Covid: Firms came ‘close to shutdown’ and a care home wedding surpriseon August 16, 2021 at 5:02 pm

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

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

As of today, fully-vaccinated people do not have to isolate if they come into contact with a positive case. The rule change will come as a relief to UK firms hit by staff shortages caused by the so-called “pingdemic”. One of these was TMD Friction – one of the world’s largest brake pad manufacturers – which came close to shutting down production. UK operations manager Tom Russell said 15% of the firm’s UK staff had to isolate at one point after being pinged by the NHS app. And Alethea Fynn (below), nursery manager at London Early Years Foundation said she had also experienced “quite a few closures” due to staff absences. Meanwhile, the UK has recorded 28,438 new coronavirus cases and 26 deaths, government data shows.

Alethea Fynn
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Scotland’s education secretary has promised face coverings in classrooms will be dropped “as soon as possible”. As most pupils return this week, the need for masks in high schools is one of the main coronavirus rules remaining. The Scottish government had said the requirement would be in place for “at least six weeks”. But Shirley-Anne Somerville told the BBC: “If we can take those restrictions – particularly the face masks – off earlier then of course we would do that.”

Two young people in masks

image sourceGetty Images

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Spectators will not be allowed at the Tokyo Paralympic Games because of the city’s ongoing struggle with coronavirus, organisers have confirmed. The Japanese government has proposed expanding and extending the country’s state of emergency, with the Paralympics beginning on 24 August. Schoolchildren will be allowed to attend at the request of local authorities or school administrators but adults are being encouraged to watch the Games at home.

A general view of the Olympic athletics stadium

image sourceGetty Images

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The daughter of a man who died after complications from Covid-19 has urged people to take precautions even if they have had both vaccine doses. Jade Allum’s father, David, died in hospital, aged 58. He had been double-jabbed but suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of coronavirus. Ms Allum is urging people to keep wearing masks and take regular tests. She said: “I know it’s a little bit uncomfortable but if you think that’s going to save your life, or your mum’s life, or your auntie’s life, or someone you don’t know, it’s such an easy thing to do.

David Allum

image sourceFamily handout

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A 91-year-old care home resident was surprised with a re-enactment of her granddaughter’s wedding after she was unable to attend the special day due to coronavirus restrictions. Audrey Dear enjoyed a recreation of Holly’s wedding to partner Steve Kennedy complete with balloons and afternoon tea. Mrs Kennedy’s gown included a cutting from her grandmother’s own wedding dress.

Audrey Dear with her granddaughter Holly Kennedy and husband Steve Kennedy after they recreated their wedding at the 91-year-old"s care home in Orpington, Kent

image sourceWeald Heights

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Coronavirus figures

As self-isolation rules are relaxed across the UK here’s our guide to the restrictions that are still in place.

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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