Bulgaria lifts 14-day quarantine for tourists from most EU nations but NOT UK

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Angel Kunchev, the country’s chief health inspector, said the anti-virus taskforce had proposed to the government to lift the quarantine as of June 1. The health minister still needs to approve the plan. A ban on the entry of visitors from outside the EU will remain in place.

Bulgaria has eased most of the restrictive measures it imposed in March to combat the spread of the coronavirus, allowing restaurants, cafes, gyms and theatres to reopen and lifting a ban on travel between cities.

Last week, it scrapped a ban on the entry of citizens from other EU countries, but imposed a 14-day quarantine.

By allowing visitors from other EU countries it aims to restore trade and boost summer tourism to its Black Sea resorts, hard hit by the lockdown.

“We plan to lift the obligatory quarantine for Bulgarians returning from abroad and for travellers from the European Union countries and Serbia and North Macedonia,” Mr Kunchev told reporters.

“We will keep it for the eight EU countries that have the biggest registered cases in the past two weeks,” he said.

The Balkan country of 7 million people registered eight new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total registered cases to 2,475, including 136 deaths – a much lower rate than many other EU countries.

Mr Kunchev said that 1,016 people have recovered from the virus.

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We need a plan for economic recovery, says George Osborne

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The former chancellor called on the Government to set out its longer-term plan to instil confidence in the markets. Asked if he thinks the economy will “bounce back”, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m not sure bounce is the right word. I think it will recover.

“In fact, I think the damage being done alone is actually less than the damage that was done during the banking crisis because that completely clogged up all the credit system. The drop is much sharper, this quarter of the year is an extraordinary fall in GDP.

“I think the recovery can be quicker and the overall damage can be less but if I was in the Government now I would be starting to set out what my longer-term plan is, not just on the deficit but getting people who are unemployed back into work.”

Mr Osborne, who now edits the Evening Standard newspaper, added: “Over time we’ve to come to terms with the fact that Britain like every other country is poorer than we thought it was going to be and our economy is smaller than we thought it would be.

“And that I’m afraid will lead to hard choices about what we can afford, how much we want to spend and how many taxes are raised to pay for it.”

But he said he believed the UK recovered “more quickly than others” following the 2008 global financial crisis. 

He said: “Austerity was a consequence of the global financial crash in every single Western country. And I think Britain recovered more quickly than others, created more jobs than anyone else and actually had less austerity than most countries precisely because we actually embraced a plan.”

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Kim Jong-un wife: Who is Ri Sol-ju? Inside the North Korean leader’s marriage

Kim Jong-un has been reported dead or in a vegetative state after a simple heart procedure left him severely ill, according to various sources in China and Japan. The speculations of his passing were further fuelled when China reportedly dispatched medical experts to help treat Kim, as reported by Reuters. However, a special train possibly belonging to Kim has been spotted in Wonsan, a North Korean resort town.

A Washington-based North Korea project known as 38 North said they had spotted the train by reviewing satellite images.

The train, the project said, was parked at the “leadership station” in Wonsan on April 21 and April 23, a station is reserved for the use of Kim’s family only.

The report said: “The train’s presence does not prove the whereabouts of the North Korean leader or indicate anything about his health but it does lend weight to reports that Kim is staying at an elite area on the country’s eastern coast.”

Speculation about Kim’s declining health first arose after he was absent from the anniversary of the birthday of North Korea’s founding father and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung, on April 15.

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Who is Kim Jong-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju?

Ri Sol-ju is North Korea’s First Lady and wife of supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

Not much is known about the First Lady, but she is thought to be in her early 30s and born sometime between 1985 to 1989.

She was first identified as the wife of the North Korean supreme leader in 2012 during coverage of an amusement park opening in Pyongyang.

State television reported at the time: “While a welcoming song was resonating, Marshal Kim Jong Un appeared at the ceremony site, with his wife, Comrade Ri Sol-ju.”

Some have reported the wedding was in 2009 while others have said the couple didn’t meet until a classical music concert in 2010.

The couple have at least one child, a daughter named Kim Ju-ae and possibly two other children.

Kim Ju-ae was born in 2013 and is seven-years-old, according to former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman, who visited Kim that year.

Ri is believed to come from the upper society in North Korea, as the daughter of wealthy parents who could afford to send her to school in China.

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She has become a fashion hit in China after the couple paid a surprise visit to Beijing in March 2018.

