World Hoping to lure back tourists, Greece reopens beaches after lockdown
The Latest: Nepal starts 15-day lockdown as COVID-19 spikes
KATHMANDU, Nepal — Offices were closed, markets were shuttered and vehicles were forced off the streets in Nepal’s capital on Thursday as authorities imposed a 15-day lockdown because of spiking cases of COVID-19. The lockdown was imposed in most of the Himalayan nation's major cities and towns. In Kathmandu and surrounding districts, police set up checkpoints and were stopping drivers and pedestrians. Several vehicles were impounded for defying the lockdown.
ATHENS (Reuters) - With widely spaced sun loungers and regular disinfections, Greece reopened its organised beaches on Saturday as the popular Mediterranean holiday destination eases COVID-19 curbs in preparation for the return of foreign visitors next week.
Tourism accounts for about a fifth of Greece's economy and jobs, and - after the worst year on record for the industry last year - the country can ill afford another lost summer.
"We're pinning our hopes on tourism," said Nikos Venieris, who manages a sandy beach in the seafront suburb of Alimos, just outside the capital, Athens, where social distancing measures will remain in place.
France aims to reopen cafes and restaurants in May
Tourists with a "health pass" will be able to visit France from 9 June, President Macron announces.The four-stage plan outlined by President Emmanuel Macron aims to largely reopen the country by 30 June.
"We're one of the places along the Athens riviera ... that receives many tourists so the number of visitors from abroad will play a big role in our finances," he added.
Under current measures, beach managers like Venieris will have to place umbrellas at least four metres (13 feet), carry out regular disinfections and test beach bar employees and other staff for COVID-19.
Greece fared well in keeping the first wave of the pandemic under control last year but a resurgence in cases pushed health services to the limit and prompted authorities to impose a second lockdown in November.
As infections have fallen and vaccinations gathered pace, authorities have steadily eased restrictions, opening bars and restaurants earlier this week.
Cambodians complain of lockdown hunger as outbreak takes toll on poor
Cambodians complain of lockdown hunger as outbreak takes toll on poorPHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Residents in Cambodia's capital gathered on Friday to demand food from the government, outraged at what they called inadequate aid distribution during a tough COVID-19 lockdown that bars people from leaving their homes.
On Friday, they announced that museums would reopen next week before the lifting of travel restrictions on vaccinated foreign visitors on May 15.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said a combination of widespread testing, immunisation, and the fact that many activities would take place outdoors gave authorities confidence that tourists would be able to visit safely.
For Greek beach lovers, Saturday's reopening of the country's largest beaches was a chance to let off steam after months of lockdown.
"We've been longing for this for six months now, because we're winter swimmers and we've really missed it," said Spiros Linardos, a pensioner, reclining on a sun lounger at Alimos.
(Reporting by Phoebe Fronista; Editing by Angeliki Koutantou and Helen Popper)
Park across from White House reopens after almost a year of being closed .
Before Trump's photo-op in front of a church near the White House, protesters were forcibly removed from nearby Lafayette Square. The park had remained close since then. The park had been closed since the summer, following the forceful removal of peaceful protesters by law enforcement. Following the park's clearance, former President Donald Trump walked across it from the White House to pose for photographers with a Bible in front of St. John's Church.