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Nicola Sturgeon ‘insisted on early deadline for France quarantine’

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nicola sturgeon insisted on early deadline for france quarantine

British holidaymakers voiced fury at the timing of the France quarantine move today amid claims Nicola Sturgeon demanded the cut-off was brought forward.

The new rules on isolating for 14 days will take effect for anyone who arrives in the UK from 4am tomorrow, sparking a desperate stamped to get home by thousands of British holidaymakers.

But sources said the Scottish government insisted that the deadline was earlier after UK ministers initially mooted 4am on Sunday.

Mr Shapps fuelled the chaos last night when he announced the dramatic step, but suggested it would only apply to people who ‘come back from Sunday’.

The Department for Transport then clarified that in fact the restrictions come into force from 4am tomorrow.

The news also broke hours later than expected, and following signals during the day that France might escape being struck off the list of ‘safe’ countries.

Sources said Nicola Sturgeon (pictured at Holyrood this week) insisted that the deadline was earlier after UK ministers initially mooted 4am on Sunday

Sources said Nicola Sturgeon (pictured at Holyrood this week) insisted that the deadline was earlier after UK ministers initially mooted 4am on Sunday

Sources said Nicola Sturgeon (pictured at Holyrood this week) insisted that the deadline was earlier after UK ministers initially mooted 4am on Sunday

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted the Government had taken 'a practical approach' to the new restrictions

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted the Government had taken 'a practical approach' to the new restrictions

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted the Government had taken ‘a practical approach’ to the new restrictions

Holiday makers arriving back on a ferry at Dover docks this morning after France was added to the UK quarantine list from Saturday

Holiday makers arriving back on a ferry at Dover docks this morning after France was added to the UK quarantine list from Saturday

Holiday makers arriving back on a ferry at Dover docks this morning after France was added to the UK quarantine list from Saturday

Government sources insisted the delays were down to the latest figures fro France emerging late in the day, and the quarantine changes then needing to be signed off by the devolved institutions.

They said the isolation had to be introduced on a series of countries including France, the Netherlands and Malta after the seven-day count of cases per 100,000 population rose above 20. 

At the daily briefing in Edinburgh today, Ms Sturgeon insisted it had been ‘imperative’ to act as quickly as possible.

‘Where we have a situation where we think a situation in a particular country has deteriorated we cannot hang around before we impose quarantine,’ she said.

‘There is a real imperative to act as quickly as possible.’ 

Ms Sturgeon said people across the UK should ‘think very carefully’ before booking holidays as the rules can change abruptly.

Scottish minister Humza Yousaf added that there was a call with the four UK nations at 9pm, and the changes were announced as soon as possible after that – stressing that they were often reliant on when other countries published new figures.  

Travellers trying to return from France to avoid the quarantine restrictions today face paying hundreds of pounds.

Air fares are more than six times higher than normal for flights from Paris to London today, with the cheapest British Airways tickets being sold for £452.

Heavy cost of heading home after France is put on UK quarantine list 

Travellers trying to return from France on Friday to avoid the quarantine restrictions face paying hundreds of pounds. 

Flights: Air fares are more than six times higher than normal from Paris to London today. The cheapest British Airways tickets are £452. 

Flight booking website Skyscanner suggested there were no direct flights from Biarritz to London.

The cheapest option it offered was to take one flight to Paris, another to Belfast and a third arriving at London Stansted shortly before midnight, at a total cost of £284.

The lowest priced ticket involving just two flights is £579 with Air France, changing in Paris.

Eurostar: Cheapest ticket on train from Paris to London is £210, compared with £165 on Saturday, a rise up almost 30 per cent. 

Ferries: P&O Ferries has limited availability, but one person travelling with a car from Calais to Dover can buy a ticket for £200.

Eurotunnel: The cost of taking a car through the Channel Tunnel on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle services on Friday morning is £260. All trains after midday are fully booked.   

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The cheapest ticket on a Eurostar train from Paris to London is £210, compared with £165 on Saturday, a rise up almost 30 per cent.  

The cost of taking a car through the Channel Tunnel on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle services on Friday morning is £260. All trains after midday are fully booked.

P&O Ferries has limited availability, but one person travelling with a car from Calais to Dover can buy a ticket for £200.

