The Latest: Jordan to reopen airports to tourists in August

AMMAN, Jordan — The Jordanian government says it will begin reopening airports to international travelers in August after sealing its borders in March to help halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Travelers from a list of approved, low-risk countries must pass a coronavirus test at least 72 hours before departure and will get a second test upon arrival in Jordan, Transportation Minister Khaled Saif says.

Jordan will require incoming tourists to download Aman, the government’s contact-tracing mobile application, for the duration of their stay in the country.

Jordan is heavily reliant on tourism and shutting its borders in response to the pandemic has impacted the economy. But the measures have resulted in 1,218 confirmed cases and 11 deaths from COVID-19.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— CDC: Antibody tests show virus rates 10x higher

— Weary EU leaders finally clinch $2.1 trillion budget and coronavirus recovery fund

— The Justice Department says hackers working with the Chinese government targeted firms developing coronavirus vaccines and stole hundreds of millions of dollars worth of intellectual property and trade secrets from companies worldwide.

— With the pandemic worsening and aid expiring, Washington’s divisions thwart new relief package

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

GENEVA — The U.N. migration agency is warning the coronavirus pandemic has emerged as a new driver of internal displacement among Yemenis.

The International Organization for Migration says its teams have tallied more than 10,000 people citing fear of the virus or its impact on the economy and services as reasons for moving in the last 3 1/2 months.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix has found more than 100,000 people have been forced to flee in Yemen since January because of fighting and insecurity. Those in the country have already dealt with five years of war.

Yemen has 1,610 confirmed cases and 445 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

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ROME — Health Ministry numbers show a third straight day of fewer new cases in Italy.

Since Monday, 129 new cases were registered, raising to 244,752 the number of confirmed infections since the outbreak surfaced in Italy in late February. The known death toll stood Tuesday at 35,073 and 15 more deaths since the previous day.

A recent clusters of coronavirus infections in Italy had increased daily caseloads. Nearly all the new cases occurred in northern Italy, which was Europe’s initial epicenter in the pandemic.

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CHICAGO — Reported coronavirus cases vastly underestimate the true number of infections, U.S. government data published Tuesday suggest, echoing results from a smaller study last month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says true COVID-19 rates were more than 10 times higher than reported cases in most U.S. regions from late March to early May. It is based on COVID-19 antibody tests performed on routine blood samples in 16,000 people in 10 U.S. regions.

The study likely detected infections in people who may have had no symptoms or only mild illness, and who never got coronavirus tests. Infection rates were from six times higher than reported cases in Connecticut to 24 times higher in Missouri.

Still, most people in the 10 regions had not been infected. The study was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s skyrocketing coronavirus death rate is now higher than any other state, edging out Texas.

Florida recorded another 134 deaths Tuesday, bringing its daily average for the past week to 115, topping the 112 deaths a day Texas has reported during that time, Associated Press statistics show. A month ago, Florida was averaging 33 coronavirus deaths a day.

Overall, 5,317 people have died in Florida from COVID-19 since March 1 and nearly 370,000 have tested positive for the virus. About 19% of tests have returned positive in Florida over the last week, compared to 10% a month ago and 2.3% in late May.

The state reported an additional 517 people have been admitted to hospitals with the virus.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s skyrocketing coronavirus death rate is now higher than any other state, edging out Texas.

Florida recorded another 134 deaths Tuesday, bringing its daily average for the past week to 115, topping the 112 deaths a day Texas has reported during that time, Associated Press statistics show. A month ago, Florida was averaging 33 coronavirus deaths a day.

Overall, 5,317 people have died in Florida from COVID-19 since March 1 and nearly 370,000 have tested positive. About 19% of tests have returned positive in Florida over the last week, compared to 10% a month ago and 2.3% in late May.

The state reported an additional 517 people have been admitted to hospitals with the virus.

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ATLANTA — A judge has recused herself from hearing a lawsuit filed by Georgia’s governor to get Atlanta to stop enforcing a mask mandate and other measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Kelly Ellerbe had scheduled a hearing for Tuesday on Gov. Brian Kemp’s emergency motion. But a spokeswoman for Attorney General Chris Carr says the hearing is now canceled.

