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Rather brutal figures here so I would encourage anybody who still thinks it is a good idea to ignore the government's requirement to stay indoors unless they are a key worker or their journey is absolutely essential, with no possible alternative.

 

It may be the 1st of April but the figures below are no joke and reflect the seriousness of the situation in the UK today. There are 152,979 people who have so far been tested, 29,474 of those have tested positive and nationally 2,352  have passed away from this outbreak.

 

These are sobering statistics that will doubtless rise in the coming weeks but remember we can all do our bit to minimise the spread of coronovirus in the UK, and each of our lives are now dependent upon everybody acting responsibly. 

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uksi_20200350_en.pdf

This is the legislation that applies from 26th March 2020 up to 26 September 2020 but may be rescinded earlier. 

 

Background information published 16th January 2020.

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. A novel coronavirus (SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)) was subsequently identified from patient samples.

This page contains information for clinicians and the public on the epidemiology and virology of COVID-19, the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2.

There may be further information specific to each country in the United Kingdom, as this guidance was written by Public Health England (PHE) primarily for an English health professional audience. To see if country specific information is available, please refer to Health Protection ScotlandPublic Health Wales, or Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.


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Information taken from a BBC report that can be viewed here

Official advice may change but the information below is believed to be correct at the time of posting.

 

A lot of people are worrying about coronavirus.

 

For most people, if you catch coronavirus it'll be mild but for some, coronavirus could be really serious. These are mostly older people and people with underlying health conditions. Things like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. The good news is that you can protect yourself, and the NHS says you should do these things, even if you're not likely to be seriously affected by coronavirus, you may pass it on to someone who could be.

 

1. Wash your hands, as the more you wash your hands the less likely you are to pass the virus on to other people. If you've been out in a public place, on a bus or a train, wash your hands as soon as you can afterwards; and properly wash your hands, and that takes about twenty seconds to get them really clean focusing on all parts of your hands, not just the palm but the backs of hands around the nails in between your fingers, wrists, and your thumbs - and use soap and water. When you're done turn the tap off using a tissue and put that in a bin for disposal. Antibacterial gels do work but soap and water is best.

 

2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth because that's the way the virus could get into your body. You can still touch your face but only if you've washed your hands before.

 

3. Catching your coughs and sneezes. Experts think coronavirus is spread by droplets that come out of your nose and mouth, so when you sneeze or cough, catch them with disposable tissues then bin them and wash your hands. Disposable tissues re better than handkerchiefs that you carry around with you all the time. If you don't have a tissue, sneeze into the crook of your elbow. That way the germs are away from your hands and you're less likely to pass them on, unless you greet people using your elbow! Don't touch things with your hands if you don't have to. The less you touch things like surfaces, handrails, lift buttons, the less likely you are to catch the virus or indeed, spread it on.

 

4. Stay away from people who are ill, the closer you get, the more likely you are to catch something. Apart from that, you should go about your life as normal, unless you have been instructed to stay at home by your doctor, or because of self isolation. It is important to be aware that there is no evidence that you can catch coronavirus from letters, parcels or food. UV light, antibiotics, garlic or saline solutions are things that won't work when treating coronavirus, As for masks, these are important when people are in very close contact, particularly with patients but there is very little evidence that masks are helpful in everyday life.

 

If you have been coughing or have a high temperature or you're short of breath, you may have the symptoms of coronavirus but you don't necessarily have coronavirus. If you think you may be infected, don't go anywhere, especially not to a hospital, pharmacy or doctor. Instead, telephone your doctor or use the online NHS 111 coronavirus service, and they will advise you what to do.

 

111.nhs.uk/covid-19


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FYI if you have not received  a letter from 10 Downing Street, below is a copy of what has been sent out.

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COVED-19 Leaflet page 8.jpg

 

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This is the latest speech from the PM - indicating the way forward.

A transcript of his speech is given below.

It is now almost two months since the people of this country began to put up with restrictions on their freedom – your freedom – of a kind that we have never seen before in peace or war.

And you have shown the good sense to support those rules overwhelmingly.

You have put up with all the hardships of that programme of social distancing.

Because you understand that as things stand, and as the experience of every other country has shown, it’s the only way to defeat the coronavirus - the most vicious threat this country has faced in my lifetime.

And though the death toll has been tragic, and the suffering immense.

And though we grieve for all those we have lost.

It is a fact that by adopting those measures we prevented this country from being engulfed by what could have been a catastrophe in which the reasonable worst case scenario was half a million fatalities.

And it is thanks to your effort and sacrifice in stopping the spread of this disease that the death rate is coming down and hospital admissions are coming down.

And thanks to you we have protected our NHS and saved many thousands of lives.

And so I know - you know - that it would be madness now to throw away that achievement by allowing a second spike.

We must stay alert.

We must continue to control the virus and save lives.

And yet we must also recognise that this campaign against the virus has come at colossal cost to our way of life.

We can see it all around us in the shuttered shops and abandoned businesses and darkened pubs and restaurants.

And there are millions of people who are both fearful of this terrible disease, and at the same time also fearful of what this long period of enforced inactivity will do to their livelihoods and their mental and physical wellbeing.

To their futures and the futures of their children.

So I want to provide tonight - for you - the shape of a plan to address both fears.

Both to beat the virus and provide the first sketch of a road map for reopening society.

A sense of the way ahead, and when and how and on what basis we will take the decisions to proceed.

I will be setting out more details in Parliament tomorrow and taking questions from the public in the evening.

I have consulted across the political spectrum, across all four nations of the UK.

And though different parts of the country are experiencing the pandemic at different rates.

And though it is right to be flexible in our response.

I believe that as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, there is a strong resolve to defeat this together.

And today a general consensus on what we could do.

And I stress could.

Because although we have a plan, it is a conditional plan.

And since our priority is to protect the public and save lives, we cannot move forward unless we satisfy the five tests.

We must protect our NHS.

We must see sustained falls in the death rate.

We must see sustained and considerable falls in the rate of infection.

We must sort out our challenges in getting enough PPE to the people who need it, and yes, it is a global problem but we must fix it.

And last, we must make sure that any measures we take do not force the reproduction rate of the disease - the R - back up over one, so that we have the kind of exponential growth we were facing a few weeks ago.

