Keir Starmer rattles Boris Johnson over coronavirus response


Sir Keir Starmer today took the gloves off in his battle against Boris Johnson as he battered the Prime Minister over the Government’s test and trace programme, decision to reopen schools and transparency. 

Sir Keir tried to use PMQs this lunchtime to score body blows on the PM over key parts of the Government’s coronavirus response. 

But a furious Mr Johnson hit back and accused the Labour leader of delivering ‘endless attacks on public trust and confidence’. 

Labour had adopted a largely constructive approach to the crisis to date, with the shadow cabinet seemingly reluctant to blast the Government in public. 

But today marked a dramatic shift in approach as Sir Keir told Mr Johnson: ‘The Prime Minister is confusing scrutiny for attacks.’ 

The clashes at PMQs came as the Government faced growing pressure over the roll out of the NHS Test and Trace programme. 

Reports suggest that the system is failing to trace the contacts of approximately 60 per cent of people who have tested positive for the disease. 

Sir Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson repeatedly clashed at PMQs this lunchtime over the Government’s coronavirus response 

Sir Keir accused the Prime Minister of breaking promises over the roll out of the NHS test and trace programme

Sir Keir accused the Prime Minister of breaking promises over the roll out of the NHS test and trace programme

Boris Johnson reveals plan for proxy voting for shielding MPs as he comes under attack over farcical MILE-LONG ‘socially distanced conga’ of MPs

MPs who cannot make it to Westminster because they are shielding because of age or ill-health will be allowed to vote by proxy, Boris Johnson said today.

The Prime Minister made the announcement as his Government faced widespread ridicule over a mile-long ‘socially distanced conga’ of politicians that snaked around Parliament yesterday.

MPs threw out temporary electronic voting measures brought in during the pandemic despite accusations it would disenfranchise those forced to shield at home because of their age, or specific health issues.

It resulted in hundreds of MPs having to queue for more than an hour in some cases, in a socially distanced snake that wound its way through halls, corridors and open spaces in the Westminster estate, before casting votes in the Commons chamber.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer used a feisty Prime Minister’s Questions today to label the scenes ‘shameful’ and pushed the Prime Minister to end the ‘completely unnecessary and unacceptable’ process and instead allow remote voting to resume.

He told the Commons: ‘If any other employer behaved like this, it’d be a clear and obvious case of indirect discrimination under the Equalities Act.’

Mr Johnson replied: ‘I do think (Sir Keir) needs to consider what is really going on throughout the country where ordinary people are getting used to queuing for long periods of time to do their shopping or whatever it happens to be.

‘I do not think it’s unreasonable that we should ask parliamentarians to come back to this place and do their job for the people of this country.

‘I know it’s difficult and I apologise to colleagues for the inconvenience and I apologise to all those who have particular difficulties because they’re shielded or elderly, the change we’re making today will mean they should be able to vote by proxy.’

 

Overnight, Sir Keir had attacked Mr Johnson for ‘winging it’ over easing the coronavirus lockdown.

The Labour leader said the premier will personally be to blame if coronavirus deaths spike again.

He also jibed that the way Mr Johnson had loosened the rules suggested there was ‘an exit but not a strategy’.

He stepped up his criticism of the PM at PMQs as he took Mr Johnson to task over apparent test and trace failings. 

‘Two weeks ago today at the despatch box the Prime Minister promised that we will have a test, track and trace operation that will be world beating and yes, it will be in place by June 1,’ he said. 

‘But it isn’t. A critical element, the ability of local authorities to respond to local spikes is missing.

‘As one council leader put it to us, we are weeks away from having this up and running, we simply weren’t given enough warning.

‘The Prime Minister mutters it is not true. Dido Harding, the Prime Minister’s own chair of the track and trace system has said that this element will not be ready until the end of June.

‘The Prime Minister must have been briefed on this problem before he made that promise two weeks ago. So why did he make that promise?’

A furious Mr Johnson hit back and said: ‘I am afraid he is casting aspersions on the efforts of tens of thousands of people who have set up a test, track and trace system in this country from a standing start.

‘We now have 40,000 people engaged in this. Every person, thousands of people are being tested as he knows every day.

‘Every person who tests positive in this country, the track and trace system, is contacted, then thousands of their contacts are themselves contacted… and I can tell the House at the moment as a result of our test, track and trace system which was up and running on June 1 as I said, contrary to what he said, as a result of their efforts thousands of people are now following our guidance, following the law and self-isolating to stop the spread of the disease.’

Sir Keir then accused Mr Johnson of failing to use statistics in an appropriate manner after UK statistics watchdog David Norgrove yesterday delivered a devastating rebuke to Health Secretary Matt Hancock for his ‘misleading’ figures on testing.  

‘The problem when the Prime Minister used statistics is that the statistics authority have had concerns on more than one occasion,’ he said before adding that Mr Johnson’s approach was ‘damaging’ to ‘public trust and confidence’ in the Government. 

Mr Johnson replied: ‘I really do not see the purpose of his endless attacks on public trust and confidence when what we are trying to do, and I think what the public want to hear from politicians across all parties, is our clear messages about how to defeat this virus.

‘Test and trace is a vital tool in our armoury and contrary to what he says, we did by the end of May get up to 100,000 tests a day and we got up to 200,000 by the beginning of this month.’

Sir Keir sniped back: ‘The Prime Minister is confusing scrutiny for attacks. I have supported the Government openly and I have taken criticism for it.

‘But boy he makes it difficult to support this Government over the last two weeks.’ 

Sir Keir and Mr Johnson also clashed over the decision to reopen primary schools. 

Responding to Mr Johnson’s call for ‘more co-operation’ from Labour, Sir Keir said he wrote to the Prime Minister two weeks ago to offer help to build a consensus for getting children back into schools but received no response.

Sir Keir said: ‘This is a critical week in our response to Covid-19. Whereas lockdown and stay at home were relatively easy messages, easing restrictions involves very difficult judgement calls.

‘So this is the week, of all weeks, where public trust and confidence in the Government needed to be at its highest.’

He noted that the director of the Reuters Institute said they had never seen such a drop in trust in 10 years, adding: ‘How worried is the Prime Minister about this loss of trust?’

Sir Keir said he had written to the PM on May 18 to offer Labour's help in arriving at a consensus on reopening primary schools

Sir Keir said he had written to the PM on May 18 to offer Labour’s help in arriving at a consensus on reopening primary schools 

Boris Johnson says ‘black lives matter’ as he condemns ‘inexcusable’ death of George Floyd

Boris Johnson insisted ‘black lives matter’ today as he condemned the ‘inexcusable’ death of George Floyd – but refused to criticise Donald Trump’s response.

Mr Johnson added his voice to condemnation as he was asked at PMQs about the wave of furious protests across the US, which have spread around the world.

Footage has emerged of a police officer kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck while he pleaded that he could not breathe. 

Mr Johnson told MPs people had a ‘right’ to demonstrate, but dodged questions over the President’s crackdown and warning that ‘looting means shooting’.

Pressed by Labour’s Keir Starmer over whether he would pass on to Mr Trump the ‘UK’s abhorrence about his response to the events’, Mr Johnson said: ‘I think what happened in the United States was appalling, it was inexcusable.

‘We all saw it on our screens and I perfectly understand people’s right to protest what took place. Though obviously I also believe that protest should take place in a lawful and reasonable way.’

Mr Johnson denied the claim he had not responded, saying he ‘took the trouble’ to ring Sir Keir.

Labour subsequently said the phone call referred to by Mr Johnson was not a one-on-one call but a briefing with other opposition leaders. 

Meanwhile, Sir Keir accused the PM of a lack of transparency over how lockdown easing decisions have been made and how that has been linked to the Government’s coronavirus alert system. 

A visibly frustrated Mr Johnson slapped the despatch box as he replied: ‘He knows perfectly well that the alert level does allow it and he didn’t raise that issue with me when we had a conversation on the telephone and he knows the reason we’ve been able to make the progress we have – the five tests have been fulfilled.

‘So yes the alert level remains at four but as Sage will confirm we’ve managed to protect the NHS, got the rate of deaths down, rate of infection down, the PPE crisis, difficulties in care homes, the question of the R, they have been addressed.

‘The question for him is whether he actually supports the progress we’re making, because at the weekend he was backing it and now he is doing a U-turn, now he seems to be against the steps this country is taking.’  

Mr Johnson also faced a grilling from MPs after the Government yesterday published an official report which showed Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (Bame) Britons were dying at a higher rate from coronavirus than their white counterparts. 

Labour MP Andy Slaughter asked the PM what action will be taken to address the situation and to demonstrate that ‘black lives matter’. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘He is wrong when he says that this Government was somehow forced to publish a review – this Government commissioned the review because we take it incredibly seriously, it is our review.

‘Yes, I do think it intolerable that Covid falls in such a discriminatory way on different groups and different communities in our country and that is why we are going to ensure that our minister for equalities takes up that report and sees what practical steps we need to step to protect those minorities.’

The Government launched the NHS Test and Trace system last week but it has been dogged by claims of early problems. 

A leaked report suggested virus sufferers had provided details of 4,634 people they might have infected, of whom just 1,749 had been texted or emailed.

The Government has insisted the figures are out of date and do not paint an accurate picture. 

Polls have suggested confidence in Mr Johnson has been slumping in the wake of the spat over Mr Cummings (pictured in Downing Street yesterday)

Polls have suggested confidence in Mr Johnson has been slumping in the wake of the spat over Mr Cummings (pictured in Downing Street yesterday)

Ministers are also under pressure over the testing regime with the Government not revealing how many people are actually being tested, instead focusing on the number of tests carried out.

Health Minister Edward Argar today suggested it was not ‘important’ for the Government to know how many people have been tested. 

He told Sky News: ‘What we have always said is we were talking about the number of tests carried out.

‘There is a very good reason for that which is because some people will have to have multiple tests and Matt has been very clear throughout this that the target number he is using is the number of tests carried out.’

Asked directly how many individuals were tested yesterday, Mr Argar said: ‘We carried out 135,645 tests. That is what we are focusing on. That is the important statistic.’  

Keir Starmer rattles Boris Johnson over coronavirus response


The gloves are (finally) off: Keir Starmer rattles Boris Johnson over COVID-19 BAME deaths, track and trace failures and schools as the coronavrus political cease-fire comes to an explosive end

  • The Government has only been publishing statistics for total number of tests 
  • Edward Argar was today unable to say how many individuals are being checked
  • He said the ‘important’ number was the total number of virus tests carried out
  • Some people are tested more than twice which can skew the overall figures 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Sir Keir Starmer today took the gloves off in his battle against Boris Johnson as he battered the Prime Minister over the Government’s test and trace programme, decision to reopen schools and transparency. 

Sir Keir tried to use PMQs this lunchtime to score body blows on the PM over key parts of the Government’s coronavirus response. 

But a furious Mr Johnson hit back and accused the Labour leader of delivering ‘endless attacks on public trust and confidence’. 

Labour had adopted a constructive approach to the crisis to date, with the shadow cabinet seemingly reluctant to blast the Government in public. 

But today marked a dramatic shift in approach as Sir Keir told Mr Johnson: ‘The Prime Minister is confusing scrutiny for attacks.’ 

The clashes at PMQs came as the Government faced growing pressure over the roll out of the NHS Test and Trace programme. 

Reports suggest that the system is failing to trace the contacts of approximately 60 per cent of people who have tested positive. 

Sir Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson repeatedly clashed at PMQs this lunchtime over the Government’s coronavirus response 

Overnight, Sir Keir had attacked Mr Johnson for ‘winging it’ over easing the coronavirus lockdown.

The Labour leader said the premier will personally be to blame if coronavirus deaths spike again.

He also jibed that the way Mr Johnson had loosened the rules suggested there was ‘an exit but not a strategy’.

He stepped up his criticism of the PM at PMQs as he took Mr Johnson to task over test and trace. 

‘Two weeks ago today at the despatch box the Prime Minister promised that we will have a test, track and trace operation that will be world beating and yes, it will be in place by June 1,’ he said. 

‘But it isn’t. A critical element, the ability of local authorities to respond to local spikes is missing.

‘As one council leader put it to us, we are weeks away from having this up and running, we simply weren’t given enough warning.

‘The Prime Minister mutters it is not true. Dido Harding, the Prime Minister’s own chair of the track and trace system has said that this element will not be ready until the end of June.

‘The Prime Minister must have been briefed on this problem before he made that promise two weeks ago. So why did he make that promise?’

A furious Mr Johnson hit back and said: ‘I am afraid he is casting aspersions on the efforts of tens of thousands of people who have set up a test, track and trace system in this country from a standing start.

‘We now have 40,000 people engaged in this. Every person, thousands of people are being tested as he knows every day.

‘Every person who tests positive in this country, the track and trace system, is contacted, then thousands of their contacts are themselves contacted… and I can tell the House at the moment as a result of our test, track and trace system which was up and running on June 1 as I said, contrary to what he said, as a result of their efforts thousands of people are now following our guidance, following the law and self-isolating to stop the spread of the disease.’

