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Coronavirus UK latest news LIVE: Stamp duty could be dropped for six months to rebuild economy as deaths hit 44,220

- When is Mr Sunak's announcement?
- Can I get a £500 voucher to spend in shops?
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- Local lockdown UK list: 36 hotspot areas at risk of virus shutdown

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning a six month stamp duty holiday to help boost the housing market.

Mr Sunak is understood to be considering raising the stamp duty threshold at the lower end of his market for the Autumn Budget, in order to help those most in need following the coronavirus pandemic.

An announcement is expected this week, with buyers excited at the prospect the stamp duty threshold could be set as high as £500,000.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson joined in the Clap for Carers to mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS last night.

The Clap for Carers movement ended on May 28, but made a one-off return to celebrate the occasion, while public buildings were lit up in blue.

The coronavirus death toll in the UK rose to 44,220 after 22 more deaths in Britain and Northern Ireland, making it the lowest Sunday death toll since lockdown began.

Follow our live blog for the latest news and updates on coronavirus...

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Three quarters of parents have developed a closer bond with their kids during the lockdown, new research suggests.

    The increase in time spent together at home has led to 74 per cent of parents feeling they have a stronger relationship with their kids now than they did before, according to a survey by JOHNSON'S Baby.

    The survey of 1,505 parents also found that 67 per cent of parents have experienced at least one of their child's milestone moments that they would have otherwise missed, including first words, smiles, crawls, laughs, meals and bike rides.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Couples hoping to get married post lockdown are being given fresh hope of having larger wedding celebrations.

    The Association of British Wedding Businesses (ABWB) has been in crunch talks with Public Health England, the Health and Safety Executive and the relevant Whitehall departments.

    Crucial meetings between the ABWB, Public Health England, the Health and Safety Executive and relevant Government departments will continue next week to finalise industry specific Covid guide- lines to ensure a safe return to weddings.

    Easing of lockdown measures today means services with 30 people can go ahead.

    But it is hoped the clear timeline promised on how and when wedding celebrations can start again will reassure couples and protect venues from liquidation.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    More than £100 million is to be invested in traineeships for young people in response to the coronavirus crisis, the Government has said.

    Businesses offering the unpaid placements in England will receive a £1,000 bonus per trainee under the £111 million scheme.

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce the move for 18-24 year olds on Wednesday as he unveils an economic strategy to deal with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    As part of a traineeship initiative, which lasts from six weeks to six months, young people receive maths, English and CV writing training as well as guidance about what to expect in the workplace, the Treasury said.

    The schemes include unpaid work experience but trainees will continue to be eligible to receive welfare payments during their course.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Guidance for people shielding from coronavirus in the UK has eased.

    You can read the full guidance here.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Pret A Manger’s 8,000 UK staff will learn if their jobs are safe or not this week as the fast food chain weighs up how many of its stores it can keep open.

    Pano Christou, Pret’s chief executive, said at the weekend that one in ten of its 410 UK stores could shut as the company battles for its survival, The Times reports.

    In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Christou said the collapse in trade that the pandemic has caused could see “5 per cent to 10 per cent of our stores close in the UK”.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    House rents on plush house have rocketed during lockdown as Brits spend more time at home.

    Outside of London, the ten priciest living spaces now range from an eye-watering £12,500 to £9,000 a month.

    Most of the plush pads are in London commuter towns such as Guildford, Surrey and Sevenoaks, Kent but three of the most expensive are all North.

    Tom Parker at Zoopla said: “With rooftop terraces, gyms, wine cellars, carports and cinema rooms all featuring, it's clear that high net worth individuals happy to pay over £10,000 a month on rent crave the luxurious touches to help justify such a big outlay.

    “Indeed with many of us spending more time at home than ever before these luxuries will now take on even greater importance for the elite few who can afford them.”

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Wetherspoons slammed the behaviour of the fighting drinkers and apologised to their customers.

    A Wetherspoon spokesman said: “ We can confirm that an incident occurred at The Kingswood Colliers pub.

    “A fight started between people on two tables and door staff intervened.

    “They escorted the first group out and then the manager spoke with the second group and they were asked to leave which they did.

    “We condemn this behaviour and apologise to our regular customers.”

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    M&M’s bosses have been blasted for forcing customers to shell out £54 on sweets for a commemorative coronavirus appeal.

    The brand has been slammed as “crazy” and “exorbitant” for the pricey offer – which sees it donate just £5 to charity for every 20 packets purchased.

    And nurses urged Brits not to buy the commemorative chocolates and donate to the NHS instead.

    M&M’s announced it had created special versions of the peanut filled chocolates, with clapping symbols and “thank you” written on the sweets.