And to chart our progress and to avoid going back to square one, we are establishing a new Covid Alert System run by a new Joint Biosecurity Centre.

And that Covid Alert Level will be determined primarily by R and the number of coronavirus cases.

And in turn that Covid Alert Level will tell us how tough we have to be in our social distancing measures – the lower the level the fewer the measures.

The higher the level, the tougher and stricter we will have to be.

There will be five alert levels.

Level One means the disease is no longer present in the UK and Level Five is the most critical – the kind of situation we could have had if the NHS had been overwhelmed.

Over the period of the lockdown we have been in Level Four, and it is thanks to your sacrifice we are now in a position to begin to move in steps to Level Three.

And as we go everyone will have a role to play in keeping the R down.

By staying alert and following the rules.

And to keep pushing the number of infections down there are two more things we must do.

We must reverse rapidly the awful epidemics in care homes and in the NHS, and though the numbers are coming down sharply now, there is plainly much more to be done.

And if we are to control this virus, then we must have a world-beating system for testing potential victims, and for tracing their contacts.

So that – all told - we are testing literally hundreds of thousands of people every day.

We have made fast progress on testing – but there is so much more to do now, and we can.

When this began, we hadn’t seen this disease before, and we didn’t fully understand its effects.

With every day we are getting more and more data.

We are shining the light of science on this invisible killer, and we will pick it up where it strikes.

Because our new system will be able in time to detect local flare-ups – in your area – as well as giving us a national picture.

And yet when I look at where we are tonight, we have the R below one, between 0.5 and 0.9 – but potentially only just below one.

And though we have made progress in satisfying at least some of the conditions I have given.

We have by no means fulfilled all of them.

And so no, this is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week.

Instead we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures.

And the first step is a change of emphasis that we hope that people will act on this week.

We said that you should work from home if you can, and only go to work if you must.

We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.

And we want it to be safe for you to get to work. So you should avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.

So work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can’t work from home.

And to ensure you are safe at work we have been working to establish new guidance for employers to make workplaces COVID-secure.

And when you do go to work, if possible do so by car or even better by walking or bicycle. But just as with workplaces, public transport operators will also be following COVID-secure standards.

And from this Wednesday, we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.

You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household.

You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them.

And so every day, with ever increasing data, we will be monitoring the R and the number of new infections, and the progress we are making, and if we as a nation begin to fulfil the conditions I have set out, then in the next few weeks and months we may be able to go further.

In step two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays. And we will shortly be setting out detailed guidance on how to make it work in schools and shops and on transport.

And step three - at the earliest by July - and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice; if and only if the numbers support it, we will hope to re-open at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.

Throughout this period of the next two months we will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity. We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health.

And I must stress again that all of this is conditional, it all depends on a series of big Ifs. It depends on all of us – the entire country – to follow the advice, to observe social distancing, and to keep that R down.

And to prevent re-infection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower – to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.

And it is because of your efforts to get the R down and the number of infections down here, that this measure will now be effective.

And of course we will be monitoring our progress locally, regionally, and nationally and if there are outbreaks, if there are problems, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes.

We have been through the initial peak – but it is coming down the mountain that is often more dangerous.

We have a route, and we have a plan, and everyone in government has the all-consuming pressure and challenge to save lives, restore livelihoods and gradually restore the freedoms that we need.

But in the end this is a plan that everyone must make work.

And when I look at what you have done already.

The patience and common sense you have shown.

The fortitude of the elderly whose isolation we all want to end as fast as we can.

The incredible bravery and hard work of our NHS staff, our care workers.

The devotion and self-sacrifice of all those in every walk of life who are helping us to beat this disease.

Police, bus drivers, train drivers, pharmacists, supermarket workers, road hauliers, bin collectors, cleaners, security guards, postal workers, our teachers and a thousand more.

The scientists who are working round the clock to find a vaccine.

When I think of the millions of everyday acts of kindness and thoughtfulness that are being performed across this country.

And that have helped to get us through this first phase.

I know that we can use this plan to get us through the next.

And if we can’t do it by those dates, and if the alert level won’t allow it, we will simply wait and go on until we have got it right.

We will come back from this devilish illness.

We will come back to health, and robust health.

And though the UK will be changed by this experience, I believe we can be stronger and better than ever before. More resilient, more innovative, more economically dynamic, but also more generous and more sharing.

But for now we must stay alert, control the virus and save lives.

Thank you very much.

Published 10 May 2020

 

Here is the the government's plan all 60 pages of it for easing the lock down if anyone interested and have time to read it.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884171/FINAL_6.6637_CO_HMG_C19_Recovery_FINAL_110520_v2_WEB__1_.pdf


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Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE): Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Link to government reports from February 2020 to May 2020

 

Level 5 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially; with a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed)

Potential situation prior to lockdown

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Level 4(A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially)

Throughout the period of lockdown which started on March 23rd we have been at Level 4.

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Level 3 - (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation)

When the R level has reduced to below 1 we can to begin moving to Level 3, in careful steps.

Level 2(COVID-19 is present in the UK, but the number of cases and transmission is low.)

Level 1 - (COVID-19 is not known to be present in the UK)

 

Link to government report of the latest situation (20th May 2020)


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COVID-19 Alert Level 4

Latest R number range for the UK is 0.7 to 1.0

Last updated on Friday 22 May 2020.

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The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others outdoors is considered to be low as long as people maintain social distancing, therefore from 23rd May 2020 in England you can now:-

  • spend time outdoors, including exercise, alone, with your household, or with one person who is not in your household as long as you stay two metres apart
  • exercise more than once a day
  • take part in other outdoor sports and activities, including fishing - on your own, with your household, or with one other person while adhering to social distancing rules
  • drive to outdoor open spaces, including beaches and beauty spots, irrespective of distance - you should travel in a private vehicle, alone or with members of your own household
  • visit gardens and land maintained for public use as an alternative open space to spend time outdoors, although buildings and amenities such as cafes will remain closed and access may be limited to members or those with tickets to ensure social distancing. You should check ahead and follow social distancing guidelines
  • go swimming in either lakes or the sea as part of daily exercise provided that social distancing guidelines are observed - you cannot use public indoor and outdoor pools
  • all forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed - you can continue to use towpaths for walking, running and cycling, being mindful of other users and people living in boats along the water

There are no restrictions on how far you can travel to get to the countryside. However you should not stay overnight. Campsites and caravan parks are closed and you cannot visit a holiday or second home.

