Coronavirus UK news LIVE: EasyJet cancels flights and closes hubs as deaths hit 43,730 and Boris unveils 'New Deal' plan

BORIS Johnson has laid out the government's plan to ensure the UK recovers from Covid-19 in his Dudley speech yesterday.

The Prime Minister revealed his intent to bring forward £5 billion capital investment projects, supporting jobs and the economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the city of Leicester WILL stay in lockdown the Health Secretary confirmed.

No 10 had been concerned about a recent spike in cases in the area, with questions raised about a second shutdown.

It means pubs, restaurants and hairdressers in Leicester will remain closed for two more weeks following a series of local outbreaks.

Elsewhere, EasyJet is to close three of its UK-based hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle Airports, with 5,000 job losses. Along with Ryanair and TUI the company was also forced to cancel flights to Greece after the country extended the UK flight ban

It comes as the coronavirus death toll in the UK stands at 43,730 and the global toll reaches half a million.

Follow our live blog for the latest news and updates on coronavirus…

  • COVID SPREAD

    Coronavirus droplets can travel up to 13 feet, a new study has said.

    Researchers found that infected droplets can travel up to 13 feet when there's not even any wind blowing.

    However, these infected droplets could evaporate faster at high temperatures and humidity.

    The researchers from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada; Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, India; and University of California Los Angeles – says the findings clarify “the role of environment on infection spread through respiratory droplets”.

  • STAFF SHOCK

    Stunned staff at sofa firm Harveys Furniture say they were brought back from furlough – only to be told the next day the company had gone administration.

    The measures will result in 240 job losses, with over a thousand more to follow if the 20 stores at risk of closure shut.

    Staff were told to return to work on Monday to prepare for the store reopening.

    Harveys stores will stay open for now, with administrator PwC hoping to find a buyer for the firm.

  • 1ST WAVE OVER

    Deaths fallen below the seasonal average for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

    It marks the end of the first wave of Covid-19 in the UK, one leading expert said yesterday.

    Professor Carl Heneghan, director of Oxford University's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, said: “It means we are at the end of the first wave of excess deaths and we are now back to normal.

    “I would now expect fatalities to stay normal or below average over the summer months, but we have to keep an eye on the data as we get closer to winter.

    “Even though people are still dying of Covid, we have seen some displacement of deaths.

    “The infection caused many vulnerable people to due a few weeks or months earlier than they would have, so overall fatalities are now lower.”

  • BOJO COMMONS GRILLING

    Boris Johnson will face tough questions today over the local lockdown in Leicester lockdown.

    Ministers will face accusations they were too slow to act when cases were spiking Leicester.

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmersaid people in Leicester were “crying out” for answers.

    Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby criticised the Government and PHE for delays in sharing case and testing data which showed how the disease was spreading.

    And Chaand Nagpaul, council chairman at the British Medical Association, said: “The Prime Minister has talked about a 'whack a mole' strategy to tackle local outbreaks, but this is no use if the people leading the response on the ground – be they public health teams or local leaders – are not given the most accurate up-to-date data possible.

    “This is crucial to allow swift action and to protect lives and the health service, and something that is not happening right now.”

  • JOE BIDEN WON'T HOLD PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN RALLIES

    US presidential hopeful Joe Biden has said he won't hold campaign rallies during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Democratic nominee, who will stand against Donald Trump in this year's election, said he was following “the doc's orders”.

    “This is the most unusual campaign I think in modern history,” the former vice-president said in a press conference.

    He added: “I'm going to follow the doc's orders – not just for me but for the country – and that means that I am not going to be holding rallies”.

  • LEICESTER NEIGHBOURS ON LOCKDOWN BORDER LEFT CONFUSED

    A pair of neighbours have been left baffled by Leicester's new lockdown rules as half their street has been told to isolate.

    Residents of Scraptoft, Leicestershire say they are “totally confused” as half of their street are allowed to head off to the pub at the weekend while others have to stay at home.

    Kathleen McDonagh, 77, and her daughter Mary, 55, will be stuck inside for two weeks as part of the local lockdown, but their neighbour who lives inches away, Veronica Cayless, 77, is excited to get back to the new normal on Saturday.

    Read the full story here.

  • UPPER CRUST OWNERS TO MAKE 5,000 UK STAFF REDUNDANT

    The company behind Upper Crust is planning to make mroe than half of its UK workforce redundant, it has been reported.

    SSP Group, which employs 9,000 people in the UK, plans to axe up to 5,000 jobs after suffering heavy losses because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The announcement is due to be made in a joint statement with the London Stock Exchange, Sky News reported.

    Read the full story here.

  • 'ZERO CHANCE OF SURVIVING' DAD WILL GO HOME TO HIS FAMILY

    A dad who spent 61 days on a ventilator with coronavirus and was told by doctors that he had almost “zero chance” of living will return home in the next few adys.

