UK coronavirus LIVE: Oldham spike prompts strict new regulations as death toll rises by 119

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  • July 28, 2020
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Oldham has become the latest borough in the UK to impose localised restrictions after it saw a surge in virus cases.

Meanwhile, the Government said on Tuesday that the death toll has risen by 119, bringing the total to 45,878. But the UK’s “true” coronavirus death toll has passed 56,400, the latest Office for National Statistics figures reveal.

The figures come amid an ongoing row over Britain’s travel quarantine measures, with reports the self-isolation period will be cut down from 14 days to 10.

The Government continues to opinion over its “swift” decision to remove Spain from its list of safe destinations to visit.

However, Boris Johnson has defended the move, stressing that ministers will continue to take action to stem the spread of the virus from at risk-countries.

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A pilot concert to test measures which could see the return of live music is taking place in London.

The Clapham Grand will operate with less than 20 per cent of its usual capacity, which has been reduced from 1,250 to 200.

While crowds normally stand at the venue, seating and tables have been put in to allow for social distancing.

Audience members will also be able to order drinks to their tables and they have been asked to arrive at staggered intervals.

One-way systems have been put in place around the venue and people will be temperature checked as they enter the building.

Frank Turner, who is performing at the concert, said it would be a different experience with the new measures in place.

“A huge part of performance is the energy exchange with the crowd and as a performer you feed off that energy that is coming back at you,” the singer said.

“You put it out, it comes back and it becomes a kind of virtuous circle and that is what makes a great show.

“It is obviously going to be much harder to slip into that groove for many obvious reasons.”

The venue’s manager Ally Wolf said the number of staff working at the venue for the Government-backed pilot has “dramatically increased” from what would normally be expected.

“All our operational costs have gone up… and we are now operating at 20% of our actual capacity to actually facilitate the show, so our revenue has just gone through the floor,” he said.

“This business model of operating like this isn’t feasible for the majority of live music venues, or most venues.”

Mr Wolf said the south London venue, which was formerly a variety hall, could adapt for the pilot because of its size.

However, he added that it would not be possible for other venues and they are “not setting a precedent” for the live music industry as a whole.


The official UK coronavirus death toll has jumped by 119:

UK coronavirus death toll in hospitals rises by 119 as total nears 46k

A further 119 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK. The Government said 45,878 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus as of 5pm on Monday – an increase of 119 from the day before 

This is also a big jump from the rise of just seven further deaths reported yesterday – the lowest since March 12.


Just in…

The Government said 45,878 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Monday, up by 119 from the day before.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 56,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The Government also said that in the 24-hour period up to 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 581 lab-confirmed cases. Overall, a total of 300,692 cases have been confirmed.


The Chainsmokers gig prompts investigation over ‘social distancing violations’

New York’s governor says he is “appalled” by videos showing crowds standing close together at a concert featuring electronic music duo The Chainsmokers over the weekend.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state Department of Health will conduct an investigation into “egregious social distancing violations”.

“We have no tolerance for the illegal reckless endangerment of public health,” Mr Cuomo tweeted.

The Saturday night concert – called Safe & Sound – was billed as a charity drive-in show.

Mr Cuomo shared a social media video, which has over 6 million views, that showed crowds of people standing and swaying near the stage. The video shows attendees who appeared to be wearing masks, but many individuals were standing closer than 6 feet (2 metres) apart.


FTSE makes gains as housing stocks bounce after help-to-buy reports:

The FTSE 100 held on to its gains from early trading to close higher, as buoyant housing stocks helped to offset pandemic-related concerns.

Housing firms saw their shares strengthen following reports that the Government is to extend the timeframe of the Help to Buy scheme as construction work was affected by the pandemic, pushing the likes of Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley higher.

Markets elsewhere in Europe were inconsistent as fears over second waves, and wrangling over a US stimulus deal, weighed on sentiment.

London’s top flight closed 24.38 points higher at 6,129.26p at the end of trading on Tuesday.

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: The FTSE desperately clung on to an increase despite gains for the pound and a wave of red across its mining stocks.

“The UK index’s white knight was the housing sector, which rallied on the back of news the Government may extend the Help to Buy scheme beyond December.”

Sterling moved to its highest level against the dollar since early March as traders welcomed positive retail statistics from the CBI.

The pound rose 0.5% versus the US dollar at 1.294 and was up 0.67% against the euro at 1.103.

The major European markets nudged marginally lower following a cautious trading day.

The German Dax decreased by 0.03%, while the French Cac moved 0.22% lower.

Across the Atlantic, the Dow Jones dipped as US lawmakers prepared to wrangle over its one trillion dollar stimulus plan.


The Museum of London has documented London on lockdown for posterity:

Photos show ‘extraordinarily silent’ London during lockdown

Photos showing an “extraordinarily silent” capital during the coronavirus lockdown have been documented by the Museum of London.

The museum’s first recorded soundscape was captured in September 1928 as part of a campaign against noise on increasingly loud London streets.

Almost a century later, empty streets at the same five locations were recorded to capture the quietened city during lockdown. 


The opera singer encouraged Italian’s to break the rules:


Germany has advised holidaymakers not to travel to several Spanish regions that have seen coronavirus infection rates rise.


Here’s a look at the latest figures:

UK coronavirus death toll in hospitals rises by 12

The number of people who have died in UK hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus has risen by 12. 

