Coronavirus map LIVE: Last second change leaves Britons worried holidays will be cancelled

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    Holidaymakers are expected to be allowed to travel to certain European nations without having to obey the 14-day quarantine rule upon their return. The Government is expected to include Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Turkey, the Netherlands and Finland. Portugal and Sweden are not expected to make the cut.

    But Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis this morning pushed back against the July 6 date, suggesting it could take weeks for his country to safely establish an air bridge with Britain.

    He said the Greek Government was working closely with health experts to devise a plan to kick-start the country’s tourism industry.

    He said while the UK appears to be moving “in the right direction” in terms of bringing back holidays, “it’s a matter of a few days or a few weeks to ensure that all restrictions are lifted”.

    Mr Theoharis said that if new outbreaks did not appear, “we can certainly lift the restrictions in the next few days or, you know, two to three weeks”.

    He added: “As soon as we have more clarity, we’ll be able to convey the right dates and the right message so that’s why it’s not easy for me to pinpoint exact dates. I’m just giving you the feeling of the advice that we get from the experts currently.”

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    Coronavirus news: Scientists in Barcelona have found COVID-19 in sewage samples from March 2019 (Image: GETTY)

    He said Greece is looking forward to hosting British holidaymakers again when the time comes.

    His comments come as a tourism chief warns of Britons “nervousness” ahead of July 6 holidays.

    VisitBritain’s director of strategy and communications Patricia Yates said holidays will “look very different”.

    She told BBC Breakfast people may experience a “real nervousness” around travel, as she warned the industry has suffered a loss of around £37 billion during lockdown.

    Ms Yates said: “We’ve been doing weekly consumer sentiment and we’ve seen a real nervousness about travelling, even domestically, through the summer.”

    SEE BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES.

    coronavirus map

    Coronavirus map UK (Image: EXPRESS)

    12.34pm update: Warning: COVID remains ‘clear, present and global danger’

    The world’s largest online auction for supporting charities addressing the five D’s of the COVID-19 virus – death, disease, depression, domestic violence and disproportionality for ethnic minorities – will mark its closing today with a speech by crypto-currency pioneer Brock Pierce about philanthropy and art as collectible investments.

    Mr Pierce is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist with an extensive track record of founding, advising and investing in disruptive businesses.

    Mr Pierce said: “Covid represents a clear, present and global danger.

    “There’s no time like the present to fight this danger.”

    A total of 255 pieces of art are being auctioned to bidders from across the globe by Art&Co. Funds raised are being shared by seven registered charities and 46 artists who have come together in the fight against COVID-19.

    11.27am update: Global COVID cases surpass 9.9 million

    There are now more than 9.9 million cases of coronavirus around the world, according to data from worldometer. 

    And the worldwide death toll stands at 497,363. 

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    People in New York, the former epicentre of the global outbreak, cross Brooklyn Bridge (Image: GETTY)

    10.52am update: Indonesia reports 37 new COVID-19 deaths

    The total death count in the Asian country now stands at 2,720. 

    And 1,385 new infections were today added to the tally, bringing the total to 52,812. 

    10.29am update: Greeks happy to open air bridge to Britain 

    Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis indicated it could be up to three weeks before his country is happy to open up an air bridge to the UK.

    He told BBC Breakfast: “We’re currently consulting with our health experts, but I think given the fact that the UK is in the right direction, it’s a matter of a few days or a few weeks to ensure that all restrictions are lifted.

    “So I feel the way things are now – and we always have to put this asterisk that the health situation has to continue to be on the same track as it is now – that we can certainly lift the restrictions in the next few days or, you know, two to three weeks.”

    He added: “As soon as we have more clarity, we’ll be able to convey the right dates and the right message so that’s why it’s not easy for me to pinpoint exact dates. I’m just giving you the feeling of the advice that we get from the experts currently.”

    He said Greece is looking forward to hosting British holidaymakers again when the time comes.

    He said: “Our friends from the UK are always welcome in our country.”

    9.20am update: Tax rises inevitable to help post-COVID economy recover, warns Sir John Major

    Former Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major has argued that tax rises were not suitable in the short-term but that they would be needed as Britain’s coronavirus recovery got under way.

    He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think to put up taxes before the economy has recovered, which may take a while, would in my view be a mistake.

    “But, over time, I think there is little doubt that taxes are going to rise.

    “For the moment, because interest rates are so low and likely to remain so, it is possible for borrowing to take the strain in the way it couldn’t have done a quarter of a century ago.”

    Asked whether further borrowing was suitable when debt levels were currently 100 percent of national income, Sir John said: “I think it is going to be inevitable in the short term.

    “I think there is scope in the short term – not forever, there is no magic money tree, let me make that clear – but for a period until the economy is recovered and taxes for some people can then go up.”

    coronavirus melbourne

    A COVID-19 testing site operates in Melbourne as cases in Victoria state surge (Image: GETTY)

    8.42am update: No buffet breakfasts in hotels as hospitality sector prepares to reopen

    VisitEngland director Patricia Yates has said holidays will “look very different” with no buffet breakfasts and hotels operating at reduced occupancy.

    She told BBC Breakfast: “I love hotel buffet breakfast – they are a thing of the past.

    “And hotels will have to have social distancing so they won’t be opening at full occupancy and businesses will have to look at the sort of services they provide and really pruning those down to make sure that the infection control, that the cleansing regime is right and that they can have social distancing.

    “So I think, be prepared for some things not to look quite as you normally expect them.”

    8.37am update: Czech coronavirus cases rise just as holidays start

    The Czech Republic recorded 168 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, authorities said, the highest daily rise in cases since early April just as the country is starting the two-month summer holiday season.

    It was also the fourth day of the last 10 showing a daily increase of more than 100.

    Over the past week, the eastern region of Karvina has been by far the most affected by the rise in cases, according to the Health Ministry website.

    Friday was the last day of school for most children and students, with their families getting ready for the holidays.

    8.01am update: Australia’s Victoria struggles to contain coronavirus

    ]Australia’s state of Victoria recorded 41 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Saturday, double the daily rate seen a week ago, struggling to gain control over the pandemic while the rest of the country continues easing social distancing restrictions.

    Victoria, the country’s second-most-populated state, has now seen 11 straight days of double digit new cases, most linked to known outbreaks in Melbourne’s suburbs, health officials said.

    Victoria has 204 of Australia’s total of about 270 active cases.

    Deputy chief health officer of Victoria, Annaliese van Diemen, told reporters: “We are very concerned.”

    One of the new cases was a returned traveller.

    7.55am update: Coronavirus detected in Barcelona sewage from March 2019

    Traces of COVID-19 have been found in sewage samples taken from Barcelona in March 2019 – 11 months before mainland Spain confirmed its first coronavirus case. 

    The shocking finding comes after researchers found evidence that the virus was present in wastewater samples taken from Milan and Turin as early as last December.

    The scientists’ discovery raises serious questions about where and if the disease was spreading in the months before the first outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China, in December.

    Experts have said the results of the test appear to be a one-off and cautioned against over-thinking the findings.

    They suggested contaminated samples could be behind the outcome of the study.

    However, a series of samples taken from Barcelona from January 15 onwards consistently showed traces of coronavirus.

    The first case of the illness in mainland Spain was not confirmed until late February.

    The team at Barcelona University used polymerise chain reaction (PCR) coronavirus tests to study the sewage.

    The study is aimed at aiding the tracing and control of the virus.

    Anyone who has been infected with coronavirus will pass COVID-19 cells in their faeces.

    Professor of biology at the University, Albert Bosch, who led the research, said early detection could have led to a lower death toll.

    He said: “In the specific case of Barcelona, having detected the contagion of SARS-CoV-2 a month earlier could have improved the response to the pandemic.”



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