Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

16 June 2020

A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.

Key Announcements   

  • Latest figures show that 6,866,481 tests have been carried out or posted in total, with 93,163 tests conducted or posted on Sunday .   In total, there have been 296,857 confirmed cases in the UK, with 1,056 new cases recorded as of yesterday.  41,736 people have died so far in the UK.
  • New experimental statistics  from the Office for National Statistics have found that  the number of paid employees fell by 1.7  per cent  compared with May 2019, and by 2.1 per cent  when compared with March 2020.   The ONS estimates that 163,000 people lost their jobs in May, on top of 449,000 in April.
  • A number of restaurants and food chains including Deliveroo,  Itsu  and Pret a Manger have written  to Prime Minister Boris Johnson staying that if social distancing remains, then the Government must take more action on tax, rent and other support.
  • Shadow Chancellor Annelise Dodds  has secured an  urgent question  later today in the Commons. She shall ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a statement   on the economic outlook for the UK and the Government’s strategy to protect jobs   and the economy in light of upcoming changes to the furlough scheme . Jesse Norman shall respond to the question.  We can expect this at 12:30pm.
  • Thousands of people headed back to the high street  yesterday, as some shops began to reopen after three months of lockdown.  It has been reported that footfall was 38.8 per cent  higher than last week, as pent-up demand led to reports of long queues.
  • Yesterday, wearing face masks on public transport became compulsory in England. The Guardian  has reported that  a  sizeable minority appeared not to be fully complying with rules now in force in England .  More than 3,000 extra staff have been deployed to stations, including police officers to make sure that people comply with the new rules.
  • The Government-funded  Imperial College COVID-19 vaccine   has moved  into  its first human trials .  Beginning this week, the study will be the first time the vaccine has been trialled in humans and will test whether it is well-tolerated and produces an effective immune response against COVID-19.

Regional /Devolved  

  • The unemployment rate for Scotland  is the highest in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics. The statistics found that unemployment in Scotland for people over 16 was 4.6 per cent , compared with a UK rate of 3.9  per cent .
  • Northern Ireland’s hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes can reopen from 3 July, the Stormont Executive has confirmed.


  • New Zealand has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus in the country for the first time in weeks after two women had travelled to the country from the UK to attend a funeral.
  • Norway has suspended its contract-tracing app over privacy concerns.  Launched in April, the smartphone app Smittestopp  (“infection stop”) was set up to collect movement data to help  authorities trace the spread of Covid-19, and inform users if they had been exposed to someone carrying the virus.
  • Several European countries  eased travel restrictions yesterday as some countries ‘ lockdowns ease.  France, Germany and Greece, among other countries, have completely let go of entry restrictions for travellers coming from most EU nations


  • The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)  has found that  teachers in England’s schools report being in regular contact with just 60  per cent  of their pupils.  The figures come after the Government was forced to shelve its plans for all primary school pupils to return to the classroom before the summer holidays .
  • The Labour Party  has called for an emergency budget this summer  with a stimulus package to prevent the surge in unemployment that is expected once the government’s coronavirus economic support measures are withdrawn.
  • Responding to today’s Labour Market Statistics from the ONS , Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said:   “The headline figures may not show it, but a lot has changed since April –  with the Claimant count rising to 2.8 million, the unemployment rate is likely to be much higher than 3.9  per cent  But with the lockdown being eased and the economy opening up , hiring should grow. The scale of the growth in unemployment through the rest of the year will depend on consumer confidence and how employers react to the winding down of the furlough scheme. The good news is that the number of  job  adverts active in the UK has been slowly increasing, with more new job ads being posted every week. Helping jobseekers find new work quickly by matching them with  available  roles  will help kick-start the economy. The recruitment industry is ready to help the government get people into work and keep unemployment down as much as possible.”

Unconfirmed reports   

  • There could be a rebellion of Tory MPs on the issue of free school meals  and the summer holidays. This comes after Boris Johnson rejected the calls from England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford to extend the scheme into the summer holidays.  A debate in Parliament is scheduled this afternoon on the topic of free school meals.