Great Britain

Coronavirus - all you need to know as PM 'would close pubs ahead of schools'

The UK could be back in lockdown by the end of this month, a former government chief scientific advisor said.

Sir David King told the Sunday Mirror: “We need a proper test and trace system by September. Otherwise full school opening will put us right back.”

Sir David says we are “nowhere near” the safe reopening of schools.

But it is understood that Boris Johnson would force pubs, restaurants and shops to close ahead of schools in the event of a severe coronavirus spike.

The Prime Minister, who spoke of "a moral duty" to get all children back in class, is understood to favour only closing schools as the last resort.

Yesterday frustrated authorities were forced to issue red alert warnings on south coast beaches as thousands ignored calls to stay away.

Huge crowds headed to the coast, with officials in Bournemouth warning that social distancing was impossible.

It happened as the UK's Covid-19 death toll rose by 55 to 46,566.

For more of the latest updates throughout today, follow our LIVE blog, below.

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Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 555 to 215,891

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 555 to 215,891, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by one to 9,196, the tally showed.

Seven die in fire at hotel used as Covid-19 facility in India

At least seven people died after a massive fire broke out at a hotel that was being used as a Covid-19 facility in India’s southern Andhra Pradesh state early on Sunday, police said.

“Several people who were trapped and injured have been rescued and moved to a government hopsital. Fire is under control but rescue and fire-fighting operations are still underway,” said Lakshmi, a constable at the police control room.

Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: “Deeply anguished by the news of tragic fire accident at a Covid-19 facility in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh”.

“Centre assures all possible support to the state government. My condolences are with the affected families in this time of grief. Praying for the speedy recovery of those injured,” he wrote.

China reports 23 new coronavirus cases

China reported 23 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for August 8, the country’s health authority said on Sunday.

This figure was down from 31 a day earlier.

New Zealand records 100 days without domestic coronavirus case

New Zealand has marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of coronavirus but authorities are warning the public to remain vigilant.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent.

“We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand.”

New Zealand has 23 active cases in managed isolation facilities, and 1,219 cases in total so far.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has kicked off her re-election campaign calling it a ‘Covid election’.

Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern (Image: Getty)

China reports 23 new coronavirus cases

Mainland Chinas has reported 23 new coronavirus cases, down from 31 a day earlier.

China’s health authority said 15 of the new cases were transmitted locally and eight were imported infections.

The total number of infections in mainland China now stands at 84,619, with the death toll unchanged at 4,634.

UK companies plan to cut more than 139,000 jobs

More than 139,000 jobs in England, Scotland and Wales are expected to be cut, according to figures obtained by the BBC in a Freedom of Information request.

Nearly 1,800 UK companies told the Government of plans to cut 20 or more jobs in June as the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the country’s economy, the figures suggest.

Royal Mail, Centrica and The Restaurant Group - which owns Frankie and Benny’s - were among those announcing four-digit job losses.

The FOI showed 1,778 companies informed the Insolvency Service of their intention to cut more than 139,000 jobs in England, Scotland and Wales.

This compares to 345 companies announcing a total of 24,000 job losses in June 2019, the BBC said.

The UK economy shrank by more than 20% in the first half of the year due to Covid-19, and grim news has continued with further announcements of job losses seen in the past seven days.

Dixons Carphone, Pizza Express, Hays Travel and DW Sports all announced major redundancies, or plans that could put hundreds of jobs at risk.

More than 26,000 jobs were lost at British employers in July, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

Mexico's coronavirus death toll passes 52,000

More than 52,000 people have died with coronavirus in Mexico, according to the latest figures.

The nation’s health ministry reported 6,495 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 695 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 475,902 cases and 52,006 deaths.

Mexico has the third highest coronavirus death toll in the world, behind Brazil and the United States.

Officials have said the real number of people infected is likely to be significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Trump signs coronavirus relief orders after talks with Congress break down

US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders partly restoring enhanced unemployment payments to Americans who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes as the US passes the grim milestone of five million cases of coronavirus and a death toll of more than 160,000 people.

Earlier this week aid negotiations between the White House and Democrats broke down.

The new orders will provide an extra $400 per week in unemployment payments. Earlier in the crisis, unemployment payments stood at $600 per week.

Mr Trump said: “This is the money they need, this is the money they want, this gives them an incentive to go back to work.”

Some of the measures could face legal challenges and the executive orders drew immediate criticism from some Democrats.

Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said: “Donald Trump is trying to distract from his failure to extend the $600 federal boost for 30 million unemployed workers by issuing illegal executive orders.”

“This scheme is a classic Donald Trump con: playacting at leadership while robbing people of the support they desperately need.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called the orders a “series of half-baked measures”.

