NEWS OF THE WEEK 25/10/20
SCOTLAND’S 5 TIER SYSTEM
On Friday, Nicola Sturgeon announced a new 5 tier system that would set different restrictions upon areas in order to control the virus. The system aims to keep schools open and it is reported that manufacturing and construction companies will be exempt from the restrictions.
Level 0: Most businesses can open, 8 people from up to 3 different households are allowed to meet indoors.
Level 1: 6 people from 2 different households can meet indoors.
Level 2: Limits will be placed on the hospitality industry, no household mixing indoors.
Level 3: Most hospitality businesses will close.
Level 4: Non-essential shops must close.
At 6pm on Friday, Wales went into a regional lockdown. Everyone is now required to stay home for 2 weeks in order to quash the virus, with restrictions probably being lifted on 9th November. Non-essential retail stores have closed, with non-essential items in supermarkets being withheld from customers. Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has said this decision was taken to ensure ‘fair play’, but it has been met with criticism. Restaurants, pubs and hotels have also been required to shut, as case numbers reach their highest since June.
U.S FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
In anticipation of the U.S Presidential Election on November 3rd, Donald Trump and Joe Biden went head to head in their final debate on Thursday. This round saw a much more composed, fluent debate, largely free from interruption and arguing. The main topics covered included coronavirus (as usual), economic recovery, systemic racism and climate change.
Biden opened his argument by stating that ‘anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as the President of the United States of America’. Trump rebutted this with the claim that initial models had predicted 2.2 million deaths and in a global pandemic, he had succeeded in quelling the virus as much as possible: ‘It’s going away’.
Fact check: In the U.S, mortality rates are going down- meaning less people are dying from the virus. However, hospitalisation cases are rising, which suggests that more people are now contracting the virus.
The debate was not completely free of drama, however. Trump took the opportunity to assess Biden’s political history. With Biden having been a politician since 1970, Trump demanded answers for why he had not delivered on any of the promises he made decades ago. Trump branded Biden as ‘all talk and no action’.
FREE SCHOOL MEALS ROW
This week, a motion to provide 1.3 million disadvantaged children with £15 food vouchers every holiday until Easter 2021 was voted down in the House of Commons. Work and Pensions Secretary Theresa Coffey has said that ‘the vulnerable must be put first’ but also that ‘work is the best way out of poverty’. This is accompanied by the narrative that extended food vouchers could encourage a dependency on the state. The disapproval of this motion has been met with vast criticism, but has also rallied communities across the country to come together and provide meals to underprivileged children during the holidays. A lot of this generosity has been facilitated by Marcus Rashford, who teamed up with FareShare in March 2020 to deliver free meals to Manchester children during lockdown.
For any child in need of a meal this holiday, your local help point can be found here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1ckbto_W7Ow30HSF6LVaPnHGf5trq5jPa&ll=53.35869570507854%2C-1.3251865074592937&z=P