Coronavirus latest news: Social distancing rules defied at block party and football celebrations

Police are responding to reports of a “block party” in west London after footage was shared on social media of scores of people partying in the street.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers were attending an “unlicensed music event” in the Kensal Town area of west London after complaints from residents. 

Attendees of the event, on Harrow Road, W9, refused to leave the location, officers said, but the police insisted that “are hopeful that crowds are dispersing”.

It came at the same time as Liverpool fans were urged by mayor Joe Anderson and the city council to stay home to celebrate the team’s title victory after thousands took to the streets for a second evening to party.

A huge crowd descended on the Liverpool waterfront in defiance of social-distancing rules amid reports of flares and fireworks. 

Merseyside Police have issued a dispersal order and told fans to leave the area.

Follow the latest updates below.

Czech Republic records highest daily rise in months

The Czech Republic recorded 168 new cases on Friday, authorities said, the highest daily rise in cases since early April just as the country is starting the two-month summer holiday season.

It was also the fourth day of the last 10 showing a daily increase of more than 100. Over the past week, the eastern region of Karvina has been by far the most affected by the rise in cases, according to the Health Ministry website.

Friday was the last day of school for most children and students. Many Czechs will spend their holidays in the country rather than going abroad due to concerns about the virus and travel restrictions.

The government has gradually removed most restrictions on business apart from wearing masks indoors and limits on pub opening hours and large cultural events. It has said it will focus on local quarantines and tracing and testing measures rather than national lockdowns in the future.

Cultural attractions will require funding, heritage chiefs warn

Historic attractions will require funding until social distancing measures are lifted, heritage bosses have warned amid fears stringent restrictions could result in a widespread closure of sites.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, The Heritage Alliance (THA), England’s largest coalition of cultural organisations, said “we are in danger of losing the backdrop to our lives” unless The Treasury provides urgent relief to art institutions struggling to remain financially viable.

Among the signatories of the document are English Heritage, National Trust and the Royal Historic Palaces, which have all suffered losses since lockdown and fear further shortfalls resulting from the new 1m social distancing rule severely limiting visitor numbers.

Read the full story

Staff at English Heritage carry out a visitor practise run at Brodsworth Hall in Yorkshire


India reports record daily leap in infections

India now has more than 500,000 confirmed  cases, according to government figures released on Saturday that showed a record daily leap of 18,500 new infections.

Authorities said 15,685 people had died after another 385 fatalities were added to the toll in 24 hours. The pandemic is not expected to peak in India for several more weeks and experts say the number of cases could pass one million before the end of July.

Health workers take health details of the residents of a ‘containment zones’ in Kajupada area in Mumbai, India


Clusters continue to emerge in South Korea

South Korea has reported 51 newly confirmed cases as fresh clusters continue to emerge in the densely populated Seoul area.

They bring the national caseload to 12,653, including 282 deaths. Thirty-five of the new cases came from Seoul and nearby cities and towns, which have been at the center of a resurgence since late May. Twelve others were linked to international arrivals.

Health authorities are struggling to trace contacts and predict infection routes with new clusters popping up from just about everywhere.

Hundreds of infections have been linked to nightspots, church gatherings, restaurants and low-income workers such as door-to-door salespeople and warehouse employees. 

South Korean soldiers disinfect a train station in Daejeon


US judge orders release of children in detention

A federal judge on Friday ordered the release of children held with their parents in US immigration jails and denounced the Trump administration’s prolonged detention of families during the pandemic.

US District Judge Dolly Gee’s order applies to children held for more than 20 days at three family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania operated by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some have been detained since last year.

Citing the recent spread of the virus in two of the three facilities, Ms Gee set a deadline of July 17 for children to either be released with their parents or sent to family sponsors.

The family detention centers “are ‘on fire’ and there is no more time for half measures,” she wrote.

China reports small increase in cases

China has reported an uptick in new cases a day after national health authorities said they expected an outbreak in Beijing to be brought under control soon.

The National Health Commission said on Saturday that 21 more cases had been confirmed nationwide in the latest 24-hour period, including 17 in the nation’s capital.

