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"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 6th Aug 2020

News Highlights

Coronavirus still rampant as global toll crosses 700,000

More than 700,000 people from nations around the world are now dead because of Covid-19 and several countries are reporting second waves of the virus that first appeared in Wuhan at the end of last year. Spain is battling another spike in cases, which has prompted some in the UK, France and Germany to recommend that their citizens cancel their vacation plans in Spain.

Millions of Britons in northern England to be affected by new lockdown laws

Close to four million people will be affected by new lockdown restrictions that come into force today in northern England, with people from one household barred from making visits to other private homes or gardens. People flouting the rules could face fines ranging from £100 to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.

Study says English-speaking countries less likely to comply with lockdown rules than others

According to a study conducted by researchers at Durham University, Britons, Americans and citizens of other English speaking countries seem to be less likely to comply with coronavirus restrictions imposed by their government than people from European countries like France or Italy. The survey, of over 8,300 respondents from 70 countries, found that only 71% of English speakers follow guidelines as compared to 89% of French or Italian speakers.

France tightens mask-wearing mandates as coronavirus cases rise

France recorded 1,695 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, its highest daily number in more than two months, as nations worldwide continued to report a surge in cases. The city of Toulouse has introduced mask-wearing requirements and several other cities, including Paris, are expected to follow suit soon.

Lockdown Exit
When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn’t Go Well.
As the United States and other countries anxiously consider how to reopen schools, Israel, one of the first countries to do so, illustrates the dangers of moving too precipitously. Confident it had beaten the coronavirus and desperate to reboot a devastated economy, the Israeli government invited the entire student body back in late May. Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem high school, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school in Israel, possibly the world.
Coronavirus: France records two-month high in cases
France has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than two months. Figures released on Wednesday showed 1,695 new cases within 24 hours. With more than 30,000 deaths, France has the third-highest death toll in Europe, behind the UK and Italy. The city of Toulouse has introduced new rules requiring face masks in its busiest streets, with Paris and a number of other cities expected to follow suit. France is not the only European nation to witness a resurgence in cases since lockdown measures were eased.
Coronavirus: New Zealand's COVID-19 response criticised by Australian economics journalist
"If New Zealand's the COVID-19 role model then we're in strife", an Australian economics journalist has argued, claiming that declining case numbers are not correlated to the success of "draconian" lockdown measures. Sydney-based journalist Adam Creighton has argued that New Zealand's COVID-19 response - internationally lauded for its success at flattening the curve - is not deserving of praise, arguing lockdown in response to a virus with a low infection fatality rate is not worth the economic sacrifice.
Coronavirus: Is the UK in a better position than we think?
Another day, another worrying coronavirus headline. On Tuesday it was reported the UK's testing and tracing system was not good enough to prevent a second wave once schools reopen. It came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week the brakes were being applied on the lifting of further restrictions. And that was off the back of the announcement that parts of northern England were to have some of the lockdown restrictions reimposed on them. The problem, ministers and their advisers warned, was that infections were on the rise. We had, concluded chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty, reached the limits of lifting lockdown. It prompted a weekend of debate, with people urging pubs to close so schools could open. But is the situation really as bad as it seems?
Sweden eschewed lockdowns. It's too early to be certain it was wrong
A full accounting of how Sweden’s approach has fared compared to other country’s will take time, and will involve trading off health, economic, educational and other outcomes. Confidence in its Public Health Agency remains high at 65%, suggesting Swedes are not unhappy with the tradeoffs made. And they are prepared to follow directions, perhaps more than Australians and residents of the United States and the much-touted Germany. Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency says 87% of the population is complying with the social distancing restrictions that are in place, up from 82% a month ago.
‘We don’t live in Spain’ - noise concerns over new al-fresco dining policies
City eateries will be free to use outdoor space for al-fresco dining and drinking in a bid to boost businesses following the impact of the coronavirus lockdown. Social distancing measures mean bars and restaurants are having to maximise outdoor seating in line with government guidance to limit the spread of the virus. And Norwich councillors have agreed to introduce new policies to make it quicker and cheaper for firms to get permission to do so. But concerns were raised ahead of a meeting of the city council’s licensing committee over a rise in noise complaints and the impact on residents during the summer.
