Day: June 18, 2020

Matt Hancock defends tracing app failure

A resident of the Isle of Wight poses with his smartphone showing the NHS Coronavirus contact tracing app - HANDOUT/AFP
A resident of the Isle of Wight poses with his smartphone showing the NHS Coronavirus contact tracing app – HANDOUT/AFP
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

10:49 PM

What happened today

Here are the big developments from today: 

  • Boris Johnson is expected to announce that deals have been put in place for so-called air bridges with a “small number” of countries which would allow families to go on foreign holidays from July 4.

  • The NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app is to be abandoned and replaced after an audit found it could detect only one in 25 contacts on Apple phones. 

  • Wikipedia founder has claimed he can launch a German-style contact-tracing app in the UK within ‘two weeks’, as he blasted the NHS’s aborted effort as the ‘height of incompetence’.

  • The two metre social distancing rule will be halved in Northern Ireland’s schools when they reopen in August, putting more pressure on

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Minnesota’s pro basketball teams cutting staff

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx are cutting pay and staff due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both teams are owned by Glen Taylor. The organization said it has temporarily reduced salaries for employees earning $70,000 or more annually and laid off an unspecified amount of its full-time workforce.

The virus outbreak prompted the NBA to halt play on March 11. The WNBA has yet to begin the 2020 season.

A limited number of spectators will be allowed at Iowa Speedway each night for IndyCar races July 17-18.

About 5,000-6,000 tickets will be available each night at the facility, which has more than 25,000 permanent seats. Groups of fans will be separated by at least 6 feet in order to align with state guidelines for COVID-19 at the oval track, which

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‘I Have Nothing:’ The Story Of Wisconsin’s Unemployment Crisis

MILWAUKEE, WI — It was Wednesday morning, and DeiDra Blakley was on the floor of her Milwaukee apartment counting the loose change she saves in a jar.

Blakely has been out of work for more than 13 weeks, and despite applying for unemployment insurance benefits in Wisconsin, she has yet to receive a check. She’s fallen more than two months behind on her rent, and is afraid she might be evicted after the state’s 60-day moratorium on evictions expired last week.

She has a quarter-tank of gas left in her car, and she’s been spending the morning hunting for boxes at nearby gas stations, so she has something to pack her belongings in case she is evicted.

The change amounts to $16.03 — almost enough to fill the tank.

Blakely used to work in the Fire Keepers Club at the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino until she was furloughed. Her last

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Coronavirus latest news: Matt Hancock defends tracing app failure

A resident of the Isle of Wight poses with his smartphone showing the NHS Coronavirus contact tracing app - HANDOUT/AFP
A resident of the Isle of Wight poses with his smartphone showing the NHS Coronavirus contact tracing app – HANDOUT/AFP

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended the decision by the Government to abandon its own tracing app in favour of one provided by Apple and Google. 

When pressed by journalists at today’s Downing Street press conference on when the new technology would be put in place, Mr Hancock was unable to give a firm date. 

He said that the government was continuing to “work” on the app, adding: “I am absolutely determined that whilst this technology can help, it has got to be working effectively. Asking people to isolate for two weeks is a big deal, so I am not going to recommend an app unless I’m confident in it.”

Speaking at today’s conference, Mr Hancock explained that through testing Google, Apple and NHS technology, it became apparent that the

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Six Flags Announced New Mobile Food Ordering At Their Parks To Limit Person-To-Person Contact

Photo credit: Rich Fury - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rich Fury – Getty Images

From Delish

It goes without saying that summer 2020 looks different than the summers we’re used to. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, activities like eating out, going to the beach, and going to amusement parks have been put on hold for the safety of visitors and employees. As some states phase into their reopening of non-essential businesses, the latter are making plans to reopen safely.

