Germany suffers worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May with 1,226 new infections  

Germany saw its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases for three months today as a ‘very concerning’ rebound in infections continues to gather pace. 

Health officials announced 1,226 new cases this morning, the highest figure since May 9 – bringing the total from 217,293 to 218,519. 

The seven-day average of new cases is now above 900, having been as low as 350 a month ago. 

Angela Merkel’s health minister said today there were outbreaks happening in almost all of Germany and warned that every new case was making track-and-trace procedures harder. 

He added that the rise was partly being driven by parties and family gatherings – warning that the virus can spread quickly ‘when there’s alcohol involved’.  

Germany today suffered its worst daily spike in coronavirus cases since May 9 as 1,226 new infections were added to the tally 

Germany's daily death toll has mostly remained in single figures despite the rising infections

Germany’s daily death toll has mostly remained in single figures despite the rising infections  

Having not seen 1,000 cases in a day from for nearly three months, Germany has now crossed that threshold four times in the last week. 

The last seven days have seen nearly 6,500 new infections, up from 5,096 the week before and fewer than 3,000 per week as recently as mid-July.

Germany’s R rate has been above the 1.0 threshold for most of the last month, although it fell to 0.97 in the latest update on Tuesday.

Health officials say the ongoing rise is ‘very concerning’ and have linked it to travellers returning from summer holidays elsewhere in Europe. 

Germany yesterday extended its travel warning for Spain to cover Madrid and the Basque country, having previously curtailed travel to Catalonia and nearby areas.  

While cases have been rising in Germany for several weeks, the daily death toll has mostly remained in single figures. 

Six new deaths in the last 24 hours brought the death toll from 9,201 to 9,207 today, still substantially lower than in Britain, Spain, France or Italy.  

Health minister Jens Spahn told German radio today that there were smaller and larger outbreaks happening in most of the country, in contrast to previous spikes which were confined to particular neighbourhoods or factories.

Only 46 districts have not recorded a case in the last week, down from 120 a month ago when cases were at their lowest.   

‘This obviously – if we don’t all watch out now – can lead to a certain dynamic’ and the reemergence of the pandemic,’ Spahn said.  

The health minister reiterated appeals to wear masks, keep distance and not go overboard in social settings.

He said: ‘When there’s alcohol involved, when a festive event turns into a party, it can go very, very quickly.’ 

The Robert Koch diseases institute (RKI) which gathers the figures says the rising numbers are ‘very concerning’. 

‘A further worsening of the situation must be avoided. This will only succeed if the entire population continues to be committed to decreasing transmission,’ it says.  

A traveller arriving in Germany gets his swab sample collected in a Covid-19 walk-in test center at Cologne Bonn Airport

A traveller arriving in Germany gets his swab sample collected in a Covid-19 walk-in test center at Cologne Bonn Airport 

The rising numbers in Germany come amid fears of a second wave across Europe, with France and Spain also seeing alarming increases in infections. 

France’s seven-day average is now at 1,691 new cases per day, the highest level since April and up from just over 500 in mid-July. 

Prime minister Jean Castex warned that the public was becoming careless and said that the ‘rebound in the epidemic’ could become ‘hard to control’. 

The increase has led to fears that France will be the next country to be struck off Britain’s list of approved countries for travel.  

Spain has already been cut off and cases have continued to mount since then, with the seven-day average now at 3,357 cases per day compared to 480 a month ago.  

Spahn, the German health minister, also voiced doubts about Vladimir Putin’s claims on Tuesday that Russia has developed the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. 

Spahn said he was ‘very sceptical’ about Putin’s announcement, saying the jab had not been ‘sufficiently tested’.

Russia has made the vaccine race a matter of national prestige and has named the product ‘Sputnik V’ after the former Soviet space satellites.  

‘It’s not about being first somehow – it’s about having an effective, tested and therefore safe vaccine,’ Spahn told Deutschlandfunk radio.

‘I would be pleased if we had an initial, good vaccine but based on everything we know – and that’s the fundamental problem, namely that the Russians aren’t telling us much – this has not been sufficiently tested.’ 

German health minister Jens Spahn (pictured) warned that outbreaks were happening across most of the country

German health minister Jens Spahn (pictured) warned that outbreaks were happening across most of the country  

Spahn added: ‘In order to have trust in such a vaccine, I think it is very, very important, even during a pandemic, to properly do studies, the relevant tests and especially to make them public. 

‘The problem is that we know very little about it as the Russian authorities are not being very transparent.’ 

Government officials have said it will be administered to medical personnel, and then to teachers, on a voluntary basis in the coming weeks. 

Mass roll-out in Russia is being lined up for October and officials claim that 20 countries have already ordered a billion doses of the vaccine. 

While experts have not dismissed the possibility that ‘Sputnik V’ is effective, scientists say there is ‘little detail’ on the vaccine and warn that it is ‘not possible to know’ whether it works without proper data. 

Prof Francois Balloux, a biologist at University College London, slammed Putin’s move as ‘reckless and foolish’ and said that ‘vaccination with an improperly tested vaccine is unethical’. 

‘Any problem with the Russian vaccination campaign would be disastrous both through its negative effects on health, but also because it would further set back the acceptance of vaccines in the population,’ he warned.  

Real-life Ewok villages! Mesmerising pictures of Germany’s incredible treetop walkways

If you go down to the woods in Germany, you’ll be sure of a mesmerising surprise.

Scattered across the country is a mix of incredible Ewok-village-style treetop walkways offering spectacular views over surrounding forests, rivers and mountains and featuring twisted walkways, slides and rope bridges. 

Wind your way down to see which path piques your interest… 

Baumwipfelpfad Bayerischer Wald 

At 4,265ft in length, the Baumwipfelpfad Bayerischer Wald is the world’s longest treetop walkway

At the centre of the spiralled footpath are three 108-feet-high (33m) fir trees

At the centre of the spiralled footpath are three 108-feet-high (33m) fir trees

There are various side attractions for braver park-goers, including rope bridges and balance beams

There are various side attractions for braver park-goers, including rope bridges and balance beams

The views from the top of the main egg structure are simply breathtaking, as the pair pictured are no doubt aware

The views from the top of the main egg structure are simply breathtaking, as the pair pictured are no doubt aware

The Baumwipfelpfad Bayerischer Wald (Bavarian Forest Treetop Walk) in the Bavarian Forest National Park is the longest treetop walkway in the world, running to 4,265ft in length (1,300m).

Along the way, there are various side attractions for braver park-goers, including rope bridges and balance beams. 

The highlight is a 144-foot-high (44m) egg-shaped structure at the end of the walkway, which takes tourists on a twisty-turn-y journey through the forest canopy, with breathtaking views from the top. At the centre of the spiralled footpath are three 108-feet-high (33m) fir trees, so that visitors are continually surrounded by woodland.

For more information visit www.baumwipfelpfade.de.

Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald

Nestled in the Black Forest, the Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald features a 4,101-foot-long treetop walkway

Nestled in the Black Forest, the Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald features a 4,101-foot-long treetop walkway

The pièce de résistance is a 180-foot-long (55m) spiralling tunnel slide from the top of the observation tower

The pièce de résistance is a 180-foot-long (55m) spiralling tunnel slide from the top of the observation tower 

Visitors move along a walkway that meanders through a mix of beech trees, firs and spruces

Visitors move along a walkway that meanders through a mix of beech trees, firs and spruces

Nestled in the Black Forest, the Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald (Black Forest Treetop Walk) features a 4,101-foot-long (1,250m) treetop walkway, which is 65 feet high (20m) and meanders through a mix of beech trees, firs and spruces.

The lofty footpath gradually leads to a 131-foot-high (40m) observation tower crafted out of wood and steel.

The pièce de résistance is a 180-foot-long (55m) spiralling tunnel slide from the top of the tower, which takes you to the exit. It costs €2.00 per ride on the slide.

For more information visit www.baumwipfelpfade.de.

