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Coronavirus - 28th July


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:Covid-19: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 09:40

Summary for Tuesday, 28th July

  • Germany says it will make tests mandatory for travellers returning from high-risk areas
  • Belgium tightens social restrictions to try to avert fresh lockdown
  • Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says the UK’s 14-day quarantine is "unjust" and tourists would be safer from coronavirus in most Spanish regions than in the UK
  • A lack of translated coronavirus guidance is jeopardising the safety of non-English speakers in the UK, a joint letter to the health secretary claims
  • US Republicans propose spending an additional $1tn (£776bn) to address the economic damage caused by the pandemic
  • Emirates becomes the first airline to offer free Covid-19 insurance as it tries to get people flying again
  • Worldwide, more than 16m cases have been recorded so far, with about 650,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US

Welcome to our live coverage and thanks for joining us.
For our audience in the UK who are just waking up, have a look at what today's newspapers are reporting.
Here are some of the latest developments from around the world:

  • Amid fears of fresh spikes, Belgium is tightening restrictions - but avoiding another lockdown. From Wednesday, Belgians will be allowed to see a maximum of five people outside of their families
  • Germany will make coronavirus tests mandatory for travellers returning from risk areas
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) says Covid-19 is "easily the most severe" global health emergency it has ever declared
  • US President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for coronavirus
  • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has said the UK’s decision to impose a two-week quarantine on everyone arriving from Spain was "unjust"
  • In the US Republicans introduce a $1tn recovery plan to address the economic devastatation from the pandemic
  • More than 16.4m cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, along with 653,000 virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University

Latest from the UK

If you’re joining us from the UK, here are the biggest stories this morning:

Emirates to cover Covid-19 medical and funeral costs

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Emirates has become the first airline to offer free Covid-19 insurance as it tries to get people flying again.
Passengers will be covered for medical treatment, hotel quarantine, and even their funeral if they catch the coronavirus while travelling.
The announcement comes as carriers around the world have been hit hard by travel restrictions and other moves to tackle the pandemic.
Earlier this month, the world's biggest long-haul carrier told the BBC it was set to cut as many as 9,000 jobs.
Read more here.

New preventative measures adopted across Europe

Spurred by fears of resurgent infections, several European countries are adopting fresh measures to combat transmissions.
Belgium on Monday tightened restrictions on social gatherings - from Wednesday residents will be allowed to see a maximum of five people outside of their families. The number of people allowed to gather in public has also halved - to 100 indoors, and 200 outdoors. Belgium has one of Europe's highest infection rates and it is rising. In the past week an average of 279 people daily have caught coronavirus in the country, compared with 163 a day the week before.
Meanwhile in Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn has said coronavirus tests will be made compulsory for anyone travelling into the country from high-risk areas.
Neighbouring France has also ordered night curfews for beaches in Quiberon after a cluster of cases emerged in the Brittany resort last week.
Spain is rushing to save its tourism industry while cases of coronavirus rise in areas of Catalonia and Aragón. Spanish officials insist the virus is under control.

Britons travelling abroad must accept 'a degree of uncertainty'

Britons must accept "a degree of uncertainty" when travelling abroad, as the government may take steps to protect its nationals if the situation worsens in another country, a minister has said.
Defending the decision to extend advice against non-essential travel to the Spanish islands as well as the mainland , Local Government Minister Simon Clarke said it was taken to "minimise disruption" for travellers, after quarantine measures were reintroduced following a sharp increase in coronavirus cases there.
“Clearly you do have to make decisions on a country-wide basis. There is going to be internal travel within Spain and it’s important that we do our utmost to protect the public," he told BBC Breakfast.
You can read more about the UK's quarantine rules here.

UK quarantine restrictions unjust - Spanish PM

The row over the UK's decision to reinstate quarantine measures for travellers returning from Spain shows no sign of easing. On Monday the Spanish prime minister called the decision “unjust”.
Pedro Sánchez said tourists in most Spanish regions would be safer from coronavirus than in the UK, and he was hoping Britain would rethink its move.
On Sunday the UK government required anyone arriving from Spain to self-isolate for 14 days. The Foreign Office later extended its travel advice, telling people to avoid all non-essential journeys to the Canary and Balearic Islands, as well as mainland Spain.
We’ve answered your questions on the travel rules for Spain here .

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 09:58

Spanish hotel body calls for testing to replace quarantine

Spain's leading hotelier association is calling for testing to replace quarantine measures, after the UK said all those arriving from Spain must self-isolate for 14 days.
Ramon Estalella, secretary general of the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation, said the industry was losing millions of euros a day because of the measures, and called for people entering and leaving the country to be tested to remove the need for healthy people to quarantine.
“I cannot understand why we are not financing tests for people to give them the confidence to travel," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
“The cost is nothing compared with the money we can lose."
You can read more on the travel rules for Spain here.

Key Trump adviser O'Brien tests positive for Covid-19

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President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has tested positive for coronavirus, the White House has confirmed.
Mr O'Brien, 54, has been self-isolating and working from home.
The aide has mild symptoms and there was no risk of exposure to Mr Trump or Vice-President Mike Pence, a statement said.
Mr O'Brien is the highest-ranking official in the US administration known to have tested positive.
It is not clear when he and the president last met, but one administration official said it had not been for "several days". The pair appeared together two weeks ago on a trip to Miami.
Read more here.

