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Coronavirus - 1st June


Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 1st June Empty Coronavirus - 1st June

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 01 2020, 12:06

Summary for Monday, 1st June

  • Some pupils are returning to primary schools in England but many will stay at home
  • Other measures are also being eased in England - there are fears steps are being taken too quickly
  • Many European countries are lifting restrictions further - some even opening cafes, museums and cinemas
  • South Africans can buy alcohol for the first time in two months but the reopening of schools is delayed
  • The Philippine capital Manila, home to 12 million people, has exited a lockdown in place since mid-March
  • The number of confirmed cases in Brazil passes half a million
  • Globally, there have been 6.1m confirmed cases and 371,000 deaths linked to Covid-19

Hello and welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. We're writing to you from Singapore this morning, and will be joined by our colleagues across Asia, the UK, and the US later today. For now, here's a quick look at what's happened overnight:

  • Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, has finally eased a lockdown that has been in place since mid-March. More people will be allowed to work and shops will reopen - though many restrictions are still in place
  • In Brazil, the number of confirmed cases has passed half a million, the second highest total in the world
  • The US has sent Brazil two million doses of hydroxychloroquine, the unproven drug that was touted by US President Trump. The WHO recently suspended clinical trials of the drug over safety concerns
  • There have now been 6.1 million confirmed cases and 371,000 deaths linked to Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

Manila finally comes out of lockdown

The Philippines' capital region of Metro Manila has today emerged from a lockdown that began in mid-March - longer even than the 76-day quarantine in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged last year.
Manila has moved into a state of general community quarantine (GCQ), which will allow more people to return to work, some shops and factories to reopen, and public transportation to run at a limited capacity.
However, public facilities like gyms, cinemas, karaoke bars and nightclubs will remain shut - and authorities have reiterated the need for the public to stay at home if they can.
Manila two weeks ago moved to the "Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)" - a slightly more relaxed version of its original lockdown, which allowed some people to do things like exercise outdoors.
The Philippines currently has 18,086 confirmed cases and 957 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Sydneysiders hit the pool - one person per lane

Simon Atkinson - BBC News, Sydney
The city has opened two council-run outdoor pools today for the first time since mid-March.
I was among the first to get back in the water - but swimming in the time of Covid is very different.
Before even being allowed to take up a booked 45-minute swim slot there was an online form.
Here I declared I was not unwell, agreed not to engage in any "unmeaningful or unnecessary conversations" and - tough one this - promised not to urinate in the pool.
To keep other potential sources of infection to a minimum, it’s swimming costume and goggles only. No floats, kickboards or inflatable crocodiles.
Changing rooms are closed (plan your outfit carefully). Instead there’s a chair with your lane number because - Olympic-style - you get your own lane.
While slowly splashing my way up lane 3, I spotted an employee thoroughly cleaning the steps that lead into the pool.
With just eight swimmers an hour - each paying A$6 (£3; $4) - the operation is running at a huge loss.
But on a crisp sunny winter morning it was absolutely glorious. And everyone I spoke to afterwards seemed grateful and glad to be back. Hopefully those counted as meaningful conversations.

Brazil has second-highest number of cases globally

Brazil has reported 16,409 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing its total number of infected cases to 514,849 - the second highest case load in the world.
There were also 480 new deaths reported, bringing the death toll to 29,314 - the world's fourth highest death toll. Only the US, UK and Italy have recorded more deaths.
Despite this, President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently played down the outbreak, criticising state lockdowns for harming Brazil's economy and jobs.
Many experts believe Central and South America are now the major hotspots for increased infections.
A combination of under-pressure healthcare systems and a mixed response by governments to the severity of Covid-19 has meant the region cannot apply the same easing of lockdowns taking place in Europe and elsewhere.

Belgian Prince sorry for lockdown party

A Belgian prince who contracted coronavirus after attending a party during lockdown in Spain has apologised and "will accept the consequences".
"I deeply regret my actions," he said in a statement on Sunday.
Prince Joachim, 28, travelled from Belgium to Spain for an internship on 26 May, but went to a party two days later in the southern city of Córdoba.
Spanish reports suggest the prince, a nephew of Belgium's King Philippe, was among 27 people at the party.
Read our full story here.

Wuhan reports no new asymptomatic cases

The Chinese city of Wuhan - where the coronavirus first emerged - reported no new asymptomatic cases on Sunday.
It's the first time this has happened since Wuhan started releasing figures on virus carriers showing no symptoms.
China has recorded 16 new cases on Sunday - all of which were imported - up from just two cases the day before.
Of the new cases, 11 were recorded in Sichuan province, three in Inner Mongolia and two in Guangdong.
Read more about "silent spreaders" in this piece from our Science editor David Shukman.

US sends Brazil 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine

The US has supplied Brazil with two million doses of hydroxychloroquine - despite medical warnings about risks associated with the controversial drug.
The WHO had days ago suspended testing the drug in Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns.
But the leaders of both countries have touted its use - US President Trump said he was taking the anti-malaria drug as a preventive measure, and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro said he kept a box in case his 93-year-old mother needed it.
There is no scientific evidence that hydroxycholoroquine is effective against the coronavirus.
Here is what we know for sure about the drug .

Australia has only 21 cases in hospital

... and 92% of the country's recorded 7,200 cases have recovered.
With the health situation largely contained, today marks another significant relaxing of restrictions across the country.
Rules vary across states, but in New South Wales (the most populous state, which includes Sydney), the venues reopening include beauty salons, museums, libraries and public pools.
Leisure travel across the state is allowed, while pubs and restaurants can also have 50 patrons on site - as long as social distancing is maintained.
Twenty-person gatherings are also now allowed in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia - while Western Australia and the Northern Territory will allow even bigger groups later this week.

Japan mulls allowing visitors - report

Japan is considering relaxing its entry ban on visitors from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand, according to sources quoted in local media.
An unnamed government official told Kyodo News that these four countries have low infection rates and strong business ties with Japan . However, there's been no confirmation from the country's foreign ministry.
Japan, which has a ban on 111 countries and regions, including the US and Europe, barred overseas visitors in February to curb the spread of coronavirus.
On Monday, businesses will fully reopen and schools will resume classes in many of Japan's 47 prefectures. Some restrictions remain in place in Tokyo and six other prefectures.
Japan has confirmed nearly 17,000 infections and 898 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Mexico nears 10,000 deaths

Will Grant - Mexico and Central America correspondent, BBC News
Mexico is taking its first steps to reopen from 1 June with a number of industries permitted to return to work.
They include car-part manufacturing plants and construction as well as beer factories and bike shops. However, the decision has been criticised as too hasty by some scientists who say the outbreak is still at its most acute in Mexico.
Almost 10,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Mexico. Meanwhile, the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is due to embark on a tour of the nation.
President Lopez Obrador has defended his tour, saying he is not waiting to travel "because we must begin the new normal, while continuing to take care of ourselves".
Several top scientists have criticised the move as misjudged, among them the man who led the response to Mexico's A/H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009. Alejandro Macías Hernández told the BBC: "It is not a good message that the first actions be presidential trips when we’re still locked down."
But the start of reopening is welcome news for many in Mexico's stricken economy. As many as a million jobs may have been lost through Covid-19 and the economy is expected to contract by as much as 9% this year.

North Korea to reopen schools in early June

North Korea plans to reopen schools as early as this month, according to a Yonhap news report quoting state media. Schools in North Korea were reportedly due to open in early April, but school holidays have been repeatedly extended, though a handful of colleges and high schools were allowed to open in mid-April.
According to the North's state radio, "preventive measures" have been put in place so elementary, middle and high schools can start their semesters and nurseries and kindergartens can begin resuming operations in "early June".
The report said hand sanitisers would be provided in all classrooms, as well as thermometers.
North Korea still claims to have no virus cases in the country, though experts have said this is extremely unlikely.

