Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, had warned reopening pubs was a “high risk” for spreading coronavirus ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions which also saw restaurants, cinemas, hairdressers and museums open their doors on what was dubbed “Super Saturday”.
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It is “crystal clear” drunk people can’t – or won’t – socially distance, a police chief has warned after scenes showed huge crowds packed into Soho in central London.
John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, said he witnessed “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks” while on shift in Southampton – and there were similar scenes across the rest of England.
Britain must solve its social care crisis if “any good” is to come from the coronavirus pandemic, the boss of NHS England has warned.
NHS to launch online coronavirus rehab service
The NHS is to launch a new online Covid-19 rehabilitation service as thousands warn they continue to suffer debilitating symptoms months after contracting the disease.
The treatments will help those who have survived the virus but still have problems with their breathing, mental health or other complications.
New rehabilitation centres to help those most seriously affected by the virus are also expected to open across the country.
Nigel Farage reported to police for pub visit
Nigel Farage has been reported to police after apparently visiting a pub less than a fortnight after a trip to a Donald Trump rally in the United States.
Anyone returning from overseas is required to self-isolate for 14 days under current quarantine laws, with few exceptions.
On Friday, ministers announced the restrictions would be lifted for some countries, but only from 10 July.
Indonesia reports highest daily rise in Covid-19 deaths
Indonesia has reported 82 new coronavirus deaths in its highest daily tally, taking the toll to 3,171.
Infections rose 1,607, for a total of 63,749 cases, Health Ministry official AchmaId Yurianto said.
Russia coronavirus cases surpass 680,000
Russia on Sunday reported 6,736 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the nationwide tally to 681,251.
The authorities said that 134 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10,161.
‘Likely’ Britain could see further 27,000 excess deaths by April
A further 27,000 excess deaths are “likely” between now and next April under the current approach to coronavirus, a former government chief scientific adviser has claimed.
Sir David King told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme that it looked as though the current government policy was to “maintain” the current level of about 3,000 new infections per day across England.
He said: “What we are saying is 27,000 excess deaths are likely between now and next April if the expectation by the chief medical officer is that he would be surprised and delighted if the UK is in the same place next spring.
“If he’s correct we would still have about 2,000 to 3,000 new infections in England per day and that is the number of deaths that would follow from that.”
He added: “It looks as if the policy is to maintain the current level of about 3,000 new infections per day across England, while Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland are heading towards net zero.”
Clap for Carers returns
Clap for Carers will return today for a one-off event after the weekly lockdown clap was ended on 28 May.
The clap began at the start of lockdown with members of the public applauding from their doorsteps and windows every Thursday at 8pm to honour NHS staff, supermarket workers, teachers and other frontline employees who were instrumental in the fight against Covid-19.
Annemarie Plas, the founder of Clap for Carers, eventually called for the event to come to a close after its 10th consecutive week – Plas said it should end while “at its peak”.
Stanley Johnson defends Greece trip
Boris Johnson’s father has defended his decision to fly to Greece via Bulgaria in order to “Covid-proof” his property there before he potentially rents it out.
With a towel draped over his shoulder, Stanley Johnson told reporters on a dirt track outside his villa on Mount Pelion that he wasn’t “100 per cent up to speed” on the British public’s reaction since he went to Greece for “a quiet time, to organise the house”.
The trip has met with criticism for having violated Greece’s coronavirus restrictions as well as the current travel guidance in the UK.
Could virus sample in Wuhan lab have caused Covid-19?
Scientists have raised fresh questions over whether a coronavirus sample held for years in a Wuhan laboratory could have mutated naturally or via genetic experimentation to become the virus which causes Covid-19.
Since the Sars pandemic in 2003, China-based researchers have been scouring bat-inhabited caves in the hope of tracking and analysing potential new coronaviruses, notably at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
Among the most revered of these scientists is Dr Shi Zhengli, nicknamed “Bat Woman” by her colleagues – who in February co-authored the most extensive academic paper on the novel coronavirus up to that point.
