Employers will pay a quarter of furloughed staff's wages from August

Employers will have to pay a quarter of furloughed staff’s wages from August, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce

  • Rishi Sunak will ask businesses to pay 25 per cent of furlough money for staff
  • Chancellor is expected to make radical announcement today or this weekend
  • It comes as 8.4 million workers are now furloughed to cost of £15bn to date
  • Britain faces the biggest economic nosedive of the industrial period – since 1709 

A quarter of the wages of furloughed staff will be paid by employers from August, Rishi Sunak is expected to announce imminently. 

The Chancellor will ask businesses to contribute 25 per cent of the wages paid through the government’s furlough scheme unveiled in March. 

He will also explain how people will be able to work part-time while still having their wages part-paid by his Job Retention Scheme.

Mr Sunak is expected to make the announcement either today or over the weekend as the government seeks to restart the engines of UK plc.

It comes as 8.4 million workers are now furloughed to a cost of £15billion to date, according to data provided by HM Revenue & Customs. 

A quarter of the wages of furloughed staff will be paid by employers from August (pictured, closed shops in a deserted Carnaby Street in central London)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will ask businesses to contribute 25 per cent of the government’s furlough scheme unveiled at the start of lockdown 

From August, employers must contribute one quarter of the furlough scheme, in which 80 per cent of wages for workers are paid by the state. 

Mr Sunak’s radical scheme will be closed to new entrants from the end of June, according to Treasury plans seen by The Daily Telegraph. 

All employers will be required to make the payments if they continue to furlough their staff, regardless of whether their business has been allowed to open. 

Over two million self-employed workers are also receiving grants to cover income lost through the disruption caused by the pandemic.

More than one in three private sector workers are now being paid by the state.

The Chancellor recently warned that Britain is facing a ‘severe recession’ and warned that lockdown is having a ‘severe impact’ on the economy. 

Mr Sunak is expected to make the announcement either today or over the weekend as the government seeks to restart the engines of UK plc (pictured, shops in Slough)

The Office for National Statistics said borrowing was up £51.1billion on the same month in 2019

All employers will be required to make the payments if they continue to furlough their staff, regardless of whether their business has been allowed to open

His claims have been echoed by economic analysts who in early April estimated that lockdown has costed Britain around £2.4billion per day.

The Bank of England forecast this month a 30 per cent contraction of GDP in the next quarter before potentially rising by 15 per cent by late 2020.

Bank staff believe this would represent the biggest nosedive of the industrial period, equivalent to the agrarian Great Frost crisis 300 years ago. 

Mr Sunak has extended the Job Retention Scheme until the end of October, though he said it would be altered in August to encourage people to return to work. 

Over two million self-employed workers are also receiving grants to cover income lost through the disruption caused by the pandemic

The figures appear to be even worse than the doomladen estimates produced by the independent OBR watchdog last week

The Chancellor told MPs: ‘We are in deep consultation with both unions and business groups to make sure we get the design of the second part of this scheme right.

‘I think it is right both for the economy and, indeed, for the taxpayer to ask employers to make a contribution.

‘They will have the benefit of flexible furloughing to help offset that.’ 

This week, the government vowed not to increase income tax, VAT or national insurance despite coronavirus wreaking havoc on the public finances. 

Boris Johnson also promised that the triple lock on state pensions – which means they rise by the highest of inflation, earnings, or 2.5 per cent – would be maintained. 

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Mike Tyson says he will announce comeback fight THIS WEEK… and it’s against a ‘bigger name than Evander Holyfield’ – The Sun

MIKE TYSON says the contract for his comeback will be done next week and the mystery opponent is a bigger name than Evander Holyfield.

The 53-year-old has been ramping up excitement for his return to the ring for weeks by sharing numerous clips from training.

Former boxing world champion Mike Tyson is due to climb between the ropes for at least one exhibition bout for charity with his former foe Holyfield expressing his desire for a trilogy fight.

That is certainly one clash fans would be intrigued to see, with their last showdown ending in a DQ win for Holyfield after Tyson shockingly bit off a chunk of his rival’s ear.

Fellow ex-heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs also recently claimed he has agreed a deal to fight the Baddest Man on the Planet.

However, when asked by Lil Wayne on his Young Money Radio show whether Holyfield would be his first fight back, the American said everyone will be shocked when his opponent is eventually revealed.

Tyson said: “Na, na we got many guys. Listen we’ve got so many guys that want to do this man.

“We’re in calls, we’re doing business with guys right now. You’re not going to believe the names when the names come out. Some time this week we’ll have the contract done.

“And whatever money we get, it’s going to somebody else. I’m not going to make any money – probably the company, my wife because she’s partners with me, she’ll make some probably. But my money is going [to charity].”

Tyson, who retired from boxing in 2005 following a disappointing end to his previously epic career, also insists he feels in fantastic shape after showing off his explosive speed and power in various social media clips.

