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Coronavirus - 3rd November

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 11:06

Summary for Tuesday, 3rd November

  • Liverpool is to take part in the first trial of city-wide coronavirus testing in England
  • If the pilot is successful, the government says it could be rolled out to "millions" by Christmas
  • Nicola Sturgeon has asked for clarity on whether the furlough scheme will be extended in Scotland beyond 2 December
  • Michael Gove has apologised for wrongly suggesting that playing golf or tennis would be exempt from the new lockdown
  • Sports coaches have criticised the decision to suspend all children's grassroots sport during England's new lockdown
  • Universities and colleges in England face "significant funding shortfalls and heightened uncertainty", a report warns

Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the latest stories you need to know about in the UK this morning:

Will England's lockdown end on 2 December?

That was the question posed to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on BBC Breakfast earlier.
Prime Boris Johnson said he expected the lockdown to last until 2 December, after which England's regional tiered system will be reintroduced.
However, on Sunday Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove conceded the lockdown could be extended beyond the December deadline if infections had not been brought under control.
Speaking about whether the lockdown would end on 2 December, Mr Jenrick said: "Well that’s our hope and our expectation.
"We didn’t want to be doing these measures. We wanted to continue the proportionate and regionalised approach for as long as possible, but the evidence at the end of last week was very stark.
“If these measures have the effect that we hope and expect them to have, then we will be exiting them on the 2 December.
"We’ll return to the tiered approach at that point, so we’ll be looking at what does the data say about different parts of the country and be able to ease restrictions accordingly."

Latest from around the world

And here are the main coronavirus stories elsewhere in the world this morning.

  • A new national lockdown has come into force in Austria , including a curfew between 20:00 and 06:00 and cafes and restaurants closing apart from for takeaway
  • France reported a record 52,518 new Covid-19 cases on Monday – its worst daily figure – and another 418 deaths
  • The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, Dr Mike Ryan, has urged people to support governments trying to protect populations from coronavirus, saying European leaders in particular are facing a very difficult situation with limited options
  • US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, have attacked each other over how to deal with the pandemic as they delivered their closing pitches to voters in critical states, ahead of Tuesday’s election

The key developments from the last few hours:
The Guardian

  • China reports 49 new cases. China reported 49 new Covid-19 cases for 2 November, up from 24 a day earlier, the national health authority reported on Tuesday. The National Health Commission said in a statement 44 of the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas.
  • Panama president self-isolating. Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo has began self-isolating after a close coworker tested positive for the coronavirus, the presidency said on Monday, without revealing the name or position of the person who was infected. Cortizo has taken two coronavirus tests, which were both negative, but will continue isolating “until he repeats the tests in a few days”, the presidency said on Twitter.
  • Canada announced new requirements for travellers on Monday, and fines of up to $1,000 for those who do not comply.
  • New Zealanders coming home for Christmas warned quarantine hotels may be full. New Zealand’s quarantine hotels are approaching capacity as the military warns there may not be room to house Kiwis planning to return home for Christmas.
  • WHO warns it’s ‘not too late’ to take critical action. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in some countries in Europe and North America presented leaders with a “critical moment for action”. “This is another critical moment for action,” he said. “Another critical moment for leaders to step up. And another critical moment for people to come together for a common purpose. Seize the opportunity, it’s not too late.”
  • France reported a record 52,518 new Covid-19 on Monday and the number of people hospitalised with the disease rose by more than a 1,000 for the fourth time in eight days, as the pandemic showing no signs of abating despite a new lockdown.
  • Portugal considering state of emergency to tackle Covid-19.Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said he is pondering declaring a state of emergency as a preventive measure to fight the spread of the coronavirus at a time when infections are soaring.
  • Italy’s coronavirus strategy is ‘wasting time’, says scientific advisor. Italy is working towards measures that could include a national 9pm curfew, a ban on inter-regional travel and the closure of shopping malls at weekends.
  • Slovakia carries out Covid mass testing of two-thirds of population. Two-thirds of Slovakia’s population of 5.4 million people were tested for coronavirus over the weekend as part of a programme aimed at making it one of the first countries to test its entire population .
  • Germany begins ‘light lockdown’. Germany goes into “lockdown light” mode today, as the country’s disease control agency recorded 12,097 new confirmed Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours. Bars, cinemas, theatres, museums, fitness studios and swimming pools will remain closed from today, while cafes and restaurants are allowed to offer takeaway food only. Meetings in public are restricted to two households and no more than 10 people. Unlike during the first lockdown in the spring, schools and nurseries will stay open.
  • Coronavirus infections fall for third day straight in the Netherlands. The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands rose by nearly 8,300 over the past 24 hours, the slowest pace in roughly two weeks.
  • Iran reports record high Covid death toll as travel bans go into force. Iran reported a record 440 Covid deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing the country’s death toll to 35,738 as a ban on travel in and out of major cities came into force.
  • Donald Trump tries to stoke fears of Covid lockdown under Joe Biden. In the final hours before election day, one of Trump’s closing messages to Americans was an exaggerated threat: that a Joe Biden presidency will result in a national Covid-19 lockdown. Speaking in Iowa on Sunday , the president said the election was a “choice between a deadly Biden lockdown … or a safe vaccine that ends the pandemic”.
  • The European Union (EU) has agreed to provide Mozambique with 100 million euros ($116.30 million) in coronavirus-related aid. The EU cut off direct budget support to Mozambique in 2016 after the country revealed the existence of hefty state-guaranteed loans that it had not previously disclosed.
  • T-cell Covid immunity ‘present in adults six months after first infection’. Cellular (T-cell) immunity against the virus that causes Covid-19 is likely to be present within most adults six months after primary infection, with levels considerably higher in patients with symptoms, a study suggests .
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 11:55

