Restrictions on the nightlife and travel sectors are expected to ease when England finally exits lockdown on July 19 – but advocacy of mask-wearing and social distancing may continue for several months.
The nation is running four weeks behind schedule in its bid to lift remaining measures – with ‘Freedom Day’ delayed by the emergence of a Delta variant which has sent cases spiking to their highest levels in months.
COVID rates have now returned to February levels – with (7-day rolling) average cases per day now above 11,000.
Ministers are reviewing travel restrictions following industry pressure (including a mass protest at Manchester Airport this week) – with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps set to provide an update to MPs on Thursday (June 24).
The hospitality sector is also urging the government to rapidly rethink COVID rules – with some venues reportedly losing money by staying open due to limits on indoor capacity.
But whilst these sectors continue to push for change ahead of the big reopening date in July, it appears that social distancing and masks may remain in place in England beyond the end of lockdown – even if they are only advised rather than required.
Ministers have been making all the right noises regarding July 19 reopening, with the Prime Minister and Health Secretary seemingly satisfied with the present data.
However, according to The Telegraph, social distancing and face masks will continue to be recommended through summer and beyond.
It is expected, however, that the Rule of Six – which limits indoor gatherings to half a dozen people – and table service in bars/restaurants will be scrapped, giving hospitality venues the ability to welcome more customers.
Some experts have emphasised that measures such as hand-washing, distancing and face masks are all necessary to keep the virus at low levels.
Mary Ramsay, the head of immunisation at Public Health England, previously stated that some measures may last “years” and that it was worth waiting “until other parts of the world are as well vaccinated” as England to stop using masks.
Sadiq Khan has also expressed concern for dropping the use of masks, with a spokesperson for the London Mayor telling the Evening Standard: “Evidence shows that the wearing of face masks gives many Londoners the confidence that they can travel safely on public transport.
“People feeling confident they can travel on our tubes, buses and trains as they get busier will be a vital part of encouraging more people into central London as restrictions are lifted further, and it is something that we will continue to look at closely.”
Stockport teacher filmed ‘throwing student to the floor’ after being kicked out of his lesson
A teacher at a school in Stockport appears to have been recorded throwing a student to the floor after kicking the child out of his lesson.
In the clip that began circulating on social media last week, a pupil from Harrytown Catholic High School can be seen being escorted out of a classroom by a teacher whose identity is yet to be released.
After an inaudible conversation takes place in the doorway as the student presumably tries to remain in the room, the teacher can then be seen grabbing the young student and pushing him out of the doorway.
Following a slight struggle, the teacher then seemingly pushes the child again, at which point he appears to fall to the ground and the video cuts out. The caption reads: “This is how teachers at Harrytown Stockport treat their pupils. Justice for Oliver”.
At this stage, it still remains unclear whether Oliver (whose age is yet to be confirmed) was intentionally thrown to the floor or simply fell following the momentum from the push.
Either way, it doesn’t look good and obviously hasn’t gone down well with students or their guardians
Harrytown is a secondary school in the Stockport village of Romiley, teaching children aged from 11-16, and was awarded ‘Good’ by Ofsted in its most recent rating. However, many parents now have found themselves in the comments slamming the institution.
One mother claimed that “a teacher pushed my child in that school, they denied it [and] my kids been out of school since”, with another alleging that “the girl that videoed it got excluded for 5 days”, adding that they went on to send it to Manchester Evening News.
Speaking of the MEN, as per a statement issued to the outlet, Interim Director of Children’s Services and Director of Education for Stockport Tim Bowman said: “We are aware of an incident that took place at the school and we are following all appropriate due processes. We cannot comment further at this time.”
As for the school itself, they also insist that they are aware of the video and are now investigating the situation but cannot provide any further information either.
Oliver’s family are also yet to issue any form of comment following the incident.
Manchester United reject offers for Mason Greenwood as rep says he ‘should be allowed to move forward with his young life’
Manchester United have reportedly rejected a number of offers for Mason Greenwood as the club continues their internal investigation into his behaviour.
The club have reportedly received a number of offers for the young forward from Turkish teams in recent weeks and months while Greenwood has been suspended from playing or training. He has yet to return to the sport after charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm were dropped.
The charges handed down in January 2022 were ultimately dropped last month when key witnesses withdrew, more than a year on from the incident that was widely circulated on social media.
Now, following a behind-the-scenes feature by The Athletic and ‘new material’ leading the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case for the foreseeable, it seems United are now the only party still investigating Greenwood, with his own team and figures around the club pushing for a resolution.
Speaking to Laurie Whitwell as part of the piece, one of Greenwood’s representatives argued that there is “no real substance” to the allegations, them “a mix of old news, speculation, half-truths and completely untrue claims.”
He went on to say, “Mason is 21, he has been cleared and should be allowed the opportunity to rebuild and move forward with his young life.”
Another source is also said to have told the outlet that the youngster has been fundamentally changed by the experience, insisting that he “would run through a brick wall” to be back playing at United.
As for the club’s stance, it remains to be seen what their final decision on his future will be, but it was reported earlier this month that a potential return is still “firmly under consideration” and his number 11 shirt has not yet been vacated as many would have expected if he was set to move on.
On the other hand, the article goes on to detail questions surrounding Greenwood’s conduct and general attitude during his relatively short time as a senior player too, the suggestion being that he was slacking in training because “he knew he was a good player”.
His attendance at Carrington is said to have been raised as an issue on more than one occasion and then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær often covered for training sessions and games he missed after failing to turn up to the team hotel for “unexplained absences”.
Another source who watched him play aged just 16 also went on to reveal that Bradford-born academy product “wasn’t shy about telling someone they were s***”, apparently even calling out Cristiano Ronaldo as “dead [finished]” when he was still at Real Madrid.
Greenwood played over 100 senior games for United and was widely considered one of the brightest young prospects in England, let alone the club, but the career trajectory he looked to be on is widely different from the problematic position he finds himself in now, regardless of any offers from abroad.