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Coronavirus - 14th August


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covidaug Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:15

Summary for Friday, 14th August

  • People coming to the UK from France and the Netherlands must quarantine for 14 days from Saturday
  • Travellers are rushing to get back to the UK before the measure comes into force at 04:00 BST
  • The UK quarantine measure also applies to people travelling from Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba
  • France says the UK decision will lead to "reciprocal measures"
  • New Zealand extends lockdown of its largest city Auckland by at least 12 days amid new cases
  • North Korea lifts a lockdown on a border city after what it said was an outbreak caused by a returning defector

Hello and thank you for joining our live updates on the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some of the latest headlines from around the world:

  • People coming to the UK from France and the Netherlands will be forced to quarantine for 14 days from Saturday. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the measure - which also applies to people travelling from Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba - would kick in from 04:00 BST
  • Lockdown measures are being eased in England , with beauty salons, bowling alleys and casinos among some of the businesses able to reopen. But tough measures are being introduced to enforce social distancing - fines for refusing to wear a mask could reach a maximum of £3,200 and illegal rave organisers face a £10,000 penalty
  • North Korea has lifted a three-week lockdown in Kaesong, near the border with South Korea. The city has been closed off since a man who defected to the South crossed back over, showing symptoms of Covid-19
  • New Zealand will extend a lockdown in Auckland for another 12 days due to an outbreak in the country's largest city.

Scramble to return for Britons holidaying in France

More on developments in the UK, where changes to foreign travel rules mean travellers from France and the Netherlands – including returning Britons – must now quarantine for 14 days after a rise in coronavirus infections in the countries.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the measure - which also applies to people travelling from Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba - would kick in from 04:00 BST on Saturday.
It’s leading to a scramble for seats on planes, trains and ferries - with up to half a million UK tourists thought to be in France at present.
A review of Google Flight data shows just a handful of flights are still available between Paris and London on Friday - with prices soaring well above average rates.
Read more here .

Dutch infection numbers rising

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
This years summer holidays abroad were always going to be unpredictable weren’t they?
Still you have to feel for the thousands of Brits who’ve been streaming into Amsterdam looking forward to some much needed relaxation, waking up to this news, they've now got two choices - get on a plane back home today or be stuck inside for 14 days when they get back.
If you look at the numbers it’s not that surprising. Infection rates have been steadily sneaking up again to levels not seen since the easing of what was only ever a limited lockdown. Right now, the Dutch have the sixth highest levels of infection in Europe. At 40.2 per 100,000 people it’s more than double that in the UK. Grant Shapps said last night the UK can’t afford to re-import Covid-19 from countries that seem to be approaching a second wave months sooner than expected.
People who’ve brought bikes or cars on ferry won’t have time to get back but there are plenty of planes. Travellers have been advised to finish their holidays but obviously not everyone can take another 14 days off or work from home for two weeks while they quarantine.
The Netherlands has always prided itself in keeping the country relatively open while others were locking down. That relaxed approach has continued as measures ease. Masks are only mandatory on public transport and it is unusual to see anyone wearing them on the street. Social distancing is advised but only really randomly observed and there have been issues with contract tracing.
Despite all this, and criticism from the opposition, the Dutch government's handling of the crisis enjoys considerable public support Being removed from the UK’s safe country list could however now focus minds and shift policy and behaviour towards a more regimented approach.

New Zealand extends Auckland lockdown for 12 days

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a 12-day extension of the country’s Covid-19 restrictions, after a cluster of cases grew to 29.
There are four alert levels in New Zealand, and Auckland has been on Level 3 since Wednesday.
The rest of the country is on Level 2, and Ms Ardern said both would be extended.
New Zealand has had success containing coronavirus, and went 102 days without a community transmission. The cause of the cluster in Auckland is still being investigated.
Read more here

No choice over France quarantine - UK minister

The UK did not have a choice other than to impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France and the Netherlands from Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.
Mr Shapps said it was a "dynamic situation, and I don't think that anybody... would want us to do anything other than protect public health and public safety",
He told Sky News: "That does mean where we see countries breach a certain level of cases ... then we have no real choice but to act."
The UK government's decision - which includes Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba - follows a surge in cases in the countries affected in recent days.

At a glance: Fresh lockdown changes in England

More beauty treatments, small wedding receptions and live indoor performances will be able to resume in England from Saturday, as lockdown rules are eased.
So what are the latest changes?

  • Indoor theatre, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences
  • Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal for up to 30 guests will be permitted
  • The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume, commencing with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre over the weekend
  • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and soft play centres will be allowed to reopen
  • "Close contact" beauty services such as facials, eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments, make up application and microblading will resume
  • Pilots will take place at conference venues ahead of the expected resumption of business events from 1 October at the earliest

Nightclubs and sexual entertainment venues will remain closed in England.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland retain their own powers over lockdown restrictions and have eased them at their own pace.
Read more here .

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:22

France takes stock after UK announcement

Lucy Williamson - BBC Paris Correspondent
The spectre of fresh quarantine measures has hung over France ever since its infection rate began to rise – it’s now seeing 2,000 new cases each day, and the prime minister has admitted the situation is heading in the wrong direction.
But the British decision will be unwelcome news for the tourist sector here, already reporting a big drop in British visitors.
At a campsite near EuroDisney, just outside Paris, the number of Brits has dropped by more than two-thirds this year. One of them, Jenny Thorpe, told me she and her family were staying put until the end of their holiday next week, because they’d already taken a possible quarantine into account.
France has said throughout this crisis that it will apply reciprocal measures when it comes to quarantine. A spokeswoman for the French president told us that the UK should expect an immediate response.

Eurotunnel: Don't come to terminals without a ticket

Eurotunnel - the rail service carrying road vehicles under the Channel between France and the UK - says it is nearly fully booked today following the UK's announcement of new quarantine measures beginning on Saturday.
The service said it was continuing its services as scheduled.
It said travellers in France wanting to return to the UK earlier than planned would need to amend their ticket online and warned people not to show up at its terminals without a valid ticket.
tweet  Eurotunnel Le Shuttle:
:Left Quotes:  To avoid long queues and severe disruption we strongly advise against turning up at the terminal outside the allocated time. Customers will be unable to board alternative shuttles without a valid booking. 14/08/2020 - 07:55 CET. ^Audrey
Coronavirus - 14th August Efw_tl10

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:25

Paris and Marseille are now virus 'red zones'

The French government has declared the capital Paris and the southern city of Marseille as well as its surrounding area a high-risk zone for coronavirus - giving local authorities new powers to curb to contain the spread.
Restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles can now be introduced in the two cities, along with restrictions on public transport and air travel and limited access to restaurants and other businesses.
Paris and Marseille have already made the wearing of face masks mandatory for people in busy public areas.
It comes after a sharp increase in coronavirus infections throughout France over the last two weeks. Yesterday, more than 2,500 cases were reported for a second day in a row.

Quarantine announcement 'far too late' - Labour

Labour’s Angela Raynor has said the UK government has not “answered the crucial question about how they are going to support families” affected by the new quarantine on arrivals from France.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Labour supports protective measures but the announcement came “far too late”.
“And they’ve still not answered the crucial question about how they are going to support families who are instantly been told they got quarantine,” she added.
“How are they going to support people who can’t go back into work, and how are they going to support the aviation industry for example which is already devastated?
“There are specific problems that come as a result of the measures that have to be introduced quickly and we know that, we have foresight of that, and the government have failed to be able to respond – they think one size fits all but actually it impacts on sectors and areas very differently.”

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:28

Spain cases rise and other Europe headlines

The steep rise in infections in France is the main reason for the UK's decision to impose quarantine measures on returning travellers. This morning, Paris and the region of Bouches-du-Rhône around Marseille have been classed as high-risk Covid-19 zones. Health officials in France announced 2,669 new cases late on Thursday and a rise in hospital admissions, particularly among those under 40.
A warning from Austria for anyone breaking quarantine rules. A 54-year-old German woman who tested positive in April has been fined €10,800 for going shopping, taking a taxi and going for a walk in the park.
Spain has seen its biggest increase in daily infections since late April - up to 2,935 in the 24 hours to Thursday evening. Madrid is one of the worst affected areas and hospitals in the capital are on alert.
In Italy, top scientist Agostino Miozzo has ruled out the reopening of nightclubs. Infections are rising but under control, however there is a chance of local lockdowns.
Denmark has recorded its biggest drop in economic output since quarterly records began - down 7.4% in the second quarter of 2020. That's still lower than the EU average fall in GDP of 11.9%.

'Britons holidayed knowing quarantine risk' - Shapps

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said around 160,000 Britons on holiday in France will have to isolate for 14 days on their return as he defended introducing the quarantine at short notice.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that – unlike Spain – the numbers of coronavirus cases in France are just above a threshold of 20 cases per 100,000.
But Mr Shapps defended the giving just 30 hours’ notice ahead of the quarantine.
“I appreciate there is no perfect way to do this, nobody wants to be having to live alongside this virus, I’m afraid.”
And he added that a lot of people will have taken a holiday abroad this year “knowing there was a chance of quarantine”.
“In no way is this ideal,” he added.

The UK's rules on travel from France - what's new?

As of Saturday, people coming to the UK from France and several other countries will be forced to quarantine for 14 days.
All travellers - including UK nationals - are asked to provide an address in Britain where they will self-isolate. They can be fined £100 for failing to fill in a form with these details.
People who do not self-isolate can be fined up to £1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and £480 in Scotland. There are fines up to £5,000 for persistent offenders.
You can try to return to the UK before the rules come into effect. But more than 150,000 UK tourists are thought to be in France at present, and the deadline is expected to lead to thousands of people rushing to ports and airports in a bid to avoid quarantine.
Read more here.

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:31

'People are now scrambling to get back'

Alexandra Fouché - Journalist, BBC World Online
I had travelled to the south-west of France to see my mother whom I hadn’t seen since the UK lockdown began in March, and was aware the entire time that the UK could impose quarantine on people returning from France.
For this, and other reasons, I and my husband decided to return to the UK earlier than planned on Tuesday.
People still in France are now scrambling to make their way back before the quarantine hits in the early hours of Saturday morning.
For many trying to make their way back, the Channel tunnel is one of the main points of entry into the UK, and it is currently very difficult to connect to the website to make changes to bookings.
Art director Mariana Fabricante is on holidays in the mountain resort of Tignes with her family. She was due to cross back on Sunday morning. She has tried to connect to the Eurotunnel site, but unsuccessfully so far.
“Every time I try to change the ticket, the website is busy. It is so rubbish, nobody can make any arrangements," said Mariana. "People would be able to make informed decisions if they had been told in advance. It’s annoying and frustrating.”

Dutch outbreak 'fuelled by private gatherings'

Many young people in the Netherlands are not following lockdown rules strictly, leading to a spike in infections, the country's coronavirus spokesperson has told the BBC.
Joba van den Berg said 70% of cases were coming from private gatherings.
"I do understand it is difficult, with summer time, parties, family gatherings, wedding, funerals. But many people are too close together and they are the source of the enormous increase in infections," said Ms van den Berg.
She added that infections have gradually risen to 600 a day from about 40.
Although the UK has removed the Netherlands from its list of "safe" countries, Ms van den Berg said retaliation was unlikely.
"I’d be very surprised if the Dutch government takes a measure because the UK took a measure against us. That’s not a relationship we have; It will be taken on a basis of facts, not on emotions," she said.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:34

UK signs deals for 90m virus vaccine doses

The UK government has signed deals for a further 90 million doses of coronavirus vaccine - increasing its potential stockpile to 340 million jabs.
The vaccines are being developed by the Belgian pharmaceutical company Janssen and the US biotech company Novavax.
It means the UK has placed orders for six experimental vaccines - meaning, in theory, there should be enough for everyone in the UK to get five doses.
Read more here .

Can I get travel insurance and what are my travel rights?

Coronavirus has meant abandoning or hastily rearranging holiday plans, for many people.
France and the Netherlands are among the countries newly added to the UK's quarantine list.
Spain and Belgium are already subject to the quarantine rules for returning holidaymakers.
What does this all mean for your travel rights? Read more here .