(Image: Getty Images)

Why the Queen won't be wearing a face mask during summer break at Balmoral

The Queen will not be required to wear a face mask at Balmoral despite concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The monarch travelled to Scotland with the Duke of Edinburgh on Tuesday for her traditional summer break.

Before their arrival, courtiers spent weeks planning how the “new normal” would work at the castle.

Due to the limited number of staff – dubbed HMS Bubble – that are in close contact with her and Philip, 99, no one has to wear a face mask.

Read the full story here

The Queen and Prince Philip travelled to Scotland on Tuesday
The Queen and Prince Philip travelled to Scotland on Tuesday (Image: Ben Cawthra/LNP)

PM tipped to shut pubs, restaurants and shops to ensure schools can go back

Boris Johnson has spoken of “a moral duty” to get all children back in class amid indications he would force pubs, restaurants and shops to close ahead of schools in the event of severe coronavirus flare-ups.

The Prime Minister is understood to favour only closing schools as the last resort after scientific advisers warned more restrictions may be needed to reopen classrooms in England next month.

A No 10 source said on Saturday that Mr Johnson’s expectation is that schools would be the last sector to close, with firms being shut first in the event of severe local lockdowns.

“The PM has been clear that businesses including shops, pubs and restaurants should be forced to close first, with schools remaining open for as long as possible,” the source said.

Read the full story here

The Prime Minister is said to back closing businesses rather than schools
The Prime Minister is said to back closing businesses rather than schools (Image: PA)

UK 'heading back into lockdown next month', says government's ex-chief scientist

Britain could be heading for full lockdown again by the end of the month.

And the PM must act NOW to prevent it, a former government chief scientific adviser warns today.

Sir David King said: “We need a proper test and trace system by September. Otherwise full school opening will put us right back.”

Sir David says we are “nowhere near” the safe reopening of schools.

For the full story, click here

Sir David King warns the UK could be back in lockdown next month
Sir David King warns the UK could be back in lockdown next month (Image: Getty)

US coronavirus cases passes 5 million

The number of coronavirus cases in the US has passed five million since the start of the pandemic, new data shows.

New Covid-19 cases have risen sharply, with Florida, California and Texas heavily hit in the past week.

More than 165,000 people have died from the deadly virus.

More than 5 million cases have been confirmed in the US
More than 5 million cases have been confirmed in the US

Fears stranded pandas could starve in zoo because of coronavirus pandemic

Two giant pandas have been left stranded with their food supply fast running out because of the coronavirus crisis.

Loveable Er Shun and Da Mao are unable to return to their native China as zoo bosses in Canada have been unable to secure international travel permits.

The situation is becoming critical due to a dwindling supply of bamboo.

Bosses at Calgary Zoo have warned they could soon be unable to feed the pandas.

They each devour around 40kg of bamboo each day - with the plant making up 99% of their diet.

For the full story, click here

Fears are growing for Da Mao and Er Shun, with bamboo supplies dwindling
Fears are growing for Da Mao and Er Shun, with bamboo supplies dwindling (Image: Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Cuba puts Havana back in lockdown as Covid-19 cases rise again

Cuba placed Havana back on a strict lockdown on Saturday following a rebound in coronavirus cases, ordering restaurants, bars and pools once more to close, suspending public transportation and banning access to the beach.

Cuba, which has been hailed as a rare success story in Latin America for its textbook handling and containment of its coronavirus outbreak, had eased lockdown restrictions last month after cases dwindled to a handful per day.

But they have risen back to April levels over the past two weeks, with the health ministry reporting 59 cases on Saturday and saying the situation could become “uncontrollable” if authorities did not act fast.

Havana has been put back in lockdown by the Cuban government (file image)
Havana has been put back in lockdown by the Cuban government (file image) (Image: Getty Images)

People will have to wear masks in busy outdoor areas in Paris

People strolling along the banks of the River Seine or browsing open-air markets in Paris must wear a face mask from Monday after authorities imposed new measures to curb a rise in coronavirus infections.

The order, which applies to people aged 11 and over, covers busy outdoor areas in the French capital, although tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees boulevard were not listed.

Data showed the virus had begun circulating more widely in Paris and its lower-income suburbs since mid-July.

The rate of positive tests in the greater Paris region now stood at 2.4% compared with a national average of 1.6%, it said.

From Monday masks will be compulsory in busy outdoor spots in Paris
From Monday masks will be compulsory in busy outdoor spots in Paris (Image: Getty Images)

Number linked to Aberdeen coronavirus cluster doubles overnight

A coronavirus cluster in Aberdeen has risen to 110 cases, with the number of people required to self-isolate doubling overnight.

