Immigration

Sky News reports that France has been asked to stop so many illegal immigrants crossing the Channel.

French officials have been urged to take a tougher stance on migrants, after a record week of Channel crossings.
Some 96 people were intercepted in the Channel on Friday – a day after a record 202 migrants made the journey.
The previous daily record for migrant crossings was on 13 July, when 180 successfully landed in the UK.
Immigration compliance minister Chris Philp wants France to be stronger at stopping the boats at sea and directing them back to the shore before they reach the Kent coast.

Westmonster reports on the activities of lawyers who help migrants stay in the UK.

The Home Office has launched an attack on what it calls “activist lawyers” who it says are frustrating efforts to send migrants back to France.
It cited “vexatious” claims that are hindering its attempts to remove migrants from the UK, but refused to say how many remained in the country.
Priti Patel’s office also hit out at “inflexible and rigid” asylum regulations that it says are “not fit for purpose”.
The row comes after a record 202 migrants reached the UK by crossing the Channel on Thursday, with more believed to have made the perilous journey yesterday.
The Home Office criticised the Dublin Regulation, which determines which EU member state is responsible for examining an asylum application.
It said it was “not fit for purpose” and said the UK will no longer be bound by EU laws and can negotiate its own returns agreement at the end of this year.

And there are more immigrants heading for Italy, reports Breitbart.

Italy has seen a surge in migrant arrivals in recent weeks, with as many as 11,000 arriving last week, half of them coming from Tunisia.
The Italian Interior Ministry released a statement this week saying: “Autonomous landings on the Italian coast have more than multiplied in a very short period of time.”
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio went on to call for aid from the European Union, saying the bloc “must address this issue immediately” and work to redistribute the incoming migrants. Di Maio also noted the health risks due to the potential spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, Le Figaro reports.

Development

Building projects could get the go-ahead automatically, reports the Telegraph.

New homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will be given an automatic “permission in principle” in swathes of the country, under Boris Johnson’s plan for the biggest overhaul of the planning system since the Second World War.
The Prime Minister is preparing to slash red tape to produce “simpler, faster” processes as part of a “once in a generation” reform of the system.

Sky News report the changes to planning laws as a ‘shake up’.

New homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will get “automatic” permission to be built, under a radical shake-up of planning laws.
After Boris Johnson promised to “build, build, build” in order to create more affordable homes, the government is unveiling what is billed as the biggest change to the planning system since it was created in 1947.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick says the “outdated and cumbersome” planning rules, in which it takes on average five years to approve a new housing development, are fuelling a “generational divide” between older homeowners and young people struggling to get on the property ladder.

The housing secretary is in the vanguard of the plans, says BBC News.

New homes and hospitals will be granted “automatic” permission to be built as part of sweeping planning reforms in England, the housing secretary says.
Robert Jenrick announced a “permission in principle” will be given to developments on land designated “for renewal” to speed-up building.
It comes after the PM pledged £5bn to “build, build, build” to help soften the economic impact of coronavirus.

The Times calls it a revolution.

Ministers will unveil a “blockbuster” planning revolution this week to fulfil Boris Johnson’s pledge that the government will “Build, build, build” and make it easier for key workers such as nurses to afford a home.
Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, will publish a policy paper on planning that will make it much more difficult for local authorities to block new development.
The paper, entitled “Planning for the Future”, will also outline plans to use money from developers to give discounts of up to one-third off the cost of a house to local people.

SAS

Could our troops be guilty of executing civilians?  The Times reports:

Incendiary documentary evidence has emerged in a British court in which allegations are made about a “rogue” SAS unit accused of executing civilians in Afghanistan.
The evidence had been withheld from earlier proceedings of the legal case, prompting a judge to demand a full explanation from Ben Wallace, the defence secretary.
The cache of emails, notes and reports from inside the SAS — the like of which has never been seen before — reveal that special forces commanders were highly concerned about the killing of more than 33 people in the space of three months during night raids on their homes.

EU

The Express reports the lack of a vaccine deal on the Continent.

THE EUROPEAN Union has yet to strike a single deal to secure future Covid-19 vaccines but the United Kingdom has nailed down access to 250million doses.
Britain’s success at securing access to potential vaccines shows that critics who blasted the Government for not joining a European Union procurement scheme were “spectacularly wrong”, a Whitehall source claimed.
The UK has won access to four different types of vaccines.
Boris Johnson’s Government came under fierce attack for not joining the EU’s programme – but a leading Brexiteer claims the UK’s success at agreeing deals shows it was right to stay out.