He added: “I’m feeling better than I’ve ever felt in my life. God has been merciful to me man. I’m gonna get on with it, I’m looking good. Yo Wayne, I’m 230 [pounds] right now!

“Man I’m just getting ready you know, I’m just getting ready to help some people out who are less fortunate than me. I’m gonna do this charity event.

“I’m going to take this money and help these homeless and we’re going to help these addicted brothers.

“Because I’ve been homeless and I’ve been addicted so I know the struggle. Not many people have survived like I did.”

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This $30 online training will help you make the most out of remote working

Twitter may have been the first major company to announce it will be letting its employees work from home indefinitely, but chances are it’s not going to be the last. Working remotely is the new normal during this era of social distancing, and for many, it will likely last far beyond the next few months.

If you are one of the lucky few who haven’t faced many hurdles working from their couch, then going from a physical office to a virtual one seems like a seamless transition. But for everyone else who is finding themselves easily distracted and often unfocused, The Remote Work & Productivity Bundle (now on sale for $29.99) can help give them the tools and frameworks they need to make the most out of their 9-to-5.

This bundle is broken down into seven key courses, ranging from a primer on the freelance industry to a hyper-productivity class, that help you not only feel comfortable and capable of working from home, but also reap the monetary benefits that come with flexible working.

To give you a taste of the curriculum featured in The Remote Work & Productivity Bundle, we are highlighting each of the seven courses below.

How To Be Hyper Productive In Your Home-Based Business

There are plenty of distractions you can’t control when you’re working from home — it’s just the way of life. That being said, there are equally as many tactics you can employ in your 9-to-5 to help make sure you stay on track. This course, which spans 19 lectures chock-full of tips, tricks, and productivity hacks, helps students do more work in less time. The idea is that if you can get through bursts of hyper-productivity through the day, you’ll never feel overwhelmed when life’s little distractions inevitably crop up.

Coronavirus & Remote Work: Tools and Tactics for Business Continuity

Are you, or your team, finding the world of remote working hard to navigate? Transitioning to online working is hard business — but it’s made easier when you have the right communication tools, morale-boosting techniques, and creativity projects on-hand. Take the resources found in this four-part course, for instance. They give managers and employees workflows and processes that will help bolster innovation and productivity from their remote teams.

Managing Reptilian Brain Tendencies in Fearful Times

The “reptilian” parts of our brain are thought to be responsible for all of our knee-jerk reactions. Even though these behaviors are automatic, there are ways to keep them in check. To understand the nuances of these brain-based psychological processes, as well as understand approaches to minimize these effects on your personal life, it’s worth exploring this one-hour lecture.

7 Habits of High Achievers: A 7-Step Plan for Winning In Life

Rated an impressive 4.8 stars on Udemy, the 7 Habits of High Achievers is an online course that dives into seven different habits that have been shown to skyrocket your business. The one-hour course is taught by Dave Espino, an entrepreneur who spent the past 30 years studying the key factors that make successful people…well, successful. Espino condenses three decades of findings into this digestible format that has students raving. As one notes, “So worth it. The tools I learned from this course will no doubt save me time and money – will definitely go back to this course for reference.”

Freelancing: How to Work from Home Doing Freelance Gigs

So long as you have an internet connection, a computer, professional drive, and a bit of know-how in the world of micro-jobs, you’ll have all the tools it takes to become a lucrative freelancer. While we can’t help you much on those first three requirements, we can point you in the right direction for the last one. This freelance guidebook (rated 4.1 stars from over 1,000 past students) gives aspiring remote workers an understanding of the current landscape, how to make themselves stand out as freelance candidates and the best job boards to use to your advantage.

Work From Home: 5 Ways To Turn Your Knowledge & Skills Into an Online Business

Of course, freelancing is just the start of creating a business all from the comfort of your own home. There are plenty of other business models worth exploring that can help you build solid income remotely. This course, which has been described by past students as a “great course for getting a glimpse of ways to make extra money and potentially a true income by working from home,” explores five popular avenues for building your online business.

Online Business: Work from Home

Unlike other online resources that fail to break down building businesses for novices, this four-part course outlines social media marketing, podcast creation, affiliate marketing, and software tools (pretty much all the major strategies used by professionals to grow their business) in layman’s terms.

Want to explore these courses today? Get The Remote Work & Productivity Bundle here for only $29.99 right now.

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Facebook employees will face pay cuts if they move to work remotely

Facebook employees will face pay cuts if they move out of Silicon Valley to cheaper areas to work from home as Mark Zuckerberg predicts half of staffers will work remotely within five to 10 years

  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook employee can choose to permanently work remotely on Thursday
  • But they are most likely going to take a pay cut based on where they chose to live and the cost of living
  • Facebook’s headquarters in in California’s Menlo Park, which has a median home price of $2.4million
  • This may be an obstacle for employees who planned to move to a less costly area to make their Silicon Valley paychecks stretch 
  • Employees must notify Facebook if they’ve moved locations by January 1, 2021
  • Zuckerberg’s livestream feed cut off while he was discussing the future of Facebook’s 50,000-person workforce Thursday morning 
  • During the video, Zuckerberg said he believes that by 2030 half of company employees will be working permanently from home 
  • He said employees already have the option to work from home through 2020 

Facebook employees will have the option to permanently work from home, but can expect a pay cut if they move to less expensive areas to continue the job.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced via livestream that he expects about 50 per cent of the company’s 50,000 staffers to work remotely within the next five to 10 years. 

Certain employees will be allowed to work remotely full time and will need to notify Facebook of any location changes by January 1, 2021.

Employees who hoped to take their large Silicon Valley paychecks with them if they moved to a less costly region have run into a caveat. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) revealed that employees will be able to work from home permanently, but  will take a pay cut based on their area’s cost of living 

‘That means if you live in a location where the cost of living is dramatically lower, or the cost of labor is lower, then salaries do tend to be somewhat lower in those places,’ said Zuckerberg.

‘We’ll adjust salary to your location at that point. There’ll be severe ramifications for people who are not honest about this,’ he added.

As of 2018, the median staff salary at the giant tech company was more than $240,000 annually.

Zuckerberg has taken a base salary of just $1 for the last three years, but received $22million in compensation by way of security in 2018.  Nearly $3million went towards private jets, according to Reuters. 

Menlo Park, the California city where Facebook it headquartered, has a median home price of $2.4million.

Facebook’s headquarters sits in California’s Menlo Park, where the median home price is $2.4million 

The company’s New York City office is settled in Manhattan (pictured) where homes sell for a median price of $945,000

The median income in the larger Bay Area nearly $1.5million less at $928,000, according to Zillow. 

Facebook’s New York City office is found in Manhattan, which has a median income of $82,459 and a median price of homes sold is $945,500. 

The median price of homes currently listed is $1.5million in Manhattan.   

Zuckerberg said the move to working remotely will help diversity Facebook’s staff and hiring pool. 

‘When you limit hiring to people who either live in a small number of big cities or are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, different backgrounds or may have different perspectives,’ he said.

‘Certainly being able to recruit more broadly, especially across the U.S. and Canada to start, is going to open up a lot of new talent that previously wouldn’t have considered moving to a big city.’ 

Zuckerberg (pictured) said there will be ‘severe ramifications’ for employees who lie about their home address to keep their Silicon Valley salary

On Thursday, Zuckerberg’s Facebook livestream feed shut off while he was talking to employees about his prediction that more than half of the company will be working from home permanently by 2030. 

He was nearly done with his discussion about the future of the company’s 50,000-person workforce during a livestream on Thursday when it suddenly cut out and an error screen appeared. 

Zuckerberg did manage to finish most of his discussion which began with him saying: ‘I think it’s clear that COVID has changed a lot about our lives. That certainly includes the way that most of us work.’

‘We’ve already told people that through 2020, they can chose to work from home,’ he said, adding that 95 per cent or more of the company’s employees are currently working from home.

‘We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale, with a thoughtful and responsible plan for how to do this,’ Zuckerberg said.

‘But we’re going to do this in a measured way over time’.

The billionaire then went on to give his prediction for the future. ‘I think that it’s quite possible that over the next five to 10 years about 50 per cent of our people could be working remotely.

‘That’s not a target or goal,’ Zuckerberg said, before pointing to the survey results from Facebook employees that found there is a lot of demand to continue working from home.

With the permanent remote work, Facebook has outlined criteria for an individual’s eligibility. 

First, an employee must be experienced. Secondly, Zuckerberg said employees must have ‘very strong recent performances, which includes two meets-all expectations or above ratings’.

Zuckerberg said the employees must be ‘a part of a team that is supporting remote work’.

Lastly, ‘you have to start by getting approval from your group leader,’ Zuckerberg added. 

Zuckerberg’s announcement comes as businesses (file image, employees working from home) adjust to the impact of COVID-19, which is also expected to reshape the future of office spaces after the pandemic retreats

Zuckerberg’s announcement comes as businesses adjust to the impact of COVID-19, which is also expected to reshape the future of office spaces after the pandemic retreats.

Shopify also recently made a similar announcement.  

Tobi Lutke, the CEO of Canadian e-commerce firm Shopify declared on Thursday the end of ‘office centricity’ and decided to keep company offices closed till 2021, allowing most employees to work remotely on a permanent basis after that.

Ottawa-based Shopify, which briefly became Canada’s most valuable company earlier this month, had more than 5,000 employees and contractors worldwide as of December.

‘As of today, Shopify is a digital by default,’ Lutke, who is also the founder of Shopify, said in a tweet. ‘We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality. Office centricity is over.’

Square Inc and Twitter recently allowed employees to continue working from home permanently.

