Heartbroken family pays tribute to teacher, 25, who drowned swimming in river during lockdown – The Sun

A HEARTBROKEN family has paid tribute to a teacher who drowned while swimming in a river during a sizzling lockdown weekend.

Lewis Howlett, 25, died after going missing on a stretch of the River Aire, in the Kirkstall area of Leeds, on Saturday evening.

Friends raised the alarm but his body was recovered from the water in the early hours of the following day.

His family said they were “devastated” by his death.

He was loved by all who knew him and our lives will never be the same without him.

A statement read: “He was loved by all who knew him and our lives will never be the same without him.”

Lewis was described as an “astonishing” teacher who was admired by pupils and staff, colleagues at The Farnley Academy said.

'RISING STAR'

Principal Chris Stokes said: “At just 25 years old, Lewis was an absolute rising star.

“He was in his third year with us at The Farnley Academy and was known and respected by all.

“Lewis’ ability to teach English was just astonishing. Having personally witnessed him teach on a number of occasions he sought every opportunity to bring the subject to life.

At just 25 years old, Lewis was an absolute rising star.

“Whilst standing in Lewis’ classroom this morning, admiring his wall of thank you cards from students, it is so abundantly clear that Lewis had so much more to give.

“Had he had the opportunity, he would have gone on to achieve great things for our school and the wider teaching profession.

“Our community is absolutely devastated by his untimely death.”

SAFETY RISK

Police and fire service in the area has now issued a warning to those thinking of taking a dip in the river to cool off during the hot weather.

Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds District CID, said: “This is an absolutely tragic loss of the life of a young man, and his family and friends have been left completely devastated.

“Although we are still working to establish the full circumstances of this incident to assist the Coroner, his death does appear to starkly illustrate the dangers of swimming in open water.

“We hope that people will recognise the risks and the tragic consequences that can occur and avoid swimming in open water, no matter how tempting it might be in the hot weather.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s District Commander for Leeds, Andy Farrell, said: “We urge people to be extremely vigilant around open water.

“Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, you can suddenly get out of your depth or be taken unawares by hidden undercurrents or cold water shock.”


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Trump says Biden staffers are working to ‘get the Anarchists out of jail’

President Trump on Monday commented on a report that campaign staffers for Joe Biden donated to a Minnesota organization that is paying bail for protesters to say they are helping to “get the Anarchists out of jail.”

“Sleepy Joe Biden’s people are so Radical Left that they are working to get the Anarchists out of jail, and probably more. Joe doesn’t know anything about it, he is clueless, but they will be the real power, not Joe. They will be calling the shots! Big tax increases for all, Plus!,” the president said on Twitter.

Moments later he tweeted about election day: “NOVEMBER 3RD.”

At least 13 members of the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate’s staff have donated to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which opposes suspects from having to post cash bail to avoid being locked up before trial, according to a report on Saturday.

Protests and violent riots have been taking place in Minneapolis – and cities around the country – since George Floyd died after a police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes even as he pleaded: “I can’t breathe.”

A Biden campaign spokesman, Andrew Bates, told Reuters that the former vice president opposes the institution of cash bail as a “modern day debtors’ prison.”

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NYPD releases photos of St. Patrick’s Cathedral graffiti suspects

Police released surveillance images early Monday of the two women who allegedly desecrated St. Patrick’s Cathedral with graffiti over the weekend.

The pair allegedly marred the outside walls of the landmark cathedral with the words, “F–k f–k,” “BLM” — for Black Lives Matter — along with “NYPDK” and “No justice no peace” Saturday around 5:10 p.m.

Then they took off, heading east on East 51st Street, toward Madison Avenue.

Cops describe the suspects as two adult women, one wearing a dark-colored tank top and shorts, and the other wearing a white T-shirt and light-colored shorts.

They remained at large Monday morning.

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Dozens of looters arrested after night of mayhem in NYC

Dozens of suspected looters were arrested in Soho Sunday night as protests over the death of George Floyd descended into chaos.

A group of 12 people were busted by cops outside Nike Soho on Broadway as a number of high-end boutiques — and even a Bloomingdale’s department store — were looted overnight Sunday.

A man was also shot in Soho near Spring and Crosby streets early Monday about at 12:30 a.m. It was not immediately clear if the shooting was related to the surrounding looting.

Shortly after the shooting at the same intersection, a Post reporter witnessed the arrest of a man driving a silver Mercedes Benz sedan.

With their guns drawn, cops commanded the man to “Put the car in park. Get the f–k out right now!”

A witness to some of the looting mayhem on Greene Street said the suspects appeared to have a system, where one group would breach the stores as others lie in wait outside in getaway rides.

