There were only 24 cases outside the slaughterhouse but regional Prime Minister Armin Laschet ordered the lockdown as a precaution.
The favourite to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor of Germany had led calls for an early end to the national lockdown and resisted ordering local measures in Gutersloh for several days, but as cases mounted his hand was forced.
Laschet stopped short of a travel ban but appealed to residents not to leave the area.
Government scientists stressed on Monday that there was no cause for alarm, as the latest outbreak appeared to have been contained and overall cases in Germany remained low.
Haj closed to international pilgrims
Saudi Arabia has restricted the annual haj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina to all but a few thousand of its residents due to coronavirus fears.
On Tuesday the government said it expected only about 1000 people would make the journey this year, with only residents under the age of 65 now permitted to attend.
Last year, the event attracted 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world.
The announcement has sent shock waves of sadness and disappointment across the world, upending the plans of millions of Muslims to make a trip that many look forward to their whole lives.
Performing the pilgrimage at least once for those who are physically and financially able is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Many people save up their entire lives to make the hajj and, before modern transportation, spent months getting there.
It is also big business, earning Saudi Arabia billions of dollars annually.
Saudi Arabia has never cancelled the hajj since the modern kingdom was founded in 1932.
However, the country is suffering from one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the Middle East, with 161,000 declared infections and more than 1300 deaths.
Fauci contradicts Trump on testing amid ‘disturbing surge’ in cases
Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, says the country is seeing a “disturbing surge” of coronavirus infections and that the next two weeks will be critical to tamping down hotspots around the US.
Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, Fauci also said that the White House coronavirus taskforce was never told to slow down testing, contradicting comments by Trump just hours earlier.
Trump has repeatedly said that better US testing has led to a higher number of identified coronavirus cases across the country, and at a political rally on Saturday said he had asked “my people” to “slow the testing down” because increased screening was revealing more infections, making the country look bad.
Trump repeated his message on Tuesday, just hours before Fauci testified, saying he was not kidding when asked whether he had directed his administration to slow down coronavirus testing.
But Fauci testified, “We will be doing more testing,” and said that while some states like New York were “doing very well” in controlling the spread of the virus, the surge in other states was “very troublesome to me”.
“We’ve been hit badly,” he said, and was “really quite concerned” about rising community spread in some states.
“The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges we are seeing in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other states,” Fauci said.
Experts have raised concerns that the reopening of the US economy could lead to a fresh wave of infections.
The US recorded a 25 per cent increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending June 21, compared to the previous seven days.
For a second consecutive week, Texas, Arizona and Nevada have set records in their coronavirus outbreaks, and 10 other states from Florida to California were grappling with a surge in infections.
Texas reported more than 5000 new infections on Monday, a single-day record for the state. It has also seen COVID-19 hospitalisations hit record highs for 11 days in a row. The Texas Children’s Hospital is admitting adult coronavirus patients due to a spike in serious COVID-19 cases in the Houston area.
Judge orders Bolsonaro to wear face mask
A Brazilian federal judge has ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to comply with local rules to wear a face mask whenever he is outdoors in the capital of Brasilia.
During recent weekends, a sometimes unmasked Bolsonaro has joined throngs of people protesting against Brazil’s Congress and Supreme Court.
He has often visited bakeries and outdoor food stalls, drawing crowds around him.
Judge Renato Coelho Borelli said in his ruling that Bolsonaro “has exposed other people to the contagion of a disease that has caused national commotion”.
Brazil’s federal district requires people to wear face masks in public to help control the spread of the coronavirus. Failure to comply carries a possible daily fine of $US390 ($561).
Bolsonaro often does wear a mask at public events, unlike some other heads of state in the Americas including Trump, Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez.
Brazil is testing an experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University, even though the government has yet to strike a deal to get it if it works.
Clinical trials began in Sao Paulo on Monday and will start in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. The British embassy in Brazil says 5000 health professionals are being vaccinated.
Interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said on Tuesday a decision on a deal was expected by the end of the week, but will depend on the government’s chief of staff.
Other countries including the United States and European Union nations have already secured hundreds of millions of doses of the shot, which is one of about a dozen in early stages of human testing.
“We are working directly with the three most promising (vaccines),” Pazuello said, naming the Oxford shot, the vaccine under development by American company Moderna and one of the Chinese experiments, which he did not disclose.
Djokovic tests positive
Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organised in Serbia and Croatia.
The top-ranked Serb is the fourth player to test positive for the virus after playing last week in Belgrade and last weekend in Zadar, Croatia. His wife also tested positive.
“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative,” Djokovic said in a statement.
Djokovic has been criticised for organising the tournament and bringing in players from other countries.
Viktor Troicki said on Tuesday that he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus. Grigor Dimitrov, a three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist from Bulgaria, said on Sunday he tested positive for the virus.
Dimitrov played Borna Coric played on Saturday, and Coric said on Monday he has also tested positive.
South Africa opens field hospital in car plant
South Africa has opened a 3300-bed field hospital in a converted car manufacturing plant as the country braces for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases.
The field hospital was built in the city of East London in the Eastern Cape province, one of the country’s coronavirus hotspots. South Africa has reported a total of 101,590 virus cases and 1991 COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday.
The new field hospital brings the number of hospital beds nationwide to just above 27,000, including existing facilities and new field hospitals, according to the government. The new facility’s beds come with equipment to administer concentrated oxygen.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the facility also will help boost laboratory testing capacity in South Africa.
Lockdown loosened in Egypt
Egypt is gradually loosening its partial coronavirus lockdown amid a steady increase of daily infections in recent weeks.
Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly said on Tuesday that his government would reopen mosques and churches starting on Saturday and the ban on Friday’s Muslim prayers at mosques and Sunday’s masses at churches would remain in place for now.
He says restaurants, coffee shops, clubs and theatres will be allowed to reopen at 25 per cent capacity.
Madbouky says Egypt’s beaches and parks remain closed until further notice.
The gradual reopening was announced as the daily number of new coronavirus cases in Egypt has often surpassed 1000 in recent weeks.
The Arab world’s most populous country has officially reported around 57,000 confirmed cases, including at least 2278 deaths.
Britain’s pubs to reopen
Millions of people in Britain will be able to go to the pub, visit a movie theatre, get a haircut or attend a religious service starting on July 4, but they will have to wait to see a concert, get a tattoo or go to the gym.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a major loosening of coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Tuesday that will allow a swath of businesses to reopen. They include restaurants, bars, hotels, hairdressers, cinemas and museums.
Places of worship can hold services, but choirs and congregations won’t be permitted to sing since the virus can spread through open mouths. Live music and theatre performances are remaining off-limits for the same reason.
Indoor gyms, pools, spas and tattoo parlours also have to stay shut for now.
The government also announced that social-distancing rules will be relaxed. From July 4 people will be advised to stay at least one metre apart, rather than two metres – as long as they take other measures to reduce transmission of the virus, such as wearing a mask in enclosed spaces.
The changes only apply in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all following slightly different measures.
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AP, Reuters, The Telegraph, The New York Times