Coronavirus news LIVE: Leicester lockdown eased as Turkey and Greece could join quarantine list and UK deaths hit 41,381

GOOD news for Leicester as some restrictions of their local lockdown are set to be eased.

Gatherings in private homes and gardens are to remain in place, but from Wednesday, tanning booths, spas, and massage and tattoo parlours can reopen.

The city has been in their renewed lockdown for seven weeks following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Skin piercing services can resume, while guidance for music venues and theatres to remain closed with be dropped.

Meanwhile, Brits continue to fear for their holidays to Turkey and Greece after a rise in Covid-19 cases could see them moved to the UK's quarantine list.

France, Spain and the Netherlands are among those to have been removed from the safe travel list in recent weeks in a bid to limit a possible second wave.

The coronavirus death toll rose by 12 in the UK on Tuesday, with total fatalities numbering 41,381.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • FRANCE MAKES FACE MASKS IN THE OFFICE MANDATORY

    Face masks will become compulsory in most offices from September 1, a French government official told reporters this afternoon.

    It comes as cases in the country surge, with the country's health ministry announcing 2,238 new coronavirus cases today.



  • TAOISEACH SLAMS PEOPLE FLOUTING RESTRICTIONS

    Reacting to a rise in cases in Ireland, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “The evidence is that a large number of people are acting as if the virus is no threat to them or that it is OK to take a few more risks.

    “Many people seem to believe that if they or those they are socialising with have no symptoms there is no problem.”

    He added: “We are at a point where we need to recommit ourselves to key behaviours and to accept additional controls.”

    He noted multiple outbreaks amongst households and in social activity settings.”

  • MORE ON IRELAND'S NEW WAVE OF CASES

    Ireland's Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said 190 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed on Tuesday.

    “We're now seeing multiple clusters throughout the country, in people's homes, in multiple workplaces and in a number of other social settings.”

    He added: “Our 14-day cumulative cases per hundred thousand population, a key measure looked at by NPHET, is now 26 – that's come up from four.

    “Our five-day average of new cases is 116 new cases per day and rising.

    “Today, the total number of new cases is 190.”

  • PIZZA EXPRESS CLOSES 73 RESTAURANTS

    Pizza Express has announced plans to permanently close 73 of its restaurants, impacting 1,100 members of staff, as part of a major restructuring plan.

    The chain has formally launched a proposal to reduce its restaurant estate and rental cost base through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

    UK & Ireland managing director Zoe Bowley said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic had led to some “incredibly tough decisions to safeguard Pizza Express for the long term”.

    She added: “Today we have confirmed that 73 of our pizzerias are proposed to close permanently.

    “In most cases, there is another Pizza Express nearby, either already open or reopening soon, to welcome our customers.

    “Our focus is on our people whose jobs are impacted and we will be doing everything we can either to redeploy them or to support them in finding roles elsewhere.”

  • IRELAND REINTRODUCES RESTRICTIONS

    Restrictions to limit the spread of the virus in Ireland have been reintroduced until September 13, Taoiseach Micheal Martin confirmed.

    It comes as the country saw a worrying spike in infections which pushed the it's 14-day cases per 100,000 population to 26 and led to the first local lockdown last week.

    We list some of the new restrictions below.

    • All businesses should facilitate remote working.
    • Visits to homes should be limited to six people and involve no more than three households.
    • Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 15 people.
    • Public transport should be avoided where possible and face masks worn on private transport when households are mixed.

    FRANCE CASES RISE

    The French health ministry has 2,238 new coronavirus cases today, as fears grow of a second wave of infections in the country.

    France's seven-day moving average of the case count, which smooths out daily reporting irregularities, has now been above 2,000 for five consecutive days, which was last seen around the middle of April.

    It comes just days after the British government ordered all arrivals from the country into the UK to quarantine for fourteen days.

    SWEDISH SCIENTIST SLAMMED OVER 'HERD IMMUNITY COMMENTS'

    Sweden's top coronavirus expert has been blasted for appearing to ask whether a higher death rate was a fair price for herd immunity, bombshell emails show.

    Anders Tegnell decided against a lockdown in the country which has suffered a higher death toll than their Scandinavian neighbours.

    Messages sent by Mr Tegnell, and obtained by journalists through freedom of information laws, appear to show him discussing keeping schools open to encourage herd-immunity.

    In a reported brainstorming session with Finnish scientist Mika Salminen in March, Tegnell said: “One point would be to keep schools open to reach herd immunity faster.”

    In response, Salminen said Finland's health agency had considered this but decided against the idea because “over time, the children are still going to spread the infection to other age groups.”

    His modelling showed that closing schools would reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus by 10 per cent.

    At this point, Tegnell replied: “10% might be worth it?”

    Read the full report here.

    OLDHAM FEARED TO BE 'ON THE BRINK' OF 'CATASTROPHIC' LOCKDOWN

    Oldham could be just 48 hours away from a “catastrophic” local lockdown, The Guardian reports.

    Ministers are expected to meet on Thursday for crunch talks about the city's infection rate – which remains the highest in England despite a slow decline since the reintroduction of restrictions.

    Council leader Sean Fielding told the paper: “Everything that is within our power we are doing, and there is some early evidence that is having an effect on the infection rate.

    “But we do need more time to see if that has really played out. I do think that moving into a local lockdown would be really premature.”

    MANCHESTER COURT STAYS SHUT AMIDST OUTBREAK

    Manchester Crown Court will remain shut for the remainder of the week after eight people working at the court tested positive for coronavirus.

    More judges and other staff will be tested as health officials investigate the outbreak, Manchester Evening News reports.

    The closure means the Court will have shut its doors for ten days in total.

    SPORTS UPDATE

    Here are the important developments from the world of sport.

    • Two players from Italian football club Roma's youth team have tested positive for the coronavirus.The Italian soccer club has not named the players but says they are asymptomatic and have begun self-isolating.
    • German football club Union Berlin wants to hold a pre-season friendly match with 3,000 spectators – and is hoping that coronavirus tests for fans will allow it to happen. The Bundesliga team says it has applied to the local health authorities for permission to hold the game on September 5.
    • South Africa was forced to withdraw from a planned women's cricket tour of England due to the pandemic. The England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket South Africa say this decision was taken due to the current international travel regulations in place for South African national teams.

    'STRIKING INCREASE' IN COVID TRANSMISSION SINCE START OF JULY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

    Stormont's chief medical adviser professor Ian Young has said there has been a strong and striking increase in Covid-19 transmission since the beginning of July in Northern Ireland.

    “That is something which, if it continues, would cause significant problems for us in the next months,” he said.

    Chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said complacency had set in among some people, and sent a stark warning to those flouting regulations.

    “Wise up, this is far too important,” he added.

    AUSTRIA SAYS IT WILL ISSUE TRAVEL WARNING FOR SPAIN'S BALEARIC ISLANDS

    Austria is expanding its travel warning for the Spanish mainland to include the Balearic islands, such as Mallorca and Ibiza, because of an increase in coronavirus infections there, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday.

    The travel warning for the popular tourist region will take effect on Monday, meaning that people arriving in Austria from that day will have to present a negative coronavirus test or else go into quarantine until they are tested.

    UAE – 'ALARMING' INCREASE IN CORONAVIRUS CASES

    An increase in the number of coronavirus cases over the past two weeks is “alarming” and may herald further increases in the near future, the United Arab Emirates' health minister said on Tuesday.

    The UAE registered 365 new cases and two deaths over the last 24 hours, the government said, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections in the Gulf state since the start of the pandemic to 64,906 with 366 deaths.

    New daily coronavirus cases in the UAE peaked in mid-May but the country has seen periodic spikes since then, despite a generally falling trend.

    RATES OF DEPRESSION DOUBLE AMONG ADULTS DURING LOCKDOWN

    Rates of depression appear to have almost doubled in Britain since the country was put into lockdown in late March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the country's official statistics agency.

    The Office for National Statistics said in a special study released today that 19.2% of adults were likely to be experiencing symptoms of depression in June, three months into the lockdown of large chunks of society and the economy.

    That proportion is up from 9.7% recorded between July 2019 and March.

    The statistics agency, which assessed the same 3,527 of adults before and during the pandemic, said feelings of stress or anxiety were the most common way adults were experiencing some form of depression, with around 85% of those reporting symptoms.

    CORONAVIRUS IN NUMBERS

    The Government said 41,381 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, as of 5pm on Monday, an increase of 12 on the day before.

    Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been 57,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

    The Government also said that as of 9am today there had been a further 1,089 lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

    Overall, a total of 320,286 cases have been confirmed.

    NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS-POSITIVE PATIENTS SENT TO CARE HOMES TO BE REVEALED

    Public Health Scotland has been ordered to reveal how many patients were transferred from hospitals to care homes after testing positive for coronavirus.

    Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced she has instructed the organisation to produce the new data, including how many people were thought to be infectious when moved.

    It comes after it emerged at the weekend that at least 37 potentially infectious people in Ayrshire hospitals who tested positive for the disease were still sent to care homes.

    The Health Secretary said: “We have worked to make as much data available as is practical on a range of issues related to Covid-19 and that is why I have today asked Public Health Scotland to work with boards to produce validated statistics and analysis on the number of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 and were subsequently admitted to a care home.

    “That includes examining how many were assessed as being discharged when they were considered to be infectious and the rationales that were in place for such a discharge, for example in the cases of palliative care concerns.”

    UK RECORDS 1,089 NEW COVID-19 CASES

    The United Kingdom recorded 1,089 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, up from 713 on Monday, government figures showed.

    A further 12 people died after testing positive for the coronavirus within 28 days.

    The UK has recorded more than 1,000 daily cases on eight out of the last 10 days.

    CHAMPAGNE MAKERS FIX HARVET QUOTAS, AS VIRUS KILLS THE FIZZ

    French Champagne producers decided today to put unprecedented limits on the quantity of grapes they'll harvest this year in hopes of propping up prices and containing damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

    As a result, record amounts of grapes may need to be destroyed or sold to distilleries at discounted prices. But for the Champagne Committee, the influential group that represents 16,000 vintners around France's Champagne region, thats the price to pay for saving their luxury business.

    Vintners in Champagne country will only be allowed to collectively harvest 8,000 kilograms of grapes per hectare this season, or the equivalent of 230 million bottles for the whole region, according to Tuesdays decision.

    That is 21% less than the amounts allowed last year.

    Like the organisations that coordinate policies for oil-producing countries, the Champagne Committee regulates the size of the grape harvest each year to avoid the kind of excess production that would cause bottle prices to plummet.

    But this years discussions took on unprecedented importance after the industry collectively lost $2 billion in sales because of virus lockdown measures.

    The pandemic flattened the fizz for Champagne and the celebratory mood that drives the business: weddings were canceled, first-class flights grounded and restaurants and night clubs shuttered around the world.

    WHO BLASTS 'VACCINE NATIONALISM' IN LAST-DITCH PUSH AGAINST HOARDING

    Nations that hoard possible COVID-19 vaccines while excluding others will deepen the pandemic, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday, issuing a last-ditch call for countries to join a global vaccine pact.

    The WHO has an Aug. 31 deadline for wealthier nations to join the “COVAX Global Vaccines Facility” for sharing vaccine hopefuls with developing countries.

    Tedros said he sent a letter to the WHO's 194 member states, urging participation.

    The global health agency also raised concerns that the pandemic's spread was being driven now by younger people, many of whom were unaware they were infected, posing a danger to vulnerable groups.

    Tedros' push for nations to join COVAX comes as the European Union, Britain, Switzerland and the United States strike deals with companies testing prospective vaccines.

    Russia and China are also working on vaccines, and the WHO fears national interests could impede global efforts.

    “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” Tedros told a virtual briefing.

    “Sharing finite supplies strategically and globally is actually in each country's national interest.”

    SCOTLAND – SCHOOLS NEED 3,500 MORE TEACHERS TO ENABLE SOCIAL DISTANCING, UNION CLAIMS

    An extra 3,500 teachers will be needed in Scotland to allow for physical distancing, the country's biggest teaching union has said.

    In a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan railed against the differences in guidance for those in and out of schools, pointing to the mandatory use of face coverings in museums, while no such regulation exists for pupils or staff.

    The Scottish Government announced funding last month for the hiring of 1,400 additional teachers but Mr Flanagan urged ministers to “do more”, saying extra teachers would allow for classes to spread out across different rooms where social distancing could take place.

    He said: “We need the Scottish Government to fund the hiring of the 3,500 teachers identified by the GTCS (General Teaching Council for Scotland) as willing to aid education recovery so that we can reduce class sizes and make possible physical distancing.”

    POLAND – HEALTH MINISTER RESIGNS AFTER VIRUS RESPONSE CRITICISED

    Poland's Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski said he was resigning from his post, the second resignation in two days from the ministry, which has faced growing criticism for its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

    Szumowski's approach in the early stages of the pandemic made him Poland's most trusted politician in April, but his image has been dented by scandals surrounding the purchase of ventilators and masks.

    Szumowski has denied any wrongdoing.

    “I would like to inform you that today I am resigning …I decided it was that time,” he told a news conference, adding that he had initially planned to resign early this year but had stayed on to deal with the developing crisis.

    The announcement came a day after Deputy Health Minister Janusz Cieszynski announced he was leaving the ministry.

    GERMANY – OBEY CORONA RULES TO KEEP ECONOMY, SCHOOLS RUNNING SAYS MERKEL

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to stick to rules aimed at controlling the coronavirus, such as wearing masks, to ensure schools can stay open and Europe's biggest economy continues its recovery from lockdown.

    A rise in cases in the last couple of weeks has caused alarm among some virologists and politicians in Germany, and Merkel made clear that now was not the time to let up.

    “The good news is if we stick to the rules, a lot of public life is possible,” Merkel said on a trip to the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

    “If the numbers go back down we can open up more. If they don't, or rise, we must ask what is needed and in any case a further easing of measures cannot take place now,” she said.

    Germany has managed to keep the number of corona cases relatively low compared to many of its European neighbours but the number of confirmed cases reported by Tuesday rose by 1,390 to 225,404, the Robert Koch Institute said.

    The reported death toll is 9,236.

    LEICESTER LOCKDOWN UPDATE

    Current restrictions on gatherings in private homes and gardens will remain in place in Leicester but the government said there will be relaxations for some businesses from Wednesday.

    They include tanning booths, spas, massage and tattoo parlours and body and skin piercing services, while guidance for music venues and theatres to stay closed will be dropped.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “My gratitude goes out to the people of Leicester who have all made sacrifices to keep the virus at bay and protect their local communities.

    “The rate of infection has now dropped to a safe enough level to allow further businesses including beauty salons, nail bars and some outdoor venues to reopen in the area.

    “Current restrictions on gatherings must remain in place to further bring down the rate of infection.”

    MORE PROTECTION NEEDED FOR THOSE WHO SHIELDED – DOCTORS

    Leading doctors have expressed concern about the “pause” of the shielding programme to protect vulnerable people from Covid-19.

    People deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” were asked to shield at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Now shielding instructions have been paused, people who spent weeks isolated from society are returning to work, school and other activities.

    A group of leading medical organisations have raised concerns about patients unable to work from home who have lost income protection.

    A statement signed by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and charity National Voices, said the pause has led to challenges for doctors and patients.

    FIVE MORE CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN ENGLAND

    A further five people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,465, NHS England said today.

    The patients were aged between 64 and 86, and all had known underlying health conditions.

    Another two deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

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