Covid-19 Reopening

Lifestyle • Travel
India: Taj Mahal will reopen despite India's high Coronavirus cases
India: Taj Mahal will reopen despite India's high Coronavirus cases
Credit: unsplash.com/Koushik Chowdavarapu

The Taj Mahal will reopen on September 21st," mit Srivastava, deputy director of Uttar Pradesh state’s tourism department has announced. Masks, social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols will be required for visitors. Instead of the usual daily 20,000 visitors, only 5,000 will be allowed. Visitors will have to buy tickets only as no physical tickets will be sold.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
A staff member at Coalville school tests positive for Covid-19 days after Boris Johnson said the biggest risk is not Covid-19

The prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, had visited the Castle Rock School in Coalville, Leicestershire for the reopening and told students that the biggest risk was "continuing to be out of school" and not the Covid-19.

Now a staff member of the school has tested positive for Covid-19 resulting in multiple classes and tutor groups going into self-isolation as "a precautionary measure". The school stated that the safety at the institution is "paramount".

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
Dehli, India: Subway trains resume after 5-month-long Coronavirus shutdown
India's transport system carried around 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown.
India's transport system carried around 2.7 million passengers a day before the lockdown. Credit: © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Dehli's metro is resuming again after being suspended for five months due to the Coronavirus lockdown measures. The Indian economy has started to reopen even though the country experiences high daily counts of new infections.

Commuters will have to wear masks, keep a safe distance and have their temperature checked.

Sports • Football
Bundesliga: Fans set for return to stadium for German Cup
Bundesliga: Fans set for return to stadium for German Cup
Credit: unsplash.com / Fionn Große

Germany's football federation (DFB) announced on Monday that fans can return to some German football stadiums in mid-September for the first round of the German Cup.

The DFB released a statement saying: "The third division, the German Cup and women's matches, the number of spectators... must be decided by each club in agreement with local health
authorities."

Health
Germany puts on crowded concerts to study risks of Covid-19
Germany puts on crowded concerts to study risks of Covid-19
Credit: Acid Pix (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Scientists from the Halle University in Germany have held three pop concerts in a single day to investigate the risks posed by mass indoor events during the pandemic. About 1,500 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 50 took part in the experiment "to investigate the conditions under which such events can be carried out despite the pandemic".

The head of the study, Dr Stefan Moritz, which was carried out in Leipzig, stated he was "very satisfied" with how the event unfolded.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Georgia school district reports 260 students and 8 teachers contracted Covid-19 in first week of reopening
Frank Long Elementary School, Hinesville, Liberty County, Georgia
Frank Long Elementary School, Hinesville, Liberty County, Georgia Credit: Michael Rivera (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A week after reopening schools for in-person classes, the Georgia school district reports that at least 260 students and 8 teachers have contracted Covid-19. Those with a confirmed positive result are now under quarantine for two weeks and everyone who had been in contact with them was urged to self-isolate as well. Infections were reported from elementary, middle as well as high schools.

"We have students and staff reporting presumptive, pending and positive COVID-19 tests every day, and this will continue as we operate schools during a pandemic. We are working with the Department of Public Health to confirm, contact trace, quarantine and then notify the school community," so the district's superintendent, Dr Brian V. Hightower.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Chicago Public Schools will reopen online only in September
Lincoln Park High School, Chicago, IL, USA
Lincoln Park High School, Chicago, IL, USA Credit: Kseferovic

Public schools in Chicago will start the coming academic year remote-only, meaning all classes will be held online for all students from September to at least November 9. The situation will be reevaluated then whether a hybrid learning model can be implemented. The decision came just a day after the Chicago Teachers Union prepared for a strike over school safety and the demand for remote learning.

"As a district, we value parent feedback and we cannot overlook that a large percentage of parents have indicated they do not feel comfortable sending their students to school under a hybrid model for the start of the school year," so Janice K. Jackson, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools.

Education • School Education
Mongomery County (Md) closes schools for in-person classes, including Barron Trump's private school
President Donald J. Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and their son, Barron, walk across the South Lawn of the White House Sunday.
President Donald J. Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and their son, Barron, walk across the South Lawn of the White House Sunday. Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

On Friday, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles ordered schools to remain closed for in-person classes until at least October 1. Among those schools affected is Barron Trump's Maryland private school.

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have based our decisions on science and data. At this point the data does not suggest that in-person instruction is safe for students or teachers," so Gayles in a news release on Friday.

On Monday, Donald J. Trump again called for schools to reopen despite high numbers of Covid-19 infections. "Cases up because of BIG Testing! Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!," Trump tweeted.

Regional News • Americas • United States
CDC issues statement on the "Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall"
CDC issues statement on the "Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall"
Credit: unsplash.com/Marcelo Cidrack

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a call to reopen schools, two weeks after President Trump called the agency's previous recommendations on the reopening of school's "very tough and expensive."

"Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families," so the CDC's statement published on Thursday.

The statement further states that " best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children," and lists the benefits of in-person attendance.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Teachers union sues Florida's governor over order to reopen schools
Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida
Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida Credit: Condor5635 / Public domain

The Florida Education Association has filed a lawsuit against the Florida government over its order to reopen schools despite rising number of Covid-19 cases. The order, signed by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in early June, orders all schools – private and public – to reopen its doors for students starting August. The lawsuit was filed against Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education, Florida State Board of Education and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

"The lawsuit intends to stop the reckless and unsafe reopening of public school campuses as coronavirus infections surge statewide," so the FAE's release.

Lifestyle • Citytrips
France: Disneyland Paris, Eiffel Tower reopen
View from the Eiffel Tower
View from the Eiffel Tower Credit: unsplash.com/Matt Boitor

Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios have partially reopened on Wednesday after almost four months. Other tourists attractions are also being reopened. The top floor of the Eiffel Tower is now open for visitors but is restricted to maximum of 250 people.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Senegal: International flights resumed
Check-In area at Aéroport international Blaise Diagne, Senegal
Check-In area at Aéroport international Blaise Diagne, Senegal Credit: Jjm2311 / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Senegal resumed international flights on July 15th. Air traffic had been on hold for almost four months. Travelling passengers have to produce a negative Coronavirus test that's not older than seven days.

Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, General Director of Public Health: "‘Today, to come to Senegal, we demand strict compliance with border measures, namely the wearing of masks. Everybody wears a mask, you have the physical distance, even at the seats where you rest. We have alcohol-based gels everywhere, even at the ATMs."

Regional News • Americas • United States
"Science should not stand in the way" of reopening schools says White House Press Secretary
"Science should not stand in the way" of reopening schools says White House Press Secretary
Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

During Thursday's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that "the science should not stand in the way" of reopening schools. President Trump insists on opening schools, "and when he says open, he means open and full, kids being able to attend, each and every day at their school."

McEnany states that the United States is the "outlier" as schools in the Western world and their peer nations are reopening and claims that "science is on our side here".

Regional News • Americas • United States
California halts reopening, closes bars, gyms and indoor dining
California halts reopening, closes bars, gyms and indoor dining
Credit: unsplash.com/Joel Muniz

California is reversing its reopening phase and closes most indoor establishments again as the state sees an average of 9,000 new Covid-19 infections.

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a statewide closure for bars, indoor dining and other venues. Thirty of the state's hardest hit counties will further have to close all gyms, malls, places of worship and beauty salons.

"We're seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that Covid-19 is not going away any time soon until there is a vaccine and, or an effective therapy," so Newsom in a news conference.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Pelosi criticised reopening of schools, says Trump is "messing with the health of our children
Nancy Pelosi e union's annual Legislative Conference the union's annual Legislative Conference, February 2020
Nancy Pelosi e union's annual Legislative Conference the union's annual Legislative Conference, February 2020 Credit: AFGE / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi heavily criticised the Trump administration for its demand to reopen schools this fall, calling it "malfeasance and dereliction of duty." Pelosi called for the CDC guidelines for reopening schools to be mandatory rather than flexible.

"The president and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school. Teachers do, parents do and children do. But they must go back safely," so Pelosi.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Sex workers in Hamburg demonstrate for re-opening of business
Herbertstraße, Hamburg
Herbertstraße, Hamburg Credit: www.sommer-in-hamburg.de (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the brothels in the Herbertstraße, which is part of the red light area of Hamburg's St. Pauli district, have been forced to close. The ban hasn't been lifted so far, and sex workers have now demonstrated for a re-opening. While prostitution is legal in Germany, the Association of Sex Workers has stated that the forced closure of the licensed establishments forces some sex workers into illegal work on the streets, adding that this is far more dangerous and unhygienic.

The association stated that "Prostitution does not carry a greater risk of infection than other close-to-body services, like massages, cosmetics or even dancing or contact sports" and organised a protest on Saturday evening.

Lifestyle • Travel
Disney World Florida reopens despite record Covid-19 numbers
Fireworks at Magic Kingdom, Disney World.
Fireworks at Magic Kingdom, Disney World. Credit: unsplash.com/Jaime Creixems

Disney World Florida is set to reopen its doors to visitors. The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks will open on Saturday, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios will follow on July 15. Disney will implement strict safety measures, including reduced capacity and mandatory face masks. The reopening comes as Florida is reporting record numbers of new Covid-19 infections in the last days, reaching 10,000 daily cases on Tuesday.

Regional News • Africa
Morocco: Process of reopening borders has started
Sunrise in Casablanca with Hassan II Mosque in the background
Sunrise in Casablanca with Hassan II Mosque in the background Credit: SpreeTom (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Morocco is gradually reopening air and maritime borders on July 14th. The country had one of the strictest lockdowns. Many tourists were not allowed to leave, and Moroccans were not able to return home. Travel will be only available to Moroccan citizens and expatriates at first.

Education • University Education
Harvard announces reopening plans, only allowing up to 40% of students on campus
Harvard Law Building, Cambridge, United States
Harvard Law Building, Cambridge, United States Credit: unsplash.com/Emily Karakis

On Monday, Harvard University announced its reopening plans for the next academic year. All first-year students are set to attend courses on campus during the fall semester but will be studying remotely in spring so seniors can return before their graduation. Furthermore, the university will only allow up to 40 percent of its undergraduate students on campus, asking the rest of its student body to study remotely while fees and tuition will remain the same.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazil reports 65,000 Covid-19 related deaths
Sunset over Rio de Janeiro
Sunset over Rio de Janeiro Credit: unsplash.com/Agustín Diaz

According to a release by the country's health ministry, over 65,000 people have died from the novel Coronavirus in Brazil. After reporting another 20,229 new Covid-19 cases, the total number of cases surpasses 1,6 million. Despite rising numbers, bars and restaurants in Rio de Janeiro have reopened over the weekend.