Baumwipfelpfad Saarschleife

Ascend Baumwipfelpfad Saarschleife and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Saarschleife river

Ascend Baumwipfelpfad Saarschleife and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Saarschleife river

Visitors soak up the sublime river views from the top deck of the observation tower

Visitors soak up the sublime river views from the top deck of the observation tower

The path was constructed using 35,314 cubic feet of fir and larch wood, plus 100 tonnes of steel

The path was constructed using 35,314 cubic feet of fir and larch wood, plus 100 tonnes of steel

The Baumwipfelpfad Saarschleife walkway is 4,101 feet long (1,250m) and ends at the top of an 82ft (25m) observation tower.

From the top, visitors are afforded spectacular views of the Saarschleife river looping around and cutting through the woodland.

Interactive signs along the way reveal forest-y facts and children will love the on-site slide and rope bridge. The path, which opened in 2016, was constructed using 35,314 cubic feet (1,000 cubic metres) of fir and larch wood, plus 100 tonnes of steel.

For more information visit www.baumwipfelpfade.de.  

Steigerwald Baumwipfelpfad 

The Steigerwald Baumwipfelpfad is a wooden footbridge that spirals from the forest floor to the highest branches. This picture is courtesy of Creative Commons licensing and appears on the walkway's Flickr page

The Steigerwald Baumwipfelpfad is a wooden footbridge that spirals from the forest floor to the highest branches. This picture is courtesy of Creative Commons licensing and appears on the walkway’s Flickr page

It culminates in a 137-foot-high observation tower that encircles a public space and a singular tree. This image is courtesy of creative commons licensing

It culminates in a 137-foot-high observation tower that encircles a public space and a singular tree. This image is courtesy of creative commons licensing 

The observation tower seen enveloped by dense forest, which rolls on as far as the eye can see. This magical bird's eye view is published here courtesy of creative commons licensing

The observation tower seen enveloped by dense forest, which rolls on as far as the eye can see. This magical bird’s eye view is published here courtesy of creative commons licensing 

Julia Lanig, who recently visited the footpath, told MailOnline Travel that the treetop path and tower are 'really impressive'. This image is published here courtesy of creative commons licensing

Julia Lanig, who recently visited the footpath, told MailOnline Travel that the treetop path and tower are ‘really impressive’. This image is published here courtesy of creative commons licensing 

The Steigerwald Baumwipfelpfad is a 3,772-foot-long (1,150m) wooden footbridge in southern Germany that spirals from the forest floor to the highest branches.

It culminates in a 137-foot-high (42m) observation tower that encircles a public space and a singular tree.

Julia Lanig, who recently visited the footpath, told MailOnline Travel that the treetop path and tower are ‘really impressive’. She added: ‘The footbridge was easy to walk and the 360-degree view from the top was certainly worthwhile. I could see for several kilometres and enjoyed the silence and nature from above the tree line. The visit took me around two-and-a-half hours in total.’  

For more information visit www.baumwipfelpfadsteigerwald.de.

Baumwipfelpfad im Naturerbezentrum Rügen

Baumwipfelpfad im Naturerbezentrum Rügen - a stunning treetop walkway with an observation tower to crown it all

Baumwipfelpfad im Naturerbezentrum Rügen – a stunning treetop walkway with an observation tower to crown it all

The Naturerbe Zentrum Rügen is a nature park on the German island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea

The Naturerbe Zentrum Rügen is a nature park on the German island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea

A mesmerising view of the hypnotic observation tower crafted, like the lower-level pathway, from Larch wood and Douglas fir

A mesmerising view of the hypnotic observation tower crafted, like the lower-level pathway, from Larch wood and Douglas fir

Take a step back in time at Naturerbe Zentrum Rügen on the German island of Rügen, where a footpath leads you among the mighty treetops of an ancient beech forest. 

The zigzagged pathway runs for 4,101 feet (1,250m) through a pristine forested area and past numerous activity stations, so you can learn about the nature as you go. 

The crowning glory is a 131-foot-high (40m) observation tower, modelled after an eagle’s nest and built, like the lower-level pathway, from larch wood and Douglas fir. Visitors are rewarded with a panoramic view of the treetops from the top deck, along with parts of Rügen, the waters of the Little Jasmund Bodden lagoon and the white sands of Prorer Wieck bay.

For more information visit www.baumwipfelpfade.de.

Baumkronenpfad Nationalpark Hainich

The Baumkronenpfad Nationalpark Hainich is 'one of the most beautiful treetop paths in Germany', the creators boast

The Baumkronenpfad Nationalpark Hainich is ‘one of the most beautiful treetop paths in Germany’, the creators boast

To ensure the experience of exploring it is a leisurely one there are sheltered pavilions along the way for visitors to rest in and soak up the green views

To ensure the experience of exploring it is a leisurely one there are sheltered pavilions along the way for visitors to rest in and soak up the green views 

The walkway leads to a 144-foot-high (44m) circular observation tower crafted out of concrete

The walkway leads to a 144-foot-high (44m) circular observation tower crafted out of concrete

The Baumkronenpfad Nationalpark Hainich is ‘one of the most beautiful treetop paths in Germany’, the creators boast.

To ensure the experience of exploring it is a leisurely one there are sheltered pavilions along the way for visitors to rest in and soak up the green views. 

Eventually, the 1,771-foot-long (540m) walkway reaches a 144-foot-high (44m) circular observation tower crafted out of concrete. From the top of the roofed turret there are impressive panoramic views over the fertile Thuringian Basin and the Hainich region, which is home to the largest contiguous deciduous forest in Germany.

For more information visit www.baumkronen-pfad.de.

Skywalk Allgäu

The Skywalk Allgäu, which opened in 2010, is a walkway suspended above the evergreen forests of Allgäu in Bavaria

Through clearings in the woodland, it is possible to see the shimmering waters of Lake Constance and the Alps

Through clearings in the woodland, it is possible to see the shimmering waters of Lake Constance and the Alps

For the adventurous, there is a tube slide option for descending to the forest floor

For the adventurous, there is a tube slide option for descending to the forest floor 

Skywalk Allgäu is 1,771 feet long and would delight any self-respecting Ewok

Skywalk Allgäu is 1,771 feet long and would delight any self-respecting Ewok

The Skywalk Allgäu, which opened in 2010, is a walkway suspended above the evergreen forests of Allgäu in Bavaria, southern Germany.  

The 1,771-foot-long (540m) path weaves its way through the treetops and to the edge of the forest. At this point it is possible to see the shimmering waters of Lake Constance and the majestic Alps.

For a loftier viewpoint, make your way to the 131-foot-high (40m) steel mast-like observation tower. You can get down from the tower via a staircase, an elevator or there is a tube slide for the more adventurous.

For more information visit www.skywalk-allgaeu.de. 

Baumkronenpfad Beelitz-Heilstätten

The Beelitz-Heilstätten treetop path, built from wood and steel, opened in 2015

The Beelitz-Heilstätten treetop path, built from wood and steel, opened in 2015

The 1,049-foot-long walkway winds its way around the eerie ruins of a former women's lung healing facility

The 1,049-foot-long walkway winds its way around the eerie ruins of a former women’s lung healing facility

The Beelitz-Heilstätten treetop path opened in 2015 on the site of a former women’s lung healing facility in Brandenburg.

The 1,049-foot-long (320m) wood and steel walkway winds its way around the eerie ruins of the sanatorium, which also served as a military hospital during both World Wars. The list of patients admitted to the now derelict facility includes a young Adolf Hitler.

Another attraction is a 131-feet-tall (40m) viewing tower, which offers some spectacular vistas across the densely forested Fläming region all the way to the bustling city of Berlin. There are 200 steps to the top or you can hop in an elevator. 

For more information visit baumundzeit.de. 

Panarbora Baumwipfelpfad 

A 5,364-foot-long (1,635m) treetop path is the centrepiece of the Panarbora nature adventure park

A 5,364-foot-long (1,635m) treetop path is the centrepiece of the Panarbora nature adventure park

The treetop path leads to a 131-foot-high (40m), vertigo-inducing lookout tower, which was built from 30,723 cubic feet of wood and 200 tonnes of steel

The treetop path leads to a 131-foot-high (40m), vertigo-inducing lookout tower, which was built from 30,723 cubic feet of wood and 200 tonnes of steel

The Panarbora nature adventure park opened in 2015 on the outskirts of Waldbröl, a small provincial town in western Germany.

