Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 25 May 2021
The Week’s daily digest of the news agenda, published at 8am
Jabbed ‘still have to self-isolate’
Fully vaccinated people will still have to self-isolate for ten days if they come into contact with someone infected with Covid after June 21, according to The Daily Telegraph. There are fears that the news could deter people from going to crowded places if they face the threat of enforced self-isolation. In the US, fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if they have come into contact with someone who has had Covid unless they are showing symptoms.
EU announces Belarus response
The EU has banned Belarusian airlines from European skies after a flight was diverted to Minsk so that a journalist on board could be arrested. Leaders also told EU airlines not to fly over Belarus and promised further economic sanctions. The British government has told all UK planes to cease flying over Belarus and summoned the country’s ambassador. Dissident reporter Roman Protasevich was arrested after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was rerouted.
Hotspot travel advice updated
The government is advising people not to travel to or from the areas hardest hit by the Indian variant of Covid-19 unless necessary. Health officials said the new variant is spreading fastest in Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside. Local leaders and public health directors have said they were unaware of the new guidance, which was put online four days ago without announcement.
Villages braced for new homes
Nearly 400,000 homes will be built on greenfield sites in the south of England over the next five years, The Times reports. Analysis of planning policy suggests that “huge parts of the countryside could be paved over by councils to meet revised housebuilding targets”, the paper says. Conservative backbenchers fear that the proposals will alienate their voters in the shires.
Boost for reopened cinemas
Cinemas have enjoyed a strong opening weekend in the UK, with an estimated £7m in ticket sales over the weekend, the best takings since March last year. Shares in Cineworld rose by 4% after the chain said the first weekend that audiences had been allowed back into cinemas went “beyond expectations”. Odeon said it recorded double the attendance levels compared with any weekend during the last reopening period from July to November last year.
BLM activist ‘shot by gang’
A leading Black Lives Matter activist who was shot in the head was the unintended victim of a gang attack, a fellow activist said yesterday. Sasha Johnson was shot by gang members who fired at rivals from a car in Peckham, southeast London, according to Imarn Ayton. She said the shooting in Consort Road just before 3am on Sunday was “more related to rival gangs as opposed to her activism”.
Patel ‘tried to block report’
Priti Patel has been accused of seeking to block or redact an independent report into the murder of a private detective as part of a “cover up” to protect friends in Rupert Murdoch’s media company. Speaking in parliament, Labour MP Chris Bryant said there were concerns that “people with very close friends in News International might want to delay or even prevent this publication”. The investigation examined links between the murder, police corruption and the News of the World.
Hospital infection toll revealed
Up to 8,700 patients died after catching Covid-19 while being treated in hospital for a separate medical problem, The Guardian reports. NHS chiefs say hospitals have struggled to stop Covid spreading because of shortages of single rooms, a lack of PPE and an inability to test early in the pandemic. Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, said that hospital-acquired Covid “remains one of the silent scandals of this pandemic, causing many thousands of avoidable deaths”.
UN criticises Mali arrests
The EU and UN have condemned the “kidnapping” of Mali’s civilian leadership and warned of potential sanctions against those responsible. The UN mission in Mali demanded the “immediate and unconditional” release of the country’s president and prime minister, who were detained by military officers. The Guardian says the arrests bring further uncertainty to the west African country after a military coup overthrew president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Tributes after Mosley dies
The motorsport boss and privacy campaigner Max Mosley has died at the age of 81. “He was like family to me,” said former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. “We were like brothers. I am pleased in a way because he suffered for too long.” Mosley took the News Of The World to court in 2008 after the newspaper printed allegations about his private life, successfully suing its publisher.