“The looters have been going systemically from store to store,” the witness said. “They had people go in, grab the [items]. Then had people on Revel [scooters] take off. It was hundreds of people.”

Warning: Graphic language

Outside of Nike Soho, police had stopped a car filled with a box of merchandise, including something from Gucci — which was among one of several luxury stores looted in the neighborhood.

Early Monday, several young men were seen being escorted by police outside of Gucci’s Wooster street location with their hands zip-tied behind their backs.

They were then placed into a police van parked outside the store.

Police also arrested at least five suspected looters outside of Bloomingdale’s on Broadway.

Many of the suspected looters being apprehended by police early Monday morning appeared to be young males.

Before dawn, the streets were still littered with looted goods. Broken glass was scattered across the pavement.

While other neighborhoods in Manhattan and in Brooklyn were also targeted by looters Sunday night, Soho appeared to be the worst hit.

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Latin America reaches 50,000 Covid deaths and more than million cases

Latin America reaches 50,000 Covid deaths and more than a million cases with Brazil fast becoming one of world’s worst-hit nations with 28,834 fatalities – as global infections hit 6m

  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally surpassed six million today
  • It comes as Brazil registered a record 33,274 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday 
  • Elsewhere Colombia issued new measures to control the coronavirus spread 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally surpassed six million today, figures from John Hopkins University reveal.     

The rising figures come as Brazil, which has become the hotspot of South America’s outbreak, registered a record 33,274 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday.

The latest figures, which bring the total number of cases in Brazil to 498,440, come as Latin American countries brace themselves for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region.

In Brazil, which has now reported 28,834 deaths, disagreement among leaders over lockdown measures has hampered efforts to slow the virus.  

People wear face masks as they walk through the street in Breves, a municipality in Brazil, amid the coronavirus outbreak

A group of people sit inside a boat in Breves, Brazil, as the country sees a surge in the number of coronavirus cases

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has criticised the self-isolation and quarantine measures imposed by the country

President Jair Bolsonaro, who fears the economic fallout from stay-at-home measures will be worse than the virus, has berated governors and mayors for imposing what he calls ‘the tyranny of total quarantine.’

Elsewhere Colombia issued new measures to control the coronavirus spread in three of its most affected cities on Saturday, including the capital Bogota, as the rest of the country prepares for quarantine rules to start lifting.   

Latin America’s cases and deaths

Brazil– 498,440 confirmed cases and 28,834 deaths

Peru– 155,671 confirmed cases and 4,371 deaths

Chile– 94,858 confirmed cases and 997 deaths

Mexico– 87,512 confirmed cases and 9,779 deaths

Ecuador– 38,571 confirmed cases and 3,334 deaths

Colombia–  27,219 confirmed cases and 916 deaths

Argentina– 16,214 confirmed cases and 528 deaths

Panama– 13,018 confirmed cases and 330 deaths

Bolivia– 9,592 confirmed cases and 310 deaths 

Venezuela– 1,459 confirmed cases and 14 deaths

Guatemala– 4,739 confirmed cases and 102 deaths

El Salvador– 2,517 confirmed cases and 46 deaths

Costa Rica– 1,047 confirmed cases and 10 deaths 

Source: Johns Hopkins University

As the global death toll from the pandemic surpassed 368,000, US President Donald Trump’s decision to permanently cut funding to the World Health Organization has been broadly criticised.

‘Now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions,’ the European Union said in a statement, adding: ‘Actions that weaken international results must be avoided.’

Trump initially suspended funding to the WHO last month, accusing it of not doing enough to curb the early spread of the virus and being too lenient with China, where COVID-19 emerged late last year.

However on Friday he moved to make that decision permanent in a major blow to the agency. The U.S. is the WHO’s biggest contributor, supplying $400 million last year.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said the ‘disappointing’ decision was a setback for global health, while Chancellor Angela Merkel declined to attend an in-person G7 summit that Trump had suggested he would host.

Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet medical journal, said it was ‘madness and terrifying both at the same time.’

As the virus progresses at different speeds around the globe, there has been pressure in many countries to lift crippling lockdowns, despite experts’ warnings of a possible second wave of infections. 

In Britain, which is set to begin lifting its lockdown on Monday, senior advisors to the government warned that it was moving too quickly.

‘COVID-19 spreading too fast to lift lockdown in England,’ tweeted Jeremy Farrar, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. 

Meanwhile India said on Saturday it would begin relaxing the world’s biggest lockdown in stages from early June, even as it marked another record daily rise in infections.

Healthcare workers carry out tests in the Bela Vista do Jaraqui community in Brazil as the country continues to control the spread of the virus

Tourists wear face masks as they sit down for a photo near the tower of Pisa in Italy amid the pandemic

In Rome, Italy, worshippers congregate at for mass in the church of Sant’Agata in Trastevere

A man in New Delhi, India, cycles past a garbage dump reading ‘a big salute to corona warriors’ as the country begins to ease its lockdown measures 

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the country to remain vigilant against coronavirus as the country prepares a phased re-opening of activities. 

Iran meanwhile announced that collective prayers would resume in mosques, despite infections ticking back upwards in the Middle East’s hardest-hit country.

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, reopened to worshippers on Sunday.

With infection numbers falling in many of Europe’s most affected countries, the push to restart economies was gaining steam.

Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened on Saturday, while in Paris, parks and the famed Galeries Lafayette department store flung open their doors.

In Austria, hotels and cinemas were allowed to take in customers, provided they wear masks.

‘It is very important that things return to normal,’ film buff Rotraud Turanitz said at Vienna’s historic Admiral Kino cinema on trendy Burggasse.

Across the Atlantic, the US capital Washington resumed outdoor dining, while on the West Coast, restaurants and hair salons in Los Angeles reopened.

New York City, the worst-hit American city with about 21,500 coronavirus deaths, is on track to begin reopening the week of June 8.

The overall US death toll has topped 103,000 out of more than 1.7 million cases of the virus.

Global sport has also started to rev back into action, with Austria announcing it will host Formula One’s delayed season-opener on July 5, and the NBA eyeing a July 31 return.

People wear protective face visors as they walk through an outdoor space in New Delhi, India

A health worker issues face masks to residents in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood of Medellin, Colombia

A member of staff measures the distance between tables at a restaurant in Strasbourg, France

Worshippers gather for their  prayers outside The Fatih Mosque in Istanbul on May 29

Britain approved the return of domestic competitive sport on June 1- with no fans present while Sri Lanka’s cricket team will resume training Monday under strict health measures.

But the economic damage from weeks of lockdowns continues to pile up, with Chile and Peru securing credit lines worth billions from the IMF.

India’s economy grew at its slowest pace in two decades in the first quarter, while Canada, Brazil, France and Italy also saw their GDP figures shrink ahead of an expected worldwide recession.

As the virus hits the world’s poor particularly hard, Pope Francis called for a ‘more just and equitable society’ in the post-coronavirus world and for people to act to ‘end the pandemic of poverty.’

Member of the public watch Manhattanhenge in New York as the U.S. continues to control the spread of the outbreak

A group of cyclists ride their bicycles in Central Park , New York, during the coronavirus pandemic

‘Without food donations, I’ll have to fight harder for my family to survive,’ said motorcycle taxi driver Thanapat Noidee in the tiny hut he shares with his wife and children in Bangkok.

Even the animal world has not been left untouched by the pandemic.

Gibraltar has banned tourists from touching the British enclave’s famous Barbary macaques over fears they could spread coronavirus.

Singapore’s beloved otters meanwhile have been popping up in unexpected places during the city-state’s lockdown, but their increasingly daring antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull.

‘I simply don’t understand anyone who could not like them. They are really cute,’ said 35-year-old Singaporean Pam Wong.

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Mining giant Rio Tinto apologises to Aboriginal locals

Mining giant Rio Tinto apologises to Aboriginal locals in Western Australia after it BLEW UP a culturally significant site dating back 46,000 years

  • Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised to traditional owners in Western Australia
  • Comes after it demolished ancient aboriginal shelters dating back 46,000 years
  • Prompted outcry and renewed national debate on protection of indigenous sites

Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised to traditional land owners after demolishing Aboriginal shelters of cultural significance dating back 46,000 years. 

The caves in Western Australia’s Pilbara region were legally destroyed by explosives last Sunday. 

Explosives were detonated in a part of the Juukan Gorge, demolishing two ancient rock shelters and prompting outcry and renewed national debate on the protection of indigenous heritage sites.

The Juukan Gorge caves were the only inland place in Australia to show signs of continual human occupation through the last Ice Age. 

Juukan Gorge in Western Australia, one of the earliest known sites occupied by Aboriginals in Australia. Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised to traditional land owners after demolishing ancient Aboriginal rock shelters in the remote Pilbara region

Juukan Gorge in Western Australia. Explosives were detonated in a part of the Juukan Gorge, demolishing two ancient rock shelters and prompting outcry and renewed national debate on the protection of indigenous heritage sites

Archaeological excavation at the site revealed ancient artefacts including a belt made from human hair that provided a 4,000-year-old genetic link to the current traditional owners of the site, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people.

‘We are sorry for the distress we have caused,’ the company said in a statement on Sunday.

