Covid-19: ‘Compelling’ health argument for easing lockdown, and retail abuse warningson July 4, 2021 at 7:32 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Sunday.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Sunday. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said there is a compelling argument that easing coronavirus restrictions is needed for the country’s health. Although the steps the country has taken have saved countless lives, rules have caused a shocking rise in domestic violence and a terrible impact on mental health, Mr Javid says. He adds that we need to learn to live with Covid, and acknowledges that “cases are going to rise significantly”. What is the roadmap for lifting lockdown? And how much will life change in England on 19 July?

People wearing face coverings pass diners sitting at outside tables in Kensington, London

image copyrightPA Media

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The prime minister needs to take action against violence and abuse directed towards shop staff, the leaders of 100 retail brands have said. In an open letter, retail bosses from stores including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ikea and Aldi, said the situation “cannot be allowed to get any worse”. The Co-op recorded a fourfold rise in violent crime between 2014 and 2020, with things becoming even worse during the pandemic, according to bosses.

A shop worker wearing a protective face covering to combat the spread of the coronavirus, serves customers at an Asda supermarket in London

image copyrightGetty Images

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“I’ve witnessed them sitting in the field across from us doing drugs at 15 – I would have never have dreamt it,” Paula Mahoney, a youth worker in Merthyr Tydfil, said. As youth clubs in Wales remain closed due to Covid restrictions, there are fears that children are being “lost to the streets”. Some have fallen into gangs, others have been struggling with their mental health, and in some cases they have started using drink and drugs, youth workers warn, as they call for children to be let back into clubs.

Paula and a child at a youth circus session

image copyrightTwyn Community Hub

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What do Diana Ross, Edith Piaf and Barbra Streisand all have in common? They are among the Prince of Wales’s favourite artists – an insight shared as part of a special show on hospital radio to thank NHS staff and volunteers. Airing at midday, Prince Charles’s 13-song playlist will be released on Spotify. The hour-long programme was recorded as part of a national Thank You Day, which is being held to celebrate people who helped respond to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Wembley arch, the Liver building in Liverpool and Salisbury Cathedral were among dozens of sites across England to be lit up in blue on Saturday to thank NHS staff, and mark the 73rd anniversary of the NHS on Monday.

Britain"s Prince Charles drinks tea on the terrace during a visit to Theatre Royal in London,

image copyrightReuters

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“It saved me mentally, it saved me from worrying about work, it saved me from being upset about my wedding. It just gave me a whole distraction,” Lauren Flymen, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, said. After losing her job and postponing her wedding during the pandemic, Ms Flymen learnt to do jump rope. She’s now become a social media star, with 150,000 followers on TikTok.

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You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Government statistics show 128,207 people have now died, with 18 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 4,79,616 people have tested positive, up 24,8855 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 1,905 people in hospital. In total, 45,135,880 people have received their first vaccination.
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