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Coronavirus - 10th July


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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 09:33

Summary for Friday, 10th July

  • Travellers arriving in the UK from dozens of countries no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks
  • The rules are being relaxed for arrivals from more than 60 countries and British overseas territoriesM
  • Hong Kong is to suspend all schools amid a spike in locally-transmitted cases of Covid-19, officials confirm
  • Top US diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said some states in the country reopened too fast
  • "We're in a very difficult, challenging period right now," he said
  • It comes as the US posted another record rise in cases of more than 65,000 in 24 hours - according to Johns Hopkins University
  • Singapore is holding a national election with strict safety measures in place
  • New Zealand's ex-PM Helen Clark, appointed to a WHO panel, says the global response has been "flat-footed"
  • A second South American leader, this time in Bolivia, has tested positive for the virus, following Brazil's Bolsonaro
  • Globally there are now 12.2 million cases and more than 550,000 deaths

Welcome to our rolling coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are the latest headlines:

  • Some US states reopened too quickly, top US expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said
  • For the sixth time in 10 days, the US had a daily record of new infections
  • The interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, has tested positive
  • The Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan has warned of a pneumonia that is deadlier than Covid-19
  • Singapore is holding an election with a number of virus measures in place
  • Globally, there have been more than 12.2m confirmed infections since the outbreak began, with more than 554,000 deaths linked to Covid-19

Dr Fauci: Some states reopened too quickly

The US infectious disease expert and government adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said some states reopened too quickly - and are now paying the price with a surge in infections.
"There are some times when despite the guidelines and the recommendations to open up carefully and prudently, some states skipped over those and just opened up too quickly," Fauci told Podcast-19, FiveThirtyEight's weekly podcast. "Certainly Florida I know, you know, I think jumped over a couple of checkpoints," he added.
Confirmed cases in Florida have soared recently, with a recent average of more than 9,000 a day. The average was below 1,000 a day until last month.

Florida health chief: Like a bus accident every day

As cases soar in Florida, hospitals are beginning to fill up.
Of the state's 207 intensive care units, 45 were full on Thursday, and almost half were more than 90% full.
"When hospitals and health care assistants talk about surge capacity, they’re often talking about a single event," said John Sinnott, chief epidemiologist at Tampa General Hospital.
"But what we’re having now is the equivalent of a bus accident a day, every day, and it just keeps adding."

Australia's Victoria sees record infections

Victoria has detected 288 new infections in the past 24 hours - the highest daily tally for an Australian state since the pandemic began.
New South Wales had previously seen the greatest number with 211 in March, when travellers returning from overseas were Australia's biggest concern.
The current outbreak, centred in Melbourne, has worsened dramatically due to local transmissions in the past three weeks.
"I know and understand there will be concern across the community to see that number," Premier Daniel Andrews has just told Victorians.
"It was always going to get worse before it got better. We are doing more testing than has ever been done - not by a small margin - but by a massive margin."
More than 37,000 tests were carried out yesterday, he added.
Melbourne's five million residents were ordered back into lockdown yesterday amid fears the city's outbreak could spread elsewhere. Other states have seen relatively few recent infections.
Australia has recorded about 9,000 cases and 106 deaths.

Bolivian leader tests positive

Bolivia’s interim president has tested positive for the virus. In a video posted on Twitter, Jeanine Anez said she felt well and strong but would remain in quarantine for two weeks.
The Bolivian government confirmed that at least seven ministers, including its health minister, had tested positive and were either undergoing treatment or recuperating at home.
The country has more than 42,000 confirmed cases and 1,500 deaths -which makes it one of the worst affected countries per capita in the world.
Anez the second leader in South America to contract the virus, after Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.

Singapore votes amid virus backdrop

Voting is under way in Singapore's general election, under the cloud of the virus and its economic fallout.
The city state is one of a handful of countries to hold a vote during the pandemic so far.
Strict safety measures are in place, with voters wearing gloves and masks, and given timed voting slots.
Singapore has been one of the worst-hit countries in the Asia Pacific region, with more than 45,000 cases.
The country has been ruled by the same party since independence - the People's Action Party (PAP) - and it is widely expected to retain power.

Australia to halve number of returning travellers

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says there will be "a reduction over 4,000 people coming [back] each week" from Monday.
It's unclear if this means a hard cap of only 4,000 nationals allowed back, as this will depend on capacity in the quarantine system, he said.
Australia is limiting arrivals following the re-emergence of the virus in Melbourne.
"There will be continuing access to Australia but the number of available positions on flights will be less," Mr Morrison said.
"I don't think that's unreasonable in the circumstances we find ourselves in."
All international flights into Melbourne have already been cancelled, meaning most flights into Australia are going to Sydney or Perth.
More than 300,000 Australians have returned home so far since the pandemic began.

US has another record day of infections

More than 65,000 infections were confirmed in the US on Thursday, another daily record, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
There have been more than 3.2m confirmed infections in the US since the outbreak began - the most anywhere in the world.
The number of people dying with Covid-19 is also increasing, with an average of more than 900 for the past three days.
However, President Trump says the increased cases are down to mass testing in the US.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 09:45

What's the latest in the UK?

If you are just joining us, here's what's happening around the UK:

What are the UK's travel rules?

Passengers entering England from 59 destinations - including many popular holiday spots - will no longer have to quarantine as of today.
However, not all of them have ended restrictions for UK tourists when they arrive there.
Arrivals are exempt from quarantine if they arrive in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from:
Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Réunion, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, South Korea, Spain, St Barthélemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Vatican City, Vietnam.
The 14 British Overseas Territories are also exempt.
The government has said the list will be kept under review.
You will still have to isolate for 14 days if you arrive back in England from Canada, the US and much of Central or South America.
Countries in Africa, the Middle East and most of Asia are also excluded - as are Sweden, Portugal and Russia.

Chinese embassy warns of 'deadlier' pneumonia
There is concern over the large numbers of people dying of pneumonia in Kazakhstan, and BBC reporters are looking into what's causing this.
The Chinese embassy there has warned its citizens of a pneumonia strain that is proving deadlier than Covid-19, Chinese state media reports. The pneumonia caused 1,772 deaths in the first six months of the year, including 628 people in June alone, the embassy said, using previously published Kazakh government figures."The fatality rate of the disease is much higher than Covid-19," it said.
The embassy said Kazakh authorities were trying to identify the cause, although it has previously been classed as "regular" pneumonia. And some doctors in the country believe it is in fact Covid-19, which faulty tests have failed to recognise.
Kazakhstan has confirmed more than 54,000 cases of Covid-19, with 264 deaths.
We'll have more on this story later on.

