April 1 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:37 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020
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8:28 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Spain records more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus

From CNN’s Max Ramsey and Al Goodman

Health workers collect samples at a drive-through coronavirus testing center at Donostia Hospital in San Sebastian, Spain, on March 25.
Health workers collect samples at a drive-through coronavirus testing center at Donostia Hospital in San Sebastian, Spain, on March 25. Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images

Spain has confirmed 102,136 cases of the virus and the biggest daily rise in coronavirus-related deaths, according to the latest data released on Wednesday by its health ministry. 

The country saw 864 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing up the total number of deaths in the country since the outbreak began to 9,053 people.

The total active infections, however, saw a smaller increase than Tuesday -- with 3,470 more cases, making a total of 70,436. It added that 22,647 people have recovered from the virus.

A headline on the international homepage of the CNN mobile app mis-stated the number of deaths in Spain. This has now been corrected.

5:57 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

"Star Wars" actor Andrew Jack dies from the virus

From CNN's Max Ramsay in London

Andrew Jack, right, appeared in "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," alongside Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.
Andrew Jack, right, appeared in "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," alongside Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. Lucasfilm/Bad Robot Productions

Andrew Jack, an actor who appeared in recent "Star Wars" films, died from Covid-19 complications on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from his agent.

Jack, who worked primarily as a dialect coach to stars including Chris Hemsworth, died at St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, just outside London, his agent Jill McCullough said.

Jack’s wife was unable to be with him, as she is stuck in quarantine in Australia. McCullough added. “She was unable to see or talk to him at the end of his life and there is a chance a funeral may not be held,” she said.

“He was still working full pelt, currently coaching on the new 'Batman,'” the statement reads. “Dialect coaching isn’t just about being good at accents -- you need to make your actors feel safe and confident -- and Andrew’s actors adored him.”

6:09 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

French forces have done 5.8 million checks in two weeks

From Ya Chun Wang and Fanny Bobille in Paris

French police stop a motorist in Mulhouse, France, on March 31, to check they have a mobility form required by citizens to leave their homes during a curfew.
French police stop a motorist in Mulhouse, France, on March 31, to check they have a mobility form required by citizens to leave their homes during a curfew. Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images

Fifteen days into the confinement period, the French police and gendarmerie -- the military police -- have done 5.8 million checks to see if people have a valid reason for being out and about, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on French TV LCI Wednesday morning. 

This comes a day after a 22-year-old was sentenced to 105 hours of community service in Paris by police for repeated failure to respect the confinement measures, says the Paris Prosecutor's Office.

The man was released from prison last September. He was fined four times on March 24 alone, and again two days later, and each time found with invalid papers during police checks.

French officials say people can only walk and exercise around a one-kilometer radius from their home, for a maximum of one hour. They are also expected to handwrite a government-mandated permission slip.

Read more here.

6:01 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

IKEA north London branch to house testing facility 

From CNN’s Nada Bashir in London

Britain's NHS workers wait in their cars to be tested for coronavirus at a drive-in facility set up at an IKEA store in Wembley, north London, on March 31.
Britain's NHS workers wait in their cars to be tested for coronavirus at a drive-in facility set up at an IKEA store in Wembley, north London, on March 31. Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images

The north London branch of Swedish homeware giant IKEA is to become a new coronavirus testing facility for British health workers.

"We’re enormously proud of the NHS (National Health Service) and proud to be able to offer Wembley as an additional medical facility," a spokesperson said in a statement, later confirming to CNN that the new site would be available only to NHS staff.

"We have also responded to requests from intensive care units and doctors across the country by delivering tens of thousands of our disposable paper tape measures, to help them continue their amazing care for their patients,” the statement continued, adding that IKEA has so far donated food to local hospitals, food banks and shelters "to provide some immediate relief" to those in need.

The announcement comes just days after IKEA launched a new 26 million euros ($28 million) fund to be used across 30 countries, "prioritizing the needs of high-risk groups and those leading relief efforts" in the fight against Covid-19.

5:23 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Opinion: I'm out of quarantine. But "normal" isn't normal in China anymore

Opinion by Devika Koppikar

Editor's note: Devika Koppikar teaches AP Psychology and English at an international Chinese high school program in Wuxi, about 80 miles west of Shanghai. The opinions expressed here are her own.

My Facebook feed bulged with post-lockdown food fantasies. Friends dreamed of a "salted caramel milkshake" or "a cheeseburger topped with feta, fried egg, and avocado with sweet potato french fries."

But if there's anything I've learned after emerging from my own two-week quarantine in China, it's that we can't simply click our ruby slippers and return to life BC -- before Covid-19.

I'm from Woodbridge, Virginia, and I've lived in China for four years. I was traveling in Australia and New Zealand over the Chinese New Year when I heard that the coronavirus had raged through the city of Wuhan, about 500 miles west of where I live.

I got repeated notices from the US Embassy that "recommended," but did not mandate, that Americans leave China. As my return date neared, many colleagues decided not to go back until the virus madness subsided. "Any place but China is safe," they said.

When I heard that everyone entering China must go through a mandatory, sealed quarantine I had a sense of doom. What if I needed to escape? How would I get food? Another expat who was in the middle of her own lockdown convinced me that it was manageable. "You're in your own home with all amenities and they bring you food and other supplies as needed," she said.

I have now been out of quarantine for almost 40 days -- and life is far from normal. 

Read the full opinion here:

5:26 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

France introduces voucher scheme for homeless during coronavirus epidemic

From Ya Chun Wang in Paris

A homeless person lays in a doorway of a restaurant in Paris on March 31 on the 15th day of the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
A homeless person lays in a doorway of a restaurant in Paris on March 31 on the 15th day of the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

The French government will provide 15 million euros ($16.5 million) in vouchers for homeless people to help them survive during the country's coronavirus epidemic.

French Minister of Housing Julien Denormandie announced the voucher scheme Wednesday in an interview with French newspaper Ouest-France.

“It is a bit like a meal voucher,” he said, “that we will distribute to homeless people who have difficulty accessing basic necessities.”

“We believe half of the 60,000 beneficiaries of these new service vouchers are in the greater Paris region.”

Denormandie said the government was working closely with civil organizations and community leaders on working out which areas have the greatest need.

The new program aims to help 60,000 homeless people left without resources during the lockdown. The vouchers would provide financial assistance of US$7.68 per day per person to get access to basic necessities like food and hygiene products. 

Since the beginning of the lockdown, France has also made 5,500 hotel rooms available as temporary homeless shelter, according to government numbers.

4:47 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Hong Kong closes beauty parlors, nightclubs and karaoke rooms amid coronavirus outbreak

From Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Pedestrians walk along the near-deserted Lan Kwai Fong nightlife area in the Central district of Hong Kong, on Saturday, March 28.
Pedestrians walk along the near-deserted Lan Kwai Fong nightlife area in the Central district of Hong Kong, on Saturday, March 28. Paul Yeung/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hong Kong has ordered the closure of all beauty parlors, clubhouses, nightclubs, karaoke rooms and mahjong centers from Wednesday as the city steps up measures to combat a second wave of coronavirus cases.

The decision comes after at least four people were infected following a party at a karaoke bar in the city's Tsim Sha Tsui district.

According to an official announcement published on Wednesday, these premises will not be allowed to operate until further notice.

Second wave epidemic: As of Tuesday, Hong Kong has reported 714 confirmed cases of the virus, according to a government news release.

A new wave of infections began in the past two weeks from imported cases, brought by residents flying back from overseas.

Last week, the city banned gatherings of more than four people in public places and ordered the closure of fitness centers and cinemas.

4:28 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Guam will allow USS Roosevelt sailors who test negative to be quarantined in hotels

From journalist Mindy Agunon in Guam

The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier sits on the outskirts of Apra Harbor, Guam, on April 1.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier sits on the outskirts of Apra Harbor, Guam, on April 1. CNN

Sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt who test negative for the coronavirus will be allowed to dock in Guam as long as they undergo a 14-day quarantine, the island's governor said.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said on Wednesday at a news conference that sailors will be allowed to stay in vacant Guam hotel rooms, but will need to have daily medical checks in their housing facilities.

At the same news conference, Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander of Joint Region Mariana said a plan was being worked on to remove as "many people from the Roosevelt as they can," adding that ship evacuees would be transported and managed by military personnel only.

Aircraft carrier outbreak: At least 70 sailors onboard the Roosevelt have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the ship's commander has warned that "decisive action" is needed to make the ship safe.

"We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors," Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in a memo to the Navy's Pacific Fleet, three US defense officials have confirmed to CNN.
4:15 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

10,000 German tourists are stuck in New Zealand, embassy says

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Thousands of German tourists cannot fly home from New Zealand as the local government is refusing further return flights of foreigners who want to travel to their home countries due to the coronavirus crisis.

According to the German foreign ministry in Berlin, this includes around ''more than 10,000 Germans."

A statement published by the German embassy in Wellington states that the ''New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed all embassies that the temporary ban on return flights would be extended beyond 31 March - for how long was not said.''
The statement added that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a subsequent news conference declared that her government is working to create "framework conditions'' for resuming repatriation flights, which could take ''a few days.''

In a news conference held by Ardern on Tuesday, she said: ''In terms of visitors from overseas, we are working on how to help temporary visitors on wanting to leave New Zealand and get back to their home countries. But this is complex work. And more difficult because of the reduction of commercial flights out of New Zealand.

"In the meantime, it is important for these people visiting our country to stay in self-isolation in their current location and keep in touch with their relevant embassy or consulate.''