The Guardian

The Czech Republic has reported 9,241 new coronavirus cases and 225 new deaths in the last 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed on Tuesday.
The tally of infections rose to 350,896 in the nation of 10.7 million people, while deaths stood at 3,654.
The increase in deaths was spread over several days because of reporting issues, however, and was not limited to the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile professional athletes in the country will be allowed to train in indoor facilities from Wednesday, reports Inside Scoop , a Czech news site in English. They have been closed since October 12 due to the epidemic.
Individual competitions will be able to resume only if they meet certain criteria. Regular testing will probably be one of the requirements. All matches will take place without spectators.

Coronavirus - 3rd November Kitkat10  giggle  I love this part.  Made my day this has lololol :

Perhaps my favourite Covid-related Czech news story story, however, comes from South Bohemia. It’s a couple of days old, but worth posting here for the picture alone in my humble opinion.
The Czech Republic is currently operating a strict 9pm curfew, which has encouraged some people to be a little creative, according to Expats CZ.
:Left Quotes:  One exception that allows people out of the house at night is walking a dog, but not everybody has one.
That didn’t stop a man in České Budějovice, South Bohemia. He was caught by local police “walking” a toy stuffed dog in the city center at náměstí Přemysla Otakara II. A Czech News crew was following the police to document them dealing with curfew violations and captured the incident. Images has since gone viral over social media.
Tweet  Ian Willoughby:

:Left Quotes:  České Budějovice resident tries to get around nighttime curfew by walking a dog. Only thing is it was a cuddly toy.

Tweet  Ondřej Nováček:

"Venčím tady psa, nedělám nic nezákonnýho. Je plyšovej ale."
Z noční kontroly strážníků městské policie v Českých Budějovicích.

Coronavirus - 3rd November Elgyx710
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 12:11

Hungary registers record new cases and deaths

Hungary has recorded a record number of daily coronavirus infections and deaths.
In the last 24 hours, 84 Covid-19 patients have died, while coronavirus infections rose by 3,989 to 86,769, koronavirus.gov.hu said on Tuesday.
Hungary Today reports on the “black day”:
The death toll rose to 1,973, while 20,856 people have made a recovery.
There are 63,940 active infections, while 4,767 patients are hospitalised, 348 on ventilators.
Fully 30,984 people are in official home quarantine, while the number of tests carried out stands at 1,111,991.
Current restrictions in Hungary include:

  • controls at the border
  • restrictions on large events
  • wearing face masks obligatory in shops, public transport, cinemas, theatres, shopping malls, health-care and social-care facilities.
  • From Monday, mask-wearing will also be mandatory at entertainment venues, restaurants and catering facilities at sporting events.
  • Restaurants and entertainment venues must close after 11pm.
  • Visits to hospitals and nursing homes are banned.