 

To stay safe, you must:

  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside
  • wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • take hand sanitiser with you when you set off in case there are no handwashing facilities

When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland. Do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.

 


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The information below has been already published in the GOV-UK - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates thread as it was released but today the government have collated the data onto one page shown in the link below, and includes slides, datasheets, and transcripts of statements etc.,  ordered by date.

 

Slides, datasets and transcripts from press conferences at 10 Downing Street in response to coronavirus.

 

"These slides and datasets were presented at a series of press conferences at 10 Downing Street in response to coronavirus.

The data presented here are as up to date and as accurate as possible. However, there are some limitations to the sources of the data.

Detailed information about each source is given in the “Cover” tab on the data spreadsheet.

The data published here were correct at the time of publication. They will not be revised except to correct errors. Users should refer directly to the data sources for the most up to date versions of the data and for any revisions that producers have made after the date of publication where available."

End

 


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FYI:

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, spoke with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization on 26th May 2020, and they agreed on the importance of an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, so we can learn lessons to prevent future pandemics.

See announcement here


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Published 31 May 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

"I want to thank everyone who has followed the shielding guidance – it is because of your patience and sacrifice that thousands of lives have been saved.

I do not underestimate just how difficult it has been for you, staying at home for the last 10 weeks, and I want to pay tribute to your resilience.

I also want to recognise the hundreds of thousands of extraordinary volunteers who have supported you in shielding.

Whether through delivering medicines and shopping, or simply by checking in on those isolating, they should feel deeply proud of the part they have played in this collective effort.

We have been looking at how we can make life easier for our most vulnerable, so today I am happy to confirm that those who are shielding will be able to spend time outside with someone else, observing social distance guidelines.

I will do what I can, in line with the scientific advice, to continue making life easier for you over the coming weeks and months."

Read the full publication here on the Gov.UK website


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This is the current advice from the UK Government issued on 2nd June 2020:-

 

The advice for everyone, is to follow this guidance.

 

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough or a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

 

If you develop these symptoms, however mild, or you have received a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result, then you should immediately self-isolate stay at home for at least 7 days from when your symptoms started. If you live with others, all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. See the stay at home guidance and this explanatory diagram for further information.

 

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online service. If you have do not have internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999

 

If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should arrange a test by visiting NHS.UK, or contact 119 via telephone if you do not have internet access.

 

Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, before you eat or handle food, or when you get to work or arrive home

Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand. Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser.

 

If you can, wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. Social distancing, hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes, remain the most important measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Face coverings do not replace these. See the staying safe outside your home guidance, and you can find guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

 

Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

 

At the current time and based on our understanding of what is known so far, COVID-19 can make anyone seriously ill, but for some people the risk is higher. You can find more information on higher risk groups on NHS.UK. As more information emerges, recommendations may change.

___________________________________________________________

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and information in British Sign Language can be accessed on SignHealth’s website.

 

This link takes you to a list of things you can or cannot do (issued 02/05/20)

 

This guidance applies in England. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland the advice may differ.

The government has introduced higher penalties for those who do not comply, to reflect the increased risk to others of breaking the rules as we begin to ease the restrictions.

If the police believe that you have broken these laws – or if you refuse to follow their instructions enforcing the law – a police officer may issue you with a fixed penalty notice of £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days). If you have already received a fixed penalty notice, the amount for further offences will increase in line with the table below.

£100 - First offence

£200 - Second offence

£400 - Third offence

£800 - Fourth offence

£1600 - Fifth offence

£3200 - Maximum penalty

For both individuals and companies, if you do not pay your fine you could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.

___________________________________________________________

Remember to stay alert (issued 1st June 2020)

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert.

This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

___________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 


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Face coverings to become mandatory on public transport from 15th June 2020

The government will work with operators to make it mandatory for passengers to wear face coverings when using public transport in England, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (4 June 2020).

  • Government asks transport operators in England to make wearing face coverings a requirement of using public transport from 15 June to coincide with the next stage of carefully easing restrictions
  • Bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering on their journey to help reduce the risk of transmission when social distancing is not always possible - with government also working with operators to ensure staff are provided with face coverings where appropriate
  • Guidance remains to work from home if you can and avoid public transport where possible

Wherever possible people should continue to avoid public transport and walk, cycle or drive, but for some people this may not be an option. Transport usage has been slowly increasing, including on the tube which has seen around a 20% rise this week compared to last week.

 

The changes will be made under legislation such as the National Rail Conditions of Travel and Public Service Vehicle Regulations for buses. While the government expects the vast majority of people to comply with the changes, operators will be able to refuse travel or issue penalty fines for those who fail to wear a face covering, in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel. British Transport Police will also support the implementation of these changes.

 

See link to GOV.UK


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Group to measure for coronavirus prevalence in waste water

New working group includes a range of water companies and experts across the UK

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Sewage monitoring is being established across the UK as part of an advance warning system to detect new outbreaks of coronavirus.

 

The new approach is based on recent research findings that fragments of genetic material (RNA) from the virus can be detected in waste water. This could be used to detect the presence of the virus in the population, including those who are asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic.

 

The World Health Organization is clear there is currently no evidence that coronavirus has been transmitted via sewerage systems.

Sampling from sewage treatment works around the country will begin shortly. Data gathered will be used to refine the approach and feed into the Covid-19 Alert System created by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).

 

Techniques are still in their infancy, so the government and Devolved Administration partners are working closely with academics, UK Research and Innovation and the Natural Environment Research Council and water companies in developing and testing this cutting-edge approach.

 

This UK work is being coordinated by Defra, the Environment Agency and the JBC, working closely with water companies and the Universities of Bangor, Edinburgh, Bath and Newcastle.

 

In Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has begun analysis of the first samples of waste water provided by Scottish Water, coordinating the work with the Scottish Government’s Centre of Expertise for Waters, the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute and Health Protection Scotland.

 

In Wales, a number of options to support specific wastewater monitoring projects are being assessed, which would complement the UK programme to aid Covid-19 surveillance.

 

Further details will be released as the work develops.

 

Published 12 June 2020


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New rules on face coverings coming in on Monday (15/05/20) will help keep passengers safe

Passengers that don't follow the new rules on face coverings will be prevented from travelling.