Japan considers new restrictions

Japan's economy minister has says restrictions are needed to prevent a further surge of virus cases in bars and nightclubs - which have become a hot-spot of infections since the country lifted a state of emergency in late May.
Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters he would decide on those measures later on Friday.
Overall, Japan has recorded more than 20,000 confirmed cases - while just under 1,000 deaths have been linked to the virus.

Serbia sees third night of protests

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Demonstrators in Serbia held a third night of protests against their government's handling of the pandemic.
While the previous two nights had been marked by violent clashes with police, Thursday's protests remained peaceful.
The protests were triggered by Belgrade announcing a weekend curfew to curb a second wave of the virus.
The curfew plans were dropped on Thursday and instead there will be shorter hours for bars and shops.

Hong Kong closing schools amid spike

Hong Kong's education officials confirm all schools will be shut from Monday after a spike in local cases of Covid-19.

Kazakhstan pneumonia reports 'fake news'

We reported moments ago that the Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan has warned its citizens about a strain of pneumonia that appears to be more deadly in the region than Covid-19.
Kazakhstan's health ministry has released a statement denying the reports, labelling them "fake news".
The ministry said the data relating to bacterial, fungal and viral pneumonia infections, which also included cases unconfirmed by laboratory tests, were in line with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
"The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan reiterates that the information provided by the Kazakh and Chinese media does not correspond to reality," it said.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 09:55

Voting gloves dropped in Singapore

Yvette Tan - BBC News, Singapore
It was a very hygienic voting process when I voted this afternoon.
I was given an allotted time, in an effort to space us out and keep group sizes controlled. But before I could even enter the centre, my temperature was taken.
Once they were satisfied with that, I was allowed to proceed to the next counter, where I was given my polling card and told to sanitise my hands.
I was then given a pair of gloves which stuck rather uncomfortably to my now germ-free hands.
The actual voting process itself took about 10 seconds - each poll was fixed with pens that stamped a cross.
On our way out we were told to dispose of our gloves. And that was it - over in about 15 minutes.
Since I voted, however, the need for gloves has been dropped - as authorities said it was causing overly long queues.

Hong Kong brings forward school summer holidays

More detail now on the news that Hong Kong is shutting all schools after a spike in local cases of Covid-19.
The city reported 42 new cases on Thursday - the second consecutive day of rising local infections. Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said some of the recent cases involved students and parents.
Schools in Hong Kong have mostly been shut since February and some international education schools are already on summer break.
But the government has now ordered all schools to close from Monday, bringing forward the start of the summer holidays.

Bolsonaro is 'very well' despite infection

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has posted on Facebook that he was "very well" despite having tested positive for the virus.
He announced on Tuesday he had tested positive after developing a high temperature and a cough.
On Facebook, Bolsonaro again advocated the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine - which he and US President Donald Trump have praised in the past despite it being unproven.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly dismissed the seriousness of the virus and opposed lockdowns ordered by regional governors in Brazilian states.

Gatwick airport: 'Only a fraction' of normal passengers

Katy Austin - Business Correspondent
At Gatwick airport on Friday there is a "steady stream" of passengers, but the airport experience is "quite different", reports Katy Austin.
Face masks are mandatory "at all times", including security, check-in staff sit behind plastic screens and there are multiple signs reminding passengers of the social distancing regulations.
The departure lounges remain quiet, with many cafes and restaurants still closed and passengers "only a fraction of what there would have been this time last year".
Easy Jet began operating some flights from the airport on Friday, and Tui begins operating some routes on Saturday.
"Gatwick, like many other businesses across the aviation industry, has been hit very hard by the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic," our correspondent says.
"They will certainly be hoping that flights ramp up in the coming weeks."

Travellers to South Korea to require virus certificates

Foreign travellers visiting South Korea from countries with high numbers of coronavirus cases will need to provide certificates showing a negative test result, the Yonhap news agency reports.
The new measure, due to be implemented on Monday, will require vistors to show paperwork "issued within 48 hours", Yonhap says, quoting the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
It adds that the certificates must be issued from testing centres and medical facilities acknowledged by Seoul.
Last month, South Korea warned that it was experiencing a second wave of coronavirus, despite recording relatively low numbers.

Latest updates from around Europe

Italy has banned arrivals from 13 "at-risk" countries. Health minister Roberto Speranza says the pandemic is in its most acute phase so no-one is allowed in from countries including Armenia, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova and Peru. Meanwhile arrivals from Serbia into the UK will now have to quarantine because of the rise in cases there. In other developments:
Bulgaria has banned football fans from stadiums and closed indoor nightclubs because of a spike in infections.
The current season resumed on 5 June and a new season set for 24 July may be delayed after a number of clubs in the top two flights reported infections. A record 330 cases were reported nationally on Friday.
As the search for a vaccine continues, Russian reports suggest volunteers have formed an immune response during an official trial and will be discharged from hospital next week. A second group of volunteers will be tested next week.
French health minister Olivier Véran has appealed to people not to let down their guard. "I can see there's been a relaxation in behaviour - we need social distancing every day."

Dementia patients 'deteriorating' without family visits

Sanchia Berg - Today Programme
Relatives of care home residents with dementia should be given the same access to coronavirus testing as staff, so they can visit their loved ones, leading charities say.
Charities including Dementia UK and the Alzheimer's Society argue that current limits on visitors have had "damaging consequences".
They say the "enforced separation" has caused a "deterioration" in residents' mental and physical health.
A letter to the health secretary calls on the government to "urgently" address what it calls the "hidden catastrophe" which is taking place in care homes.
Despite the lack of guidance, many homes in England have been allowing visits from relatives, but usually only once a week per person and for very limited amounts of time.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has told the BBC it will be setting out further details "shortly" on how it can "carefully and safely" allow visiting in care homes.
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, told BBC Radio 4: "Families are a really important part of care delivery."
But he added: "But, by the same token, we've got to balance the protection of the people who live in those care homes.
"We do need guidance. We need access to testing."
Read more.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 10:03

Northern Ireland gyms up and running

Chris Page - BBC News Ireland correspondent
Northern Ireland has become the first of the UK’s nations to reopen gyms.
The Yard Health and Fitness centre in east Belfast saw members keen to get working out at 06:00 today.
Social distancing rules means every other running machine is switched off – and users must wipe down equipment after they’ve finished.
Very quickly, it felt like fitness routines were being picked up where they’d been left off more than a hundred days ago - with personal trainers guiding people through their programmes.
The sight and sound of weights being lifted, feet pounding on treadmills, and bike wheels whirring is lifting moods and generating energy - and everyone is taking care to follow the guidelines.

