European borders starting June 15

The French government supports reopening internal European borders from June 15, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday during a press conference in Paris.

Philippe said there would be no quarantine measures for European travelers arriving in France but the French government will take reciprocal measures for countries that decide to close their borders or impose a quarantine on French travelers.

Currently, travel within France is also restricted, and people traveling for more than 62 miles (100km) between departments are required to show a certificate proving they had a legal reason to travel.

That “100km rule” will be lifted on June 2, allowing for unrestricted travel within France.

Jordan to reopen mosques and churches for worship starting June 5

The blue mosaic dome of the King Abdullah I Mosque in the Jordanian capital Amman, is seen on April 27.

Houses of worship in Jordan will be allowed to reopen under public safety controls starting June 5, as the country continues to ease restrictions, Jordanian officials announced Thursday during a joint press conference with religious leaders.

Mosques will initially reopen for Friday prayers on June 5 “as a first step,” and other prayers will be allowed gradually, according Minister of Islamic Affairs Mohammad Khalaileh.

Friday prayers with social distancing measures will be held in mosques and adjacent squares. Worshipers will be asked to wear masks and bring their own prayer rugs.

Khalaileh called on the elderly and those with medical conditions to not attend communal prayers. Instructions explaining safety and preventative measures will be circulated among mosques, he said.

Churches will reopen for mass on Sunday from June 7, Archbishop Christoforos Atallah said at the press conference. He also reiterated the call on the elderly and vulnerable to pray at home.

Houses of worship were closed in mid-March as part of Jordan’s lockdown, considered one of the strictest in the world.

The country has so far recorded 728 coronavirus cases and deaths, according to the latest numbers by Johns Hopkins University.

Jordan began easing the lockdown in May with the reopening of the economy and the country’s public and private sectors. Other measures, like a nighttime curfew, remain in place for now.

Restaurants and bars to reopen across France

French chef and restaurant owner Alain Fontaine watches a news channel on a television set in his restaurant "Le Mesturet" on Thursday, May 28, in Paris as French Prime minister annouces updated lockdown measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen in France from June 2 but with some restrictions, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said during a press conference in Paris on Thursday.

Bars and restaurants will fully reopen in so called green zones, while in orange zones clients will only be able to sit outside, he said.

The regions of Ile de France, Mayotte and Guyane are considered orange zones, according to a new government map. All other regions are categorized as green.

Strict safety rules “validated by professionals” will have to be applied, including: 10 people per table, a minimum of 1 meter distance between tables, and mandatory masks for personnel and clients when they move around. Clients will also have to remain seated most of the time.

Philippe announced on March 14 the closure of bars, restaurants and all non-essential places, which took effect at midnight that same evening.

Britain to begin lifting lockdown Monday under strict conditions

In this screengrab from video, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Thursday, May 28.

Britain will begin lifting coronavirus restrictions starting Monday in a phased approach, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. 

Johnson warned that the gradual lifting of restrictions is subject to the country keeping the virus under control.

Here are some of the reopening guidelines outlined by Johnson:

  • Up to six people will be allowed to meet outside “as long as they respect social distancing rules,” in gardens and other private outdoor spaces. 
  • People from different households should not meet inside homes, Johnson said.
  • Schools will reopen to more children including nurseries, pre-school, kindergarten and some grades in elementary schools.  
  • Outdoor markets “where social distancing is easier” and car show rooms can open as well.

The restrictions will loosen further as of June 15 when retail and nonessential shops can open their doors, as Britain “begins to re-start it’s economy.”

Latest numbers: The death rate in the UK is falling consistently, currently at 256 in the last day, down from a peak of 943 on April 14, but Johnson emphasized the need for the virus to remain under control.

“I cannot and will not throw away all the gains we have made together. And so the changes we are making are limited and cautious.”

Italy sees steady decline of coronavirus patients, deaths and cases

Italy reported 70 news deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours as the country continues on a downward trajectory of new cases.

A total of 33,142 people have died of Covid-19 in Italy, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said Thursday.

Italy recorded 593 new cases over the last day, bring the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 231,732.

The overall situation in Italy continues to improve as the number of active cases of Covid-19 has dropped to 47,986. The drop of 5.85% is the biggest in weeks, and it’s the first time there have been less than 50,000 sickened since March 22.

The total number of patients in intensive care is now at 489 –– a decrease of 16 patents over the last 24 hours.

A total of 150,604 people have recovered from coronavirus, an increase of 3,503. 

English Premier League will resume season on June 17

The English Premier League will resume their season without fans attending starting on June 17, per multiple reports including The Telegraph and Sky Sports. 

When asked about the June date, the Premier League would not confirm nor deny as the prescheduled Thursday meeting with the twenty clubs was still ongoing.

The reports also state that the Wednesday, June 17  date would feature two games with the four teams that have played one less game than the other 16 teams.

Arsenal would face Manchester City and Aston Villa would take on Sheffield United. The full fixture list would commence the weekend of June 19-21. There are 92 remaining fixtures in the 2019-2020 season. 

The Premier League suspended its season back on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

GSK says it will make 1 billion doses of booster for potential Covid-19 vaccines

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline says it has plans for next year to manufacture 1 billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant - a booster that potentially could help make any Covid-19 vaccine stronger and possibly aid in scaling up production.

The London-based company said in a statement on Thursday that its adjuvant has been shown to reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, which allows more vaccine doses to be produced. 

An adjuvant also is added to some vaccines to enhance the immune response, which creates stronger immunity against infections. 

GSK said it will make the vaccine adjuvant technology available to partners that are developing “promising” Covid-19 vaccine candidates, and that making the adjuvant available to the world’s “poorest countries” would be key.

“We believe that our innovative pandemic adjuvant technology has the potential to help improve the efficacy and scale up of multiple COVID-19 vaccines,” Connor said.

Some background: In April, GSK and French drugmaker Sanofi announced they will be collaborating to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, with clinical trials expected to begin in the second half of 2020. They are among dozens of companies around the world working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

Philippines to ease lockdown measures for capital from June 1

A traveler is seen wearing a protective suit upon arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a limited number of flights have resumed following relaxed lockdown measures on Friday, May 22, in Manila.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte approved a recommendation on Thursday to relax Covid-19 lockdown measures in the capital city of Manila from June 1, CNN Philippines reports. 

In a televised address to the nation, Duterte said he approved the recommendation by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) to scale back quarantine restrictions which have been in place for Manila for over two months.

According to CNN Philippines, Thursday’s decision is also in line with the recommendation by all 17 mayors of Metro Manila to reopen nonessential businesses to help restart the ailing economy.

Portugal and the UK in talks to potentially open an “air corridor”

Tourists look out at a plane at Lisbon airport, in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday, March 18.

Government officials from the UK and Portugal are in contact to possibly establish a so-called “air corridor” between the two countries.

An official from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign affairs said talks between the two countries began following last week’s announcement by the British government that all international arrivals to the UK would be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

“Portugal took note of that decision,” the official said, adding that they were looking at ways to guarantee that travelers from Portugal into Britain are exempt from the quarantine period. “[We] are confident that it will be possible to reach an agreement that ensures the converging interests of both countries, with the view in particular of the coming summer period.”

The official also highlighted comments made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the Liaison Committee of the British Parliament on Wednesday where the Prime Minister said he was open to bilateral agreements for quarantine exemption with “safe countries.”

People from two households in Scotland can meet in groups of 8 from Friday