March 30, 2023

UK coronavirus live: '90-minute tests to speed up Covid diagnosis'; Sturgeon warns pubs could close if cases rise

Tests to be introduced across NHS hospitals and care homes; Scottish first minister says indoor...

Tests to be introduced across NHS hospitals and care homes; Scottish first minister says indoor dining under review after clusters of cases

4.43pm BST

One in 10 public transport users in Britain are breaking rules on mandatory face coverings, the transport secretary Grant Shapps has said.

He wrote on Twitter that the compliance rate is 90{81fee095584567f29e41df59d482e70712cfc555e382220efc71af2368c27a36} as he urged people to “help keep each other safe” during the pandemic.

QUICK REMINDER: Unless you’re exempt, wearing a face covering on public transport is mandatory. Overall 90{81fee095584567f29e41df59d482e70712cfc555e382220efc71af2368c27a36} compliance rates but @TfL + @BTP have:

* reminded 80,294 passengers
* asked 6,275 to leave the network
* issued 285 penalty notices

Let’s help keep each other safe.

4.23pm BST

As we’ve been reporting, Britons have begun dining at a discount as part of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme to try and boost the economy post-lockdown, making the most of deals offering 50{81fee095584567f29e41df59d482e70712cfc555e382220efc71af2368c27a36} off eat-in meals at a range of pubs, restaurants and cafes.

PA Media reports that Hertford town councillor Jan Goodeve also thanked chancellor Rishi Sunak for the discount on her breakfast at Tewin Bury Farm while Dorset councillor Jane Somper said she kickstarted her day with a discounted coffee.

Confidence is going to be key to securing the future of our sector and keeping jobs safe. We hope that as many people as possible take this one-off chance to have a fantastic experience at a significant discount and rediscover eating out throughout August.

Restaurants fear that the discounting will actively encourage customers to spend less, to fit within the limits. Many are already down to as little as 50{81fee095584567f29e41df59d482e70712cfc555e382220efc71af2368c27a36} capacity due to social distancing, so the last thing they can afford is significant reduction in the average customer spend. Then on top of that is the admin of processing it and the deferred reimbursement at a time when cashflow is critical to their weekly survival.

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