lockdown

Everything you need to know as lockdown eases

We have all your questions about face masks answered including how to wash them, masks for children and where to buy them: iStock
We have all your questions about face masks answered including how to wash them, masks for children and where to buy them: iStock

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that face masks and coverings will become part of daily life.

The UK government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have both advised wearing face coverings in a bid to reduce the infection transmission of Covid-19.

Since 15 June, it has been mandatory in England to wear them while using public transport and in hospitals. Failure to follow these rules can result in people being refused entry and a £100 fine.

The new measures mean that anyone travelling by train, Tube, bus, ferry or plane in England should be wearing a face covering. Those travelling by train will be asked to cover their face as they enter a station.

These rules apply to everyone, except those under the age of 11 and

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Buy now, pay whenever? Lockdown lift for online shopping loans

By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Browsing online during lockdown, Jessica Friend spotted a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses she liked, but the price tag made the 30-year-old Ohio resident think twice.

What persuaded her to click ‘buy’, Friend said, was the short-term credit offered by Afterpay, which split the $260 payment into four interest-free instalments.

Afterpay is among a handful of alternative credit firms which offer small loans, mostly to online shoppers, and make their money by charging merchants a 4%-6% commission.

These buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) firms have benefited from a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus crisis in countries including the United States, where state aid has also boosted retail sales.

“I’m more inclined to use them because they make it easier to afford to get the things I want all at once … and when I want to splurge on something,” Friend said of the loans.

Some investors are

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California severely short on firefighting crews after COVID-19 lockdown at prison camps

As California enters another dangerous fire season following a dry winter, the COVID-19 pandemic is depleting the ranks of inmate fire crews that are a key component of the state’s efforts to battle out-of-control wildfires

This week, state prison officials announced they had placed 12 of the state’s 43 inmate fire camps on lockdown due to a massive outbreak at a Northern California prison in Lassen County that serves as the training center for fire crews.

Until the lockdown lifts, only 30 of the 77 inmate crews are available to fight a wildfire in the north state, prison officials said.

California’s incarcerated firefighters have for decades been the state’s primary firefighting “hand crews,” and the shortage has California officials scrambling to come up with replacement firefighters in a dry season that is shaping up to be among the most extreme in years. The state’s hunting for bulldozer crews and enlisting

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How to get it fixed in lockdown

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Specialized Sirrus Stop Ride

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Specialized Sirrus Stop Ride

Following the recent Specialized Sirrus stop-ride notice, the American brand has released its next-step instructions for owners, announcing an official recall to the affected models. 

In a letter from Jon Goulet, Director of Quality, Specialized announced that it is “conducting a voluntary recall of these bikes so that we can reinstall the cranks correctly and make sure they are safe to ride.”

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This means that owners will need to take their Sirrus or Sirrus X bike to an authorised Specialized retailer – at no cost – in order to have the repair carried out. The letter goes on to

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Saving the lost boys of lockdown

Boys have swapped the physical exertion and stress relief of team sport for months of hunching alone in their bedrooms, gaming - The Telegraph
Boys have swapped the physical exertion and stress relief of team sport for months of hunching alone in their bedrooms, gaming – The Telegraph
Coronavirus Charity Appeal - compact puff to donate page - article embed
Coronavirus Charity Appeal – compact puff to donate page – article embed

The eleven-year old son of a friend is back at school. Even as a key worker, his mother felt guilty requesting him a place, as her husband is currently at home. But as lockdown went on her boy seemed increasingly “lost”. Her daughters, 13, and 15, were flourishing in lockdown – 8am runs, cycle rides, baking, relishing some respite from the social grind – but George, who loves football and cricket and chess, missed seeing his friends. He was lonely, bored, and bereft.    

With three teenage sons aged 13, 15 and 18, it’s no surprise to me that, anecdotally at least, boys have fared worse in lockdown than girls; suspicions that seem set to

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I’ve experienced the world’s strictest lockdown, but I’d rather be here than America

Obediently boxed in our adopted home (no daily walks or bike rides were allowed) for over a month, we emerged to a silent, shell-shocked Jaipur still reeling from the punch - lucie grace
Obediently boxed in our adopted home (no daily walks or bike rides were allowed) for over a month, we emerged to a silent, shell-shocked Jaipur still reeling from the punch – lucie grace

June in India was dramatic by anyone’s reckoning. Cyclones on both sides of the country, a plague of locusts eating their way across the north, and violent tiffs with China in the Himalayas and Pakistan in Kashmir all hit the giant nation as it attempted to reboot during the Covid crisis. Fortunately, the worst things to hit the Rajasthani capital of Jaipur were sandstorms and a heatwave that would make the Sahara sweat, as June 1 marked the beginning of “Unlock 1.0” – the first phase of lifting lockdown restrictions.

My lockdown was the opposite to that of my friends in the UK. While so many struggled with isolation-induced loneliness, I battled to get a moment to

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First local lockdown could be enforced in Leicester ‘within days’ after surge in cases

Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

The Government is considering imposing the first local lockdown “within days” following a surge in Covid-19 cases in Leicester, the Home Secretary has confirmed.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is reportedly examining the legislation required for the shutdown after it was revealed that there have been 658 cases of the coronavirus in the Leicester area in the fortnight to June 16.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Priti Patel said it was “correct” that the Government was considering the move.

In other news, global Covid-19 cases have exceeded 10 million today according to a tally by Reuters, marking a major milestone in the spread of the virus that has so far killed almost half a million people in seven months.

Coronavirus podcast newest episode
Coronavirus podcast newest episode

Follow the latest updates below.

04:22 PM

Analysis: Why Brexit and Covid-19 are set to collide

In case you

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Sexual health service sees spike in demand as lockdown eases

Three months of abstinence was relieved for many when the government introduced lockdown 'support bubbles'. (Getty Images)
Three months of abstinence was relieved for many when the government introduced lockdown ‘support bubbles’. (Getty Images)

Demand for sexual health services has reportedly spiked after government officials relaxed the coronavirus lockdown.

Boris Johnson announced on 11 June, people who live alone in England could form “support bubbles”, allowing them to visit one other household and even stay the night from 13 June.

The government said the move was to help combat loneliness for those who had nothing but their own company for three months.

Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh called it a “very British way of saying intimacy matters”.

The online doctor Zava reported a spike in sales in the week that followed the announcement, with demand for emergency contraception 43% higher than normal.

People will have to be particularly cautious as relaxed restrictions allow us to get closer. (Getty Images)
People will have to be particularly cautious as relaxed restrictions allow us to get closer. (Getty Images)

Zava also reported sales of

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Illegal lockdown parties hosted in online rentals

Lockdown parties hosted in properties booked via online sites, including Airbnb and Booking.com, are putting “communities at risk”, the Bed and Breakfast Association has said.

Hosts and residents have complained of groups of up to 30 breaking social-distancing rules and taking drugs.

BBC News has been told of several such parties in the past month.

Airbnb has suggested it has gone further than its rivals to protect public health during the pandemic.

However, last week a man was stabbed at a party in a south London property police believe had been rented out via the platform.

‘Take responsibility’

Following a previous BBC News investigation into “coronavirus retreats”, Airbnb had told users they could make bookings if they were key workers or required “essential stays” only.

But that restriction is to be lifted, in line with local rules on hotels and self-catering accommodation, in:

Rival platform Booking.com does not currently flag

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Scientists want UK city to lift lockdown completely to see what happens

Shoppers in Southampton after restrictions were lifted on non-essential stores: Alamy Live News
Shoppers in Southampton after restrictions were lifted on non-essential stores: Alamy Live News

Scientists have proposed lifting lockdown completely in a UK city about the size of Southampton to see if coronavirus can be controlled through the weekly testing of residents.

A demonstration study is needed on a “medium-sized city” of around 250,000 people to see if regular testing and local quarantines could tackle Covid-19 outbreaks, according to a paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

“It is a deep mystery to me why this idea has not gained traction,” said Julian Peto, professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-authored the paper with 10 other experts.

The group argued new saliva tests could make it possible to conduct mass weekly testing – with a full household quarantine imposed on anyone that tests positive.

Professor Peto told The Times that people forced

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