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11/05/20 COVID-19 Global News Update

11 May 2020

Overview of the latest developments on Coronavirus (COVID-19).


New Zealand to ease some coronavirus restrictions from Thursday

May 11th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

New Zealand will allow restaurants, cafes, cinemas, malls and travel within the country to resume from Thursday as it eases most restrictions that were put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.

Global report: Covid-19 lockdown rules relax in European nations amid confusion in UK

May 11th, 2020viaThe Guardian UK - France

Millions of people across Europe are set to embrace a relaxation of stay-at-home rules on Monday, as countries around the world plot their way tentatively through the coronavirus crisis.

Saudi Arabia triples VAT to support coronavirus-hit economy

May 11th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Saudi Arabia is tripling its value added tax (VAT) as part of austerity measures to support its coronavirus-hit economy. The government in Riyadh also said it will suspend its cost of living allowance to shore up state finances.

Morocco's central bank asks banks to halt dividends during coronavirus pandemic

May 10th, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

Morocco’s central bank has asked banks to withhold dividends this year so they are better placed to deal with any fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

World's second-oldest airline, Avianca, driven to bankruptcy by coronavirus

May 10th, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

Avianca Holding, Latin America’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, after failing to meet a bond payment deadline, while its pleas for coronavirus aid from Colombia’s government have so far been unsuccessful.

Some Austrian companies abusing COVID-19 short-hours subsidies - finance ministry

May 10th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Some Austrian companies are abusing state subsidies for staff on short-time working or using illegal workers during the coronavirus pandemic, the finance ministry said on Sunday after spot checks found hundreds of violations of the law.

White House considers more coronavirus stimulus, with conditions - officials

May 10th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

The White House has started informal talks with Republicans and Democrats in Congress about next steps on coronavirus relief legislation, officials said on Sunday, but they stressed any new federal money would come with conditions.

Coronavirus: Airlines warned over passenger refund rights

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

The aviation watchdog has warned airlines that they are legally required to provide refunds to customers who had their flights cancelled because of the coronavirus. By law, plane operators must refund customers within seven days if their flight is cancelled.

Coronavirus: How lockdown is being lifted across Europe

May 9th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

As the UK looks to lift restrictions, how do other European countries plan to re-open after lockdown?

Czech Airlines to restart some flights after coronavirus grounding

May 9th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Czech Airlines (CSA) will resume part of its operations on May 18 after a six-week interruption because of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline said on Saturday.

Germany needs another extra budget to cushion coronavirus impact - Merkel ally

May 9th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Germany will have to work on another supplementary budget to help the state’s social security system cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief budget lawmaker said on Saturday.

Australia's biggest states hold off on easing COVID-19 restrictions for businesses

May 9th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

Australia’s most populous states held back from relaxing coronavirus restrictions on Saturday although other states began allowing small gatherings and were preparing to open restaurants and shops.

Mexico to unveil economic restart next week after coronavirus lockdown

May 9th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he aims to present plans next week to reopen the economy, as key sectors like carmaking look to begin business again after over a month of quarantine measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

EU agrees first part of coronavirus economic rescue, but job not done yet

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Euro zone governments gave their final approval on Friday to the first part of a 540 billion-euro rescue plan for states hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, although other elements of the rescue package have yet to be agreed on.

Coronavirus may push up euro zone borrowing by 1.5 trillion euros - ECB

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Euro zone governments may need to borrow an additional 1.5 trillion euros(1.31 trillion pounds) this year to keep their economies afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Friday.

Irish unemployment hits record 28% in wake of coronavirus

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Ireland’s unemployment rate shot up to 28.2% at the end of April including those receiving emergency jobless benefits due to the coronavirus pandemic, the highest rate on record and up from just 4.8% two months ago, the statistics office said on Friday.

Explainer: Why 14.7% unemployment rate doesn't capture the true state of the coronavirus economy

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

The U.S. economy is expected to have shed 22 million jobs in April, tripling the nationwide unemployment rate to 16%, when new government data is published Friday morning.

Euro zone agrees on offering cheap loans to countries hit by coronavirus

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Friday on the details of cheap loans that the bloc will offer to countries hit by the coronavirus crisis, an EU document showed.

