Travellers returning to England from mainland Portugal must self-isolate for 14 days if they arrive after 4am on Saturday, Grant Shapps has said.

It came after the number of weekly coronavirus cases in England rose by 43 per cent, according to government data, in the highest weekly figure since the end of May.  

In total 9,864 new infections were reported in the seven days up 2 September. Positive cases have been increasing since the start of July and are now 12 per cent higher than the number recorded when Test and Trace first launched.  

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1599762809Trump’s Nevada campaign rallies at risk due to coronavirus health guidelines in battleground state

Donald Trump has planned two campaign rallies in Las Vegas and Reno for over the weekend, but they’re at risk after local officials revealed the gatherings would violate health guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic, writes Danielle Zoellner.

Adam Laxalt, the co-chair of Trump’s campaign in Nevada, shared on Twitter on Wednesday that the president’s planned rally venues were cancelled on the campaign. He blamed the state’s Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 19:33

1599761214Pelosi attacks Trump for downplaying coronavirus danger

Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped into Donald Trump after revelations this week from famed journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book that the president downplayed the threat of coronavirus publicly while privately expressing his concerns about its deadliness, writes Griffin Connolly.

“In those comments, he showed his contempt — contempt for the American people and their health, contempt for science, contempt for any real effort to crush the virus,” Ms Pelosi told reporters on Thursday.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 19:06

1599761064Huge coronavirus insurance payout coming

Lloyd’s of London expects to pay out £5bn in claims relating to the coronavirus pandemic, making it the costliest event in the insurance market’s 334-year history, writes Ben Chapman.

Lloyd’s said on Thursday that the market lost £400m in the first half of the year, compared to a profit of £2.3bn in the same period last year.

The 90 members who make up the Lloyd’s market have faced additional claims for event cancellation, travel and business interruption policies.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 19:04

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New coronavirus cases have increased by nearly 3,000 for another day running, government figures show.

Officials said that as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 2,919 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus. Overall, 358,138 cases have been confirmed.

The government also said 41,608 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, an increase of 14 on the day before.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 57,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 18:55

1599759327Creative spaces, blended learning and limited ‘bedroom’ contact: How return to university will look

niversity students can expect to be banned from holding large parties in their halls of residence and attend lectures only for priority courses if coronavirus surges on campus, according to new government guidance, writes Jon Sharman.

Meanwhile, a health minister has warned young people to be responsible about their activities in the bedroom, as well as in pubs and elsewhere, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The guidance, updated in the early hours of Thursday, governs the return of thousands of students to campuses across England.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 18:35

1599759248Travel industry reacts to Portugal quarantine move

Abta, the association of travel agents and tour operators, has said that government quarantine restrictions hamper business. It follows Grant Shapps’ announcement that Portugal, Hungary and other regions have been removed from the UK’s list of ‘travel corridor’ destinations.

An Abta spoksperson said: “Every country, mainland or island that is taken off the government’s travel lists lessens the ability of travel businesses to operate and increases the necessity for the government to provide tailored industry support.

“There are travel agents and tour operators based in every region of the UK that are viable businesses, which are unable to trade because of the measures to control the pandemic, and tens of thousands of livelihoods are at risk until we are able to move beyond widespread travel restrictions.

“As part of the Save Future Travel Coalition, Abta has today written to the chancellor, alongside other travel associations, setting out its suggested plan to help, which includes changes to quarantine policy, the introduction of testing and the granting of an APD holiday. It explains that with the right policy and regulatory support the government can save jobs and ensure the viability of the UK’s travel industry.”

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 18:34

1599758873Operation Moonshot ‘not feasible’ and ‘massive gamble,’ health experts warn

Boris Johnson’s ‘Operation Moonshot’ mass testing programme is “not feasible” and poses a “massive gamble”, health experts have warned, writes Sam Lovett.

Figures from Public Health England (PHE), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and those close to the project, which is expected to cost close to £100bn, have told The Independent that the programme is “flawed” and could be too ambitious in scope.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 18:27

1599756736Opinion: Matt Hancock’s strategy is clear – reach for the moon and blame everyone else when it fails

When most people look at Matt Hancock they see a man serving in a government that is anathema to everything he believes in because his career is more important to him than his values, writes Tom Peck.

I suspect what Matt Hancock sees, on the other hand, is a kind of Brexit Donnie Brasco. A good guy, doing right, keeping the bad guys in check.

Trouble is, the unforeseen coronavirus plotline has both increased his cover and deepened his infiltration, to the point where, one suspects, even close family members don’t know who’s side he’s really on anymore.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 17:51

1599757316New restrictions in NI

Arlene Foster has announced new coronavirus restrictions for Ballymena, Co Antrim, the area covered by Belfast City Council, and a postal area including Lisburn.

The Stormont first minister said: “There are areas where the spread is of particular concern, where cases are double or treble the average rate for the province.”

There will be “no mixing of households in private dwellings”, she added.

Those with child care and other caring responsibilities will be exempt.

No more than six people from two households can meet in gardens.

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 18:01

1599755596

Police were forced to break up a string of parties in Belfast last night.

Officers issued 10 community resolution notices and eight fixed penalty notices, which carry a £60 fine, after responding to a number of parties at residential addresses in the Holyland area of south Belfast in the early hours of Thursday.

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said: “Some young people who have moved to the area to pursue their studies, and others visiting the area, are not listening to our repeated warnings.

“Alongside the universities and colleges, we have issued multiple appeals for young people to follow the latest health and safety advice and highlighted the importance of being good neighbours.

“Last night, we gave advice and guidance at a number of residential properties. However, 18 of those people we spoke with failed to understand the seriousness of the situation.”

Jon Sharman10 September 2020 17:33



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