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Pilot nightclub and gig events in Liverpool ‘had no detectable impact’ on coronavirus spread

Great news from the pilot events that took place in Liverpool

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@pabloheimplatz / Unsplash

There was no detectable spread of COVID-19 following the trial events held in Liverpool, new data is suggesting. 

In April and at the start of this month, more than 13,000 people attended two nightclub events, a music festival and a business conference with no social distancing measures in place.

Those who attended the three-day business festival, which began on April 28th, the two club nights on April 30th and May 1st or the Sefton Park gig on May 2nd were not required to wear face coverings, and were encouraged to take both a PCR and a lateral flow test on the day of the event and five days later.

The process saw five people unable to attend after testing positive, four being identified as possibly having the virus at an event and seven having the virus four to seven days after they attended.

And after the event, only eleven people later tested positive for COVID-19, though less than half of all the attendees returned their PCR test.

Liverpool public health director Matt Ashton said the trials were ‘undoubtedly a success’, as per The BBC

He said there was ‘definitely groups of people who were infected afterwards’, but the people ‘were known to each other, so it is also possible that those people got it after the events’.

Ashton added: “The significance of the city’s role in this pilot shouldn’t be underestimated – the eyes of the world were on us for days as we made pioneering strides to bring people back together to share and experience events without any Covid restrictions in place.”

On the results, Professor Iain Buchan from the University of Liverpool, who assessed the pilot events, said that ‘timely data and quick action to trace and test contacts of people testing positive, both before and after events, was key to containing potential outbreaks.’

He added that scientists and Liverpool City Council had identified room for improvements, which included maximising ventilation even in large indoor spaces and incentives to return PCR tests for research purposes.

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Leaked documents reveal which Covid restrictions may remain after July 19th

We might have to wear our face masks for a little bit longer…

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Number 10 / Flickr & Kristoffer Trolle / Flickr

Leaked documents are claiming that the current social distancing rules and restrictions will be staying in place after the revised ‘freedom day’ on July 19th.

The memo, obtained by Politico, listed a number of restrictions that the government plans to keep in place for the foreseeable future.

According to the leaked documents, face masks may have to remain mandatory in certain settings for the long term, employers and employees will be told to decide amongst themselves as to whether they want to return to the office or work from home.

As well as that, it says some form of border control and quarantine will be needed for a significant period of time to prevent new variants entering the country.

Number 10 / Flickr

The memo also states that plastic screens – such as those currently used in hairdressers and restaurants – may actually spread Covid rather than prevent it.

Ministers are also considering bringing in new rules for businesses to keep workplaces better ventilated, the documents claim. 

Cabinet office sources have since stressed that the document was one of several including multiple options – with nothing signed off by ministers yet or anywhere near being announced.

This comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back the highly anticipated ‘freedom day’, June 21st, by just short of a month to July 19th. 

Johnson said this was a result of the new Delta variant, which makes up for 90% of new cases across the country: “I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.

“I am confident we won’t need more than four weeks – it’s unmistakably clear that the vaccines are working – but now is the time to ease off the accelerator.

“We have the chance to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”

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Covid vaccine to be mandatory for care home workers

Thoughts?

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Gov.uk & Asian Development Bank / Flickr

The Covid-19 vaccine is to become mandatory for all care home staff members across the country, new reports detailed last night. 

It is believed that care staff will be given sixteen weeks to receive the jab or will face the possibilities of either being moved to a different posting or losing their jobs entirely.

The Guardian reported that the new plans are expected to be announced in the next couple of days.

Province of British Columbia / Flickr

It is expected that ministers will also be pushing ahead with compulsory vaccination for most of the 1.5 million people working in social care across the country, despite employer and staff organisations warning that it could result in workers quitting rather than getting vaccinated.

The reports also claim that the government is keen to make it mandatory for the 1.38 million people who are employed by the NHS in England to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – proposals that have already been criticised by groups representing doctors, nurses and other staff.

Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine will not be affected.

Gov.uk

The government has been widely criticised for its lack of support of care homes at the start of the pandemic; residents were heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and significant numbers, including many people with dementia, died as a result.

An investigation by Amnesty International late last year found that a series of ‘shockingly irresponsible’ Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights.

As a result, between March 2nd and June 12th this year, 28,186 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded in care homes across England, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with Covid-19 during this period.

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Budget supermarket cheaper than Aldi and Lidl ‘to open 300 stores in the UK’

Get your wallets ready, there’s a new bargain supermarket in town…

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Mere Retail

A new supermarket that could rival the likes of Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and Asda is set to open hundreds of UK stores, according to new reports.

Mere was founded as Svetofor in Siberia back in 2009, and has already opened four stores in Preston, Castleford, Mold and Caldicot.

However, according to The Grocer, a platform dedicated to supermarket and grocery news, its plans to expand are now well and truly underway – with a few Greater Manchester locations on the list of planned new stores.

Mere Retail

And, to make the arrival of this new supermarket even more interesting, Mere’s head of UK buying, Pavels Antonovs, claims it would be thirty percent cheaper than other UK rivals.

He said: “We are the gap in the market. We don’t have any competitors. Our model is no service and no marketing.”

Existing Mere stores are said to include a walk-in chiller room and freezer, while items are typically sold directly from the pallets they’re delivered on.

Mere Retail

The supermarket also apparently buys stock from suppliers on a ‘sale or return basis’, meaning it will return any unsold goods to the seller.

The planned locations which are currently listed are Stretford, Stockport, Devon, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Southampton, south Scotland and Wales.

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