Virus 'destroys our elderly patients', says Florida doctor

The head of an intensive care unit (ICU) at a hospital in the US state of Florida has told the BBC that the facility is struggling with the number of patients being admitted.
"We have gone from one Covid floor to two, to three, and now we have a fourth area," Dr Andrew Pastewski, ICU Medical Director at Jackson South Medical Center in Miami, told the BBC's Newshour programme.
"At some point you're going to need some kind of Covid nursing home for patients who aren't that sick but can't go back to their skilled nursing home," he added.
Dr Pastewski also told Reuters news agency that the coronavirus "destroys the strength" of his elderly patients.
"If it's an elderly person that gets intubated, you know that it's the end because we have not been able to get elderly people off the ventilator."

Idlib case raises fears of spread at overcrowded camps

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Aid groups fear coronavirus could devastate refugee camps in north-west Syria

The first case of coronavirus reported in a mainly rebel-held province in north-west Syria has sparked fears of a devastating outbreak in crowded camps providing refuge for displaced people.
A doctor contracted the virus at a hospital - which has now been shut - in a town in Idlib near the Turkish border, aid groups said.
Almost one million people have fled their homes in the area since last December, with many of them now living in overcrowded refugee camps with inadequate healthcare facilities and little clean water.
Read more on this story here .

Serbia removed from quarantine exemption

Serbia was removed from the English quarantine exemption list overnight following a dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases.
Some 300 new infections are being reported daily, prompting authorities to announce a state of emergency in several towns and cities in recent days.
"The Joint Biosecurity Centre, together with Public Health England, have updated their Coronavirus assessments of Serbia based on the latest data," a government spokesperson said.
"As a result, the government has decided to remove Serbia from the list of countries from which passengers arriving in England are exempted from the need to self-isolate.
"We've always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary."
Scotland also requires those arriving from Serbia to self-quarantine.
The Department for Transport says the updated number of countries and overseas territories - from which travellers arriving into England, Wales and NI do NOT need to quarantine - is currently 75.
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Protesters in Serbia blame their government for the spike in infections

No holidays for Australian PM Morrison

Simon Atkinson - BBC News, Sydney
At the height of the summer bushfire season, Scott Morrison took probably the biggest misstep of his time as Australian prime minister and went on holiday to Hawaii.
As the nation burned, a photo of him giving a big thumbs up against the backdrop of the golden sunset emerged – and played out as horribly as you’d imagine.
Well, it’s the school holidays again in Australia, and the PM has clearly learned his lesson.
At the end of today’s press conference in Canberra, Morrison revealed - unprompted as far as I could tell - that while his wife Jenny and their two daughters would be having a break “just outside of Sydney” - he wouldn’t be joining them “full time”.
“I will not be standing aside from the tasks I have all day,” he said. “As a dad, I will take some time but at the same time I can assure you we will remain absolutely focused on the things we need to focus on next week.
"Just because I am not standing in front of a camera it does not mean I am not behind my desk or doing what I need to do on a daily basis.”
While the number of fresh coronavirus cases in Victoria (288 is today’s figure) remain small compared with the US, Brazil and the UK – I can’t stress enough what a big deal it is here.
A country that thought it had beaten the virus has been given a rude awakening. A city of five million people has been put back in lockdown.
Upbeat talk of travel bubbles has pretty much evaporated. Scott Morrison needs to keep on top of things. And needs to be seen to be doing so.

Sturgeon: Face coverings 'as automatic as seat belt'

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the wearing of face coverings should “become as automatic as putting the seat belt on”.
It comes as wearing a face covering became compulsory in shops and on all public transport across Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon said, given the confined nature of shops, “it should be the law on face coverings", citing the "increasing evidence now that wearing a face covering can play a part in stopping the transmission of the virus”.
“For the foreseeable future, what I am saying to people is that wearing a face covering in a shop or public transport should become as automatic as putting the seat belt on when we get into a car," the first minister told BBC Breakfast.
She said mandatory face coverings were "more difficult" in a restaurant or pub "for obvious reasons", adding that "there needs to be other mitigations in place in these kinds of settings”.
She flatly refused suggestions that the variations in coronavirus regulations among the UK's four nations gave weight to those backing Scottish independence.
“I have never seen this pandemic as an argument for or against independence. I have tried not to be political, party political or engage in constitutional politics over this.”

How close are we to a vaccine?

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
Coronavirus is spreading around the world, but there are still no vaccines to protect the body against the disease it causes, Covid-19.
About 200 groups around the world are working on vaccines and 18 are now being tested on people in clinical trials.
The process would normally take years, if not decades, but research is happening at breakneck speed.
Most experts think a vaccine is likely to become widely available by mid-2021, about 12-18 months after the new virus, known officially as Sars-CoV-2, first emerged.
Read more from James here .

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 17:15

NZ man 'cut out of quarantine facility to buy booze'

A man has appeared at a court in New Zealand accused of cutting his way out of a Covid-19 isolation facility and visiting a shop to buy beer and wine.
Martin James McVicar, 52, allegedly cut through a fence on Thursday evening to escape the quarantine facility in Hamilton, a city on the North Island of New Zealand.
He has been charged with failing to comply with a public health order.
McVicar has been placed in quarantine under police supervision until he is due to in court again on 15 July.
Earlier this week, a 32-year-old man with Covid-19 escaped quarantine at a hotel in Auckland, before going shopping and taking selfies at a nearby supermarket.

Not safe for children to return to school, say US teachers

As US President Donald Trump urges schools to reopen, teachers across the country worry that it is difficult to protect students and staff.
Coronavirus cases in the country continue to climb, particularly in southern states like Texas and Florida. Some teachers in Tennessee, Colorado, California and North Carolina say schools are not equipped to handle a return to the classroom.