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  • From Monday 15 June everyone must wear a face covering when travelling by public transport in England
  • Under the new rules, operators will be able to prevent passengers who refuse to follow the rules from travelling and police will be able to issue fines of £100
  • Over 3,000 extra staff will be deployed from Monday to support the travelling public, reminding people about the need to wear face coverings and helping vulnerable passengers

New rules requiring passengers to wear a face covering on their journey will come into force on public transport across England from Monday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed today (Friday 12 June).

 

The advice is clear that people should continue to avoid taking public transport where possible, but by mandating the use of face coverings government is asking passengers to play their part in helping to protect each other as the numbers of people travelling gradually start to rise across the country, following the careful easing of restrictions when it’s safe to do so.

 

Over 3,000 extra staff from British Transport Police, Network Rail, Train Operating Companies and Transport for London will be deployed from Monday at key transport hubs and interchanges across England – providing dedicated reassurance, advice and friendly assistance to people as they follow social distancing guidance.

 

They will also support existing staff by helping to manage congestion.

 

Alongside this, hundreds of thousands of face coverings will be handed out for passenger use at many locations across the rail network in England from Monday. The one-off initiative, which will run for several days at a number of stations, will see coverings provided free of charge to support passengers and help them travel safely.

 

Under the changes, operators will be able to stop passengers who refuse to follow the rules from travelling and direct them to leave services. The police and Transport for London authorised personnel will also be able to issue fixed penalty notices of £100, or £50 if paid in 14 days. Exemptions for the use of face coverings will apply to those with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11.

 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

 

"We’ve seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has unlocked a community spirit right across our nation, and we now need to extend this to our transport network so we can help keep one another safe.

 

If you do need to travel, in the same way that you would pick up your phone, wallet or keys when you leave the house, please remember to bring a face covering.

 

Our fantastic transport staff will be on hand to provide help and advice, and free coverings will be given out at key train stations to help kick-start this initiative. This is another small, sensible step we can all take to help us defeat this virus."

 

The Regulations, which will be made under the Public Health Act 1984 and come into force on Monday, will make face coverings mandatory on buses, coaches, trams, ferries, aircraft and trains. In addition, some operators will amend their conditions of carriage, allowing them to enforce the requirement in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel, meaning they can implement the changes in the way that works best for them.

 

The change from Monday will coincide with the easing of certain lockdown measures, including the reopening of non-essential retail stores. While social distancing and hand washing remain by far the most important disease prevention measures, when necessary to use public transport, people may be more likely to be in enclosed spaces for longer periods of time where we know there is a greater risk of the spread of the virus and social distancing is likely to be difficult to follow consistently.

 

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has set out that using face coverings as a precautionary measure in this setting can provide some additional protection to fellow passengers and can help people to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus if they have it, but are not showing symptoms.

 

The government has been engaging with local authorities and operators ahead of Monday’s change. New guidance setting out further details of the changes for operators and passengers will be published ahead of the change coming into force.

 

Face coverings are not the same as face masks. It is important that people do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff. Last month, the government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items.

 

To help support the country’s economic recovery the government is also exploring new technologies to fast-track greener air travel.

 

£500,000 in advanced funding will continue the development of a first-of-a-kind biofuels plant in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, which will help to decarbonise both aviation and road freight by converting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste into sustainable fuel each year.

 

And, in a ground-breaking partnership between government and the aviation industry, a new “Jet Zero” Council will work to help make the aviation and aerospace sectors environmentally fit for the future.

 

Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, said:

 

"It’s an excellent initiative and the Transport Secretary should be applauded for demonstrating such a willingness to work with the aviation industry to achieve our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

 

There are huge opportunities for the UK to be a world-leader in sustainable aviation fuels production and electric aviation, creating thousands of high-skilled jobs and major export opportunities in the process. It’s a win-win for all of our regions who will stand to gain from this and for the UK’s decarbonisation efforts, and we’re looking forward to taking part."

 

See also: Transport Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 12 June 2020

 

Published 12 June 2020


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Plans to ease guidance for the 2.2 million vulnerable people currently shielding.

Millions of people shielding from coronavirus (COVID-19) will be advised they can spend more time outside their homes from Monday 6 July, the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced.

This comes as the latest scientific evidence shows the chances of encountering the virus in the community continues to decline . . .

"From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield"

"While this group of clinically extremely vulnerable people should continue to follow strict social distancing measures, they will be able to participate in more activities such as visiting shops and places of worship."

See the full government report here


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Press release

 

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory release research on stability of COVID-19 in the air

 

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has published a research paper on the stability of the COVID-19 virus in the air through the Emerging Microbes and Infections journal. Dstl research also supports the scientific advice provided to the Government on COVID-19 control measures

 

The paper “Experimental aerosol survival of SARS-CoV-2 in artificial saliva and tissue culture media at medium and high humidity”, written by a team of Dstl scientists, outlines the research completed on the stability of the COVID-19 virus in the air. It also supports the scientific advice provided to the Government on COVID-19 control measures.

The findings indicate that the COVID-19 virus may remain viable in the dark for at least 90 minutes under certain conditions, if produced within small-particle aerosols. These findings provide direct, corroborating evidence that will help inform how the virus behaves within healthcare environments.

 

Coughing and sneezing generally produce large particles of saliva, but smaller particles will also be produced. Small particles are also produced during routine activities such as talking and breathing. Smaller aerosol particles may be of concern because they may stay buoyant in the air for longer, travel further and be able to penetrate further into the respiratory tract when inhaled.

 

Dstl, the science inside UK national security, has used its capability to investigate the generation of virus-containing particles to study the survival of the virus under different conditions. The research paper has also been shared with the Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and can be viewed here.

 

Tim Atkins, OBE and Senior Scientist at Dstl said:

These scientific findings will contribute to international scientific understanding of the virus, and therefore help to resolve this global crisis. The more scientific research undertaken across the world the more enriched the understanding of how Coronavirus behaves. This will be critical moving forward to ensuring we give the best advice to people on how to stay safe.

 

Published 29 June 2020

ENDS

 

Link to publication.


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Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 3 July 2020

(Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

 

"Good evening,

Since I last spoke to you from this podium, we have continued to make progress nationally against the virus.

