Leeds on brink of lockdown, new Tesco outbreak & Greece quarantine chaos

They have been on the UK’s quarantine list since last month, and this will not be happy news for British holidaymakers.

Meanwhile, Glasgow have had to shut a KFC branch in the Scottish city after six members of staff tested positive for coronavirus – with the store now closed for two weeks as employees self-isolate.

And, Leeds could have new lockdown measures introduced following a spike in cases throughout the city.

Councillors have warned people in the city must make a “collective effort” to avoid being plunged back into a local lockdown.

The UK death toll increased by 13 yesterday to a total 41,537, and cases hit 342,351.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • Samantha Lock14 minutes ago

    LEEDS COUNCILLOR CALLS FOR INCREASED POWERS TO STEM COVID RISE

    Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, has called for the council to be granted greater powers to intervene in order to stem the spread of the virus.

    Leeds was recently added to the Government’s Covid-19 watchlist.

    Blake said “personal contact” with local people would be more effective in convincing them to self-isolate than the centralised over-the-phone NHS Test and Trace system has been.

    On Saturday, meanwhile, Bolton Council announced it was introducing tougher measures to avoid the need for a local lockdown, with residents asked not to mix with other households in any setting – either indoors or outdoors – and to only use public transport for essential purposes.

    The council said the coronavirus infection rate had recently risen to 99 cases per 100,000 people per week, the highest in England.

    In Leeds, Labour councillor Ms Blake told BBC Breakfast on Saturday that she feared there was “a bit of complacency coming in” and that more needed to be done to remind people in the city of the precautions they needed to take.

    She reiterated a call made by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham this week for test and trace powers to be handed directly to the council.

  • Samantha Lock44 minutes ago

  • Samantha Lock51 minutes ago

  • Samantha LockToday, 19:22

    REVELLERS OUT IN LEEDS AFTER CITY ADDED TO WATCHLIST

    Boozy revellers have hit the town in Leeds after the city was added to a coronavirus watchlist.

    Leeds has been added to Public Health England’s coronavirus “watchlist” and could be hit with lockdown measures after a rise in coronavirus cases in the city.

    Revellers were seen out and about on the streets of the city last night.

    Many were not socially distancing as they partied the night away with their pals.

    The city has been listed as an “area of concern” after its infection rate rose to 33 cases per 100,000 people.

    There were 258 cases in the week up to August 30, which was a rise of 91 compared to the previous week.

    Leeds City Council has urged residents to follow social distancing rules and warned new lockdown measures could come into force if cases continue to rise.

    City council leader Judith Blake said it was “a pivotal moment in our efforts to control the spread of the virus”.

  • Samantha LockToday, 18:42

    SWEDEN’S CASE RATE LOWER AFTER REFUSING TO LOCKDOWN

    Sweden’s coronavirus case rate is now lower than Denmark and Norway after refusing to lock down.

    The news follows the controversial decision by authorities in the country not to introduce a lockdown at the start of the pandemic.

    Sweden has seen an infection rate of 12 new cases per million people over the last seven days.

    The equivalent figures in Denmark and Norway were 18 and 14 respectively.

    Sweden pursued a “herd immunity” strategy and allowed the virus to partially spread through its population.

    In place of a lockdown, Swedes have been encouraged to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines, with many businesses allowed to remain open throughout.

    Speaking at a press conference this week, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said: “Sweden has gone from being one of the countries with the most infection in Europe, to one of those with the least infection in Europe.

    “Many other countries have seen a rather dramatic increase.

    “What we see now is that the sustainable policy might be slower in getting results, but it will get results eventually.

    “And then we also hope that the result will be more stable.”

  • Samantha LockToday, 18:30

    FRANCE BECOMES EUROPE’S VIRUS HOTSPOT

    France has become Europe’s new coronavirus hotspot as it recorded its highest ever number of daily cases

    The country’s count hit a new high with nearly 9,000 yesterday – almost double that of Europe’s second worst daily rate in Spain.

    Health minister Olivier Veran warned France must remain vigilant as medics expect intensive care beds will still filling up again within the next 15 days.

    France’s daily coronavirus case count yesterday of 8,975 exceeded its previous high of 7,578 from the peak of the pandemic on March 31.

    Just one month ago the daily count was 1,039 – meaning France has seen a staggering daily increase of 763 per cent.

    France has a total of 309,156 cases and 30,724 deaths, while its two largest cities Paris and Marseilles have been declared virus “red zones”.

  • Samantha LockToday, 18:13

    OUTBREAK FORCES GLASGOW KFC TO CLOSE

    A KFC branch has closed after six members of staff tested positive for coronavirus, it’s been reported.

    The busy Glasgow restaurant has been temporarily shut for two weeks as a precaution.

    Bosses at the Pollokshaws Road outlet in Glasgow confirmed that staff were now all self-isolating.

    A KFC spokesman told the Glasgow Times: “Six team members at our Pollokshaws restaurant have tested positive for coronavirus.

    “They’re currently self-isolating at home, in line with government guidance – and it goes without saying we’re wishing them a full and speedy recovery.

    “We’ve been in close contact with Public Health Protection Unit from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and we’ve taken the decision to close the restaurant for two weeks as a precaution.”

  • Samantha LockToday, 17:54

  • Samantha LockToday, 17:39

    PORTUGAL SEES HIGHEST DAILY INCREASE IN CASES SINCE MAY

    Portugal reported 486 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, its biggest daily increase since the week its lockdown was lifted in May.

    The increase brought the cumulative total to 59,943, the health authority DGS said.

    Portugal, with 10 million people, has reported just 1,838 deaths so far, a far lower rate per capita than in many European countries including neighbouring Spain.

    It initially won praise for its quick response to the pandemic, but a wave of localised outbreaks in Lisbon has worried authorities and forced them to re-impose some restrictions.

    The majority of the new coronavirus cases registered on Saturday were in and around Lisbon and across the northern region, where the country’s second biggest city Porto is located.

    Stricter measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak will be introduced across Portugal from mid-September.

  • Jon RogersToday, 17:24

    THOUSANDS OF BRITS IGNORING ‘CONFUSING’ 14-DAY QUARANTINE RULES

    Thousands of Brits may be ignoring “confusing” quarantine rules after coming back from their summer holidays abroad.

    The Met Police have received more than 1,000 tips to carry out quarantine checks to make sure holidaymakers are sticking to their two week isolation.

    London cops said they have so far visited 840 people with another 301 planned, to check on those quarantining after returning from abroad, reports The Guardian.

    Greater Manchester Police meanwhile had received 263 quarantine referrals – with two fixed penalty notices issued to people breaching isolation.

    Quarantine rules requiring Brits to isolate for 14 days have come increasingly under fire as they have been devastating for industries reliant on travel and tourism.

    The frustration comes as both Scotland and Wales went rogue and imposed their own quarantine rules independently from the UK Government.

    Read more here.

  • Jon RogersToday, 17:11

    LOCKDOWN FUELS TEETH WHITENING BOOM

    The coronavirus lockdown has fuelled a demand for dental procedures such as teeth whitening, dentists have said.

    This has been due to people spending more time in front of the mirror during the lockdown, The Telegraph reports.

    Long periods spent at home with little or no contact with others has led to an increase in enquiries about cosmetic dental procedures including fitting for braces and veneers, and procedures to whiten teeth.

  • Jon RogersToday, 16:55

    PROTEST STAGED AT HOLYROOD OVER COVID RESTRICTIONS

    Hundreds of people have gathered outside the Scottish Parliament to protest about the coronavirus restrictions.

    Coronavirus sceptics, vaccine conspiracy theorists and those opposed to measures such as mandatory mask-wearing have staged a rally at Holyrood, chanting and making speeches criticising lockdown.

    The organisers of the so-called Scotland Against Lockdown protest said it was “time to stand up together” against the restrictions, which they said were causing “more harm than the virus”.

    A post advertising the event said: “Time to stand up together, and listen to real scientific evidence in regards to the health of the Scottish people.

    “This evidence is being buried by MSM, big pharma and more than a few politicians.

    “Lockdown is causing more harm than the virus. We stand for the freedom to choose.

    “No to mandatory vaccines and masks. No to secondary lockdowns.

    “We are a large group of concerned individuals that realise the damage this can do to our children, the economy etc.”

  • Jon RogersToday, 16:47

    UK CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL RISES BY 12

    The Government said 41,549 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, an increase of 12 on the day before.

    Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 57,300 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

    The Government also said that as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 1,813 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus.

    Overall, 344,164 cases have been confirmed.

  • Jon RogersToday, 16:22

    GLASGOW KFC BRANCH CLOSED AFTER SIX STAFF TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID

    A branch of KFC in Glasgow has been closed after six members of staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

    The branch of the fast food chain on Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, has been shut for two weeks as a precaution, the company said.

    The affected staff members are self-isolating at home and the firm has alerted NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

    Restrictions on home visits were put in place in Glasgow earlier this week following an increase in Covid-19 cases.

    The temporary measure extends to West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire and is for an initial period of two weeks, with a review due this week.

    A KFC spokesman said: “Six team members at our Pollokshaws restaurant have tested positive for coronavirus.

    “They’re currently self-isolating at home, in line with government guidance – and it goes without saying we’re wishing them a full and speedy recovery.

    “We’ve been in close contact with Public Health Protection Unit from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and we’ve taken the decision to close the restaurant for two weeks as a precaution.

    “We’re doing all we can to support our teams at this time and continue to work closely with local authorities to make sure we re-open our restaurant only when it’s safe for both guests and team members.”

  • Jon RogersToday, 16:14

    ‘CAUTIOUS BUT OPTIMISTIC’ OVER BERLUSCONI’S COVID BATTLE

    Italy’s former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is in a stable condition two days after being hospitalised with the coronavirus, his doctor said on Saturday.

    “This instils cautious but reasonable optimism,” Alberto Zangrillo said in a brief statement.

    Berlusconi, 83, tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday and was taken to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital the following day after developing a slight fever. A subsequent x-ray revealed that he had developed mild pneumonia in both lungs.

  • Jon RogersToday, 15:54

    WOLVERHAMPTON BAR CLOSED AFTER ‘BLATANTLY DISREGARDING’ SOCIAL DISTANCING

    A bar in Wolverhampton has been shut down due to “serious social distancing breaches”.

    Wolverhampton City Council issued a closure notice to Blossoms in the city centre, saying it was causing an “imminent threat to public health”.

    Social distancing measures had been “blatantly disregarded,” the council said.

    The premises licence holder has also failed to fully co-operate with police and the council, it added.

    Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment, said: “The closure of the premises is in response to regular and serious breaches of social distancing as well as other inadequate controls resulting in the potential spread of coronavirus.

    “As a council, we take a zero-tolerance approach to those who flout the rules and put others at risk during such uncertain times.”

  • Jon RogersToday, 15:16

    THREE DEAD, 147 INFECTED AFTER MAINE WEDDING

    Three people have died from the coronavirus and another 147 infected after a wedding took place in Maine, USA, last month.

    Although the state’s limit on social gatherings is 50, at least 65 people attended the August 7 ceremony at the Tri-Town Baptist Church and the reception at Big Moose Inn in Millinocket.

    By the last week of August, officials said they traced 53 cases of the coronavirus linked to people who attended the wedding in three separate Maine towns.

    By Friday, 147 Maine residents who either had gone to the wedding or got second-hand infections were recorded as having the virus, officials said.

    Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson Robert Long told NBC News that three people have died from the outbreak and none of them had even attended the wedding.

    Infections from the outbreak at the wedding spread to a jail 230 miles south in Alfred because a jail employee had attended the wedding, two nursing homes and to the Calvary Baptist Church, 225 miles away in Sanford.

  • Jon RogersToday, 15:07

    GOVT URGED TO BACK SUPPORT SCHEME FOR CLINICALLY VULNERABLE

    The Government is being pressed to give more support for the clinically vulnerable going back to workplaces.

    A cross-party group of peers has written to the Chancellor calling for a new support scheme to ensure clinically vulnerable people have a decent income and job security while the risks of Covid-19 remain high.

    The letter follows a campaign launched by the TUC and a group of charities including Age UK, Diabetes UK, Macmillan and the MS Society, the Evening Standard reports.

    In the letter, signed by more than 47 members of Lords, the peers say they believe “it is vital that a support scheme is established for people who are high-risk. This targeted intervention should ensure a decent income and job security for those that need it while the risks of Covid-19 remain high and they are unable to safely return to their workplace.”

  • Jon RogersToday, 14:58

    FRANCE BRACED FOR SPIKE IN INTENSIVE CARE PATIENTS

    French health minister Olivier Veran has warned more people will be hospitalised in intensive care in the next two weeks after a flare-up of coronavirus infections.

    But Mr Veran ruled out the need for a new nationwide lockdown, telling BFM television that France had other means to fight the virus, including testing.

    “I cannot envision a general lockdown. The lockdown was a lid on an overflowing cooking pot,” he said.

    French health authorities reported 8,975 new confirmed cases on Friday, almost 1,500 higher than the previous daily peak of 7,578 on 31 March, when France was in one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns.

    The death toll in the country stood at 30,686 people, as of Friday.

    The number of people hospitalised was up by 28 on Friday to 4,671 after rising for a sixth day in a row.

  • Jon RogersToday, 14:29

    CORONAVIRUS DEATHS RISE BY NINE IN ENGLAND AND WALES

    A further eight people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England.

    The patients were aged between 56 and 94 and all had known underlying health conditions, NHS England said.

    Public Health Wales said one more person who tested positive for coronavirus has died in Wales.

    Public Health Wales said the total number of cases in the country increased by 77, bringing the revised total of confirmed cases to 18,283.

    The total number of confirmed reported deaths in English hospitals now stands at 29,604.

  • Jon RogersToday, 14:18

    PUB LANDLORDS IN MIDDLESBROUGH GIVEN WARNING

    Pubs and restaurants in Middlesbrough who fail to enforce the Covid-19 safety measures face being closed down, the town’s mayor has warned.

    The town was put on the government’s “areas of concern” list following a spike in coronavirus cases.

    Andy Preston said public health officials will visit venues with police on Saturday night.

    He warned that if venues are found to be putting the public’s health at risk by failing to adhere to coronavirus regulations, they could be immediately closed down.

  • Jon RogersToday, 13:57

    CASES AND DEATHS – GLOBAL TALLY

    More than 26.68 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus around the world and 874,218​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

    Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

  • Joseph GampToday, 13:35

    1,000 FREE PINTS ON OFFER TO BRIGHTON NHS FRONTLINE WORKERS

    NHS frontline workers based at one of Britain’s best loved seaside hotspots are being invited to help themselves to pints of ice-cold, foaming beer.

    When lockdown began in March, people across Brighton pledged free ale for doctors, nurses and other key workers.

    More than 1,000 free pints were promised – and today the call went out “Come and start supping!”

    Customers at Brighton brewery Bison Beer have been pledging the pints to NHS staff throughout lockdown – and now the workers can take full advantage of this generosity by claiming free beer.

    Bison Beer co-founder Jack Cregan said “In March we locked down our bars and moved to online ordering wondering whether we’d survive as a business.

    “We thought it would be nice to offer customers the chance to buy the NHS a pint when they went to our website to buy some beer.

    “The concept was simple, support us as small business and pay something extra should you be in a position to do so.”

    NHS staff can claim a ticket each, which can be exchanged for a Bison Beer See Side APA or an alcohol free alternative at the Bison Beer Beach Bar in Madeira Drive throughout September

  • Joseph GampToday, 13:25

    STRIKE ACTION POSSIBLE AS UNIONS OPPOSE OFFICE RETURN FOR CIVIL SERVANTS

    A public sector union said it would be willing to consider strike action after confirming it opposed Cabinet-driven plans for the vast majority of civil servants to return to the office by the end of the month.

    Outgoing Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, in a letter seen by the PA news agency, has written to the permanent secretaries of Government departments calling on them to bring as much as 80% of public sector staff back into the workplace.

    Sir Mark, in the note dated September 3, said the Prime Minister had asked to be personally involved in the back-to-work drive and wanted to see departmental figures on a “weekly basis” following Cabinet agreement that increasing office numbers would be “hugely beneficial for our workforce”.

    But the instructions have faced backlash from unions representing the Civil Service, with the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union confirming it would, as a “last resort”, consult members about possible industrial action.

  • Joseph GampToday, 13:03

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