Tuesday July 14th, 2020 5:48PM

The Latest: Greece hotels to open in June, flights in July

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.


— Greece hotels to open June 15, international flights in July.

— Milan study shows virus circulating in February.

— ‘New normal’ anything but as countries continue to reopen.


ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s long-awaited tourist season will begin on June 15 with the opening of seasonal hotels.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says international flights will begin heading directly to tourist destinations on July 1. In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, Mitsotakis says visitors would be subject to sample coronavirus testing and “our general health protocols will be adhered to.”

The government imposed a lockdown early in Greece’s outbreak, which has been credited with keeping the number of deaths and critically ill people at low levels.

Mitsotakis announced a reduction in consumer taxes on transportation from 24% to 13%, which will lead to cheaper boat, plane and bus tickets during the tourist season. There’s also a cut on tax on coffee, soft drinks and open-air movie theater tickets.

Health authorities announced one death Wednesday and 10 new confirmed coronavirus cases. That brings the total confirmed cases to 2,850 and 166 dead in the country of nearly 11 million people.


MADRID — Spain has registered a fourth consecutive day of fewer than 100 deaths from the coronavirus.

That’s down from more than 900 fatalities a day at the height of its outbreak in early April.

The Spanish Health Minister reported 95 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday, taking the overall death toll to 27,888.

The health ministry also reported 416 new infections over the last 24 hours confirmed by laboratory tests. More than 232,000 infections have been confirmed by laboratory tests, and 49,600 Spaniards have tested positive from an antibody test.

Spain is edging toward reactivating its economy, and wearing a face mask is mandatory while outside the home.


BERLIN — Germany hopes to reach agreement with fellow European countries on rolling back travel restrictions in time for the summer holiday season.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says “we hope to be able to lift the worldwide travel warning at least for the European Union after June 14 and replace it with lower level travel advice.”

Maas says countries had gotten “a good bit closer” to that goal with Germany’s nine neighbors and an earlier round of negotiations with 11 other European countries this week.

Maas says Germany wants a “coordinated and transparent process” across the EU that avoids individual countries pressing ahead in a bid for income from tourism when the pandemic isn’t yet defeated.


MILAN — A study by Milan’s Polyclinic hospital indicates the coronavirus was circulating among a random sample of blood donors with no symptoms in Milan before the first domestically transmitted case was confirmed Feb. 21 in a town less than an hour away.

The study of blood samples by donors showed that 4.6% already had antibodies against the virus at the start of the epidemic. That percentage rose to 7% by the beginning of April, when Italy was under lockdown.

The study, involving researchers at the Polyclinic, Milan University, Sacco Hospital and the European Oncological Institute, was released in a preliminary form before being submitted to scientific journals for peer review.

They analyzed random blood samples from Feb. 8 to April 24 of 800 donors at the Polyclinic, which runs a transfusion center with more than 40,000 annual donors. The researchers say all donors who tested positive showed changes in the cell count and lipid profiles, which could provide clues to identifying asymptomatic carriers.

Studies are still underway to determine what antibody level would be needed for immunity. It’s also not yet known how long any immunity might last.

(This item has been edited to delete references to immunity levels; clarifies studies are underway to determine antibody levels needed for immunity.)


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopian health officials say 66 inmates of a prison in the capital, Addis Ababa, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

They say contact made between one inmate and his lawyer led to the mass infection. The country has just 389 cases, but health officials say the past two weeks has presented more cases than the previous months combined.

Officials say more people with no travel history are testing positive, indicating a rise in community spread.


KYIV, Ukraine — Authorities in Ukraine has announced further easing of lockdown restrictions in place since mid-March.

Heath Minister Maxym Stepanov says the country will move into “an adjustable lockdown” on Saturday, with authorities in different regions deciding which restrictions to lift.

Starting Saturday, public transportion will resume in cities and towns, hotels will reopen but not restaurants within), and churches will be allowed to conduct public services for a limited number of people. The new measures will allow sports competitions with no more than 50 participants and no spectators.

Kindergarten and subway in Kyiv and other cities are to reopen on Monday. Ukraine was one of the first ex-Soviet countries to impose a strict nationwide lockdown in March, when it had just a handful of coronavirus cases. It has reported 19,230 confirmed infections and just 564 deaths.


