Yesterday Boris Johnson announced the easing of lockdown rules in the coming weeks, and with it he also released six rules to follow to avoid a second wave and lockdown.
The government announced that pubs, restaurants, holiday parks, hotels and places of worship will all be allowed to reopen from July 4th.
It also announced the reopening of caravan parks and campsites, meaning although many Brits may be after an international holiday this year, they will still be able to get a staycation this summer.
The latest announcements are the biggest changes to lockdown restrictions since they were put in place on March 23rd to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Johnson has also said he would ‘not hesitate’ to put the brakes back on and reintroduce full lockdown in the UK if COVID-19 ‘begins to run out of control’.
The Prime Minister said: “The Government has asked a huge amount of all of you, and… the people of this country met that challenge with good humour and common sense.
“Of course the fight is far from over. This is a nasty virus still that wants to take advantage of our carelessness.”
He went onto explain that he would reverse changes at local or national levels as required.
Mr Johnson said ‘if we all continue to stay alert’ we can do our bit to ‘control the virus’. During the press conference, he announced six rules to follow to control coronavirus and help avoid another lockdown.
The rules include:
- Keeping the 2-metre distance. He specified that if you can’t keep two metres apart, keep one metre with the other measures in place
- Wear face coverings on public transport and indoors in crowded environments – specifically where social distancing isn’t possible
- Wash hands regularly
- Follow the rules when visiting businesses
- Get tested if you develop symptoms
- Self-isolate if you are asked to do so by the NHS test and trace
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific advisor, said that the R number of coronavirus transmissions remains below one across the UK.
He also said that the epidemic is continuing to shrink slowly, between 2% and 4% daily.
Currently, 0.06% of the population of the UK – 33,000 people – have the disease, but the numbers are ‘flattening off’ according to Vallance.
He said: “Don’t be fooled that this means it has gone away. The disease is growing across the world. It is coming down in the UK but it hasn’t gone away.”
Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, explained that if the one metre plus rule were not followed, coronavirus cases could start to increase again.
He said: “A lot of the changes are about emphasising things that we can do and it is really critical that individuals and firms take these really seriously.
“Because if we don’t take them seriously then chains of transmission between households will be reestablished.
“To be really clear, it is absolutely critical that every individual, every household and every firm takes these precautions seriously.
“If that does not happen, we will go back to a situation where transmission starts to rise again.”
He added: “It is not risk free. It cannot be risk free. Every time you take a step to open up there is some associated risk with that.
“You need to be prepared where there is local outbreaks to deal with them locally and if they become beyond local then you need to deal with them at regional and national levels which would mean reversal of some of the measures.
“That is the only way you can keep on top of this.”
Boy, 15, arrested after teenage boy stabbed to death outside school
He’s the second person to be arrested
A teenage boy has been arrested following the murder of a 15-year-old on Wednesday.
The suspect, also 15, was picked up by police after student Khayri McLean was stabbed to death in Huddersfield.
He has now been arrested in connection with the murder.
He’s the second person to be arrested as police investigate Khayri’s death outside his school.
West Yorkshire Police said: “Police investigating the murder of 15-year-old Khayri McLean in Huddersfield have arrested a second youth in connection with the incident.
“The 15-year-old male was arrested yesterday and is currently in custody. A 16-year-old male who was arrested yesterday also remains in custody.
“Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team (HMET) are continuing to conduct enquiries into the death of Khayri, who died after being stabbed on Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, on Wednesday.”
Kwasi Kwarteng scraps cap on bankers’ bonuses in first mini-budget as Chancellor
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Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng gave his first mini-budget in the House of Commons this morning.
He began by discussing the government’s plan to support people with the cost of energy, including freezing domestic bills at £2,500 and giving out the £400 rebate.
There’s also unit price limits for companies.
Kwarteng said he believes the UK needs a ‘new approach for a new era’ to achieve growth of 2.5%, saying the three important parts of his mini-budget are reforming the economy’s supply side, tax cuts and a responsible approach when it comes to public finances.
As part of this, the Chancellor announced a new bill to overhaul planning restrictions, saying this will ‘unpick the complex patchwork of planning restrictions and EU-derived laws’.
He revealed that benefit claimants will see their benefits reduced if they do not fulfil their job searching commitments.
Kwarteng also confirmed that the cap on bankers’ bonuses will be scrapped, following reports that he would make this one of his first moves.
As well as that, the planned corporation tax increase has been cancelled, and will remain at 19%, with the Chancellor also setting out a series of tax cuts for businesses.
This includes tax cuts for businesses in designated tax sites for 10 years, accelerated tax reliefs for buildings, and no business rates to pay for newly occupied business residences.
Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28
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Drag star George Ward, known as Cherry Valentine, has sadly passed away aged 28, it’s been confirmed this morning.
Ward’s family announced the news, describing his death as a ‘profound shock’.
He appeared on series two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, before going on to front the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.
According to his family, Ward – who was raised in Darlington, County Durham as part of the Traveller community – died on Sunday.
He qualified as a mental health nurse back in 2015 before he began his career in drag.
Ward’s family said in a statement: “It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away.
“This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced.
“As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same.
“We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie.”