Tag: News

British PM Johnson has coronavirus, self-isolates in Downing Street

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating at his Downing Street residence but said…

British PM Johnson has coronavirus, self-isolates in Downing Street

Business News Coronavirus News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See https://mikearmstrong.me/news

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‘I’m very sorry’: the Mercedes driver filmed taking all the rubber gloves from the petrol pump apologizes for being ‘selfish and irresponsible’

A filmed Mercedes driver taking all the rubber gloves from a petrol pump in Salford apologized for his “selfish and irresponsible actions” by saying …

‘I’m very sorry’: the Mercedes driver filmed taking all the rubber gloves from the petrol pump apologizes for being ‘selfish and irresponsible’

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Dolly Parton says coronavirus will make us ‘better people’ as she urges: ‘Just keep the faith!’

Dolly’s urging everyone to ‘keep the faith’ (Picture: DollyParton/Twitter)Dolly Parton has given her take on the coronavirus pandemic, explaining …

Dolly Parton says coronavirus will make us ‘better people’ as she urges: ‘Just keep the faith!’

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Latest News on EU Funds In Wales

 
 

In response to the UK Government and Public Health Wales (PHW) advice on the coronavirus (COVID 19), please see guidance for project managers delivering EU-funded projects in these challenging times.

Please keep checking the website for the latest information.

Chwarae Teg

Chwarae Teg secures £6m EU funds

The funding will extend the organisation’s career development programme to 2023, supporting women in Wales to progress their careers, and assisting businesses to implement equality strategies and modern working practices.

Red logo

Your views wanted on the future of Regional Investment in Wales

The Welsh Government has launched a 12-week consultation on future regional investment in Wales outside of the EU. The closing date is 22 May 2020.

The consultation covers a set of proposals for investing replacement funding from the UK Government to deliver inclusive growth across all parts of Wales, building on the evidence of what has worked well and lesson learned during 20 years of EU regional policy.

Developed with stakeholders across the public, private and third sectors, we are consulting on proposals that set out four priority investment areas (business productivity and competitiveness, reducing income inequalities for people, healthier and more sustainable communities and the zero-carbon economy) and decentralises funding and decision-making closer to the people they aim to benefit.

UK Parliament logo

UK Parliament Inquiry on Wales and the Shared Prosperity Fund

The UK Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Committee is responsible for scrutinising the expenditure, administration and policies of the Wales Office, and the policies of the UK Government as whole that have an impact in Wales. The Committee has launched an inquiry into the UK Government’s proposed UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The deadline for submitting views and evidence is Tuesday 21 April 2020.

EU Funds logo

Europe Day 2020

Following recent queries, please note that WEFO will not be developing a centrally-led social media or communications campaign to promote EU-funded projects on Europe Day.  

However, as the UK is still participating in the current EU Structural Funds Programme it is a matter for organisations in receipt of EU funds to decide whether they wish to promote their projects in marking Europe Day this year.

Any publicity should follow WEFO’s information and publicity guidance and should aim to focus on the difference that funding and projects are making to people, businesses and communities in Wales.

Please also remember to use the hashtag #EUfundscymru when posting tweets, photos and testimonials.

In previous years, organisations have been encouraged to fly the EU flag to celebrate Europe Day. We would like to emphasise that there is no obligation to do this, and it is a matter entirely for your organisation.

If you have any queries, please contact WEFO Communications on 
wefo-communications@gov.wales.

Maesteg Town Hall

Work begins on Maesteg Town Hall

Construction work started this month on the £8.2m repair, restoration and extension of Maesteg Town Hall, which is being supported with £2m of EU funds.

Visit WEFO online

 
 
 

The latest news, guidance, publications and events from the European Structural and Investment Funds programmes in Wales, as well as including other EU funding programmes  such as the Horizon 2020, European Territorial Co-operation and the Ireland Wales programmes.

Updates from the Rural Development programme and Fisheries programmes are also covered.

 

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

All the latest Coronavirus News from the BBC – UK & Global News…

 

 
 

It seems self-employed people are about to get some of the help they have been demanding since the government agreed to pay 80% of the salary of staff kept on by employers during the coronavirus outbreak. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to reveal what’s in the package at a press conference later. It comes as MPs criticise banks for asking business owners to put up personal assets such as property – other than their family home – to secure loans. This is despite government promises to cover 80% of losses if the money is not repaid, up to £5m. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered a “special thank you” to those who have volunteered to help the NHS during the outbreak. More than half a million – including 11,000 former medics and 24,000 final-year students – have answered the call. That’s more than double the government’s recruitment target. Meanwhile, the Royal College of General Practitioners has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to ask whether family doctors should wear protective equipment to examine all patients, rather than just those showing coronavirus symptoms.


We look at how well prepared the health service is for the anticipated surge in cases. That includes a race to acquire ventilators, with the government ordering 10,000 from Dyson. Insiders at the firm, best known for vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, says it has a prototype “ready to go”, provided it passes stringent medical tests. Find out which companies are desperately seeking staff as they ramp up their roles in helping the country cope.

 
 

 

 
 

You can keep up with all the global developments via our live page, which has been reporting how the number of deaths in the US has topped 1,000.

The number of cases in the US had increased by more than 10,000 in 24 hours. One retired physician, 69-year-old Claudia Bahorik, who documented the frustrations in her quest to get tested for the virus, says her case is an example of Washington’s failure to implement the “trace, test and treat” mantra of global health bodies. Meanwhile, the US Senate has passed a $2tn (£1.7tn) aid bill, including direct payments of $1,200 to most adults and help for small businesses to pay workers. 

Closer to home, our correspondents gauge the mood in Europe’s locked-down capitals. The death toll in Spainhas risen to 3,434 – surpassing that of China. And coronavirus has triggered the downfall of the government in Kosovo .

 
 

 

 
 

As many countries grow accustomed to increasingly stringent lockdowns, personal stories are emerging that demonstrate how dramatically life has changed. For example, the world of dating has got a lot more complicated. One dad tells us how he’s told his daughter he’s gone to Africa when, in reality, he’s self-isolating in a campervan parked in the field next door. And we hear from young gay people forced into isolation with homophobic parents.

 
 
 
 

 

Continuing pictures of empty shelves at UK supermarkets have sparked ongoing worries about food shortages. The supermarkets are confident that they can cope, not least because there is a limit to how much people can sensibly stockpile. So they believe that shopping patterns should return to normal eventually.

But the coronavirus pandemic has awakened wider fears about the security and strength of the hugely complicated supply chains, or logistics systems, that modern societies depend on. The Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu wrote that “the line between disorder and order lies in logistics”. To test that idea, you only have to look in your kitchen cupboard or fridge. Almost certainly nearly everything in there came from a shop that was stocked by a lorry or van.

 
 
 

Jonty Bloom

Business reporter, BBC News

 
 

 

 
 

The Coronavirus Newscast hears from reporters patrolling the country’s parks to find out whether people are following the government’s rules on social distancing. And the Inquiry, on the BBC World Service, asks what lessons can be learned from South Korea, which quickly got to grips with the outbreak and kept mortality rates low.

