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Coronavirus UK news LIVE: Brits could avoid quarantine with Heathrow £150 swab test as Greece could join France on list

BRITS could get some reprieve if they are flying back to the UK and don’t want to quarantine.

But it will cost you £150, as London Heathrow airport reportedly plan to unveil a testing centre where travellers will be tested on arrival and then five to ten days later.

This is one of three options to be discussed by a number of senior ministers including Matt Hancock, Grant Shapps, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove.

It is in a bid to reduce the amount of time that people returning would have to quarantine after returning from countries deemed unsafe.

It comes as Greece, Croatia and Turkey could all be placed on the UK’s quarantine list, following a spike in cases.

France, Spain and the Netherlands are among those to have been removed from the safe travel list in recent weeks in a bid to limit a possible second wave.

GOOD news for Leicester as some restrictions of their local lockdown are set to be eased.

Gatherings in private homes and gardens are to remain in place, but from Wednesday, tanning booths, spas, and massage and tattoo parlours can reopen.

The city has been in their renewed lockdown for seven weeks following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Skin piercing services can resume, while guidance for music venues and theatres to remain closed with be dropped.

The coronavirus death toll rose by 12 in the UK on Tuesday, with total fatalities numbering 41,381.

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

US UNIVERSITIES SUSPEND IN-PERSON CLASSES

The University of Notre Dame in Indiana, US has suspended in-person classes and moved them online for at least two weeks after seeing 80 positive coronavirus test results yesterday.

It becomes the latest university to roll back campus reopening in the US.

Other recent institutions to announce similar measures include The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and New York University – which is testing all students who have chosen in-person learning.

QUICK AND EFFECTIVE TEST AND TRACE COULD REDUCE R BY UP TO 26%, RESEARCHERS SAY

Quick and effective testing and tracing could reduce the R number – the rate at which the virus reproduce – by up to 26%, a study suggests.

But Imperial College London researchers warn that testing alone is unlikely to bring the R number below one at current levels of immunity.

In the study, researchers from Imperial’s Covid-19 Response Team looked at the potential impact of different testing and isolation strategies on transmission of the coronavirus.

Results suggest that if 80% of cases and contacts are identified and there is immediate testing following symptom onset and quarantine of contacts within 24 hours, then the R number could potentially be reduced by up to 26%.

ITALY SEES RISE IN CASES

Italy reported 403 new coronavirus cases and five deaths today.

There were 50 percent more tests performed on Monday, with nearly 54,000 swab tests carried out in the last 24 hours.

It comes as the country made coronavirus testing mandatory for those who spent time Spain, Malta, Croatia and Greece in the last 14 days.

CHINA’S £100 VACCINE

A possible coronavirus vaccine being developed by state-owned Chinese firm Sinopharm could be on the market by December – and cost £100 for two doses.

The vaccine has entered a late-stage human test in the United Arab Emirates to gather proof of efficacy for final regulatory approvals.

“It will not be priced very high. It is expected to cost a few hundred yuan for a shot, and for two shots it should be less than 1,000 yuan,” the firm’s chairman Liu Jingzhen Liu told the Guangming Daily newspaper.

LABOUR WARNS OF ‘SELF-MADE HOMELESSNESS CRISIS’ UNLESS EVICTIONS BAN EXTENDED

Labour have urged ministers to act to prevent a “homelessness crisis” with up to a quarter of a million people at risk when a ban on evictions is lifted.

The protection against evictions in England and Wales expires on August 23.

The party called for the measure to be extended, with shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire urging the Government to act now “to avoid more chaos of its own making” when evictions are allowed to resume.

In a letter to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, she asked what action he was taking “to prevent a self-made homelessness crisis at the worst possible moment, as the furlough scheme winds up and we face the risk of growing infections of coronavirus”.

PARTS OF LONDON AND NYC ‘COULD HAVE HERD IMMUNITY’ ALREADY

Parts of London and New York could already have coronavirus herd immunity, scientists claim.

They say as little as 10 per cent of people may need to be infected for the virus to fizzle out.

Experts previously believed 60 to 70 per cent of the population would need test positive for Covid-19 to gain herd immunity status.

But they now claim between 10 and 43 per cent could be enough to stop the spread of the virus, should a second wave hit.

