Coronavirus live news: Germany will decide which restrictions to lift in January; UK deaths rise by 215


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Arcadia is expected to enter administration in the coming hours after the weekend failed to bring a last-minute rescue deal for Sir Philip Green’s retail giant.

The appointment of administrators by the owner of household names including Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burton would be the biggest corporate failure of the pandemic. Amid concerns among MPs and unions about the impact of possible job cuts from the 13,000-strong workforce and a shortfall in the group’s pension scheme, the company’s collapse was also expected to jeopardise a takeover by JD Sports of the department store chain Debenhams, which rents out space to dozens of Arcadia-owned outlets.

Turkey’s death toll hits record high for seventh consecutive day

Turkey‘s daily coronavirus death toll hit a record high for a seventh consecutive day on Sunday, with 185 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The number of new coronavirus cases, including asymptomatic infections, decreased slightly to 29,281.

Turkey only started reporting asymptomatic cases on Wednesday. The total death toll stands at 13,558.

Coronavirus live news: Germany will decide which restrictions to lift in January; UK deaths rise by 215

The government introduced tighter measures a week ago including nightly curfews at weekends, restrictions on movements of people of non-working age, a move to online schooling and limiting restaurants and cafes to takeaway services.

Updatedat 5.57pm GMT

Greece announced 1,193 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, a significant decrease compared to recent figures and its lowest number since 2 November.

The total number of cases stands at 104,227. There were 98 deaths over the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 2,321. Greece announced a record increase in deaths on Saturday, with 121 fatalities registered.

The country’s public health system is close to capacity, according to a report in Kathimerini, with 603 patients on ventilators. In Thessaloniki, patients are being transferred to a private clinic requisitioned due to the crisis.

The WHO delivered 15 ventilators to hospitals in Gaza on Sunday as the Palestinian territory suffers a rise in Covid-19 infections.

The donation was funded by Kuwait and came a week after local and international public health advisers said the territory’s hospitals could soon become overwhelmed.

Coronavirus live news: Germany will decide which restrictions to lift in January; UK deaths rise by 215

“These devices will help medical teams provide better service to patients, but it is not enough,” said Abdullatif Alhaj of Gaza’s health ministry, adding that hospitals had suffered acute oxygen shortages. The health ministry said more than than half of the territory’s 150 ventilators were in use. There are 342 Covid-19 patients in Gaza’s hospitals, including 108 in a critical condition.

Updatedat 5.23pm GMT

New York City‘s state schools will start to reopen on 7 December, beginning with primary schools, the mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced on Sunday. Schools were closed less than two weeks ago when test positivity rates across the city passed the 3% benchmark agreed by the mayor and teachers’ union. To go into school, students must have a signed consent form agreeing to weekly coronavirus testing or a letter of medical exemption from a doctor, the mayor said.

Updatedat 5.41pm GMT

The top infectious disease expert in the US has warned that the country may record a “surge upon a surge” of the virus in coming weeks. Dr Anthony Fauci said he did not expect current guidance around social distancing to be relaxed before Christmas. “When you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn’t all of a sudden turn around like that,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC.

“So clearly in the next few weeks, we’re going to have the same sort of thing. And perhaps even two or three weeks down the line … we may see a surge upon a surge.”

Coronavirus live news: Germany will decide which restrictions to lift in January; UK deaths rise by 215

Updatedat 4.51pm GMT

Italy registered a further 20,648 coronavirus infections on Sunday, compared with 26,315 the previous day.

There have been 541 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry reported, down from 686 on Saturday. The country has seen 54,904 Covid-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after the UK. It has also registered 1.585 million cases to date.

Updatedat 4.38pm GMT

UK reports 12,155 cases, 215 deaths

There have been a further 12,155 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, according to government data.

This compares to 15,871 cases registered on Saturday. A total of 1,617,327 people have tested positive. A further 215 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported on Monday, bringing the total to 58,245.

There were 479 on Saturday. Sunday figures are often lower because of reporting delays over the weekend. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 73,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

Updatedat 4.23pm GMT

Hello, Clea Skopeliti here taking over the blog for the next few hours. You can reach me by Twitter DM or email with any suggestions for coronavirus coverage or news tips. Thanks!

In Italy, the Serie A club Udinese has blamed a sudden outbreak of Covid-19 infections at the club on this month’s international break, saying it began with a player returning from a national team match, Reuters reports. Udinese were without Stefano Okaka, Ilija Nestorovski, Sebastien De Maio, Thomas Ouwejan, Rolando Mandragora and Kevin Lasagna, as well as the head coach, Luca Gotti, when they faced Lazio on Sunday – though they still pulled off a shock 3-1 away win. The club’s sporting director, Pierpaolo Marino, told broadcast DAZN:


In the midst of this epidemic Udinese was a happy island because thanks to the organisation of the club we had established protocols that had helped us to avoid contagion.

Then a player who came back from the national team matches tested positive and new infections arose from there. Obviously it is not his fault, but the Fifa system is not working at the moment and we are the ones paying the consequences.

Updatedat 3.48pm GMT

French court orders government to loosen rules on religious ceremonies

France’s highest administrative court has ordered the government to loosen coronavirus rules allowing no more than 30 people at religious services, in the face of angry objections from church leaders.
The council of state said it was giving the prime minister, Jean Castex, three days to change the rules, as the limit of 30 set to combat the coronavirus was not sufficient to allow people to attend services when they wanted.

Coronavirus live news: Germany will decide which restrictions to lift in January; UK deaths rise by 215

Catholic associations filed a complaint with the body on Friday describing the government measures as “unnecessary, disproportionate and discriminatory”.

Their lawyers argued that the latest coronavirus rules in France – which on Saturday allowed non-essential businesses to open – meant that in the run-up to Christmas a superstore could host hundreds of people but a cathedral could admit only a handful.


France’s Council of Bishops (CEF) applauded the ruling, saying “common sense has been recognised” while expressing the hope that “resorting to justice should be the exception in the dialogue with the authorities in our country”.

Its representatives were due to meet Castex later Sunday to discuss the next steps.

Updatedat 3.45pm GMT

UK reports 208 deaths in last 24 hours

The UK government have reported a further 208 deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 40,405. Patients were aged between 39 and 100 years old. All except 13 (aged 56 to 86 years old) had known underlying health conditions.

Date of death ranges from 25 October to 28 November 2020 with the majority being on or after 25 November. The number of deaths of patients with Covid-19 by region are as follows:
East of England – 21

London – 15 Midlands – 63 North East & Yorkshire – 50

North West – 32 South East – 14 South West – 13

Total: 208

Updatedat 2.31pm GMT

Coronavirus live news: Germany will decide which restrictions to lift in January; UK deaths rise by 215

My colleague Libby Brooks writes:


With winds over 35 miles an hour and sideways rain, an outdoor pantomime on the Isle of Skye was always going to demand some creative stage management. But Daniel Cullen, producer of the island’s first drive-in panto – a production of the Grimms’ fairytale Rapunzel, with a Scottish twist – is confident he can reach an accommodation with the wintry weather. There will be “contingency umbrellas” to protect the cast’s radio mics, and coordinated rainwear to match their multicoloured costumes.

The stage is a 14-metre HGV trailer parked outside the Sligachan hotel with a view of the Red Cuillins. And the audience, who will tune in to the dialogue on their car radios, have been instructed to bring blankets and whatever else they need to keep warm. With many venues across the UK still closed because of Covid, the traditional pantomime – which Cullen points out is often the only time a family experiences live theatre all year – will be missing from many festive calendars.

But after the success of socially distanced drive-in events over the summer, the format has been repurposed to offer some welcome end-of-year release, even as restrictions tighten for many.

Updatedat 2.19pm GMT

Doctors and nurses are protesting in Madrid, Spain against cuts that they say have left them struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. Banging drums and singing “less flags and more nurses”, about 4,000 protesters marched through the Spanish capital, the region hit hardest by the coronavirus, Reuters reports:

Lucia Tielvez, 65, an auxiliary health worker said:


They [healthcare] are segregating. In the private health companies it is a business. In the public, everyone comes.

If you don’t have money, you don’t get.

Madrid’s conservative regional government has denied cutting health services.
Photographs published in Spanish media on Sunday showing cities packed with Christmas shoppers sparked fears of a spike in infections. Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish PM, urged people to avoid large family gatherings this Christmas to avoid a rise in Covid-19 cases. He told party supporters on Saturday:


The next few months will be decisive.

Experts predict that we will attend a critical stage of the pandemic, coinciding with the first mass vaccines.

Spain’s left-wing government is considering limiting Christmas gatherings to six people. Spain added 10,853 new cases of coronavirus to its tally on Friday, according to health ministry data, down from more than 12,000 new cases the day before. The number of people who died from coronavirus in Spain rose by 294 on Friday, bringing the total death toll from the pandemic to 44,668, while the cumulative total of cases reached 1,628,208.

Updatedat 2.04pm GMT

Coronavirus live news: Germany will decide which restrictions to lift in January; UK deaths rise by 215

Universities in the UK fined students more than GBP170,000 for breaching coronavirus safety rules in the first weeks of the new academic year, a Guardian analysis has found, as students told of struggling to make friends without flouting restrictions. Twenty-eight institutions fined students for breaking university, local and national Covid rules, including bans on household mixing, and mandatory face coverings and social distancing, according to responses from 105 universities to freedom of information (FoI) requests. Nottingham University students paid more than one-third of the total amount, with 91 fined a total of GBP58,865 up to 12 November – more than the amount levied on its student population by police.

The university said the individual fines it issued were up to GBP1,500.
The fines handed down to 1,898 students amounted to GBP170,915. Most universities only disclosed fines levied in the first two to three weeks of term.

Some said the money would be paid into their student hardship fund.

France’s state council, the country’s highest court, today ordered the government to review a law limiting the number of people in churches during religious services to 30, Reuters reports. The council said in a statement that the measure was not proportionate to coronavirus infection risks.

Last week, the government announced that a nationwide lockdown in place since 30 October would be unwound in phases.

Shops selling non-essential goods were allowed to reopen from 28 November and indoor religious services were allowed to resume, but the number of worshippers was capped at 30 people, regardless of the size of the place of worship.

Catholic organisations have challenged the limit, arguing that churches and cathedrals are much more spacious than retail outlets, where the limit is one person per eight square metres.

Updatedat 12.39pm GMT

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