A total of 39 new cases have been detected in the NHS Grampian area in the last 24 hours, though the health board said it could not confirm how many were linked to the outbreak.

It said 643 close contacts of detected cases in the cluster have been identified, and will be required to self-isolate.

This is up on the 313 close contacts reported on Friday. Susan Webb, director of Public Health for NHS Grampian, said: “There has been a substantial rise in the number of close contacts which is not entirely unexpected.

Lockdown measures have been reintroduced in Aberdeen
Lockdown measures have been reintroduced in Aberdeen (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

“We speak to detected cases more than once, as we know they will recall different details as they reflect on what they have been doing and where, and who they have met.

“We remain extremely grateful for the support and co-operation of each of them, the information they provide ensures our investigation can be as thorough as possible.”

More than 170 new cases found in Ireland

More than 170 new positive cases of coronavirus have been notified in Ireland’s latest daily update. One further death with Covid-19 and 174 new cases were reported by the Department of Health on Saturday.

It comes as new restrictions are in force for those living in counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly - aimed at stemming the spread of coronavirus.

Of the latest cases, the majority (110) are located in Kildare, followed by Dublin (seven), Cork (seven), Offaly (seven) and six in Meath.

Acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn described Saturday’s figures as “high, but not unexpected”.

Hospital staff at the entrance to the Mater Hospital in Dublin
Hospital staff at the entrance to the Mater Hospital in Dublin (Image: PA)

Pubs create 'perfect storm' for spreading coronavirus, experts warn

Pubs create the “perfect storm” for spreading coronavirus and carry more risk than planes, according to academics.

Punters drinking together in an indoor pub are potentially subjecting themselves to a build-up of infected droplets caused by poor ventilation and people having continuous conversations, often speaking more loudly to be heard over the din of a noisy bar, the experts warn.

Dr Julian W Tang, honorary associate professor of respiratory sciences at the University of Leicester, said if you can smell garlic on someone’s breath it means you are close enough to be inhaling their air.

“If the air space is poorly ventilated, that air that’s full of virus is not going to go anywhere. It’s going to linger there until the virus dries up and dies over time,” he told the PA news agency, adding that the most common method of transmission in the UK is probably “conversational exposure”.

Pubs are the 'perfect storm' for spreading coronavirus, experts say
Pubs are the 'perfect storm' for spreading coronavirus, experts say (Image: Mail News Media Ltd)

Nearly 750,000 coronavirus tests 'must be recalled' says regulator

Nearly 750,000 coronavirus test kits must be called, the UK’s medicine regulator said today.

Randox Laboratories, a Northern Ireland-based medical technology company, has been instructed to recall up to 741,000 coronavirus test kits from the national test and trace programme as a precautionary measure.

The government had on July 15 instructed the programme, run by the National Health Service (NHS), to stop using the kits, citing concerns that they may not meet required safety standards.

“The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has instructed Randox to recall all Randox test kits from NHS Test and Trace testing settings,” the ministry of health said in a statement.

The ministry said the decision had been taken as a “precautionary’’ measure.

The risk to safety was low and test results from Randox kits were not affected, it said.

Nearly 750,000 testing kits should be recalled, a regulator said
Nearly 750,000 testing kits should be recalled, a regulator said (Image: PA)

Beaches places on 'red alert' amid fears of dangerous crowding

Authorities have placed beaches on the south coast on ‘red alert’ because of overcrowding - despite pleas for tourists to stay away.

Most of Bournemouth beach put on red alert after crowds flocked to the beach throughout the morning, Somerset Live reports.

The alert means authorities believe social distancing is impossible.

While some small stretches remain on orange alert, much of the beach has now been deemed unsafe and people are being told to avoid the beach because “safe social distancing is not possible”.

For the full story, click here

People enjoy the hot weather on Bournemouth beach
People enjoy the hot weather on Bournemouth beach (Image: PA)

UK coronavirus death toll rises by 55 in all settings

The UK’s official coronavirus death toll has risen to 46,566 after 55 more patients died in all settings.

The tragic figure was released by the government this afternoon.

A further 758 cases of the deadly virus were confirmed in 24 hours, bringing the number of people to test positive since the start of the pandemic to 309,763.

For the full story, click here

The UK's Covid-19 death toll has risen by 55
The UK's Covid-19 death toll has risen by 55 (Image: REUTERS)

Outdoor visits to Scottish care homes will be allowed soon

Care home residents will soon be able to receive more outdoor visitors in Scotland, despite 60 new cases of coronavirus being recorded in the last 24 hours.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed plans for up to three outdoor visitors from no more than two households from Monday.