‘Our relationship with the PKKP matters a lot to Rio Tinto, having worked together for many years.

‘We will continue to work with the PKKP to learn from what has taken place and strengthen our partnership.

‘As a matter of urgency, we are reviewing the plans of all other sites in the Juukan Gorge area.’  

Losing the site was a ‘devastating blow’ to the traditional owners, said tribe representative John Ashburton.

‘There are less than a handful of known Aboriginal sites in Australia that are as old as this one … its importance cannot be underestimated,’ he said in a statement.

‘Our people are deeply troubled and saddened by the destruction of these rock shelters and are grieving the loss of connection to our ancestors as well as our land.’

The caves in Western Australia’s Pilbara region were legally destroyed last Sunday. Above, heavy earth moving trucks at the Tom Price iron ore mine, operated by Rio Tinto Group, in Pilbara

Rio Tinto said it had a longstanding relationship with the PKKP people, and the demolition was done with all the necessary approvals.

‘We are sorry that the recently expressed concerns of the PKKP did not arise through the engagements that have taken place over many years under the agreement that governs our operations on their country,’ it said in a statement. 

The PKKP said Rio Tinto had complied with its legal obligations, but that they are ‘gravely concerned’ at the inflexibility of the system.

Heritage sites fall under the control of states and territories in Australia and West Australian law allows government approval to be given to destroy culturally significant sites, but does not allow consent to be revoked.

In this case, Rio Tinto obtained permission to expand an existing iron ore mine in 2013 – before the significance of the caves was known and the artefacts were discovered.

Peter Stone, who holds the UNESCO chair on the protection of cultural property, called the blast ‘a tragedy’ on Australian radio, comparing it to the destruction of sites including Palmyra and the Bamiyan Buddha statues.

The federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Ken Wyatt, the first Aboriginal to be appointed to the role, said it was ‘incomprehensible’ that the blast had gone ahead but that it appeared to be a ‘genuine mistake’.

‘I believe that Rio Tinto are very genuine in the partnership they have with Aboriginal communities (and) organisations,’ he told the Australian Broadcasting Company.

A spokesman for his office told the Thomson Reuters Foundation they were alerted before the blast, but the caller was told to contact the Environment Department and Wyatt’s office took no further action.

Rio Tinto said it had a longstanding relationship with the PKKP people, and the demolition was done with all the necessary approvals. Above, heavy earth moving trucks at the Tom Price iron ore mine, operated by Rio Tinto

In a statement, Wyatt said it was clear state legislation had failed in this instance. 

Western Australia’s laws are already under review. But advocates for indigenous people’s rights say cultural heritage protections are inadequate nationwide.

For more than two years, the Djab Wurrung people in the southeastern state of Victoria have being trying to save centuries-old sacred trees from being destroyed in a highway upgrade.

They include a birthing tree inside the trunk of which tribe members have been born for hundreds of years. The group is lobbying for heritage status which would make damaging them a criminal offence.

Similarly, Scott Franks, a Wonnaurua man who heads an archaeology firm, lobbied for protection for a site discovered during construction of Sydney’s light rail service in 2016.

The thousands of indigenous stone tools discovered there were crafted from Australia’s colonisers’ First Fleet ships and were saved, but the site was destroyed before its cultural significance could be investigated.

The Australian government can intervene only when state and territory laws are ineffective or there is unwillingness to enforce them.

In the past decade, that has only happened three times, a spokesman for the federal environment minister said.

He said no application had been made for the Pilbara matter to be reviewed at a federal level.

But Franks said the process was often a waste of time, with ministers often not making decisions until it is too late. 

Western Australia’s laws are already under review. But advocates for indigenous people’s rights say cultural heritage protections are inadequate nationwide. Above, a truck at the Tom Price iron ore mine, operated by Rio Tinto

Samantha Hepburn, a law professor at Deakin University in Melbourne, said the laws which were only intended to be a two-year interim measure when introduced in 1984 were ‘fundamentally inadequate’.

She wants national reform to make consultation with indigenous tribes compulsory before culturally significant sites can be destroyed, as recommended by a 1995 government-commissioned review.

‘It doesn’t mean that they’re always going to get the protection they want, but at least they’re at the table,’ Hepburn said.

Franks said those recommendations may have prevented the loss of the Pilbara site.

‘In the Pilbara, and those areas, you clearly have continued untouched untampered connection to country,’ he said.

‘We just simply cannot translate the cultural connection, the spiritual connection, the mythological connection, the traditional beliefs or the importance.’

The federal law has not been updated since the review, but a spokesman for the environment minister said other laws addressing some protections had been created.