The name Panarbora is derived from the Latin word for tree – ‘arbour’ – and ‘Pan’, the Greek god of nature.

A 5,364-foot-long (1,635m) treetop path is the centrepiece of the park. This leads to a 131-foot-high (40m) vertigo-inducing lookout tower. In total, 30,723 cubic feet (870 cubic metres) of wood was used to build the walkway and tower, along with 200 tonnes of steel. Another popular attraction at the park is a children’s adventure playground.

For more information visit panarbora.de. 

WHO chief says there are ‘green shoots of hope’ in fight against coronavirus

The head of the WHO today said there were ‘green shoots of hope’ in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic even as the world nears 20million cases. 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was ‘never too late to turn the outbreak around’ as he urged countries to ‘suppress, suppress, suppress’ the disease so that society could be re-opened. 

In a rare piece of international praise for Britain’s handling of the crisis, Tedros hailed Boris Johnson for ordering parts of the North of England back into lockdown after a spike in infections there last month. 

Tedros also praised New Zealand for eliminating community transmission, and mentioned the UK, Germany and France as countries that ‘were able to suppress’ the virus by taking action – despite a worrying rise in cases in all three. 

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (pictured) said today that there were ‘green shoots of hope’ in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic 

Speaking at a media briefing today, Tedros said countries including Britain and France were ‘now using all the tools at their disposal to tackle any new spikes’. 

‘Over the last few days, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson put areas of northern England under stay at home notifications, as clusters of cases were identified,’ he said. 

‘In France, President Macron introduced compulsory masking in busy outdoor spaces of Paris in response to an increase in cases.

‘Strong and precise measures like these, in combination with utilising every tool at our disposal are key to preventing any resurgence in disease and allowing societies to be reopened safely.

‘Even in countries where transmission is intense, it can be brought under control by applying an all of government, all of society response.

‘Chains of transmission have been broken by combination of rapid case identification, comprehensive contact tracing, adequate clinical care for patients, physical distancing, mask wearing, regular cleaning of hands and coughing away from others.

‘Whether countries or regions have successfully eliminated the virus, suppressed transmission to a low level, or are still in the midst of a major outbreak; now is the time to do it all, invest in the basics of public health and we can save both lives and livelihoods.’

The lockdown in the North of England caused controversy after it was abruptly imposed on the eve of Eid al-Adha in an area with a large Muslim population. 

The government was criticised for a lack of clarity over the new rules, which were announced just hours before they took effect. 

Britain yesterday recorded more than 1,000 new cases in a day for the first time June, while Germany and France have also seen alarming spikes in cases. 

Italy too has seen higher numbers of infections in recent days after recovering from Europe’s first major virus outbreak in February and March.  

WHO chief Tedros praised Boris Johnson (pictured today) for taking 'strong and precise measures' to lock down parts of the North of England

WHO chief Tedros praised Boris Johnson (pictured today) for taking ‘strong and precise measures’ to lock down parts of the North of England 

Rising cases: Spain has suffered a severe spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, as this graph shows, while France, Germany and Italy have also seen upticks in new infections

Rising cases: Spain has suffered a severe spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, as this graph shows, while France, Germany and Italy have also seen upticks in new infections 

In Britain, Number 10 is also pushing to re-open schools for the autumn term, but Tedros warned that countries ‘must remain vigilant’ when they do so. 

‘We all want to see schools safely reopened but we also need to ensure that students, staff and faculty are safe. The foundation for this is adequate control of transmission at the community,’ he said. 

‘My message is crystal clear: suppress, suppress, suppress the virus. If we suppress the virus effectively, we can safely open up societies.’ 

Discussing the global spread, he said: ‘This week we’ll reach 20 million registered cases of COVID-19 and 750,000 deaths. 

‘Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering. Every life lost matters. I know many of you are grieving and that this is a difficult moment for the world.

‘But I want to be clear, there are green shoots of hope and no matter where a country, a region, a city or a town is – it’s never too late to turn the outbreak around.

There are two essential elements to addressing the pandemic effectively: Leaders must step up to take action and citizens need to embrace new measures.’

Tedros specifically praised New Zealand after it marked 100 days with no community transmission of the disease, saying the country was a ‘global exemplar’.

Tedros praised New Zealand and its prime minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) after the Pacific country marked 100 days with no community spread of the disease

Tedros praised New Zealand and its prime minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) after the Pacific country marked 100 days with no community spread of the disease  

The Pacific country shut its borders when it had relatively few cases, allowing society to re-open almost completely when domestic transmission was crushed. 

New Zealand has seen only 1,569 cases and 22 deaths in total.  

The WHO director-general also hailed Rwanda for ‘strong leadership’ and effective policies including free testing which have limited the spread of the disease. 

Tedros also said that more than $100billion would be needed to distribute a vaccine for Covid-19 if and when it becomes available. 

‘This sounds like lot of money and it is. But it’s small in comparison to the $10trillion that have already been invested by G20 countries in fiscal stimulus to deal with the consequences of the pandemic so far,’ he said. 

Scientists around the world are racing to develop an effective vaccine, which is seen as the only certain way of bringing the pandemic to a standstill. 

Advanced trials include an project based at Oxford University in partnership with drugs giant AstraZeneca and partly funded by the UK government. 

Some of the most advanced vaccine candidates are undergoing trials in Brazil, which has piled up more than 100,000 deaths from the disease.   

Researchers can get results faster by testing vaccines where active virus spread is rampant.      

Spanish police break up coronavirus infection party

Spanish police have broken up a ‘coronavirus party’ where guests were allegedly trying to spread the disease on purpose – as the country suffers a sharp rebound in cases with infections rising across Europe. 

More than 60 people were found camping on an out-of-bounds Tenerife beach in what police called a ‘get-together on the beach to spread Covid-19’, apparently in the hope of developing immunity. 

Civil Guard officers swooped to shut down the gathering with youngsters forced to dismantle their tents, but officials say the party was a ‘very serious threat’ after Spain suffered more than 25,000 new cases in the last week. 

Spain has already been hit with new travel restrictions in a blow to its tourism-reliant economy, while there are fears that France, Germany or Holland could be put back on the UK’s quarantine list after spikes in cases there.    

Summer holidays have been blamed for rising cases in Germany and Italy, while France has tightened its face mask rules in tourist hotspots such as Paris and the Mediterranean resort of Saint Tropez. 

However, Europe has yet to see a major spike in deaths or hospital cases, amid signs that many of those testing positive are young and less vulnerable to the disease.  

Rising cases: Spain has suffered a severe spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, as this graph shows, while France, Germany and Italy have also seen upticks in new infections 

A Spanish Civil Guard officer watches on as youngsters dismantle their tents on a closed Tenerife beach where guests are alleged to have attended a 'get-together to spread Covid-19

A Spanish Civil Guard officer watches on as youngsters dismantle their tents on a closed Tenerife beach where guests are alleged to have attended a ‘get-together to spread Covid-19 

Spain has suffered the worst spike of recent weeks, prompting several countries including Britain and Germany to impose new travel restrictions. 

The Mediterranean country announced nearly 26,000 new infections in the last seven days, up from 16,000 the week before and fewer than 2,000 in late June. 

Catalonia alone saw more than 5,000 cases in the space of a week, while the nearby region of Aragon had the country’s highest infection rate per 100,000 people. 

Los Patos beach on Tenerife, where the alleged ‘coronavirus party’ took place, is traditionally a well-known nudist beach on the Canary Islands which have been lobbying for an exemption from Britain’s quarantine rules.    

La Orotava Town Hall’s security department said in a statement: ‘Civil Guard and local police have cleared Los Patos beach where 62 people were camping.

‘The Civil Guard has intercepted a get-together on the beach to spread Covid-19 in an area where access is currently prohibited.’

La Orotava’s Security Councillor Narciso Perez said the police operation came after investigators discovered the planned beach party on social media.

