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COVID CRISIS

Coronavirus UK LIVE: Rishi Sunak unveils furlough scheme changes and self-employed extension as deaths hit 38,161

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has revealed a series of measures that will change the UK's furlough system.

During tonight's Downing Street press conference, Mr Sunak said employers will have to start footing some of the bill from August, paying at least 20 per cent towards the scheme, along with national insurance and pension contribution.

At the moment, the Government pays 80 per cent.

Meanwhile, experts have warned two million jobs could be lost by the changes and hospitality bosses have warned pubs aren't likely to survive the summer.

The UK Covid-19 death toll now stands at 38,161 after 324 more fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates...

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    FEARS 14-DAY TRAVELLER QUARANTINE ‘UNENFORCEABLE’

    It is feared Britain's two-week quarantine for travellers arriving in the country is “unenforceable”.

    From June 8, anyone arriving in the UK faces a £1,000 fine if they do not self-isolate for two weeks – including holiday making Brits coming back to the country.

    But there are now fears over the cost of the quarantine – claimed to be £650million-a-week – and over how difficult it could be to police have been raised.

    New arrivals will have to be "trusted" to follow the rules and could get round the restrictions through “loopholes”.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    COVID-19 ‘R’ RATE COULD BE AS LOW AS 0.5

    Newly released documents have revealed the UK’s coronavirus ‘R’ rate is far lower than previously published.

    The ‘R’ rate has been estimated to be between 0.5 and 0.9.

    Government scientists have refused to break down the reproduction value into separate numbers for community, hospitals and care homes during the daily press briefings.

    But secret documents have shown that in the community as a whole the ‘R’ rate is much closer to 0.5.

    The Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, SAGE, said that cases of infections in care homes and hospitals are pushing up the overall R number.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    WALT DISNEY WORLD REOPENING

    Florida officials have approved plans for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World in Orlando.

    The reopening will start on July 11, according to a memo from a state agency released on Friday.

    The state also approved Sea World Entertainment Inc to reopen on June 10.

    When the Disney parks reopen, guests and employees will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    APOCALYPTIC VIRUS FROM CHICKEN FARMS COULD DWARF COVID-19

    An apocalyptic virus from chicken farms could dwarf the coronavirus pandemic and kill half of the world's population, a scientist has warned.

    Dr Michael Greger, a scientist and campaigning nutritionist claims, that our close connection to animals makes us vulnerable to the worst kind of epidemic.

    Dr Greger has written a new book called How To Survive A Pandemic where he details that as “long as there is poultry, there will be pandemics. In the end, it may be us or them”.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    ALMOST ALL PRIMARY SCHOOLS TO REOPEN

    Almost every primary school in England is set to defy teaching unions and reopen on Monday, a poll has found.

    The National Education Union said “we won't do it”, when the Government told schools to open on June 1 – but most headteachers plan to get pupils back to class.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    RISE IN PORTUGAL COVID-19 CASES

    Portugal has seen a rise in coronavirus cases five days in a row.

    It comes as the country looks at easing their lockdown further and welcoming tourists back with air bridges.

    Another 350 new Covid-19 cases have been confirmed today, following 304 cases yesterday – the highest increase since May 8.

    It takes the country’s total to nearly 32,000 cases and 1,383 confirmed deaths.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    OVER 1,000 COVID-19 DEATHS IN BRAZIL

    Another 1,124 people with coronavirus have died in Brazil, taking the country’s total to 27,878.

    An additional 26,928 new Covid-19 cases have been confirmed – a total of 465,166.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    TAKE THAT REUNITE FOR COVID-19 CONCERT

    Robbie Williams has reunited with band Take That for a virtual concert during the coronavirus lockdown.

    Robbie, 46, and his old bandmates Gary Barlow, 49, Mark Owen, 48, and Howard Donald, 52, each performed from their own homes.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    WHAT IS THE COVID-19 R RATE?

    The R rate, also known as the reproduction number, has been crucial to the government's understanding of the threat of coronavirus.

    Scientists and government officials have been using the R value to help them determine how to tackle the spread of Covid-19 and easing of lockdown measures.

    Read here for everything you need to know.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    CRICKET TO RETURN IN JULY

    Cricket will return in July with the arrival of the West Indies team after a deal with government ministers.

    Three Test matches between England and their Caribbean guests over May and June were postponed at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

    But the English Cricket Board has agreed plans for matches to be played behind closed doors and televised.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    BRITS WARNED AGAINST BBQs

    Brits have been warned not to have group BBQs this weekend as the mercury is set to soar to to 25C.

    This weekend’s warm temperatures will be tempting for many to break out the BBQ and see their pals – but experts have advised against it.

    Professor Saly Bloomfield, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “The thing that really worries me is people are starting to say to me, oh, can I have a barbecue?”

    “That is the really dangerous thing because then we are really starting handling things backwards and forwards to each other – plates, glasses, cups and so forth.”

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    WHERE IS BRITAIN’S HIGHEST R RATE?

    The South West has the highest coronavirus infection rate in Britain.

    An R rate for each region has been revealed for the first time since the pandemic began.

    The North East and East Midlands are estimated to have the next highest rate, then followed by the North West.

    The reproduction rate is crucial to England’s lockdown being lifted – with warnings that if it goes above 1, stricter guidelines could be enforced.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    BENIDORM HOLIDAYMAKERS TO BE KICKED OFF BEACH AT LUNCHTIME

    British sun seekers in Benidorm will be forced to leave the beach at lunchtime this summer.

    The resort’s two main beaches will be cleared between morning and afternoon sessions as part of strict social distancing rules controlling the number of sun-seekers.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    CATS NEED TO READJUST TO POST-LOCKDOWN LIFE

    The RSPCA has warned cats will have to readjust to being separated from their owners once the coronavirus lockdown ends. 

    The animal charity says that cats may have forged stronger relationships with their owners during the lockdown and therefore need to be weaned off human contact before life returns to normal.

    Once owners return to work after the lockdown ends, it could leave their pets feeling grumpy, stressed and angry.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    RECORD COVID-19 DEATHS AND INFECTIONS IN EGYPT

    Egypt has recorded the most number of coronavirus deaths and infections in one day since the pandemic began.

    Another 34 people with coronavirus have died in Egypt, taking the total to 879.

    There were an additional 1,289 new cases confirmed, increasing the total to 22,082.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    CAN YOU STILL TAKE HOLIDAY ON FURLOUGH?

    If you have been furloughed by your employer, you can have 80 per cent of your wages, up to £2,500 a month, paid for by the government.

    But there are other benefits linked to your job that you might not know whether you can still receive.

    One of these is taking a holiday and getting paid for the time you're on leave.

    Read here for everything you need to know.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    MEGHAN MARKLE SECRETLY WORKING WITH ANIMAL CHARITY AMID COVID-19

    Meghan Markle has secretly been working with London animal charity Mayhew as it battles with funding during coronavirus lockdown.

    According to the charity's media officer, the Duchess of Sussex has been “in touch” with the charity as animal welfare “has always been a passion of hers.”

    Meghan is an advocate of adopting rescue dogs and chose animal welfare charity Mayhew as one of her first patronages.  

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    TEST AND TRACE WARNINGS

    Contact tracing will only slow the spread of coronavirus if 80 per cent of contacts are tracked down in 48 hours, top scientists have warned.

    Documents from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies say that 4 in 5 will need to self-isolate if contacted for the system to work.

    The experts also warn that contacts will need to be notified within 48 hours to reduce the risk of transmission.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    SWEDEN HAS HIGHEST COVID-19 DEATHS PER CAPITA IN THE WORLD

    Sweden has the highest coronavirus death rate per capita in the world over the past week – after refusing to impose a lockdown.

    The Scandinavian country has recorded 5.59 deaths for every one million per day for the past seven days to May 29, according to figures by Our World in Data, a research publication based at the University of Oxford.

    Currently, Sweden has a death toll of 4,350.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    GANG OF MONKEYS STEAL COVID-19 SAMPLES

    A gang of monkeys attacked a laboratory assistant assistant in India and escaped with a batch of coronavirus blood test samples.

    The primates launched their assault near Meerut Medical College in Delhi where they snatched the samples that been from three patients before fleeing on Thursday.

    One of the monkeys was later seen chewing on one of collection kits, The Times of India reported.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    REOPENING SCHOOLS COULD INCREASE COVID-19 RISK

    Scientists have warned that reopening English schools on June 1 could see the coronavirus ‘R’ rate increase.

    Nine weeks after they were closed due to the global pandemic, schools in England will resume with Reception and Years 1 and 6 this Monday.

    But a group of experts calling themselves the Independent Sage Group have said opening schools too early could lead to a new surge of infections in the community – and risks pushing the ‘R’ rate above one.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    BBQS ‘SAFE’ IF SOCIALLY DISTANCE

    The government has revealed more guidelines on how to safely meet people in groups of six from next Monday – which also includes details on how to play some sports in wider groups.

    Number 10 is urging people to use “common sense” and make sure they regularly wash their hands when meeting and to stay two metres apart.

    Read more here for everything you need to know.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    LOCKDOWNS COULD LEAD TO ‘SIGNIFICANT RISK OF DISORDER’

    Local lockdowns could lead to an increased risk of riots, SAGE documents released today warned.

    Despite Matt Hancock confirming earlier this week that local shutdowns would be on the cards to stop flare-ups, ministers have been warned that it could risk a “significant issue of disorder”.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    LOURVE TO REOPEN

    The Louvre in Paris will reopen on July 6.

    In a statement, the museum said a booking system and new signposting would offer visitors the maximum possible safety while they are in the building.

    Visitors will also be asked to wear a mask and keep social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Elizabeth Little 's avatarElizabeth Little

    TRUMP: ‘THE WORLD NEEDS ANSWERS FROM CHINA ON CORONAVIRUS’

    Donald Trump has said “China's pattern of misconduct is well known” accusing the nation of “ripping off the United States like no one has ever done before.”

    The U.S President added the “world needs answers from China on the virus”.

    Trump says he will suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who we have identified as potential security risks.

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