Antwerp imposes curfew as cases rise

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Masks are compulsory for everyone over 12 in Antwerp

Belgium has shrunk the size of its social bubbles in a bid to combat rising infections, but the situation is particularly bad around Antwerp - the largest city in the country.
All municipalities in the area have recorded higher cases numbers in the last week, and two - Ranst and Antwerp itself - have recorded more than 100 infections per 100,000 people.
On Monday night, regional authorities brought in tough new measures to tackle the spread. Team sports and contact sports are banned, masks are compulsory for everyone aged over 12 where social distancing is not possible, and there is a new night-time curfew for all but essential workers.
A spokesperson for Mayor Bart De Wever said he was closely watching the situation and could "take additional measures if necessary".

Can California's San Quentin prison save itself from Covid-19?

California's San Quentin State Prison had zero coronavirus cases, until an inmate transfer in May sparked one of the worst outbreaks in the state and the country. Authorities are now scrambling to contain it.
There have now been at least 2,159 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at San Quentin and 19 deaths.
According to prison reform advocates, the pre-existing conditions at many California facilities have made coronavirus outbreaks inevitable.
Poor ventilation and a swollen inmate population have also contributed to the spike in cases. In an attempt to curb any further outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that approximately 8,000 inmates across the state could be eligible for release by the end of August.
Read more here.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 10:03

UK coronavirus patient, 75, home after 111 days in hospital

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A 75-year-old woman has finally returned home after spending 111 days in hospital with coronavirus.
Safurat Oyenike Ladoje was admitted to Great Western Hospital in Swindon, south-west England, on 2 April and was on a ventilator in intensive care for six weeks.
Safurat is the oldest patient to have recovered after being ventilated at the hospital, bosses said.
"I couldn't talk or get up. I'm just thanking god that I'm still alive," she said.
Read more here.

Where can I go on holiday?

With the UK government now advising against all but essential travel to Spain, many Britons will be looking for alternative holiday destinations this summer.
We've put together this handy guide on some tourist favourites, from Greece to France - summing up all you need to know about what restrictions are in place there.
But be aware the situation can change rapidly - and ministers warned this morning that people must accept "a degree of uncertainty" when travelling abroad.
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Sydney police shut down Black Lives Matter protest

Amid a resurgence of the virus in Australia, police in Sydney obtained court orders to ban a Black Lives Matter protest going ahead on Tuesday.
But about two dozen protesters showed up in a city park and were dispersed by officers. “We are not anti-protest. Just don’t do it in the middle of a pandemic,” said a New South Wales (NSW) Police representative.
The demonstrators argue that it’s a breach of their democratic rights when restaurants, shopping centres and football matches are still operating.
On Tuesday New South Wales reported 14 new cases, while neighbouring Victoria – the centre of the country's latest wave – recorded six new deaths and 384 new cases.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 10:07

Holidaymakers in Lanzarote 'feel they're being punished'

James Churchfield - BBC Radio Cornwall
The UK government's decision to reimpose a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from Spanish islands as well as the mainland has caused confusion and frustration for some tourists and those working in the industry.
Michelle Braddock, from Newquay in south-west England, runs a holiday complex on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
She said her guests did not understand the measures because they thought they were coming to a safe destination, where infection rates have been lower than mainland Spain.
"They feel they're being punished," she told the BBC.
"We're very frustrated, [the UK government is] saying it isn't safe to travel here which is very clearly untrue."

Germany warns against travel to parts of Spain

Germany’s foreign ministry has warned against unnecessary visits to three regions of Spain.
In a statement, it flagged Aragon, Catalonia and Navarra due to their "high infection numbers and local lockdowns."
The regions have seen a huge rise in cases during recent days, but Spanish authorities insist that infections in most regions are under control.
It comes as Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said negligence was to blame for a recent rise in cases around the country.
"The new developments in Germany make me very worried," RKI head Lothar Wieler told reporters.
The number of new cases in Germany almost doubled on Tuesday to 633, and the RKI has blamed the increase on social contact in workplaces and at parties. It called on people to adhere to social distancing rules.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 11:08

Latin America latest: Bolsonaro pulls down mask

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Bolsonaro pulled down his mask as he greeted his supporters

  • The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, removed his mask while greeting supporters in the capital, Brasilia, just days after he recovered from Covid-19. Bolsonaro announced he had tested positive on 7 July. More than two weeks later, on Saturday, he tweeted that his latest test was negative. He has been dismissive about the risks posed by the virus and has credited the controversial malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for his recovery. Read more about the drug here .
  • Bolsonaro is not the only Latin American leader to have recovered from coronavirus. Bolivia's interim president, Jeanine Áñez, has announced that she will be returning to work on Tuesday, almost three weeks after her positive test.
  • The number of girls and women reported missing in Peru has risen from five to eight per day during the pandemic, according to official figures. The fact that there is no registry for missing persons means the true figure could be much higher.

Deaths in England and Wales below average for fifth week

Deaths in England and Wales have remained below the five-year average for the fifth week in a row, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
There were a total of 8,823 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to 17 July - 270 fewer than the five-year average of 9,093.
Of those deaths, 295 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate - the lowest number of deaths involving the virus since the week ending 20 March.
The ONS said that as the virus has a greater impact on the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, some of these deaths are likely to have occurred over the duration of the year.
"These deaths occurring earlier than expected could contribute to a period of deaths below the five-year average," the organisation said.

