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Coronavirus - 15th August


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covidaug Coronavirus - 15th August

Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 11:00

Summary for Saturday, 15th August

  • Thousands of holidaymakers have rushed back to the UK from France in a bid to avoid quarantine measures imposed from 04:00 BST
  • Those arriving after this cut-off must undergo a 14-day isolation period on their return
  • The same rules apply to the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba
  • France reported 2,846 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Friday - the highest number since lockdown restrictions were eased
  • France says it will take "reciprocal measures" and the Netherlands has warned against all but essential travel to the UK
  • Russia launches production of a vaccine amid concerns speed could compromise safety
  • More than 764,000 people have died around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data
  • Global cases top 21m, with 5.3m in the US, 3.2m in Brazil and 2.5m in India

Thanks for joining us…

We're starting our coronavirus live page coverage for the day. Here’s a round-up of the most recent developments from around the globe:

  • Quarantine measures imposed on France by the UK came into force at 0400 BST on Saturday
  • The 14-day isolation requirement also applied to people arriving from the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba
  • France has warned it will take "reciprocal measures" while the Netherlands warned against all but essential travel to the UK once the restrictions came into force on Saturday
  • Crime in South Africa dropped by up to 40% during the first three months of its lockdown, official figures show
  • New Zealand has reported seven new cases of the virus in Auckland after a lockdown was extended for almost two weeks in the city
  • The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 303 new cases and four deaths - state authorities have urged continued vigilance despite signs the outbreak is past its peak

UK morning headlines

To get you up to speed with your morning coffee, here’s a quick round-up of the main stories from the UK:

Russia launches production of new vaccine

Russia's health ministry says it has begun production of a new vaccine.In a press release, the ministry said the vaccine would be rolled out at the end of the month.
Many experts fear that Russia may be compromising safety by fast-tracking the vaccine.In Russia, an independent poll has revealed that over a half of medics said were not ready to get vaccinated as they do not trust it.
President Vladimir Putin previously said it had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been vaccinated.
The vaccine has been named Sputnik V in honour of the world's first satellite. Sputnik is the Russian word for satellite.

British holidaymakes criticise 'unrealistic' quarantine notice

Some of the last UK travellers to make it home before the 04:00 BST deadline when quarantine restrictions were imposed on France, the Netherlands and several other locations have said the short notice risked making them rush "dangerously".
Kim Wells and his family made it into Newhaven from Dieppe in northern France with just eight minutes to spare, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme that announcing the decision late at night with just 30 hours' notice was "pretty unrealistic".
"I don't really understand why they can't be a little bit more clear with the public about what the tipping point is, when we might perhaps be approaching the need to quarantine."
He said the government should give people 48 or 72 hours' notice so that people who need to return home can do so "without rushing dangerously".
Kate Mooney and her family decided to make the journey back to Cornwall a week early, arriving about 01:00 BST, after contemplating the impact of two weeks' isolation.
"Our immediate response was 'let's just stay and finish our holiday', and then we started to really consider what quarantine meant," she told BBC Breakfast.
"There would be no way we could leave the house... that's when we decided we would come back."

What are the UK travel quarantine rules?

Travellers entering the UK from France and the Netherlands will face a 14-day quarantine when they arrive from Saturday.
The UK government's decision follows a surge in cases in the countries affected in recent days.
So what are the quarantine rules?
Travellers from affected countries - including UK nationals - are asked to provide an address where they will self-isolate for 14 days. They can be fined £100 for failing to provide these details.
One in five eligible passengers will be called or texted to check they are following the rules.
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 of up to £5,000 for persistent offenders.
Passengers should drive their own car to their destination if possible. If they don't provide an address, the government will arrange accommodation at the traveller's expense.
Once at their destination, they must not use public transport or taxis during the quarantine period. They must also not go to work, school, or public areas, or have visitors except for essential support.
Nor are they allowed to go out to buy food, or other essentials, if they can rely on others.
People returning from overseas will not be automatically eligible for statutory sick pay during this period, unless they meet the required conditions - for example, displaying coronavirus symptoms.
The full list of countries exempt from quarantine rules has been updated regularly.
The government has published a list of ''lower risk'' countries that can be visited without the need to self-isolate on returning to England.
Read more on the quarantine rules here.

Can I still go on my holiday?