The state plans to seek another emergency hearing once the case has been assigned to another judge, Carr spokeswoman Katie Byrd said in an email.

Atlanta is among at least 15 local jurisdictions statewide ordering people to wear masks in many public places to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In a lawsuit filed Thursday against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the members of the City Council, Kemp argued that local leaders don’t have the authority to impose measures that are more or less restrictive than those in his executive orders.

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CHEROKEE, N.C. — Health officials in North Carolina are investigating a cluster of coronavirus cases after five casino employees tested positive for the virus within two weeks.

The Jackson County Department of Public Health say the cases were identified among Harrah’s Cherokee Casino employees who work in the table games section. They are now following isolation orders. Brooks Robinson, the casino’s regional manager, said no other employees or customers have been identified as having close contact with those who tested positive.

He says employees who show symptoms of the coronavirus have been directed not to come to work.

The business announced its reopening in late May with 30% capacity, social distancing protocols, a mask requirement for employees and daily “health checks” on casino staff.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch public health institute says coronavirus infections are on the rise again.

The Netherlands had 987 confirmed new infections over the last week, nearly twice as many as a week earlier.

Weekly figures published Tuesday show seven people died of COVID-19 over the last week, one fewer than a week earlier. The true numbers are believed to be higher because of a lack of testing, although there’s been a significant increase in the capacity of local health authorities to carry out testing.

The institute warns there are multiple small clusters around the country.

Most Dutch coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased July 1. But the institute urged people to stick to measures such as social distancing, hand washing, working from home and getting tested if they have any symptoms of the virus.

There have been more than 6,100 confirmed deaths in the nation.

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VIENNA — Austria is reintroducing mandatory face masks in some stores and banks after an increase in new corona virus infections.

Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says everyone will have to wear face masks again in supermarkets, smaller grocery stores, post offices and banks beginning Friday, Austrian news agency APA reported.

The chancellor also announced controls along the country’s border to the Balkans will be increased because many of the new infections in Austria can be traced to that region.

Health authorities will focus on religious communities that have registered several recent clusters of outbreaks.

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JERUSALEM — An Israeli parliamentary committee has overturned a government decision and allowed restaurants to remain open despite new restrictive measures to try and quell the spread of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus oversight committee voted Tuesday to keep restaurants open as long as they maintain proper guidelines and appropriate social distancing between patrons. It marked the back-and-forth battle after the government ordered restaurants closed just a few days earlier and then postponed implementation after public pressure.

The government announced its restrictions after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “interim steps” were needed to avoid another general lockdown. Netanyahu has faced widespread criticism and protests in recent days over his government’s handling of the pandemic and the economic fallout from an earlier lockdown.

But many of the measures, such as the closing down of beaches and public pools, have been scaled back in recent days amid an outcry that they were excessive.

The frequent reversals, however, have only sown frustration, confusion and more public anger.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein condemned the parliamentary decision, saying it would endanger public health and likely lead to another lockdown.

By late May, Israel had largely contained its outbreak following a two-month lockdown. But cases have soared in the weeks since restrictions were lifted, with Israel reporting close to 2,000 new cases a day last week. At least 422 people have died since the outbreak began, with more than 52,000 reported cases.

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Some 350 Serbian doctors are demanding the resignation of a government-appointed team fighting the coronavirus spread, describing the health situation in the Balkan state as “catastrophic.”

In an open letter entitled “United Against Covid,” first carried by the independent N1 television on Tuesday, the doctors said it is their moral and professional obligation to demand an independent investigation into the work of the state team.

The probe would include possible cover-up in the real number of coronavirus cases and deaths that have been declared by the team and possible political influence on its decisions ahead of an election.

The letter says that a complete lifting of anti-coronaviorus measures weeks ahead of the June 21 parliamentary election, when mass gatherings without social distancing were allowed, led to the “loss of control over epidemic situation” in the country, leading to a large second wave of infections.

State team members have vehemently denied previous such claims.

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KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s government has decided to resume both domestic and international flights next month.

Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai said the government will allow flights beginning Aug. 17. It was still undecided on the types of visitors who would be allowed in the country and visitors from which countries.

Flights had been stopped in March when the country was in full lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Only chartered and repatriation flights were allowed to fly out stranded tourists from Nepal and bring in Nepalese workers and residents.

The government eased the lockdown last month, allowing businesses to open and government offices to resume work. Schools remain closed and there are still some restrictions on public transportation. Special permission is required for the public to travel between different cities in Nepal.

The country has 17,844 cases of virus infection and 40 deaths from COVID-19.

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NEW DELHI — A surge of 37,140 new cases in the past 24 hours has taken India’s number of coronavirus infections to 1,155,191.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday also reported 587 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 28,084. The number of recoveries stand at 724,577.

India’s top medical research body, the Indian Council for Medical Research, has asked states to add more labs and increase testing capacity of the approved labs. A country of 1.4 billion people, India has been conducting nearly 10,000 tests per million population.

With a surge in virus cases in the past few weeks, local state governments in India have been ordering focused lockdowns in high-risk areas to slow new infections.

Experts say India is likely to witness a series of peaks as the virus spreads in rural areas where the healthcare system is weak.

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BEIJING — Numbers of new cases in China’s latest coronavirus outbreak fell on Tuesday, with just eight reported in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Another three cases were brought from outside the country, according to the National Health Commission, bringing China’s total to 83,693 with 4,634 deaths.

Xinjiang cases have been concentrated in the regional capital and largest city of Urumqi, where around 50 people and possibly more have been infected.

China has largely contained local transmission of the virus and responded swiftly to the Xinjiang outbreak by reducing subway, bus and taxi service in Urumqi, closing some communities, imposing travel restrictions and ordering widespread testing.

Elsewhere in China, containment measures continue to be relaxed while masks and social distancing remain the norm. Economic activity has partially recovered and China reported an unexpectedly strong 3.2% expansion in its GDP during the latest quarter after lockdowns were lifted and factories and stores reopened.

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SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s new virus cases have bounced back to above 40, a day after it reported its smallest daily jump in local COVID-19 transmissions in two months.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday the 45 latest cases included 20 people infected locally and 25 associated with international arrivals. They brought the country’s total to 13,816 with 296 deaths.

South Korean officials consider imported cases as a lesser threat than local transmissions because two-week quarantines are enforced on all people arriving from abroad.

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s hot spot Victoria state has reported 374 new cases of COVID-19, the second-highest daily tally ever recorded.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews also announced on Tuesday three more deaths in the state, bringing the national toll 126.

Andrews said a lockdown in Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne that began two weeks ago was having an impact.

“You’d like to see numbers coming down. At the end of the day though, we’re not seeing the doubling and doubling again” of cases, Andrews said. “So what that says to me … is that the sorts of measures we’ve put in place are having a direct impact.”

Since a record 428 cases were reported on Friday, Victoria has recorded 217, 363 and 275 cases on consecutive days.

Tighter regulations will come into force on the Victoria-New South Wales border on Wednesday that will only allow border communities to cross for essential work, health and education reasons.

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MEXICO CITY — Mexico continues to register high levels of new coronavirus cases, as the Health Department reports 5,172 new infections, bring the total to almost 350,000.

Daily deaths fell to 301, for a total of almost 39,500.

The continued high rate of transmission has caused some Mexican tourist areas to walk back previous reopenings and crack down on mask rules. The southern area of the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo reimposed limits on hotel occupancy, and the Baja California resort of La Paz closed beaches again.

Over the weekend, the local government of the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende said police had arrested two tourists for refusing to wear face masks.

The city has decreed face masks obligatory in public spaces, and violators could receive a warning, up to 36 hours in jail and/or a fine of up to $385.

The city government said two Mexican tourists were approached by police in the picturesque city square on Saturday night and reminded of the face mask rule. The man and a woman refused to put on masks. They were detained, held for 12 hours and fined the equivalent of about $67.

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