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Holly Willoughby and Jack Whitehall join Piers Morgan to rally support for Gunnersaurus

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holly willoughby and jack whitehall join piers morgan to rally support for gunnersaurus

Holly Willoughby and Jack Whitehall have joined the list of celebrities – including Arsenal supporter Piers Morgan – to gather support for Gunnersaurus following his sacking by the club.

The Gunners’ loveable mascot was sacked after 27 years of service on transfer deadline day as part of the club’s latest Covid-19 financial cuts. 

Jerry Quy had played the role of the dinosaur mascot since its establishment in 1993, but was let go a few hours before the north London side announced the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. 

Holly Willoughby has joined the celebrities rallying support for mascot Gunnersaurus

Holly Willoughby has joined the celebrities rallying support for mascot Gunnersaurus

Holly Willoughby has joined the celebrities rallying support for mascot Gunnersaurus

Comedian Jack Whitehall has also shown his support for the sacked Arsenal mascot online

Comedian Jack Whitehall has also shown his support for the sacked Arsenal mascot online

Comedian Jack Whitehall has also shown his support for the sacked Arsenal mascot online

Gunnersaurus was sacked after 27 years of service in the latest cuts caused by Covid-19

Gunnersaurus was sacked after 27 years of service in the latest cuts caused by Covid-19

Gunnersaurus was sacked after 27 years of service in the latest cuts caused by Covid-19

Arsenal fans have since set up a GoFundMe page to save aiming to save the club’s mascot and has already raised more than £8,500. 

The club have also confirmed Quy had left his post as they strive to dowork more efficiently but insisted the beloved mascot will return.

Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for Arsenal to reverse their decision and pleading with boss Mikel Arteta and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to intervene.

And he has now been joined by This Morning presenter Willoughby and comedian Whitehall in trying to stop the mascot becoming ‘extinct’.  

Jerry Quy was the man behind the dinosaur for 27 years before losing his part-time role

Jerry Quy was the man behind the dinosaur for 27 years before losing his part-time role

Jerry Quy was the man behind the dinosaur for 27 years before losing his part-time role 

Arsenal fans have since set up a GoFundMe page to save aiming to save the club's mascot

Arsenal fans have since set up a GoFundMe page to save aiming to save the club's mascot

Arsenal fans have since set up a GoFundMe page to save aiming to save the club’s mascot

Piers Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for a reversal of the decision

Piers Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for a reversal of the decision

Piers Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for a reversal of the decision

Willoughby wrote on Instagram: ‘ Very very sad to hear the news that @officialgunnersaurus has been released by @arsenal. He was at my son Harry’s 1st birthday and he’s a hero in our house! 

‘He’ll never be extinct in our eyes. Bring back Gunnersaurus!’

Whitehall meanwhile added: ‘The streets will never forget,’ with a picture of the mascot while former Arsenal forward Ian Wright said: Terrible news. Love you Jerry. 

Morgan has also been joined by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright in expressing his sadness

Morgan has also been joined by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright in expressing his sadness

Morgan has also been joined by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright in expressing his sadness

However, Sevilla saved the day, scoring the dinosaur a new mascot with just hours to spare

However, Sevilla saved the day, scoring the dinosaur a new mascot with just hours to spare

However, Sevilla saved the day, scoring the dinosaur a new mascot with just hours to spare 

‘Surely Jerry comes back when the fans come back????,’ Wright added.

Good Morning Britain presenter Morgan also tweeted on Monday, saying ‘You’re going nowhere ⁦@Gunnersaurus. I refuse to let @Arsenal⁩ sack you. Come on ⁦@m8arteta @Aubameyang7 – this is not what our club is about. #savegunnersaurus,’ he tweeted along with a series of angry emojis.

Former Speaker of the House of Commons and fellow Gunners fan John Bercow also got behind the movement, appearing on a Good Morning Britain interview with a poster of the dinosaur mascot in the background. 

Sevilla appeared to make a late deadline day swoop for the sacked mascot by tweeting a picture of Gunnersaurus in response to a post asking: ‘Which player would you like your club to sign today?’