North Korea relaxes border city lockdown

North Korea has lifted a three-week lockdown in Kaesong, a city near the border of its southern neighbour. Kaesong had been closed off from the rest of the country since late July after the North said a defector crossed back over from the South and was found to have coronavirus symptoms.
North Korea closed its borders in January - the first country in the world to do so - and has imposed tough restrictions on its population. Leader Kim Jong-un insists there have not been any cases of coronavirus, but analysts say this is unlikely.
Meanwhile South Korea has reported 103 new infections, 85 of them domestically transmitted - the highest number of local cases since 31 March. The new cases are clustered around churches and fast food restaurants.
The country's infection tally now stands at 14,873, with 305 deaths. Authorities said they are considering tighter social distancing measures and restrictions on large gatherings.

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:37

'No clear-cut solution to travel during pandemic' - Shapps

More from UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapp’s appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Mr Shapps has said there is not a “clear-cut solution” such as testing for the coronavirus at airports.
He said that his family continues to quarantine after cutting short a holiday in Spain earlier this month and that his wife was telephoned as part of checks on whether people are sticking to isolation rules.
Mr Shapps added that the latest easing in lockdown restrictions in England on Saturday comes after data from the Office for National Statistics suggested infections had “levelled off” – despite criticism from leading epidemiologists suggesting otherwise.
He said: “You only have a certain amount of ‘R budget’ – keeping it under one at all times – and you can only use it in a certain number of ways.”
The R number is the rate at which a person infected with the virus passes it on to another person.
“In a sense being able to open up some of those things but having to close down travel corridors elsewhere is all part of the same thing,” he added.

Australia authorities rebuked over Ruby Princess outbreak

Coronavirus - 14th August 0f2e1710

Health authorities in the Australian state of New South Wales have been heavily criticised for "inexcusable" mistakes in their handling of an outbreak aboard a cruise ship, the Ruby Princess.
In March, passengers aboard the Ruby Princess were allowed to disembark in Sydney despite evidence that there were sick people with coronavirus symptoms on board.
At the time, the group of 2,700 people - who had travelled from New Zealand - were labelled as low risk. But in the weeks after disembarkation, more than 900 people on board the Ruby Princess later tested positive for the virus and 22 people died.
An inquiry into the incident was launched in April and it has now issued a report. It said the decision to identify passengers as low risk was "unjustifiable" and delays to test results amounted to "a serious failure".
But the report made few recommendations, saying health authorities recognised mistakes were made.
"It is inappropriate and unhelpful to make recommendations to experts that in truth amount to no more than 'do your job'," it concluded.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:40

Prices soar amid rush to avoid quarantine

Coronavirus - 14th August F6910d10
Passengers disembark from the Eurostar train in London

Cross-Channel train operator Eurostar says it still has available seats on services between Paris and London on Friday - ahead of the imposition of quarantine measures in the UK.
A review of prices on the Eurostar website showed the cheapest seat was priced at £209.50 for a one-way journey on Friday afternoon.
The final service with availability was the 17:13 CET service - with seats available from £269.50.
A spokesperson said the operator will "continue to monitor demand and adapt our timetable accordingly to ensure that those that need to travel can continue to do so at a safe distance apart".
Meanwhile, air fares are more than six times higher than normal for flights from Paris to London on Friday, with the cheapest British Airways tickets being sold for £451 and Air France seats costing £531.
Google Flight data on Friday morning showed just three flights between the Paris and London had available seats throughout the rest of the day.
There are an estimated 160,000 Britons currently in France.

Fewer hospital patients in England's Covid-19 hotspots

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 fell in coronavirus hotspots in June and July, according to data released by NHS England.
Cases of coronavirus have been rising nationally since the middle of July, and even earlier in Leicester.
More of these cases are among young people, who are less likely to become seriously sick.
Read more here .

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 11:14

African countries to begin antibody testing

Seven African countries will begin administering coronavirus antibody tests next week, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says.
The testing is part of an effort to understand how widespread the infection is on the continent.
"Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco are the first set of countries that committed to it," head of Africa CDC John Nkengasong said in a weekly briefing on Thursday.
He said the continent had conducted 9.4m coronavirus tests so far, closing in on the 10m target set in collaboration with member states.
Dr Nkengasong added that a continental strategy was being developed to set up a consortium of clinical trials and then begin the procurement and financing of vaccines.
The continent has so far recorded 1,084,904 coronavirus cases, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

'Better to find out now than on the train'

Coronavirus - 14th August 7ca1c010

PA news agency has been speaking to travellers at London's St Pancras station who were supposed to be heading to France on the Eurostar today.
Sonia, a 39-year-old dentist, said she had cancelled her four-night trip to Paris after finding out about the new quarantine measures this morning.
“It’s not worth it to go out and have to self isolate. With my work I can’t do the procedures from home," she said.
“We were too late to get the news, we’re just finding out here but it’s better than on the train.
“We’re looking at going to Cardiff and checking trains now, but the weather is changing a bit.”
'Not a disaster'
But lawyer John Strange, 60, from Reading said he would continue with his 10-day trip to the French capital and work from home on his return.
He said: "It's not a disaster for me but it seems for many people it will be, particularly those with young families, it's going to be catastrophic.
"I'm sure many will have to cancel their plans and have to accept all that pain and cost that goes with it."

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 12:20

India grapples with outbreak in major Kashmir prison

Coronavirus - 14th August E4cd3a10

One in five prisoners at Indian-administered Kashmir's largest prison have tested positive for coronavirus, authorities have said, according to Reuters news agency.
VK Singh, the region's director of prisons, said 102 of 480 inmates had tested positive at the jail in Srinagar, and preparations were being made to move some prisoners.
"We are taking extra care and all new entrants are being tested and then quarantined for two weeks," he told Reuters.
More than 20,000 cases have been reported in Kashmir valley - 5,500 of them current. The region has been subject to a cycle of virus-related lockdowns since late March. It is also wracked by a decades-long insurgency over a border dispute with Pakistan.
On Friday India reported more than 60,000 new cases for the third day in a row. It is the world's third worst-hit country, with more than 2.4 million cases, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 48,000 virus-related deaths have been reported.

