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Coronavirus - 27th August


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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:18

Summary for Thursday, 27th August

  • Rise in cases prompts French PM to speak of an 'undeniable surge'
  • South Korea registers 441 new infections - biggest one-day rise in cases
  • Low-paid workers in some parts of England to receive £13 a day for self-isolating
  • Centers for Disease Control says non-symptomatic people may not need testing in US
  • Remote tribe in India's Andamans archipelago records first cases of coronavirus
  • Internal China flights could recover fully by next month, travel data firm says
  • Australia's hard-hit Victoria sees lowest daily case rise since early July
  • More than 24m cases registered worldwide so far, and over 825,700 deaths - Johns Hopkins University

Good morning from London, where your live page team is reporting from today.
To help you catch up, here’s a summary of the main headlines.

  • South Korea has recorded its highest single-day rise in coronavirus cases since 7 March. South Korean public health body KCDC reported 441 new cases, 434 of which were locally-transmitted
  • People on low incomes in parts of England with high rates of the virus will be paid £13 a day if they need to self-isolate, up to £182. The scheme, which will apply to people who claim Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit and can’t work from home, comes into force on Tuesday. Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says the payment goes “nowhere near far enough”
  • US public health body the CDC has defended controversial changes to its guidelines, which now say people who come into contact with someone with the virus don't need to get tested themselves. The CDC’s director says the changes came after "appropriate" consultation with experts
  • A remote tribe in India’s Andamans archipelago has recorded its first cases of coronavirus. Four members of the Greater Andamanese tribe have tested positive, two of whom have been admitted to hospital, a health official told the BBC
  • Flights within China are expected to fully recover by the start of September, travel data firm ForwardKeys says. This month domestic arrivals at Chinese airports reached 86% of 2019 levels
  • Victoria state in Australia, which is currently in a second lockdown, has reported 113 new cases - its lowest daily rise in nearly two months. Just a few weeks ago the state hit a one-day high of 700 new cases, but strict lockdown measures have helped ease its surge
  • There have now been more than 24.1m confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, and more than 825,000 deaths, according to the tally kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University

Spike in infections in several European countries

From France, Italy and Spain to Switzerland and Croatia, new infections are rising in what some fear is a resurgence of the pandemic as governments try to manage the return to school.

  • France has recorded 5,429 new cases in 24 hours - the highest number since the mass rollout of Covid testing. Prime Minister Jean Castex says the state has its part to play but "everyone has to feel involved in fighting the epidemic". He's giving an update later this morning
  • Italy has seen a surge in cases with 1,367 reported new infections on Wednesday and 13 deaths
  • Spain's regional leaders will meet health and education officials to co-ordinate the return to school as infections continue to rise - 3,594 in 24 hours. Madrid is the worst affected region but Andalusia in the far south has recorded its highest figure of 846 cases since March
  • Summer tourism is key to Croatia's economy but it's also brought a steep rise in infection - a record 358 new cases in this country of 4.2 million people.
  • As Swiss infections reach their highest number since April, the city with the biggest problem is Zurich. Face-coverings in the city's clubs are being made compulsory for parties with more than 100 people under the slogan "no mask, no party".

South Korea sees highest rise in cases since 7 March

South Korea has recorded 441 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours - the highest single-day rise in new cases since 7 March.
Of these new cases 434 were locally transmitted, and 313 were from Seoul, the health ministry says.
More than 900 of the country’s current cases have been linked to a cluster around the Sarang-jeil church in Seoul.
Early in the pandemic, South Korea was praised for its effective controlling of the spread of the virus, including widespread testing and thorough contact-tracing.

Latest from the UK

If you’re joining us from the UK here’s the latest stories you need to know about this morning.

India hits another record for new cases

Krutika Pathi - BBC News, Delhi
India reported a new record of daily infections on Wednesday as more than 76,000 tested positive across the country. Simultaneously, fatalities also crossed 60,000 yesterday, which means the South Asian country has the fourth highest death toll in the world.
India has confirmed more than three million cases so far, with the latest million taking just 15 days to reach. In comparison, the country took 21 days to confirm two million cases and 167 days to reach the first million.
When India first went into a strict lockdown in March, it was clear that the urban and metropolitan cities were at the centre of the outbreak.
While that continues to be the case, experts have started to warn that the virus is slowly spreading into more far-flung and rural parts of the country. Most recently, a remote tribe in India's Andamans archipelago became the latest to record its first cases of the virus .
But India’s government has consistently pointed towards a high recovery rate as a sign of success in its battle against Covid-19. For every 100 infected, approximately 76 have recovered, contributing to a low case fatality ratio of around 1.8%.

