Coronavirus UK LIVE: Boris Johnson could end two-metre rule this week and reopen pubs from July 4 as deaths hit 42,532 – The Sun

PUBS, restaurants and hotels are set to reopen from July 4 as plans for the hospitality industry are revealed.

Boris Johnson is set to announce that the two-metre rule will also be relaxed from July 4 and is also preparing an end to the lockdown in England with a raft of announcements over the next fortnight.

This comes after the four Chief Medical Officers in the UK revealed Britain can reduce the Covid Alert Level from 4 to 3.

Meanwhile, holidays are expected to go ahead from next month.

Also, the R number is still 0.7 to 0.9 across the UK for a second week running.

The UK coronavirus death toll now stands at 42,589 as of today, according to the Department of Health.

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

  • SCIENTISTS FIND TRACES OF VIRUS IN WASTEWATER IN ITALY FROM DEC LAST YEAR

    Wastewater collected from Milan and Turin in December 2019 has detected traces of coronavirus.

    The findings suggest COVID-19 was already circulating in northern Italy before China reported the first known cases of the virus.

    The Italian National Institute of Health looked at 40 sewage samples collected from wastewater treatment plants in northern Italy between October 2019 and February 2020.

    An analysis said samples taken in Milan and Turin on Dec. 18 showed the presence of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

  • US HALTS TEST OF HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS

    The U.S. National Institutes of Health announced it has halted a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

    The study found that hydroxychloroquine did not provide any benefit to the patients, even though it did no harm, NIH said in a statement.

    Trump has frequently touted the drug a possible treatment.

  • INFECTIONS AT CHICKEN PROCESSING PLANT RISE

    Some 75 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed at a chicken processing plant in in Llangefni, Anglesey, North Wales.

    Production was halted at the 2 Sisters factory on Thursday after the outbreak was declared and staff were instructed to self-isolate for two weeks.

    Public Health Wales said: “This number is expected to increase further over the next few days as we continue to process the samples taken from employees… Over 350 members of staff have provided samples so far.”

  • POPE FRANCIS HOLDS FIRST AUDIENCE SINCE LOCKDOWN LIFTED

    Pope Francis on Saturday held his first audience for a group of people since Italy lifted its coronavirus lockdown.

    The ceremony was granted to health workers from the Italian region most affected by the pandemic.

    “You were one of the supporting pillars of the entire country,” he told doctors and nurses from the Lombardy region gathered in the Vatican’s frescoed Clementine Hall, which had not been used for months because of the crisis.

    “To those of you here and to your colleagues all across Italy go my esteem and my sincere thanks, and I know very well I am interpreting everyone’s sentiments,” he said.

  • R RATE HOVERS CLOSE TO 1 IN NORTH WEST, MIDLANDS & LONDON

    The coronavirus reproduction 'R' rate – the average number of people a Covid-19 patient infects- is hovering close to one in three regions of England.

    SAGE scientists estimate the R rate is higher in these regions, despite being lower for the UK as a whole.

    The R is thought to be between 0.8 and 1.0 in the Midlands, the highest of any region in Britain.

    It is thought to be slightly lower in London and the North West, and estimated in the range of between 0.7 and 1.0.

    The reproduction rate must stay below one for fear of a second wave of the virus.

  • ITALY'S VIRUS ROUNDUP

    Italy reported 49 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, compared with 47 a day earlier, the Civil Protection Agency said.

    The daily tally of new cases rose to 262 from 251 on Friday.

    The country's death toll now stands at 34,610, the agency said, the world's fourth-highest after the United States, Brazil and Britain.

    The number of confirmed cases amounts to 238,275, the eighth-highest global tally.

  • NORTHERN IRELAND RECORDS NO NEW CASES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE LOCKDOWN

    Northern Ireland's health trust labs have reported no new confirmed cases of coronavirus for the first time since lockdown.

    The daily update from the Department of Health on Saturday revealed there were no positive results in the 995 tests analysed in their labs through Friday.

    The department confirmed that the figures marked the first day since March that no new positive tests had been reported in a 24-hour period by health trust labs across the region.

  • SECURITY GUARDS PATROL STONEHENGE

    Thousands of druids, hippies and party goers who would usually flock to the monument on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, to mark the longest day of the year,have been asked to do so from home instead.

    This year's event was cancelled by English Heritage due to coronavirus.

    The sunrise and sunset will instead be live-streamed online for the first time – although some senior druids have insisted they will still make their way to the site today.

  • FLORIDA RECORDS 4,000 NEW CASES IN ONE DAY

    The US state recorded 4,049 new coronavirus cases, making it the highest single-day increase.

    Texas, Nevada and Arizona also continue to see increasing cases, all reporting spikes in infections in the past week.

  • BRAZIL BECOMES SECOND COUNTRY IN WORLD TO HIT 1M CASES

    The South American country also recorded more than 1,200 deaths for the fourth consecutive day as the total fatality count neared 49,000.

    Infections have soared tenfold in Brazil over the past month after first surpassing 100,00 coronavirus cases on May 3.

    And some experts fear the real infection number could be as many as ten million due to Brazil&x27;s lack of testing and the government's flippant attitude to the pandemic.

    It comes after the US became the first country to break one million cases on April 27 – and continues to be the world leader with almost 2.3million cases.

  • IN PICTURES: VICTORY DAY REHEARSALS UNDERWAY IN MOSCOW – WITH FACE MASKS

    Russia is preparing for a military parade on June 24 to mark the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II.

    Images show soldiers, tank drivers and ,military personnel maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks.

    Meanwhile. Russia reported more recoveries than coronavirus cases for the fifth day in a row on Saturday.

    According to daily figures released by the country' emergency team, 7,889 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, while 10,186 patients were discharged from hospitals across Russia.

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  • MPs URGE CHANCELLOR TO CONSIDER FOUR-DAY WEEK TO AID COVID-19 RECOVERY

    A cross-party group of MPs have urged the Government to explore the possibility of a four-day working week to aid the recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

    Labour's former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the SNP's Mhairi Black and Green MP Caroline Lucas have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

    Backed by campaigners and the Communication Workers Union, they asked for a commission to be set up to mirror one already established in Scotland.

    They argue a four-day working week would improve mental health and wellbeing and be a boost to the economy, democracy and environment.

    “It's in no one's interests to return back to the pressure and stress that people were under before this pandemic,” they added.

  • CUBAN WOMAN WEARS FULL-BODY 'CARDBOARD HOUSE' AS COVID-19 SHIELD

    Ever since coronavirus reached Cuba, a tall cardboard box with arms and legs can be seen tottering around a Havana suburb, popping into the bakery or butchers, or browsing the newspaper stand.

    Feridia Rojas, 82, decided to build and wear a mobile housing to shield herself from the virus
    – which is considered to be more deadly for elderly people.

    In Cuba,personal protective equipment such as face masks is not sold in shops.

  • SCOTLAND PUBLISHES TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY GUIDANCE AHEAD OF REOPENING

    Guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector in Scotland has been published as business owners prepare for the planned reopening on July 15.

    The Scottish Government has issued the documents with key public health measures that will need to be followed by industry bodies – with the date only being met “if sufficient progress is made to move to phase three of the route-map” out of lockdown.

    Physical distancing measures for the sector range for the size of premises but include proper signage and markings, limiting capacity where necessary, reviewing layouts for employees and customers, queue management and adapting services such as considering the use of screens.

    It comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon moved Scotland into phase two on Friday, which will allow zoos, garden attractions and shops to open again from June 29.

  • KLM TO INCREASE PASSENGER FLIGHT NUMBERS IN JULY AND AUGUST

    KLM, the Dutch subsidiary of Air France-KLM, is planning to ramp up the number of passenger flights it operates in July and again in August as travel restrictions linked to the global coronavirus outbreak ease, it said on Saturday.

    In a statement, KLM said it would operate 6,900 passenger flights in July and 13,100 in August, including some intercontinental lines. That compares with around 22,000 flights per month in the summer months of 2019.

    This month 3,000 KLM flights are scheduled to depart from Amsterdam, around 20 to 30% of the usual number.

  • FORMER ICELAND BOSS SAYS COVID-19 HAS ACCELERATED DEMISE OF HIGH STREET

    COVID-19 has “accelerated” the demise of high streets as shopping destinations, and paved the way for a new retail landscape, according to the former boss of Wickes and Iceland.

    Retail expert Bill Grimsey said nearly half of retailers were in danger of “going bust” even before the pandemic, but a boom in online shopping has quickened the process, adding the “old high street is finished”.

    He said the high street can only survive if the Government hands over more powers to local authorities and people who have a “vested interest in their communities”.

    His comments came after the third Grimsey Review looking into the state of the UK high street was published on Saturday.

    Among its 27 recommendations are calls to replace “outdated” business rates with a sales tax and for unused properties to be forced back onto the market to be bought by community trusts to serve their neighbourhoods.

    Mr Grimsey told the PA News Agency: “Before the pandemic, 50% of businesses were in danger of going bust. Covid has accelerated and exposed the process of people ditching bricks-and-mortar retail and shopping online instead.

    “People are starting to think differently, when they come out of lockdown, their attitudes will change for the better, they will start to appreciate their local communities, breathing cleaner air and enjoying the wildlife.