After several hours of intense negotiations later and with little time to spare, Sevilla got their dinosaur – returning to Twitter to share a shot of Gunnersaurus dressed in a Sevilla shirt and cap.

But they were not the only foreign club to express their support, with Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon quoting the famous Toy Story line ‘You’ve got a friend in me @Gunnersaurus’, with the picture of their mascot and Gunnersaurus.

However, Sevilla saved the day, scoring the dinosaur a new mascot with just hours to spare

However, Sevilla saved the day, scoring the dinosaur a new mascot with just hours to spare

However, Sevilla saved the day, scoring the dinosaur a new mascot with just hours to spare 

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34041094 8809655 image a 54 1601975259680

 Fans also expressed their sorrow with some emotional tweets after the mascot’s long service to the club.

One wrote: ‘Til we meet again #savegunnersaurus’, while another added: ‘Me and this ledge back in 2012. Gonna miss you bud, sad times’, with a sad emoji face.

Another supporters also called on Arsenal to reverse their decision, adding: ‘As a kid (and adult!) I was also so excited to see the beautiful beast, he is part of the DNA of our club. Please don’t do this Arsenal.’ 

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34040582 8809655 image a 55 1601975439795

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Eat Out to Help Out to blame for 1 in 6 new coronavirus infections

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Eat Out to Help Out played a ‘significant’ role in accelerating Britain’s second wave of coronavirus, a study has claimed.

There was a sharp increase in clusters of Covid-19 infections a week after the Government scheme began, according to University of Warwick researchers. 

They believe the initiative, which gave diners up to 50 per cent off meals out, was to blame for as many as 17 per cent of new infection clusters between August and early September – one in every six.

The experts looked back at trends in infection rates before, during and after the scheme to work out how it affected the numbers of people testing positive.

But experts questioned the findings of the study and said outbreaks it picked up could not be definitively linked to restaurants or eating out, pointing out that it also took into account cases in areas where outbreaks were declining. 

Although people had to socially distance in restaurants where the deal was offered, the virus is known to spread more easily indoors and thrives particularly in enclosed spaces.

Many people met people from other households for dinner and also used public transport to get to and from the restaurants, driving up the risk of transmission.

Eat Out to Help Out – designed to jump-start the crippled economy – was launched at the start of August following four-plus months of lockdown which brought the hospitality sector to its knees.

It saw the Government subsidise restaurants and pubs to offer discounted food and drink on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays to encourage Brits to go out and part with their money again.  

Eat Out to Help Out, spearheaded by Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) was launched to try and revive the struggling restaurant industry in the summer after months of lockdown and offered diners up to 50 per cent off their meals

Eat Out to Help Out, spearheaded by Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) was launched to try and revive the struggling restaurant industry in the summer after months of lockdown and offered diners up to 50 per cent off their meals

Eat Out to Help Out, spearheaded by Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) was launched to try and revive the struggling restaurant industry in the summer after months of lockdown and offered diners up to 50 per cent off their meals

Research from the university suggested that between eight and 17 per cent of newly detected infection clusters could be linked to the scheme.

Areas where there was a high uptake of Eat Out to Help Out also saw a decline in new infections a week after the scheme drew to a close.

Places that experienced high rainfall around lunch and dinner time ended up seeing lower infection rates than areas that enjoyed nicer weather, which the researchers said strengthened their theory.

Britons tucked into 100 MILLION Eat Out to Help Out meals in August 

More than 100million half price meals were enjoyed under the ‘Rishi’s Dishes’ scheme to breathe new life into restaurants, pubs and cafes.

It seems an astonishing 36million meals were eaten on Bank Holiday Monday alone in a final cut price blow out.

On the face of it, that was three times more than on the first three days of the scheme at the beginning of August.

The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme has cost the taxpayer £522million to date and the final bill could well top £600million when all the claims are in.

This figure should be set against an original estimate of £500million and suggests Britons love a bargain more than they fear the pandemic.

Meanwhie Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to have hinted that the 50 per cent off scheme could return in Britain next year to boost the economy again.