South Korea sees rise in church-linked cases

South Korea on Sunday reported 30 local infections - 24 of which have been traced to churches in Gyeonggi Province outside the capital Seoul, says a Yonhap report. The country is still grappling with cases linked to a logistics centre in Bucheon, a city near Seoul. Authorities say at least 112 infections have been linked to the logistics facility.
There are now concerns that the church-linked gatherings could lead to a new cluster.
It was a religious sect, known as the Shincheonji Church, that led to South Korea's biggest virus cluster in February. Thousands of cases were later found to be linked to a Daegu branch of the sect.
The country later moved to close churches - but they were reopened earlier last month as the country appeared then to have successfully contained the virus.

Iconic jeepneys won't be back on roads

Virma Simonette - BBC News, Manila
As early as 4am this morning, we saw people on the streets - some were riding their bicycles and waiting for the buses provided by the government, but most were walking.
Cesar Casipi is a plastic factory operator who lives more than 10km (6.2 miles) from his workplace.
He does not own a car nor a bicycle, so he woke up an hour early to walk the two hours to work.
Cesar told us that after 77 days without pay, today, he is more than grateful to be going back to work.
But it’s a different story for Manuel dela Cruz, also a factory worker.
Manuel started walking at 3am. After an hour, he ended up at a train station. Though he wants to save his money, he decided to queue and ride the train to spare himself from exhaustion.
He told us that he fears for his safety in this uncertain situation, but does not have any choice but to go to work instead of letting his family starve.
While most are going back to work today, jeepney drivers like Julius Evangelista are not among them.
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Authorities have said it will be difficult to social distance inside a jeepney (pictured)

After failing to pay rent, Julius and his family have been living inside their jeepney for more than two months now. They have been begging people for food or money.
Over the weekend, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said it would be difficult to practice physical distancing inside jeepneys, so that’s why these iconic and hugely popular little buses won't be back on the roads yet.

100-year-old woman recovers from virus

A 100-year-old woman in Indonesia has recovered from Covid-19, making her the country's oldest survivor, local media report.
Kamtim, who goes by her first name, was discharged from hospital this week after being treated for a month in the country's second largest city, Surabaya.
"I hope her recovery can motivate elderly people during the pandemic," East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said.
The woman's daughter-in-law told AFP news agency that her recovery was due to her "discipline and persistence".
"Every day I checked her condition with nurses and they always told me that she was very strong and diligent about taking her medicine," Siti Aminah said.
"She was very motivated to get better."
Indonesia has more than 26,000 confirmed cases and 1,613 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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If you're just joining us...

Good morning, and here are some of the latest headlines:

  • Primary schools in England are beginning to bring back more pupils but half of parents might not send in their children, surveys suggest.
  • The Queen has been photographed riding in the grounds of Windsor Castle - her first public appearance since the coronavirus lockdown began.
  • Open air markets and car showrooms will be allowed to re-open in England on Monday, with coronavirus-related measures in place.
  • In Brazil, the number of confirmed cases has passed half a million, the second highest total in the world.
  • Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, has finally eased a lockdown that has been in place since mid-March. More people will be allowed to work and shops will reopen - though many restrictions are still in place
  • The Chinese city of Wuhan - where the virus first emerged - reported no new asymptomatic cases on Sunday. China recorded 16 new cases on Sunday - all of which were imported - up from just 2 cases the day before.

Some UK newspaper headlines - on schools, travel

Education is high on the agenda on the UK newspaper front pages.
The Guardian concentrates on a story about the number of children set to stay off school in England when classes resume for selected year groups on Monday.
The Daily Telegraph reports that some pupils will need to attend classes over the summer to stop them falling behind. The paper quotes the Children's Commissioner for England Anne Longfield, who is urging the government to set up summer camps for students.
Meanwhile The Times leads on a warning from travel firm bosses that the two-week quarantine due to be imposed on people arriving into the UK from 8 June will "destroy" the industry.

The five tests 'haven't been met'

The president of the Association of Directors of Public Health England says she is "concerned" about more pupils going back to school in England because the five tests the government said were needed to ease restrictions "haven't yet been met".
"A lot of people, including local directors of public health across the country, are increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging this balancing act and lifting too many of the restrictions too quickly," Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
She added that the R number - the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to - on average is between 0.7 and 0.9. While it is below 1, it leaves "very limited room for manoeuvre".
"We know how quickly this virus can spread. It is difficult to predict then, with quite a lot of the measures being relaxed all at once, what impact that will have on the R value," de Gruchy said.

Moscow loosens lockdown restrictions

Today in Russia's capital, people will be able to take their first long walks outside their apartments in nine weeks.
Moscow's Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told President Vladimir Putin that he would relax lockdown rules in the capital, opening shopping centres and giving more freedom for people to leave their homes.
Previously, Muscovites were only allowed out to buy food, walk dogs or travel to essential jobs with a permit.
Car dealerships, dry cleaners, shoe repair stores, bookshops and launderettes are also set to open on Monday.
Residents are now allowed out for walks three times a week on designated days, assigned according to the address they live at. People can also do sports outside, but only between 05:00 (02:00 GMT) and 09:00.
Moscow is still seeing a number of new infections, however. More than 2,590 were reported on Sunday.
Russia has more than 400,000 reported coronavirus cases and more than 4,693 have died.

School return is a challenge for teachers and parents

Dan Johnson - BBC News
There is a big case of "wait and see" around sending children back to school, and that is what you hear from parents - who perhaps do not want to be the first to send their children back.
Most of the schools have been open throughout lockdown for the children of key workers and those who are vulnerable. The aim today is to take back in the youngest and oldest kids in primary schools.
But not every school is able to open its doors to more children today. There are councils around England that say their schools aren’t ready to do that yet.
It has been left to headteachers to manage this themselves. Unions estimate that only half of the kids eligible will return to take up their places today because of the worries of parents.
The practicalities of this are very difficult. We’ve seen schools have to reorganise the way they are laid out, the way people move around, introduce one-way systems, and reduce classes that would normally have taken 30 kids down in some instances to just five, to try and enforce social distancing on a group who may not always be able to manage it.

Protests flare in Brazil despite rising infections

Katy Watson - BBC South America correspondent
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In Brazil, there have been clashes on the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro after protests both for and against President Jair Bolsonaro.
Over the weekend, Brazil overtook France in the total number of coronavirus deaths with nearly 29,000 people losing their lives.
Bolsonaro came out on a horse to join hundreds of supporters in the capital Brasilia. No attempt at social distancing - a display of defiance from the man who in the past has called coronavirus the sniffles.
The president's supporters are calling for military intervention and the closure of the Supreme Court. Tensions have been rising between Bolsonaro and the judiciary because of an investigation into political interference by the president.
Bolsonaro also accused the top court this week of censorship after it started looking into allegations of fake news and intimidation by his supporters.
Meanwhile in Sao Paulo, riot police threw tear gas – dispersing competing protests by Bolsonaro supporters and football fans from rival clubs marching for democracy.
The political chaos comes at a time when Brazil’s death toll keeps rising and infections are growing at an ever-faster rate. It’s a pandemic Brazil is struggling to control.

Fears of spike in cases following US protests

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There have been concerns that protests in the US following the death in police custody of unarmed black man George Floyd could lead to a rise in Covid-19 cases.
More than 104,000 people have died in the US from the virus, and protests have taken place across the country.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned the protests could become "super spreader events", while Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms advised those attending to get tested this week.
Dr Theodore Long, who is leading New York's contact tracing strategy, also advised protesters to get tested. He encouraged people attending rallies to wear a mask, practice proper hygiene and socially distance if possible.
However Dr William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, [url= stories&pgtype=Homepage]told the New York Times[/url] that as the protests were outside, the virus would be diluted somewhat. He noted that many of those taking part were young, meaning they are more likely to make a recovery if they contract the virus.
"There was literally a lot of running around, which means they’re exhaling more profoundly, but also passing each other very quickly," he said.

