Coronavirus - 9 July


• Risk of under 18s dying of Covid estimated at 2 per million
• UK R number now 1.2 – 1.5, up from 1.1 – 1.3 last week
• Sydney has increased restrictions again
• Seoul to increase lockdown measures to ‘maximum’
• Retail footfall in Scotland fell 5% in June

World news

• Data from the first 12 months of the pandemic in England shows 25 under-18s died from Covid. Six had no underlying conditions recorded in the last five years - though researchers caution some illnesses may have been missed.

• In Sydney restrictions have been strengthened. Residents are banned from travelling more than 10km (six miles) from their homes. Outdoor exercise is limited to groups of two, and only one person from each household can go grocery shopping. Funeral gatherings have also been limited to just 10 people.

• The UK economy expanded by 0.8% in May, the fourth consecutive month of growth, however it was also a slowdown from the 2% growth seen in April. The economy is still 3.1% below pre-pandemic levels, according to the ONS.

• The Scottish Retail Consortium found retail footfall was down by nearly 5% from May, and by 29.9% on the same period two years ago. The UK average decline over the two years was 27.6%. Scottish shopping centres in particular struggled, down by 34.1% vs 2019. Glasgow fared worse than any other Scottish city, with numbers down by more than 30% on June 2019.

• In Seoul from Monday schools will be closed, along with bars and nightclubs, while service in cafes and restaurants will have limited seating. No more than two people will be allowed to meet in public after 18:00.

• The R number in England has increased slightly to between 1.2 and 1.5, according to the latest government figures. This is up from last week, when it was 1.1 to 1.3.

• New figures from Public Health England reveal that 216,249 confirmed and probable cases of the Delta variant have now been found in the UK. This is up by 54,268 from 161,981 cases in the previous week, a rise of 34%.

• ONS data suggests c.400,000 people in the UK would test positive for coronavirus in the week to 3 July, up from 257,000 people the previous week.

• Nigeria has announced its first confirmed case of the Delta variant.

• Liberia has received a donation of tear gas and other riot control gear from France to enforce restrictions.

• Tunisia's health ministry says the situation has reached "catastrophic" levels and caused its health system to collapse.

• Travellers to Portugal will be required to show a negative test, a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery to stay in hotels or other holiday accommodation from Saturday.

• Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel left hospital today after treatment for Covid-19.

• A case brought by more than 500 families of Covid victims seeking a total of €100m in compensation from the Italian government had its first day in court.

• Vaccinations are to be mandatory for Australia’s aged care workers.

• In France the Delta variant now represents nearly 50% of new infections.

• Germany has declared all of Spain a risk area and returning travellers will now have to provide a negative test to avoid quarantine.

• Fiji’s government has announced it will make vaccinations a mandatory condition of work for civil servants and staff in the private sector.

• US government estimates show a 25% single-year increase in homicides in 2020.

• Three TV crew members from the public broadcaster, Rai, who are following Italy’s national football team, tested positive for Covid-19 today. The in-person press conference with the players, scheduled for today, was cancelled and was held remotely, via video link.

• The EMA has found a possible link between rare heart inflammation and receiving vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, and advised people with a history of a rare blood disorder to avoid getting J&J’s vaccine.