He told local press: ‘Over the past few days, Civil Guard officers have discovered a kind of get-together which was being planned on social media to carry out a mass camping trip to Los Patos beach designed to help the spread of Covid-19.

‘This is a threat which has been taken very seriously. The Civil Guard has carried out a thorough investigation to identify those people who organised this and they have been questioned.’ 

Despite Spain’s increase in cases, only 46 virus patients were admitted to intensive care in the week up to last Friday, compared to more than 20,000 people who tested positive for the virus. 

The death toll has generally remained in single figures despite the recent increase, with only 16 fatalities in the week to Thursday. The total is 28,503. 

Spanish authorities on the Tenerife beach where dozens of people were found camping in an alleged 'coronavirus party'

Spanish authorities on the Tenerife beach where dozens of people were found camping in an alleged ‘coronavirus party’ 

The Tenerife beach (pictured) on the Canary Islands, which has been lobbying for an exemption from Britain's quarantine rule

The Tenerife beach (pictured) on the Canary Islands, which has been lobbying for an exemption from Britain’s quarantine rule

Neighbouring France has piled up 10,002 new cases in the last week, the highest number since April and a sharp increase from 7,391 the week before. 

The government’s Covid-19 scientific council warned last week that France could ‘at any moment’ lose control over the spread of the disease. 

Some French towns are now requiring face masks outdoors, including the Mediterranean resort of Saint-Tropez and other tourist areas. 

Paris and Marseille, the two largest cities in France, have both ordered mask-wearing in crowded outdoor areas such as open-air markets and the banks of the Seine. 

‘All the indicators show that since mid-July the virus is again circulating more actively in the region,’ the Paris police said, adding that the 20-30 age group was particularly affected by the latest spike in cases. 

There are also fears that France could be next to be removed from the UK’s ‘travel corridor’ list after quarantine rules were re-imposed for Spain and Belgium. 

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak said on Friday that Britain would ‘not hesitate’ to toughen its quarantine rules amid rising infection rates across the continent. Portugal currently remains off-limits.  

Norway has already ordered arrivals from France to quarantine for 10 days, saying that the epidemic is ‘moving in the wrong direction’.  

However, the number of severe cases has not risen in France, with around 5,000 people currently in hospital compared to more than 30,000 in April.  

Deaths have also been stagnant, with 68 coronavirus deaths in hospital last week compared to 74 the week before.   

People wear face masks in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where coverings have become compulsory in some crowded outdoor areas amid surging infections in France

People wear face masks in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where coverings have become compulsory in some crowded outdoor areas amid surging infections in France 

Pupils sit in a classroom in Berlin, as some German schools start to return despite a worrying rise in cases around the country

Pupils sit in a classroom in Berlin, as some German schools start to return despite a worrying rise in cases around the country

Germany meanwhile suffered nearly 6,000 new infections from Monday to Sunday, marking the fourth consecutive week-on-week increase. 

The closely-watched R rate has been above the critical 1.0 threshold for most of the last month, meaning the epidemic is on the rise.  

German officials are worried because cases are spreading across the country, unlike previous spikes linked to particular factories or apartment blocks. Only 55 districts have seen no new cases in the last seven days, down from 117 a month ago.  

Tourists returning from abroad have partly been blamed for the increase, along with ‘larger family events’ and leisure activities since the lockdown was eased.

Some pupils are already back at school, but two schools in the east of the country were forced to close on Friday after new cases were detected.  

While the daily death toll remains low, the 49 new fatalities in the last seven days are an increase on 37 the week before.  

The UK yesterday announced more than 1,000 new cases in a day for the first time since June 26, prompting fears of the rebound in infections spreading to Britain. 

Boris Johnson’s government has been pushing businesses to return to work, despite the number of virus cases showing signs of increasing. 

Young people sunbathe at the Marineterrein on a sunny day in Amsterdam last Friday, after the Dutch government announced that virus cases had doubled in the space of a week

Young people sunbathe at the Marineterrein on a sunny day in Amsterdam last Friday, after the Dutch government announced that virus cases had doubled in the space of a week 

Italy too has seen a rise in cases, although the figures are currently lower than in Britain, Germany, France or Spain.  

The last seven days saw 2,497 new cases in Italy, up from 1,970 the week before, and Friday’s figure of 552 new cases was the highest since May 28. 

The regional governor of Veneto, which includes Venice, said new cases were being driven by tourists returning home from Spain, Malta, Peru, Croatia and Greece.  

‘Everyone must decide where they want to go on vacation, but it’s also true, that by us, for a couple of weeks now, we’re seeing a concentration of patients who were infected on vacation,’ governor Luca Zaia said. 

The Italian Health Ministry says the average age of infected persons in recent weeks has dropped to 40, compared to about 61 during the height of the crisis.      

Only 45 people are currently in intensive care, compared to several thousand in April, while the majority of the 13,000 ‘active’ patients are isolating at home. 

Italy’s death toll rose by 51 in the last week, taking the total to 35,205, compared to an increase of 48 the week before.  

Elsewhere, the Dutch government said on Tuesday that cases had doubled in a week, with a particular spike in the province of South Holland. 

The positive tests included more than 200 people who had recently returned from abroad, including from Spain, France, Belgium and Germany. 

A quarter of the new patients are aged between 20 and 29, according to official figures, while the country’s R rate was estimated at 1.2.  

British ‘Jihadi’ bride is back in the UK living on a canal boat and claiming benefits

British ‘Jihadi’ bride and mother-of-nine is back in the UK living on a canal boat and claiming benefits after denying leading all-female Islamic State unit in Syria

  • Natalie Bracht, 45, was alleged to have travelled to Syria at the end of 2014
  • It was also claimed that she had married IS fighter Celso Rodrigues da Costa
  • Bracht denies she travelled to Syria but said she had volunteered for Cage
  • She was repatriated this year when the coronavirus pandemic hit 

Natalie Bracht, 45, who holds dual British and Germany citizenship, was said to have travelled to Syria towards the end of 2014

A British ‘Jihadi’ bride who denies leading an all-female Islamic State unit in Syria is now back in the UK living on a canal boat and claiming Universal Credit.

Natalie Bracht, 45, who holds dual British and Germany citizenship, was said to have travelled to Syria towards the end of 2014 before begging to be allowed to return to the UK in October 2018.

She had most recently been living in Heidelberg, Germany, but when the coronavirus pandemic hit, she was repatriated, according to The Sunday People.

After visiting the British consulate in Dusseldorf Bracht was given a ticket for a British Airways flight to London on April 3.

On arrival in the UK she was then questioned for more than three hours by Special Branch under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The mother-of-nine told the paper: ‘They asked me where I had stayed in Syria. I had to tell them a couple of times, “Guys, I wasn’t in Syria.”‘ 

Bracht also said that she was asked for her thoughts on Brexit, elections and vaccines. 

She said she had initially been put up in a £44-a-night Travelodge before moving onto a barge and claims she receives help from the Helping Households Under Great Stress organisation.

On arrival in the UK she was then questioned for more than three hours by Special Branch under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Pictured: File image of Natalie Bracht at King's Cross station, issued on November 18, 2008

On arrival in the UK she was then questioned for more than three hours by Special Branch under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Pictured: File image of Natalie Bracht at King’s Cross station, issued on November 18, 2008

Bracht now hopes to work as a busker and has claimed Universal Credit. 

It was previously alleged that Bracht had married Celso Rodrigues da Costa, 31, an IS fighter from London after travelling to Syria and that she was among a group of Western women being held in Kurdish-controlled camps in northern Syria.

But she has now denied ever having joined Islamic State in Syria and said that living as a full-time terror suspect has made her stronger.

However, Bracht also said that she started volunteering in 2012 as an interpreter for the controversial campaign group Cage.

She translated letters for terror suspects held in prison all over the world because of concerns she had over Islamophobia.

It was previously alleged that Bracht had married Celso Rodrigues da Costa, 31, (pictured) an IS fighter from London after travelling to Syria

It was previously alleged that Bracht had married Celso Rodrigues da Costa, 31, (pictured) an IS fighter from London after travelling to Syria

She said: ‘They are in prison, then they are free again and then they are not convicted but treated for the rest of their lives as full-time terror suspects. They never had convictions.’