City officials have temporarily shut a huge wholesale food market where the virus spread widely, re-closed schools and locked down some neighbourhoods. Anyone leaving Beijing is required to have a negative virus test result within the previous seven days. Many Chinese are traveling during a four-day holiday weekend that ends Sunday.

China has reported 83,483 cases and 4,634 deaths in the pandemic.

A street vendor cooks snacks for customers on the roadside in Beijing, China


Another blow to Hollywood’s summer season

Hollywood’s hopes for salvaging its summer season have effectively ended after the releases of both Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and the Walt Disney Co.’s live-action reboot of “Mulan” were again delayed.

With reported cases of the coronavirus surging in parts of the US, Disney on Friday followed Warner Bros. in pushing “Mulan” to late August. The film, initially planned to open in March, had been slated for July 24. It’s now moving to Aug. 21.

“While the pandemic has changed our release plans for ‘Mulan’ and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance,” said Disney co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman in a joint statement.

Late on Thursday, Warner Bros. also postponed “Tenet,” starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, from July 31 to Aug. 12. 

Read more: Second straight day of record numbers of the virus in the US

Yifei Liu in the title role of the film “Mulan”


Australia expecting rise in cases as nationals return from overseas

Australian health officials are expecting more cases as hundreds of nationals return from overseas to begin mandatory quarantine.

About 300 people are due to arrive in Adelaide this weekend from Mumbai, India, while hundreds are expected to follow from South America and Indonesia.

People in hotel quarantine will be tested at the start and end of their 14-day isolation.

South Australia state Health Minister Stephen Wade said Saturday he is preparing for about 5 per cent to 10 per cent returnees to have the virus, as was the case when people returned from Indonesia in other states.

Melbourne recorded 30 new cases on Friday, continuing a run of double-digit increases that has more than tripled Victoria state’s active cases to 183 in just over a week.

News in brief from around the world

  • Argentina President Alberto Fernandez announced on Friday a toughening of lockdown measures in the capital Buenos Aires and its surrounding area as cases are on the rise.
  • European Union countries failed to settle on Friday on a final “safe list” of countries whose residents could travel to the bloc from July, with the United States, Brazil and Russia set to be excluded.
  • Vietnam and the Philippines warned of growing insecurity in Southeast Asia at a regional summit on Friday amid concerns that China was stepping up its activity in the disputed South China Sea during the pandemic.
  • Colombian President Ivan Duque on Friday called Venezuela a public health “time bomb,” and said the lack of reliable information about the status of its neighbour’s outbreak was a worry as his administration tries to control its own infections.
  • Mexico‘s health ministry reported on Friday 5,441 new confirmed cases and 719 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 208,392 cases and 25,779 deaths.
  • The United States recorded at least 40,870 new cases on Friday, the largest single-day increase of the pandemic, according to a Reuters tally, bringing the total number in the US who have tested positive to at least 2.475 million. 

Without water at home residents have no other choice than to hunt for it, breaking a nationwide quarantine in Caracas, Venezuela 


Reporter at Trump’s Tulsa rally tests positive

 A journalist who attended US President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last week said on Friday he has tested positive for Covid-19.

Oklahoma Watch reporter Paul Monies said he was notified on Friday of his positive diagnosis.

“I’m pretty surprised,” Monies wrote on Twitter. “I have zero symptoms (so far) and I feel fine. In fact, I ran 5 miles this morning.”

Monies said he was inside the rally for about 6 hours on Saturday at the BOK Center and that he wore a mask and mostly practiced social distancing, except for when he went to the concourse to get a snack. He said he was never close to the president.

An epidemiologist at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department who notified Monies of his positive result said it’s difficult to determine if he contracted the coronavirus at the rally.

“I can’t say definitively that I got it at the rally,” Monies said. “But it’s someone I’ve been in contact with in the last two weeks.”

Thanks for all your kind words and well wishes, friends. Fingers crossed I stay symptom-free. I’m still trying to process the news and feel bad for inconveniencing my loved ones and friends. See y’all (in real life, with a mask) in a couple of weeks. #QuarantineLife

— Paul Monies (@pmonies) June 26, 2020

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