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Lifestyle

I think I got an STI from having sex with my hot colleague — should I tell my wife? – The Sun

DEAR DEIDRE: I CLICK so well with a girl at work that we ended up having sex.

But I’ve got a nasty souvenir and don’t know how I’m going to explain this to my wife.


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I’ve been married for seven years. I’m 30 and my wife is 31. I love her but the spark seems to have gone from our marriage.

I work for a big online distribution company in their accounts department and a new girl joined us three months ago.

She’s 25, single and all the lads in the depot fancy her. She is very attractive with long hair and a figure most women would die for. I enjoy spending time with her and we just get on.

I knew from the start I fancied her but felt she was out of my league and, anyway, I’m married.

We were both asked to do some overtime before our company audit and we worked late together one night. The company ordered us pizza and a couple of beers and arranged for a taxi home.

We had a laugh as we worked and then shared a cab home because we live very near to each other. She invited me in for a night cap and I accepted.

We sat together on her sofa and drank wine. She then started doing an impression of our boss and looked so adorable that I went in for a kiss.

She didn’t push me away and put her hands inside my shirt.

We went to her bedroom and she pushed me back on the bed. She seemed insatiable, pulling my clothes off and then straddling me.

I didn’t regret it. It was amazing, like the passionate sex I’d had on my honeymoon in the dim and distant past.

That was a month ago and I didn’t feel guilty until I got a burning sensation yesterday when I went to the loo. I Googled the symptoms and I think this girl has given me chlamydia.

My wife used to work in an STI clinic so she’s hot on this sort of thing. What should I do?

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DEIDRE SAYS: If you have had unprotected sex with your wife since you cheated, then you will have to be honest. She could have chlamydia without obvious symptoms and it can lead to infertility if left untreated.

If you haven’t had sex with your wife since the night you cheated, you may not need to confess.

You must get a test urgently but the coronavirus crisis is affecting some sexual health services.

Phone the Sexual Health Line 0300 123 7123 for help. If it is chlamydia, antibiotics should clear it rapidly.

Either way, this experience is your wake-up call that cheating is not the answer.

Talk to your wife about repowering your relationship. My e-leaflets Relationship MOT and Saving Your Sex Life might be of use.

You must also tell your colleague, as she needs treatment too.

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World News

From trench battles to helicopter drills – amazing pics offer insight into the lives of British Army troops – The Sun

THESE dramatic photos give a frontline view of life in the British Army with stunning images of soldiers in trenches, helicopters and tanks.

The Soldiers’ Charity ABF has selected its favourite snapgs in its annual photo competition over the last five years as it appeals for entries for this year’s contest.



The chaiity's competition attracts hundreds of entries every year.

Previous snaps have offered a glimpse behind the scenes of army life, showing Britain’s soldiers at work and play.

They show both the professional and human side to the army men and women, including images of soldiers training and taking part in sports.

The top 12 entries will feature in The Soldiers’ Charity’s 2021 calendar, with first place securing the front cover.




The contest, which is in its sixth year, will have a celebrity panel of judges.

Previous judges include British explorer, adventurer and ambassador for The Soldiers’ Charity, Levison Wood, actor Tom Burke, who starred in in the BBC adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Cuckoo Calling and actor Luke Pasqualino, who starred in BBC drama Our Girl.

Brigadier Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, said: “It has been a delight to see what the Army means to people in many different ways.

“So far, the charity has received lots of entries for this year’s photo competition and we very much look forward to seeing many more before choosing our winners.”




ABF The Soldiers’ Charity was formed 76 years ago in 1944 to ensure soldiers returning from the Second World War and campaigns such as D-Day were looked after.

Entries can be taken by professional cameras or smartphones.

This year’s contest closes at midnight on April 30, 2020.

Submissions can be made at www.soldierscharity.org/photocompetition.





