Doja Cat apologises for ‘hurting’ fans after ‘racist’ chat room claims

Doja Cat has spoken out to apologise again for causing ‘hurt and embarrassment’ to her fans after she was accused of making ‘racist’ remarks in the past. 

Resurfaced clips from so-called ‘racist incel’ chat rooms are alleged to feature the Say So singer making offensive racially-charged comments. 

The 24-year-old is also accused of speaking negatively about her South African heritage and has been slammed for her 2015 song, Dindu Nuffin, which is allegedly used by ‘racist alt-right’ groups to mock black victims of police brutality who state their innocence. 

Although she released an Instagram statement addressing the controversy, Doja has went live in the early hours of Tuesday (25 May) to explain further.

‘There’s no better apology than me doing what I’ve always done, being on live, telling you guys my f*****g truth, and being completely honest,’ she stated during the Instagram Live. 

‘It’s a hard time right now, but recording myself apologising and recording myself sounding perfectly f*****g diplomatic is the biggest lie I can make to you. 

‘My behaviour isn’t something that always needs to be followed, I’m not perfect – I shouldn’t be doing dumb s**t. But also I need to stand up for myself instead of making a video that’s diplomatically and politically correct.’ 

Doja, real name Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini, went on to address the uproar about comments over her black heritage and explained: ‘As far as self-hate goes, I had a video of me talking about my hair. I have a lot of trouble taking care of my hair. 

‘When my hair is straightened or I have a wig on, I’m pretty much OK. But when I’m trying to comb out, wash, do this twist, everything, it’s frustrating for me. It’s very hard for me. 

‘A lot of my friends would agree, who have hair like mine, who have a hard time taking care of it. What I think that the mistake may have been that I made was saying it on a social platform, saying it out in public. Maybe being honest about how I feel.’ 

Towards the end of the stream, Doja admitted: ‘Doing this live might have been the biggest f*****g mistake in my career, but I just don’t want to be the person that f*****g bulls***s you because I know what makes me happy is that you guys are happy and you know what the f**k is real.

‘Thank you for supporting me and thank you for being at my shows… it’s the best thing in the world and I really appreciate you. 

‘I’m sorry if I hurt you, or embarrassed you, or made you feel in any way upset. Thank you so much.’ 

In her earlier statement, Doja denied she was racist and stated: ‘I’m a black woman. Half of my family is black from South Africa and I’m very proud of where I come from.’ 

Doja has seen a meteoric rise to fame this year following the success of her breakout single Say So, which features Nicki Minaj on the remix and earned both musicians their first number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

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Tory MP Bob Seely calls for Britain to offer 'mass asylum'

Tory MP Bob Seely calls for Britain to offer ‘mass asylum’ to thousands of people who are expected to flee Hong Kong over tough new security laws

  • Bob Seely warned there could be an ‘exodus’ from the former British colony
  • Mainland China is trying to overrule democracy and rule of law in Hong Kong
  • Riot police used tear gas and water cannon against pro-democracy protesters

Britain should be prepared to offer ‘mass asylum’ to thousands expected to flee Hong Kong as China imposes tough new security laws, an MP said yesterday.

Bob Seely warned there could be an ‘exodus’ from the former British colony amid fears the legislation will be used against pro-democracy activists.

Riot police used tear gas and water cannon against protesters demanding independence for Hong Kong and arrested at least 180 on Sunday.

China insists the legislation, set to be passed on Thursday, is necessary to protect national security.

Hundreds of protesters with banners march along a downtown street during a pro-democracy protest against Beijing’s national security legislation in Hong Kong, Sunday, May 24, 2020

Mr Seely, Tory MP for the Isle of Wight, said Hong Kong faces a crisis and Britain should offer sanctuary to those fleeing.

He wrote on the Conservative Home website that British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders and democracy activists who do not have BNO status should be fast-tracked for UK citizenship.

Mr Seely wrote: ‘The possibility of a mass flight from Hong Kong may become one of those rare occasions where mass asylum in the UK is morally right, as it was with ethnic Indians in Uganda expelled by that country’s insane dictator, Idi Amin, and accepted by the UK and others in 1972.’

Britain should work with the US, Australia and Canada to provide ‘long-lasting places of sanctuary’, he said.

He added: ‘It would be a stain on our country’s reputation if other nations were to open their arms, metaphorically speaking, to Hong Kong BNO folk in their hour of need before the UK did so.’

Mr Seely and other Tory MPs have asked for a Government statement over the rights of BNO passport holders, who do not have an automatic right to live or work in this country.

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have also called on Britain to take a tougher stance against Beijing, and have warned they could face charges of subversion or terrorism under the new security law.

Chris Patten, now Lord Patten, the final Governor of Hong Kong before the handover, said Britain needed to be ‘more generous’ towards BNO passport holders and to allow those facing the greatest threat to come here.

Riot police detain a protester during a demonstration against Beijing’s national security legislation in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, Sunday, May 24, 2020

Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, said Britain must support its nationals in Hong Kong, adding: ‘We must stand up for their rights and offer them sanctuary if they need it.’

China defended the new security law. Its Foreign Commissioner in Hong Kong, Xie Feng, said it would only target those who posed an ‘imminent danger’ to national security.

He said: ‘The legislation will alleviate the grave concerns among local and foreign business communities about the violent and terrorist forces.’ The US has threatened to withdraw Hong Kong’s preferential business trading status if the new law is implemented.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: ‘If the US insists on hurting China’s interests, China will have to take every necessary measure to counter and oppose this.’

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Tesco stocks white eggs for the first time in more than 40 years

Crack in fashion! Tesco stocks white eggs for the first time in more than 40 years after huge rise in demand

  • Fresh eggs sales have risen sharply in the UK since the coronavirus outbreak 
  • Tesco has seen demand for the versatile food rocket by 30 per cent year on year 
  • White eggs are used by restaurants and fast food chains like McDonald’s
  • The eggs will cost the same on Tesco shelves as their brown egg equivalent 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

White eggs normally used by restaurants and fast food chains are making a surprise comeback at Tesco following a successful trial.

Its reintroduction marks the first time the supermarket has sold the white shelled free-range eggs in more than 40 years in order to meet unprecedented demand for eggs from shoppers, while also helping to support suppliers and avoid waste.

Fresh eggs sales have risen dramatically in the UK since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and were even sold out during the consumer stockpiling phase that characterised the period immediately before lockdown was brought in.

With more people cooking and eating at home and the number of home-bakers soaring since the pandemic started, Tesco has seen demand for the versatile food – which is high in protein – rocket by 30 per cent year on year. 

The eggs – which are used in McDonald’s breakfast McMuffins – will cost the same as the brown free-range equivalent, starting from 89p for a box of six medium eggs and £1.69 per dozen.