Exit Strategies
Poland plans to fully reopen schools in September despite COVID-19 spike
Poland intends to fully reopen its schools on Sept. 1, the education minister said on Wednesday, despite a recent renewed spike in coronavirus infections. Poland was initially successful in containing the outbreak, but cases started rising after restrictions on public gatherings were eased. On Tuesday authorities reported the fourth record daily increase in a week, with 680 new infections. Poland, a nation of 38 million people, had recorded a total of 48,789 cases and 1,756 deaths as of Wednesday. “We want students to come back to normal education in schools from September,” said Education Minister Dariusz Piontkowski. He said the ministry would impose strict hygiene and safety rules for schools, as well as criteria under which some schools could switch to online or a mix of online and in-class instruction in case of local infection spikes.
U.S. to pay over $1 billion for 100 million doses of J&J's potential COVID-19 vaccine
The United States government will pay Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, as it stocks up on vaccine and drugs in an attempt to tame the pandemic. The latest contract is priced at roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J, or around $14.50 per dose, including a previous $456 million the U.S. government promised to J&J for vaccine development in March. That compares with the $19.50 per dose that the U.S. is paying for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and German biotech BioNTech SE
Testing centre queues fuel criticism over France's COVID strategy
The French government was under fire on Wednesday over its free-for-all COVID-19 testing policy as queues snaked out of some testing centres in Paris and at sites across the country amid a flare-up in infections. One leading federation of laboratories said an abrupt July 25 decree to make testing free-of-charge and without prescription piled pressure on at a time many staff go on holiday. Political opponents lampooned a policy in disarray. “Testing anyone achieves nothing. You have to be targeted,” epidemiologist Didier Pittet, who heads a government-appointed task force monitoring the handling of COVID-19, told Europe 1 radio.
‘Officially a high-risk area’: How Geneva became Switzerland’s new coronavirus hotspot
The western Swiss canton of Geneva is now one of Europe’s hotspots for new coronavirus infections. In one of Europe’s wealthiest regions with excellent health care, how did it get so bad? On Monday, August 3rd, the number of new infections per 100,000 residents in Geneva crossed the 100 mark, reaching 103 per 100,000 for the past 14 days. The mark is well above the Swiss government’s ‘high risk’ classification of 60 per 100,000 - meaning that if Geneva was a separate country, residents would be forced to quarantine upon entering the rest of Switzerland. On Saturday August 1st, Belgium banned travel to and from Geneva, along with Valais and Vaud, as a result of the rising infections, although Valais and Vaud were removed from the list on Wednesday, August 5th.
Ireland needs to move to ‘zero-Covid’ policy to avoid catastrophe, scientists say
Ireland urgently needs to move to a “zero-Covid” policy in order to avert long-term “social and economic catastrophe”, leading Irish scientists have warned. The scientists say there is a “small and narrowing” window to bring the incidence of Covid-19 here to zero and to keep it there, thereby allowing schools and colleges to return safely and operate normally. The group, which has written seeking a meeting with the Oireachtas special committee on Covid-19, is calling for the universal use of masks in enclosed spaces and “more targeted” finding, testing, tracking and isolation of cases. It also says an “effective and fair” system of testing and isolating incoming travellers needs to be introduced. The scientists suggest a regional response here to coronavirus outbreaks, saying there should be a wider use of “green zones internally” as the best route back to a normally functioning economy and community.
Nations tighten mask rules, lockdowns as Covid-19 deaths approach 700,000
France and the Netherlands are gearing up for stricter mask-wearing rules to fight the coronavirus as the global death toll from the pandemic neared 700,000. Paris, Toulouse and other cities announced that the wearing of masks would be compulsory in particularly busy streets and squares. People already have to wear them inside most private businesses and all public buildings. A scientific committee advising the French government warned that the country could lose control of its spread "at any time." In the Netherlands, the same mask-wearing measure will be applied in Rotterdam and the famous red-light district of Amsterdam from Wednesday.