Paris airport plan reviewed as traffic plummets

France's transport minister has said the government will review plans to build a fourth terminal at Paris's main airport, Charles de Gaulle-Roissy.
Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said the fall in air traffic brought about by coronavirus meant extra capacity might no longer be needed.
The fourth terminal was meant to cope with an extra 40m passengers by 2030.
But the pandemic has caused a steep drop in international travel and many airlines are struggling to survive. On Tuesday French airport operator ADP said passenger traffic could take as long as seven years to recover fully.

Labour urges 'localised approach' to UK quarantine moves

The Labour opposition has called for a "localised approach" when deciding which destinations should be exempt from quarantine measures.
It comes after the UK government told people arriving from the Spanish islands, as well as the mainland, to self-isolate for 14 days - despite the lower infection rates there .
Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon described the government's approach to quarantine as one of "delay, overreaction and then retreat", warning it had caused "huge confusion" and "risked many jobs in the sector".
Asked if there should be quarantine exemptions for areas with lower infection rates, like the Canary and Balearic Islands, he told the BBC that the public expected "an evidence-based, localised approach" similar to that in the UK, where “different towns and cities are treated differently”.

Delhi's mask-averse shoppers worry officials

The number of Covid-19 cases in India's capital, Delhi, has fallen in the past two weeks, allowing more markets to reopen.
But officials are worried that many are still not wearing masks or following social distancing in public places. They say such carelessness can have devastating consequences.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 11:59

NI death rate over pandemic period higher than average

The death rate in Northern Ireland over the first four months of the pandemic has been almost 20% higher than average, according to new figures .
The data from statistics agency Nisra indicates that the death rate between 1 March and 30 June was 17.4% higher than what would have been expected.
During that period, there were 885 excess deaths in Northern Ireland, 837 of which were coronavirus-related.
The vast majority of excess deaths (78.4%) were in those aged 75 and over.

How coronavirus turned the tables on Ghana's diaspora

Elizabeth Ohene
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We used to say here in Ghana, half in jest, half in truth, that you can find a Ghanaian in every country in the world.
It is a badge of honour to say you have a relation abroad and we bend over backwards to accommodate their wishes when it comes to making arrangements for funerals and attendant ceremonies.
When they are here, they behave as one does on holidays and splash money around; no-one hears about them having a hard life over there, and we see them as success stories. They are an inspiration for other young people to try to go abroad.
Then coronavirus arrived.
The places that young people had been willing to give an arm and a leg to go to were no longer attractive, as China, Europe and America were hit hard by the virus. The talk turned to bringing Ghanaians home from abroad. Suddenly Ghana became an attractive place.
Read more here.

British Airways faces strike threat over job cut plan

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The head of the trade union Unite has warned British Airways that it plans to move towards industrial action against the airline "with immediate effect".
In April the airline's owner, IAG, warned it could cut up to 12,000 jobs due to the impact of coronavirus.
Staff were warned that if agreement was not reached, they would be handed their notice and rehired on new contracts.
BA said it was disappointed by Unite's criticism and the company was doing "everything it can to save jobs".
Read more here.

Study suggests masks may reduce viral dose

Numerous studies have concluded that face masks can prevent people from spreading airway germs to others.
But now a new paper , due to be published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, has found that masks also protect the people wearing them too - lessening the severity of symptoms, or preventing infection entirely in some cases.
Using animal experiments and observations during the pandemic, the group of scientists says people wearing face coverings take in fewer coronavirus particles, making it easier for their immune systems to combat any viral spread.
Dr. Tsion Firew, a doctor at Columbia University in the US - who wasn’t involved in the work, - told the New York Times that a relationship between masking and milder disease had not yet been proven.
But the new research paper “reiterates what we say about masks,” said Dr Firew. “It’s not just a selfless act.”

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 12:05

Reports UK quarantine period could be cut are 'speculation'

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has dismissed reports that the quarantine period for people arriving from Spain and other countries with higher levels of coronavirus could be cut from 14 to 10 days as "speculation".
The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that the plans were being looked at by ministers.
However, Gove told BBC Good Morning Scotland: "The situation remains that 14 days quarantine if you're returning from a country like Spain where there is a high and rising instance of the virus is the best way to keep everyone safe."
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has described the decision to tell arrivals from Spain to self-isolate for 14 days as "unjust" , arguing that most regions of the country would be safer from coronavirus than the UK.

Blame falls on illegal arrivals in Vietnam outbreak

Bui Thu - BBC News Vietnamese
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Severe restrictions are now in place in the coastal resort of Da Nang

After months without any community cases of Covid-19, Vietnam has now reported 15, in Da Nang and Quang Ngai, since last weekend.
Da Nang has reintroduced the strict social distancing. Its airport and long distance bus stations have been closed.
The fact that doctors have not been able to identify the source of the new wave has sparked concern. And government officials have said the strain found in newly infected people came from outside Vietnam.
Vietnam has had strict quarantine for all arrivals for months, so attention has turned to illegal immigration.
Since the beginning of July, several people have been arrested after entering the country illegally from China. Critics have been quick to accuse them of being the source of the new outbreak, although there have been no confirmed case among them..
Vietnam has been praised by the international community and media for its success in containing the coronavirus , with fewer than 500 cases and no deaths so far. That success might have led to an over-optimistic attitude among authorities and people.
But its vulnerable, export-oriented economy has also been in a critical condition. If new tough restrictions now need to be brought in, many expect that tougher challenges are ahead.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 12:11

