Please Note

The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus. For more free stories, sign up for our daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now urging a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, citing the risk of the coronavirus.

If followed, the guidance — the strongest and most sweeping to date from the agency — will significantly increase the pandemic’s disruption to U.S. public life for the next two months. Governments worldwide are already making tough decisions aimed at keep their citizens safe.

Here are some other significant developments:

  • The Federal Reserve made an emergency interest rate cut to zero on Sunday night.
  • A slew of new states and cities, including Illinois, Washington state and New York City, have announced plans to close schools and severely restricted their nightlife by shuttering bars, restaurants and clubs, allowing takeout food only or cutting hours.
  • Outdoors retailer REI, casino and hotel giant MGM Resorts, athletic clothing chain Lululemon and more joined the cascade of businesses announcing closures.
  • Iraq and Lebanon said Sunday that they were grounding flights as the two crisis-hit nations announced new measures to slow the spread of covid-19.
  • Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said Sunday that it was “unacceptable” that travelers at U.S. airports were thrown into chaos in the aftermath of a travel ban on European countries. But Wolf said conditions have now improved.