Nations tighten mask rules, lockdowns as Covid-19 deaths approach 700,000
France and the Netherlands are gearing up for stricter mask-wearing rules to fight the coronavirus as the global death toll from the pandemic neared 700,000. Paris, Toulouse and other cities announced that the wearing of masks would be compulsory in particularly busy streets and squares. People already have to wear them inside most private businesses and all public buildings. A scientific committee advising the French government warned that the country could lose control of its spread "at any time." In the Netherlands, the same mask-wearing measure will be applied in Rotterdam and the famous red-light district of Amsterdam from Wednesday. And Ireland postponed the reopening of pubs and other nightspots on the advice of scientists, concerned about rising infections.
Partisan Exits
Airline blacklists more than 100 passengers for refusing to wear masks
Delta has banned more than “100 people” from flying for refusing to wear a mask, according to the airline’s CEO. Ed Bastian said that passengers who refused to comply with the carrier’s requirement that they wear face coverings at all times are being temporarily blacklisted. “If you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don’t fly Delta,“ he told The Today Show last month.
Keeping England's schools open 'must take priority' in second wave of Covid-19
The UK's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has asked for coronavirus survivors to receive the free winter flu vaccine. The proposal would mean that more than 250,000 Brits who have recovered from the disease can get the winter jab. It comes as the UK Covid-19 death toll went up by 65 today, while hospital fatalities increased by 15. The number of people who have died from coronavirus in hospital is down from the same time last week. Meanwhile, new lockdown restrictions have been put in place in Aberdeen following a rise in cases. Today's announcement is the first "local lockdown" in Scotland after a string of areas in England had restrictions reimposed.
The government must up its game to prepare for a second wave of Covid-19
We are at a crucial point in the battle against coronavirus. This summer, there are three key questions the government should be reflecting on. First, are we now doing everything we can to suppress the virus? Second, how can we protect lives and livelihoods? Third, how is it that frontline workers have been left feeling, to quote the National Care Association, kicked in the teeth? Labour has been a constructive opposition. We accept that no one could have handled coronavirus perfectly. But the truth is that the government has been too slow to act throughout this crisis – too slow into lockdown, too slow on testing and too slow getting PPE to frontline workers. Despite Labour’s warnings in recent months, the government has ignored the red lights flashing on the country’s economic dashboard and been too slow to change course in order to save jobs.
White House: Another Lockdown Would Harm More Than Help, as COVID Cases Spike
"The President is not considering a national lockdown," McEnany told reporters. "What he is encouraging is mitigation efforts like wearing a mask, which is patriotic, like social distancing and engaging in these really commonsense, safe measures to safely reopen and avoid the health consequences of a lockdown." Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in several states that started to loosen restrictions put into place as the pandemic began to spread earlier this year. According to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, at least 36 states are currently designated COVID-19 hotspots. California, Florida and Texas have seen the sharpest increases in cases in recent weeks. At least 156,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States since it began to spread across the states earlier this year
Donald Trump flounders in interview over US Covid-19 death toll
Donald Trump visibly floundered in an interview when pressed on a range of issues, including the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the US, his claims that mail-in voting is fraudulent, and his inaction over the “Russian bounty” scandal. The US president also repeatedly cast doubt on the cause of death of Jeffrey Epstein, and said of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who has pleaded not guilty to participating in the sex-trafficking of girls by Epstein, that he wished her well. In the interview, broadcast on HBO on Monday and conducted by Axios’s national political correspondent, Jonathan Swan, Trump again asserted that his administration was doing an “incredible job” responding to the coronavirus.
Continued Lockdown
Lockdown having 'pernicious impact' on LGBT community's mental health
The coronavirus lockdown has provoked a mental health crisis among the LGBTQ community, with younger people confined with bigoted relatives the most depressed, researchers found. A study of LGBTQ people’s experience during the pandemic, by University College London (UCL) and Sussex University, found 69% of respondents suffered depressive symptoms, rising to about 90% of those who had experienced homophobia or transphobia. Around a sixth of the 310 respondents to the Queerantine study said they had faced discrimination during the pandemic because of their sexuality. The rate rose to more than a third among those living in homes where they were not open about their identity. Almost 10% of people reported they felt unsafe in their homes. The study’s co-author, Laia Bécares, deputy director of the centre for innovation and research in wellbeing at Sussex University, said the pandemic was having a “pernicious impact” on the LGBTQ community’s mental health, with younger trans and non-binary people suffering more discrimination and reporting the highest levels of depression.
America must readjust as lockdown bites business
The rash of cold feet has not generally extended beyond the US. Globally, only 593 deals had been withdrawn, down 9 per cent year on year. That’s partly because laws outside America make it much harder for a buyer to claim conditions have changed so much that it justifies pulling out of a deal. The Takeover Panel, which governs British M&A, made this abundantly clear back in 2001, when it knocked back WPP’s claim that it should be allowed to drop its offer for Tempus because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. US-based payments group WEX is due in a British court in September to test that high barrier as it tries to break its deal to purchase two systems from Travelport, citing the pandemic. Lawyers say that they would be surprised to see many European deals falter because of Covid-19. “Europe is still a market where if you do a deal, you are locked-in,” says one top M&A lawyer. “People are looking not at walkaway rights but at financial adjustments.”
'I had to hide myself again': young LGBT people on their life in UK lockdown
The experiences of LGBTQ people across the UK during lockdown have been as diverse as the community itself. Married and cohabiting older gay men and lesbians have mainly felt the pandemic has had no more impact on them than on their heterosexual peers. But for many of the more than 200 respondents to the Guardian’s callout, the past few months have brought significant challenges, including weeks of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, increased isolation and deteriorating mental health. Younger LGBTQ people reported that lockdown meant being confined with families who were unsupportive or hostile. Kate, a 24-year-old bisexual demi-girl, meaning she identifies as a woman but not completely, said moving from her flat in Glasgow back into her childhood home in Ayrshire had meant hiding her sexuality again.
Uganda's tough approach curbs COVID, even as Africa nears 1 million cases
Uganda’s crumbling public hospitals, doctors’ strikes and corruption scandals make its success in the fight against the new coronavirus all the more unlikely. But the nation of 42 million people has recorded just over 1,200 cases and five deaths since March, a strikingly low total for such a large country. As the number of cases in Africa approaches one million, Uganda’s experience shows what can be accomplished when a government with a firm grip on power acts quickly and enforces a strict lockdown. But its success came at a cost, critics say. Jobs were lost, and economic growth is set to plunge to as low as 0.4% in 2020, from 5.6% last year, according to the World Bank.
N.Y., N.J. and Conn. to require travelers from 35 states to quarantine
Travelers from 35 states are now required to quarantine for 14 days when traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, per New York state's health department. What's new: New York City will set up bridge and tunnel checkpoints to enforce the quarantine order, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, per the Wall Street Journal. Why it matters: The tri-state area, the original hub of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., has successfully flattened its curve and is reopening. Officials fear, however, that the surge of cases in others states across the country could erase progress.
India's fatality rate hits its lowest since first lockdown despite case surge in some states
The Union Health Ministry in India announced that the country is now registering its lowest Covid-19 fatality rate since the first national lockdown was imposed in March. The fatality rate dropped to 2.1 percent while the recovery rate is now double the number of active cases, a good indicator that the country is on the right track in its battle with Covid-19. Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Rajesh Bhushan, stated “This is the first time after the first lockdown that the fatality rate is at its lowest, at 2.1 percent. The fatality rate has seen a progressive decline and it is continuing, which is a good sign".
Scientific Viewpoint
A needle-prick is a small price to pay to suppress Covid-19
Few relish a jab in the arm with a needle. If the syringe prevented Covid-19, then many might think it a pain worth suffering — but by no means all. Tens of thousands of anti-lockdown protesters gathered in Berlin over the weekend, some to voice their discontent at the possibility of being coerced by the state into getting vaccinated. The situation is far from unique to Germany. In Italy, where the broader anti-vaccination movement enjoys widespread support, both main anti-establishment parties campaigned last year against compulsory routine vaccinations for children. In the US, a fifth of people say they would never submit to inoculation against coronavirus; another third remain unsure. A recent online survey of UK residents showed a quarter would decline a vaccine if the government made it “available tomorrow”.