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Lifestyle

Employees working from home don fancy dress outfits to boost morale

Beats working in your PJs! Employees don VERY creative fancy dress outfits to boost morale during lockdown – from zoo animals to a full Power Ranger suit

  • Workers from around the world took to social media to share snaps of outfits
  • Included a head-to-toe Power Ranger suit and a homemade daffodil costume
  • Many donned animal onesies while some glammed up in masquerade masks
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Employees who are working from home have taken to wearing fancy dress in their makeshift offices to boost morale amid the coronavirus crisis. 

Dozens took to social media to share photos of their impressive outfits, which include a head-to-toe Power Ranger suit, animal onesies and a daffodil headpiece made out of Selfridges bags. 

The hilarious snaps from around the globe show workers going the extra mile to inject some fun into their monotonous days spent in lockdown.

One social media user was pictured wearing a lion mane’s wig and dramatic face paint for Fancy Dress Friday.

Instagram user Blawreate created a homemade daffodil to perfectly frame his face – with petals made from Selfridges bags

 A team member from UCL Archaeology in the South East shared this snap of one of its employees donning a full Power Rangers suit

Brid Enright, of London, shared this snap of her team enjoying a group chat, during which they celebrated one of their birthdays


Game, set, match! Fran Hales shared this photo of him ‘serving up some top spin’ during isolation (right) while Alex Anthony, from St Neots, also urged people to put on fancy dress and ‘get moving’ (left)

Instagram user Goody Scott shared this snap of her working from home dressed as a pirate

They captioned their snap on Instagram: ‘Day 7? In the Big Brother house and the housemates have gone feral.’

Fran Hales, from Bristol, stood poised in a 1980s tennis player outfit as though he was ready to make a serve.

He quipped: ‘Serving up some top spin isolation Fancy Dress Friday. Keeping healthy, entertained and most important of all, doing so in fancy dress!

‘I want to encourage the inner fancy dresser in you all, to dig out costumes (or make them) and share it with the world.’

One Zoom conference call showed a group struggling to contain their amusement as they wore hippy, Batman, viking and papier mache lobster outfits

Instagrammer Diddy Gilman shared this photo of himself dressed as ‘Sister Gilman’ during a weekly Skype meeting


This Instagrammer went all out with their lion costume (left) while Jamie Fry, from Newham, London, sported a zebra onesie fitted with a hood and used the Instagram post as an opportunity to update his followers on day 12 of lockdown (right)

Meanwhile, another – called Blawreate – created a homemade daffodil to perfectly frame his face – with petals made from Selfridges bags.

He grinned from inside his headdress while clutching two daffodils in his hands – as he announced: ‘I’m a daffodil baby’.

One Zoom conference call showed a group struggling to contain their amusement as they wore hippy, Batman, viking and papier mache lobster outfits.

Another social media user admitted the fancy dress day is a ‘weekly excuse to have a giggle’ amid the coronavirus outbreak – and donned a Frida Kahlo look.

Instagrammer Caity Daws, from Canberra, stepped up the glamour for her teleconference call

Another social media user admitted the fancy dress day is a ‘weekly excuse to have a giggle’ amid the coronavirus outbreak – and donned a Frida Kahlo look

A Twitter user called George showed off his Scottish attire – teaming a tartan sash with a matching kilt and beret.

Jamie Fry, from Newham, London, sported a zebra onesie fitted with a hood and used the Instagram post as an opportunity to update his followers on day 12 of lockdown. 

Meanwhile another Instagram user cut a more sleek and sultry figure – wearing a masquerade mask and satin dress.

Samantha Wragg admitted she was ‘very limited’ for fancy dress and donned a JustEat sponsored football outfit to go as Welsh footballer Robbie Savage. 

One Instagram user cut a more sleek and sultry figure – wearing a masquerade mask and satin dress

Nina Edwards shared a screengrab of her catch-up with colleagues, where the fancy dress theme was pretty loose


An Instagram user shared this photo of her ‘sweating for our superheroes’, explaining she’d been working out in her costume for the NHS (left) while Fran Hales, from Bristol, ditched his tennis attire and opted for a spooky suit to brighten up his solitude (right)

Netstar shared this snap from their team meeting on Friday, with a thank you to the NHS


Samantha Wragg admitted she was ‘very limited’ for fancy dress and donned a JustEat sponsored football outfit to go as Welsh footballer Robbie Savage (left) while Twitter user George showed off his Scottish attire (right)

Andrew Cuff shared this snap of his after work virtual drinks with colleagues – who all donned a variety of fancy dress

Instagram user patchworkeimer shared this photo of herself dressed as a virtual princess for children who couldn’t go to their nursery’s party

The trend follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a total lockdown last Monday – permitting only ‘essential’ travel to the supermarkets, one form of exercise and social gatherings of no more than two people, last week.

In a letter to 30 million households, Mr Johnson is to tell Brits ‘we have sought to put in the right measures at the time’.

He has admitted ‘things will get worse before they get better’ and ‘will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do’. 

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Categories
Lifestyle

Esty From ‘Unorthodox’ Is Based On A Real Woman, But The Show Made A Few Changes

In Netflix’s new four-part mini-series, Unorthodox, Esty Shapiro makes the radical decision to abandon her husband and the only home she’s ever known. The show is based on the 2012 memoir of author Deborah Feldman, who fled her Brooklyn-based Hassidic Jewish community when she was 23. However, the Netflix series makes a few changes.

Feldman was raised in Williamsburg’s Satmar community by her grandparents (her father was mentally ill, and her mother previously left the religious sect). When she was 17, she was set up in an arranged marriage; by 20, she’d had a son. But as Feldman told The New York Post, she was always rebellious of her strict upbringing: she read prohibited books like Little Women and Anne of Greene Gables, and stopped shaving her head a year into marriage, unlike what was customary. After she started taking classes at Sarah Lawrence College and got into a bad car accident, she decided to take her son and leave for good.

Unorthodox‘s Esty comes from the same orthodox community as Feldman, and is also set up in an arranged marriage. But she and her husband Yanky don’t have a child together. And rather than having dreams of becoming a writer, Esty is a promising piano player.

The biggest difference between Feldman’s life and the show is that when Esty leaves the Satmar community, she immediately moves to Berlin. Her mother lives in Germany, but she chooses not to reconnect with her after seeing that she lives with a woman. Her husband and his cousin also dramatically attempt to find her and bring her back to Williamsburg. In reality, Feldman temporarily lived with her mother (who identifies as a lesbian) in Brooklyn before settling in Manhattan’s Upper East Side with her son. It wasn’t until 2014 — two years after she published Unorthodox — that Feldman moved to Berlin.

Feldman told The New York Times that despite some initially distressing moments, like her visit to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, she was drawn to Germany’s efforts to acknowledge the Holocaust, and how open the country was to refugees. This is reflected in Esty’s experience. "We brought Esty to Berlin to be able to talk about what it would be like for a Satmar Jew to flee to the country of the Holocaust’s origin, and to reflect on how Berlin is built on trauma and how history creeps through everything there," Karolinski told The Times of Israel.

Feldman, for her part, is thrilled to be able to see her story recreated onscreen. "People like me, we never saw ourselves being reflected back in the stories being told in popular culture, so we didn’t really know how to create our own stories," she told The Jewish Chronicle. And even though not everyone will be able to relate to growing up in a repressive community, Feldman believes that "the essence of what’s happening, that’s universally understood."

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World News

Meghan forbids Harry from going to UK to see Prince Charles

EXCLUSIVE: Meghan lays down the law and forbids Harry from going back to UK to see coronavirus-infected Prince Charles as she makes plans to foster a black lab named Cole to help ‘ease the strain on animal shelters’

  • Meghan has forbidden Prince Harry from traveling, including to return to the UK to see his sick father Prince Charles, a source exclusively told DailyMail.com
  • She told Harry that ‘under no circumstances, is she okay with him traveling anywhere right now’
  • Prince Charles, 71, tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday and is in self-isolation in Scotland 
  • The source added: ‘Meghan said Harry’s been in touch with his dad… Of course, he’s frustrated. She said they both are frustrated’
  • Meghan wants to do more to help and told her inner circle she’s looking into fostering a dog to ‘help ease the strain on animal shelters and rescue groups’ 
  • Meghan and Harry are holed up at their waterfront mansion on Vancouver Island and are making their staff wear latex gloves
  • The friend also revealed 10-month-old Archie is a ‘bundle of energy’ and has learned to blow kisses
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Meghan Markle has forbidden Prince Harry from traveling, including to return to the UK to see his sick father Prince Charles, a source exclusively told DailyMail.com.  

Prince Charles, 71, tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday and is in self-isolation on the Balmoral estate in Scotland with his wife Camilla, representatives for the royal said in a statement.  

The insider said the Duchess of Sussex told Harry that ‘under no circumstances, is she okay with him traveling anywhere right now.’ 

The source added: ‘Meghan said Harry’s been in touch with his dad… Of course, he’s frustrated. She said they both are frustrated because they are doers and want to do so much more to help.’ 

Harry last saw his father earlier this month, publicly seen together at the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 9. 

The insider also revealed Meghan told her inner circle that she is looking into fostering a black Labrador named Cole in order to help ease the strain on local animal shelters and rescue groups, and urged her friends to do the same.

Meghan and Harry are currently holed up at their waterfront mansion on Vancouver Island with baby Archie and are taking extra precautions during the pandemic by making staffers follow a strict hygiene protocol and wear latex gloves.  

Meghan has forbidden Prince Harry from traveling, including to return to the UK to see his sick father Prince Charles, a source exclusively told DailyMail.com. The insider also revealed dog-lover Meghan is looking into fostering a black Labrador. Pictured: Meghan walking her lab Oz and Beagle Guy with Archie in January in Canada

The source added: ‘Meghan said they were originally interested in a three-month-old mixed breed puppy named Panda, but are now looking at a slightly older black lab named Cole (pictured), who is really good with young kids and other dogs’

Prince Charles, 71, tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, representatives for the royal confirmed. But the insider said Meghan told Harry that ‘under no circumstances, is she okay with him traveling anywhere right now’ 

Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne, is said to be suffering from ‘mild symptoms’ and is in self-isolation. He became sick two weeks after meeting coronavirus-stricken Prince Albert of Monaco, who tested positive five days ago. 

DailyMail.com previously revealed Meghan and Harry were self-isolating in Canada, and Meghan had confided in friends that her husband felt ‘helpless’ and was ‘concerned’ about the Queen and his father Prince Charles catching coronavirus.

The friend added: ‘Meghan told her inner circle of friends that Harry has been communicating with Prince William and the Queen on a pretty consistent basis. 

‘She said this world crisis has actually brought them all closer together, especially Harry and his brother. 

‘Harry has made it very clear to them that he will do whatever he can to help from Canada.

‘Meghan said they are grateful, especially Harry, that they could spend time with his family before all this insanity began.’

Meanwhile, Meghan has been looking at ways to help out at home and is looking into fostering a dog, joking to friends that ‘fostering meant keeping.’ 

The Duchess of Sussex already has two rescue dogs, a beagle named Guy and a Labrador-shepherd mix called Bogart, and she and Prince Harry added a black lab, believed to be named Oz, to their family in late 2018. 

Harry last saw his father earlier this month, publicly seen together at the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 9 (pictured) 

The friend also revealed Archie, who celebrates his first birthday in May, is a ‘bundle of energy’ and is constantly babbling

Meghan and Harry are currently holed up at their waterfront mansion on Vancouver Island with baby Archie and are taking extra precautions during the pandemic by making staffers follow a strict hygiene protocol and wear latex gloves

The source added: ‘Meghan said they were originally interested in a three-month-old mixed breed puppy named Panda, but are now looking at a slightly older black lab named Cole, who is really good with young kids and other dogs.  

‘Meghan said they have plenty of space and it wouldn’t be a problem.’

The friend also revealed Archie, who celebrates his first birthday in May, is a ‘bundle of energy’ and is constantly babbling.

They added: ‘Archie has now learned how to pull himself up while in the crib which Meghan said is cute, but can be a bit nerve-wracking.

‘She also said Archie’s new thing is blowing kisses, which is just absolutely adorable.’ 

While in self-isolation, Meghan and Harry started working with experts on how to best serve the public during this time, believing the pandemic is also a mental health crisis and feel ‘compelled to help’.  

They have since used their SussexRoyal Instagram account to share tips on how to stay safe during the pandemic, most recently sharing a post with the six WHO recommendations. 

the list of advice, which included ‘wash your hands often’ and ‘avoid touching your face’, the couple wrote: ‘For all of us, the best way we can support health workers is to make sure we do not make their job any harder by spreading this disease further.’ 

The friend added: ‘Meghan said just because they are isolating themselves, it doesn’t mean they can’t help. They aren’t just sitting around at home doing nothing.’

They continued: ‘Meghan told her inner circle that what’s happening in the world right now is a mental health crisis.

‘She said they are working with a mental health non-profit to create some sort of online support system for those most vulnerable, like new mothers suffering from postpartum depression.

‘People who lack support systems need reassurance that they are not alone.’ 

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Celebrities

Andy Cohen: Being Away From My Son Is the ‘Worst’ Part of Coronavirus

Getting through it. Andy Cohen revealed the hardest part of his coronavirus journey after testing positive for the virus earlier this month.

“I’ll tell you what I know from the nanny cam and from video,” Cohen, 51, said during an episode of Sirius XM’s Jeff Lewis Live on Tuesday, March 24. “I can’t see him, which is the very worst part.”

The Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen host cannot be near his son, Benjamin, 13 months, due to his positive coronavirus diagnosis, but he knows he’s in good hands.

“He’s great and his nanny [tested] negative,” the Bravo host explained.

As for his current health, the Missouri native admitted that he’s been battling through his recovery as the virus is “working its way through my body.”

According to Cohen, he has gone through periods of having “horrible” symptoms during the illness, which include a lack of appetite.

“Two days ago, before I went to bed, I took a shower and I was walking into the shower and I looked at myself and said, ‘Holy s—t, you look great,’” Cohen told Lewis, joking that his aversion to food right now has helped him slim down. “I saw a picture of a pizza yesterday [and] I thought, ‘I can’t wait to eat pizza.’”

The talk show host added: “When I get better, I’m going to gain so much weight. It’s bound to happen.”

Cohen announced on Friday, March 20, that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“After a few days of self-quarantine, and not feeling great, I have tested positive for Coronavirus,” he wrote on Instagram, explaining that WWHL would no longer be filmed from his home as originally planned.

Before his COVID-19 diagnosis, the New York City resident revealed that he would work from home in order to keep his show going during the pandemic.

The first episode, which was set to air on Sunday, March 22, was supposed to include interviews with Jerry O’Connell, NeNe Leakes and Ramona Singer.

Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance and support, consult the CDC, WHO and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.

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World News

Prisoners could be freed from jails to ease coronavirus pressure

Prisoners could be freed from jails in England and Wales to ease pressures caused by coronavirus as up to 10% of staff are off sick or self-isolating

  • Prisoners could be released to ease the pressure caused by the coronavirus 
  • Chief of Prison and Probation service revealed 13 inmates have tested positive 
  • The Justice Secretary did not rule out considering releasing prisoners
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Prisons could release some offenders to ease the pressure caused by coronavirus, a Cabinet minister has said.  

Jails in England and Wales were put on immediate lockdown last night with all visits cancelled as it emerged thousands of staff were in self-isolation.

Jo Farrar, chief executive of the Prison and Probation Service, told the Commons Justice Committee that 13 inmates had tested positive for coronavirus with confirmed cases in nine prisons at present – although others were suspected to have been affected.

She said overall around 4,300 prison and probation staff were self-isolating at the moment. Some 3,500 were prison staff – representing about 10% of the workforce.

Around 50,000 protective masks have been delivered for staff to use and a ban on bringing hand sanitiser into the prison had been lifted.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland did not rule out considering releasing prisoners when asked if this could help ease the pressure on prisons.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland did not rule out considering releasing prisoners when asked if this could help ease the pressure on prisons

Mr Buckland told the committee: ‘I have to bring that as part of the equation.’

But he said that risk would ‘have to be considered’ as well as looking at options such as making use of release on temporary licence, bail accommodation and working out ‘what to do’ with some 9,000 prisoners currently on remand.

He explained that ‘quite a proportion of the estate where there is crowding – that presents a real challenge’ and many inmates were vulnerable or had underlying health conditions.’ 

There are hopes to roll out tests for Covid-19 to staff in self-isolation, MPs sitting on the committee were told.

The news comes after concerns were raised about conditions at HMP Holme House in County Durham.

A source said there was a lack of protective equipment for staff as well as a shortage of soap and cleaning products.

Lockdown measures inside jails will include:

  • A ban on social visits but efforts made to make more phones available to inmates
  • Prisoners generally being locked up but allowed to access showers, phones and exercise – with social-distancing restrictions in place. Those who carry out kitchen, cleaning and laundry work will be allowed to continue.
  • Gyms have been closed.
  • Activities such as education suspended
  • Prisoners are also not being brought to court for hearings, it is understood

 

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World News

Flights from Italy, Iran and China still landing in Britain

Flights from Italy, Iran and China are STILL landing in UK: Visitors from the three nations with highest coronavirus death toll have landed at Gatwick and Heathrow every day in last week despite UK lockdown

  • Thousands of passengers from Italy, China and Iran arrived in Britain this week
  • Flights from Rome, Beijing and Shanghai have landed in London every day 
  • British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair cancelled flights to Rome but route is open
  • European Union banned nearly all travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Flights carrying thousands of passengers from the worst-hit coronavirus areas are still landing in Britain.

Passengers from Italy, China and Iran have arrived a Gatwick and Heathrow this week, even as the UK went in to lockdown, shutting bars, cafes, restaurants and banning mass gatherings. 

Planes have arrived in London from Rome, Beijing and Shanghai every day this week. Direct flights from Rome are also still due to arrive next week.

The route between London and Rome has remained open despite British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair cancelling all flights between Italy and Britain. 

This week Italy surpassed China, where the outbreak emerged last December, as the country with the most deaths after fatalities soared to more than 4,800. The Italian government also increased its lockdown measures as a result.

A passenger wearing protective clothing checking in for a flight from Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 in London yesterday

Iran Air is still operating three flights a week from the capital Tehran. Iran has the third-highest coronavirus death toll with more than 1,500 fatalities.

On Saturday two Air China flights from Beijing and a China Eastern jet from Shanghai landed at Heathrow, while a flight from Shanghai arrived at Gatwick. 

This afternoon, a flight from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, is due to arrive at Heatrow Airport at around 3pm this afternoon. 

Travellers coming from China, Iran and Italy with symptoms of the virus are supposed to be stopped from boarding.

On arrival in Britain passengers from these countries are supposed self-isolate for 14 days, although there is no way of actually enforcing this policy.

People waiting for passengers in International Arrivals at Heathrow Terminal 5. Several UK and European carriers are reducing staff and practically grounding their fleets

Last week the European Union banned nearly all travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days as a measure to try and halt the spread of the disease that has sent many countries around the continent into lockdown.

The Foreign Office advised Britons last week not to travel anywhere abroad unless it was essential. 

Non-EU countries, such as India and Kazakhstan, suspended Iran Air flights last week when the crisis in the country deepened. 

Former Secretary of State for Environment, Theresa Villiers, alerted the government to the issue of flights from Tehran after constituents of Iranian descent contacted her about it.

A deserted Heathrow Terminal 5 last week. Some flights are still arriving from coronavirus hotspots such as Italy, Iran and China

She told the Sunday Times: ‘The time has come to suspend routine air travel from Iran. I have raised this issue with the foreign secretary and I would now urge him to take this step.’

A spokesman for the government said: ‘There is no evidence that interventions like closing borders or travel bans would have any effect on the spread of infection.’ 

EasyJet and Ryanair will ground the majority of their fleets from next Tuesday as travel bans around the world kick in.

Other airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian and Jet2 have cut schedules to as little as 10 per cent of normal levels. 

Talks are continuing between the Department for Transport and the Treasury about a rescue deal for airlines and airports, with an announcement thought to be imminent.

Virgin Atlantic said staff had agreed to take eight weeks of unpaid leave over the next three months, with the salary docked from workers’ pay over six months so their income does not dry up.

All 10,000 employees of the company, founded and controlled by Richard Branson, will also be offered voluntary redundancy. 

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Lifestyle

‘You can’t stop people from living’: Beachgoers defiant as NSW government shuts down Bondi Beach

On a warm autumn day, as waves gently wash over the sand, there are few better places in the world than Bondi Beach.

But the large crowds of sunbathers, swimmers and surfers flocking to the popular beach in the past few days have been criticised for ignoring health advice about social distancing and restrictions on public gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Beachgoers are seen at Bondi Beach on Friday despite the threat of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sydney.Credit:AAP

In response, the NSW government announced on Saturday it would shut down the beach.

Earlier, Waverley mayor Paula Masselos had urged beachgoers to follow the guidelines about social distancing.

"I am frustrated that people continue to ignore health advice about social distancing as observed yesterday at Bondi Beach," she said.

There were less beachgoers on Saturday morning as Keith McNaughton prepared to swim in the ocean with his friend Mary.

There were less beachgoers on Saturday morning st Bondi Beach before the government announced plans to shut the area down.Credit:Steven Siewert

Mr McNaughton said he was visiting the beach to maintain his physical and mental health.

"I’m trying to apply some reasonable risk management," he said. "But for me it’s important for my mental health to keep doing exercise."

However, Mr McNaughton said he had adjusted his regular routine to avoid crowds: "It’s pretty busy down here but we’re going to have a swim out the back."

"So am I worried about it? I’m trying to keep away from people and isolate per the government guidelines."

Keith McNaughton after his Saturday morning swim.Credit:Steven Siewert

Mr McNaughton said he had taken his children to Clovelly on Friday, but had left when it became too busy.

But he said: "It’s important they allow the community to still go out and get exercise appropriately."

Sam Sirianni, who regularly runs and swims at Bondi Beach, said he was "not really" worried about visiting the beach.

"I keep my distance from people," he said. "As you can see, I’m laying by myself."

Mr Sirianni, from Double Bay, said the crowds at the beach were a problem but added: "You can’t stop people from living. That’s the way I look at it. If it’s a nice day and I want to have a run and a swim, well I’m gonna go do it."

However, Mr Sirianni said he would accept a lockdown if it was imposed: "But at the moment, if they’re telling us to keep 1.5 [metres] away from people, well, let’s go by that."

Other beachgoers interviewed by The Sun-Herald expressed similar sentiments, although they declined to give their surnames.



Diego, from Chile, said he had come to the beach for "just a quick walk" after avoiding it last week.

"We’ve been trying to keep ourselves in our houses for a while but I think that getting some fresh air during the morning is a good thing," he said.

Belinda, from North Bondi, said she had arrived at the beach early when there were few people around.

"I went for a swim where there was no one near me and then I lay on the beach where there was no one near me," she said.

A regular beachgoer, Belinda said she was concerned by the large numbers of people at the beach who did not appear to take the pandemic seriously.

"Did you see yesterday?" she said. "It was outrageous."

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Lifestyle

Tulips from Amsterdam? Not in times of coronavirus crisis

LISSE, Netherlands — The pots of chrysanthemums stacked in Henk van der Slot’s barn in the Netherlands bulb fields were supposed to decorate St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican over Easter.

But with border restrictions and lockdowns spreading around the globe as governments fight the coronavirus pandemic, the pope will have to go without his usual donation of Dutch flowers this year.

He’s not the only one.

“The coronavirus is a disaster for the Dutch flower industry … 85% of the turnover at our marketplace … is gone,” said Michel van Schie, press officer at Royal FloraHolland, a cooperative of growers that trades some 12 billion plants and flowers each year.

That’s a huge hit for the Dutch flower industry, whose exports last year were worth more than 6 billion euros. According to government figures, the Netherlands has a 44% share of the world trade in floriculture products and accounts for 77% of flower bulbs sold worldwide.

Some Dutch farmers have resorted to giving away tulips to health care workers as a token of appreciation for their work.

It’s not only growers in the Netherlands who are hurting. The pain has spread to farmers elsewhere in Europe and to African nations like Kenya and Ethiopia which have developed significant flower industries.

In Kenya the grading hall at Maridadi Flowers farm, where 120 people usually work, is deserted. The few staff still there cut roses and load them onto carts that are pushed to a dumping site where huge mounds of discarded flowers — 230,000 to 250,000 each day —pile up.

Owner Jack Kneppers, a Dutchman who has been working in Kenya for decades, said about 80% of his staff of 720 is now at home. He is keeping a skeleton staff to maintain the plants at the farm near the shores of Lake Naivasha, 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of the capital, Nairobi.

“This is costing us about half a million dollars a month to maintain the company,” Kneppers said. “If this continues for much longer we have to start laying off people because we can’t afford this.”

At Royal FloraHolland’s cavernous auction facility in Aalsmeer near Amsterdam, rows of flower racks stand empty. Workers driving electric trolleys shift boxes of flowers around, but only a fraction of the usual numbers are being traded.

The cooperative, which had turnover last year of 4.7 billion euros, is asking suppliers to send only around 25% of their usual number of flowers to be auctioned to prevent tipping unsold flowers into shredding machines.

Frans van der Slot, Henk’s cousin, is keeping his tulips in cold storage for as long as possible in an attempt to ride out the worst of the slump. He’s hoping sales will recover around Easter on April 12, but if there’s no rebound, he will have to dump most of his harvest.

Earlier this week he threw out a batch of bulbs because it wasn’t economically viable to plant them.

“They fed them to cows,” he said. “They were first-class bulbs.”

The coronavirus crisis couldn’t have hit at a worst time.

In the peak spring season, fields around the Netherlands burst into vibrant colors as tulips and other flowers bloom. Sunday is Mother’s Day in Britain, but even that has not helped an industry brought to its knees.

Kenya’s farmers sell some 70% of their produce to Europe.

“As we speak right now figures are changing every day, but by yesterday we were operating at 30%, that means 70% lower than we have ever done,” said Clement Tulezi, CEO of the Kenya Flower Council.

Kneppers says it’s the worst he’s ever seen.

One of his workers, Carol Gikundi, a single mom with three children who also cares for her mother, is worried.

“We are scared our jobs,” she said. “We’re scared also for our employees because all our dependents are currently looking up to us and we are not certain of our jobs due to the outbreak.”

In the Netherlands, Frans van der Slot has set up a stall outside his farm to sell flowers he can’t send to auction.

A Dutch tricolor flag flaps in the wind above a sign urging passers-by to “Buy local tulips Now.” A bunch of 50 flowers costs 5 euros ($5.40), far less than they sell for in stores and markets across the Netherlands.

“Stopping isn’t an option,” said Van der Slot. “Then I have to let my business go bankrupt and I lose all my savings.”

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