Doctors plead with holidaymakers to heed social distancing after public packed beaches

Debora Carley

Crowds gathered on the beach in Bournemouth on Thursday, as temperatures soared. – PA Coronavirus Article Bar with counter .. Doctors have pleaded with holidaymakers to practise social distancing ahead of the tourism industry reopening next weekend. The British Medical Association (BMA) has set out guidelines for people in England, […]

Crowds gathered on the beach in Bournemouth on Thursday, as temperatures soared. - PA
Crowds gathered on the beach in Bournemouth on Thursday, as temperatures soared. – PA
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

Doctors have pleaded with holidaymakers to practise social distancing ahead of the tourism industry reopening next weekend.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has set out guidelines for people in England, who will be allowed to visit hotels, bed and breakfast facilities and campsites from July 4.

It comes as thousands have flocked to beaches and beauty spots on Thursday – the hottest day of the year so far – prompting a major incident to be declared in Bournemouth.

The BMA has advised people not to travel if they are ill or have any Covid-19 symptoms, including a cough, temperature or loss of smell or taste.

The doctors’ union has also said holidaymakers should be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days if anyone in their “bubble” develops symptoms or is told to do so by the NHS Test and Trace service.

The BMA has also encouraged people to wear a face covering when mixing with people from outside their “bubble” indoors.

Chair of the BMA public health medicine committee Dr Peter English called on tourism providers and local authorities to consider how they can help mitigate the risk of the virus spreading and urged holidaymakers to act with “extreme caution”.

He said: “Lockdown is being eased and many aspects of life are returning to some form of normality, however, it is vitally important to recognise that this deadly virus has not gone away.”

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Follow the latest updates below.

06:01 AM

Australia continues to lift restrictions despite new outbreak

Australia will continue easing social distancing restrictions despite an outbreak of coronavirus in one state, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today.

The country’s second-most-populated state, Victoria, has seen 10 straight days of double digit new cases. It has about 200 of the country’s total of 270 active cases.

Although authorities are scrambling to contain the virus, including embarking on a massive testing regime and calling in military support, Mr Morrison said states and territories on Friday had agreed to remove more social distancing curbs.

“All states are committed to continue on with the various plans that they have and they’re making,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

05:39 AM

BMA pleads with holidaymakers following scenes of packed beaches 

Doctors have pleaded with holidaymakers to practise social distancing ahead of the tourism industry reopening next weekend.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has set out guidelines for people in England, who will be allowed to visit hotels, bed and breakfast facilities and campsites from July 4.

It comes as thousands have flocked to beaches and beauty spots on Thursday – the hottest day of the year so far – prompting a major incident to be declared in Bournemouth.

The BMA has advised people not to travel if they are ill or have any Covid-19 symptoms, including a cough, temperature or loss of smell or taste.

Holidaymakers should be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days if anyone in their “bubble” develops symptoms or is told to do so by the NHS Test and Trace service. Those who take prescribed medicines should make sure they have enough to last their trip and everyone should practise social distancing and hand washing on holiday.

The BMA has also encouraged people to wear a face covering when mixing with people from outside their “bubble” indoors.

05:08 AM

US watchdog finds flaws in government pandemic response

A US government watchdog gave a blunt review of the shortcomings in the government’s response to the pandemic yesterday that included the sending of nearly $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion)  to deceased Americans, and the collection of incomplete and inconsistent virus-testing data.

The report issued by the Government Accountability Office marked the first review of the government’s response to the  pandemic, and made recommendations to lawmakers how to improve the fight to come out of the crisis.

Some of its harshest criticism was reserved for the Small Business Administration (SBA), which oversees a $670 billion (£539 million) emergency loan program to help companies survive the pandemic, and the lack of a plan from the Department of Transportation to improve the aviation sector’s response to outbreaks.

Detailing its findings on the coronavirus testing data, the GAO said the data that was collected at times included antibody tests that detect prior infections, and sometimes included counts on the number of samples tested, which could include multiple tests for one person.

“The absence of complete and consistent Covid-19 testing data reported through May 31, 2020, has made it more difficult to track and know the infection rate, mitigate the effect of infections, and inform decisions on reopening communities,” the watchdog said.