    “They have realised there is a better life out there, built around those who have a vested interest in their communities and not by big distant investors, and I believe this has been highlighted by the pandemic.”

  • MP ARGUES ECONOMY SHOULD BE KICKSTARTED BY REDUCING TWO-METRE RULE

    Owen Paterson MP argues that it is time to “accept some level of risk” as coronavirus infection rates continue to fall, by lifting rules to kickstart the economy.

    Writing a column in the Telegraph, Tory MP Mr Paterson said: “The two-metre rule is perhaps the most significant hurdle in ensuring that the economy can restart in a meaningful way.

    “For schools to reopen fully, for the hospitality sector to function, for public transport to be practical and shops not to be paralysed by queues, it needs to be brought down quickly to a one-metre rule in line with WHO guidance.

    “Such a reduction may not be straightforward. After months of effective messaging to “Stay Home”, many will feel anxious about a loosening of the regulations.

    “Those people are at liberty to keep as far away from others as they wish.

    “But in terms of making practical policy, we must ensure that we are dealing with real – and not perceived – risk.”

  • HONG KONG CONFIRMS FIFTH CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DEATH

    A 78-year-old woman has died in Hong Kong from coronavirus, taking the death toll from COVID-19 in the city to five.

    The metropolitan island has so far confirmed 1,129 cases since the outbreak began.

    Hong Kong has eased social distancing measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

    Gatherings of 50 people or more are currently banned under the new guidelines.

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  • SCOTLAND: TWO NEW FATALITIES TAKE DEATH TOTAL TO 2,472

    Two deaths have been recorded in the past 24 hours of people who tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland, taking the total to 2,472.

    The figures were published as part of the Scottish Government's daily statistical update as Scotland enters its first weekend since moving into phase two of the four-step plan to ease lockdown.

    The statistics indicate that as of 9am on Saturday, 18,130 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 26 from 18,104 the previous day.

    Of those who have tested positive, 519 were in hospital on Friday night.

    A total of 14 patients were in intensive care with either confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a fall of five in 24 hours.

  • NORTHERN IRELAND: ONE NEW COVID-19 DEATH AS NATION REPORTS NO NEW CASES

    There has been one further death of someone who tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

    The death brings to 545 the total number of deaths recorded by the Department of Health – a toll that primarily focuses on fatalities within hospitals.

    There were no new confirmed cases of the virus announced on Saturday, leaving the total since the outbreak began in the region standing at 4,866.

  • NEW MUM, 35, DIES OF CORONAVIRUS BEFORE SHE COULD HOLD BABY FOR FIRST TIME

    A new mum died of coronavirus before she could even hold her baby for the first time as she was put in a coma after giving birth.

    Sarah Scully, 35, contracted COVID-19 while heavily pregnant in April.

    After she gave birth she was only able to see a photo of her son that a nurse took for her.

    Sarah's condition rapidly deteriorated and she died after spending a month in a coma.

    Read more on the story here.

  • CAPTAIN TOM MOORE'S FAMILY LAUNCH TRADEMARK NAME BID FOR CHARITY EVENTS

    Fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore’s family have launched a bid to trademark his name for charity events – and for use on calendars, badges and mugs.

    The former soldier’s name will be used for “arranging charitable fundraising activities”, collections and sponsorship.

    Captain Tom’s family moved to protect his image after he shot to national fame and raised £33 million during the COVID0-19 crisis by walking laps of his garden.

    It comes after he was given the honorary title of Colonel on his 100th birthday and awarded a fast-track knighthood.

    The application to the Intellectual Property Office to trademark his title was launched by his businesswoman daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore.

    Taken out in the name of her company Club Nook Limited, it seeks to protect his name for the “arranging and conducting of cultural events for charitable purposes”.

  • BRIT COASTGUARDS DETAIN FIVE CRUISE SHIPS

    British coastguards say they have detained five cruise ships after concerns about the welfare of crew members stranded by the coronavirus pandemic, some of whom have been aboard for a year.

    The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) says it found a number of expired and invalid Seafarers Employment Agreements, late payment of wages and crews who had been on board for over 12 months when it inspected the ships.

    Four of the vessels – the Astoria, Astor, Columbus and Vasco da Gama – are berthed at Tilbury Docks, in Essex.

    The fifth, the Marco Polo, is at Avonmouth, bristol. All five belong to Global Cruise Lines Ltd., which has its headquarters in Greece.

    Coast guards say the ships will be detained until labour breaches are resolved.

    Cruise lines stopped sailing in mid-March after several large coronavirus outbreaks at sea, and thousands of seafarers remain stranded.

    The All India Seafarers Union wrote to the Indian government last week seeking help for Indian crew it said were stuck aboard the Astoria in foreign waters.

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