A raft of EU nations reopened their borders to fellow Europeans on Monday after months of coronavirus curbs.
As caseloads have declined in recent weeks across many parts of Europe, governments have been keen to ease painful lockdowns that have saved lives but devastated economies and wearied confined populations.
Belgium, France, Germany, Greece and Ukraine were among those lifting border restrictions on Monday, June 15, 2020, while shops and outdoor attractions in England were set to welcome their first customers since March and in Paris cafes and restaurants were allowed to fully reopen.
However, the pandemic is gathering pace in Latin America, and Iran and India have reported worrying increases in deaths and infections — adding to concern over challenges the world will face in the long fight against COVID-19.
China, where the virus emerged late last year, was the first country to implement extreme restrictions on movement early this year, forcing local transmission down to near-zero as the crisis hammered the rest of the world.
But health officials on Monday reported 75 cases of the respiratory illness in Beijing where the fresh cluster has been linked to a wholesale food market.
Streams of people queued in a Beijing stadium as mass testing was carried out, and a strict lockdown was extended across 21 Beijing neighbourhoods.
More than 430,000 people worldwide have died from COVID-19, nearly halfway through a year in which countless lives have been upended and the global economy ravaged by the crisis.