04:25 AM

Cases rise in South Korea as social distancing is relaxed

South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

South Korea was considered an anti-virus success story after containing an outbreak during February and March surrounding the southeastern city of Daegu. However, the country has been seeing an uptick in new infections since authorities moved to ease social distancing guidelines and reopen schools starting in May.

The update from the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention today  brought national totals to 12,602 cases, including 282 deaths. Twelve of the new cases were linked to international arrivals.

04:22 AM

Australia starts virus testing blitz to stop second wave in Melbourne

Roadside testing following an infection spike in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Daniel Pockett/EPA-EFE
Roadside testing following an infection spike in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – Daniel Pockett/EPA-EFE

Health workers fanned out across suburbs of Melbourne today in a testing blitz aimed at choking off a surge in coronavirus cases in Australia’s second-biggest city.

Officials reported another 30 new  infections in the city overnight in a continuing outbreak that has raised fears of a second wave in Australia, which looked like it had successfully contained the disease.

It was the 10th straight day of double-digit rises in new cases in Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state, while most other Australian regions have seen no or low single-digit new infections for weeks.

Some 200 soldiers were due to deploy to Melbourne over the weekend to help with the testing offensive in 10 suburb “hot spots”, where officials are going door-to-door to track the virus.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has set a goal of testing 100,000 people in 10 days in the targeted suburbs.

Australia has recorded roughly 7,500 cases and 104 deaths in a population of 25 million, with several regions believed to be effectively virus-free.

04:06 AM

Police warn Liverpool fans ‘its not the time to gather together’

Liverpool fans gather to celebrate winning the Premier League, Liverpool, Britain - Phil Nobel/Reuters
Liverpool fans gather to celebrate winning the Premier League, Liverpool, Britain – Phil Nobel/Reuters

Police have condemned the thousands of Liverpool fans who filled the streets outside Anfield after the club won the Premier League.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said Merseyside had been “disproportionately affected” by the coronavirus pandemic and its residents had a responsibility to prevent further cases.

He said: “The overwhelming majority of fans have recognised the fact that now is not the time to gather together to celebrate, and chose to mark the event safely. They are a credit to this city.

“Unfortunately, as we have seen throughout the lockdown period, not everyone adhered to the regulations in place. Although the vast majority of celebrations were good natured, a large number of people chose to gather outside the stadium.”

Earlier, about 100 fans gathered outside the Main Stand at Anfield for when the final whistle blew on Thursday’s Chelsea v Manchester City match, securing Liverpool the title with seven games to spare.

Fireworks went off and fans waved flags and sang: “We’ve gone and won the league.”

Within an hour of the result, thousands of fans had gathered outside the stadium, lighting red flares and singing football songs.

03:46 AM

Indonesians seek humour in safety

A vendor sits near a face design masks display at a traditional market in Jakarta, Indonesia - Reuters
A vendor sits near a face design masks display at a traditional market in Jakarta, Indonesia – Reuters

Protective face masks are fast becoming fashion accessories for Indonesians keen to add some style and humour to their healthwear essentials.

Bespoke masks are catching on in Indonesia, with customers ordering designs with their own faces printed on reusable neoprene material, some with smiling faces, or big red lips.

A Jakarta print shop added masks to its services after its sales slumped due to the virus, which has infected more than 50,000 Indonesians and killed 2,620.

Customers place orders online and upload their pictures. Masks take 30 minutes to produce and each cost 50,000 rupiah (£2.80), income that has kept some businesses afloat.

03:36 AM

China reports a further decline in new virus cases

Coronavirus China Spotlight Chart - Cases default
Coronavirus China Spotlight Chart – Cases default

China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus today, with just 13 cases.

Eleven were in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control. The other two cases were brought by Chinese travellers from overseas, according to the National Health Council.

No new deaths were reported and 389 people remained in treatment, with another 107 in isolation. Case numbers both nationally and in Beijing were down from Thursday. China has reported 4,634 Covid-19 deaths from 83,462 total cases.

