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Coronavirus updates: Greece restarts tourism; European vaccine deal totals $843 million

New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in a handful of U.S. states, prompting warnings from some health officials that greater precautions might be necessary to keep the health systems from being overwhelmed. As people grow fatigued from social distancing and other precautions, pharmaceutical and biotech companies are racing forward to develop treatments and a vaccine for the virus. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 7.93 million
  • Global deaths: At least 433,919
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.09 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 115,732

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. hot spots persist

8:01 a.m. ET — Nationwide, about 21,000 people are infected with the coronavirus in the U.S. every day. But that national figure masks regional trends, which indicate that while the virus is slowing in the Northeast and Midwest, it’s rising in the South and the West, CNBC’s Meg Tirrell reported, citing data from the Covid Tracking Project.

While some continue to attribute the rise in cases to increased testing, data on hospitalizations, which is not tethered to the availability of testing, is also on the rise in a number of states, including Arizona, Texas and North Carolina. Some states, such as Florida, do not report hospitalizations. The cities seeing the fastest case-doubling time are Yakima, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Tampa, Florida, Tirrell reported, citing data from investment banking firm Evercore ISI.

State officials have responded to the increase of infections in a variety of ways. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has insisted the state’s hospitals are well prepared for a surge in patients. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has paused the state’s reopening for seven days while health officials reexamine the data and trends. —Will Feuer

European nations to pay $ 843 million for vaccine doses

A pedestrian walks past signage outside an AstraZeneca Plc research and development facility in Shanghai, China, on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

7:24 a.m. ET — Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France have agreed to pay an initial 750 million euros ($ 843.2 million) for 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine against Covid-19, a spokesperson for Italy’s health ministry said according to a Reuters report.

The countries will have the option to buy a further 100 million doses, the health ministry said, according to the news agency. Italy itself will pay 185 million euros for 75 million doses of the vaccine, which is being developed by Oxford University.

AstraZeneca announced on Saturday it had agreed with the four countries to supply up to 400 million doses of the vaccine, with deliveries starting by the end of 2020. The pharmaceutical said it was building a number of supply chains in parallel across the world and is seeking to expand manufacturing capacity further. Total manufacturing capacity currently stands at 2 billion doses, the company said.

The vaccine is undergoing phase two and three clinical trials with around 10,000 adult volunteers taking part in the late-stage U.K. trial. In a statement Saturday, AstraZeneca said it “recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical programme with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.” –Holly Ellyatt

Greece reopens to some foreign visitors in bid to kick-start tourism

People walk in the empty alleys in the town of Oia in the island of Santorini on June 14, 2020 as the country prepares for the return of tourists to Greece from around 30 countries by air, sea and land.

Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

7:16 a.m. ET — In an effort to restart the country’s crucial tourism sector, Greece has reopened its main airports to more international flights, Reuters reported.

Visitors from airports deemed high-risk by the European Union’s aviation safety agency will be tested for the coronavirus and quarantined for up to 14 days if they test positive, according to Reuters. Passengers from Britain and Turkey face greater restrictions, and passengers from other airports will be randomly tested. 

Country-wide restrictions on movement imposed in March helped Greece contain the spread of Covid-19 infections to just above 3,000 cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“You can come to Greece, you will have a fantastic experience, you can sit on a veranda with this wonderful view, have your nice Assyrtiko wine, enjoy the beach,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Saturday from the Mediterranean island of Santorini, Reuters reported. “But we don’t want you crowded in a beach bar… There are a few things that we won’t allow this summer.”

Tourism employs about 700,000 people and accounts for some 20% of Greece’s economic output, according to Reuters. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: U.S. second wave could stress medical system; India cases spike despite lockdown

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