Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

UK death toll hits 44,198 after another 67 people die

Another 67 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health have announced.

Today’s figures being the country’s official death toll to 44,198, covering fatalities in all settings including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. Since the start of the pandemic a total of 284,900 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Britain.

While the daily toll is considerably lower than the peak of Britain’s outbreak in early April, concerns of a second spike remain as lockdown mesaures are eased considerably in England.

Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers opened their doors this morning for the first time in more than 100 days in a mass re-opening of businesses dubbed ‘Super Saturday’. With barbers and salons closed since the lockdown was imposed on March 23, people lined up to have their hair cut on the stroke of midnight.

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Last month Boris Johnson said a number of businesses in the hospitality sector could open their doors on July 4, but they will have to follow strict guidelines and show they are ‘Covid-secure’.

In order to help them get back into action the Prime Minister said the two-metre social distancing rule would be reduced to ‘one-metre plus’, meaning certain ‘mitigations’ such as masks and protective screens should be use to minimise the spread of the virus.

Addressing the nation at a Downing Street press conference yesterday, the Prime Minister said the public needed to focus on ‘supporting the livelihoods of businesses across country’ – but needed to do so ‘responsibly’.

He said: ‘Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together, and we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again, because we are not out of the woods yet.

‘If it starts running out of control again this government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.

‘Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-Secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.

‘So as we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British people to do so safely.’

However these new freedoms do not apply to Leicester, which has become the UK’s first city to be put on local lockdown due to a surge in cases.

Pubs in neighbouring Nottingham will be asking customers for a proof of address to stop people breaking the emergency measures for the sake of a drink.

Police have warned that anyone caught fleeing the city could be fined £100 if they are caught.

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