White eggs are on the comeback trail after Tesco announced they will return to shelves after more than 40 years due to the unprecedented demand for the product

Jean-Paul Michalski, the director of Noble Foods, who are supplying the UK’s largest retailer with the white eggs, said: ‘Generally our white eggs are sold to a very large global restaurant chain which unfortunately had to close its doors because of the pandemic.

‘They are also used within egg processing where the egg is broken into a liquid to be used for food manufacturers, hotel or restaurants.

‘None of our standard retail customers stock white eggs so we are really grateful to Tesco for stepping in and helping us out as the white eggs would have gone to waste.’

With more people cooking and eating at home since the coronavirus pandemic started, Tesco has seen demand for eggs rocket by 30 per cent year on year

Until the early 1970s white eggs – which are generally medium-sized – were popular in the UK.


Up until the early 1970s white eggs – which are generally medium sized – were popular in the UK but they fell out of favour by the end of the decade when shoppers began switching to the brown variety which tend to be larger.

The move was mainly due to misconceptions back in the late 1970s that white eggs were of lower quality and even that they were bleached which has now been rebuffed.

Since the 1980s, the UK industry has produced nearly 100 per cent brown shelled eggs for high street retailers. 

As a result, there are now just an estimated 250,000-300,000 white-egg laying flocks of the 40m egg-laying birds. 

The most popular chicken breeds that only lay white eggs include the White Leghorn, Andalusian, Polish chicken, Ancona, Egyptian Fayoumis, Hamburg and California

However, by the end of the decade they had fallen out of favour when consumers converted to the brown variety, which were larger and seen as healthier.

Since the 1980s, the UK industry has produced nearly 100 per cent brown shelled eggs for high street retailers. 

As a result of this switch, there are now very few white egg-laying flocks in the UK; down to an estimated 250,000-300,000 of the 40m egg-laying birds. 

Tesco eggs buying manager Megan Kilby said: ‘The initial trial during the lockdown has been a success and we will now be stocking white free range eggs for the first time in more than 40 years.

‘These eggs are used throughout the restaurant industry so shoppers can be assured of their quality.

‘The move could also have a massive agricultural benefit as white hens are more docile than brown ones and lay eggs for longer and more reliably too.’  

Britons spent £88m on fresh eggs as they stockpiled staple foods in the four weeks preceding the UK’s initial lockdown, according to data from the British Egg Industry Council. 

During the four weeks leading to the week ending 22 March, an estimated 621 million eggs were sold – which amounts to nearly 20 per cent more than the same time last year when 518m eggs worth £74million were sold.

There are only an estimated 250,000 – 300,000 white egg laying birds left in the UK after consumers converted to brown eggs at the end of the 1970s

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Potential green light for non-essential shops to reopen

Shops could reopen and family social contact ‘bubbles’ be extended as Boris Johnsons tells Britain lockdown may be eased further this week

  • Boris Johnson said Britain is ‘in a position to move to Step 2’ of recovery roadmap
  • Suggested could include more ‘social contact’ and opening non-essential shops
  • Britain yesterday announced a further 118 coronavirus deaths, total is at 36,793 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Boris Johnson has suggested non-essential shops could soon reopen and family ‘bubbles’ be extended as he told Britons lockdown measures may be further eased this week.   

Draconian measures put in place on March 23 to limit the spread of coronavirus were eased two weeks ago to allow households to meet one person from another in an outdoor space, so long as they remain two metres apart. 

Britons were also permitted to partake in unlimited exercise, use outdoor sports courts and facilities and visit garden centres while pubs, restaurants and bars remained shut.

But the Prime Minister last night suggested measures could be relaxed again, after he claimed in the daily Downing Street news conference Britain was ‘in a position to move to Step 2’ of his roadmap to recovery.

And ‘Step 2’ provides hope of being able to meet a greater number of friends and family members, including the possibility of two households being able to see each other more freely in so-called ‘bubbles’. 

Boris Johnson (pictured yesterday) has suggested coronavirus lockdown restrictions will soon be eased to permit more ‘social contact’ and the reopening of non-essential shops

‘In step two, at the earliest by June 1, we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, year 1 and year 6,’ he said. 

‘We will set out what moving to Step 2 means for other areas, such as non-essential retail and more social contacts over the course of the next week.

‘We are making good progress, but that progress is conditional, provisional. We must keep reducing the incidence of this disease.’ 

It comes as Britain yesterday announced a further 118 coronavirus deaths, a 30 per cent drop since last Sunday’s 170, taking the total to 36,793.

Mr Johnson is expected to update senior ministers on plans to ease lockdown today and it is thought any altered measures will be put in place next week, the Telegraph reported.

According to the Government’s 50-page roadmap – ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’ – Step 2 involves allowing ‘those who are isolated some more social contact’ and opening non-essential shops to the public.

However, stores would only be allowed to reopen if they are large enough to be able to enforce social distancing. 

Essential shops including supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware stores and corner shops had remained open throughout the lockdown, with shoppers often seen lining up two metres apart.

Homewares retailers including IKEA and Matalan have opened their doors since the restrictions were eased in recent days, with many fast food chains also opting to reopen for delivery and takeaway ony. 

A man wearing a face mask walks past a closed Primark store in Oxford Street in central London on May 14

Members of the public follow social distancing guidelines and queue in the car park of B&Q in Edinburgh as they wait to enter the store

‘The intention is for this to happen in phases from 1 June; the Government will issue further guidance shortly on the approach that will be taken to phasing, including which businesses will be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved,’ the document states.

‘All other sectors that are currently closed, including hospitality and personal care, are not able to re-open at this point because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher.’ 

Step 2 also includes ‘a phased return for early years settings and schools’ which is expected to begin on June 1.

Last night, the prime minister  said some primary schools will open at the start of next month, with secondary schools to provide ‘some contact’ from 15 June. 

Reception, year one and year six classes will be the first to return to primary schools on June 1, he confirmed. 

People queue outside a B&Q DIY store in Watford following the outbreak of coronavirus

Essential shops including supermarkets, pharmacies, hardware stores and corner shops had remained open throughout the lockdown

It comes as Mr Johnson last week set a ten-day target to deliver a virus tracing system that could allow the lockdown to be eased.

He said a 25,000-strong army of trackers had been recruited to identify the contacts of infected victims and prevent outbreaks. 

The Government’s scientific advisers insist the system must be in place before any more restrictions are lifted. If the scheme is up and running in time some schools and shops could reopen as early as June 1. 

Rules limiting social contact could also be relaxed at that point, with a decision due at the end of this week.  

Primary schools WILL start to open on June 1 as planned says Boris Johnson – with secondaries a fortnight later – after weeks of wrangling with teachers’ unions over coronavirus safety 

By James Robinson for MailOnline 

Schools in Britain will start to reopen on June 1, the government has today announced.

In a briefing to the nation this evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said some primary schools will open at the start of next month, with secondary schools to provide ‘some contact’ from 15 June. 

