united kingdom - updates

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UK PM Johnson backs key aide over lockdown breach claims

May 25, 2020 - 9:52 AM

Johnson rejects calls to sack Dominic Cummings after he came under fire for traveling across the country with his wife while she was suffering from symptoms of the disease

PROTEST. A woman wears a face mask with a message written on it that reads 'nobody is above the law' outside the home of Number 10 Downing Street special advisor Dominic Cummings in London on May 24, 2020. Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP

Migrant boat crossings to UK surge during virus lockdown

May 21, 2020 - 4:36 PM

Channel crossing attempts have increased since the end of 2018, despite the danger of heavy maritime traffic, strong currents and low water temperatures

French Gendarmes and police, wearing protective masks against the noverl coronavirus, COVID-19, assist migrants, including five children and a baby, who tried to reach England by crossing the Channel, and who were rescued off the French port city of Calais on May 16, 2020. French maritime authorities said they picked up 16 migrants, including one child, in the English Channel in the early hours of May 16, 2020. The Britain-bound group was rescued some six kilometres 3.8 miles) off the French port of Calais after their makeshift vessel ran into difficulties around 3:30 am (0130 GMT) and called for help, they said.  BERNARD BARRON / AFP

EasyJet to resume flying on June 15

May 21, 2020 - 4:00 PM

EasyJet's initial schedule will involve mainly domestic flights in Britain and France, with more routes to be announced

EASYJET. An Airbus A321 of low-cost passenger carrier EasyJet is pictured in France on November 24, 2016. File photo by Pascal Pavani/AFP

UK sells negative bond yields for first time

May 20, 2020 - 11:40 PM

Investors park their cash in bonds, which are in keen demand as the coronavirus pandemic sends the global economy into a dizzying downturn

LOCKDOWN. A man walks the near-deserted streets of London on April 16, 2020. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

UK jobless claims surge by almost 70% on coronavirus

May 19, 2020 - 9:30 PM

British unemployment claims surge by a record 856,000 to a total of 2.1 million people in April 2020

A deserted Westminster Bridge is pictured looking north around Monday lunch time, in central London, March 23, 2020, as governments scramble to defend their own economies against the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in order to ward off a long-term global recession and future waves of infections. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

UK MPs criticize 'inadequate' gov't coronavirus testing

May 19, 2020 - 10:34 AM

The country has seen 34,796 deaths – the second-highest toll in the world behind the United States

TELLY. Valerie Cloke, sits in an armchair in her living room watching television as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II delivers a special address in the village of Hartley Wintney, west of London, on April 5, 2020 during the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP

UK adds loss of taste and smell to coronavirus symptoms

May 18, 2020 - 7:46 PM

The symptoms will now feature with fever and cough as main indicators of the virus, with health officials saying it would mean a 2% rise in picking up cases

MORE SYMPTOMS. Medical staff transfer a patient along a corridor at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in Blackburn, north-west England on May 14, 2020, as national health service (NHS) staff in Britain fight the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. File photo by Hannah Mckay/Pool/AFP

United Kingdom royal swan census canceled due to coronavirus – reports

May 17, 2020 - 10:16 PM

The spectacle, dating back to the 12th century, draws crowds along the riverbank with many schools typically invited to meet the Swan Uppers during their journey

UK economy shrinks on coronavirus

May 13, 2020 - 10:00 PM

Britain's gross domestic product contracts 2% in the 1st quarter of 2020, with the economy 'in freefall'

LOCKDOWN. A man walks the near-deserted streets of London on April 16, 2020. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

UK extends virus furlough scheme until October 2020

May 13, 2020 - 12:30 AM

A British government scheme which allows employees to receive 80% of their monthly pay during the coronavirus crisis is extended for 4 months

LONDON. A pedestrian walks along the bank of the Thames with the towers of London in the background on March 11, 2020. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Global arrest call issued for U.S. diplomat's wife wanted for UK car crash

May 12, 2020 - 7:35 PM

The case has been a political headache for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he tries to secure a US trade deal after Britain's departure from the European Union

SEEKING JUSTICE. In this file photo taken on October 9, 2019, Charlotte Charles (2R) and Tim Dunn, (2L), parents of teenage motorcyclist Harry Dunn who was killed in a collision with a car, leave after a meeting with Britain's Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London on October 9, 2019. File photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Virus-ravaged UK aviation sector faces quarantine woe

May 12, 2020 - 8:20 AM

Operators of United Kingdom airlines and airports express alarm over the British government's plan to impose a 14-day quarantine on inbound travelers