German exports plunge in March as coronavirus crisis hits demand

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

German exports slumped in March as the coronavirus crisis slashed demand for goods from Europe’s biggest economy, the Federal Statistics Office said on Friday. Seasonally adjusted exports dived 11.8% on the month while imports fell by 5.1%.


Coronavirus: Ministers set to discuss recovery plan

May 11th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

The Stormont executive is to meet later on Monday to consider a plan to slowly take NI out of lockdown. Ministers insist any changes to restrictions will be gradual and must be supported by scientific advice.

Coronavirus: PM to reveal further details on lockdown roadmap

May 11th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Boris Johnson: "We are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures" Boris Johnson will reveal more detail on his plans to reopen society in England, after unveiling the "first sketch" of his "road map" out of the coronavirus lockdown.

Coronavirus: High Streets see 'fastest ever' footfall drop

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

The number of shoppers visiting UK High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres fell at its fastest rate ever in April as the lockdown forced people to stay indoors, industry figures show. Footfall fell by more than 80% after all but essential shops closed their doors, according to Springboard.

Battered UK tourist industry anticipates easing of coronavirus lockdown

May 10th, 2020viaGuardian UK - Business

Holiday resorts across the UK are preparing to open at the end of May with trepidation. They have no idea what the summer holds for them. The battered tourism industry could enjoy a boom in staycation business, or the worst season in memory.

Coronavirus: Businesses want 'clear guidance' on return to work

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Business groups have called for clarity on what will need to change in the workplace as Boris Johnson unveils a "conditional plan" to reopen society. "Businesses need their practical questions answered so they can plan to restart, rebuild and renew," said the British Chambers of Commerce.

Coronavirus: How business responded to Boris Johnson's lockdown plan

May 10th, 2020viaCity AM - Business

Business groups have welcomed Boris Johnson’s call for millions of people to return to work but called for clearer guidance on how to maintain safety standards and support furloughed employees.

Boris Johnson: Full speech on modified coronavirus lockdown plan

May 10th, 2020viaBBC News - UK Politics

Coronavirus lockdown: Boris Johnson tells millions to get back to work

May 10th, 2020viaCity AM - Business

Thousands of workplaces across England have been told to open up from Monday and people will be able to spend more time outside from Wednesday, after Boris Johnson outlined the government’s three-stage roadmap for easing the coronavirus lockdown.

Coronavirus: NI message remains 'stay at home'

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Politicians in Northern Ireland have emphasised the "stay at home message" ahead of the prime minister's address on Sunday. Health officials in England have changed their message to "stay alert" with regard to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Keir Starmer 'failing renters' hit by coronavirus crisis, Momentum says

May 10th, 2020viaThe Guardian News

Momentum and thousands of Labour members have accused Keir Starmer of “failing renters”, calling on him to back an immediate cancellation of rents for those whose income is affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus: Sturgeon removes once-a-day-limit on exercise from lockdown measures, as she warns 'mixed messages' could cost lives

May 10th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Nicola Sturgeon has announced the once-a-day-limit on exercise will be removed from the coronavirus lockdown measures in Scotland from Monday, but warned the vast majority of restrictions remain in place.

Coronavirus: Shops should reopen based on safety - retail chief

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Decisions on which shops reopen after lockdown should be based on safety, not their size or business type, the British Retail Consortium has said.

Coronavirus: Claim pregnant women put on sick pay

May 10th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

Many pregnant women have been wrongly sent home on sick pay or unpaid leave during the coronavirus crisis, a Welsh MP has claimed. The Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi says she is handling cases from constituents about employers believed to be in breach of health and safety law.

Coronavirus: Government funds study into how pubs could open

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Scotland

Researchers at the University of Stirling are to look how pubs, clubs and restaurants could safely reopen. They are studying the viability of easing the coronavirus lockdown measures for licensed premises.

Coronavirus: Social distancing cuts public transport passenger capacity by 90%

May 9th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

Coronavirus: £2bn for 'once in a generation change' to transport

May 9th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

The transport secretary has announced a £2bn package to improve infrastructure for walking and cycling, Grant Shapps said there was a chance for a "once in a generation change" to the way we travel.