It is the first change in visiting rules since July 3, when it was announced one designated visitor would be allowed outdoors.

But care homes will only be able to allow a visit at all if the facility has been Covid-free during the pandemic, or affected residents have fully recovered and no residents or staff have had symptoms for 28 days.

Restarting indoor visiting is still not advised, Ms Freeman said.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman
Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (Image: Getty Images)

Beachgoer abandons trip as 'people are on top of you and aren't following rules'

A beachgoer abandoned her day out as she complained people are “on top of you” and ‘not following the social distancing rules’.

People are being warned to observe social distancing and avoid packed beaches as temperatures surge around the UK.

One woman said she tried to spend a day at Bournemouth beach with her family and arrived early to make sure they could get a spot away from others.

But she said the beach continued to get busier and in the end they had to leave early and cut the day short because people were ‘coming on top of you’.

The full story is here.

Death toll in England broken down by region

A further 15 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 29,401.

Patients were aged between 67 and 100 years old. All bar one individual (aged 91) had known underlying health conditions.

Their families have been informed.

The number of deaths of patients with Covid-19 by region are as follows:

East of England 1

London 1

Midlands 2

North East & Yorkshire 8

North West 0

South East 3

South West 0


UK coronavirus hospital death toll rises by 16

The UK coronavirus hospital death toll has reached 34,027 after another 16 patients died.

A further 15 deaths were recorded in England’s hospitals today while Wales reported one more death.

Scotland did not report any new deaths, and Northern Ireland is yet to update its latest figures.

Click here for the latest on the death toll.

Critical care nurse says there's a lot of PTSD among colleagues

Dave Carr is a critical care nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated in intensive care.

He attended Saturday’s protest and said of the pandemic: “I’ve got 21 years working in critical care and for me that experience was tough.

“I was drained, wearing all the PPE, incredibly long shifts.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and we’re all exhausted.”

He said “There’s a lot of PTSD around” among colleagues and that many are worried about the possibility of a second wave.

Mr Carr added: “We can’t do the job any more, we had to shut down the NHS to fight Covid and now we’re expected to just turn it back on.

“We’re on our knees, absolutely on our knees. And on top of it they give 900,000 public sector workers a pay rise - and I haven’t got a problem with that - but they carve us out.

“I’m absolutely fuming. Tired and fuming. “We’ve had enough.”

Sunseekers urged to avoid busy beaches amid surge in crowds on Scorcher Saturday

Sunseekers have been urged to avoid popular beaches as people flock to the seaside during the UK heatwave.

Brits are basking in a scorching Saturday with temperatures set to reach a potential 36C in places.

After images of packed beaches emerged yesterday, councils across the country began warning locals to stay away.

But already today, photographs have begun to surface of crowded beach spots once again.

By Friday afternoon, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s beach check app showed 19 of its 24 beaches under red alert, warning people to avoid the areas because safe social distancing was not possible.

A spokesperson for Bournemouth Council said if a section of the beach is coded red, their advice to visitors is to turn around and come back another day.

Click here for the story in full.

Crowds at Lyme Regis, Dorset, on Saturday (Image: Alamy Live News.)

'We just have to go along with what we are told'

Dorothy Kinder, 54, said residents in Preston would have to “go with the flow” where the new restrictions were concerned.

She said: “We’re in a day and age where it is about the economy and people have to go back to work.

“I wouldn’t particularly say I agree with it but we just have to go along with what we are told.”

Children and staff forced to self-isolate after coronavirus outbreak at nursery

Children and staff have been forced to self-isolate following a coronavirus outbreak at a nursery in Manchester.

A number of children and adults at Mulberry Bush Nursery in Whitefield, Bury, have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week, it has been confirmed.

The cases only affect one individual “bubble” and those people are now self-isolating, a spokesman for the Sefton Street nursery said.

All parents were informed by telephone last Saturday and the nursery has remained open in accordance with the advice given by Public Health England.

All those affected by the positive tests are all currently well, the nursery confirmed.

Read the full story here.

Mulberry Bush Nursery in Whitefield (Image: Google)
Mulberry Bush Nursery in Whitefield (Image: Google)

Preston resident blasts rules as "confusing"

Hannah Heaton, 28, said she thought the new restrictions brought into force in Preston were confusing.

She said: “It doesn’t make sense that you can’t go to houses but you can meet people outside or go to pubs.

“My grandparents rely on me to help them and now going to see them has been taken away from me.

“There’s nothing I can do about it.

“I think certain people haven’t been taking it seriously because they don’t think it will affect them.”

Shoppers on the streets of Preston (Image: Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

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