Coronavirus Latest: Northern EU States Issue Counteroffer To Recovery Fund

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CORONAVIRUS deaths in the UK have reached 40,465 after 204 more were announced today.

This comes as Matt Hancock urged Brits not to take part in Black Lives Matter protests this weekend.

The Health Secretary said only groups of up to six people can meet outdoors while observing social distancing of two metres.

On Wednesday, thousands of people took part in a protest in London's Hyde Park after the death of George Floyd in the US.

Speaking at last night's daily press briefing, Mr Hancock said: "Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat.

"The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.

"So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people."

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

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir


    Madrid’s world famous art galleries reopened today as Spain gradually eases out of lockdown.

    The Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums allowed visitors after nearly three months of coronavirus lockdown.

    People queued up wearing masks and standing two meters apart to get in.

    Among the visitors was Alejandro Elizalde, who wiped away tears while viewing Diego de Velazquez's “Las Meninas”, one of the Prado's most famous paintings.

    “I was really looking forward to coming back. To see how it has come back to life makes me very emotional,” he said.

    Curbs have been lifted gradually in Spain with Madrid one of the slowest places to ease restrictions as it was among the worst hit.

    Restrictions will further ease the lockdown in Madrid and Barcelona from Monday, when bar and restaurants will customers allowed to sit inside rather than just on outdoor terraces tables.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Ministers could relax the two metre regulation if people get into the habit of wearing masks in all public places.

    Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, announced that all hospital visitors will be required to wear face coverings and all hospital workers must wear medical-grade face masks at all times from June 15.

    It came after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made face coverings mandatory on all public transport from the same date.

    Ministers hope that by forcing people to wear masks on public transport they will voluntarily wear them elsewhere, removing the need for extra legislation.

    One Whitehall source told The Telegraph: “If people start to see wearing a mask as the norm it makes it much easier to ask them to wear them in more places, and that would contribute towards being able to reduce the two-metre rule, though it might not be enough on its own.”

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Ministers have threatened local lockdowns to halt the spread of coronavirus – despite being warned the measures could cause “significant public disorder”.

    Matt Hancock raised the prospect of localised restrictions yesterday – hinting that areas hit harder by coronavirus could face tougher measures than others.

    But in China, such measures have proved challenging, causing riots in some places.

    It comes after figures showed the crucial coronavirus R rate has crept back up above one in the North West and South West of England.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    LONDON: lockdown has not been lifted. The virus is still out there.

    I know it’s tough, but please keep following the rules:

    ⚠️ Stay at home as much as possible and avoid public transport

    ⚠️ Keep a social distance when out, and where that’s difficult wear a face covering

    — Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 6, 2020

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Nearly a third of companies in receipt of coronavirus loans from the Bank of England have links to tax havens, new research has suggested.

    Analysis by TaxWatch, an investigative think tank, claimed 14 out of the 53 businesses which have benefited from help are either based in or substantially owned by a tax haven resident.

    They have received more than £5 billion in loans as part of the coronavirus corporate financing facility – a Bank of England scheme designed for some of the biggest companies with credit ratings.

    Among recipients of the scheme are British Airways, whose parent company is based in Jersey.

    It has accessed £300 million of support.

    Digger-making JCB, whose parent company is located in the Netherlands, and fashion brand Chanel, whose parent company is based in the Cayman Islands, have both won loans of £600 million.

    British Airways has threatened legal action against the Government

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Italy hopes other EU countries will reopen their borders to its citizens on June 15, the country’s foreign minister has said.

    Italy, which has the world’s fourth-highest coronavirus death toll, opened its doors to other EU citizens on June 3, but most European countries are still largely off-limits for Italian nationals.

    Italy’s Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio said: “June 15 is an important date for many of our citizens.”

    Germany and Switzerland have also indicated that they could open their borders to Italians from that date, Di Maio said.

    Speaking at the same press conference, Slovenian Foreign Minister Anze Logar said: “Health conditions in Italy are improving fast … I’m looking optimistically towards June 15.”

    So far, Italy has reported about 234,500 confirmed coronavirus cases and 33,770 deaths.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    HUNDREDS of anti-racism protesters are gathering in London today – despite pleas from Matt Hancock.

    The crowds met in Parliament Square this afternoon to support Black Lives Matter, after the death of George Floyd sparked protests throughout the US.

    Demonstrators are expected to meet outside the US Embassy at 2pm in the capital tomorrow, while other events are planned across the country.

