Fifteen more people die of coronavirus in UK hospitals in 24 hours – taking total deaths to 44,813

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A further 21 people have died from coronavirus in 24 hours bringing the UK’s total death toll to 44,819.

Today’s figure – which covers deaths in care homes, hospitals and the wider community – is the lowest Sunday figure since lockdown began in March.

But figures released on Sunday are usually smaller due to a delay in processing over the weekend. 

While it is a slight drop from last Sunday’s death toll of 22, this weekend has sparked concerns about a potential second spike after 148 deaths were reported yesterday.  

Saturday’s number was more than double that of the week before and came three weeks after shops were allowed to reopen in the first major easing of lockdown.   

A total of 650 people tested positive for the virus today, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 289,603.

Yesterday, 820 people tested positive.

No deaths were reported in Scotland, Wales nor Northern Ireland on the second Sunday that pubs, bars and restaurants were able to open their doors to lockdown-weary revellers.

A further 21 people have died from coronavirus in 24 hours bringing the UK’s total death toll to 44,819 

People queue for ice cream in Abbey Park within the locked down city of Leicester today, where non-essential shops are closed

People queue for ice cream in Abbey Park within the locked down city of Leicester today, where non-essential shops are closed

Parts of the county of Leicestershire and the city of Leicester have entered lockdown once again after a surge of cases in the county

Parts of the county of Leicestershire and the city of Leicester have entered lockdown once again after a surge of cases in the county 

Along with no deaths in Wales – the total number of coronavirus cases increased by just 16 to 15,962.

No new coronavirus deaths were reported in Scotland either, marking the fourth day in a row without any fatalities.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed figures, and wrote on Twitter: ‘Another day y’day with no registered deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19.

‘New cases though – 12 more than yesterday. We can expect to see daily variation – but as on Friday, these are being closely examined. And it’s a reminder that the virus hasn’t gone away.’

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) issued a 'go back and work if you can' rallying cry on Friday in a bid to boost the economy

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) issued a ‘go back and work if you can’ rallying cry on Friday in a bid to boost the economy

The latest figures show that 18,359 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 19 from 18,340 the day before.

Today’s figures come as Michael Gove pleaded with Britons to go back to their offices amid fears of a looming jobs bloodbath on the high street.

The Cabinet minister insisted it is crucial to ‘fire up the economic engines’ again as the country emerges from lockdown.

Michael Gove told Sky news it is crucial to 'fire up the economic engines' again as the country emerges from lockdown

Michael Gove told Sky news it is crucial to ‘fire up the economic engines’ again as the country emerges from lockdown

Current lockdown guidance states that people in the UK should avoid public transport where possible, resulting in empty carriages

Current lockdown guidance states that people in the UK should avoid public transport where possible, resulting in empty carriages

The UK Government is set to ease restrictions on public transport, such as buses, to encourage more people to go back into offices for work

The UK Government is set to ease restrictions on public transport, such as buses, to encourage more people to go back into offices for work

Boris Johnson was pictured wearing a face mask for the first time in public while out in his Uxbridge constituency on Friday

Boris Johnson was pictured wearing a face mask for the first time in public while out in his Uxbridge constituency on Friday

The call came as the government prepares to relax restrictions on public transport in a bid to encourage the public out of their homes.

More than 250,000 High Street jobs could be axed as Britons shop online during coronavirus crisis

By JAMES GANT FOR MAILONLINE 

More than 250,000 High Street jobs could be axed as Britons shop online during the coronavirus crisis.

Experts have warned that a slew of store closures at John Lewis and Boots are ‘just the start’.

The department store chain will shut eight sites, putting 1,300 jobs in peril, and 4,000 will be lost at the health and beauty retailer.

Industry insiders are monitoring Top Shop, New Look, Arcadia, Monsoon and Poundstretcher for similar announcements. 

Retail expert Richard Hyman told the Sun: ‘If you think there are 9.5million people on furlough, 250,000 redundancies is quite a reasonable ­number.

‘Pre-pandemic online sales accounted for 30 per cent of non-food sales. That will rise to 40 per cent, which means hundreds of thousands of job losses.

‘Lockdown has been the catalyst, not the cause. Big firms like John Lewis have needed to shut stores for years.

‘Fifteen years ago online shopping wasn’t really used, now it’s worth £70billion. But in that time they have still opened more stores. It’s not sustainable.’

Britain’s jobs bloodbath gathered pace last week as more than 60,000 workers were axed or faced redundancy.

It was an immediate blow for Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who launched his desperate £30billion package to help keep people off the dole.

It is feared the collapse of the ‘lunchtime economy’ could deal another massive blow to the fortunes of the high street, with warnings that 250,000 jobs could be on the line  

Echoing a rallying cry from Boris Johnson on Friday, Mr Gove told Sky News today: ‘We want to see more people back at work on the shop floor in the office where they can be.’ 

A national survey has found just 12 per cent of people want life to return to the ‘old normal,’ while around 60 per cent still feel uncomfortable using public transport.

‘Of course in some cases it is appropriate and convenient for people to work from home, but we want to make sure that where people can add value, where the economy can benefit from people being at work, that they are at work.

‘We want to make sure that the economic engines of this country are fired up again and that’s why the Chancellor made the series of announcements that he made earlier this week in order to make sure that we are in a position to be able to provide people with safety and security at work, to protect their jobs and to guarantee jobs in the future.’

Mr Gove said the pandemic had shown that some roles can be effectively performed from home – and confirmed that civil service jobs may be moved outside London. 

At the height of the crisis the government was telling the public to work from home if they can.

But Mr Johnson dramatically reversed that advice on Friday, saying it was time for people to go out to work if they can. 

Ian Girling, chief executive of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce, said: ‘Undoubtedly, remote working has worked extremely well for some businesses and there are opportunities for some firms to save money going forward.’ 

He added: ‘Businesses can revert back to the way they were working pre-Covid but the bigger question is “do they want to?”‘ 

Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, said this was a ‘critical’ factor for businesses considering whether to return to the office. 

He said bosses would weigh up whether the supposed productivity boost outweighed the savings which many have enjoyed during the pandemic. 

The expert told MailOnline: ‘That’s an absolutely critical point – whether the levels of demand are sufficient enough to make it commercially viable enough to reopen. And that’s a really difficult question to answer and lots just don’t know.’ 

Just 12% of people want life to return to ‘old normal,’ survey says 

Research from BritainThinks, compiled in part by lockdown diaries written by surveyors, has found 12% of people want life to return  back to the ‘old normal,’ as lockdown eases.

The survey of people across the country found 59% of people are still uncomfortable with the idea of using public transport, while the public’s priorities have shifted. 

According to The Observer, the survey shows three new priorities for Brits; better funding for the NHS, saving the economy nationwide, rather than focusing on London and improving pay and treatment for essential workers.  

One employee at a central London firm which has over 200 staff told MailOnline they were told last week their workforce would not be returning to the office for the foreseeable future. 

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source said: ‘The primary concern is that we don’t need to be back so why rush?’

They said that the company would be waiting to see how other firms coped with the return to work before given the green light for their own staff. 

Adding to the government’s push to encourage slow steps towards normality, Mr Gove today dismissed the idea of making face coverings compulsory in shops – despite Boris Johnson strongly hinting at the change.

The Cabinet minister said it was best to ‘trust’ the public and wearing a mask was a matter of ‘good manners’.

The intervention comes after the PM said on Friday that he believed the government ‘needs to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces’. 

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon – who has made the rule compulsory in shops in Scotland – said today that masks were the ‘right thing’.

Asked about the issue on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Mr Gove said: ‘I don’t think mandatory, no, but I would encourage people to wear face masks when they are inside, in an environment where they are likely to be mixing with others and where the ventilation may not be as good as it might. 

‘I think that it is basic good manners, courtesy and consideration, to wear a face mask if you are, for example, in a shop.

‘I trust people’s good sense. Now of course the Government at all times does look at the emerging evidence about what the best way to control the disease is.

Adults work out on the outdoor gym in Braunston Park in locked down Leicester despite restrictions on outdoor gatherings

Adults work out on the outdoor gym in Braunston Park in locked down Leicester despite restrictions on outdoor gatherings

Local resident Abdula Khan, 50, said he was disgusted to find people had ripped the safety tapes off equipment at Spinny Hill Park, Leicester

Local resident Abdula Khan, 50, said he was disgusted to find people had ripped the safety tapes off equipment at Spinny Hill Park, Leicester

Leicester has been singled out as a coronavirus hotspot in England, with officials concerned that some people are not taking social distancing seriously

Leicester has been singled out as a coronavirus hotspot in England, with officials concerned that some people are not taking social distancing seriously 

‘If necessary, and if tough measures are required and as we have seen in Leicester, obviously a very different situation, then tough measures will be taken.

‘But on the whole… it is always best to trust people’s common sense.’

Residents in Leicester and its outlying areas are to be asked to continue to follow stricter lockdown restrictions, with non-essential shops, bars, restaurants and hairdressers remaining closed.

People are being urged to make essential journeys only and stay at home as much as they can.  

Schools are closed to pupils, except the children of key workers. 



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