Children with asthma are NOT expected to return when schools reopen, campaigners say – The Sun

CHILDREN with asthma are not expected to return when schools reopen in England next week, according to experts.

Campaigners are advising parents who are concerned about sending their kids back should call their GP.

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It comes after Boris Johnson announced that primary schools will reopen on June 1 for reception, Years 1 and 6 and nurseries.

Some schools and colleges may also be able to offer some face to face contact and support for year 10 and year 12 pupils.

However, Asthma UK says this may be worrying for parents of children with asthma – as well as staff with the condition working in schools.

A spokesperson from the charity said: "Children and staff who are currently shielding are not expected to return to school or college at this time.

"Children and staff who have asthma and are not shielding are in the clinically vulnerable group, which means they are thought to be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

"Young children have consistently been shown to have very low risk of serious illness from coronavirus.

Parents will not be fined for not sending their children to school or college at this time

"But if your child has asthma and you are worried about them going back to school, the current government advice is to call your GP."

The charity added: "If your child is not going to attend school or college, let the school know, so that they can continue supporting your child as well as they can.

"Parents will not be fined for not sending their children to school or college at this time."

Parents are also advised to ensure their child's school has an up-to-date copy of their asthma action plan and a named, in-date reliever inhaler and spacer.

Children who are going to be with a different teacher than usual should be made aware of their asthma and what to do if they experience symptoms.

For staff who work in a school or nursery and have asthma, the charity says that employers should move you to the safest possible on-site role where possible, where you can stay 2m from others.

Phased reopening

The PM first announced the Government's plans for a phased reopening of schools on June 1 early in May.

Local councils criticised the move amid fears children and staff may still be exposed to coronavirus if they reopen classrooms too soon.

However, scientists deemed it safe after a major review of the evidence, children are 56 per cent less likely to contract the virus.

Professor Russell Viner, from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, said: "Our findings show children and young people appear 56 per cent less likely to contract Covid-19 from infected others.

"Susceptibility is a key part of the chain of infection, and this supports the view that children are likely to play a smaller role in transmitting the virus and proliferating the pandemic, although considerable uncertainty remains.

"This new data provides essential evidence to governments around the world to inform their decision-making on whether to reopen schools and reduce or end lockdown measures."

'Controlled and careful'

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson assured teachers and parents the June 1 returns would be the first phase of a "controlled and careful" return to schooling with a range of protective measures.

These include keeping class sizes small, making sure pupils stayed within small groups, observing strict hygiene and cleaning measures, and having breaks and mealtimes staggered to reduce crowding.

Schools and other settings should communicate their plans to parents once they have had a chance to work through them in detail.

For secondary schools and colleges, classes will be halved, the government said.

That means that classrooms and workshops will be rearranged "with sitting positions two metres apart.

"Where very small classes might result from halving, it would be acceptable to have more than half in a class, provided the space has been rearranged.

"Support staff may be drawn on in the event there are teacher shortages," the advice added.

Williamson said if scientific advice proposed a "limited number" of children could be sent back to school, it was his duty to allow this to happen.

"Of course safety comes first but we must also be aware of the potential damage to a child's education from not getting them back in the classroom," he added.

England is the only part of the UK asking schools to begin phased reopenings from the start of next month, raising fears among teachers' unions about the risks of infection from the coronavirus.

Yet many schools across the country have said they will not be able to ensure the safety of their pupils.

And a rival group to the government's Sage committee said June 1 would be "too early" to reopen.

The "Independent Sage" committee has claimed that the government should delay the reopening date for another two weeks.


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Brits warned not to buy coronavirus home-testing kits from firms like Superdrug – The Sun

BRITS should not buy coronavirus home-testing kits sold by firms such as Superdrug, says the Government’s testing chief.

Professor John Newton told MPs that people should wait for officially approved checks.

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Ministers announced on Thursday that more than 10million antibody kits are being bought for use in hospitals and care homes.

They have been hailed as “game-changing” by Boris Johnson.

High street chains are also offering a £69 test to tell if a person was previously infected. But Prof Newton said better checks will be available soon.

