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Going to work with a cough could stop being socially acceptable, government scientific advisor says

What do you think?

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The Government’s Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser suggests going to work with a cough will become socially unacceptable.

Professor Dame Angela McLean, Professor of Mathematical Biology, University of Oxford, and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Ministry of Defence, said a cough may end up being seen the same as an upset stomach, meaning people will stay away from offices and other work places when they have one.

When speaking to the Commons science and technology committee regarding the easing of lockdown, McLean said: “It’s quite unlikely that we would return completely to the way that we behaved let’s say in February 2020 because there are things that we used to do that I suspect we won’t do anymore.

“I suspect we just won’t go to work if you have a respiratory illness.”

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When asked whether she thought it would be mandated or people would change their behaviour voluntarily, she added: “It would be most powerful if it simply became socially unacceptable to go to work with a cough.

“There are certain illness at the moment that you would not go to work with, if you had a tummy upset or something like that, so that would be very powerful…certainly we will want people not to be going out if they know they have Covid.”

She also explained that if vaccines only have a limited impact on transmission of coronavirus by people who still catch it despite having taken the vaccine, then the roll-out on its own might not be enough for a return to life before Covid. 

Adding: “If that is the case, then vaccination alone won’t be enough to allow a complete return to how we used to behave”.

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach officially confirms date for reopening

Not long to go now

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The Blackpool Pleasure Beach owners have confirmed the date on which the theme park will reopen.

Posting a video on social media of staff testing the rides, the caption stated that the venue is prepping for customers’ return on April 12th. 

A statement on social media said: “In line with Government guidelines, we plan to re-open COVID secure and ‘Good To Go’ on Monday 12th April.

“We look forward to welcoming you back to share in our 125th year.”

Under current government plans to ease restrictions, theme parks along with zoos will be opening in Stage Two, which will happen on April 12th at the earliest.

It comes after the council announced that Blackpool Illuminations will be extended in 2021, with an additional two months of the spectacle. 

You can see more info on the opening here, along with all the Covid-19 policies you can expect on your visits such as bookings made in advance and eTickets. 

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One of UK’s largest care home groups says it won’t hire anyone who isn’t vaccinated

New staff must have received the Covid vaccine

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Care UK, one of the UK’s largest care home companies, has put a ‘no jab, no job’ system in place.

It comes after Care UK, which runs 120 homes, has seen more than two-thirds of its staff vaccinated.

A spokesperson said: “Everyone applying for a role which requires them to go into a home will be expected to have been vaccinated before they start work.” 

Barchester, which operates 220 private care homes, said it would be insisting on staff having vaccines, warning that ‘if they refuse… on non-medical grounds [they] will, by reason of their own decision, make themselves unavailable for work’.

Employment lawyers have warned that such a move could result in legal challenges for unfair dismissal. However, Barchester stressed it might be possible to find such people work in roles away from frontline care.

Keir Starmer/Flickr

Mike Cain, an associate at Leigh Day, said employment tribunals would weigh the care home’s clinical safety obligations to residents against the civil liberties of any employee whose refusal to have the vaccine might not be an impediment to safe working.

Barchester explains they expect all staff to have the vaccine by April 23rd, excluding those who have medical – including pregnancy – grounds for exemption.

So far 82% of its staff have received a first dose. A spokesperson said: “We are very aware of concerns around possible discrimination which is in no way our intention.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure fairness while also delivering on our duty to protect our residents, patients and staff.”

Keir Starmer/Flickr

Bupa has said it is considering a policy for staff in hospitals, care homes and dental practices.

The largest not-for-profit home chain, MHA, said it is ‘being explicit with new staff that we want all of our frontline colleagues to take up the vaccine’ but it will not require new starters to prove it. 

Unison, which represents care workers, warned that a ‘hardline approach’ risked hindering take-up.

Senior national care officer, Gavin Edwards, said: “Hesitant staff need encouraging and persuading.

“Intimidation and threats won’t deliver the results necessary for life to return to normal.”

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17-year-old boy arrested after the George Floyd mural was defaced with racist graffiti

It’s the third time it’s been defaced

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Finest Media & JonConnorLyons/Twitter

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage to the George Floyd mural in the Northern Quarter.

The tribute to George Floyd in Stevenson Square was painted by artist Akse P19 following the killing of Mr Floyd in May 2020. 

The artwork was vandalised with a racist word on Friday morning for the third time since the painting was completed. 

The suspect was seen doing the act on CCTV and police are now holding him on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage. 

It comes just a matter of weeks after the last vandalising of the artwork.

Mr Floyd was killed by a white police officer who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. 

His face became an icon of the resurgence of the Black Live Matter campaign across the globe. 

Speaking on the last incident of defacing, Councillor Jon-Connor Lyons said: “Racism has no place in Manchester, we will not tolerate it and the Council will repair the memorial working with the artist.

“We’ll be working to review CCTV footage and any leads will be followed to find the culprit.

“Manchester is an inclusive, welcoming city with people from across the globe [and] this does not represent Manchester or Mancunians.

“Whoever did this has achieved nothing.”

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