Many restaurants were fully booked when the scheme came to an end on Bank Holiday Monday with some people warned of queues of up to three hours.

The Treasury said that 84,700 establishments signed up making 130,000 claims worth £522 million. Officials said the higher than expected spending should be seen as a positive in terms of protecting businesses and jobs.

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The Government subsidised more than 100million meals over the month that the scheme ran.

Eateries that participated in the scheme – spearheaded by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak – saw an increase in visits of between 10 per cent and 200 per cent compared with the same period in 2019. 

Dr Thiemo Fetzer, associate professor behind the study, told the Independent it had ‘shortened the time between the UK’s first and second coronavirus waves’.

He added: ‘Many restaurants enjoyed a good August but they won’t enjoy a good autumn because, as infections rise, people are less likely to eat out and obviously any lockdown will make things even worse for the restaurant sector.

‘The acceleration of the pandemic, that requires more aggressive measures like a lockdown, is the result of policy failures — including not having an effective test and trace system in place that would allow businesses to safely operate.

‘It’s a consequence of very shortsighted policies that generate nice headlines, as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme did over the summer.’

But not all readers were convinced the study’s links between Eat Out to Help Out and rising infection rates were as clear cut as they seemed.

Professor Paul Hunter, a medicine and infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, said: ‘I accept that this [scheme] would likely have had the unintended consequence of meaning that on certain days restaurants were more crowded then otherwise and such crowding may well have increased transmission of Covid-19… 

‘I am not convinced however by how the author linked this to actual cases. 

‘From what I gather the main measure was a cluster which was defined as three or more cases within a week in a local authority area. This is a binary outcome measure (i.e. Yes/No) and so would not distinguish between authorities with many cases that were declining and ones with a few cases that were increasing. In my view this approach is fraught with difficulties. 

‘The problem is that in areas with more population with have more restaurants and also other things being equal more cases and so more likely to be classed as a cluster. 

‘Even though the author included population and population density in several models I am not convinced that this will have adequately controlled for such a correlation effect.’   

The study comes after data published by Public Health England showed that hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants only accounted for a tiny proportion of Covid-19 outbreaks.

PHE figures last month revealed that of the 729 outbreaks in the week to September 13, only five per cent occurred in food outlets such as restaurants and pubs – 45 per cent were in care homes, 21 per cent in schools and 18 per cent in places of work.  

And it has even decreased since then, to 2.2 per cent in the most recent week (31 out of 1,392 ‘incidents’). 

Even Boris Johnson admitted earlier this month that Eat Out to Help Out may have exacerbated the rise in Covid-19 cases in the last few months.

‘It was very important to keep those jobs going,’ he told the BBC. ‘Insofar as that scheme may have helped to spread the virus, then obviously we need to counteract that and we need to counteract that with the discipline and the measures that we’re proposing.

But Mr Sunak has continued to defend the scheme, saying he had ‘definitely’ no regrets because it helped two million people in the hospitality sector get back to work. 

He is said to have hinted that the 50 per cent off scheme could return in Britain next year to boost the economy again. 

The Treasure said it did not recognise the findings of the study. ‘Many other European counterparts have experienced an uptick in cases – irrespective of whether similar measures for the hospitality industry have been introduced,’ a spokesman said.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has cost the taxpayer £522million to date and the final bill could well top £600million when all the claims are in.

This figure should be set against an original estimate of £500million and suggests Britons love a bargain more than they fear the pandemic.

More than 100million half price meals were enjoyed under the ‘Rishi’s Dishes’ scheme to breathe new life into restaurants, pubs and cafes.

It seems an astonishing 36million meals were eaten on Bank Holiday Monday alone in a final cut price blow out.

On the face of it, that was three times more than on the first three days of the scheme at the beginning of August.

Many restaurants were fully booked when the scheme came to an end on Bank Holiday Monday with some people warned of queues of up to three hours.

The Treasury said that 84,700 establishments signed up making 130,000 claims worth £522 million. Officials said the higher than expected spending should be seen as a positive in terms of protecting businesses and jobs.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus UK: Fears of London gridlock before second lockdown

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coronavirus uk fears of london gridlock before second lockdown

Britons are plotting to head away from cities to rural areas during a second UK lockdown days after Paris saw huge traffic jams as people left city.