Travellers who had been aboard the Braemar cruise ship, operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, and wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against covid-19, react as they arrive at Heathrow Airport in London on March 19, 2020, after being flown back from Cuba. - The MS Braemar had more than 1,000 people aboard including five confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 50 people in isolation due to showing flu-like symptoms. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

Heathrow Airport urges roadmap for quarantine exit

May 11, 2020 - 10:40 PM

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye calls on the British government to 'urgently lay out a roadmap for how they will reopen borders once the disease has been beaten'

Passengers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walk through the arrivals hall after landing at at Terminal Two of London Heathrow Airport in west London, on May 9, 2020. - Britain could introduce a 14-day mandatory quarantine for international arrivals to stem the spread of coronavirus as part of its plan to ease the lockdown, an airline association said Saturday, sparking alarm in an industry already badly hit by the global pandemic. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

EU, Britain restart push on post-Brexit ties amid virus gloom

May 11, 2020 - 7:54 PM

The EU side accuses Britain of focusing only on issues dear to them and ignoring those essential for EU members, such as fishing, or on agreeing on minimum standards for health and the environment

TRADE TALKS. European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (R) and the British Prime Minister's Europe adviser David Frost speak at start of the first round of post-Brexit trade deal talks between the EU and the United Kingdom, in Brussels on March 2, 2020. File photo by Olivier Hoslet/Pool/AFP

UK unveils phased plan to exit lockdown

May 11, 2020 - 10:47 AM

PM Johnson says the lockdown had come 'at a colossal cost to our way of life' but said it would be 'madness' to squander the progress by moving too soon

SISTERS. Nuns sing and clap to show their appreciation of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP

France, Spain ease coronavirus lockdowns but UK wary

May 11, 2020 - 8:13 AM

The risk of a second wave is underscored by a resurgence in South Korea

BIKING. People exercise along an esplanade in Barcelona, early on May 2, 2020. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

UK to set up coronavirus alert system

May 10, 2020 - 5:34 PM

The alert system will be monitored from a new center for biosecurity and will have 5 levels

GREAT BRITAIN. A British Union flag flies near the Elizabeth Tower, otherwise known as Big Ben, opposite the Houses of Parliament in central London on December 7, 2016. File photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Johnson warns 'maximum caution' needed as UK poised to ease lockdown

May 08, 2020 - 10:42 AM

Meanwhile, two separate studies indicate that black and minority ethnic groups were more at risk from the virus than the white population

TELLY. Valerie Cloke, sits in an armchair in her living room, watching television in London. Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP

O2, Virgin Media to merge into $46.6-billion UK telco giant

May 07, 2020 - 11:20 PM

Telefonica chief executive Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete says the merger would create 'the leading operator in the United Kingdom' that would be 'a game-changer' in the British telecoms sector

UK economy to plunge 14% in 2020 on virus, warns Bank of England

May 07, 2020 - 7:15 PM

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey says the government's soon-to-be-announced decision on lockdown restrictions 'will shape the path by which the economy is brought back into action'

A man walks the near-deserted streets of the City of london on April 16, 2020, during the novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. - The British government on Thursday was expected to extend a nationwide lockdown for another three weeks, while the country's coronavirus death toll spiked by 861 -- a greater increase than in recent days. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

Banksy pays tribute to UK health workers with new artwork

May 07, 2020 - 1:02 PM

Now on display in a hospital is Banksy's new artwork in honor of Britain's health service, which will later be auctioned to raise money for charities

UK could start easing virus lockdown next week – PM

May 06, 2020 - 9:39 PM

Speaking in parliament for the first time since he himself was hospitalized with coronavirus, Boris Johnson says the government will review the data and he will set out the next steps on Sunday, May 10

EASING LOCKDOWN? Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on May 6, 2020 to attend Prime Minister's Questions in the Houses of Parliament. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Adele breaks the internet with post on 32nd birthday

May 06, 2020 - 6:39 PM

The Grammy Award winning singer thanks frontliners as she celebrates her birthday in the midst of a pandemic

ADELE. The singer posts a photo to thank fans on her 32nd birthday. Screenshot from Instagram.com/adele

Updated UK virus toll becomes world's second highest

May 06, 2020 - 3:00 PM

The updated statistics, showing 32,313 total deaths by around April 24, means Britain has probably had the highest official death numbers in Europe for days

A member of the clinical staff wears personal protective equipment (PPE) as she cares for a patient at the Intensive Care unit at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, on May 5, 2020. NHS staff wear an enhanced level of PPE in higher risk areas such as critical care to minimise the spread of infection between staff and patients. Britain's death toll from the coronavirus has topped 32,000, according to an updated official count released Tuesday, pushing the country past Italy to become the second-most impacted after the United States. Neil HALL / POOL / AFP