At least 16 homeless died with Covid-19 during lockdown in England

Sixteen homeless people are known to have died with coronavirus in England during the first three months of the lockdown, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
But more may have died, with the ONS stating it is "unlikely that every death will be identified".
The ONS defines homeless as people who were sleeping rough, using homeless shelters and hostels, or housed in emergency accommodation because of the pandemic at or around the time of death.
However, private rentals and student accommodation were not included and not all local authorities were able to give the ONS details of temporary accommodation.
The majority of those who died were male, with the average age being 58. Death certificates mentioned Covid-19 either as an underlying cause or a contributory factor.
The average age among men who died with coronavirus in the general population is 79.

How does working remotely from Barbados sound?

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Harry Smith Beach, Bottom Bay, Barbados

For those who have spent months working from home and would welcome a different view through the window, Barbados has proposed allowing people to relocate there for up to 12 months.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has announced a "Barbados welcome stamp" scheme that would give foreign travellers the opportunity to relocate to the Caribbean island to work remotely.
"You don't need to work in Europe, or the US or Latin America if you can come here and work for a couple of months at a time; go back and come back," Ms Mottley said in a statement on Thursday.
The incentive is aimed at boosting the local economy after short-term travel was made difficult due to coronavirus restrictions.
British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit Barbados.

How to fly in a global pandemic

People in the UK can now travel to more than 70 countries and territories without having to self-isolate for two weeks when they return.
But jumping on a plane and going on holiday looks and feels very different to how it did at the start of 2020.
Airports and airlines have introduced measures to help reduce the chances of coronavirus being spread, ensure social distancing and reduce the number of things passengers need to touch.
Find out what you need to do if you're thinking of catching a flight.

Key things to know when flying

Italy likely to extend state of emergency, says PM

A state of emergency declared in Italy in response to the coronavirus crisis looks likely to now be extended beyond 31 July, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said.
Mr Conte said that, based on the situation in the country, it was "reasonable" to "continue the coronavirus emergency".
He said that the measure was put in place to keep the virus under control.
"Not everything has been decided yet, but [it is conceivable that] we will go in this direction," he added.
A state of emergency gives regional authorities additional powers to implement procedures to help restrict the spread of the virus. These might include travel restrictions, the closure of public spaces and a ban on public gatherings.

No fines for quarantine breaches in England and Wales

No one has been fined by police in England and Wales for breaching quarantine rules after arriving from abroad, new figures show.
Data from the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) comes as quarantine rules were lifted for passengers arriving in the UK from dozens of exempted countries or overseas territories .
Since 8 June, most passengers arriving in the UK have been obliged to self-isolate for 14 days. Those who breached the rules faced fines of up to £1,000.
"Up to June 22, no fines were issued by territorial forces in England and Wales for breaches of the requirement to quarantine following international travel," the NPCC said.
Ten tickets were handed out to passengers for not wearing face coverings on public transport, in the week after face coverings became mandatory on public transport in England on 15 June.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 17:23

Scottish Premiership given green light for August kick-off

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The first Old Firm match between Celtic and Rangers is scheduled for 17 October

The Scottish Premiership season will kick off on 1 August after receiving written approval from the Scottish government.
The Scottish FA confirmed the plan, which comes in the wake of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcing the move into phase three of the route out of lockdown .
The government has also confirmed that clubs can arrange friendly matches with immediate effect. That is provided players are subject to weekly testing from 13 July.
Read more here .

Charts show virus impact on US

The US is currently seeing record numbers of daily coronavirus cases, tipping over 60,000 in recent days.
The number of confirmed cases and reported deaths in America had been dropping, but that is no longer the case.
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Northern Ireland becomes first in UK to reopen gyms

Northern Ireland has become the first of the UK's nations to allow gyms to reopen after months of closure.
New safety measures have been put in place, including capping the number of people allowed at any one time, using tape to mark out correct social distancing, and sanitising exercise equipment after use.

One man in County Antrim just could not wait for his workout this morning. Gordy Elliott, who owns a gym in Ballymoney, said there was a car already parked outside his gym when he arrived at 04:50 BST.
"I was surprised to see him so I stuck him up on my Instagram just to let everyone know that there was some maniac here even before me," he told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme.
In England, indoor gyms will be able to open from 25 July. No date has yet been set in Scotland or Wales.

Kenya loses first doctor to Covid-19

Doctors in Kenya are in mourning over the death of a colleague who contracted the coronavirus, the country's main medics' union says.
The deceased medic was described as a "young doctor with so much to offer".
She was a gynaecologist who was praised by her patients for her professionalism.

Welsh pubs and restaurants to reopen indoors on 3 August

Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars can reopen indoors in Wales from 3 August, providing coronavirus cases continue to fall.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said it would also depend on how the reopening of hospitality outdoors goes next week.
Businesses will be asked to try to maintain 2m social distancing and put measures in place where this cannot happen.
Wales had previously been the only part of the UK not to set a date for the reopening of indoor hospitality.

No new virus deaths in Scotland for second day running

No new coronavirus deaths have been recorded in Scotland for the second day in a row, Nicola Sturgeon says.
A total of 2,490 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19, which hasn't changed since Wednesday.
A further 18 people have tested positive for the virus in the latest 24 hour period.
Sturgeon says this is the highest rise in positive cases in almost three weeks, which the Scottish government would be "looking very closely" at.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 17:34

Most Britons still 'uncomfortable' eating out

A majority of Britons feel uncomfortable at the prospect of eating at a restaurant, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey suggests.
Just over two-in-10 of the 1,788 adults in England, Scotland and Wales asked said they would be happy to have a sit-down meal as restrictions ease.
Some 60% said they would be uncomfortable or very uncomfortable eating indoors during the pandemic.
It comes as the government prepares a £500m scheme to encourage people to eat out, with meals eaten at participating restaurants on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August subsidised up to £10 a head .
Read the full story here .

Will travel insurance cover me if I get coronavirus?

Kevin Peachey - Personal finance reporter
Foreign Office advice against all non-essential travel has now been lifted for countries where the public health risk is no longer "unacceptably high".
But members of the public should not assume this means they are covered by their travel insurance when heading overseas.
While most policies will cover treatment for illness and injury while abroad, not all will do so for coronavirus-related illness.
Some specialist polices are now being sold that will cover people for emergency treatment or repatriation for Covid-19 contracted while in an overseas resort. But not necessarily in cases where the virus was contracted before departure from the UK.
And what if you have to cancel or delay a holiday because you have tested positive ahead of travel - or have been asked to self-isolate as part of the new test and trace system?
Some annual polices may provide cover (though it's always best to check if terms have changed), but most new polices will not cover any coronavirus-related delays or cancellations.
Want to know more? Read on .

