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Coronavirus

Second UK Police Force Threatens to Check if Public Are Making “Non-Essential” Purchases

Downing Street forced to wade in as lockdown confusion grows.

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Downing Street has been forced to clarify that officers won’t be checking what people buy in supermarkets after yet another tweet by a police force that doesn’t understand the coronavirus lockdown laws.

The controversy began when Cambridge Police tweeted that they were monitoring “non-essential” supermarket aisles in a local branch of Tesco to make sure people weren’t purchasing frivolous items.

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This prompted a public backlash from people asking the police to define precisely what a “non-essential” item was.

Cambridge Police walked back the original tweet, stating, “We are not monitoring what people are buying from supermarkets. This message was sent with good intentions by an over exuberant officer who has been spoken to since this tweet was published.”

This followed a similar faux pas yesterday when another police force warned that they could start setting up roadblocks and checking people’s shopping baskets for non-essential items, although were later forced to backtrack.

The mess prompted the government to get involved, with Downing Street assuring the public they can buy whatever is being sold at supermarkets.

“We set out a list of shops which could remain open and if the shops are on that list then they are free to sell whatever they have in stock,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.

The government also clarified that it is not illegal for people to be outside in their own gardens following the release of a video which showed a female South Yorkshire Police officer telling a family it was against the rules for their children to be playing in their own front garden.

Meanwhile, authorities in London have provoked more fury by taping off benches in parks, prompting complaints that elderly and disabled people who may need to rest while they are out on a walk will be put at risk.

With the weather set to be good across the UK this weekend, authorities have become more stringent in emphasizing that social distancing rules must be adhered to or lockdown measures will become more draconian.

However, the lockdown will only continue to work if police maintain the public’s consent. If they become too overtly heavy-handed in enforcing it, many people will just refuse to obey the rules anyway.

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Coronavirus

Infectious Diseases Expert Says UK Lockdown is Not Working

Infections higher after lockdown went into place.

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Infectious diseases expert Professor Steven Riley says current data shows that the national lockdown in the United Kingdom is not working.

Riley, who is professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London, cited a React study which shows “the prevalence of infection increased between 6 and 15 January,” after the national lockdown was announced on January 4.

“It’s long enough that, were the lockdown working effectively, we would certainly have hoped to have seen a decline,” said Riley.

The professor added that current research “certainly doesn’t support the conclusion that lockdown is working.”

As we highlighted last week, a peer reviewed study by Stanford researchers found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.

The researchers found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”

While numerous studies show that lockdowns have no impact on reducing the spread of viruses, an avalanche of data shows that they cost lives.

Academics from Duke, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins have warned that there could be around a million excess deaths over the next two decades as a result of lockdowns.

Thousands of doctors and scientists are on record as opposing lockdown measures, warning that they will cause more death than the coronavirus itself.

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Amazon Offers to Help Roll Out of COVID-19 Vaccine Only After Trump Leaves Office

“Where were you a month ago?”

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On Joe Biden’s first day in office, Amazon offered to help his administration speed up the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, prompting questions as to why this didn’t happen under Trump.

“Amazon stands ready to assist you in reaching your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration,” Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s consumer unit, wrote on Wednesday in a letter to Biden.

The company also requested that Biden move its 800,000 US employees up the priority list when it comes to taking the vaccine and noted that Amazon distribution centers are ready to be used as vaccination administering sites.

Given Amazon’s globally recognized efficiency in logistics, this prompted many to wonder why the offer wasn’t made at some point before a total of 400,000 Americans had died from the virus.

“Amazon suddenly offered to help the Biden Administration with the rollout of the vaccine… because “Orange man bad” was more important than caring for fellow Americans,” remarked Tim Young.

“Amazon was working with the CDC / Task Force to help with vaccine distribution during the Trump admin,” tweeted another respondent. “It finally finished and was ready to announce the help, but they waited for Biden to be inaugurated. So Biden could take credit.”

“Amazon is now offering China Joe help to get the vaccine out to America. So, in other words, Amazon chose to let Americans die instead of doing this during the Trump Admin,” commented another user.

“Where were you a month ago?” asked another.

This isn’t the first time that potentially vital developments in fighting COVID-19 were delayed with no other apparent reason other than to make Donald Trump look bad.

Nancy Pelosi was accused of deliberately delaying a COVID-19 relief bill for months in order to help Biden.

A biotech sector expert was one of many to also speculate that Pfizer deliberately delayed the announcement and release of its coronavirus vaccine until after the election so as to harm Trump’s chances.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Trump were embroiled in an on-off feud since 2015 and the clear majority of Amazon political donors favor Democrats.

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Major Tour Operator Refuses To Book Holidays For The Unvaccinated

Travel medicine specialist admits that ‘vaccine passports’ are now ‘unavoidable’

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Steve Watson

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One of the world’s biggest tour and cruise operators has announced it will mandate that all travellers booking holidays with them be vaccinated against coronavirus.

UK based Saga, which typically operates holiday packages for people aged over 50,  has said that all customers must be “fully vaccinated” to travel on their cruises and holidays at least two weeks prior to departure.

A spokesperson for the company said “We have taken the decision to require everyone travelling with us to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Our customers want the reassurance of the vaccine and to know others travelling with them will be vaccinated too.”

Saga is giving customers until May to get vaccinated before re-launching its holiday packages.

Nick Stace, chief executive of Saga’s travel arm, said “Given that many of our customers are in the priority age range and we’ve done calculations based on what government has said, we think shortly after beginning of May almost all of customers will have received a second vaccination.”

The company also offers banking and insurance services, although it has not said whether the policy will be extended to those customers.

Some called the announcement hypocritical, given that crews on board Saga cruise ships will not be forced to get vaccinations:

Others noted that there is no proof yet that the vaccine provides any immunity:

Others simply refused to go along with the company policy:

But will they have any choice if they want to leave the country?

One operator that says it will not enforce such a policy is Germany-based TUI, which has rejected the notion of turning away unvaccinated customers.

However, it is now clear that so called ‘vaccine passports’ are becoming ubiquitous. Spain, Greece and the Seychelles have all announced that they will implement systems to get tourism back up and running.

Airlines, hotels and insurance companies have also all signalled that they will mandate vaccine certificates.

Dr Richard Dawood, a specialist in travel medicine at the Fleet Street Clinic in London, told The Telegraph this week that he sees vaccine passports as ‘unavoidable’.

“Regardless of how any of us feel about the idea of ‘vaccine passports’ for travel, they will ultimately be unavoidable,” Dr Dawood said.

“Once countries begin insisting on proof of Covid immunity from arriving travellers [as the Seychelles has done], there will be little option but to embrace the challenge,” he added.

“We all long for travel to return to normal. But entry requirements will remain as long as countries feel insecure, perhaps until most people have been vaccinated worldwide. Social distancing, sanitisers, face masks on flights, delays, red tape, and last-minute changes of plan, will stay a fact of travel until then,” Dawood emphasised.

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