'Quarantine is not what we wanted - but we know it's important'

Sallyanne Shallcross from Somerset and her family are on holiday in the Pyrenees in south-western France.
"We absolutely knew there was a real risk of quarantine when we travelled but the truth is, we still felt confused about the right thing to do," she told the BBC.
The family had booked the holiday before the pandemic began and Ms Shallcross said that there had not been specific guidance against going.
"Air bridges [to other countries] were promoted, getting the economy going and firing up the engines of our country were all messages given by the government in the run-up to the summer holidays and so with no refunds available from our campsites either, here we are."
Ms Shallcross told the BBC that her children would now miss the first week of the new school term.
"Going home early isn’t on the cards for us, there has been an influx of Britons attempting to travel this morning, websites are crashing and we really wouldn’t have travelled at all if quarantine wasn’t achievable when we got home.
"Dettol spray, sanitiser and staying in the outdoors is how we continue to manage here. Online grocery delivery slots, gardening and an additional week of painful homeschooling is how we will manage at home.
"It’s a shame, quarantine is not what we wanted but know that it is important to do and feel lucky to have had a change of scenery before we face the grim predictions of a restricted winter."

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 12:25

Prices also well up on Netherlands-UK routes

It's not just France seeing soaring travel prices ahead of new UK quarantine rules.
The Netherlands was also taken off the travel corridor list after a rise in coronavirus infections there.
Prices for seats on non-stop flights between Amsterdam and London have soared well above the average for this time of year, according to a review of Google Flight data.
The cheapest seat on Friday will set passengers back £327 - with the most expensive on British Airways' last available flight costs £645 for the 85 minute journey.
Meanwhile, the only remaining journey on Stena Line's ferry route between Hook of Holland and Harwich on Friday is sold out.

Madagascar leader's herbal tonic fails to halt Covid-19 spike

Raissa Ioussouf - BBC News, Antananarivo
Hospitals in Madagascar have been struggling to cope with a surge of Covid-19 cases, while the president has been promoting an unproven product he says can cure the disease despite the World Health Organization (WHO) warning against using untested remedies.
Cases have quadrupled in the past month on the Indian Ocean island, with more than 13,000 infections and 162 deaths from coronavirus, which has spread to all but one of its 22 regions.
Despite the spike, President Andry Rajoelina stands by the herbal concoction called Covid-Organics, which was launched to great fanfare in April.
It is produced by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research from the artemisia plant - the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment - and other Malagasy plants.
The drink has been marketed as a prevention and remedy - and for the last four months has been offered to children at school.
Read more here.

What are the rules on transiting through France?

If you're driving through France on the way to, or from, another country, you might be wondering how new government rules affect you.
According to the latest guidelines , if you drive a private vehicle through France and you do so without leaving your vehicle, or letting anyone else get in on the way, there's no need to self-isolate.
But if you do have to make a stop during your journey, you'll need to self-isolate if someone new gets into your vehicle or if someone leaves the vehicle, mixes with other non-passengers, and gets in again.
Other rules are in place for transit vehicles like coaches, ferries, trains and flights.

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:09

Travellers who ignore quarantine are breaking law - Shapps

Earlier, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told BBC Breakfast it was "very important that people do quarantine" when they return from affected countries.
"Everybody returning to the UK, no matter where from, doesn't matter whether you're in a travel corridor country or a quarantine country, must at this stage fill in a passenger locator form," he said.
"That is the law and you may well find that people call up to check where you are, and you'll be breaking the law if you were not quarantining, if that was a requirement for the country you'd come from."
Read more about the rules here .

Eurotunnel trains fully booked until Saturday morning

Eurotunnel has said that all car-carrying trains are fully booked until Saturday morning.
In a tweet, it added there was no more ticket availability and warned against travelling to the terminal without a ticket for today.

'I'm expecting total chaos', says returning Brit

Sally Freeman is one of many Britons racing to return from the Netherlands and France by 04:00 BST on Saturday, when new rules come into force requiring travellers to quarantine for 14 days.
The 30-year-old and her husband, from Cambridge, are currently driving through Belgium on their way to the Channel Tunnel after cutting short their holiday with family in Zeeland in the Netherlands to meet the deadline.
Civil servant Sally said she was “still in my pyjamas” when she booked a Eurotunnel ticket after a friend called to alert her, before she “flung everything in the car in about 10 minutes” and set off.
She said: “I think the government has made a very poor decision here. Everyone coming back at the weekend now has to cram into one day."
There should have been 48 hours' notice, she said, so that people planning to travel next week could have made the decision whether to go or not.
“I am expecting total chaos at the tunnel and it'll be the fault of the government," Sally said.
"They have created this chaos with everyone scrabbling to get home.”

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:12

UK quarantine additions 'another devastating blow', says industry chief

As the UK adds more countries – including France and Malta - to its quarantine list, the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council said she was “deeply disappointed” that thousands of Britons have had their holidays ruined.
Gloria Guevara said while public health should remain the top priority, the move “will crush what little confidence there is left in the fragile travel and tourism sector”.
She said: "The UK clearly lags behind other countries, which have shunned quarantines in favour of comprehensive programmes of testing for everyone departing and arriving back into their respective countries.”
Ms Guevara said international coordination and a programme of testing for anyone who wants to go on holiday are “crucial in order to rescue three million jobs in the UK alone".
Meanwhile, Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, called it "another devastating blow" to the travel industry, which is already reeling from the worst crisis in its history.
He said: "Having the political will to move to a sub-national approach to quarantine, in addition to a testing regime for arriving passengers so that those testing negative can avoid having to self isolate - which other countries like Germany have already implemented - is urgently needed."
He added that weekly changes to quarantine rules on a national level "have proven so disruptive to airlines and passengers”.

Jet2 to continue flights to Bergerac and La Rochelle in France

Jet2 has announced it is planning to operate its scheduled programme of flights to Bergerac and La Rochelle, after UK quarantine measures were imposed on France from Saturday.
The airline said customers who no longer wish to travel to these destinations can rebook with no admin fee.
A spokesperson for the carrier said: "We are not planning to operate to any other destination in France until October, and we are of course reviewing the situation very closely.”
The company said it does not do package holidays to France and it does not fly to Malta, which was also added to the UK quarantine list. There are no Jet2 flights to the Netherlands until October.
On 1 August, the airline announced it would refund customers on holiday in Spain who had been asked to fly back to the UK early , following a decision to suspend all holidays and flights to destinations in mainland Spain.