The Mail revealed last night that Boris Johnson is expected to announce a second nationwide lockdown next week.

Social media users reacted quickly to say they would flee London and other cities for the countryside before the new restrictions are put in place.

Piers Corbyn and a small number of anti-lockdown protesters were also on the streets of London last night.  

It comes as the roads out of Paris were jammed on Thursday after France‘s second lockdown was ordered yesterday.

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Britons have claimed they will head away to rural areas for the second UK lockdown days after Paris saw huge traffic jams as people left city

Britons have claimed they will head away to rural areas for the second UK lockdown days after Paris saw huge traffic jams as people left city

Britons have claimed they will head away to rural areas for the second UK lockdown days after Paris saw huge traffic jams as people left city

Social media users in the UK indicated they would act in the same way to the country’s impending lockdown.

One wrote: ‘So we got until Wednesday for Lockdown 2 rumour has it. 

‘Right the plan is: get a 24 hour covid test tomorrow, if you’re negative we takeover a great big mansion in the countryside for a month and put on shows and make movies and hangout in a giant bubble. Who’s in?’

Another said: ‘I can see a lockdown coming to London soon ….leave London now…it’s going to get horrible!!!’

One said: ‘We staying at grandmas house cus no way I’m gonna be in London in lockdown again.’

Piers Corbyn was on the streetsof London last night with a small number of anti-lockdown protesters

Piers Corbyn was on the streetsof London last night with a small number of anti-lockdown protesters

Piers Corbyn was on the streetsof London last night with a small number of anti-lockdown protesters

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Scientists from the Sage committee yesterday presented No 10 with bleak figures showing that Covid is spreading ‘significantly’ faster than even their original ‘worst-case scenario’ prediction.

Last night a Cabinet source told the Mail that the dramatic move will be announced next week. 

It was not clear exactly what form the new lockdown would take, or what would be ordered to close or how long it would last.

The Government now faces a critical weekend to determine the shape of the measures before an announcement.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are said to have agonised over the decision because of fears it would leave the economy in tatters. 

But the scientists – backed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and senior minister Michael Gove – told them the virus was on track to kill 85,000 this winter, and that it was too late for a so-called ‘circuit break’.

Tens of thousands of Parisians last night caused massive traffic jams in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital ahead of the start of Emmanuel Macron's new national shutdown

Tens of thousands of Parisians last night caused massive traffic jams in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital ahead of the start of Emmanuel Macron's new national shutdown

Tens of thousands of Parisians last night caused massive traffic jams in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital ahead of the start of Emmanuel Macron's new national shutdown

Tens of thousands of Parisians last night caused massive traffic jams in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital ahead of the start of Emmanuel Macron's new national shutdown

Tens of thousands of Parisians last night caused massive traffic jams in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital ahead of the start of Emmanuel Macron’s new national shutdown 

View of traffic jams in Paris as traffic records have been broken in Paris ahead of the new shutdown coming into force

View of traffic jams in Paris as traffic records have been broken in Paris ahead of the new shutdown coming into force

View of traffic jams in Paris as traffic records have been broken in Paris ahead of the new shutdown coming into force

Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon to avoid confining themselves to the French capital during the shutdown

Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon to avoid confining themselves to the French capital during the shutdown

Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon to avoid confining themselves to the French capital during the shutdown

It comes as Parisians fleeing for the countryside jammed the roads on Thursday ahead of France’s lockdown to slow the spread of the resurgent coronavirus.

There was only a sprinkling of people hurrying along city sidewalks Friday as the nationwide restrictions went into effect.

Dystopian images of logjams that stretched for 435 miles (700km) at one point Thursday evening – exacerbated by the upcoming long holiday weekend – were a grim sign of a return to the dark days of the spring. 

With infections hitting record levels in some countries, many are now resorting to severe restrictions again .