We are now reporting regularly fewer than 1,000 new cases each day.

 

The Office for National Statistics estimates that between 14 June and 27 June, the most recent period they have analysed, 25,000 people in the community in England had the virus – 1 person in every 2,200.

 

SAGE assess that the R rate – the average number of people each infected person passes the virus onto – remains between 0.7 and 0.9 across the UK.

 

SAGE also assess that, in England, the number of new infections is shrinking by between 2 and 5% every day.

And while the number of people dying with coronavirus remains too high, the numbers do continue to fall.

Now of course this picture is not universal. There are areas – such as Leicester – where the virus is still more prevalent than we would like.

 

We always said there would be local outbreaks requiring local action. This is to be expected and will, I’m afraid, be a feature of our lives for some time to come.

But that should not take away from the great progress we have made, together, as a country against this vicious disease.

 

This progress is the reason why we have been able – slowly, carefully, cautiously – to ease the national lockdown.

Without doubt, lockdown has saved many hundreds of thousands of lives – but it has also had a devastating impact on our way of life and our economy.

 

And of course, lockdown has not yet been lifted entirely.

 

Indoor gyms, nail bars and swimming pools are still closed, mass gatherings are still prohibited, social distancing is still essential.

 

I want these restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible – of course I do.

 

We have established taskforces to work rapidly and closely with the sectors that remain closed to explore how they can be Covid Secure. I am pleased to report good progress is being made.

 

Next week we will set out a timetable for their re-opening – though of course I can only lift those remaining, national restrictions as and when it is safe to do so.

 

Our goal remains to enable as many people as possible to live their lives as close to normally as possible – in a way which is as fair and as safe as possible.

 

To achieve this we need to move away from blanket, national measures, to targeted, local measures.

 

So instead of locking down the whole country, we will lock down specific premises or local areas where the virus is spreading.

 

Instead of closing down non-essential retail and hospitality nationwide, we will only shut establishments locally as required.

 

Instead of shutting all schools for most pupils, from September we will only shut those schools where it is absolutely necessary to control an outbreak.

 

And instead of quarantining arrivals from the whole world, we will only quarantine arrivals from those countries where the virus is, sadly, not yet under control.

 

We are already implementing this targeted approach in England.

 

In Weston-Super-Mare, we identified an outbreak in a hospital, closed it to visitors and new admissions, tested all staff and patients and gave the hospital a deep clean. The outbreak was contained and the hospital is open again.

 

In Kirklees, we identified an outbreak at a meat packing plant, shut down the plant, moved in a mobile testing unit, tested all employees and traced the contacts of those who were positive. The outbreak was contained and the plant has reopened with additional safety measures in place.

 

And of course more recently in Leicester, we identified a community-wide outbreak which was not restricted to a single location, unlike Weston-Super-Mare and Kirklees. Public Health England engaged with the local authority, mobile testing units were deployed, full data was shared – council-wide data was shared on 11 June, and postcode-level data was shared last week.

 

This enhanced monitoring through additional testing showed that the infection rate in Leicester was three times the next highest infection rate in any other city in the country. So on Monday, the Health Secretary announced local lockdown measures in Leicester for an initial period of 2 weeks.

 

In each of these cases, the problems identified were specific to Weston-Super-Mare, Kirklees and Leicester. So of course it made sense to take action locally, rather than re-impose restrictions on the whole country.

 

And we are learning the whole time. With each local outbreak, we see what works well and what not so well, so that we do better next time.

 

Informed by our experience of these cases, we have developed an approach for controlling future local outbreaks which has five principle components: monitoring, engagement, testing, targeted restrictions and finally, as a last resort, lockdown.

 

First, monitoring. Public Health England, working with the Joint Biosecurity Centre, will examine carefully data on the spread of the disease and people’s behaviour across the country. They will look out for emerging trends, rising case numbers and other indicators, while taking into account local factors. Critically, we have made local data available to all Directors of Public Health in local authorities, so they too can monitor what is happening in their area. And local data will also be available to the public on the gov.uk dashboard.

 

Second, engagement. If monitoring identifies local problems, NHS Test and Trace and PHE will work with the relevant local authority to develop a deeper understanding of the problem and identify solutions. Working with local agencies, we will seek to keep the local community informed at every stage, so they know what is happening and what actions, if any, they need to take.

 

Third, testing. We now have substantial testing capacity nationwide and we have the ability to target that capacity at local areas in order to get a grip on emerging outbreaks. Scaled-up testing at a local level, combined with contract tracing through NHS Test and Trace, can control the virus and thus avoid more stringent measures.

 

Fourth, targeted restrictions. If the virus continues to spread, we will restrict activities at particular locations and close individual premises. As in Weston-Super-Mare and Kirklees, we will restrict access to places which become hotspots for the virus, while testing people who have spent time in those places, and tracing the contacts of anyone who tests positive.

 

Fifth, local lockdown. If the previous measures have not proven to be enough, we will introduce local lockdowns extending across whole communities. As in Leicester, that could mean shutting businesses venues that would otherwise be open, closing schools or urging people once more to stay at home. Local lockdowns will be carefully calibrated depending on the scientific and specific circumstances of each outbreak and we are continually exploring smarter means of containing the virus.

 

So that is the approach we will take as local outbreaks occur and we will set out more detail soon.

 

Let me end by looking forward to this weekend.

 

Tomorrow, there will be a moment of remembrance for those whose lives have tragically been lost before their time.

And at 5pm on Sunday, the NHS’s 72nd birthday, we can all come together to clap those who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help the nation get through this pandemic.

 

I know everyone will be looking forward to the relaxation of national restrictions. As lockdown eases, we should focus on supporting the livelihoods of business owners and their employees up and down the country – all of whom are opening their doors for the first time in more than three months.

 

They are our local restaurants, hairdressers, libraries, museums, cinemas, and yes, pubs. They are also hotels, B&Bs, indeed much of our tourism industry.

 

All these businesses and their workers have put in a heroic effort to prepare their venues for this reopening, to work out a way to trade in a way that keeps their customers safe.

 

But the success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly. We must not let them down.

 

Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together, and we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again. Because we are not out of the woods yet. The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that. If it starts running out of control again this Government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.

 

Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-Secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.

 

So as we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British people to do so safely.

Remember – don’t gather in groups of more than 6 outside or 2 households in any setting.