Indonesia reports 2,973 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours

This takes the total number of infections to 418,375, according to data from the country’s health ministry.
The country has also reported an additional 102 deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 14,146.
The Indonesia Medical Association (IDI) said earlier on Tuesday that 161 doctors, including nine dentists, had died from the virus in the March to October period.

Poland: number of infected people doubles in less than two weeks

In Poland the number of people infected with Covid has doubled in less than two weeks.
The health ministry has said that the total number of people infected in Poland passed the 400,000 mark on Tuesday.
There were 19,364 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, below the record high of 21,897 recorded last Saturday.
The number of infected people since the beginning of the pandemic rose to 414,844, and the total number of deaths rose to 6,102, the ministry said on its Twitter account.

Germany is in a decisive phase of the coronavirus pandemic, health minister Jens Spahn said, adding the situation was serious and November would be a tough month.
The number of people who needed ventilation is rising too strongly, Spahn told a news conference a day after Germany introduced a partial lockdown to slow the spread of the virus and ensure the health system is not overwhelmed.
Germany would have faced more than 400,000 new daily coronavirus cases by Christmas if the pace of infections had been allowed to continue, a senior health official has said, a day after a new partial lockdown was introduced
“The (new) measures can brake the spread of the virus,” said Lars Schaade, vice president of the Robert Koch Institute, the leading authority in Germany on the virus.

Bahrain has granted emergency approval for the use of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate on frontline workers from Tuesday, state news agency BNA said, reporting an announcement by the health minister.
Reuters reports:
The United Arab Emirates in September allowed similar emergency use of the same vaccine for frontline workers at high risk of infection with the new coronavirus.
The vaccine candidate, nearing the end of phase III trials in Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan, is a partnership between Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG) and Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company Group 42 (G42).
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 12:20

Swedish regions tighten coronavirus restrictions

Maddy Savage - BBC News, Stockholm
Four Swedish regions, including those encompassing the country’s three largest cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo, have introduced tougher coronavirus restrictions.
The new guidelines vary slightly between areas, but include staying away from non-essential shops and avoiding malls, gyms, museums and public transport.
People have been asked to avoid physical contact with those they do not live with. Officials have also warned against hosting or attending dinners or house parties.
The new guidelines will remain in place until at least 17 or 19 November, depending on the region. Other existing recommendations remain in place, such as working from home if you can do so and staying in if you have any coronavirus-like symptoms.
On 1 November, a legally-binding ban on public gatherings of more than 50 people was lifted. This allowed socially-distanced sporting and cultural events for up to 300 people to take place.
But few are expected to go ahead, as all regions with tighter recommendations have chosen to keep the limit.

Poland struggles with second wave

Adam Easton - Warsaw Correspondent
Coronavirus - 3rd November 6012a310
Restrictions have not stopped protests against a near total ban on abortion

The number of coronavirus infections in Poland has passed 400,000, with more than 6,000 virus-related deaths.
Poland’s second wave is much bigger than the first. The number of new cases reported on Tuesday is 32 times higher than the highest daily number reported in the spring.
The whole country is under the highest level of restrictions, with restaurants, cafes and bars only offering takeaway service.
All schools have switched to online learning, apart from the first three years of primary school. Children under 16 are not allowed outside without an accompanying adult, and the over-70s are allowed out only to shop, carry out professional activities or attend church.
But the restrictions have not stopped hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets across the country for 12 consecutive days to protest against a court ruling that introduces a near total ban on abortion.
The outbreak is stretching the country’s public health care system to its limit, with individual hospitals having to turn patients away due to a lack of beds. Temporary hospitals are being readied in Warsaw, Krakow and Poznan and state companies are being asked to ready additional sites.

Your (England) questions answered: Can I still get married?

With a new lockdown on the way from Thursday until at least 2 December, there are plenty of questions about what the rules mean for all of us.
We have tried to answer some of your questions here .