Reception, year one and year six classes will be the first to return to primary schools on June 1, Mr Johnson confirmed.

It comes after weeks of wrangling between the government and teachers’ unions over coronavirus safety concerns.

It also came as the former head of Ofsted today blasted ministers for failing to convince parents it is safe to reopen schools on June 1 amid reports three-quarters will refuse to do so.

But today Mr Johnson said the government intended to push ahead with the phased reopening of schools, describing it as ‘crucial’ for children, while acknowledging it ‘may not be possible’ for all schools to reopen in the coming weeks. 

In a briefing to the nation this evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) said some schools will open at the start of next month, with secondary schools to provide ‘some contact’ from 15 June

He said: ‘The education of children is crucial for their welfare, for their long-term future and for social justice.

‘In line with the approach being taken in many other countries, we want to start getting our children back into the classroom in a way that is as manageable and as safe as possible.

‘We said we would begin with early years’ settings and reception, year one, and year six in primary schools.

‘Today, I can announce it is our intention to go ahead with that as planned on June 1, a week on Monday.

‘We then intend from June 15 for secondary schools to provide some contact for year 10 and year 12 students to help them to prepare for exams next year, with up to a quarter of these students in at any point.’ 

The Prime Minister acknowledged it ‘may not be possible’ for all schools to reopen in the coming weeks

The move to re-open primary schools on June 1 and secondary schools on June 15 has raised questions from the Liberal Democrats who believe pupils are being rushed back.

The Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Layla Moran said: ‘Despite the concerns, the Prime Minister seems intent on rushing to bring schools back in a bid to distract from his scandal-hit spin doctor-in-chief.

‘The concession to give some secondary school children contact with their teachers from June 15 also highlights the failure to push down the R number.

‘The public deserve answers.’ 

The Prime Minister acknowledged that not all schools would be able to meet the re-opening dates for primary and secondary schools. 

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: ‘That the Prime Minister acknowledges that flexibility will not just be possible but will be necessary is to be welcomed.

The Association of Schools and College Leaders (ASCL) said it is worrying that schools have had such little time to prepare to safely re-open. Pictured: A classroom at Slaithwaite C of E Junior and Infant School in Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, where desks have been spaced 2m apart

‘We will take the Prime Minister at his word that schools will be allowed to react to their own local situations and will not be forced into opening or penalised if proceeding with appropriate caution.’

However, the general secretary of the Association of Schools and College Leaders (ASCL) Geoff Barton is worried about the time frame schools have to prepare to safely re-open. 

He said: ‘(The Government) has not communicated the rationale for its chosen approach well, and it left primary schools with little time to plan and implement safety protocols.’

‘It is also worrying that the government’s crucial test, trace, and isolate system is not yet in place and is unproven.’

He added: ‘It is doubtful that any part of the education sector has ever been asked to do so much in so little time.’    

Tables are marked showing where children can sit during dinner time at Kempsey Primary School in Worcester. Nursery and primary pupils could return to classes from June 1

Today the government released its plans for keeping school children safe from coronavirus including keeping the youngest children 3.5 metres apart and a queuing system for the school run. 

The main steps outlined in the guidance for teachers are:

  • Children under 2 years need 3.5 metres squared per child, two-year-olds need 2.5 metres squared per child , and children aged 3 to 5 years need 2.3 metres squared per child; 
  • Once children have returned make sure any surfaces touched are cleaned several times a day; 
  • Consider how you can keep small consistent groups of children together throughout the day;  
  • Staff will have to implement some kind of queuing system when picking up children, to limit contact with carers 
  • Dividers could help keep children in different parts of the room; Remove all soft toys or any toys that are hard to clean; 
  • To reduce the risk of infection ensure children with symptoms and staff who are symptomatic to not come in; 
  • Ensure social distancing of groups of children and staff as much as possible; Ensure hands are washed regularly throughout the day and children are observed doing so; 
  • Ensuring you have a good supply of disposable tissues throughout the setting to implement ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ ; 
  • Arrange for children to be collected at the door if possible; 
  • Limit visitors and keep windows open for ventilation; 
  • Institutions should have a policy in place for responding to a case of coronavirus  

Students form a long line to have their temperatures checked before entering class at Jeonmin High School in Daejeon, South Korea last week

The teachers’ union NASUWT suggested that no teacher or child should be expected to go back to schools until they are demonstrably safe. 

Meanwhile, the former head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, today backed the Government’s plan for a phased restart from next Monday, saying the UK risked creating a ‘lost generation’ due to the months’ long closure.

But he laid a large proportion of blame for the row over the controversial plans – bitterly opposed by teaching unions – at the door of Government ministers.

He said they had left it far too late to begin a campaign designed to convince parents them it was safe to restart, which should have begun almost as soon as schools closed in March.  

It came as reports suggested just a quarter of primary schools will heed calls to reopen for reception and years one and six pupils from a week on Monday.

Some 50 councils are believed to be ready to defy the Government’s instructions, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Sir Michael told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday that ‘countries are opening up in Europe and so should we’.

But he added: ‘The government should have spent the past three months preparing the ground well, holding meetings with the teachers’ associations, parents associations and so on, to make sure that all the facts are there. Transparency is absolutely critical.

Sir Michael Wishaw backed the Government’s plan for a phased restart from next Monday, saying the UK risked creating a ‘lost generation’ due to the months’ long closure.

Councils that refuse to reopen primary schools next week risk causing ‘lifelong damage’ to some of the country’s most deprived children, experts warned last night

‘Parents need something to go on to make that balanced judgement and I’m not sure they have received that.’

The announcement comes days after union chiefs  told teachers to demand detailed answers to at least 169 questions from their bosses on issues such as bin lids, coronavirus counselling and employing extra staff to clean paint brushes, scissors and glue sticks before agreeing to return to school.

 The National Education Union (NEU) said that it was still opposed to the June 1 date for primary schools set by the Prime Minister.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of NEU said: ‘We once again call on the Government to engage meaningfully with the education unions on these matters.

‘We stand ready to talk to the Government about how our five tests can be met and then how we can then proceed to a safe wider re-opening of schools.’

The NEU also told its 450,000 members to stop marking work and keep online tuition ‘to a minimum’ for any children still at home and not to try remote teaching if ‘they feel uncomfortable’ after going back to the classroom from next month.  

The NEU’s gigantic list of demands included mapped locations of lidded bins in classrooms and around the school, full health and safety risk assessments for leaving doors and windows open while teaching and also asks: ‘What arrangements are in place to keep every classroom supplied with tissues?’.

Other queries from the NEU include: ‘Have families been told to provide water bottles?’ and suggests grilling bosses about bringing in more staff specifically for washing ‘resources for painting, sticking and cutting before and after use’ in classrooms and an official policy on how often pupils will be reminded to catch coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.  