    It said: “There are superheroes all around us every day: firefighters, doctors, volunteers, cashiers, as well as shopkeepers providing home deliveries, neighbours who help us out – and all the other superheroes who we want to sincerely thank for everything they do.

    “Which is why we have created special little packets filled with M&M’S so you can say THANK YOU.”

    However in order for M&M’s to donate £5 to the appeal, customers had to buy a minimum of 20 packets of the commemorative sweets costing £2.70 each.

    That’s a whopping £54 of chocolate.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that he hopes outdoor performances can return “shortly” but there remains a “real risk” of coronavirus transmission inside theatres.

    He told BBC Breakfast: “I understand people's frustration.

    “They're desperate for theatres to return, I'm desperate for theatres to return, but we have to do so in a safe way.”

    He added that the reduction of social distancing rules, such as on planes, has only been implemented in “exceptionally limited circumstances” and insisted “slow and baby steps” must be taken.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Police have shut down part of London as hundreds flocked to illegal raves after a weekend of partying in pubs and parks.

    Large areas of northeast London have been placed under ‘dispersal orders’ by police battling to shut down a series of illegal music events.

    Hackney Police tweeted a statement last night which read: “A Section 35 Dispersal Order has been authorised for the entirety of Millfields Park E5 by Inspector Norman due to an unlicensed music event.

    “This dispersal is in place in order to prevent disorder.”

    An hour later, Hackney Police added that due to “due to a number of unlicensed music events in the areas of Hackney Downs park and Cecilia Road” a Section 35 dispersal order was in force within the E5, E8 and N16 postcodes until 11am today.

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden criticised people who did not maintain social distancing when pubs reopened on Saturday but said the “vast majority” obeyed the rules.

    He told BBC Breakfast: “In respect to what happen in a few places, and I should say a few places, on Saturday night clearly that is not acceptable and people should be socially distancing.

    “And actually I think by and large the vast majority of people up and down Britain showed British common sense, listened to the rules and socially distanced.”

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    A sleepy market town was left looking like a “war zone” after it was invaded by hundreds of revellers defying the Leicester lockdown.

    Police slapped an urgent dispersal order on quaint Market Harborough, Leics, when booze-fuelled disorder erupted on Saturday night.

    The small town – just 12 miles outside the Leicester quarantine boundary – had already feared being overrun by out-of-town drinkers when pubs reopened on Saturday.

    Electricity engineer Kevin Spicknall said: “Throughout the afternoon everything was lovely and settled.
    “Then, at about 6pm, the pubs started to get really busy and it was noticeable they weren't locals.
    “And from then on it became messy. There were fights, tussles with the police.”

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann

    'GO HOME'

    Cornwall's tourism chief has slammed an “offensive and unforgivable” sign strung across a main road bridge telling holidaymakers to “f*** off” and go back home.

    Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said outsiders are welcome and the region, which relies heavily on tourism, desperately needs their money.

    The crude 6ft long banner – with the words “Turn round and f** off” written on it – was held aloft by three people, their faces hidden by it.

    They stood on the bridge over the A30 at Bodmin, one of the main roads into Cornwall for holidaymakers.

    Mr Bell said: “We are battling to save thousands of jobs.
    “Let's welcome our customers, who will share their money to keep Cornish people in jobs.
    “I don't like to see signs like the one we saw on the A30.

    “It is being offensive to a large group of people.

    “I find it unforgivable.”

  • Britta Zeltmann 's avatarBritta Zeltmann


    The Government has announced a £1.57 billion support package to “protect” the future of Britain's museums, galleries and theatres following the coronavirus crisis.

    Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues are also eligible for the emergency grants and loans.

    The Government said: “Repayable finance (for the loans) will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable.”

    Arts Council England, the Royal Opera House, the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, and the Music Venue Trust were among those to welcome the funding.

    Guidance for a phased return of the performing arts sectors is expected to be published by the Government shortly.

  • Alex Matthews 's avatarAlex Matthews


    THERE will be more than two million people out of work by Christmas next year unless the ­Government acts quickly, a think-tank has said.

    Jobless levels will hit 2.2 million by December of next year without further support for the economy, according to the New Economics Foundation (NEF).

    The NEF has called for £28billion to be invested in green projects.

    The think tank claims such a move could create more than 400,000 full-time equivalent jobs by the end of next year.

    The study said additional jobs could be created in areas such as mass home insulation and in new training and skills initiatives.

    The report stated the unemployment rate could be 900,000 above 2019 levels by December 2021 if action is not taken.

  • Alex Matthews 's avatarAlex Matthews


    TV’S Kate Garraway says husband Derek Draper has emerged from his Covid-19 coma after 98 days in hospital.

