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Coronavirus: The 15 major developments that happened on Tuesday

Rebecca C. Taylor
·4-min read

Here’s what you need to know on 21 July. This article was updated at 5pm.

Deaths: The Government said 45,422 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Monday, up by 110 from the day before.

Just over 56,100 deaths involving COVID-19 have now been registered in the UK. Figures published on Tuesday by the ONS show that 51,096 deaths involving COVID-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to July 10, and had been registered by July 18.

All but one region in England has fallen below the five-year death toll average. Office for National Statistics data published on Tuesday shows the one exception was eastern England, where deaths are 0.2% above the average. Read more here.

Face coverings: Devon and Cornwall Police have said they won’t respond to reports of people not wearing face coverings in shops unless it’s also a suspected public order offence. It becomes mandatory to wear one from Friday, but there are concerns about how it will be policed. Read more here.

Vaccines: Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, has said chances of a vaccine by Christmas are “low”, a day after hopes were raised by positive news. Whitty said he was proud of the work of the teams, but he didn’t want to people to be under “any illusions”. Read more here.

Politics: Kit Malthouse has denied that the chief nurse Ruth May had been silenced over her failure to back Dominic Cummings. She said she was dropped after practising for a government briefing and not lending her support to the adviser. Malthouse said there wasn’t an intention to restrict her. Read more here.

Cabinet met in person for the first time since March, with ministers gathering in the Foreign Office where there was enough space for them to sit 1m apart. Hand sanitiser was available on entry and exit and they were all given individual water bottles rather than sharing jugs. Read more here.

Crime: Carly Lane, 31, from Rugby, Warwickshire, has been jailed for five months after she spat blood at two police officers and shouted “there’s your corona”. She pleaded guilty to two charges of assaulting an emergency worker during the incident in April. Read more here.

Business: The cost of working from home is adding up for UK workers, who are spending £24m more on tea and coffee and £19m more on biscuits in the four weeks to the 12 July compared to the same period last year. Take-home alcohol sales are still doing well despite pubs reopening. Read more here.

Government borrowing between April and June was more than double the whole of the previous fiscal year according to official data. It comes as the chancellor put government departments on notice for budget cuts, part of cost-saving measures to tackle the UK’s ballooning national debt and deficit. Read more here.

Education: GCSE and A-level students’ results are likely to be higher after exams were cancelled because of the pandemic. Ofqual has said it is “not surprising” that grades calculated by many schools and colleges were more optimistic, as teachers “naturally want to do their best for their students”. Read more here.

Read more about COVID-19

How to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms

What you can and can’t do under lockdown rules

In pictures: How UK school classrooms could look in new normal

How public transport could look after lockdown

How our public spaces will change in the future

Rest of the world

After weeks of refusing to wear a face covering, Donald Trump tweeted a photograph of himself wearing one, and called it patriotic. He also referred to himself as “your favourite president”. Read more here.

After almost five days of intensive wrangling, the leaders of the 27 EU member states finally reached an agreement on the of €750bn (£676bn, $859bn) stimulus package to help the European Union get back on its feet economically after the devastating coronavirus pandemic. The leaders also signed off on a seven-year budget for the bloc of over €1tn. Read more here.

Positive news

Nearly 900,000 public sector workers, including those on frontline of tackling the coronavirus pandemic, will receive above inflation pay rises this year, the UK government announced on Tuesday. Employees benefitting include doctors, the armed forces, teachers, police officers, the National Crime Agency staff, prison officers, dentists, the judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel. Read more here.

McDonald’s is reopening 700 stores for sit down meals from tomorrow in the latest show of a return to normality. It will be table service only at the restaurants, and from next month, it will be taking part in the chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Read more here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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