For the most part, there are some precautions being taken across the board. Face masks are required at all of the parks, although the age requirement for kids to wear them may differ from place to place. Other policies, like more frequent cleaning of high traffic areas, social distancing, and reserving tickets in advance to control capacity are all pretty standard across the board for amusement parks so far. To reserve your tickets and to read up on

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Cranford To Reopen 1 Pool Monday, And Other Coronavirus Updates

CRANFORD, NJ — Cranford will only open one of its pools this summer, a decision that the Township Committee said, in a letter, that they knew has provoked “questions and some disappointment.” They said the decision was not easy, but a responsible choice for health reasons.

State regulations for pools were announced recently. Pools can be at 50 percent capacity.

Director of Parks and Recreation Steve Robertazzi explained the reasons and rules in a letter: “Opening a municipal pool is not as simple as pulling back the cover, and with the late notice from the state and the significant additional requirements that will be in place to protect patrons and staff: many towns had decided not to reopen their pools.

Robertazzi said, “After a difficult couple of months, it goes without saying that we could all use a pool now more than ever…The pool staff, in conjunction with the Township

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How to organise holiday money in an age of pandemics

Change approach: the coronavirus crisis means cash is no longer king: Simon Calder
Change approach: the coronavirus crisis means cash is no longer king: Simon Calder

The shrapnel from my final trip before lockdown is still on my desk. Saudi and Yemeni riyals, Jordanian dinars, Israeli shekels and Egyptian pounds provide a pecuniary reminder of a joyful journey.

But next time I travel to and through the Middle East, I do not expect to return with such an exotic collection of notes and coins.

Until mid-March, I was a cash traveller: taking sterling, euros or dollars abroad and tracking down the best place to change for local currency – whether a carpet shop in India or a bakery in Uzbekistan.

Yet since I returned home from Cairo three months ago, the world’s attitude to money has changed.

Cash is no longer king; the coronavirus crisis has vastly accelerated progress towards digital payments, and the traveller needs to be equipped for a contactless future

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Everything you need to know about visiting Spain this summer

Playa de Formentor, Mallorca, Spain: istock
Playa de Formentor, Mallorca, Spain: istock

As countries around the globe tentatively begin to relax restrictions on travel, the promise of tapas al fresco and long, lazy sun-filled days beside the sea come top of the travel wish-list for many tourists.

Spain has long topped the list as one of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations, with more than 18 million British tourists visiting in 2019 – a fifth of the country’s overall total of nearly 84 million visitors, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics.

But can British holidaymakers get there? And will we be welcome if we do?

Here’s all the information you need to know.

Am I allowed to travel to Spain from the UK?

At the moment, the Foreign Office is advising against all non-essential international travel – including to Spain.

The ban was initially put in place to avoid Britons getting stuck abroad as

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Seller of Travel | State of California – Department of Justice

California requires all sellers of travel to register with the Attorney General’s Office and to display the registration number on all advertising. While not assuring that a company is reputable, a valid registration signals that the seller of travel has at least followed the law to be registered.

When you’re at a travel agency, ask to see the seller of travel’s registration acknowledgement — a one-page document issued by the Attorney General’s Seller of Travel Program. Be sure to check the expiration date to determine whether the registration is still valid.

You also may use the “Seller Search” feature on this website to assist you in determining whether a seller of travel is registered with our office. Since there are many similar seller of travel names, please spell out the full name and address of the company.

If you prefer, you can find out whether a seller of travel is

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How tourist destinations can rebuild after coronavirus

<span class="caption">The end of the road?</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Joshua Earle">Joshua Earle</a>, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CC BY-SA">CC BY-SA</a></span>
The end of the road? Joshua Earle, CC BY-SA

Tourism has virtually stopped thanks to the COVID-19 lockdowns. This is hitting many cities hard – see this report about New York galleries and museums losing millions of dollars, for example. Many tourist businesses are now contemplating a future without lucrative international visitors, having to rely instead on those closer to home.

In Scotland, where I am based, the chief executive of the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions believes that 80% of the country’s attractions may not survive the next 12 months. He thinks many will not be viable if you combine a massive drop in international numbers with the current rules about two-metre social distancing and other health and safety requirements.

Obviously, such damage would spread far beyond the tourist attractions. It threatens thousands of jobs and business closures in everything from hotels to ice cream vans, particularly since the

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