Cage has said that it had no ­record of Bracht volunteering. 

Bracht’s comments come only weeks after Shamima Begum was involved in a legal battle to win back her British citizenship to return to the UK.

The 45-year-old said that Begum had been brainwashed on the internet and shouldn’t have been allowed to leave the country in the first place. 

The Home Office said: ‘We do not comment on individual cases.’

Who will stop the torturers of Beijing wiping Tibet from the face of the Earth? 

At last the world is waking up to the horrors inflicted by the Chinese Communist party upon the people it has colonised. In the past few days alone, we have seen pictures of chained and blindfolded Uighurs being forced on to trains to take them to concentration camps.

US customs officers have seized a ship containing 13 tons of human hair taken from the camps, where inmates are forcibly shaved.

And we have been shocked by the forced abortions and sterilisations of Uighur women revealed in such chilling detail in the Mail on Sunday two weekends ago.

Those who thought ‘never again’ after the abominations of Hitler’s Germany are seeing history repeated. Then it was Jews. Now it is the Muslims of north-western China. And for even longer it has been the Buddhists of Tibet.

A video posted on Twitter and believed to depict blindfolded and shackled detainees from China’s Uighur minority

For what the world is now seeing in Xinjiang has already been happening, largely unseen, in the remote mountain kingdom.

Violently and illegally occupied by China since 1959, Tibet is the second least-free country in the world, according to the US-based Freedom House. Only Syria fares worse. Even North Korea is regarded as more free.

The world has failed to face down Chinese tyranny in Tibet; now we can see the consequences in Xianjiang. Today, Tibetans have no basic rights and are treated as second-class citizens in their own country. It is like an apartheid state.

China is determined to crush the Tibetans’ unique, deeply religious culture and what resistance remains is focused on Buddhism and allegiance to the Dalai Lama, their spiritual leader.

At 85, he is a living link not just to millennia of continuous Buddhist faith, but to a time when, proud and isolated, Tibet was independent.

The Dalai Lama had been enthroned at the age of four in 1940, while much of the world was engulfed in war. The ancient ceremony took place in a specially constructed tented city just outside the capital, Lhasa.

Born in a farmer’s cottage in eastern Tibet, the boy had been identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama through his ability to identify key possessions.

Without prompting, he had said: ‘My teeth are in there,’ pointing to a small case which did indeed hold a set of the 13th’s Dalai Lama’s dentures.

The boy, Lhamo Thondup, was conveyed to and from the joyous ceremony on a palanquin, a covered sedan chair, carried by noblemen dressed in green satin robes and round red-tasselled hats. He was given a golden wheel and a conch, representing respectively spiritual and temporal power, and sat passively through proceedings which lasted hours.

Today the Dalai Lama lives in exile in India, where he has been since the Chinese invasion of 1959. The Dalai Lama has been a consistent advocate of peace and non-violence, but the Beijing government calls him a ‘terrorist’ and accuses him of ‘espionage activities’.

Today the Dalai Lama (pictured) lives in exile in India, where he has been since the Chinese invasion of 1959

Today the Dalai Lama (pictured) lives in exile in India, where he has been since the Chinese invasion of 1959

Ordinary Tibetans have been imprisoned and tortured merely for having pictures of him, or for celebrating his birthday. Buddhism is central to the Tibetan way of life, but under the Communist regime, just as mosques are being flattened in Xinjiang, so in Tibet thousands of monasteries and nunneries were, and are being, destroyed. Some were even contemptuously turned into pig sties.

Those that remain are run by two-dimensional Chinese apparatchiks who insist monks and nuns must now prostrate themselves to images of Xi Jinping and other leading party functionaries rather than to religious icons.

The atheist Beijing regime has even entered the realm of the metaphysical, decreeing – absurdly – that nobody can reincarnate without their permission.

The point of this, of course, is to enable them to anoint their own Dalai Lama when the incumbent dies, and so remove the focal point round which Tibetans congregate.

The Chinese have already kidnapped the second most powerful religious figure, the Panchen Lama, who normally plays a role in determining the identity of the reincarnated Dalai Lama.

At the age of six, he was whisked away, making him the world’s youngest political prisoner. If he is still alive today – and nobody has seen him since his disappearance – he will be over 30.

Instead, the Chinese have installed what the Tibetans call the Panchen Zuma, or fake Panchen.

Any expression of religious belief can now be regarded as a criminal offence in Tibet.

A Tibetan man was recently arrested because he was asking people to recite prayers to ward off the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, in eastern Tibet, the authorities have ordered monks to remove all the prayer flags that traditionally hang from houses, mountains and monasteries, ostensibly as part of an environmental clean-up.

Nor is Beijing’s iron fist limited to religious matters. Tibetans are imprisoned and horrifically tortured for promoting the use of the Tibetan language, participating in Tibetan cultural traditions or contacting people, including family members, outside the country.

Xi Jinping, the butcher of Beijing, wants everyone within China’s borders and occupied territories to behave like Han Chinese. Under the new sinister ‘ethnic unity’ policy introduced in January, no variation is to be tolerated.

Faced with this hopeless situation, Tibetans in desperation began setting fire to themselves while shouting pro-Tibet sentiments. Some 150 have died a terrible death this way.

The Chinese then prevent the victims from having a traditional Tibetan funeral and punish the remaining family members.

The Chinese word for Tibetans is man-tze, meaning barbarian.

It is a word much more appropriately applied to the psychopaths who run China. The 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention defines genocide as ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such’. That is what is happening in Tibet. Yet by and large, the world has shrugged its shoulders. Insidious Chinese communist influence has been allowed to take root and grow like an invasive species.

Here in Britain we are content to welcome record numbers of Chinese students to our universities, which is fine. But the pressure and intimidation that comes from Beijing is not.

Professor Dibyesh Amand, an expert on Tibet and China at the University of Westminster, told me: ‘The efforts made by Chinese Embassy officials to maintain disciplining influence over Chinese students is an open secret among many of us in the university sector.’

Our universities host Trojan Horse Confucius Institutes which peddle propaganda, including telling outright lies about the history of Tibet and the position of Taiwan.

Universities are even complying with internet restrictions demanded by the Chinese government. Their students will search in vain for the three Ts – Tibet, Taiwan and Tiananmen Square. It is shameful.Why does the Chinese regime behave in this extreme way? Tibet is important to China – as the source of many natural resources, as a convenient place to dump nuclear waste and as the military frontier with India. This year China has embarked on the construction of a chain of ‘border defence villages’.

I believe the aggression stems, too, from an arrogance that all other races are inferior to the Han Chinese. Their word for their own country means ‘middle heaven’.

THEN there is a deep-seated insecurity that they cannot command the genuine respect of their populations but have to coerce it through violence and intimidation.

Yet there are hopeful signs that the world is beginning to realise that China must be stopped.

In the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rightly said: ‘If the free world doesn’t change communist China, communist China will surely change us.’

Chen Quanguo, the architect of mass human rights violations in Tibet, has been barred from entering America and had his assets there frozen. In Britain we are at last beginning to follow suit. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was right to name undesirable Russians and Saudis barred from our shores under our own version of America’s Magnitsky Act. Mr Raab must now extend the ban to the Chinese officials implicated in human rights abuses in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Tory MP Tim Loughton has introduced a Bill in the Commons to mirror the US Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. The Government should adopt it and make it law.

This country has an important role to play. Uniquely we were in Tibet while it was independent. In 1904 the Lhasa Convention was signed between Britain and Tibet, followed by the Simla Convention of 1914.

Until the Chinese invasion, Tibet had its own government, its own foreign policy, its own currency, its own stamps. No amount of history rewriting by the Chinese regime can change the historical facts. We know this. We were there. We saw it.

In 1940, Hugh Richardson, representing the British government, was the only westerner present at the enthronement of the Dalai Lama. China was nowhere to be seen.

Xi Jinping and his thuggish henchmen must be brought before the International Criminal Court and made to answer for their actions.

It is time for Britain to speak out.

