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The Health Secretary said that small clusters in settings like care homes or workplaces can be dealt with by the local Public Health official.


Matt Hancock is speaking in the Commons about the outbreak in Leicester:

Sky News


Scientists have developed a low-cost ventilator requiring minimal training which they believe could help save lives if there is a second wave of coronavirus.

New ventilator ‘could help save lives if coronavirus cases spike’

Researchers at Glasgow University began working on the design during the early stages of the UK virus outbreak in mid-March when ventilator demand was forecast to outstrip supply.

Fortunately, ventilator provision proved adequate but the team behind the new device believe it would prove invaluable if cases spike again.


Housing minister Chris Pincher said local authorities will have the power to revoke licenses from hospitality premises if conditions are breached.

Mr Pincher told MPs: “This Bill is good news for our businesses, for jobs and for everyone looking forward to enjoying a safe summer as we bounce back from an incredibly difficult period.”

On restaurants and bars implementing outside seating, he added: “Recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for those, for example, with impaired vision and mobility will be clearly set out using the Department for Transport’s inclusive mobility guidelines, striking a balance between the effective use of space and maintaining traffic and thoroughfare.

“In addition, we will provide councils with enforcement powers and the ability to revoke licenses where conditions are breached.”

He added that the Bill also enables the police “to quickly alter the licensing conditions granted to premises if necessary”.

On more flexible construction hours and possible disruption for residents, Mr Pincher said: “I want to be clear that councils will retain local discretion over the decision-making process. They also have legal duties regarding statutory nuisance which continue and they know their areas best and that is why they will continue to have discretion in their local decision-making process.”


The number of reported new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland has begun to increase in a “worrying” trend, the chief medical officer warned, which could halt plans for further easing of restrictions.

At least six fresh diagnoses were associated with international travel, the Government’s top health advisers said, as they reiterated warnings against encouraging overseas tourism too soon.

Some new clusters have been established, and one in the north west of the Republic involved travel links with Iraq, said Tony Holohan, the doctor leading the state’s pandemic response.

He said: “We are starting to see a worrying trend, with the number of reported cases increasing, and some new clusters.”


Pints have been pulled again in pubs across Ireland as the country took another stride out of lockdown.

Bars that serve food were able to welcome back customers on Monday after phase three of the Government’s recovery plan came into force.

Hairdressers also reopened, and there were queues outside several salons and barbers first thing as people finally got the chance to get their lockdown locks cut.

Gyms, pools and cinemas are also allowed to open, while small congregations can attend church services again.


Ed Miliband said the decisions the Government takes will determine how many jobs and businesses are lost during the coronavirus recovery.

He told MPs:

We face an unemployment emergency in this country and we should be under no illusions about this –  a million young people forecast to be out of work this year and we need scale of action which matches that.

And that is my point, that the measures we have supported from Government over the past few months have recognised the power of active government in a crisis like this. And my appeal to the Government is don’t shrink from that now because we are just at the beginning.

The Government has shown that it is willing to take action but we face the deepest and sharpest recession, possibly for hundreds of years, and the power of Government has got to be continued to be used.

And the decisions taken by Government in the coming weeks will determine how many jobs are lost and how many businesses survive.

We are calling for an extension to the furlough for specific sectors, an urgent job creation programme with a green recovery at its heart, and real action on infrastructure – not just words.


More from Miliband:

Mr Miliband called on the Government to recognise that some sectors are more hindered by the public health measures than others and to acknowledge this with further financial support.

He told MPs:

We’re not asking the impossible of Government, but what we are saying is look at what other countries are doing – whether it is Spain or Italy or New Zealand or France or Germany – they are taking a sectoral approach to the furlough.

They are saying that there are specific sectors that are more affected by the public health measures and therefore the economic measures have to match that.

=I would urge the Business Secretary, because he knows, he talks to the same people that I do, to use all the powers of his office to make representations to the Chancellor to find a way of fixing this, a sector-specific approach to the furlough including an extension beyond October.

From hospitality to leisure to manufacturing, and this is the big point, this is a general recession but it is also much more acute in specific sectors and I believe the Government needs to recognise this far more in their response.


Ed Miliband calls for Health and Safety to be tough in enforcing Covid-19 rules in workplace

Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband called for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to be tough in enforcing Covid-19 safety rules in the workplace.

The party welcomed the measures, he said, adding:

The guidance is very clear about the mitigation and reduction of risk that is needed if one-metre plus is in place and I’m sure the secretary of state agrees that is very important.

And it’s very important that the HSE takes a tough line in enforcing safety.

We are under a real illusion if we think that the measures in this Bill will go much of the way to address the real crisis that we face.

Because July 4 represents the reopening of pubs and restaurants but it doesn’t represent recovery.


