Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
4 September 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- HS2 rail project construction officially starts today with Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, announcing its launch.
- However, The Times are reporting that Shapps is under increasing pressure to introduce coronavirus tests at airports amid further warnings that the existing quarantine system was crippling the travel industry.
- The BBC has reported that bosses in charge of the coronavirus testing system have apologised after it emerged UK labs were struggling to keep up with demand. The article stated people are being asked to travel hundreds of miles to get tested as UK labs were described as “maxed out” after a rise in demand – 170,000 tests a day are being processed, up from 100,000 in mid-June.
- Official Treasury figures have shown that restaurants have claimed more than 100m meals (worth £522m) under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
- Transport is again under fire, as 11 freight and customs organizations including Logistics UK and the Road Haulage Association have written to Michael Gove, highlighting disapproval at the government’s state of readiness. The letter outlined how supply chains “will be severely disrupted” if issues are not addressed. You can view the full letter here.
- It has also been reported by Bloomberg that a leaked memo from the Cabinet Office’s Border and Protocol Delivery Group, lists 13 key risks to be flagged to ministers, including a lack of contingency planning in case things go wrong, and inadequate time to prepare.
- The Guardian are reporting that a study has highlighted that 20,000 children with special needs unlikely to return to school because of safety concerns, as they were omitted from school planning returns.
- The Transport Secretary’s media rounds also comes after yesterday’s announcements that people arriving in Wales from Portugal are required to quarantine for 14 days as of 4 a.m. this morning; those arriving in Scotland have until tomorrow before the restrictions come in; while those coming to England and Northern Ireland are still free to go about their business. The differences have been acknowledged as “confusing” by Shapps.
- Councillors in Leeds have warned the Public they must make a “collective effort” to avoid a local lockdown. The city is expected to be added to Public Health England’s weekly watchlist as an “area of concern” after its infection rate rose to 29.4 cases per 100,000 people, say the BBC .
- The BBC are reporting that the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), Northern Ireland’s Care Home Watchdog, did no inspections across 6 weeks from March to April, despite stating they were simply “reducing” checks.
- A fourth Member of Scottish Parliament has called for Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard to resign. Leonard accused his criticisms as ‘acts of sabotage’ according to the BBC.
- In Northern Ireland , employers will be paid up to £3,700 for each worker that they bring back from furlough and retain until they have completed their apprenticeship, under a new government scheme that begins on 1 November
- New Zealand records its first Covid-19 death since May. Auckland, the country’s largest city, has been at the centre of a cluster of more than 100 cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks, with five more cases reported on Friday.
- India records a total of 3.94 million cases, closing in on Brazil as the world’s second highest tally.
- Johns Hopkins University figures now show that globally more than 23.6 million cases and 868,000 deaths have been confirmed.
- Responding to a National Audit Office report on the Government handling of Brexit, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Christine Jardine said: “With the combination of coronavirus creating uncertainty for people’s lives coupled with this Brexit shambles, we cannot afford for the Prime Minister to continue playing politics.”
- Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years, responding to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies showing that many childcare providers face big financial problems as a result of the pandemic, said: ” Coronavirus has delivered a hammer blow to a childcare sector that was already on its knees after years of underfunding by the Government. This government’s incompetence has left us on the verge of losing many thousands of childcare places – an outcome that would be devastating for many working families and the children whose life chances are shaped by early education.”