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Johnson considers new restrictions amid surging COVID-19 cases
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

PM Boris Johnson is considering tougher restrictions in England as the country sees "a second wave" of COVID-19, among them a ban on households mixing and reducing opening hours for eaters.

Mr Johnson said he did not "want to go into bigger lockdown" but that stricter measures might be necessary to curb infections. "Clearly when you look at what is happening, you have got to wonder whether we need to go further than the rule of six that we brought in on Monday," Johnson added.

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"National lockdown is the last line of defence" – Matt Hancock
"National lockdown is the last line of defence" – Matt Hancock
Credit: Richard Townshend / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock won't rule out a second nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, telling Sky News that while a "national lockdown is the last line of defence", the government would do "whatever is necessary to keep people safe in a very difficult pandemic."

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England puts Portugal back on Covid-19 quarantine list
Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal
Torre de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal Credit: Berthold Werner (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

British transport minister Grant Shapps announced that travellers from mainland Portugal to England would have to quarantine from 03:00 UTC on Saturday. The announcement comes just weeks after the country was put on the safe list.

Travellers from the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira are still allowed to skip quarantine.

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The UK admits bill to change Brexit agreement would "break international law"
European Flag at Downing Street
European Flag at Downing Street Credit: Frederick Tubiermont

The United Kingdom minister for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, announced to the Parliament Tuesday that the government would be willing to "break international law in a very specific and limited way" by ignoring terms of the Brexit agreement with the European Union.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Union Commission, said tweeted: "Very concerned about announcements from the British government on its intentions to breach the Withdrawal Agreement. This would break international law and undermines trust. Pacta sunt servanda = the foundation of prosperous future relations."

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated: "If the U.K. violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress."

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England limits social gatherings to six people
England limits social gatherings to six people
Credit: unsplash.com / Mark Claus

From Monday the 14th of September on it'll be illegal in England to meet with more than six people, following a law change to contain a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Exempt from this regulation will be schools and schools. Weddings, funerals, and organized teams sports will be exempt as well if they are Covid-secure.

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A staff member at Coalville school tests positive for Covid-19 days after Boris Johnson said the biggest risk is not Covid-19

The prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, had visited the Castle Rock School in Coalville, Leicestershire for the reopening and told students that the biggest risk was "continuing to be out of school" and not the Covid-19.

Now a staff member of the school has tested positive for Covid-19 resulting in multiple classes and tutor groups going into self-isolation as "a precautionary measure". The school stated that the safety at the institution is "paramount".

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Face Coverings Mandatory in Secondary Schools in Local Lockdown Areas
Face Coverings Mandatory in Secondary Schools in Local Lockdown Areas
Credit: unsplas.com/NeONBRAND

Pupils of secondary schools in regions of England that are under local lockdown are now required to wear face coverings in schools, a U-turn on previous guidance. In those areas that are no affected by local lockdown restrictions, headteachers can decide whether masks need to be worn.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the decision was "the most precautionary approach" based on "the latest medical and scientific advice".

Tory MPs voiced criticism, saying mask would send "the wrong message" that "schools are not a safe setting".

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United Kingdom to impose quarantine for arrivals from France and the Netherlands
Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps Credit: Web Summit (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Grant Shapps, transport minister for the United Kingdom, announce a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France, the Netherlands and Malta on Saturday because Covid-19 infection rates there are too high.

French junior minister for European affairs Clément Beaune said, on Twitter, "A British decision that we regret and which will lead to a measure of reciprocity, hoping that things will return to normal as soon as possible,"

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United Kingdom removes Andorra, Bahamas and Belgium from safe travel list
Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps Credit: Richard Townshend (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

British Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced Thursday that Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium were removed from the Covid-19 Travel Corridors list. The decision means passengers arriving from those countries will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

On Twitter, Shapps said: "Data shows we need to remove Andorra, Belgium and The Bahamas from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors in order to keep infection rates DOWN. If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days."

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Aberdeen under lockdown again after new COVID-19 outbreak
Empty streets in Aberdeen
Empty streets in Aberdeen Credit: Rab Lawrence from Aberdeen/Scotland / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Aberdeen has gone back into lockdown due to the city's growing COVID-19 outbreak. Restaurants and pubs had to close by 17:00 on Wednesday and further restrictions, including no-house-visits, have been imposed until at least next Wednesday.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke of a "significant outbreak" after infections rose to 54 confirmed cases, all linked to the Hawthorn Bar. Patrons of the Hawthorn Bar who are linked to the cluster had visited a total of 28 other venues, possibly infected others there.

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Mahatma Gandhi possibly to become first non-white person on British coins
Mahatma Gandhi possibly to become first non-white person on British coins
Credit: Elliott & Fry / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has started supporting a campaign that is to help the recognition of black and minority ethnic (BAME) people in shaping modern Britain.

The Royal Mint Advisory Committee has now started working on a coin that will feature Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the independence movement in India who was assassinated in August 1947 just five months after the end of the British rule.

Sunak has stated that "black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities have made a profound contribution to the shared history of the UK".

