Restaurants, pubs and clubs are emerging as the frontline in efforts to prevent the re-emergence of the coronavirus in locations as disparate as southern India, a Spanish island and the rolling hills of Ireland.
With Europe's northern summer holiday season kicking into high gear for millions weary of months of lockdown, scenes of drunken British and German tourists on Spain's Mallorca island ignoring social distancing rules and reports of US visitors flouting quarantine measures in Ireland are raising fears of a resurgence of infections in countries that have battled for months to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
Germany's foreign minister condemned the rowdy tourists for imperilling hard-won gains in efforts to contain the virus.
"We just recently managed to open the borders again in Europe. We cannot risk this by reckless behaviour," Heiko Maas told Funke Media Group on Thursday.
"Otherwise, new measures will be inevitable."
In a move designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus and shake off the region's reputation as a party hub, regional authorities in the Balearic Islands ordered the closure from Thursday of all establishments along Mallorca's "Beer Street" and "Ham Street," as the popular party areas near the beach of Palma de Mallorca are known, and on another boulevard in nearby Magaluf.
Bar owners reacted angrily to the new restrictions on the islands that have recorded, like most regions in Spain, recent small spikes in infections, none of which were traced to visiting tourists or party hotspots.
Mallorca's partying tourists were in stark contrast to a solemn commemoration service on Thursday morning in Madrid, where relatives of about 100 COVID-19 victims sat, physically distanced, with representatives of health workers and other vital professions and with Spain's king and queen to pay tribute to the dead and those fighting the pandemic.
In an emotional speech, Hernando Calleja said he was sharing the pain of the loss of his brother Jose Maria, a well-known journalist and writer in Madrid, with other relatives of "anonymous" victims.
"Let's not forget that the coronavirus was and continues to be a cold, cruel and wrecking executioner," Calleja said at the ceremony at Madrid's Royal Palace.
Greece lifted a ban on flights from Britain on July 15 and on Thursday welcomed the first arrivals with random testing at the airport in Athens.
In France, which has been registering new outbreaks, Prime Minister Jean Castex said masks would be mandatory in closed public places as of next week.
More than than 13.5 million people have been infected worldwide and more than 580,000 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
India's record daily increase of nearly 32,700 cases pushed its total close to 1 million and led authorities to reimpose a three-day lockdown and night curfew in the popular beach state of Goa, two weeks after it was reopened to tourists.
The state's top elected official, Pramod Sawant, said people there were flouting social distancing rules and not wearing face masks.
Nearly 40,000 people have been fined in the past two weeks for not wearing masks.
Israel also registered a new daily record of confirmed coronavirus cases as a new country-wide lockdown appeared imminent.
Health Ministry director general Hezi Levi told Army Radio that he would be pushing at a meeting on Thursday for more stringent movement restrictions, including a possible lockdown on weekends.
In the United States, Florida reported its third record increase in deaths this month as fatalities rose by 156 on Thursday.
The US state's previous record was 133 on July 9.
US tourists were causing consternation in Ireland amid fears that some were ignoring the government's requirement that they self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.
The Irish Post cited restaurant owners who complained that they had no way of knowing if US visitors had completed the two-week quarantine.
Showing that there can be a way forward, China became the first economy to resume growing since the pandemic was first detected in its central city of Wuhan.
It reported an unexpectedly strong 3.2 per cent expansion in the latest quarter after anti-virus lockdowns were lifted and factories and stores reopened.