Elderly

The main Covid story today is that we over-70s could be forced to stay under house arrest.  The Telegraph says:

Elderly people and others considered to have an increased risk from Covid-19 could be asked to stay at home under radical plans being drawn up to avert a second national lockdown, the Telegraph can disclose.
Boris Johnson has asked officials to prepare a suite of possible measures that could help avoid shutting down the economy for a second time, after he said that he wanted to avoid another lockdown.
The options include a programme of “enhanced” or “differential” shielding, as part of which vulnerable people would be asked to remain at home while the rest of the population continued to move around freely.

Sky News calls it a ‘nuclear’ option.

Millions of over 50s could be told to stay at home under a “nuclear” option to prevent a new nationwide lockdown if there is a second wave of coronavirus.
Boris Johnson is reportedly considering asking a greater number of people in England to take part in the shielding programme should there be a big spike in COVID-19  cases.
A Sunday Times report said people aged between 50 and 70 could be given personalised risk ratings, taking into account factors such as age and medical conditions.
2.2 million were deemed most vulnerable and asked to shield themselves from society during the spring peak of the virus – advice that ended on Saturday.
As part of a strategy to tackle a potential second wave of coronavirus in the future, the prime minister is also reportedly considering lockdown conditions for London.

The plan may be confined to areas of local lockdown says the Sun.

MILLIONS more people over the age of 50 will be asked to stay at home if local lockdowns like the one in the northwest last week fail to halt a second wave of the coronavirus.
Boris Johnson has asked his team to prepare a series of measures that could help avoid shutting the country down again.
And under the scheme, OAPs, as well as others considered to have an increased risk from Covid-19, may be told to stay indoors, The Telegraph reports.

The young and healthy would be free, says the Independent.

Elderly people and others at increased risk from coronavirus could be asked to stay home again under plans to avoid a second national lockdown, according to a report.
Young and healthy people would be able to move around freely under the proposal for “differential” shielding of the vulnerable, who could be allocated specific times of the week for exclusive access to shops, reported The Sunday Telegraph.
Details of the proposal emerged on the day the government’s shielding programme came to an end for 2 million people at particularly high risk from Covid-19.

All this is to avoid another national lockdown, says the Times.

Boris Johnson has ordered officials to draw up “nuclear” plans to prevent another nationwide lockdown, which are expected to mean that millions more people over the age of 50 will be asked to stay at home if local crackdowns like the one in the northwest last week fail to curb a second wave of the coronavirus.
The prime minister convened a war gaming exercise last Wednesday in No 10 that could also pave the way for draconian travel restrictions in and out of London and at Britain’s airports if the virus flares up in the capital.

The economy

But what will another lockdown do to the economy?  The Mail reports.

Boris Johnson’s delay to lockdown easing will take a wrecking ball to the economic recovery, according to ailing businesses braced for yet more hardship.
The Prime Minister today announced he is ‘squeezing the brake pedal’ on lifting the coronavirus restrictions still throttling some sectors of UK plc.
He also extended the compulsory wearing of face masks to most indoor public spaces, including museums in places of worship.
After the infection rate doubled in July, ministers and scientists are increasingly weary of a second onslaught of the virus, which is seeing a resurgence in several other countries.

Education

Plans for children to go back to school could be in jeopardy says the Times.

Schools are getting ready to carry on teaching pupils at home in case a second wave of the coronavirus prevents them from reopening in the autumn.
They are drawing up a plan B even though Boris Johnson insisted last week that it was a “national priority” to have all pupils back in classrooms in September.
If children do return, some secondary schools and teaching unions have demanded that they wear masks in lessons.

The Evening Standard says schools may not be the only area to be hit with another lockdown.

Ministers are on standby to impose quarantine measures on more countries amid fears that a second wave  of coronavirus cases could undermine the reopening of schools in September.
Millions of pupils have been kept out of classrooms for a full six months, with many falling behind or suffering loneliness, and the Government is keen to see every school reopen its doors for the autumn term.
But a minister told the Evening Standard: “Getting children back into proper lessons is important for their wellbeing and for parents who want to get back to work. That could be pushed off course if the rises in Spain and other European countries is repeated here.”

And the teaching unions have had something to say about the plans, says the Guardian.

Government plans to reopen all schools in September were called into question by leading scientists and the head of a major teaching union last night amid signs that cases of Covid-19 are increasing again at an alarming rate.
Despite imposing new restrictions on people meeting indoors in parts of the north of England on Thursday – and postponing plans to allow bowling alleys, casinos, skating rinks and other venues to reopen a day later – ministers insist that reopening schools fully early next month remains a top priority.

Track and trace

It simply doesn’t work well enough, says the Times.

The government’s £10bn contact-tracing programme failed to reach almost half the contacts named by infected patients in “non-complex” cases — including people living under the same roof.
The outsourcing giants Serco and Sitel are being paid £192m to provide 18,500 call handlers who are responsible for tracing non-complex contacts referred to them.
“Non-complex” cases, such as when the infected person came into contact with a friend, are dealt with by the two firms, while “complex” ones involving a potential outbreak in a school or workplace are referred to experienced Public Health England teams.

