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Coronavirus - 13th July


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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 11:33

Summary for Monday, 13th July

  • More than 230,000 cases were recorded on Sunday, the WHO says
  • Most new cases were in the Americas, followed by South East Asia
  • Mexico now has the fourth-most virus deaths, passing Italy
  • In England, nail bars, beauty salons, spas, and tattoo parlours can reopen today
  • The Palestinian Authority imposes a curfew on the West Bank
  • Bolivia's economy minister tests positive, days after the interim president did
  • Globally there have been 12.9m confirmed cases since the outbreak began, with 568,000 deaths

Welcome back to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. The start of the week has brought with it a new grim milestone - the World Health Organization reported a record daily increase in global virus cases, with more than 230,000 new infections on Sunday.
Most of the new cases were in the Americas - where about 140,000 infections were confirmed.
Mexico now has the fourth-most virus deaths, surpassing Italy which was once the epicentre of an outbreak in Europe.
Mexico has recorded over 35,000 deaths, behind the US, Brazil and the UK, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
And in more Latin American news - Bolivia's economy minister has now tested positive for the virus, days after its interim president tested positive. This makes Oscar Ortiz the fourth cabinet member to be infected.
The number of cases worldwide has now reached more than 12.8 million, with about 568,000 deaths.

Mexico deaths surpass Italy

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More than 35,000 people have now lost their lives in Mexico to Covid-19. The Latin American country now has more deaths than Italy - one of the first countries to raise global alarm over the virus.
But President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that the pandemic was "losing intensity" in the country and put the blame on "conservative media" for causing alarm.
The country recorded 276 deaths on Sunday and 4,482 new infections bringing total cases to almost 300,000.
The US still counts the most number of Covid-linked deaths globally. Brazil and the UK have the next highest tolls.

Record rise in global cases - WHO

Some 230,370 new cases were recorded in 24 hours - a record daily increase, said the World Health Organization on Sunday.
Most of the new cases were in the Americas, but here's a specific breakdown of where some of the other cases were from:

  • Americas - 142,992
  • South East Asia - 33,173
  • Europe - 18,804
  • Africa - 17,884
  • Eastern Mediterranean - 15,361
  • Western Pacific - 2,156

Around 5,285 new deaths were also reported - again, with the majority of them coming from the Americas.

South Africa bans alcohol sales again

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This is the second ban on alcohol sales since South Africa's outbreak began

South Africa has introduced new restrictions, including another ban on alcohol sales, to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
A night-time curfew has been imposed, and the wearing of masks outdoors is now compulsory.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the alcohol ban - South Africa's second this year - would take pressure off the national healthcare system.
It comes as total infections exceed a quarter of a million.
Deaths resulting from coronavirus have also risen to more than 4,000, and government projections estimate this could rise to 50,000 by the end of the year.

Virus hotspots grow in Indonesia

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The number of virus cases in the South East Asian country of Indonesia has now exceeded 75,000 - as virus hotspots continue to grow.
Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia and one of the country's biggest hotspots - saw its highest daily record on Sunday with 404 new cases.
Indonesia has struggled to stem the outbreak after it eased social distancing rules - and the country appears to be moving towards opening more sectors of its economy even as the outbreak rages on.
A major cinema chain in the country said it was preparing for a public reopening later this month - saying it would keep to social distancing measures and reduce capacity, according to a Jakarta Post report. And in other parts of the country like tourist hotspot Bali, beaches have already reopened - though also, with restrictions in place.

Palestinian Authority imposes curfew on West Bank

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The Palestinian Authority has imposed a night-time and weekend curfew on the West Bank in an effort to bring down the number of infections.
Travel will be prohibited daily from 20:00 to 06:00, said Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem.
Major cities like Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem will also be under total lockdown until Thursday evening - and travel between districts will be banned for two weeks.
The West Bank is home to more than two million Palestinians.
According to the Times of Israel citing authorities, there were 378 new West Bank cases over the past 24 hours.
Some 5,575 people in the West Bank have been infected by the virus said Israeli paper Haaretz.

Three generations of Bollywood Bachchan family infected

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Amitabh Bachchan, 77, has starred in hundreds of films

Indian megastars don't come bigger than the Bachchans, a family considered acting royalty.
At the helm of the dynasty is Amitabh Bachchan, one of the most famous people on the planet, with billions of fans spanning continents.
Over five decades, the 77 year old actor has starred in hundreds of Bollywood films, fronted prime time television shows and is revered, even worshipped - by his die-hard followers.
Little wonder then, that news he has coronavirus is massive news in India and beyond. In 1982, the nation stood still as Amitabh Bachchan spent months in hospital after a film stunt went horribly wrong.
This time he is said to be stable, with only mild symptoms. The star who has 43 million Twitter followers, has been tweeting thanks to his well wishers from hospital.
His son Abhishek Bachchan, and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who both tested positive, are big stars in their own right too.
As attention is focused on this one family, thousands of other Indians are contracting Covid-19 every day. The country is seeing a sharp rise in cases, now the third highest number in the world after the US and Brazil.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 11:49

Scotland malls reopen as lockdown is eased

Scotland will see "the most significant easing of lockdown" this week with shopping malls, pubs and restaurants reopening, the first minister has said.
From Monday, non-essential shops inside shopping centres will be able to return to business.
Children and young people will also be allowed to play organised outdoor contact sports.
Further restrictions on the indoor hospitality sector will be lifted from Wednesday.
Family and friends will be able to visit hospital patients from Monday.

Dozens of cases at US bases in Japan

Japanese and US authorities say they are sharing information after a spate of infections at US military bases on the southern island of Okinawa.
Japanese officials confirmed on Sunday that 62 people had tested positive since Tuesday.
Two bases, where all but one of the cases were reported, have been locked down.
The island's governor, Denny Tamaki, had earlier said he was "shocked" by the reported outbreak.
Okinawa hosts the bulk of US military personnel stationed in Japan, but their presence is controversial among locals.

Latest UK headlines

Good morning and welcome to those of you just joining us from the UK. Here are the main stories from around the country:

Qatar Airways makes virus test 'mandatory for Pakistan travellers'

All Qatar Airways passengers from Pakistan must show a negative test result within 72 hours of their flight.
The new measure will take effect on Monday , a spokesperson told Bloomberg via email. The airline operates in four Pakistani cities currently - Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.
Pakistan has confirmed more than 250,000 infections and 5,266 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In June, travelers from the country tested positive in South Korea and Hong Kong, prompting Emirates Airlines to temporarily suspend flights from Pakistan . The airline resumed operations to three cities in the country last week , reported Gulf News.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 11:54

Nail bars and beauty salons reopen in England

Beauty salons, spas, tattoo parlours and nail bars are opening their doors to their first clients for almost four months, as lockdown restrictions ease further in England.
But some treatments, such as eyebrow threading, are still banned, leaving many salons unable to reopen and some warning they could be forced out of business.
Businesses are required to follow guidelines to reduce the spread of coronavirus - and treatments which involve work directly in front of the face are not available.
Massage studios, tanning salons, physical therapy businesses and piercing services will also be allowed to reopen their doors in England from today.

Two lawmakers die in Madagascar

Two lawmakers in Madagascar have died after developing Covid-19, the country's president has said.
President Andry Rajoelina said on Sunday that one member each from the upper and lower chambers of parliament had succumbed to the disease, while 25 others had tested positive, AFP news agency reports.
Last week Madagascar reintroduced a strict lockdown across one of its main regions, which includes the capital Antananarivo, after a rise in cases.
The country has reported almost 4,900 infections and 35 deaths during the pandemic, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.
The president has faced controversy after promoting an untested herbal tonic as a treatment for Covid-19 .

Indonesia holds virus cursing competition

Resty Woro Yuniar - BBC News, Jakarta
People are using a variety of ways to try and cope with the ongoing pandemic, but one coping mechanism in Indonesia certainly stands out.
Yogyakarta-based Jawasastra Culture Movement is holding a worldwide Javenese-language swearing contest - calling for people all around the world to curse, or misuh in Javanese, at the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to vent frustration.
“In our hearts, we feel all the emotions. We endure homesickness, we hold back the anger of the situation, and if we have no shame, we might even want to vomit a thousand more curses at God,” the organisation said in a statement posted on its website.
The winner of the tournament will win the title of “cursing emperor” and get a pack of coffee, three books, a cursing winner certificate, a T-shirt, daily necessities, and a lighter.
One video submission showed a man cursing in Javanese, saying: “Hey coronavirus, you’re a dog! You’ve killed my friends’ livelihood, they can’t work anymore!"
Indonesia has over 75,000 positive Covid-19 cases as of Sunday,

Fears of second wave in Lebanon after workers infected

Lina Sinjab - BBC News
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Lebanon has reported 166 new cases in the last 24 hours - its highest record in a single day since February.
More than 133 of the newly registered infections are among Syrians working for Ramco, a waste management company that collects rubbish in Lebanon and employs Bengali and Syrian workers.
The company's car park has been turned into a quarantine area for those who have been infected, while hundreds of other workers will be tested.
Foreign workers are poorly paid in Lebanon with no legal rights to protect them, but in this case the employees' treatment and accommodation is being provided by Ramco and the Lebanese ministry of health.
With restrictions easing and the country opening up, many people are not adhering to protective measures such as social distancing and wearing masks in public spaces, and it is feared that Lebanon could face a second wave of infections.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 12:04

'Public can be trusted' over face coverings - Buckland

UK Justice Secretary Robert Buckland says wearing a face covering in an enclosed space is “a sensible” approach but the public can trusted “to do the right thing”.
Currently, face coverings are compulsory on public transport in England, but not in shops – unlike in Scotland.
Mr Buckland told BBC Breakfast there was a distinction between public transport and a shop when it comes to risk, because you are "always moving about" in a shop.
He says he always carries a face covering with him and he wears it when going into a “small shop”, although whether it should be worn in a supermarket would depend on how busy it was.
“The use of a covering in a closed environment, particularly a small one, is a sensible course of action,” he said.
His remarks come after senior minister Michael Gove said he does not think face coverings should be compulsory in shops, saying he trusts people's common sense.

Welsh pubs and cafes reopen - but only outdoors

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes in Wales are allowed to start serving customers outdoors on Monday - but only half are predicted to open.
Major pub chains including Wetherspoons and Brains will wait until customers are allowed indoors, from 3 August.
With turnover expected to be at 25% of pre-lockdown levels, independent businesses say only half will open.
After self-catering accommodation opened on Saturday, hairdressers will also welcome customers back on Monday.
On Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said hospitality businesses could reopen indoors from 3 August , providing coronavirus cases continue to fall.

Almost 10m children 'risk not returning to school'

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Yemen, one of the countries named in the report, already faces conflict and hunger

At least 9.7 million children around the world may never return to school because of the coronavirus pandemic, a UK charity has warned.
Save the Children said the economic impact of the crisis on countries around the world could force children to enter the workplace early . Girls "are likely to be much worse affected than boys", the charity said, with many facing the threat of early marriage.
The areas most at risk of seeing children drop out of education include countries in West and Central Africa, as well as Yemen and Afghanistan.
"This is an unprecedented education emergency and governments must urgently invest in learning,” Save the Children's president and CEO Janti Soeripto said.

Tokyo governor says Olympics to go ahead next year

Tokyo's governor, Yuriko Koike, on Monday said that the Olympics must happen next year as a "symbol of world unity" in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters.
Japan has managed to keep any massive outbreak at bay but there have been recent spikes in infections in Tokyo, which has more than a third of the country's total tally of 20,000-plus registered cases.
The 2020 Olympics were slated to take place in July but plans were scuppered due to the pandemic.
"I want to host them as a symbol of the world coming together to overcome this tough situation and of strengthened bonds among humankind," Koike told Reuters.
The governor didn't divulge any details on a deadline to decide whether the Games could go ahead.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 12:10

Leicester mayor says 10% of city has higher transmission rate

Leicester city mayor Sir Peter Soulsby says he "very much hopes" the lockdown restrictions in the city will be lifted soon.
It is nearly two weeks since the UK city was put into a local lockdown following a spike in Covid-19 cases and the government is expected to review it this week.
Sir Peter told BBC Breakfast that the data has shown that around 10% of the city has recorded a higher transmission of the virus.
He said: "It's very clear when you look at the data that it's a couple of areas of the city that have got a higher than the average transmission of the virus, and certainly the way in which the city has been locked down in its entirety, and indeed beyond our boundary, is not justified."
He added that his conversations with the Department of Health last week suggested "they haven't yet got a clue of how on earth they're going to measure what constitutes success in this"

Two lawmakers die in Madagascar

Two lawmakers in Madagascar have died after developing Covid-19, the country's president has said.
President Andry Rajoelina said on Sunday that one member each from the upper and lower chambers of parliament had succumbed to the disease, while 25 others had tested positive, AFP news agency reports.
Last week Madagascar reintroduced a strict lockdown across one of its main regions, which includes the capital Antananarivo, after a rise in cases.
The country has reported almost 4,900 infections and 35 deaths during the pandemic, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.
The president has faced controversy after promoting an untested herbal tonic as a treatment for Covid-19 .

More than 100 outbreaks tackled a week - Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says "targeted action" is being taken against more than 100 local outbreaks of coronavirus every week in the UK.
Mr Hancock wrote in the Daily Telegraph that increased testing meant officials could now be targeted in their response, allowing lockdown restrictions to continue being lifted.
His comments came after 73 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed at a farm in Herefordshire .
Around 200 workers have been told to self-isolate following the outbreak.
Mr Hancock has stressed that most measures to contain coronavirus will not involve a whole city - like in Leicester - but instead centre on much smaller areas, even just one business or building - and he says these interventions often go unreported by the media and unnoticed by all except those directly involved.

She's young, fit, and has been ill with Covid for months

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Physiotherapist Molly Williams volunteered to work on the Covid wards

Four months after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, doctors are still on a steep learning curve. One surprise is just how long symptoms seem to last, for some patients.
Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) has talked to two young women who are still tired and breathless many weeks after falling ill.
Amira Valli, a doctor from a neighbouring hospital, has been getting out of breath when climbing a single flight of stairs.
Molly Williams, a physio at BRI, has always been a super-fit athlete but "being breathless is becoming my norm", she says. On top of that she is experiencing waves of emotion, and having difficulty with her memory.
For both of them, it's about three months since they first got sick. Read more here.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 12:15

Coronavirus immunity may only last for months

Michelle Roberts - Health editor, BBC News online
A new study of people who have caught and recovered from coronavirus raises the prospect that immunity to the virus may be short-lived.
Scientists at King’s College London studied how the body naturally fights off the virus by making antibodies, and how long these last in the weeks and months after recovery.
Almost all of the 96 people in the study had detectable antibodies that could neutralise and stop coronavirus. But levels began to wane over the three months of the study.
What’s not clear yet is whether this decline leaves us vulnerable to the same virus again. Similar short-lived responses are seen with other viruses, like the common cold. So it’s possible that we may be able to get reinfected.
But even if we’re left with no detectable antibodies, that doesn’t necessarily mean we have no immunity. Antibodies are not the only thing that gives us protection. Our bodies can also make T cells to help fight off invaders.
More and longer studies are needed to see what happens if people come into contact with the virus a second or third time. Do they get sick or are they primed to fight it off because their body has already done so before? These types of study will be important for understanding how well a vaccine might work and how often a booster dose might be needed to provide lasting immunity.

The latest from Europe

The Balearic Islands make masks mandatory in public and Finland lifts travel restrictions. Here’s the latest from Europe

  • The government of Spain’s Balearic Islands – including Ibiza and Mallorca – have made masks compulsory in public, starting on Monday. The only exceptions to the rule are when people are swimming, playing sport, or at the beach. Catalonia made a similar decision last week
  • Finland has lifted travel restrictions for 17 more European countries and 11 nations outside Europe. But the border remains shut to the UK and also to Sweden, where infection rates remain high
  • Outbreaks continue to worsen in the Balkans. Romania is recording around 500 new cases every day, and states including Austria, Greece and Hungary have imposed travel restrictions on Romanians
  • Kosovo, meanwhile, has banned public events and religious gatherings amid a fresh surge in cases. The infection rate now stands at close to 150 per 100,000 residents

New study indicates how Covid-19 affects the heart

We’ve already heard about the potential long-term health impact of Covid-19 , as well as its effects on the brain .
But researchers now say the disease may also affect the hearts of those hospitalised with the disease.
A new study by Edinburgh University of more than 1,200 patients in 69 countries found that more than half of all patients showed abnormalities in the heart, with 15% suffering from severe cardiac disease.
It's worth bearing in mind that the study only included people with severe cases of Covid-19, whereas the vast majority of people with coronavirus only experience mild symptoms.
The lead researcher of the study, Prof Marc Dweck, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that the research marked "a very important opportunity for us to improve the care of patients".
"Whilst this heart damage is potentially a very serious problem for these patients and [is] likely to have an important influence on their ability to survive and recover from the illness, we have very, very good treatments for heart failure now," he said.
"And so if we can identify Covid-19 patients where the heart is involved, there's the potential to give them the therapies that can help them get better quicker."

National Trust starts to reopen properties

The National Trust is reopening some of its properties today for the first time since lockdown.
Five houses in England will welcome back visitors as part of its plans for a phased approach to reopen gradually, including Petworth House in West Sussex and the Lyme Park estate in Cheshire.
The National Trust has already opened more than 130 gardens and parks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland after lockdown restrictions were eased in June.

Millionaires call for rise in taxes for the super rich

More than 80 millionaires from around the world have signed a letter calling on their governments to permanently increase taxes on the wealthiest in response to the pandemic.
"Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes, or our ability to support our families. We are not fighting on the frontlines of this emergency and we are much less likely to be its victims," the petition reads.
"So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice."
The letter has been signed by 83 people from seven countries so far, including Disney heirs Tom and Abigail Disney; the founder of the Warehouse Group, Stephen Tindall; and the co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Jerry Greenfield.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 12:23

Plans for tougher sentences for attacks on UK emergency workers

Plans to double the maximum jail term for criminals who assault emergency workers to two years are being considered by the UK government.
Just two years ago, a previous law change doubled the maximum term from six months to 12 in England and Wales, and ministers have now launched a consultation on whether to increase the term further.
Firefighters, police officers, prison officers and NHS staff are among those covered by the law.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told BBC Breakfast: "Stories of many front-line workers, particularly during this time of Covid, have really hit home not just with us but with the public as well and the vital importance of doing everything we can to safeguard our frontline emergency workers.
"Everything that needs to be done should be done, hence today's announcement."

What are mask rules on public transport in England?

Here is a reminder of what you need to know when travelling by bus, train, ferry or plane in England.
Everyone on these modes of transport now must wear a face-covering to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
However, the following people are exempt from the rules :

  • Children under 11
  • People with disabilities
  • Those with breathing difficulties
  • Anyone travelling with someone who relies on lip reading

If it is "reasonably necessary" for you to eat or drink, you can remove the face covering to do so.
The rail industry is also asking people to cover their face as they enter a station.
People can be refused travel if they don't follow the rules, and can be fined as a last resort.

Venezuelan blame game and other Latin American news

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Nicolás Maduro claims Venezuela "is under attack from the Colombian virus"

Mexico on Sunday passed Italy to become the country with the fourth-highest number of Covid-related deaths and in Bolivia a fourth cabinet member has tested positive. What's the situation in the rest of Latin America?

  • Venezuela's president, Nicolás Maduro, has blamed neighbouring Colombia for an increase in coronavirus cases. He said smugglers who cross into Venezuela illegally from Colombia were behind the spike. "If it wasn't for them [the smugglers], there would be no outbreak at all in Venezuela and everything would be under control," he claimed. Both the mining minister, Tareck El Aissami, and powerful ruling party politician Diosdado Cabello have tested positive for the virus.

