SWITZERLAND, Jamaica and the Czech Republic have been added to the UK's quarantine list.
Brits returning after 4am on Saturday will need to isolate for 14 days.
This comes as Man Utd's Paul Pogba tested positive for the deadly virus.
The news was confirmed earlier today by France's international manager Didier Deschamps in a press conference.
The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is due to end on Bank Holiday Monday August 31.
But some chains have chosen to continue to offer 50% off deals at their own cost.
Meanwhile, 1,522 new positive cases and 12 deaths were recorded on Thursday August 27.
The death toll now stands at 41,477.
Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…
In Scotland, film fans have been enjoying a socially distanced drive-in movie at Edinburgh Airport.
Every month from August 2020 until January 2021, Drive-in Movies hopes to welcome up to 250 cars at the airport's car park, for film buffs of all ages.
Movie-goers tonight watched Sunshine On Leith in their cars while parked at the Drive-in Movie arena, which has been set up at Edinburgh Airport as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival
GREGGS DEPOT FORCED TO CLOSE
A Greggs depot has been forced to shutdown after a coronavirus outbreak was confirmed on the premises.
The bakery chain's building in Bramley, near Leeds, has seen around 20 staff members infected with the deadly virus – but it is feared the figure could rise.
Leeds City Council confirmed it was closed and has been deep cleaned to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The city has seen its infection rate rise this week from 17.9 to 20.4 per 100,000 people, according to the latest government figures.
Roger Whiteside, CEO at Greggs, said the company is rolling out its Covid response plan in hope of “minimising any possible impact” on customers.
For the full story see HERE.
CORONAVIRUS CASES TUMBLE
Covid-19 figures have fallen for the first time in six weeks as the number of people testing positive in England dipped by almost 10 per cent.
New, promising NHS figures show the total number of people found carrying the coronavirus fell week-on-week for the first time since July.
Government data for the NHS Test and Trace system in the week ending August 19 showed that 6,115 people tested positive for the bug in England.
It's a drop of eight per cent week-on-week, and is the first time positive test figures have fallen since the week ending July 15.
The fall also coincides with an increase in the number of tests – up to 442,392 – a jump of 7,333.
TOUR DE FRANCE UNCERTAINTY
The Tour de France sets off on Saturday amidst a backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
Questions are being raised over how the 176 riders will avoid infection and endure three exceptionally tough weeks of racing to reach the finish in Paris.
“Is the Tour adding to the human community experience this year? Or hurting it? That’s what needs answering,” Jonathan Vaughters, boss of the EF Education First team, told the Associated Press.
“If we choose to take on the risk of living life, then I suppose we might have to take the risk of letting events go forward that make life worth living, like the Tour.”
Instead of a boisterous celebration of cycling with throngs of cheering roadside spectators, this year's event will be a more subdued affair.
The Tour was moved for the first time in its 117-year history out of its traditional July slot to a September month, when many fans will be back at school or at work after summer vacations.
2,800 JOBS AXED AT PRET
Pret A Manger is cutting 2,800 jobs following a hit to customer demand from the coronavirus crisis, it said on Thursday.
The coffee and sandwich chain has been restructuring its UK business.
“Although we’re now starting to see a steady but slow recovery, the pandemic has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret,” said CEO Pano Christou, who has led the chain since October last year.
For the full story, see HERE.
FOOTIE FEARS OVER CORONA
The start of the new Premier League season risks being thrown into chaos after a spate of coronavirus cases among the league's top stars.
Players heading out on their holidays are also being forced to miss large chunks of pre-season with the big kick-off just 16 days away.
On Thursday, Paul Pogba and Tanguy Ndombele became the latest players to test positive for Covid-19.
The duo, who play for Manchester United and Tottenham respectively, will miss France's Nations League games.
The Red Devils' opening day fixture against Burnley has already been postponed due to their participation in August's Europa League knockouts.
And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will also be without Aaron Wan-Bissaka when their preparations get underway.
The right-back must self-isolate for 14 days after travelling to Dubai – with it not known whether he had permission from his club to do so.
Premier League in chaos after Man Utd ace Pogba contracts coronavirus and Chelsea stars quarantine 16 days before season
UK ADDS SWITZERLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC AND JAMAICA TO QUARANTINE LIST
Travellers arriving in Britain from Switzerland, the Czech Republic or Jamaica after 3am GMT on Saturday will need to quarantine themselves for 14 days to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Transport minister Grant Shapps announced their addition to the quarantine list today.
“Data shows we need to remove the Czech Republic, Jamaica and Switzerland from our list of Coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN,” Shapps said in a statement.