 
 
 

 
 

There is much praise for the more than 500,000 people who have volunteered to help the NHS deal with the coronavirus outbreak. They make up an “army of kindness”, according to the Daily Express, while they are “kindhearts” in the Daily Mirror’s front-page headline. For the Daily Mail it shows the UK to be “a nation of heroes”. Meanwhile, in a thinly veiled dig at the Prince of Wales, who has tested positive, the Daily Star suggests NHS workers are “not amused” by celebrities and royalty “jumping the queue” to be tested ahead of them. The Financial Times says the government is under pressure to test front-line health workers. The Times and Daily Telegraph say testing kits could be available on a mass scale within weeks, while the Guardian and i suggest the government is to announce financial support for self-employed people.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

Let us know what you think of this newsletter by emailing bbcnewsdaily@bbc.co.uk. If you’d like to recommend it to a friend, forward this email. New subscribers can sign up here.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Herefordshire doctors announce changes in appointments during the coronavirus crisis

All GP patients will be called by phone or video, Taurus of Herefordshire health care announced. The federation, which represents general …

Herefordshire doctors announce changes in appointments during the coronavirus crisis

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Global Coronavirus News

Latest News on the Global Pandemic

Tag: Coronavirus News

Weirdest Items People Have Purchased Out Of Panic From Coronavirus

Image via Douglas Cliff / Shutterstock.com

The novel coronavirus wave has left countries, including Italy, France, Norway, and Spain, on lockdown, and many others encouraging self-isolation. This has, however, also driven people to panic-buy things in an attempt to stay stocked up.

Social media users are now confessingthe most ridiculous and weirdest purchases they have made during their stockpiling trips.

Twitter user Brandy Jensen, who started the thread, admitted that she bought three types of jams herself.

One user replied, “I have an irresponsible number of liters of olives,” while another responded, “Lentils. I hate lentils.”

Another consumer decided to “panic grow” with “seedlings for every vegetable” instead.

With these random, irrational purchases, one person suggested to hold “the weirdest potluck ever when this all blows over.”

what was everyone’s weirdest panic purchase my brain glitched and i bought three types of jam

— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) March 13, 2020

my boyfriend bought betty crocker cake mix and a bird feeder

— sloane (sipihkopiyesis) (@cottoncandaddy) March 13, 2020

What’s been your weirdest ‘panic’ buy? #COVID19 …trampoline is where I’m at so far pic.twitter.com/l9T6ZrERXn

— Claire Morgan (@claire_voices) March 20, 2020

I have an irresponsible number of liters of olives.

— Cassandra Lee (@barbaerella) March 13, 2020

I now have seedlings for every vegetable. I’m gonna panic grow

— Seth Goodtime (@SethGoodtime) March 13, 2020

Lentils. I hate lentils.

— Adam Jay 🌹 (@BullGooseParty) March 13, 2020

Been focused on gardening- this is my panic buy… pic.twitter.com/qA7x5zfLdG

— Lindsey Way (@lynzway) March 22, 2020

Let’s all get together and have the weirdest potluck ever, when this all blows over

— Jen Mason Stott (@jmasonstott) March 14, 2020

[via Delish, cover image via Douglas Cliff / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409182/Weirdest-Items-People-Have-Purchased-Out-Of-Panic-From-Coronavirus/

2020 Mother’s Day Cards Give Tough Love To Mom During COVID-19 Pandemic

Image via M&C Saatchi London

This year, unfortunately, isn’t the time for saccharine greeting cards. Advertising agency M&C Saatchi has produced a collection of e-cards to encourage loved ones to stay indoors, despite Mother’s Day falling on 22 March in the UK this year.

The unusual #MumIsGrounded cards turn the tables on mothers’ tough love, firmly reminding them to refrain from giving hugs or stepping outside.

Messages include, “It’s sad not to be able to hug the person that once cleaned my bum with a smile,” and, “It’s like when I told you there was a dangerous monster out there and it wasn’t safe to go to school. Only this time it’s true.”

The impactful cards are now available on M&C Saatchi’s social media channels.

View this post on Instagram 

Don’t dare visiting mum this Sunday. Send one of our e-cards instead! #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:03pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Keep your mum safe. Send her one of our e-cards. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:06pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Self isolation shouldn’t keep you from sending your mum some love. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:07pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

You’ll always be her baby. But it’s your turn to care for her. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:09pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Stay safe out there! Send your mum some virtual love. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:14pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Go to your room and send your mum one of these. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:16pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

You don’t need to be there to feel her love. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:19pm PDT

[via The Drum, images via M&C Saatchi London] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409181/2020-Mother-s-Day-Cards-Give-Tough-Love-To-Mom-During-COVID-19-Pandemic/

The New Yorker’s Cover Illustrates An Ominous, Deserted Grand Central Terminal

Image via The New Yorker

The cover for the latest issue of The New Yorker magazine features a deserted Grand Central Terminal, alluding to the self-isolation practices adopted by New York City residents amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Grand Central Terminal, which often sees thousands of New Yorkers passing through its facility on a normal day, has now been depicted as an abandoned building by artist Eric Drooker. The artwork encompasses the uncertain time as people stay indoors to prevent the spread of the virus.

The 30 March 2020 issue adds to the lineup of magazine coversdocumenting the current, and seemingly sudden, crisis.

In sharing his personal experience from the outbreak, Drooker pointed toSpanish painter Francisco Goya as the artist he often turns to “for solace in times of upheaval.”

As New Yorkers stay inside to fight the virus, the city’s streets and landmarks have turned into a ghost town, as depicted in new gripping pictures shot by photographers.

View this post on Instagram 

An early look at next week’s cover, “Grand Central Terminal,” by Eric Drooker. #NewYorkerCovers

A post shared by The New Yorker (@newyorkermag) on Mar 20, 2020 at 7:45am PDT

[via The New Yorker, cover image via The New Yorker] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409176/The-New-Yorker-s-Cover-Illustrates-An-Ominous-Deserted-Grand-Central-Terminal/

The CDC Launches ‘Coronavirus Self-Checker’ Bot For US Citizens

Image via Shutterstock

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service have launched a “coronavirus self-checker” bot, called Clara, to field questions about potential COVID-19 symptoms and recommend appropriate medical solutions and contacts.

The virtual tool will only be available in the US, where, as of 22 March 2020, has more than 15,200 reported COVID-19 cases and 200 deaths. Microsoft explains that Clara will aid in determining whether a person is in need of medical help, as screening all patients with cold or flu-like symptoms can lead to a “bottleneck that threatens to overwhelm health systems coping with the crisis.”

Using artificial intelligence, Clara will answer queries from people in the US, allowing medical professionals to direct their attention to those experiencing critical conditions, per TechCrunch.

However, the bot will not provide diagnosis or treatment prescriptions. It simply guides people through questions about their symptoms, and then gives them recommendations on medical care.

Clara follows Apple in helping to screen users for possible symptoms of the novel coronavirus. Apple users can now check with Siri for more informed steps to take to allay their concerns about COVID-19.

Patients with #COVID19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms: https://t.co/ehL8kmRHaNpic.twitter.com/0am2j0zhfE

— CDC (@CDCgov) March 22, 2020

[via TechCrunch, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409175/The-CDC-Launches-Coronavirus-Self-Checker-Bot-For-US-Citizens/

Calming Things To Do At Home To Keep Your Mind Off Coronavirus

[Click here to view the video in this article] 

Images via Netflix and Shutterstock

It can be a stressful time for everyone as COVID-19 continues to spread globally, with little sign of slowing down.

Luckily, there are more productive waysto keep yourself occupied than panic or binge-watch series after series.

Below, you’ll find a number of calming activities to do to keep your mind off coronavirus-related news. Take a look.

Dalgona whipped coffee

This three-ingredient beverage with a whipped coffee foam has been taking over the internet lately. The drink, called Dalgona coffee, gained emergence on TikTok and is named after a traditional Korean honeycomb toffee candy with a sponge-like texture. What makes it such a popular activity during this time of self-isolation is that the coffee supposedly requires (at least) 400 whips by hand to turn into the topping—a good way to pass time and give your arm a workout.