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covidaug Re: Coronavirus - 14th August

Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:15

Brit told to quarantine despite returning to UK ahead of deadline

Michael Allsopp cut short his Corsica holiday by two days to get back to the UK in time to avoid the new 14-day quarantine rules coming into effect at 04:00 BST on Saturday - but was told to isolate anyway by UK Border Force.
The 52-year-old from Peterborough had been on the Mediterranean island with his 12 year-old son. The pair caught the 21:00 Eurostar from Lille on 13 August.
However, on arrival at St Pancras, London, he says he was told to self-isolate because the train had originated in Brussels.
Michael said he has looked on the government and Eurostar websites and “can’t find anything to back up what we were told”.
Quarantining for two weeks will mean Michael has to take more time off from his job as a train guard.
He said: “I’m extremely annoyed. I did cut our holiday short so that we could avoid quarantine and to get all the way back to England to be told we had to quarantine anyway. I’m a bit miffed.”

UK quarantine measures and other news

Hello to those of you following our live coverage of the pandemic, brought to you by our team of reporters in London and across the world.
If you're just joining us, here are some of today's biggest developments so far:

  • Thousands of holidaymakers have seen their plans thrown into chaos after the UK announced new quarantine measures . The 14-day isolation requirement, from 04:00 BST on Saturday, applies to people arriving from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba
  • France has said the move will lead to "reciprocal measures"
  • More than 20.9 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll has also risen to over 760,000
  • Health authorities in Australia have been heavily criticised in an official inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship coronavirus outbreak. A report found "serious errors" by New South Wales Health in its handling of suspected cases on board
  • Meanwhile, in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a 12-day extension of the country’s Covid-19 restrictions after a cluster of cases grew to 29
  • North Korea has lifted a three-week lockdown in Kaesong, near the border with South Korea. The North said the city had been closed after a man who defected to the South crossed back over, showing symptoms of Covid-19
  • Seven African countries will begin administering coronavirus antibody tests next week, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said. It's part of an effort to understand how widespread the infection is on the continent

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:19

European Commission secures up to 400 million doses of future vaccine

The European Commission has agreed to buy up to 400 million doses of a future vaccine from British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.
In a statement , the commission said it would purchase 300 million doses, with an option to secure 100 million more, on behalf of the union's 27 member states.
It said the decision to support AstraZeneca's vaccine was based on "a sound scientific approach... speed at delivery at scale, cost, risk sharing, liability and the production capacity able to supply the whole of the EU, among others."
The announcement follows an earlier deal with the pharma firm, reached in June, by Europe's Includive Vaccine's Alliance - a group formed by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to secure doses of the vaccine for member states.
The commission did not disclose the terms of the new deal, or say if terms of the earlier agreement had been modified.

Local UK politicians under fire for lockdown breaches

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Labour councillors Waheed Akbar, Asif Masood and Tahir Malik are among those who've apologised for their lockdown breach

Luton Borough Council has said it will launch a full investigation after the city's mayor broke lockdown rules.
Tahir Malik was pictured at a party in July , along with borough councillors Asif Masood and Waheed Akbar - soon after the town was designated as an "area of intervention" by Public Health England.
It's prompted hundreds of public complaints and Mr Malik, representing the Labour party, has since resigned.
Meanwhile, a councillor in Leicester is facing calls to resign after admitting breaking local lockdown rules.
Ruma Ali, who represents Leicester's Humberstone and Hamilton ward, was seen having a barbecue in her garden on 2 August, a few days after the city went into lockdown.
She said she "did not think" she was breaking the rules, as it was only family members present, and apologised for her "misunderstanding".

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:21

UK government urged by Labour to address 'exams fiasco'

A system to award grades to students whose exams were cancelled during the coronavirus lockdown in the UK continues to cause controversy.
At least a third of entries for A-levels across England, Wales and Northern Ireland were downgraded from teacher predictions.
Now, opposition MPs are calling on the government to re-instate higher grades.
Labour said it was unacceptable that a "flawed system" had led to 280,000 pupils having their marks downgraded.
Its leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said ministers must follow the lead of Scotland, where teacher-assessed marks have ended up being accepted following a U-turn by the government there.
Read more here .

One hundred tests a week in Gambian capital

Azeezat Olaoluwa - Women’s Affairs Journalist, BBC News
Up to 100 people are to be tested for coronavirus each week in The Gambia's capital city, Banjul.
Mayor Rohey Lowe said the tests will be free of charge in the city that has a population of more than 400,000 people.
"We must know our health status to protect our family, friends and community. We will be testing between 50-100 people weekly. We are not able to do daily testing due to human resource constraints," she told the BBC.
The Gambia's weak healthcare system has struggled to cope with the pandemic. President Adama Barrow last week declared a state of emergency - shutting border crossings and airspace.
He also imposed nationwide night-time curfew for 21 days that will end on 26 August.
The country has recorded more than 1,500 cases, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, and the capital is thought to be at risk of recording higher numbers.

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Lockdown restrictions to remain in parts of England

Restrictions on gatherings for millions of people in northern England and Leicester are to remain in place, the Department of Health has said.
Limits on households meeting up have been in place in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester for at least two weeks to combat rising infections.
Ministers have decided to keep them in place - and cancel a planned easing of lockdown restrictions there that will go ahead in the rest of England.
"This will help protect local residents and allow more time for the changes to have an effect, cutting transmission among households," the department said.
It added that latest data showed a continued rise in cases in Oldham and Pendle, while numbers remain high in Blackburn with Darwen.

Spain closes nightclubs and bans smoking in streets

The Spanish government has announced it is closing bars and nightclubs and banning smoking in the street without a two-metre distance, as cases continue to rise in the country.
Restaurants will have to close by 01:00 (23:00 GMT) and will have to stop admitting customers at midnight.
Those seen drinking in the streets will be issued a fine, according to Health Minister Salvador Illa.
During a press conference on Friday, he said: “There has been a growing number of outbreaks in recent weeks. I am announcing that, for the first time, we have decided to adopt coordinated actions in terms of public health and that these measures have been adopted unanimously.”
He also called on people to avoid meeting those from outside the household.
On Thursday the north-western region of Galicia banned smoking in the street and in public places where social distancing was not possible.
The country reported 2,953 new cases of the virus on Thursday, according to El País.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:27

Restrictions in parts of England to be reviewed next week

More on the continuing of restrictions on households in large parts of England as authorities grapple with outbreaks.
The restrictions are remaining in place because the latest data does not show a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, the Department of Health said.
There were increases in cases in oldham and Pendle, and high case counts continued in Blackburn with Darwen, the department said.
Health minister Edward Argar said: "We will review the measures again next week as part of our ongoing surveillance and monitoring of the latest data.
"It is essential we all remain vigilant and I urge everyone in these areas to continue to follow the rules - wash your hands regularly, follow social distancing, get yourself a free test as soon as you get any symptoms, and isolate if NHS Test and Trace tells you to."