  • Costa Rica's president says he wants to negotiate a financial aid package with the International Monetary Fund to soften the economic blow the Central American nation has suffered. While Costa Rica has managed to keep the number of infections relatively low - as of Sunday it had 7,596 cases and 30 deaths - the impact of the pandemic on its key tourism sector has been severe.
  • The Catholic Church in Nicaragua has suspended its most popular religious festival to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes urged Nicaraguans to honour the life of Saint Domingo de Guzmán at home with devotion and creativity rather than taking part in the traditional 10 days of festivities.

Peers to 'urge government to ban outdoor smoking at pubs'

The UK government is facing calls to ban outdoor smoking at pubs and cafes in exchange for permission to serve "pavement drinks", according to reports.
The i newspaper says a cross-party group of peers will table an amendment to emergency legislation which will temporarily relax licensing laws to encourage eating and drinking outside in England and Wales.
That amendment will seek to ensure pavement licences are only granted subject to the condition that smoking is banned.
Liberal Democrat's Baroness Northover told the paper the move to introduce pavement licences should not be allowed to "become an excuse for increasing smoking in public places".
A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government told the paper that councils would be able to set local conditions for licences.

Boris Johnson: It's 'important to wear masks in shops'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he thinks face coverings “have a great deal of value in confined spaces” and the government will be looking at “tools of enforcement” in the next few days.
There have been calls for face coverings to be made compulsory in shops in England, and the PM says “the scientific evaluation” of their value in recent months “has been growing”.
Mr Johnson said in shops "it’s very important to wear a face covering", adding that "we should do that".
But he stopped short of announcing any compulsion to do so. He said the government will be looking at its guidance and "saying more in the next few days".

Boris Johnson encourages 'staycations'

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Boris Johnson visited emergency service workers in London this morning

Boris Johnson has also recommended that British holidaymakers consider a "staycation" this summer, instead of going abroad.
The prime minister said that this was "a great, great year for people to have a staycation".
"This country is uniquely blessed with fantastic places to holiday, whether coastal or otherwise," he said.
However, he went on to add: "If people feel the need for a foreign holiday, then that is completely a matter for them. I totally understand it."
Last week, the government lifted restrictions meaning people entering England from certain countries will no longer have to quarantine. Find out more about where you can go on holiday.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 16:19

More Spanish regions make masks compulsory

In May, Spain made mask use compulsory nationwide if social distancing wasn't possible. Everyone aged over five had to don a face covering if they couldn't stay more than two metres away from someone else.
But a growing number of Spanish regions are now tightening those restrictions amid a new rise in confirmed cases.
Catalonia and the Balearic Islands already announced that masks are compulsory in public even if you can socially distance, with few exceptions. Authorities in Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias La Rioja, Murcia and Navarra now also plan to impose similar measures.
Murcia's regional president Fernando López Miras tweeted that from Monday people must wear masks "at all times as a measure of protection for ourselves and others".
One of the worst outbreaks in Spain is around the city of Lleida in Catalonia. Officials there have imposed a local lockdown and even issued a stay-at-home order for some 160,000 people. A judge overruled that order on Monday, saying it went too far, but Catalan president Quim Torra asked people to stay home regardless.

Wales makes face coverings compulsory on public transport

The Welsh government has announced wearing three-layer face coverings will become mandatory on public transport from 27 July .
People in Wales will also have to wear face coverings when using taxis, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
Wales has previously recommended masks in situations when social distancing is not possible but has stopped short of making it compulsory.

Moroccan city goes into renewed lockdown

Coronavirus restrictions are being brought in again in the northern Moroccan city of Tangier after a cluster of cases was reported.
The measures were initially introduced in certain parts of the city, but were extended its entirety from midday on Monday local time, Morocco's official news agency MAP reported.
Travel by road and public transport in and out of the city have been suspended, while residents have been told to only leave their homes "in cases of extreme necessity".
Morocco began a strict lockdown in March but has began easing restrictions in recent weeks. The country has reported more than 15,000 infections and 253 deaths since the pandemic began.

No new deaths in Scotland for fifth day in row

No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Scotland for the fifth day in a row, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says.
She told the Scottish government's coronavirus briefing 2,490 patients have died after testing positive for Covid-19, which is no change on the figure from last Wednesday.
She said 18,365 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by six from 18,359 on Sunday. This follows 19 new cases on Sunday, of which 12 were in Glasgow.
Seven of these cases were asymptomatic and relate to one care home, which Sturgeon said is now being further looked into, with testing and precautions in place.
A total of 550 patients are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, she added. Of these six were in intensive care, no change in the past 24 hours.

Latest UK developments

As we hit lunchtime here in the UK, here is a round-up of the main developments so far today:

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 16:27

Cases rise in US Marine bases in Japan

At least 95 US servicemen on the Japanese island of Okinawa have now tested positive for coronavirus after a spate of infections on American military bases.
Over the weekend, two Marine bases, which had then seen a total of 61 cases, went into lockdown. Additional restrictions have been put in place at seven other bases, Reuters quoted a spokesman as saying.
Before the number of cases was known, however, the island's governor has said he has "strong doubts" about the US military's response to the outbreak.
The US Marines said in a statement on Friday that "additional measures" would be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, 148 infections have been reported among the civilian population on Okinawa, where tens of thousands of US troops are based.

