Lockdown exit 1) Work out to help out – Gyms get go-ahead…

“Gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres will reopen from July 25 and nail bars and beauty salons from Monday, the government has announced. “Normal life is slowly returning,” Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said as he disclosed that outdoor swimming pools would be allowed to reopen from tomorrow and indoor gyms, pools and leisure facilities a fortnight later. The government has also published guidance that will allow for the return of team sports at local level, starting with cricket this weekend. The government is giving the go-ahead to outdoor arts performances, including theatre, opera, dance and music, from tomorrow, although audience numbers will be restricted.” – The Times

  • Pressure from Tory MPs to accelerate wider revival of economy – FT
  • UK opts out of EU vaccine scheme – Daily Mail
  • From indoor theatres to nightclubs, list of businesses not opening – The Sun
  • ‘Care homes to reopen for visitors’ – announcement within days – Daily Express

Lockdown exit 2) …but pandemic accelerating says WHO

“Coronavirus outbreaks are not under control in most countries and the pandemic is still accelerating globally, with infections doubling in the past six weeks, the head of the World Health Organization has warned. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s bleak assessment of the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic – which he said had yet to reach its peak – came as he announced that the UN body was setting up an independent panel to review its response and that of governments, and as confirmed cases worldwide approached 12m. Appearing to brush a tear away at one point as he spoke, Tedros underlined the shortcomings that have occurred in the responses of many countries.” – The Guardian

  • The 43 local authorities where virus rate is rising – Daily Mail
  • Foreign Office tells tourists to avoid cruise liners – Daily Mail
  • Thousands of jobs lost in more coronavirus pain for high street – The Times
  • John Lewis, Boots and Burger King put 7,000 jobs at risk – Daily Telegraph
  • IFS warns of reckoning to come – FT
  • Day of reckoning means tax or cut, warn economists – The Times
  • Britain ‘faces decades of tax rises’ – The Sun

Civil servants ‘told to read up on Cummings’

“Senior officials are asking colleagues who may come into contact with Boris Johnson’s combative henchman to read the musings of Mr Cummings. The Times understands that, after Mr Cummings’s arrival in Downing Street, the Cabinet Office drew up a synopsis, about 20 pages long, of all his blogs, as a guide to the thinking of the prime minister’s right-hand man. Now, as Mr Cummings embarks on a radical plan for restructuring Whitehall, the Cabinet Office is encouraging senior officials to read it again.” – The Times

Junk food deals ‘will be banned in assault on obesity’

“Boris Johnson is expected to take the first steps of a promised anti-obesity drive with a ban this month on supermarket promotions of unhealthy food. The prime minister is likely to hold off on introducing a 9pm watershed on the advertising of unhealthy food, however, disappointing campaigners. Mr Johnson, who had declared himself “very libertarian” on food choices, has said the coronavirus had convinced him that urgent action was needed. In what allies insisted was only a first set of interventions, shops will be prevented from offering buy one, get one free deals on targeted products. A ban is also expected on sweets and chocolates promoted at the end of supermarket aisles and entrances.” – The Times

Grayling ‘lined up’ to chair intelligence committee

“Chris Grayling is being lined up by Boris Johnson to become the next chairman of parliament’s influential intelligence and security committee. The prime minister has nominated the former transport secretary to run the committee that will decide when and if to release the delayed report into alleged Russian interference in British politics. The government held up its publication after calling a general election for December, leading to claims that it contained embarrassing details of Moscow’s attempts to influence Brexit. The appointment of Mr Grayling, a Brexiteer who is seen as a Downing Street loyalist, will raise concerns over the committee’s independence.” – The Times

  • Brexit talks end early for second week running – Daily Telegraph
  • Barnier tells Francois that Brexit is pointless – Daily Telegraph
  • Mystery of Channel cable boss and the Tory donor – The Times

Martin: Sunak’s road to No 10 gets bumpy from here

“The chancellor is the Conservatives’ new poster boy but if he hopes to succeed Johnson he will have to watch his back. Once in a while a new politician comes along on whom rivals find it difficult to land a blow. This last happened when Tony Blair took over Labour in 1994 and the Tories could not decide whether to present the newcomer as a man of straw or a mortal menace to the country. So it is, for now, with Rishi Sunak, the 40-year-old chancellor of the exchequer, whose popularity ratings may soon approach those of Mr Blair crossed with Princess Diana in late 1997.” – The Times

BBC confirms move to axe free licences for over-75s

“The BBC has said the free television licence for all over-75s will end from next month, arguing the alternative would mean big cuts to the broadcaster’s programming. Retirees not on pension credit will have to pay the full £154.50 annual fee from August 1. The levy, which raised £3.7bn for the BBC in 2018-19, accounts for about three-quarters of the corporation’s revenues. The BBC announced last year it would scrap the free TV licence following a review triggered by the Conservative government’s decision in 2015 to hand responsibility to the public service broadcaster for the subsidy, which is estimated to cost £745m a year.” – FT


And finally, Beeb asks staff to say if they want to be called he, she or they

“The BBC is encouraging its employees to include their gender pronouns in their email signatures in a drive to create a more ‘inclusive workplace’. The broadcaster, which announced its new guidance on its official intranet, hopes the move, will allow transgender and non-binary colleagues to feel more welcome at the organisation. According to the proposal, it is hoped that including pronouns in messages will be a ‘small, proactive step that we can all take to help create a more inclusive workplace’. The move is also aimed at ensuring that members of staff who are trans or non-binary and often have to introduce themselves with their chosen pronoun, such as he/him, she/her and they, do not feel marginalised in the workplace.” – Daily Mail

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