Fines falling for coronavirus rules breaches

Ben Butcher - BBC Reality Check
With lockdown measures being eased across much of the UK, the number of fines being issued by police has quickly tailed off, according to the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) .
From 23 June to 6 July, just 154 lockdown fines were handed out in England and Wales.
Almost all of the 18,656 fines issued since 27 March happened in the period to mid-May, when rules started to be relaxed. Most of these were for breaching the rules on "unnecessary travel".
The recent changes in rules on gatherings have not seen significant enforcement.
Just 35 people have been fined for gathering outdoors in groups larger than six and 9 people for large indoor gatherings.
The rule on wearing face coverings on public transport has only seen 10 fines handed out.
And not one person has been fined for not complying with the two-week quarantine rule after international travel.
You can read about police powers during the pandemic here .

Where are virus cases and deaths still rising?

Europe and North America saw the first major outbreaks in April but as they began to ease, Latin America and Asia started seeing an increase in cases.
North America has seen a resurgence of infections in recent weeks, mostly driven by new outbreaks in the US.
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Explore more with the BBC's Visual and Data Journalism Team here .

UK starts first door-to-door Covid-19 tests

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A walk-in test centre has also been set up at Spinney Hill Park in Leicester

In a first for the UK, door-to-door coronavirus testing is being carried out in the English city of Leicester.
NHS teams and volunteers are in the city dropping off test kits for people even if they do not have symptoms.
A local lockdown was introduced in Leicester on 29 June after a spike in coronavirus cases there.
Deepa Chauhan, one of those tested in the new scheme, said it was "pretty simple, but strange".
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said increased testing was the only way to reduce the infection rate.
Read more on this story here .

Jersey residents given £100 each to stimulate economy

Every Jersey resident will receive £100 each to stimulate the island's economy, the government of Jersey has announced.
The £11m scheme is part of a broader £150m economic package to assist with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The money will be in the form of a voucher or pre-paid card. It will be given to residents by September and will be time-limited to two months.
Chief Minister John Le Fondre said the scheme was "geographically restricted" to Jersey and "aimed entirely at supporting our local economy".
The vouchers cannot be spent online, used for savings or spent on gambling.
Senator Le Fondre added that the money was not a "handout or gift", but "a commitment to invest in our island".
There have been 15 confirmed Covid-related deaths on the island.

President Trump to 'expects' to wear mask on hospital visit

US President Donald Trump has said he will likely wear a mask while visiting army veterans and healthcare workers at a hospital in Washington, DC.
In an interview with Fox News, Mr Trump said "it's fine to wear a mask if it makes you feel comfortable."
"I expect to be wearing a mask when I go into Walter Reed [Army Medical Center]. You're in a hospital setting, I think it's a very appropriate thing," he added. "I have no problem with a mask."
The president has faced criticism for as yet not wearing a face covering in public. But in another interview with Fox News last week, he said he was "all for masks" if he were "in a tight situation with people."
Mr Trump has also continued to avoid making their use mandatory in public settings, despite America battling the world's largest outbreak. During an Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore last week, where the president gave a speech, thousands of attendees were not required to wear masks or socially distance.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 17:39

Why aren't face coverings mandatory in England's shops?

The prime minister's spokesperson has just finished answering questions from the media - including on why face coverings aren't mandatory in shops in England, unlike in Scotland.
"[Face coverings] are some help in preventing transmission from those who are asymptomatic," he said, but stressed that they "don’t replace social distancing measures".
He urged people to following social distancing guidance and said the advice was being "kept under review".
"It is mandatory [to wear face coverings] on public transport as you may share space with people not from your household for a substantial amount of time," he said.
Asked why minsters weren’t wearing face coverings, the spokesman replied: "Ministers abide by social distancing guidelines – ministers from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have said this morning they have worn them."

UK releases latest virus reproductive numbers

Hugh Pym - BBC News Health Editor
The latest Covid-19 reproduction numbers, or R values, which indicate whether the virus spread is accelerating or decelerating, have been published in the UK.
An R value above 1 suggests that one patient is infecting more than one other person, and policymakers may consider new interventions.
The R estimate for the UK is unchanged , within a range of 0.7-0.9.
England's is in a range of 0.8-1.0. However, the commentary released with the numbers has a number of caveats.
In essence, the point being made is that as case numbers fall and there are big variations across different regions, the R becomes less reliable a guide to what is going on.
Tellingly, the commentary notes that when infection numbers reach a low level, "estimates of R and the growth rate become insufficiently robust to inform policy decisions".

New Greece testing rules for Bulgaria travellers

Greek authorities have announced that, from 14 July, anyone crossing the country's land border with Bulgaria will be required to prove they've tested negative for coronavirus.
It comes as Bulgaria registered a daily-high of 240 new infections on Thursday, and cases surged in other areas of the Balkans.
Bulgaria is currently the only land border Greece has opened up to tourists, and authorities are already dealing with several confirmed cases in holiday hotspots.
Nearly 90 Serbian tourists were tested this week in the town of Edipsos after a pair of travellers were found to be positive.
"Relaxing [lockdown] measures has caused a rebound in the first wave," Athanassios Tsakris, head of microbiology at the University of Athens, told local outlet Skai TV. "It is possible we will see a further increase [in cases]."

No 10 denies sexism over beauty treatments

The prime minister's spokesman denies that the government is being sexist in allowing beards to be trimmed but not the plucking of eyebrows when beauticians reopen in England on Monday.
He says that there is a higher transmission of the virus face-to-face and "those sort of treatments would involve that type of activity".
The government is being cautious, he says, and will relax restrictions based on the best scientific advice.
Under the new guidelines, beard trims are allowed but intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of them is not.
Read more: Which beauty treatments are still not OK?

Further 22 deaths in England but none in Wales or NI

A further 22 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospitals in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 29,013, NHS England says.
The patients were aged between 52 and 99 and all of them had known underlying health conditions.
No new deaths of people with confirmed coronavirus were reported in Wales for the second time this week.
Tuesday was the first day since the outbreak began in March that no deaths in Wales were announced.
The official total number of people who have died remains at 1,540, according to Public Health Wales.
No further deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland either, leaving the total number of people who have died at 554.