Coronavirus 'hardship package' for Wales' dairy farmers

May 9th, 2020viaBBC - Wales

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced funding for Welsh dairy farmers hit by the coronavirus outbreak. Eligible farmers who have lost more than 25% of their April and May income will be entitled to up to £10,000, to cover 70% of their lost income.

UK to invest £250m in cycle lanes in bid to prevent coronavirus resurgence

May 9th, 2020viaThe Guardian - Environment News

The government is expected to unveil a £250m investment in UK cycle lanes to encourage commuters to ride to work instead of using public transport, in a bid to prevent a resurgence of coronavirus.

Sunak urged to fill £5bn funding gap for local councils as coronavirus crisis hits town halls

May 9th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

A cross-party group of MPs is putting pressure on chancellor Rishi Sunak to fill a £5 billion gap in funding for local councils, as town hall chiefs warn that the additional burden from coronavirus has left their finances “stretched to the maximum”.

Coronavirus: Garden centres in England can reopen next week

May 9th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Garden centres in England will be allowed to reopen next week as one of the early steps to ease coronavirus lockdown measures. A senior government source told the BBC centres can reopen from Wednesday, if they comply with social distancing.

Coronavirus: Key supermarket workers denied bonus

May 9th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

A major UK supermarket has offered bonuses to its frontline staff - but not those taken on to help during the coronavirus pandemic. The union GMB described Tesco's decision as "a disgrace" and called on the company to rethink only paying the sum to permanent staff.

Coronavirus: Hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants facing delays as DWP staff diverted due to pandemic

May 8th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Hundreds of thousands of sickness and disability benefit claimants are facing delays in receiving support as government staff are diverted from processing claims to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

'Get a grip': Mervyn King warns of Covid-19 threat to UK economy

May 8th, 2020viaGuardian UK - Business

Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor during the financial crisis, has warned that Britain’s economy will take longer than expected to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Wales announces modest changes to coronavirus lockdown

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - UK News

Wales has announced plans to modify the coronavirus lockdown so that from Monday people can exercise more than once a day, garden centres can reopen, and the government will look at reopening libraries and recycling centres.

Day-to-Day Impact

Coronavirus: Changes to wedding rules 'under consideration'

May 11th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

The justice secretary has indicated there may be changes to lockdown rules which has led to weddings being cancelled due to the coronavirus. Robert Buckland told BBC Radio 4 he was giving "anxious consideration" to the effect of potential changes.

Coronavirus: French passengers exempt from UK quarantine plans

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

French passengers will be exempt from quarantine measures that will come into force in the UK amid the pandemic. Boris Johnson said on Sunday they would be imposed on people arriving by air into the UK, to prevent Covid-19 being brought in from overseas.

Coronavirus fines to rise to £100 under new lockdown rules

May 10th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Fines for breaching coronavirus regulations will rise from £60 to £100 for first offenders under the lockdown-easing plans set out by Boris Johnson. Payment of the fixed penalty notice within 14 days will reduce the sum to £50, up from the present £30.

UK sends 50,000 coronavirus samples to US for testing after technical problems

May 10th, 2020viaThe Guardian News

The UK sent about 50,000 coronavirus samples to the US after “operational issues” meant they could not be processed in British laboratories.

UK coronavirus app could be 'ditched for different model' after trials

May 10th, 2020viaThe Guardian News

The UK could either “adapt” its coronavirus contact-tracing app or ditch it and “move to a different model”, after piloting it in the Isle of Wight and learning lessons from other countries.

Doctors warn of second coronavirus wave as UK lockdown weakens

May 10th, 2020viaThe Guardian News

Senior doctors fear that growing non-compliance with the lockdown risks triggering a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Coronavirus: Fire services 'dangerously underprepared' with last government pandemic advice issued in 2008

May 10th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Fire and rescue services had not been given government guidance on reacting to a UK pandemic for 12 years before the coronavirus outbreak, documents show.

Coronavirus: Churches may not be back to normal by end of year

May 10th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Social distancing will be impossible in some places of worship if government ministers allow them to reopen, religious leaders have warned. The Anglican Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, said churches might not return to normal services before the end of the year.

Coronavirus: Thousands could be forced to leave UK within weeks under current Home Office guidelines

May 9th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Thousands of people in the UK could be forced to leave the country within weeks because their visas are set to expire before the end of May.