Johnson warns of 'signs of second wave' in Europe

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Boris Johnson has defended the UK government's decision to impose quarantine restrictions on Spain , warning there were "signs of a second wave" of coronavirus in some parts of Europe.
"What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again," the prime minister said.
Johnson added that it was up to individuals to decide whether they wanted to take the risk of going abroad in the current circumstances.
Asked about reports in the Daily Telegraph that the 14-day quarantine period could be reduced to 10 days, Mr Johnson said the government was always looking at ways to "mitigate" the impact of the measures.
However, he stressed that at the moment people must stick with the current guidance.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 13:41

Face masks made compulsory in Spanish capital

Authorities in Madrid have made wearing face masks in public compulsory at all times, as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the city.
Bars in the Spanish capital must also close by 01:00 local time (23:00 GMT), and gatherings in outdoor restaurants will be limited to 10 people. Checks will also be increased in the capital's main airport.
Officials also recommend a maximum of 10 people for private gatherings at home, though this is not required by law.
It comes as Spain reports a spike in cases in some regions during recent days.

Lib Dems urge immediate coronavirus public inquiry

A public inquiry into the UK government's handling of the coronavirus crisis should begin immediately, the opposition Liberal Democrats have said.
Acting leader Sir Ed Davey has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for Martin Forde, who was independent adviser of the government's Windrush Compensation Scheme, to lead the review.
Sir Ed said: "Bereaved families I speak to are so disappointed that the government is yet to begin an inquiry. They just don't want any more families to go through what they have.
"Were a second wave to happen during the winter, it could be even more deadly and damaging than the first.
"The government must immediately start an inquiry so that we can learn from mistakes and properly plan for a second wave."
Johnson has pledged to carry out an independent inquiry but said now was not the right time for it.

US watchdog warns about life-threatening hand sanitiser

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned members of the public against using certain alcohol-based sanitisers with a dangerous presence of methanol.
Methanol - or wood alcohol - is often used to create fuel or antifreeze and can be toxic when absorbed through the skin, and life-threatening when ingested.
In a statement , the government agency said it has place an import alert to stop the sanitiser from entering the US, and it's working with retailers and manufacturers to have products recalled and removed from store shelves.
It comes after the FDA issued a warning earlier this month after an increasing number of reports to poison control centres and state departments of health, with people experiencing blindness, cardiac effects and even death in some cases. The agency said it continues to see these reports rise.

Johnson voices 'sympathy' over local UK lockdowns

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Boris Johnson says the UK must be "vigilant" over the threat of a second wave of Covid-19, adding it was important for people to "heed the advice" before restrictions could be eased across the country .
Speaking in Nottingham on Tuesday, the PM said he had sympathy with local leaders who wanted restrictions eased in their areas, such as in Leicester where there has been a local lockdown, but stressed the importance of looking at the "big picture".
He said: "The most important thing is for everybody in all communities to heed the advice, to follow the advice, not to be spreading it accidentally and get it right down and we'll be able to ease the restrictions across the country.
"But clearly we now face, I'm afraid, the threat of a second wave in other parts of Europe and we just have to be vigilant and we have to be very mindful."

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 13:47

Why is Luxembourg rated high-risk?

Little Luxembourg has open borders with France, Germany and Belgium and official data suggests that it also has Europe’s highest Covid-19 infection rate. Why?
Health experts in Luxembourg say it is actually a high detection rate - the country has an intensive testing regime, compared with most other European countries.
Luxembourg’s population is about 626,000 - nearly half of them foreigners - and so far about 400,000 residents and non-residents have been tested, the DPA news agency reports.
But data from the EU’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows Luxembourg has an extraordinary 219 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, over the past two weeks. That is way above the German safety threshold of 50 per 100,000.
In Luxembourg masks are compulsory in shops, restaurants and on public transport. Social distancing is in force, and most leisure and cultural facilities are open.
Luxembourg has huge cross-border traffic and that is believed to contribute to the high infection rate.
Ulf Nehrbass, head of Luxembourg’s Covid Task Force, says 18% of the new infections were among cross-border commuters.

Sturgeon: Be cautious about foreign travel

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned people to "remain cautious" about all non-essential foreign travel after a "worrying resurgence of Covid" in Europe.
Speaking at a government press conference, Ms Sturgeon said "as prevalence of Covid in Scotland falls we must guard against risk of cases coming into the country".
"My advice is to remain cautious about non-essential foreign travel at this time," she said.
And she urged those wishing to take a holiday to stay in Scotland and help the nation's tourism and hospitality industry.
For the 12th day Scotland has reported no new deaths linked to Covid-19.

N Korea puts city on lockdown and tightens border controls

The North Korean government has imposed a complete lockdown on the city of Kaesong and control of the border with the South has been tightened to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Reports say districts are being screened and test kits, protective clothing and medical equipment supplied.
On Sunday the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, declared a state of emergency for the region after officials said a person suspected of being infected with Covid-19 returned from South Korea.
North Korea, a secretive state, had previously not reported any virus cases - but analysts said this was unlikely.