“The public needs to be aware that those tests are not the same as those we have approved for use,” he said.

Better versions were still “under evaluation”, he added.

Superdrug hit back, saying: “We stand by the quality, safety and accuracy of our Covid-19 laboratory-based test.”

Thousands of the firm’s tests have been snapped up.

Users take a finger-prick blood sample at home and post it to a lab.

Results are published online 24 hours after it is received and the firm claims it is 98 per cent accurate.

Public Health England has approved two antibody tests for public testing — from medical giants Roche and Abbott.

They rely on blood from a vein.


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‘Insecure’ Fans Are Not Excited About The Upcoming Episode

Season 4 of HBO’s Insecure has fans divided on who’s side they are on in the breakdown of Issa and Molly’s friendship. The current season has chronicled the cracks of the two and after the last episode, it’s possible that they may just be at the point of no return. While fans wait to see what ultimately happens between the Molly and Issa, many are expressing their disappointment that the upcoming episode focuses solely on Molly. 

The last episode of ‘Insecure’ followed Issa post her blowup with Molly

Molly and Issa have been preparing fans for their brutal exchange that took place during episode 5 since season 1. Since the start of the season, the two BFFs have fought to stay above water and stay on track despite their best efforts. The two women found themselves silently at a crossroads with what the future holds for their friendship. Things finally came to a head during the biggest event of Issa’s career.

It probably wasn’t the best time for Molly to approach Issa about her frustrations with her but it didn’t stop her. The two exchanged harsh words back and forth during an argument that felt like an eternity.

Molly accused Issa of going behind her back to use her boyfriend for a hookup for her event and Issa accused Molly of being selfish and punishing her for reasons she was not aware of. The two nearly came to blows before they were interrupted by the threat of gun violence at Issa’s event and went their separate ways.

The following episode focused on Issa reveling in the success of her event while struggling to figure out whether or not she should reach out to Molly first. She ultimately decided against it, as Issa has always been the friend to make the first move toward reconciliation during previous spats. Instead, Issa turned her focus toward honing in on her new passion for creating events and taking a risk by spending time with different people.

Fans are not looking forward to the next episode of ‘Insecure’ focusing on Molly

The preview episode for the next episode shows Molly spending time to nourish her new relationship with her first serious romantic partner she’s had since the start of the show. It only makes sense that Molly would have an entire episode dedicated to her as both she and Issa are currently not on speaking terms and working independently to figure out boundaries for their potential reconciliation.

But not all fans are excited about the Molly episode. 

“I’m really not trying to see a whole episode dedicated to Molly. I’m just not,” one wrote on Twitter.

Related: ‘Insecure’ Season 4: Why Fans Love to Hate Molly

Many are fed up with what they perceive to be selfish behavior on Molly’s part and her uncomfortably with Issa stepping into a more productive phase in her life. 

“Rewatching insecure from season one, and molly has lowkey been a hater h*e the entire time. We just didn’t notice because it wasn’t toward Issa,” one observed.

For the most part, viewers are #TeamIssa and are anxious to see the two hash things out for good in an upcoming episode. Ultimately, fans want answers on whether or not Issa and Molly will work things out or if they are done for good.

“Me at the #InsecureHBO producers & writers for not having the Molly & Issa confrontation in this episode after I waited a whole a** week for this,” wrote another.

Issa Rae has not given any hints about what will happen between Issa and Molly this season but promises the season explores what happens when 30-somethings come to a crossroads in their friendships. With four more episodes of the season, fans will have to continue to tune in and see how things play out.

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Queen Elizabeth May Not Be Able to Resume Her Royal Duties After Quarantine

As we all probably know by now, the coronavirus pandemic will have a big effect on our lives even after quarantine ends. And while we don’t know exactly what those effects will look like, royal biographers have a guess as to one of them: the Queen may never return to her royal duties.

According to The Sun, even though Queen Elizabeth “does not want to slow down or stop working,” she will also follow “any official advice designed to protect people in her age category,” meaning that she might not be able to resume her public life (attending engagements, meeting diplomates, giving speeches at events) for a long time.