03:17 AM

US sets one-day record for cases, Texas pauses reopening

The governor of Texas has temporarily halted the state’s reopening as Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations surged and the country set a new record for a one-day increase in cases.

The state has been at the forefront of efforts to reopen devastated economies shut down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, has seen one of the biggest jumps in new cases, reporting more than 6,000 in a single day on Monday.

Texas has also set record hospitalisations for 13 days in a row. 

Texas’ rising numbers are part of a nationwide resurgence in states that were spared the brunt of the initial outbreak or moved early to lift restrictions on residents and businesses.

Cases rose across the United States by at least 39,818 on Thursday, the largest one-day increase of the pandemic.

01:27 AM

Appointments now available at six new ‘walk through’ testing sites 

The number of mobile testing units will double to 236 by the end of July - Reuters
The number of mobile testing units will double to 236 by the end of July – Reuters

Coronavirus testing has been made even easier and more accessible, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced today.

Six new ‘walk through’ local testing sites are now offering appointments to people in England, with the capacity to test hundreds of people each day and are all easily accessible by foot or on a bike.

Three months since the first regional drive through test site was set up in Nottingham, there are now 68 such sites across the country, alongside 6 new walk-through sites in England, new mobile testing units, and special home test postboxes for safe and easy returns.

Free and accessible testing is a cornerstone of the new NHS Test and Trace service. The service has identified 113,925 people as recent close contacts since the service began on 28 May 2020.

12:36 AM

US airline bosses to discuss EU travel restrictions

Major US airline CEOs to hold White House meeting - AP
Major US airline CEOs to hold White House meeting – AP

The chief executives of major US airlines are set to hold a meeting today to discuss a range of coronavirus-travel issues.

The meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and other senior US officials is expected to include the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines , United Airlines and JetBlue Airways Corp , the sources said.

The discussions will revolve around potential extended European Union travel restrictions on US travellers, possible temperature checks at US airports, contract tracing of airline passengers and the impact of Covid-19 on travel demand, among other issues, the sources said.

12:29 AM

Mexico’s coronavirus deaths pass 25,000

Mexico’s healthy ministry reported 6,104 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday and 736 deaths, bringing the nation’s total known infections to 202,951 and 25,060 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infections is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

11:18 PM

Coronavirus: the final twist in Liverpool’s Premier League title tale

Liverpool FC celebrate outside Anfield stadium in Liverpool, after been crowned champions of the Premier League for the first time in three decade - EPA-EFE
Liverpool FC celebrate outside Anfield stadium in Liverpool, after been crowned champions of the Premier League for the first time in three decade – EPA-EFE

The delay to Liverpool’s title celebrations caused by the coronavirus was just the latest twist in the tale of the Reds’ 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England.

A stunning run of 26 wins and one draw from their opening 27 games of the Premier League season ensured Jurgen Klopp’s men were champions-elect long before football was shut down in March.

The return of the Premier League even allowed them to seal it themselves rather than by votes via video conference. Liverpool were crowned champions yesterday after Manchester City fell 2-1 at Chelsea.

It is not the way fans would have chosen to seal the deal and there will be no celebrations to match those following Liverpool’s sixth European Cup win last year. Klopp has promised a parade when it is safe to hold one.

For more on Liverpool’s triumph, click here.

11:06 PM

US officials add pregnant women to virus risk group

America's top public health agency add pregnant women to risk group - Cultura RF
America’s top public health agency add pregnant women to risk group – Cultura RF

The top public health agency in the US revamped its list of which Americans are at higher risk for severe Covid-19 illness, adding pregnant women and removing age alone as a factor.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also changed the list of underlying conditions that make someone more susceptible to suffering and death.

Sickle cell disease joined the list, for example. And the threshold for risky levels of obesity was lowered. The changes didn’t include adding race as a risk factor for serious illness, despite accumulating evidence that Black people, Hispanics and Native Americans have higher rates of infection, hospitalisation and death.

Previously, the CDC said those at high risk of serious illness included people aged 65 years and older; those who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility; and people with serious heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, and conditions that leave them with weakened immune systems.

11:02 PM

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