Uber to make face coverings mandatory for UK drivers and passengers
Crime on the rise again after lockdown lull
Virgin Atlantic has become the latest airline to leave a vapour trail of furious customers who are now being told they will have to wait up to four months to receive refunds for cancelled flights.
Following warnings in May from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), more airlines have started processing refunds to customers, after initially trying to get customers to accept vouchers rather than the full cash refund to which they are entitled.
Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways initially bore the brunt of consumer ire, but Virgin Atlantic customers have this week accused the company of not processing refunds in order to prop up the company.
Those behind a Virgin Atlantic refund action group on Facebook, which has more than 400 members, say they are yet to find a single person who has received a voluntary refund from the airline.
The airline’s social media channels are bearing the brunt of anger as well.
Matt Hancock is facing legal action from the daughter of a man who died from Covid-19 in a care home in which the health secretary is accused of a “litany of failures” and misleading the public with his claim to have “thrown a protective ring” around care homes.
Dr Cathy Gardner launched a high court claim on Friday after her father, Michael Gibson, a retired headteacher, died in an Oxfordshire care home in early April. He became infected after a patient who tested positive for the virus was discharged from hospital into the home.
The request for a judicial review alleges failings “have led to large numbers of unnecessary deaths and serious illnesses” and have been “aggravated by the making of wholly disingenuous, misleading and – in some cases – plainly false statements suggesting that everything necessary has been done to protect care homes during the pandemic”.
Fall in GDP is unprecedented – ONS official
It’s been no secret that the UK growth figures for April would be a horror show. With the economy in full lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic it was inevitable that activity would take a hit of historic proportions.
All that was at issue was whether the news from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) would be bad, really bad, calamitous or so far off the scale that even the most hardcore pessimist had not envisaged it. In the end, it was merely calamitous.
It goes without saying the 20.4% contraction of the economy was the worst on record. The decline was three times as big as the contraction in March and 10 times as big as anything seen before Covid-19. The economy was 25% smaller in April than in February.
Almost two decades of growth has been wiped out in two months.
UK economy slumped by 20.4% in April
Good morning and welcome to the Guardian’s liveblog coverage of coronavirus developments in the UK, where the country has been learning about what a full month’s lockdown does to its economy.
The economy slumped by 20.4% in April in the biggest monthly decline since records began, as the coronavirus lockdown paralysed the country.
Richard Partington has that story here on a day when prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to come under sustained pressure from his MPs to take further steps to open up the economy, amid calls for caution from other quarters.
A range of other indicators are also out while the ongoing ramifications of the public health crisis continue to be felt.
On that front, lawyers representing 450 bereaved people whose relatives have died due to Covid-19 have called on Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock to hold an immediate public inquiry into the government’s handling of the crisis to help prevent many more deaths.
This is Ben Quinn in London. You can reach me on Twitter at @BenQuinn75