  • Can I still get married in a church? Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies cannot be held under the new lockdown rules, either at a church or elsewhere.
  • Will hotels and hostels still be open? Places like hotels and hostels will only be open for people who have to travel for work purposes. Furthermore, the new rules state "you should avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport".
  • I am about to move house - can I still do so? You can. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said that people will still be able to move house, whether they are renting or buying. Removal firms and estate agents can also carry on working but must follow Covid safety guidance.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 13:22

Pupil attendance at schools in England could drop, union warns

The number of pupils attending school in England could drop following the government's "rushed" lockdown announcement, a headteachers' union has warned.
The prime minister has said schools and colleges in England will stay open during the second lockdown, which starts on Thursday.
But Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT school leaders' union, said the government announcement on Saturday evening will not have inspired public confidence, and many families could be left wondering what is safe.
Mr Whiteman said: "The rushed, last-minute nature of the lockdown announcement on Saturday will not have done anything to inspire public confidence.
"Families will be left wondering about the safety of their children and relatives, and we could see attendance figures drop."
He also called on the government to remove parental fines for non-attendance in light of the new restrictions.
The Department for Education has said fines for parents who refuse to send their children to school will only be used as a "last resort".

Parents fined after children broke rules by partying and throwing eggs

On the subject of fines, parents of children who broke lockdown rules by throwing eggs and attending a party in Wales over the weekend have been given fixed penalty notices.
South Wales Police said the notices were issued to parents for the Covid breaches and anti-social behaviour in St Mellons, Cardiff.
A number of parents were also fined when their children attended a party in Taibach, Neath Port Talbot.
Calls to the force spiked at 1,500 on Saturday and 30 fines were issued.
The force said about 50 acceptable behaviour contracts would be issued to students at a Cardiff halls of residence following reports of a party.
More than 200 of the calls to the force related to concerns about Covid breaches, including youths congregating and engaging in antisocial behaviour, house parties, suspected breaches by licensed premises that should be closed, failure of Covid-positive individuals to self-isolate and gatherings at religious settings.

Rape survivor wants 'greater understanding' on face covering exemptions

Coronavirus - 3rd November 65413110

Wearing a face covering has become usual practice in the UK, but of course, many people are exempt from doing so.
And as the England moves into a second lockdown, one woman is calling for the government to "educate" the public about face covering exemptions .
For rape survivor Georgina Fallows, having her mouth covered still prompts traumatic flashbacks.
Ms Fallows, who has waived her right to anonymity, feels re-traumatised by being verbally abused in public when she doesn't wear a mask.
She has written to ministers, along with seven mental-health and disability charities, to call for a badge or other recognised identifier to signify the wearer is exempt.
"My attacker literally pulled me off the street and raped me," she said.
"Having something in front of my mouth feels like his hand."
Ms Fallows, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, said she had been screamed at by people for not wearing a face covering and one woman had accused "people like me of killing her father".
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 16:58

London's transport network tests negative for virus

There are no traces of Covid-19 on surfaces and in the air on London Underground or the city's buses, scientists say.
Imperial College London experts carried out tests last month and it is the second time they were negative.
The scientists conducted the tests by taking swabs from escalators, handrails and Oyster Card readers.
They also used a special sensor that sucked air through a filter for an hour at 300 litres-per-minute.
Transport for London said it was not just a clean environment that would make the Tube and buses safe, but guidance on social distancing and face coverings all needed to be followed as well.

Nearly £100,000 in fines issued in South Yorkshire over Halloween weekend

Coronavirus - 3rd November Bda39c10

Police issued £94,000 in fines for illegal gatherings in South Yorkshire over Halloween weekend.
With the region in tier-three restrictions, South Yorkshire Police said the gatherings were "extremely irresponsible".
Nine fines of £10,000 were handed out at parties in Sheffield on Saturday and a rave in a disused warehouse was broken up on Sunday morning.
The three Halloween parties in Sheffield, at Endcliffe Crescent, Club Garden Road and Stalker Lees Road, were issued with maximum fixed penalties, police said.
One party had more than 70 people and a woman in fancy dress was captured on body camera saying she should be at home self-isolating.
In Barnsley, police handed out twenty fines of £200 at a gathering in Ingbirchworth in the early hours of Saturday, while at ta rave with 300 people in Kelham Island, in Sheffield, a 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police. Officers are searching for the organiser.

Some hospitals in England already cancelling non-urgent care - Whitty

Hospitals in some areas of England are already having to cancel non-urgent care because of a high number of coronavirus patients, England's chief medical officer has said.
Prof Chris Whitty said that on 7 September there were 536 coronavirus patients in hospitals in England and as of today there are more than 10,000.
“I think you don’t need too much modelling to actually tell you you’re on an exponential upwards curve," he told the Commons Science and Technology Committee.
He said some hospitals, particularly in the north of England, had now reached levels of Covid occupancy higher than during the first wave.
Occupancy levels are lower in the South West but the rate of increase is faster and bed capacity is lower, so "although they look further away at the moment, they could hit difficulties relatively quickly", he added.
If the number of coronavirus patients continues to increase, urgent non-Covid care could be affected, he said.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 17:03

Groups of up to 4 can meet in Welsh pubs from next week

Coronavirus - 3rd November Db162810

While Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Valance have been explaining the current situation to MPs, some changes to the rules in Wales have been announced.
Up to four people will be able to meet in pubs, cafes and restaurants in in the country after its firebreak lockdown ends on 9 November .
The 22:00 curfew on alcohol sales will remain in place.
First Minister Mark Drakeford asked people to visit the venues in the smallest groups possible.
He said reopening would be "subject to strict protections discussed with the hospitality sector, including advance booking, time-limited slots and verified identification".
"Our clear advice to people in Wales is that we should visit these places in as small a group as possible, and for many, this will only be the people we live with," he told the Welsh Parliament.
"But we have listened to those young people, and single people especially have told us how important it is for them to meet some friends and other family members."
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 17:10

People entering or returning to Ireland must wear face mask for 14 days under new proposal

Irish Post
The rule would include those who are returning to the country too.
Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is brining the proposal before a number of TDs today.
He will apparently insist that those returning to the country must pay close attention to maintaining a two metre distance, hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and avoiding crowded situations for a full fortnight.
As Ireland moves to Europe's 'traffic light' system for international travel, there are growing concerns that issues with containing the spread of Covid-19 could be exacerbated, particularly in the lead up to Christmas.
On Monday, Holohan discouraged the Irish public from travelling in and out of the country, stressing that they should do so only if it is absolutely essential.
"There is a substantial risk associated with international travel at the current time," said Dr Holohan.
The CMO will reportedly cite strict travel policies from countries around the world with very low levels of transmission as reason for the potential new rules.
Asian countries in particularly have ably demonstrated the importance of controlling importations.
"Our core national objectives are to maintain the safe reopening our education and health sectors, and to protect our vulnerable populations. Achieving these goals is predicated on maintaining low rates of transmission and avoiding an ongoing reseeding of cases for example through travel," Holohan said.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 17:26

Spain: The northern Spanish region of Castile and León have ordered a shutdown of bars and restaurants, and demanded tougher measures from the national government, to defeat one of Europe’s worst outbreaks of the coronavirus.
Announcing the restrictions, which come into force on 6 November, regional leader Alfonso Fernández Mañueco described the situation as one of “maximum risk”, adding that his administration favoured stricter measures but was stymied by Spain’s current legal framework.
Under a six-month state of emergency declared last week, regional authorities have powers to declare curfews and shut down businesses, but they cannot impose home confinement without central government authorisation.
“We demand that the Spanish government assumes its responsibility and, under parliamentary control, decrees the measures required by the situation,” Fernández said.
Unlike France and Germany, which have announced full nationwide lockdowns, Spain has adopted a regional response, leading to a patchwork of different regulations.
Castile and León’s announcement came a day after the north-western Asturias region shut down bars and requested authorisation for a home confinement but was rebuffed by the health ministry.
Wealthy Catalonia, home to top tourist destination Barcelona, has taken a hard-line approach, closing down eateries more than two weeks ago and restricting travel across its borders.
Meanwhile, Madrid’s bars and restaurants, which are only obliged to keep to capacity limits and shut by 11 pm, were full of revellers over a long weekend marking All Saints Day.
Conservative regional leader Isabel Díaz Ayuso has opted for lighter regulations and said on Tuesday that home confinement was a “last resort.”
With 1.2 million cases, Spain has the second highest caseload in western Europe after France. The death toll stands at 36,257.