Sir Keir then accused Mr Johnson of failing to use statistics in an appropriate manner after UK statistics watchdog David Norgrove yesterday delivered a devastating rebuke to Health Secretary Matt Hancock for his ‘misleading’ figures on testing.  

‘The problem when the Prime Minister used statistics is that the statistics authority have had concerns on more than one occasion,’ he said before adding that Mr Johnson’s approach was ‘damaging’ to ‘public trust and confidence’ in the Government. 

Mr Johnson replied: ‘I really do not see the purpose of his endless attacks on public trust and confidence when what we are trying to do, and I think what the public want to hear from politicians across all parties, is our clear messages about how to defeat this virus.

‘Test and trace is a vital tool in our armoury and contrary to what he says, we did by the end of May get up to 100,000 tests a day and we got up to 200,000 by the beginning of this month.’

Sir Keir sniped back: ‘The Prime Minister is confusing scrutiny for attacks. I have supported the Government openly and I have taken criticism for it.

‘But boy he makes it difficult to support this Government over the last two weeks.’ 

Met Police reveals which London boroughs received the most fines for flouting Covid-19 lockdown


London’s biggest lockdown breachers: Scotland Yard reveals areas where most flouting fines have been issued – as data shows ‘strong’ link between rule-breaking and hot weather

  • Metropolitan Police reveals West London as hotspot for breaking lockdown
  • Senior police officer Mark Simmons says he’s ‘proud’ of Londoners’ response 
  • Easter weekend saw the highest number of fines handed out in the capital  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Met Police has revealed the boroughs where the highest number of fines were issued for flouting lockdown – after finding the warm weather created a spike in people ignoring Covid-19 regulations.

Figures released by Scotland Yard today reveal officers issued 973 fines for breaching lockdown between March 27, the first weekend after unprecedented rules were announced, and May 14, days after Boris Johnson began to ease measures. 

Boroughs on the edge of West London, Hillingdon, Ealing and Hounslow, saw the 165 fines issued during the same period – the highest number out of any of London’s basic command units.

Police continue to patrol St James Park on Sunday to ensure social distancing is in place. Today Scotland Yard has revealed which parts of the capital received the most fines for flouting lockdown

East Area basic command unit, which covers the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, had the second highest number of fines issued with 125.

Barnet, Harrow and Brent, in North West BCU, had the lowest number of fines – 29 were issued, making up around three per cent of the Met’s total.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons said: ‘From the start, policing this new legislation has been complex and I’m proud of how both the public and police in London have responded.

The orange line reflects the number of fines issued in the capital, with the grey behind showing the temperature in St James' Park over time, the highest number of fines came on Easter Sunday

The orange line reflects the number of fines issued in the capital, with the grey behind showing the temperature in St James’ Park over time, the highest number of fines came on Easter Sunday

‘Our aim has been to protect London, and not to unnecessarily criminalise where we can avoid it. We have seen, overall, good compliance when we have intervened, meaning in most cases the need for issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice or arrest has been unnecessary. 

‘I hope Londoners will be reassured as a result of the low volume of Covid-19 related enforcement that we have been using the new powers only when we have absolutely needed to.

‘We have seen very few arrests of people where they have only been in breach of the Covid-19 regulations and not been committing any other offences which further demonstrates the effectiveness of our approach.’

Data released today also showed most fines were issued to white people (44%), while 679 of the fines were issued to men aged between 18 and 35.

April 12, Easter Sunday, saw the highest number of fines handed out in London in a single day, 54, with the Bank Holiday weekend proving to be the busiest for officers.

Scotland Yard’s review found the warm weather coincided with a spike in the number of fines issued, by comparing the temperature at St James’ Park in Westminster, with the number of fines issued London-wide.

Crowds gather in St James' Park, London on Saturday. Met Police compared temperatures at the Westminster park with the number of fines issued and established the weather did effect how many people flouted lockdown

Crowds gather in St James’ Park, London on Saturday. Met Police compared temperatures at the Westminster park with the number of fines issued and established the weather did effect how many people flouted lockdown

A spokesman from Met Police said: ‘Where enforcement has been necessary we have seen a correlation with weather in the early part of lock down, age and gender.

‘The reasons for this are likely to be complex and reflect a range of factors. 

‘This includes interactions between the areas subject to significant proactive policing activity targeting crime hot-spots and both the variation in the age-profile and geographical distribution of ethnic groups in London.’ 

Last month the National Police Chiefs’ Council said rules such as two-metre social distancing were ‘unenforceable’. 

Advice issued by the College of Policing and the NPCC urged officers to only enforce what is written in law, adding that ‘Government guidance is not enforceable, for example two-metre distancing, avoiding public transport or the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces’. 

Police have instead opted to engage, explain and encourage the public to follow social distancing guidelines.

Keir Starmer tells Boris Johnson to ‘get a grip’ of Britain’s Covid crisis or risk a second wave


Keir Starmer launched a furious attack on Boris Johnson for ‘winging it’ over the lockdown easing today, saying he will personally be to blame if coronavirus deaths spike again.

The Labour leader signalled a step change in his pressure on the PM, jibing that the way he decided to loosen restrictions showed there was ‘an exit but not a strategy’.

Sir Keir said Mr Johnson appeared to have brought forward the relaxation to take attention away from the bitter row over whether his chief aide Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules with a 260-mile trip to Durham.

Teeing up a potentially explosive confrontation at PMQs later, Sir Keir wrote in the Guardian that the premier must ‘get a grip’ and win back the trust of the public.

The gloves came off after weeks of Sir Keir taking a low-key approach to criticism of the government, stressing that he wanted to work together to combat the pandemic. Polls have suggested confidence in Mr Johnson has been slumping in the wake of the spat over Mr Cummings.

Scientists have also voiced alarm that loosening the draconian curbs might trigger a second wave of the deadly disease. From this week up to six people from different households are allowed to meet in public places or gardens, while schools and shops are starting to reopen, 

Ministers have insisted that the new contact tracing regime can help control flare ups, and warned that areas could face reimposition of tough measures.

But there are reports that under half of those who were in contact with people who tested positive were contacted in the first days of the system.

The UK statistics watchdog David Norgrove also delivered a devastating rebuke to Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday for his ‘misleading’ figures on testing.    

The UK coronavirus death toll could well reach 50,000 today, having passed 49,800 on yesterday.