 

Keep your distance from those outside your household – 2 metres if you can, 1 metre with precautions if you can’t.

 

Wash your hands.

 

Let’s all stay alert, control the virus, save lives – and enjoy summer safely."

 

Published 3 July 2020

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Coronavirus outbreak FAQs:

What you can and cannot do after 4 July 2020

 

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that continues to protect our communities and our NHS.

 

The government has published guidance on staying alert and staying safe outside your home. This page sets out key FAQs to cover the next set of changes planned from 4 July.

 

This is national guidance that applies to England only - if you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measures have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local lockdown restrictions page to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

 

Here is a link to the official announcement

 

People in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

 

ENDS

                                                                                                                                     

 

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs:

What you could and could not do before 4 July 2020

 

 

On 23 June, the Prime Minister announced changes to lockdown measures that would apply from 4 July. Read more about what you can and can’t do after 4 July.

 

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS.

 

The government has published guidance on staying safe outside your home and guidance on social distancing rules. This page sets out key FAQs to help you prepare for these changes.

 

Here is a link to the official announcement.

 

This guidance applies in England – people in ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

 

ENDS

                                                                                                                                     

 

 


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Face coverings to be mandatory in shops and supermarkets from 24 July 2020

 

 

The latest number of deaths recorded in all settings across the UK is 11 – the lowest figure since 13 March.

The British Retail Consortium has said that together with other social distancing measures, face coverings can make shoppers feel even more confident about returning to the high street. We have therefore come to the decision that face coverings should be mandatory in shops and supermarkets.

Under the new rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100, in line with the sanction on public transport and just as with public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual.

Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply, the police have the formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/face-coverings-to-be-mandatory-in-shops-and-supermarkets-from-24-july?utm_source=c6b2ee0b-9d00-4bab-9401-7e2afb1f6d21&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

 

 

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Press release - Published 20 July 2020

 

Millions could be vaccinated against Covid-19 as UK secures strong portfolio of promising vaccines

The UK has secured early access to 90 million doses of promising coronavirus vaccine candidates.

 

The UK Government has secured early access to 90 million vaccine doses from the BioNTech/Pfizer alliance and Valneva with more in the pipeline as part of its strategy to build a portfolio of promising new vaccines to protect the UK from Covid-19

 

In addition, treatments containing Covid-19-neutralising antibodies have been secured from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines

 

UK public encouraged to sign up to a new NHS website to make it quicker and easier for potential volunteers to join vital studies that could help save lives – the aim is to get 500,000 people signed up by October

 

Millions of people could be vaccinated against coronavirus as the UK secures early access to 90 million doses of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

 

Announced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (Monday 20 July), the Government has agreed significant partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and vaccine companies BioNTech/Pfizer and Valneva that are developing innovative new vaccines to protect people against Covid-19. The Government has also secured access to treatments containing Covid-19-neutralising antibodies from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines such as cancer and immunocompromised patients.

 

As a result of these partnerships, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could have access to enough doses to vaccinate and protect priority groups identified, such as frontline health and social care workers and those at increased health risk.

 

With today’s announcement, the Government has now secured access to three different types of Covid-19 vaccines that are being developed here and around the world, giving the UK the most likely chance of getting access to a safe and effective vaccine at the quickest speed.

 

The Government has also today launched the NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry. This new website will enable people in the UK to play their part by volunteering for future vaccine studies.

The new online service will allow members of the public to register their interest and be contacted to participate in clinical studies. To enable large-scale vaccine studies to take place across the UK, the aim is to get 500,000 people signed up by October, which is considered vital in the fight against coronavirus.

 

Clinical studies with hundreds of thousands of volunteers will help scientists and researchers better understand the effectiveness of each vaccine candidate and will considerably speed up efforts to discover a safe and workable vaccine.

 

The Government is also working with ZOE, the health science company using data driven research and behind the popular symptom study app and site, to look at collaborating around vaccine studies and to help their volunteers hear about how to sign up to the NHS registry.

 

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

"The hunt to find a vaccine is a truly global endeavour and we are doing everything we can to ensure the British public get access to a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.

This new partnership with some of the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies will ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk.

The public can also play their part in vaccine research through the new NHS vaccine research register. By signing up and participating in important clinical studies, together we can speed up the search for a vaccine and end the pandemic sooner."

 

Through its partnership with Valneva, which has a factory in Livingston, Scotland, the UK Government is expected to contribute to UK clinical studies costs and is negotiating funding to expand Valneva’s Scottish facility. This increased manufacturing capacity could potentially supply up to 100 million vaccine doses to the UK and internationally. This will create high-skilled jobs in the local area and contribute significantly to the local economy.

The Livingston facility is in addition to the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) which is currently under construction in Oxfordshire thanks to a £93 million investment from the Government. When completed in summer 2021, the facility will have flexible capacity to manufacture vaccine doses at scale.

 

Chair of the Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham said:

"The Vaccine Taskforce is investing in a diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates to maximise the chances of finding a vaccine quickly that meets the UK’s rigorous regulatory and safety standards. The fact that we have so many promising candidates already shows the unprecedented pace at which we are moving. But I urge against being complacent or over optimistic. The fact remains we may never get a vaccine and if we do get one, we have to be prepared that it may not be a vaccine which prevents getting the virus, but rather one that reduces symptoms."

 

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) head said:

"Thanks to COVID-19 patients’ willingness to take part in treatment studies, we’ve been able to identify treatments that work and ones that don’t, which has improved patient care world-wide. Now that there are several promising vaccines on the horizon, we need to call again on the generosity of the public to help find out which potential vaccines are the most effective. Using a new NHS website developed in partnership between the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NHS Digital, people across the UK can register their interest to be approached to join a vaccine study. Please go to the website and consider volunteering."

 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

"A safe and effective vaccine is our best hope of defeating coronavirus and returning to life as normal.

We have some of our best scientists and researchers working on this, but members of the public have a vital role to play too. So I urge everyone who can to back the national effort and sign up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry to help find a vaccine as soon as possible.

Every volunteer will be doing their bit towards finding a vaccine for COVID-19 that will have the potential to save millions of lives around the world and bring this pandemic to an end."

 

Today’s announcement follows an existing global licensing agreement signed with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to research, develop and manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine for the UK public. AstraZeneca will work to produce 100 million doses for the UK in total.

As part of a wider £131 million investment by the Government, support has also been given to Imperial College London to develop their vaccine candidate, which started human studies in June.

In addition, the UK Government has committed £250m to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) – the biggest investment of any country - to support equitable and affordable access to new coronavirus vaccines and treatments around the world.

 

 


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Guidance updated 25 July 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): countries and territories

exempt from advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel

 

The FCO updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, exempting destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers.

 

These countries and territories have been assessed as no longer presenting an unacceptably high risk to British people travelling abroad. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice is based on risks to British nationals, including in-country public health assessments.

 

The global coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. No travel is risk-free, and disruption is still possible.

If you plan to travel:-

1. Read the coronavirus travel guidance to make sure you are prepared for your travel

2. Read the Travel Advice for your destination, for information on current entry requirements and any local coronavirus measures that you will need to follow

3. Sign up for email alerts for Travel Advice to ensure you are informed of any changes while you are travelling

All our advice will remain under constant review to take into account the latest situation in each country.

The FCO continues to advise against non-essential international travel, except to the countries and territories listed on this page.

 

Countries and territories exempt from advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel:

The list below is based on FCO advice from assessing the risk of travelling to specific countries

Follow this link to see specific details for each country listed

 

Europe

 

Americas

 

Asia-Pacific

 

Africa

 

Antarctica

 

Footnote:

The following countries were added to the exempt list on Tuesday 28 July 2020:

 

Note that this list is subject to change at short notice in response to an ever changing situation.

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Guidance on holidays in areas with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

What you should do if you're on holiday in an area with local coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions or live in a restricted area and are planning on taking a holiday outside the area.

Published 7 August 2020

 

Introduction.

 

The government has announced some adjustments to the roadmap to recovery set out on 17 July. This is because we are starting to see warning signs that the virus may be growing again. We have always been clear that any planned changes are conditional and reviewed based on infection rates. We will continue to review these measures and set out further details of any changes. See further information regarding local lockdown areas.

 

In parts of Northern England and in the City of Leicester, you must not meet with people you do not live with in private homes or in gardens. There are limited exceptions set out in law, including where you have formed a legally-permitted support bubble with another household. You should also avoid meeting people you do not live with in public venues, such as bars and restaurants.

 

Staying inside the area - Steps you should take

 

If you live inside the area, you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble

You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.

 

You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.

 

We advise against sharing a caravan with another household. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.

 

You can travel into an area with local restrictions on holiday. Whilst inside the area, you should follow the guidance set out above - in particular, you must not stay in a private home there - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with people you do not normally live with.

 

At the time that local restrictions are brought in, if you are currently on holiday with another household in an area with local restrictions and are staying in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - and it is not reasonable for you to curtail your stay, you should finish your holiday as planned. Until the end of this holiday you should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of your household and follow local regulations and guidance.

 

If you are not able to take a planned holiday due to local restrictions, we encourage accommodation providers to offer alternative dates if this can be agreed with you. If this cannot be arranged, we encourage businesses to provide a refund as they have for customers during the broader period of national restrictions, which may depend on the terms of the booking contract.

 

Travelling outside the area - Steps you should take

 

If you live inside an area with local restrictions, you can go on holiday outside that area but you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble.

 

You can only stay in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - with members of your own household or support bubble.

 

You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other's rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.

 

We advise against sharing a caravan with another household. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.

 

At the time that local restrictions are brought in, if you are currently on holiday with another household outside the area with local restrictions, but are from the area, and are staying in a private home - which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats - and it is not reasonable for you to curtail your stay, you should finish your holiday as planned. Until the end of this holiday you should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of your household and follow local regulations and guidance.

 

Advice for accommodation providers can be found in the Working Safely guidance.

Published 7 August 2020

 

Latest R number and growth rate

 

Latest R number range for the UK

0.8-1.0

Latest growth rate range for the UK

0% to -5% per day.

 

A growth rate between 0% to -5% means the number of new infections is somewhere between remaining stable and shrinking by 5% every day.

 

The UK estimates of R and growth rate are averages over very different epidemiological situations and should be regarded as a guide to the general trend rather than a description of the epidemic state.

 

Latest by NHS England regions

 

These are the latest R and growth rate estimates by NHS England regions. The values are shown as a range, the most likely true values are somewhere towards the middle of this range.

 

When the number of cases falls to low levels and/or there is a high degree of variability in transmission across a region, then estimates of R and the growth rate become insufficiently robust to inform policy decisions.

 

When there is a significant amount of variability across a region, for example due to a local outbreak, then a single average value does not accurately reflect the way infections are changing throughout the region. It is more appropriate to identify local hotspots through, for example, monitoring numbers of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths.

 

These estimates represent the transmission of COVID-19 from several weeks ago due to a time delay between someone being infected and needing healthcare. Estimates that use more timely data reflecting infections, suggest a higher R for England than shown here. As a result, SAGE does not have confidence that R is currently below 1 in England.

RegionRGrowth rate % per day

  • England   0.8-1.0-3 to 0
  • East of England   *0.7-0.9-4 to -1
  • London   *0.8-1.1-4 to +1
  • Midlands   *0.8-1.0-3 to 0
  • North East and Yorkshire   *0.8-1.0-4 to 0
  • North West   0.8-1.1-3 to +1
  • South East   0.8-1.0-4 to 0
  • South West   *0.8-1.1-3 to +3

*Low case numbers and / or a high degree of variability in transmission across the region means these estimates are insufficiently robust to inform policy decisions.

 

Link to source data

Last updated on Friday 7 August 2020.


Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba

to be removed from travel corridors list

 

From: Department for Transport and Foreign & Commonwealth Office

  • France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba removed from list of travel corridors for England following data showing a significant increase in COVID-19 risk, with passengers required to self-isolate when returning from these countries from 4am on Saturday 15 August
  • travellers urged to check the latest advice from the FCO before travelling and ensure they have filled in a passenger locator form before returning home
  • government continues to closely monitor increase in reported cases worldwide, and will keep all countries and territories under constant review

People arriving in England from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba from 4am Saturday 15 August 2020 will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks as the countries are removed from the travel exemptions list.

