Hotels and restaurants could get ‘consumer mark’ to reassure customers they are safe

Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

Restaurants, hotels and pubs could be given a “consumer mark” to show they are safe for customers to go to, the director of Visit Britain has said. 

Boris Johnson will discuss reopening the hospitality sector and loosening the two-metre social-distancing rule in England with his top Cabinet colleagues and scientists today.

The Prime Minister and his most senior ministers will on Monday discuss the next steps for the lockdown with chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty.

Mr Johnson will then on Tuesday outline the plans to Parliament for pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers to reopen in England from July 4, and a likely loosening of the distance rule to aid the restart to the economy.

Patricia Yates, director at Visit Britain, told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “We’re looking at doing a consumer mark so that businesses can look at the guidance they can go online, they can show that they’re complying with it all and then they can have a consumer mark saying ‘we’re good to go’ that really displays to customers and staff and local residence that this business understands Covid-19 and it’s a good place to go.”

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08:29 AM

Special report: Why dementia and Covid are such a deadly combination

Dementia and Alzheimer’s were the most common pre-existing conditions found among deaths involving coronavirus in April, reports Lauren Libbert.

Kelly Molloy was close to her father, Mike Palmer
Kelly Molloy was close to her father, Mike Palmer

Kelly Molloy’s father, Mike Palmer, died five weeks ago and she’s convinced that social isolation combined with Covid and dementia played a big part in his death. 

A former sports journalist, Palmer, 75, had been living in a care home in Whitstable, Kent for 18 months when Covid-19 struck.  The home immediately went into lockdown and all family visits were suspended.

“My dad had broken his hip and was wheelchair-bound but my husband, daughter and I would normally visit at least three or four times a week and push him out for fresh air, by the sea, to eat some fish and chips,” recalls Kelly, 50, a teacher from Herne Bay in Kent. “When we had to stop visiting, I was so worried he’d think we abandoned him. Those thoughts still plague me.”

With visits suspended, Kelly tried calling her dad on the phone but the calls were extremely distressing.

“He sounded so much more confused and didn’t even know who we were, which wasn’t like him at all,” says Kelly. “Although dementia took his memory away, he was normally very articulate and had a hilarious sense of humour and was always keeping the nurses on their toes with his banter. He was very tactile too and loved a hug. But Covid changed everything. 

Read the full report here. 

08:20 AM

New Zealand to extend ban on cruise ships 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the country would extend its ban on cruise ships arriving into the country. 

Speaking at a news conference, she said: “We are extending the current cruise ship ban which was due to expire on the 30th of June”.

08:08 AM

BAME doctors twice as likely as white colleagues to be sent onto wards without adequate PPE

Doctors from black and ethnic minorities are twice as likely as white medics to be sent on the ward without Personal Protective Equipment, a major survey suggests.

The polling of almost 7,500 doctors by the British Medical Association shows 39 per cent of BAME doctors had felt pressured to see a patient when they did not have adequate protection. 

In total, 19 per cent of white doctors said they had been in this situation.  And seven per cent of BAME doctors said they often experienced this situation, compared with 2 per cent of white doctors.

Two months ago, health chiefs issued guidance saying all BAME staff should be risk-assessed before being sent on the ward. 

Read the full report here. 

07:33 AM

Pope Francis: Crisis should lead to more integrity and less hypocrisy

The coronavirus crisis should lead to more integrity and less hypocrisy in politics and society, Pope Francis has said.

A highlight from an interview for the BBC was translated on Radio 4’s Today programme, with the Pope saying: “This crisis is affecting us all, rich and poor alike.

“And putting a spotlight on hypocrisy.

“I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis.

“Of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons.

“This is a time to be converted from this kind of function of hypocrisy.”

07:26 AM

Minister says 2m rule will be informed by ‘best, most up-to-date science’

When asked if the two-metre social distancing rule is going to be reduced, Security Minister James Brokenshire told BBC Breakfast:

“There has been a great deal of work that’s been taking place at pace over the last number of days, informed by the science, informed by experience from around the world as well, as to how we can appropriately look at easements and appropriately also reflect on the two-metre rule as well.”

He added the international experience and understanding of the virus had evolved in recent weeks and the decision would be informed by “the best, most up to date science” and medical experience.