In more bad news for British holidaymakers, it has been suggested Greece could soon be added to the quarantine list, after a spike in its infection rate, with a record 235 cases recorded on August 12. Daily new cases in the country were in the 30s towards the end of July. 

Mr Shapps insisted the Government had taken ‘a practical approach’ to the new restrictions.

However, the move was criticised by France’s secretary of state for European affairs, who said it would lead to ‘reciprocal measures’ across the Channel.

Clement Beaune tweeted: ‘A British decision which we regret and which will lead to reciprocal measures, all in hoping for a return for normal as soon as possible.’  

Travellers returning to Britain from France today told of their scramble home to avoid having to quarantine. 

Student Yasmine Sellay, 24, from Wimbledon, South London, was among a packed Eurostar train that arrived at St Pancras station from Paris this morning. 

She said: ‘I wanted to get home before the restrictions are enforced. ‘I didn’t know that France had been added to the UK quarantine list until last night and as I don’t want to isolate for a fortnight I came home today. 

‘I’d been in Paris for a month and a half because it’s where I’m originally from and I was visiting family and friends. 

Pictured: Passengers arrive at St Pancras International Station from Paris today after it was announced Britons returning from France would have to isolate for 14 days from Saturday

Pictured: Passengers arrive at St Pancras International Station from Paris today after it was announced Britons returning from France would have to isolate for 14 days from Saturday

Pictured: Passengers arrive at St Pancras International Station from Paris today after it was announced Britons returning from France would have to isolate for 14 days from Saturday

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Wuhan coronavirus nurse and her husband are ‘crushed to death by rotating theatre seats’

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wuhan coronavirus nurse and her husband are crushed to death by rotating theatre seats

A Wuhan nurse and her husband have died in a tragic accident while watching a performance dedicated to coronavirus health workers at a local theatre.

The unnamed medic and her partner were trapped between rotating chairs after trying to rescue their son who slipped under the seat, according to reports.

The boy was said to have survived after falling onto a safety net underneath, but his parents were crushed to death.

A Wuhan nurse and her husband have died in a tragic accident while watching a performance dedicated to coronavirus health workers at a local theatre (pictured in handout)

A Wuhan nurse and her husband have died in a tragic accident while watching a performance dedicated to coronavirus health workers at a local theatre (pictured in handout)

A Wuhan nurse and her husband have died in a tragic accident while watching a performance dedicated to coronavirus health workers at a local theatre (pictured in handout)

The unnamed medic and her partner were trapped between rotating chairs after trying to rescue their son who slipped under the seat, according to reports. The picture released by the Wuhan theatre shows the venue where the nurse and her husband were killed in an accident

The unnamed medic and her partner were trapped between rotating chairs after trying to rescue their son who slipped under the seat, according to reports. The picture released by the Wuhan theatre shows the venue where the nurse and her husband were killed in an accident

The unnamed medic and her partner were trapped between rotating chairs after trying to rescue their son who slipped under the seat, according to reports. The picture released by the Wuhan theatre shows the venue where the nurse and her husband were killed in an accident

The nurse reportedly worked at Wuhan Tongji Hospital and fought on the frontline against the coronavirus outbreak in the former COVID-19 epicentre. In this file photo, a medical worker is treating a coronavirus patient at the Union Hospital affiliated to Wuhan Tongji Medical College

The nurse reportedly worked at Wuhan Tongji Hospital and fought on the frontline against the coronavirus outbreak in the former COVID-19 epicentre. In this file photo, a medical worker is treating a coronavirus patient at the Union Hospital affiliated to Wuhan Tongji Medical College

The nurse reportedly worked at Wuhan Tongji Hospital and fought on the frontline against the coronavirus outbreak in the former COVID-19 epicentre. In this file photo, a medical worker is treating a coronavirus patient at the Union Hospital affiliated to Wuhan Tongji Medical College

The nurse reportedly worked at Wuhan Tongji Hospital and fought on the frontline against the coronavirus outbreak in the former COVID-19 epicentre.

The couple’s deaths also sparked outrage online after Wuhan authorities confirmed the incident on Thursday, 12 days after it occurred on September 6.

The officials did not specify details of the accident, claiming they had carried out emergency rescue and ‘properly handled the aftermath of the incident’.

The tragedy was first brought to light by a social media user, who claimed to be a family friend of the victims, in a post on Twitter-like Weibo.

The nurse and her husband took their four-year-old son to watch a performance celebrating coronavirus health workers at the Han Show Theatre in Wuhan on the evening of September 6, the post claimed.

The modern venue with a water-surrounding stage can host up to 2,000 viewers with modified chairs that can rotate and elevate, according to its website.

The nurse and her husband took their four-year-old son to watch a performance celebrating coronavirus health workers at the Han Show Theatre (pictured) in Wuhan September 6

The nurse and her husband took their four-year-old son to watch a performance celebrating coronavirus health workers at the Han Show Theatre (pictured) in Wuhan September 6

The nurse and her husband took their four-year-old son to watch a performance celebrating coronavirus health workers at the Han Show Theatre (pictured) in Wuhan September 6

The tragedy was first brought to light by a social media user, who claimed to be a family friend of the victims, in a post on Twitter-like Weibo. A medical worker wearing a face mask looks on at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province on September 3

The tragedy was first brought to light by a social media user, who claimed to be a family friend of the victims, in a post on Twitter-like Weibo. A medical worker wearing a face mask looks on at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province on September 3

The tragedy was first brought to light by a social media user, who claimed to be a family friend of the victims, in a post on Twitter-like Weibo. A medical worker wearing a face mask looks on at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China’s central Hubei province on September 3

Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre) awards medal to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) expert Zhang Boli (left) during a meeting commending role models in the country's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic at the Great Hall of the People (GHOP) in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre) awards medal to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) expert Zhang Boli (left) during a meeting commending role models in the country's fight against the COVID-19 epidemic at the Great Hall of the People (GHOP) in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre) awards medal to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) expert Zhang Boli (left) during a meeting commending role models in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic at the Great Hall of the People (GHOP) in Beijing

Some of the seats move like a fan opening and closing to give the audience the best view of onstage effects, a staff member told The Beijing News.

Before the show was about to end, the boy fell under the rotating seat as he stood up preparing to leave.

The parents tried to catch their son before they were both caught between the moving chairs and crushed to death, the web user said.

The boy suffered some injuries while the nurse and her husband were pronounced dead after they were rushed to a hospital.

The post is believed to have been published on September 8 when Beijing held a special event during which President Xi honoured the ‘heroes’ of China’s ‘people’s war’ against COVID-19.

It wrote: ‘Today is the national honouring assembly, but this incident has yet to be seen on the news.’

Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured standing with Chinese medical expert Zhong Nanshan (pictured left) after awarding him a medal at an event to honour some of those involved in China's fight against COVID-19 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 8

Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured standing with Chinese medical expert Zhong Nanshan (pictured left) after awarding him a medal at an event to honour some of those involved in China's fight against COVID-19 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 8

Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured standing with Chinese medical expert Zhong Nanshan (pictured left) after awarding him a medal at an event to honour some of those involved in China’s fight against COVID-19 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 8

Wuhan officials said they were still investigating the causes of the incident while the theatre had reached a compensation agreement with the family.

The company Wanda Group has fired two of its employees since the accident, it said on Friday.

Angered by the government’s late and vague announcement, web users called for a thorough investigation by the authorities.

One commenter wrote: ‘This is really quite ironic. Our [medical] fighters returned safely from the frontline and they were crushed to death between seats during the celebration.’

Another said: ‘I wanted to find out why the accident happened, but now I’m more concerned about how it was only reported after so many days? What was the media doing? Even after the pandemic they still couldn’t stop covering up. Disappointed.’

A third person replied: ‘Who would have thought that a child would become an orphan after watching a performance? High-tech things are good, but safety issues must be carefully considered.’

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Terrified Amazon driver vaults fence to escape 13-stone dog – only to realize it wants to be friends

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terrified amazon driver vaults fence to escape 13 stone dog only to realize it wants to be friends

A terrified Amazon delivery driver had to leap over a customer’s fence in California to escape a dog – before he realized the 13-stone giant just wanted to say hello.

The hilarious moment happened as the Amazon driver pulled up to Allan and Meredith Anderson’s house in Temecula and did not take much notice of the beware of the dog notice on the gate.

CCTV footage from September 10 shows the worker strolling carefree up towards the front door.

He suddenly sprints back into view before vaulting the perimeter fence of the house like an Olympic hurdler. 

Close behind him is Winston, an English mastiff weighing 180lbs, who runs up to the fence before he halts and wags his tail. 

