Boris Johnson held another Cobra meeting today to discuss the coronavirus and how the UK plans to handle it.
Those at the meeting, which included leading health experts, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and senior politicians, concluded that the UK should remain in the ‘containment’ phase of its plan.
This means that measures to delay the virus’s spread with “social distancing” tactics will not be introduced yet. This would include closing schools, cancelling large events and encouraging people to work from home.
However, it has been accepted that coronavirus is going to spread ‘in a significant way.’
Some sporting events may have to take place without regular crowds, with people watching on television instead. This has already been taking place during football matches in Italy, and the Six Nations Rugby tournament may be affected once again with the match between France and Ireland likely being postponed.
Some airlines, including British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet have cancelled flights to areas that have been affected, such parts of Italy and China.
People travelling from locked-down areas have also been advised to self-isolate if they returned to the UK in the last 14 days – even if they have shown no symptoms.
Travellers from the rest of Italy are only told to self-isolate and call 111 if they have a cough, fever or shortness of breath.
People who have been coming back to the UK from various places, including Italy, have commented on the inconsistent screening measures being conducted at airports. Screenings were taking place on those returning from China when the virus was first beginning to become a major cause for concern, so it seems logical for that to continue for people coming from locations recently deemed significantly affected.
News for UK apprentices
The ‘break in learning’ rule is due to be suspended for trainers who need to take time off due to the coronavirus, the Department for Education has revealed.
Usually, a financial penalty must be paid if an apprentice is unable to learn due to their trainer being absent, but now the coronavirus has forced many people to self-isolate and be cautious where possible, the funding will be protected.
The Department for Education released the latest guidance, which applies to apprentices who have reached gateway and those who have experienced gaps in training to Covid-19 related illness, today.
It stated: “The normal breaks in learning process should be followed and therefore we only need notifying once a break in learning has exceeded four weeks.”
As it stands, four people in the UK have died from Coronavirus and 319 people have tested positive for the disease.
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