Read our full report on that here.

HEATHROW PLANS PASSENGER TESTING

Heathrow Airport is set to unveil plans to test passengers in a purpose built testing centre, the Telegraph reports.

It comes as ministers are set to meet next week to consider whether to scrap blanket quarantine measures in favour of testing travellers for the virus.

Under these measures, passengers could be tested between five and 10 days after their arrival in the UK – allowing them to shorten their period of self-isolation should a negative test come back.

Heathrow is set to unveil its own testing centre in Terminal Two, and will reportedly charge £150 for a swab test.

BRAZIL CASES SOAR BY 47,000

Brazil has reported 47,784 new cases of the coronavirus and 1,352 deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said today.

The country has now registered 3,407,354 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 109,888, according to ministry data.

This means Brazil has the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak after the United States.

FEARS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL OUTBREAK

A primary school in Paisley, Scotland is feared to be at the centre of a new cluster of coronavirus cases.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that contact tracing measures were being carried out at Todholm Primary School – but would not say how many linked to the school have tested positive.

Dr Catriona Milosevic, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “Close contacts are being advised to self-isolate and being given appropriate advice. We are working closely with Todholm Primary School and Renfrewshire Council to do this.”

US STOCKS HIT NEW HIGH

America’s S&P 500, a vitally important market measure, has closed on a high today at 3,389.78.

This is three points above its 19 February record – and raises hopes of an economic rebound in the US.

Other important markets are also seeing a sharp rise, with the Dow Jones within around 5% of its February record.

Investment strategist William Delwiche told the BBC: “It’s not surprising that we had a meaningful recovery, but that over the last couple of months we’ve continued to rally… I’m shocked that we’re having this conversation.”

EXCLUSIVE: SWINDON COULD BE PLUNGED INTO LOCKDOWN

Fears are growing that Swindon could be the next town to be hit with lockdown — as it has the highest covid rates in the south of England.

Ministers are worried after 43 people tested positive in the Wiltshire town last week.

Public Health England’s latest data has Swindon as the 5th highest infection rate with 48.2 cases per 100,000 and list the area as one of concern.

That is the highest in the south of England however the local council insist that the outbreak is under control, and that enforcement of lockdown measures would be a “last resort”.

Read that exclusive report from our political editor Harry Cole here.

UK AND GERMANY ‘NECK-AND-NECK’ IN VACCINE RACE

The UK and Germany are currently neck-and-neck in the race to produce the first coronavirus vaccine, the Telegraph reports.

Teams in Oxford and the German city of Mainz are both currently working to produce effective jabs for the virus.

Speaking on Monday, Kate Bingham, chair of the government’s vaccine taskforce, said that either one of the teams could yet win approval for their vaccine by the end of 2020.

“I think we have a shot of getting a vaccine this year,” she said.

“Those are the two that, if everything works, could potentially be both registered and delivered this year.

She added, however, that the vaccine was “most likely” to be delivered next year.

WHO URGES WORLD TO WORK TOGETHER ON VACCINE

All nations should work together to develop and access a Covid-19 vaccine because “no-one is safe until everyone is safe”, the chief of the World Health Organisation has said.

Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned against countries prioritising vaccines for their own citizens during the pandemic.

He told a press briefing that the response to this pandemic “has to be collective” and “we need to prevent vaccine nationalism”.

FIRST DIRECT TRAINS BETWEEN LONDON AND NORTH WALES RESUME

Direct trains between London and north Wales have resumed for the first time since lockdown.

Rail franchise Avanti West Coast said the extra services, introduced from September 7, meant “more room for social distancing” on-board.

It added that direct links between Wrexham and London will return, as well as a service between Holyhead and Euston.

Passengers should reserve their seats and wear a face mask on all trains, the firm added.

FRANCE DEPLOYS RIOT POLICE TO ENFORCE MASK RULES

Riot police have been sent to the Marseille region to enforce mask rules and help stem a worrying spike in coronavirus cases.

The French government has deployed 130 gun-toting cops to the port city and the surrounding area in a tough new clampdown.

The move comes after the region expanded its outdoor mask reguations to include all farmers’ markets and more towns and suburbs. 