Coronavirus: Ethnic minorities 'over-exposed' to Covid-19
The Runnymede Trust, a race equality think-tank, said Bangladeshi and black African people were most vulnerable. Jobs, households and using public transport are all said to be risk factors. The government said it is working to help ethnic minorities, who have been disproportionately harmed by Covid-19. There is growing evidence that people from those communities are at greater risk from the virus. The Runnymede Trust also warned important public safety messages aimed at reducing transmission were currently not reaching all black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
British BAME groups face 'greater barriers' than white people in avoiding Covid-19
The Runnymede Trust found that people from BAME backgrounds faced greater barriers in shielding from Covid-19, with employment, public transport, and multigenerational and overcrowded households all risk factors. Those from BAME backgrounds are over-represented in Covid-19 diagnosis, severe illness and deaths. A Public Health England report published in June found people from Bangladeshi backgrounds faced the greatest risk of dying from the disease. The findings of the survey of 2,585 adults in Britain, including 750 from BAME backgrounds, suggest that one of the main reasons ethnic minorities are at greater risk of dying from Covid-19 than their white counterparts is that they are more exposed to coronavirus.
Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700000, one person dies every 15 seconds on average
The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, media reported, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities. On average, one person dies every 15 seconds from the disease caused by the virus, according to media. Countries across the world have recently seen single-day records in new cases, signaling a second wave in infections. Spain has been among the first countries that warned the country is facing the start of a second major coronavirus outbreak. The announcement has prompted the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Germany to recommend that their citizens cancel their vacation plans in Spain.
Brazil, hotbed for Covid-19 vaccine testing, may struggle to produce its own If Brazil's underfunded medical institutions are unable to meet their ambitious goals, it would mark the latest failure by President Jair Bolsonaro's government to control the virus. It would also leave Brazil vulnerable to a frenzied global scramble for vaccine supplies.
Cancer diagnoses rates fell by half during US lockdown
The number of cancers diagnosed weekly in the United States fell by almost fifty percent during March and April compared to the recent average, a study said Tuesday, the latest to examine the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns. Emergency room visits additionally appear to have dropped for heart attacks, strokes and even appendicitis—trends that are being confirmed through ongoing studies.
Lockdown HAS affected babies' development and behaviour, research shows
Lockdown has affected the behaviour of babies across the UK, survey suggests. The Babies In Lockdown report found some new parents felt 'abandoned.' Others said babies have become 'clingy', 'violent' and 'upset' in recent months
English speaking-countries were less likely than French or Italian to comply with lockdown rules, study says
British people, Americans, and other English speakers were measurably less likely to comply with coronavirus lockdown regulations than people in other European countries, a new study has claimed. Academics at Durham University found that 71 per cent of English speakers around the globe followed guidelines. But 89 per cent of French and Italian speakers are said to have complied, according the academics' analysis, based on a survey of over 8,300 respondents from 70 countries.
COVID-19: Other countries are learning from Italy - WHO
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, said Wednesday that other countries are learning from how Italy has tackled the coronavirus. "Grazie mille @robersperanza, #Italy Health Minister, for a very good call and for your strong support to @WHO," Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented as he retweeted a post by Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza. "Your leadership and humility is inspiring to other countries who are learning from and acting on Italy's experience". Italy was the first European country to be badly hit by the pandemic.
English speaking-countries were less likely than French or Italian to comply with lockdown rules, study says
British people, Americans, and other English speakers were measurably less likely to comply with coronavirus lockdown regulations than people in other European countries, a new study has claimed. Academics at Durham University found that 71 per cent of English speakers around the globe followed guidelines. But 89 per cent of French and Italian speakers are said to have complied, according the academics' analysis, based on a survey of over 8,300 respondents from 70 countries.
Lockdown study reports surge in health anxieties
New research into people's coping strategies faced with COVID-19 highlights the mental health toll for those shielding. Coronavirus and the imposition of lockdown this year 'significantly raised' mental health challenges, particularly so for the most vulnerable groups, including those shielding, according to the first study to look at people's coping styles in face of the pandemic.
WHO says North Korea's COVID-19 test results for first suspected case 'inconclusive'
North Korea’s test results for a man suspected of being the country’s first coronavirus case were inconclusive, though authorities have quarantined more than 3,635 primary and secondary contacts, a World Health Organization official told Reuters.
Determining the optimal strategy for reopening schools, the impact of test and trace interventions, and the risk of occurrence of a second COVID-19 epidemic wave in the UK: a modelling study
As lockdown measures to slow the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection begin to ease in the UK, it is important to assess the impact of any changes in policy, including school reopening and broader relaxation of physical distancing measures. We aimed to use an individual-based model to predict the impact of two possible strategies for reopening schools to all students in the UK from September, 2020, in combination with different assumptions about relaxation of physical distancing measures and the scale-up of testing.
