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2020-09-09T06:01:48.606Z

Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport as they return from Greece.

The Government added the islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos, also known as Zante to the quarantine list. From 4am on Wednesday, arrivals from the seven Greek islands will need to self-isolate for 14 days – but mainland Greece will maintain its quarantine-exemption.

(PA)

2020-09-09T06:00:15.230Z

Good morning. Read our full story on the new social distancing measures:

Social gatherings of more than six people to be banned in England

Gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from Monday to combat a surge in coronavirus cases, Boris Johnson is set to announce.

The legal limit on social meet-ups will be cut back down from 30 to single digits in response to a recent spike in Covid-19 infections across the country.

2020-09-08T21:58:04.556Z

That’s all from our live blog for tonight, thank you for following!

2020-09-08T21:06:30.060Z

Jordan confirms first cases in refugee camp

Jordanian authorities confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in a refugee camp hosting Syrian refugees since the pandemic was first reported in the kingdom, the U.N refugee agency said on Tuesday.

The two Syrians who were transferred to an isolation site tested positive during random testing done by Jordanian health authorities in the Azraq camp, said Rula Amin, UNHCR spokeswoman for the Middle East and North Africa.

There have been several other infections of Syrian refugees living outside the camps, among around 2,500 cases in Jordan since the first was reported on March 2, Amin said.

Most of the 655,000 United Nations-registered Syrian refugees live in urban centres.

A majority of Syrian refugees who fled their homeland since the start of the nearly decade long conflict in 2011 have remained in Jordan.

2020-09-08T20:29:40.903Z

Markets tumble over tech stock sell off and Hard Brexit concerns

Global equity markets and oil prices tumbled on Tuesday as a sharp sell-off in technology stocks and rising concerns over Britain leaving the European Union without a trade agreement threatened the rally that had pushed world shares near record highs despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Fresh tensions between Washington and Beijing came into focus but appeared to have little impact, after U.S. President Donald Trump again raised the idea of decoupling the U.S. and Chinese economies.

“I think the market will shrug this off as electioneering but may find the lining up of technology stock sellers harder to process as the U.S. market returns from a holiday yesterday,” said Chris Bailey, European Strategist at Raymond James.

2020-09-08T18:47:55.700Z

Cases rise in Canada after schools reopen

Canada is seeing a worrying increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus as schools across the country are starting to reopen, a top medical official said on Tuesday.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said an average of 545 new cases had been reported daily over the last week, up from around 300 in July.

“This is concerning and I want to underscore that when cases occur, including in schools, it is a reflection on what’s happening in the community,” she told a briefing. “This week is a really critical week.”

Several of the 10 provinces have started to reopen schools this week for the first time since March after investing millions in added protections. Quebec, which welcomed back pupils last month, has already reported several cases.

Tam noted that the increase in infections was concentrated among younger adults and cited the risk posed by private functions and family gatherings.

2020-09-08T17:46:50.820Z

Starmer slams test and trace

Sir Keir Starmer has warned that the test and trace system is “on the verge of collapse” as he told Boris Johnson to take responsibility amid a rise in coronavirus infections.

The Labour leader said on Tuesday that the Prime Minister should have used the summer to get a “very effective” test-and-trace system running.

But Sir Keir instead pointed to a series of damaging stories about its failings, after a senior official in the scheme in England apologised to those who have been unable to get tested.

A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokeswoman insisted test and trace “is working”, but acknowledged there is a “significant demand” for tests and capacity was being targeted at the areas that need them most.

During a round of broadcast interviews, the Labour leader told the BBC: “Everybody is deeply concerned about the rise in the rate of infection.

“As we reopen the economy, as children go back to school, this was always going to be a risk, we understand that.”

2020-09-08T17:16:52.520Z

Rolling Stones to open store on Carnaby Street

The Rolling Stones will open their first dedicated store on Wednesday in London’s Carnaby Street, despite the coronavirus pandemic having drastically reduced footfall and the number of tourists visiting the city.

RS No. 9 Carnaby will sell clothes, merchandise and music and feature a video wall with a film of the band, a soundwave installation to represent part of the 1960s track “Paint It Black” and a super-sized version of the band’s lips and tongue logo.

“Why would you open a shop during a pandemic? Well, you know, it’s eternal optimism,” said singer Mick Jagger.

“You could have put it off, I guess, till next year… but there will be a little bit of pick up, I think. And people will be curious and people are out and about a bit more than they were,” the 77-year-old added.

The shop will also sell Rolling Stones face masks.

2020-09-08T17:09:06.480Z

Ireland records highest daily cases since May

Ireland on Tuesday reported 307 new cases of coronavirus, the highest number of cases reported in one day since mid-May, amid concern that new restrictions could be introduced to the capital, Dublin.

The National Public Health Emergency Team said 182 of the new cases were in Dublin, a city that government minister Simon Harris earlier on Tuesday told journalists was at a “delicate point” due to a surge in cases.

Newstalk radio earlier cited government sources as saying additional restrictions may be introduced in Dublin and Limerick if cases continue to increase. 

2020-09-08T16:15:26.353Z

Weekly rate of cases in Bolton at 128.3 per 100,000

The weekly rate of new cases of Covid-19 in Bolton stood at 128.3 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to September 5, according to new data from Public Health England, with 369 new cases recorded.

This is the highest rate for any local authority area in England and is up sharply from 61.9 cases per 100,000 for the seven days to August 29.

The rate in Bradford has also increased sharply, from 49.1 to 74.7 with 403 new cases.

Birmingham now has the third highest rate in England. Here, the rate has risen from 30.5 to 69.1, with 789 new cases.