Gaza lockdown extended for three days

Authorities in the Gaza Strip have extended the lockdown there for another three days - meaning mosques, schools and many businesses will remain closed, and people will continue to be urged to only leave home for essential reasons.
A 48-hour curfew was imposed earlier this week after the first Covid-19 infections were found among the general population. Since then, two patients have died and about 20 other cases have been recorded, some of them at the main hospital.
Aid agencies say Gaza's two million residents of the strip were already under strain, as not only is there a long-running blockade by Egypt and Israel, but electricity supplies have been slashed to just a few hours a day.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:24

Self-isolation payment is ‘a slap in the face’ – council leader

A scheme which allows people on low incomes in parts of England where there are high rates of coronavirus to claim up to £182 if they have to self-isolate offers “no incentive” to stay at home, one council leader has said.
Mohammed Iqbal, the Labour Leader of Pendle Council – where the initiative is being trialled along with Blackburn with Darwen, and Oldham – welcomed the idea but said the amount of money being offered was “a slap in the face” for people who test positive.
He called for those self-isolating to be paid the living wage – around £50 a day – and said the lack of incentive to self-isolate was contributing to the high rates of infection in areas of the country like Pendle.

UK flu jab rates prompt complacency warning

Complacency in the UK over the flu jab risks overwhelming the NHS, experts have warned, as data reveals the scale of the challenge in expanding the vaccination programme.
Last month, the government announced plans to double the amount of people who receive the influenza jab.
But BBC analysis has found the take-up rate among those people in vulnerable groups eligible for a free jab has declined in recent years.
Asked about the figures on BBC Breakfast, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said England would have "the biggest flu vaccination programme ever" this autumn to avoid a flu outbreak at the same time as dealing with coronavirus.
He said the government was "targeting efforts" at getting as many over-65s and those with underlying health conditions vaccinated as possible, and the programme would be extended to those aged 50-64 "if we have enough".
Read more .

Warnings of 'ghost towns' if UK staff do not return to the office

City centres could become "ghost towns" if the prime minister does not do more to encourage workers to go back to the office, the head of the CBI says.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said allowing staff to work from home had helped keep firms afloat during the pandemic.
But as offices stood empty, thousands of local businesses that relied on the passing trade were suffering, she said.
It comes as a BBC study found 50 major UK employers had no plans to return all staff to the office full time.
Read more .

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:28

China is already vaccinating workers

Robin Brant - BBC News, Beijing
Earlier this month, the head of a well-known, privately-owned Chinese conglomerate told his staff that a vaccine for Covid-19 was expected to come to market by November.
The boss, whose firm has a healthcare division, said that he saw it as a portent of economic recovery; a chance for his firms to sell more, according to a person privy to the comments.
Within a few weeks the Chinese government was forced to go public with its apparent progress.
The novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 originated in humans in China, before it spread ceaselessly across the world. Now China is using its global footprint in a relentless effort to win the race to develop and deploy an effective vaccine.
Last week one of the developmental vaccines was pictured in state-run media; a small branded box was shown, held up by a smiling woman in a lab.
Sinopharm said it hopes to have it ready to go on sale by December. It even named a price, equivalent to about $140 (£106).
Read more about this here

Virus surge starts to ease in Australian epicentre

The number of new cases in the Australian state of Victoria is easing, with the state reporting its lowest one-day rise in new cases in almost two months.
The state recorded 113 new cases in the past 24 hours, the lowest single-day increase since 5 July.
Victoria, which is the epicentre of the country's second surge of infections, is currently in lockdown, with the city of Melbourne under stricter restrictions than the rest of the state.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says they're now planning how to ease restrictions when Melbourne's lockdown is due to end in September.
"Hopefully soon we'll see those numbers in double digits and we can have... a really clear discussion about what the back end of September looks like," Andrews told reporters.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:39

Why we still need to worry about flu this winter

Health officials are ramping up efforts to ensure everyone who needs a flu vaccine has one.
The UK's largest flu-immunisation programme so far will see 30 million people offered the vaccine.
But new analysis by the BBC has found the take-up rate among those in vulnerable groups eligible for a free jab has declined in recent years.
Experts are concerned a big flu season combined with coronavirus could overwhelm hospitals.
Our health team have looked at what the UK is doing to combat this .