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Booze bottles, hippy crack canisters and used toilet paper left littering beaches and parks after as lockdown eases – The Sun

BRITS who flocked to beaches and parks this weekend after the UK's lockdown laws were relaxed have left booze bottles, 'hippy crack' canisters and USED loo roll behind.

Civic chiefs across the country have hit out at the mess dumped at beauty spots as temperatures soared.

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In Durdle Door, Dorset, where four people were injured – one critically – after leaping from the ancient limestone arch yesterday, a huge sign warns visitors: "Take your litter away."

Used condoms, smashed beer bottles and empty laughing gas – or 'hippy crack' – canisters were dumped at a Sheffield school field, while visitors to a nearby park were seen disappearing behind trees to go to the toilet.

Formby Beach in Merseyside was also littered with metal laughing gas canisters and dozens of boxes containing the nitrous oxide.

Glass bottles and abandoned beach towels were also left behind by day-trippers.

Officials from Merseyside Police and the area's fire and rescue team have issued a statement "to remind people to continue to be sensible and respectful if they choose to spend time outdoors during the warm weather".

"In recent days we have received reports of excessive littering and fires and barbecues being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads," they said.

In Leeds, food packaging, bottles and dirty nappies were dumped in parks.



Volunteers at one of the city's green spaces took to Twitter to post: "An enormous amount of litter left in the park over the past few days, and anti-social behaviour too.

"PLEASE take your picnics, bottles and dirty nappies home!"

In Bournemouth, council leader Vikki Slade spent Sunday afternoon patrolling the beaches.

She said it was "appalling" to see visitors "not even attempting to distance".

During her visit, she saw "big groups sitting virtually on top of each other".

More than 13 tonnes of litter was removed from Bournemouth beach during the morning, and people who had camped overnight were woken and told to leave, she said.

Many have headed out to enjoy the sunshine as the Prime Minister began to ease lockdown restrictions imposed on March 23.

It follows fresh clinical advice which shows the average chance of catching the virus has fallen from 40-1 to 1,000-1.

Boris Johnson announced that five tests for easing the nationwide restrictions had finally been met earlier this week.

From tomorrow, groups from different households will be able to meet up – as long as it is outside.

At the moment only two people can meet up outside, but multiple households will now be able to have BBQs and garden parties to make the most of the summer.

Non-essential shops are also set to return from June 1 and June 15 with plans for pubs, restaurants and hotels to follow.

Last week England's test and trace system comes into force, which Boris said means the country can lift lockdown measures for most people.

Today, the UK's death toll rose to 38,489 after 113 more people died.

It's the lowest rise since lockdown began.



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Trump blames leftwing ANTIFA group for mass violence & says US declaring outfit a ‘terror organization’ – The Sun

THE United States will be designating ANTIFA a terrorist organization, President Donald Trump announced Sunday.

Trump's announcement came as he lay blame on the group for mass violence in America.

ANTIFA – short for "anti-fascist" – is a political protest movement known for their strong opposition to fascism and other extreme right-wing ideologies.

"The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization," Trump tweeted Sunday.

His announcement came amid a series of tweets about ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, and the day after he blamed ANTIFA for leading the escalating demonstrations.

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Pupils told to leave ties, blazers and bags at home as schools reopen and parents ordered not to ‘natter’ at gates – The Sun

PUPILS will be told to leave their ties, blazers and bags at home and parents warned not to "natter" at the gates as schools prepare to reopen tomorrow.

Some students have been told not to bring in any of their uniform that isn't washed regularly in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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While a few schools have even advised pupils to wear their PE kit every day instead of their normal uniform so they won't need to use changing rooms after sporting activities.

Mums and dads will also be barred from chatting at the school gates, with parents instead given timed slots to drop their kids off to avoid crowds gathering, The Sunday Telegraph reports.

Headteachers have written to parents about the new measures as children prepare to return to school tomorrow.

Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, said: "Schools are giving parents a set time to drop children off rather than have them queuing at the gate.

"The difficulty is that parents love to congregate and chat at the school gates, they have their daily natter.

"Those are old habits and they are difficult to break. Schools are asking them not to.”

SCHOOLS REOPENING

Reception, year one and year six students will head back to classrooms tomorrow – but headteachers have warned they will look very different with strict social distancing measures in place.

Secondary schools have also been asked to welcome back students in year 10 and 12 who are mid-way through exams from June 15.

Some schools have adopted their own measures to prevent spreading the disease – including one that is planning to put children inside a hoop on the playground.

Many are also planning to ask pupils to bring in their own packed lunches to reduce the number of staff needed on site.

But Mr Roskilly warned most schools that ask pupils to wear a blazer, tie, hat or any other “non-essential” items, will be telling children not to wear them.
And younger kids will not be able to bring cuddly toys or other non-essential possessions to school.

