The council said there had been 944 confirmed cases in the city in the past two weeks, prompting Health Secretary Matt Hancock to impose an extension to lockdown restrictions. Non-essential shops will be closed from today and schools will be shut to most pupils from Thursday. Business owners, including Rakesh Parmar, who owns Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe in the city centre, said further restrictions will affect him “financially very, very badly”.
Meanwhile, secondary schools in England could create “year bubbles” of up to 240 pupils under Government plans to ensure all children can return to the classroom safely in September, according to draft proposals seen by the Huffington Post. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is due to announce the final plans for reopening schools more widely to children on Thursday.
Later on Tuesday, the Prime Minister will make a speech in the West Midlands, delivering his message of “build, build, build” as the UK comes out of lockdown after the pandemic.
Arizona’s Republican governor has shut down bars, movie theatres, gyms and water parks amid an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases nationwide.
Meanwhile leaders in several states ordered residents to wear masks in public in a dramatic course reversal.
Among those implementing the face covering orders is the city of Jacksonville, Florida, where President Donald Trump plans to accept the Republican nomination in August.
Mr Trump has refused to wear a mask during visits to states and businesses that require them.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s order went into effect immediately and will last for at least 30 days.
Mr Ducey also ordered public schools to delay the start of classes until at least August 17.
Most Arizona bars and nightclubs opened after the governor’s stay-at-home and business closure orders were allowed to expire in mid-May.
Arizona health officials reported 3,858 more confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, the most reported in a single day in the state so far and the seventh time in the past 10 days that daily cases surpassed the 3,000 mark.
Since the pandemic began, 74,500 cases and 1,588 deaths stemming from the virus have been reported in Arizona.
Thailand has confirmed two new coronavirus cases imported from abroad, marking 36 days without local transmission.
The new cases were Thai nationals returning from Qatar who were in state quarantine, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, a spokeswoman for the government’s Covid-19 Administration Centre.
The coronavirus has killed 58 people in Thailand among its 3,171 infections. Of those, 3,056 patients have recovered.
Thailand will reopen schools and bars and allow some foreigners into the country from tomorrow.
Drinkers in a town on the English and Welsh border will be able to return to the pub this weekend – but only at one end of the high street.
In Saltney, which is partly in Flintshire, North Wales, and partly in Cheshire, England, just one of the town’s four pubs will be allowed to open its doors again on Saturday while the others remain closed under the Welsh Government’s regulations.
The Brewery Arms, which is separated from Wales by a railway bridge, is gearing up to welcome punters back with social distancing measures but sister pub the Corner Pin, about half a mile down the town’s High Street, has no date set for reopening.
The Anchor Hotel, which sits directly next to the piece of land which the border runs along, has also just missed out on opening back up for business.
Paul Gabbutt, area manager of Winwick Taverns, which runs both the Brewery Arms and the Corner Pin, said: “The two pubs are about half a mile apart but we have still got no guidance on how the Corner Pin will reopen and we don’t know a date.
“At the Brewery Arms we’ve been doing risk assessments and online staff training, and making it compliant so we’ll be able to reopen.
“It doesn’t make any sense, you can walk from one pub to the other.”
Pubs across the UK called last orders on March 20 as the country went into lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given establishments in England the green light to reopen on Saturday, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is yet to announce when pints can be served again.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced he is taking a “hard pause” on when movie theatres in the city can reopen, citing an increase in coronavirus cases.
Los Angeles County is the biggest movie theatre market in the Unites States.
“We have hit a hard pause on opening any more businesses such as movie theatres, bowling alleys, playgrounds, concert halls, theme parks or other entertainment venues,” Mr Garcetti said at a news briefing.
An antiviral drug used to treat HIV and earmarked as a potential Covid-19 treatment is ineffective at treating the disease, a major study has indicated.
Lopinavir-ritonavir showed “no beneficial effect” in hospitalised patients not on ventilators, according to the University of Oxford’s Recovery trial – the world’s largest randomised clinical trial (RCT) of potential Covid-19 treatments.
Many countries which currently recommend the drug should revise their guidelines in the wake of the results, experts said, as they pulled the medication from the trial.
Some 1,596 patients were randomised to receive the drug and were compared with 3,376 patients randomised to receive standard hospital care, researchers said.
Of these patients, some 4 per cent required invasive mechanical ventilation when they entered the trial, 70 per cent required oxygen alone, and 26 per cent did not require any respiratory intervention.
The results showed “no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality” (22.1 per cent lopinavir-ritonavir v 21.3 per cent usual care), the Recovery trial said.
Boris Johnson is promising to “build, build, build” by injecting billions of pounds into public projects to ease the UK through the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister will use a keynote speech to say he wants to follow in the footsteps of president Franklin D Roosevelt, who led the US out of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
In a statement, Leicester City Council said there have been 944 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city in the past two weeks.
The statement said an indoor testing centre is due to open on Tuesday at the Highfields Community Centre, with further testing sites planned.
The council said it is reviewing its plans to extend the opening of its own buildings such as libraries, museums and children’s centres.
The city’s mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said:
These measures are stricter than we anticipated but we understand the need for firm action. I am determined that we will make this work and to minimise the time these additional measures need to be in place in the city.
We will of course continue to play our part in keeping people in the city safe and healthy.
A new strain of flu has been identified by scientists in China which has the potential to become a pandemic, they say.
A new strain of flu has been identified by scientists in China which has the potential to become a pandemic, they say.
The virus, called G4 EA H1N1, is carried by pigs but can infect humans, scientists said in a new research paper.
And as it’s a new strain, humans are likely to have little or no immunity – meaning the virus needs close monitoring. One of the authors of the study into the new virus said “we should not ignore” the findings.