Record number of new infections in Argentina

Argentina has for the first time registered more than 10,000 new daily coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
The health authorities said on Wednesday that the number of infections registered in the past 24 hours was 10,550, up from 8,871 on Tuesday.
It has not been a good week for Argentina, which on Monday had its highest daily death toll with 381 Covid-related fatalities.
A strict lockdown imposed early on in the pandemic kept the number of cases relatively low in Argentina for months, especially compared with its neighbour Brazil, but its infection curve is now rising steeply.
The government said it would announce in the next 48 hours what measures it would take to curb the recent spike.

Gibraltar and Switzerland at risk of being added to UK quarantine list

Nick Eardley - Political correspondent
There is concern about a rising number of coronavirus cases in Gibraltar ahead of a decision later today on UK quarantine restrictions.
At least one part of the UK is expected to require people arriving from the British Overseas Territory to self-isolate for two weeks.
But the issue has been described as a “sticking point” because of diplomatic concerns.
It is also understood there is discussion about requiring people arriving from Jamaica and the Czech Republic to quarantine. The rest of the UK could also follow Scotland and require isolation on arrival from Switzerland too.
Cuba is among the countries where there has been a decline in case numbers – and it is possible it could be added to the quarantine exemption list.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:41

Germany set to tighten rules as cases rise

Germany appears poised to limit private parties to a maximum of 25 people, and extend a ban on large events to the end of the year, as cases continue to rise in the country.
The ban on large gatherings was due to end in October.
Meanwhile the government also looks set to impose a €50 (£45; $59) fine on people not wearing masks, and keep fans out of stadiums until at least the end of the year, according to reports from German media and AFP news agency.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet the leaders of the country's 16 federal states later today to officially agree on new measures, which would apply nationwide.
Some media report that there could be exceptions in areas with low case numbers.
At the moment, each German state sets its own fines - leading to marked variations. In Bavaria someone can be fined €250 for not wearing a mask, for example, while in Hamburg this is only €40.

France facing 'undeniable surge in epidemic' - PM

Prime Minister Jean Castex says the virus is four times more prevalent in the French population than a month ago and 21 areas are now classified as "red zones". That's up from just two earlier today.
"The epidemic is gaining ground and now is the time we have to intervene," he said in a press conference. If France didn't act fast the spread could become "exponential".
Although the spread is primarily among young people, hospital admissions are gradually rising to around 800 a week. The transmission rate is now 1.4 and the French PM says "the virus is spreading all over the country".
While he stressed the "aim is to do everything to avoid a lockdown, especially across the board", Mr Castex said the health ministry was putting plans in place either for local or national lockdowns.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:45

Masks set to become compulsory in Paris

More on the French prime minister's remarks this morning in which he said the number of departments where the virus was in active circulation had gone from two to 21.
Paris is already a so-called "red zone" and Jean Castex says wearing masks everywhere in the capital will become compulsory. It's already required in several streets and areas of the city but the PM says the head of police and the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, are going to extend that to the whole of Paris. He said there's also a question mark over the "inner ring" of areas surrounding Paris, where the vast majority of the capital's population lives.
Only this week, face-coverings were made compulsory throughout France's second city Marseille. Mayor Michèle Rubirola has just announced that 500,000 free masks will be handed out to all secondary school students and those on income support.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Olivier Véran has promised to step up Covid testing to reach a million tests a week in September, with the aim of making them available to "anyone who needs one and anyone who wants one".

Liverpool warns virus spreading amongst under 40s

Liverpool City Council has appealed to adults under 40 to follow social distancing guidelines following a rise in cases across the city in north-west England.
The council said there had been a steady increase in the rolling weekly total over the last fortnight, with those aged 40 and under accounting for half of the cases.
Director of public health Matt Ashton said: "It is really important that as schools start to reopen and more workplaces are getting back to normal, we all take responsibility and follow the guidance to limit the spread of cases as far as possible."
Other areas of the North West, including Preston , have also warned young people are playing a significant role in spreading the virus, while the World Health Organization has said young people could be driving recent spikes across Europe.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:49