Holiday firms told to pay refunds 'promptly'

Package holiday firms have been told to provide full cash refunds "promptly and without undue delay" to customers whose trips could not go ahead because of coronavirus restrictions.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which said it had received more than 17,500 complaints from consumers, has written to more than 100 of the most frequently criticised companies.
Under consumer law, customers whose package holidays were cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions should have their money returned within 14 days.
The CMA letter recognises the "extraordinary pressures on package holiday businesses" created by the coronavirus outbreak.
"Although we were sympathetic to the challenges faced in the early days of the pandemic, it is nonetheless important that businesses comply with consumer law," the letter states.
"The CMA will work to protect consumers from unfair businesses practices," said CMA senior director of consumer protection George Lusty.
"It won't hesitate to take action against non-compliant package travel firms."

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 17:44

Top official tests positive in South Africa

The premier of Gauteng - a South African province that's become the epicentre of the country's outbreak - has tested positive for coronavirus.
In a statement , David Makhura said his symptoms were mild and he'd be self-isolating and working from home for the next 14 days while his health was monitored.
It comes as South Africa reported over 13,000 new cases on Thursday - it's largest single-day increase. More than 238,000 infections have been confirmed nationwide, around a third of them in Gauteng.

Florida hospital ICUs 'near full capacity'

Nearly half of all hospital intensive care units (ICUs) in the US state of Florida have almost reached full capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials say.
A total of 95 hospital ICUs were at least 90% full as of Thursday, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, which has the largest capacity for ICU patients, earlier said its units were 91% full.
Dr Andrew Pastewski, ICU Medical Director there, told the BBC: "We have gone from one Covid floor to two, to three, and now we have a fourth area."
On Monday, the mayor of Miami-Dade - Florida's most populous county - ordered restaurants to shut soon after reopening in light of the climbing number of infections.
Florida has reported more than 230,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 4,000 Covid-19-related deaths.

PPE contract with Tory councillor raises questions

Sebastien Ash & Daniel Kraemer, BBC Political Research Unit
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The government has spent £15bn on protective equipment for medical and care workers

Labour has said the government has "serious questions" to answer after it was revealed a company linked to a Tory councillor was given contracts to supply face shields worth £120m.
P14 Medical, based in Gloucestershire, was awarded two contracts to supply PPE to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Steve Dechan, the director of P14 Medical, is a Conservative councillor on Stroud Town Council and campaigned for the local MP Siobhan Baillie at the 2019 election.
"There is more than a sniff of contracts being awarded on the basis of who you know, which can only be answered by the government coming clean on the process they followed," said Labour shadow health minister Justin Madders.
In responding to the coronavirus crisis, the government has forgone the tendering process under which contracts are usually handed out. Instead, it has tended to use an emergency procedure, in which contracts are handed directly to companies without competition.
In an email, Mr Dechan told the BBC: "We are an expert company that has been in medical supplies for eight years including PPE that has managed to deliver on a big contract that the 'big companies' could not."
P14 claimed it had saved the government £55m on its face shield contracts, which had been completed "ahead of time and on budget".
The government said it had a "robust process" to ensure high quality PPE and commercial "due diligence".
A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "DHSC works closely with the Treasury to ensure value for money."
Read more.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 17:55

Irish PM has 'issues' with travel from Great Britain

Ireland's new Taoiseach Micheál Martin has expressed concerns about travellers coming into the Republic of Ireland from Great Britain.
At the moment, Irish authorities require anyone coming into the Republic of Ireland to self-isolate for 14 days - apart from people travelling from Northern Ireland.
It comes as travellers arriving in the UK from dozens of countries no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks from today.
Martin said he believed travel off the island of Ireland at this time was "problematic", adding: "We have issues with the UK, in terms of Leicester where it closed down recently."
He says his government remains very "cautious" about all international travel.
Read more here .

'Final year like no other' PM tells school leavers

Sean Coughlan - BBC News, education correspondent

"This is a final year like no other," Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, in a video message to pupils who left school during the lockdown.
In a rallying cry to school-leavers, the prime minister told them to "rugby tackle that opportunity to the floor".
Teenagers have missed out on lots of fun this summer, but their "sacrifice" had saved lives, he said, in a recorded YouTube and Facebook video.
"Your generation has come of age facing a challenge like no other generation before you," said Mr Johnson.
"Empathy, resilience, self-discipline, patience - these are the qualities we're going to need now as we make our society fairer."
"Qualities to carry you forward and upwards."
Read more.

Thousands cancel gym memberships in lockdown

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One of the UK's biggest gym companies has said it lost about a fifth of its members during lockdown, despite halting membership payments.
The Gym Group said it had lost 178,000 customers over the past three months.
The company set out its plans to reopen nearly all of its gyms in England on 25 July when restrictions on the sector are lifted. Two gyms in locked-down Leicester and one being refurbished in London will stay closed for now.
For Gym Group's 692,000 remaining members, direct debit payments are due to restart, although they can request that they are frozen for longer.
"We are encouraged by the response of our members, the vast majority of whom are keen to get back to the gym to begin working out again," said chief executive Richard Darwin.
Find out more about gyms reopening here .

German health minister warns of Europe travel risks

Germany's health minister has expressed concern about the potential spread of the coronavirus as more people travel in Europe during the summer holiday season.
Jens Spahn said there were important decisions to be made about which countries’ citizens should be allowed into Europe.
He highlighted the situation in the United States, where there are now more than 60,000 new cases of the virus every day.
Mr Spahn also warned of a potential second wave of the virus - saying early regular testing would indicate if the wave was coming.

Reopening of England's playgrounds 'a postcode lottery'

Children still cannot play in some outdoor play areas in England despite lockdown restrictions easing, with one frustrated parent describing it as a "postcode lottery".
Playgrounds were closed in March to contain Covid-19 but the government gave the green light to reopen them in England on Saturday.
However, gates remain locked in many play areas around the country.
The Local Government Association said some parks were able to open immediately but others remained shut as they required further risk assessments and adaption.
"They are so important for children - for climbing, exercise, growing confidence and having fun but also for adults, too," says mum-of-two Jo Brady from Merseyside.
"New mums can feel isolated and they really help to get you out and meet people."
Read the story in full here .

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 18:08

UK records another 48 virus deaths

A further 48 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health and Social Care confirms.
It brings the total number of people who have died to 44,650.
In the 24-hour period up to 09:00 on Friday, 160,970 tests were carried out or dispatched, with 512 positive results.