Quarantine measures imposed on France by the UK have now come into force.
The Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba have also been removed from the UK government's list of countries exempt from quarantine rules.
But can you still go on holiday to these countries?
If the new rules will affect your ability to work when you return to the UK, it could mean having to cancel your trip.
In cases where only quarantine rules are changed, you are unlikely to be able to get your money back from tour operators, airlines or hotels.
However, if the Foreign Office also advises against travel to a country - as is now the case for France - then a refund for the whole holiday or the opportunity to rearrange it should be granted.
Some people are exempt from the quarantine rules, including Eurotunnel train drivers, road haulage workers and military personnel.
Read more here

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 11:11

How do I quarantine after returning from holiday?

If you have to observe a 14-day isolation period after travelling from certain countries, here's what you need to know.

Coronavirus: How do I quarantine after returning from holiday abroad?

'Your postcode matters more than your potential'

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The grading system is a "kick in the teeth" for young people, said Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

Students in England have been speaking out about the impact of the A-level grades awarded by an algorithm, which has left some of them with dramatically worse results than expected and caused them to miss out on university places.
Samantha Smith from Telford told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that her expected results of As and A* grades became a B, an E and a U due to a moderation process introduced after exams were cancelled.
She said the system, which was more likely to downgrade teacher-assessed grades in large schools and colleges and less likely to change them in private schools, felt "as if your postcode matters more than your potential".
Prof Laura Ashe, admissions tutor at Oxford University's Worcester College, said her institution had decided to admit all students with an offer of a place, because the grades could not be relied upon.
The algorithm "literally copied the inequalities that are currently existing in our education system", she said.
Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he was investigating legal grounds to challenge the grading system, because it was "straightforwardly discriminatory" against working class and ethnic minority students who are more likely to attend large, urban sixth form colleges.
"I cannot stand by and see thousands of lives ruined across Greater Manchester," he told BBC Breakfast.
The government has promised a "robust" appeals system.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 11:16

Putin vaccine memes flood social media

Reality Check
Earlier we reported that Russia had begun production of a new vaccine.
The first announcements earlier this week about Sputnik V, as it is called, have generated a great deal of both misinformation and humour on social media platforms.
We've been looking at some of the more widely shared posts.
Putin the superhero
There have been many satirical memes shared in a range of languages. Some continue the well-worn theme of Russian President Vladimir Putin as a superhero, such as Spiderman or Ironman, saving the world.
One of the most popular being shared portrays Mr Putin riding a bear with a giant syringe strapped to his back.
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A reputation for exaggeration
Another post that also proved popular on Facebook claims that Russia has "repeatedly saved the world with its vaccines".
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"This is a major overstatement" says Dr Dora Vargha, a historian and expert in Cold War-era disease control.
The post lists several vaccinations that were "invented" in Russia, among them those for cholera and polio, though these were discovered elsewhere.
Read more here.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 12:37

India ready to 'mass produce vaccines', Modi says

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Modi covered his mouth and nose with a scarf whenever anyone came close to him at the ceremony

Indian PM Narendra Modi has said the country is ready to mass produce vaccines for the virus when scientists give the go-ahead.
"Not one, not two, as many as three coronavirus vaccines are being tested in India," Modi said during an Independence Day speech.
"Along with mass-production, the roadmap for distribution of vaccine to every single Indian in the least possible time is also ready," he added.
"The country is also ready for mass production of those vaccines."
India has the world's fourth-highest death toll at more than 49,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

What's opening in England today?

If you're in England and mulling over your weekend plans, you've got a few extra options from today . As some coronavirus restrictions are eased - changes that were originally intended for two weeks ago but put on hold due to rising cases – more businesses are opening up.
Here's what to expect:

  • Indoor theatre, music and performance venues are able to reopen with socially distanced audiences
  • Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal for up to 30 guests are permitted
  • Audiences will be back at the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield's Crucible this weekend, the first of the spectator sport pilots to resume
  • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and soft play centres are able to reopen
  • "Close contact" beauty services such as facials, eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments, make-up application and microblading can resume

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 12:43

South Korean protesters ignore virus measures

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Tens of thousands of demonstrators have filled the streets of South Korea's capital to voice their concerns on a wide range of issues, despite health officials' pleas to limit crowds amid a jump in coronavirus cases.
A total of 166 new infections were announced on Saturday - South Korea's highest single-day total in five months.
Seoul city authorities had successfully blocked the approvals for most demonstrations through the courts, arguing they violated virus restrictions, but some rallies were permitted.
One church group hosting a large protest decrying the policies of the Moon Jae-in government is also the centre of a virus cluster, with 130 cases recorded among church members so far.
The church pastor appealed to supporters over social media, resulting in a far-bigger crowd at the rally than the police expected.

'I'm not sending my son back to school'

Continuing home education after the coronavirus lockdown

Scotland's schools were the first in the UK to resume this week, but not every student is heading back after lockdown.
In Aberdeenshire, 12-year-old Aedan will continue to be taught at the kitchen table by mum Cheryl.
"We had never considered home education before lockdown but we realised that Aedan was happier, more engaged and producing a better quality of work," she said.
At high school, Aedan felt uncomfortable and his anxiety was having an impact on his learning. The decision not to go back "felt as if a weight came off my chest", he said.
"It was really stressful going there and at the end of the day, you'd be so exhausted. I don't have that here because it's just me."
Several councils have noticed a recent increase in applications to withdraw pupils from school.
One local authority said some of the requests were due to the perceived success of the home education experience during lockdown.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 13:42

Vigilance urged as Victoria cases drop

The Australian state of Victoria has reported a considerable drop in new cases, but officials have warned against complacency as the virus continues to spread in areas outside Melbourne.
"Every time a poor choice is made, even one that you might think really only affects you... can potentially mean hundreds of people get this virus and that many of those potentially finish up gravely ill in hospital," Premier Andrew Daniels said.
Brett Sutton, Victoria's chief health officer, said people needed to remain vigilant.
"I do think it's important that people understand that the actions that they have taken, especially in recent weeks, are showing up in our numbers now," Sutton said.
"And so people should have hope and confidence that the things that we know work are now manifesting in our daily counts."

Parents urged to ensure children get routine vaccines

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MMR injections, a key childhood vaccine, fell sharply at the start of lockdown

Parents in England and Wales are being urged to make sure their children are up-to-date with routine jabs after vaccine uptake dropped at the start of lockdown.
The Local Government Association, which represents local councils, said it was expecting an influx of children needing vaccinations when schools return in September.
A high vaccine uptake could prevent infections such as measles, meningitis and whooping cough, and avoid putting extra pressure on the NHS during the pandemic, the LGA said.
Councils called for a plan to ensure children get the vaccinations they need and to provide funding to allow GPs, clinics and schools to cope with demand.
Research by Public Health England found that during the first three weeks of lockdown, there was a 20% drop in the number of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccines given to young children. Numbers then rose again in late April.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 13:45

South Africa crime plummets during lockdown

Crime in South Africa dropped by up to 40% during the first three months of its lockdown, official figures show.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said most types of crimes went down between April and June - including sexual assault and arson.
The figures "paint a never-seen-before rosy picture" of a peaceful South Africa experiencing a "crime holiday", he said.
He added that a controversial alcohol ban during the coronavirus lockdown had helped, but that attacks on liquor stores had increased in the pandemic.
South Africa has among the world's highest crime rates. It has also recorded over half the Covid-19 cases in Africa - but observers say this may be because it has better testing than other countries.
Read more here

Student tells UK minister 'you've ruined my life'

Readers in the UK will likely know that A-level students were given their grades on Thursday - even though they weren't able to sit any exams.
The process the government used to come up with them is complicated - you can brush up on it here .
Now one student who was rejected by her chosen university as the results she was given weren't good enough, has told the UK's schools minister that he "ruined my life".
Speaking on a BBC radio programme, Nina told Nick Gibb her marks were three grades lower than predicted and that she was distraught .
The government has said it will cover the cost of appealing after 280,000 students had their marks downgraded.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 13:48

Two more deaths in Vietnam

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Residents are tested in Danang

Vietnam - which had not seen a single Covid-19 fatality until the end of July - has recorded two more deaths, bringing its total to 23.
The country has also reported 21 new infections, bringing the total to 950.
About half of the cases are linked to the central city of Danang, where an outbreak started last month. It is so far unclear how the outbreak began.
Around 80,000 visitors in Danang - many of whom had relaxed into thinking the disease was contained - were flown home promptly after the new cases emerged and the historic port city sealed itself off from visitors and retreated into full lockdown.
Read more about the Danang outbreak here

How pandemic helped one man turn his life around

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George Murray spent 15 years living on the UK's streets. He always refused any offers of shelter - even during incredibly cold winter periods.
So staff at one hotel offering emergency accommodation during the pandemic were amazed when he showed up at their door.
From there, he has made the move into settled housing.
The 49-year-old now spends evenings watching TV in his own "brilliant" flat.
"I've become a bit of a Star Trek fan," he says.
Read more of George's story here

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 16:44

Record increase in Ukraine cases

Ukraine has recorded 1,847 new coronavirus cases, a new daily record for cases in the country.
The figure from the National Council of Security and Defence is higher than the previous record set on Friday of 1,732 new cases.
Infections have been on the rise since June when the authorities eased some restrictions and allowed cafes, churches and public transport to reopen.
The country has now logged a total of 89,719 cases including 2,044 deaths.

The virus fears of Nigeria's displaced people

Okobaba Destitute Home houses some of the most vulnerable people in Nigeria.
That’s why the threat of Covid-19 is such a serious concern to its residents, many of whom have fled instability in the country’s north.
“We’re scared because we have children, the elderly, and those with underlying health issues,” one resident, Suraju Saleh, told BBC Africa.
No one in the community has been infected with the virus yet, but if there is an outbreak, Suraju fears “it may get out of hand”.
Watch our video below to see how residents of Okobaba Destitute Home in Lagos are coping during the pandemic.

Nigeria: Lagos's vulnerable people struggle to cope with Covid-19

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 16:47

Denmark to require facemasks on public transport

Facemasks will be compulsory on public transport in Denmark from 22 August, the prime minister has announced.
Mette Frederiksen urged Danes to remain vigilant and respect social distancing measures.
Tyra Grove Krause, an official from the infectious diseases control authority, said: "We have witnessed a rise in the number of people infected in Denmark, with several local clusters."
"Some (outbreaks) are under control and others are about to be."
Denmark has escaped the worst of the pandemic in comparison to some European countries, with a death toll of 621.

New Zealand investigates possible Melbourne link

New Zealand authorities are investigating a possible link between the country’s new coronavirus outbreak and Covid-19 infections in the Australian state of Victoria.
The country’s director of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said on Saturday he had been in contact with health officials in Victoria about cases connected to US-based company Americold.
Workers at Americold’s cold-storage facilities in Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia have tested positive for Covid-19.
Dr Bloomfield said testing was under way on employees in Melbourne to see if there were any connections with the cases in Auckland.
"We're looking at that possibility, it's part of the overall puzzle and we are leaving no stone unturned," Dr Bloomfield said.
But Americold’s chief executive for Australia and New Zealand, Richard Winnall, dismissed Dr Bloomfield's suggestion.
Winnall said the “site at Melbourne has never shipped any freight to the [company's] Mt Wellington [Auckland] facility, according to our records".
New Zealand health officials are scrambling to find the source of the outbreak that resulted in restrictions being tightened again this week. There are now 37 cases linked to the latest outbreak, after seven more infections were recorded on Saturday.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 16:53

Ireland tourism boss resigns over holiday in Italy

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"As has been reported in the media this morning I am on a pre-arranged family holiday in Italy," wrote Crawley

With a tourism industry that has been badly damaged in the pandemic, the Republic of Ireland was encouraging people to avoid non-essential travel abroad and enjoy a holiday at home.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the country's national tourism authority is taking a break in Italy. Fáilte Ireland's Michael Cawley sent his resignation within hours of his trip being reported in the media this morning.
He said he was on a "pre-arranged family holiday" and resigned with "great regret".
Tourism Minister Catherine Martin said she was "disappointed to learn that the chair of Fáilte Ireland was holidaying in Italy".
She said that although Italy was on Ireland's "green list" of countries from which returning travellers do not have to restrict their movements, many other citizens had followed the guidance to avoid non-essential travel "at some personal and financial cost to themselves".

Herd-immunity death toll ‘would be enormous’, Dr Fauci says

Deaths linked to coronavirus “would be enormous and totally unacceptable” if the US were to pursue a strategy of herd immunity, the country’s top diseases expert has said.
Herd immunity is the point at which a population has developed protection against a disease. There are two ways to do this - mass infection or vaccination.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said if everyone contracted the disease “a lot of people are going to die”.
"You look at the United States of America, with our epidemic of obesity as it were. With the number of people with hypertension. With the number of people with diabetes. If everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable," Dr Fauci said in an Instagram interview .
The herd-immunity strategy was said to have been considered by some governments, including the UK’s, early on in the pandemic. But estimates of the loss of life and the heavy burden on hospitals led to criticism of the strategy.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 17:05

Iraq reports most-ever daily infections

A further 4,293 coronavirus infections have been reported in Iraq, the biggest rise in new cases since the pandemic began, health authorities say.
Iraq’s health ministry said the country had now recorded 172,583 cases in total, the third-highest number in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The health ministry also reported 76 fatalities, raising the country’s death toll to 5,785.
Iraq has been grappling with the disease since February, but cases have been surging recently after dipping off at the start of August.
The country's health system has been struggling to cope with the outbreak after years of war and neglect.
The video below highlights the heavy toll coronavirus has taken on the country's hospitals and cemeteries.