And while the Queen’s royal staff has reportedly cleared her calendar until the fall, royal biographer Andrew Morton tells The Sun that it may be unlikely that the Queen will return to her public duties at all. He says:

He also suggests that Prince Charles might be the one to take up some limited royal engagements if the Queen can’t. But hopefully, after this is all over, the palace can find a way for Queen Elizabeth to safely take on her royal obligations once more.

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Warm weather does not stop coronavirus spreading as researchers warn ‘summer won’t make this go away’ – The Sun

WARM weather does not stop the coronavirus from spreading, say researchers who have warned “summer won’t make this go away”.

The view the battle against the coronavirus could be given a helping hand from the coming warm summer months seems to have been discredited by US and Canadian researchers.

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US President Donald Trump said last month that research had suggested a combination of ultraviolet (UV) light and warmer temperatures killed the virus in just a few minutes.

But the latest study found the transmission risk was only reduced by about 1.5 per cent for every degree Fahrenheit above 77F (25C).

Researchers from the University of Toronto looked at a total of more than 375,600 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the US and Canada in March and concluded “summer is not going to make this go away”.

They studied the impact of temperature, humidity, school closures, restrictions of mass gatherings and social distancing on the spread of the disease.

The results indicated no link between temperature with a rise in infections and only a negligible difference between humidity and the number of cases.

Professor Dionne Gesink, an epidemiologist at the Canadian university, said: “Summer is not going to make this go away, it's important people know that.

Summer is not going to make this go away, it's important people know that

“On the other hand, the more public health interventions an area had in place, the bigger the impact on slowing the epidemic growth.

“These public health interventions are really important because they're the only thing working right now to slow the epidemic.”

Co-author Dr Peter Jüni said: “We had conducted a preliminary study that suggested both latitude and temperature could play a role.

“But when we repeated the study under much more rigorous conditions, we got the opposite result.”

Their findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

A separate study by US researchers also came to a similar conclusion although their paper has yet to be published or scrutinised by their peers.

Associate professor of system dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management Hazhir Rahmandad, who was the lead researcher on the project, studied the datea on virus transmission and weather statistics across more than 3,700 locations between last December and April 22.

He and his team found only a slightly lower transmission risk, about a 1.7 per cent reduction per one degree Fahrenheit, once temperatures rose above 77 degrees F.

Even though high temperatures and humidity can moderately reduce the transmission rates of coronavirus, the pandemic is not likely to diminish solely due to summer weather

Prof Rahmandad said in a statement: “Even though high temperatures and humidity can moderately reduce the transmission rates of coronavirus, the pandemic is not likely to diminish solely due to summer weather.

“Policymakers and the public should remain vigilant in their responses to the health emergency, rather than assuming that the summer climate naturally prevents transmission.

“At best, weather plays only a secondary role in the control of the pandemic.”

The findings were backed up by Dr Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security in Baltimore.

He said: “Because this is a novel virus, without population immunity, we can't expect to see a full suppression of transmission based on seasonality.

“Though certain environmental conditions might be less conducive to spread from surfaces during summer months, the sheer fact that so many people are susceptible may not make as much of a difference because person-to-person spread will continue.

“It will be important that even in the summer months, states remain vigilant regarding the number of cases that are occurring with full situational awareness of the rate of hospitalizations, to prevent hospitals from going into a stress mode of functioning.”

Previously the US government had suggested sunlight may kill off the coronavirus in minutes after an unpublished study by US Department of Homeland Security scientists.

Their findings suggested radiation given off by UV rays could damage the virus’ genetic material and hamper its ability to replicated on surfaces.

There is no evidence UV rays can kill the coronavirus in the body.

On the back of the claims, Trump proposed two dangerous ideas, which included injecting cleaning agents in the body and the use of UV light at a White House briefing.