GENEVA — Switzerland’s government says it is adding more than 14 billion francs ($14.5 billion) into the state unemployment insurance system.

Requests from companies have poured in, seeking help for workers representing 37 percent of the country’s total workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.

Economy Minister Guy Parmelin says in the capital of Bern that “190,000 companies have requested indemnification and partial unemployment for more than 1.9 million workers.”

He says Switzerland’s unemployment rate, which is low by international standards, has risen to 3.4 percent from 2.5 percent in March, and is expected to top 4 percent next year.

“The good news is that the application for partial unemployment have since stabilized,” Parmelin says.

He says the government plans to gradually ease such support.


NEW DELHI — India says its testing for coronavirus infections has reached 100,000 people per day this week and it has so far covered more than 2.5 million people in the country.

Health Ministry official Lav Kumar says though the number of active coronavirus cases in India exceeded 100,000, the highest in Asia, only 6.39% required hospitalization.

On Wednesday, India reported the largest single day increase of 5,611 active cases. The country is still far from the peak in coronavirus infections.

The spike has come with tens of thousands of migrant workers moving across the country in trains, buses, trucks or walking to reach their village homes as they have lost jobs in cities and towns.

The total number of deaths in India has risen to 3,303, including 140 in the last 24 hours.


The Hague, Netherlands — The Dutch government has extended and expanded a multibillion-dollar support package for businesses hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The measures include loans, tax relief and help paying salaries. It's worth more than 13 billion euros ($14 billion).

The government says the aim is to protect as many jobs as possible for Netherlands businesses reeling from the economic fallout of the global pandemic. It follows a package announced in mid-March that’s been tapped by hundreds of thousands of businesses.

The government says it cannot prevent all job losses and bankruptcies and adds recovery of some sectors of the economy will take a long time.


PARIS — French authorities say they observe no signs of increase in the numbers of people infected with the coronavirus 10 days after the country ended its lockdown.

French Health minister Olivier Veran says the number of COVID-19 patients arriving each day at hospitals is decreasing, along with people treated in intensive care units.

He cautioned “this doesn’t mean the virus isn’t there” as the country gradually lifts restrictions. New clusters of COVID-19 cases have been recently discovered among slaughterhouse workers in western France and police officers in northern France.

Veran also promised that health workers in hospitals and nursing homes will see their salary increase as part of a new government plan for the public health system.

France has reported at least 143,400 cases of the virus and more than 28,000 deaths.


LONDON — The leader of Britain’s House of Commons says members of Parliament should return to London to work in person on June 2.

Jacob Rees-Mogg told Parliament the decision recognizes “the need for business to continue,’’ and the lawmakers with underlying health conditions wouldn’t be forced to attend.

Not all lawmakers think it is a good idea during the coronavirus pandemic. Tommy Sheppard of the Scottish National Party says lawmakers were being forced to risk their own health in order to stand up for their constituents.

He says the position taken by Rees-Mogg “is reckless, cavalier and downright dangerous.’’


NEW DELHI — India says it will commence domestic flights on Monday after nearly two months of suspension under a country-wide lockdown extended through the end of May.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri didn’t give details in a tweet on Wednesday. International flights will remain suspended.

India imposed a lockdown on March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. Chartered flights have operated in and out of India to carry stranded passengers from various countries.

Puri says all airports and air carriers in the country were informed to be ready for operations on Monday.

India eased the lockdown earlier this month by reopening shops and manufacturing. However, schools and colleges, shopping malls, movie theaters and religious places remain closed.

India has 106,750 confirmed COVID cases and 3,303 deaths.


LONDON — A UK lawmaker says British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s temporary release from an Iranian jail has been extended amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Tulip Siddiq, who has campaigned for the Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release, tweeted she had heard from the prisoner’s husband, Richard, that the furlough had been extended and she wasn’t returning to Evin prison.

Siddiq asked the government to step up efforts to make Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s furlough permanent.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016. Her family has denied she was plotting against Iran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency.


LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the U.K. will have a “test, track and trace” system for the coronavirus in place by June 1.

Johnson told lawmakers in Parliament the government was making “fast progress.” He says there will be 25,000 trackers in place by June 1 who will can trace the contacts of 10,000 new cases a day. The current level is 2,400 daily cases.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, criticized Johnson and his government for not having an effective track and trace system in place nearly 10 weeks into the coronavirus crisis. He says that has been a “huge hole” in the country’s defense against the coronavirus.


BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet has passed new measures on slaughterhouses and travel packages.

Slaughterhouses are required to directly employ workers, rather than rely upon subcontractors, after several outbreaks brought to light poor working conditions. The bill doubles the fine if companies breach the labor regulations.

Travelers who booked package tours before March 8 are entitled to a refund. They’re encouraged to accept vouchers from operators in an effort to aid the industry.

Separately, Germany’s federal and state culture ministers published a proposal on safety measures for the reopening of art galleries, museums, theaters and other facilities.

It recommends contact details for visitors be recorded and people be kept at least 1.5 meters apart by leaving theater seats empty and other measures.

The guidelines seek to provide continuity across Germany’s 16 states, which have been opening museums and other cultural institutions.


PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Cambodia is lifting a ban of the entry of visitors from six foreign countries who had been barred since mid-March.

The Health Ministry says the ban was issued after Cambodia when the number of COVID-19 cases was surging in six countries: Germany, the United States, France, Iran, Spain and Italy.

Visitors from the six countries must have medical certificates issued no more than 72 hours ahead of their arrival affirming they have tested negative for COVID-19. They must have a health insurance policy valued at no less than $50,000 covering them during their stay.

On arrival, they must submit to a new test for the disease. They will be quarantined at a government facility while waiting for the result.

The Health Ministry announced Saturday all of Cambodia’s 122 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had recovered and no new cases had been discovered for more than a month.


BERLIN — Switzerland has approved emergency aid for media outlets suffering a decrease in ad revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government approved a 57.5 million Swiss francs ($59.5 million) package proposed by lawmakers for “the special significance that the media have for democracy.”

Radio and TV stations will receive 30 million francs, while newspaper deliveries will be subsidized for six months with 17.5 million francs. Publishers who take relief must pledge not to pay dividends to shareholders in 2020.

The government says it will set aside 10 million francs to pay electronic media subscription fees for Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA for six months.


Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at and

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pompeo denies retaliation but won't explain watchdog ouster
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is adamantly denying that he recommended firing the State Department's independent watchdog in retaliation for investigations into Pompeo's conduct as America's top diplomat
1:24PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Trump congratulates daughter Tiffany on finishing law school
President Donald Trump is celebrating the addition of a lawyer to his immediate family
1:19PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Job cuts continue as financial aid lends support
Aerospace engine maker Rolls-Royce plans to cut approximately 9,000 jobs globally as it grapples with the collapse of air travel due to the pandemic
1:15PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Texas pushes for kids to return to normal during pandemic
After months of home schooling and lost sports seasons, millions of Texas children may get a taste of a somewhat normal summer after all — if their parents go for it
1:01PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Watchdog cites persistent infection lapses in nursing homes
A federal watchdog agency says about 40% of nursing homes inspected in the past two years were cited for infection control problems
1:00PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Virus-sapped bus lines see road to ruin without federal help
The private bus industry is clamoring for federal help it says it needs if the country is to keep it as an option for cheap travel after the coronavirus pandemic
12:51PM ( 56 minutes ago )
AP National News
Sept. 11 convict now says he renounces terrorism, bin Laden
The only man ever convicted in a U.S. court for a role in the Sept. 11 attacks, now says he's renouncing terrorism, al-Qaida and the Islamic State
11:18AM ( 2 hours ago )
Cyclone batters coasts of India, Bangladesh, millions flee
A powerful cyclone is plowing inland after crashing into the coasts of India and Bangladesh, where more than 2.6 million people fled to shelters in a frantic evacuation made all the more challenging by the coronavirus pandemic
11:16AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Milan study shows virus circulating in February
A study by Milan’s Polyclinic hospital indicates the coronavirus was circulating among a random sample of blood donors with no symptoms in Milan before the first domestically transmitted case was confirmed Feb. 21 in a town less than an hour away
10:53AM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Trump muses about hosting G-7 summit in US after all
President Donald Trump says he's considering holding a meeting in the U.S. with leaders of the world's major economies after all
12:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
Democrats decry 'pandemic of pollution' under Trump's EPA
Democrats are blasting the Trump administration’s moves to roll back environmental regulations during the coronavirus crisis
12:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump threatens funds for states easing voting in pandemic
President Donald Trump says he wants to hold up coronavirus funding for Michigan and Nevada because the states are trying to make it easier to vote during the outbreak
12:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Virus looms over China's national legislative session
This year’s version of the National People’s Congress — China’s biggest political meeting — will be unlike any other
6:36AM ( 7 hours ago )
Biden wins Oregon Democratic presidential primary
Republican voters in Oregon’s vast 2nd Congressional District chose a former state senator to be their candidate to replace Rep. Greg Walden, who didn’t run for a 12th term in the conservative region covering the rural eastern and central part of the state
1:03AM ( 12 hours ago )
States accused of fudging or bungling COVID-19 testing data
As large parts of the U.S. ease their lockdowns against the coronavirus, public health officials in some states are being accused of bungling infection numbers or even deliberately using a little sleight of hand to make things look better than they are
10:33PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Apple, Google release technology for pandemic apps
Apple and Google on Wednesday released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus
1:03PM ( 45 minutes ago )
NFL studying helmet face guard that works like surgical mask
With an eye toward getting back on the field, the NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same protection as a surgical mask
12:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Jazz G Conley donates $200,000 to virus work
Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz has donated a total of $200,000 to five communities to assist with the coronavirus response
12:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
EU wants to reduce pesticides use, promotes organic farming
The European Commission has unveiled plans to protect biodiversity and build a more sustainable food system, insisting on the need to both reduce the use of pesticides and promote organic farming
11:02AM ( 2 hours ago )
Stocks open higher on Wall Street a day after a late slide
Stocks are broadly higher in morning trading on Wall Street as investors regain their confidence following a sudden drop a day earlier
10:35AM ( 3 hours ago )
'Frugal' EU nations push back vs French-German recovery plan
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden are working on a proposal for a European recovery fund that will have tough conditions attached for countries that seek financial help
10:25AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: UN chief warns pandenic threatens Africa
The United Nations secretary-general is warning that the coronavirus pandemic threatens Africa’s progress and could push millions into extreme poverty
12:31AM ( 13 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump again mulls barring flights from Brazil
U.S. President Donald Trump againsaid he is considering barring entry to flights coming from Brazil due to the spread of COVID-19 in Latin America’s hardest-hit country
10:03PM ( 15 hours ago )
Kroger says isn't pulling back bonuses; airlines see uptick
Kroger Co. says it isn’t asking any employees to pay back coronavirus-related bonuses
7:34PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Airlines struggle with cuts, service; unemployment up in UK
Long-haul carrier Etihad Airways has started making job cuts due to the pandemic
1:31PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: UN recommends scaled back NY meetings in fall
The United Nations secretary-general is recommending the annual gathering of world leaders in late September be dramatically scaled back because of the COVID-19 pandemic
11:28AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: WHO members OK evaluation of virus response
Member states of the World Health Organization have unanimously passed a resolution brought by European Union members, African nations and others calling for an independent “comprehensive evaluation” of the international response to the COVID-19 outbreak coordinated by the U.N. health agency
10:25AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
Watchdog cites persistent infection lapses in nursing homes
A federal watchdog agency says about 40% of nursing homes inspected in the past two years were cited for infection control problems
1:37PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Pompeo denies retaliation but won't explain watchdog ouster
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is adamantly denying that he recommended firing the State Department's independent watchdog in retaliation for investigations into Pompeo's conduct as America's top diplomat
1:24PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Job cuts continue as financial aid lends support
Aerospace engine maker Rolls-Royce plans to cut approximately 9,000 jobs globally as it grapples with the collapse of air travel due to the pandemic
1:15PM ( 33 minutes ago )
The Latest: WHO doctor says no U.S. funding would be hurtful
The head of emergencies at the World Health Organization says an end to U_S_ funding for the U_N_ health agency would have a “major implication for delivering essential health services to the most vulnerable people in the world.”
1:12PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Direct flights to Greek tourist destinations to begin July 1
Greece's long-awaited tourist season will begin June 15 with the opening of seasonal hotels and the arrival of the first foreign visitors to Athens
1:11PM ( 37 minutes ago )