    Mal Martin was given 10 minutes to say goodbye to his wife, Sue, and their children Hana, 16, and William, 14, over Facetime before he was put into a coma in April.

    Sue told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday morning: “When the treated call from the consultant came the next day, he told us there had been a tiny improvement which meant a drug supporting Mal's blood pressure could be reduced – not enough to raise too much hope but a glimmer nonetheless.

    “For the next few weeks it was touch and go. Medics worked at simply keeping Mal alive, giving his body a chance of fighting the virus. For six weeks we existed in a sickening limbo and nightmarish rollercoaster ride. Mal remained critical with a much greater chance of him dying than pulling through.”

    Credit: Wales News Service

  • PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND UNDER FIRE FROM PM?

    The future of Public Health England is in doubt after the Prime Minister said parts of government had been “sluggish” in their response to coronavirus.

    PHE is responsible for the UK's testing, and the decision to abandon attempts to track the virus earlier in the pandemic has been widely criticised by scientists.

    The PM said in a speech today: “I know there are plenty of things that people say and will say that we got wrong, and we owe that discussion and that honesty to the tens of thousands who have died before their time, to the families who have lost loved ones, and of course there must be time to learn the lessons, and we will.”

    He added: “The problems in our social care system, the parts of government that seemed to respond so sluggishly that sometimes it seemed like that recurring bad dream when you are telling your feet to run and your feet won't move.”

    Whitehall sources told The Telegraph that the PM was referring to PHE.

    A former Conservative health minister told the newspaper: “I think PHE is destined for the chop, and the main issue is why we didn't ramp up testing sooner”.

  • BRAZIL RECORDS OVER 1.4 MILLION CASES

    Brazil has surpassed 1.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of new infections increased by 33,846 in the last day.

    The country's Health Ministry also said Brazil has suffered 1,280 more deaths from the bug, bringing the total to 59,594.

  • CALIFORNIA SEES 8,000 DAILY INFECTIONS

    The US state of California recorded more than 8,000 new coronavirus infections on Monday – a new record.

    Yesterday saw the Golden State record more than 6,000 cases from the virus.

    Hospital services are also under pressure, with 99 per cent of ICU beds in Southern California's Riverside County being used – leaving just five available.

  • WIGAN UNLIKELY TO GO INTO LOCKDOWN, HEALTH EXPERT SAYS

    Wigan's director of public health has dismissed reports that the city could go into lockdown like Leicester.

    Professor Kate Ardern said that Wigan had an infection rate of 3.7 per 100,000 people, compared to Leicester's 135 per 100,000.

    In a statement the health expert said: “I'd like to reassure our residents that we monitor all cases through our daily Covid-19 tracker which we'll be sharing publicly on our website shortly so all residents can see clear, accurate, up to date information which should help put their minds at ease, but to be clear judging by our latest figures, I don't think we can expect a local lockdown any time soon.”

  • UK RECOVERY UNDERWAY, BANK OF ENGLAND CHIEF ECONOMIST SAYS

    Britain is on track for a V-shaped economic recovery, the Bank of England's chief economist has said.

    Andy Haldane said the economy was two months into its recovery as new data suggested that the loss to annual GDP would be 8 per cent rather than the 17 per cent that was modelled by the Bank in May.

    “It is early days, but my reading of the evidence is so far, so V,” Mr Haldane said in a webinar. “Both the UK and the global economies are already well into the recovery phase. The UK's recovery is more than two months old.”

  • MORE LOCAL LOCKDOWNS LIKELY, EXPERTS PREDICT

    Experts have warned that other UK cities are likely to be locked down like Leicester, as the city sees the most stringent restrictions put back in place.

    “I am expecting there to be a number of Leicesters,” Professor Deenan Pillay, a virologist at UCL told The Guardian.

    “The base level of infections going on in the UK is still much higher than it was in other countries in Europe when they started to release their lockdowns,” he added.

  • PRAGUE RESIDENTS EAT AT 500M TABLE TO END LOCKDOWN

    People living in Prague enjoyed a dinner together as they celebrated the end of the coronavirus lockdown in the city.

    Local residents sat at a 500-metre-long table that stretched across the Charles Bridge tonight on the eve of more lockdown restrictions being eased.

    “The bridge is a good metaphor, different people can gather,” Ondrej Kobza, who organised the event, told Reuters.

    The event “is a kind of celebration, to show that we are not afraid, that we go out and we won't be stuck at home,” he said.

    Credit: Reuters

  • NEW WONDERPILL COULD COULD TREAT COVID

    Docs in the Chinese coronavirus epi-centre of Wuhan are hailing a cheap pill dating back to the 1950s as a new weapon to combat killer Covid-19.

    The diabetes drug metformin, which costs 3p per tablet and is already being used by the NHS, is also emerging as an effective breast cancer and heart disease treatment.