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GPs have not received hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 test results

Fury over government’s coronavirus swabbing regime as GPs claim to have not received hundreds of thousands of results and 100,000 daily target is missed again

  • GPs and councils were promised results from drive-through tests in late March 
  • Government says there’s ‘data quality issues’ preventing them being shared 
  • Doctors say they have ‘no idea’ if ’10, 100 or 1,000′ of their patients are infected
  • Comes after Government was mauled for missing its 100,000 daily tests again
  • Figures show just 69,463 swabs conducted in 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

GPs in England say they have ‘no idea’ how many of their patients have coronavirus because the Government is not sharing test results with them.

Family doctors and councils were promised the results from hundreds of thousands of swabs carried out at drive-through centres weeks ago.

But the Government’s national testing programme coordinator said there had been ‘data quality issues’ which had prevented the information being shared.

GPs and local health officials today slammed the ‘failing’ Government for leaving them in the dark about how many people in their community are infected.

Dominic Harrison, director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen council in Lancashire, said he has no idea if ’10, 100 or 1,000′ residents have tested positive.

And one GP in Oxford said the only way she found out if a patient of hers had the bug was if they were ill enough to be admitted to hospital.

It comes after the Government was mauled missing its 100,000 daily testing target for the fourth day in a row on Wednesday.

GPs in England say they have ‘no idea’ how many of their patients have coronavirus because the Government is not sharing test results from drive-through centres. Pictured: The Edgbaston Cricket Ground COVID-19 testing site in Birmingham

The Government was mauled missing its 100,000 daily testing target for the fourth day in a row on Wednesday. Figures show just 69,463 swabs were conducted in the 24 hours to 9am, down from 84,806 on Tuesday

Figures show just 69,463 swabs were conducted in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, down from 84,806 the day before.

Opposition figures and medics slammed the shortfall, saying it ‘doesn’t inspire confidence’ in plans for easing lockdown, which are expected to be announced on Sunday.

Since late March, the Government has been relying on private firm Deloitte to do the majority of its coronavirus tests at drive through centres or via the post.

The move came as part of ministers’ ‘pillar two’ testing scheme to ramp up the number of daily tests to its 100,000 target.

Officials promised GPs that results would be linked to the medical records of patients in England – but so far that has failed to materialise. 

Helen Salisbury, a GP at the Observatory Practice in Oxford, told The Guardian she has 100 suspected COVID-19 cases on her list and has only been given the results of five.

Public Health England’s medical director, Prof Yvonne Doyle, pictured, said the number of tests performed in the United Kingdom had increased while showing a slide which illustrated how fewer tests have taken place every day since April 30

She told the paper: ‘We have had absolutely zero information. The only way I know if a patient of mine has tested positive for Covid is if they have been ill enough to be admitted to hospital. It feels like we’ve been completely left out of the conversation, whereas most of the Covid out there is being handled by GPs.’

Nick Mann, a GP at the Well Street surgery in Hackney, London, said: ‘As a GP I’m absolutely fuming, not only with the way it’s been mishandled but with the unreliable information we are getting. This government has developed a completely parallel system in order to bypass the NHS, and it’s failing.’    

The Government’s COVID-19 testing tsar, Professor John Newton, apologised during a conference call on Wednesday with directors of public health at local authorities across England. He said there had been ‘data quality issues’. 

It comes after Public Health England’s Prof Yvonne Doyle insisted nationwide Covid-19 testing is increasing – despite showing a sharp decline since Matt Hancock’s 100,000 a day deadline on April 30. 

Addressing Wednesday’s Downing Street coronavirus press briefing, Professor Doyle said the number of tests have been increasing and this can explain the increase in the number of positive cases of Covid-19. 

However, the slide she used during the briefing showed a dramatic decline in the number of tests since April 30, which was Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s deadline for reaching 100,000 tests a day. 

Opposition leaders have demanded an explanation for the decline in coronavirus testing, after the Government missed its 100,000-a-day target for the fourth day in a row.

Labour said that the news ‘does not inspire confidence’ in plans to begin easing the UK lockdown, which are expected to be announced on Sunday.

A total of 69,463 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, according to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

The testing total was 84,806 up to 9am on Tuesday, 85,186 up to 9am on Monday and 76,496 up to 9am on Sunday.