Latest from the UK

If you're joining us from the UK, here are the latest stories to catch up on over your lunch break:

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:00

Pakistan rocked by protests over retail ban

M Ilyas Khan - BBC News, Islamabad
There have been protests and sporadic violence as traders across Pakistan’s most populous Punjab province defied a coronavirus-related nine-day provincial ban on retail business during the Eid season.
There were mixed reports from different cities about business closures today, the first day of the ban, with many markets partially reopening while others stayed shut.
The situation in Faisalabad and Rawalpindi, the second and third largest cities, turned more volatile.
In Faisalabad, the police had to use batons during a confrontation with defying traders, many of whom were arrested.
In Rawalpindi, markets mostly opened this morning and trade leaders led some protests, but there had been no challenge from the authorities until the last reports came in.
The traders’ associations had vowed to open businesses at a press conference on Monday, soon after the government announced business closure.
The protesters say the Punjab government has been unfair to traders as none of the other three provinces have ordered similar closures.
They say the days leading up to Eid are an important time for traders as sales go up, enabling them to pay off their suppliers, their home expenses and salaries of their staff.

Closing furlough scheme could lead to 10% unemployment - report

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Closing the government scheme which is paying furloughed workers' wages is a "mistake", according to research.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) suggests it could push unemployment up to 10% this year.
The latest furlough figures show 9.5 million people are using the scheme , the same as a week ago, and at a total cost of £31.7bn to the Treasury.
The scheme will come to an end in October but Garry Young, NIESR deputy director, said that ending it could be a mistake.
"The scheme was intended by the chancellor to be a bridge through the crisis and there is a risk that it is coming to an end prematurely," he said.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has apologised for not being able to save every job and said that eight months "is a generous and long period of time"

Mask rules are 'flashpoint' for violence against shop workers

The Co-op supermarket chain says there has been a sharp rise in abuse against its staff since new rules making it compulsory to wear face coverings in shops came into force in England last week.
Nearly 1,000 shop workers reported abuse by customers last week - the highest rate of any week this year.
Paul Gerrard, campaigns and public affairs director for the Co-op, said incidents included violent attacks and colleagues being spat at with the customer saying they had coronavirus.
He said abuse was often triggered by staff reminding customers to follow social distancing guidelines and the requirement to wear a face mask had become "another flashpoint".
You can read more about the rules on face coverings here .

World air traffic 'to return to pre-virus levels in 2024'

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Global airlines have cut their recovery forecast, saying it will take until 2024 - a year longer than initially predicted - for passenger traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels.
In a report the International Air Transport Association - which has 290 member airlines - said demand for air travel has collapsed due to the slow containment of coronavirus in America and developing countries.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:08

Lockdown London quieter than in 1928

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Leicester Square in the 1920s

Recordings of silent lockdown London streets will become part of the collection at the Museum of London as part of a project chronicling the Covid-19 crisis.
The soundscapes will be made available alongside recordings from the same streets in 1928 - with 2020 far quieter than almost a century before.
The recordings of London's streets in 1928, which are being made publicly available on the museum's website , were gathered in the middle of outrage over excessive traffic noise when an anti-noise pollution campaign, spearheaded by the Daily Mail, complained about "irritating" and "unnecessary" hooting in London's West End.
Foteini Aravani, the Museum of London's digital curator, said: "We felt it was our responsibility to capture this rare and significant moment to not only contrast the 1928 recordings, but to also provide a record of London's rarely 'silent streets' for future generations."
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Leicester Square in 2020

Global tourism industry 'lost $320bn to pandemic'

The pandemic cost $320bn (£248bn) to the global tourism industry in lost revenue between January and May, according to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
In a report, the organisation said this loss was three times greater than that of the global financial crisis of 2009".
Tourist numbers also fell by 300 million during the period - a 56% drop from the same time last year - as lockdown measures brought a stop to international travel.
“This latest data makes clear the importance of restarting tourism as soon as it is safe to do so," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. "The dramatic fall in international tourism places many millions of livelihoods at risk, including in developing countries."

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:13

Twelve more Covid-related deaths in England

There have been 12 more deaths related to coronavirus in England but none in the other nations of the UK, the latest figures show.
NHS England reported that the total number of deaths in hospitals in England had risen to 29,303.
In Wales there were no new deaths but the number of cases in Wales increased by 21, bringing the total to 17,191.
There were no new deaths in either Scotland or Northern Ireland.
The full UK figure - which can differ due to different reporting period - will be published separately later.

Travel warnings hit both sides of French-Spanish border

Chris Bockman, Toulouse
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Perthus is split between the border of France and Spain

While France is recommending tourists not to travel to the Spanish region of Catalonia due to a sharp rise in cases there, it has stopped short of closing the border.
But French holidaymakers are clearly heeding that advice if the border town of Perthus is anything to go by.
Perthus is a geographical anomaly literally split in half - with one side of the road in Spain and the other in France. Over the summer about 6,000 motorists stop there each day to take advantage of duty free shopping on the Spanish side.
However the mayor of Perthus, Thierry Thadée, told me that the usual cross-border gridlock has slowed down considerably since the travel warning was issued last weekend.
From his office window he can see that Spanish stores and cafes are suffering badly as French tourists stay away and there is little traffic heading north from Spain.
Occitanie - the region of south-west France bordering Catalonia - received 3.5m Spanish visitors last year. But this year the regional head of tourism Jean Pinard told me that number would plunge by at least 60%.

