As cases rise, is a second wave sweeping over Europe?
It had been hailed as a model for tackling coronavirus. But now Germany is already contending with a second wave of the coronavirus and risks squandering its early success by flouting social distancing rules, the head of the German doctors’ union has said. The number of daily confirmed cases has ticked up steadily in recent weeks, with health experts warning lax adherence to hygiene and distancing rules among some of the public is spreading the virus across communities. It follows an uptick in cases in other countries, including Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg. So could the dark days of March and April be about to return across Europe – and could the UK be next? These four charts analyse whether the continent is beginning to see a second wave of coronavirus. Meanwhile, new outbreaks are pushing Australia – once thought to be a virus safe haven – alongside the UK for daily deaths. So where did it go wrong? Giovanni Torre reveals how one of the country’s state’s virus strategy unravelled with sex scandals and assaults on police.
In the UK, the second wave concern is focused on schools, after a Lancet study warning that it could result in a second coronavirus wave more than twice the size of the first. Local government minister Simon Clarke said this morning that schools will reopen “in full” this autumn, adding: “That is not up for debate.” Meanwhile, teaching unions have demanded an “alternative strategy” to reopening schools in September as they say they need official guidance on how to proceed if there is a second lockdown. Headteachers said that while they fully support the “ambition” to get all children back into the classroom at the start of next academic year, a “Plan B” is urgently needed in case this is not possible.
Tui cancels more holidays but easyJet expands flights
Europe’s largest tour operator Tui has extended the cancellation of holidays to Portugal until August 17, as the country remains excluded from the Government’s “safe” list of countries that does not require holidaymakers to quarantine on their return. Customers with trips booked between August 17 and 30, which are still yet to be scrapped, are also able to cancel and receive a full cash refund, or amend their holiday to a later date free of charge. The company has also cancelled all holidays to Spain until August 9. In contrast, easyJet has expanded its summer flight schedule after passenger demand exceeded expectations following the lifting of lockdown restrictions. To offer some inspiration for those willing to gamble on the ever changing situation, Greg Dickinson ranks the best quarantine-free countries for a last-minute holiday.
Royals’ public show of unity with Meghan after book
The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have wished the Duchess of Sussex a happy 39th birthday in a public show of unity after their fractured relationships were laid bare in a new biography. Buckingham Palace posted a photograph on Twitter of the Queen, 94, and the Duchess on a visit to Chester in 2018 – their first joint engagement. It wrote, alongside pictures of a birthday cake and a balloon: “Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very happy birthday!” Barely 20 minutes later, the Cambridges added their own good wishes. Take a look at a gallery of Meghan’s best jewellery moments and Anna Tyzack reveals why at 39, the Duchess’s tough year may have only just started.
At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Brexit divorce deal | The European Commission has rejected calls for the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to be rewritten after senior Tories complained it could leave the UK liable for £160 billion of unpaid loans. Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith claimed the EU “want our money and they want to stop us being a competitor”, adding “the Withdrawal Agreement we signed last year sadly helps them”.
Around the world: Trump says death toll ‘is what it is’
Donald Trump has been criticised after saying the US’s coronavirus soaring death toll “is what it is”, appearing to downplay the country’s crisis. The US president was given the toughest grilling since the Covid-19 outbreak and seemed to flounder when questioned on the rising number of deaths and hospitalisations. Watch him clash with Jonathan Swan from Axios when he is asked about Covid-19 death numbers.
Simon Callow – ‘I don’t believe in cancellation’
Simon Callow tells Chris Harvey his fears about freedom of speech and says Dickens, for all his faults, remains a great novelist
Comment and analysis
Editor’s choice: Features and arts
Groping and self-pleasure | How women are being sexually harassed while breastfeeding
Journey of many stops | The ultimate family road trip through France – how to do it
‘Leave the ship where it is’ | Why nobody wanted to Raise the Titanic
Business and money briefing
Dividend cut | BP has slashed its dividend for the first time in a decade after falling to a record loss in the second quarter as the pandemic hammered energy demand. The company halved its payout to 5.25 cents a share from 10.5 cents – its first cut since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Yet Sam Benstead analyses why BP’s dividend cut means investors should buy – not sell – shares.
Man Utd’s transfer dealings | It’s out with the old and in with the new. Alexis Sanchez’s time at Old Trafford appears to be coming to an end with a move to Inter set to be made permanent. James Ducker reveals how his tenure at Man Utd became a nightmare for both player and club. Meanwhile, as the Red Devils take a step closer to signing Jadon Sancho, JJ Bull analyses where the Dortmund forward would play, what he would bring to the side and who would drop out of the starting XI.
Cuba: Castro Vs The World, BBC Two, 9pm | This two-part documentary assembles those at the heart of Cuba’s story to explain how Fidel Castro tried to foment revolution across the globe. Read on for more.
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
‘Nature saved my life’ | Having survived Covid-19 after weeks in intensive care, 84-year-old Cornish explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison is now busy “rewilding” his estate. Sally Jones reports on why he thinks, among other things, beavers helped to save his life.