Archive | Major Health Alert RSS for this section

Coronavirus: France, Malta and Netherlands added to UK’s travel quarantine list #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #pandemic #quarantine #France #Malta #Netherlands

Coronavirus Breaking News

France, Malta and the Netherlands are among several new countries added to the UK’s quarantine list.

Travellers returning from those countries – as well as Monaco, Turks & Caicos and Aruba – must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in the UK.

The measure will come into force at 4am on Saturday morning.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the decision to add France to the list came after the country reported a 66% increase in the number of positive tests in the last week alone.

Mr Shapps announced the move just hours after the prime minister said his government would be “absolutely ruthless” in deciding whether to impose the restriction.

“We’re announcing that there will now be a quarantine brought in for a number of other locations including France, Holland and some others,” Mr Shapps said.

“That’s because we’ve absolutely worked so hard to ensure that we’re keeping our numbers down here, and we can’t afford to reimport those cases from elsewhere.”

He added: “We’ve got to a point with France in particular, and these other countries, where if we didn’t announce it now, we would know that the infection rate was already too high and we were not doing anything about it.

“So we’re announcing it now and it will be operational throughout the United Kingdom from 4am on Saturday morning.”

The French health ministry reported 2,524 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday – the highest since its lockdown restrictions were first imposed.

The government’s decision to add France to the quarantine list will dismay thousands of British holidaymakers who are visiting the country.

The measure has also delivered a blow to France’s hard-pressed tourism industry which relies heavily on UK visitors.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier said government officials would be “looking at the data” in relation to the number of cases in France.

Mr Johnson said while on a visit to Northern Ireland: “We have got to be absolutely ruthless about this, even with our closest and dearest friends and partners.

“I think everybody understands that.

“We will be looking at the data a bit later on this afternoon, looking exactly where France and other countries are getting to.

“We can’t be remotely complacent about our own situation.”

Britain has imposed a 14-day quarantine period for arrivals from countries including Spain and Belgium, responding to rising infections and fears of a second wave of the virus, having initially declared them safe for travel.

Courtesy of Sky News

Coronavirus: Outbreak at sandwich factory as nearly 300 staff test positive in Northampton, UK #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #pandemic #quarantine #Greencore #Northampton #UK

Coronavirus Alert

Nearly 300 employees have tested positive for coronavirus at a sandwich factory in Northampton, the town’s director of public health has confirmed.

Greencore, the factory affected by the outbreak, said some of its staff are now self-isolating.

79 workers tested positive through NHS tests while 213 positive results came back from Greencore’s private testing, said Lucy Wightman, director of public health at Northamptonshire County Council.

A total of 292 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the outbreak.

Greencore said in a statement: “As a result of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Northampton area, we took the decision to start proactively testing all of the colleagues at our Northampton site.

“We can confirm that a number of colleagues have tested positive for the virus and are now self-isolating.

“We are liaising closely with PHE East Midlands, Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council, who are fully supportive of the controls that we have on site.”

The company added: “In each case we have immediately conducted contact tracing and instructed potentially affected colleagues to self-isolate.

“All of Greencore’s sites have wide-ranging social distancing measures, stringent hygiene procedures and regular temperature checking in place, and we are doing everything that we can to keep our people safe.

“As ever, the health and wellbeing of our colleagues is our number one priority.”

Lucy Wightman, director of public health at Northamptonshire County Council, said employees have been asked to “act now” after the number of confirmed cases in the town increased from 66 in the week ending 2 August to 85 for the week ending 9 August.

She said: “We are working with colleagues at Greencore in Northampton after the discovery of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the workplace.

“Public Health England Midlands have been providing support to colleagues at Greencore in managing the outbreak.

“This has been supplemented by support from the local infection prevention and control team and Northampton Borough Council’s environmental health colleagues.”

She added: “It is evident that Greencore has highly effective measures in place and they continue to work extremely hard to exceed the requirements needed to be COVID-19 secure within the workplace.

“Northampton borough has been experiencing a high number of cases over the last four weeks and residents and employees have been asked to ‘act now’ to follow additional measures, to avoid a local lockdown or further government intervention.”

It comes as a banana distribution centre in Coventry is working with public health officials to contain and manage an outbreak of COVID-19.

All staff at Fyffes Group Limited, on Richardson Way, Cross Point Business Park, are to be tested as a precaution after 10 members of staff tested positive for the virus.

The management at the company are working closely with public health officials at Coventry City Council, Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Courtesy of Sky News

Coronavirus: Outbreak among staff at Tesco Extra supermarket in Swindon #COVID19 #coronavirus #Swindon #UK #pandemic #Tesco

Coronavirus Alert

There has been an outbreak of coronavirus among staff at a Tesco supermarket in Swindon.

The company said a small number of its employees at the Extra store in Ocotal Way had been infected with the virus in recent days, and those who had tested positive were self-isolating at home.

No delivery drivers have been infected and the shop remains open.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority,” said a Tesco spokesman.

“We have introduced extensive measures across all of our stores to help keep everyone safe, including protective screens at every checkout, social distancing signage and regular deep cleaning.”

he outbreak comes days after around 51 workers at an Iceland warehouse tested positive for COVID-19 in Swindon.

Health chiefs said mobile testing teams had been called in after the cluster of cases, and that many of the new cases being picked up were asymptomatic.

Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for adults and health, Brian Ford, said the town’s recent spike in coronavirus cases was driven by the outbreak at the Iceland food distribution centre.

Three crew members at Swindon’s fire station were also found to have the disease, while local Honda and Royal Mail depots suffered “small outbreaks” as a result of lockdown restrictions being eased.

Steve Maddern, director of public health for Swindon, said: “Small outbreaks are expected as a result of relaxing lockdown arrangements and as people return to work.

“We have developed a local outbreak management plan to supplement and support the national test and trace service, and to ensure that Swindon can respond swiftly to help manage a local outbreak or hotspot.

“The council is currently responding to a small number of COVID-19 cases, and these people are isolating in accordance with the government’s self-isolation guidance.”

Mike Wade, consultant in health protection at Public Health England South West, said “everyone should be following social distancing advice, both in and out of work,” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you, your family and colleagues by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue,” he added.

Courtesy of Sky News