Coronavirus experts tells MPs that NHS should now be able to cope with coronavirus numbers
Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus
Much jubilation among the boozy portion of the population today after the government updated its list of premises which are allowed to stay open during the lockdown. Alongside supermarkets and pharmacies they have added “off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries.”
Many breweries have found themselves busier than ever as the nation’s drinkers stocked up on beer to get them through the lockdown.
In Manchester, Cloudwater brewery is offering 25% off all online orders made by NHS staff and has set up a token system where the rest of us can buy healthworkers free beer: purchase a £1 token on their online shop, and for every 50 tokens they accrue, they will ship an NHS worker a mixed 12-pack of beer.
Commons science committee questions coronavirus experts
Pope Francis will lead a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at 12 noon Rome time (11am GMT) in response to the coronavirus crisis, and has invited other church leaders to join him.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the global Anglican communion, will be joining the prayer and has urged Christians to take part.
Welby said: “I will be joining with Pope Francis and with Christians all round the world to pray the Lord’s Prayer at 1100 London time (1200 Rome), commending the world into God’s merciful care at this difficult time.”
On Sunday, Pope Francis called for all Christians to respond to the coronavirus pandemic “with the universality of prayer, of compassion, of tenderness”.
He added: “Let us remain united. Let us make our closeness felt toward those persons who are the most lonely and tried.”
A head teacher in Bristol has tweeted a depressing photo of the week’s worth of food being given to pupils on free school meals. The food packs are from Chartwells, a catering supplier to schools and universities that is part of Compass Group, a FTSE100 company.
The caption reads:
If you are a child on Free School Meals in Bristol this is what you get for the week. The school pays the contractor £11 for this. Check out the butter. We have 185 of these to distribute. Shameful!
Following the government’s announcement that the ExCel Centre in London is to be converted into an emergency hospital, large conference halls in other UK cities are also on standby to follow suit.
In Birmingham, the NEC — which hosted the dog show, Crufts, earlier this month — said it “stands ready” and is “well equipped” should the centre be considered as a suitable location for a temporary hospital.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said:
As a cornerstone of the local community, we are committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and well-being of everyone in our area. As such, we stand ready and willing to help our emergency services – especially at a time like this.
The NEC is well equipped to be used as a support base if such need arises so please be assured, that if we are requested to do so, we can action this with immediate effect.
We are and have been in constant communication with the local NHS trust, police and fire service, and the services are fully aware of the capabilities of the venue. We will do our utmost to support the effort in combating the virus.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Manchester Central — which hosted the Conservative party conference last year and is known locally by its old name, the GMEX — could be repurposed into a hospital too.
Advice saying ‘all non-essential premises must now close’ removed from government guidance
There was considerable confusion yesterday about what the government’s “lockdown” rules actually meant. Part of the reason for the muddle was explained by the fact that the government itself has been saying quite different things.
After Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday night, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued a six-page document (pdf) giving details of what shops had to close. The version of the document on the website yesterday morning included these lines:
All non-essential premises must now close …
Non-essential businesses and premises must now shut.
But now both those sentences have been removed from the version of the document currently on the MHCLG website. The second sentence has gone completely, and the first has been replaced with the words: “All businesses and premises outlined in the table below must now close.”
I’ve asked MHCLG for a comment, and I will post their response when I get it.