What Africa, approaching a million cases, is doing to fight coronavirus
The World Health Organization has warned the coronavirus pandemic could overwhelm strained public health systems in Africa. On Wednesday, the continent was approaching a million infections and around 21,000 deaths, according to a Reuters tally. Here are measures some countries are taking to curb the virus.
Starting UK coronavirus lockdown three days earlier 'would have saved 20,000 lives'
Starting lockdown just three days earlier would have saved 20,000 lives, new research shows. Scientists claim certain countries were unwilling to take the economic cost of shutting businesses and ordering people to stay home earlier. Modelling by the University of Exeter Business School calculated that delaying lockdown by three more days would have cost 32,000 more lives. A delay of 12 days would have seen 200,000 extra deaths linked to Covid-19, they found. They have calculated a “price of a life” in the impact on lost GDP linked to lockdown for every death avoided. The price of life in the UK was among the lowest at around £77,000.
Coronavirus Resurgence
Coronavirus: what France's 'second wave' could look like
A second wave is “highly likely”, the French Scientific Committee has said, but what will that mean for people in France France could see a resumption “at any moment” of the Covid-19 pandemic, warned the Conseil Scientifique in a document published on Tuesday (August 4). It added that a “second wave” could be expected in Autumn or Winter this year. The four scenarios: Scenario 1: Epidemic under control - Scenario 2: One or more critical clusters showing signs of a local resumption of the epidemic - Scenario 3: A diffuse and low-key resurgence of the epidemic - Scenario 4: The epidemic reaches a critical stage - The report said that localised lockdowns should be considered early on if “critical clusters” emerged, with indications of this including a rate of more than 50 cases per 100,000 population. This was reached in Mayenne in mid-July but there has been no local lockdown so far.
Australia suffers record coronavirus deaths, triggering tighter curbs
Australia reported a record 15 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, all in Victoria state, which was preparing to close much of its economy to control a second wave of infection that threatens to spread across the country. The second-most populous state in Australia reported a record rise of 725 new COVID-19 cases despite having reimposed a lockdown on Melbourne, the state capital with a population of 5 million people, four weeks ago. New South Wales and Queensland states introduced new measures to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, which has claimed 247 lives across the country.
Coronavirus: New virus measures in Preston 'expected in next few days'
Lockdown measures could return to Preston in the next few days after a rise in Covid-19 cases, Lancashire's director of public health said. Dr Sakthi Karunanithi expects stricter rules to be imposed in the city as they have been in east Lancashire, Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire. The council has already asked residents to follow a number of extra measures in a bid to halt the spread of the virus. Data from Public Health England shows a rise in new Covid-19 cases in the city. Preston recorded 49 new cases of coronavirus in the week to 31 July, more than double the week before when there were 22 - this meant almost 35 cases per 100,000 population.
Coronavirus UK: Preston set to be next city in local lockdown
The infection rate in the Lancashire city has more than doubled in seven days. More than 34 people per 100,000 were diagnosed with Covid-19 last week Lancashire director of public health said matter of days before lockdown comes
Victoria-NSW border communities brace for 'enormous heartache' as lockdown measures loom
Communities straddling Victoria and New South Wales are bracing for “enormous heartache” and even more disruption to business, with the looming lockdown measures adding to the pain caused by last month’s border closure, a federal MP says. The independent MP for the north-east Victorian seat of Indi, Helen Haines, said many business owners were “desperate” and “exhausted” after experiencing four weeks of impacts from the NSW border restrictions – and now faced another hit from the reintroduction of stage three lockdown measures in regional Victoria this week. Haines is calling for “some very targeted federal government business support to the border communities, which recognises that they have now experienced a month of disruption to their business as a result of the border closing”. The Albury-Wodonga region, for example, has faced a range of impacts.
New Lockdown
'Uncertainty' about origin of outbreak and 'rapidly accelerating' transmission forced Aberdeen lockdown decision
Nicola Sturgeon has said the uncertainty over the origin of the outbreak of Covid-19 in Aberdeen and the ongoing “rapid transmission” of the virus created a tipping point for the Scottish Government to reimpose lockdown restrictions in the city. The First Minister, speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing with chief medical officer Gregor Smith, announced those living in Aberdeen will face tougher restrictions from today due to the outbreak which was first reported last week.