All figures have been calculated by the PA news agency and are based on Public Health England data published on September 8 on the Government’s coronavirus online dashboard. Data for the most recent three days (September 6-8) has been excluded as it is incomplete and likely to be revised.

2020-09-08T15:11:13.390Z

2,420 more cases of Covid-19

The Government said that as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 2,420 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus. Overall, 352,520 cases have been confirmed.

The figures for new cases and deaths do not include those from Northern Ireland and only represent those for Britain, according to the dashboard.

The Government said 41,584 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, an increase of 30 on the day before.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 57,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

2020-09-08T15:01:22.276Z

Ireland ends longest closure of pubs in Europe

Ireland’s wet pubs – those that do not serve food – are set to open on September 21.

The go-ahead to end the closure of the country’s wet pubs was given at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

But the plan is subject to local restrictions.

Pubs that do not serve food have been closed since March over concerns over social distancing.

It is the longest closure of pubs in Europe.

Licensed premises that serve food were allowed to reopen their doors on June 29.

2020-09-08T14:47:14.110Z

Bolton council leader justifies new measures

New measures introduced at hospitality venues in Bolton are needed to halt the transmission of Covid-19 which is “moving round uncontrolled”, a council leader said.

The Government has ordered that restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs will be immediately restricted to takeaway only and all hospital venues will be required to close between 10pm and 5am.

A ban on mixing outside households in public outdoor settings will also be enforceable by law.

The majority of new coronavirus cases involved people aged 18 to 49.

The Conservative leader of Bolton Council, councillor David Greenhalgh, said: “This is not something we want to do but it is clear the virus is currently moving round the borough uncontrolled and so we need to halt the transmission rate.

“The rate has gone from 15 cases per 100,000 to over 120 in the space of two weeks, and if we do not get control of the virus now we will continue to put our most vulnerable residents at risk and delay any return to normality.

“We are working across the council with the Government and our partners to bring down the number of cases of this deadly virus and to continue to press Government for extra support for the hospitality sector as they are once again asked to close their doors.

“The best way to do that is to limit the number of contacts people have. Be under no illusion, we are in this position due to the irresponsible actions of a few which has led to a position where our rates are at a level where Government had no choice but to take action.”

2020-09-08T14:12:46.783Z

Matt Hancock said that it is important to act on the rising number of cases, despite the number of deaths being low.

He told the Commons: “Of course, there is a lag between people catching the disease and the statistics for new cases, and those who sadly die.

“The second thing is that this rise most recently has been largely, predominantly, not entirely, amongst young people who are much less likely to die.

“The danger is that they will pass it on to others and it will spread more broadly into the community.

“So, it is important to act on these cases even though, thankfully, currently the number who are dying is small.”

2020-09-08T13:57:28.470Z

Matt Hancock said that both Halifax and The Wirral will be considered at the Government’s JBC meeting on Thursday.

In response to a question from Labour’s Holly Lynch (Halifax) on when restrictions in place in Halifax would be reviewed, Mr Hancock said: “We look at the question of the restrictions in Halifax every week.

“Calderdale has seen a fall in the number of cases, it is an example of a local lockdown being effective. I was really pleased we were able to take some parts of the local authority area out of the restrictions ten days or so ago now and it was very good to be able to make that progress.

“I accept that we had to leave Halifax in the restrictions and I look forward to working with the council, with her and with local colleagues, and we’ll be considering it again this Thursday.”

In a later response to Labour MP Angela Eagle (Wallasey), he added: “We’re vigilant in looking at The Wirral and that’ll be considered in the JBC Silver meeting tomorrow and JBC Gold on Thursday.”

In response to Labour MP Zarah Sultana’s (Coventry South) call for universities to “move to remote learning as default”, Mr Hancock replied: “We’re working very closely with the universities sector … to make sure that we can get the universities open and get that done in a Covid-secure way.”

2020-09-08T13:56:57.246Z

Just in…

The departure of Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth from Portsmouth Naval Base for training exercises at sea has been postponed for the second day in a row after a number of crew members tested positive for Covid-19.

2020-09-08T13:48:36.386Z

Matt Hancock said the Government is looking at carrying out asymptomatic testing on individuals in parts of the country with high levels of Covid-19.

Tory Tom Randall (Gedling) said: “Testing is a vital line of defence against coronavirus and while we’ve got one of the best testing systems in the world, I appreciate that there is much more that can be done.

“Can (Mr Hancock) tell me what steps he is taking to explore the benefits of repeat population testing and if that it is effective, will he look to scale that up across the country?”

Mr Hancock replied: “We are looking at the asymptomatic testing of parts of the population where the virus is rife.”

2020-09-08T13:37:25.810Z

The SNP said making people travel tens of miles for a Covid-19 test is “dangerous”.

The party’s health and social care spokeswoman Dr Philippa Whitford warned against “possibly infectious people” having to travel long distances when unwell, adding in the Commons: “Would it not make more sense to still allow Covid tests to be taken locally and just shift the samples around the UK to the labs with greatest capacity?”

2020-09-08T13:34:24.450Z

The Public Health Wales data also showed that during the last 14 days Merthyr Tydfil has 46.4 cases per 100,000 population and Rhondda Cynon Taf has had 46.8 cases per 100,000.

Cardiff has had 128 confirmed cases of coronavirus, equalling 34.9 per 100,000.

2020-09-08T13:32:03.830Z

Data from Public Health Wales shows in the last two weeks across Caerphilly there have been 187 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

This equals 103.3 cases per 100,000 population, whereas across all of Wales it is just 26.3.

More than 4,000 tests have been carried out in Caerphilly in the past fortnight, with 4.4% proving positive, compared to 1.7% across Wales.