Europe

And across the Channel there are more cases of Covid says the Telegraph.

Europe’s economic recovery is stalling as signs of a second wave of Covid-19 infections drive fears the continent will follow the US into a double-dip downturn.
Live economic signals tracking hiring, road traffic and consumer confidence this weekend indicate the region has stopped clawing back lost output and risks going into reverse.
Economists at Jefferies said their growth gauge had failed to improve in the last two weeks, indicating that rebounds in Germany, Italy and Spain were losing momentum.
Its measure uses multiple signals to track the state of the recovery, with job listings, public transport usage, energy consumption and road traffic all stagnant.

Hairdressers

Hairdressers may be responsible for spreading the virus says the Telegraph.

Hairdressers and barbers could be inadvertently transmitting Covid-19 to their customers as a result of “inadequate” official guidance stipulating that they should wear visors rather than masks, government advisers have warned.
Scientists have expressed fears that plastic face shields being used by workers in hair salons provide insufficient protection for the wearer and client because they leave a significant gap through which small airborne coronavirus droplets could pass.
In the NHS, visors are generally only used in addition to masks, as only the masks are specifically designed to cover the nose and mouth.

They’re not doing it deliberately, points out the Mirror.

Scientists fear hairdressers could be unknowingly passing coronavirus to customers because of inadequate visors.
Government ministers have been warned that the plastic face visors worn by hairdressers leaves a gap that airborne coronvirus droplets could pass through.
They are now facing calls to revise guidance to barbers and hairdressers and require them to wear face masks, as well as the visors.

Northern England

Is the north suffering a second wave or was the first wave not controlled, asks the Telegraph.

When Boris Johnson announced that swathes of northern England would return to a partial lockdown on Thursday night, he warned that the UK could be just two weeks away from a “damaging second wave” of coronavirus infections.
But the data suggests a different picture – the uptick in cases is a demonstration that parts of the country never brought the first wave of Covid-19 under control.
For several months the average infection rate across affected local authorities in northern England has been tracking at a much higher level than the rest of the country, analysis by the Telegraph shows (see chart below).

Lockdown

The Telegraph claims an exclusive report from the WHO.

The World Health Organisation has urged countries not to reimpose national lockdowns in an attempt to stem the spread of Covid-19 due to the health, social and economic repercussions.
In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, who helps lead the WHO’s pandemic response team as the head of the emerging diseases unit, said that countries should instead adopt localised strategies.
By the end of March, as the coronavirus outbreak spiralled out of control across the globe, well over 100 countries had imposed a full or partial lockdown – affecting billions of people.

More cases – more lockdown, says the Independent.

Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to restore elements of lockdown amid evidence of increased  coronavirus infections, with one member of the Independent Sage group of experts telling The Independent that indoor venues like pubs and gyms should shut in an effort to reach “zero Covid”.
Professor Susan Michie’s call came after chief medical officer Chris Whitty warned that England was now “near the limit” of the restrictions which can be relaxed without losing control of the virus, telling a Downing Street press conference: “If we wish to do more things in the future, we may have to do less of some other things.”
And a member of the government’s official Sage group of scientific advisers said pubs and other leisure venues may have to close in order to allow children to return safely to classrooms in September.

Care homes

Those in care homes, who are thought to be very vulnerable, may not be tested says the Times.

Ministers have abandoned a key pledge to test all people in care homes regularly throughout the summer, plunging the test and trace system into chaos.
In a leaked memo sent to local authority chief executives on Friday night, Professor Jane Cummings — the government’s adult social care testing director — said “previously advised timelines for rolling out regular testing in care homes” were being torn up because of “unexpected delays”.

A committee has warned of further problems in homes for the elderly reports the Mirror.

Boris Johnson has been warned to act NOW and stop a ­lethal second deadly wave of coronavirus in care homes.
Amid Government chaos and confusion in the face of a surge in infections, a powerful MPs’ committee and care home bosses echoed what the Sunday People has been saying for months.
Meg Hillier, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons public accounts committee, demanded action – not empty promises and slogans.
She said bluntly: “We weren’t prepared for the first wave. Our care homes were effectively thrown to the wolves

The Express reports a poll calling for English residents to get free personal care.

VOTERS want people in England to have the same right to free personal care as in Scotland, according to a major poll.
Research by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found overwhelming support for extending the system to England – even if it meant a bigger bill for the taxpayer.
Free personal care for over-65s was introduced in Scotland in July 2002 and was last year expanded to cover the whole population. It means people who need it do not have to pay for help in their own home with getting up and out of bed, washing and eating.
More than two-thirds of 2,000 people polled across Great Britain (64 percent) either agreed or agreed strongly that “people in England should have the same right”.

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