Which parts of the UK are back in lockdown as Aberdeen becomes the latest city to see a spike in coronavirus cases?
Aberdeen has become the latest city in the UK to go back into lockdown following a spike in local cases. The new restrictions will see hospitality venues once again forced to close and limitations placed on people’s movements as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 54 cases had been reported in the cluster. It joins a number of other areas across the country which are facing renewed lockdown restrictions or other curbs in response to rising Covid cases. But which parts of the UK are back in lockdown, or have had some lockdown restrictions reimposed?
Pubs to be closed in Aberdeen as lockdown renewed
Lockdown restrictions have been reimposed in Aberdeen due to a coronavirus cluster in the city, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced. Pubs and restaurants were ordered to close by 17:00 on Wednesday. People are being told not to travel to Aberdeen, and those living in the city face travel restrictions. Ms Sturgeon said there were now 54 cases in the "significant outbreak" and that community transmission could not be ruled out.
Coronavirus Australia: Military deployed and car windows smashed by police to enforce lockdown stay-at-home orders
Some 500 military personnel will be deployed to Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, to enforce coronavirus isolation orders. Anyone caught breaking the rules will face a tough fine as high as A$20,000 (£10,900), with the only exception being for urgent medical care. Earlier this week, Victoria imposed a night-time curfew, tightened restrictions on people’s movements during the day and ordered large parts of the economy to close in order to slow the spread of the virus.
'Serious problems': Businesses warn food supply chains are in jeopardy
Business leaders are urging the Victorian government to make immediate changes to its tough COVID-19 lockdown rules to avoid jeopardising national food supplies amid confusion and fury at conflicting signals about who can keep working. Industry groups gained an emergency meeting with state Treasurer Tim Pallas on Wednesday night after venting their frustration at the lack of clarity about rules exposing employers to fines of up to $99,132 if workers do not carry the right permits during the six-week stage 4 lockdown.
Coronavirus: Queensland to close border to New South Wales
Australia's Queensland will extend its border closure to New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to halt the spread of coronavirus from south-eastern states. It has already shut to Victoria - the centre of Australia's second wave - amid an outbreak in Melbourne. Victoria reported 725 new infections on Wednesday, yet another daily record despite being four weeks into lockdown. NSW saw many fewer - 12 - but all other states have consistently fared better. Sydney - the NSW capital and Australia's largest city - has been averaging about 80 infections per week, prompting concerns that community transmission could grow.
City Streets Drain of Life in Australia's Toughest Lockdown
Melbourne’s usually vibrant downtown streets were draining of signs of life on Wednesday on the eve of Australia’s toughest-ever pandemic restrictions coming into force. Many of the stylish boutiques and eateries in a city dubbed Australia’s Hipster Capital that prides itself on superior coffee had already closed their doors ahead of a ban on non-essential businesses that will throw 250,000 people out of work from Thursday.
New lockdown laws for 4,000,000 in northern England come into force tonight
New lockdown restrictions impacting millions of people in parts of northern England come into force at midnight tonight. The coronavirus crackdown in areas including Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire will see people from different households banned from meeting in a private home or garden, following a spike in cases. Ministers had initially said the rules – in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020 – would apply from midnight on July 31, but refused to comment when asked why there had been a delay in imposing them. The regulations, published on Tuesday afternoon, say anyone found flouting the rules could be fined £100 up to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.
Philippines back under lockdown as virus cases continue to surge
Philippine police deployed road blocks on Tuesday to enforce a tough new lockdown on about 28 million people in the capital Manila and nearby provinces as the Southeast Asian country reported the region's biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases. The area, which accounts for most economic activity in the country and a quarter of the population, has gone back into lockdown for two weeks after restrictions were relaxed in June. The eased restrictions, in an effort to revive the economy, led to infections soaring more than six-fold to 112,593 and deaths more than doubling to roughly 2,100, piling pressure on a beleaguered healthcare sector. The health ministry on Tuesday reported 6,352 new cases, marking the biggest daily jump in infections in Southeast Asia and after posting a record rise in five of the past six days.