Boris Johnson

Sir Keir Starmer (left) has told Boris Johnson to ‘get a grip’ of Britain’s lockdown during the pandemic, as Labour shifted to a more aggressive stance

Polls have suggested confidence in Mr Johnson has been slumping in the wake of the spat over Mr Cummings (pictured in Downing Street yesterday)

Polls have suggested confidence in Mr Johnson has been slumping in the wake of the spat over Mr Cummings (pictured in Downing Street yesterday)

Meanwhile, new quarantine restrictions on travellers arriving in the UK will be set out by Home Secretary Priti Patel, including requiring the majority of visitors to Britain to self-isolate for 14 days.

Sir Keir said Mr Johnson ‘has got to get a grip’ and expressed concerns that the Government is now ‘winging it’.

In an interview with The Guardian, he said: ‘I am putting the Prime Minister on notice that he has got to get a grip and restore public confidence in the Government’s handling of the epidemic.

‘If we see a sharp rise in the R rate, the infection rate, or a swathe of local lockdowns, responsibility for that falls squarely at the door of No 10.

‘We all know the public have made huge sacrifices. This mismanagement of the last few weeks is the responsibility of the Government.’

Sir Keir added: ‘My (worry) is that after a week or more of mismanagement, I’m deeply concerned the Government has made a difficult situation 10 times worse. There is a growing concern the government is now winging it.

‘At precisely the time when there should have been maximum trust in the Government, confidence has collapsed.’

The quarantine rules to be published on Wednesday include powers to refuse entry to foreign travellers who disobey UK authorities.

The plans – which come into force on June 8 – will see people arriving in the UK told to isolate for 14 days to prevent coronavirus cases being introduced from overseas.

A breach of self-isolation in England would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice or potential prosecution and unlimited fine, while devolved administrations will set out their own enforcement action

The Home Office said removal from the country would be considered ‘as a last resort’ for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the order to stay at a single residence.

The quarantine plan has been condemned by businesses in the travel sector and there have been calls from senior Tories for the plan to be scrapped in favour of the so-called air bridge solution.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed yesterday that the Government is still looking at the prospect of air bridges between the UK and other countries, creating specific exemptions from the quarantine rules.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ms Patel said: ‘We will all suffer if we get this wrong and that is why it is crucial that we introduce these measures now.

‘Let’s not throw away our progress in tackling this deadly virus. We owe it to the thousands who have died.’

The measures will be kept under review – with the first on June 29 – and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there was hope that people could go on holiday later in the summer.

He said: ‘We are working with the transport industry to see how we can introduce agreements with other countries when safe to do so, so we can go abroad and tourists can come here.’

Meanwhile a YouGov poll of 1,565 people found that 63 per cent were in favour of the quarantine plan for travellers arriving in the UK.  

Keir Starmer tells Boris Johnson to ‘get a grip’ of Britain’s Covid crisis or risk a second wave


Keir Starmer launched a furious attack on Boris Johnson for ‘winging it’ over the lockdown easing today, saying he will personally be to blame if coronavirus deaths spike again.

The Labour leader ramped up the pressure on the PM over the decision to loosen restrictions, jibing that he had ‘an exit but not a strategy’.

Sir Keir said Mr Johnson appeared to have brought forward the relaxation to take attention away from the bitter row over whether his chief aide Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules with a 260-mile trip to Durham.

Teeing up a potentially explosive confrontation at PMQs later, Sir Keir wrote in the Guardian that the premier must ‘get a grip’ and win back the trust of the public.

The gloves came off after scientists voiced alarm that the loosening the draconian curbs might trigger a second wave of the deadly disease. From this week up to six people from different households are allowed to meet in public places or gardens, while schools and shops are starting to reopen,  

Ministers have insisted that the new contact tracing regime can help control flare ups, and warned that areas could face reimposition of tough measures.

But there are reports that under half of those who were in contact with people who tested positive were contacted in the first days of the system.

The UK statistics watchdog David Norgrove also delivered a devastating rebuke to Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday for his ‘misleading’ figures on testing.    

The UK coronavirus death toll could well reach 50,000 today, having passed 49,800 on yesterday.

Sir Keir Starmer has told Boris Johnson to ‘get a grip’ of Britain’s lockdown during the pandemic

Boris Johnson is coming under pressure from the Labour leader over his handling of the Covid-19 crisis

Boris Johnson is coming under pressure from the Labour leader over his handling of the Covid-19 crisis

Meanwhile, new quarantine restrictions on travellers arriving in the UK will be set out by Home Secretary Priti Patel, including requiring the majority of visitors to Britain to self-isolate for 14 days.

Sir Keir said Mr Johnson ‘has got to get a grip’ and expressed concerns that the Government is now ‘winging it’.

In an interview with The Guardian, he said: ‘I am putting the Prime Minister on notice that he has got to get a grip and restore public confidence in the Government’s handling of the epidemic.

‘If we see a sharp rise in the R rate, the infection rate, or a swathe of local lockdowns, responsibility for that falls squarely at the door of No 10.

‘We all know the public have made huge sacrifices. This mismanagement of the last few weeks is the responsibility of the Government.’

Sir Keir added: ‘My (worry) is that after a week or more of mismanagement, I’m deeply concerned the Government has made a difficult situation 10 times worse. There is a growing concern the government is now winging it.

‘At precisely the time when there should have been maximum trust in the Government, confidence has collapsed.’

The quarantine rules to be published on Wednesday include powers to refuse entry to foreign travellers who disobey UK authorities.

The plans – which come into force on June 8 – will see people arriving in the UK told to isolate for 14 days to prevent coronavirus cases being introduced from overseas.

A breach of self-isolation in England would be punishable with a £1,000 fixed penalty notice or potential prosecution and unlimited fine, while devolved administrations will set out their own enforcement action

The Home Office said removal from the country would be considered ‘as a last resort’ for foreign nationals who refuse to comply with the order to stay at a single residence.

The quarantine plan has been condemned by businesses in the travel sector and there have been calls from senior Tories for the plan to be scrapped in favour of the so-called air bridge solution.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed yesterday that the Government is still looking at the prospect of air bridges between the UK and other countries, creating specific exemptions from the quarantine rules.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ms Patel said: ‘We will all suffer if we get this wrong and that is why it is crucial that we introduce these measures now.

‘Let’s not throw away our progress in tackling this deadly virus. We owe it to the thousands who have died.’

The measures will be kept under review – with the first on June 29 – and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there was hope that people could go on holiday later in the summer.

He said: ‘We are working with the transport industry to see how we can introduce agreements with other countries when safe to do so, so we can go abroad and tourists can come here.’

Meanwhile a YouGov poll of 1,565 people found that 63 per cent were in favour of the quarantine plan for travellers arriving in the UK.  

