Rural areas tell UK city-dwellers to stay away

People in the United Kingdom are being told to stay at home and to not travel to remote communities, amid growing worries in the regions over the spread of coronavirus.  Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s tourism secretary, told the BBC that tourists could “compromise the health” of people living in rural areas, including the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Tourism businesses along one Scottish road, the A830 which runs from Fort William to Mallaig, have also urged people to stay away.  The Road To The Isles group, which is made up of 100 tourism businesses along the route, said that “vital services” in the area are “struggling to cope with demand,” according to PA Media news agency.

The area has just one doctor and one ambulance serving an ageing population. In a statement on its website, Visit Scotland asked everyone “not to travel to or around Scotland.” People were also discouraged from traveling to Cornwall, a county in western England. A joint statement issued by Cornwall Council and the tourism site Visit Cornwall on Friday urged people planning a trip to the county to “consider deferring their visit.” Steve Double, the Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay in Cornwall, told Sky News on Saturday: “Please do not travel to Cornwall, we do not want to spread this virus any further.”Elsewhere, Snowdonia National Park in Wales experienced its “busiest ever visitor day” on Saturday with people flouting guidance on social distancing, according to its website.

“We are calling on the Prime Minister and the First Minister of Wales to provide stronger measures on unnecessary travel and social distancing, to ensure that we do not see a repeat of yesterday’s scenes across Snowdonia,” Emyr Williams, chief executive of the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said in a statement on Sunday.

Tennessee governor issues order restricting businesses

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks to the press on March 16.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks to the press on March 16. Mark Humphrey/AP

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has issued an executive order Sunday with sweeping changes to businesses in response to the coronavirus. The issue prohibits gatherings of 10 or more and enacts restrictions on businesses. Restaurants are ordered to only offer drive-thru, take out or delivery options and can sell alcohol by delivery or pick up to those over 21, a release from the governor’s office said. Gyms and other fitness facilities are closed until April 6 and encouraged to pursue digital programs, according to the release.Nursing homes and other long term care facilities are no longer allowed to accept visitors unless they are essential to care, the release said.

Actress Rita Wilson raps to Naughty by Nature

from Instagram
from Instagram

Actress Rita Wilson continues to amaze and entertain followers while recovering from coronavirus. Wilson posted a four-minute long video of herself rapping every word of Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray.” “Quarantine Stir Crazy See it to believe it,” Wilson said in the Instagram caption.

Watch Wilson’s video:

Greece to ban all non-essential movement starting Monday

A woman walks past the empty Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece, on March 16.
A woman walks past the empty Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece, on March 16. Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP via Getty Images

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has just announced in a televised statement a nationwide ban of non-essential movement to start Monday at 6 a.m. local time.  Only people required to go to work, the supermarket, hospital or to see their doctors are permitted to go out, said the prime minister. Mitsotakis also said offenders would be fined 150 Euros ($161.45). Earlier on Sunday, the Greek Health Ministry announced 94 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the country’s total to 624.

New York reports 114 coronavirus-related deaths

New York has 15,168 confirmed Covid-19 cases across the state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference Sunday morning.  So far, 114 people have died in New York from the disease, Cuomo added. At least 61,401 people have been tested for the coronavirus across the state. Some context: On Saturday morning. New York State reported a total of about 12,260 coronavirus cases and 70 deaths.

Russia is flying doctors and supplies to Italy to help with its coronavirus response

A nurse stands next to a pre-triage tent outside a hospital in Cremona, near Milan.
A nurse stands next to a pre-triage tent outside a hospital in Cremona, near Milan.

Russia is sending equipment and teams of doctors to Italy, as the nation continues to battle its worsening coronavirus outbreak. The Russian Ministry of Defense said Sunday it had started flying 100 doctors and virologists, along with disinfection equipment, to the country. The first Il-76 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces departed Sunday from Moscow’s Chkalovsky military airfield with Russian military specialists and equipment aboard, the Russian military said in a statement.  Nine Il-76 transport aircraft, with military doctors, special vehicles for disinfecting and other medical equipment on board, will land today at the military airport of Pratica di Mare, the Italian defense ministry added.

Some context: This news came a day after telephone conversations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the defense ministers of both countries. According to a Kremlin readout, Russia agreed to provide assistance on Italy’s request, including protective equipment, KAMAZ truck-mounted units used for disinfection, medical and other equipment. “Italy is not alone in this challenge,” Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini said after speaking with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu by phone late Saturday, according to a readout. “I want to thank Russia for the help it is giving our country to overcome this emergency.”

The view from Russia: Putin’s move came in for some criticism at home. Russian officials have faced questions about shortages of protective equipment for medical workers, and the city of Moscow is scrambling to complete a medical facility for coronavirus patients. Anastasia Vasilyeva, a doctor for Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and leader of the Alliance of Doctors union, wrote a sardonic post on Twitter about Russia’s move to help Italy.

“Is Putin our president at all?” she wrote. “We have a shortage of doctors, they do not have protective equipment, they are sewing masks from gauze. How many times have we asked them to be provided. And then he sends help to Italy. Does he not care about his country?”

Putin and Russian officials claim they have been proactive in combating the spread of coronavirus in Russia. The country’s coronavirus tracking headquarters says Russia has 367 confirmed cases of coronavirus. (CNN)

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