Coronavirus - 9 June


• UK adults spent nearly four hours per day online in 2020
• France and Belgium begin to relax restrictions
• US CDC relaxes travel restrictions for 110 countries
• Australia approves cash incentives for vaccines
• Guangzhou increases lockdown measures

World news

• UK adults spent an average of 3 hours 47 minutes online every day during the pandemic, an annual survey of media habits by regulator Ofcom has found, over an hour longer than adults in Germany and France.

• France has lifted some restrictions today: • Restaurants, bars, gyms and swimming pools can operate at 50% capacity indoors;

• Outdoor terraces can operate at full capacity;

• An overnight curfew will start two hours later at 23:00;

• Rules on working from home have ended, although employers will have to agree the number of days staff come into the office in advance; and

• Visitors from the EU and other countries can visit France without a PCR test, as long as they have had the full course of an EU-approved vaccine.

• In Belgium from today, restaurants are allowed to serve customers indoors with up to four people per table. Indoor performances and events are allowed with a maximum of 200 people or 75% capacity, and up to four people are allowed into homes. Working from home remains compulsory but employees are allowed into the office for one day a week with a maximum of 20% of staff allowed at any one time.

• Around 80% of adults in the UK had antibodies by 17 May, according to the latest data from the ONS. The figures are 83% for adults in Wales, 80% in England and Northern Ireland and a slightly lower 73% for Scotland.

• Some 10% of people in the most deprived parts of England reported vaccine hesitancy between 28 April and 23 May, according to the ONS, compared to 3% of those in the least deprived areas. Overall, 94% of adults in Britain reported positive vaccine sentiment, while 6% reported hesitancy - compared with 93% and 7% respectively between 31 March and 25 April. Some 13% of adults in Britain aged 16-29 reported vaccine hesitancy - the highest proportion of all the age groups and unchanged from the previous month.

• The US CDC has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including Japan.

• Doctors, pharmacists and workplaces in Australia can now incentivise people to receive the vaccine by offering rewards including cash, prizes and complementary and alternative medicines.

• The EU’s approval for Germany to give £470m in state aid to support charter airline Condor through the pandemic has been annulled by an EU court.

• Intensive care beds for Covid-19 patients in Malaysia have reached full capacity, according to the country’s health director general.

• The CMA has begun an investigation into BA and Ryanair for refusing to pay refunds.

• Spain has scrapped restrictions imposed on people crossing its land border from Portugal.

• The British Army has sent 60 personnel to boost the vaccination programme in Lothian and Lanarkshire in Scotland.

• Vaccine passports will be used for the first time at UK sporting events for England’s Euro 2020 group games at Wembley stadium, with those not fully vaccinated able to show proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within the previous 48 hours.

• Portugal will allow vaccinated US tourists into the country.

• Guangzhou city in China has ordered the closures of cinemas, theatres, nightclubs and other indoor entertainment venues.