Who will stop the torturers of Beijing wiping Tibet from the face of the Earth? 

At last the world is waking up to the horrors inflicted by the Chinese Communist party upon the people it has colonised. In the past few days alone, we have seen pictures of chained and blindfolded Uighurs being forced on to trains to take them to concentration camps.

US customs officers have seized a ship containing 13 tons of human hair taken from the camps, where inmates are forcibly shaved.

And we have been shocked by the forced abortions and sterilisations of Uighur women revealed in such chilling detail in the Mail on Sunday two weekends ago.

Those who thought ‘never again’ after the abominations of Hitler’s Germany are seeing history repeated. Then it was Jews. Now it is the Muslims of north-western China. And for even longer it has been the Buddhists of Tibet.

A video posted on Twitter and believed to depict blindfolded and shackled detainees from China’s Uighur minority

For what the world is now seeing in Xinjiang has already been happening, largely unseen, in the remote mountain kingdom.

Violently and illegally occupied by China since 1959, Tibet is the second least-free country in the world, according to the US-based Freedom House. Only Syria fares worse. Even North Korea is regarded as more free.

The world has failed to face down Chinese tyranny in Tibet; now we can see the consequences in Xianjiang. Today, Tibetans have no basic rights and are treated as second-class citizens in their own country. It is like an apartheid state.

China is determined to crush the Tibetans’ unique, deeply religious culture and what resistance remains is focused on Buddhism and allegiance to the Dalai Lama, their spiritual leader.

At 85, he is a living link not just to millennia of continuous Buddhist faith, but to a time when, proud and isolated, Tibet was independent.

The Dalai Lama had been enthroned at the age of four in 1940, while much of the world was engulfed in war. The ancient ceremony took place in a specially constructed tented city just outside the capital, Lhasa.

Born in a farmer’s cottage in eastern Tibet, the boy had been identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama through his ability to identify key possessions.

Without prompting, he had said: ‘My teeth are in there,’ pointing to a small case which did indeed hold a set of the 13th’s Dalai Lama’s dentures.

The boy, Lhamo Thondup, was conveyed to and from the joyous ceremony on a palanquin, a covered sedan chair, carried by noblemen dressed in green satin robes and round red-tasselled hats. He was given a golden wheel and a conch, representing respectively spiritual and temporal power, and sat passively through proceedings which lasted hours.

Today the Dalai Lama lives in exile in India, where he has been since the Chinese invasion of 1959. The Dalai Lama has been a consistent advocate of peace and non-violence, but the Beijing government calls him a ‘terrorist’ and accuses him of ‘espionage activities’.

Today the Dalai Lama (pictured) lives in exile in India, where he has been since the Chinese invasion of 1959

Today the Dalai Lama (pictured) lives in exile in India, where he has been since the Chinese invasion of 1959

Ordinary Tibetans have been imprisoned and tortured merely for having pictures of him, or for celebrating his birthday. Buddhism is central to the Tibetan way of life, but under the Communist regime, just as mosques are being flattened in Xinjiang, so in Tibet thousands of monasteries and nunneries were, and are being, destroyed. Some were even contemptuously turned into pig sties.

Those that remain are run by two-dimensional Chinese apparatchiks who insist monks and nuns must now prostrate themselves to images of Xi Jinping and other leading party functionaries rather than to religious icons.

The atheist Beijing regime has even entered the realm of the metaphysical, decreeing – absurdly – that nobody can reincarnate without their permission.

The point of this, of course, is to enable them to anoint their own Dalai Lama when the incumbent dies, and so remove the focal point round which Tibetans congregate.

The Chinese have already kidnapped the second most powerful religious figure, the Panchen Lama, who normally plays a role in determining the identity of the reincarnated Dalai Lama.

At the age of six, he was whisked away, making him the world’s youngest political prisoner. If he is still alive today – and nobody has seen him since his disappearance – he will be over 30.

Instead, the Chinese have installed what the Tibetans call the Panchen Zuma, or fake Panchen.

Any expression of religious belief can now be regarded as a criminal offence in Tibet.

A Tibetan man was recently arrested because he was asking people to recite prayers to ward off the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, in eastern Tibet, the authorities have ordered monks to remove all the prayer flags that traditionally hang from houses, mountains and monasteries, ostensibly as part of an environmental clean-up.

Nor is Beijing’s iron fist limited to religious matters. Tibetans are imprisoned and horrifically tortured for promoting the use of the Tibetan language, participating in Tibetan cultural traditions or contacting people, including family members, outside the country.

Xi Jinping, the butcher of Beijing, wants everyone within China’s borders and occupied territories to behave like Han Chinese. Under the new sinister ‘ethnic unity’ policy introduced in January, no variation is to be tolerated.

Faced with this hopeless situation, Tibetans in desperation began setting fire to themselves while shouting pro-Tibet sentiments. Some 150 have died a terrible death this way.

The Chinese then prevent the victims from having a traditional Tibetan funeral and punish the remaining family members.

The Chinese word for Tibetans is man-tze, meaning barbarian.

It is a word much more appropriately applied to the psychopaths who run China. The 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention defines genocide as ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such’. That is what is happening in Tibet. Yet by and large, the world has shrugged its shoulders. Insidious Chinese communist influence has been allowed to take root and grow like an invasive species.

Here in Britain we are content to welcome record numbers of Chinese students to our universities, which is fine. But the pressure and intimidation that comes from Beijing is not.

Professor Dibyesh Amand, an expert on Tibet and China at the University of Westminster, told me: ‘The efforts made by Chinese Embassy officials to maintain disciplining influence over Chinese students is an open secret among many of us in the university sector.’

Our universities host Trojan Horse Confucius Institutes which peddle propaganda, including telling outright lies about the history of Tibet and the position of Taiwan.

Universities are even complying with internet restrictions demanded by the Chinese government. Their students will search in vain for the three Ts – Tibet, Taiwan and Tiananmen Square. It is shameful.Why does the Chinese regime behave in this extreme way? Tibet is important to China – as the source of many natural resources, as a convenient place to dump nuclear waste and as the military frontier with India. This year China has embarked on the construction of a chain of ‘border defence villages’.

I believe the aggression stems, too, from an arrogance that all other races are inferior to the Han Chinese. Their word for their own country means ‘middle heaven’.

THEN there is a deep-seated insecurity that they cannot command the genuine respect of their populations but have to coerce it through violence and intimidation.

Yet there are hopeful signs that the world is beginning to realise that China must be stopped.

In the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rightly said: ‘If the free world doesn’t change communist China, communist China will surely change us.’

Chen Quanguo, the architect of mass human rights violations in Tibet, has been barred from entering America and had his assets there frozen. In Britain we are at last beginning to follow suit. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was right to name undesirable Russians and Saudis barred from our shores under our own version of America’s Magnitsky Act. Mr Raab must now extend the ban to the Chinese officials implicated in human rights abuses in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Tory MP Tim Loughton has introduced a Bill in the Commons to mirror the US Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. The Government should adopt it and make it law.

This country has an important role to play. Uniquely we were in Tibet while it was independent. In 1904 the Lhasa Convention was signed between Britain and Tibet, followed by the Simla Convention of 1914.

Until the Chinese invasion, Tibet had its own government, its own foreign policy, its own currency, its own stamps. No amount of history rewriting by the Chinese regime can change the historical facts. We know this. We were there. We saw it.

In 1940, Hugh Richardson, representing the British government, was the only westerner present at the enthronement of the Dalai Lama. China was nowhere to be seen.

Xi Jinping and his thuggish henchmen must be brought before the International Criminal Court and made to answer for their actions.

It is time for Britain to speak out.

Britons living in the EU could keep freedom of movement rights

Britons living in EU countries could be granted freedom of movement rights after the 11-month Brexit transition period ends.

British nationals living in countries – including France, Spain and Germany – could be allowed to move to another EU country if they choose to under plans being considered by the European commission.

They may be subject to certain conditions, including proving that they have lived in the EU for five years, but would be granted the similar movement freedoms to other citizens in the bloc, reports suggest.

Britons living in EU countries could be granted freedom of movement rights after the 11-month Brexit transition period ends under plans being concidered by the European Commission. Pictured: European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen

The EUUK joint specialised committee on citizens rights discussed the proposals, Politico reports. 

Co-chairman of the British in Europe campaign Fiona Godfrey said: ‘We received good news on combining our Withdrawal Agreement status with other EU immigration statuses, which should provide some UK citizens in the EU with some further mobility rights.

‘We now need clarity on how those rights will be evidenced.’

At least one million Britons live in the EU and, under the withdrawal agreement terms, they are only able to live in the country they currently reside in – rather than any EU nation they choose.  

A Foreign Office spokesman told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Citizens’ rights has been an absolute priority and the Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of UK nationals living in the EU by the end of the transition period on December 31 2020, ensuring that they can continue to live their lives in the EU broadly as they did before.’ 

It comes just days after Germany turned up the heat on Boris Johnson over Brexit trade talks demanding he is more ‘realistic and pragmatic’.

Berlin’s Europe minister Michael Roth said he was ‘disappointed’ with the UK’s tough stance amid rising fears that the negotiations could fail.

von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament president David-Maria Sassoli greet each-other

von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament president David-Maria Sassoli greet each-other 

With the clock running down to the end of the transition period in December, the two sides still appear to be deadlocked over calls for Britain to fall into line with EU rules and access to fishing waters.

The government insists it is ready to walk away this Autumn if there is no hope of a breakthrough. Another round of discussions between the EU’s Michel Barnier and British counterpart David Frost is due to take place in Brussels this month.

But the Bank of England has raised questions about how much the outcome matters amid the much bigger impact of coronavirus.

Governor Andrew Bailey said the pandemic ‘dwarfed’ the issue of trade terms, and might already have ‘taken over’ much of the damage from a failure to get a deal. 

Boris Johnson

Michael Roth

Berlin’s Europe minister Michael Roth (right) said he was ‘disappointed’ with the tough stance taken by Boris Johnson (left) amid rising fears that the negotiations could fail

In an interview with Sky News after the Bank predicted the economy will shrink by 9.5 per cent this year, Mr Bailey said: ‘Both Covid and Brexit could potentially negatively affect trade… Covid is the bigger shock now… 

‘Moreover of course Covid has already had an effect on trade. 

‘You then get to the extremely complicated question – which I don’t think we’re in a position to give very much frankly useful guidance on at the moment – which is to say if you think about the less good outcomes on Brexit… how much of that effect on trade has already been taken over by what’s happened with Covid?’

Asked whether that meant the risk from Covid dwarfed that from a failure to strike Brexit trade terms, Mr Bailey said: ‘I think at the moment it does dwarf it.’ 

Ministers have told drugs companies to restart stockpiling medicines amid fears that trade terms will not be settled in time.   

Department of Health officials sent a letter to medical suppliers urging them to ‘replenish’ their drug stock. 

They have even warned companies to be prepared to reroute shipping to avoid the Channel. 

The government has also revealed plans to fine lorry drivers destined for the Channel ports £300 if they drive into Kent after December 31 without necessary export paperwork.

Ministers fear that, in the absence of a trade deal, the EU will impose strict import checks on all goods entering the bloc, potentially causing gridlock. 

Governor Andrew Bailey said the pandemic 'dwarfed' the issue of trade terms, and might already have 'taken over' much of the damage from a failure to get a deal

Governor Andrew Bailey said the pandemic ‘dwarfed’ the issue of trade terms, and might already have ‘taken over’ much of the damage from a failure to get a deal

Another round of discussions between the EU's Michel Barnier and British counterpart David Frost (pictured left and right respectively in London last month) is due to take place in Brussels

Another round of discussions between the EU’s Michel Barnier and British counterpart David Frost (pictured left and right respectively in London last month) is due to take place in Brussels 

In an interview with the AFP news agency, Mr Roth said he was ‘disappointed that London is shifting further and further away from the political declaration agreed between us as a reliable basis for negotiations’.

‘I would like those responsible in London to be more realistic and pragmatic. The Brits are known for the latter,’ he said.  

Brussels has been engaging in sabre-rattling as the discussions near the critical moment.

French minister for Europe Clement Beaune recently swiped that no deal is better than a bad deal, insisting Paris will not be ‘intimidated’.  

He said France would be ‘intransigent’ on fishing, and will not be ‘intimidated’ by Britain in the negotiation ‘game’.  

‘Let’s not kid ourselves, if there is no deal, it will be a difficult issue,’ he added. ‘We’ll have to organise a response for sectors like fisheries. Support our fishermen financially. We’re not there yet.’ 

Hilarious pictures show what happens when cats turn into drama queens if they did not get their way

Leave meow alone! Hilarious pictures show drama queen cats’ furious reactions as they are bathed, taken to the vet and even stroked

  • Cats owners from all over world showed what happened when pets meltdowns 
  • One pet from Indonesia tricked her owner into thinking she had been ran over
  • Another cat gave up on walking in the middle of an outing with his owner  
  • The hilarious snaps were collated in an online gallery by Bored Panda 

Cat owners will know that when a feline doesn’t get what it wants, things can get intense. 

Pet owners from Indonesia to the US and Germany and more have shared hilarious pictures of their furry friends mid-meltdowns, and revealed the reasons behind their distress. 

The snaps, shared in an online gallery on Bored Panda, showed one crafty cat who attempted to hide in his owner’s suitcase as they were driving to the vet. 

Meanwhile, in America In the US, a cat spent the duration of bath time hissing angrily – making for a rather amusing snap. 

FEMAIL takes a look at the cats who win the crown for being drama queens. 

Feline grumpy? Cat owners have shared the best pictures of their pet’s meltdowns, including a Portuguese feline was not amused by their owner’s attempt at crafting a cat from its fur

In the US, this poor cat was understandably not pleased after getting caught between the door and the glass window - making for an amusing snap

In the US, this poor cat was understandably not pleased after getting caught between the door and the glass window – making for an amusing snap

This kitten, believed to be from the US, was furious after the family dog tried to show them affection  with a big lick across its face

This kitten, believed to be from the US, was furious after the family dog tried to show them affection  with a big lick across its face

Fur god's sake! Meanwhile, in the US, one cat did not seem to enjoy their owner's petting, and responded with a quick backhand and their best offended look

Fur god’s sake! Meanwhile, in the US, one cat did not seem to enjoy their owner’s petting, and responded with a quick backhand and their best offended look  

In Germany, this cat hid in their owner's suitcase and looked terrified as they drove to the dreaded vet  - clearly knowing what was in store for him

In Germany, this cat hid in their owner’s suitcase and looked terrified as they drove to the dreaded vet  – clearly knowing what was in store for him

Cat got your tongue? We don't know what this fluffy beauty from an unknown location saw through the window, but there is no doubt it was shocking

Cat got your tongue? We don’t know what this fluffy beauty from an unknown location saw through the window, but there is no doubt it was shocking 

In Indonesia, a cat really should have been nominated for an Oscar, after putting on this very convincing performance that it was stuck underneath a car's wheel

In Indonesia, a cat really should have been nominated for an Oscar, after putting on this very convincing performance that it was stuck underneath a car’s wheel

In the US, one cat was particularly dismayed when their owner attempted to cuddle him, and sulked in the sofa's pillow  until they were left alone

In the US, one cat was particularly dismayed when their owner attempted to cuddle him, and sulked in the sofa’s pillow  until they were left alone

On strike! This feline, believed to be from the US, missed his owner and made it known by howling from the cupboard - much to the petsitter's horror

On strike! This feline, believed to be from the US, missed his owner and made it known by howling from the cupboard – much to the petsitter’s horror

This cat, believed to be from the US, gave up on walking in the middle of a stroll with his owner - proving that leads may just be reserved for the dogs of this world

This cat, believed to be from the US, gave up on walking in the middle of a stroll with his owner – proving that leads may just be reserved for the dogs of this world

Elsewhere, this US cat hung on for dear life to this tree during a walk in the woods, with the owner unsure over whether the cat was terrified or excited

Elsewhere, this US cat hung on for dear life to this tree during a walk in the woods, with the owner unsure over whether the cat was terrified or excited 