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Qatar Airways cabin crew will wear HAZMAT suits over their uniforms

Qatar Airways cabin crew to wear HAZMAT suits over their uniforms and passengers will be forced to wear masks

  • Qatar Airways is introducing a raft of new measures on flights from Monday 
  • There will be a modified in-flight service with social distancing encouraged 
  • All cutlery will be washed with detergents that ‘kill pathogenic bacteria’   
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

When it comes to the safety of its cabin crew, Qatar Airways is taking no chances – it’s issuing them with hazmat suits to wear during in-flight service.

They are part of a raft of measures the airline is introducing from Monday, May 25, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cabin crew have already been wearing face masks and gloves while onboard but will now wear suits over their uniforms. It will also be mandatory for passengers to wear masks or face coverings and there will be a modified in-flight service.

Qatar Airways is issuing all cabin crew with hazmat suits to wear during in-flight service

For example, business class passengers will have their meals served on a tray instead of a table set up and cutlery will be handed out in a wrap rather than individually to ‘reduce contact between the crew and the passengers’.

The airline says business class Qsuite passengers can display the do not disturb sign and keep the privacy door shut if they want to limit interactions with the crew.

In economy, all meals and cutlery will be served sealed as usual.

Qatar says that all meal service utensils and cutlery are washed with detergents and rinsed with demineralised fresh water at ‘temperatures that kill pathogenic bacteria’.

Large bottles of hand sanitiser will be placed in the galley for use by both passengers and crew, while social areas onboard aircraft have been closed ‘to observe social distancing measures’.

The airline says that it is encouraging social distancing where possible, especially on flights with lighter loads.

It explained: ‘Distancing is also implemented during the boarding process, ensuring passengers are allocated seats far apart from each other.

‘The airline is also encouraging passengers to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), such as regular hand washing and refraining from touching the face.’

How cabin crew on Qatar Airways flights normally look, with signature dark red uniforms 

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways says that cabin crew have received training on how to minimise their chances of contracting or spreading the infection.

It explains that they are thermally screened before the departure of flights and after their arrival, and are quarantined and tested if any colleagues or passengers on a flight show any symptoms of infection or test positive for the virus.

The airline has also revised its distribution of cabin crew on flights, sending two groups on short-haul and medium-haul flights – the first to manage the outbound trip, the second to manage the inbound trip.

For long-haul flights, crew members who have to stay overnight in a foreign city can only travel in Qatar Airways-approved transport and must remain in their rooms, limiting human interactions.

The airline said: ‘Qatar Airways continues to implement the highest standards of health and safety. Its aircraft are regularly disinfected using cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Health Organisation.

‘Its home airport, Hamad International Airport, has also invested in deploying disinfectant robots, fully autonomous mobile emitting concentrated UV-C light known to be effective in eliminating the majority of infectious microorganisms.

State-owned Qatar Airways is laying off 20 per cent of its workforce and has told employees cabin crew would be made redundant. It has been one of few airlines to continue regular, scheduled flights during the global lockdowns

‘Qatar Airways’ aircraft feature the most advanced air filtration systems, equipped with industrial-size HEPA filters that remove 99.97 per cent of viral and bacterial contaminants from re-circulated air, providing the most effective protection against infection.

‘All the airline’s onboard linen and blankets are washed, dried and pressed at microbial lethal temperatures, while its headsets are removed of ear foams and rigorously sanitised after each flight. These items are then sealed into individual packaging by staff wearing hygienic disposable gloves.’

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, said: ‘At Qatar Airways, we have introduced these additional safety measures onboard our flights to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of our passengers and cabin crew, and to limit the spread of coronavirus.’   

The IATA, the body representing global airlines, earlier this month came out in favour of passengers wearing masks onboard, as debate intensifies over how to get airlines flying while respecting social-distancing rules.

State-owned Qatar Airways is laying off 20 per cent of its workforce and has told employees cabin crew would be made redundant.

It has been one of few airlines to continue regular, scheduled flights during the global lockdowns to contain the novel coronavirus, maintaining services to around 30 destinations.

The airline said this month it would start resuming flights to destinations it had suspended due to the virus outbreak and that it aimed to fly to up to 80 destinations by June.

Those not wearing a face mask inside Qatar risk a fine of 200,000 riyals ($55,000, £45,000) and a maximum prison sentence of three years. 

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How will EasyJet flights work when they resume in June? – The Sun

EASYJET flights around the UK and France will resume next month.

Here's how air travel will work with social distancing measures in place.

When will EasyJet resume flights in the UK?

EasyJet are resuming flights from June 15.

They'll mainly be domestic flights around the UK and to France.

They will serve a number of UK airports including Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Belfast.

In addition, flying will resume in France from Nice, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyon and Lille, as well as from Geneva in Switzerland, Lisbon and Porto in Portugal, and Barcelona in Spain.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said he was pleased to start taking the "small and carefully planned steps" to get the fleet back into the air.

How will check-in and boarding work on EasyJet flights?

It's not yet clear how check-in and boarding work on easyJet flights.

However, social distancing measures will definitely be in place.

You might also need to follow new measures in the airport, like having your temperature taken.

The airline said it is "introducing new measures to help ensure safety and wellbeing, including enhanced aircraft cleaning and disinfection and requirement for passengers and crew to wear masks".

Will meals be served on EasyJet flights?

No, meals won't be served on the flights.

However, these measures could change in the future.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said measures will "stay in place for as long as needed".

Will I have to wear a mask?

Yes, all customers, ground and cabin crew will be required to wear a face mask.

Check out where to buy face masks here.

Or find out how to make your own here.

What else will change when flights resume?

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said measures will stay in place and they will be modified depending on the dituation.

He said: "We will continue to closely monitor the situation across Europe so that when more restrictions are lifted the schedule will continue to build over time to match demand while also ensuring we are operating efficiently and on routes that our customers want to fly.

"The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew remains our highest priority which is why we are implementing a number of measures enhancing safety at each part of the journey from disinfecting the aircraft to requiring customers and crew to wear masks."



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Europe WILL be hit by a second wave of coronavirus, EU boss warns

Europe WILL be hit by a second wave of coronavirus because so few people on the continent have any immunity, warns EU’s boss on disease control

  • Dr Andrea Ammon said European countries should prepare for another outbreak
  • It will be inevitable because most of the population have no immunity
  • Studies show less than 15% of people have antibodies – a sign of some immunity
  • Dr Ammon warned the virus is not going away any time soon and is ‘adapted’
  • Experts have warned against celebrating figures that show dwindling outbreaks 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Europe will be hit by a second wave of coronavirus – it’s just a question of when and how big, according to the EU’s boss on disease control. 

Dr Andrea Ammon urged the continent to prepare for another crisis, which she said was inevitable because so few people will have developed COVID-19 immunity.

Studies suggest less than 15 per cent of the population in Europe’s worst-hit nations have already been infected, leaving the majority vulnerable in the future. 

Dr Ammon warned the virus – scientifically known as SARS-CoV-2 – is not going away any time soon because it is ‘very well adapted to humans’. 

Top experts have warned against celebrating figures that show dwindling outbreaks across Europe because the battle is yet to be won. 

Almost all scientists agree the infection is bound to re-emerge in a second wave in the absence of a vaccine or cure for the coronavirus. 

The biggest fear is the second wave will occur during the winter and coincide with flu season, which could overwhelm already swamped hospitals.

Dr Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said another wave will be inevitable because so few people have immunity to the disease

Europe has become the centre of the coronavirus crisis, with more than 164,350 deaths and 1.74million cases (pictured). The UK has the most cases and deaths 

Experts have warned against celebrating figures that show dwindling outbreaks across Europe because the battle is yet to be won. Pictured, how daily deaths have fallen in the UK

Dr Ammon, director of European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said a second wave of the coronavirus is no longer a theory.

In an interview with The Guardian, she said: ‘The question is when and how big, that is the question in my view.

‘Looking at the characteristics of the virus, looking at what now emerges from the different countries in terms of population immunity – which isn’t all that exciting, between 2 per cent and 14 per cent, that leaves still 85 per cent to 90 per cent of the population susceptible.

Only 1 per cent of Danes have had the coronavirus, according to an antibody study, raising concerns that Denmark is vulnerable to another wave.   

Only 12 of 1,071 randomly selected Danes tested positive for antibodies in their blood – corresponding to a rate of about 1.1 per cent.

The report was released by the Danish health agency SSI, a branch of the health ministry and responsible for the surveillance of infectious diseases.

Experts interviewed by broadcaster DR said the results were concerning and showed the country was vulnerable to the spread of the virus picking up speed again.

‘At the collective level we have no resilience, and that means there is a potential for epidemic spread again,’ Jens Lundgren, professor of infectious diseases at one of Denmark’s largest hospitals Rigshospitalet, told DR.

SSI cautioned that the results were preliminary and there were several factors that made it difficult to say whether the results were indicative of the entire Danish population.

They had only been able to carry out tests at five locations, meaning they had been limited to people living in those, or neighbouring, municipalities.

‘Furthermore, whether the figures can be applied to the entire Danish population can also be affected by whether groups with different patterns of infection choose or not choose to accept the offer to be tested,’ Steen Ethelberg at SSI said in a statement.

Denmark on Wednesday reported a total of 11,117 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 554 deaths.

Meanwhile, the parties of the country’s parliament agreed on the next phase of opening up the country after an initial lockdown period.

On April 15, the country started reopening pre-schools and resuming classes for the youngest primary school children – under strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Danish middle schools followed suit this week and with the deal struck on Wednesday, museums, movie theatres and zoos among other things would also soon reopen.

‘The virus is around us, circulating much more than [in] January and February… I don’t want to draw a doomsday picture but I think we have to be realistic. That it’s not the time now to completely relax.’