The three-year-old dog turns away from the fence and, in the video, the driver can be seen smiling widely while catching his breath. 

The terrified delivery man approaches the fence boarder the Anderson's home

The terrified delivery man approaches the fence boarder the Anderson's home

The terrified delivery man approaches the fence boarder the Anderson’s home

The Amazon worker prepares to vault the fence to escape from Winston

The Amazon worker prepares to vault the fence to escape from Winston

The Amazon worker prepares to vault the fence to escape from Winston

As 13-stone Winston approaches the fence the delivery man jumps over it

As 13-stone Winston approaches the fence the delivery man jumps over it

As 13-stone Winston approaches the fence the delivery man jumps over it

In his bid for freedom the Amazon worker cleared the white wooden fence

In his bid for freedom the Amazon worker cleared the white wooden fence

In his bid for freedom the Amazon worker cleared the white wooden fence

Winston, the 13-stone English mastiff, halts as he reaches the fence

Winston, the 13-stone English mastiff, halts as he reaches the fence

Winston, the 13-stone English mastiff, halts as he reaches the fence

Now clearly comfortable that Winston has got nothing but playful thoughts the laughing delivery man walks back towards the Anderson’s fence.

At this point Meredith, 51, an animal health saleswoman walks over and collects the parcel. 

Allan, 56, a real estate agent, said: ‘We were just completely shocked, especially that he didn’t say anything to us.

‘We couldn’t believe what happened and how high he could jump.

‘Once we realized nobody was hurt, we did laugh to ourselves. It looked like the delivery driver got a kick out of it actually.

‘Meredith was taking some trash out from the front door and Winston just ran out. You can’t see the gate from our door so she didn’t know what happened.

Meredith Anderson appears to see what the commotion was about

Meredith Anderson appears to see what the commotion was about

Meredith Anderson appears to see what the commotion was about

Animal health saleswoman Meredith Anderson approaches the delivery man to get the package

Animal health saleswoman Meredith Anderson approaches the delivery man to get the package

Animal health saleswoman Meredith Anderson approaches the delivery man to get the package

‘She was wondering why the delivery driver was on the opposite side of the driveway, panting and smiling to himself.

‘She just said to him: ‘he’s just a big, friendly puppy dog, sorry if he startled you’.

‘It wasn’t until Meredith mentioned how weird the situation was that we decided to watch the security footage back.

‘When you open the front door, he just wants to run out and see what’s going on. He’s just so friendly.

‘Even at 180lbs, Winston is still a lap dog. He’s just a big softie but he is very athletic for an English mastiff.

‘He is an absolute sweetheart. If the delivery driver had bent down to say hello afterwards, Winston would probably still be there licking his face.

‘I am really glad nobody got hurt.’ 

Thirteen-stone softie Winston who just wanted to play with the Amazon worker

Thirteen-stone softie Winston who just wanted to play with the Amazon worker

Thirteen-stone softie Winston who just wanted to play with the Amazon worker

Allan Anderson gets a kiss from English mastiff Winston

Allan Anderson gets a kiss from English mastiff Winston

Allan Anderson gets a kiss from English mastiff Winston

Allan’s footage has been uploaded to social media where it has been viewed more than five million times.

One commenter said: ‘Looks like an NCAA steeplechase champion.’

Another person stated: ‘Omg this is awesome! That guy probably just about had a heart attack.’ 

Another viewer joked: ‘I couldn’t have cleared the fence! He made it look so effortless. I wonder if it’s part of Amazon’s driver training.’

Amazon have been contacted for comment.

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Postman sacked for drink driving after being called into work at short notice while drunk on cider

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postman sacked for drink driving after being called into work at short notice while drunk on cider

A Royal Mail delivery driver has been sacked for drink driving after he was called in to work on his week off because the office was ‘really busy’. 

Daniel Austin had already drunk a large amount of strong cider when he received the call from bosses asking him to work at short notice during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mr Austin walked to the delivery office and when he got there colleagues raised concerns about his condition with two managers.

Daniel Austin, from Staffordshire, has lost his job and been convicted of drink driving after he was found to be drunk while behind the wheel of his Royal Mail delivery van. Austin says he was called into work at short notice on his week off during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic

Daniel Austin, from Staffordshire, has lost his job and been convicted of drink driving after he was found to be drunk while behind the wheel of his Royal Mail delivery van. Austin says he was called into work at short notice on his week off during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic

Daniel Austin, from Staffordshire, has lost his job and been convicted of drink driving after he was found to be drunk while behind the wheel of his Royal Mail delivery van. Austin says he was called into work at short notice on his week off during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic

But the 40-year-old was instructed to drive one of the delivery vans – and was caught drink-driving soon after.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre has heard how Mr Austin believes a manager reported him to police. 

The court heard Mr Austin had left it a couple of hours before going to work. Police discovered him on Saturn Road, Smallthorne, on April 9.

Prosecutor Jacqueline Coley-Fisher said: ‘At the time of the incident Austin was working for Royal Mail and was driving a Peugeot Partner delivery van.

‘He was seen to be unsteady on his feet and the police were contacted. Police officers arrived and spoke to Austin.

‘A roadside breath test was carried out. He was arrested and conveyed to the police station.’

Mr Austin, of Tunstall, gave an alcohol reading of 108 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35. He pleaded guilty to drink-driving. He has no previous convictions or cautions and had a clean driving record.

James Hulse, mitigating, said the defendant had found out his father had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and had gone to drink himself ‘to oblivion’ when he received the call from his employer.

He said: ‘He was off work the week the offence was committed. He finds out his father has a terminal brain tumour.

‘He’s off work so he thinks I’m going to drink myself to oblivion as I don’t want to think about this. He consumed a large amount of strong cider.

‘Then work ring and say they are really busy, in the middle of the pandemic, and ask ‘can you come in?’. He thinks he’ll leave it a couple of hours and it should be alright.

‘He walks to work, sees two colleagues, and they say to him that they don’t think he’s in a fit state to be in work. They can see he is under the influence of alcohol.

‘They go to speak to two managers who make the decision not to do anything and tell him to go out in the delivery van and do what he is accustomed to.

‘Mr Austin believes it is one of those managers who, after he left, rang the police. The police were located at his first drop-off and he had delivered one parcel.

The court heart Austin was 'drinking himself into oblivion' after discovering his father had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and waited two hours before going into work

The court heart Austin was 'drinking himself into oblivion' after discovering his father had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and waited two hours before going into work

The court heart Austin was ‘drinking himself into oblivion’ after discovering his father had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and waited two hours before going into work

‘He’s then arrested, he was fully compliant with the police. There have been disciplinary proceedings with Royal Mail.

‘Instead of saying he could be signposted to mental health or social services they dismiss him after 22 years despite his alcohol use being a result of the devastating news about his father’s brain tumour.

‘It is frustrating that a large organisation just turned a blind eye to that. He attended unfit for work on a day he was not supposed to be in work.

‘He holds a real grudge against Royal Mail for how he feels he was treated by them.

‘He is someone of good character and the driving disqualification will impact him in the short term and long term even when the disqualification has expired.’

Royal Mail has come under fire from Mr Austin’s family who has accused the company of being ‘negligent’ and called for the introduction of random drug and alcohol tests.

Following the drink-drive case, mum Angela Marsden said: ‘I am disappointed, and extremely concerned, that Royal Mail allowed my son to drive a vehicle.

‘Managers had been made aware by work colleagues that Daniel appeared to be under the influence of drink and had been drinking the night before.

‘Daniel was not on duty that day and was called in as they were short-staffed.

‘In my opinion, Royal Mail should have had a duty of care to my son and sent him home.

‘I feel that Royal Mail is in some way negligent and should be held to account for this

‘Royal Mail never does random drug or alcohol tests and I feel this would be a way forward to prevent the same happening again.

Austin was handed 12-month community order, told to complete 80 hours unpaid work

Austin was handed 12-month community order, told to complete 80 hours unpaid work

Austin was handed 12-month community order, told to complete 80 hours unpaid work

‘Daniel worked for Royal Mail for 22-years and had an unblemished record. He now has no job or driving licence and a criminal record.

‘I am no way trying to absolve my son of his responsibility. But Daniel was under the influence of drink and was still given the keys to a Royal Mail vehicle.’

Magistrates handed Mr Austin a 12-month community order. He must also complete 80 hours unpaid work and was banned from driving for 26 months. He must pay £400 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Royal Mail is standing by its decision to sack Mr Austin.

Following the case, a Royal Mail spokesman said: ‘Although we cannot comment on the details of individual cases, we can confirm that the correct procedures were followed in this matter.’

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