People with symptoms of coronavirus will be told to stay home for 10 days, amid fears that Britain is facing a second wave of the virus. The period of isolation – which is currently seven days – will be increased by three days, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer will announce. However, the Health Secretary will today say that ministers are now exploring ways to reduce the 14-day quarantine period for those entering the UK, which could mean that quarantine and self-isolation periods are standardised at 10 days. All this comes after Boris Johnson expressed fears about the threat of a second coronavirus wave across Europe, with concerns that it could arrive in the UK in the next two weeks. Cambridge University scientists have warned ‘R’ rate is now close to one in every part of the country. Yet other experts are divided about whether Europe really is witnessing a second wave of infections. These four graphs give an insight into where the virus is spreading across the continent.
Believe it or not, it was only six months ago that coronavirus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation. It seems like a lifetime ago but, since then, it has swept through the world, infecting nearly 17 million people and killing more than 664,000. But the unprecedented scientific response means we now know far more about it, its impact and how, eventually, it might be defeated. Science Editor Sarah Knapton outlines what the last six months has taught us, while Mick Brown reflects on the seismic changes that have happened to our lives and how we might navigate what is coming next.
Video-call appointments with GP may be here to stay
The doctor will WhatsApp you now. GPs will be asked to message their patients via the social media platform in NHS reforms which aim to use shortcuts taken during the pandemic as a way to modernise the service. Matt Hancock will today announce a “bureaucracy busting push” in a bid to offer patients far more direct access to medics, using smartphone consultations, and “secure messaging” to speed up access to information. Mr Hancock will say that in the future, online and video consultations with GPs should be routinely offered, and services such as WhatsApp used as a way to communicate with patients. Read on for details.
Rugby club to keep ‘offensive’ branding but not mascot
Exeter Chiefs have refused to bow to pressure to change their branding after an internal review found that their iconography is “in fact highly respectful” to Native American people. However, after a lengthy board meeting, the Gallagher Premiership leaders have decided to retire their mascot, ‘Big Chief’, as “a mark of respect”. The club’s use of Native American imagery within their crest had come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Earlier this month, Washington’s NFL franchise decided to drop their “Redskins” moniker. Yet after compiling a “detailed dossier”, the board concluded it was not offensive. Pressure groups immediately condemned the decision.
At a glance: More coronavirus headlines
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Madeleine McCann | German police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have discovered a sealed-off cellar after excavating an allotment site just outside Hannover. Witnesses said they had watched as German federal investigators lifted off a cement block covering the basement during the first day of digging. Read more.