Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Parliament returns today from the Easter break. MPs have agreed a “hybrid” debate system allowing for 50 MPs to be present and socially distancing in the Chamber with the rest taking part via video link.
- Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle as urged MPs to “stay at home”: “My advice is please stay at home, let’s do it remotely. Those that insist on coming – we can have up to 50, I’m not expecting 50 members in at once, far from it, I’m hoping that number is much reduced”
- A report published this morningby the Commons procedure committee says the virtual set-up must be “strictly temporary” and warns the “sub-optimal” experience “will not allow for the same level of debate and interaction members are used to.”
- Sir Keir Starmer will have his first PMQs tomorrow.
- The Treasuryhas announced a package for start-ups. The scheme (Future Fund) will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.
- Tony Blair Institute published a report (pdf)on an exit strategy putting forward six options. It shows how hard it would be to relax the measures in place without the rate of passing the infection to others rising above 1. It puts the current rate at 0.7 and, based on Imperial College calculations, it says that it would be impossible to lift the main measures currently in place (except school closures) with R rising above 1.
- Speaking at a Chatham House event last night, former Chancellor Philip Hammond urged the PM to take action. “We’ve got to start reopening the economy and I think the sensible compromise is to reopen it around a set of conditions which assume that, for the time being, we are coexisting with this virus rather than conquering it,” he said.
- President Donald Trump has said he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend all immigration to the US.On Twitter, he cited “the attack from the Invisible Enemy”, as he calls coronavirus, “as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens”.
- Chile have confirmed they will move forward with plans to introduce the first “immunity passports,” allowing those who have recovered from the virus to return to work in Chile.
- The New York Times have reported that the number of COVID-19 deaths in Turkey is higher than officially reported. It reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has promoted a “carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign”, including the detainment of 410 people for “provocative and abusive” post on social media.
- Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced he will unveil the country’s exit plans this week.
- Over half (54%) of dentists in England said PPE shortages were hampering efforts to treat patients at urgent dental care (UDC) hubs, according to a survey of 1,010 UK dentists by the BDA.
- TheSun reports that the Government will undertake a phased approach according to one Whitehall source. “We will try a bit at a time, and then pause, so we can see what effect that has on the transmission rate,” a source tells him. “The pace will be very gradual.”
- The Telegraphhas seen a letter from teachers’ union setting out five conditions they say must be met before schools can be reopened safely, with demands for cleaning staff and protective PPE.
- TheFT reports that 1.3m European citizens waiting for the permanent right to settle in the UK are being refused the main unemployment benefit.