• Spain will reopen its doors to international tourists from July, announced Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. He also said that the country’s two main football divisions will be allowed to resume in camera from June 8.
• Churches in France reopened for Sunday mass for the first time in two months. The faithful must follow measures of social distancing.
• French Minister of Health Olivier Véran has ordered a review of the use of hydroxychloroquine after a study published by The Lancet has been shown to increase the chances of dying from infection in COVID-19 patients.
• As regions of Italy continue to loosen the lock and reopen swimming pools, sports centers, museums and cinemas, official data shows that one third of new COVID-19 cases in the country are still in the Lombardy region.
• Dominic Cummings, UK Senior Advisor, who received calls to resign after breaking the lock to see her parents, is still under fire from witnesses after reporting seeing him make a second trip.
• Two Premier League players tested positive in the latest COVID-19 test series.
• The director of The Wuhan Institute of Virology says the laboratory was working with three strains of bat coronavirus, but none of them correspond to the COVID-19 strain..
• The daily death toll in New York State is less than 100 for the first time since late March.
• Muslims around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan while respecting social distancing measures. Prayers go virtual in Saudi Arabia, where mosques broadcast the Eid prayer call.
• Argentina extends lockout restrictions for another two weeks in capital Buenos Aires that the number of infections is increasing in the country.
• New Zealand has confirmed zero new cases in the past 24 hours.
• Russia reported its highest daily death rate, 153 deaths in the last 24 hours.
By Toni Waterman in Brussels
EU: Loans vs grants: the debate over the EU stimulus fund intensified after the so-called “four frugals” presented a proposal that rivals the 545 billion dollar plan presented by France and the Germany last week.
Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden say a temporary, one-time recovery fund is needed to alleviate the economic havoc caused by the coronavirus, but they have rejected the idea of debt pooling. They also do not want a big increase in the EU budget. Contrary to the Franco-German plan which provides for subsidies, the northern states say that the money should be distributed in the form of cheap loans.
The European Commission is expected to present its stimulus package proposal next week.
Belgium: More than 30 Belgians are suing their government and the country’s interior minister, Pieter De Crem, for their reaction to the coronavirus epidemic. According to the newspaper Nieuwsblad, the group believes that the kidnapping measures violate the Convention on Human Rights and request that the measures be lifted immediately.
The group is suing for one euro and their lawyer believes the case will be closed in a few weeks. Belgium entered a lockout in mid-March and the measures do not start to lift until May.
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