Europe has become the centre of the coronavirus crisis, with more than 164,350 deaths and 1.74million cases. 

Dr Ammon believes holidaymakers returning from ski trips in early March contributed to the spread of the disease across the continent.

She also said the slow responses of governments across Europe cost lives, as a number of countries fumbled with putting lockdowns in place and banning foreign travel.

‘I believe if we would have put in these measures earlier, it might have been possible [to save lives],’ Dr Ammon said.

It follows a study yesterday which said triggering lockdown a week earlier could have saved the lives of more than 30,000 people in the UK.

At least 44,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the UK so far, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The UK reported only 363 hospital deaths yesterday, the lowest daily toll recorded on a Wednesday since the end of March.

Europe has seen its number of daily deaths dropping across the board for the past few weeks, figures show, after a peak in April. 

Nations are cautiously emerging from lockdowns in order to restart the economy, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson planning for British schools to return on June 1.

This is based on the fact the virus is circulating less than it was before, indicated by the reproduction rate and lower number of new cases every day. 

But the majority of Europeans are still susceptible to catching the virus, research suggests.

An estimated 12 per cent of people in England have caught the virus so far, according to results from a Government-led study. 

It means ‘herd immunity’, when a virus is stamped out because most of the population has become immune to it, has not been established in any way. 

Dr Ammon believes the battle with coronavirus will be a long haul. 

‘I don’t know whether it’s forever but I don’t think it will go away very quickly. It seems to be very well adapted to humans,’ she said. 

Figures show dwindling outbreaks across Europe – Spain, Italy, France and even the UK, all of which have been severely impacted by the deadly virus, are now showing positive signs of recovery.

But experts have warned against slacking virus defences now.

Dr Ammon said now it ‘now is not the time to relax’ as Britons flood public places in groups. Pictured, people at London Fields yesterday 

Dr Ammon warned the virus is not going away any time soon because it is ‘very well adapted to humans’. Pictured, two women in Sheffield yesterday  


Ministers today admitted a crucial coronavirus smartphone app will not be ready by June 1 as NHS chiefs warned ‘time is running out’ to launch a track-and-trace system to avoid a second deadly wave.

Security minister James Brokenshire said the software, which detects which users have been in contact with people who test positive for the disease, would be ready in the ‘coming weeks’.

But he insisted the contact tracing regime can still be in place by the hard deadline set by Boris Johnson, with plans to bring back schools, shops and businesses hanging in the balance as the economy goes into meltdown.

But Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation – which represents organisations across the healthcare sector – warned the system was being put together ‘very late in the day’ and the draconian lockdown cannot be loosened without a ‘clear implementation plan’. 

Mr Dickson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I’m not saying it is impossible to do it, but I think there is concern among those at local level because we’ve seen – not occasionally, we’ve seen often – where national stuff is done with the best of intentions, but unless the local context is understood it doesn’t really work as well as it should.’

He added: ‘And I think it is only recently, to be brutally honest, that the Government’s rhetoric changed to recognise that to get this test, track and trace thing in place you not only need a national system, you not only need the app, but you also need to put at the centre of local plans local officials who understand about contact tracing – they do it all the time.

‘But you need to co-ordinate that.’

The new app has been tested on the Isle of Wight but its rollout has been delayed for weeks because of security flaws and it failed to work on all types of smartphone. 

Mr Brokenshire conceded the app will not be ready by June 1, telling Sky News it ‘will be introduced in the coming weeks in parallel’ with the system employing track and trace staff. 

Dr Ammon said now it ‘now is not the time to relax’, following the thoughts of Dr Hans Kluge, director for the WHO European region, who said this week it’s time for ‘preparation, not celebration’.  

Dr Kluge is very concerned’ a surge in infections would coincide with other seasonal diseases such as the flu.

Speaking exclusively to The Telegraph, he said countries should use this time wisely to learn from the first wave of infection and start to strengthen public health systems.

This could mean building capacity in hospitals, primary care and intensive care units, he said.  

‘Singapore and Japan understood early on that this is not a time for celebration, it’s a time for preparation,’ Dr Kluge said.

‘That’s what Scandinavian countries are doing – they don’t exclude a second wave, but they hope it will be localised and they can jump on it quickly.’

Dr Kluge said: ‘I’m very concerned about a double wave – in the fall, we could have a second wave of Covid and another one of seasonal flu or measles.’ 

It’s not clear yet if the coronavirus is ‘endemic’, meaning it circulate at equal levels all year round, or seasonal, peaking in colder, winter months.

Other coronaviruses such as the common cold have been found to sharply increase in the winter months.

Other experts who have warned a re-appearance of the virus in the winter – as a result of seasonality or lifting the lockdown – could be disastrous for the NHS. 

A second peak which overwhelms the NHS is considered the ‘biggest threat to life’ in the UK. That’s according to the Government’s 50-page ‘roadmap’ to ease lockdown.

