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Coronavirus map LIVE: Fury as EU states lash out at UK – 'They are going to retaliate'

France, Germany, Greece and Spain will all place restrictions on US tourists entering their countries as they reopen from lockdowns unless the UK scraps its plan, or its coronavirus infection rates decrease. The European countries’ moves are likely to fuel a growing backbench and industry backlash over the Government’s quarantine, which will require all international arrivals, including returning Britons, to self-isolate for 14 days. Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “At just the moment the industry could start moving again, we are about to shut them down and other countries are going to retaliate.”



Industry chiefs are angry at the proposals, and Alex Cruz, BA’s chief executive, yesterday refused to join a conference with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Kelly Tolhurst, the aviation minister, to discuss the issue.

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Speaking today, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis suggested the measures could be scaled back before long.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is calling on EU member states to lift all border checks within the bloc by the end of June, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has.

French tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said his country would impose a 14-day quarantine on UK visitors if Britain proceeds with its quarantine plan on Monday – although he added France plans to open its borders to other EU nations on June 15.

Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas said he would be “strongly advising” against travel to Britain due to its quarantine – just as his country lifts its travel restrictions for 30 other European nationalities from June 15.

His Greek counterpart Haris Theoharis was quoted as saying as long as Britain’s coronavirus rate remained comparatively high, travellers from most UK airports faced mandatory tests for COVID-19 and quarantine of seven days even if they were found to be clear of the virus.

And Spain, while ruling out “tit-for-tat” quarantine measures, said the right of entry would partly depend on a country’s “epidemiological situation”.


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The UK is facing tit-for-tit quarantine measures for among others, Emmanuel Macron’s France (Image: GETTY)

9.40am update: BBC criticised over ‘inaccurate’ coronavirus figures by Tory MP in fierce clash with Lammy

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Nadhim Zahawi has attacked the BBC for allegedly providing “inaccurate” statistics regarding COVID-19 deaths during a furious clash with David Lammy on Question time last night.

The Labour Party’s David Lammy and Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi were involved in a heated clash over the UK coronavirus death rate following reports of it being the worst in Europe.

The pair locked horns as they both appeared as panel guests on BBC Question Time.

Mr Zahawi stated that the figures are “inaccurate” and compared them to Spain’s scale of measure, which is different from the scale Britain uses.

9.31am update: Air traffic at Israel’s main airport halted after coronavirus pay dispute

All air traffic at Israel’s principal airport was shut down on Friday after workers walked off the job to demand compensation for wages lost due to the coronavirus crisis, an airport spokeswoman and union official said.

Global demand for air travel has plummeted amid the pandemic and Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, put about 2,500 airport workers on unpaid leave in early March.

The Israel Airports Authority’s workers’ union has demanded the country negotiate a compensation package with airport workers.

Union spokeswoman Gali Gabbay said: “The workers that were placed on unpaid leave have now stopped receiving unemployment benefits. We need the government to find a solution.”

9.18am update: Johnson now has negative rating, says IpsosMORI

Another poll, by Ipsos MORI, indicates Boris Johnson now has a negative rating.

The survey suggests 39 percent are now favourable to the Prime Minister, while 43 percent are unfavourable.

Last month 45 percent had a positive opinion of Johnson and 38 percent saw viewed him negatively.

It is the first time more Britons have been unfavourable towards the PM than favourable since the beginning of March and the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown.

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,291 British adults between May 29 and June 3.

9.15am update: Ireland set to change message to “stay local”

The Irish Government’s message will change from “stay home” to “stay local” next week.

It is set to approve the next phase of the country’s road map out of coronavirus lockdown later on Friday.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys told RTE Morning Ireland: “It will be stay local and I would also ask people to shop local and stay safe.”

8.54am update: Boris Johnson crisis: Approval ratings plummet 40 points – shock poll

Boris Johnson’s popularity ratings have slumped as Britons turn on the Prime Minister over his handling of the coronavirus crisis, a poll has indicated.

The Prime Minister’s approval rating has drastically plummeted by 40 points since mid-April after he was hit by criticism over easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions, COVID-19 in care homes and his adviser Dominic Cummings. Mr Johnson previously had a net approval rating of 38, according to Redfield & Wilton Strategies.

8.51am update: Measures could be “fine-tuned”, suggests Lewis

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has suggested the UK’s controversial quarantine system could be “fined-tuned” after EU countries threatened tit-for-tat measures.

Mr Lewis told Radio 4’s Today programme alternatives were being worked on, with the situation due to be reviewed in three weeks.

