Coronavirus

ITV News
A third person has died from coronavirus, as the number of cases soars to 273. The man in his 60s had underlying health problems and died at North Manchester General Hospital after having recently returned from Italy, NHS England said. It comes as the number coronavirus cases in the UK reached a total of 273 – an increase of 64 and the biggest overnight jump yet. A spokesman for North Manchester General Hospital said: “We can confirm that sadly a patient being treated for Covid-19 has died at our specialist regional Infectious Diseases unit at North Manchester General Hospital.

Reuters
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 30% to 273, the government said on Sunday, and a third person who tested positive for the virus has died. The Department of Health and Social Care said the number of cases had risen by 64 from Saturday, the biggest one-day increase so far. The largest concentration of cases is in London, which has had 51. England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said a third person had died in Britain after testing positive for the virus.

Telegraph
A decision by Italian authorities to place 16 million people into coronavirus quarantine descended into chaos on Sunday night as dozens of flights from affected areas were permitted to land in Britain. The news came as the number of confirmed cases in the UK rose by 64 to 278, the biggest increase to date and a third patient in the UK died, the Chief Medical Officer confirmed.  The patient who was in his 60s was being treated at the North Manchester General Hospital and had significant underlying health conditions. Today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will convene a “Cobra” meeting of his top ministers and advisers in the Cabinet Office as Britain braces for the full force of the outbreak.

Times
Tens of thousands of Britons have had their holiday plans thrown into chaos after Italy quarantined 16 million people in a desperate attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Foreign Office said last night that no one should visit large areas of northern Italy unless it was essential. The advice came after a day of confusion over what the lockdown meant for travellers already in the country or with plans to go there. Anyone who has returned from affected areas of Italy, or is about to, has now been told by the Department of Health to self-isolate for 14 days even if no symptoms are apparent.

Mail
While regions of Italy are under an extreme quarantine in which people face a three-month prison sentence for leaving locked-down areas, Britons in the coronavirus-ridden zone are free to travel home without facing penalties. The death toll in Italy from coronavirus has risen by 133 to 366 while the number of confirmed cases in the country increased by 1,492 to 7,375. The Foreign Office confirmed that British tourists in the northern parts of the country – the worst affected region – ‘are free to return home or complete their holiday’ under guidelines from the Italian government.

Sun
BRITS have been left baffled after the Foreign Office warned them not to travel to Italy’s coronavirus quarantine zones – but passengers are landing in the UK with no checks. The FCO advised against “all but essential travel” to the worst-hit regions after Italy locked down 16 million people amid virus panic. Just hours earlier, the Foreign Office was still saying it was safe to travel to Italy. It changed the advice from avoiding only 11 small towns, to almost a blanket ban on tourism to swathes of the north including Venice and Milan.

Telegraph
A decision by Italian authorities to place 16 million people into coronavirus quarantine descended into chaos on Sunday night as dozens of flights from affected areas were permitted to land in Britain. More than a quarter of the population of Italy was placed on lockdown in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus after deaths in the country rose by a third in a single day. On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will convene a “Cobra” meeting of his top ministers and advisers in the Cabinet Office as Britain braces for the full force of the outbreak. On Sunday, the number of confirmed cases in the UK rose by 64 to 278, the biggest increase to date and a third patient in the UK is dead, the Chief Medical Officer confirmed.

Mail
A third patient in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus has died, it emerged tonight, as the number of cases in Britain shot up to 278 in just 24 hours. The male patient, aged over 60, had ‘significant underlying health conditions’ and had recently returned from a trip to Italy. He was being treated at North Manchester General Hospital’s specialist regional unit for infectious diseases.  It came as Northern Ireland reported five new cases of coronavirus last night, adding to the biggest daily rise in the number of cases reported in the UK.

Yahoo News
China has closed most of the makeshift hospitals opened to receive coronavirus patients in the epidemic’s epicentre as the number of new infections in the country hit a record low. There were 40 new cases nationwide, the National Health Commission said Monday, the lowest number of fresh cases since it started reporting the data in January. Most of the new cases, as well as 22 new deaths, were in Hubei, the central province at the epicentre of the outbreak. The deaths — which were all in Hubei except one — bring the country’s toll to 3,119.

Sun
MINISTERS are preparing to ask the elderly not to leave their homes if coronavirus spreads out of control. The drastic measure will be revealed by Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries, who said special measures will be put in place for “the vulnerable” – meaning the old and those with health conditions. Her warning in an article for The Sun comes as the government intensifies preparations for the virus to spread nationwide. Boris Johnson will chair another COBRA emergency committee meeting of experts and senior Cabinet ministers to decide whether to start imposing restrictions on people’s movements.

Guardian
Boris Johnson will decide whether to bring in tougher measures to delay the spread of coronavirus on Monday, after the number of British cases increased by a third to 278 and the number of deaths in the UK rose to three. The prime minister is to chair his first emergency Cobra meeting on the virus since last Monday, which will look at possible measures if the UK formally moves from trying to contain the outbreak to delaying its impact. The government’s coronavirus plan, published last week, included suggestions such as social distancing and increased home working at the milder end of the spectrum, to cancelling mass-attendance events and cutting back on essential police and fire services at the more extreme end.

Brexit

Express
LEAVING the EU means Britain can slash more than £200 billion in needless red tape costs, a leading think tank said on Sunday night. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) also urged Boris Johnson to use the opportunity of Brexit to bring about “meaningful change” to the “regulatory state”. The IEA warns that EU laws are being transposed “en masse” into UK law as part of the Brexit process and that regulators are reluctant to reforms. The think tank is planning to publish detailed studies of individual regulators, such as the Information Commissioner and the data watchdog, and identify red tape that could be cut.

Social care

Times
Boris Johnson is preparing to offer a “menu” of social care funding options, including new taxes on older workers, before cross-party talks. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, announced on Friday that negotiations over who paid for pensioners’ care would begin in earnest in May. During the election campaign Mr Johnson had promised to start cross-party talks within 100 days of being returned to No 10. Mr Johnson had also claimed in his first speech as prime minister last July that his party had prepared a “clear plan” to fix the crisis in social care.

Mirror
Workers over 40 would be charged a 2.5% tax on their salary to pay for social care in their old age under a plan being looked at by the Government. Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote to all MPs and peers last week, finally sparking cross-party talks on how to deal with Britain’s social care crisis. The German-style tax has been considered for a number of years and is reportedly Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s preferred option. After it was suggested by the Commons Communities Committee in 2018, Mr Hancock said he was “attracted” to the idea.

Labour Party

Guardian
Lisa Nandy has written to Labour’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, asking for urgent reassurance about the conduct of the party’s leadership contest, amid growing controversy over why many party members have yet to receive their ballot papers.  The MP for Wigan, who has reached the final stage of the contest along with Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey, is concerned that many of those affected by delays are among the 100,000 new members who have joined since Labour’s general election defeat in December. According to senior party figures, the new members – who, polling suggests, would be more likely to vote for Starmer or Nandy than Long-Bailey, who is backed by the Corbynite left – are being subject to extra verification processes, including checking their addresses against the electoral register.

Mirror
Keir Starmer has failed to rule out campaigning to rejoin the EU in the future at a Mirror hustings for the Labour leadership candidates. Last month the frontrunner to succeed Jeremy Corbyn said there was no question that could happen after Brexit. Since then his position seems to have softened. Today he admitted: “I don’t think it’s a priority for now and the immediate future,” but asked to explicitly rule it out he refused to do so.  When pressed he said: “It’s for our kids to decide what our future relationship is” to huge applause from the audience in Dudley Town Hall.

Morning Star
KEIR STARMER is the only Labour leadership candidate who may campaign to rejoin the EU if elected leader, after he failed to rule it out this weekend. The frontrunner to succeed Jeremy Corbyn refused to be drawn on the question at a Mirror hustings in Dudley in the West Midlands. When asked if Labour should rule out campaigning to rejoin the EU, he said: “I don’t think it’s a priority for now and the immediate future. It’s for our kids to decide what our future relationship is.” Mr Starmer’s position put him at odds with fellow Labour leadership candidates Rebecca Long Bailey and Lisa Nandy who both ruled out campaigning to rejoin the EU. “I’d rule it out,” Ms Nandy told the crowd.

Guardian
Keir Starmer, the Labour leadership frontrunner, has declined to rule out campaigning to rejoin the EU in the years ahead, saying it was a question for future generations. The shadow Brexit secretary said he did not think it was a “priority for now and the immediate future” and has previously said the question of leaving the EU is over. But when pressed to rule out advocating rejoining the EU in future, he said: “It’s for our kids to decide what our future relationship is.” Starmer was the only candidate not to rule out campaigning to reverse Brexit at a Labour hustings hosted by the Mirror in Dudley.

BBC News
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said he “does not recognise” the claim that Jeremy Corbyn’s team wanted a “faction fight” in the Labour Party. It comes after leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy said that some of Mr Corbyn’s team wanted to wage a “factional war until the other side had been crushed”. Mr McDonnell said he disagreed, but added that there had always been “a bit of a tussle” between left and right. Rebecca Long-Bailey and Keir Starmer are also running for leadership. Speaking to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg on Friday, Ms Nandy said she raised her concerns about “faction fighting” with the Labour leader before she quit his shadow cabinet in 2016.