No, eating llama meat won’t protect you against Covid-19

Alistair Coleman - BBC Disinformation Unit
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One of Peru’s regional governors has suggested that citizens eat llama and alpaca meat to fight the Covid-19 virus.
According to Peruvian radio, Elmer Caceres Llica of the southwestern Arequipa region said it was “scientifically proven” that the meat from both Andean animals is effective against the coronavirus.
However, he’s incorrectly cited studies that say llamas and alpacas carry antibodies that could potentially be modified to develop a Covid-19 treatment. The studies did not mention that eating meat could help a person combat the virus – llamas don’t have natural immunity to the virus, but scientists found that their antibodies were easy to adapt to make into a possible therapy for humans.
The governor is no stranger to controversy when it comes to coronavirus. He’s been criticised for repeatedly suggesting chlorine dioxide (bleach) as a treatment, and doctors last month called for his resignation over his handling of the crisis.
He’s also one of several leaders in Latin America to have reached out to Moscow to try to secure stocks of Russia’s newly-developed vaccine.
An underprepared health service and several social and economic factors mean that despite an early lockdown, Peru has been hit relatively hard by the virus. The country has one of the world’s highest excess death rates .

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People in Scotland urged to limit number of pubs they visit

Revellers should limit the number of individual venues they visit after an outbreak of coronavirus was linked to city centre bars, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
Scotland's first minister told a news conference on Friday that "nobody's social life should feel exactly as it was before".
She said: "We're asking customers to minimise the number of premises you visit in any one day.
"The more settings you go to, the more likely you might be to get Covid-19, and the more likely you might be to spread it.
"Visiting lots of pubs in a single day or evening massively increases the workload of Test and Protect [Scotland's test, trace, isolate and support strategy], so please think about that - it makes a really big difference if you stay in one pub."
A cluster of cases in Aberdeen this month have been traced back to more than 20 pubs and bars.
It is now law in Scotland for hospitality venues to keep a record of customer contact details as part of its Test and Protect programme.

At a glance: Where are indoor gatherings not allowed in England?

Households are not allowed to meet up indoors in large parts of northern England and the East Midlands.
The restrictions apply in the following areas:

  • Greater Manchester, including the City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale, and Salford
  • Lancashire, including Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, and Preston
  • West Yorkshire, including Bradford, Calderdale, and Kirklees
  • Leicester

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Florida sheriff bans deputies from wearing masks

A Florida sheriff has banned his officers from wearing face masks at work.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods' order also includes visitors to the office. It is thought to be the first such mask ban for US law enforcement.
"My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my office - masks will not be worn," an email Sherriff Woods sent to his officers read, according to local paper the Ocala-Star Banner.
Sheriff Woods, whose jurisdiction is about 80 miles (130km) north of Orlando, also said visitors must remove their masks before entering the lobby of the station, linking his decision to recent protests against police brutality and racism.
"In light of the current events when it comes to the sentiment and/or hatred toward law enforcement in our country today, this is being done to ensure there is clear communication and for identification purposes of any individual walking into a lobby," he wrote in his email.
Read more here

Georgia lawmaker creates hotline for those in 'unsafe' schools

A lawmaker in Georgia has created a whistleblower hotline so students can report unsafe conditions in their places of learning.
Rep Beth Moore set up an email address so that students can report anonymously.
Ms Moore told local media that she had received a number of messages since setting up the address .
It comes after a student in Georgia was suspended after taking a photo of her school’s crowded hallway. The school later reversed the condition to suspend her, according to CNN.
North Paulding High School faced national criticism for the image that showed students walking close together in a hallway. Shortly after, a number of cases were confirmed among students and staff. The school was temporarily closed.

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Fauci: 'Temperature checks are inaccurate for virus screening'

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Fauci said temperature tests have been 'notoriously inaccurate'

Anthony Fauci, the doctor leading America's coronavirus response, says that temperature checks are not reliable for screening for the virus.
During a Facebook Live conversation, he said the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the White House had stopped temperature screening.
Many companies around the world have introduced temperature checks before allowing people access to a building.
Fauci said: “We have found that the [National Institutes of Health] that it is much, much better just to question people when they come in and save the time, because the temperatures are notoriously inaccurate many times.”

Shenzhen shopping mall sealed off over virus case

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A shopping mall in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has been sealed off and put under police supervision, with around 200 people queuing outside waiting for Covid-19 tests, according to Reuters news agency.
A local health official told Reuters that concern had been raised by a coronavirus case in the IBC Mall. The infected individual was a 41-year-old woman who had been working as a temporary brand promoter at a supermarket in the building, a source told the agency.
The woman was diagnosed in her home city of Lufeng, over 93 miles (150km) away. Three members of her family have also tested positive.
An outbreak in July in Urumqi, a city in the western region of Xinjiang, is believed to have originated from the worker, according to Reuters.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:39

'My ferry is due to arrive at exactly 4am'

As we mentioned earlier, those travelling from France and arriving after 04:00 BST (03:00 GMT) on Saturday will have to quarantine for 14 days.
Bernard Rust, from East Sussex, is currently on holiday in Normandy in northern France. His ferry back is due to arrive in Newhaven from Dieppe at 04:00 on Saturday morning and hopes there will be no delays.
“My ferry is scheduled to arrive at 4am precisely. What happens one minute either side of that?” he told the BBC.
“If the ferry sailing is smooth, we may beat the time, if not we may need to isolate.”
Rust and his partner tried to get an earlier departure but ended up sticking to their original booking. He said they would have had to pay an extra £240 for another booking.
Before leaving the UK, the pair said they checked to see whether or not their holiday would be ok.
“At what point do we enter the UK? Is it when we are in UK waters? When we dock? Or when we disembark? Some clarification would be helpful in planning the next two weeks,” he said.

Toronto strip club case leaves hundreds potentially exposed

Health authorities in Toronto say at least 550 people may have been exposed to coronavirus after a strip club worker tested positive for the virus.
Officials in the Canadian city said they have followed up with all known close contacts of the individual, who worked at the Brass Rail Tavern, and advised them all to self-isolate and get tested.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) also shared the timings and dates of when the person last worked on the premises.
“As a precaution, TPH is advising anyone who attended the Brass Rail Tavern during these dates and times to monitor themselves for Covid-19 symptoms for the 14 days after their last visit during this time period,” officials said in a statement.
The province of Ontario, where Toronto is based, continues to report some of the highest numbers of new cases in the country, though cases have been steadily falling nationally since mid-July.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:43

Do you have to self-isolate if you only drive through France?

If you have a holiday in a country which is exempt from UK quarantine rules and don’t make any stops in France on your drive back, you are not required to self-isolate on your return to the UK. However, you must make sure no new people get into your vehicle.
The countries which share a border with France and are currently exempt from quarantine rules are Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
All France’s other neighbours - Spain, Andorra, Monaco, Luxembourg and Belgium - are not exempt. So, if you have visited one of these countries during your holiday, you will still have to self-isolate, even if you have made no stops while driving through France.
You can stop in a remote place in France, for example to stretch your legs or walk your dog, and if you don’t have any contact with other people or enter any public spaces you will not have to quarantine for 14 days when you get back.
But if you get out of your vehicle at a service station or on ferry while crossing from France to the UK, you will be required to self-isolate on your return.

Kim Jong-un rejects aid over Covid-19 fears

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The North Korean leader has called for the country's borders to be tighter

Kim Jong-un has ordered North Korea to reject all offers of international aid in the wake of severe flooding, saying that it could expose people to the coronavirus.
The North Korean leader was quoted in state media telling a meeting of top officials that the country’s borders should be shut more tightly.
North Korea says it has no confirmed cases of the virus however health experts say they find this difficult to believe.
On Friday, a lockdown was lifted in the town of Kaesong after a suspected case of the virus. It was not announced if the suspected case was in fact Covid-19.
The country has been hit by weeks of heavy monsoon rains. More than 20 people have died and 16,000 houses have been destroyed.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:47

US fears over pandemic meeting flu season

The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says many regions in the country need to bring down the number of coronavirus cases in order to stop the pandemic from coinciding with the country’s flu season.
Director Robert Redfield said the rate of positive test results as a proportion of the total number of tests should be below 5% or even lower, according to Bloomberg .
More than 30 states have reported test positivity rates of more than 5% over the past week.
There are concerns that if the pandemic and the winter flu season coincide, hospitals could be overstretched.
The CDC estimates that there were 410,000–740,000 flu hospitalisations and 24,000–64,000 deaths during the 2019-2020 winter flu season.

UK sees biggest daily rise in cases since 14 June

The number of daily positive tests for coronavirus in the UK is the highest it's been since 14 June, according to the latest government figures.
In the 24-hour period up to 09:00 BST, there were a further 1,441 lab-confirmed cases.
Overall, a total of 316,367 cases have been confirmed.
Some 41,358 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, as of today, government figures show. This is up by 11 from Thursday.
Previously, people in England who died at any point following a positive test, regardless of cause, were counted in the figures.
A review of how these deaths were counted has reduced the UK death toll by more than 5,000.
Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies indicate there have been 56,800 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:49

ATP finals to be held behind closed doors

The ATP Tour Finals, a competition that ends the men’s tennis season, is set to take place in London behind closed doors.
This year’s tournament, held between 15-22 November, is the last time it will be held in London before it moves to Turin in 2021.
Those who have already bought tickets will be refunded.
However, should government pilot events go well and restrictions on live sporting events be lifted, tickets may be sold closer to the time of the event, the ATP said.
The event sees the world's top eight men's single players compete. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Theim are the first players to qualify for the event.

Norway issues new advice for mask wear

Norway has issued new advice for mask wear in a response to a rise in cases.
It is now recommended that people using public transport in the capital, Oslo, and the region of Indre Ostfold wear masks during rush hour.
The guidance is not mandatory and is for when people cannot maintain a one metre distance.
Those travelling from the airport after returning from countries where people must isolate have also been advised to wear a face covering.
People working in places where face-to-face interactions cannot be avoided have also been advised to wear masks, according to Reuters news agency.
The guidance will be in place for two weeks, Health Minister Bent Hoie said during a press conference on Friday.
Norway is one of a few countries that had not advised people to wear masks in public. Countries such as France, Spain and Belgium have all introduced mandatory mask policies.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 17:53

Coventry warned not to 'drop guard' after rise in cases

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All 186 members of staff at Fyffes will be tested for coronavirus after 10 tested positive

People in Coventry have been urged "not to drop their guard" after a slight rise in coronavirus cases in the region and an outbreak at a workplace in the suburb of Walsgrave.
Some 10 members of staff at fruit wholesalers Fyffes Group Ltd tested positive for the virus this week - now all 186 staff are set to be tested as a precaution while the site remains open.
It is the second known outbreak at a Coventry workplace this month, following nine positive cases among staff at Tesco Arena Park at the start of August.
At 13.8 per 100,000 population, the number of cases for the seven West Midlands Combined Authority areas climbed slightly in the seven days up to and including 6 August. However, it is still significantly lower than rates in the worst-hit parts of the country.
Council leaders at Coventry, Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton have joined forces to stress the need for continued vigilance to reduce the risks of a further significant spike and local lockdown.
They urged people to adhere to social distancing, in particular ahead of the return of thousands of students for the new university term.

Yo! Sushi to shut restaurants and cut 250 jobs

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Yo! Sushi has announced it will close 19 restaurants and cut 250 staff as part of a company-wide restructure.
The company is launching a company voluntary arrangement, allowing it to shut loss-making sites.
It said the current climate and "changes in consumer behaviour" meant that rents at some restaurants were unsustainable.
The company's boss, Richard Hodgson, said: "Like the rest of the sector, we need to take decisive action to adapt to the lasting changes that the covid pandemic has brought about."
Read more

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Greek PM appeals to young people as cases rise

Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has hit out at the country’s young people as the country records a rise in cases.
The prime minister said “the spread of the virus is linked to younger ages” as he asked people returning from overseas to wear masks for a week after arriving back in the country and stay away from vulnerable people.
“I want to make a special appeal to our youth. I too have children of that age,” he said. “Please… take care of yourselves, you are not immune, and your parents and grandparents are especially not immune”.
New restrictions have been announced in the country. Restaurants and bars will have to close from midnight until 07:00 (04:00) in Athens, Thessaloniki and the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete.
The country recorded 254 cases on Friday.