He added: “Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’s team is looking at work we can do with countries around the world to look at how we can increase travel when it is deemed safe to do so, including arrangements potentially such as ­international travel corridors, whether we even remove self-isolation measures and safely open up routes to and from countries with low-transmission rates.”

8.46am update: Russia’s total approaches 450,000

Russia reported 8,726 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, pushing the total number of infections to 449,834.

Officials said 144 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 5,528.

Coronavirus explained (Image: Daily Express)

8.44am update: Shapps defends track and trace system

Mr Shapps also defended the Government’s track and trace system, which might not be fully operational until September or October, after earlier criticism by former WHO director Professor Anthony Costello.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, the transport secretary said the alleged delays only meant the app would continue to be improved.

He said: “The app itself will continue to be improved just as apps are always being improved and I tend to think they are never really finished.

“Just to be clear, right now, you’ve got an NHS test and trace system which is indeed on global scales extremely impressive – to give you an example, yesterday I announced 233,000 tests had been carried out.

8.39am update: “You won’t be allowed to use public transport without one”

Grant Shapps compared the new face coverings rule on public transport to the alcohol ban introduced on Transport for London a decade ago.

He said: “You won’t be able to use public transport unless you are wearing it, so you could be asked to leave and ultimately you could be fined but I don’t think that will be necessary in the vast majority of cases.

He told BBC Breakfast: “There were all these discussions at the time but in the end most people just want to do the right thing, most people just want to get on top of this disease and here is something small but important that we can do.”

8.36am update: Face covering “not as important as hand-washing”, says Shapps

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said wearing a face covering is not as important as washing your hands or social distancing for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Defending the decision not to impose mandatory face coverings for commuters until June 15, he said: “It is an additional measure, it is marginal, we accept it is marginal and the scientists weren’t in full agreement about it but we think it is worth doing absolutely everything possible.”

He told BBC Breakfast the reason face coverings have not been mandatory so far is because the transport system has only been at five percent capacity.

“I am afraid this is not some panacea, wearing a face covering has been argued about and the scientists have said before and I have commented before that it has been a debatable point because what happens is that as people take those coverings on and off, it can lead to cross infection.

“I do think on balance it is right to do absolutely everything possible because it removes the doubt and provides some reassurance to passengers as well but it is not some panacea.”

8.30am update: Priti Patel snubbed as British Airways refuses to discuss quarantine plans

British Airways has snubbed the Home Secretary’s meeting to discuss quarantine plans, it has been revealed.

The aviation industry is one of the hardest hit sectors from the coronavirus lockdown.

Due to mass grounding worldwide, they have seen record losses in profit, and have previously asked for a bailout.

As restrictions begin to ease around the world, the flight industry is looking for the best way to return to normal.

Home Secretary Priti Patel (Image: GETTY)

8.20am Drug company “takes a risk” on Oxford vaccine

Drug manufacturer AstraZeneca has already started making the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine – even though there is no confirmation it will actually work.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said the company had got the process underway to ensure, if it does pass human trials, the treatment could be made available in the autumn.

It comes as trials of the potential vaccine have started in Brazil, the new epicentre of the pandemic, to ensure the study can be properly tested as transmission rates fall in the UK.

Mr Soriot told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are starting to manufacture this vaccine right now.

“And we have to have it ready to be used by the time we have the results.

“And of course, with this decision comes a risk but it is a financial risk and that financial risk is that if the vaccine doesn’t work, and we will find this out at the end of August, then all the materials, all the vaccines we have manufactured will be wasted.”

The full results of trials being carried out at National Institute of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory in the US, published last month, showed the vaccine – known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – did not stop rhesus macaque monkeys involved in the study from catching the virus – albeit with reduced severity.

AstraZeneca has already started manufacturing the vaccine (Image: GETTY)

8.11am update: “Don’t take law into your own hands,” urges Khan

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there would be an “element of discretion and good faith” when it comes to enforcing the wearing of face masks on public transport.

He told BBC Breakfast that people with breathing problems would not be forced to wear one, and neither will young children.

He added: “The idea is that enough of us wearing these will stop the virus spreading faster.”

Mr Khan said the policy would rely a lot on “positive peer pressure” but urged commuters not “take the law into your own hands” if they saw people without face coverings and speak to a member of staff instead.

8.08am update: Test and trace system “may not work”, warns Prof

Professor Anthony Costello was critical of the UK’s test and trace system, arguing a more localised form of testing utilising GP surgeries would have been more effective.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We have a system (of testing) that they’ve had for two months and it clearly isn’t working well.

“I’m not convinced it is going to work.”

Prof Costello argued that GP surgeries should have been used as testing hubs, with GPs who know patients’ underlying illnesses monitoring patients who test positive for Covid-19 and contact tracers then linked to such a system.