During her briefing, Prof Doyle said: ‘The important message is that we should all respect that this virus does transmit and we should stay at home and not to interact too much because people are still very vulnerable to getting this virus.

‘Now, we can see hear the daily tests and these have increased over time and this is up to May 6… but I’ll move on to the next slide which is of interest which is new cases.’

Commenting on the rise in Covid-19, she said: ‘We are doing more testing so we are going to find more new cases, and this is what we want to do. We want to find the positive cases and break transmission.’

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘One hundred thousand completed tests a day was pledged. Instead testing has gone down for the fourth day in a row.

‘Testing should be going up, not be on this downward trajectory. Ministers need to explain why they are failing to deliver the testing promised.’

Boris Johnson marked his return to the Commons by setting a new ambition for increasing test capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of the month.

But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pressed the prime minister on why current capacity had not been fully utilised since the end of April.

‘On April 30, the Government claimed success in meeting its 100,000 tests-a-day target. Since then, as the Prime Minister knows, the number has fallen back,’ he said.

‘On Monday, there were just 84,000 tests and that meant 24,000 available tests were not used.

‘What does the Prime Minister think was so special about April 30 that meant that testing that day was so high?’

Deputy leader Angela Rayner added that the ‘consistent downward trend’ was ‘really not good enough’.

‘It doesn’t inspire confidence to start easing lockdown,’ she wrote on Twitter.

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Arteta told Ozil he would NOT be thought of negatively if he refused pay cut to £350k-a-week wages amid huge backlash – The Sun

MIKEL ARTETA assured Arsenal's players including Mesut Ozil they would not be thought of negatively by refusing a pay cut, according to reports.

Ozil, 31, is the Gunners' top-earning star with a weekly wage of £350,000.

But he was one of three first-teamers to reject the 12.5 per cent 12-month pay cut and came under heavy criticism as a result.

ESPN say, though, that Arteta made it clear to players like Ozil that opinions on them would not change depending on their decision on the wages.

However, the Spaniard did remind his men of the values Arsenal stand for and the positive statement it would make if they were the first English side to agree a pay cut, rather than a deferral.

Arteta played an integral role in the discussions between the club's hierarchy and players to agree on the wage cut.

Ozil's reasoning for not taking the pay cut – which will see the players paid back in full should they qualify for the Champions League – was because he did not want to be rushed into a decision while it is thought he remains in discussions about taking a cut, possibly of more than 12.5 per cent.

His wages work out at £18.2million a year, which means his income would have fallen by £2.3m.

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Why is Holby City not on tonight and when will it return?

Fans of Holby City have become accustomed to getting their fix of the show on Tuesday nights at 8pm – but this week they’ll notice that Holby is absent from screens.

Yup, instead of Holby there’s a new documentary series, Life and Birth, which still has a hospital focus but a real-life one – as it takes a look at the highs and lows at maternity units in Birmingham.

And while it’s sure to be popular, it’s not Holby – so just what’s happened to the show and when is it coming back?

Here’s what you need to know…

Why is Holby City not on tonight?

Holby is taking an extended break from screens after becoming one of many shows to have shut down production in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak has seen EastEnders, Coonation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks all suspend filming – cutting their weekly episodes as a result – while Doctors and Casualty have also shut down.

The BBC confirmed last month that the show, along with all of its continuing dramas, was suspending production as a result of the outbreak.

C confirmed last month that filming on the dramas have been suspended, saying: ‘It has been decided that filming on all BBC Studios continuing dramas will be postponed until further notice.

You can catch episodes every weekday morning on the channel at 10am.

If you’ve got a soap or TV story, video or pictures get in touch by emailing us [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you.

Join the community by leaving a comment below and stay updated on all things soaps at our homepage.

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Vaccine may NOT protect us against coronavirus with threat of killer bug to last for ‘foreseeable future'

A VACCINE may not protect us from the coronavirus as the threat of the killer bug will last for the "forseeable future", experts have warned.

The grim warning comes as a further 888 people died in hospital from the virus today, bringing the total number of deaths above 15,000 and infections have climbed to 114,217.