All 12 deaths were reported at hospitals in England, with no new deaths in Scotland or Wales. Northern Ireland has yet to release its figures. 

The hospital death tolls released separately by devolved authorities differ from the official Government statistics. 


The mixed-messaging continues:

Sturgeon: ‘I would not book a holiday right now’ amid travel confusion

Nicola Sturgeon has said she would not book a holiday abroad at the moment as mixed messaging over travelling abroad continues. 

The Scottish First Minister said at her daily coronavirus briefing that she does not want to raise expectations over a possible compensation scheme for those forced to self-isolate after returning from Spain. It comes after guidance for travelling to country were changed as reported coronavirus cases continued to grow.


Listen to the latest from the Evening Standard’s The Leader podcast:

Podcast: PM’s £2billion package to get more people on their bikes

Welcome to the Evening Standard’s daily podcast, The Leader, bringing you exclusive analysis and insight of the events setting the news agenda tonight.

The Leader is inspired by each evening’s Evening Standard’s editorial column, as it focusses on and dissects the day’s major news events across the capital, the country and the world. In today’s daily news podcast:


Tour operator Jet2 has suspended flights and holidays to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza up to and including August 9, after the Government changed its advice on travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands.

The company had already suspended flights and holidays to mainland Spain until August 16, and on Monday evening advised customers due to travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands today not to go to the airport.

“Where customers are affected by any programme changes, we have been repeatedly recognised for how we have been looking after customers, offering the option to rebook with no admin fee, a Refund Credit Note or a full cash refund, and we will be contacting customers to discuss these options,” Jet2 said.

“We will also be contacting customers who are currently in these destinations to advise them of their options regarding flying back to the UK, so we urge customers not to contact us.

For customers who are due to travel to these destinations after the dates given above, we will provide an additional update once we receive more information from the Government.

“What we need now is clarity and consistency from the Government. We understand that this is a fast-moving situation, however the information we are receiving is contradictory and often comes with little or no notice.

“We want to provide customers, who work hard and save hard for their well-deserved holidays, with timely information and we need this from the Government. We would like to sincerely thank our customers for their understanding and patience.”


Wales reports no new coronavirus deaths

There are no new deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus in Wales.

This means the country’s death toll remains at 1,549.

The number of infections in Wales increased by 21, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 17,191.


England’s hospital death toll up by 12

A further 12 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England.

This brings the country’s total hospital death toll to 29,303, NHS England said.

Patients were aged between 45 and 99 and all had known underlying health conditions.


Oldham becomes latest UK town to enforce localised restrictions:

New restrictions have been introduced immediately in Oldham after a surge in coronavirus cases.

The new guidance, which comes into force on Tuesday and will last two weeks, aims to halt the spread of the virus and avoid a local lockdown as seen in Leicester.

The borough’s 235,000 residents are being asked not to have social visitors to their home and to keep two metres apart from friends and family when seeing them outside.

Read more…


Duchess of Cornwall wears a mask in public for the first time


PM: European coronavirus ‘second wave’ could mean further quarantine restrictions

Boris Johnson has indicated that quarantine restrictions could be imposed on further European countries if a “second wave” of coronavirus hits the continent.


The Prime Minister already faces a diplomatic row with Spain after warning against all but essential travel to the country – and its resort islands – and insisting that travellers arriving in the UK from there spend a fortnight in quarantine due to an increase in cases.


But he defended the move and insisted the Government would not hesitate to act if flare-ups of coronavirus occurred in other destinations.


“I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,” the Prime Minister warned.


Which areas of England have enjoyed the lowest coronavirus rates?

Leicester and Blackburn have both experienced recent spikes in the rate of new cases of coronavirus – but a handful of local authorities have gone for several weeks without a single confirmed case of Covid-19, according to the latest figures.

The area to have had the longest spell without a new case is West Devon, where the most recent case was recorded on June 26.

The Isle of Wight has not recorded any new cases since July 2, while in Scarborough no cases have been recorded since July 3.

The figures are published by Public Health England and cover positive cases that have been confirmed up to and including July 24 by tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

They also show no recorded cases in Ryedale in North Yorkshire since July 5 and in Torridge in Devon since July 9.


Education update:

Some nurseries and childcare providers appear to have treated parents “unfairly” by demanding full fees despite closures during the pandemic, the competition watchdog has said.

Parents were pressured to make payments after providers said their child’s place would be lost or they would go out of business, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found.

Other early years providers relied on “unfair cancellation terms”, or large cancellation fees from parents, despite most children having to remain at home amid lockdown.

But the CMA has decided not to take enforcement action against providers at this stage, adding that the sector has encountered “financial pressures”.

The decision comes after the regulator launched an investigation in April into nurseries and childcare providers following reports alleging unfair practices over payments and cancellations.

Nurseries closed their doors in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak, remaining open only for vulnerable youngsters and the children of key workers.

But some parents were asked to pay some or all of their monthly fees, which can amount to hundreds of pounds, to retain their child’s place.


Sports update:

(Photo credit: AFP)

Real Madrid forward Mariano has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss the Champions League clash against Manchester City as he quarantines.

The 26-year-old Dominican Republic forward gave the positive result as players and staff returned to the training ground following a few days off after securing the league title.

A club statement said: “After the Covid-19 tests carried out individually on our first football team yesterday by the Real Madrid medical services, our player Mariano has given a positive result.

“The player is in perfect health and complying with the sanitary isolation protocol at home.”