October 26, 2021

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UK coronavirus: large areas of northern England put back in lockdown after rise in cases | Politics













Less than half of adults fully respecting social distancing – ONS

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Confusion over Matt Hancock’s comments

There was confusion following health secretary Matt Hancock’s morning interviews about whether households in the affected areas would be allowed to visit peoples’ homes outside the restricted zone.

The official guidance suggests this would illegal but Hancock initially suggested it would be allowed as long as people adhered to social distancing, telling BBC Breakfast: “Strictly, the law that we’re bringing in is that two households cannot meet in the area defined but obviously any two households should follow the social distancing rules.”

Later on BBC Radio Manchester he suggested that visiting households outside the affected area was “against the advice” but suggested it would not be covered by law, saying there was a “distinction between the guidance and the law on this issue”.

However, this appears to be against the official advice published on Friday morning. The DHSC has been contacted for clarity.

Hancock appeared to struggle when pressed on the issue by BBC Radio Manchester presenter Becky Want, saying: “I’ll make it absolutely clear, which is that there’s a distinction between the guidance and the law. I will absolutely get back to you with the exact … ” before his words became inaudible.

Asked four times whether a household in the affected area could visit someone who was not, he then said: “No because that is against the advice but the point I was making is about the specifics of the law, which is that this law applies to people who are in the affected area.”

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House prices went up in July – survey

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IAG, the owner of British Airways, is to raise €2.75bn (£2.5bn) to strengthen its balance sheet after reporting a record loss in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer the travel market.

IAG, which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus, reported a record €1.36bn operating loss as passenger numbers fell by more than 98% in the second quarter. That compares with a profit of €960m for the same period last year.

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, expects it to take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to reach the pre-coronavirus levels of 2019.

“All IAG airlines made substantial losses,” Walsh said. “Each airline has taken actions to adjust their business and reduce their cost base to reflect forecast demand in their markets.”

Airplanes at Chateauroux airport in FranceTechnicians move a British Airways Airbus A380 airplane stored on the tarmac of Marcel-Dassault airport at Chateauroux, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France July 30, 2020.

A BA plane at Marcel-Dassault airport in Châteauroux, France. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

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