Coastguard rescues soar despite Covid-19 lockdown

May 9th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

Two people had to be rescued after they defied the lockdown and got into difficulty on a boat while under the influence of alcohol. HM Coastguard said the incident happened on a day when the number of UK call outs soared by 54%.

Coronavirus testing 'increasing every week' in Wales

May 9th, 2020viaBBC - Wales

The Welsh Government is "working very hard" to increase coronavirus testing capacity, the first minister has said. Mark Drakeford said a community testing regime will be put in place over the next three weeks. There is currently the capacity to do 2,350 tests a day in Wales..

UK government Covid-19 testing target 'source of real frustration'

May 9th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

The UK government's new target of testing 200,000 people a day for Covid-19 is a source of "real frustration", according to a leading scientist. The president of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), said knowing where, how and how often people will be tested is more vital than goal setting.

Weddings and coronavirus: couples forced to cancel but face massive bills

May 9th, 2020viaGuardian UK - Business

They believed insurance would cover the pandemic but have received demands for thousands Coronavirus.

Coronavirus: CCEA publishes criteria for exam appeals

May 9th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

Pupils will not be able to appeal their A-level, AS and GCSE grades in 2020 just because they disagree with the result they think their teacher has given them. Instead, grades can only be appealed if the student's principal thinks a school or the exam board has made mistakes.

Coronavirus: Public urged to watch out for fake products after 'surge' in reports

May 8th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

The public have been warned to stay vigilant to criminals selling fake coronavirus-related products. The Local Government Association said some councils have seen a "significant surge" in reports of scams by those seeking to exploit virus fears.

Coronavirus: Young men 'more likely to ignore lockdown'

May 8th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Young men are more likely than young women to break lockdown rules, psychologists suggest.

Coronavirus: Teachers' unions warn against reopening schools without rollout of 'test and trace' policy

May 8th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Teachers’ unions have warned that opening schools in the UK without fully rolling out a ‘test, trace and isolate’ policy could risk ‘increased transmission levels’ of coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Predicted grades replace Irish Leaving Cert exam

May 8th, 2020viaBBC World - Northern Ireland

The Irish education minister has announced that this year's rescheduled Leaving Cert exams will not go ahead as planned because of the pandemic.

Coronavirus: Government announces £16m funding for front-line food charities

May 8th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

The government is to provide £16m to food charities to help people struggling to eat enough during the coronavirus pandemic.

Global Situation

South Korea scrambles to contain Seoul nightclub coronavirus outbreak

May 11th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

South Korean officials scrambled on Monday to contain a new coronavirus outbreak, searching for thousands of people who may have been infected in a cluster of cases linked to nightclubs and bars in the densely populated capital city of Seoul.

China's Wuhan reports first coronavirus cluster since lifting of lockdown

May 11th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

Wuhan, the original epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak in China, reported on Monday its first cluster of infections since a lockdown on the central Chinese city was lifted a month ago, stoking concerns of a wider resurgence of the disease.

Men have high levels of enzyme key to COVID-19 infection, study finds

May 11th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

Men’s blood has higher levels than women’s of a key enzyme used by the new coronavirus to infect cells, the results of a big European study showed on Monday — a finding which may help explain why men are more vulnerable to infection with COVID-19.

Australian children slowly resume school as coronavirus curbs eased

May 11th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

Children in some Australian states began returning to school on Monday after an extended break due to the new coronavirus, as the country’s rate of new infections continued to slow.

Coronavirus: Turkey unveils plan to revive tourism with health and hygiene certificates

May 10th, 2020viaThe Independent - Health

Turkey has unveiled a plan to revive tourism by giving travellers, resorts and employees seals of approval in a programme meant to jumpstart a crucial industry hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus: FDA issues emergency approval of new antigen test that is cheaper, faster and simpler

May 10th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Health-care providers will soon be able to deploy at scale a simpler, faster and cheaper diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus, a major development in the nation’s ability to detect and treat Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, as states move to reopen. ...

Coronavirus infections accelerate in Germany again as lockdown is eased

May 10th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

More students will return to school tomorrow, while the country’s football league resumes next week, despite a number of professional players testing positive for Covid-19.