Coronavirus: 'I killed my mother with my own hands'

German minister criticises 'party holidays' in Spain

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has criticised "party holidays" in Spain as he defended a decision to designate most of the country a virus risk region.
"I know how much the Germans love Spain... But unfortunately the infection rates there are rising sharply, too sharply," Jens Spahn told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
"Whoever goes to Spain despite the warning should protect themselves and others while on holiday. Party holidays are irresponsible in this pandemic."
Those returning from risk regions - which include the island of Mallorca, popular with German tourists - must take a coronavirus test or quarantine for 14 days.
There are about 30,000 Germans on tour-operator holidays in the Balearic islands, most in Mallorca, plus more independent tourists, the German travel association said.
Bar owners in Mallorca told Reuters they feared for their businesses' future.
"We live in fear here. We don't know what tomorrow will bring," said Gelinde from Munich who owns Casa Baviera bar.
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases were up 1,415 to 222,828, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases - the biggest increase since late April.
Infections in Spain have also spiked in recent days.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 17:10

Liverpool's Cavern Club in 'fight for survival'

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The Cavern Club in Liverpool, best known for launching The Beatles, says it is facing a fight for its survival as a result of the pandemic.
The venue usually hosts about 800,000 visitors a year but one of its directors, Bill Heckle, said it had lost £30,000 a week since the lockdown began in March.
He said: "We went five months before unfortunately we had to make about 20 people redundant."
The Cavern is reopening for virtual sets by music bands from around the world later in August.
But its survival depends on a bid to the government's cultural recovery fund, a Liverpool City Council spokesperson said.
The city's mayor Joe Anderson said: "Liverpool City Council is doing all it can to help our venues but we can only do so much, given how much financial pressure we are under supporting the most vulnerable in our communities."
Read more about the government's help for the arts sector here.

US regulator adds more sanitisers to do-not-use list

Throughout the pandemic, health officials have been urging us to keep our hands clean. Why? To kill particles of coronavirus to prevent it from spreading.
Hand sanitisers are one way to do so, but not all of them are effective, as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly warned.
This week, the FDA expanded the list of products it advises people not to use to about 100 brands and 150 varieties.
Of the new products added to the list, 20 were sanitisers that didn’t contain enough alcohol to be effective.
To kill the virus, hand sanitisers must contain a sufficient amount of alcohol, at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . They must also be safe to use on the skin.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Aug 15 2020, 19:31

Eurotunnel carries 30,000 before quarantine deadline

Simon Jones - Reporter, BBC South East
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Eurotunnel says it carried more than 30,000 passengers in the run-up to the UK's quarantine deadline for people arriving from France.
British holidaymakers were in a rush to return to the UK before the quarantine began at 04:00 BST on Saturday.
The day was already one of the busiest of the year and, despite the already heavy traffic, Eurotunnel managed to get more tourists through urgently.
The Shuttle increased its capacity for the day by 30% by adding 22 additional departures and carrying more than 30,000 passengers during the day.
Additional teams came to the terminals to allow the 11,600 vehicles to quickly load the Shuttles.
Passengers were able to travel in complete safety, remaining in their personal vehicles throughout the journey, without any contact with either another passenger or a member of staff.
“It is thanks to our teams, their commitment and their professionalism that we were able to meet the expectations of our customers yesterday and make this remarkable collective effort a success," Yann Leriche, CEO of Getlink, which operates the Channel Tunnel, said.

We’re pausing our coverage

That’s it from us today, thanks for following our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Today's coverage was brought to you by Robert Greenall, Joshua Nevett, George Wright, Joseph Lee, Alex Kleiderman, Thomas Spender and Emma Owen.

We’ll be back again with more live updates from the UK and around the world.
To refresh your memory, here is a summary of today’s top stories:

  • Thousands of British holidaymakers made a last-minute dash to get home before a 14-day quarantine requirement came into force for people arriving from France
  • The Russian government said it had begun production of a new vaccine against coronavirus amid growing concerns about the safety of the country’s fast-track efforts
  • The Australian state of Victoria reported a considerable drop in new cases, but officials have warned against complacency as the virus continues to spread
  • New Zealand authorities said they were investigating a possible link between the country’s new coronavirus outbreak and Covid-19 infections in Victoria
  • Thousands of protesters descended on South Korea's capital to voice their concerns about a wide range of issues, defying social-distancing rules despite a jump in coronavirus cases

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 18:59