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Bad news for hay fever sufferers as North West to be hit with ‘pollen bomb’ this week

It’s bad news for hay fever suffers.

Alex Watson

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The Met Office has warned that pollen levels will be ‘very high’ from today across the North West. 

It’s really bad news for hay fever sufferers who are set for a difficult week with ‘very high’ pollen levels. 

The grass has flourished from the recent showers and now sunny weather, causing pollen levels to be high across almost all the county. 

In the North West, The Met Office predicts a ‘very high’ pollen count on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Meanwhile, Friday and Sunday are predicted to be slightly lower at ‘high’. 

WubWay.Wikimedia

Forecasters have said it will be particularly bad for those who are allergic to grass pollen which is around 95% of hay fever suffers, but it will also include nettle, dock and fungal spores posing a risk. 

Unfortunately, the levels are going to remain high across the North West all weekend throughout the sunny spells. 

Symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, mouth and throat.

The news comes as the Met Office predicts hot temperatures all week with strong late-June sunshine. 

Chemist 4 U/Flickr

In the Met Office’s guide to surviving hay fever, they explain that antihistamine tablets are great to use at the first sign of symptoms but effects may take a couple of hours to kick in. Alternatively, nasal sprays and gels act directly in the nose and get to work within minutes.

A combination of the treatments helps many hay fever suffers. 

They also recommend to close windows at night, vacuum regularly, remove outdoor clothing, shower and wash your hair following pollen exposure.

For updates on the latest pollen counts see the Met Office’s forecast here

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Holidaymakers in Ibiza and Majorca will have to wear a face mask at all times in public

Just in…

Alex Watson

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Holidaymakers who are jetting to Majorca and Ibiza will have to wear face masks, it has been confirmed today. 

The Balearic Islands have confirmed that they are tightening the rules of mask-wearing. The news comes just hours after Catalonia revealed it will be making face masks obligatory at all times in public. 

It has yet to be confirmed if wearing a face mask will be mandatory on the beach.

Only yesterday did Catalonia extend the exceptions of their rules on making people wear face masks on the beaches.

Oscar Nord/Unsplash

If you fail to follow the rules, meaning wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, you will be hit with a hefty €100 fine.

Until now in Spain, face masks have only been obligatory in public places such as shops, and public spaces where social distancing of 5 feet cannot be maintained.

The change means tourists will be expected to wear masks also at any point outside, although practising sport or children under six are exempt. 

For those living under the same roof, wearing a face mask while travelling in the same car is not compulsory. 

Unsplash

Police are expected to provide advice to foreign holidaymakers who may be unfamiliar with the new rules before they start issuing fines. 

News regarding the rules in Costa del Sol are yet to be announced. 

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Free TV licences for pensioners will officially be axed from August

It’s expected it will effect 3.7 million pensioners.

Alex Watson

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It has been confirmed that millions of pensioners will be stripped of free TV licenses from August 1st. 

The BBC has announced there will be no extension to the two-month stay-of-execution that was triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. 

It is estimated that 3.7 million over-75s will now have to pay £157.50 a year to watch their favourite TV shows. 

In the 2017 Conservative election, they pledged to protect free licenses for the rest of Parliament, which was set to run until 2022. 

However, the BBC had been responsible for the lifeline from June 2020 following a deal agreed in 2015. 

The BBC says keeping licenses free for all over 75s would cost £745 million. Instead, the corporation is introducing restrictions that mean only over-75s who receive Pension Credit will be eligible. 

BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said: “The decision to commence the new scheme in August has not been easy, but implementation of the new scheme will be Covid-19 safe.

“The BBC could not continue delaying the scheme without impacting on programmes and services.

“Around 1.5 million households could get free TV licences if someone is over 75 and receives Pension Credit, and 450,000 of them have already applied.

“And critically it is not the BBC making that judgment about poverty. It is the Government who sets and controls that measure.

“Like most organisations the BBC is under severe financial pressure due to the pandemic, yet we have continued to put the public first in all our decisions.

“I believe continuing to fund some free TV licences is the fairest decision for the public, as we will be supporting the poorest oldest pensioners without impacting the programmes and services that all audiences love.”

Shadow Culture Minister, Chris Matheson, issued a last plea for the government to take responsibility in the Commons today. 

He said: “The BBC is cutting jobs and content to pay for the cost of the licence dumped on them by the Government – and pensioners are forced to choose between eating and watching TV.”

Culture Minister Matt Warman said: “The fact is that the BBC has had a generous licence fee settlement and it is deeply disappointing that they have chosen to go down the path that they apparently are going down.

“I would, of course, hope that there is yet time to reconsider that because he is right to say that television has been vital comfort for many people in the last few months.

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Boots to cut more than 4,000 jobs due to ‘significant impact’ of coronavirus

JUST IN.

Proper Manchester

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Lewis Clarke / Geograph

Boots has said that more than 4,000 jobs are to be cut, about 7% of its workforce.

According to Boots, the company is consulting on plans to restructure its head office and store teams, as well as closing 48 Boots Opticians stores.

A Boots spokesman has said the move was part of action to mitigate the ‘significant impact’ of coronavirus, and will particularly affect staff who work in the Nottingham support office.

Some deputy and assistant manager, beauty adviser and customer adviser roles will also be affected across its stores.

As well as the job cuts, 48 Boots Opticians stores will also close, the Mirror reports.

Sebastian James, managing director of Boots UK, said: “The proposals announced today are decisive actions to accelerate our transformation plan, allow Boots to continue its vital role as part of the UK health system, and ensure profitable long-term growth.

“I am so very grateful to all our colleagues for their dedication during the last few challenging months.

“They have stepped forward to support their communities, our customers and the NHS during this time, and I am extremely proud to be serving alongside them.

“In doing this, we are building a stronger and more modern Boots for our customers, patients and colleagues.

“We recognise that today’s proposals will be very difficult for the remarkable people who make up the heart of our business, and we will do everything in our power to provide the fullest support during this time.”

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