Officials from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) launched a rapid review of evidence in response to claims that the vitamin could reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections and Covid-19.
Reacting to the new lockdown restrictions in Leicester, Nick Rushton, the leader of Leicestershire County Council, said:
Protecting residents is our main concern and we’re working closely with Leicester City Council and the Government to bring down the number of cases.
Clearly coronavirus does not adhere to lines on a map. And although county rates are below the national and regional averages, we can’t be complacent and it makes sense to step up restrictions in areas closer to the city.
This is the first localised lockdown on this scale and undoubtedly there will be issues to iron out.
I understand this is disappointing news for residents, parents of schoolchildren and businesses when most of the country is opening back up but it’s crucial that people follow the latest advice.
Observing social distancing, hand-washing, wearing a face mask where required and getting tested if you have symptoms remain vital.
Our actions play a key role in shaping what happens next and I encourage people to heed the advice and play their part in helping to save lives and livelihoods.
Leicester’s mayor ‘sceptical’ about Government figures which led them to local lockdown:
Reacting to the new lockdown restrictions set to be imposed on Leicester, the city’s mayor Sir Peter Soulsby told BBC Radio Leicester: “They’ve gone further than we anticipated they might.
“They are clearly determined to start with the maximum, as it were, to see how it works and then perhaps to use the learning from this in other areas I have no doubt will follow.
“I can understand it from their perspective – they are entirely convinced that the level of the transmission of the disease in Leicester is at a higher level than I think the figures show.
“Nonetheless I can understand why they want to err on the safe side… I can see where they’re coming from even thought I still have some scepticism about the figures that led them to this.”
Matt Hancock said he was committing to publish data at “as local a level as possible” to help more people analyse it and combat the virus.
Conservative MP James Sunderland (Bracknell) said the Government is right to ease lockdown rules nationally, adding: “It’s also dispiriting to see packed beaches, passengers without face masks on public transport and other mass gatherings.
“Given the Government will no doubt get blamed for any second spike, can I ask the Secretary of State how serious he is about imposing similar measures more widely beyond Leicester?”
Mr Hancock replied: “I think people will have seen from the action we’ve taken today and announced tonight that although I don’t want to take this local action, we’re perfectly prepared to take it if that is what’s needed to control this virus.”
Mr Hancock said exact details of which wards in Leicestershire are included in the new lockdown measures will be published “imminently”.
Tory MP for South Leicestershire Alberto Costa said: “Will he also explain what impact areas outside the city of Leicester… because he keeps mentioning Leicester, but what areas in Leicestershire have been impacted by this statement?”
Mr Hancock replied: “Yes, absolutely. We will be publishing the exact details of which wards are included in these measures imminently and that is a decision that is being taken… by Leicestershire County Council along with PHE.”
The SNP’s Patricia Gibson (North Ayrshire and Arran) said: “Can he (Mr Hancock) confirm that in local lockdowns after August 1, wherever they are required, 80% of furlough support will be available in order to assist with lockdown compliance which is so important to public health?”
Mr Hancock replied: “Well of course, as we move from a national lockdown towards local lockdowns we are going to have to take more specific action. For the time being, and for Leicester, the existing furlough scheme of course exists.”
Matt Hancock said the risk of Covid-19 being transmitted by children is the reason why schools in Leicester will be closed.
Conservative former minister Nusrat Ghani asked in the Commons: “(Mr Hancock) said that children in Leicester were particularly vulnerable. This is not normally the norm for Covid, so is this a separate strand of Covid or can (Mr Hancock) share why the youngsters in Leicester are so vulnerable?”
Mr Hancock responded: “To be clear, children have very, very low risk of suffering from Covid themselves but we have been looking at the proportion of children who have tested positive and therefore may be transmitting the disease.
“The challenge with this disease with children, thankfully, is it has a very, very low risk to any individual child in terms of them becoming ill or worse, but it still transmits through children and that’s the reason that we’ve taken the decision that we have on schools in Leicester.”
Matt Hancock said that the Government is “still getting to the bottom of” the potential reasons why the outbreak in Leicester has occurred.
Conservative former minister Nusrat Ghani asked in the Commons:
Can (Mr Hancock) share what factors lie behind the infection rate being so high in Leicester, (and) whether those factors will be shared with local resilience forums?
Mr Hancock responded:
Of course there are many reasons and potential reasons why this outbreak has occurred in the way it has in Leicester, we’re still getting to the bottom of those.
But I absolutely undertake to then ensure that other directors of public health in local areas understand those reasons so we can get to the bottom of them.
For instance, we’re doing work specifically on food processing factories which round the world seem to have a higher rate including, not only in America, in Germany, also in North Wales, and of course there is a challenge in the community to ensure that we understand properly the origins and the spread of this outbreak in Leicester.
Concerns raised concerns over elderly and vulnerable getting access to testing kits.
Conservative former minister Greg Clark raised concerns about a delay in ensuring elderly people and those with learning and physical disabilities living in supported and sheltered accommodation can access testing kits.
The Science and Technology Committee chairman said Matt Hancock had pledged to help on June 8, adding in the Commons: “How can we have confidence in a speedy and targeted approach to testing and tracing if those of great vulnerability still can’t be tested three weeks after a clear commitment was given to grip the matter?”
The Health Secretary replied: “We are now rolling out testing to the settings he describes and this will be rolled out over the coming three to four weeks to coincide with the time it’ll take us to build that capacity to roll out.
“It’s very important the testing is where it needs to be and secondly we do that on the basis of clinical need, which is why we went for supporting testing in nursing homes and residential homes first.”