The document detailed how Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to get Britain back to normality while minimising the risk of straining the NHS.  

To avoid a second deadly wave, the Government plans to use contact tracing, whereby anyone who has been close to a confirmed COVID-19 case is tested or isolated. 

Called ‘test, track, trace’, it was abandoned on March 12 because cases spiralled out of control – but not without criticism.

Ministers are hoping to get the system up and running by June 1. But ‘time is running’ out, NHS chiefs warn, with only 10 days to fine-tune the programme.

The PM has hailed a 25,000-strong army of trackers recruited to identify the contacts of infected victims and prevent outbreaks. Similar schemes have controlled outbreaks in countries such as South Korea and Taiwan.

But Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation – which represents organisations across the healthcare sector – warned the system was being put together ‘very late in the day’, and training for call-handlers has not been comprehensive.

A new NHS smartphone app to help contract trace has been tested on the Isle of Wight but its rollout has been delayed for weeks because of security flaws and it failed to work on all types of smartphone.       

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HBO Max Will Release the Snyder Cut of 'Justice League'

Justice League’s release in 2017 was generally seen as a disappointment by many DC fans, and that’s partly due to the fact that the original director, Zack Snyder, had to leave the film after his daughter tragically passed away.

Since then, fans have called for the release of the “Snyder Cut,” or Snyder’s version of the film.

On November 17, 2019—which was the two-year anniversary of the movie—Justice League actors Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck showed their support for the Snyder Cut movement when they both tweeted “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut” within hours of each other.


#ReleaseTheSnyderCut pic.twitter.com/wssMmlPqEK

But what exactly is the Snyder Cut?

Filming for Justice League wrapped in October 2016, and Snyder stepped down as director while the film was in post-production in May 2017. Joss Whedon, a director and screenwriter (known for shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Serenity, as well as directing the first two Avengers movies)was previously hired to help write some additional scenes for the movie, then took over to finish production.

In July 2017, the film underwent two months of reshoots, and the long filming schedule cost Warner Bros. an additional $25 million. It also coincided with Henry Cavill’s mustached-role in the sixth Mission: Impossible film, which is how his Superman ended up with that awkward upper lip.

Because of the messy post-production drama and reshoots, Justice League fans have clamored to see Snyder’s cut and version of the film, sans any rewriting or additional scenes.

Will the Snyder Cut be released?

On May 20, 2020, HBO and Zack Snyder announced that the Synder cut would be exclusively released on HBO Max in 2021.

“I want to thank HBO Max and Warner Brothers for this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realized. Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality,” Snyder said.

Jason Momoa, who was a constant supporter of the cut, posted a congratulatory message to Synder on Instagram, writing “justice served. all my aloha to everyone who made this happen. all the fans. we love you.” In August 2019, he posted a video thanking Synder for showing him the cut.

Henry Cavill also posted about the news: “Now, I know there have been two camps over the whole Snyder Cut thing and whether it will ever happen for a while, he wrote. “Just remember, we all get to have more Justice League now, it’s a win win.”

In 2019, Kevin Smith told CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend that the Snyder cut was real, but that he also hadn’t actually seen it.

“There is a Snyder cut. For sure. That’s not a mythical beast. It exists. it’s not a finished movie by any stretch of the imagination. The Snyder Cut that, again I haven’t seen, but the one I’ve heard everyone speak of was never a finished film,” Smith said. “It was a movie that people in production could watch and fill in the blanks. It was certainly not meant for mass consumption.”

Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher and Henry Cavill at the Justice League photocall.
Tim P. WhitbyGetty Images

However, a Collider writer had previously claimed that he had heard that some of the team behind Justice League had called Snyder’s version “unwatchable,” and entertainment reporter Josh L. Dickey also claimed that Snyder had actually been fired months before he stepped down as director.

Snyder himself had also called for the release of his original creative vision of the movie, and he retweeted Gadot and Affleck’s tweets about his cut.

This ancient Amazonian can’t be wrong. #releasethesnydercut https://t.co/XBdaE1ynkL

Neither can Batman. #releasethesnydercut https://t.co/3Y0FxTy5Qp

The Snyder Cut may feature Darkseid.

Basically the D.C.E.U’s version of Thanos, Darkseid (and his younger form, Uxas) was recently confirmed by Snyder to play a role in his 218-minute, unfinished cut of the film by sharing a photo of a scene. “Uxas clearing the defenders of earth from the anti-life equation he better lookout for David Thewlis, [sic]” he wrote. It’s interesting that Snyder mentions David Thewlis, because that’s the name of the actor who played the primary antagonist, Ares, in Wonder Woman. Was there some sort of villain crossover planned in The Snyder Cut?

It was also confirmed that actor Ray Porter contributed both voice and motion capture work to the film, and he himself tweeted (in response to Snyder’s photo) that he believed his work on the film was all wrapped up.