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David Nabarro, professor of global health at Imperial College London and an envoy for the World Health Organisation on Covid-19, said we are going to have live with the "constant threat" of the virus as it can't be assumed a vaccine will be developed soon.

Mr Nabarro told The Observer: "You don’t necessarily develop a vaccine that is safe and effective against every virus.

"Some viruses are very, very difficult when it comes to vaccine development – so for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to find ways to go about our lives with this virus as a constant threat.

"That means isolating those who show signs of the disease and also their contacts. Older people will have to be protected.

"In addition hospital capacity for dealing with cases will have to be ensured. That is going to be the new normal for us all."

The professor's warning comes as scientists have said they are close to finding a vaccine.

Experts have said mass testing and developing a vaccine were the keys to getting out of lockdown.

Scientists have hailed a Covid-19 breakthrough as the first human trials of a vaccine begin next week.

UK volunteers will be given the first dose of a potential coronavirus vaccine within days — and a million doses may be available by September.

Experts at the University of Oxford hope to have a vaccine ready for clinical trials soon.

Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology who is leading the team, said a vaccine could be available for use by the general public by the autumn.

She said: “Personally, I have a high degree of confidence. And, I think, it has a very strong chance of working.”

Asked when the first dose of the vaccine might be delivered to a trial volunteer, chief investigator Professor Andrew Pollard said it depended on when the last part of the testing from the manufacturing ended.

He added: “The first dose should be within the next week or so. We’ll confirm as soon as we can.”

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Coronavirus relief is not helping restaurants, industry warns

Small business owner frustrated over delay of funds

Ed’s Lobster Bar chef and owner Ed McFarland says he’s still waiting for his small business loan program money.

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One of the industries hit hardest by measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus – the restaurant sector – is concerned that without additional help from the federal government many of its businesses will fail.

To start, the industry says a major program aimed to provide a lifeline to small businesses isn’t doing much to help.

The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, is designed to incentivize companies with fewer than 500 employees to retain staff despite difficult economic conditions that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants can receive up to $10 million, which can be forgiven in certain cases. At least 75 percent of the money must be put toward payroll costs.


There is a catch, however. The money is expected to be used within eight weeks – at a time when restaurants and bars across the country are either completely closed or only partially operating.

“Even with the Paycheck Protection Program at their disposal, almost 80 percent of restaurants aren’t certain they will survive this crisis,” Tom Colicchio, chef & owner of Crafted Hospitality and a founding member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, said in a statement Thursday. “If Congress can give special treatment to industries that employ far less Americans, they can level the playing field for a business that directly employs over 11 million Americans and contributes nearly $1 trillion to the GDP. Saving independent restaurants will be crucial to getting the U.S. economy back on track.”

The National Restaurant Association penned a letter to Congress last week asking for additional assistance where PPP is concerned, including the ability to allocate a larger percentage of funding toward non-payroll expenses and extending the eight-week period to use the loan.


And then there are concerns about how quickly customers will return to restaurants once economies begin to reopen.

Apple-Metro Inc. CEO Zane Tankel told FOX Business last week that it’s not going to be a “light switch” that goes on where people come rushing back into restaurants.

“Not going to happen,” Tankel said. “So we’re kind of trying to prepare for that.”

Tankel also pointed to the “irony” of the CARES Act, which gives restaurants money while they are still “mandated to stay closed.”

Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000 in March, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mainly in food services and drinking places. That drop accounted for roughly two-thirds of the 701,000 total decline in jobs.


As previously reported by FOX Business, the industry has also been pushing for insurers to pay for those who have business insurance coverage – even threatening legal action.

Business interruption insurance typically doesn’t cover communicable diseases, pertaining instead to disruptions attributable to physical damage – like a fire, flooding or vandalism.

Oftentimes these policies don’t mention pandemics, though sometimes they include it as an exclusion.

Through PPP, more than 1.6 million loans have been approved.

The $350 billion worth of funding for the program, however, had officially run out as of Thursday – and lawmakers were at an impasse in negotiations to replenish it.


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