The NEU’s safety checklist was previously hailed by many teachers.

But critics described the 22-page document as a ‘barrier’ to reopening primary schools in England from June 1 because it appears impossible to answer all the questions before then and may spook headteachers who fear their own staff could take them to court.

Schoolchildren wearing protective mouth masks and face shields back in class at Claude Debussy college in Angers, France, where 1.4million youngsters are back in class 

Teaching Assistant Sarah Yates applies tape to the floor to define a 2m boundary around the teacher’s workspace in Huddersfield as unions demand answers to hundreds of questions before teachers return

The guidance includes the line that it is ‘not be safe to mark children’s books’.

The National Education Union claims schools should make it clear that no marking should take place because of the risk of coronavirus.

It also says that library books should be regularly sanitised as part of a ‘workplace checklist’ for primaries.  

Referring to its 22-page checklist, it says: ‘The starting point for every component of the checklist is that it is checked NO until you and your colleagues determine it can be checked YES.

Tony Blair BACKS Boris Johnson’s plans to reopen schools

Many significant figures in Britain, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair (pictured) have asked for UK schools to reopen as some children are not receiving any education at all

Tony Blair has said Boris Johnson’s administration is right to be opening schools again.

The Prime Minister’s plans to start sending children back to school next month has come under attack from teaching unions and some local authorities, with critics arguing it is too soon to lift the coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions.

Mr Johnson, in his address to the nation on May 10, said Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils would be the first to go back, starting on June 1 ‘at the earliest’.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight on Monday evening, Mr Blair said the Government was adhering to scientific advice by preparing schools to open their doors again.

‘They’re right, I think, to be reopening the schools,’ said Mr Blair. 

I don’t think they would say that they’re putting school opening above health risks. What they’re doing is basing it on the evidence, actually.

‘There are countries that have reopened parts, at least, of their school system.

‘If you look at all the best evidence and again, my institutes assembled a lot of the different data on this, it’s, especially for younger children, the risks of transmission are actually quite low.’  

‘School staff will not be protected by social distancing rules nor, in most cases, will they be offered any personal protective equipment. If satisfactory answers are not forthcoming in all areas, then it will not be feasible or safe to extend opening until concerns are met.’

Among the questions the checklist poses are: ‘It will not be safe to mark children’s books during this period. Will clear instruction be given that no marking should take place and the books should not be taken to and from home/school?’ 

Earlier this week, Labour-run Bury council announced it would reject the Government’s timetable for sending children back to class, claiming they had taken the decision after a public consultation.

But it was later revealed the public consultation had more than 24 hours to run.

Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire has become the latest local authority to advise its schools against reopening on June 1 amid safety concerns.

Councillor Tim Swift, leader of the council, said: ‘Education plays a crucial role in making sure children have a good start in life, laying the foundations so that they are able to enjoy a long, healthy and fulfilling future.

‘However, the council has major concerns that the Government’s tests are not currently being met within Calderdale, and for this reason we are advising our schools against opening more widely on June 1.’

Cabinet minister Oliver Dowden refused to rule out penalties for town halls that refuse to reopen schools from June 1.

UK officials earlier this week revealed how they hoped the evidence from other countries would reassure teachers.  

A source at the Department for Education said: ‘We looked closely at international examples when drawing up our plans for a phased return.

‘These initial findings from European countries are encouraging and suggest that our similarly cautious approach will minimise the risk of transmission.’  

British teachers are being urged to follow the lead of their French counterparts by going back to work and getting more than 1.4million children into class after two months in lockdown.

Ministers across the Channel have revealed that they have had 70 cases of coronavirus in 40,000 schools and nurseries in the past 11 days and none of the children or staff are seriously ill.

It came as parents have been told that when English schools reopen children still at home are unlikely to get any more online learning materials until September, when it is hoped all pupils will return.

Emmanuel Macron’s government agreed to open schools with their militant union chiefs having declared the country’s children must not be ‘the collateral victims’ of the coronavirus crisis.

The French Government feared that children and their futures would be damaged without school for two months

Students wait outside Cassignol College before returning and resuming classes in Bordeaux, France – any child over the age of 11 must wear a mask

The success of the back to school policy in France has been put down to a range of safeguards, including strict social distancing and use of masks, and will be examined closely in the UK where the Government is in an almighty battle with teaching unions over reopening schools in England on June 1.

And across the 20-plus EU states where schools are open again there has been no spike in cases with experts saying there is only a small risk to teachers, children and their families.

The chaos in the education system means that millions of parents remain in the dark over whether their children in reception, year 1 and year 6 will returning to school in just 13 days time.  

How has France got its children back into schools after lockdown? 

In France, the Government has decided:

  • Masks are compulsory for all school children over the age of 11 – anyone below that doesn’t have to wear one but will be provided with them if parents want them – or if they start showing any symptoms of illness;
  • Classes are not allowed any more than 15 children and only one child per desk;
  • Any school with a single case of coronavirus is closed immediately, the person is isolated and the areas cleaned before reopening; 

In France around a quarter of the nation’s school children have returned to class because they live in areas deemed less affected by the virus.

It was a similar story in Belgium where primary and secondary schools have been told to restart smaller classes of final-year pupils under strict social distancing rules.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, France’s education minister, said there had been 70 cases of coronavirus in around 50 schools since reopening.

A total of 70 schools were closed as a result, to stop further infection. ‘This shows that our measures are as strict as we said they would be,’ he said.

Schools forced to shut included seven in the northern town of Roubaix, where just one boy was infected but was thought to have come into contact with pupils from other schools.

He also insisted that children who had picked up Covid-19 had not caught it inside schools, where rigorous health measures are being enforced.

Mr Blanquer added: ‘It is absolutely essential that our children are not the collateral victims of health conditions.’

A 57-page education ministry document has been handed to teachers explaining rules on social distancing.

The 96 ‘departements’, or regions, of the country were initially split into the green, yellow or red categories two weeks before lockdown was to be eased across France on May 11.

By the time this date arrived, the yellow regions were allocated to either a green or red category.

Green areas were allowed to reopen their primary schools on May 11, as well as ending some other lockdown restrictions, while red areas have had to keep schools closed.Around 185,000 middle school pupils in green zones also went back to class yesterday. Unlike in nursery and primary schools, all staff and pupils must wear masks. 

German state plans to end blanket coronavirus restrictions from June 6 – but proposal has received criticism and been compared to ‘entering a mine field’ 

A German state governor has proposed to end blanket coronavirus restrictions in his region but the plans have received heavy criticism from other officials. 

It would be a first for the country after a comparatively successful response to the pandemic. 

Governor of eastern state Thuringia Bodo Ramelow said on Saturday that he hopes to lift the remaining statewide lockdown rules on June 6. 

He hopes to replace them with ‘a concept of recommendations and fighting Covid-19 locally if infection figures rise’.  

