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Europe slows lockdown lift, while US continues to shed virus restrictions

Europe slows lockdown lift, while US continues to shed virus restrictions

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Coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths are plummeting across much of Europe. Vaccination rates are accelerating and with them, the promise of summer vacations in Ibiza, Crete or Corsica.

But the variant first detected in India has found a growing foothold in Britain, prompting France and Germany this week to put British visitors under mandatory quarantine.

The number of new coronavirus infections in the U.K. has hit a near two-month high, with growing speculation that the new variant of the virus first identified in India may prompt the British government to delay further easing lockdown restrictions.

Scroll or swipe down to see the latest data on vaccinations, infections and other COVID-19 trends worldwide.

But in the United States, restrictions continue to ease. Kids at summer camps can skip wearing masks outdoors, with some exceptions, federal health officials said Friday.

It's going to be crowded at airports and on the road this Memorial Day weekend. Americans were hitting the road in near-record numbers at the start of the holiday weekend, eager to leave pandemic isolation behind.

Other developments today:

  • The United States and Britain are stepping up calls for the World Health Organization to take a deeper look into the possible origins of COVID-19, including a new visit to China where the first human infections were detected.
  • Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Friday issued an executive order repealing a 24-hour-old mask-mandate prohibition put in place while he was out of the state by the lieutenant governor, describing her actions as a tyrannical abuse of power and an “irresponsible, self-serving political stunt.” 
  • Hundreds of climbers are making the final push to the Mount Everest summit with only a few more days left in the season, saying they are undeterred by a coronavirus outbreak in base camp.
  • The San Carlos Apache Tribe has seen a dramatic turnaround in coronavirus cases, nearly halting the spread. About one-third of the population on the southeastern Arizona reservation had been infected over the past year. Now, the average number of positive COVID-19 cases is down to less than 1% a week.

After more than a year of isolation, American veterans are embracing plans for a more traditional Memorial Day. The isolation of the pandemic has been particularly hard on veterans, many of whom depend on kinship with fellow service members to cope with wartime trauma.

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