South America ignores Europe and reopens as virus peak nears

  • Pedestrians and commuters wearing face masks amid the new coronavirus pandemic crowd a sidewalk near a bus stop in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, June 1, 2020. After two and a half months of COVID-19 related quarantine, some industries are allowed to reactivate under a scheme of five days’ work and 10 days rest. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

RIO DE JANEIRO — South American countries on Monday began easing COVID-19 restrictions even as the region hurtles toward its viral peak, disregarding the example set by European nations that were battered earlier by the virus.

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