Covid strikes remote Greater Andamanese tribe

Soutik Biswas - India Correspondent
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Coronavirus has struck a remote tribe in India's Andamans archipelago.
Ten members of the Greater Andamanese people have tested positive over the past month, a health official told the BBC. Four of them living on a remote island were found to be infected last week, and six others who lived in a city tested positive a month ago.
The Greater Andamanese are believed to have a population of just over 50, and mostly live on one of the 37 islands in the coral reef-fringed archipelago.
The eastern archipelago of Andamans and Nicobar has recorded 2,985 Covid-19 cases and 41 deaths since its first infection was detected in early June.
The first Covid-19 cases among the endangered Greater Andamanese tribe living on Strait Island near the capital Port Blair were detected last week when all its 53 members were tested for the infection, senior health official Dr Avijit Roy told the BBC.
The Andamans is home to five "particularly vulnerable" tribes, including the Jarawas and North Sentinelese.
Read the full story here .

Europe entering 'tricky moment' as schools reopen - WHO

Europe is entering a "tricky moment" with the new school year, the World Health Organization has said.
While classrooms have not played a major role in spreading coronavirus, there is growing evidence of young people infecting others at social gatherings, WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge told a news briefing.
"The younger people are not necessarily going to die from it but it's a tornado with a long tail," he said.
"At one stage, younger people particularly with the winter coming, will be in closer contact with the elder population."
You can read more about the risk of coronavirus spreading in schools here .

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 12:52

Test and Trace reaches 75.5% of close contacts

Some 75.5% of close contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England were reached through the Test and Trace system in the week ending 19 August, according to new figures from the Department of Health.
This is up from 71.6% in the previous week.
For cases handled by local health protection teams, 95.6% of contacts were reached and asked to self-isolate, while for those handled either online or by call centre only, 61.6% of contacts were reached.
Sage, which advises the government, has said that at least 80% of contacts would need to isolate for the scheme to be effective.
You can read more about how contact tracing works here .

Health secretary defends self-isolation payment

The health secretary has defended a scheme offering workers on low incomes in parts of England where there are high rates of coronavirus up to £182 if they have to self-isolate .
Some council leaders have said the payment is not enough of an incentive to ensure people to stay at home from work.
But Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast the payment was in addition to other benefits people may receive and would make sure people "don't lose out from doing the right thing".
He said it would initially be trialled in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham because these areas had the most "acute need" but had the potential to be rolled out further if it was successful.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 15:50

EU trade commissioner's 'tireless work' praised after he steps down

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says she is "very grateful" to Phil Hogan for his "tireless and successful work", after he stepped down as EU trade commissioner.
She will now ask the Irish government to propose two candidates for his replacement.
Hogan resigned on Wednesday after attending a golf dinner in Ireland with more than 80 guests.
The Irish government says the dinner, which was held in County Galway on 19 August, breached Covid-19 guidelines. Hogan was also criticised for not following quarantine rules when he arrived in Ireland from Brussels.
While Hogan denies breaking the law, he says he "should have been more rigorous" in adhering to the guidelines.

If you're just joining us...

Good afternoon from London - or if you're joining us from the Americas, good morning, and good evening to our readers in Asia.
A lot has happened today. To help you catch up, here are the main headlines from around the world.

  • French Prime Minister Jean Castex has warned of an "undeniable surge" in new cases in the country, confirming that the number of departments where the virus is in active circulation has gone from two to 21. Masks will also become compulsory everywhere in Paris
  • The WHO has warned that Europe is entering a "tricky moment" as children begin going back to school
  • India has reported another hike in new daily cases - 76,000 on Wednesday
  • South Korea has registered 441 new infections - the biggest single-day rise in the country since March
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has defended changing its guidelines to say people who come into contact with others who have the virus are not required to be tested
  • A remote tribe in India's Andamans archipelago has recorded its first cases of the virus. A health official tells the BBC that 10 members of the Greater Andamanese tribe have tested positive over the past month
  • Victoria state, the epicentre of the outbreak in Australia, has reported its lowest daily rise in cases since early July - sparking hopes that a strict lockdown in the state is successfully containing the virus
  • There have now been more than 24.2m confirmed cases of the virus and more than 826,000 deaths worldwide, according to the tally kept by US-based Johns Hopkins University

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 15:54

Switzerland travellers could face UK quarantine rules

Travellers returning to anywhere in the UK from Switzerland could have to self-isolate, if the government decides to remove the country from its quarantine exemption list.
UK ministers are meeting later on Thursday to discuss any changes to the list of safe travel corridors .
The requirement to quarantine for 14 days has already been applied to people coming from Switzerland to Scotland, following a rise in infections in the country.
The UK considers imposing quarantine conditions when a country's rate of infection exceeds 20 cases per 100,000 people over seven days. Switzerland currently has a seven-day rate of 21.2.
There is also concern about a rising number of Covid cases in Gibraltar where the number of cases now stands above 100 per 100,000. But as a British Overseas Territory, the move would be diplomatically controversial.

