Americans flock to parks, lakes, beaches for Memorial Day weekend

By the Associated Press:

President Donald Trump played golf at one of his courses during the Memorial Day weekend as he urged states to reopen after coronavirus-related lockdowns. Yet many Americans remain cautious as the number of confirmed cases nationwide passes 1.6 million.

Many California businesses and recreational activities have reopened, but Los Angeles County officials say they will maintain tight restrictions until July 4.

And some religious leaders have taken issue with Trump’s declaration that houses of worship should resume in-person services.

Rain dampened the start of the holiday weekend in the northeastern U.S., where throngs of people had been expected to test social distancing on newly opened beaches.

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Europeans and Americans are soaking up the sun where they can as many take advantage of a first holiday weekend since coronavirus restrictions were eased. The continent also is looking ahead to the return of tourist travel. Slowing infection rates across Europe have led to a gradual restoration of everyday freedoms in recent weeks, though the new normal is far from previous summers.

Authorities enforced distancing rules on newly accessible beaches in Italy on Sunday. Still, the threat from the virus remains – with more than 5.3 million cases reported worldwide and over 342,000 confirmed deaths.

The United States was on track to surpass 100,000 coronavirus deaths in the next few days.