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Daily Covid-19 Brief: Tuesday, June 23

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Daily Covid-19 Brief: Tuesday, June 23

Each day, our Public Policy team will be reporting on the latest news in the evolving situation. To view the previous day’s summary, please click here.

The Prime Minister has announced the further easing of lockdown measures in England

  • Boris Johnson has told MPs that restaurants, pubs and hairdressers will reopen in England from 4 July.
  • The venues listed as being allowed to reopen include:
    • Pubs, bars and restaurants but only with a table service indoors, and owners will be asked to keep contact details of customers to help with contact tracing
    • Hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and caravan parks but shared facilities must be cleaned properly
    • Theatres and music halls but they will not be allowed to hold live performances
    • In other changes weddings will be allowed to have 30 attendees, and places of worship will be allowed to hold services but singing will be banned
    • Hair salons and barbers will be able to reopen but must put protective measures, such as visors, in place
    • Libraries, community centres and bingo halls
    • Cinemas, museums and galleries
    • Funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks, amusement arcades, skating rinks and model villages
    • Indoor attractions where animals are exhibited, such as at zoos, aquariums, farms, safari parks and wildlife centres
  • Indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail bars and indoor play areas are among the list of businesses that will remain closed. Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden,  has stated that indoor gyms can expect to reopen in mid-July.
  • The complete list of place that must remain closed include:
    • Nightclubs and casinos
    • Bowling alleys and indoor skating rinks
    • Indoor play areas including soft-play
    • Spas
    • Nail bars and beauty salons
    • Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
    • Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
    • Swimming pools and water parks
    • Exhibition or conference centres – other than for those who work for that venue.
  • Regarding social distancing, Boris Johnson said people should remain 2m apart where possible but a “one metre plus” rule will be introduced.
  • In addition, two households in England will also be able to meet indoors and stay overnight – with social distancing.
  • However, the Prime Minister was keen to stress that these measures would be reversed if necessary. Labour leader Keir Starmer welcomed the measures, stating Labour supported the Prime Ministers statement.

 

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi has today announced that the UK’s automotive industry is to receive £73.5million to develop green technologies and safeguard jobs

  • Ten projects across the UK will receive a share of this new investment to develop technology for the next generation of electric taxis, cars and vans – including recyclable batteries, advanced electrical systems and ultra-lightweight components.
  • Companies set to benefit include Ford Technologies, BMW Motorsport, Jaguar Land Rover and the London Electric Vehicle Company, manufacturer of electric taxis.
  • The Government said that this funding will contribute to the automotive sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by safeguarding more than 14,000 UK research and manufacturing jobs.

 

Other UK COVID 19 news 

  • The Prime Minister has announced that today’s daily briefing will be the last, with future briefings being saved for major announcements.
  • Human trials for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University are beginning in South Africa and Brazil.
  • Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of deaths in England and Wales in the week ending 12 June was below 10,000 for the first time since the pandemic started.
  • The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has said GCSEs and A levels could be taken later in 2021 than usual to give pupils more time in the classroom before exams.
  • The Scottish government that it was aiming to reopen all schools on 11 August with no social distancing  provided Covid-19 continues to be suppressed.
  • Northern Ireland will introduce a “phased return” of MoTs and driving test services from 20 July.

 

World COVID 19 news

  • The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says the crisis has been “exacerbated” by “politicisation”. He added: “We cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world”.
  • Saudi Arabia has banned international visitors from making the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, this year.
  • The Disneyland and DisneySea attractions in Japan will reopen on 1 July, after being closed for four months.
  • Two German districts re-introduce lockdown after 1,553 workers test positive at Tönnies meat processing plant.
  • A new surge of coronavirus cases in the Portuguese capital has forced the authorities to bring back lockdown measures in a number of Lisbon’s suburban districts. Outdoor gatherings are again limited to 10 people, shops must close by 20:00 local time and restaurants must stop serving drinks by the same hour.
  • The World Trade Organization has said  that global trade in goods and services fell by nearly a fifth in the second quarter of 2020, compared to a year earlier.

Private sector updates

  • Car sales in Europe will drop by 25% this year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
  • Online grocery shopping in the UK was up 115% in the four weeks to 13 June, compared with the same period last year. Iceland outperformed all other major UK grocery retailers over the 12 weeks to 13 June with a 23.2% rise in sales compared to the year before.
  • Intu, owner of the Trafford, Braehead and Lakeside shopping centres, is warning its financial troubles could see entire sites shut. It has lined up administrators KPMG as a “contingency” in case financial restructuring talks with lenders fail.
  • The UK car industry’s trade body says one in six jobs are at risk of redundancy without help from the government in restarting production

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