The whipped coffee itself requires just two ingredients: instant coffee granules and sugar. You’ll need to mix equal parts of instant coffee, sugar, and hot water, and then whisk them together into a meringue-like mixture with stiff peaks. Pour it over a glass of milk.

People have been whipping the mixture by hand to keep themselves busy during the coronavirus outbreak, but you can also skip to the good part by using an electric mixer.

Paint along with Bob Ross

The world could do with a lot more of Bob Ross’ positivity right now. If you have a Netflix subscription, you can paint along with the late artist on two shows, Beauty is Everywhere and Chill with Bob Ross.

A number of episodes, as well as the full Bob Ross: The Happy Painter documentary, are also available on the official Bob Ross YouTube channel.

Brighten up your days—and walls—with free coloring pages

Cultural institutions around the world have turned their artworks into free coloring pages, delivering hours upon hours of art therapy. Many of these illustrations are truly bizarre, albeit fitting for these strange times.

Live workout sessions

Home Work-in Day 7

Join us for a 🎉 Sunday Funday 🎉Family edition of Home Work-Ins!

The weekend still feels like the weekend when you’re staying active! Join us on Facebook Live at 7pm ET. United We Move!

Posted by Planet Fitness on Sunday, March 22, 2020

Every day, Planet Fitness hosts live 20-minute workout classes for free at 4pm PT on its Facebook page, so you can get your daily exercise in. Don’t worry if you skip a session, the fitness center uploads its previous sessions online.

You can also check out Apple’s favorite workout apps to keep you fit during the stay-at-home period.

For more ideas on how to keep busy during self-isolation, head here.

[via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409177/Calming-Things-To-Do-At-Home-To-Keep-Your-Mind-Off-Coronavirus/

More details on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)…

Further details have emerged for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which is designed to assist qualifying businesses during these unprecedented times.

The Scheme aims to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance.  The loan will be provided by the British Business Bank through participating providers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Full details of the CBILS scheme can be found here – but the main criteria are:

  • Loan facilities of up to £5m
  • 80% of the lenders risk is covered
  • Repayment terms up to 6 years for term loans and asset finance, but overdraft and invoice facilities will be up to 3 years.
  • No upfront fees and interest is covered by Government for up to 12 months
  • Companies remain 100% liable for the debt repayments. Total unsecured lending of up to £250,000.
  • Application for loans from the scheme is administered by over 40 approved lenders including main banks, challenger banks and asset finance etc. Businesses need to apply directly to the lenders and present their case for the finance needed.

Further details on all available business support schemes in response to Covid-19 can be seen at this Government website page: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

To be eligible for support in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the small business must:

  • Be a UK-based SME
  • Operate within an eligible sector
  • Comply with relevant state aid rules
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal but insufficient security to meet the lender’s requirements

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

TikTok Pledges $10 Million to World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Efforts

TikTok is donating $10 million to the World Health Organization to assist in its efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-pledges-10-million-to-world-health-organizations-covid-19-response/574713/

Facebook’s Testing New Tools to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation on WhatsApp and Messenger

With various COVID-19 misinformation campaigns gaining traction in messaging apps, Facebook is working to stem the spread with tests of several new features. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebooks-testing-new-tools-to-combat-covid-19-misinformation-on-whatsapp/574710/

Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns, New Online Behavioral Shifts Are Beginning to Take Shape

With COVID-19 lockdowns taking hold across the world, we’re seeing the emergence of new online trends, which may extend well beyond the crisis itself.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/amid-covid-19-lockdowns-new-online-behavioral-shifts-are-beginning-to-take/574704/

Facebook Announces Free Assistance for Health Agencies Looking to Use Messenger to Communicate COVID-19 Info

Facebook will provide free services to health organizations in order to help them use Messenger to scale their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-announces-free-assistance-for-health-agencies-looking-to-use-messe/574699/

More Nations Are Looking to Use Cell Phone Data to Track the COVID-19 Outbreak, Raising Privacy Concerns

As COVID-19 outbreak continues to expand, could cell phone and mobile data tracking be the key to containment? 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/more-nations-are-looking-to-use-cell-phone-data-to-track-the-covid-19-outbr/574695/

Latest BBC News update…

Latest BBC News Update including Coronavirus News

 
 

First it was advice, now it’s an order. Boris Johnson has issued a stark message to the country: “At this moment of national emergency… stay at home.” Speaking after the UK death toll reached 335, the prime minister introduced unprecedented restrictions on everyday life, meaning people must only leave their house for one of four reasons – to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, to shop for essential items, and to fulfil any medical or care needs. 

 

Shops selling non-essential goods have been told to shut, along with libraries and children’s playgrounds, and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together will be prohibited. The restrictions will be in place for at least three weeks and police will have the power to enforce them, including through fines.  Read the prime minister’s statement in full and get a more detailed breakdown of the new rules.

 

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, says it’s still not quite the kind of total crackdown seen in other countries, at least not yet – no curfews, for example – and there will be a time on the other side of this crisis to analyse whether the government made the right decisions at the right time.

 

A reminder here of the symptoms of coronavirus and how you can minimise your risk. And here we answer 10 of your most-asked questions .

 
 
 

 
 

The World Health Organization says the pandemic is “accelerating”, with more than 360,000 cases globally and more than 16,000 deaths. But WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was still possible to “change the trajectory” with rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies. 

 

Many other nations have now imposed lockdowns along the lines of that in the UK. France is strictly limiting physical exercise and closing outdoor markets, and South Africa’s government is preparing for the worst. India is stopping all domestic flights, but there are particular fears surrounding one textile city.

 

In Italy, the worst-hit country, the latest daily increase in deaths was the smallest since last Thursday, raising hope that stringent restrictions on public life are starting to have an effect. The BBC’s Sima Kotecha describes the haunting experience of Rome under lockdown. 

 

In the US, where 481 people have died, state governors and city mayors are pleading for more help from the federal government. However, the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher explains why the president may be having second thoughts about following suit with a large-scale lockdown. 

 

Our live page has all the latest developments, while health correspondent James Gallagher looks at when and how life might return to normal.

 l.
 
 

 
 
 

 

It is clearly not a good time for the world and it is not a good time for relations between the US and China. President Donald Trump has repeatedly chosen to call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus”. The president and his secretary of state have both denounced China for its failings in the initial handling of the outbreak. Meanwhile, social media in China has spread stories that the pandemic has been caused by a US military germ warfare programme; rumours that gained considerable traction. But this is not just a war of words, something more fundamental is going on . 

 
 
 

Jonathan Marcus

BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent

 
 
 
 

 
 

The drastic measures announced by Boris Johnson are reflected in dramatic headlines. “End of freedom”, the Daily Telegraph declares. “Britain shuts up shop”, the Daily Mail says, while the Sun has a picture of a giant padlock with the headline “House arrest”. As the Financial Times puts it, the prime minister has been “forced to close Britain”. While there’s widespread support for the measures, there’s also a feeling that, as the i puts it, the prime minister has dragged his heels. The Guardian says he significantly “escalated his language” after days of being accused of “sending mixed messages about what the public should do”. Leo McKinstry, writing in the Daily Express, says the imposition of these “savage rules” will have been particularly difficult for the PM, who is “an optimistic liberal at heart, with a deep suspicion of the big state”, but he had no alternative.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

 

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Morning Motivation / Coronavirus Motivation for Entrepreneurs (and anyone else who needs it)…

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Free Trains in Wales for NHS Staff On TfW and other Transport News…

NHS staff in Wales are being offered free travel on Transport for Wales rail services with immediate effect, the company has announced.

NHS workers will just need to show their work ID to access services to get themselves back and forth to work until 30 April.

Public transport is to operate on a reduced scale throughout Wales because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However the reduced service has led to crowding on some trains.

New timetables are now in place for trains and buses until further notice.

Announcing the move for NHS workers, Transport for Wales (TfW) said: “At Transport for Wales our primary focus is keeping our colleagues and customers safe, and to keep key workers moving.

“From Monday 23 March, Transport for Wales will provide all NHS workers free travel to and from work until 30th April on production of their NHS ID.”

A statement on its website added: “We are doing all we can to keep vital services running, so that emergency service staff who are using our trains and key workers are to travel in safety with confidence.” 

Some passengers were reporting difficulties in maintaining social distancing on trains on Monday morning.

Hospital worker Emma Lamorte highlighted the situation on Twitter and called for more trains.

Presentational white space

Tube travellers in London have also experienced crowded carriages, with unions saying it left transport staff feeling “furious” as they were unable to maintain social distancing.

However, other travellers in Wales reported quieter than usual carriages.

Aurora Heathfield

Image captionAurora Heathfield, outside Cardiff Central, was on a train carriage with only three other people

Commuter Aurora Heathfield from Bridgend, said there was an “eerie feel” on the train to Cardiff on Monday morning with carriages much quieter than usual.

“It would usually be pretty busy and you’d be looking for a seat. There was three people in my carriage,” she said.

Jake Newberry from Cross Keys, Caerphilly county, said there was “hardly anyone” on his train on the Ebbw Vale line and he had expected to see more people due to the reduced timetable.

Alex Varney said the train from Barry to Cardiff was also quiet with the conductor providing advice over a speaker rather than walking through the train to check tickets.

“It was nice and quiet and nice to have some space,” he said.

“Everyone was calm and pleasant and just going through their day.”

A TfW spokesman said on Monday afternoon: “Whilst some services were busy this morning, on average most were 50-60% full. However, we will continue to prioritise peak periods services in order to ensure we do not create overly busy services.

“”We will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis and increase capacity where necessary but we do strongly urge customers to carefully consider whether they do have to travel so that priority can be given to key workers.”

Why are services being reduced?

The changes reflect the fall in demand, reduced availability of staff and the latest public health guidance, transport companies said.

Transport Minister Ken Skates said it remained “crucial” to keep some services going for key workers and supply chains.

“This action aims to balance the current significantly reduced levels of passenger demand as people follow the guidelines to socially isolate with the need to reduce the number of people required to run the network,” he said.

“This contingency measure will help to ensure there are enough staff to keep services running over the coming weeks and months.”

Ken Skates

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionKen Skates hopes the new plans will keep transport on track for the coming months

The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people should avoid “non-essential” travel.

Operators said the closure of schools, as well as people increasingly working from home, was expected to see a further significant decline in demand.

How have bus services changed?

First Cymru, which operates services across south and west Wales, warned customers face disruption to services because “increasing numbers of staff” were self-isolating.

It said there would be a reduced timetable for services in Ammanford, Bridgend, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Llanelli, Maesteg, Port Talbot and Swansea.

The company also urged passengers not use cash payments to buy tickets wherever possible, to “stop the spread” of coronavirus.

Arriva bus at Wrexham Bus Station

Image copyrightALAN SANSBURY

Image captionMany bus operators are running a Saturday timetable

Stagecoach, which operates throughout south-east Wales, said a reduced timetable would operate until further notice but had been created to ensure “critical routes are maintained wherever possible”.

Nigel Winter, managing director, said the company was working to maintain essential services, safeguard jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry in a “challenging” situation.

“We also know that our bus services play a vital role in keeping the country running and ensuring key sector personnel get to work,” he added.

“Our objective has been to focus resources on where we know they are needed most at this time.”

In north Wales, Arriva Bus is running an emergency service but will still operate key routes “to ensure customers can continue to access critical services”.

Cardiff bus

Image copyrightJAGGERY/GEOGRAPH

Image captionOnly eight Cardiff Bus routes will continue as normal

Cardiff Bus is now following a Saturday timetable for most of its services across the capital with the exception of some services which are running normally. School buses will continue for eligible children.

All Newport Bus services are also now following a Saturday timetable in “these unprecedented times”, the company said.

It added: “We will maintain bus services for our customers for as long as we are able to.”

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How are trains affected?

Train operators across Britain will gradually reduce services following talks with the UK and Welsh governments.

However operators will still run core services to ensure key workers can get to their jobs and the flow of goods continues.

Class 170 train

Image copyrightRICHARD JONES/MLA PHOTOGRAPHY/TFW

Image captionBusy commuter lines will be prioritised

TfW said Sunday service times will be applied throughout the week though some additional services will operate to support busier commuter routes. 

“This timetable has been designed to be as resilient as possible, whilst ensuring we balance a reduction in demand, availability of our people and the need to support key workers such as health, food retailers and delivery teams,” it said.

The operator said advanced tickets were now eligible for refunds.

For more on this BBC article or other News please follow the link.

For more Welsh News, Business News, Welsh Business News, UK Business News, Travel News or Coronavirus News please follow the links.

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The New Welsh Inventions inspired by the Global Pandemic…

A new ventilator, a virus-killing snood and a hands-free door pull are just some of the innovations coming out of Wales to tackle coronavirus.

Since the outbreak, doctors, scientists and designers have been working on ideas to stop the virus spreading.

The ventilator has already successfully treated a Covid-19 patient and has been backed by the Welsh Government.

Mass production of the snood-type mask is under way while a 3D design of the handle has been widely circulated.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, who was part of the impetus to get the ventilator into mass production, said the innovations put Wales “on the front foot” in the battle against the pandemic.

“It shows that Wales, as a small nation, can get things done quickly as we face the biggest challenge of our generation,” he said.

The Covid Emergency Ventilator

It took just three days to design but the senior doctor involved believes the easy-to-build device could dramatically ease the strain on NHS staff.

ventilator

Image caption“The patient can self-care, releasing specialist nurses for other duties,” said Dr Rhys Thomas

Dr Rhys Thomas, from Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, was “desperately concerned” at the lack of intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators to deal with the expected influx of patients.

Along with engineering company CR Clark & Co of Ammanford, he created a machine that not only helps patients to breath but cleans the room of viral particles.

“It’s simple and robust and specifically designed to work against Covid virus in a contagious environment,” said Dr Thomas.

“Although it won’t replace an ICU ventilator, the majority of patients won’t need intensive care if they are treated with this ventilator first.

“The machine will [also] clean the room of viral particles and only supply purified air to the patient. The patient can self-care, releasing specialist nurses for other duties.”

Dr Rhys Thomas

Image copyrightPLAID CYMRU

Image captionDr Rhys Thomas served for 17 years with the British Army, including seven tours of Afghanistan

He said a patient in Llanelli who was treated with the machine at the weekend was now “recovering well”.

Welsh ministers have given the go-ahead for production of up to 100 ventilators a day.

The ‘virus-killing’ snood

Designers claim the mask kills more than 95% of any viruses – including Covid-19.

woman wearing snood mask

Image captionThe snood has been developed in response to the pandemic

The company hopes to make as many as a million-a-week and plans to reserve part of that stock for the NHS.

“We have been working on the anti-viral coating since 2011 but it’s only in the last five weeks that we have developed the snood in response to the current pandemic,” said Anna Roberts, of Virustatic Shield.

The hands-free door handle

Wyn Griffiths came up with the idea after his wife visited a local hospital last week and had to touch door handles after sanitising her hands. 

door pull being made

Image captionAnyone with a 3D printer can now make the door pull

That evening he had designed a prototype ‘arm’ which attaches to an existing door handle, with a crook to open the door. 

He has now distributed the 3D design online for anyone to download it for free.

Mr Griffiths said: “Hopefully people who have a 3D printer can help out their local hospital or anywhere the public visits by distributing these around the country.”

Menai Science Park

Image captionM-Sparc in Gaerwen is supported by Bangor University

The innovation centre

The handle and snood were both designed at the Menai Science Park in Gaerwen on Anglesey, a hub for small start-up companies and scientific research.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart, managing director of M-Sparc, said it was “vital” the park plays its part in coming up with innovative ideas.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart

Image captionMr Rhisiart praised small companies developing “new innovative solutions”

“In the middle of all the doom and gloom it’s good to see small companies developing new innovative solutions,” he said.

“It’s just a glimpse. We’re not saying it’s the answer but it’s something.”

For more Welsh News, Business News, Welsh Business News, UK Business News, Tech News or Coronavirus Newsplease follow the links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Latest update on Coronavirus from The PM as UK goes in to lockdown!

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK is going into lockdown in a televised address to the nation last evening.

The PM made the announcement from 10 Downing Street amid widespread calls for tougher measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 / Coronavirus.

He ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items on Monday evening.

He told people to only leave the house to shop for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible” and to perform one form of exercise a day.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

To ensure people follow the rules, Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of non-essential stores including those selling electronics and clothing.

All public gatherings of more than two people – other than those you live with – will be banned, the PM said.

Other premises being shuttered are libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

The UK coronavirus lockdown rules you must now comply with, or face police action, are as follows:

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson orders lockdown of the UK and orders people to stay at home

And, while parks will remain open for exercise, all social events including weddings and baptisms will be stopped.

Funerals, however, can continue.

Mr Johnson said the measures will be “under constant review” and will be considered for relaxation in three weeks’ time if the evidence allows.

Earlier in the day all Britons travelling abroad were told to return to the UK “while you still can”.

The Welsh Government has also announced the closure of all caravan parks, campsites and tourist hotspots after people flocked to Welsh landmarks on the weekend.

The First Minister will also take additional powers over licensing because some pubs didn’t close over the weekend.

The measures come after it was announced four more people have died after contracting the coronavirus in Wales.

There are now 418 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wales and there have so far been 16 deaths.

But Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said the “the true number of cases is likely to be higher” as the virus continues to circulate in every part of Wales.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Saudi coronavirus cases pass 500; Emirates cancels most passenger flights

DUBAI — Saudi Arabia reported a jump of almost a quarter in coronavirus cases on Sunday while the United Arab Emirates pumped more money into its …

Saudi coronavirus cases pass 500; Emirates cancels most passenger flights

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Brands’ Coronavirus-Themed Emails Are Seriously Getting On People’s Nerves

Image via Shutterstock

The novel coronavirus has impacted the lives of people around the world, and companies have been propelled to close down amid the uncertain time. However, there are also brands that have been trying to keep in touch with their customers via email, inadvertently resulting in a surge of COVID-19-related messages in consumers’ inboxes.

Internet users are sharing these coronavirus-centered emails on social media for a number of reasons. One of it is to question how these companies got a hold of their personal email addresses in the first place.

“If I get one more ‘COVID-19 Update’ email from brands I subscribed to when I was 12, I’m gonna snap,” a user declared, on the verge of a digital breakdown.

Another user directed the attention to “all the communications people out there,” as they are the ones working on these crafted messages to consumers as an attempt to manage panic and uncertainty while trying to help “CEOs/leaders sound good.”

My health and safety is the top priority of so many brands I never even knew had my personal email address.

— Christopher Doyle (@chrisdoyle) March 14, 2020

*opens freezer*
*note falls out*

“We here at Totino’s Pizza Rolls know you’ve been wondering about our response to COVID-19”

— social distance warrior (@IAmSpilly) March 17, 2020

> Delete email accounts
> Sell house, live in woods
> Find bottle in river
> Has note inside

“Our brand’s COVID-19 response and pledge to our customers…”

— Joshua Self-QuaRayntine (@joshuaray) March 13, 2020

As I get email 29,283 with a business/brand’s #COVID19 update, I want to take a moment to give a shout out to all the communications people out there, writing and rewriting notices, managing panic/uncertainty, as well as helping CEOs/leaders sound good.
Keep on keeping on 👊🏻pic.twitter.com/c1ECwwS6fq

— Lauren Herschel (@LaurenHerschel) March 20, 2020

All these weird COVID-19 update emails from brands have been a great tool for unsubscribing to email lists I didn’t even know I signed up for

— Bennett Richardson (@bennettrich) March 19, 2020

If I get one more “COVID19 Update” email from brands I subscribed to when I was 12 im gonna snap

— abbas ammar (@abbasammar10) March 17, 2020

COVID-19 brand emails forcing me to really grapple with my past self pic.twitter.com/76DMn7QHb0

— Madison Malone Kircher (@4evrmalone) March 16, 2020

[via Slate, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409163/Brands-Coronavirus-Themed-Emails-Are-Seriously-Getting-On-People-s-Nerves/

New York City’s Coronavirus-Safe Sex Guide Gets Mocked By Internet Users

Image via Shutterstock.com

With an increasing number of coronavirus cases in New York City, the government has crafted a set of sex guidelines for those desiring to get frisky during self-isolation.

The advisory letter includes recommended safe practices for sexual intercourse during the coronavirus spread. “You are your safest sex partner,” the document reads, directing people to opt for self-pleasure instead. It also details the right hand-washing techniques to maintain practice good hygiene habits.

The letter further discourages “mouth to anus,” acts and promotes the use of condoms during sex and oral sex.

The government also urged locals to have sexual relations with people currently living in their homes to reduce the number of human contact.

Internet users have taken these recommendations and humorously rephrased them on social media platforms to bring light and giggles to the situation. One user wrote, “They could’ve just said, “don’t eat a** my guy,” while another stated, “NYC said masturbate or [have sex with] your roommates.”

“You are your safest sex partner” — obsessed with NYC’s guide to sex during corona pic.twitter.com/xuKRzD0Jhw

— Chrissy Rutherford (@chrissyford) March 21, 2020

NYC sent out a sex guideline during coronavirus

They could’ve just said, “don’t eat ass my guy” pic.twitter.com/FNPk3voGoV

— Alexis Guerreros (@NotAlexis) March 21, 2020

The way NYC Health just publicly said “stop eating ass for a while” skskskchsrhe https://t.co/f59Wmi5AKl

— haze (@thickangela) March 21, 2020

nyc said masturbate or fuck your roommates https://t.co/QizTnwdhZp

— Gabe Gonzalez (@gaybonez) March 21, 2020

city of new york out here pushing their agenda for everyone to masturbate, have sex w their roommates, and stop kissing/rimming!!! pic.twitter.com/gwFKQMERuT

— mary beth (@marybethbarone) March 21, 2020

[via Complex, cover image via Shutterstocl.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409164/New-York-City-s-Coronavirus-Safe-Sex-Guide-Gets-Mocked-By-Internet-Users/

Nike Recruits Everyone To ‘Play For The World’ In Clever Self-Isolation Campaign

Image via Nike

Sports juggernaut Nike takes on the coronavirus outbreak by advocating self-isolation in its latest ad campaign. The print, conceived by independent ad agency Wieden + Kenny Portland, was unveiled on Nike’s social media platforms over the weekend.