Governor of eastern state Thuringia Bodo Ramelow (left) said on Saturday that he hopes to lift the remaining statewide lockdown rules on June 6

It’s not clear exactly how it would work yet but Ramelow’s idea centres on taking action in individual cities or countries if they report 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week.   

That’s a lower threshold than the 50 which is currently the national standard. 

He said that he would place his trust in people’s ‘sense of responsibility for themselves’, The Times reported.   

While Ramelow’s proposal drew some praise, there was criticism from the mayor of one of the state’s biggest cities Jena which pioneered requiring people to wear face masks in some situations. 

Thomas Nitzsche compared the proposed change in a Facebook post to ‘entering a mine field’. 

The chief of staff at neighbouring Bavaria’s governor said his government was ‘appalled’ and bluntly rejected Ramelow’s idea. 

Florian Herrmann told the Bild newspaper: ‘Thuringia’s plans are a highly dangerous experiment for everyone in this country. 

‘Lifting all protective measures comes too soon and isn’t appropriate in the current situation, because the virus hasn’t yet been defeated.’ 

Saarland governor Tobias Hans was more diplomatic but told Die Welt that even as restrictions are loosened ‘we still need rules set by the state so that imperatives of caution are complied with, to avoid regional lockdowns and high death rates.’ 

All 16 states currently have coronavirus rules including physical distancing requirements and an obligation to wear masks on public transport and in shops

Thuringia’s new approach would raise pressure on other states to ease their lockdowns further

The interior minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state Lorenz Caffier told Sunday’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper: ‘I think a complete, fast loosening (of restrictions) is premature.’ 

Joint leader of the centre-left Social Democratic Party Saskia Esken told Die Welt that while the idea sounded appealing it was destined to fail and the reports of people breaking the 1.5m distance were worrying.

She added that people still need national rules for clarity, certainty and guidance for hygiene, distancing and limiting contacts. 

Mr Ramelow’s main ally, a senior politician from the Social Democrats, said his remarks had lead to confusion, The Times reported.  

In Germany, state governments are responsible for imposing and lifting lockdown restrictions. 

All 16 states currently have coronavirus rules including physical distancing requirements and an obligation to wear masks on public transport and in shops.

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Coronavirus is boom time for socialists as Washington is burning money: Goodwin

For socialists and those who lean that way, pandemic time is boom time. Washington is printing and spending money like never before and both parties support sending cash to businesses and the unemployed.

Rent and mortgage payments are being deferred, Medicare-for-all is getting a second look and support is growing for a program that would take the nation across the economic Rubicon — a guaranteed basic income.

Seldom is heard those cautionary words of yesteryear, “moral hazard.” A time of great need and fear is shattering any stigma about being on the dole.

A logical conclusion is that politics will follow culture and Bernie Sanders- and AOC-types will call the shots in America. Unless ­Republicans and conservatives get on board, they will be consigned to history’s dustbin.

Perhaps. But pay attention to another potential reaction to the pandemic. Think of it as the revenge of the nonessentials.

In early 2016, Peggy Noonan wrote a prescient column in The Wall Street Journal about the battle unfolding in the presidential race.

“There are the protected and the unprotected,” she wrote. “The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.”

Hillary Clinton later would call Donald Trump supporters ­“deplorables,” reflecting her elitist disdain for those who didn’t share her advantages.

Happily, the unprotected and deplorables carried the day and gave themselves a fierce advocate in the 45th president. Yet the 2020 election presents a similar divide, albeit with different language.

The Trump revolution, for all its progress, clearly has more work to do. For by hook and crook, the protected managed to hang on to power.

This time they call themselves “essential.”

Among the many actions governors and mayors took in the last three months, the decisions about working, shopping, swimming and even praying were hugely consequential. They were also arbitrary and often foolish.

Just as the Founders and countless guardians of liberty warned, those with too much power inevitably go too far. Just as inevitably, when government picks winners and losers, the unprotected are the losers.

Being designated an “essential” business or employee meant you could keep working, keep your paycheck and standard of living. If you were unfortunate enough to be labeled “nonessential,” you could lose your business, your home and your nest egg.

Unless you worked for the government. Despite shutdown orders in New York and other blue states, municipal and state workers continued to get paid even as most didn’t have to work.

Although there was bluster from Mayor de Blasio about furloughs and layoffs, there have been none. He even gave raises to his staff, and unionized city workers have not missed a paycheck.

While most had nothing to do, some got the merciless tasks of making sure that nonessentials didn’t work. In an especially galling example, Post reporters caught city inspectors staking out upscale neighborhoods to catch contractors working despite a state ban.

One inspector said a violation occurs as soon as a contractor “steps onto the property.”

“The fine for having any work done is $10,000. First offense. No exceptions,” he said.

Carpenters, painters, floor sanders and others are subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each employee.

A contractor said he was working in Brooklyn when an inspector “boxed in my truck” with his car “and ran into the house I was working on.”

“He told the homeowner he was getting a $10,000 fine and I was getting fined $5,000 for each employee,” the contractor said.

“I had to prove I was fixing the heat before he let us off.”

The arbitrary distinction between essential and nonessential recalls the gag about the difference between a recession and a depression. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job, a ­depression is when you lose your job.

De Blasio, predictably, has been consistently erratic. He ruled that wading and surfing in the Atlantic Ocean are fine, but swimming is not. At one point he threatened to put up fences to keep people out of the water.

Many governors drew similarly ridiculous red lines, with nearly all states with stay-at-home orders allowing liquor stores to open but banning AA meetings. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made it legal to buy and sell lottery tickets but not carpets, furniture and paint. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said private motorboats could carry two people, but not three or four.

Bans against large gatherings are a flashpoint for the faithful as well as First Amendment advocates. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon and Vermont are among those states where stay-at-home orders do not exempt religious institutions, and court fights are erupting around the country.

In California, more than 1,200 pastors signed a “declaration of essentiality” and an attorney said he expects 3,000 churches to open May 31 “with or without permission.”

Naturally, most of Big Media favor extreme shutdowns, which are happening primarily in states with Democratic governors. It’s possible the journalists are genuinely concerned about the health of their fellow Americans, but it’s more likely they see economic ­catastrophe as bad for Trump.

The New York Times, which congenitally opposes good news with Trump in the White House, said in a recent Page One headline: “New Cases in U.S. Slow, Posing Risk of Complacency.”

Concerned about the sweeping stay-at-home orders, Attorney General Bill Barr appointed a task force to see if they are infringing on constitutional rights, especially regarding religion. A department statement said, “There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.”

Trump weighed in Friday and used the magic words to boost religious freedom, declaring that churches, synagogues and mosques are “essential places that provide essential services” and urging governors to open them.

As the president put it, “In America, we need more prayer, not less.”

Finally, somebody in government sees the light: Praying is ­essential.

Expose the shame! 

Reader Ruth Ort writes: “Tonight I read the article about the conditions at the Roosevelt Island hospital and wept. What those nurses found should have been documented. These images are what nightmares are made of and there should be public outcry for change.”

Insult to independence

Joe Biden deserves the pounding he is getting for his condescending “you ain’t black” statement about black Americans who even consider voting for Trump. In truth, his attitude reflects a larger problem on the left: the view that race, gender and other identities are more important than individual liberty.

Recall Madeleine Albright’s line that there is a “special place in hell” for women who didn’t support Hillary Clinton. And Clinton blamed her defeat on women who voted as their husbands ordered, the implication being that all women should have voted in lockstep for her.

Forget the Declaration of Independence. These Dems endorse the Declaration of Conformity.

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Police officer warned for not finding drugs in George Kay's hotel room

Police officer is given written warning after failing to find drugs inside hotel room where Kerry Katona’s ex-husband George Kay was ‘eating cocaine’ before he died of overdose

  • George Kay died on July 6, 2019 after being found in a distressed state at a hotel
  • Police officers attended the Holiday Inn in Sutton Weaver at 9.54pm on July 5 
  • Officers did not seize any drugs but staff found Kay ‘eating cocaine’ the next day
  • A Cheshire Police misconduct hearing concluded with an officer receiving a written warning for ‘failing to take positive action’

A police officer has been given a written warning after failing to seize drugs inside a hotel room where George Kay was ‘eating cocaine’ before he died of an overdose. 

A Cheshire Police misconduct hearing into George Kay’s death has concluded with a police officer receiving a written warning for ‘failing to take positive action’.

George Kay, the ex-husband of music star and TV personality Kerry Katona, died on July 6, 2019 after he was found in a distressed state at the Holiday Inn in Sutton Weaver, Runcorn.

George Kay, the ex-husband of music star and TV personality Kerry Katona, died on July 6, 2019. A Cheshire Police misconduct hearing into George Kay’s death has given a police officer receiving a written warning for ‘failing to take positive action’

Mr Kay was said to be acting erratically on July 5 and refused to return to his room, prompting staff to call Cheshire police, reported the Liverpool Echo. 

Officers attended at 9.54pm on July 5 and spoke to staff so he could remain at the Holiday Inn overnight.

Police were said to have left the hotel after Mr Kay agreed to return to his room. 

Hotel staff went to check on the former rugby league star at around 10am on July 6 to find Mr Kay ‘eating a large amount of suspected cocaine’ which had been placed on a desk. 

The police and the North West Ambulance service were called, with Mr Kay being taken to Warrington General Hospital for treatment.

George Kay was found in a distressed state at the Holiday Inn in Sutton Weaver, Runcorn (pictured) before he died at Warrington General Hospital. Officers attended the hotel at 9.54pm on July 5 but left when Mr Kay agreed to return to his room

Hotel staff went to check on the former rugby league star at around 10am on July 6 to find Mr Kay ‘eating a large amount of suspected cocaine’ which had been placed on a desk 

Mr Kay, who is the father of Kerry’s youngest daughter Dylan-George, aged five, was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.  

Following a misconduct hearing, an unnamed police officer has been given a written warning for failing to seize a ‘small quantity of a substance believed to be a controlled drug’ in George Kay’s hotel bathroom.

A notice on the Force website said: ‘A police officer failed to take positive action when dealing with a guest at The Holiday Inn in Runcorn on July 5, 2019.

‘The officer failed to search the guest despite there being reasonable grounds to do so.

‘The officer failed to seize a small quantity of a substance believed to be a controlled drug in the bathroom of the hotel room.

‘The officer switched off their body worn video prior to entering the bathroom where the substance believed to be a controlled drug was found.

‘The actions of the officer were not captured.’

Mr Kay is the father of Kerry’s youngest daughter Dylan-George, aged five. He posted a picture on Facebook with his daughter just weeks before his death  

The force said it has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which investigates any potential failings by police officers. 

A spokesman from Cheshire Police said last year: ‘At 9.54pm on Friday, July 5, police received a report of concern for the safety of a 39-year-old man at a hotel on Wood Lane, Sutton Weaver. 

‘Officers attended and spoke to the man, as well as hotel staff. All parties agreed that he could remain at the hotel.

‘At 10.11am on Saturday, July 6, police received a further report of concern for the man’s safety.

‘Due to the information provided the caller was advised to contact North West Ambulance Service for assistance.

 Mr Kay, who was married to the Atomic Kitten star between 2014 and 2017, had a history of mental health issues and drug use

‘Paramedics attended the hotel and the man was taken to Warrington General Hospital for treatment, where he sadly later died.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.

‘As with any death following police contact, Cheshire Constabulary has referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.’

Staff at the hotel were offered counselling after the traumatic incident, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Mr Kay, who was married to the Atomic Kitten star between 2014 and 2017, had a history of mental health issues and drug use. 

The pair met as teenagers while pupils at Padgate High School in Warrington.  

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Mail Force delivers PPE for care home run by nuns

Mail Force delivers PPE for care home run by nuns… where early lockdown has helped keep residents coronavirus-free

  • Since March 13, the home has sealed itself off from the outside world  
  • The Mail Force delivery was dropped off on the care home’s outdoor terrace to comply with its rigorous rules on social distancing during the lockdown  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A care home run by an order of nuns has kept coronavirus-free after imposing a lockdown ten days early. 

Now the 36 residents at the Presentation Sisters Care Centre – many of whom are in their 80s and 90s, including several retired nuns – are being helped to keep safe, thanks to Mail Force. 

The care home has been one of the first to receive a donation of Turkish-made gowns used to prevent person-to-person transmission of coronavirus. 

Since March 13, the home has sealed itself off from the outside world to prevent the virus getting in – and remains in lockdown despite the easing of restrictions around Britain. 

All visits are banned and residents do not go out. Staff, while allowed to go home, are minimising their contact with anyone outside of work. 

Mail Force charity delivers PPE to Presentation Sisters Care Home in Matlock, Derbyshire

That decision, and an enhanced cleaning regime, has meant there has not been a single case. 

The adjoining convent, which is home to 25 sisters, is following the same rules. Members of the order can join church services via iPads. 

In a message to Daily Mail readers, many of whom have kindly donated to the Mail Force charity, Sister Eileen Keating said: ‘Thank you so very much for your wonderful gifts. I’m so amazed at people’s generosity. 

‘It makes you stop and think – here are readers, just ordinary people, doing this. There is so much generosity out there – we don’t always hear about it.’ 

She added: ‘We have staff who are dedicated and have forgotten themselves for the greater good. The situation has brought out the best of people. 

‘The home is open to all – you don’t have to have a faith to be there and 99 per cent of the staff are non-Catholic. 