Easing lockdown 'not a dash', says minister

The easing of lockdown is "not a dash" and the government is taking "cautious steps", says UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma.
Asked on BBC Breakfast about concerns voiced by some of the government's scientific advisers, he says: "Their overall view is that you must do this cautiously - that is precisely what we’re doing."
"What they’ve also said is that if people comply with the rules and the test and trace system is up and running, which it has been since Thursday, then there is a good likelihood that we will not reach the R value factor above one," he adds. The R number is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to, on average.
He says easing restrictions is a "delicate balance" and that authorities will "take action" if parts of the country see higher levels of infection.
On the reopening of schools and businesses, he adds: "I’m confident that if guidelines are followed that people will stay safe."
When asked, he was not able to say how many people are being tested each day.

Armenian PM tests positive for Covid-19

Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has tested positive for coronavirus.
"I didn't have any symptoms, I decided to take a test as I was planning to visit the frontline," he said during a Facebook live video. He added that his whole family was infected.
Last week, Armenia saw its biggest daily spike in cases on Friday - 460 - but Pashinyan said his government was not thinking of a nationwide lockdown. He added that the government will continue to promote social distancing and other hygiene rules set out by health authorities.
More than 9,000 cases and 131 deaths have been confirmed in the country , which is home to around three million people.
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China calls US a 'habitual quitter' after WHO withdrawal

China's foreign ministry has hit out at the US for cutting ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) and called for the international community to increase support for the agency.
The foreign ministry said on Monday that the US has "revealed its pursuit of power politics and unilateralism". It also described America as a "habitual quitter".
President Trump said on Friday that the US was withdrawing from the WHO, accusing it of failing to hold Beijing to account over the coronavirus pandemic.
"China has total control over the World Health Organization," the president declared.
The WHO's Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has promised a review of its response to the pandemic and defended its independence.
The EU has led calls for the Trump administration to reconsider its decision, warning it could hamper global efforts to tackle Covid-19.

Large crowds gather as India opens more rail services

There have been reports of overcrowding at some railway stations in India after a number of services resumed there on Monday.
More than 145,000 people are set to travel by train in just one day as the country opens following a long lockdown.
Two hundred trains will now operate, up from 30.
India's ministry of home affairs has issued guidelines for travellers. All passengers have to be screened, and social distancing must be followed at both the station and on trains. Only those with confirmed tickets will be allowed to travel.
However maintaining social distancing and cleanliness is proving a difficult task with huge crowds gathered outside some stations.
India's mammoth railway network usually carries 25 million passengers every day.
Read more here

South Africa delays reopening schools

South Africa has delayed the reopening of schools by a week to allow school administrators to prepare.
Final year students in primary and secondary schools will now report back to school on 8 June, according to the Department of Basic Education.
Unions had urged teachers and staff to stay away from schools, saying they were not equipped to keep employees and pupils safe.
South Africa is gradually easing its lockdown restrictions, with the sale of alcohol and movement within districts allowed from 1 June.
Churches, temples and mosques have been allowed to reopen provided they have no more than 50 worshippers.
The country's confirmed coronavirus cases stand at 32,683, including 683 deaths.

First spectator sport to return to the UK? Pigeon racing...

Live sport can resume in England from today for the first time since mid-March - albeit behind closed doors.
And while snooker and horse racing will both come later on Monday, the first spectator sport to return is... pigeon racing.
The first race organised by the Barnsley Federation of Racing Pigeons will see about 4,000 pigeons travel around 75 miles from Leicester to Barnsley.
And while new Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA) rules will have to be observed, fans and owners just need a pair of binoculars to watch, meaning social distancing is less of a problem than in other sports.
"We all look forward to racing pigeons, especially some of the elderly who don’t have partners," said Alan Catch, who will have 40 birds in the race.
"We had permission to start training two weeks ago. There are certain rules the RPRA have given us. You have to wear masks and keep your distance. You have to take them (the pigeons) and leave your baskets and somebody else takes them for the race. Then you just sit and wait."

Police ban Tiananmen vigil in Hong Kong

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Cafes, pools... and the Colosseum: Lockdown eases across Europe

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People in Moscow are allowed outside to exercise for the first time in nine weeks

A number of European countries are easing restrictions on Monday:

  • Moscow is allowing people outside for walks for the first time in nine weeks, under a rota system based on their neighbourhood. You can read more about the plans here
  • Primary schools reopen in Greece, as well as some hotels, open-air cinemas, public swimming pools and golf courses
  • Restaurants, cafes and museums open in the Netherlands, with bars serving customers again in Norway
  • Portugal's cinemas and theatres open their doors
  • Cultural sites are also opening. The Colosseum in Rome is once again allowing visitors, while the Grand Bazaar and Fatih mosque reopen in Istanbul

US baseball players reject owners' proposal

Major League Baseball players have rejected an offer from clubs over pay and the season schedule, according to reports.
Players had been warned by club owners that the effects of the pandemic, including a delay from the original 26 March start date and having to play behind closed doors, would require additional salary cuts.
The players agreed to be paid on a prorated basis on games completed in March.
They have now proposed that they receive a higher percentage of their salaries while committing to play a 114-game regular season starting on 30 June, instead of the 82 games proposed by owners.
This would see the regular season end by 31 October and could extend the World Series beyond Thanksgiving on 26 November.

South Africans can buy alcohol again

Andrew Harding - BBC News, Johannesburg
In South Africa, long queues have formed outside shops selling alcohol, as restrictions on its sale are lifted for the first time in two months. Social media posts showed people cheering and clapping as buyers emerged clutching their bottles. Some said they had queued overnight.
Singing as they queue… South Africans standing in the cold with their shopping trolleys, anxious to take advantage of a partial lifting of the country’s strict alcohol ban. Between Mondays and Thursdays, alcohol can now be bought for home consumption.
The ban was introduced in order to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence during the lockdown, and to relieve pressure on hospital casualty departments so they could focus on tackling coronavirus. South Africa is now easing some lockdown restrictions to help revive its economy. But there is concern that infection rates are beginning to rise sharply.
South Africans cheer as alcohol is back

How cities might change if we worked from home more

For many of us, our homes have become our workplaces over the past few months, and a full return to the office still appears a remote prospect.
Major tech companies say they are open to their staff working from home permanently. Employees are coming to realise remote working is not only possible, but in some cases preferable. A shift to a new way of working might already be under way.
Such a shift could have profound implications for our home lives, and by extension for the lives of our towns and cities: almost a quarter of all office space in England and Wales is in central London alone.
To understand those implications, we brought together four experts on city life, all of whom were working from home.

Large 'save rave' gathering in Berlin draws criticism

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Large crowds gathered in Berlin on Saturday at a canal in Kreuzberg to take part in a "save rave culture" party.
Thousands congregated at the Landwehr Canal, according to .
Rave clubs have been closed for months due to the coronavirus outbreak. It's not yet clear when they will reopen.
The gathering came on the day Germany allowed outdoor demonstrations without restrictions on participants again. However, the rules say people must remain 1.5m (5ft) from each other.
The event drew criticism from people on social media .
One person wrote on Facebook: "Do you seriously believe this campaign provides arguments for public funds for clubs, festivals and the people working there?"
Another person joked on Twitter: "Berlin is free from corona."

