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UK ‘looking at ways to relax travel quarantine rule’
Copyright: PA Media
The government is looking at ways to relax the 14-day quarantine rule for people entering the UK over coming months, BBC Newsnight has learnt.
From Monday, most people arriving by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – must self-isolate.
But some MPs and businesses have expressed concern at the plan, warning it will damage the travel industry.
One government source told Newsnight that ministers were looking at ways around the coronavirus quarantine.
US protests could ‘lead to resurgence’
Copyright: Getty Images
As the US sees yet another night of widespread protests, experts are warning the demonstrations are increasing the risk of a resurgence of the pandemic – even if most of the protesters are wearing masks.
US states are already lifting lockdown measures but the pandemic is by no means under control in the country with the highest infections (more than 6.2 million) and death toll (375,513).
And the pandemic has itself also highlighted the racial divide in the US: the mortality rate is higher among black people than white people, as is the rise in unemployment.
What’s it like to be laid off over Zoom?
Copyright: Chris Malone
Before the crisis managers would usually have met staff face-to-face, to give them the bad news.
Now video-conferencing tools, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams (MS Teams), are being used to replicate the formality of the meeting.
Chris Malone, an audio visual technician at events company Sparq in the UK, feared for his role when it was explained to him that a HR representative would be on his next MS Teams call along with his line manager.
His instincts proved correct, as he was told he was going to be laid off.
Asia’s fishermen and farmers go digital during virus
Business reporter, BBC News Singapore
Farming communities in South East Asia are embracing online selling for the first time during virus lockdowns.
The closure of wet markets around the region have been a major challenge for fisherman and farmers who traditionally sell their fresh produce there.
Thankfully e-commerce has been their saviour as they go online and connect with customers in a new way.
From Malaysia to Indonesia, China to Thailand, rural communities have seen their livelihoods saved as they go through their own digital transformations.
Is Putin relaxing restrictions for political gain?
Lockdown restrictions in Moscow are beginning to be lifted despite Russia having one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the world.
For the last two months, residents have only been allowed out to go to the nearest food shop. Now, they can go for a walk three times a week and non-food shops will start reopening.
But some suggest President Putin’s recent declaration that the epidemic’s peak has passed is just politics.
BreakingIndia records biggest daily spike yet
India registered a new record daily spike on Monday with 8,392 fresh infections.
This means the country now has more than 190,000 cases, including 5,394 deaths, according to data from the health ministry.
India has seen a succession of record single day cases over the past few days.
On Saturday, more than 8,000 new cases were reported just as India announced new relaxations in its lockdown.
Singapore charges foreigners for breaking lockdown
Authorities in Singapore have charged seven foreigners for disregarding the country’s so-called “circuit breaker”, a strict lockdown where all social gatherings are prohibited.
In mid-March, they were photographed having drinks together outside in an upmarket part of the city, popular with well-off expats.
After photos of the gathering went viral on Facebook there was considerable protest on social media with Singaporeans expressing anger that police seemed more lax in enforcing the lockdown for foreigners than for locals.
Authorities then tracked the seven people down and today they were charged in court for breaching Covid-19 regulations.
The accused can be jailed for up to six months as well as fined up to 10,000 Singapore dollars ($7,100, £5,700).
Authorities have said they could revoke their work visas and ban them from working in the country.
Mexico’s grim milestone
BBC News, Mexico and Central America correspondent
It has been clear for some time that Mexico was on course to reach the tragic mark of 10,000 deaths. Now 10,167 people have died from Covid-19 and almost 3,000 more have been confirmed as having the virus over the past 24 hours.
The grim milestone was confirmed at the end of the first day of some Mexicans returning to work, in particular in the car manufacturing and construction industries and other key sectors.
It also came on the first day of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s tour of the nation. He said that if people “follow the health measures, then little by little we can return to normality”. However he also said Mexico would shut down again in the case of a second outbreak.
His critics say the first outbreak hasn’t ended and that the deaths of 10,000 people is a clear sign that Mexico remains in the grip of the pandemic.
Marriott reopens all hotels in China as travel rebounds
Copyright: Getty Images
Marriott has reopened all of its hotels in China and the group says it has seen a recovery in business travel.
The world’s third largest hotel chain has 350 outlets across China and says that occupancy rate is now at 40%.
Marriott gave an upbeat statement on Monday about its business in China as it emerges from coronavirus lockdowns.
Last week it said the financial impact from the pandemic has been more severe for the hotel chain than 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis combined.
Pakistan has to ‘learn to live with virus’
BBC Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has insisted a lockdown is not the solution to the country’s coronavirus outbreak – even as the number of new cases continues to rise.
In a televised address on Monday, he said Pakistanis would have to “learn to live with the virus”, as the poorer sections of society could not afford to not go to work.
There have been around 75,000 Coronavirus cases, and 1,500 deaths in Pakistan so far.
From the start of the outbreak, Mr Khan has expressed his opposition to lockdown measures. Restrictions that had been imposed in March by local authorities have now largely been lifted, with streets and markets crowded, despite doctors expressing concerns the healthcare system will be overwhelmed.
Mr Khan also appealed to the public to follow social distancing rules, but also said even more businesses would now be allowed to open up.
The move comes as the results of randomised testing in the city of Lahore were released – suggesting around 5% of the city’s population could be infected, amounting to more than half a million people – vastly higher than the official number of cases across the whole country.
The fears of India’s tea workers in lockdown
India has the fifth largest economy in the world but its size hasn’t protected it from the impact of coronavirus and the lockdown that followed.
Unemployment has gone up by 120 million since March. One of the country’s biggest employers, the tea industry, has been hugely impacted.
Australia apology over misdiagnosed ‘youngest death’
Queensland government has apologised to relatives of a 30-year-old man who was wrongly
identified last week as having died with the virus.
Turner, who succumbed to unrelated medical complications, had been recorded as
Australia’s youngest Covid-19 death.
It sparked alarm as the first case in a coal
mining town, Blackwater – prompting the widespread
testing of locals. Officials scrambled to trace
how the virus had entered the small community.
Now they say they got it wrong. While Mr Turner had
initially tested positive after his death, subsequent tests found he didn’t
have the virus.
are angry – saying in an online petition the false result “created emotional,
mental and physical trauma” for them.
State officials defended their actions in reacting promptly to a positive test, but apologised to Mr Turner’s family.
know I really want to say to the family that we’re incredibly sorry that that
has happened,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
family I know that is still grieving and I don’t want them to be stressed
any more. I know it is a very tough time for them but we do know that the
coroner made that finding yesterday and we accept that finding.”
This revises Australia’s death
toll down to 102 cases. More
than 90% of
the nation’s 7,200 people with the virus have recovered.
Some Singapore students head back to class
Today Singapore moves from its strict lockdown (called circuit breaker) to the first phase of easing restrictions.
More people are being allowed back to work and some schools are also reopening, although only classes for graduating years will resume.
So how do students feel going back to school amid tight social distancing regulations?
“It’s necessary and it doesn’t bother us. Life goes on,” one student told the BBC.
Mexico death toll moves beyond 10,000
Mexico’s death toll has risen by 237 over the past day, taking the overall toll to 10,167.
There were also 2,771 new confirmed infections taking the country’s total case load to 93,435. Health officials caution though that the actual number might be significantly higher .
The World Health Organization meanwhile warned Latin American countries that the pandemic in the region had not yet reached its peak and to not ease the lockdowns.
The warning comes as several countries are beginning to ease restriction. In Mexico, workers are returning to car production, construction and mining.
BreakingAustralia pledges A$66m (£35m; $44m) for vaccine research
The money will be spent on “research into vaccines, into antivirals, and also into respiratory clinical trials as well as health system management”, says Health Minister Greg Hunt.
“This funding is about saving lives
and protecting lives and it’s part of our dual process of containment and
flattening the curve and increas[ing] the ability of our health system to respond – in particular in relation to the containment,” he said.
Australia has seen about 7,200 virus cases and 102 deaths.
Welcome to our coverage
Welcome back to our rolling coverage. This is where you can get all the most important updates from around the world on the pandemic we are all living through.
Here’s what you need to know:
- In Mexico, the death toll has passed 10,000 as the country slowly reopens its economy
- This comes as the World Health Organization warns that Latin America should not ease lockdowns yet as the region is not yet at its peak in terms of infections and deaths
- In Australia, officials confirm the country’s “youngest victim” did not, in fact, have Covid-19 and have apologised to the family
- Europe continues to ease lockdown restrictions and more countries are reopening restaurants, hotels and cultural sights. Spain has recorded zero deaths over the past day – the country had hundreds of fatalities daily in March
- Globally, there have been more than 6.2m confirmed cases and 375,000 deaths have been linked to the virus