‘It is our duty, as religious people, as Christians, to give them the very best care.’ Jayne Carnall manages the home – a former hotel in Matlock, Derbyshire, which was later used as a girls’ boarding school run by the same order of nuns. 

She said: ‘We found out the other day from local doctors that we were one of only a few care homes in north Derbyshire which have had no cases. 

‘We consider ourselves thankful and extremely fortunate that… we have created a very sterile environment in the home.’ 

Praising readers for their donations to the Mail Force charity, Mrs Carnall said: ‘A situation like this sees humanity at its best and we are very grateful for what we have received.’ 

The Mail Force delivery was dropped off on the care home’s outdoor terrace to comply with its rigorous rules. 

Resident Audrey Crehan, 89, a retired cook and great grandmother, said: ‘I think it’s fantastic people are helping in this way. 

It’s a great idea.’ The home is the only one in the UK run by the Presentation Sisters, an order of Roman Catholic nuns founded in Cork, Ireland, in the 18th Century. 

Beaming care staff YOU have helped! 

By Claire Duffin

Care home workers beamed with delight as they took delivery of boxes of personal protective equipment. 

The haul included more than 100 gowns with full-length sleeves which arrived in the UK from Turkey this week after being transported by Mail Force.

Staff at Bank House have so far managed to keep Covid-19 at bay. They are caring for 20 elderly people, including some who have dementia or have suffered a stroke. 

Visitors have been banned, so staff came out to collect the delivery, which also included 1,000 masks and 3,000 single-use aprons. 

Deputy manager Helen Mullinder said the delivery was ‘everything’. 

(Left to right) Kirsten Buck, Nikki Rose, Jane Broom, Kate Brennan, Callum Wapstra, Shirley Richards and Dep. Manager Helen Millinder with a PPE Delivery to Bank House Residential Care home, Newport, Shropshire

Mrs Mullinder, who has worked at Bank House for 32 years, said staff had been working flat out and added: ‘We haven’t had a case yet and all the staff are working really hard to keep it that way.’ 

She said their usual supplier was finding it difficult to source PPE. 

Reader Sheila Wagg, whose brother Brian, 70, is a resident at the home in Newport, Shropshire, contacted Mail Force to ask for help. 

Mrs Wagg, from north Staffordshire, said her brother has been at the home for two years and ‘loves it there’. 

She added: ‘They are so kind and treat him as family.’ 

She said she worried the home might not be able to afford adequate PPE, and added: ‘When I read about the extraordinary success of the Mail Force campaign it seemed an answer to a prayer. You are lifesavers; literally.’


Mail Force Charity has been launched with one aim to help support NHS staff, volunteers and care workers fight back against Covid-1 in the UK.

Mail Force is a separate charity established and supported by the Daily Mail and General Trust. 

The money raised will fund essential equipment required by the NHS and care workers. 

This equipment is vital in protecting the heroic staff whilst they perform their fantastic work in helping the UK overcome this pandemic.

If we raise more money than is needed for vital Covid-1 equipment, we will apply all funds to support the work of the NHS in other ways.

Click the button below to make a donation:

If the button is not visible, click here 

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Driver, 23, is jailed for nine years after killing his friend in crash

Driver, 23, is jailed for nine years after killing his father-of-two friend in 130mph road crash then fleeing the scene

  • Connor Money, 23, slammed into truck while trying to undertake another vehicle
  • He ran into nearby woodland after the collision on the M2 on October 8 last year
  • His passenger, father-of-two Jordan Amos, 23, from Dartford, died at the scene
  • Money admitted to causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed yesterday

A driver was jailed for nine years after killing his father-of-two friend in a 130mph road crash and then fleeing the scene. 

Connor Money, 23, sped away from police at ‘eye-watering speeds’ while performing ‘jaw dropping manoeuvres’ – eventually ploughing into the back of a lorry on a motorway, a court heard.

His ‘best friend’ Jordan Amos, 23, was crushed in the passenger seat of the grey BMW 5 Series estate on the M2 motorway near Medway, Kent.

But instead of helping his friend, Money ran from the scene into nearby woodland.

Connor Money (left), 23, from Dartford, was jailed for nine years yesterday after the collision at around 1.30pm on October 8 last year. His friend Jordan Amos (right), 23, died at the scene

At around 1.30pm on October 8 last year, two Kent Police officers travelling in an unmarked patrol vehicle became suspicious of Money’s driving while he was travelling on the coast-bound M2.

The constables overtook his vehicle and displayed a message on their rear window which instructed him to follow them.

Money appeared to be following their instructions but, when the officers left junction two to find a safe location to stop, he chose to suddenly disobey the request and sped down the motorway.

The officers were committed to the exit, making it unsafe for them to change direction, and within a five-minute window numerous people called Kent Police to report concerns about Money’s manner of driving.

Dash cam footage captured Money speeding between 110mph and 147mph while dangerously undertaking and weaving on and off the hard shoulder, showing a ‘flagrant disregard for the rules of the road’.

As Money passed junction four, near Rainham, Kent, driving at around 130 mph, he attempted to undertake a lorry that had moved from lane one to lane two to make way for another HGV that was joining from the slip road.

Money failed to see the joining vehicle and collided with the back of it.

But instead of staying at the scene to check on this friend in the passenger seat, Money chose to flee the scene. Mr Amos was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Officers from the Metropolitan Police, who had been on a training exercise in Kent, came across the collision shortly after it happened and provided first aid to the victim at the scene. They also went on to find Money nearby where he was arrested.

Kent Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit investigated the case and charged Money, from Dartford, Kent with causing death by dangerous driving while he was still in custody. He was due to stand trial but admitted the offence.

Money’s car (pictured) sped into the HGV while attempting to undertake a different vehicle on the M2. The 23-year-old admitted to causing death by dangerous driving

Judge Sally-Ann Hales QC sentenced him as he wept on video link at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday, to nine years in prison.

He was also given a consecutive 10-month sentence for a separate driving offence in January 2019 and disqualified from driving for 14 years and five months.

She said: ‘No sentence could possibly compensate for the grief and loss that Mr Amos’ family have suffered and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives.’

Prosecuting Madeleine Wolfe said Money had picked Jordan up from his home in Dartford, Kent to go on a seaside trip to Whitstable.

In victim impact statements the driver of the lorry Money smashed into has been forced to quit his job and visit a counsellor to deal with PTSD, depression and flashbacks of the incident which ‘lead me to have thoughts of ending my life’.

He had driven HGVs for 31 years and spent six years in the military ‘witnessing things that many members of the public would never imagine’ but has been ‘deeply affected’ by the crash.

Mr Amos’ partner Summer Davies, who met him in 2015, said: ‘Jordan would do anything for anybody – even if he didn’t want to.’

Mr Amos’ mother Nicola Holmes, who has four sons, said: ‘Now there is a piece missing of that unit. The boys have also become quiet now and are trying to carry on but it’s hard.