People arriving from Cuba however would no longer have to quarantine, he added.
CORONAVIRUS 'LIKE A TORNADO'
The coronavirus is a tornado with a long tail, and rising infections among young people could spread to more vulnerable older people and cause an uptick in deaths, warns the World Health Organization's top official in Europe.
Dr Hans Kluge said younger people are likely to come into closer contact with the elderly as the weather cools in Europe and families move activities inside.
“We don't want to do unnecessary predictions but this is definitely one of the options: that at one point there would be more hospitalisations and an uptick in mortality,” he said.
Dr Kluge insisted no one was invincible but acknowledged that most coronavirus deaths were among the elderly.
He added: “It may be that younger people are not necessarily going to die from it, but it's a tornado with a long tail and its a multi-organ disease.”
Dr Kluge said 32 out of 55 states and territories in WHO's European region have recorded a 14-day new infection rate increase of over 10%, calling that an uptick in Europe.
But he also suggested that European health authorities were more prepared than in February, when the continent was on the cusp of a huge surge in cases after the bug spread from China.
OVER 40,000 PEOPLE HAVE DIED WITHIN 28 DAYS OF TESTING POSITIVE SAYS GOVERNMENT
The Government said 41,477 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, an increase of 12 on the day before.
Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been 57,200 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The Government also said that as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 1,522 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Overall, 330,368 cases have been confirmed.
IVF SUCCESS RATES IMPACTED BY LOCKDOWN, STUDY CONCLUDES
Delays in IVF treatments during the coronavirus lockdown will have a significant impact on successful births, according to new research.
Analysis of UK and US data found that across all ages of women, the lockdown will likely lead to a drop of 0.5% in the live birth rate following IVF treatment.
The findings are now being used by health providers and policy makers in determining how IVF treatment resumes after lockdown.
Professor Scott Nelson, from the University of Glasgow, said: “The work undertaken by Andrew Smith and colleagues on the impact of temporary cessation of fertility treatment provision has been critical to the decision making by healthcare providers to recommence treatments within the UK and globally.
“The Scottish Government and National Infertility Group have used the data and the differential age groups identified in the planning of the resumption of services and prioritisation of patients whose treatment was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The paper, Population implications of cessation of IVF during the Covid-19 pandemic, is published in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online.
Switzerland and the Czech Republic could be added to the UK's quarantine list today – dashing hopes for thousands of boozy stag-do getaways.
The Government is due to update travellers in the next few hours on the latest advice to prevent waves of cases being imported back into the country.
Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Jamaica all are now in the dangerous 'red zone' where their cases per 100,000 has gone up above 20 in the last seven days.
More on the story here.
Plane toilets are the highest risk area of the plane when spreading coronavirus, according to a new study.
Communal areas and high-touch areas are likely to be the worst for the spread of the virus – with the loo being the most frequented by passengers during a flight.
The study, conducted by Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine in South Korea analysed an evacuation flight from Milan to Seoul on March 31, when Italy was facing soaring cases.
On the flight were meant to be 310 passengers, with 11 passengers having symptoms of coronavirus who were stopped before boarding.
More on the study here.
WEEKLY COVID-19 CASES IN ENGLAND DECLINE FOR FIRST TIME SINCE JULY
Some 6,115 new people tested positive for COVID-19 in England in the week to August 19, down 8% on the week before and showing the first decrease since the start of July, figures from the government's test and trace operation showed on Thursday.
A higher total of 7,941 people were transferred to the contact tracing system in the week, in part due to an operational delay in the prior week.
Of these, 72.6% were reached and asked to provide information about their contacts, compared to 79.0% in the previous week, the government said.
Public Health England also said on Thursday the number of deaths from all causes in England in the week to August 23 – the 34th week – showed no statistically significant excess.
Indian nationals saw a “notable increase” in the number of Tier 4 visas granted (48,297) – a 121% rise compared with the same period in 2019 (21,868).
This continues an increase seen since 2016.
But the Home Office warned the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak is yet to be seen, as the majority of student visas are granted between July and September and figures for those months are yet to be published.
Immigration experts said the figures indicating a “collapse” in the number of visas issued suggest there had been a sharp fall in migration since the pandemic.
There were 144,938 work visas granted, including those for relatives – 22% lower than the previous year.
Of these, youth mobility and temporary worker visas were also down 22% to 33,672.
VISAS TO UK DROP 29% AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
The number of visas granted for people coming to the UK has fallen 29% as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold.
According to the Home Office, 2.1 million visas were issued in the year to June, with around 12% issued for study and 7% for work.