The creative strives to increase safety by getting people to stay indoors to prevent contagions. “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance,” the note reads.

“Play inside, play for the world,” says the advert’s tagline, encouraging fans to represent the globe in a match against the novel coronavirus.

The ad was also shared on the social media platforms of Nike ambassadors, such as Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods.

It coincides with the announcement of the premium Nike Training Club app now being free to download. The app offers workout plans, training programs, expert tips, and guided fitness routines.

Now more than ever, we are one team. #playinside #playfortheworldpic.twitter.com/LRLhL4FwkG

— Nike (@Nike) March 21, 2020

Now more than ever, we are one family. #JUMPMAN #playinsidepic.twitter.com/U1G4HFeNBY

— Jordan (@Jumpman23) March 21, 2020

If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world.#staysafe #playinside#playfortheworldpic.twitter.com/Ie5i9BjzEM

— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) March 21, 2020

View this post on Instagram 

Now more than ever, we are one team.⠀ #playinside #playfortheworld

A post shared by nike (@nike) on Mar 21, 2020 at 7:00am PDT

[via Muse by CLIO, cover image via CREDIT] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409161/Nike-Recruits-Everyone-To-Play-For-The-World-In-Clever-Self-Isolation-Campaign/

Apple’s Siri Can Now Screen You For Coronavirus Right Through Your iPhone

Image via DedMityay / Shutterstock.com

People living in the US are scrambling to obtain coronavirus tests, which are unfortunately inaccessible to many at the moment. To bring some peace of mind, Apple has introduced COVID-19 screening in its virtual assistant, Siri.

Right through your iPhone, Siri will field questions about the novel coronavirus so people can reach out to appropriate contacts to allay COVID-19 concerns.

To start off, simply ask the voice assistant, “Do I have coronavirus?” and it will launch into a number of questions about possible symptoms drawn from data provided by the US Public Health Service. Symptoms could be a fever, dry cough, or breathing problems.

Other queries by Siri include whether you have been in contact with a COVID-19 patient recently.

For users who are 65 or older and experiencing pressing medical conditions, Siri will also encourage them to reach out to a medical provider.

Aside from updating Siri to fight the coronavirus, Apple has launched a new Oprah Talks COVID-19 show on Apple TV+. CEO Tim Cook has additionally announced that the company will donate “millions of masks” to health professionals in the US and Europe.

[via Tom’s Guide, cover image via DedMityay / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409158/Apple-s-Siri-Can-Now-Screen-You-For-Coronavirus-Right-Through-Your-iPhone/

BBC News Daily

 

 
   
 

 
 

 
 
 

 

No school for the “foreseeable” future. Exams off. Clubs closed. Millions of children will be looking forward to a spring, and possibly a summer, free of responsibility and routine. But these are not normal times – they’re likely to have to spend days and nights indoors with parents or guardians. They won’t get much personal contact with friends and, for teenagers, the cancellation of exams will make a difficult time of year even more worrying. “It’s the perfect storm for parents and children,” says Sam Cartwright-Hatton, professor of clinical child psychology at the University of Sussex.  

 
 
 

Justin Parkinson

BBC News

 
 
 
 

 
 

Several of the newspapers have pictures of crowds taking advantage of the spring sunshine to get outdoors – in spite of the guidelines on social distancing. “Madness” is the Daily Mirror’s headline. “Stay home or face lockdown”, warns the Sun, while for the Daily Mail, the headline states starkly, “Obey the virus rules – or else”. The Daily Telegraph says there’s been deep concern within Whitehall as it emerged over the weekend that public messages urging people to stay at home and avoid socialising were apparently being ignored. According to the Times, Boris Johnson is facing calls from his cabinet and senior advisers to impose a full lockdown in London. A senior government source tells the paper: “It is inevitable – you just have to look at other countries.” Elsewhere, on the issue of the Olympics, the Financial Times reports that talks in recent days have focused on the length of a delay, possibly even to 2022.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

As we said, those deemed most vulnerable are being encouraged to adopt a policy of total isolation, but what is it really like to do that? Listen to the latest episode of BBC Ouch’s podcast in which some of those in that position – those with health conditions or disabilities – share the emotional and practical challenges.

 
 
 

 

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Primark to close all 189 UK Stores including all stores in Wales – WelshBiz

Retail Giant Primark is to close all 189 of their UK stores in response to coronavirus.

The major high street retailer will close all its shops due to the Covid-19 outbreak in a move affecting some 37,000 people.

The Primark store on Cardiff’s Queens Street, as well as all 189 UK stores will close with immediate effect due to the coronavirus.

The announcement by Primark, which has branches across Wales, will affect 37,000 people.

A Primark spokesman said;

“Our main priority is the health and wellbeing of our employees,”

“Primark has committed to supporting all employees who are directly affected by store closures, with full pay for their contracted hours for 14 days, after which the situation will be reviewed.

“Primark will continue to closely monitor the situation, following WHO advice as well as local and national government guidance.”  

For more Welsh Business News , UK Business News, Global Business News it Coronavirus News, please follow the link.

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Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) to support Businesses in South Wales…

THE Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has today outlined its work supporting businesses in South Wales affected by the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The region is working with the Welsh and UK Governments to keep them updated on the current experiences of South Wales business, while working to ensure the region’s business are kept informed of the support available to them and how it can be accessed.

The Covid-19 (coronavirus) disease has caused huge disruption to many businesses for the foreseeable future and with this comes the uncertainty of how they will cope.

During this time, the CCR wants to ensure that all messages for business support from the Welsh Government and UK Government are being properly communicated and will be cascading all relevant information through its channels for the benefit of the region’s businesses. It will also be working very closely with the CCR Economic Growth Partnership to consider targeted interventions from our investment fund to support companies in our region and fill in any gaps or intervene where more tailored packages of support are necessary. This will complement not duplicate Welsh Government and UK Government interventions.

Kellie Beirne, Director of the CCR City Deal, said: “For many people and businesses across Wales, this is a very uncertain time and the coming weeks and months will present a huge challenge to us as individuals, communities and businesses.

“Many businesses and sole traders will find it extremely difficult to navigate through the weeks and months ahead without coming under severe financial pressure.

“Many sectors will also be taking a hit as customers are advised to stay away with social distancing and self-isolation. This is why it is imperative we do all that we can do to help and support each other, which is why we must communicate the business support that is coming through Welsh Government and UK Government to ensure businesses in Wales know what is available to them and how to better plan for the next few months.

“We are constantly listening and ensuring our communities are kept up to date with the latest information as it happens, and in turn, we are speaking to key organisations such as the Welsh and UK Governments to ensure that understand the issues businesses in South Wales are facing. We will also be proactively supporting our Local authorities who’s rightful priority right now must be saving lives and protection of the vulnerable.

“The CCR fully supports the help the two Governments have pledged to date. Today we are expecting a further announcement from the Chancellor with regard to a salary support scheme. It is our intention to keep cascading what these announcements mean for business, and how those companies can access that support.”

Cardiff Capital Region is working on making sure it’s as clear as possible to businesses how they can access these support schemes that are being put in place, and will be communicating this information to businesses through their channels.

In addition, the CCR and FOR Cardiff has issued a survey to help understand and identify key frustrations businesses are facing and the requirements businesses need to overcome this period of uncertainty. Businesses can complete the survey HERE.