Rule-breaking pub landlords in Birmingham face crackdown

Pub landlords breaking the rules around coronavirus in Birmingham are facing a police crackdown for failing to properly record customers' details.
It comes amid growing concern among health chiefs about a rising infection rate in Birmingham, which puts it behind only Sandwell - the worst-affected local authority area in the West Midlands to date.
Birmingham had a rate of 23.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 10 August with the trend increasing, according to NHS Digital .
City council leader Ian Ward urged businesses to contact Public Health England as soon as they identified either a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 among staff or customers.
Waheed Saleem, the West Midlands deputy police and crime commissioner, said: "We will work closely with the licensing authorities to crack down on those premises that don't follow rules and are breaking rules."
Mr Saleem also warned organisers of illegal parties and raves, and those thinking of attending them: "We will not tolerate these gatherings."

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France records highest number of cases since lockdown was eased

France has recorded 2,846 new covid infections over the past 24 hours - the highest number since lockdown restrictions were eased.
The seven-day moving average has increased to 2,041 marking the first time it has surpassed 2,000 since 20 April.
France’s total number of cases since the pandemic began now stands at 212,211.
It comes as the UK prepares to enforce a 14-day quarantine period to people arriving from France from 04:00 on Saturday.
Thousands of holidaymakers are racing to return to the UK in order to avoid the need to self-isolate.

Portugal's Communist Party to stage festival for up to 33,000 a day

Alison Roberts - Portugal Correspondent, Lisbon
The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) is preparing to receive up to 33,000 people a day at its three-day annual festival next month.
It announced the move today after talks this week with the health authorities over precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The party's insistence on going ahead with the event from 4 to 6 September has come under fierce criticism in recent weeks, as health officials struggle to bring a series of coronavirus outbreaks in Greater Lisbon under control.
The Festa do Avante! is staged on a 30-hectare site in Amora, across the River Tagus from Lisbon, that can normally host up to 100,000 people. It attracts music lovers who come for the local and foreign performers as well as party members. It is a crucial source of revenue for the party.
The PCP promised that organisers would ensure "additional protection and prevention measures, extending still further the safety conditions guaranteed to its visitors". For each visitor there would be "an area greater than that established for beaches and which, as a rule, will be double that which is fixed for similar spaces" outdoors, it said.
Yesterday's edition of Avante! (Forwards), the party newspaper for which the festival is named, called on anyone planning to go along to take a mask with them, since it will be needed for some spaces on the site, but did not say whether masks would or would not be required throughout.
In Portugal, the wearing of masks is currently compulsory on public transport and closed public spaces, but not outdoors.
The minority socialist government has resisted calls to stop the event from going ahead, at a time when all this year's music festivals have been cancelled. Speaking yesterday, the minister of health said that Portugal's constitution forbids the banning of political initiatives, but that there can be no exceptions to rules in place for the pandemic.

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Why couldn't we have had 72 hours' notice, holidaymaker asks

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"An extra two weeks off of work is just not doable," says Tom

Today we've been bringing you the stories of some of the people who are rushing to get back to the UK from holidays in France before 04:00 BST tomorrow. After that point, everyone returning from France will have to self-isolate.
Tom Duffell, who runs a small business, decided to cut short his family holiday to Nice by four days and booked a last-minute flight home.
"We were enjoying a nice cocktail last night and suddenly a news flash pops in and a scramble to book flights," he told the BBC from the airport.
"I think we've managed to get my wife and one of my sons on one flight and myself and my other son on another flight.
"We've had to spend about £800 because we just can't afford to take two extra weeks off of work," added Tom, whose wife works as an NHS nurse and volunteered in an intensive care ward.
He said the government should have given tourists already in France longer to prepare. "They could have said, you know, give tourists 72 hours to return to the UK, rather than just over 24 hours and there's this mad scramble," he said.
"Instead we're all packed into the airport. There's huge queues, social distancing's gone out of the window."
"We're all scrambling on to the same flight, the flights are all full. Surely that's not going to help public health, that's just going to make things worse."

M&S supplier's Covid outbreak a 'huge disaster'

Earlier this week, we reported on the outbreak at a food factory in England, where nearly 300 workers tested positive.
The factory in Northampton makes sandwiches for store M&S.
Officials have said the outbreak was due to behaviour outside of work, such as car sharing and socialising.
Now, the leader of the local council has said the outbreak is a "huge disaster" for the town.
"I believe if we follow guidelines as stringently as we can, we can still avoid a lockdown," said Jonathan Nunn.
"Let's be absolute honest, the [Greencore] outbreak is absolutely dreadful."
Northampton has become top of the list of highest weekly rates in England. The town's rate rose to 115.8 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 11 August - up from 34.7 in the previous seven days to 4 August.
Read more on the sandwich factory outbreak here.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Aug 14 2020, 20:54

Oman ends night-time curfew

Oman is ending its night-time curfew as the country continues to ease coronavirus restrictions.
The ban on night-time movement will end from 15 August at 05:00 local time (02:00 BST). The curfew meant that people had to stay at home from 21:00 until 06:00.
It had already been shortened as part of the lockdown easing. Previously, people had to stay at home between 19:00 and 07:00.
Oman has recorded 557 deaths and 82,743 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins university.

Evening round-up

We’ll soon be bringing our live page to a close, but before we go here are the main developments from today:

  • Travellers in France are rushing to get back to the UK before a 14-day quarantine rule comes into force from 04:00 on Saturday . The quarantine rule will also apply to Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba
  • The UK has seen its biggest rise in cases since 14 June. In the 24-hour period up to 09:00 BST, there were a further 1,441 lab-confirmed cases
  • Restrictions on gatherings for people in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester are to continue, the Department of Health has said , after cases remained high
  • Spain has closed its nightclubs and bars and is banning smoking in the street without a two-metre distance
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a 12-day extension of the country’s Covid restrictions after a cluster of cases grew to 29
  • The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned states need to bring down the number of cases in order to stop the pandemic from coinciding with the country’s flu season

Thanks for joining us

We're now bringing our live page to a pause for today and will be back tomorrow.
Thanks for joining us.

Today's live page writers were:
George Bowden, Joshua Cheetham, Jo Couzens, Sophie Morris and Francesca Gillett.

The page was edited by Thomas Spender and Alex Therrien.

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 18:11