Daily Covid-19 Brief: Wednesday, June 10
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.
Government announces UK is meeting five tests as further lockdown easements are announced
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed today that the UK is meeting the Government’s five tests and further adjustments to the lockdown can proceed.
- Johnson announced that from Saturday 13 June, single adult households in England can form one “support bubble” with one other household of any size. This means they can go to each other’s houses, stay the night and don’t have to maintain social distancing.
- Outdoor attractions such as zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas will be allowed to reopen from 15 June, on the condition that social distancing measures are in place.
- Under the conditions for reopening, zoos will not yet be able to open indoor exhibitions and catering facilities such as cafes must be takeaway only.
- The announcement comes after a campaign by British and Irish Association for Zoos and Aquariums to allow the safe reopening of zoos. The industry has raised concerns about the financial effect of lockdown on the industry and the possibility of zoo closures as a result.
- The Prime Minister confirmed that phase 3 of the Government’s lockdown easement will not start until 4 July at the earliest.
Prime Minister and leader of the opposition clash over Government’s COVID-19 response
- The Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer, criticised the Government’s COVID-19 response during Prime Minister’s Questions today. Sir Kier called in the Government to put in place a “robust national plan” to get pupils back to school.
- The Prime Minister said that Government is working to get pupils back to school, however it is being “extremely cautious”. He called on Parliament to support the return of children to school and said that parents and teachers want constituency from politicians.
- The Prime Minister announced £63m more in welfare help for the UK’s most vulnerable families.
- The Prime Minister also confirmed that the 2 metre social distancing rule was being kept under constant review by the Government and its scientific advisors.
- During Prime Minister’s Questions, Johnson also announced that workers in close contact with the public will get COVID-19 tests even if they are not showing symptoms. The Prime Minister said that those in high-contact professions will get expanded and targeted testing.
Other UK COVID 19 news
- The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned that the UK economy is set to be the hardest hit by COVID-19. In its latest global economic outlook, the OECD has predicted the UK economy is likely to slump by 11.5% in 2020. It suggests that overall, the global economy could shrink 7.6% this year.
- NHS leaders have warned that the waiting list for hospital treatment could rise to almost 10 million people by Christmas, due to the huge backlog caused by COVID-19 disrupting services.
- The Treasury has confirmed that parents who return to work following statutory maternity and paternity leave will be eligible for the furlough scheme after 10 June.
- A number of House of Commons select committees have launched COVID-19 related inquiries. A series of inquiries have been launched by the Women and Equalities Committee on the unequal impact of coronavirus, including an inquiry of COVID-19 and BAME people. The Public Accounts Committee has launched an inquiry into the Whole of Government Response to COVID-19.
- All non-essential goods retailers in Northern Ireland can re-open from 12 June.
- A report by the New Economics Foundations suggests that COVID-19 related airline job losses could be “on scale of 1980s mining industry”. The think tank says that at least 70,000 jobs in aviation are at risk.
- Northern Ireland has reported no further deaths of people with COVID-19 for a fourth day in a row.
- Scotland’s tourism businesses have been told to prepare to reopen on 15 July.
World COVID 19 news
- Dr Anthony Fauci, the USA’s top infectious disease expert has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic “isn’t over yet”. 21 US states have reported a weekly rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
- Germany has announced that it will lift border controls with Switzerland, France, Austria and Denmark on Monday
- The head of the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has warned that Covid-19 is spreading “exponentially” in many areas of the Americas, which is now home to “nearly half” of all COVID-19 cases.
- Japan’s lower House of Parliament has approved an emergency budget worth more than£230bn. This is the country’s second emergency budget brought on by COVID-19 and it includes subsidies for smaller businesses and cash for medical workers.
- Slovakia has opened its borders to more than 16 European countries, with quarantine measures also being lifted from 19 countries. Nightclubs have also reopened and residents are no longer required to wear face masks outside.
- Denmark, the first country outside Asia to ease its COVID-19 lockdown, said today that the spread of COVID-19 has not accelerated since it entered its second phase of reopening society last month. Danish health authority said in a report that the number of confirmed new infections remains low despite more tests being carried out.
Private sector updates
- The Restaurant Group, owners of restaurants Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito, has confirmed plans to shut 125 of its outlets in the UK, effecting 3,000 jobs.
- English theme parks Legoland, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventure have confirmed that they plan to reopen on July 4. Social distancing measures will be put in place alongside temperature checks on arrival.
- The lockdown continues to effect fashion retail, with both Monsoon Accessorize and Quiz announcing store closures.
- Google have confirmed that it’s Maps feature will show commuters the latest COVID-19 related transport alerts in a bid to stop overcrowding on public transport.