Coronavirus — Mediterranean Countries, North Korea, Ease Restrictions

  • It is only possible to enter the Colosseum’s Archaeological Park with advance online booking for individual tourists, as well as for groups of up to 14 people.
  • Portugal is easing restrictions, except in hard-hit Lisbon.
  • North Korean colleges resumed their activities on Monday, raising questions as the country never recorded a single case.

After 84 days of closure due to the new coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) pandemic, the Colosseum Archaeological Park in Rome was reopened to the public on Monday. “We are reopening a symbol. A symbol of Rome, a symbol for Italy,” said Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum’s archaeological park.

As of March 13, 2020, when the number of new cases became greater than those in China, the World Health Organization (WHO) began to consider Europe the active center of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 1, there were 1.9 million cases of COVID-19 on the continent and 170,063 deaths.

“We are restarting in a positive way, with a different pace, with a more sustainable tourism,” he added. For this reopening, however, several health security measures were adopted to minimize the risk of contamination.

It is only possible to enter the Colosseum’s Archaeological Park with advance online booking for individual tourists, as well as for groups of up to 14 people. At the entrance, equipment was installed to measure the temperature of each visitor, and to check if each person is wearing a protective mask. Gel alcohol dispensers were also installed, and the access areas are constantly cleaned by employees.

“Today, we opened two rooms and tomorrow three. It’s like building an anthill,” Athens hotel owner Panos Betis said as employees wearing face masks tidied a rooftop restaurant and cleaned a window facing the ancient Acropolis. “We can’t compare the season to last year. We were at 95% capacity. Our aim now is to hang in there till 2021.”

Portugal Reopens Cinemas, Theaters and Concert Halls

After two and a half months closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, cinemas, theaters and concert halls will reopen as of this Monday in PortugalSports clubs are also set to resume activities, with new health standards, and teleworking is no longer mandatory. Shopping centers will also be able to reopen their doors.

That is with the exception of the Lisbon region, which in recent days has registered an increase in the number of cases of Covid-19 more expressive than the rest of the country. “Unfortunately, the evolution in Lisbon is significantly different from the rest of the country,” said Prime Minister António Costa.

Of the 297 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in 24 hours, 268 occurred in the Lisbon region, according to the official balance sheet published on Sunday. Portugal has so-far recorded 1,410 deaths and 32,500 reported cases due to the pandemic.

There are no officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Korea, though foreign analysts believe that the virus has spread to the country. The North Korean government has taken extensive measures, including quarantines and travel restrictions, which US analyst website 38 North said appeared to be successful in containing the virus.

North Korean Schools Re-opened

North Korean colleges resumed their activities on Monday, two months after stopping activities as a precautionary measure against the new coronavirus, North Korean radio reported. The DPRK did not report any cases of Covid-19, which raises many questions among experts, as the virus that emerged in neighboring China has spread to all continents.

The North Korean regime took drastic measures, with the closure of borders and a decree to confine thousands of people. The new school semester should have started in April. Some institutes and universities had already been allowed to resume classes.

Appropriate quarantine measures are being taken [ahead] of the start of the classes of the new school year in the elementary, middle, and higher middle schools and the resumption of the operation of kindergartens and day care centers starting early June,” the state-run Korean Central Broadcasting Committee said Monday, in a report carried by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

“Education and childcare institutions [authorities] have been asked to furnish thermometers and hand sanitizing equipment at the gates and all the classrooms and offices,” it continued, adding that teachers and workers were required to “strictly abide by the anti-epidemic order.”

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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