3:39 a.m. EDT
Justice Secretary Says Face Covers Could Be Mandatory In British Stores
Should it be mandatory for people to wear face covers in stores across the UK?
In Scotland, it is the law for buyers to wear face covers when they reopen today. But governments England and Wales have stopped making it mandatory and the messaging of Westminster has not been clear in recent days.
Boris Johnson said on Friday that ministers “were looking for ways to make sure people really did have face covers, in stores, for example” and that “we need to be more strict in insisting that people wear face covers in confined places where they meet people they don’t normally meet. ”
But on Sunday, Michael Gove, the cabinet minister, said it would not be made compulsory in England and that the government “would trust people’s common sense”.
Robert Buckland, the secretary of justice, said this morning that they should be made “perhaps mandatory” if people do not wear face covers in stores by choice.
“[Gove] felt it answered the question that we need to encourage common sense – I agree with that. If it becomes necessary to push people further by taking further action, we will take it into account, of course.
“We did it on public transport where people have to be together, maybe for hours at a time. We follow the evidence and make informed decisions. I think the issue is looked at carefully and daily. “
When asked about BBC Breakfast about his own mask-wearing habits, Buckland said that he always had it with him:
“I think the outside is one thing, with a social distancing, but a small store, I think, is a very good place to wear a covering, and it protects people working in the store, as well as anyone else with who you could get in touch with.
“I think a mask is just an additional useful mitigation which is not just an act of courtesy. I think it is an act that strengthens public safety and confidence. “
When asked if he would wear one in a supermarket, he replied:
“I think carrying one with me and carrying one to a supermarket is a good idea and I think the best thing to do is to keep wearing it. I think if the supermarket is very busy, wearing it makes perfect sense. I think people can be trusted to have the common sense to use judgment. “
at 3:46 a.m. EDT
Leicester’s continued citywide closure is “not warranted”, its mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said after receiving data from the government which apparently shows that the epidemic is only occurring in “a few areas of the city”.
Soulsby said BBC Breakfast that, having “finally” received “useful data”, they know that about 10% of the city has recorded a higher transmission of the virus.
“If we had known a few weeks ago, we could have dealt with it at that time and prevented this lock-up.
It is very clear when we look at the data that these are a few areas of the city that have an above-average transmission of the virus, and certainly how the city has been locked in its entirety, and even beyond our border, is not justified.
Soulsby criticized the government for not transmitting the data “many weeks ago”, adding that even now the information provided to its health officials was incomplete and out of date.
“I mean that even the data we get now has been out of date for two weeks, and we need to know, day by day, street by street, what this data is telling us. and then we can say whether or not, in these particular neighborhoods, we are effectively fighting the virus.
“We need to know the ethnicity of the people who are tested, we need to know where they work. There have been all these discussions about the fact that it was transmitted in factories, but we have no way of knowing. “
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, is expected to announce later this week whether the prolonged foreclosure of Leicester will continue beyond this weekend, and many restaurants and hair salons in the city are not expected to reopen until August.
at 3:26 a.m. EDT
3:06 a.m. EDT
Justice Secretary Cites “Terrible Litany of Abuse” in Leicester’s Garment Factories
The justice secretary, Robert Buckland, welcomed the National Crime Agency investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers Leicester, where it is feared that conditions inside some of the town’s underground workshops were responsible for the local outbreak of coronavirus cases.
Buckland said Sky News:
“A light has now been shed on an appalling litany of abuse and I am pleased to learn that the National Crime Agency (NCA) is currently investigating, it has a great deal of power to call upon various agencies to start the work of an investigation into this. “
Some will dispute Buckland’s suggestion that the scandal has only come to light now, as concerns have been raised publicly about Leicester for years, including in parliamentary reports, by regulators and in media coverage.
Buckland said modern slavery was “all around us. It is in all the cities of Great Britain and even in our rural areas “, and the authorities” will do everything in our power to suffocate it “.
“It is not a job that will take weeks, it will take a long time but I welcome the investigation,” he added.
3:09 a.m. EDT
2:47 a.m. EDT
Lockdown is eased across the UK
Today there is a further easing of the lock in parts of the UK.
In Scotland, non-essential stores inside shopping malls will reopen this morning – with a new law making it compulsory to wear face cover indoors.
Children and young people in Scotland are allowed to participate in organized outdoor sports from today. Dentists and optometrists may offer certain services.
In Wales, pubs, bars and restaurants can start serving customers outside, while hairdressers can also reopen. People will be able to exercise in a group, up to 30 people can simultaneously practice sport outside.
In England, beauty salons, spas, tattoo parlors, and nail bars have been welcoming their first customers for almost four months – but certain treatments, such as eyebrow filleting, are still prohibited, preventing many salons from reopening .
Plan a trip to an outdoor cafe at Wales? Or head to a meticulously organized outdoor squash game after going to a mall in Scotland?
Let us know if you plan to take advantage of your new freedoms. Comment below or contact me directly on Twitter – @JoshHalliday – or by e-mail: email@example.com. I also welcome news and suggestions for areas we should explore!
2 h 09 EDT
Hello and welcome to the Guardian liveblog in the UK.
Public health officials are taking action to suppress more than 100 coronavirus epidemics in the UK each week, the health secretary Matt Hancock said.
In the Telegraph, Hancock said officials were finding more cases of coronavirus due to increased testing. He added:
“The result is that we can further lift the lockout and take targeted action. Every week, over a hundred local actions are taken across the country – some of them will be in the news, but many others are dealt with quickly and silently.
“This is due in large part to the incredible efforts of local authorities – all of which have intensified and published their local outbreak plans in accordance with the end of June deadline.”
His comments came after 73 workers from a Herefordshire farm tested positive for Covid-19.
About 200 workers from the vegetable farm and the packaging company, which supplies Sainsbury’s, Asda, M&S and Aldi, were ordered to isolate the property after the outbreak.
Later in the day, the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, will release further details on the future of immigration to the UK from 1 January 2021, when the UK leaves the European Union single market and customs union.
Under this system, British borders will be closed to so-called unskilled workers and applicants will have to show a better understanding of English.
Applicants must also have a job offer with a minimum wage of £ 25,600 per year, with a few exceptions. But the most important change is the end of freedom of movement for EU nationals, who will be treated equally on arrivals from outside the block.
Citizens and businesses will also have to expect big and costly changes Europe from January 1, with warnings regarding passports, travel insurance, mobile data charges and travel with pets.
This is due to the fact that business leaders have said that only one in four businesses is willing to Great Britainfull departure from the European Union in five months.
at 2:33 a.m. EDT