Daily Update 23/07/2020

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The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 45, 554, an increase of 53 as of today. 

Face masks will be mandatory in shops across England from tomorrow. Although shoppers will be required to wear face masks, they will not be compulsory for staff.

The European Union’s head negotiate Michel Barnier has said that there has been no progress on the most essential aspects of the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the bloc. The main sources of disagreement, according to Barnier, are negotiations over a possible level playing field for state aid workers rights as well as British access to fishing waters. 

Daily Update 14/07/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 44,968, an increase of 138 as of today. 

A major study has found that Coronavirus outbreaks are 20 times more likely in large care homes then small ones. Of the 55,000 people that have died of Coronavirus according to the ONS’ numbers, 40% of these deaths occurred in care homes. At the peak of the virus 25,000 people where discharged from hospitals into care homes without being tested for Coronavirus. 

Reported incidents of domestic violence have increased by over a tenth compared to the figures this time last year. The 11.4% increase in calls to police about domestic violence amounts to an additional 480 calls a week. 

Daily Update 10/07/2020

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The total death toll as a result of coronavirus now stands at 44,650, an increase of 48 as of today. 

The UK is to turn down the chance to a multibillion-euro EU plan secure supplies for potential coronavirus vaccines. John Bell, the regius professor of medicine at Oxford university working with development of a Covid-19 vaccine has said that he thought that the UK’s decision was a sensible one. In an interview with the Financial Times Bell stated that the UK has a “very, very good and coherent vaccine plan.”

England faces a serious risk of running out of water within 20 years. In a report the public accounts committee has said that the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, the financial regulator Ofwat and the Environment Agency had failed to insure that privatised water agencies invested adequately in infrastructure. More than three billion litres, or one fifth of treated water, is lost leakage everyday. 

Daily Update 08/07/2020

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The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, gave a statement today on the government’s plans to create and protect jobs as well as setting out the government’s initiatives to protect the property market. 

In his statement in the House of Commons the chancellor stated that he would never accept “unemployment as a necessary outcome.” In order to support jobs, the government will implement a jobs retention bonus to reward and incentivise bringing back furloughed staff. The bonus of £1,000 per employee will be paid out to employers that keep furloughed workers in employment until January. In order for employers to be eligible for the scheme employees must be paid at least £520 a month between November, when the furlough scheme will end, and January. 

The government will directly pay employers to create new jobs for young people between the ages of 16 and 25. The scheme will require newly created jobs to provide at minimum of 25 hours a week of work and to pay at least the national minimum wage and will last for up to six months. 

The government will also cut stamp duty on all houses below £500,000. This means that nearly 9 out of 10 people will pay no stamp duty on purchases this year. 

To protect the hospitality sector the government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% for business including cinemas, B&Bs, and other leisure attractions. The government will also launch an “eat out to help out” scheme which will provide a 50% discount on dining out between Monday and Wednesday up to £10 per head. 

Daily Update 07/07/2020

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The death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 44,391, an increase of 155 in the last 24 hours. 

Thousands of headteachers across the country have called for exams to be cut back next year, amid fears of a mental health crisis among pupils who have already lost months of their education because of Coronavirus. 

Daily Update 01/07/2020

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In Prime Minister’s questions today Keir Starmer, the leader of the Opposition, attacked Boris Johnson for his handling of Leicester’s lockdown. Starmer claimed that Leicester’s local authority had only known about 80 new positive cases in the two-week period leading up the lockdown, when the real figure was 944. The Leader of the Labour Party stated that Leicester’s local authority had not received the test data that would have allowed them to act sooner. 

Bradford, Barnsley, and Rochdale have been revealed as the places with the highest Coronavirus infections after Leicester. Leicester has 140 cases per 100,000 indviduals whilst Bradford, Barnsley, Rochdale have 69, 55, and 54 respectively. 

Trade talks between the UK and the EU are still ongoing and in the most recent development Michel Barnier has stated that Britain cannot retain freedom of movement rights for financial services. 

An 18-year-old man has been arrested today on suspicion of murdering 27-year-old Nicole Smallman and 46 year old Bibaa Henry. The friends were murdered in in Fryent Garden’s Park in Wembley on 5 June after celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday. 

Daily Update 29/06/2020

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Leicester is to be put under a tighter lockdown then the rest of the country from Tuesday. These changes come after the city reported an increase in Coronavirus cases. The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has said that from Tuesday, non-essential shops will be asked to close, and schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers 

The Government has announced that schools in England could drop some non-core subjects next academic year. In the new changes, set to be announced on Thursday, pupils are expected to be organised in bubbles of up to 240 pupils in secondary school. These children will be allowed to mix freely and there will be staggered start and end dates for the school day as well as separate breaks.

Boris Johnson plans to give a speech later this week in which he hopes to unveil public spending worth £5 billion, which he will target improvements to schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects. 

The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 43,575, an increase of 25 as of today. 

Daily Update 23/06/2020

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The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 42,927, an increase of 171 as of today. 

In the Daily Briefing Boris Johnson announcing the loosening of the two-metre rule to what he referred to as “one metre plus”. What this means in practice is that public spaces are allowed to reopen and operate with a one metre instead of a two-metre rule in place if they implement changes that mitigate the spread of the virus. 

The Prime Minister also announced that the following public venues will be allowed to reopen. 

  • hotels
  • bed and breakfasts
  • caravan parks
  • places of worships 
  • bars  
  • libraries
  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • bars and pubs
  • social clubs
  • cinemas
  • museums and galleries
  • hair salons and barbers
  • outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms

Night clubs, swimming pools and indoor gyms will, however, not be allowed to reopen. 

From 4 July your household will be able to meet another household in doors, as long both households remain socially distant throughout. 

Daily Update 19/06/2020

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The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stand at 42,461, an increase of 173 as of today. 

In the daily briefing Gavin Williamson, the education Secretary, announced that the government will lower the alert level from 4 to 3 today. Level 3 means that the virus is in general circulation whereas level 4 means that transmission is high and rising. 

The Government has received criticism for seemingly downplaying the amount of Coronavirus deaths during the peak of the outbreak. According to ONS figures there were 22 days in which the total deaths were above 1,000 and near 1,500 deaths in one day. 

The UK Government’s debt exceeded the size of the economy in May for the first time in 50 years. 

Daily Update 16/06/2020

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The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 41,969, an increase of 233 as of today. 

Progress has been made in the Government’s attempts to treat Coronavirus as dexamethasone, a corticosteroid medication, has been shown to be effective in treating Coronavirus. The drug has been shown to reduce the risk of death by 35% for patients that require ventilators.

The Government have made a U-turn on their decision to now extend the free school meals program to the summer. The government’s introduction of a £120 million vouchers scheme, entitling children eligible for free school meals to £15 worth of vouchers a week, comes after a campaign led by the the football player Marcus Rashford.