“It is called the health service and, at the moment, we are focusing on car parks, call centres and apps – that’s fine, they can add to that system maybe,” he said.

“But it doesn’t make sense to me that we are by-passing what is a world-beating system actually – our primary care system in the UK – and it would be in my view much more cost effective.

Face masks on public transport will become mandatory on June 15 (Image: GETTY)

8.05am update: Face mask evidence “not very strong”, says former WHO chief

Professor Anthony Costello, a former director at the World Health Organisation, said the evidence that wearing masks prevented transmission of coronavirus was “not very strong” but stated that he would choose to wear one when using public transport.

The professor of global health at University College London told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that recent studies indicated that masks reduced the risk of transmission by about 14 percent and were most effective when using a stronger mask material.

Asked why scientists had been slow to recommend wearing masks, Prof Costello said: “The problem is that the evidence is not very strong, in terms of randomised trials.

“Of course we must still wash our hands and use them sensibly and, if you use a face covering, you should wash it carefully, things like that.

“People obviously won’t comply with it perfectly but I think it makes sense.

“If I’m travelling on a bus or a tube, I’d want to have a face covering.”

8.02am update: GMB’s Kate Garroway gives update on husband

Kate Garroway made her first GMB appearance this morning since her husband Derek Draper was taken ill with coronavirus.

Kate Garraway made an emotional return to Good Morning Britain today as she spoke with Ben Shephard and Ranvir Singh about her husband’s battle with coronavirus.

Kate’s husband Derek has been in intensive care for over eight weeks now after falling ill with COVID-19 and the ITV presenter has been taking a break from onscreen duties as a result.

This morning, Kate made her return to the ITV show via video link to share an update on her husband’s wellbeing.

Kate Garroway speaks on GMB (Image: ITV)

7.51am update: Brazil’s death toll outstrips Italy’s

The number of coronavirus deaths in Brazil has overtaken Italy’s toll , while Mexico reported a record number of new cases, at a time when regional leaders in Latin America are pushing to end quarantine measures and kick their economies back into gear.

Latin America as a whole has become a new focus of the coronavirus pandemic, with health officials urging governments there not to open their economies too fast and to avoid public crowds.

Brazil posted a record number of daily deaths for third consecutive day on Thursday, with 1,437 deaths over the last 24 hours and 30,925 additional coronavirus cases, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

Total deaths in South America’s largest nation now stand at 34,021, trailing only the United States and the UK.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro in particular has been accused of downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic.

Jair Bolsonaro shake hands with Donald Trump earlier this year (Image: GETTY)

7.45am update: NHS struck by hackers increasing attacks during coronavirus – GCHQ in chilling warning

Cyber-criminals are attacking the NHS more during the coronavirus pandemic, the director of GCHQ said yesterday.

Hackers are hunting for information on the UK’s response to the crisis, including vaccine research, Jeremy Fleming said.

Mr Fleming’s intervention came just hours before Defence Secretary announced that the British Army had set up its first dedicated cyber regiment.

The Ministry of Defence said Britain’s adversaries are “creating a new cyber frontline”, adding that the 13th Signal Regiment will provide “digital armour” to troops operating overseas.

7.36am update: Bald men at greater COVID-19 risk, study shows

Bald men could be at greater risk of having serious COVID-19 symptoms, according to new research.

Brown University’s Professor Carlos Wambier conducted two studies in Spain which found that a disproportionately high number of men with male pattern baldness were taken to hospital with coronavirus.

The first study found of 71 percent of the 41 patients examined with COVID-19 in Spanish hospitals were bald, with the background rate of baldness for white men of a similar age to the patients between 31 and 53 percent.

The second study, which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found 79 percent of the 122 male coronavirus patients in Madrid hospitals were bald.

Scientists have argued androgens – male sex hormones – may contribute to hair loss and increase the ability of the coronavirus to attack cells.

French tourist minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (Image: GETTY)

7.32am update: EU states threaten quarantine retaliation

EU states furious at the UK’s plan to impose a 14-day quarantine period on visitors from their countries are ready to respond with similar measures of their own as the spiralling row threatens to boil over – with France in particular ready to single Britain out.

France, Germany, Greece and Spain will all place restrictions on US tourists entering their countries as they reopen from lockdowns unless the UK scraps its plan, or its coronavirus infection rates decrease.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is calling on EU member states to lift all border checks within the bloc by the end of June, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson has.

French tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said his country would impose a 14-day quarantine on UK visitors if Britain proceeds with its quarantine plan on Monday – although he added France plans to open its borders to other EU nations on June 15.


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