Read our full report on that here.

DUTCH PM TIGHTENS RESTRICTIONS

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has tightened recommended coronavirus restrictions to rein in the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands.

Mr Rutte issued urgent advice today not to hold parties at home and to limit events like birthday celebrations and other private house gatherings to a maximum of six people.

“If we’re not careful, we will be back to square one inside the foreseeable future”, Rutte warned.

OLD PEOPLE ‘PUNISHED FOR ACTIONS OF OTHERS’ IN IRELAND

Older people are being punished for the actions of others, one of their main lobby groups in Ireland has said.

It comes as new official advice is to be issued to people over 70 or who are medically vulnerable to limit interactions to a very small network for short periods, avoid public transport where possible and shop during designated hours.

Active Retirement Ireland chief executive Maureen Kavanagh said: “It’s clear that the recent outbreak in cases hasn’t originated from older people socialising or flouting Government guidelines.

“While we, as much as anyone, understand the need to protect our older citizens, we believe the distinct causes of the recent surge in cases must be dealt with, rather than reimposing restrictions on some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

ROUGH SLEEPERS UP BY A THIRD DURING LOCKDOWN, REPORT FINDS

Reports of people sleeping rough during the first three months of the coronavirus lockdown have risen more than a third compared with the same period last year, a charity said.

StreetLink received 16,976 alerts from members of the public between April and June – a 36% increase from the same period the previous year.

Of these, 12,134 alerts were regarding rough sleepers in London, where the number of reports was 76% higher than during the same three months in 2019.

CARE HOME VISITS BANNED IN BIRMINGHAM

Care home visits have been banned in Birmingham amidst a spike in the region’s infection rate.

As reported below, the city’s seven day rolling average in cases – expressed per 100,000 people – is up from 19.7 to 31.7 this week with 362 new cases.

Dr Justin Varney, the city’s public health director, wrote to care homes last week ordering an immediate end to all “non-essential” visits.

Facing the threat of local lockdown, he said: “It’s so important that everyone… does take action, does listen to the advice… because it’s up to what we do that makes the decision [whether] we go into lockdown or not.”

OTHER AREAS IN ENGLAND SEEING NOTABLE JUMPS

There are other areas of England seeing notable jumps in coronavirus cases.

This includes:

INFECTION RATES IN ENGLAND’S LOCAL AUTHORITIES REVEALED

The figures revealing the rolling seven-day rate of new cases of Covid-19 for every local authority in England have been released today.

These are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

We take a look below and in the next post.

RUGBY STAR TESTS POSITIVE

Welsh rugby star Jamie Roberts has tested positive for the coronavirus – throwing the scheduled return of the Guinness PRO14 in Wales into severe doubt.

Former Wales and British & Irish Lions centre Roberts signed for Welsh side Dragons at the start of August after leaving South African giants Stormers.

The 33-year-old had been training with his new team ahead of their game with the Ospreys on Sunday, but he has since contracted coronavirus.

Roberts is now in isolation and won’t play this weekend.

FRANCE MAKES FACE MASKS IN THE OFFICE MANDATORY

Face masks will become compulsory in most offices from September 1, a French government official told reporters this afternoon.

It comes as cases in the country surge, with the country’s health ministry announcing 2,238 new coronavirus cases today.

TAOISEACH SLAMS PEOPLE FLOUTING RESTRICTIONS

Reacting to a rise in cases in Ireland, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “The evidence is that a large number of people are acting as if the virus is no threat to them or that it is OK to take a few more risks.

“Many people seem to believe that if they or those they are socialising with have no symptoms there is no problem.”

He added: “We are at a point where we need to recommit ourselves to key behaviours and to accept additional controls.”

He noted multiple outbreaks amongst households and in social activity settings.”

MORE ON IRELAND’S NEW WAVE OF CASES

Ireland’s Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said 190 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed on Tuesday.

“We’re now seeing multiple clusters throughout the country, in people’s homes, in multiple workplaces and in a number of other social settings.”

He added: “Our 14-day cumulative cases per hundred thousand population, a key measure looked at by NPHET, is now 26 – that’s come up from four.

“Our five-day average of new cases is 116 new cases per day and rising.

“Today, the total number of new cases is 190.”

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