In addition to giving a full genetic description of the virus, Dr Shi’s paper – published in Nature – revealed that the WIV housed a sample of virus collected from bats named RaTG13, which it said was a 96.2 per cent match with the Covid-19 virus – the closest yet discovered.
‘Enjoy the new freedoms – but do so safely’
Matt Hancock has said the government’s message to the public is “enjoy the new freedoms, but do so safely”.
Asked when the government should begin learning lessons from its response to the pandemic, the health secretary told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday programme: “Well we are learning all of that all of the time, looking at what works and what needs improvement.”
He added: “And my overriding message to people is yes, enjoy the new freedoms, but do so safely following social distancing. It is so important, and even the basics like washing you hands.
“We have got this virus getting right under control, the number of new infections is under 600 on the last data, so it is really coming down in terms of the number of positive cases that we’re finding and that is good news, but we’ve just got to have the resilience and resolve to stick at it and to be very careful in how we enjoy those new freedoms.
“Yes, go out there and enjoy summer and get out and enjoy the things that we love, that we’ve been able to lift the restrictions on, but do so safely.
“And there are two parts to that – enjoy summer safely. And it’s a really important message and I think it’s one that the vast majority of people understand.”
‘Vast majority have acted responsibly’, says health secretary after Soho scenes
Health secretary Matt Hancock has said the vast majority of people who went out on “Super Saturday” were “doing the right thing” and following social distancing.
Speaking on Sky’s Ridge On Sunday, Mr Hancock said: “Well I think that from what I’ve seen, although there’s some pictures to the contrary, very, very largely people have acted responsibly.”
He added: “So overall I’m pleased with what happened yesterday. It was really good to see people out and about and largely, very largely, social distancing.”
The health secretary said “the large proportion of people, the vast majority of people are, I think, doing the right thing”.
He added: “But of course we’ll take action when we need to when…if the minority break the rules.”
On those who did not social distance, Mr Hancock said: “Well we’ll of course keep this very closely under review, and you’ve seen for instance in Leicester but also in other places that we don’t shirk from bringing in more drastic measures if that is what’s needed to control the virus.”
‘I can imagine it getting out of hand’
Pubs in south London have reopened with more of an initial whimper than a bang, as the thirstiest punters were given a taste of the post-coronavirus reality facing one of the nation’s favourite habitats, writes Andy Gregory.
Despite pubs being granted permission to start serving at 6am, there appeared little sign of the New Year’s Eve-esque “Super Saturday” hype forecast by many, with some establishments remaining shuttered after midday and others, on the face of it, appearing relatively empty.
In Tooting, the queues outside hairdressers by far outstripped those outside favoured locals – an outcome that had been hinted at by Redfield & Wilton polling for the BBC, which indicated just seven per cent of adults in England intended to visit a pub this weekend.
Concerns raised over reopening of pubs as huge crowds pack into Soho
Concern has been raised over the reopening of pubs in London after scenes from Soho appeared to show people failing to observe social distancing rules.
Numerous pictures and videos have been shared online of packed, crowded streets in the famous London district.
One Twitter user wrote: “Just seen the scenes in Soho. It’s as if the health care workers who risked their lives trying to deal with the pandemic were just wasting their time.”
‘Crystal clear’ drunk people can’t socially distance, warns police chief
A police chief has warned it is “crystal clear” drunk people are unable to properly socially distance after scenes from across England showed huge crowds ignoring the one metre plus rule as pubs reopened on Saturday.
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said the pandemic “is a long way from gone” as he urged the public to follow social-distancing rules as pubs and restaurants reopened.
But images from London’s Soho showed packed streets into the early hours of Sunday.
John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, said he dealt with “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks” while on shift in Southampton yesterday.
He added in a tweet: What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance.
“It was a busy night but the shift managed to cope. I know other areas have had issues with officers being assaulted.”
Good morning and welcome to today’s live blog – we’ll be bringing you all the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic around the globe.