New York, Europe continue to open up

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: People sunbathe at La Arana Beach in Malaga on June 7, 2020, as lockdown measures are eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
People sunbathe at La Arana Beach in Malaga on Sunday, as lockdown measures are eased during the COVID-19 pandemic.Jorge Guerrero / AFP - Getty Images

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As the global death toll from COVID-19 passed the 400,000 mark, and protests sparked by the death of George Floyd continue around the world, U.S. cities and European nations are this week relaxing measures that have seen millions confined to their homes.

Shops will partially reopen and thousands are expected to go back to work in New York City on Monday, for many weeks the hardest-hit city in the country.But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warns "it doesn't mean we're going to back to the way we were."

Spain, Belgium, Ireland and Germany are among the countries to further lighten lockdown restrictions, while the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, has declared the country free of COVID-19.

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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Black, Asian pregnant women in U.K. more likely to be hospitalized

Black, Asian and other minority groups accounted for the majority of pregnant women in the U.K. who were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19, a study published Monday in The BMJ finds. 

The study included data from all 194 obstetric units in the U.K. from March 1 through April 14. During that time, 427 pregnant women were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. One quarter of the women were Asian and 22 percent were black. 

"The high proportion of women from black or minority ethnic groups admitted with infection needs urgent investigation and explanation," the researchers wrote. 

Pregnant women admitted with COVID-19 were also more likely to be overweight or obese, the study found. Forty percent of the women were 35 or older and one third had a preexisting medical condition. 

Most of the women had good outcomes, and the transmission of the coronavirus from mother to baby was uncommon. Five babies died, but it's unclear whether the virus played a role in their deaths, the authors wrote. One in 100 women pregnant women admitted with COVID-19 died. 

Up to 40 percent of U.S. diplomats in Washington to return to work June 15

U.S. diplomats are beginning to return to work as the State Department moves into the first phase of its "Diplomacy Strong" plan for operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

As part of this phase, up to 40 percent of U.S. diplomats could return to work in the next few weeks, although "maximum use of telework" is still strongly encouraged.

"Our health and that of our colleagues is dependent on our individual actions," Under Secretary of State Brian Bulatao said in the letter sent across the agency Monday. "Therefore when you do return to the office, it is important to keep strict social distancing measures and to wear cloth face coverings when distancing is not possible."

Almost 100 posts overseas and 10 domestic facilities have moved into the first phase so far and Washington is poised to reopen June 15, but leadership at each individual U.S. mission or bureau is ultimately responsible for determining if the criteria has been met to move to the next step of the plan.

Airbnb sees boost, according to Bloomberg

Puerto Rico reports 61 new cases

Puerto Rico said it had logged 61 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total across the U.S. territory to 5,046.

Mask-wearing habits could indicate how you'll vote

WASHINGTON — The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that a person's mask-wearing habits could indicate how they'll vote in the 2020 presidential race. 

Sixty-three percent of registered voters said they "always" wear a mask when they're in public — like when they go shopping, go to work or be around other people outside of their house. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leads President Trump by 40 points among those voters: 66 percent to 26 percent. 

And voters who don't wear a mask are nearly just as likely to vote for the president as mask-wearers are to vote for Biden. 

Twenty-one percent of voters said they "sometimes" wear a mask — and Trump leads those voters by 32 points: 62 percent to 30 percent. 

Giagnna Mendez, originally from Peru, wearing a mask to protect against the coronavirus participates in a swearing in ceremony to become an American citizen held at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's Kendall office on June 4, 2020 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Perhaps most unsurprisingly, the voters who say the never or rarely wear a mask are nearly all in support of the president. Just 15 percent of registered voters said they don't tend to wear a mask — the president leads Biden with those voters 83-7 percent. 

Biden and Trump have sparred on whether it's appropriate to wear a mask. The president has forgone wearing a mask in nearly all of his public appearances since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to suggest Americans wear masks in public, especially when social distancing is not possible. Biden, meanwhile, has been photographed with a mask nearly every time he has left his Delaware home. 

The president retweeted conservative media hosts criticizing Biden's decision to wear a mask, while saying publicly that Biden "can wear a mask" but that it's "unusual" the former vice president isn't seen wearing one indoors. Biden has called said Trump doesn't wear a mask in an effort to look "macho." 

Dunkin’ plans to hire 25,000 workers as restaurant industry begins pandemic recovery

Dunkin’ coffee chain is looking to hire 25,000 employees as part of its reopening schedule after the pandemic, the company said Monday.

Millions of restaurant workers have lost their jobs, contributing to the unemployment rate of 13.3 percent, but fast-food chains are bouncing back from the pandemic faster than other segments in the restaurant industry.

However, the shift to remote working has meant that many workers are still making coffee and breakfast at home.

The summer months typically spark fast-food hiring as consumers spend more and teenagers look for work. Yum Brands’ Taco Bell has said it is looking to hire 30,000 new workers this summer.

Morning roundup of coronavirus coverage

Covid-19 stalks large families in rural America [The Wall Street Journal]

New York City begins reopening after three months of outbreak and hardship [The New York Times]

Who discovered the first vaccine? [Wired]

Italy expecting sharp economic hit from COVID-19

Italy's economy will shrink 8.3 percent in 2020 before rebounding in 2021, the country's official statics body has predicted.

Istat said in a statement Monday that the Italian economy was already stagnating at the end of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the dramatic fall in investment and exports has had a huge impact. Unemployment is forecast to rise to 9.4 percent this year, but Istat predicts both employment and economic output to return to growth in 2021.

"Starting from the end of February the COVID-19 containment measures introduced by the Government was having a deep impact on the economy influencing production, investment and consumption decisions and very negatively affecting the labor market," Istat said.

Lockdowns may have averted 3 million deaths in Europe by curbing COVID-19: study

LONDON — Wide-scale lockdowns including shop and school closures have reduced COVID-19 transmission rates in Europe enough to control its spread and may have averted more than three million deaths, researchers said on Monday.

In a modelling study of lockdown impact in 11 nations, Imperial College London scientists said the draconian steps, imposed mostly in March, had "a substantial effect" and helped bring the infection's reproductive rate below one by early May.

The reproduction rate, or R value, measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth.

The Imperial team estimated that by early May, between 12 and 15 million people in the 11 countries — Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland — had been infected with COVID-19.

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