What was that, human? This cat was startled by their owner's sudden sneeze and could not stop staring at them for several minutes

What was that, human? This cat was startled by their owner’s sudden sneeze and could not stop staring at them for several minutes 

A sensitive soul! This cat's owner, thought to be from the US, revealed how their pet seemed heartbroken after watching a particularly shocking news segment

A sensitive soul! This cat’s owner, thought to be from the US, revealed how their pet seemed heartbroken after watching a particularly shocking news segment 

Caught red handed! This kitty could not believe it when their owner found them in this cardboard box - matching the expression of the cat mask rather precisely

Caught red handed! This kitty could not believe it when their owner found them in this cardboard box – matching the expression of the cat mask rather precisely  

Cat-astrophe! In the US, a cat made sure to warn their owner about the dangers of bathtubs by meowing loudly during the whole duration of the bath time

Cat-astrophe! In the US, a cat made sure to warn their owner about the dangers of bathtubs by meowing loudly during the whole duration of the bath time

In the US, this same cat who did not want to go to the vet caused a scene in the professional's office by climbing on its cupboard  - perhaps spurred on by the statue of the dog

In the US, this same cat who did not want to go to the vet caused a scene in the professional’s office by climbing on its cupboard  – perhaps spurred on by the statue of the dog

In Virginia, this cat owner explained it just took them slightly longer than usual to serve their  very hungry cat - with the feisty feline immediately turning into a drama queen

In Virginia, this cat owner explained it just took them slightly longer than usual to serve their  very hungry cat – with the feisty feline immediately turning into a drama queen

Leave meow alone! We would not want to get on the bad side of this ferocious feline, who was all teeth and claws during its walk

Leave meow alone! We would not want to get on the bad side of this ferocious feline, who was all teeth and claws during its walk 

In California, a cat who had been pestering their owner to get in their car was less than impressed when his wish was granted, acting startled when they actually did

In California, a cat who had been pestering their owner to get in their car was less than impressed when his wish was granted, acting startled when they actually did 

I'm the boss! This Portuguese mastermind had a good laugh after stealing the outdoor chair from the family dog  - who walked off deflated

I’m the boss! This Portuguese mastermind had a good laugh after stealing the outdoor chair from the family dog  – who walked off deflated

Hilarious pictures show what happens when cats turn into drama queens if they did not get their way

Leave meow alone! Hilarious pictures show drama queen cats’ furious reactions as they are bathed, taken to the vet and even stroked

  • Cats owners from all over world showed what happened when pets meltdowns 
  • One pet from Indonesia tricked her owner into thinking she had been ran over
  • Another cat gave up on walking in the middle of an outing with his owner  
  • The hilarious snaps were collated in an online gallery by Bored Panda 

Cat owners will know that when a feline doesn’t get what it wants, things can get intense. 

Pet owners from Indonesia to the US and Germany and more have shared hilarious pictures of their furry friends mid-meltdowns, and revealed the reasons behind their distress. 

The snaps, shared in an online gallery on Bored Panda, showed one crafty cat who attempted to hide in his owner’s suitcase as they were driving to the vet. 

Meanwhile, in America In the US, a cat spent the duration of bath time hissing angrily – making for a rather amusing snap. 

FEMAIL takes a look at the cats who win the crown for being drama queens. 

Feline grumpy? Cat owners have shared the best pictures of their pet’s meltdowns, including a Portuguese feline was not amused by their owner’s attempt at crafting a cat from its fur

In the US, this poor cat was understandably not pleased after getting caught between the door and the glass window - making for an amusing snap

In the US, this poor cat was understandably not pleased after getting caught between the door and the glass window – making for an amusing snap

This kitten, believed to be from the US, was furious after the family dog tried to show them affection  with a big lick across its face

This kitten, believed to be from the US, was furious after the family dog tried to show them affection  with a big lick across its face

Fur god's sake! Meanwhile, in the US, one cat did not seem to enjoy their owner's petting, and responded with a quick backhand and their best offended look

Fur god’s sake! Meanwhile, in the US, one cat did not seem to enjoy their owner’s petting, and responded with a quick backhand and their best offended look  

In Germany, this cat hid in their owner's suitcase and looked terrified as they drove to the dreaded vet  - clearly knowing what was in store for him

In Germany, this cat hid in their owner’s suitcase and looked terrified as they drove to the dreaded vet  – clearly knowing what was in store for him

Cat got your tongue? We don't know what this fluffy beauty from an unknown location saw through the window, but there is no doubt it was shocking

Cat got your tongue? We don’t know what this fluffy beauty from an unknown location saw through the window, but there is no doubt it was shocking 

In Indonesia, a cat really should have been nominated for an Oscar, after putting on this very convincing performance that it was stuck underneath a car's wheel

In Indonesia, a cat really should have been nominated for an Oscar, after putting on this very convincing performance that it was stuck underneath a car’s wheel

In the US, one cat was particularly dismayed when their owner attempted to cuddle him, and sulked in the sofa's pillow  until they were left alone

In the US, one cat was particularly dismayed when their owner attempted to cuddle him, and sulked in the sofa’s pillow  until they were left alone

On strike! This feline, believed to be from the US, missed his owner and made it known by howling from the cupboard - much to the petsitter's horror

On strike! This feline, believed to be from the US, missed his owner and made it known by howling from the cupboard – much to the petsitter’s horror

This cat, believed to be from the US, gave up on walking in the middle of a stroll with his owner - proving that leads may just be reserved for the dogs of this world

This cat, believed to be from the US, gave up on walking in the middle of a stroll with his owner – proving that leads may just be reserved for the dogs of this world

Elsewhere, this US cat hung on for dear life to this tree during a walk in the woods, with the owner unsure over whether the cat was terrified or excited

Elsewhere, this US cat hung on for dear life to this tree during a walk in the woods, with the owner unsure over whether the cat was terrified or excited 

What was that, human? This cat was startled by their owner's sudden sneeze and could not stop staring at them for several minutes

What was that, human? This cat was startled by their owner’s sudden sneeze and could not stop staring at them for several minutes 

A sensitive soul! This cat's owner, thought to be from the US, revealed how their pet seemed heartbroken after watching a particularly shocking news segment

A sensitive soul! This cat’s owner, thought to be from the US, revealed how their pet seemed heartbroken after watching a particularly shocking news segment 

Caught red handed! This kitty could not believe it when their owner found them in this cardboard box - matching the expression of the cat mask rather precisely

Caught red handed! This kitty could not believe it when their owner found them in this cardboard box – matching the expression of the cat mask rather precisely  

Cat-astrophe! In the US, a cat made sure to warn their owner about the dangers of bathtubs by meowing loudly during the whole duration of the bath time

Cat-astrophe! In the US, a cat made sure to warn their owner about the dangers of bathtubs by meowing loudly during the whole duration of the bath time

In the US, this same cat who did not want to go to the vet caused a scene in the professional's office by climbing on its cupboard  - perhaps spurred on by the statue of the dog

In the US, this same cat who did not want to go to the vet caused a scene in the professional’s office by climbing on its cupboard  – perhaps spurred on by the statue of the dog

In Virginia, this cat owner explained it just took them slightly longer than usual to serve their  very hungry cat - with the feisty feline immediately turning into a drama queen

In Virginia, this cat owner explained it just took them slightly longer than usual to serve their  very hungry cat – with the feisty feline immediately turning into a drama queen

Leave meow alone! We would not want to get on the bad side of this ferocious feline, who was all teeth and claws during its walk

Leave meow alone! We would not want to get on the bad side of this ferocious feline, who was all teeth and claws during its walk 

In California, a cat who had been pestering their owner to get in their car was less than impressed when his wish was granted, acting startled when they actually did

In California, a cat who had been pestering their owner to get in their car was less than impressed when his wish was granted, acting startled when they actually did 

I'm the boss! This Portuguese mastermind had a good laugh after stealing the outdoor chair from the family dog  - who walked off deflated

I’m the boss! This Portuguese mastermind had a good laugh after stealing the outdoor chair from the family dog  – who walked off deflated