The number of student visas granted to Chinese nationals has fallen.
Out of 255,776 sponsored study visas granted in the year to June, known as Tier 4 visas, Chinese nationals accounted for a third (34%) of the total.
But this was down 19% to 86,651 compared with the number issued to Chinese students in the previous year (107,555) because of Covid-19.
U.S AIRLINE DELTA HAS OUT 240 PEOPLE ON 'NO FLY LIST' FOR NOT WEARING MASKS, SAYS CEO
Delta Air Lines has placed about 240 people on a “no fly list' for failing to comply with the airline's face mask policy, Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees on Thursday.
“Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list,” Bastian said in the memo, which was reviewed by Reuters.
COVID-19 FINES PEAKED IN MID-APRIL, AS JUST SEVEN ISSUED FOR SLEEPOVER BREACHES
Just seven fines were issued during lockdown restrictions in England for people contravening rules not to stay overnight at a friend or relative's house without reasonable excuse, latest figures show.
The seven fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were among 16,021 issued in England between March 27 and August 17, while a further 2,662 were handed out in Wales.
The vast majority of the notices (13,980) were issued by police for breaching restriction of movement rules under the Health Protection Regulations 2020, designed to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Some 4,430 fines were issued for meeting up in public in groups of more than two, before restrictions were later eased.
The data was released by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), taking in figures from constabularies across England and Wales.
CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS – WALES
Public Health Wales said another person has died having tested positive for coronavirus, bringing its total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,595.
The number of cases of Covid-19 in Wales increased by 35, bringing the revised confirmed total to 17,843.
STURGEON SAYS 'VIRUS DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE SHAPE OF THE BALL' IN STADIUMS
Nicola Sturgeon has said Covid-19 “doesn't care about the shape of the ball” when asked about rugby fans returning to a live stadium game before football supporters.
Around 700 spectators will be allowed into Murrayfield as a trial event on Friday when Edinburgh host Glasgow Warriors.
The First Minister was asked whether rugby supporters were receiving preferential treatment at the daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday.
She denied this was the case, saying: I'll let you into a wee secret here, the virus doesn't care about the shape of the ball at these events.
“What we are testing is how we can operate in a stadium with spectators and maintain with all the physical distancing and other hygiene rules.”
MANCHESTER LOCKDOWN RULES COULD BE EASED TODAY AS CASE NUMBERS DROP
The Joint Biosecurity Council is meeting later today to decide whether measures can be relaxed after a month of having a ban on indoor gatherings.
The number of cases in Manchester per 100,000 has fallen to 28.9 last week, compared to 36.3 the week before.
That means they're almost back down to levels when the local lockdown was first brought in, where there were 28.6 cases per 100,000.
Groups of six from up to two households are allowed to meet outdoors, and across the city people aren't supposed to meet up inside at all.
But sources said restrictions could possibly be lifted later today.
More on the story here.
MORE THAN 1 MILLION AMERICANS APPLIED FOR JOBLESS BENEFITS
Just over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the coronavirus outbreak continues to threaten jobs even as the housing market, auto sales and other segments of the economy rebound from a springtime collapse.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of people seeking jobless aid last week dropped by 98,000 from 1.1 million the week before.
The number of initial claims has exceeded 1 million every week but one since late March. Before the coronavirus pandemic, they never topped 700,000 in a week.
More than 14.5 million are collecting traditional jobless benefits — up from 1.7 million a year ago — a sign that many American families are depending on unemployment checks to keep them afloat.
NEW YORK COULD GET GREEN LIGHT FOR HOLS
Brits could be allowed to fly to New York without having to quarantine for 14 days when they return.
Top-level talks between the UK and US governments are said to be currently under way -although they are thought to be at an early stage.
Ministers are studying plans for regional air bridges.
These would allow business travellers and holidaymakers to come to the UK from “low-risk” areas, such as New York City, within countries which are “red-listed” because their overall high coronavirus rates.
Here's the story.
POGBA TESTS POSITIVE
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has tested positive for Covid-19, according to France manager Didier Deschamps.
The 27-year-old was not in the France national team squad announced on Thursday for the upcoming Nations League double-header against Sweden and Croatia.
Pogba was due to be called up but has been replaced by 17-year-old Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.
LOCKDOWN COULD BE EASED IN MANCHESTER
Strict local lockdown laws in Manchester could be eased today after case numbers dropped.
The Joint Biosecurity Council is meeting later today to decide whether measures can be relaxed after a month.
The number of cases in Manchester per 100,000 has fallen to 28.9 last week, compared to 36.3 the week before.
Image: Mark Waugh
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