Germany has announced to extend its global travel warning until mid-June, since dangers posed by the coronavirus situation have not improved.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says the warning, due to expire May 3, would be extended to June 14 because there has been no change to the danger posed by the pandemic. Maas says he will discuss the matter with European partners in the coming weeks.
He says, "naturally we all hope we won't need this travel warning after June 14."
Among other things, the official warning means that Germans who had booked vacations for the dates can get refunds, another likely blow to the European travel industry.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds have announced the birth of their baby.
Johnson"s office says Symonds gave birth to a "healthy baby boy at a London hospital earlier this morning" and both mother and baby are doing well."
Johnson, 55, and Symonds, 32, announced in February that they were expecting a child.
Johnson only returned to work Monday after suffering from a bout of coronavirus. He spent a week in a London hospital, including three nights in intensive care.
Germany's farmers, foresters, and firefighters are eagerly awaiting widespread rain forecast for later this week, as a warm, dry spring has raised fears of a third summer drought in as many years.
Ahead of a virtual climate meeting Tuesday for officials from 30 countries, German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said the previous two years of dry weather, combined with overall higher temperatures, show the need for action.
"We can see that the last two summers have been extremely dry, that this is already causing enormous problems for our agriculture and forestry," she said. "That is why we have to adapt to the changes we can no longer avert, and we must ensure that it does not get any worse. ... We really must push ahead with climate protection measures now."
Reservoirs are already low, and if there is no heavy rain in the next two to three weeks widespread crop failures could ensue, said Mojib Latif, a meteorologist with the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Kiel.
"The last two years were extraordinarily dry," he told the Rhein-Neckar Zeitung newspaper. "The ground needs rain."
The 2018 drought caused severe crop damage, resulting in such a poor harvest that the German government had to come up with an aid package for farmers worth hundreds of millions of euros. At the same time, rivers and lakes hit record low levels, causing environmental disruption and hitting the freshwater shipping industry.
Last year was also exceptionally dry, causing widespread damage to the country's forests. Wildfire warnings are already at their second-highest level this year, Ulrike Hoefken, minister for the environment and forests in the state of Rheinland-Palatinate, told the dpa news agency.
"A third summer drought in a row would be catastrophic," she said.
There has been almost no rain since March 14, German Weather Service meteorologist Andreas Friedrich said, and it's too early to tell whether the precipitation expected later this week will be enough to alleviate the situation.
"If May were to be wet again, then we would have an easing of the situation, then there would be no drought," he said. "If, of course, May were to be as dry as April, then we would have to fear a serious drought situation, but no meteorologist in the world knows that at the moment."
The number of Italy’s confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 197,675 on Sunday as the country recorded the lowest single-day deaths in six weeks.
Coronavirus pandemic has claimed 26,644 lives in locked-down Italy, according to latest data released by the country's Civil Protection Department.
Meanwhile, the number of new deaths, new infections and of patients in intensive care keeps declining.
A total of 260 people died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the lowest single-day death toll since March 15.
The number of new cases also fell, with 2,324 new cases reported over the last 24 hours, 33 fewer than on Saturday, and the lowest in six days.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs) continued to decline, a trend that started three weeks ago. On Sunday, 2,009 patients are in ICUs, down from 2,102 a day earlier.
The number of patients recovering at home -- the mildest of three categories of infected individuals -- was 82,722 while those recovering in the hospital with symptoms totaled 21,372. On Saturday, the numbers were respectively 82,212 and 21,533.
Italy entered into a national lockdown on March 10 to contain the pandemic. The lockdown, which is expected to last until May 3, will be followed by a so-called "Phase Two," which involves "the gradual resumption of social, economic and productive activities," the Italian government has explained.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is returning to work after recovering from the coronavirus, with his government facing growing criticism over the deaths and disruption due to the virus.
Johnson's office said he would be back at his desk in 10 Downing St. on Monday, two weeks after he was released from a London hospital. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been standing in for the prime minister, said Sunday that Johnson was "raring to go."
Britain has recorded more than 20,000 deaths among people hospitalized with COVID-19, the fifth country in the world to reach that total. Thousands more are thought to have died in nursing homes.
Johnson, 55, spent a week at St. Thomas' Hospital, including three nights in intensive care, where he was given oxygen and watched around the clock by medical workers. After he was released on April 12, he recorded a video message thanking staff at the hospital for saving his life.
Johnson has not been seen in public since, as he recovered at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat outside London.
Opposition politicians say Britain's coronavirus death toll could have been lower if Johnson's Conservative government had imposed a nationwide lockdown sooner. They are also demanding to know when and how the government will ease the restrictions that were imposed March 23 and run to at least May 7.
"Decisions need to be taken quicker and communication with the public needs to be clearer," opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said in a letter to Johnson.
"The British public have made great sacrifices to make the lockdown work," he wrote. "They deserve to be part of an adult conversation about what comes next."
Despite the toll, which saw another 813 virus-related deaths announced Saturday, some in Britain are growing impatient with the restrictions, which have brought much of the economy and daily life to a halt. Road traffic has begun to creep up after plummeting when the lockdown first was imposed, and some businesses have begun to reopen after implementing social-distancing measures.
Scientists say the U.K. has reached the peak of the pandemic but is not yet out of danger. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is declining and the number of daily deaths peaked on April 8.
But with hundreds of new deaths announced each day, some health experts say Britain could eventually have the highest virus death toll in Europe.
As fears recede that the health system will be overwhelmed, opponents are criticizing Johnson's government over shortages of protective equipment for medical workers and a lack of testing for the virus. More than 100 infected medical workers have died so far.
The government has promised to conduct 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of the month, but has yet to reach even 30,000 a day. Increasing testing, so that all people with the virus can be identified and their contacts traced and isolated, is key to loosening the lockdown.
The British government says all health care staff and other essential workers can be tested if they show symptoms. It is rolling out almost 100 mobile testing sites, staffed by soldiers, to conduct tests at nursing homes, police stations, prisons and other sites.
In the first two days of expanded testing, however, the online system handling daily demand for the tests had exceeded the supply by early morning.