07:21 AM

AA launches ‘Covid Confident’ scheme for restaurants – but will customers be reassured?

The AA last week launched an accreditation scheme that it hopes will give customers the confidence to visit bars, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs (not to mention campsites and golf courses) once lockdown measures are lifted, writes Pip Sloan.

Its new Covid Confident scheme has been backed by 19 hospitality trade bodies, and promises to be a vital support for the hospitality industry in rebuilding a customer base that feels comfortable going out once stricter social distancing measures are eased. 

This news comes as thousands of restaurants and bars face potential closure as a result of both a lack of government clarity over social distancing measures.

 Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UKHospitality, which represents hotels, bars and restaurants, said a third of hospitality businesses (30,000 or 40,000 firms, employing one million people) could start redundancy processes this week if there was no clarity, with firms having to fund an increased proportion of the salaries of furloughed workers from the end of July.

07:00 AM

Travel quarantine is ‘completely useless’

A world-leading epidemiologist says the Government’s controversial travel quarantine is completely useless and should be dropped as soon as possible.

Professor Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has joined a growing list of MPs, scientists and business leaders calling for Boris Johnson to ditch the policy. 

Discussing the effectiveness of the blanket travel restrictions, which require all overseas arrivals to isolate for 14 days, Prof Piot said the move would only have “made sense at the very beginning, before we had cases”.

He said that due to the UK’s relatively high infection rates, the quarantine would “not contribute much” towards suppressing  coronavirus and was simply inflicting “enormous” damage to the economy. 

06:49 AM

Matt of the day

Here is Matt’s take on the weekend’s coronavirus news. 

MATT
MATT

 You can see all of Matt’s cartoons here.

06:23 AM

China’s dog-meat festival opens in spite of opposition

China’s notorious dog-meat festival has opened in defiance of a government campaign to improve animal welfare and reduce risks to health highlighted by the novel coronavirus outbreak, but activists are hopeful its days are numbered.

The annual 10-day festival in the southwestern city of Yulin usually attracts thousands of visitors, many of whom buy dogs for the pot that are on display in cramped cages, but campaigners said the numbers this year have dwindled.

The government is drawing up new laws to prohibit the wildlife trade and protect pets, and campaigners are hoping that this year will be the last time the festival is held.

“I do hope Yulin will change not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people,” said Peter Li, China policy specialist with the Humane Society International, an animal rights group.

“Allowing mass gatherings to trade in and consume dog meat in crowded markets and restaurants in the name of a festival poses a significant public health risk,” he said.

06:12 AM

PM: ‘I’ve changed a lot of nappies’ during lockdown

Changing nappies has kept Boris Johnson busy at home during lockdown, it has been reported.

The Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds welcomed their son Wilfred at the end of April – just weeks after the PM was discharged from intensive care where he battled coronavirus.

The couple named him Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson in a tribute to their grandfathers and the doctors who helped save Mr Johnson’s life.

The Prime Minister said he has been heavily involved in the seven-week-old child’s daily life.

“I’ve changed a lot of nappies, I want you to know,” Mr Johnson said on Friday during a visit to a Hertfordshire school, in comments carried by the Daily Mail.

05:55 AM

Today’s front page

Here is your Daily Telegraph on Monday, June 22.

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05:53 AM

PM to discuss reopening pubs on July 4

Boris Johnson will discuss reopening the hospitality sector and loosening the two-metre social-distancing rule in England with his top Cabinet colleagues and scientists today.

The Prime Minister and his most senior ministers will on Monday discuss the next steps for the lockdown with chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty.

Mr Johnson will then on Tuesday outline the plans to Parliament for pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers to reopen in England from July 4, and a likely loosening of the distance rule to aid the restart to the economy.

It comes as a Tory former minister said the Government appeared “a bit knackered” as it responded to the challenges of post-outbreak Britain.

Tim Loughton MP told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “The last few weeks the Government has taken a battering and I think it’s proving more challenging to come out of lockdown that it was to go into lockdown.

“Let’s remember, it’s only a few weeks ago that the Prime Minister was in intensive care and for him to come back so quickly at the helm, I think, is slightly concerning.”

05:43 AM

New Zealand’s cruise ship ban to continue 

New Zealand said on Monday it was extending a ban on cruise ships arriving in the country.

New Zealand wants to safeguard its borders as new cases emerge of people arriving in the country with coronavirus.

“We are extending the current cruise ship ban which was due to expire on the 30th of June,” Prime Minister Jaicnda Ardern said in a news conference.

New Zealand authorities last week traced 320 people believed to have been put at risk by two British women with Covid-19 who travelled 640km across the country after being given compassionate leave from isolation.

05:27 AM

Young Japanese baseballers’ hearts to heal – with dirt

Japanese high school baseball players – heartbroken because their annual tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic – are getting a consolation prize: a spoonful of dirt.

It’s not just any soil – it’s from Koshien Stadium. It holds special meaning to all who love the game in the baseball-mad country.

Every year, more than 3,000 teams go through competitive regional playoffs to advance to the finals at Koshien in Nishinomiya city, central Japan – the prized stage that’s seen the likes of major leaguers Ichiro, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Matsui.

Players of the Japanese professional baseball team Hanshin Tigers show dirt they collected from the grounds of Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, western Japan, on Tuesday - Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo News
Players of the Japanese professional baseball team Hanshin Tigers show dirt they collected from the grounds of Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, western Japan, on Tuesday – Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo News
In August 2019, Akashi Commercial High School baseball players collected dirt from the grounds after being defeated at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, western Japan - Kyodo News via AP
In August 2019, Akashi Commercial High School baseball players collected dirt from the grounds after being defeated at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, western Japan – Kyodo News via AP

And every year, after a team loses, the players, many weeping uncontrollably, scrape the dirt near the dugout to take home as a memento.

On a recent afternoon, it was the members of the professional club, the Hanshin Tigers, who were digging with their hands to collect dirt from Koshien, their home stadium.

The dirt will be put in transparent balls hanging from key chains and sent to 50,000 high school baseball players.

Hanshin Tigers manager Akihiro Yano puts dirt he collected from the grounds into a bag at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, western Japan - Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo News
Hanshin Tigers manager Akihiro Yano puts dirt he collected from the grounds into a bag at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, western Japan – Yohei Fukuyama/Kyodo News

05:16 AM

Stars team up for global fundraising gig

David Beckham will be among international celebrities taking part in a globally televised and streamed fundraising concert on Saturday to help fight Covid-19.

It is part of a joint initiative by the advocacy group Global Citizen and the European Commission.

“Global Goal: Unite For Our Future” will aim to raise billions of pounds in private and public donations to help lessen the impact of the pandemic on marginalised communities.

Speaking at an online panel ahead of the event, pop star Miley Cyrus said the pandemic was hitting the world’s poor and marginalised people the hardest.

She urged donors committing funds for tests, treatments and vaccines to ensure they are developed in ways that everyone everywhere has access to them.

04:18 AM

EU and China aim to cool tensions

The European Union and China will seek to cool tensions on Monday at a video summit, their first formal talks since ties soured over European accusations that Beijing has spread disinformation about coronavirus.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel – the EU’s chief executive and chairman – will hold video conferences with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.

“We are ready to work with China. But we also expect China to assume its responsibilities as one of the world’s largest economies,” said a senior official helping prepare the summit.

“The pandemic has heightened some (EU) concerns.”

No joint statement is expected after the summit, scheduled to start at 8am.

EU officials say China has sought to pressure EU countries that criticise its handling of coronavirus, using social media to spread fake reports of European neglect of Covid-19 patients.

Beijing has denied any wrongdoing.

03:44 AM

Seoul transmissions linked to churches and door-to-door salespeople

South Korea has reported 17 new cases – the first time its numbers have reduced to the teens in nearly a month.

Health authorities are scrambling to contain a resurgence of the virus centred around the capital.

The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday brought the national caseload to 12,438 cases, including 280 deaths.

The country over the past two weeks have been reporting 40 to 50 new cases per day amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

There has also been an uptick in imported cases, mostly from passengers arriving from south-west Asia.

In Seoul, authorities have struggled to keep track of hundreds of transmissions linked to nightspots, restaurants, church gatherings and workers such as door-to-door salespeople and warehouse employees. 