In France, concerns were growing that rising infections would swamp the country’s health system, so authorities ordered another four-week lockdown beginning Friday. 

There was only a sprinkling of people hurrying along city sidewalks in Paris on Friday as the nationwide restrictions went into effect

There was only a sprinkling of people hurrying along city sidewalks in Paris on Friday as the nationwide restrictions went into effect

There was only a sprinkling of people hurrying along city sidewalks in Paris on Friday as the nationwide restrictions went into effect

A man walks by the empty Tuileries gardens in the centre of Paris. French authorities ordered another four-week lockdown beginning Friday

A man walks by the empty Tuileries gardens in the centre of Paris. French authorities ordered another four-week lockdown beginning Friday

A man walks by the empty Tuileries gardens in the centre of Paris. French authorities ordered another four-week lockdown beginning Friday

Many areas of the French capital resembled a regular lazy weekend morning – on what would normally have been a bustling weekday. 

Those who were out frequently clutched permission forms proving they had an exemption that allowed them to to be on streets.

The only places that were busy were grocery stores and markets as people stockpiled food and other necessities.

All of France’s 67 million people have been ordered to stay at home at all times with no visitors, or risk steep fines or prosecution. 

There are a handful of exceptions, such as being allowed out for one hour of exercise a day within a half-mile (1km) of home, to go to medical appointments, to a place of work, or to shop for essential goods. 

Restaurants and cafes are shuttered, apart from those that offer takeout.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus UK: 46% familes WILL stick to Christmas lockdown rules

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coronavirus uk 46 familes will stick to christmas lockdown rules

Almost half of families in the UK intend to stick to coronavirus rules at Christmas even if they prevent them from seeing their loved ones. 

An exclusive poll for MailOnline found 46 per cent of people said they will fully adhere to the rules and not celebrate with relatives or friends from other households indoors if that is what the restrictions in their local area demand. 

The survey of 3,000 people, conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on October 28, found that just 19 per cent intend not to fully adhere to the rules and still celebrate indoors with people from outside their immediate household.  

Just over one in 10, some 14 per cent, said they would try to stick to restrictions and meet loved ones outdoors in a public space on the big day while five per cent intend to celebrate overseas and 17 per cent were unsure what they will do. 

Just 19 per cent of people said they intend not to adhere to coronavirus rules over Christmas if there is a ban on households gathering indoors

Just 19 per cent of people said they intend not to adhere to coronavirus rules over Christmas if there is a ban on households gathering indoors

Just 19 per cent of people said they intend not to adhere to coronavirus rules over Christmas if there is a ban on households gathering indoors 

The Government is facing a major headache over what to do about coronavirus rules over the Christmas period. 

Ministers believe it is inevitable that many people will travel to be with their families even if restrictions say they should not do so. 

However, there are fears that lifting the rules temporarily to allow families to meet would result in a ‘spreading event’ which would cause a significant spike in coronavirus infections. 

Today’s poll found that the nation is split on whether the Government understands the economic and social damage its lockdown restrictions are doing. 

Some 47 per cent of respondents said the Government does understand the impact on the public but 37 per cent think the Government does not. 

Meanwhile, four in ten Britons (39 per cent) said they would support restrictions like the Rule of Six being relaxed over Christmas and 31 per cent would oppose such a much.  

The debate over what to do during the Christmas period remains ongoing in Whitehall with ministers insisting that it is too early to make decisions on the matter. 

Police chiefs have said that if rules banning household mixing are in place over Christmas then officers could break up family gatherings. 

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said yesterday that ‘the police have a duty and a responsibility to enforce the rules’.

‘We obviously want to ensure that families can gather for Christmas,’ he told Sky News.

‘I want to be with my own family at Christmas. That is some way off.

‘What we have to do now is take action, decisive action now against the virus to give us the best possible chance of being able to achieve that and that is exactly what we are trying to do.’

Tory MPs have urged the Government to give families a ‘break’ and allow them to meet after a ‘dreadful year’.   

They also blasted the suggestion that police could crackdown on families meeting for Christmas dinner as they said ‘this is not some totalitarian state like China’.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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