/Non-essential shops re-open for first time in three months

Non-essential shops re-open for first time in three months

Here is a round-up of the latest news in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, June 22.

Follow updates on the world coronavirus pandemic on our live blog and sign up for our email newsletter alerts by going here.

Confirmed worldwide cases:

Confirmed deaths:

Confirmed recoveries/discharges:

In Wales, the latest daily coronavirus figures showed the largest surge in cases in a month.

The new figures released on Sunday by Public Health Wales showed that there was 100 new cases of Covid-19 reported.

It is the largest rise in the daily figures since May 26 when there were 146 cases and takes the total number of lab-confirmed infections Wales has seen to 15,126.

One new death was reported for the second day in a row.

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Lockdown restrictions ease as shops re-open in Wales

All non-essential shops in Wales can re-open from Monday as long as retailers comply with social distancing laws.

Big shopping centres across Wales – including Cardiff, Swansea and Newport – have been busy implementing new signage, hand sanitisers and extra security among their measures. You can find details of the shops that are re-opening here.

Customers must, however, remain local, staying within five miles of their home.

The current regulations dictate that meeting people from other households is generally not permitted, unless it’s outdoors and two-metre distancing is observed.

Other significant changes from today include the housing market re-starting, and all outdoor sport and leisure facilities – except playgrounds and outdoor gyms – will be allowed to re-open; and places of worship will now be open for private prayer. The list of changes is here.

Change to rules on weddings

A ban on weddings and civil partnerships in Wales is also being lifted from Monday but there will be no big celebrations allowed.

The announcement was added to new rules published by the Welsh Government.

However, the ban on social gatherings remain, as do social distancing rules.

Invited wedding guests can now also travel any distance to be at a ceremony but services must be small enough to stay safe.

It comes as easing other restrictions in Wales mean non-essential shops will also reopen on Monday.

The new wedding measures follow calls from couples to marry, even if it means a ceremony with just witnesses and a registrar.

Coronavirus infections at Welsh chicken plant double

A total of 158 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed at a chicken processing plant in North Wales, health authorities said.

The Welsh Government is now considering a local lockdown in a bid to stop the spread.

Production was stopped at the 2 Sisters factory in Llangefni, Anglesey, on Thursday after the Covid-19 outbreak was declared and staff were told to self-isolate for two weeks.

Public Health Wales said it recorded an increase of 83 confirmed positive cases identified over the 24 hours to 3pm on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to 158. It had previously recorded 75 infections.

Dr Christopher Johnson, consultant in health protection at Public Health Wales, said: “Since we commenced targeted testing last Thursday, over 400 members of staff have provided samples so far. Testing of employees continues, and it is likely that some additional cases will be identified in the coming days.

“The increase in cases is as we anticipated when a focused track-and-trace programme is implemented, and does not mean that the spread of infection is increasing.”

Anglesey County Council leader Llinos Medi said: “With a significant number of confirmed coronavirus cases amongst employees – this is a huge priority, not only for us on Anglesey, but for the whole of North Wales.”

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Thousands in quarantine after outbreak at German abattoir

Thousands of people in Germany have been told to go into quarantine after a coronavirus outbreak at an abattoir.

More than 650 people have tested positive for the virus at the meat processing plant in Gütersloh, in the north-west of the country.

Operations at the site have been suspended since Wednesday afternoon.

Over 1,000 workers have been tested so far, with thousands of others still awaiting testing.

They and the people they came into contact with have been told to been told to remain in quarantine until they receive their results.

Discussions over the two-metre rule being held in England

Boris Johnson will discuss reopening the hospitality sector and loosening the two-metre social-distancing rule in England with his top Cabinet colleagues and scientists.

The Prime Minister and his most senior ministers will discuss the next steps for lockdown on Monday with chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty.

Mr Johnson will then outline the plans to Parliament on Tuesday for pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers to reopen in England from July 4, and a likely loosening of the distance rule to aid the restart to the economy.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister said the progress made in the fight against coronavirus during three months of lockdown mean “it will be possible to open up more”.

“The disease is increasingly under control and I just want people to reflect on that important fact,” he said in a Downing Street interview.

Guidance will be published for each sector on how businesses can reduce the spread of Covid-19 when they reopen.

The public are expected to be warned that the newest relaxation of rules will be the first to be reversed if there are widespread breaches that prompt the virus to spread uncontrollably.

A No 10 spokesman said: “The reason we are able to move forward this week is because the vast majority of people have taken steps to contain the virus.

“The more we open up, the more important it is that everyone follows the social-distancing rules.

“We will not hesitate to put the handbrake on to stop the virus running out of control.”

England ‘on track’ to further easing lockdown

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said England is “clearly on track” to further ease the lockdown.

Acknowledging that “a lot of the country does need a haircut”, Mr Hancock told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that he is “not going to rule out” hairdressers and barbers also being able to reopen on July 4

He gave perspex screens, masks and altered seating arrangements as examples of measures to mitigate the risk of spreading coronavirus if the two-metre rule is relaxed.

And he floated the idea that punters at pubs and bars could have to sign a guest book with their names and contact details so they could be swiftly traced if they come into contact with an infection.

Spain re-opens borders to British tourists

Spain re-opened its borders to British tourists on Sunday.

The country, which is the second most-visited in the world, dropped a 14-day quarantine requirement for British visitors effective from Sunday. British travellers make up a large part of Spain’s vital tourism sector, which has been especially hard-hit.

The government has launched a publicity campaign called Spain for Sure in an effort to reassure visitors and fire up the industry, which makes up about 12% of the country’s GDP.

The Spanish government announced on Saturday evening that British visitors would not need to undergo 14 days of quarantine on arrival, and called on the UK government to show reciprocity.

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