UK government 'looking at' regional quarantine measures

The government is considering introducing quarantine restrictions for travellers arriving from specific regions, rather than whole countries, a transport minister has said.
Baroness Vere told the House of Lords: "We are not there yet but we are certainly looking at it because it is an appropriate consideration.”
It follows criticism of the UK for introducing a 14-day quarantine for travellers from the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as mainland Spain - despite lower infection rates there.
Asked whether the 14-day quarantine period could be cut, Baroness Vere said the government was "looking at a range of different options", including testing people on certain days after they arrive.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:18

Is Spanish PM right about coronavirus cases?

Reality Check
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday that in most of the country the prevalence of Covid-19 was "very much inferior to the numbers registered in the United Kingdom”.
Over the past two weeks the UK has had 15 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people compared with 47.2 in Spain, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Meanwhile, regional figures published yesterday by the Spanish government show that some of the country's most popular tourist destinations, the Balearic and Canary Islands, have had a much lower number of cases than the UK as a whole.
Andalusia in the south, another popular tourist destination, has had 13.01 cases per 100,000 people.
But Aragon, Navara and Catalonia, three areas in north-eastern Spain, have had a very high number of infections over the past 14 days: Aragon 314.11, Navara 136.19 and Catalonia 132.04 per 100,000.

Twitter restricts Trump Jr's account over virus post

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The US president's eldest son has more than 5m followers on the platform

Twitter has temporarily restricted the account of President Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, after he posted a video that Twitter had violated its policies on Covid-19 misinformation.
He shared a video about the drug hydroxychloroquine, which the president has frequently presented as a potential cure for coronavirus.
Trump Jr said the video was different from the narrative that everybody was running with.
But despite some early studies that raised hopes, a subsequent larger scale trial showed that the drug is not effective as a treatment.
Twitter said the tweet had violated its policy on misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19. It limited access to Trump Jr's account for 12 hours and removed the offending video.
Donald Trump Jr will still be able to browse Twitter and send direct messages in the interim.

Jet2 suspends holidays to Balearic and Canary Islands

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British tour operator Jet2 has suspended flights and holidays to the Spanish islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza up to 9 August, after the UK government advised against all but essential travel to the Balearics and Canaries.
The company had already suspended flights and holidays to mainland Spain until 16 August..
It said it was offering customers the choice between rebooking, receiving a Refund Credit Note or a full cash refund.
The company called for "clarity and consistency" from the government, saying the information it was receiving was "contradictory and often comes with little or no notice".
Tui and EasyJet have also announced flight cancellations following the government's announcement, but British Airways and Ryanair said they would continue to operate full schedules of flights to Spain.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:25

Fact checking hydroxychloroquine claims

Reality Check
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There are doubts about the drug's effectiveness as a treatment

As we just reported, Twitter has banned the US president's eldest son from tweeting for 12 hours after he posted a video about the drug hydroxychloroquine.
President Trump has used it as a preventative measure, and President Bolsonaro of Brazil has also taken it.
So here's what we know about the drug and Covid-19.
Early studies raised hopes about its use, but one subsequent larger scale trial showed it was not effective. The World Health Organization (WHO) said the drug did not reduce death rates in patients.
There's been some hope that hydroxychloroquine could be effective if used early on when a person gets the virus. But there's no clear evidence on this so far..
Ultimately, the WHO has advised people not to self-medicate and "has cautioned against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering these unproven treatments".
For a deeper look at what we know about the drug, click here.

The latest from the US

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If you're just joining us in the US, good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Here's the latest:

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Why isn't the UK testing travellers on arrival?

The UK has introduced a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from certain countries with higher rates of coronavirus, including Spain, to help stop its spread across borders.
But other countries, such as Iceland, offer travellers the choice of either self-isolating for 14 days or getting tested, if they have stayed in areas with high infection levels.
And Germany is planning compulsory tests at its airports for anyone arriving from a high-risk country.
However, testing is not perfect - and people who have just caught Covid-19 might not yet have sufficient amounts of the virus in their body for the test to detect.
Our health team have looked at the drawbacks of testing at airports in more detail here .

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:30

New measures in Oldham after coronavirus spike

New measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 have been introduced in Oldham, a large town in northern England, following a "dramatic" rise in cases .
Residents are being asked not to have social visitors to their homes and to keep two metres apart when outside, while those who are shielding are asked to continue to do so until 14 August.
Oldham Council's deputy leader Arooj Shah said the measures were essential to prevent a Leicester-style local lockdown .
Oldham follows Rochdale, its neighbouring Greater Manchester borough, and Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle in Lancashire, in introducing new measures.
Two weeks ago Oldham was on Public Health England's "watchlist" as an area of concern but was removed last Thursday.
Now the data is showing another spike, with 114 cases recorded so far in the week to 24 July - equivalent to more than 48 per 100,000 population.
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Supermarket trials virtual queuing system

UK supermarket Sainsbury's is trialing a new system which will allow people to queue virtually to help with social distancing .
The smartphone app will mean shoppers can wait in line in their cars, or another remote location, before heading into the store when it is their turn.
The trial began at five UK stores on Monday and will run until mid-August.
Experts say retailers need to find new ways to alleviate queuing as the UK heads into autumn and winter.
Sainsbury's customers will be able to download the app onto their smartphones, from where they can monitor their position.

US pandemic recovery plan earmarks $53m for vaccine cybersecurity

A $1tn (£77bn) pandemic recovery plan proposed by US Senate Republicans has included $53m of funding to protect the development of a coronavirus vaccine from hackers.
According to [url= IV - FINAL.pdf]a summary of the bill[/url], funding will be given to America's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa), and will be used to improve network security in the wake of "increased attacks" on government agencies which are helping to develop a vaccine.
The $53m is a dramatic increase from the $9.1m given to Cisa under the Cares Act - showing the government's concern about the dangers of cyber attacks against coronavirus research centres.
The issue has been a source of immense diplomatic tensions during recent months. Last week America ordered China to close its consulate in Texas. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the decision was taken because China was "stealing" intellectual property.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:36

Sports minister confident of spectators' safe return to stadiums

Dan Roan - BBC Sports editor
The government is confident it can move towards a safe return for fans to watch sporting events in stadiums, sports minister Nigel Huddleston says.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said spectators could be able to return to stadiums in England from October.
Earlier, Warwickshire faced Worcestershire at Edgbaston as part of a pilot programme that saw a limited number of fans allowed inside the ground.
Read more here .

Colombian mayor hailed for virus strategy has Covid

Coronavirus - 28th July 711f2010
The 40-year-old mayor said on Tuesday that he'd tested positive

The mayor of the Colombian city of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, says he has tested positive for coronavirus.
Mr Quintero has been praised for his early and data-driven approach to containing the virus in Colombia's second-largest city. He began holding preparedness meetings as early as January, when many politicians did not yet take the threat from the virus seriously.
His strategy seemed to pay off in the early stages of the pandemic. On 21 April, only two people had died with Covid in Medellín, while 29 had died in Cali, which has fewer inhabitants.
But in recent weeks the number of cases in Medellín and surrounding Antioquia province has shot up and now the mayor himself has Covid.
He told Colombian radio that his love of coffee may be to blame. "I have a lot of coffee and in order to drink it you have to take your mask off, so that may have been when I got it," he said.
He has urged fellow coffee lovers to suppress their urge for a cup or at least carry their own thermos flask to minimise the risk of contracting the virus from cups.

Chainsmokers gig prompts inquiry over social distancing

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A charity concert featuring US band The Chainsmokers is being investigated after footage appeared to show fans ignoring social distancing regulations.
The concert, called Safe & Sound, took place on Saturday night in Southampton - a town in an affluent area known as The Hamptons, east of New York City.
It was billed as a "drive-in music experience", but video taken from the stage showed crowds of people outside their cars, standing in close proximity.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo said he was "appalled" by the footage.
Read more here.


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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:42

German officials 'very concerned' by rising cases

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Lothar Wieler warned this could be the start of a "second wave"

Let's take a look at Germany now, where the head of the public health agency has said they are "very concerned" by rising infections.
"We are in the middle of a rapidly developing pandemic," Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), told reporters earlier today.
He said Germans had become "negligent" and urged people to wear masks and respect social distancing and hygiene rules.
In the past week the country has recorded 3,611 new infections.
"We don't know yet if this is the beginning of a second wave but of course it could be," Mr Wieler said. "But I am optimistic that if we follow the hygiene rules we can prevent it, it's up to us."
Read more here.

'We feel safer here in Ibiza than at home'

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Some tourists and business owners in Spain are continuing to express their disappointment at the quarantine rule change .
Jason Ward was on holiday in Ibiza with his wife when he heard the rules had changed. The couple, from Stevenage, in Hertfordshire, arrived on Saturday for a two-week holiday.
"Both of us are key workers and have worked through lockdown," Mr Ward tells the BBC. "We feel safer here than back at home."
Meanwhile, those who work in the Spanish tourism industry could be in for a big setback, as nearly a quarter of all foreign tourists are from the UK.
Dario, who owns a bar in Gran Canaria, says: “We thought it was slowly picking up and slowly getting back into business time, even if we were just trying to cover costs.
"But this is absolutely a killer.”
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Maura, a bar owner in Lanzarote, says a blanket rule for all of Spain was the wrong decision.
“We’re a long way from mainland Spain," she tells BBC Outside Source. "All the flights are direct from the UK, so it would be quite easy to police.”

How serious are the flare-ups in Europe?

David Shukman - Science editor, BBC News
There are rises in coronavirus cases in many parts of Europe but most health professionals would avoid describing them as a second wave of infections.
That would usually be when a disease returns after being all but wiped out.
As things stand now, the numbers are far lower than in the worst days back in March and April.
And the pattern is different too: generally it’s no longer whole countries in the grip of the virus.
Instead we’re seeing more localised outbreaks, for example on a large farm in Bavaria, in the Belgian city of Antwerp and in several regions of Spain.
The Dutch government singles out Leicester as having a higher risk than the rest of the UK.
But there’s no doubt that these are nervous times. German officials say they’re ‘very concerned’ about the increase in cases.
And there is the potential for these relatively small flare-ups to escalate – that’s always been the risk as the lockdowns were relaxed.
So what matters more than ever now is rapid detection of new cases and then a swift response to isolate everyone infected, and the hope is that every country is able to do that.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 18:48

Andrea Bocelli 'humiliated' by Italy's lockdown

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The Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli has said he felt "humiliated and offended" by lockdown measures imposed in the country due to coronavirus.
"I could not leave the house even though I had committed no crime," Bocelli said.
He also admitted to disobeying lockdown rules and believing the severity of the pandemic had been overblown.
His comments will surprise many as he had become a symbol of national unity at the height of the lockdown.
Bocelli made the remarks at a conference in Italy's Senate attended by opposition politicians including Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party.
Salvini has attacked the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over the handling of the health crisis in Italy.
Read more here.

Double virus tests 'could cut quarantine time'

Tom Burridge - Transport correspondent
People entering the UK from at-risk countries who test negative for Covid-19 twice within several days might be allowed to leave quarantine early.
The UK government is close to backing a trial, sources in the travel industry say.
Under current rules, those arriving in the UK from certain countries must self-isolate for 14 days.
Details of the programme are being worked out but one of the key areas of debate is the number of days between tests.
The government, which is keeping its quarantine measures under review, is said to be considering an eight-day stretch while figures within the travel sector are hoping for a five-day period.
The number of days required between each test is critical in reducing the possibility of "false negative" results.
The Department for Transport (DfT) declined to comment.
France is about to launch a compulsory two-test regime for people arriving from 16 at-risk countries, including the United States.
Read more here.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 21:17

Covid-19 survivors could be at sepsis risk, warns charity

People who have been hospitalised with coronavirus are being warned that they could be at risk of sepsis.
One in five people who required hospital treatment for Covid-19 are at risk from sepsis within a year of being discharged, according to the UK Sepsis Trust (UKST).
Sepsis is a reaction to infection which happens when the body's immune system overreacts, which can lead to organ failure.
Dr Ron Daniels, founder of UKST, said: "We urgently need all health professionals, as well as the general public, to be aware of the signs of sepsis and subsequently avoid adding to the magnitude of this issue."
He said there were six signs that spell out the word sepsis - S for slurred speech or confusion, E for extreme pain in muscles or joints, P for passing no urine in a day, S for severe breathlessness, I for "it feels like I'm going to die" and S for skin that is mottled or discoloured.

Italy PM moves to extend state of emergency

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has asked the country's parliament to approve extending a state of emergency until October.
The current measure is due to expire at the end of the month.
An extension would ensure existing decrees issued to fight the virus would continue in force. It gives greater powers to both state and central government and bolsters hospital resources.
"The virus continues to evolve and has not run its course," Mr Conte said earlier today. "It would be incongruous to abruptly suspend such an effective measure."
The state of emergency enables central and regional governments to shut down areas in the event of further outbreaks. Some opposition groups say it would give Mr Conte too many powers.
Italy's lockdown rules have now been largely regionalised but face masks are mandatory on public transport and in shops, and social distancing of one metre is required in public spaces.

End to two-week isolation for routine surgery patients in England

Most patients having planned surgery in England will no longer be told they need to isolate for two weeks before going into hospital.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has updated its guidelines following a decline in coronavirus cases.
Anyone having a non-emergency operation will need to have a Covid test three days before the procedure and isolate until they are admitted.
The surgery will only go ahead if the test is negative.
Most routine operations ground to a halt during the pandemic and it is hoped the changes will help clear the waiting list and also lead to more patients coming forward for treatment.
Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “We have heard anecdotally from NHS leaders that some of their patients had been put off from coming in for planned treatments because of the blanket rule that required everyone to self-isolate at home for 14 days prior to their elective care, including those whose personal circumstances such as their employment would not easily allow it.”
In Scotland the 14-day quarantine guidelines will remain and the rest of the UK is considering the advice.

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:Covid-19: Re: Coronavirus - 28th July

Post by Kitkat on Tue Jul 28 2020, 21:23

A round-up of today's global headlines

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Here are some of the biggest global developments of the day:

UK round-up: Quarantine row continues and second wave warning

As we near the end of our coverage, here is a quick summary of what's been happening around the UK today.

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned there are signs of a "second wave" of coronavirus as he defended the government's decision to enforce a 14-day quarantine on arrivals from Spain. Spain's prime minister had called the rules "unjust"
  • But, the government is considering plans to allow arrivals from at-risk countries to take tests, several days apart, in order to cut down that quarantine time, according to travel industry sources
  • In Oldham, a large town in northern England, tighter measures have been introduced in a bid to prevent a local lockdown after a spike in cases in the last week. The council said there had been a "worrying increase" with 119 new cases in the week to 24 July
  • The boss of department store Selfridges has said it was taking the "toughest decision we have ever had to take" as the company prepares to cut 450 jobs. In a letter to staff, Anne Pitcher said coronavirus had led to the "toughest year" in recent history
  • Closing the government furlough scheme is a "mistake" which could lead to 10% unemployment, an economic research group has said. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research said the scheme had been an "undeniable success" but accepted its closure was driven by a desire to limit spending
  • And if you want a lift at the end of your day, watch Margaret and Bob, who have been married for 63 years, reunite for a "wee bit" of a chat after restrictions were eased

Thanks for joining us and goodbye for now

And that's where we'll end things.

Today's live page was the work of Joshua Cheetham, Gareth Evans, Vanessa Buschschluter, Becky Morton, Dulcie Lee, Doug Faulkner, Henri Astier and Marie Jackson.

Our colleagues in London and around the world will be back with more for you on Wednesday. Until then, thanks for joining us and goodbye.

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