Downing Street blasts EU’s demands for access to UK fishing waters


Downing Street blasts EU’s demands for access to UK fishing waters as latest round of trade talks begin

  • EU claimed Britain should compromise on access to UK fishing waters 
  • Downing Street said Brussels failed to acknowledge nation’s new independence 
  • The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘This is wishful thinking by the EU’

Britain accused the EU of wishful thinking yesterday for claiming it should compromise on access to fishing waters and follow standards set by Brussels.

As the latest round of trade talks began, Downing Street said Brussels had failed to acknowledge the nation’s new-found independence.

UK chief negotiator David Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier are holding meetings online after the last round of talks ended in stalemate.

The two sides must make progress ahead of a summit this month between Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, but the UK has already indicated it will walk away from negotiations if there is no prospect of an agreement by then.

UK chief negotiator David Frost (left) and the EU’s Michel Barnier (right) are holding meetings online after the last round of talks ended in stalemate. Pictured together March 2 2020

It was claimed yesterday that the UK would be willing to compromise on access to its fishing waters and ‘level playing field’ trade rules if the EU agreed to scale back its demands.

‘There is only one way to get things moving and that is for the UK side to move and then, as Frost knows full well, the EU will move too,’ a senior EU diplomatic source told The Times.

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘This is wishful thinking by the EU.

‘We have always been clear there is no question of splitting the difference on level playing field and fish. We are not compromising on those because our position on these is fundamental to an independent country. Any agreement has to deal with this reality.’ The spokesman said there had to be a ‘balanced solution’ that reflected the ‘political reality’ on both sides, adding: ‘What we cannot do is agree to any EU demands for us to give up our rights as an independent state.’

Meanwhile, industry leaders described any attempt by Brussels to withhold a post-Brexit trade deal over fishing rights as a ‘nuclear option’.

As the latest round of trade talks began, Downing Street said Brussels had failed to acknowledge the nation’s new-found independence. Pictured: Boris Johnson, May 28 2020

As the latest round of trade talks began, Downing Street said Brussels had failed to acknowledge the nation’s new-found independence. Pictured: Boris Johnson, May 28 2020

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said he did not believe ‘capitulation’ by the UK was likely.

He said the EU had taken a ‘hard line’ and there was not much optimism that a deal on fishing could be reached by the end of June.

But as European trawlers fish six times as much in UK waters as British vessels do in EU waters, London has leverage in the talks, Mr Deas said.

He said: ‘Fishing rights are an entirely separate issue. The EU are trying to link them because it’s the only card they believe they have. It’s a nuclear option and would be extremely damaging to the EU as well as to the UK. That’s why I think there will be a compromise because it’s in the parties’ interests.’

Fishing boats take part in a Brexit flotilla, organised by Fishing For Leave, in Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain March 15, 2019

Fishing boats take part in a Brexit flotilla, organised by Fishing For Leave, in Newcastle upon Tyne, Britain March 15, 2019

A compromise could be based on an assurance to EU fleets that they could fish in UK waters – but not with the same quotas as before, Mr Deas said.

It came as MPs on the Commons public accounts committee said they feared firms and the public would struggle to absorb official advice on Covid-19 and Brexit at the same time.

In a report, they claimed it was ‘likely the Covid-19 campaign will crowd out the Brexit transition campaign’. 

Boris Johnson would ‘willingly’ offer all THREE MILLION people from Hong Kong refuge in the UK


Boris Johnson has said he will have ‘no choice’ but to offer the people of Hong Kong citizenship if China erodes human rights in the former British colony.

The Prime Minister said last night that a proposed new national security law in Hong Kong would ‘dramatically erode its autonomy’ and breach the terms of its treaty with the UK.

Mr Johnson said he would ‘willingly’ bring in one of the ‘biggest changes in our visa system in British history’ as an ‘alternative’ to Chinese repression.

Beijing’s push to impose its will in the former British colony has stoked worry about its future.

It has prompted Britain to offer refuge to almost three million Hong Kong residents eligible for a British National Overseas passport.

Boris Johnson said he would ‘willingly’ bring in one of the ‘biggest changes in our visa system in British history’ as an ‘alternative’ to Chinese repression

A pro-democracy protester waves a British colonial flag during a rally at a shopping mall in the Central district in Hong Kong on Monday

A pro-democracy protester waves a British colonial flag during a rally at a shopping mall in the Central district in Hong Kong on Monday

Hong Kong riot police fire tear gas as hundreds of protesters march along a downtown street during a pro-democracy protest against Beijing's national security legislation in Hong Kong on May 24

Hong Kong riot police fire tear gas as hundreds of protesters march along a downtown street during a pro-democracy protest against Beijing’s national security legislation in Hong Kong on May 24

Writing in the Times, Mr Johnson said: ‘Britain would then have no choice but to uphold our profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong.

‘Today, about 350,000 of the territory’s people hold British National (Overseas) passports and another 2.5million would be eligible to apply for them.’ 

Currently the passports allow visa-free access to the UK for up to six months.

He added: ‘If China imposes its national security law, the British government will change our immigration rules and allow any holder of these passports from Hong Kong to come to the UK for a renewable period of 12 months and be given further immigration rights, including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship.

‘This would amount to one of the biggest changes in our visa system in history.

‘If it proves necessary, the British government will take this step and take it willingly.

‘Many people in Hong Kong fear their way of life, which China pledged to uphold, is under threat.

‘If China proceeds to justify their fears then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulder and walk away; instead we will honour our obligations and provide an alternative.’ 

It is understood the people of Hong Kong will be offered a route into Britain only after the publication of full details of the proposed laws, expected this month.

A protester holds up the British National (Overseas) passports in a shopping mall during a protest against China's national security legislation for Hong Kong

A protester holds up the British National (Overseas) passports in a shopping mall during a protest against China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong

The BNO passport was created for Hong Kong people before Britain returned the territory to Chinese rule in 1997.

Though they are British passports that allow a holder to visit Britain for six months, they do not come with an automatic right to live and work there.

But the Foreign Secretary has said the six-month limit could be removed if, as is expected, China imposes its draconian legislation on the city.

The pledge has seen people who held BNO passports rush to replace them.

Mother of two Ming Wong, 39, was one of those to re-apply for her lost passport.

‘I started filling out the applications in December after the protests, but it’s the national security legislation now that really prompted me to finish the process,’ Wong said.

Her husband, brother and parents are also applying, she said.

According to figures obtained by the Mingpao newspaper from the British Passport Office, BNO renewal applications increased in the second half of last year, amid sometimes violent anti-government protests, with the number totalling more than 120,000 in 2019 compared with about 14,000 in 2017 and 2018.

