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Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s announce rules for shoppers after July 19th

The supermarkets have joined a growing list of companies encouraging the use of face masks after July 19th…

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Russ Allison Loar / Flickr & Hazel Nicholson / Flickr

Three of the UK’s largest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Aldi have asked customers to continue wearing face masks after July 19th, despite the legal requirement to do so being dropped.

Sainsbury’s said signs and tannoy announcements would remind shoppers to cover their faces, while Tesco said it wanted to ‘be on the safe side,’ also adding that it will continue to limit the number of shoppers in its stores.

Sainsbury’s added that its strategy reflected feedback from customers and colleagues, with the majority of those surveyed in favour of keeping the mask policy in place. They explained that some Covid measures – such as screens between self-service checkouts and checkout queues – would be gradually removed, while screens between checkout staff and customers will remain in place.

@john_cameron / Unsplash

An Aldi spokesperson, meanwhile, said: “From Monday, July 19th, we’ll continue to encourage customers and colleagues to wear face coverings when they’re in store. Other measures like hand sanitiser and screens will also stay in place.

“Face masks are still required for customers and colleagues in our Welsh and Scottish stores, in line with the latest guidance.”

This comes after customers threatened to boycott Waterstones after they encouraged customers to continue wearing face masks after July 19th.

In a tweet, the book chain explained: “Following the lift of restrictions on 19 July across England, we will observe new government guidance. Given our enclosed browsing environment, we encourage our customers to wear face masks and observe social distancing, respecting the safety of staff and fellow book lovers.”

Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

Despite the overwhelming backlash to the rule however, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham announced last night that, based on ‘public opinion’, the use of face masks will still be mandatory on Metrolink trams after July 19th.

At a press conference yesterday, Burnham said: “We are still in a pandemic and we need to think in terms of collective safety rather than individual freedom or personal responsibility.”

The government is pressing ahead with its final stage of relaxing coronavirus rules from July 19th, meaning there will no longer be a legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops and other enclosed spaces. While customers are ‘expected’ to continue wearing a face covering, it will no longer be a legal obligation.

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Gary Neville ‘considering running for Manchester mayor’ after joining Labour party

The football pundit has officially joined the Labour party

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Gary Neville is reportedly eyeing up the position of Manchester mayor after joining the Labour party, a government official has claimed today.

The Manchester United legend, who has been one of the most outspoken critics of Boris Johnson and the Conservative party, confirmed that he had joined the party on a BBC podcast this week.

He said: “I have joined in the last few days the Labour Party. That is purely for myself, I want to support Labour.

“I do believe we need a progressive Labour Party, but one that not just looks after what would be the left side of the party, it has to come towards the centre.”

And when asked whether his move could mean running for public office, he replied: “I don’t know at the moment.”

Culture secretary Lucy Powell has since confirmed that Neville has joined the party, saying he had discussed it with her ‘for a while’. She then added that he could potentially run as Labour’s Greater Manchester mayoral candidate in 2024.

Powell, who is also the MP for Manchester Central, said: “I personally think he’s more than capable of navigating – well, steaming – his way through the world of politics! Look forward to helping.”

Powell’s tweet was in response to a rumour from Jim Waterson, the media editor of The Guardian, who claims Neville is ‘not ruling out’ running to become the mayor of Greater Manchester.

Neville has previously expressed doubts about his abilities in the world of politics, however, saying in the podcast: “I say to myself sometimes I’m able to communicate, I know what I want, I have got a business mind, I can manage people in respect of businesses.

“But I just think I’d get eaten alive. I don’t know what Whitehall is like, Westminster is like.

“I can only imagine what you have to do there to survive and I don’t play the game, so how can I get in?”

Greater Manchester’s current mayor Andy Burnham is one of the most popular politicians in the country right now, and achieved landslide victories in the 2017 and 2021 mayoral elections.

Burnham worked as an MP between 2001 and 2017 and was a government minister under Gordon Brown, the most recent Labour PM to date.

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Number 10 apologises to the Queen for lockdown parties on eve of Prince Philip’s funeral

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@Number 10 / Flickr

Downing Street has said sorry to the Queen over the lockdown parties held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral.

Number 10 apologised after new reports revealed there were two parties held at the address the day before the Queen was pictured alone at Philip’s funeral.

According to the prime minister’s spokesperson, it was ‘deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning’.

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They said: “It’s deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning, and No10 has apologised to the Palace.

“You’ve heard from the Prime Minister this week, he’s recognised No10 should be held to the highest standards and take responsibility for the things we did not get right.

“We have apologised to the Palace.”

According to the new reports, around thirty Downing Street staff held two parties the night before the Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s socially-distanced funeral.

Advisors and civil servants have been accused of hosting a party and ‘drinking into the early hours’ of the morning of April 16th 2021, The Telegraph reports.

Eyewitnesses claim people at the party danced to music and went to the Co-op on the Strand ‘with a suitcase’ to stock up on wine.

No 10 Downing Street / Flickr

These eyewitnesses claim that some partygoers ‘worried there was too much wine spilling on the basement carpet’, while one person broke a child’s swing allegedly belonging to the prime minister’s son Wilf.

At the time, the rest of the country was under instructions to not socialise indoors with anyone but their own households, and to only meet others outdoors in groups of six or two households.

This comes as Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to resign after admitting to attending a Downing Street garden party in the first national lockdown in May 2020.

The Prime Minister said he went into the garden just after 6pm on May 20th 2020 to thank staff but ‘believed implicitly that this was a work event’.

 

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Downing Street staff ‘held two parties’ night before Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral

Reports claim staff danced to music and ‘went to Co-op for wine’

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Number 10 / Flickr

Around thirty Downing Street staff held two parties the night before the Queen sat alone at Prince Philip’s funeral, according to new reports.

Advisors and civil servants have been accused of hosting a party and ‘drinking into the early hours’ of the morning of April 16th 2021, just hours before Queen Elizabeth was forced to sit alone at the socially-distanced funeral of Prince Philip, The Telegraph reports.

Eyewitnesses claim people at the party danced to music and went to the Co-op on the Strand ‘with a suitcase’ to stock up on wine.

These eyewitnesses claim that some partygoers ‘worried there was too much wine spilling on the basement carpet’, while one person broke a child’s swing allegedly belonging to the prime minister’s son Wilf.

At the time, the rest of the country was under instructions to not socialise indoors with anyone but their own households, and to only meet others outdoors in groups of six or two households.

This comes as Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to resign after admitting to attending a Downing Street garden party in the first national lockdown in May 2020.

The Prime Minister said he went into the garden just after 6pm on May 20th 2020 to thank staff but ‘believed implicitly that this was a work event’.

Number 10 / Flickr

He said: “With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside. I should have found some other way to thank them.

“I should have realised that even if it technically fell within the guidance, there would be millions who did not see it that way. I offer my heartfelt apologies.

“I know people up and down the country have made huge sacrifices and I understand the anger and rage they feel that people in Downing Street were not following those rules.

“I regret the way the event was handled and I wish we could have done things differently.”

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