'PROBLEMATIC'

Some schools will also provide children with a plastic wallet to keep their stationary in the classroom overnight so they do not need to bring their bags in.

Christopher King, chief executive of the Independent Prep School Association, said some members have asked children to wear their PE kit to school every day rather than their usual uniform.

He told the newspaper: “Many schools are fortunate to have a large site with playing fields and they are looking to incorporate some physical activity into the timetable every day.

“They are asking the pupils to come to school ready changed, because changing rooms are problematic. So this removes one other stress.

“We are told quite clearly by the Government that being outside is a great deal safer than being inside. It seems sensible, if you have the opportunity, to be outside as much as you can.”

NEW SCHOOL RULES

It comes as one in four teachers will only be able to work from home when schools reopen after lockdown tomorrow – while classrooms will only be half full.

A study found many school staff, including teachers and classrooms assistants, would not be able to return to work this week.

Some teachers have health conditions, such as asthma and diabetes, or live with a vulnerable family member, such as a pregnant wife or girlfriend.

Others are at a higher risk because of their age.

The National Foundation for Educational Research study has prompted fears that shortages will affect schools' ability to provide the same level of teaching quality.

The report, based on a survey of more than 1,200 senior leaders in schools in England, suggests heads are expecting nearly half (46 per cent) of families to keep their kids at home.

Meanwhile a poll conducted by the National Association of Head Teachers found that nine out of ten members intended to open their schools tomorrow.

Schools, colleges and nurseries closed more than nine weeks ago due to the Covid-19 outbreak, remaining open only for vulnerable youngsters and the children of key workers.

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Dominic Raab defends lockdown easing amid alarm from scientists

Dominic Raab admits lockdown will need to be tightened again if there is an ‘uptick’ in coronavirus cases as exercise classes and barbecues make a comeback in England with groups of six friends from different households allowed to meet from tomorrow

  • Dominic Raab defended easing lockdown in England despite scientist concerns
  • Foreign Secretary said lockdown could be tightened in place if there is ‘uptick’
  • Six people from different households will be able to meet up from tomorrow 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Dominic Raab today admitted that lockdown will have to be tightened again if there is an ‘uptick’ in cities or economic sectors.

The Foreign Secretary said the government would not hesitate to act as he defended the decision to loosen draconian restrictions in England despite concerns from experts that a spike in infections is ‘inevitable’.

He said in future measures could be reimposed in ‘localities’ or ‘settings’ if the number of cases begins to flare up again.  

But despite accepting the easing was a ‘sensitive moment’, Mr Raab insisted: ‘We can’t just stay in lockdown forever. We have got to transition.’ 

He also played down criticism that the curbs are being downgraded even though the government’s own coronavirus alert system level remains at four – which suggests they should stay in place. 

As the furious row over the coronavirus response continued today:

  • Nicola Sturgeon accused England of under-reporting deaths in care homes, and swiped at Boris Johnson by saying she was being more ‘cautious’ about lockdown; 
  • Chief science officer Patrick Vallance insisted ministers make final decisions on policy as he defended his SAGE advisory group from rising criticism; 
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak is drawing up an emergency budget for July amid fears that the economy is descending into meltdown; 
  • Police and local authorities are braced for beaches, parks and beauty spots to be crammed again with the weather expected to be fine;
  • Unions dismissed the idea that school summer holidays should be cancelled to allow pupils to catch up, saying teachers deserved time off after working ‘flat out’ during lockdown.  

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (pictured today) said the government would not hesitate to act as he defended the decision to loosen draconian restrictions

Mr Johnson (pictured in Downing Street this morning) has announced that the lockdown restrictions will be eased slightly in England from tomorrow

What’s changing?

From Monday, people can meet outside in groups of up to six as long as those from different households continue to socially distance.  

– Can I visit family and friends?

Yes . This means that family groups of no more than six can meet in parks and private gardens for chats and even barbecues.

– How far am I allowed to travel?

There are no mileage limits set for how far you are allowed to drive to visit family and friends in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, but the general advice is to remain in your local area as much as possible.

However, people in Wales will still not be allowed to travel more than five miles from their home for any reason except work or to purchase essentials.

Great, can we hug?

Sadly no. You still cannot risk infection by being too close. The same goes for handshakes or kissing.

If young children from different households are part of the group, they must not share paddling pools, climbing frames, slides or anything that would encourage them to be closer than two metres to each other. 

Can I stay overnight?

Staying overnight at someone else’s home will still not be allowed anywhere in the UK, while even going indoors for any other reason than to access a garden or use the bathroom is prohibited.

However Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has advised that if the distance travelled to meet someone means that you have to use their bathroom, then ‘perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it’.   

Can we barbecue?

Yes, but you must wash your hands, be careful about passing food or plates and keep 6ft apart.

How about entering their house?

Only if there is no other way of getting to the back of the property. 

What about using the toilet?

You can, but you must thoroughly clean any surfaces you touch.

To be extra safe, you could even use a paper towel to open and close bathroom doors and perhaps consider using a kitchen roll to dry hands rather than a towel.

So what if it rains?

You will have to stand under an umbrella or leave. You cannot shelter in someone else’s home.

Can we camp in the garden?

No, Boris Johnson said he did not want you to stay overnight.

Do I only have to see the same group?

No, you can meet different people at different times, but try not to see too many in quick succession.

Can those shielding take part?

No, they must continue to shield if they’re in the clinically extremely vulnerable group and have had a letter from their GP.

What about the over-70s?

If they are not in the shielding group.

We are a family of six – can we meet anyone else?

No. The guidelines say you can meet only up to six people at any one time.

Can we visit a relative in a care home garden?

It would depend on circumstances and the care home’s management.

– What else will I be allowed to do under the new measures?

In England, Monday’s lockdown easing will signal the reopening of schools to allow students in nurseries, early-years settings, and Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to return to class.

Some shops are also set to reopen, with outdoor retail and car showrooms able to resume operations. 

– When might restrictions be eased further?

Boris Johnson has flagged that more restrictions will be eased on June 15, beginning with the reopening of other non-essential retail shops such as fashion or homeware retail.

Other businesses, such as pubs, hairdressers and cinemas will have to wait until July before they can reopen, the Government has previously said.

– And what’s the timeline elsewhere in the UK?

In Scotland, there is no set timeline as for when more measures might be lifted. The government’s lockdown roadmap stipulates that a number of conditions must be met before any further action is taken, including evidence that the country’s Covid-19 transmission is successfully under control.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce on Friday that further plans on lifting restrictions will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Pending the country’s rate of transmission remaining below one, a host of further restrictions are set to be eased in Northern Ireland on June 8, including the reopening of outdoor sports facilities, car showrooms and some non-essential retail stores.

Outdoor weddings with a maximum of 10 people are also set to be allowed and hotels will be able to start taking forward bookings at their own risk.

A series of experts have raised concern about the moved to ease the lockdown in England, which takes effect from tomorrow, with the UK still getting 8,000 new infections a day.

Up to six people from six different households will be permitted to meet up in public places or gardens, meaning exercise classes and barbecues are back on the agenda. 

Primary schools and nurseries have also been told they can start to reopen, while all non-essential shops can return from June 15. 

In Scotland and Wales the loosening is far less dramatic, with only two households allowed to meet up at a time and people told not to travel more than five miles from home. Schools north of the border will not be back until after holidays there in August.    

Asked whether the lockdown will be tightened again if infection rates increase, Mr Raab told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday: ‘We will target, if there is any uptick, and it could be in a locality, it could be in a particular setting, we will target very carefully measures that would apply to it so that we can take these steps but also keep control of the virus.’  

Nicola Sturgeon today accused England of under-reporting care home deaths as she swiped at Mr Johnson for easing lockdown too early.

The Scottish First Minister said the apparent higher proportion of victims in care homes north of the border was due to the way they are recorded.

She insisted that people who died of stroke and ‘happened’ to have coronavirus were counted in the numbers in Scotland – whereas they were not in England, meaning that there was ‘under-reporting’.

Asked on Sky News whether she thought that the PM was loosening the lockdown in England too quickly, Ms Sturgeon insisted she did not want to ‘criticise other politicians’ and they were all ‘trying to do the right things’.  

But she pointedly said that in Scotland they were being ‘very cautious’. ‘This virus has not gone away,’ she said. ‘That is why in Scotland we are moving very slowly.’ 

Prof Devi Sridhar, who has been advising the Scottish government, warned it looks ‘inevitable’ that cases will rise again in England. 

‘I’m very sorry to say that I think it is right now inevitable looking at the numbers,’ she told Sky.

‘The only thing that might in a sense save England is the good weather and warmth if this virus does indeed die outside quite quickly, but it’s incredibly worrying because the numbers are not low enough to have a testing and tracing system take over.’

‘If your objective is to contain the virus, to drive numbers down and to try to in a sense get rid of it so no-one is exposed to it, then it is not the right measure right now to open up,’ she said.

‘It’s a big risk and gamble for exiting lockdown with a larger number of deaths than we did when we actually entered lockdown months back.’

Prof Sridhar said there was now a clear divide between Government and some scientists, but added that ultimately decisions will be made by politicians.