Sun
NEARLY half of Labour members are ashamed of Britain’s history, polling shows. A YouGov Survey found barely one in three of the party’s members are proud of the nation’s past, compared to more than 50 percent of the public. According to the Mail on Sunday, the polling showed a huge gap between the views of the left-wing members and those of the public. More than half of Brits – 53 per cent – were proud of the last 300 years of the nation’s history. However, just 29 per cent of Labour members agreed with 48 per cent saying it was something to be ashamed of. While 63 per cent of the public backed the Monarchy, 53 per cent of the Labour membership wanted to see it scrapped.

LibDems

Sky News
A Liberal Democrat MP has described the party’s Brexit policy in the general election as a “big mistake”, as she announced her candidacy to be the next leader. Layla Moran revealed her bid for the top job in an interview with Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday. The Oxford West and Abingdon MP said it was time for the Lib Dems to “move on as a party and offer a positive vision for the country”. “I’m the right person to lead that change,” she declared. There is a vacancy at the top of the party because its previous leader, Jo Swinson, lost her seat in December’s general election.

BBC News
Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has said she will be standing in the contest to become the leader of the Liberal Democrats. She said her party faced an “existential challenge” and needed to focus on a positive vision for the UK. Jo Swinson resigned after losing her seat at the general election in December, in which the Lib Dems dropped from 12 to 11 seats. Nominations for candidates will open on 11 May, the party has said.

Migration

Sun
TURKISH President Erdogan has called on Greece to open its borders for migrants trying to reach Europe. It comes ahead of the President’s talks with European Union leaders on Monday in the midst of a tense stand-off. Tensions between Turkey and the EU have been rising over who is responsible for the millions of migrants and refugees on Turkish territory and the thousands who have massed recently at the Greek border. In a speech marking International Women’s Day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted that women and children were bearing the brunt of the crisis.

Yahoo News
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will hold talks in Brussels Monday as he called on Greece to “open the gates” for migrants at Turkey’s border trying to get to Europe. Amid tensions at the Turkey-Greece land border – where thousands of migrants have massed after Turkish authorities announced they would no longer prevent them from crossing into the EU – Erdogan said he would use Monday’s meeting to discuss “different outcomes” with Brussels. In a televised address to the nation Sunday, Erdogan urged Greece to open its border after clashes in recent days between migrants and Greek police.

Smart motorways

Times
A multi-billion road building plan – including proposals to roll out controversial smart motorways – has been put on hold over climate change concerns, The Times has learnt. The £25 billion strategy to expand motorways and major A-roads over the next five years, has been shelved until later in the spring or even early summer. The move is made after the Court of Appeal quashed government policy over the expansion of Heathrow on the grounds that it failed to take account of the UK’s climate change commitments.

Mobile signal

Times
Britain’s more remote areas will have a reliable mobile phone signal within five years, ministers will promise today as they announce a deal with operators to share the costs of new masts. Taxpayers will foot about half the £1 billion bill for new masts that will finally allow ministers to ensure 95 per cent of the UK has a good signal. The agreement will provide extra coverage to 280,000 premises and almost 10,000 miles of roads, the Treasury anticipates. Long-suffering customers in rural areas will have to wait another three years for the end of the “not-spot”, however, as the timetable for meeting the pledge has slipped from 2022 to 2025.

Mail
Rishi Sunak will vow to end patchy mobile phone reception and slow broadband in this week’s Budget. The Chancellor will announce a £1billion deal with telecoms firms to boost 4G coverage in rural areas. More than 280,000 properties and 10,000 miles of roads are expected to benefit from better phone signals. The biggest improvements are likely to be in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Whitehall sources said the money would ‘see poor and patchy mobile coverage become a thing of the past’. Mr Sunak will also confirm a £5billion investment to achieve faster broadband across the UK by 2025.

Independent
A £5bn investment to roll out faster broadband across the UK by 2025 is expected to be confirmed by the chancellor in Wednesday’s Budget. The Conservatives pledged at the election to bring full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business in Britain within five years. Rishi Sunak is set to use his first Budget this week to confirm the £5bn investment, which he hopes will benefit more than five million homes and businesses. Gigabit broadband, which is 40 times faster than standard superfast broadband, will be rolled out to the hardest-to-reach 20 per cent of the country, the Treasury said.

Human trafficking

Mail
Human traffickers are exploiting a back-door route into Britain that makes it ‘easy-peasy’ to get into the country. Operating from the UK, they arrange for illegal migrants to come here via European airports and boast that it is as simple as opening a front door. The shocking expose comes as a new migrant crisis sweeps Europe and people smugglers cash in on those fleeing their homelands. One trafficker told the Daily Mail he could arrange for a migrant to come to London from Albania for just £2,000. British-based Albanian Kledjan Kurtaj, 20, helps organise fake IDs and flights via a European capital such as Dublin or Paris.

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