Read the full rundown of WHO’s latest warning here:

Coronavirus pandemic ‘not even close to being over’, warns WHO chief

The global coronavirus pandemic “is not even close to being over,” the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued the warning on Monday — a day before the six-month anniversary of the first reports of a cluster of cases in China last year.


Mary Catterall, who turned 102 in February, tested positive for the virus in late May. 

102-year-old British great-grandmother survives coronavirus

One of Britain’s oldest women has beaten coronavirus and is now “looking better than ever before,” her family has said.

There were fears she might not survive, but she is now recovering at the care home where she has lived for several years.

Her daughter Edith, was 75, said: “She looked really good when I went to see her last. The staff at the home have taken really good care of her.


New York theatres have been closed since March 12, which represents the longest shutdown in Broadway history. 

Broadway theatres to remain closed until at least end of 2020

New York’s Broadway theatre district will remain closed until the end of the year, it was announced today, as venues said they would refund tickets up to January 3.

The Broadway League, which represents the 41 theatres, said that it could not yet give a date when theatres would be ready to reopen. 


Outdoor area bill to reduce planning appeal process from a year to six months – Sharma

The Bill also seeks to reduce the planning appeal process from almost a year to around six months.

Alok Sharma told MPs:

Social distancing has also constrained the planning inspectorate’s ability to conduct hearings and inquiries and a backlog has been growing.

Through this Bill we will enable the inspectorate to combine written representations, hearings or inquiries when dealing with appeals.

This change was recommended by the independent Rosewell Review. A recent pilot undertaken on the review measures reduced average review times from 47 weeks to 23 weeks.

New measures will also be brought in to extend the hours construction sites can operate to stagger working times and also allow bus and lorry drivers to extend their driving licences for a year without the requirement for a medical review, to free up time for GPs to deal with Covid-19.


Government still ‘minded to extend Leicester lockdown for two weeks’ – City mayor

Speaking after his conversation with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the Government was still “minded to extend the current level of restrictions for two weeks”.

The Labour mayor said he “remains sceptical” and said his discussion with Mr Hancock “took matters no further” than the report he received in the early hours of Monday morning


Greek government has extended ban on direct flights from UK until July 15

Greece travel restrictions extended by two weeks for UK visitors

Greece has extended its travel ban on direct flights from UK by two weeks. 

The country has said it will open to all other European nations, except the UK and Sweden, on July 1 but Brits will be able to fly direct two weeks later. 

With Greece suspected to be one of the European nations forming air bridges with the UK, prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has confirmed that no flights from the UK can land in Greece until July 15.


Wimbledon was scheduled to begin today, serving up two weeks of world-class tennis for fans around the world.


One of Spain’s most popular beachside holiday regions has had a major coronavirus outbreak, a week after British tourists began returning to the area:

Costa del Sol sees new coronavirus outbreak with about 100 cases

One of Spain’s most popular beachside holiday regions has had a major coronavirus outbreak, a week after British tourists began returning to the area.

The Costa del Sol in southern Spain recently reopened its beaches, along with the rest of the country, following several months of coronavirus lockdown.


The Business Secretary stressed that there were safeguards built into the Bill as it seeks to temporarily extend the off-licence sale of alcohol.

Alok Sharma added: “There are safeguards in place. This extension will not include premises that have been denied off-sale permission, or had it removed, within the last three years.”

Mr Sharma also outlined measures in the Bill that would extend planning permissions that have lapsed during the Covid-19 crisis until next April.

He said: “We estimate that almost 12,000 unimplemented major residential planning permissions with capacity to deliver over 60,000 homes have lapsed or will lapse between the start of lockdown on March 23 and December 31 this year.

“Therefore this Bill introduces powers to extend these planning permissions and listed building consents to April 1, 2021.”


Alok Sharma said there will be an opportunity for people to make their views on outside dining known to local authorities if problems arise from any licensed premises.

Labour MP Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch) said: “This measure, with seven days’ notice, allows an enormous amount of off-sales which is already causing havoc in my constituency with people defecating, urinating and leaving problems in parks.

“This is going to cost a lot of money to my borough to police, we’re not party poopers but we don’t want the other sort of pooping either.

“So will (Mr Sharma) make sure that there’s some provision in this to allow councils to have some discretion where particularly there is a problem with a licensed premises causing anti-social behaviour?”

Mr Sharma responded: “Ultimately, it is possible to revoke these permissions and what I’d also say to (Ms Hillier) is there are expedited processes that have been put in place.

“Nobody wants to see bad behaviour but what I would say to (Ms Hillier) is that there is an opportunity, it’s a 10-day process, there is an opportunity in the first five working days for anyone to put in their views to the local authority. Ultimately the local authority decides.”