Ri has been photographed carrying expensive bags by designers like Dior and Chanel and is into western fashion.

Chinese social media users wrote on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter that Ri was “beautiful and amiable” and had a “powerful presence”.

Ri has also been seen cultivating what appears to be a warm friendship with South Korea’s First Lady, Kim Jung-sook.

In April 2018, she became the first wife of a North Korean leader to attend a summit.

Unconfirmed reports have also said she once studied singing in China and performed in a North Korean orchestra.

She also visited South Korea in 2005 as a member of North Korea’s cheerleading squad.

In 2017, Kim’s wife disappeared from public view for several months, prompting speculation over her well-being.

However, in August that year, South Korean intelligence reported she had given birth to a child and dropped out of the public eye because she was pregnant.

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Weekend weather: Is it safe to go out in the warm weather amid COVID-19 crisis?

Coronavirus has now killed 3,605 people in Britain marking the largest increase so far with the previous day recording 569 more deaths. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still suffering from a high temperature and has therefore extended his self isolation after testing positive for coronavirus. The PM and the daily news conference urged Britons to stay at home ahead of the weekend, but is it safe to go outside in the warm weather this weekend?

In the last 24 hours, two nurses and two healthcare assistants lost their lives after fighting as part of the frontline against coronavirus.

As of Friday morning, 173,784 people have been tested for the deadly virus.

Speaking from Downing Street on Friday, Matt Hancock urged people to remain at home despite warm weather forecast for the weekend.

He said the UK “absolutely cannot afford to relax social distancing measures”, adding: “If we do people will die.”

He said: “I end with the advice we all know. This advice is not a request, it is an instruction.

“Stay at home, protect lives and then you will be doing your part.”

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On Friday evening and overnight, the Met Office forecasts odd light showers to fade across many areas, with clear spells and patchy frost appearing after.

Southern areas of England may also see some areas of fog later and northern parts of the UK cloudier with some rain and hill snow pushing northwards.

On Saturday any fog in the south clearing then many southern areas turning sunnier and quite warm and further north, rather cloudy with odd light showers, rain slow to clear the far north.

The weather will be bright, warm but breezy for many on Sunday according to the forecaster.

In his latest message published on Friday, Mr Johnson warned people to remain in their homes despite the warm weather forecast for the weekend.

In a video he said: “I just urge you not to do that.

“Please, please stick with the guidance.

“This country has made a huge effort, a huge sacrifice, done absolutely brilliantly well in delaying the spread of the virus. Let’s stick with it now.”

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Is it safe to go outside this weekend?

The UK is still under lockdown which means ypeople are urged to remain at home except to undertake the following:

  • Essential shopping such as medicine and food
  • One form of exercise per day
  • Medical need or to provide care for a vulnerable person
  • Travel to and from work, if you canot work from home.

Temperatures are likely to reach 20C in some parts of the UK on Saturday.

Deputy chief medical officer for England Professor Jonathan Van-Tamp said: “Whatever the weather, we all have a shared responsibility to protect those around us, and the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Police forces across the country were assessing intelligence and briefing officers on patrol about making sure there was no slippage in the lockdown at the weekend.

When Mr Johnson implemented the lockdown, police officers and other authorities have been endowed with the power to disperse gatherings and impose fines starting at £30.

These fines will increase for repeat offenders.

This week a woman in Newcastle was fined £660 after refusined to give police officers her name, address or reason for travel when she was stopped by police.

Speaking on whether it was safe to go outside over the weekend, Mr Hancock said: “It is incredibly important that people follow the guidelines and I know that it is going to be sunny and it may be tempting.

“But it is staying at home that saves lives and I think we should be absolutely crystal clear about that.

“The guidelines have been set out in terms of people going out for exercise reasons either on their own or with people in their household, people need to stick to those guidelines and we are going to stick with those guidelines.”

Could coronavirus be stopped by warm weather?

Not enough is known about the deadly infection to know whether warmer weather will have a large impact on how prolific the virus is.

Evidence from similar viruses suggests that the virus may transmit less efficiently in the spring and summer months. 

Alongside the temperature, it is thought humidity, differences in human behaviour and the strength of one’s immune system play a role in this pattern.

Scientists believe COVID-19 may find it harder to transmit during the summer months, but not all researchers are in agreement with this and still advise people to continue with the Government’s advice to save lives.

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