Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

21 August 2020

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

Key Announcements   

  • With the ban on evictions for renters due to expire on Sunday, opposition MPs and campaigners are set to put pressure on the Government to perform another U-turn and extend the ban. The ban, implemented as a response to the pandemic, was originally instated in March, and then extended in June.
  • Yesterday, senior doctors and health officials including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of GPs,  and  the Royal College of Physicians , published a letter to Housing Secretary Robert  Jenrick  expressing concern that   “failure to prevent an evictions and homelessness crisis could significantly contribute to an increase of Covid-19 infections.”
  • New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that   public sector net debt rose to £2,004bn in July.  This marks a n increase of £227.6bn over the last year .
  • According to the Telegraph, numbers on hospital admissions for Covid-19 were over-reported at the peak of the pandemic, with patients who  were taken in for other illnesses being included in outbreak statistics. Government figures show that, at the peak of the pandemic in early April, nearly 20,000 people a week were being admitted to hospital with coronavirus, but the real number  is unknown because of the problem with over-counting.
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced last night that Croatia, Austria, and Trinidad and Tobago  would be removed from the air corridors exemption list, meaning all people arriving in the UK from these countries will be required to self-isolate. Portugal, however, was added to the list.

Regional /Devolved  

  • Police and authorities in Birmingham  have warned the public to adhere to social distancing to prevent a local lockdown, following a rise in coronavirus cases. The city has seen a rise to 30 cases of the virus per 100,000 people, up from 12 per 100,000 at the start of the month.
  • According to Politico , an update on local lockdowns can be expected this morning, with Blackburn and Darwen, Pendle and Oldham still areas of concern.
  • Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce  today that indoor visits to care homes will be able to resume in Wales from 29 August . He’s also expected to confirm that up to four households will be able to  join together  in an “exclusive extended arrangement” from this weekend.
  • Scotland yesterday recorded  the highest daily rise of new coronavirus cases in almost three months  with  a n increase  of 77  cases .   First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the total number of cases recorded now stands at 19,534, and added that the R rate could be above 1.
  • The Scottish Government has removed Switzerlandfrom the air corridors exemption list, meaning all people arriving in the UK  from Switzerland will need to self-isolate.


  • Irish agriculture minister Dara  Calleary   has resigned  after he took part in a golf club event attended by more than 80 people , constituting a breach of coronavirus rules. Indoor gatherings of more than 50 people have been banned in Ireland since June.
  • The Portuguese Government has welcomed  the Government’s decision to add the country to the air corridors exemption list.  It said the move was “proof of the good outcome of intense bilateral work” and “allowed for an understanding that the situation in the country has always been under control”.
  • Yesterday, Spain reported   the biggest daily tally of COVID-19 cases this summer, with the Health Ministry confirming 7,039 new infections.  In a press conference last night, Spain’s chief epidemiologist  said  “things are not going well “.


  • Housing charity Shelter  published new statistics, showing t hat  approximately 230,000 private renters in England have fallen into arrears since the pandemic started, putting them at risk of eviction.
  • Citizens Advice has published research, suggesting that around six million people in the UK have fallen behind on bill payments.  Black people, those aged 18-34 ,  and disabled people are also at least twice as likely to have fallen behind .
  • Anneliese Dodds, Labour’s shadow Chancellor,  has called  on the Government to look at why so many families lack financial resilience . “Even before coronavirus hit, many families in the UK were living on the breadline and this report confirms that the crisis has only made things worse. A third of all adults had no savings going into this crisis, and we now see that millions of families have been forced into debt,” she said.
  • Charlie McCurdy, economist at the Resolution Foundation ,  says that the Treasury should only ” turn to tackling the deficit, with tax rises needing to be a key plank of that plan ” only once recovery is secured.

Unconfirmed reports  

  • The Guardian reports that  Ofqual  chief executive  Sally Collier   is expected to appear before the education select committee early next month, to face questions on the  A-level and GCSE results debacle .