Coronavirus live news: WHO and Five Eyes reject Chinese lab theory as global deaths pass 250,000 | World news


California eases Covid-19 restrictions, allowing some businesses to reopen

Some California retailers will be allowed to reopen their businesses starting on Friday, the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, said Monday.

More than six weeks after the California governor issued a nationwide stay-at-home order, shops selling books, clothing, sporting goods, flowers or anything else that a customer can purchase through curbside pickup will be able to open and operate again, if they implement certain modifications.

“We are entering into the next phase this week,” Newsom said. “End of the week, with modifications, we will allow retail to start operating across the spectrum.”

“This is a very positive sign and it has only happened for one reason: the data says it can happen,” he added.

The easing in restrictions came after groups of protesters had gathered across the state in defiance of the lockdown last week. Demonstrations took place from the capital of Sacramento to San Francisco and San Diego. Large crowds turned out in Orange county’s Huntington Beach, a recent flashpoint after the governor had ordered beaches there to close over the weekend.


In case you missed it: There is no current evidence to suggest that coronavirus leaked from a Chinese research laboratory, intelligence sources have told the Guardian, contradicting recent White House claims that there is growing proof this is how the pandemic began.

The sources also insisted that a “15-page dossier” highlighted by the Australian Daily Telegraph which accused China of a deadly cover up was not culled from intelligence from the Five Eyes network, an alliance between the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

British and other Five Eyes agencies do believe that Beijing has not necessarily been open about how coronavirus initially spread in Wuhan at the turn of the year. But they are nervous about getting involved in an escalating international situation.

On Sunday Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said: “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”

No evidence was offered by Pompeo to back up his assertion but information has been circulating over the last month in the UK, US and Australia aimed at raising questions about the high security Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has long specialised in researching coronaviruses in horseshoe bats.