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Irish politician John Hume dies aged 83
John Hume in 2008
John Hume in 2008 Credit: Óli Gneisti at en.wikipedia (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

Irish politician and former SDLP leader John Hume has died at a nursing home in Derry on August 3 at the age of 83. He had suffered from dementia since the late 90s.

From 1979 to 2001, he was the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and was described as "the man who kept hope alive". Hume was a leading player in the peace process in Northern Ireland and won Nobel Peace Prize alongside David Trimble in 1998.

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Boris Johnson Halts Further Lockdown Easing
Boris Johnson Halts Further Lockdown Easing
Credit: U.K. Prime Minister / Wikimedia Commons (Open Government Licence v3.0)

PM Johnson halts lockdown easing in England for at least another two weeks to slow down rising coronavirus infections, saying it was time to "squeeze the brake pedal." This results in venues such as bowling allies, casinos and close-contact services having to remain closed until 15 August. Mandatory face masks will be extended to indoor venues, including cinemas, museums and places of worship.

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UK Government Secures 60m More Doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Glaxo Smith Kline Offices on the Great West Road at Brentford
Glaxo Smith Kline Offices on the Great West Road at Brentford Credit: Maxwell Hamilton / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The UK government signed a deal with drug giants GSK and Sanofi for 60 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. This is the country's fourth COVID-19 vaccination deal. The UK previously secured 100m doses from AstraZeneca and 90m doses from the alliance between Valneva, BioNtech and Pfizer.

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UK government implements two week quarantine for returners from Spain
Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport
Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport Credit: unsplash.com/Roberto Arias

The government of the United Kingdom has announced that a mandatory two-week quarantine will be implemented for all returners and travellers from Spain following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Health Minister Robin Swann has stated that "the advice from the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser is that a negative Covid-19 test immediately on return from Spain would not exclude infection - so a period of self-isolation would still be required" and that "public health considerations must take priority".

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Boris Johnson hopes for 'significant return to normality' by christmas
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement outside 10 Downing Street
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a statement outside 10 Downing Street Credit: UK Prime Minister's Office (Open Government Licence v3.0)

PM Boris Johnson reveals plans for further easing of restrictions in England as he plans for a "significant return to normality" by Christmas, though he added was hoping for the best but "planning for the worst." Johnson encourages people to use public transport again and hands decisions on work-from-home-rules to employers starting August 1.

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Captain Tom Moore has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth
Arise, Captain Sir Thomas Moore!  Today The Queen conferred the Honour of Knighthood on @captaintommoore  at an Investiture at #WindsorCastle.
Arise, Captain Sir Thomas Moore! Today The Queen conferred the Honour of Knighthood on @captaintommoore at an Investiture at #WindsorCastle. Credit: @RoyalFamily via Twitter

Captain Tom Moore, the British WWII veteran who raised £32 million for health care workers by walking laps in his garden, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth on Friday. In the Queen's first official engagement in person since the Covid-19 lockdown, she praised the 100-year-old veteran and thanked him for the donation he had raised.

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Boris Johnson unveils £3 billion NHS funding plan in preparation for possible second Covid wave
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: Number 10 (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

PM Boris Johnson unveiled £3 billion of funding for the NHS in England in preparation for a possible second Covid wave during winter. Further additional funds will also be directed towards Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Johnson pledged the increase of the daily Covid test capacity to at least half a million until late October.

The extra funding comes as the country is preparing for a winter that could possibly see a virus that's "more virulent" alongside "the usual annual winter pressures."

"We're making sure we're ready for winter and planning for the worst," Johnson said.

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UK bans Huawei from 5G networks
Huawei Office Building
Huawei Office Building Credit: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine (Public Domain)

The UK government announced Tuesday a ban on Huawei 5G wireless network equipment. The ban requires all existing Huawei 5G tech to be purged entirely from the country's network by the end of 2027.

UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Following US sanctions against Huawei and updated technical advice from our cyber experts, the government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks.".

Huawei said in a statement: "Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicised, this is about US trade policy and not security."

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Face Coverings Compulsory in England Starting 24 July
Woman wearing face mask inside a clothing store
Woman wearing face mask inside a clothing store Credit: unsplash.com/Arturo Rey

After PM Boris Johnson had urged the English population to wear face mask inside shops, face coverings will be compulsory in England from 24 July on, following Scotland and other European countries. Labour had previously demanded "urgent clarity" and called the ministers' response "slow and muddled", questioning the time until the regulation takes effect. 

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Nigel Farage has been reported to police for alleged break of quarantine rules
Nigel Farage has been reported to police for alleged break of quarantine rules
Credit: Nigel Farage screenshot Facebook

The former leader of the Ukip party Nigel Farage has been reported to the police by Liberal Democrat acting leader Sir Ed Davey. Farage had posted a video on social media on Saturday showing him outside. Sir Ed Davey argued that from it is known through Farage's "social media posts that he was in America on 20 June, and he was pictured at a Trump rally that evening. Given the current requirements for visitors returning to the UK to isolate for 14 full days on their return, Nigel Farage appears to be in violation of the quarantine".

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Bristol Pub Named After Edward Colston Renamed 'Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface'
Former Colston Arms Pub asking for name suggestion on Facebook: "All suggestions welcome & encouraged. #theartistformallyknownas #blacklivesmatter #colstoninthdrink #pubbymcdrunkface"
Former Colston Arms Pub asking for name suggestion on Facebook: "All suggestions welcome & encouraged. #theartistformallyknownas #blacklivesmatter #colstoninthdrink #pubbymcdrunkface" Credit: Facebook: Colston Arms

A Colston Arms Pub in Bristol, named after slave trader Edward Colston with the Royal African Company, has temporarily rebranded as 'Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface'. The pub had previously placed a sign outside its doors that read "We are listening. Black Lives Matter."

"There hasn't been a lot of chatter about our name since the statue came down, but I thought we'd be inundated with suggestions. We thought we'd give the pub a temporary name to kick off some discussion about it and get the ball rolling," Paul Frost, Colston Arms' landlord, told Bristol Live. "Myself and pub owners Admiral Taverns are going to listen carefully to people's suggestions before settling on a new name," he added.

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City of Leicester sees lockdown tightened as Covid-19 cases rise
Matt Hancock at the House of Commons
Matt Hancock at the House of Commons Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

The British Government has imposed a tight lockdown on the English city of Leicester after a local increase on the number of Covid-19 cases. The lockdown mandates all non-essential shops to close on Tuesday, and schools will follow closing on Thursday.

On Monday evening, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons the city had "10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week". He also said that "We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester."

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Six people stabbed in Glasgow, attacker shot dead
Six people stabbed in Glasgow, attacker shot dead
Credit: Ninian Reid (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Police Scotland has stated that after an attack in Glasgow the situation is under control and that there is no danger to the "wider public". A male suspect had previously attacked multiple people with a knife, and six people are receiving treatment in a hospital for their injuries. The called armed police officers shot the suspect inside the Park Inn hotel, where the attack is believed to have happened. One police officer has been injured, and the suspect has been shot dead.

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England to lift most restrictions on July 4
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street, April 2020
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street, April 2020 Credit: UK Prime Minister's Office (Open Government Licence v3.0)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would lift most lockdown restrictions by July 4 while speaking to the House of Commons on Tuesday, saying "today we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end and life is beginning to return to our streets and our shops."

Pubs, museums, cinemas and restaurants are set to reopen alongside other amenities such as hotels, places of worship and outdoor gyms while still adhering to social distancing rules.

Johnson added that Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland would take their own approach in lifting restrictions.

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10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive free internet access to help pupils with online studies
10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive free internet access to help pupils with online studies
Credit: unsplash.com / Glenn Carstens-Peters

To combat inequality and disadvantages within pupils as they are forced to study remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, the telecommunication provider BT has announced that 10,000 families in the United Kingdom will receive vouchers for internet access for half a year. The Department of Education will distribute these vouchers to families as School Standards Minister Nick Gibb stated that the goal is to "make sure no child, whatever their background, falls behind as a result of coronavirus".

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United Kingdom announces "Covid summer food fund" after celebrity campaign
Marcus Rashford, FIFA World Cup 2018
Marcus Rashford, FIFA World Cup 2018 Credit: Oleg Bkhambri (Voltmetro) / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

After a public campaign by Manchester United's player Marcus Rashford, the spokesperson of prime minister Boris Johnson has stated that "the prime minister welcomes Marcus Rashford’s contribution to the debate around poverty, and respects the fact that he has been using his profile as a sportsman to highlight important issues". This came after Boris Johnson had announced that the food program providing free school meals would be extended over the summer at a cost of £120m. The program had previously been extended over the Easter break and every entitled family would receive a voucher at the end of the term over £15 per week that can be spent in supermarkets.

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London Black Lives Matter protester rescues anti-protester from being "killed" as protests clash

During a clash of two protest groups at the Black Live Matters London demonstrations and anti-demonstrations a man helped a protestor of the anti-demonstration group up and carried him out of a group to prevent him from harm. The man stated that other people "created a barrier around him, and I was the last one to come in. I scooped him up into a fireman's carry and marched him out with the guys around me, protecting me and shielding me and protecting this guy from getting any further punishment".

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Far-right protestors clash with the police in London
Protesters clash with police in London
Protesters clash with police in London Credit: Sky News (Reproduction)

Far-right protestors, mostly middle-aged white men, attacked the police with bottles and occasionally scuffled violently with officers as they staged a counter-protest to anti-racism Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations in central London.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel described the violence as "thoroughly unacceptable thuggery" with London Mayor Sadiq Khan urging residents to stay away from protests this weekend amid a "high" risk of violence in the city.

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Parliament of Scotland votes for immediate export stop of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to the United States
Tear gas usage during protest
Tear gas usage during protest Credit: unsplash.com/Koshu Kunii

With 52 votes to 0 votes and 11 abstentions, the Scottish Parliament has passed a motion that calls the government of the United Kingdom to "immediately suspend all export licences for tear gas, rubber bullets and riot gear to the US" and states that it "stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement".