Sector News Update –  17th August 2020


Hi everyone and welcome to another day of news!

On Thursday 13th August, thousands of holidaymakers found out that new quarantine restrictions were being imposed and would affect them on their return to the UK from France, Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba. The restrictions came into force on Saturday and caused a surge in Eurotunnel train bookings, a huge rise in air fares and a frantic rush to book suitable travel arrangements. There were approximately 160,000 British holiday makers in France at the time of the announcement.  


An ONS survey stated that there is evidence in England of virus cases levelling off, despite spikes in certain areas. This contrasts with the news in Northern Ireland, with cases increasing and estimates that the R number is now 1.6.  


As efforts to contain and track the coronavirus continue, NHS Test and Trace are set to begin the trial phase of a new contact tracing app with residents on the Isle of Wight and NHS Volunteer Responders across England. Also, statistics are showing NHS Test and Trace is managing to reach the majority of people testing positive for coronavirus and their contacts, in line with the recognised metric of success for contact tracing services around the world. 


Last week children received an apology from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson for the disruption that they’ve suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also stated that the best thing was for every child in England to be back in school in September.  


A new report, Wellbeing and Nurture: Physical and Emotional Security in Childhood published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on A Fit and Healthy Childhood, includes neuro-scientific evidence which shows that nurturing touch is an essential pre-requisite of the physical and emotional security that children need in order to grow and flourish. A lack of caring touch in early life has lifelong adverse consequences on mental health.  


Fewer than half of early years settings were open at the end of July, according to the latest statistics from the Department for Educationhowever this is mainly attributed to reduced demand for childcare places during the school summer holiday period and a closure of school-based settings.