lockdown

Illegal lockdown parties hosted in online rentals

Several hosts said they had found gas cannisters, used for taking laughing gas, in their properties
Several hosts said they had found gas cannisters, used for taking laughing gas, in their properties

Lockdown parties hosted in properties booked via online sites, including Airbnb and Booking.com, are putting “communities at risk”, the Bed and Breakfast Association has said.

Hosts and residents have complained of groups of up to 30 breaking social-distancing rules and taking drugs.

BBC News has been told of several such parties in the past month.

Airbnb said it had gone further than its rivals to protect public health during the pandemic.

However, last week a man was stabbed at a party in a south London property police believe had been rented out via the platform.

‘Take responsibility’

Following a previous BBC News investigation into “coronavirus retreats”, Airbnb had told users they could make bookings only if they were key workers or required “essential stays”.

But that restriction is to be lifted, in line with

Read More

Everything you need to know as lockdown eases

We have all your questions about face masks answered including how to wash them, masks for children and where to buy them: iStock
We have all your questions about face masks answered including how to wash them, masks for children and where to buy them: iStock

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that face masks and coverings will become part of daily life.

The UK government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have both advised wearing face coverings in a bid to reduce the infection transmission of Covid-19.

Since 15 June, it has been mandatory in England to wear them while using public transport and in hospitals. Failure to follow these rules can result in people being refused entry and a £100 fine.

The new rules mean that anyone travelling by train, Tube, bus, ferry or plane in England should be wearing a face covering. Those travelling by train will be asked to cover their face as they enter a station.

These rules apply to everyone, except those under the age of 11 and

Read More

The lockdown is turning back the clock on women’s lives in Britain

Studies in 2019 showed that slight progress had been made in closing the gender pay gap in the UK in recent years, but the lockdown has stalled this progress - Joe Giddens/PA
Studies in 2019 showed that slight progress had been made in closing the gender pay gap in the UK in recent years, but the lockdown has stalled this progress – Joe Giddens/PA

SIR – We are concerned that the long-term impact on women is being overlooked in the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

We don’t deny that men have been affected disproportionately by the virus itself, but evidence shows that the damage done to women in Britain during the pandemic could last for years – and set them back decades.

New research by the Fawcett Society and the Women’s Budget Group has already found that the response to the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative effect on women in all sectors and age groups.

According to the Resolution Foundation, women are more likely than men to be working in sectors that have shut down during the pandemic. Mothers are

Read More

how New York’s dancers are coping with lockdown

<span>Photograph: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

“Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.”

Mary Schmich, a Chicago Tribune columnist, shared that off-the-cuff advice in a 1997 dispatch to graduating seniors. Decades later, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the US, her suggestion reads eerily prescient: dancers have suddenly lost the luxury of studios and stages, where they could stretch, travel and fly across space.

Related: Leotards in lockdown: ballet dancers find new ways to keep fit – but how long can they hold on?

But artists are not always good at sitting still, and dancers of all stripes have found ways to stay active, even as their profession entered hibernation in the city that never sleeps. And, thanks to both wifi and social media, the world has been watching.

‘Making sure stories don’t get lost’

Fans of HBO Max’s new reality series Legendary

Read More

What to expect as UK high streets reopen after lockdown

Long queues were reported outside high street shops on Monday as non-essential stores reopened for the first time since lockdown began in March.

Shoppers will be faced with a very different environment as retailers grapple with the difficulties of keeping people safe while encouraging them to spend money.

Among the changes to expect: closed-off changing rooms, lots of Perspex screens, and shoes going into quarantine after you touch them.

A cautious approach

Many shops are likely to remain closed as retailers test out how their stores function with the new social distancing rules in place.

Next, for example, planned to open just 25 of its 500 UK stores on the first day. John Lewis was reopening two branches on Monday, while Argos was due to open just 145 out of more than 800 stores.

Primark is taking a different approach, reopening all of its 153 stores. The budget clothing specialist

Read More

End of lockdown could trigger ‘extreme’ congestion and worse air quality as commuters swap public transport for cars

The significantly cleaner air being breathed in the UK in recent months is likely to deteriorate over the coming week as the lockdown eases on Monday, triggering a surge in road traffic.

Many other countries which have eased restrictions enforced at the height of the coronavirus pandemic have since seen numbers of vehicles on the roads soar to record levels.

As many shops and workplaces open for the first time since 23 March on Monday, pollution levels are expected to climb and the number of road accidents is likely to rise.

In China, as restrictions have eased and travel and industry resumed, air pollution is now overtaking the levels prior to the pandemic.

In Wuhan, where the outbreak began, car use is now hit levels higher than before the pandemic, and the same is true of Stockholm in Sweden.

As lockdown measures have eased, authorities in cities around the world

Read More

What will holidays / travel look like after coronavirus lockdown?

Travel, the luxury most of us took for granted up until March, has never felt more needed, with many of us desperate to swap the four walls that kept us safe in isolation for the white-washed stone of a Spanish villa. But from self-cleaning hotel rooms to temperature checks at airports, what will holidays actually look like post-coronavirus lockdown?

The reality is that travel as we know it has changed for the foreseeable future. Gone are on a whim weekend breaks to European cities and nights in far-flung, cheap as chips hostels. As we all come to terms with lengthy quarantines, health checks and levels of accommodation hygiene that would put Queen of Clean Marie Kondo to shame, things are likely to look pretty different when it comes to your annual leave.

The good news is that the desire to travel hasn’t left us. Numerous surveys indicate most Brits can’t

Read More

The online wine shops still delivering during lockdown

Whether you’re pairing a bottle with a nice dinner in the garden after being sat indoors working all day, or over a Zoom call for a catch up with friends, trying times often call for a glass of wine.

Wine isn’t counted as an essential item – although we all know the relaxing benefits of a glass or two, especially at this time – so we advise instead of making special trips out to buy wine, that you order online.

Not only is it a way to support smaller businesses who will have shut their shop doors, it means you’ll barely need to get off the sofa to receive it.

The Winchester wine festival, whose annual event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus spread, has compiled a detailed long list of vendors due to be at the festival who are accommodating with online orders instead.

Many are offering free

Read More

Meet the man stranded on an island in the middle of lockdown

A Brit traveller has spoken of his experiences after becoming stranded on an island under strict lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Daniel Worthington, 29, from Manchester was on a round the world trip, and had spent 18 months travelling the globe.

In March, he arrived on the Thai island of Phuket for a friend’s wedding and had checked into a nearby Marriott Hotel – but then the global COVID-19 outbreak kicked in.

According to Worthington, life on the island “became quieter”, before the ensuing lockdown “happened very quickly”.

A strict curfew came into place in Thailand – with rules enforced by law. (Daniel Worthington)

Management pushed a letter under the door of his room each morning saying of new restrictions in place.

The traveller, who runs an online business, told Yahoo News UK: “One day it said the beaches were closing, which is unheard of here.

“The next day,

Read More