Johnson: Stricter rules on face coverings needed in future

Boris Johnson says the government is looking at introducing stricter rules on wearing face coverings, after Scotland made it compulsory to wear them in shops.
"As we get the numbers down in the way that we have and we really stamp out outbreaks in the way that we are, I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don't normally meet," the prime minister said in an online question and answer session with the public.
"We are looking at ways of making sure that people really do have face coverings in shops, for instance, where there is a risk of transmission."

"The balance of scientific opinion seems to have shifted more in favour of them than it was. We are very keen to follow that," he adds.

What have EU coronavirus schemes delivered?

Reality Check
The UK government is expected to confirm later whether it will opt out of an EU scheme to secure potential Covid-19 vaccine supplies.
The EU has launched other schemes, during the pandemic, to secure things like testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) - negotiating with suppliers on behalf of EU member states.
The UK was allowed to join these (because it is still in a transition period with the EU) but chose not to.
So, how are the schemes getting on?
The European Commission says its PPE procurement plan can potentially provide up to 20 million goggles, 12 million face shields and over 350 million masks of different types. It says the ventilator scheme can deliver 110,000 units.
It says orders so far include: Belgium placing one for 2.6 million FFP2 masks and Austria for 500,000.
Latvia’s order for 25,000 goggles and 100,000 surgical masks was delivered in June. Bulgaria’s order for 55 ventilators is expected to be delivered by the end of July.
Luxembourg has received its order for 1,000,000 gloves.

London mayor: Make face coverings mandatory in public

Coronavirus - 10th July 49937911

More news on face coverings - Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the government to make face coverings mandatory in busy and enclosed public places.
In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Sadiq Khan said he was "frustrated" the measures had not already been introduced.
It was announced on 15 June anyone travelling on public transport in England must wear a face covering.
However, Mr Khan said precautions needed to be implemented in shops and hairdressers.
As pubs, gyms and restaurants reopen across England, the mayor said face coverings are "vital for public health" and "could play an increasing role in supporting public confidence and our economic recovery".
He said: "The widespread use of face coverings are a visible signal that Londoners are willing to take the steps needed to keep each other safe.
"They show how seriously, as a society, we are treating the threat of coronavirus and they are a physical reminder that the virus is still out there," he added.

Russia virus deaths and cases rise

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Russia has increased by 6,635 over the past 24 hours, officials say.
It brings the total number of cases in the country to 713,936, Russia's coronavirus crisis response centre said.
Over the same period, an additional 174 deaths were recorded, bringing the number of fatalities to 11,017, the centre added.
Russia has also today reported year-on-year figures for deaths in the country for the month of May.
Rosstat, the state statistics agency, said 18,375 more deaths were reported this year, of which it said 7,444 cases were directly attributed to Covid-19.

Can chlorine kill coronavirus?

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
Coronavirus - 10th July 94758b10

Chlorine is used as a disinfectant in pools and can easily disable viruses, including coronavirus, as well as more resilient bugs such as bacteria.
The chemical has to be used at the right concentration, but this will be standard practice.
There are two infection risks in the pool - other swimmers themselves and water they may have contaminated.
Sage, the government’s science advisers, say the risk of catching the virus through water is "negligible". But being within 2m of other swimmers - perhaps when catching your breath in the shallow end - is a bigger risk.
Remember the risks are about more than just the pool. Coronavirus is spread through close contact, so beware in a cramped changing room. And it can linger on surfaces such as lockers, benches, shower buttons and taps.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 18:15

Government 'looking at' mandatory face coverings in England's shops

It's understood the government's looking at whether to make face coverings mandatory in shops in England.
Senior government sources said that while no decision has yet been made it's an issue that's being kept under review.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told an online session of "People's PMQs" on Friday: "We need to be stricter in insisting that people wear face coverings in confined places where they are meeting people that they don't normally meet.
"So that's why it's mandatory already on on public transport and we're looking at ways of making sure that people really do observe, but you do have face coverings in, in, in, in shops for instance where, you know, there is a risk of transmission."

The lockdown babies who technically don't exist

Francesca Gillett - BBC News
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Olivia McDermott with her son Elijah

"It's been a weird feeling to know she technically doesn't exist," says Emma Pratt.
Her newborn daughter, Skye, was born the week before lockdown began. She is now almost four months old, but her birth still hasn't been registered.
Normally, babies have to be registered with the local council within 42 days of being born, or 21 days in Scotland. But during the coronavirus lockdown, many councils paused all birth registrations - and are only now starting up again.
It means they're faced with backlogs of thousands of babies to register.
For parents, it can cause practical problems too.
For new mum Olivia McDermott, 24, not being able to register her son Elijah's birth could have scuppered her future career.
Without a birth certificate, she could not apply for a childcare grant, and without the grant she said she would not be able to continue her training to become a nurse.
"Goodbye, dream job," says Ms McDermott, from Leeds. "I'm meant to be going into my final year of training. I was just like, I won't be able to come in."
She eventually got an appointment and registered her son on Wednesday. "Now I'm able to register him I'm feeling a lot better," she says.
Read more.

UK will not join EU Covid-19 vaccine scheme

Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's Ambassador to the European Union, has confirmed that the UK has decided not to join the EU scheme for Covid-19 vaccine procurement.
In a letter to the Secretary-General of the European Commission, he said the UK would not participate because it "would be required to stop its negotiations with manufacturers with which the EU launched negotiations" and because the Commission said "it is not possible for the UK to have a role in the governance shaping decisions on which manufacturers to negotiate with, or the price, volume and delivery schedule negotiated".
Sir Tim went on to write that there could still be collaboration between the UK and the EU on areas such as "sharing of information on promising vaccine candidates" and "vaccine trials" and "manufacturing investments and capacity building".

'Go back to work if you can' - PM

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britons to go back to work if they can, in a change of position.
Speaking earlier during an online session of People's PMQs, Mr Johnson said it was "very important" people go back to work now "if they can", adding he wanted the public to do this as "carefully as possible".
He said the public had followed the government's earlier mantra to "stay at home if you can", but it was now time they followed the message of "go back to work if you can".
He said it was "very important" people try to live their lives "more normally" and for people to feel "confident" to go to shops, restaurants and back to work, provided "we all follow the guidance".

Millions of pints of beer poured down drains

Coronavirus - 10th July 873cad10

Millions of pints of beer have gone off in pub cellars since businesses were forced to shut in March due to the coronavirus lockdown .
Now pubs and bars have to apply for permission to pour beer down drains.
Water companies say they have been inundated with requests. Severn Trent has given consent for 3.5 million litres to be disposed of, while Thames Water has allowed three million.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) estimated in May that 70 million pints would be lost due to Covid-19.
Emma McClarkin, from the BBPA, said: "The need to destroy so much beer really shows how much our brewing and pub sectors have been affected by this crisis."

Hancock: UK will 'go faster' without EU vaccine scheme

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has spoken about the UK's decision to opt out of the EU Covid-19 vaccine scheme .
He told Times Radio that signing up to the EU programme would have meant abandoning Britain's own procurement schemes, which were more developed.
He said Britain would not have been allowed to "have a say" in "the vaccines that were procured, the price, [or] the quantity of the delivery schedule".
He added that one of the "conditions" of the EU's scheme was that Britain would have had to stop its "own negotiations and only do them through the European Commission, and we weren't prepared to do that".
He insisted: "We think we will go faster this way."

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 19:35

Leicester virus factories 'almost doubled staff' during pandemic

Coronavirus - 10th July 0a223a10
The anonymous whistleblower said some factories had stayed open and taken on extra staff during the lockdown

A whistleblower from Leicester's textile industry says some factories almost doubled their staffing to cope with online orders during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The worker, who cannot be identified, said firms that "maybe used to have 50 people working comfortably, now had 80 or 90 people in the same area".
A lockdown was enforced in Leicester last month after a spike in coronavirus cases .
"If somebody did have Covid or wasn't well, they were still there passing it on to whoever's next to them," he said. "During Covid we've had no social distancing whatsoever in the factories."
He said the situation had made already poor conditions worse: "Very few factories, if any, have cleaners coming in and out."
Investigations are ongoing into employment practices at several firms.
Read his full account here .

Record number of daily virus cases - WHO

The number of new infection has risen by 228,102 during the last 24 hours, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) - a record increase.
The biggest increases in cases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, the UN body said in its daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 212,326 on 4 July.
More than 12.1 million cases have been reported by the WHO. Johns Hopkins University puts this figure at more than 12.3 million.

Two arrested on suspicion of fraud over virus loans

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering offences after police found evidence of suspected fake companies applying for coronavirus Bounce Back loans .
Ten accounts have been frozen so far, amounting to £553,305, as officers investigate and identify victims, London's Metropolitan Police says.
Detectives launched an investigation after a routine drug search on a vehicle in Holland Park on 17 June.
The officers found the vehicle's owner, a man in his early 20s, had travelled to meet a man in order to set up a bank account, for which he would be paid £300.
Police identified the second man, who was in his late 40s, that he was due to meet and subsequently arrested both on suspicion of money laundering and fraud.
The two men have since been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

How Iran is battling a new wave of coronavirus

Zulfiqar Ali - BBC Reality Check
Iran has seen a rapid surge in the numbers of coronavirus cases recently, with daily recorded deaths reaching new highs.
In mid-June, daily reported deaths went above 100 - for the first time in two months.
And since then, this figure has been going up, reaching 221 dead by 9 July.
New reported infections averaged more than 3,000 a day in the first week of June - a 50% increase on the previous seven days.
This figure reached a high of 3,574 on 4 June, before dropping slightly. There have been more than 2,000 cases a day since then.
The epidemic was initially concentrated in Qom and the capital, Tehran. But now, a flare-up has been reported in the south-west, notably in Khuzestan province, an oil-rich region that borders Iraq.
Officials have suggested the renewed surge in new cases could be down to more testing, and President Hassan Rouhani has said this means you will find more cases.
Read more about Iran's coronavirus outbreak.

Obesity poses 'significantly greater risk' if you catch virus

England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries has suggested losing weight may be one way to protect yourself against coronavirus. But with gyms still closed in many parts of the UK, how easy is it to lose weight in lockdown?
Science journalist Dr Michael Mosley says being obese puts you at a "significantly greater risk", and any vaccine against the virus is less likely to work.
"Being obese messes with your immune system," he tells BBC Radio Scotland. "It's not just about reducing your risk of the nasty complications should you get the virus, it's also about ensuring the vaccine is going to work."
Dr Mosley says it's a "fallacy" that exercise is a good way of losing weight, however.
"It’s great for all sorts of things - like improving your mood - but a pretty terrible way of losing weight because you have to do so much. It is about cutting calories and changing what you’re eating," he says.
For more information visit the NHS website

Virus outbreak at refugee and asylum seeker housing centre

Coronavirus - 10th July C4794410

A "small" outbreak of Covid-19 has been reported at an accommodation centre for asylum seekers and refugees in Wakefield in West Yorkshire, northern England.
Wakefield Council said a number of residents at Urban House, in Love Lane, had tested positive for the virus, adding that those affected have been isolated and given treatment and support at another location.
Anna Hartley, Wakefield Council’s director of public health, said: “A mobile testing unit is being set up at the site and we’re continuing to work closely with Mears Group, the Home Office and Public Health England to help limit any further potential spread.
“Please be reassured that the risk to those in the local area is very low, however, we ask everyone to please continue to follow government guidance on regular handwashing and social distancing to help keep yourself and others safe."

What happened today?

As our live page draws to a close, have a look back at the day's main coronavirus-related developments:

In the UK:

  • Face coverings may be made mandatory in shops in England as the government considers the move to slow the spread of coronavirus
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "people should be going back to work if they can now"
  • The UK will not join the EU Covid-19 scheme aiming to secure supplies of potential coronavirus vaccines
  • A further 48 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of people who have died to 44,650
  • No new deaths were recorded in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • A majority of Britons feel uncomfortable at the prospect of eating at a restaurant, a survey suggests
  • Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars can reopen indoors in Wales from 3 August, providing coronavirus cases continue to fall
  • Travellers arriving in the UK from dozens of countries no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks. See the details here .

Around the world:

  • Coronavirus infections rose by a record 228,102 during the last 24 hours, according to the World Health Organization
  • Schools in Hong Kong will be shut from Monday after a spike in local cases of Covid-19
  • Ireland's Taoiseach Micheál Martin expressed concerns about travellers coming into the Republic of Ireland from Great Britain, after quarantine measures were relaxed
  • Top US diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci said some states in the country reopened too fast
  • A state of emergency declared in Italy in response to the coronavirus crisis looks likely to now be extended beyond 31 July, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Jul 10 2020, 19:46

That's it from us for now

We're going to pause our live coverage here for the day.

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    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 07:37