 

The Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England have indicated a significant change in coronavirus (COVID-19) risk in all 6 destinations, leading to ministers removing these from the current list of travel corridors.

 

Data from France shows that over the past week (7 to 13 August) there has been a 66% increase in newly reported cases and a 52% increase in weekly incidence rate per 100,000 population, indicating a sharp rise in COVID-19.

 

There has been a consistent increase in newly reported cases in the Netherlands over the past 4 weeks, with a 52% increase in newly reported cases between 7 and 13 August. Over the past week, there has been a 273% increase in newly reported cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands and 1,106% increase in newly reported cases in Aruba. Malta has had a 105% increase in newly reported cases over the past 7 days.

 

At the same time, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has also updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to France, Monaco, the Netherlands, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba.

 

The government has made consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, including removing countries from the travel corridors list rapidly if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high.

 

People currently in Francethe NetherlandsMonacoMaltaTurks and Caicos Islands and Aruba are encouraged to follow the local rules and check the FCO travel advice pages on GOV.UK for further information.

 

The government is urging employers to be understanding of those returning from these destinations who now will need to self-isolate and has invested over £9 billion to strengthen the welfare safety net, helping to ensure access for those in need.

 

Government keeps travel advice and the exemptions list under constant review, and the Joint Biosecurity Centre is closely monitoring increases in reported cases in destinations worldwide. People planning to travel overseas should be mindful that unfortunately disruption is possible, in order to protect public health, and the government is prepared to remove countries from the travel corridors list rapidly if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high. Passengers should therefore carefully consider their ability to self-isolate on return before deciding to travel overseas in the event that advice changes.

 

Travellers should always check the latest advice from the FCO, given the potential for changing coronavirus infection rates to affect both the advice about travelling to other countries and rules about self-isolation on return.

 

All travellers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a completed passenger locator form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions, with failure to do so resulting in a £100 fine.

 

Published 13 August 2020

Link to source data


Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
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Press release

Prime Minister announces stronger enforcement measures as easements resume

The Government has announced a series of tough new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions.

 

Published 13 August 2020

From: Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street

  • Fines will double to a maximum of £3,200 for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules
  • New fines to be introduced for people hosting raves or other unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos to reopen for the first time as well as indoor play and soft play centres which comply with new Covid-19 Secure guidelines
  • Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas, barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services and treatments
  • Wedding receptions for up to 30 people to resume – and indoor performances with socially distanced audiences will recommence
  • Sports and business events pilots to resume

The Government has announced a series of tough new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions.

 

Fines for repeatedly not wearing face coverings where mandated will be significantly increased in the coming weeks, and on the spot fines for hosting or facilitating illegal gatherings of more than 30 people will be introduced.

 

The announcement comes as a number of remaining aspects of England’s culture, sport, leisure and business sectors will be permitted to reopen from this weekend. Two weeks ago the ONS had expressed concerns about a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive. The situation now appears to have levelled off.

 

The plan set out in the ‘roadmap to recovery’ which was paused for two weeks will resume from Saturday 15 August in England – except for specific areas where local restrictions are in place.

  • Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance published by the Government. This follows a successful series of pilots and marks stage 4 of the government’s 5-stage roadmap for the return of professional performing arts.
  • Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will now be permitted.
  • The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from August 15 with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October. This will commence with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre during 15-16 August, with a full pilot programme to follow.
  • Indoor play and indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be permitted to reopen.
  • Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services – including front of the face treatments such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and facials from August 15 under new guidance.
  • A number of pilots will now take place at event venues across the country to help plan how best to restart indoor business events and implement social distancing practices. Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of infection remain at current levels.

Taking into account new evidence provided by SAGE and consultation with industry, the Government has also confirmed today that all staff offering close contact services, including hairdressers, should now wear a face mask (type 2 surgical), in addition to a clear visor that covers the face. This will help protect the customer and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, or speaking.

 

The guidance also applies to businesses that operate remotely, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes, and those learning in vocational training environments.

 

The Government will continue to review these measures announced today, which are based upon the very latest infection rates.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

"Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their bit to control the virus, but we must remain focused and we cannot be complacent. That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules."

"At every stage I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional and that it relies on continued progress against the virus."

"Today, we are able to announce some further changes which will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed. However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus."

 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

"Coronavirus remains a real and present threat to all of us and the majority of the British public are doing the right thing."

"I will not stand by and see these sacrifices undermined by a small minority of senseless individuals."

"These measures send a clear message – if you don’t cooperate with the police and if you put our health at risk, action will follow."

 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

"The nation’s hard work to keep the virus under control means we can now make further careful progress on recovery with allowing audiences back for indoor performances, fans back at sports events and the reopening of more Covid-19 secure leisure businesses."

"We must all continue to Stay Alert but today’s welcome news means these organisations can finally get going safely, and we can enjoy more of the things we love as a nation."

"I have no doubt that they will work incredibly hard to keep their fans, patrons, and customers safe."

 

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma said:

"From Saturday, salons, spas and other close contact services across England will once again be able to offer all services in a way that is safe for workers and clients."

"I am pleased to give these often small, independent businesses a much-needed boost as we progress with our plan to kickstart the economy to protect jobs and incomes."

"Opening up the economy is conditional on our continued success at controlling the spread of coronavirus. Therefore it remains essential businesses comply with Covid-19 secure measures to protect workers and the public."

 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

"We introduced mandatory face coverings on public transport to protect people and stop coronavirus spreading. I’m grateful to all those who have complied, and of course many people have legitimate reasons not to wear face coverings – but for those who aren’t exempt, there is no excuse."

"That’s why we must get tougher on repeat offenders. This new system will look to ensure everybody who is not exempt wears a face covering on public transport, continuing the public’s excellent efforts in helping this country recover."

 

Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques, as well as sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars, remain closed in law.

 

Published 13 August 2020

Link to source data

 

 


Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Latest R number range for the UK 0.8-1.0

 

Latest growth rate range for the UK -4% to -1% per day

 

R number by NHS England regions

  • 0.8-1.0 East of England
  • 0.8-1.0 London 
  • 0.8-1.0 Midlands 
  • 0.8-1.0 North East and Yorkshire 
  • 0.8-1.1 North West 
  • 0.8-0.9 South East 
  • 0.8-1.0 South West 

Last updated on Friday 14 August 2020.

Link to source data


Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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