Beijing's push to impose its will in the former British colony has stoked worry about its future

Beijing’s push to impose its will in the former British colony has stoked worry about its future

Immigration consultants have reported a rush of enquiries about moving away from Hong Kong since China’s announcement on May 21.

‘Last week alone, the number of enquiries surged to about 100 a day,’ said Swing Wong, a director the Midland immigration consultancy, from about 50 a day earlier this year.

‘Most people who enquire about the UK think it would be a safety net for their children,’ said Ivan Yam, director of immigration consultant Golden Emperor Properties.

Mr Raab yesterday told the House of Commons there was still time for China to withdraw a bill that Beijing says is necessary to protect itself.

When passed, it will allow China to put its own security measures, such as secret police and arbitary detention of critics, in place in Hong Kong, destroying the ‘one country, two systems’ promise that is due to run until 2047.

Mr Raab said: ‘If China is willing to interfere on political and autonomy grounds, it is also likely to pose a longer term threat to the economic prosperty and economic model that Hong Kong reflects and embodies.

‘The sad reality is that if China continues down this track, it will be strangling what has long been the jewel in the economic crown.

‘There is still an opportunity for China to step back,’ he said but added: ‘We think that it is unlikely that will happen.’

It comes as Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed government was accused of ‘stifling freedom of expression’ of its people after police banned an upcoming vigil which will mark the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.

The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. The file picture taken on June 4, 2019 shows people holding candles during a Tiananmen Square vigil in Hong Kong

The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. The file picture taken on June 4, 2019 shows people holding candles during a Tiananmen Square vigil in Hong Kong

Hong Kong police on Monday banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary over health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The picture was taken by AP photographer Jeff Widener from a sixth-floor balcony of the Beijing Hotel near Tiananmen

Hong Kong police on Monday banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary over health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The picture was taken by AP photographer Jeff Widener from a sixth-floor balcony of the Beijing Hotel near Tiananmen

Last year's gathering was especially large and came just a week before seven months of pro-democracy protests and clashes exploded onto the city's streets. Candlelight vigils in Hong Kong marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown in Victoria Park

Last year’s gathering was especially large and came just a week before seven months of pro-democracy protests and clashes exploded onto the city’s streets. Candlelight vigils in Hong Kong marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown in Victoria Park 

Residents in the Asian financial hub have mourned the victims of the bloody event yearly since 1990, and this is the first time the city will not be allowed to hold the commemoration.  

The city’s police rejected permission for this year’s rally, claiming it would ‘constitute a major threat to the life and health of the general public’ amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter of objection to organisers obtained by AFP. 

The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and Hong Kong has been the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. 

Last year’s Tiananmen vigil was especially large and came just a week before seven months of pro-democracy protests and clashes exploded onto the city’s streets, sparked initially by a plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian mainland. 

Human rights organisation Amnesty International urged the Hong Kong authorities to lift the ban. 

‘COVID-19 must not be used as an excuse to stifle freedom of expression,’ said Joshua Rosenzweig, Amnesty International’s East and South East Asia Deputy Director. 

‘In recent weeks, we have seen the Hong Kong police repeatedly clamp down on peaceful protests with arbitrary mass arrests and excessive force – including the use of tear gas and pepper pellets. 

‘With this ban, and a disastrous national security law looming, it is not clear if Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil will ever be allowed to take place again.’ 

Boris Johnson would ‘willingly’ offer all THREE MILLION people from Hong Kong refuge in the UK


Boris Johnson has said he will have ‘no choice’ but to offer the people of Hong Kong citizenship if China erodes human rights in the former British colony.

The Prime Minister said last night that a proposed new national security law in Hong Kong would ‘dramatically erode its autonomy’ and breach the terms of its treaty with the UK.

Mr Johnson said he would ‘willingly’ bring in one of the ‘biggest changes in our visa system in British history’ as an ‘alternative’ to Chinese repression.

Beijing’s push to impose its will in the former British colony has stoked worry about its future.

It has prompted Britain to offer refuge to almost three million Hong Kong residents eligible for a British National Overseas passport.

Boris Johnson said he would ‘willingly’ bring in one of the ‘biggest changes in our visa system in British history’ as an ‘alternative’ to Chinese repression

A pro-democracy protester waves a British colonial flag during a rally at a shopping mall in the Central district in Hong Kong on Monday

A pro-democracy protester waves a British colonial flag during a rally at a shopping mall in the Central district in Hong Kong on Monday

Hong Kong riot police fire tear gas as hundreds of protesters march along a downtown street during a pro-democracy protest against Beijing's national security legislation in Hong Kong on May 24

Hong Kong riot police fire tear gas as hundreds of protesters march along a downtown street during a pro-democracy protest against Beijing’s national security legislation in Hong Kong on May 24

Writing in the Times, Mr Johnson said: ‘Britain would then have no choice but to uphold our profound ties of history and friendship with the people of Hong Kong.

‘Today, about 350,000 of the territory’s people hold British National (Overseas) passports and another 2.5million would be eligible to apply for them.’ 

Currently the passports allow visa-free access to the UK for up to six months.

He added: ‘If China imposes its national security law, the British government will change our immigration rules and allow any holder of these passports from Hong Kong to come to the UK for a renewable period of 12 months and be given further immigration rights, including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship.

‘This would amount to one of the biggest changes in our visa system in history.

‘If it proves necessary, the British government will take this step and take it willingly.

‘Many people in Hong Kong fear their way of life, which China pledged to uphold, is under threat.

‘If China proceeds to justify their fears then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulder and walk away; instead we will honour our obligations and provide an alternative.’ 

It is understood the people of Hong Kong will be offered a route into Britain only after the publication of full details of the proposed laws, expected this month.

A protester holds up the British National (Overseas) passports in a shopping mall during a protest against China's national security legislation for Hong Kong

A protester holds up the British National (Overseas) passports in a shopping mall during a protest against China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong

The BNO passport was created for Hong Kong people before Britain returned the territory to Chinese rule in 1997.

Though they are British passports that allow a holder to visit Britain for six months, they do not come with an automatic right to live and work there.

But the Foreign Secretary has said the six-month limit could be removed if, as is expected, China imposes its draconian legislation on the city.

The pledge has seen people who held BNO passports rush to replace them.

Mother of two Ming Wong, 39, was one of those to re-apply for her lost passport.

‘I started filling out the applications in December after the protests, but it’s the national security legislation now that really prompted me to finish the process,’ Wong said.

Her husband, brother and parents are also applying, she said.

