South America has become an ‘epicentre’ of the COVID-19 pandemic with Brazil the hardest hit country, the World Health Organization said.
Britain will introduce a 14-day quarantine for almost all international travellers from June 8, interior minister Priti Patel has said, with anyone breaking the rules facing a $1,218 (1,000 pound) fine.
Some 80 million infants could be at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases like diphtheria, measles and polio due to disruption of routine immunisation caused by the pandemic, UN agencies have warned.
More than 5.2 million people around the world are now confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University. More than 337,000 people have died globally while some 2 million people have recovered.
Here are all the latest updates:
Saturday, May 23
01:20 GMT – France to allow faith gatherings
The French interior ministry says it will allow religious gatherings to resume after a two-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, but worshippers will have to wear face masks.
The rules will be outlined in a decree in “the coming hours” the ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Under the decree, a ban on gatherings imposed in March would be rescinded. But collective worship would have to observe conditions, including the wearing of masks, a distance of at least one metre between worshippers and hand-washing.
01:07 GMT – New York eases ban on gatherings
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, dropped the coronavirus hit state’s absolute ban on gatherings of any size, issuing an executive order saying up to 10 people are now allowed to be together as long as they abide by social distancing guidelines adopted during the coronavirus pandemic.
That means people still need to stay at least 6 feet away from others, or wear a mask or face covering when they cannot maintain that distance in public.
The order represents one of the biggest steps yet the hard-hit state has taken to loosen rules adopted in March that have barred anyone but essential workers from getting together unless they live in the same household.
00:34 GMT – Brazil now has world’s second highest coronavirus cases
Brazil confirmed a total of 330,890 coronavirus cases on Friday, overtaking Russia to become the world’s second hotspot for COVID-19.
The Health Ministry said there were 1,001 deaths in the previous 24 hours, bringing Brazil’s total death toll to 21,408.
In Sao Paulo, the worst hit city, aerial video showed rows of open plots at the Formosa Cemetery as it rushed to keep up with demand.
Bolsonaro touts hydroxychloroquine as Brazil virus crisis deepens (2:22)
00:18 GMT – Mexico cancels football season over virus concerns
Mexico’s top league has decided to cancel its football season without crowning a champion for the first time in its history.
Liga MX cited uncertainty generated by the coronavirus pandemic for the decision and declared the season over despite having played 10 of its 17 dates.
“It’s indisputable that we live in an unprecedented situation in this country that obliges the football industry in Mexico to act with absolute sensitivity and respond with unity to the demands that have presented themselves,” the league said in a statement.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
You can find all the updates from yesterday, May 22, here.
Al Jazeera and news agencies