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Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
"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."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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".

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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. 

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
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.