    An estimated 4,000 people are expected to attend a demonstration in Bristol, which will include a march through the city to Castle Park on Sunday, Avon and Somerset police said.

    But ministers have urged people not to gather in large numbers and police have warned that mass demonstrations could be unlawful.

    Last night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “appalled” by the death of Mr Floyd, but stressed the UK was still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remained a “real threat”.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Universal Studios Orlando reopens as Florida's theme parks begin their comeback.

    Guests and staff in all three of the resort's parks – Universal Studios, Islands Of Adventure and Volcano Bay – have to stick to the new requirements, which extend to the attractions and queues.

    Guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher aren't allowed to enter.

    Social distancing has been set up for rides and lines and Universal is telling guests to hand sanitize before boarding a ride.

    Stage performers have to wear masks or keep a careful distance and audiences have to stay well away from the staging areas.

    Disney World officials proposed a plan on Wednesday to reopen the theme park in July

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Police in Northern Ireland warn Black Lives Matter protesters face being stopped and fined.

    They say they are conducting checks on roads and at transport hubs ahead of planned anti-racism protests.

    They said anyone travelling to take part in a demonstration can expect to be stopped, advised to return home and could face a fine or court appearance.

    Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd issued a strong appeal to the public not to take part in protests this weekend, saying any gathering of more than six people is against coronavirus regulations, as is travelling for a protest.

    The Assistant Chief Constable also warned that if advice not to assemble is ignored, police may move to enforcement.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, has told officers not to take the knee as an act of solidarity during Black Lives Matter protests in the UK.

    She said this for safety reasons and advised people to protest without gathering in large groups because of the pandemic.

    During an interview on LBC Dick said: “We won’t be kneeling during protests.”

    She added: “However heartfelt something like that might be, I don’t think it is likely to be safe.”

    She also asked people to share solidarity with Black Lives Matter “in any other way than gathering on the streets”.

    She added: “We are fighting a deadly virus, it can get spread in gatherings.”

    People hold placards as they join a Black Lives Matter march at Trafalgar Square to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    The Government

    should halve the two metre social distancing rule so pubs can survive, trade organisations are warning.

    The British Beer and Pub Association and UK Hospitality fear that many venues such as pubs and restaurants will not be able to make enough money if the rule, which restricts customer numbers, stays in place.

    BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “It must be recognised that no two pubs are the same and for many, ensuring a distance of two metres will be impossible, keeping them closed for much longer.”

    UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “At two metres you are receiving 30% of your normal revenues, at one metre it gets up to 70% – so it is the difference between success and failure for many of those businesses.

    “They will need support if two-metre social distancing is in place.”

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    The Government is understood to be on track to meet its June 6 care home coronavirus test target, despite a survey finding some had not received testing kits.

    More than a tenth of homes surveyed by the National Care Forum reported they had not received testing kits at the start of the week.

    However, the Department of Health and Social Care believes it is on track to have offered testing to all care homes with residents over 65 in England by Saturday, it is understood.

    The DHSC is expected to announce whether it has hit its target in the coming days.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Schools are being “strongly advised” not to admit more pupils after new data suggested coronavirus could still be spreading in the north west of England.

    Headteachers in Tameside, east of Manchester, have been told to delay the wider reopening of schools.

    Key workers’ and vulnerable children will still go in but everyone else should be delay “until there is further assurance,” the council’s director of public health, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy said in a letter to schools.

    The north west has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections in England according to Public Health England.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    BORIS Johnson is refusing to stump up a £270million bill demanded by the EU to pay for its coronavirus recovery.

    The PM has sparked a row with Brussels by insisting the sum must be cut down – risking further souring the trade talks.

    Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen unveiled a £2.7billion fund in April to help the bloc’s economies weather the pandemic.

    The cash will come out of this year’s budget, meaning Britain is liable to pay a share under the terms of the Brexit deal.

    But the Treasury is disputing two-thirds of our bill – put at £180-270million – arguing it arises from changes to the rules made after we left in January.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    A wedding party contributed to a new surge in coronavirus infections in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani has said.

    But he insisted the country had no option but to keep its economy open despite warnings of a second wave of the epidemic.

    Iran, which has been gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April, has reported a sharp rise of new daily infections in recent days.

    Thursday’s toll of 3,574 new cases was the highest since February, when the outbreak was first reported.

    He said on state TV: “At one location, we witnessed a peak in this epidemic, the source of which was a wedding that caused problems for the people, health workers and losses to the economy and the country’s health system.”

    He did not say when or where the wedding took place.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Six babies tested positive for coronavirus within hours of being born to their infected mothers, a study found.

    The infants contracted the killer bug “within the first 12 hours after birth”, ministers have said.

    A government-backed study revealed the shocking figures after looking at 427 women – 247 of which were mothers – who were admitted to hospital with Covid-19 between March 1 and April 14.

    However, doctors are still not clear if the babies were infected in the womb or if they contracted the virus shortly after being born, the Telegraph reports.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of >covid19 and keeping our transport network safe. Continue to avoid unnecessary journeys when you can, and

    if you must travel please wear a face covering for your entire journey.

    From Monday 15 June, this will be compulsory.

    — Mayor of London (

    (@MayorofLondon) June 6, 2020

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    A kind-hearted mum has cooked 4,500 meals from her family kitchen to help vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sophie Mears, 33, has spent up to ten hours each day batch cooking free food parcels to be delivered to those who cannot leave their homes because they are shielding from the virus.

    Ms Mears, who usually works in admin at a local school, began working from home when the lockdown started, but also wanted to do her bit to help the community in Bridport, Dorset.

    She has prepared 60 hearty meals a day including soups, stews, chilli and cottage pie, with a team of eight volunteers delivering the food and a fundraiser bringing in £4,900 to cover her costs.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    The world is close to recording 400,000 coronavirus deaths as the pandemic continues to hold the globe in its grip.

    More than 6.77 million people have been reported infected with the new coronavirus globally and 395,053 have died, a Reuters tally showed this morning.

    Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China last December.

    A total 395,053 had been reported dead by this morning.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Day trippers visiting the countryside during social distancing have been told to stop treating it as their “playground”.

    North Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan said there were “alarming and unfair” levels of overcrowding and litter as people visit beauty spots for a break from lockdown.

    The Yorkshire Dales National Park said it believed a high number of first-time visitors had played a role.

    The organisation's chairman Carl Lis said: “We want everyone to enjoy the National Park and to have a safe space in which to relax and exercise, but this can only happen if everyone respects the land, respects the community and respects each other.”

    Durdle Door in Dorset has seen thousands of visitors and bags of rubbish left behind over the weekend

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Some older people who fund their own care home fees are being forced to pay a steep and unexpected coronavirus bill by their care provider.

    Older people and their families are being asked to pay more than £100 a week on top of their usual care home fees.

    Homes say the cost of PPE and staff absences could push their finances into the red.

    Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK told The Guardian: “Older people living in care homes and their families have been through the mill these last few months.

    It is adding insult to injury that after going through so much, some residents who pay for their own care are now facing a big extra bill – on top of already expensive fees.”

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    People attending anti-racism protests planned across the UK this weekend should be “very careful”, an infectious diseases expert has warned.

    Professor John Edmunds, who attends meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) supporting the Government, told Today: “I can understand why people would want to protest but on the other hand I think people need to be careful – very careful.

    “If you think about it, overall the infection rate in the community is about 1 in 600, 1 in 700 maybe, so in large groups of individuals you would expect there to be some individuals in a large group who would be infectious.”

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Russia's death toll has risen by 197 to 8,855 according to figures released today.

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    TAXI drivers said today they will refuse to carry passengers who are not wearing masks. 

    Face coverings on public transport will be compulsory from June 15 in England on buses, trains and tubes to help stop the spread of coronavirus – but taxis were left off.   

    British Transport Police will have powers allowing them to issue on-the-spot fines to rule breakers. Young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties will be exempt.  

    And the National  Private Hire & Taxi Association says it wasn't even informed of the change.   

  • Emily Prescott 's avatarEmily Prescott


    Although the UK's coronavirus peak has passed hundreds of people are still dying every day.

    Analysis from Public Health England of new cases and infections in countries across Europe suggests the UK is recovering at a slower rate than many of its neighbours, including Italy.

    New infections in Italy and Germany reached peaks ahead of the UK – ten days earlier in Germany and 19 days earlier in Italy.

    By the time each country reached the same stage as the UK, Italy had cut the number of infections by 83 per cent and Germany by 90 per cent.

    The UK has cut infections by only 67 per cent, and all have come from a similar peak – of around 5,500 a day.

    Source :

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