‘Your children shouldn’t die before you. He will always be my baby just like all of my boys no matter how big they get.’

His father, Richie Amos, added: ‘He wasn’t just my son. He was my right hand man, my best friend and my hero.

‘Connor got out the car and ran away, leaving my hurt boy there by himself. Since he crashed the car, it’s just been lies. You were meant to be his best mate.’

Defending, Sunil Metha said ‘the loss of his close friend’ was a mitigating factor and that his ‘fight or flight kicked in causing him to panic’ before evading the scene.

Sergeant Chris Wade, Kent Police’s lead investigating officer for the case, said after the sentencing: ‘Money’s decision to ignore two police officers and instead drive away at grossly excessive speeds, endangering countless other motorists, is beyond comprehension.

‘This is without doubt the worst driving I have encountered in 25 years of policing. A young man, with his whole life ahead of him, died as a consequence of Money’s reckless decision and instead of staying at the scene his first thought was to run away and evade capture.

‘His behaviour was disgraceful and his poor nature is further demonstrated by the six months he spent denying his offending before pleading guilty just before he was due to stand trial in March.

‘I know this case has affected a great many people and, while Money’s imprisonment does not undo the harm caused, I sincerely hope they can find a degree of closure in this sentencing.’

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New normal for gyms? People work out behind screens in Hong Kong

Is this the new normal for gyms? People run on treadmills behind screens in Hong Kong

  • Video shows plastic screens set up in gyms across Hong Kong to stop COVID-19
  • Anyone going for a workout must follow an extensive range of health protocols 
  • Temperature checks and heath declarations are also required in the Asian city
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Heading back to the gym when the coronavirus lockdown is lifted may look very different if Australia follows similar protocols to Hong Kong.

The densely-populated financial hub has brought in a range of measures that are likely to make a session at the gym feel a whole lot more clinical.

Anyone hoping to work up a sweat in the Asian city now has to fill out a health declaration before undergoing a temperature check.

They must also use hand sanitizer, wipe their machines down with disinfectant, avoid water fountains, use alcohol wipes on their phone and maintain social distancing at all times.

Hong Kong gyms have also introduced plastic screens in-between exercise equipment to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Scroll down for video. 

Plastic screens have been erected in-between treadmills to stop the spread of coronavirus in Hong Kong

The densely populated Asian city has also introduced strict health protocols for anyone hoping to work up a sweat, including temperature checks and health declarations

The Australian Government ordered the closure of sports clubs and gyms on March 23 to combat the rising number of infections 

But earlier in May with the coronavirus curve reducing significantly, Scott Morrison unveiled a three-step guide to reopen businesses shut down by the pandemic.

In stage two of the Prime Minister’s road map back to normality, gatherings of 20 will be permitted with cinemas, beauty salons, amusement parks, cinema, galleries and gyms allowed to reopen.

Although state governments will have the final say as to when fitness centres are able to open their doors, it’s expected that gyms will be open again by June.

With much of the industry decimated over the past two months, the industry’s peak body Fitness Australia believes gyms are now ready to reopen.

‘We’ve been working closely with health authorities and state governments to figure out how to partially reopen, and then reopen fully,’ CEO Barrie Elvish told The Australian Financial Review.

‘Gyms have been lumbered with other retail groups like cafes and restaurants … but most gyms operate with electronic entry, allowing us to track who is inside at what time, and with whom.’

Mr Elvish said gym-owners in Australia are looking at every possibility to make workouts safer including disabling bubblers, turning off air conditioning, requiring members to wear face masks, cleaning the equipment six times a day and switching off every second machine to ensure social distancing is being followed.

‘We need to account for everyone’s safety. The last thing I want is someone getting sick on my watch,’ he said.

A Fitness First member is pictured undergoing a temperature check before entering the gym in Hong Kong

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Coronavirus tests for anyone across the UK if they have symptoms, Matt Hancock announces

CORONAVIRUS tests will now be available for anyone aged five and over across the UK if they need it, Matt Hancock has revealed today.

The Health Secretary said anyone can apply to have a test if they show signs of having the virus – including if they lose their sense of taste or smell.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Mr Hancock told the House of Commons this afternoon: "Everyone aged five and over with symptoms is now eligible for a test.

"That applies right across the UK across all four nations from now."

They can book them online or phone up to get one too, he said.

Previously only people over 65 or key workers were allowed to go to a test centre or order one online.

Anyone who is suffering with a cough, fever or loss of smell would be eligible for the test, now.

This morning a lack of taste and smell were added to the official symptoms of coronavirus.

England's deputy chief medical officer today announced anyone suffering from either will have to self-isolate for seven days and their family remain indoors for 14.

Mr Hancock also revealed that 21,000 contact tracers had been hired to help study the spread of the bug and stop it from being transmitted across the country.

He told the Commons: "Today I can confirm that we have recruited over 21,000 contact tracers in England. This includes 7,500 health care professionals who will provide our call handlers with expert clinical advice.

"They will help manually trace the contacts of anyone who's had a positive test and advise them on whether they need to isolate. They have rigorous training with detailed procedures designed by our experts at Public Health England.

"They have stepped up to serve their county in its hour of need and I want to thank them in advance for the lifesaving work that they're about to do."

These will then be at drive-in centres across the country, with the army working on mobile testing units to make it easier for those in remote areas.

In a boost for Boris Johnson, 49-year-old also praised the UK Government for helping it to happen.

She said: "Today's expansion is a result of co-operation between NHS Scotland, the Scottish Government and the UK Government.

"It will help more people to know if they have the virus, and it will also be helpful as we build towards our strategy of Test, Trace, Isolate."

Currently tests in the rest of the UK are only available to key workers, people who can't work at home and the over-65s if they have symptoms.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to unveil an expansion of the UK's "swab" testing in parliament later today.

His appearance comes after it emerged the Government's full full test, track and trace programme has been delayed til next week.



The scheme was supposed to be up and running from today.

Ms Sturgeon also announced the Scottish Government would publish its own "routemap" to easing lockdown measures on Thursday.

She added: "Thursday’s routemap will confirm that – assuming we see progress in suppressing the virus – the first phase will start from the next formal review date of 28 May.

"Within two weeks, my hope is that we will be taking some concrete steps on the journey back to normality."

Boris published his own full roadmap to end the coronavirus lockdown last week.

The PM published a lengthy plan to get the country back to normal with an array of changes.

He told the House of Commons: "If everyone stays alert and follows the rules, we can control the virus, keep the rate of infection down and the keep number of infections down.

"And this Mr Speaker is how we can continue to save lives, and livelihoods, as we begin to recover from coronavirus."

It comes as the UK death toll reached 34,636 yesterday and an increase of 170 on Saturday.

In the 24-hour period up to 9am on Sunday, 91,206 tests were carried out or dispatched, with 3,142 positive tests.

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