According to figures obtained by the Mingpao newspaper from the British Passport Office, BNO renewal applications increased in the second half of last year, amid sometimes violent anti-government protests, with the number totalling more than 120,000 in 2019 compared with about 14,000 in 2017 and 2018.

Beijing's push to impose its will in the former British colony has stoked worry about its future

Beijing’s push to impose its will in the former British colony has stoked worry about its future

Immigration consultants have reported a rush of enquiries about moving away from Hong Kong since China’s announcement on May 21.

‘Last week alone, the number of enquiries surged to about 100 a day,’ said Swing Wong, a director the Midland immigration consultancy, from about 50 a day earlier this year.

‘Most people who enquire about the UK think it would be a safety net for their children,’ said Ivan Yam, director of immigration consultant Golden Emperor Properties.

Mr Raab yesterday told the House of Commons there was still time for China to withdraw a bill that Beijing says is necessary to protect itself.

When passed, it will allow China to put its own security measures, such as secret police and arbitary detention of critics, in place in Hong Kong, destroying the ‘one country, two systems’ promise that is due to run until 2047.

Mr Raab said: ‘If China is willing to interfere on political and autonomy grounds, it is also likely to pose a longer term threat to the economic prosperty and economic model that Hong Kong reflects and embodies.

‘The sad reality is that if China continues down this track, it will be strangling what has long been the jewel in the economic crown.

‘There is still an opportunity for China to step back,’ he said but added: ‘We think that it is unlikely that will happen.’

It comes as Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed government was accused of ‘stifling freedom of expression’ of its people after police banned an upcoming vigil which will mark the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.

The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. The file picture taken on June 4, 2019 shows people holding candles during a Tiananmen Square vigil in Hong Kong

The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. The file picture taken on June 4, 2019 shows people holding candles during a Tiananmen Square vigil in Hong Kong

Hong Kong police on Monday banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary over health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The picture was taken by AP photographer Jeff Widener from a sixth-floor balcony of the Beijing Hotel near Tiananmen

Hong Kong police on Monday banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary over health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. The picture was taken by AP photographer Jeff Widener from a sixth-floor balcony of the Beijing Hotel near Tiananmen

Last year's gathering was especially large and came just a week before seven months of pro-democracy protests and clashes exploded onto the city's streets. Candlelight vigils in Hong Kong marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown in Victoria Park

Last year’s gathering was especially large and came just a week before seven months of pro-democracy protests and clashes exploded onto the city’s streets. Candlelight vigils in Hong Kong marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown in Victoria Park 

Residents in the Asian financial hub have mourned the victims of the bloody event yearly since 1990, and this is the first time the city will not be allowed to hold the commemoration.  

The city’s police rejected permission for this year’s rally, claiming it would ‘constitute a major threat to the life and health of the general public’ amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a letter of objection to organisers obtained by AFP. 

The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and Hong Kong has been the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. 

Last year’s Tiananmen vigil was especially large and came just a week before seven months of pro-democracy protests and clashes exploded onto the city’s streets, sparked initially by a plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian mainland. 

Human rights organisation Amnesty International urged the Hong Kong authorities to lift the ban. 

‘COVID-19 must not be used as an excuse to stifle freedom of expression,’ said Joshua Rosenzweig, Amnesty International’s East and South East Asia Deputy Director. 

‘In recent weeks, we have seen the Hong Kong police repeatedly clamp down on peaceful protests with arbitrary mass arrests and excessive force – including the use of tear gas and pepper pellets. 

‘With this ban, and a disastrous national security law looming, it is not clear if Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil will ever be allowed to take place again.’ 

Coronavirus patients can suffer from shortness of breath and fatigue for MONTHS


Coronavirus patients can suffer from shortness of breath and fatigue for MONTHS after their battle with the disease, government scientists warn

  • Concerns about Covid-19’s lasting effects were discussed in a SAGE meeting
  • The expert panel called for studies to investigate the lasting effects of the illness 
  • Scientists are clueless as to how long it takes infected patients to fully recover
  • Those who end up in intensive care may be left with permanent organ damage
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Coronavirus patients could be left short of breath for months after their battle with the disease, according to government scientists. 

SAGE, a panel of exerts who advise Number 10 in emergencies, also warned Covid-19 survivors may endure weeks of fatigue. 

Concerns about the lasting effects of the illness were discussed in a SAGE meeting which took place on May 7. 

Boris Johnson raised fears for his health in his first Downing Street briefing after he was discharged from intensive care following his bout of Covid-19. 

The Prime Minister leaned on his lectern with both arms and his opening remarks on April 30 were punctuated by strained inhalations. 

Other Brits who have fought off the virus have revealed throughout the outbreak that they have been wiped of energy and left struggling to walk up the stairs. 

Boris Johnson was bereft of his characteristic ebullience on April 30, during a strained first Downing Street briefing since his period of intensive care for coronavirus 

Scientists are currently clueless as to how long it takes infected patients to fully recover from Covid-19, which has killed 370,000 people worldwide. 

The more serious someone’s illness is, the longer it takes, and those who end up in intensive care may be left with permanent damage to their lungs and liver.

Physiotherapists also warn patients can suffer a loss of mobility, if they are stuck on hospital wards for weeks, or endure flashbacks and emotional distress. 

Scientists think it is likely people become immune to the virus in at least the short term, meaning they won’t catch it twice, but they are not certain.  

SAGE called for studies to investigate the lasting effects of the illness, which some experts have branded ‘post-Covid disability’ and likened to polio. 

How long does it take to recover from coronavirus?

Doctors say it’s unclear how long it takes people to truly recover from COVID-19, however anecdotal evidence suggests it can take months.

Indeed, when the Prime Minister was rushed to intensive care, experts issued grave warnings about how long he would be out of action for.

One medical precept holds that for every week a patient is in intensive care, there will require double that time to fully recover once discharged. 

The more serious someone’s illness is, the longer it takes, and those who end up in intensive care may be left with permanent damage to their lungs and liver. 

Scientists think it is likely people become immune to the virus in at least the short term, meaning they won’t catch it twice, but they are not certain. 

COVID-19 is caused by a virus which mainly attaches to and attacks cells in the lining of the airways and the lungs, which is why sufferers find it so difficult to breathe.

The body’s immune reaction is what causes symptoms – swelling in the areas where the virus is attacking makes the airways close up and make it hard to breathe, and patients cough to try and expel the viruses and dead lung tissue from their bodies.

The immune system also causes a high temperature and aches and pains as it tries to make the body too hostile for it to survive.