As far as I know, all done

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Who Will Win 'Survivor: Winners at War'?

Who has what it takes? In this group, it’s anyone’s game. Survivor: Winners at War will come to an end on Wednesday, May 13, but who will become the winner to beat them all and the second person to ever win twice?

Ben Driebergen, Michele Fitzgerald, Denise Stapley, Sarah Lacina and Tony Vlachos make up the final five contestants still in the game — and the game could belong to any of them. Tony, 45, and Sarah, 34, made an alliance on day 1, but she’s been hesitant on whether or not she can really trust him. For the last few weeks — arguably the most important in the game — Tony has controlled the votes. Plus, he has an idol in his pocket. Denise, 48, has made major moves, shocking everyone, which makes her both a target and as a possible favorite. Michele, 29, has mostly flown under the radar but has friends on the jury, while Ben, 36, hasn’t rubbed everyone the right way. That said, he’s a major threat when it comes to physical comps and fire-making.

In addition to the five finalists, one player will be returning from Extinction Island. The entire cast of winners, with the exception of Sandra Diaz-Twine, who decided to quit the show, still remains on the Island. Natalie Anderson, Amber Mariano, Danni Boatwright, Ethan Zohn, Tyson Apostol (who already went back in and got voted out again), Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow, Yul Kwon, Wendell Holland, Adam Klein, Sophie Clarke, Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, Jeremy Collins and Nick Wilson will all compete for a chance to get to the finale.

It’s safe to assume that person will be Natalie, 33, since she has double the advantages that others have on the Island, plus has worked extremely hard, both physically and mentally during her time there. She could use her immunity idol to knock out a target like Tony. Plus, if she did make it in and to the final vote, she has a ton of allies on the jury, assuming that all of Extinction Island remain. They know how hard she’s worked — and she’s helped many of them. (Sharing peanut butter could just get her the votes she needs).

Before the finale, Us Weekly looks back at each finalist.

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Interior designer will walk away with £60MILLION after divorce

Interior designer who featured in Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire will walk away with £60MILLION after splitting from Indian multi-millionaire businessman

  • Simrin and Bhanu Choudhrie fought over tens of millions at High Court hearings
  • Mrs Choudhrie had wanted a lump sum of £100m but this was reduced by judge
  • 41-year-old was represented by top divorce lawyer Baroness Fiona Shackleton 

An interior designer who featured in Channel 4 show The Secret Millionaire should walk away with a lump sum of £60million following the breakdown of her marriage to a super-rich businessman, a High Court judge ruled today.

Simrin Choudhrie and her multi-millionaire private equity firm boss husband Bhanu Choudhrie had fought over tens of millions of pounds at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London. 

The 41-year-old, who was represented by Britain’s top divorce lawyer, the so-called ‘Steel Magnolia’ Fiona Shackleton, had wanted a lump sum of £100million, but this was reduced by 40 percent in a ruling by Mr Justice Cohen.  

Simrin Choudhrie and her multi-millionaire private equity firm boss husband Bhanu Choudhrie (they are seen together on the left) had fought over tens of millions of pounds at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London. Mrs Choudhrie is seen arriving at the High Court for an earlier hearing with Baroness Fiona Shackleton 

Mr Choudhrie is the founder of Westminster-based global private equity firm C&C Alpha Group and hails from one of the wealthiest families in India, which has a rumoured net worth of £1.6billion. 

He was represented by solicitor Ayesha Vardag, who is famed for her 2010 Supreme Court victory that strengthened the status of prenuptial agreements in English law, plus barristers Richard Todd QC, Nicholas Yates QC and Ben Wooldridge.

On Mrs Choudhrie’s side, Baroness Shackleton led a team that included barristers Stewart Leech QC, Daniel Bentham and Amy Kisser. 

Journalists were allowed to attend hearings but the judge placed strict limits on what could be revealed in media reports. He said the pair could be named, and the approximate size of Mrs Choudhrie’s lump sum reported. 

Mrs Choudhrie appeared on Secret Millionaire in 2011, where she posed as a penniless pregnant woman to give £100,000 to a centre for vulnerable people in Sheffield

Mrs Choudhrie appeared on Secret Millionaire in 2011, where she posed as a penniless pregnant woman to give £100,000 to a centre for vulnerable people in Sheffield. 

Her estranged husband is the son of Sudhir Choudrie, 69 – who has donated more than £1.5 million to the Lib Dems since 2004. 

The couple shared a £20million, six-storey Belgravia home, which they extended in 2015 by adding a two-storey basement including a cinema, pool and spa complex – all accessed by a lift. 

Neighbours of the grade II-listed property complained the plans were ‘grotesque’ and would lead to lorries charging up and down the street as they carried out the work.

The couple shared a £20million, six-storey Belgravia home, (pictured) which they extended in 2015 by adding a two-storey basement including a cinema, pool and spa complex – all accessed by a lift.

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