Kellie added: “The coronavirus pandemic is a test of the resilience of our communities. There are great traditions of mutual support and cooperation in our region that we can draw on. In Cardiff Capital Region, working together for the good of all is at the heart of what we’re about. Our ethos is that the region is not a success if the most in need are left behind.

“However, now more than ever is the time for entrepreneurship to come to the fore. We will need to pivot business models, diversify and innovate in order to survive in such turbulent times.

“While this time is uncertain for many, what is certain is that we must try to sustain our businesses and communities through the crisis and help them get back on their feet when the recovery comes. The work that we do as Cardiff Capital Region is all about providing the environment in which businesses can flourish, in every corner of our region.”

For more on this article or other Wales 247 news please follow the link.

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For more on Coronavirus or Covid-19 please click the links.

Global Coronavirus News

Latest News on the Global Pandemic

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Weirdest Items People Have Purchased Out Of Panic From Coronavirus

Image via Douglas Cliff / Shutterstock.com

The novel coronavirus wave has left countries, including Italy, France, Norway, and Spain, on lockdown, and many others encouraging self-isolation. This has, however, also driven people to panic-buy things in an attempt to stay stocked up.

Social media users are now confessingthe most ridiculous and weirdest purchases they have made during their stockpiling trips.

Twitter user Brandy Jensen, who started the thread, admitted that she bought three types of jams herself.

One user replied, “I have an irresponsible number of liters of olives,” while another responded, “Lentils. I hate lentils.”

Another consumer decided to “panic grow” with “seedlings for every vegetable” instead.

With these random, irrational purchases, one person suggested to hold “the weirdest potluck ever when this all blows over.”

what was everyone’s weirdest panic purchase my brain glitched and i bought three types of jam

— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) March 13, 2020

my boyfriend bought betty crocker cake mix and a bird feeder

— sloane (sipihkopiyesis) (@cottoncandaddy) March 13, 2020

What’s been your weirdest ‘panic’ buy? #COVID19 …trampoline is where I’m at so far pic.twitter.com/l9T6ZrERXn

— Claire Morgan (@claire_voices) March 20, 2020

I have an irresponsible number of liters of olives.

— Cassandra Lee (@barbaerella) March 13, 2020

I now have seedlings for every vegetable. I’m gonna panic grow

— Seth Goodtime (@SethGoodtime) March 13, 2020

Lentils. I hate lentils.

— Adam Jay 🌹 (@BullGooseParty) March 13, 2020

Been focused on gardening- this is my panic buy… pic.twitter.com/qA7x5zfLdG

— Lindsey Way (@lynzway) March 22, 2020

Let’s all get together and have the weirdest potluck ever, when this all blows over

— Jen Mason Stott (@jmasonstott) March 14, 2020

[via Delish, cover image via Douglas Cliff / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409182/Weirdest-Items-People-Have-Purchased-Out-Of-Panic-From-Coronavirus/

2020 Mother’s Day Cards Give Tough Love To Mom During COVID-19 Pandemic

Image via M&C Saatchi London

This year, unfortunately, isn’t the time for saccharine greeting cards. Advertising agency M&C Saatchi has produced a collection of e-cards to encourage loved ones to stay indoors, despite Mother’s Day falling on 22 March in the UK this year.

The unusual #MumIsGrounded cards turn the tables on mothers’ tough love, firmly reminding them to refrain from giving hugs or stepping outside.

Messages include, “It’s sad not to be able to hug the person that once cleaned my bum with a smile,” and, “It’s like when I told you there was a dangerous monster out there and it wasn’t safe to go to school. Only this time it’s true.”

The impactful cards are now available on M&C Saatchi’s social media channels.

View this post on Instagram 

Don’t dare visiting mum this Sunday. Send one of our e-cards instead! #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:03pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Keep your mum safe. Send her one of our e-cards. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:06pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Self isolation shouldn’t keep you from sending your mum some love. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:07pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

You’ll always be her baby. But it’s your turn to care for her. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:09pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Stay safe out there! Send your mum some virtual love. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:14pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

Go to your room and send your mum one of these. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:16pm PDT

View this post on Instagram 

You don’t need to be there to feel her love. #mumisgrounded

A post shared by M&C SAATCHI LONDON (@mcsaatchilondon) on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:19pm PDT

[via The Drum, images via M&C Saatchi London] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409181/2020-Mother-s-Day-Cards-Give-Tough-Love-To-Mom-During-COVID-19-Pandemic/

The New Yorker’s Cover Illustrates An Ominous, Deserted Grand Central Terminal

Image via The New Yorker

The cover for the latest issue of The New Yorker magazine features a deserted Grand Central Terminal, alluding to the self-isolation practices adopted by New York City residents amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Grand Central Terminal, which often sees thousands of New Yorkers passing through its facility on a normal day, has now been depicted as an abandoned building by artist Eric Drooker. The artwork encompasses the uncertain time as people stay indoors to prevent the spread of the virus.

The 30 March 2020 issue adds to the lineup of magazine coversdocumenting the current, and seemingly sudden, crisis.

In sharing his personal experience from the outbreak, Drooker pointed toSpanish painter Francisco Goya as the artist he often turns to “for solace in times of upheaval.”

As New Yorkers stay inside to fight the virus, the city’s streets and landmarks have turned into a ghost town, as depicted in new gripping pictures shot by photographers.

View this post on Instagram 

An early look at next week’s cover, “Grand Central Terminal,” by Eric Drooker. #NewYorkerCovers

A post shared by The New Yorker (@newyorkermag) on Mar 20, 2020 at 7:45am PDT

[via The New Yorker, cover image via The New Yorker] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409176/The-New-Yorker-s-Cover-Illustrates-An-Ominous-Deserted-Grand-Central-Terminal/

The CDC Launches ‘Coronavirus Self-Checker’ Bot For US Citizens

Image via Shutterstock

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service have launched a “coronavirus self-checker” bot, called Clara, to field questions about potential COVID-19 symptoms and recommend appropriate medical solutions and contacts.

The virtual tool will only be available in the US, where, as of 22 March 2020, has more than 15,200 reported COVID-19 cases and 200 deaths. Microsoft explains that Clara will aid in determining whether a person is in need of medical help, as screening all patients with cold or flu-like symptoms can lead to a “bottleneck that threatens to overwhelm health systems coping with the crisis.”

Using artificial intelligence, Clara will answer queries from people in the US, allowing medical professionals to direct their attention to those experiencing critical conditions, per TechCrunch.

However, the bot will not provide diagnosis or treatment prescriptions. It simply guides people through questions about their symptoms, and then gives them recommendations on medical care.

Clara follows Apple in helping to screen users for possible symptoms of the novel coronavirus. Apple users can now check with Siri for more informed steps to take to allay their concerns about COVID-19.

Patients with #COVID19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms: https://t.co/ehL8kmRHaNpic.twitter.com/0am2j0zhfE

— CDC (@CDCgov) March 22, 2020

[via TechCrunch, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409175/The-CDC-Launches-Coronavirus-Self-Checker-Bot-For-US-Citizens/

Calming Things To Do At Home To Keep Your Mind Off Coronavirus

[Click here to view the video in this article] 

Images via Netflix and Shutterstock

It can be a stressful time for everyone as COVID-19 continues to spread globally, with little sign of slowing down.

Luckily, there are more productive waysto keep yourself occupied than panic or binge-watch series after series.

Below, you’ll find a number of calming activities to do to keep your mind off coronavirus-related news. Take a look.

Dalgona whipped coffee

This three-ingredient beverage with a whipped coffee foam has been taking over the internet lately. The drink, called Dalgona coffee, gained emergence on TikTok and is named after a traditional Korean honeycomb toffee candy with a sponge-like texture. What makes it such a popular activity during this time of self-isolation is that the coffee supposedly requires (at least) 400 whips by hand to turn into the topping—a good way to pass time and give your arm a workout.