And patients become exhausted as the virus makes the lungs unable to get enough oxygen into the blood, depleting muscles’ energy supplies.

While the vast majority of people who catch the coronavirus survive – some with medical help, but many without – the effects of it can linger on for weeks afterwards. 

Officials published a trove of meetings and scientific papers on Friday, laying bare the advice ministers were given during the crisis.   

Minutes from the meeting on May 7 read: ‘SAGE also noted the existence of longer-term health sequelae.’

This, the team said, included the ‘persistence of extreme tiredness and shortness of breath for several months’.

Advisers also warned of rare symptoms such as strokes and kidney disease, both of which have been linked to Covid-19. 

One scientific advisor to the Government told The Telegraph ‘a very high proportion’ of Covid-19 survivors ‘cannot get back to a normal life’. 

The meeting was attended 50 people, including Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty – Number 10’s most senior advisers.

Seven observers and government officials also attended – but the names of four of them were hidden.    

The boss of NHS England last week warned the UK was seeing a ‘substantial new need for rehab and aftercare’.

Sir Simon Stevens revealed some patients need psychological treatment for ‘post-intensive care syndrome’.

His comments came as the NHS launched its first hospital to help patients recover from the long-term effects of the illness.

More than 100 staff were recruited to work at the Seacole Centre in Leatherhead, Surrey, which opened its doors on Friday.

Physiotherapists fear a ‘tsunami of demand’ in the wake of the pandemic, with one group saying it was ‘incredibly worried’ about a post-Covid spike.   

SAGE met for the first time in January as a ‘precautionary’ measure, 22 days after the virus was reported in China. 

The committee noted testing capacity in Wuhan was already ‘overwhelmed’ and said there is evidence of person-to-person transmission.

They also talked about the then lack of evidence on whether patients can spread the virus before showing symptoms and what the viral incubation period is.  

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

NHS 

The NHS lists the following as the main symptoms of the coronavirus:

  •  a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)   

It also says to use the NHS 111 service if you have those symptoms

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

Until recently, the CDC only listed three symptoms of coronavirus on its website:

  • Fever 
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath 

Last week, the CDC expanded its list to include the following signs:

  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell 

The World Health Organization

Most common symptoms:

  • Fever  
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness

Less common symptoms:

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache 
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toe 

Serious symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement 



Charlotte Church urges parents to keep their children at home despite schools reopening


‘Scaremongering’ Charlotte Church is blasted over ‘hatred-inciting’ call for England’s parents to keep children off school in foul-mouthed Twitter rant… despite living in Wales where pupils are NOT returning

  • Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils have all been permitted to return to classrooms from today as part of an easing of Britain’s lockdown
  • But mother-of-two Church, 34, has rubbished the move and urged parents to continue home-schooling their children
  • The post prompted a divided response from followers, with Church receiving a barrage of varied comments
  • The Welsh star is a parent to children Ruby, 12, and son Dexter, 11, with her former fiancé, the rugby player Gavin Hensen

Charlotte Church today suffered an avalanche of criticism after urging England’s parents not to send their children back to school claiming Boris Johnson doesn’t ‘give a flying f**k’ about them.

The 34-year-old mother of two’s extraordinary Twitter outburst came despite the singer living in Wales where schools will remain closed until September.

Taking to social media on Sunday morning, she wrote: ‘Highly recommend if you can help it, not sending your children back to school tomorrow…..this government doesn’t give a flying f**k about you, your children, your elders or your vulnerable.’

Parents who want their children to return to school have accused the star of ‘shaming’ them, with one saying: ‘What a ridiculous and hatred inciting statement’. Another replied to her message saying: ‘This is shocking. There are many children who haven’t had any education for the last 10 weeks. You as a mother I would have thought would have understood the importance of this’.

And critics have also pointed out that Ms Church’s advice to parents with children in mainstream school came despite her decision  home school her own offspring since 2016. 

Last year she enraged her Glamorgan community by turning her £2.5million home into a private school where she hopes to ‘liberate’ children up to 20 children. One neighbour said: ‘She has no educational background or track record in managing a school.’

Ms Church homeschools her own children Ruby, 11, and Dexter, 10, and claims other children in their area deserve freedom to learn outside mainstream education.   

Speaking out: Charlotte Church has urged parents to defy the government and keep their children at home as schools across England gradually reopen today

Controversy: Mother-of-two Church, 34, has used her social media platform to attack the Tory leadership while encouraging parents to continue home-schooling their children

Controversy: Mother-of-two Church, 34, has used her social media platform to attack the Tory leadership while encouraging parents to continue home-schooling their children

Ms Church, who home schools her two children, has been widely criticised by parents who argue children should be in school

Ms Church, who home schools her two children, has been widely criticised by parents who argue children should be in school

Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils in England have all been permitted to return to classrooms as Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes the next tentative step in easing the country’s lockdown.

But mother-of-two Church, 34, has used her social media platform to attack the Tory leadership while encouraging parents to continue home-schooling their children.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday morning, she wrote: ‘Highly recommend if you can help it, not sending your children back to school tomorrow…..this government doesn’t give a flying f**k about you, your children, your elders or your vulnerable.’ 

The post prompted a divided reaction from followers, with Church – who shares children Ruby, 12, and son Dexter, 11, with former fiancé Gavin Hensen – receiving a barrage of responses. 

Commenting on the post, one outraged fan wrote: ‘This is shocking for you to ask. There are many children who haven’t had ANY education the last 10 weeks children need not only the education they need interaction with their school friends. 

 

Mixed: The post prompted a divided reaction from followers, with Church - who shares children Ruby, 12, and son Dexter, 11, with former fiancé Gavin Hensen - receiving a barrage of responses

Mixed: The post prompted a divided reaction from followers, with Church – who shares children Ruby, 12, and son Dexter, 11, with former fiancé Gavin Hensen – receiving a barrage of responses

‘You as a mother I would have thought you would have understood the importance of this.’ 

Siding with Church, a second replied: ‘You do know you can teach your own kids at home? Plenty of online resources if you’re unsure how to. Best to keep them at home & safe for now.’ 

A third follower commented:  ‘As a GP, although I may have worded this differently, Charlotte has totally nailed the message I am spreading in my world.’

Making things clear: Church was later forced to clarify her point after being reminded that schools across her native Wales are yet to to reopen

Making things clear: Church was later forced to clarify her point after being reminded that schools across her native Wales are yet to to reopen

Church was later forced to clarify her point after being reminded that schools across her native Wales are yet to to reopen. 

Responding to the post, she added: ‘Schools in Wales arent opening no…..I mean for parents across the border……’ [sic]