ONS survey finds increasing fears about safety at work
Wales' first minister to announce new "stay local" rules
Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford is holding a press conference at 12.30pm on his government’s new “stay local” guidance. We will bring you that live but here’s a flavour of what Drakeford has been saying this morning.
The new rules in Wales will mean that people must not travel more than five miles to meet others. Two households will be able to meet outside from next week.
Drakeford said he acknowledged that this would seem “unfair” to people in Wales, given the more relaxed restrictions in England, but that he did not want people spreading the virus from one community to another.
“We have parts of Wales where there has been very little coronavirus and the last thing we want is for people to be travelling to those areas and taking the virus with them,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
“It’s a sacrifice for those people whose family live further than five miles away, I understand that, and we’ll review this again in three weeks’ time. But for now, stay local, keep Wales safe. Those are the key messages that we’re giving people in Wales.”
On BBC Breakfast, Drakeford was asked why the Welsh Government was not following the same measures as announced by the UK Government, given the R value is similar in England and Wales.
“Well I could put it the other way to you - why aren’t they following what’s been done in other parts of the United Kingdom?” he said. “England isn’t a template for the rest of the UK to follow.
“I think we are still moving in the same direction across the United Kingdom - we’re all moving cautiously, we’re all lifting lockdown - but we’re applying it in our own contexts.”
Drakeford said pilots of Wales’ track and trace system, which have been running for the past two weeks, indicate that each person with a positive test has around four or five contacts that need to be followed up.
Test and trace scheme could leave care homes short of staff, says Care England
One of the standout moments of yesterday’s Downing Street briefing was Boris Johnson twice stopping his two most senior scientific advisors, Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, from answering questions about Dominic Cummings. Johnson said he wanted to protect them from “any political questions”.
However, Prof Stephen Reicher, a member of the Sage subcommittee advising the government on behavioural science, says that asking whether the Cummings affair has impacted public trust in the government was, in fact, a scientific question and could reasonably be posed to the government’s advisers:
Reicher, of the University of St Andrews, said he believes the saga “will undermine leadership at a time when we desperately need good leadership”.
George Eustice’s interview with Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4 Today was beset with technical difficulties but here’s a run through.
On Dominic Cummings, he said the prime minister’s aide had given a “very fair and detailed” explanation and that “it’s been dealt with and we need to move on”. He said he had received “probably over a hundred” emails from constituents about Cummings’ behaviour.
Asked whether the government was easing lockdown measures too early, the environment secretary said they were being very “cautious” and lifting restrictions “tentatively” in the knowledge that transmission rates outdoors are “very, very low”.
He was questioned about Boris Johnson telling people in England they can have BBQs with up to six people from Monday. Was it practical to expect people to gather in their friends’ or families’ gardens for BBQs and expect them to fully clean the bathroom once they have been to the toilet, especially after a couple of drinks?
That’s absolutely a fair point and we just need people to be pragmatic and sensible in their approach to this. We recognise that people want to see friends and family again – that’s why we said they can come together in environments if there’s no more than six of them.
“But look, it’s up to you, somebody wants to go in to use a toilet or whatever, then they’re going to do that and they just need to take precautions – use hand sanitiser, wash things down and be cautious.
Attorney general should apologise for Cummings tweet, say Labour
The shadow home secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, has called on the attorney general, Suella Braverman, to apologise for intervening in the Dominic Cummings case.
Asked whether Cummings broke the law during his trip to Durham during lockdown, Thomas-Symonds told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The guidelines that were set up, he broke them.” He added:
Look I can’t comment precisely on the communication between the attorney general and Durham police but what I can say for certain is this: the attorney general was wrong to be out making public statements about an individual case before even the police had made a public statement, and particularly given her role as superintendent of the Crown Prosecution Service.
She shouldn’t have been commenting on an individual case in those circumstances, that is to misunderstand the role of the attorney general – to give unvarnished advice to government without fear or favour – and at the bare minimum she should apologise for that.
It follows Braverman’s tweet on 23 May: “Protecting one’s family is what any good parent does. The 10DowningStreet statement clarifies the situation and it is wholly inappropriate to politicise it.”
As the government’s chief legal adviser, part of the attorney general’s role is to oversee the CPS which could have been asked to review Cummings’ case had it been requested to do so. Her tweet, therefore, could be perceived as placing prosecutors under undue influence over any decision they had to make.
Good morning and welcome to the Guardian’s UK liveblog on the coronavirus pandemic. This is Josh Halliday in Manchester to steer you through the news.
Later today the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will announce that employers will have to pay a fifth of the wages of furloughed staff, and national insurance and pension contributions, from August as the state subsidy scheme is wound down.
Employers have furloughed 8.4 million workers and claimed up to 80% of their wages, to a maximum £2,500 a month. Figures earlier this week revealed that the cost has reached £15bn while a separate scheme to support self-employed workers has cost almost £7bn.
Leading our site this morning is Robert Booth’s exclusive report that officials at Public Health England proposed a radical lockdown of care homes last month to stem surging deaths – but it was rejected by the government.
The officials submitted an 11-point plan proposing a “further lockdown of care homes” on 28 April, which included staff moving in for four weeks and deploying NHS Nightingale hospitals. However, neither of the proposals were included in a subsequent action plan announced by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, last week.