The whipped coffee itself requires just two ingredients: instant coffee granules and sugar. You’ll need to mix equal parts of instant coffee, sugar, and hot water, and then whisk them together into a meringue-like mixture with stiff peaks. Pour it over a glass of milk.

People have been whipping the mixture by hand to keep themselves busy during the coronavirus outbreak, but you can also skip to the good part by using an electric mixer.

Paint along with Bob Ross

The world could do with a lot more of Bob Ross’ positivity right now. If you have a Netflix subscription, you can paint along with the late artist on two shows, Beauty is Everywhere and Chill with Bob Ross.

A number of episodes, as well as the full Bob Ross: The Happy Painter documentary, are also available on the official Bob Ross YouTube channel.

Brighten up your days—and walls—with free coloring pages

Cultural institutions around the world have turned their artworks into free coloring pages, delivering hours upon hours of art therapy. Many of these illustrations are truly bizarre, albeit fitting for these strange times.

Live workout sessions

Home Work-in Day 7

Join us for a 🎉 Sunday Funday 🎉Family edition of Home Work-Ins!

The weekend still feels like the weekend when you’re staying active! Join us on Facebook Live at 7pm ET. United We Move!

Posted by Planet Fitness on Sunday, March 22, 2020

Every day, Planet Fitness hosts live 20-minute workout classes for free at 4pm PT on its Facebook page, so you can get your daily exercise in. Don’t worry if you skip a session, the fitness center uploads its previous sessions online.

You can also check out Apple’s favorite workout apps to keep you fit during the stay-at-home period.

For more ideas on how to keep busy during self-isolation, head here.

[via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/409177/Calming-Things-To-Do-At-Home-To-Keep-Your-Mind-Off-Coronavirus/

More details on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)…

Further details have emerged for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which is designed to assist qualifying businesses during these unprecedented times.

The Scheme aims to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance.  The loan will be provided by the British Business Bank through participating providers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Full details of the CBILS scheme can be found here – but the main criteria are:

  • Loan facilities of up to £5m
  • 80% of the lenders risk is covered
  • Repayment terms up to 6 years for term loans and asset finance, but overdraft and invoice facilities will be up to 3 years.
  • No upfront fees and interest is covered by Government for up to 12 months
  • Companies remain 100% liable for the debt repayments. Total unsecured lending of up to £250,000.
  • Application for loans from the scheme is administered by over 40 approved lenders including main banks, challenger banks and asset finance etc. Businesses need to apply directly to the lenders and present their case for the finance needed.

Further details on all available business support schemes in response to Covid-19 can be seen at this Government website page: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

To be eligible for support in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the small business must:

  • Be a UK-based SME
  • Operate within an eligible sector
  • Comply with relevant state aid rules
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal but insufficient security to meet the lender’s requirements

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

TikTok Pledges $10 Million to World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Efforts

TikTok is donating $10 million to the World Health Organization to assist in its efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-pledges-10-million-to-world-health-organizations-covid-19-response/574713/

Facebook’s Testing New Tools to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation on WhatsApp and Messenger

With various COVID-19 misinformation campaigns gaining traction in messaging apps, Facebook is working to stem the spread with tests of several new features. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebooks-testing-new-tools-to-combat-covid-19-misinformation-on-whatsapp/574710/

Amid COVID-19 Lockdowns, New Online Behavioral Shifts Are Beginning to Take Shape

With COVID-19 lockdowns taking hold across the world, we’re seeing the emergence of new online trends, which may extend well beyond the crisis itself.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/amid-covid-19-lockdowns-new-online-behavioral-shifts-are-beginning-to-take/574704/

Facebook Announces Free Assistance for Health Agencies Looking to Use Messenger to Communicate COVID-19 Info

Facebook will provide free services to health organizations in order to help them use Messenger to scale their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-announces-free-assistance-for-health-agencies-looking-to-use-messe/574699/

More Nations Are Looking to Use Cell Phone Data to Track the COVID-19 Outbreak, Raising Privacy Concerns

As COVID-19 outbreak continues to expand, could cell phone and mobile data tracking be the key to containment? 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/more-nations-are-looking-to-use-cell-phone-data-to-track-the-covid-19-outbr/574695/

Latest BBC News update…

Latest BBC News Update including Coronavirus News

 
 

First it was advice, now it’s an order. Boris Johnson has issued a stark message to the country: “At this moment of national emergency… stay at home.” Speaking after the UK death toll reached 335, the prime minister introduced unprecedented restrictions on everyday life, meaning people must only leave their house for one of four reasons – to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, to shop for essential items, and to fulfil any medical or care needs. 

 

Shops selling non-essential goods have been told to shut, along with libraries and children’s playgrounds, and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together will be prohibited. The restrictions will be in place for at least three weeks and police will have the power to enforce them, including through fines.  Read the prime minister’s statement in full and get a more detailed breakdown of the new rules.

 

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, says it’s still not quite the kind of total crackdown seen in other countries, at least not yet – no curfews, for example – and there will be a time on the other side of this crisis to analyse whether the government made the right decisions at the right time.

 

A reminder here of the symptoms of coronavirus and how you can minimise your risk. And here we answer 10 of your most-asked questions .

 
 
 

 
 

The World Health Organization says the pandemic is “accelerating”, with more than 360,000 cases globally and more than 16,000 deaths. But WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was still possible to “change the trajectory” with rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies. 

 

Many other nations have now imposed lockdowns along the lines of that in the UK. France is strictly limiting physical exercise and closing outdoor markets, and South Africa’s government is preparing for the worst. India is stopping all domestic flights, but there are particular fears surrounding one textile city.

 

In Italy, the worst-hit country, the latest daily increase in deaths was the smallest since last Thursday, raising hope that stringent restrictions on public life are starting to have an effect. The BBC’s Sima Kotecha describes the haunting experience of Rome under lockdown. 

 

In the US, where 481 people have died, state governors and city mayors are pleading for more help from the federal government. However, the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher explains why the president may be having second thoughts about following suit with a large-scale lockdown. 

 

Our live page has all the latest developments, while health correspondent James Gallagher looks at when and how life might return to normal.

 l.
 
 

 
 
 

 

It is clearly not a good time for the world and it is not a good time for relations between the US and China. President Donald Trump has repeatedly chosen to call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus”. The president and his secretary of state have both denounced China for its failings in the initial handling of the outbreak. Meanwhile, social media in China has spread stories that the pandemic has been caused by a US military germ warfare programme; rumours that gained considerable traction. But this is not just a war of words, something more fundamental is going on . 

 
 
 

Jonathan Marcus

BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent

 
 
 
 

 
 

The drastic measures announced by Boris Johnson are reflected in dramatic headlines. “End of freedom”, the Daily Telegraph declares. “Britain shuts up shop”, the Daily Mail says, while the Sun has a picture of a giant padlock with the headline “House arrest”. As the Financial Times puts it, the prime minister has been “forced to close Britain”. While there’s widespread support for the measures, there’s also a feeling that, as the i puts it, the prime minister has dragged his heels. The Guardian says he significantly “escalated his language” after days of being accused of “sending mixed messages about what the public should do”. Leo McKinstry, writing in the Daily Express, says the imposition of these “savage rules” will have been particularly difficult for the PM, who is “an optimistic liberal at heart, with a deep suspicion of the big state”, but he had no alternative.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

 

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me