People wear face masks while praying at a service at the Chogyesa temple in South Korea - AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
People wear face masks while praying at a service at the Chogyesa temple in South Korea – AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

03:10 AM

New Yorkers unwilling to part with contacts information

New York City’s new coronavirus contact-tracing programme has been described as “very bad”, after initial results showed that only 35 per cent of those testing positive gave information about close contacts to tracers.

Since June 1, 3,000 people have been working in the city to identify all those who have come into contact with someone who tested positive for the disease. Contact testing is widely agreed to be a vital key to stop the virus from spreading.

New York City has had more than 200,000 cases, with 17,500 confirmed deaths and 4,700 probable deaths.

Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that the city was on track to start Phase 2 of reopening on Monday.

Paul Manship's 'Youth' statue in Rockefeller Centre wears a mask to coincide with New York City moving into phase two re-opening - Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Paul Manship’s ‘Youth’ statue in Rockefeller Centre wears a mask to coincide with New York City moving into phase two re-opening – Cindy Ord/Getty Images

01:44 AM

Airport wants travellers to wear masks

London City Airport reopened for passenger flights on Sunday after a three-month shutdown, according to a statement by the airport.

New safety features include temperature checks, signs and floor markings to help with social distancing and crowd-tracking technology so staff can monitor and direct passengers in large crowds to quieter areas.

Passengers are also being asked to wear face masks.

Face coverings – and how best to use them
Face coverings – and how best to use them

01:12 AM

Novak Djokovic receives emergency test for Covid-19

In this photo taken on June 18, Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, rear, plays basketball with Serbia's Novak Djokovic in Zadar, Croatia - AP Photo/Zvonko Kucelin
In this photo taken on June 18, Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, rear, plays basketball with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in Zadar, Croatia – AP Photo/Zvonko Kucelin

Grigor Dimitrov said on Sunday that he had tested positive for Covid-19, making him the highest-profile tennis player to reveal he has the disease.

The Telegraph’s Tennis Correspondent, Simon Briggs, has more details:

World No 1 Novak Djokovic was among the players undergoing emergency Covid-19 tests in Croatia on Sunday night after it emerged that Grigor Dimitrov – the Bulgarian who performed in Adria Tour exhibition events over the past two weekends – has contracted the virus.

Tournament organisers were forced to cancel Sunday night’s scheduled final between Djokovic and Andrey Rublev as the players were ordered back to the official hotel for tests.

The possibility of contagion is high, especially in light of the breathtaking lack of regard for safety precautions that has been shown throughout the event.

Read the full story here.

12:55 AM

Latest news from around the world

An official wears a protective suit to spray disinfectant on passing cars in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia - DEDI SINUHAJI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
An official wears a protective suit to spray disinfectant on passing cars in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia – DEDI SINUHAJI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
  • Indonesia reported 862 new infections on Sunday, taking its total number of cases to 45,891. Fatalities have now reached 2,465 – the highest coronavirus death toll in East Asia outside of China.

  • Germany‘s coronavirus reproduction rate jumped to 2.88 on Sunday, up from 1.79 a day earlier. The R rate is showing that infections are rising above the level needed to contain the disease over the longer term. The rise brings with it the possibility of renewed restrictions on activity in Europe’s largest economy.

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 2,248,029 cases; an increase of 32,411 cases from its previous count. The number of deaths rose by 560 to 119,615.

  • Researchers in China started a second-phase human trial of a possible coronavirus vaccine, the Institute of Medical Biology at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences said on Sunday, in efforts to assess effectiveness and safety.

  • The number of deaths in France from Covid-19 increased by seven from the previous day to stand at 29,640, the country’s national health service said on Sunday. The number of confirmed cases rose by 284 to 160,377.

  • Coronavirus had been spreading faster in the past 10 days in French Guyana and the French government would not rule out imposing a new lockdown on the French overseas territory, the prime minister’s office said on Sunday. 

  • Italy reported 24 deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday, compared with 49 a day earlier, the Civil Protection Agency said. The daily tally of new cases stood at 224 from 262 on Saturday. The country’s death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 34,634 – the world’s fourth-highest after the United States, Brazil and the UK.

12:25 AM

Chinese capital can check nearly one million people – each day

Beijing is capable of screening almost one million people daily for coronavirus, an official said on Sunday.

Testing continues across the city to try to contain the spread of a fresh outbreak.

Beijing has been expanding testing in the city of 20 million since a cluster of infections linked to a food wholesale market erupted more than a week ago.

12:15 AM

More cases at North Wales chicken processing plant

About 158 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed at a chicken processing plant in North Wales, health authorities said.

Production was stopped at the 2 Sisters factory in Llangefni, Anglesey, on Thursday after the outbreak was declared and staff told to self-isolate for two weeks.

Public Health Wales said it recorded an increase of 83 confirmed positive cases identified over the 24 hours to 3pm on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to 158.

Dr Christopher Johnson, consultant in health protection at Public Health Wales, said: “Since we commenced targeted testing last Thursday, over 400 members of staff have provided samples so far. Testing of employees continues, and it is likely that some additional cases will be identified in the coming days.”

It comes amid concerns over how coronavirus outbreaks are announced, with another cluster at the Kober meat processing plant in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, confirmed by owner Asda on Friday.

On Thursday, the 2 Sisters Food Group announced it was “doing the right thing” and would cease work on site for 14 days with immediate effect.

Production at the factory, where 560 people are employed, will be transferred to other company locations until July 2.

The 2 Sisters Food Group is one of the largest food producers in the UK, with brands including Fox’s Biscuits and Holland’s Pies.

The Llangefni site does not supply retail or branded food service customers, the company said.

Also on Thursday, in Wrexham, North Wales, 38 staff at the Rowan Foods factory tested positive for the virus, though bosses said the cases showed an increase in the locality rather than a spread within the site.

Revealed: why meat processing plants are the ideal incubator of coronavirus

11:41 PM

Safer conditions for Mexicans working on Canadian farms

Temporary foreign workers harvest mushrooms at the Highline Mushrooms farm, Canada's largest mushroom grower, in Leamington, Ontario - REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Temporary foreign workers harvest mushrooms at the Highline Mushrooms farm, Canada’s largest mushroom grower, in Leamington, Ontario – REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Mexico will resume sending temporary farmworkers to Canada after the two countries reached an agreement on improved safety protections for workers on Canadian farms during the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexican government said on Sunday.

Mexico said last Tuesday it would pause sending workers to farms with infections after at least two of its nationals died from Covid-19 after outbreaks on 17 Canadian farms.

Canadian farmers rely on 60,000 short-term foreign workers – predominantly from Latin America and the Caribbean – to plant and harvest crops.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the two nations “reached an agreement to improve the sanitary conditions of the nationals who work on farms”.

11:37 PM

WHO reports record daily increase in cases

The World Health Organisation reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 183,020 in a 24-hour period.

The biggest increase was from North and South America, with more than 116,000 new cases.

Total global cases are above 8.7 million with more than 461,000 deaths, according to WHO.

The previous record for new cases was 181,232 on June 18.

11:35 PM

Expanded ‘bubbles’ can reunite grandparents with their families

The Telegraph’s Political Editor, Gordon Rayner, reports on the “expansion of social bubbles”

Boris Johnson will announce an expansion of household “bubbles” on Tuesday that could mean millions more grandparents being reunited with their grandchildren.

In a widespread easing of remaining lockdown measures, the Prime Minister will also put pubs, restaurants and hairdressers on notice to reopen on July 4 and cut the two metre rule to one metre. Staycations will also be opened up to millions of families.

The move is designed to save tens of thousands of businesses from going under, and bring the country closer to normality than at any time since the lockdown started in March.

It also has the potential to allow more schools to reopen before the summer.

Read the full story here.

11:31 PM

Pubs and restaurants to register customers’ contact details

Pubs and restaurants might have to take a register of customers as one of the conditions for allowing them to open on July 4, Matt Hancock said.

Boris Johnson will announce plans for getting the hospitality industry back up and running as part of a widespread easing of the lockdown that will also include changes to the two metre rule.

Mr Johnson has been studying a system used in New Zealand – which has had one of the world’s lowest rates of coronavirus infections – for allowing pubs and eateries to keep track of their customers so they can be contacted quickly if they come into contact with someone who has the virus.

Read the full story here.

11:08 PM

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