Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.

The big picture: Retail and recreation has become steadily available in many states over the past two weeks, as nearly every state across the U.S. has taken steps to reopen their economies partially or completely, per analysis by the New York Times.

  • New York, Kansas, North Carolina and Indiana began to ease more stay-at-home restrictions over the weekend, the NYT reports. Many people did take precautions against COVID-19, as Americans ventured outside to enjoy the weekend some three months after the pandemic began spreading across the U.S.
People wait for President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to participate in a Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, on May 25. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Lake Tillery in Mount Gilead, North Carolina, on May 25. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images
An Abraham Lincoln and Civil War-era actors interact with members of the public at Los Angeles National Cemetery on May 25. Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Washington Memorial Park in SeaTac, Washington, on May 25. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images
Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
The entrance to Sheep Meadow in New York City's Central Park on May 24. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images
The line for a water park in Kissimmee, Florida, on May 23. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
Holly Meyer hands out flags to volunteers at the Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River, New York, on May 23. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Brian Carabine, 78, replaces the U.S. flags at the South End Cemetery in East Hampton, New York, on May 23. Photo: Astrid Riecken/Getty Images
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
A member of the Army's 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment places flags at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Stephen Wilmer of Lindenhurst, N.Y., tries to get a kite aloft for his daughter, Emma, in a light breeze at Jones Beach on Long Island. Photo; Kathy Willens/AP

Go deeper: Trump's holiday weekend pressure campaign

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the holiday weekend.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Australian officials in Victoria announced another 19 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday morning local time, breaking the state and national record set the previous day of 17. Victoria also reported 322 new cases — the lowest in 13 days.

The big picture: Australia was on track to suppress the virus in May, but cases have been spiking in Victoria in recent weeks, where a state of disaster was declared last week, enabling officials to introduce restrictions including a night-time curfew in state capital Melbourne.

Updated 21 hours ago - World

Brazil coronavirus death toll tops 100,000 and case numbers surpass 3 million

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself to Facebook congratulating his soccer team, Palmeiras, for winning the state title Saturday, moments after the health ministry confirmed the national COVID-19 death toll had surpassed 100,000.

Why it matters: Brazil is only the second country to confirm more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. On Sunday morning, it became the second country to surpass 3 million cases, per Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. has reported more. Bolsonaro has yet to address the milestones. He has previously tested positive for COVID-19 three times, but he's downplayed the impact of the virus, which has crippled Brazil's economy.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest coronavirus case numbers and more context.

Updated 39 mins ago - World

PM prepares for "COVID election" as NZ marks 100 days of no community spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.