Coronavirus live news: three more Welsh counties face local lockdowns; concern over clusters at French schools | World news

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The Scottish government has just issued updated guidance that students can return to their family homes (previously clinical director Jason Leitch said they couldn’t) either to self-isolate or permanently.

This is provided the entire household they return to self-isolates and they don’t use public transport. Of course, this guidance comes too late for the many student who reportedly have already left halls in a mass weekend exodus.

While NUS Scotland’s president, Matt Crilly, welcomed the clarity on returning home, he was “disappointed that the government continues to talk up in-person teaching, which may keep students on campus and increase risks unnecessarily”.

NUS Scotland is calling for the Scottish government teaching guidance to advise remote learning as default, and is also asking institutions and private providers refund rent if students want to end their contracts and return home. Likewise, they want to see support for those who want to defer study for another year.

Interesting to see too that, as the new guidance appeared, Alastair Sim – director of Universities Scotland – which last week issued harsh overnight regulations for students including an edict not to party or socialise beyond their households, a one-weekend nationwide ban on going to bars and restaurants which applied to mature and part-time students as well as those in halls, and threats of severe disciplinary action for breaches and police involvement – issued a rather more ameliorative statement.

“We asked more of students than is asked of anyone else; a group we know is caring, responsible and socially minded,” it says.

“This weekend, we asked all students not to go out to pubs, restaurants and cafes. It was a request, not a ban. It was never a ban.”

When is a ban not a ban? When it’s a poorly coded apology.


Greece reports first coronavirus death among migrant population

Greece has recorded its first coronavirus fatality among its large migrant community.

Health authorities described the victim as a 61-year-old Afghan man, saying the father-of-two succumbed to Covid-19 in Athens’ Evangelismos hospital after being moved from Malakassa, a refugee camp east of the capital.

Outbreaks of coronavirus have resulted in lockdowns in migrant holding centres nationwide.

On Saturday the centre right government announced that circulation would be curbed in two reception centres in northern Greece bringing the total number of camps under lockdown to eleven.

On Lesbos more than 200 refugees who tested positive for Covid-19 but are asymptomatic have been segregated in a special quarantine area after a fire devastated Moria, the island’s notorious camp, earlier this month.

Meanwhile EODY, the public health organisation, announced this evening that new confirmed cases of coronavirus had for the first time in several days dropped below the 300 threshold with 218 people testing positive for the virus. Of that number the majority – 118 – were in the greater Athens region of Attica, the epicentre of a surge in infections in recent weeks. The alarming rise prompted authorities to announce further measures to curb coronavirus including police crackdowns on groups gathering after midnight closures of bars and eateries. The restrictions, not least mandatory mask-wearing in all enclosed places, went into effect last week.

Earlier on Sunday Prof Nikolaos Sypsas, a prominent infectious disease expert, suggested citizens over the age of 65 could be asked to restrict their movements if the surge continued. Greece, to date, has recorded 17,444 infections and 380 Covid-related deaths. Two women, a 91-year-old and 39-year-old were among fatalities reported on Sunday.

The tower of the winds, among the ancient sites in Athens, where visitor numbers have dropped precipitously because of coronavirus.

The tower of the winds, among the ancient sites in Athens, where visitor numbers have dropped precipitously because of coronavirus. Photograph: Helena Smith



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