Latest from the UK

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

Sweden could allow large public gatherings

Sweden could relax its rules on public gatherings to allow up to 500 people to attend if they can be seated, according to a proposal from the country's public health agency.
The agency said venues that can accommodate this many seated guests could be granted an exemption from the current rule, which only allows a maximum of 50 people.
"The proposal relates to events where there are numbered seats," agency head Anders Tegnell told reporters.
He said that if the government accepts the proposal, its effects should be evaluated - and "if it works well, the limit can be raised".

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 15:57

France among several European countries seeing case rise

Earlier we reported that French Prime Minister Jean Castex had warned of an "undeniable surge" in cases in the country.
Speaking to reporters today, he said that the number of departments in France where the virus is in active circulation had gone from just two to 21. Masks are also going to become compulsory everywhere in the capital Paris, he said.
But France is far from the only country on the continent seeing a rise in the number of infections.
We've charted the increase in cases across western Europe, which you can see below - and if you want to see more visualisations of outbreaks in different countries, you can find them in our piece here .

Third of world's schoolchildren 'unable to access remote learning'

With all the talk of returning children safely to school, startling statistics from the UN children's agency indicate just how important getting back to the classroom will be. At least one third of the world's schoolchildren - some 463 million - were unable to access any remote learning in the months when Covid-19 shuttered their schools, Unicef says in a new report .
The report reveals the limitations of remote learning for those children who do not have access to the necessary technology - and for those in countries that did not respond adequately to the situation. It also found significant inequalities across the world, with at least half of all schoolchildren in sub-Saharan Africa unable to access remote learning.
"The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global emergency," said Henrietta Fore, Unicef's executive director. "The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come."

Manchester United's Pogba tests positive for Covid-19

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has tested positive for coronavirus, France manager Didier Deschamps has said.
The 27-year-old will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
He will miss France's Nations League game in Sweden on 5 September and the home game against Croatia three days later.
However, Pogba could still be eligible for selection for United's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on 19 September.
Read more .

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 16:03

Has the pandemic reversed progress on plastic?

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Before the coronavirus, people across the world were making huge strides in reducing - or even in some cases eliminating - single-use plastic from their lives.
But with the pandemic changing so much of our lifestyles, plastic-free habits are going out of the window, a study from Canada suggests.
According to a report in Canada's National Post , people's concern about the environmental impact of single-use plastic has gone down this year; and one third of respondents told the study that they had bought more plastic-wrapped food during the pandemic.
The reason, it adds, is that for many people health and safety concerns now trump environmental concerns when it comes to choosing whether or not to buy something wrapped in plastic packaging.
Similar trends have been seen elsewhere. Reuters reported earlier this week that the streets of Hong Kong were littered with plastic because of a ban on dining in, and an increase in people getting food to take away.

Another million apply for jobless benefits in US

Samira Hussain - New York business correspondent
Another one million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits this past week. Although it is a small drop from 1.1 million claims a week earlier, Americans are not going back to work at the speed economists had hoped. The surge in coronavirus cases has meant many businesses have been forced to review their reopening plans.
These weekly job figures from the US Labor Department are the most timely data on the health of the American economy. The US economy remains weak, despite signs of improvement in some parts of the country.
Apart from one week, these weekly jobless claims have remained above a million since the month of March. At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, many of the job losses were temporary but economists believe the newer ones are likely to be permanent.

UK fines for breaching lockdown measures peaked in mid April

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Just seven fines were issued during lockdown restrictions in England for people contravening rules not to stay overnight at a friend or relative's house without reasonable excuse, data released by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) reveals.
The seven fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were among 16,021 issued in England between 27 March and 17 August. A further 2,662 were handed out in Wales.
Most notices - 13,980 - were issued by police for breaching restriction of movement rules, typically in the early weeks of lockdown restrictions, peaking in the middle of April.
The Police Chiefs said there had been a "considerable reduction in enforcement activity" amid "generally a flatter trend" of rule breaking as restrictions were eased.
Separate figures from the Home Office, issued earlier this month, revealed that nine fines had been issued at the UK border since quarantine restrictions were introduced.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 16:42

UK records highest number of cases since mid June

The UK has recorded a further 1,522 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours - the highest number since the middle of June, according to figures published by the government.
It marks an increase of nearly 500 cases in one day, up from 1,048 on Wednesday. But the rise comes amid an increase in testing, possibly accounting for greater case numbers.
A further 12 people have died within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus, taking the death toll in the UK to 41,477.
Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been a total of 57,200 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Maskless travellers end up on Delta's 'no-fly list'

In the US, there's no federal mandate on people wearing masks in airports and on aeroplanes. Instead, it's left up to the airlines to set and enforce their own rules.
Although an airline's gate agents can refuse to allow people to board if they're not wearing a mask, once those passengers are on the plane, there's little cabin crew can do beyond threatening to place them on a list banning them from future travel with that carrier.
US airline Delta has placed about 240 people on one such "no-fly list" for refusing to comply with the company's mandatory mask policy, Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees today.
"Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list," he said in the memo seen by Reuters news agency.
One prominent figure to end up on Delta's list was Robert O’Neill, a Navy Seal who was involved in the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden. He posted a selfie last Wednesday while on board a flight to Newark, New Jersey, in which he wasn't wearing a mask.

Around 463m pupils have no access to online schooling

Sean Coughlan - BBC News, education correspondent
When schools around the world were closed by the coronavirus pandemic, it meant families relying on accessing lessons online.
But an international report from Unicef shows that for one in three of the world’s school children, there was no access to any kind of distance learning.
Henrietta Fore, executive director of the UN’s children’s agency, says this has become a “global education emergency” with the long-term exclusion from education likely to damage “economies and societies for decades to come”.
The most acute problem has been in sub-Saharan Africa, where about half of children - about 120 million pupils - have been out of reach of school.
When schools closed, so did access to any kind of lessons - and the report warns the poorest families are most likely to have missed out.
About 1.5 billion children around the world saw schools closed by Covid-19, and now an estimated 463 million have been left without any education to replace it - either because they had no internet access or because their schools had no way of providing online or distance learning.
Anja Nielsen, of Unicef UK, says even before the pandemic the digital divide in access to educational technology was already a “monumental inequity”.
This has now got worse, she says, and much greater efforts must be made to “ensure that all pupils are able to access learning - within and outside the school walls”.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 19:50

Travellers from Switzerland, Jamaica and Czech Republic will have to quarantine

The UK government has announced it is to remove the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Jamaica from the list of travel corridors.
A tweet from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said those arriving in the UK from any of the three specified destinations after 0400 on Saturday would need to self-isolate for 14 days.
He added that data showed the three countries need to be removed from the list of safe destinations "to keep infection rates down".

Masks in Paris mandatory from Friday morning

From 08:00 on Friday (06:00 GMT), anyone out in public in the French capital will be required to wear a face covering. This will include people on bicycles, motorcycles, scooters and a variety of other mobility vehicles, Paris's mayor has announced.
Individual streets and areas in Paris already had rules on wearing face coverings, but the new rules extend to the city's inner ring of Seine-Saint-Denis, Hauts-de-Seine and Val-de-Marne.
France has seen a surge of Covid-19 cases across the country and Prime Minister Jean Castex has promised to do everything to avoid another widespread lockdown, including increased testing.
Read more here .

Jet2 cancels all remaining summer flights to the Balearics

Holiday company Jet2 has announced it has cancelled all flights to the Balearic Islands this summer.
The low-cost airline and package operator said it had taken the "difficult decision" to suspend all flights and holidays to Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca because of "ongoing uncertainty" around the pandemic and current UK government advice.
UK travellers visiting Spain or any of the Spanish Islands must currently self-isolate for 14 days upon return, after a spike in coronavirus infections.
Jet2 said customers would be offered a full refund, a credit note or the option to rebook - with Jet2 promising almost 100,000 additional seats to destinations in Greece, Turkey and Portugal.
The company said it remained committed to working with the Balearic Islands, and bookings for summer 2021 were "looking strong".

