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Politics

UK coronavirus live: health leaders warn of 'real risk' of second wave as lockdown eases


Open letter in British Medical Journal urges ministers to take urgent action; Boris Johnson to face Keir Starmer at PMQs

8.54am BST

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has criticised the government for reopening the hospitality industry on a Saturday. In an interview on Sky News he said:

I would say that they have just come down on the side of risk, rather than caution, on the side of the economy rather than health. The plan to open everything on a Saturday is, I think, a mistake, certainly unwise. I think people in local police forces and councils across the country will think: why? Why is all of that happening on a Saturday? That is risky.

I am concerned about everything opening up on what Sky might dub ‘Super Saturday’. Why open everything on that day? Surely a staggered approach would have been fairer for our police force.

This is a time when the public needs more local and regional information to navigate the risks that are out there.

8.44am BST

Scotland’s education secretary John Swinney has insisted that there is no contradiction between his announcement yesterday that pupils can return to school full-time with no physical distancing, and Nicola Sturgeon’s continued adherence to 2 metre social distancing.

He said the Scottish government was guided by international evidence of successful return to school with no distancing, as well as evidence that young people generally are not as affected by coronavirus or as significant transmitters of it. He added that there had been significant suppression of the virus in Scotland over the past month, going from 20,000 people capable of transmitting the infection to 2000, and that there may be further changes to social distancing guidance across society by August.

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