Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday night. We will have another update for you on Tuesday morning.
1. Spreadsheet issue behind missing Covid test data
The government has ordered an investigation into how an issue with an older Excel file format led nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases to disappear from official statistics and not be recorded in test and trace records in the past 10 last days. Those who tested positive have been notified – but there has been a delay in tracing their contacts, only half of whom have now been interviewed. It also meant that the daily totals of cases reported by the government over the past week were lower than the actual number – around 7,000 a day instead of nearly 11,000 at the end of the week. But that “did not affect” the decisions the government made about local lockdowns last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs.
Meanwhile, the number of positive cases reported across the UK today is 12,594, and 19 more have died.
2. Wales could start quarantining travelers from UK hotspots
The Welsh government is considering quarantine restrictions for people traveling to Wales from Covid hotspots elsewhere in the UK. People living in locked areas of Wales are not allowed to leave these areas other than with a few exceptions – but there are currently no legal restrictions to prevent people living under local confinement conditions in England from getting out move – including in Wales. Check out our guide to the different levels of Covid restrictions and local lockdowns in the UK or find out what you can do during a local lockdown.
3. Sunak is committed to balance the books
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has vowed to “always balance the books” despite the huge increase in government borrowing in the wake of the pandemic. In a speech at the Conservative Party’s conference (which is taking place online because of the pandemic), he warned that debt and spending need to be brought under control “over the medium term.” Our political editor Laura Kuenssberg said it was not clear what the Chancellor meant by this – nor was there “even a whisper” about how he might go about it. Either way, Treasury sources suggest this is unlikely to happen until the next election, which is slated to take place in 2024.
4. Boris Johnson wants you to watch a movie
Boris Johnson has urged people to return to theaters, following news that Cineworld is temporarily shutting down its UK and US locations, affecting 45,000 jobs. The prime minister said he would “encourage people to go to the movies, have fun and support” the cinemas. But his encouragement was not enough to prevent the Odeon chain from announcing that it was reducing the hours of a quarter of its 120 theaters to weekends only. Tim Richards, founder and CEO of the Vue cinema chain, said there was “pent-up demand like we’ve never seen before” among customers to go out – but: “Our problem right now is that we don’t have movies. A further delay in the release of the new James Bond film – announced on Friday – was “a blow”, he said.
5. What kind of mask is it?
Lana Del Rey bowled some of her fans over her choice of face mask during a book signing in California. Reading passages from her new poetry book and interacting with audiences, the star sported a glitter mesh face mask that she had previously used in a cover shoot for a magazine – but that didn’t seem to offer much of a barrier to the diffusion. of Covid-19. “Lana, please wear a real mask,” one fan begged on Instagram. Still not sure how to properly wear a mask? We have a few tips.
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And do not forget …
… You can find out more about the pandemic around the world, including the hardest hit places.
Find more information, tips and guides on our coronavirus page and get the latest information on our live page.
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