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Coronavirus - 27th August Empty Re: Coronavirus - 27th August

Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 19:58

Merkel urges Germans to avoid coronavirus risk travel

German citizens are being urged not to travel to countries and regions where the risk of contracting the coronavirus is high.
"It has turned out that a disproportionately high number of travellers returning (from high-risk areas) tested positive," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after a meeting with regional ministers on new quarantine rules.
From October, a new digital system will replace paper documents handed out on flights to better track returnees and monitor their quarantine obligations. Those who fail to follow the rules could face substantial fines.
Travellers returning from non-essential travel to high-risk countries may also find they are unable to claim compensation for lost income during self-isolation.
Mandatory testing at airports will continue, Mrs Merkel said, but the 14-day quarantine rule could be shortened if a negative test is provided within five days of landing.

Analysis: How worried should we be about rise in UK infections?

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The number of daily UK cases of coronavirus has risen to 1,522 in the past 24 hours - the highest tally since mid-June.
But this rise needs to be seen in context.
While any increase in cases is worrying, we are now testing more people than we did two months ago.
And it follows that the more you look for the virus, the more you will find it.
The increase in cases since early July - when the average rate was half what it is now - cannot be accounted for alone by more testing, but it is certainly a factor.
The other thing to remember is where we have come from.
At the peak of the pandemic, we were not able to conduct mass testing, so we don't know exactly how many cases there were. But the best estimates suggest there were around 100,000 new infections every day at the end of March.
It is unrealistic to expect cases to fall to zero.
What's important now is that we keep beating down the virus – and limit any increases.
That requires identifying hotspots and keeping a lid on them. All the indications are that the areas that have had extra restrictions imposed on them in recent weeks have seen a declining number of cases.
The national rise - certainly at this point - is not as alarming as it seems. But there can be no room for complacency.

Where can UK travellers holiday and avoid quarantine?

Coronavirus - 27th August 683e9f10
UK travellers heading to Greece do not currently have to quarantine on return

People planning trips abroad face uncertainty, with the ongoing prospect of new countries being added to the UK's quarantine list, often at short notice.
Travellers in Switzerland, Czech Republic and Jamaica are the latest holidaymakers to face unexpected quarantine - anyone arriving in the UK from there after 04:00 BST on Saturday will have to self-isolate for two weeks.
Croatia, Austria, France and Spain have all found themselves on the UK quarantine list over the course of the last six weeks.
So which countries are now subject to UK quarantine measures, what's the criteria for adding or removing countries from the list, and which holiday destinations can you still travel to - at present - without being locked down in your own home for two weeks afterwards?
We have all the answers for you here.

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Coronavirus - 27th August Empty Re: Coronavirus - 27th August

Post by Kitkat on Thu Aug 27 2020, 20:03

New record virus numbers for France

As Parisians prepare for the mandatory wearing of masks from Friday, France has reached a new record in the number of daily infections since lockdown ended in early May.
An additional 6,111 people were registered as infected with Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, public health body DGS says. Forty-eight people died over the past two days.
Prime Minister Jean Castex has admitted there is an "undeniable resurgence of the epidemic", with a national rate of 39 positive cases per 100,000 people, four times the rate of a month ago.
Mandatory face coverings in some areas - along with an increase in testing - have been introduced to try and stem the spread of the virus.

Wales adds Singapore to safe travel list

The Welsh government has added Singapore and Cuba to its safe travel list, meaning travellers returning to Wales from either destination will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days.
In line with the UK government, travellers returning to Wales from Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Jamaica will face quarantine from 0400 on Saturday 29 August , after a spike in infections saw them removed from the UK's established travel corridors, Health Secretary for Wales Vaughan Gething said in a statement.

Developments from around the world

We'll be bringing this live page to a close shortly.
Thank you for following our coverage of the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic from around the world. They include:

  • Stark findings from the UN children’s agency that a third of the world’s school children having been denied access to remote learning since schools were shuttered
  • Warnings from the World Health Organization that Europe is entering a ‘tricky moment’ as children begin to return to school
  • From 08:00 (06:00 GMT) on Friday, everyone out and about in Paris will be required to wear a face covering as a further 6,111 infections are recorded across France
  • A remote tribe in India’s Andamans archipelago records its first cases of the virus amid another rise in daily cases across India
  • Good news for the Australian state of Victoria, which reports its lowest daily rise in cases since early July - sparking hopes that a strict lockdown is successfully containing the virus

Goodbye - and thanks for joining us

That's it for our live coverage for today. If you're just catching up with the headlines, here's a taste of what's been going on around the UK.

Today's live coverage was edited by Sean Fanning and Lauren Turner, and written by Ashitha Nagesh, Becky Morton, Paul Kirby, Penny Spiller and Victoria Lindrea.

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 04:25