Posts : 9319
Join date : 2011-03-19
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 1st June Empty Re: Coronavirus - 1st June

Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 01 2020, 15:29

Why can't all primary school children in England go back?

Only children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are being asked to return to schools in England today.
One reason for limiting the number of year groups going back is that children will be taught in classes of up to 15 to maintain social distancing.
It would be difficult to keep to these small class sizes if all year groups were to return. Department for Education data shows the average class size in England’s primary schools last year was about 27 children.

Partner of Wuhan doctor gives birth months after his death

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
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The fiancée of a front-line Chinese doctor, whose death in mid-February led to nationwide mourning, has given birth to a baby girl.
Dr Peng Yinhua, a critical care specialist, was one of the front-line specialists in the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered in late December.
The 29-year-old postponed his marriage, which had been scheduled for 1 February, to treat patients at one of the city's overcrowded hospitals. He died on 20 February, leaving behind his fiancée, who was six months pregnant.
When his death was reported, media shared his “hunsha zhao” or wedding photos – which are commonly taken prior to a wedding in China. Papers noted poignantly that the invitations to the couple’s wedding were still “sitting in his office drawer”.
Many on social media are calling the arrival of his fiancée’s daughter today a “blessing” but a “tragedy”, noting that the child was delivered on national Children’s Day, but would never get to meet her “hero” father.

Queues build outside Ikea as it reopens in England

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For many stores in England that closed during lockdown, the big reopening will not take place until 15 June.
But homeware stores have been able to welcome customers since 1 May, and today Ikea chose to reopen 19 branches in England and Northern Ireland.
Customers lined up in long, socially-distanced queues in the car park at the Milton Keynes branch today.
Meanwhile, Primark has told customers not to expect "special discounting" when it reopens all 153 stores in England on 15 June.
The retailer has built up nearly £2bn-worth of stock, double its normal inventory, but the company says it is mostly non-seasonal ranges which will be sold eventually.
Read more

'My three-week battle in three hospitals'

Jack McCullough first started feeling ill in March.
He spent the next 10 days isolating in his home office, separate from his wife, mother-in-law and three young sons.
But things quickly took a turn for the worse and he fell unconscious - and the next thing he knew, he woke up in the City Hospital in Belfast.
What he didn't know was that he had spent the last three weeks across three different hospitals in Northern Ireland.
Today, Jack has been discharged - but still remembers little about his experience.
"At the time in ICU while I was unconscious, I have memories," he explains. "My memory was: 'I need to get home; I just need to get home.'"
Read more about his story here.
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Plan to resume in-person votes at Parliament a 'farce', say critics

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Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg is expected to propose an end to remote voting today

Plans to make UK MPs vote in person in Westminster as the coronavirus crisis continues are "a real threat for democratic representation and political equality", an electoral reform group says.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg is due to put forward a motion later today preventing virtual voting - as used by MPs since lockdown began - from continuing.
If the motion passes, MPs may have to form kilometre-long queues to maintain social distancing if a majority of them want to vote in the traditional division lobbies.
The Electoral Reform Society says it is "beyond a farce" and unacceptable when virtual voting is a proven alternative. It called the plans "a real threat" where MPs have medical conditions requiring them to stay away from work during the pandemic.

What's happening in the UK?

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The queue for Ikea in Warrington, reopening today, stretched across the car park

If you're just joining us this lunchtime, here's a round-up of the day's events so far:

Brighton Council calls for enhanced lockdown powers

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Brighton and Hove City Council has called for enhanced lockdown powers, after huge crowds descended on beaches in the area over the weekend.
Council Leader Nancy Platts said visitors had been "overdoing it" with alcohol on the seafront, adding that behaviour "has become unpleasant and dangerous".
Local people have complained of feeling "unsafe".
Platts said the impact of lockdown easing on popular tourist destinations, such as Brighton, had not been "thought through".
Under current measures, people in England can travel unlimited distances for fresh air and exercise, as long as they remain 2m (6ft) apart.
The unusually long spell of hot weather has drawn many to the coast.
In Brighton this weekend, stewards patrolled the seafront to manage the numbers of people accessing the beaches, but Platts warned the resources of the council and police were limited.
"We need to hear from government on this as a matter of urgency."
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Iran risks 'stronger' second wave if guidelines ignored

Iran’s government has warned of a second, stronger wave in the Middle East’s biggest coronavirus outbreak, after reporting its highest daily number of cases in the past two months.
The health ministry said on Monday that 2,979 new infections had been recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 154,445. There were also 81 deaths, raising the overall toll to 7,878.
"People seem to think the coronavirus is over,” Health Minister Saeed Namaki told a news conference. "The outbreak is not over yet and at any moment it may come back stronger than before.”
"If our people fail to respect the health protocols... we must prepare ourselves for the worst situation."
Since early April, the government has been trying as much as it can to reopen businesses, schools and mosques.
But Mr Namaki said there had now been surges of infections in the western province of Kermanshah and the south-eastern provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan and Hormozgan.
He lamented that people had ignored official pleas not to hold weddings or funerals.

Travel firms appeal for UK quarantine plan to be scrapped

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Arrivals to the UK face two weeks' quarantine from 8 June

Under new quarantine plans, anyone arriving in the UK from abroad from 8 June will be told to isolate for 14 days.
But now a group of 200 travel companies has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel, making a last-minute appeal for the proposal to be scrapped.
They say that travel should be possible without quarantine if people are moving between destinations "deemed safe from coronavirus".
Among the signatories to the letter are hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, hotels The Ritz, The Connaught and Mandarin Oriental, and upmarket travel agent Kuoni.
Read the full story

Netherlands eases partial lockdown

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
The Netherlands is easing its partial lockdown today.
Museums can admit visitors again - though it's advance bookings only and social distancing rules apply inside.
The Anne Frank House is restricting visitor numbers to 15 rather than the usual 83 guests every 15 minutes.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will allow a fifth of the usual number inside every day. Some of the paintings have been rehung to ensure people can observe social distancing guidelines. Stickers on the floor remind people of the country's 1.5m (5ft) rule.
Bars, cafés and restaurants can now serve inside and on terraces. A maximum of 30 customers will be allowed indoors, and there is no limit to outdoor terrace numbers - though people from different households must keep their distance.
Employees must check diners don’t have coronavirus symptoms (it seems at the moment this will just be a case of asking rather than temperature checks).
Cinemas, theatres and concert venues can resume performances for audiences of up to 30.
Teenagers can play team games without keeping 1.5 metres from each other, but competitions are still prohibited.
From today, face masks must be worn on public transport. Passengers have been told to avoid using medical masks to ensure there’s no shortage for health service staff. Fines of €95 (£85) apply for those who fail to comply, but officials have suggested giving out penalties won’t be a priority.

Sturgeon issues warning to lockdown breakers

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Police issued almost 800 dispersal notices on Saturday for lockdown breaches in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, during the Scottish government's daily briefing today.
Ms Sturgeon said it was clear not everyone followed the rules - which allow up to eight people from two households to meet up outdoors, ideally within five miles of home, and always while maintaining social distancing.
The First Minister said laws would be brought in "if there is continued evidence of even a minority not abiding by these guidelines".
"We won't hesitate to do that if we think it's necessary for the collective safety and wellbeing of the population," she said.
"The progress we've made so far in tackling Covid-19 is simply not guaranteed and it is not irreversible."
The number of deaths from coronavirus in Scotland rose by just one in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,363 - but weekend figures are typically lower because of delays in reporting.

