Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The Prime Minister is due to release a video speech this morning, putting an ultimatum to Brexit negotiators that the UK and Europe must agree to a post-Brexit trade deal by the 15th of October, otherwise Britain will walk away for good. Negotiations are set to take place in London from tomorrow.
- A Government spokesperson said it was hopeful that a deal could still be reached: “As a responsible Government, we are considering fall-back options in the event this is not achieved, to ensure the communities of Northern Ireland are protected.”
- The Financial Times reports that the Government is drafting legislation that would undermine commitments in the Withdrawal Agreement in relation to Northern Ireland. The plans are expected to be contained in the Internal Market Bill which is expected to be published this Wednesday. The proposals would reportedly eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement” in areas relating to state aid and Northern Ireland customs.
- A total of 2,988 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the last 24 hours – the highest number on a single day since May 22 and a steep increase of 1,175 on Saturday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “concerned” about a rise in cases “predominantly among young people”.
- The Rail Delivery Group says that it will be increasing service levels from today to around 90 per cent as schools reopen and people are encouraged to return to work. Rail passenger numbers are now back to about one-third of pre-pandemic levels.
- A week after returning to classrooms, a school in Middlesbrough has shut after five teachers tested positive for coronavirus. Middlesbrough was added to the Government’s watchlist as an “area of concern” on Friday.
- Scotland recorded its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since May over the weekend. A total of 208 cases were confirmed in the 24 hours to Sunday compared with 141 cases on Saturday. No deaths of people who had tested positive for the virus in the past 28 days were reported.
- 2 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in India. India now has the world’s second-highest tally, after overtaking Brazil in the number of cases.
- 15,621 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in France over the weekend . This comes after France hit a high of nearly 9,000 new cases on Friday.
- In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country will secure almost 85 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine if two promising trials prove successful. One vaccine is from Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, while the other is a local one from the University of Queensland and CSL.
- President of the National Union of Students Larissa Kennedy has called for the Government to ” step in” and give a “clear steer” on how universities should operate during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic . She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that students were concerned whether their safety was being “prioritised” as they prepare to return to campuses.
- Jonathan Ashworth , Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, called for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to come to the House of Commons to set out what is being done to get testing back on track and bring case numbers down. Commenting on the increase in cases over the weekend, he said it was ” deeply concerning and a stark reminder that there is no room for complacency in tackling the spread of the virus. “
- In response to the news that the UK Government may be planning to undermine elements of the Withdrawal Agreement in relation to Northern Ireland , Ireland’s Foreign Affairs minister, Simon Coveney said any change would be “very unwise”.
- Politico reports that the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, is expected to give a statement in the Commons this afternoon on policing. Politico also hears that a Department for Transport statement on travel corridors can be expected.
- The Daily Mail reports that the Government could U-turn on the planned increases in the national living wage. Jason Groves writes that “the Low Pay Commission, which advises the Government on the wage, is considering recommending a smaller increase because of concerns that it could prove ‘unaffordable’ for employers at a time of recession and even spark job losses. Officials are now discussing with ministers whether to apply an ’emergency brake’ to the increase at this autumn’s budget.”