Obama: Donald Trump's coronavirus response a 'chaotic disaster'

May 10th, 2020viaCity AM - News

Barack Obama has labelled Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis as a “chaotic disaster” in a private conference call to former staff. The former President was on the call to urge the former members of staff to join the Joe Biden presidential campaign, according to CNN.

Three key U.S. coronavirus officials in self-quarantine after COVID-19 exposure

May 10th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

Three senior officials guiding the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic were in self-quarantine on Saturday after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for the disease, their agencies and spokesmen said.

Coronavirus: Milan mayor hits out at crowds descending on popular streets as lockdown lifts

May 9th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Milan's mayor has condemned "shameful" crowds heading to a popular area of the city during Italy’s relaxed lockdown. Images showed throngs of people wandering around Navigli – where bars and restaurants line the city’s canals – in the first week of the country’s eased measures.

Coronavirus: Brazil's outbreak 'threatens Paraguay's success'

May 9th, 2020viaBBC News - Latin America

Paraguay's president says he has reinforced the border with the worst-hit country in South America.

WHO readies coronavirus app for checking symptoms, possibly contact tracing

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Health News

The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to launch an app this month to enable people in under-resourced countries to assess whether they may have the novel coronavirus, and is considering a Bluetooth-based contact tracing feature too, an official told Reuters on Friday.

75,000 Americans at risk of dying from coronavirus-related overdoses or suicide, mental health group warns

May 8th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

The nation's death toll from coronavirus-related illness could more than double from "deaths of despair" — including drug or alcohol misuse and suicide — in the wake of the pandemic and economic fallout that could take years to repair.

Plastic shields in place, Dutch schools to reopen amid coronavirus

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

At the Springplank school in the Dutch city of Den Bosch, staff have installed plastic shields around students’ desks and disinfectant gel dispensers at the doorways as part of preparations to reopen amid the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus: Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders propose $2,000 monthly payments to people during pandemic

May 8th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Three Democratic senators have introduced legislation involving $2,000 monthly payments to individuals during the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa to grant 19,000 inmates parole to curb coronavirus spread

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday some low-risk prisoners would be granted parole to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities.

China will strictly prevent rebound of coronavirus outbreak

May 8th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

China will resolutely prevent the rebound of the coronavirus outbreak as the country faces mounting pressure from imported cases, state television reported on Friday, quoting a top level meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.

Coronavirus has unleashed 'tsunami of hate and xenophobia' across the world, says UN chief

May 8th, 2020viaThe Independent - News

Migrants and refugees “have been vilified as a source of the virus — and then denied access to medical treatment”, he said. In a global appeal to end hate speech, he said: “Covid-19 does not care who we are, where we live, or what we believe.

Legal Developments

Equality watchdog urged to investigate coronavirus impact on BAME people

May 10th, 2020viaThe Guardian News

The mayor of London has called on the equality watchdog to urgently investigate whether the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people of black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds could have been prevented or mitigated.

Coronavirus: doctors call for inquiry into PPE shortages for NHS staff

May 10th, 2020viaThe Guardian – Law

Doctors are taking legal action to force the UK government to launch an independent inquiry into its failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment for NHS staff and other frontline care workers.

Coronavirus: Bid to introduce notice periods for student halls

May 10th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

Students who cannot take up places in purpose-built accommodation due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be able to end their lease under new legislation. People under contract in halls of residence will be able to give seven days' notice to cancel their agreement.

UK health watchdog may investigate coronavirus deaths

May 8th, 2020viaThe Guardian – Law

The deaths of more than 50 hospital and care home workers have been reported to Britain’s health and safety regulator, which is considering launching criminal investigations, the Guardian has learned.

Official Guidance/Reports

Reallocating road space in response to COVID-19: statutory guidance for local authorities

May 9th, 2020viaUK Government (gov.uk) - Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19: guidance for young people on staying at home and away from others

May 9th, 2020viaGov.UK News

Information for young people on staying at home and away from others (known as social distancing).

Countering online child sexual exploitation and abuse during the coronoavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

May 8th, 2020viaHM Government (gov.uk) - Coronavirus Updates

The Minister of State for Security writes to industry partners on countering online child sexual exploitation and abuse during the coronavirus pandemic.

To read more from DWF on COVID-19 visit our insights hub >

Further Reading