Mexico’s deaths pass Italy’s and other key developments

If you’ve just joined us, here is an overview of what has been happening around the world today.

  • One of Latin America's worst-hit countries, Mexico, now has the fourth-highest death toll in the world, passing Italy's total
  • In Europe, several Spanish regions have tightened mask restrictions. Masks are set to be compulsory in public in Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias La Rioja, Murcia and Navarra
  • Turning to East Asia, the governor of Tokyo said the Olympics in Japan must go ahead next year as a "symbol of world unity" in the face of the pandemic
  • Elsewhere in Japan, there has been a spate of infections at US military bases on the southern island of Okinawa. Japanese and US authorities say they are sharing information
  • Infections are on the rise in the West Bank, prompting the Palestinian Authority to impose a night-time and weekend curfew in the territory
  • South Africa, meanwhile, has announced restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus. A night-time curfew and another ban on alcohol sales has been imposed
  • Globally, at least 9.7 million children may never return to school because of the pandemic, aid charity Save the Children has warned

Hong Kong tightens coronavirus measures

The Hong Kong government is tightening disease control measures from Wednesday following recent spike in local transmissions.
Public gatherings of more than four people will be forbidden, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Monday. The limit had previously been 50.
All restaurants will only be able to serve takeaway orders from 6pm to 5am. Outside of these hours, there will be a maximum of four people per table.
The new rules also see masks being made mandatory for all passengers on public transport.
Some establishments, such as gyms and gaming centres, will have to shut down for a week.
Flexible working arrangement will be implemented for civil servants, while the government also urges companies to allow employees to work from home.
Also, 400,000 people belonging to high-risk groups, including workers at elderly homes, taxi drivers and estate management workers, will be given priority to get tested for free.
It comes after Hong Kong recorded 52 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, including 41 that were locally transmitted, health authorities said.
Hong Kong has reported 1,522 cases since late January. Local media reported an eighth death on Monday.

Trump’s rift with health officials deepens as cases surge

As the White House clashes with top health officials, infections have been climbing nationwide in the US, hitting 3.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.Here’s a summary of what’s been happening:

  • US President Donald Trump has retweeted a social media post that accused the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of “lying” about Covid-19. The original tweet was shared by conservative game-show host Chuck Woolery
  • The White House has also been briefing against the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci. In comments to US media, a White House official said Dr Fauci had “been wrong on things”
  • Meanwhile, coronavirus infections continue to surge nationwide, especially in western and southern states, where lockdown restrictions were lifted earliest in some cases
  • On Sunday, Florida’s infections rose by more than 15,000 - the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began. A day earlier, parts of Walt Disney World had been reopened to much fanfare
  • In contrast, New York City - previously the epicentre of the country’s epidemic - reported no new Covid-19 deaths over 24 hours for the first time since March

Latin America becomes second worst-hit region

Latin America has overtaken the US and Canada to become the second worst-hit region in terms of coronavirus deaths.
Almost 145,000 people have died there so far, half of them from Brazil.
Only Europe has recorded more fatalities, with more than 200,000 deaths.
The news comes as Mexico passed 35,000 deaths - the fourth-highest death toll in the world.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 17:34

Too many countries headed in wrong direction, WHO chief says

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Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been highly critical of the response of some governments to Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic is going to get “worse and worse” if certain governments do not take decisive action to curb the spread of the disease, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said we are seeing “dangerous increases in cases” in countries where “proven measures to reduce risk are not implemented or followed”.
“Let me blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction,” Dr Tedros said at a briefing in Geneva on Monday.
“The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this.”
Dr Tedros said “mixed messages from leaders” were undermining public trust in attempts to bring the pandemic under control.
While Dr Tedors did not mention those leaders by name, some may interpret his pointed remarks as a warning to US President Donald Trump and others who have been widely criticised for their handling of the pandemic.
“If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go,” Dr Tedros added.
“It’s going to get worse and worse and worse.”

'We took £1.20 yesterday' - life running a cafe during coronavirus

BBC Radio 5 Live
Today, BBC Radio 5 Live's Your Call asked café and restaurant owners what the situation is like for them, now they're now able to open with varying restrictions across the UK .
Andrea owns seven independent restaurants. One of those is a coffee shop inside a shopping centre in Preston.
“We took £1.20 yesterday,” she told presenter Nicky Campbell.
“We insist, due to Covid-19, that our toilets are locked and it has to be a customer that can use the toilet only.
"The [customer] asked for the cheapest thing to buy and it was a bottle of water. That’s all we took all day. No other money, no other customers. It’s heart-breaking and devastating for the staff."
Andrea said it's hard to see how they're going to come out of it: "We still have our overheads and food waste. The furlough system is helping us but that’s not going to be there forever.
A lot of her regular customers are older which she thinks could be a factor: "I don’t believe they’re out," she says, "the confidence to come to a retail park, walk to a shop to go to a café is too much for people.”
Click here to listen back to the full programme on BBC Sounds.

Slow start for reopening of some Scottish shops

More restrictions have lifted in Scotland today, with non-essential shops within shopping malls allowed to open.
But at one such centre, Waverley Mall in Edinburgh, a number of shops remained closed on Monday.
Mark Sleet, 62, a project manager working on the construction of another shopping centre in Edinburgh city centre, described his experience as a "culture shock".
He said: "I've been travelling to Edinburgh from Morpeth in England every day for work and it's like going back in time.
"It's really getting back to normal in England and the shopping malls are busy.
"Waverley Mall was empty today and I had to wear a mask, which felt confusing for me."
Alex Weedman, 29, from Edinburgh, said: "I'm a shopaholic and wanted to see Flying Tiger, which is a shop that is only in Waverley Mall. I'm wearing a mask in case others feel worried but I'm not afraid."

Shocking way to ensure social distancing...

A British pub landlord has put an electric fence in front of his bar to encourage customers to keep social distancing.
Jonny McFadden, who runs the Star Inn in St Just, Cornwall, said there was limited space in his small pub and he had struggled to get the social distancing message across to some customers.
He described the barrier as "just a normal electric fence that you would find in a field".
Asked if it was switched on, Mr McFadden said: "Come and find out - there is a fear factor and it works."
He said the fence was a good deterrent because customers "don't want to touch it to find out whether it is on or not", adding that "people keep away from it, people are like sheep".
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Germany issues warning to partying tourists in Majorca

Jenny Hill - BBC Berlin correspondent
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The island of Majorca is popular with German and British tourists in particular

Germany’s health minister has expressed concern after pictures emerged this weekend of hundreds of German tourists flouting social-distancing rules on the Spanish island of Majorca.
Jens Spahn told reporters on Monday that the coronavirus pandemic was not over, warning German tourists against complacency.
Pictures showing crowds of German tourists partying - many without masks - in the bars and streets of Majorca have angered the Spanish authorities and dismayed the German government.
The island is a popular destination for German and British tourists. Following the lifting of travel restrictions a few weeks ago, many Germans have seized the opportunity for a post-lockdown holiday.
Mr Spahn said the island must not become a second Ischgl – referring to the Austrian ski resort which emerged as a coronavirus hotspot and the source of some of Germany’s very first infections.
Thousands of German holidaymakers were allowed to travel to Spain's Balearic Islands last month as part of a pilot scheme to help reboot the country's tourism sector.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 18:20

Eleven more deaths recorded in UK

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The number of people reported to have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK has risen by 11, the Department of Health and Social Care says.
It's believed to be the smallest daily increase in the number of deaths since lockdown was announced. However, the figure is usually lower on Mondays because fewer deaths are reported at weekends.
It means 11 deaths were reported to DHSC in the 24-hour period - but some could have died several days ago.
The individual nations of the UK report deaths slightly differently to the DHSC - which explains why their figures don't add up to the UK total.
As of 17:00 BST on 12 July, 44,830 people have now died in all settings after testing positive for Covid-19, the DHSC said.
Separate figures from the UK's statistical agencies show there have now been more than 55,000 deaths in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.

White House targets US disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci

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US infectious disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci is being targeted by the Trump administration as tensions rise between the health expert and the president.
The White House has been increasingly critical of Dr Fauci, and on Sunday, an official shared a list detailing past apparent erroneous comments.
Dr Fauci's changing advice on masks and remarks on Covid-19's severity are among the points from the White House.
The move to undercut him comes as the US continues to see surges in Covid-19.
There are over 3.3 million cases confirmed and more than 135,000 deaths nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Read more here.

Mexican actor dies with virus

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Raymundo Capetillo starred in many soap operas throughout his decades-long career

Mexican actor Raymundo Capetillo has died with Covid-19 at the age of 76, local media has reported.
The actor’s death was confirmed by the Asociación Nacional de Intérpretes on social media on Monday.
Capetillo was reportedly admitted to hospital in Mexico City on 5 July after experiencing respiratory problems.
Actress Laura Zapata was among those to pay tribute to Capetillo. “I'm going to miss you, my friend,” she wrote on Twitter .
An economist by profession and a professor of English, Capetillo began his acting career in the late 1960s.
He worked in TV, film and theatre, but was best known for his performances in soap operas, appearing in dozens of shows between the 1960s and the 2010s.
Wild Rose, Brave Love and Hearts to the Limit were among the shows he appeared in.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Jul 13 2020, 18:58

New York City child care centres reopen

Nearly 3,000 daycare centres and children’s nurseries are reopening on Monday in New York City, months after they were closed due to the pandemic.
Masks will not be required for children under two-years-old, but are compulsory for adults. No more than 15 children can be present in one room, sharing of toys is to be limited and staff must undergo health screenings.
"It's been really, really tough for parents," Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week as the decision was announced. "So bringing back childcare is crucial."
The move comes one day after New York announced that no Covid-19 deaths had been recorded in a 24-hour period for the first time since the start of the outbreak.
On Monday, Gov Cuomo announced that schools that are in Phase 4 counties - where the daily infection rate remains below 5% - will be permitted to open in August. But he warned that schools can be shut again if the region's infection rate rises above 9% over a seven-day average.

Hong Kong Disneyland to close again

Walt Disney has announced it will temporarily close its Hong Kong theme park on 15 July after the territory saw a spike in coronavirus cases.
Disneyland Hong Kong had reopened less than a month ago after it was shut in January during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hong Kong has so far managed to keep infections down relative to other countries, recording around 1,500 cases since late January.
But on Monday, 52 cases were reported in Hong Kong, prompting authorities to tighten social-distancing rules.
“As required by the government and health authorities in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close from July 15,” Disney said in a statement on Monday.
Hotels at the resort will remain open with enhanced safety measures in place.
The closure comes just days after Disney reopened its biggest resort, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where coronavirus cases rose by a daily record of 15,000 on Sunday.

US military infection rate 'double' that of general public

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A US soldier guards a testing site in New York in April

Rates of Covid-19 infection among the ranks of the US military are growing at twice the rate of the general public, according to analysis by the Military Times .
The newspaper reports that 4,100 US soldiers and sailors have tested positive since 1 July, representing a rise of about 33% in the last 10 days.
Over the same time period, the US Covid-19 growth rate reached 16%.
The outbreak has not only affected US troops at home, but also has hit deployed forces stationed around the world.
As we reported earlier today, at least 95 US troops have been affected at a US military base in Okinawa, Japan.

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China rolls eyes at countries over slow adoption of mask-wearing

Kerry Allen - BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst
China’s media have been keen to highlight where countries with large numbers of Covid-19 cases have been lax about wearing masks, or have not taken mask-wearing seriously.
In particular, papers have focused on the US and India. It’s big news today in China that US President Donald Trump wore a face mask for the first time in public over the weekend. . Many on the popular Weibo social media platform are asking whether the president has become “scared”, either for his own health, or for his chances at re-election later in the year.
There is also a lot of online reaction to a report in Global Times about diamond-encrusted masks and solid-gold masks are being manufactured in India. Many in China are asking why masks are being treated like a fashion accessory, and not something that could potentially save your life.
China was an early advocate of face-mask wearing, and in late January, papers noted that the outbreak in the central city of Wuhan had led to a “surge in demand

Analysis: Ministers shift the message on face coverings

Laura Kuenssberg - Political editor
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It seems after all that the ministers won't just be asking everyone to use their "common sense" or even just rely on manners to make people cover up.
After weeks of discussion about the relative benefits of covering your face when out and about, ministers are now likely to confirm that it will be mandatory to cover your face in shops in England as soon as Tuesday and, like in Scotland seven days ago, expect that change to be brought in in law.
It is quite the shift. At the start of the crisis, the government's scientists suggested that masks could do more harm than good.
There were nerves too about creating sudden demand from the public to get hold of medical grade coverings when there was a worldwide spike in demand as the pandemic took hold.
But more evidence has emerged about how coronavirus can be transmitted through the air.
Read more from Laura here .

Houston, Texas, asks for second lockdown

The leaders of Houston, Texas, are calling for another statewide lockdown after infections there climbed to more than 27,600 on Sunday.
"Not only do we need a stay home order now, but we need to stick with it this time until the hospitalisation curve comes down, not just flattens," tweeted Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo - who oversees the most populous county in Texas - on Sunday.
"Many communities that persevered in that way are reopening for the long haul. Let’s learn from that (and) not make the same mistake twice."
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said over the weekend that he disagrees with the governor’s effort to reopen schools.
“It makes no sense to be having this conversation while this virus is out of control," Turner said on Saturday. "You don't send kids back to school when there's a raging fire and the fires still burning in August.
“Put the doggone fire out in July, so shut down for a couple of weeks."
Texas recorded 8,100 new cases on Sunday and 80 Covid-related deaths.

What's been happening in the UK today?

Global recap: Cases pass 13 million as WHO issues warning

We're pausing our live coverage here for the day. Here are some of the main developments from across the world:

  • The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has reprimanded leaders of certain countries for sending “mixed messages” about the coronavirus pandemic, warning them they risk making matters “worse and worse”
  • The pointed comments were made as the number of coronavirus infections globally surpassed 13 million, according to a tally by Reuters news agency
  • Latin America has overtaken the US and Canada to become the second worst-hit region in terms of coronavirus deaths
  • Mexico, one of Latin America's worst-hit countries, passed Italy to record the fourth-highest death toll in the world
  • Several White House officials have issued critical statements about US infectious disease chief Dr Anthony Fauci , accusing him of making mistakes in an apparent effort to discredit him
  • In California, Los Angeles and San Diego public schools will be online only for the region’s 835,000 pupils when the school year begins in the autumn. They are the largest school districts in the US to suspend in-person learning for the coming academic year
  • Germany’s health minister has warned tourists to be more responsible, after pictures of holidaymakers partying on the Spanish island of Majorca over the weekend caused concern
  • The governor of Tokyo has said the Olympics in Japan must go ahead next year as a "symbol of world unity" in the face of the pandemic

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