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A holiday in the Lake District costs four times as much as Italy’s Lake Garda

All the better reason to get a holiday abroad booked for next year

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@mattisrad / Unsplash & @jackward / Unsplash

A week in the Lake District costs four times as much as a week in Italy’s Lake Garda, astonishing new research has revealed today.

As a result of ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions, holidays in the UK, known most commonly as ‘staycations’, have boomed in popularity as Brits face no other option for their annual get-away. However, the rise in demand has also resulted in the rise in cost.

The independent consumer champion Which? examined the average cost of private holiday rentals, hotels and taking a holiday in various UK locations and found that, in almost every case, staycations were actually more expensive than going abroad.

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Their research found that seven nights in a highly rated hotel at Italy’s Lake Garda would cost £631, while the same stay for two people at Lake Windermere would set tourists back an eye-watering £2,381.

And, while the average staycationer travels 310 miles, spending just £43 on petrol in comparison to the £171 return flights to Italy, the Lake District holiday would still come in as £1,600 more expensive.

The only holiday that actually worked out cheaper was a get-away to the seaside town of Tenby in Wales, which cost a whole £10 less than a holiday to Estepona on the Costa del Sol in Spain. 

 Rory Boland, Which? travel editor, said: “Holidaying at home has always been expensive, but the situation has become far worse during the pandemic and it’s no wonder many people have felt priced out of a holiday this year.

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“The reasons are complex, but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that some unscrupulous accommodation providers are charging over the odds.”

He advised any Brits planning on getting away to book further away from popular UK destinations or travelling out of season to cut costs.

Data from AirDNA shows self-catered accommodation in the UK cost 41% more this August than it did in 2019.

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Shocking footage emerges of mass brawl involving ‘100 school kids’ in Piccadilly Gardens McDonald’s

Footage of the incident shows a teenager been dragged along the floor

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Ardfern & Ilovetheeu / Wikimedia Commons

New footage has emerged showing the dramatic moment a mass brawl involving ‘100 school kids’ broke out in the Piccadilly Gardens McDonald’s. 

At around 5pm on Friday evening (January 14th), a large group of teenagers descended upon the fast food restaurant and began fighting, causing crowds to gather and security and police to intervene.

Two of the teenagers had seemingly started fighting in the restaurant, which ultimately encouraged the crowd to gather and join in.

The shocking brawl was caught on camera, with the footage showing one person being dragged across the floor, while others screamed and fell among the crowds.

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Police attended the scene and arrested a sixteen-year-old, who has since been released under investigation. 

A dispersal order – giving police the power to disperse crowds and individuals from an area to prevent public nuisance – was put in place around Piccadilly Gardens until last night.

In a statement over the weekend, GMP said: “Police were called to Piccadilly Gardens at 5pm last night, Friday, to reports of a disturbance, involving a large number of young people.

“Officers attended, and found that a group of around 100 young people, mostly school children, were involved in fighting.

“During the incident, a number of missiles were thrown at officers, and some police equipment has been damaged beyond repair.

“A sixteen-year-old was arrested on suspicion of affray and has been released under investigation.”

Supt Critchley added: “This kind of anti-social behaviour, which caused a huge amount of disruption for members of the public trying to get home on a Friday, as well as businesses, will not be tolerated.

“I acknowledge that a lot of those involved last night are young, and may have been easily swept up in what was happening, however due to the disruption caused, we will be working to identify all those involved using CCTV as well as officer’s body worn video footage, and hold them accountable.

“It’s worth noting that a number of those involved were wearing school uniform at the time.

“If you or anyone you know may have seen anything that could help with our enquiries, or have CCTV or dash-cam footage of the area at the time, please get in touch with police.”

Anyone with information can contact GMP via their website or by calling 101, quoting log number 2054 of 14/01/22.

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Face masks make people look more attractive, study finds

According to researchers, the pandemic has ‘changed our psychology’

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@anastasiiachepinska & @tonichealth / Unsplash

While the Covid pandemic has brought with it nothing but misery and uncertainty, there is apparently one positive; face masks make people more attractive.

Researchers at Cardiff University have found that both men and women were judged to look better when the lower half of their faces were obscured by a face mask.

And even more surprisingly, the study found that blue disposable face masks were deemed as more attractive than patterned cloth masks. 

Dr. Michael Lewis, a reader from Cardiff University’s school of psychology and an expert in faces, explained that research carried out before the pandemic had found that medical face masks reduced attractiveness because they were associated with ‘disease or illness’.

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So when masks became common place during the pandemic, Dr. Lewis and his team wanted to see if the perception on face coverings had changed. 

The first half of the study was carried out in February 2021, by which time the British public had become used to wearing masks in public settings.

There, forty-three women were asked to rate on a scale of one to ten the attractiveness of images of male faces without a mask, wearing a plain cloth mask, a blue medical face mask, and holding a plain black book covering the area a face mask would hide.

The participants said those wearing a cloth mask were significantly more attractive than the ones with no masks or whose faces were partly obscured by the book. But the blue disposable mask made the wearer look even better.

@tonichealth / Unsplash

Dr. Lewis told The Guardian: “We wanted to test whether this had changed since face coverings became ubiquitous and understand whether the type of mask had any effect.

“Our study suggests faces are considered most attractive when covered by medical face masks. This may be because we’re used to healthcare workers wearing blue masks and now we associate these with people in caring or medical professions.

“At a time when we feel vulnerable, we may find the wearing of medical masks reassuring and so feel more positive towards the wearer.”

He added: “The pandemic has changed our psychology in how we perceive the wearers of masks. When we see someone wearing a mask we no longer think ‘that person has a disease, I need to stay away'”.

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Doctor explains how fizzy drinks and tap water could give false positive lateral flow results

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@drkaranrajan / Instagram

An NHS doctor has revealed how tap water and fizzy drinks could lead to false positive lateral flow test results.  

Dr. Karan Raj, who is known for dispelling various health myths on TikTok, shared a video in response to a conspiracy theory that claimed pouring a fizzy drink on the Covid test – which resulted in a positive result – was evidence of the pandemic not being real.

In his video, Dr. Raj began by taking apart a lateral flow test kit to explain how exactly the kits work as well as the importance of the fluid that comes with the kit.

He explained: “This grey box and the portion just above it contains antibodies that are sensitive to the Covid-19 virus.

“If you use anything like soda, tap water and fizzy drinks then that’s going to provide an altered pH, which will affect the function of the antibodies on the test line.

“That is why you need to use this buffer solution – consisting of 99.7% saline solution – which provides a stable pH that will actually make the test work.”

So all you need to do is use the test as instructed and not pour any form of liquid or drink onto it… Who’d have thought it?

And if you’re still not convinced by Dr. Raj’s explanation, it was backed up by the American Society for Microbiology back in November, who confirmed that ‘a team of Canadian researchers has shown that rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 work only when manufacturer instructions are followed.’

This comes after school children across the UK were caught faking positive Covid tests by using fizzy drinks and orange juice to get time off school.

Back when the Covid isolation period was ten days long, crafty kids would apply various liquids to lateral flow tests to fake a ‘positive’ result to show to their parents and teachers.

However, they were rumbled after posting videos of their actions on TikTok, with Professor Andrea Sella of University College London saying it was not at all surprising.

She said: “If someone deliberately mucks up the protocol then of course you’ll get a duff result. But I would add that it’s not a ‘false positive’ in the true sense. Because false positives are ones that take place in spite of adherence to the protocol.”

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