The Dutch government is expected to announce tighter lockdown measures later on Tuesday, including a recommendation that people avoid foreign end-of-year holidays.
Bars and restaurants were ordered to close for at least a month on 13 October as the country imposed a partial lockdown to slow a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, is expected announce in a televised press conference at 6pm GMT that museums, theatres, cinemas, zoos and amusement parks will also have to close, national news agency ANP reported.
The Netherlands joins Britain, France, Germany and several other European countries in tightening measures to fight the pandemic in recent weeks.
While the initial curbs appear to have slowed infections, the daily number of new cases in the Netherlands remains relatively high at more than 8,000.
Hospitals are near capacity due to a surge in Covid-19 patients, numbers of which are continuing to climb, and the government is under pressure to ease the strain on the healthcare system.




Belgium launches Covid patient air-lifts to Germany

Belgium’s surging second wave of Covid-19 cases has forced it to move some severely ill patients, many on ventilators, to neighbouring Germany, and air ambulances began flying Belgian patients further into the country on Tuesday.
The helicopter operator transports each Covid sufferer inside a giant transparent plastic bag connected to medical devices. Most of the transferred patients are intubated and on ventilators.
Belgium had among the highest death tolls per capita from the first coronavirus wave in March-April, and now has Europe’s highest per capita number of confirmed new infections, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The country of 11 million people has 7,231 Covid patients in hospital, 1,302 of them in intensive care, and local hotspots such as the eastern city of Liège, have seen the capacity of intensive care beds being reached.
Ambulances began taking patients across the border last week and have so far transferred 15. Air ambulance helicopters started transferring patients deeper into Germany from Tuesday.



Greece expanded a night curfew on movement and shut restaurants, bars, theatres and museums in the most populous areas of the country for one month on Tuesday to contain a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.
The country, which fared better than many of its European peers when the pandemic broke out mainly due to an early nationwide lockdown, has reported fewer cases than most in Europe .
But it has seen a gradual increase in infections since early October and has been reimposing restrictions.
Some Greeks believe the new rules will hurt economic activity in a country that recently emerged from a decade-long debt crisis.
“We are talking about a catastrophe. A lot of the businesses that will close won’t open again. We are talking about people unemployed, huge losses to revenue, to GDP,” tavern employee Antonis Kalamaras told Reuters.
Greece registered 1,152 new cases on Monday bringing its total to 42,080 since February. A total of 642 people have died due to Covid-19.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas urged people to respect the latest restrictions and prevent a nationwide lockdown.
“If we implement the measures we will be able to be more optimistic in December,” Petsas told Skai TV.




Around 85,000 more people have claimed temporary Covid-19 jobless benefits since Ireland moved to the highest level of restrictions to fight the virus two weeks ago, fewer so far than the 150,000 estimated by government.
The limiting of restaurants to takeaway service and closure of non-essential retail pushed claims to almost 330,000, from 244,153 before the six-week measures were introduced on 22 October, far below a peak of 600,000 during a stricter lockdown in May.
Recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) have been on the rise since falling to a post-lockdown low of 205,000 at the start of October and are set to increase the unemployment rate to around 20% from 14.7% at the end of September.




Georgia has imposed additional restrictions in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the government said.
It will be mandatory to wear masks outdoors as well as indoors, all restaurants and cafes across the country must close at 10pm, and online study at schools and universities in 10 big cities, including the capital, Tbilisi, will continue until 25 November.
All social events such as weddings, wakes, birthday parties and baptisms remain banned, the government said in a statement.
Georgia, which ended a state of emergency over the coronavirus on 22 May, was removed from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention “green zone” list in October due to a sharp rise in cases since early September.
The South Caucasus country of 3.7 million people has reported a total of 44,522 Covid-19 infections, with 362 of those on Tuesday.




Germany’s leading intensive care expert has urged hospitals to postpone non-urgent procedures to free up beds and staff to deal with a rise in coronavirus patients.
The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care in Germany has soared from just over 360 in early October to almost 2,400 currently, as the country battles a second coronavirus wave along with the rest of Europe .




Poland to use army to manage Covid-19 beds availability

Poland plans to dispatch the army to help identify hospitals where beds are available for Covid-19 patients and where there are shortages, the health minister said.




The Algerian president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has tested positive for Covid-19, but his condition is gradually improving as he receives treatment in a German hospital, his office said.
Algerian authorities had previously said Tebboune was in Germany for medical checks when he flew there last week, after reporting people in his administration had the coronavirus.
Tebboune, 75 and a smoker, was elected less than a year ago as Algeria faced its biggest political crisis in decades with a mass protest movement demanding the entire ruling class be replaced.
Backed by the powerful military, he pushed for changes to the constitution as part of a strategy to turn the page on the unrest. But though it was approved in a referendum on Sunday, voter turnout of 23.7% was very low.
His absence through illness could slow Algeria’s efforts to pass economic reforms aimed at reducing the reliance on dwindling energy revenues.




Italy reports 353 Covid-related deaths, highest since early May

Italy has reported 353 Covid-related deaths, the highest daily figure since 6 May and up from 233 on Monday.
Some 28,244 new coronavirus infections were recorded over the past 24 hours, up from 22,253 on Monday.
A total 39,412 people have now died in Italy because of coronavirus, while 759,829 cases of the disease have been registered to date.
The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy’s financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area, reporting 6,804 new cases on Tuesday against 5,278 on Monday. The neighbouring Piedmont region was the second-worst affected, recording 3,169 cases.
The government has said it will tighten restrictions this coming week to try to reduce the infection rate, including limiting travel between the worst-hit regions and introducing a nighttime curfew.
However, it is holding back from re-introducing a nationwide lockdown to try to safeguard the economy.
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 18:26

Sweden brings in rule of eight for diners

Sweden has limited to eight per table the number of people sitting together in cafes and restaurants, amid a sharp rise in coronavirus infections.
"We have a very serious situation," Prime Minister Stefan Löfven warned, saying the virus was "going in the wrong direction".
Sweden has reported 31 Covid deaths since Friday, taking the death toll to 5,969 - far higher than its neighbours.
Unlike them, Sweden has never imposed a nationwide lockdown.
Mr Löfven also announced stricter recommendations - including working from home if possible and avoiding public transport - for another three regions: Halland, Örebro and Jönköping,
This means that about 70% of the country's 10.5 million people now live under the new government guidelines, which are voluntary.
Read more on this here .

Covid-19 halts Hull Trains for second time

Coronavirus - 3rd November 6ad32410

Hull Trains will stop its four services a day to and from London on 5 November due to the new lockdown in England.
That's the second time it has felt the need to do this - the first suspension saw services paused on 29 March and reopened with a reduced timetable on 21 August.
Hull Trains is thought to be Britain's smallest train company with about 130 staff. It started in 2000 and usually operates 92 direct services a week between Hull and London.
The RMT union wants to see the government offering financial support.
Read more about the story here .
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Post by Kitkat on Tue Nov 03 2020, 18:30

Which businesses will be able to remain open in England?

The government has published a list of businesses which will be allowed to remain open in England during the four-week lockdown.
It includes:

  • Food retailers including supermarkets and corner shops
  • Off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol
  • Pharmacies and chemists
  • Newsagents
  • Hardware stores
  • Building merchants
  • Petrol stations, car repair and MOT services
  • Bicycle shops
  • Taxi and vehicle hire services
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, currency exchanges and other similar financial businesses
  • Post Offices
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Dental practices, osteopaths, opticians and other medical services
  • Veterinary surgeries and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks
  • Public toilets
  • Garden centres


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Today's coverage has been edited by Emma Owen, Suzanne Leigh and Paul Gribben and written by Alex Therrien, Becky Morton, Katie Wright, Johanna Howitt and Gavin Evans.

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    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 04:29