    Doctors in Wuhan, where the Covid-19 pandemic began earlier this year, have recently published a study showing that diabetics taking metformin were much less likely to die than diabetics not taking the drug.

    Research by the University of Minnesota also found the drug may be helpful in reducing the risk of death from the virus.

    The findings of the study found the drug reduces the inflammatory response in the body -n which could be key to fighting the disease.

  • UP TO 700 STAFF TO LOSE JOB IN HARRODS

    Harrods is axing up to 700 stuff after the luxury department store suffered a slash in revenue because of coronavirus.

    Up to 14 per cent of the workforce will be made redundant, in a move that CEO MIchael Ward said was needed to “aid our recovery in the short-term, but also to protect the business in the longer term”.

    Ward broke the news “with a heavy heart” to the store's 4,800 staff members yesterday morning via an internal message.

    Read the full story here.

  • 40 PER CENT OF TOWN'S CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS SHOWED NO SYMPTOMS

    More than 40 per cent of people who caught coronavirus in one of the first places in Europe to suffer an outbreak did not have any symptoms, a new study has shown.

    Research in the town of Vo, in the north of Italy, also found that of the 3,200 residents, 86 per cent of people had been infected with the virus.

    The joint study by the University of Padua and Imperial College London showed that 'test and trace' was the best method to combat the outbreak.

    Read the full story here.

  • US BUYS WORLD STOCKS OF CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT

    The United States has bought almost all of the world's stock of a successful coronavirus treatment, leaving almost none for the UK or Europe.

    Remdesivir, which has been proven to help people have a faster recovery from Covid-19, is only produced by pharmaceutical company Gilead in Europe and the United States.

    President Trump has bought more than 500,000 doses of the drug – all of Gilead's July production and 90 per cent of August and September's.

    Alex Azar, the US health secretary, said today: “President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19.”

    He added: “To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it.”

  • VIDEO: LEICESTER MAYOR SPEAKS TO PRIME MINISTER ON PHONE

    The mayor of Leicester has been filmed on the phone to Boris Johnson, saying that the spread of coronavirus in the city is not as bad as suggested.

    Sir Peter Soulsby said: “We are not seeing any increase at all in deaths, in fact they're dropping pretty much as is happening elsewhere in the country.

    “And neither are we seeing a dramatic increase in hospital admissions, which is the other thing that we do have.

    “We are seeing six or 10 a day, that is more – much more – than it should be, but it doesn't suggest an exponential increase in the community. It does suggest we've got problems.”

    He added: “What we do need to get from the data that's coming in is a better understanding of the addresses of the people, and preferably, in addition to that, their ethnicity and if possible even their place of work. All of those would help.”

  • FAUCI WARNS NO GUARANTEE OF VACCINE

    Anthony Fauci has said that there is “no guarantee [that] we'll have a safe an effective vaccine.”

    The US chief physician gave the stark warning during testimony to a US Senate committee.

    Dr Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said: “It's extremely important to have safe and effective vaccines available for everyone in this country”.

  • EU AGREES SAFE TRAVEL LIST BUT EXCLUDES UNITED STATES

    The European Union has agreed a list of 14 countries that will be allowed to travel into the bloc from tomorrow.

    Member states excluded the United States, Russia, Brazil and Turkey from its list of approved countries. The EU will carry out fortnightly reviews of the list.

    The approved countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

  • AIRBUS TO CUT 15,000 JOBS, 1,700 IN UK

    Aerospace giant Airbus has announced that it is cutting 15,000 jobs worldwide, with 1,700 Brits set to lose employment.

    In a statement, the firm said it could take five years to recover from the effects of coronavirus.

    A spokesperson said: “The commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40% in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis.

    “Commercial aircraft production rates have been adapted accordingly. Airbus is grateful for the government support that has enabled the Company to limit these necessary adaptation measures.

    “However with air traffic not expected to recover to pre-COVID levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post COVID-19 industry outlook.”

    Germany and France will both see 5,000 job cuts as part of the move.

  • UK TESTING CAPACITY MORE THAN DOUBLE DEMAND

    The UK is using just half of its current coronavirus testing capacity, new figures have shown.

    Only 133,467 tests were conducted today, while the UK's capacity is now at 294,258, according to government figures.

    The government has advised that anyone with coronavirus symptoms should be tested.

    It comes as the number of new cases continued to fall, with 689 confirmed today.

  • CHIEF US PHYSICIAN SAYS CORONAVIRUS DEATHS 'VERY DISTURBING'

    United States chief physician Anthony Fauci has said the country's battle with coronavirus could get worse over the coming months.

    The US has seen 2.68 million confirmed cases of the virus and 129,000 deaths.

    During Mr Fauci's testimony to a US Senate committee, Senator Elizabeth Warren asked: “How many Covid-19 deaths and infections should America expect before this is all over?”

    The health expert responded: “It's going to be very disturbing.”

    He added: “I'm very concerned… it could get really bad”.

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