New police guidance on enforcing lockdown measures

Danny Shaw - BBC Home Affairs Correspondent
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Police in England will order people to return home if they’ve gone to someone else’s house, under new guidance. Updated coronavirus laws ban indoor gatherings involving non-household members except for certain reasons, such as work, education or early years childcare. The College of Policing and National Police Chiefs’ Council advises officers to “direct” banned gatherings to disperse, adding that fines and arrests will apply “where appropriate”. The guidance says force may be used to enforce rules outdoors - where gatherings of more than six people are not allowed. The new regulations permit people to leave their home for any reason, except for overnight stays. Unless a person is staying overnight for one of a list of “reasonable excuses”, police have powers to instruct them to go home. But the police guidance says officers in such cases have “no powers” to remove someone or use force, though they may issue a fine or make an arrest.
 :Left Quotes: Officers will engage, explain, encourage and, only as a last resort, enforce.
Martin Hewitt
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair

What's happening around the world?

If you are just joining us and are wondering what’s been happening around the world, here is some of the latest news:

  • In Brazil, the number of confirmed cases has passed half a million, the second highest total in the world
  • Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, has finally eased a lockdown that has been in place since mid-March. More people will be allowed to work and shops will reopen - though many restrictions are still in place
  • The Chinese city of Wuhan - where the virus first emerged - reported no new asymptomatic cases on Sunday. China recorded 16 new cases on Sunday - all of which were imported - up from just two cases the day before
  • China has called the US a "habitual quitter" after President Trump said the US was withdrawing from the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing it of failing to hold Beijing to account over the pandemic
  • In South Africa, long queues have formed outside shops selling alcohol, as restrictions on its sale are lifted for the first time in two months
  • In Russia’s capital Moscow, people are being allowed outside for walks for the first time in nine weeks, under a rota system
  • Primary schools have reopened in Greece, as well as some hotels, open-air cinemas, public swimming pools and golf courses
  • Restaurants, cafes and museums have opened in the Netherlands, bars are serving customers again in Norway and the Colosseum in the Italian capital Rome is once again allowing visitors

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 01 2020, 17:36

Ighalo can finish football season with Manchester United

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Odion Ighalo has scored four goals in eight appearances for Manchester United since joining on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua

Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo will be able to finish the current football season with Manchester United after the club extended his contract.
The 30-year-old joined United in January on a loan deal from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua that was expected to finish on 31 May - following the scheduled conclusion of the campaign.
However, there has not been any Premier League football played since 9 March, although it will resume again on 17 June after the shutdown because of coronavirus.
Ighalo will now be at United until January 2021. The club are fifth in the Premier League with nine matches of the 2019-20 season left and are also in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the last 16 of the Europa League.

How the virus has affected sporting events

Snooker is one of the first sports to return in the UK, with the Championship League starting today in Milton Keynes.
But horse racing and greyhound racing is also taking place behind closed doors on Monday as things slowly return to normal.
Zodiakos, trained by Roger Fell and ridden by Jimmy Sullivan, created a little bit of history as the first winner on UK horse racing's resumption after a 76-day break due to the pandemic.
Prior to the meeting in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, greyhound racing resumed in Birmingham with Im Sophie winning the opening race at Perry Barr.
The sporting calendar in the UK and around the globe has been badly affected by the pandemic and you can read more about that here

Hotels to reopen in Northern Ireland from 20 July

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The George Best Hotel in Belfast went into administration in April without ever opening, following the coronavirus outbreak

Stormont's Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, has announced hotels, B&Bs, caravan parks and other tourist accommodation can reopen in Northern Ireland from 20 July, provided the rate of infection remains under control.
Dodds said the tourism industry had faced an "unprecedented challenge" in the face of Covid-19 and she wanted to give the sector "some clarity".
All businesses wishing to reopen must have social distancing arrangements in place.
"I want to build upon the positive progress in managing the spread of the virus and begin to reopen our tourism industry in a safe and managed way," said Dodds.
Holiday and home parks, caravan sites and self-catering properties may reopen at an earlier date "depending on scientific advice", she added.
Janice Gault, of Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, welcomed the "step forward" but said there was "more work to be done" on the detail, adding that the safety of guests and staff remained "paramount".
"Having an agreed date will help us to plan, promote and give businesses the opportunity to assess their viability," she said.

How Shetland stopped the virus in its tracks

It's the northernmost point in the UK - a group of islands set apart from the rest of the country, and for a while, it seemed like it might even be out of reach of the virus.
But that didn't last long. Earlier in the outbreak, the Shetland Islands became one of the worst-hit areas of the UK by head of population.
Iain Malcolmson, a 53-year-old architect, and his wife Suzanne became the islands' first confirmed cases in March after spending a long weekend in Naples.
Just four days after their test results, the number of confirmed cases rose from two to six, five days later, to 15 - and by 19 March, to 24 cases.
So how exactly did Shetland stop the virus that had swept across the region so rapidly? Read more here.
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New shielding advice 'left doctors on back foot'

Michelle Roberts - Health editor, BBC News online
Family doctors were only told about important changes to the shielding advice in England and Wales hours before the measures were made public.
Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the General Practice Committee at the British Medical Association, said doctors were not given sufficient notice that their most clinically vulnerable patients would soon be advised they could go outdoors again, rather than remain in absolute lockdown.
"Practices received the updated Standard Operation Procedure guidance on Saturday 30 May, which contained detailed advice on the management for shielding patients, and yet only a few hours later the guidance appeared to have changed without warning, and practices still have not received any further clarification," he said.
"It is only right that we, as their family doctors, are properly prepared for any changes to guidance around their care."
The Royal College of GPs advises extreme caution around the easing, which comes into force today, saying it is not a "green light" allowing people to return to everyday life.
Downing Street defended the decision to ease restrictions, saying it had engaged with a number of groups, including the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
The government says relaxing the recommendations is possible because levels of coronavirus transmission have gone down substantially - but a number of charities are asking to see the science behind the decision.

The view from Latin America as cases rise steeply

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Santa Cruz is one of the areas in Bolivia which has decided to stick to its lockdown

With much of Europe loosening coronavirus restrictions, the picture is mixed in Latin America, where the number of cases continues to rise steeply.

  • In Colombia, part of the capital Bogotá is facing an extra-strict lockdown after it became a hotspot for infections. No-one in the working-class neighbourhood of Kennedy will be allowed to leave their homes, except for medical reasons or to buy food. The measure applies to almost 1.5 million residents.
  • Restrictions are being loosened in Bolivia from Monday, but four of the country's nine regions say they will not end their lockdowns until the number of infections falls considerably.
  • In neighbouring Chile, the number of cases is almost 10 times that of Bolivia. With the country at almost 100,000 cases, Health Minister Paula Daza said Chile was going through "its most difficult weeks".
  • In some positive news, a Bolivian orchestra which had been stuck in a German castle due to travel restrictions is now on its way home. Read about their unusual experience here

Italy's top tourist attractions re-open

Some of Italy's famed cultural sites re-opened on Monday after being closed for almost three months.
Visitors can again wander around the Colosseum in Rome, but must follow strict sanitary guidelines to guard against coronavirus infection. Face masks are compulsory and the number of visitors is limited.
The Vatican museums also re-opened, allowing people to once again admire the Sistine Chapel, while following social distancing rules.

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar reopens

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, one of the world's largest and most popular markets, has opened for the first time in more than two months.
The 500-year-old market has narrow alleyways with thousands of shops, making it difficult to manage in terms of social distancing.
Visitors will have their temperatures checked and will have to wear masks. The number of people entering will also be restricted. It is normally visited by 150,000 people a day.
Officials say this has been the longest closure in the bazaar's history, except for forced shutdowns following natural disasters.
Turkey is relaxing its lockdown restrictions, and parks, beaches, libraries and museums have reopened across the country. Millions of people in the public sector have returned to work, but bars and nightclubs remain closed.
Turkey has reported more than 4,500 virus-related deaths.

Questions over ban on Tiananmen Square anniversary event

Stephen McDonell - BBC News, China correspondent
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People gathered in 2019 to remember those who died when Chinese troops cracked down on pro-democracy protesters

Earlier we reported that the annual candlelit vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Hong Kong has been banned. Authorities are citing coronavirus concerns.
Now Lee Cheuk-yan, the organiser of the anniverary event, has questioned why schools, karaoke or swimming were permitted to go ahead but not a peaceful rally.
Four people in Hong Kong have died from Covid-19, and the city has had just over 1,000 infections.
Vigil organisers now say they want people to light a candle at 20:00 local time on Thursday and observe a minute's silence wherever they are in the city.
It'll be interesting to see what the participation rate for this is, and if people do it outdoors.


UK briefing due at 17:00 BST

The government's daily press conference will start in about an hour's time. It'll be led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who'll be joined by Prof John Newton, who's responsible for the UK's testing programme.
Expect questions about the government's track and trace system, whether it was safe to re-open schools today, and whether lockdown measures are being lifted too quickly.

'I'm not going anywhere' - shielded people react to new freedoms

People in England and Wales with medical conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 have been told it is safe for them to leave their homes for the first time in months.
But some are still saying no. Angela Steatham in Powys, whose immune system is severely affected by chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, says: "I'm not going anywhere."
Her village is popular with tourists, making the neighbourhood too crowded and risky, she says.
"This weekend we have been inundated with people - none of them following social distancing rules," she said.
But Derek Cummings, who has the lung condition emphysema, ventured out of his house in Treorchy in south Wales with relief today.
"You won't see me on any beaches, you won't see me with any crowds - you've got to use your sense," he says.
Read more
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Derek Cummings ventured out on his mobility scooter for the first time in months

Bolivian orchestra heads home after 82 days stranded in German castle

Oliver Barnes - BBC News
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After nearly three months stranded in the Rheinsberg Palace, north-west of the German capital Berlin, Bolivia’s Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos is on its way home.
The 25-strong traditional panpipe orchestra was forced to quarantine in the castle’s grounds after Bolivia shut its borders and Germany locked down back in March.
Their fortnight-long tour turned into an 82-day quarantine in the former residence of Fredrick the Great.
The orchestra is due to touch down shortly in Madrid, where they have seats on a connecting flight to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
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Bolivia’s top diplomat in Germany, Gustavo Ramiro Espinoza Trujillo, told the BBC: “Getting stuck in Germany was hard luck for everyone involved, but fortunately I saw the musicians today before they left and they were quite relaxed.
“They were happy to be heading home and see their families, but many of them are concerned about the situation in Bolivia.”
All of the musicians tested negative for coronavirus at the end of last week, but they will still need to quarantine in a hotel for seven days at their own expense upon their arrival back home.
There have been nearly 10,000 cases and 300 deaths in Bolivia, which has a population of about 11 million people.
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Latest news from the UK

The UK daily briefing is due to start in around half an hour. Stay with us for all the live updates as we get them.
In the meantime, here's the latest news from today:

People in Moscow allowed out for exercise

Sarah Rainsford - BBC Moscow Correspondent
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It’s been a grey and rainy first day out of lockdown as Muscovites were allowed out for exercise at last - albeit only three days a week - and city parks and shops reopened for business. Facemasks are now mandatory, though plenty of people take that quite loosely, stringing them round their chins.
This relaxing of the coronavirus restrictions is happening with the infection rate in Russia’s capital still stubbornly high, with around 70 confirmed Covid-19 deaths each day. But officials here insist that the worst has passed and President Vladimir Putin certainly wants to move on. He’s already rescheduled the 75th anniversary Victory Day parade for later this month.
He has now announced that a key vote on constitutional reforms, which that would allow him another two terms in office, will take place on 1 July.
It’s thought the Kremlin is keen to hold it before the strain of Covid-19 on the country’s economy, and on Putin’s approval rating, really show.

Manchester's Caribbean Carnival cancelled due to coronavirus

Manchester's annual Caribbean Carnival has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers said the decision was made with "deep regret", but vowed to return with a "bigger and better" carnival in 2021.
Manchester City Council's executive member for culture, Luthfur Rahman, said it was a matter of safety.
The festival, traditionally held in August, attracts about 30,000 visitors to the Moss Side area of the city.
It would have been the first carnival held under new management after previous organisers were stripped of the right to run this year's event.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 01 2020, 21:43

What did we learn from today's UK briefing?

Today's government press conference was led by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was joined by Prof John Newton, the co-ordinator for the national testing programme.
Here's what they told us:

  • Anyone who has any of the three core symptoms of coronavirus - a persistent cough, fever, or a loss or change of sense of smell or taste - should get a test by going to the NHS website or dialling 119
  • Dentistry will resume next week
  • The government felt it could make a small change on the shielding advice because of the reduction in the rate of infection. But shielders must still remain socially distant from everyone, apart from those in their household, and continue to follow advice
  • Evidence so far suggests people are complying when asked to isolate by contact tracers as part of the track and trace scheme

Japan sets off fireworks in prayer for end of pandemic

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Fireworks have been set off across Japan in a prayer for the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
The locations of the simultaneous displays were kept secret and appear to have taken many by surprise.
Organisers said they were designed to be long enough to allow people to run outside and watch, while not giving them time to congregate and breach coronavirus rules.
The fireworks were set off with prayers attached for the virus to disappear.
Many traditional firework festivals held during the Japanese summer have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

What's been happening today?

If you're just joining us, here's a taste of what's been going on in the UK and around the world today.

  • Primary schools in England welcomed back students in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 - but up to half of eligible students may have stayed home , surveys suggest
  • GPs in the UK have complained that they were not given time to prepare for changes to shielding advice in England and Wales, which says their most clinically vulnerable patients can now go outdoors
  • There have been concerns that protests in the US following the death in police custody of unarmed black man George Floyd could lead to a rise in Covid-19 cases
  • The annual candlelit vigil in Hong Kong commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown has been banned. Authorities are citing coronavirus concerns, but organisers have questioned their motives
  • Moscow has eased lockdown restrictions, even as case numbers continue to rise. Shops have reopened in the Russian capital and people are now allowed out for limited exercise
  • Ikea reopened 19 of its stores in England and Northern Ireland, with customers forming large queues outside stores

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Protesters in Portland rally against the death of George Floyd in police custody

86 crew on US fishing vessel test positive

Eighty-six crew members on a fish processing vessel on the US West Coast have tested positive for coronavirus, Reuters reports. The ship has a capacity of 142.
Workers on the American Seafoods ship American Dynasty were tested on Sunday in the port of Bellingham, Washington.
Employees in US food processing factories have been particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.
Twenty meat plants closed in May after thousands of workers were infected. Close working conditions and pressure to keep factories open to supply the food market are thought to be partly to blame for the outbreaks.

Snooker back under way after break

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World champion Judd Trump took on David Grace

Snooker has become the latest sport to return in the UK after the disruption caused by the coronavirus.
On Monday, horse racing and greyhound racing resumed behind closed doors after the UK government eased restrictions over the weekend.
Then, at 15:00 BST, snooker returned with world champion Judd Trump's match against David Grace at the Championship League in Milton Keynes.
The tournament was being held without spectators and all players and staff tested negative for Covid-19 prior to play beginning.

Trips to see Gibraltar's Macaque monkeys re-start

Gavin Lee - BBC Europe reporter
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Trips to see the Macaque monkeys are now limited to 12

Cafes, bars and restaurants have reopened in Gibraltar today.
They can operate at 50% capacity, with social distancing measures in place.
Trips to the top of the Rock to view the famous Macaque monkeys are possible too, but are being limited to groups of no more than 12 people at a time.
Gibraltar’s beaches are also accessible throughout the day. Visits to the beaches were previously confined to short periods.
There are currently 19 active Covid-19 cases on the British overseas territory. There have been 170 recorded cases overall, but no deaths as a result of the coronavirus.

No coronavirus deaths in Spain in past 24 hours

Spain has recorded no coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours for the first time since the beginning of March, the country's health ministry said.
Spain has recorded at least one new death every day since 3 March but on Monday the overall death toll remained at 27,127.
The daily tally of new cases has also fallen, with 71 recorded on Monday compared to 96 on Sunday.
Spain has been one of the countries worst hit by the virus but has been easing restrictions in recent weeks.

What is the UK Joint Biosecurity Centre?

Reality Check
At the UK government press briefing earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was asked whether the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) exists yet.
The JBC is an advisory group being set up by the government to identify changes in infection rates using testing, environmental and workplace data.
It will bring together scientists and government specialists to advise chief medical officers on whether to ease or tighten restrictions in particular areas, although ministers will make the final decisions.
Its creation was announced on 10 May alongside the new one-to-five coronavirus alert level scale, which it will advise on.
But it is not yet ready to go. Mr Hancock’s response was: “It’s being formulated at the moment. It’s being pulled together.”

Rwanda cancels lockdown easing with minutes to go

Rwanda has cancelled a planned easing of coronavirus restrictions minutes before they were due to be implemented. It follows the country's first confirmed Covid-19 death and a spike in new infections.
The easing of restrictions was to include the resumption of travel between provinces after a two-month lockdown. The 50,000 motorcycle taxi drivers who provide much of Rwanda's transport are angry about the government U-turn, saying their livelihoods are in ruins.
Business people who rely on inter-provincial trade have also criticised the decision. There have been at least 370 confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in Rwanda and one fatality, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Danish football club hosts 'drive-in' for match

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FC Midtjylland, who play in Denmark's top football league, have come up with a creative way to ensure fans still get a matchday experience despite coronavirus restrictions.
With no fans allowed inside stadiums, Midtjylland hosted a "drive in" for their fixture against AC Horsens on Monday.
That meant fans could park in the stadium's car parks and watch on big screens from inside the safety of their car.
Hundreds of cars turned up - but many occupants left disappointed with Midtjylland losing 0-1.
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Greece's schools and some hotels reopen

Kostas Koukoumakas - Athens, Greece
Primary schools and kindergartens reopened here on Monday, with a restriction in place of 15 students per classroom. It is part of the latest easing of the coronavirus restrictions that were imposed in March.
However, not all children came back to school. Many parents decided to keep their children at home, partly because the academic year ends on 26 June and most pupils have no exams ahead.
In addition to schools, those hotels that operate all year round also reopened today to Greeks. Seasonal hotels will follow by opening to foreign visitors on 15 June. People working in the tourism industry hope the summer season can still be saved, although most potential visitors have so far been calling just to find out what the conditions will be like when they do finally return. A 20-page directive issued by the government covers how to train staff to recognise possible coronavirus symptoms and how to handle cleaning of rooms and serving guests.
Some 20 open-air cinemas were due to restart today in Athens, but the bad weather seems to have put a stop to this for now. The all-male monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece also opened its gates for the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19, providing special permits to visitors.
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Greece's valuable tourism industry hopes it can still have a summer season

NI shielding advice to change next week

Vulnerable people in Northern Ireland who were urged to shield during the coronavirus pandemic may be allowed to go outside again from next week, leaders at Stormont have announced.
Advice to the 80,000 shielding will change from next Monday if the transmission rate of the virus remains below one.
As is currently the situation in England, those shielding will be able to go outside with people from their own household, or one person from another household, providing social distancing is observed.
First Minister Arlene Foster said changes to shielding advice would be a "reasonable and proportionate first step".
"If the rate of transmission continues on a downward trend - and of course we all hope that it does - then, in consultation with our scientific and medical advisers, we will consider further relaxations for those who are shielding," she said.
Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill stressed that the safest place for those shielding was still at home.
"It is crucially important that you are very strict about maintaining social distancing," she said.

More pupils return to new-look schools in England

Judith Burns - Education reporter
Thousands of children have returned to school in England today after the government eased lockdown restrictions.
But the schools look very different to when many children last sat in classrooms more than two months ago.
At St Mary Magdalen's Catholic Primary School in West London, each child has their own table with its own tray of equipment so that they don't need to get out of their seats as often.
The classrooms now look more like they might have done in the 1950s with all the desks facing forward in rows, instead of being pushed together into big tables.
Parents had to arrive with their child at an allotted time and queue in the playground at a two-metre distance.
Every classroom has its own supply of hand-sanitiser and anti-microbial wipes - and the windows are wide open to let in as much fresh air as possible to keep the virus at bay.
But, despite the changes, many parents have opted to keep their children at home at St Mary Magdalen's and elsewhere.
Read more here

Spain says UK figures too high to accept tourists

Spain's tourism minister has cast doubt on the prospect of a quick return to the country by British holidaymakers.
Maria Reyes Maroto said UK coronavirus figures "still have to improve" before Spain could receive tourists from the UK.
Last week, the Spanish government said foreign visitors would no longer have to undergo a two-week quarantine from 1 July.
But Reyes Maroto said tourist activity would be resumed "gradually".
"For Spain, it is very important that the first tourists are tourists who are in the same epidemiological situation as us, and that they are able to fly safely," she said in a statement.
"Regarding the United Kingdom, there have been talks with tour operators but British data still have to improve, because it's important to ensure that the person comes well and then returns well."

Thailand's Pattaya Beach reopens to tourists

Wasawat Lukharang - BBC News Thai
The world-famous Pattaya Beach was among the first in Thailand to reopen to tourists on Monday.
Under phase three of the easing of lockdown measures, Thailand is allowing provincial governors to decide whether they should reopen tourist attractions.
Despite the rain, dozens of tourists came back to Pattaya Beach on Monday - but it was nowhere close to its usual capacity. International tourists are set to be allowed back into the country from July.
Tannee Pimpan was excited to visit the beach and travelled all the way from Bangkok with her two children.
“As soon as I found out about the lifting of restrictions, I made a plan to come to Pattaya. I take my children here for a short break. I’m not scared of the virus anymore but we are still wearing masks. The beach today is very beautiful and there is no rubbish lying around like before,” she told BBC News Thai.
Aside from Pattaya Beach, the eastern province of Chonburi has also reopened Jomtien and Bangsan.
However beaches in other provinces remain shut to visitors.
Almost all Thai businesses are allowed to operate again as the spread of the virus has significantly slowed down. A curfew remains in place but it has been shortened by one hour.

France returning to normal, but Paris still a 'danger spot'

Hugh Schofield - BBC News, Paris
Tuesday is the day when France returns to some semblance of normality, as restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic are increasingly eased.
In the words of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe: "Everything that’s normally allowed is, from now on, allowed once again – unless otherwise specified."
For most people, the big change will be the re-opening of bars and restaurants - though the rules now say there has to be a metre between tables, staff must be masked, and you can’t stand at the counter to drink.
But in Paris - regarded as a lingering danger spot - certain restrictions remain, and here the loosening of the rules is slower. Only outside terraces can open - though Paris city hall has relaxed the rules temporarily so that cafes and restaurants which don’t normally have outside tables can set them up on the pavement or in adjacent parking areas, and thus re-open.
Museums and other tourist attractions can also now open, in Paris as in the whole of the country, though in practice it’ll be some weeks before many of them do.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 01 2020, 21:57

What will England's swimming pools look like?

For the time being indoor and outdoor pools in England must remain shut, despite the easing of some lockdown restrictions .
It's thought chlorine in swimming pools will kill coronavirus but Swim England has warned a "stricter regime" will still be needed when they do reopen.
Under the government's current plan, pools cannot reopen before 4 July; the advice also says people should not swim at the beach without a lifeguard present.
Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson says guidance is still being finalised, but that people might be asked not to use changing rooms, and pools could be told to limit the number of people in the water at any one time.
Olympian and Swimathon president Duncan Goodhew told Radio 4's Today programme that 10% of the 5,000 pools in England might not be able to reopen with social distancing measures because they were "old, inefficient and expensive to run".
"A little like a restaurant, it becomes very difficult economically to make it work because you're just not getting the volume of people through," he said.
Read more here.

WHO rejects claim that coronavirus has weakened

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected claims that the coronavirus is losing its potency.
On Sunday, a senior doctor in Italy said there were signs the virus had become less lethal. Prof Alberto Zangrillo, head of an intensive care unit at San Raffaele Hospital in Lombardy, said coronavirus “clinically no longer exists”.
But a range of scientists including WHO experts say there is no evidence to support this idea.
“In terms of transmissibility, that has not changed. In terms of severity, that has not changed,” said WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.

Frustration as contact tracers claim they have 'nothing to do'

Some newly employed contact tracers have raised questions about the government's new test and trace scheme, claiming they have nothing to do.
The scheme, which has recruited up to 25,000 tracers, launched in England last week.
It is considered a key part of the government's strategy to bring down the infection rate and, subsequently, lift lockdown measures.
But one recruit told PA News that she had completed four shifts since the launch but had yet to deal with a single case.
"It's incredibly frustrating. More frustrating is that the general public, people I speak to, think that because we've got this up and running, easing the lockdown is fine," she said.
Another contact tracer agreed that "everyone seemed to be having the same issue".
"I don't understand why there's a disconnect between the testing and actually getting it into the system."
[url= We have more capacity than we need%262020-06-01t16%3a24%3a00.513z&ns_fee=0&pinned_post_locator=urn:asset:5454fc74-f21a-4f40-a0ba-ae9423cca163&pinned_post_asset_id=5ed52aa70036390663cff587&pinned_post_type=share]Asked at Monday's daily briefing, by the BBC's Hugh Pym[/url], about the under-used contact tracers, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We have more capacity than we need - this is a good thing."
Mr Hancock insisted the "vast majority" of new infections and their contacts had been traced since the system launched last week - although figures have yet to be released by government.
Testing chief Prof John Newton added that not all cases "require the intervention of a call-handler", but stressed the test and trace system was operating pretty much as clinicians hoped and that he was "pleased" by the response so far.

'More than two million' waiting for cancer care in UK

About 2.4 million people in the UK are waiting for cancer screening, treatment or tests, as a result of disruption to the NHS during the past 10 weeks, according to the charity Cancer Research UK.
It estimates 2.1 million have missed out on screening, while 290,000 people with suspected symptoms have not been referred for hospital tests.
More than 23,000 cancers could have gone undiagnosed during lockdown.
Cancer services are starting to reopen across the UK.
Cancer Research UK's figures are based on data for England and estimated for the whole of the UK.
Read more

Member of Israeli PM's office tests positive

An employee in Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office has tested positive for coronavirus, his office says.
The statement did not say whether the 70-year-old leader had been exposed.
Netanyahu's office said an "epidemiological investigation is being conducted, which will provide appropriate guidelines for those who came into contact" with the employee.
Netanyahu has previously self-isolated after two separate Covid-19 scares - first in March after coming into contact with an infected aide and again in April when his then-health minister was diagnosed - but tested negative.
Israel has reported more than 17,100 cases and 285 deaths, with infection rates rising over recent days.

What's the latest?

As Europe re-opens to some tourists, Spain has recorded no new deaths from Covid-19 for the first time since March. In the latest headlines:

  • The daily death toll in Spain on Monday was zero - the country was badly-hit by the virus with hundreds dying daily in March
  • The British government insists that its 'track and trace' scheme is working, but people hired to work on the programme say that's not the case
  • The World Health Organization and others scientists rejected claims by an Italian doctor that the virus is weakening
  • Many parts of Europe including Greece, France and Spain reopening schools, cafes and restaurants
  • It's been the first day back for some primary pupils in England - but heads say attendance ranged between 40% and 70%

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Jun 01 2020, 22:33

Restrict toilet access on flights, new rules suggest

Air passengers should have restricted access to toilets on flights as part of wide-ranging coronavirus safety recommendations, a UN agency has said.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines also include limiting or suspending food and drink services on short-haul flights.
The new guidelines are designed to protect air passengers and workers from the Covid-19 virus as lockdown eases.
Airlines could see revenues plunge £314bn in 2020, the ICAO added.
Read more here

Emotional moment son sees father for first time since February

Coronavirus - 1st June 49be4910
Simon Tozzo spoke to his father from across the River Taff and saw him for the first time in weeks

In an emotional moment witnessed by a BBC reporter, Simon Tozzo saw his father for the first time since he was admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
Peter Tozzo, 86, is being treated at The Principality Stadium in Cardiff - now the Dragon's Heart Hospital - and, along with a few other patients, had been brought on to the river-walk within the hospital grounds for his first taste of sunshine in 13 weeks.
Simon, who lives in Cardiff, had a 10-minute warning that hospital staff were bringing his dad outside.
They managed to wave at each other - the first time they had seen each other since February - and have a conversation using a phone held by a nurse with just the River Taff between them.
"I'm the one in the red T-shirt," Simon told his dad, who has dementia, over the phone.
Afterwards, Simon told BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Hutchings: "It was so lovely for him. Most importantly it was good for him to get some stimulus after 13 weeks staring at a hospital wall."
Read more here

Allowed to leave home - but choosing to stay in

Coronavirus - 1st June 12552910
Rachael Paget has severe asthma

In March millions of people in Britain with serious health conditions were told to stay indoors completely for 10 weeks. The aim was to protect them from infection - it included people undergoing chemotherapy or those with severe asthma.
On Monday some were allowed to go outside for the first time since March, after a surprise notice at the weekend saying "shielding" was no longer necessary.
But some people are still choosing to stay indoors over fears for their health.
"I did wonder if I was overreacting but then my MP tweeted that her mum is shielding and she's advising her to stay in her house and not follow this new rule of going out for a walk," Rachael Paget, 35, told BBC News.
Read more about why some shielders are too worried to go outside

Goodbye for now

We are pausing out live coverage for now, but our colleagues in Asia will soon take over from us here in London. It's been a busy day with widespread US unrest bringing fears about the spread of coronavirus among protesters. The main stories on Monday are:

  • Spain recorded no new deaths - the country had hundreds of fatalities daily in March
  • Many parts of Europe are re-opening cultural sites, restaurants and hotels in the hope of retaining a summer tourist season
  • The number of confirmed cases in Brazil has passed half a million - the second highest in the world
  • Some of India's heavily-used train services have resumed, with reports of some overcrowding
  • The Chinese city of Wuhan - where the virus first emerged - reported no new asymptomatic cases on Sunday

  • And in England, some children returned to school, but attendance ranged between 40 and 70%
  • The British government has insisted that its 'track and trace' scheme is working, but people hired to work on the programme say that's not the case

Our journalists around the world produce this live coverage.
On Monday they were: Matthew Henry, Jasmine Taylor-Coleman, Lauren Turner, Georgina Rannard, Victoria Lindrea, David Walker, Michael Emons, Joseph Lee, Rebecca Seales, Sophie Williams, Paulin Kola, Steven Sutcliffe, Yvette Tan, Saira Asher, Krutika Pathi and Jay Savage.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading. You can find much more coronavirus coverage here.

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 04:32