    The father of two, 52, has opened his eyes but has “minimum consciousness”.

    But Good Morning Britain presenter Kate said: “I really believe he can hear.

    “When medical staff say, ‘Good morning, Derek,’ he sometimes opens his eyes. We and the doctors are doing everything we can so that he can start to recover.”

    Kate, 53, and children Darcey, 14, and William, ten, speak to Derek daily using FaceTime.

    She added: “We’re keeping positive and doing everything we can to bring him round.

    “The children and I communicate with him every day on FaceTime while a nurse holds his iPad.”

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir


    Nearly 30 Spanish beaches were forced to close to maintain social distancing after hordes of sunseekers flocked to the coast on the first weekend in July.

    People were stopped from reaching the sand during the busiest times of the day at resorts on the Costa del Sol including Benalmadena on Sunday.

    Beaches in Malaga also reduced the number of users to ensure social distancing.

    Around 55 beaches in southern Spain’s Andalucian region were closed at some point yesterday according to regional government figures published by respected Malaga-based paper Sur.

    Malaga was the province most affected, followed by Cadiz and then Huelva.

    The Cadiz beaches sunseekers were turned away from included Zahora beach near the Cape of Trafalgar, which was shut just after 1.30pm, and several small coves in nearby Conil de la Frontera.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir


    India has overtaken Russia to become the third worst-affected nation by the coronavirus after reporting 24,248 new cases Monday.

    India has now confirmed 697,413 cases, including 19,693 deaths. Russia has 680,283 cases.

    The U.S. has had the most cases, with nearly 2.9 million. Brazil is second, with over 1.6 million.

    Indian authorities late Sunday withdrew a planned reopening of the famed Taj Mahal monument after new cases were detected in the area.

    India’s Culture Ministry had decided to reopen all monuments across the country on Monday after more than three months with a cap on the number of visitors and mandatory wearing of face masks.

    After a strict nationwide lockdown, India has eased restrictions in most of the country except for the highest-risk areas.

  • Les Steed 's avatarLes Steed


    Worcestershire councillors have ordered the Hemmings family to paint over their rainbow door in the next 14 days.

    The councillors originally gave them until today, the NHS' birthday, to get rid of the cheery paint job, but later backed down, giving them until September 7th after a small national outcry.

    Mum, Sara said it was vindication after her family had been “so shocked and sad someone would complain about the door when it's been bringing so much joy.”

    It had been “horrible” to receive the council's demand to erase the rainbow “without them coming to have a chat to us first”, she added.

  • Les Steed 's avatarLes Steed


    Obesity is becoming one of the biggest problems for Brits fighting coronavirus, with a direct link between a BMI over 30 and survival chances.

    NHS CEO Sir Simon Sevens said that one of the reasons the UK has a drastically high level of fatalities is that we are also the second fattest European nation.

    Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Sir Simon said: “We know, for example that obesity doubles your chance of dying from coronavirus. And unfortunately, we are all carrying too many pounds as a country.

    “So there is a strong case for using the experience of coronavirus to tackle some of these long standing broader health problems, and get serious about prevention, including obesity.”

    More on this here

  • Les Steed 's avatarLes Steed


    Costa Coffee is reopening its cafe's and is offering a free £3 drink to customers registered on the Costa Coffee Club app.

    The chain is hoping to reopen its 2,000 outlets by the end of July.

  • Les Steed 's avatarLes Steed


    Experts have warned that the fallout of the pandemic means that thousands could die from cancer as they weren't able to get treated in time.

    Professor Mark Lawler described the best case scenario of 18,000 excess cancer deaths, but warned that the figure could reach 35,000.

    The worst case scenario is that 6,500 lung cancer patients, 5,500 bowel cancer patients and 3,200 breast cancer patients could lose their lives, as a result of the knock-on effect of Covid-19.

  • Les Steed 's avatarLes Steed


    Churches across England welcomed their parishoners back with open arms this morning, but to a far dryer service style.

    Services took place with strict social distancing measures in place and people had to wear masks as part of the “new normal”.

    Changes to Holy Communion meant pre-divided bread and wine could not be spoken over or shared out, due to the risk of infection, and that vicars should drink all the wine that has been consecrated.

    Singing, a touching part of every church service, was also banned in line with government guidelines.

  • Les Steed 's avatarLes Steed


    Hackney Police has authorised a Dispersal Order to shut down the whole of Millfields Park due to an unlicensed music event.

  • Les Steed 's avatarLes Steed


    The government is giving £1000 per trainee to businesses offering new traineeships.

    The aim is to get 18 to 24 year olds into the workforce as soon as possible following the coronavirus economic fallout.

    The initiative will see young people receive maths, English and CV writing training for up to six months along with workplace training.