She said: ‘I think what they should be saying is they consider the science, and hopefully they listen to it but the decision, and who actually has the accountability, are the politicians and leaders.’

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) to the Government, said people must proceed with ‘great caution’ as the lockdown is eased.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: ‘At the moment, we still have quite a large number of cases out there in the community and I think unlocking too fast carries a great risk that all the good work that’s been put in by everyone, to try to reduce transmission may be lost. So we do need to proceed with great, great care at this point.’

Asked if the Government is going too fast, he said: ‘I think there is a pretty unanimous message now that we need to take this slowly and go step by step. We need to evaluate the effect of each step before we move to the next one. 

‘I don’t hear any great dissent amongst the amongst the advisers who are speaking in public at the moment.’

He said it will be around two or three weeks before the effects of the latest easing of restrictions is known.

He told the Andrew Marr show: ‘It’s going to be very patchy, it may be that actually easing lockdown is perfectly OK in areas like London which were hit early and hit hard, and where the epidemic seems to have been virtually passed in many parts of the community, with a few exception.

‘But up north it’s still a very large number of cases. I think we need to be more subtle about the geography and we need to look at the particular areas where it may be appropriate to ease lockdown.’

He added: ‘Maybe there needs to be a bit more subtlety to the way in which lockdown is eased.’ 

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, the government’s chief science officer Sir Patrick Vallance explained Sage was only there to advise politicians, who have the final say on what to do with evidence presented to them. 

He wrote: ‘Science advice to Cobr and to ministers needs to be direct and given without fear or favour. But it is advice. Ministers must decide and have to take many other factors into consideration.’

The chair of Sage explained the advisory board was not infallible, writing: ‘There is a range of opinions in all of discussions and there is wide reading of the latest research, but what Sage endeavours to do is come down to a position or a range of positions, to provide options ministers could consider and explain the uncertainties and assumptions inherent in that science and evidence.’ 

Unions today insisted summer holidays should not be cancelled because teachers have been working ‘flat out’ during lockdown.

Despite the loss of face-to-face lessons, Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Education Union, said her members deserved the time off.

She said any headteachers looking to recuperate lessons, especially for those pupils going into GCSEs and A levels, should only offer voluntary clubs and activities during the school holidays.

In a broadside to government the trade union chief also slammed the government’s decision to re-open schools on June 1, saying if they had waited until June 15 the infection rate could have been halved. 

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday from south London, Bousted said: ‘No. The summer holiday shouldn’t be cancelled because teachers have been working flat out to provide education for children at home.

‘So what should happen is, and we do support this, to have clubs and activities on a volunteer basis for those children to meet together to socialise.

Unions dismiss idea of summer school for pupils to catch up saying teachers deserve a break 

Summer holidays should not be cancelled because teachers have been working ‘flat out’ during lockdown, an education union chief has insisted.

Despite the loss of face-to-face lessons, Mary Bousted, general secretary of the National Education Union, said her members deserved the time off.

She said any headteachers looking to recuperate lessons, especially for those pupils going into GCSEs and A levels, should only offer voluntary clubs and activities during the school holidays.

In a broadside to government the trade union chief also slammed the government’s decision to re-open schools on June 1, saying if they had waited until June 15 the infection rate could have been halved.

Her words came as a fifth of teachers are expected to stay home on Monday when Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils sit behind their desks again.

The figure was revealed by a TES survey of 5,000 school leaders.

‘We don’t think the emphasis should be on catch up because many of those children will need to re-socialise, re-engage and re-engage with a love of learning and be involved in creative activities which enable them to become part of a wider society again and have the desire to learn again.’

Her words came as a fifth of teachers are expected to stay home on Monday when Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils sit behind their desks again.

The figure was revealed by a TES survey of 5,000 school leaders. 

They may be off because they suffer from health conditions including asthma and diabetes, live with a vulnerable family member or because they are at heightened risk due to their age.

They also found eleven out of the country’s 20 worst performing councils on tests have told head teachers to keep the gates bolted.

The government plans to get Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils back to school on Monday, with an ambition to then get Year 10 and 12 back in lessons on June 15.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all pushed back their school start dates.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson sought to calm concerned parents today, writing in the Sun on Sunday that pupils will not be allowed to gather in groups larger than 15.

He also assured parents it would be safe, saying ‘strict safety measures’ have been put in place to protect children.

Mr Raab also played down criticism that the curbs are being downgraded despite the government’s own coronavirus alert system level remaining at four – which suggests they should stay in place

Nicola Sturgeon today accused England of under-reporting care home deaths as she swiped at Boris Johnson for easing lockdown too early

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