UK scientist behind lockdown quits after breaking rules

May 06, 2020 - 11:28 AM

Professor Neil Ferguson steps down following media reports that he had allowed a woman to visit him at home

WATCHING. A still image of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with a message of hope from her special address to the nation is seen on the giant billboard in Piccadilly Square, central London on April 18, 2020. Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP

Tip from Australian police lead to arrest of sex trafficker in Caloocan

May 06, 2020 - 10:15 AM

(UPDATED) Police rescue 3 minors, all children of the suspect

ARRESTED. Authorities with a  41-year-old women accused of forcing her 3 chilldren, all minors, to perform sexual acts via webcam. She was arrested on May 4, 2020, in Caloocan City. Photo from IJM

Trump urges U.S. to re-open, British death toll hits 32,000

May 06, 2020 - 8:43 AM

The growing US death toll is already more than 70,000 – by far the highest globally – while Britain's rises to 32,000, putting it above Italy in the grim ranking of national fatalities

HOMELESS. A homeless person asks for help on Woodward Avenue in Highland Park, Michigan on March 30, 2020. Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/AFP

UK car sales crash to 1946 low as virus slams economy

May 05, 2020 - 8:55 PM

New registrations for cars sold in Britain collapse to 4,321 in April 2020, the worst performance since February 1946 or just after World War II

LONDON. A pedestrian walks along the bank of the Thames with the towers of London in the background on March 11, 2020. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

‘This is my sworn duty’: In UK, Kenneth Lambatan heeded nurse’s oath till the end

May 04, 2020 - 5:58 PM

For 18 days, Kenneth tried to defeat the coronavirus. Before he was taken off life support, his family stayed with him virtually – from thousands of miles away.

FALLEN HERO. Kenneth Lambatan, a Filipino cardiac research nurse in United Kingdom, is among the frontliners who have succumbed to the coronavirus disease. Photos from Ezel Lambatan

UK says coronavirus lockdown to be lifted gradually

May 04, 2020 - 9:50 AM

Britain is banking on an enhanced testing regime and contact tracing, including via a smartphone app, to monitor transmission rates and prevent a second wave of infection

HOPE. A cyclist passes a rainbow banner bearing a message of hope on railings outside Salford Royal Hospital, in Salford, Greater Manchester, northwest England, on May 3, 2020. Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP

British coronavirus death toll now world's third-worst

Apr 30, 2020 - 10:06 AM

The increase comes after surprise news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has become a father again at age 55

SUITS. A couple wear protective suits as they walk along Market Street in the near-deserted city center in Manchester, north-west England on April 15, 2020. Photo by Anthony Devlin/AFP

UK plans mass sing-along for locked-down VE Day

Apr 29, 2020 - 5:20 PM

The coronavirus forces Britain to change plans in celebrating VE Day on May 8 to mark the day the Nazis surrendered, bringing an end to World War II in Europe

REMINDERS. A man walks his dog past coronavirus COVID-19 themed graffiti in Glasgow on April 28, 2020. Photo by Andy Buchanan/AFP

UK raises alarm over virus-related syndrome in children

Apr 28, 2020 - 6:23 PM

The state-run National Health Service issues an alert about a small number of children presenting an unusual set of symptoms, including abdominal pain and inflammation around the heart

EMPTY. A picture shows an empty children's play area on Llandaff Fields in Cardiff, South Wales, in the morning on March 24, 2020 after Britain ordered a lockdown to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. File photo by Geoff Caddick/AFP

France, Spain to announce lockdown exit plan as Aussies hit waves

Apr 28, 2020 - 4:39 PM

Countries are beginning to chart their path out of shutdowns imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year and has now infected more than 3 million people worldwide

ON BONDI BEACH. Surfers carry their boards on Bondi Beach after it reopened following a 5-week closure in Sydney on April 28, 2020 Photo by Saeed Khan/AFP

UK launches loans for virus-hit small businesses

Apr 28, 2020 - 12:30 AM

This new plan is the latest in a series of multibillion-pound packages to help those affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Britain

NEARLY DESERTED. A man wearing a protective face mask walks through the near-deserted streets in Lincoln, Eastern England on April 20, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP

UK reports lowest coronavirus toll in weeks as Johnson returns

Apr 27, 2020 - 10:54 AM

The number of people who have died rose by 413 to 20,732, officials say on Sunday, the lowest reported daily increase in April

QUARANTINE. A pedestrian walks along the bank of the Thames with the towers of London in the background on March 11, 2020. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Boris Johnson to return to work as UK virus deaths pass 20,000

Apr 26, 2020 - 9:42 AM

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson goes back on duty as pressure intensifies on his government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis

BACK TO WORK SOON. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses a news conference inside 10 Downing Street in London on March 20, 2020. Photo by Julian Simmonds/Pool/AFP

Bank of England warns of worst recession in centuries

Apr 24, 2020 - 1:00 AM

'It seems that we are experiencing an economic contraction that is faster and deeper than anything we have seen in the past century, or possibly several centuries,' says economist Gertjan Vlieghe

INTEREST RATE CUT. The Bank of England in London. Photo from Shutterstock

Coronavirus highlights role of foreign staff in British hospitals

Apr 23, 2020 - 11:28 AM

Around 52,000 staff are Asian nationals, according to the parliamentary figures

British singer Marianne Faithfull discharged from hospital

Apr 23, 2020 - 11:09 AM

The singer will continue to recuperate in London according to an announcement on her Twitter account

British singer Marianne Faithfull performs at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on November 25, 2016. (Photo by FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP)

UK gov't accused of slow response to virus outbreak

Apr 22, 2020 - 11:00 PM

In his first chance to question the government since being elected Labour leader, Keir Starmer says there is 'a significant gap between promise and delivery' in how ministers are handling the crisis

CORONAVIRUS IN UK. A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer listening during Prime Minister's Question time in the House of Commons in London on April 22, 2020, as parliament resumes with social distancing measure in place, and some MPs taking part remotely by videolink, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AFP PHOTO/PRU

Boris Johnson starts return to work as coronavirus criticism grows

Apr 22, 2020 - 10:43 AM

Ministers are forced daily to explain a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care staff, while testing for the virus remains limited

RECOVERED. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a television address after returning to 10 Downing Street after being discharged from St Thomas' Hospital, in central London on April 12, 2020. Photo by Pippa Fowles/AFP

20 Filipino nurses in UK die due to coronavirus

Apr 21, 2020 - 10:44 PM

Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo expresses 'deep concern' over the deaths and calls on the UK government to provide health workers with adequate protective gear

QUARANTINE. A pedestrian walks along the bank of the Thames with the towers of London in the background on March 11, 2020. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Queen Elizabeth II marks 94th birthday with no fanfare

Apr 21, 2020 - 7:50 PM

The monarch is said to be marking the occasion with her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, at Windsor Castle, west of London

QUEEN ELIZABETH. A still image of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with a message of hope from her special address to the nation is seen on the giant billboard in Piccadilly Square, central London on April 18, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. File photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP

UK virus death toll rises by 449 to 16,509

Apr 21, 2020 - 12:09 AM

The figures – which do not include deaths in the community, including care homes – are always lower on a Monday due to reporting delays over the weekend, but separate new data points to a clear improvement

NEARLY DESERTED. A man wearing a protective face mask walks through the near-deserted streets in Lincoln, Eastern England on April 20, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP

UK's Boris Johnson 'on top of things' but under fire over early virus response

Apr 19, 2020 - 8:25 PM

A report says UK Prime Minister Borish Johnson missed 5 of the government's emergency response meetings regarding the coronavirus pandemic in January and February

Care home charity warns UK deaths could be over 7,000

Apr 18, 2020 - 11:30 PM

'This is a shocking and utterly heartbreaking estimate that will send a chill down the spine of anyone with a loved one living in a care home'

CORONAVIRUS. A couple wear protective suits as they walk along Market Street in the near-deserted city centre in Manchester, north-west England on April 15, 2020, during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Anthony Devlin / AFP

Britain turns to Europe to save its crops

Apr 17, 2020 - 11:55 AM

A charter plane carrying 180 Romanian agricultural workers arrives in Britain at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has forced a lockdown and boosted demand for food

A seasonal worker from Romania picks strawberries at BR Brooks & Son farm in Faversham, south east England on June 29, 2018. - After weeks of uninterrupted sunshine the strawberry season is in full swing in the so-called Garden of England. But with a shortage of seasonal labourers to pick the fruits, a trend exacerbated by Brexit, there are growing fears many may be left to rot on their stems. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

EasyJet set to vacate middle seats on resuming flights

Apr 17, 2020 - 1:00 AM

British airline EasyJet says it is also looking at various disinfection programs to protect passengers from the coronavirus

PLANE SCARE. In this file photo, an Airbus A321 of English low-cost passenger carrier easyJet is pictured on November 24, 2016 at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. File photo by Pascal Pavani/AFP

UK extends coronavirus lockdown for 'at least' another 3 weeks

Apr 17, 2020 - 12:23 AM

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputizing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recuperates from COVID-19, says it is 'too soon' to lift the stringent social distancing regime rolled out last month

LOCKDOWN EXTENDED. A man walks the near-deserted streets of the City of london on April 16, 2020, during the novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP