Britain will reimpose a limit of six people for most social gatherings from Monday with the aim of curbing a resurgence in coronavirus infections by the end of the year, a top official said.
Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC on Wednesday that the ban on gatherings of more than six people would be needed for the “foreseeable future”.
“I really hope we can turn this round before Christmas.
“Three months is a long time in a pandemic, and I very much hope this strong rule, together with the local action we’ve taken … can work to do that,” he said.
The new rule reduces the the maximum participation in social gatherings from 30 to six in all indoor and outdoor settings, with the exception of weddings, funerals and team sports.
People failing to comply with the new measures could face a 100-pound (130-dollar) fine, doubling on each repeat offence and increasing up to 3,200 pounds.
Britain reported 2,460 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing its total since March to more than 352,500.
Britain’s official death toll linked to the coronavirus pandemic is more than 41,500, Europe’s highest total.
Health data analysts estimate the true death toll at up to 70,000, based on seasonal excess deaths, with many hundreds of thousands of others infected.
Health experts and opposition politicians have accused the government of a slow response to the crisis and criticised Britain’s low level of testing and poor preparation for a pandemic.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Bale signing leaves Alli’s Spurs future in doubt
Of the Tottenham Hotspur players impacted by the loan signing of Gareth Bale from Real Madrid, Dele Alli appears the most vulnerable but manager Jose Mourinho has said he will not be sacrificed in the transfer window.
Bale will not be ready to resume his Tottenham career until October as he regains fitness, but when he does it is likely to be in an attacking trio with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Alli burst into the spotlight at Tottenham in 2015-16 when he was named PFA Young Player of the Year and made his England debut, but his form has dipped to such an extent that he has lost his place in Jose Mourinho’s side.
Left out of Gareth Southgate’s last England squad too, Alli, now aged 24, is at something of a crossroads.
His preferred position, playing just behind a front two, looks tailor-made for Bale and Mourinho also has an abundance of attacking options in the form of Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn, Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela.
Mourinho demands a high work ethic and a recent behind-the-scenes documentary about Tottenham featured one episode in which Mourinho tells Alli he is “lazy” and later, in a one-to-one chat, warns him that he could regret not reaching his potential.
Alli was substituted at halftime in Tottenham’s first Premier League game of the new season, a 1-0 loss to Everton.
He did not feature at all in last week’s Europa league win at Lokomotiv Plovdiv, nor the 5-2 win at Southampton on Sunday in which Son scored four goals.
With three weeks of the transfer window left, Alli’s name is already being linked with a move to Paris St Germain, but his stock is not what it was when he scored twice for Tottenham in their first ever win against Real Madrid in 2017.
“I want a balanced squad, that’s what I want. He doesn’t need to be sacrificed, but the squad is a puzzle,” Mourinho said when asked about Alli’s future on Sunday.
Former Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown believes it might be in everyone’s best interests if Alli were to be sold.
“It doesn’t look like they’re getting on very well,” Brown told BBC Radio. “I’m hoping he has a reaction and takes the challenge head on, but it doesn’t look good and maybe this one’s broken.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Man City’s Gundogan tests positive for COVID-19
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said on Monday.
Gundogan is the third player in the squad to return a positive test in recent weeks.
City winger Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.
“Gundogan is now observing a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine,” the club said in a statement.
Gundogan is likely to miss three matches for City while he self-isolates, including Monday’s league clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Thursday’s League Cup tie against Bournemouth and Sunday’s league game against Leicester City.
Both Mahrez and Laporte returned to training last week but City boss Pep Guardiola said only the Algerian winger would be available against Wolves — City’s opening game of the season.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edited By: Joseph Edeh
Tokyo 2020 consulting firm paid around $370,000 to Diack’s son – report
A consulting firm for Tokyo’s Olympic bid committee paid around $370,000 to the son of Lamine Diack, once one of the world’s most powerful sports officials, around the time Japan was picked to host the 2020 Games, Kyodo News reported on Monday.
The report comes amid French investigations into the former head of Tokyo’s bid committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, for approving around $2 million in payments to Black Tidings, a now-defunct consulting firm in Singapore.
The report said the findings, based on a review of financial documents as well as reporting by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several media organisations including Kyodo, may shed light on what happened to the $2 million.
Black Tidings made multiple transfers to Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, including some paid into a personal account and others transferred to his company, the report said.
The combined total was around $370,000, it said.
Papa Massata Diack told Kyodo that the payments were not related to the Tokyo Olympics. He declined further comment in an e-mail to Reuters.
French prosecutors had been looking into whether Black Tidings paid the younger Diack to influence the father, who was a member of the International Olympic Committee and believed to control votes among African members.
Takeda resigned last year due to the scandal, admitting to the payments while denying wrongdoing.
The Kyodo report said he denied any knowledge of money transfers from Black Tidings.
“At the time, I did not know anything that happened after (making the payment to the consulting firm),” he said.
Reuters could not immediately contact Takeda for comment.
The older Diack, former head of world athletics’ governing body, was convicted in France on Wednesday for corruption in relation to a Russian doping scandal.
The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the government planning to host the games next year instead.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Environmentalist harps on mitigation of climate change effects
An environmentalist, Mr Adewole Taiwo, on Monday listed tree planting, use of alternative energy sources, and proper waste sorting as some strategies to mitigate climate change effects.
Taiwo, a Director at Recyclepoints, made the recommendations in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.
He said it was imperative for Nigerians to clean up their environment and address climate change issues with more commitment.
“We must all take responsibility for our immediate environment, clear our drainages, bag our waste properly and sort recyclables.
“Some people still do not believe in the impacts of climate change just like some do not believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is real.
“However, the impacts of climate change are getting more glaring every day, for example the flooding we currently experience can testify that climate change is real and we need to carry out more awareness about it.
“The major challenge in sensitising Nigerians on the negative impacts of climate change effects has to do with lack of information, education and proper enlightenment among the people,” he said.
Taiwo urged Nigerians to practice sustainable lifestyles and habits to help curb the negative realities of climate change effects in the country.
He also encouraged the imitation and replication of developed countries strategies of mitigating climate change effects in their environment.
“To mitigate climate change effects, we can start by reducing our carbon footprint generation by making use of alternative sources of energy and fuel.
“We can also reduce the emission of green house gases into the environment when we live sustainably by walking where necessary instead of riding a car or vehicle.
“We need to plant more trees and reduce waste generation to curb the increasing greenhouse gas emission into the environment.
“We are imitating more developed countries in adoption of their strategies to mitigate climate change effects by observing some of these international events, already we have so many organisations that are now into renewable energy.
“We commend the German delegation in Nigeria doing everything possible to promote renewable and alternative energy sources in the country.
“We also have many non-government organisations embarking on tree planting and clean up with support from these developed countries,” Taiwo said.
According to the environmentalist, the government at all levels can play a vital role in curbing climate change impacts on the environment through policy implementation.
“We have lots of environmental policies out there but the problem has to do with government implementation.
“An important point to note here is that the world’s worst polluters are human beings and not plastics,” he said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma