UK coronavirus live: Sports Direct abandons talk of opening stores as Gove clarifies scope of lockdown rules | Politics

Good morning. Britons have woken up this morning in what will in many respects feel like a new country, following the imposition of restrictions on travel and trade unprecedented in peacetime. Here is our overnight story about Boris Johnson’s announcement last night.

Here is the two-page document (pdf) issued by the government last night explaining the new rules, “Full guidance on staying at home and away from others”. And here is the six-page document (pdf) from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government saying which businesses should close.

Today ministers will be spending some of their time clarifying these rules, and we’ve already seen one unsuccessful challenge. Last night the sports chain Sports Direct argued that its stores should be allowed to stay open because exercise is vital, and it released this open letter to the PM.

Sports Direct

Hi @BorisJohnson @10DowningStreet should we open our stores in the morning?

March 24, 2020

This morning the firm got an answer from Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, who said Sports Direct shops should stay closed

Good Morning Britain

‘I can’t see any justification for Sports Direct remaining open.’

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove says Mike Ashley should ‘rescind’ what he said and should make sure the employees stay at home.

March 24, 2020

Now the firm is complying. This is from Sky’s Tamara Cohen.

Tamara Cohen

Sports Direct managers told by their CFO that they will not open until they’ve got the go-ahead from government. @michaelgove clear this morning he doesn’t think they should be open.

March 24, 2020

Gove has been giving a series of interviews this morning. I will post the highlights soon.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: Boris Johnson chairs cabinet, with many ministers participating via conference call.

11.30am: Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, takes questions in the Commons.

12pm: Downing Street lobby briefing.

1.30pm: The Trussell Trust, the British Retail Consortium and UK Hospitality give evidence to the Commons environment committee; and at 2.30pm George Eustice, the environment secretary, gives evidence about coronavirus and food supply.

2.30pm: Public Health England, the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine give evidence to the Commons health committee; and at 3.30pm the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the Local Government Association, the Care and Support Alliance and Care England give evidence.

Afternoon: The government is expected to hold its regular coronavirus press conference.

We will be covering all UK coronavirus developments throughout the day. You can read all the latest Guardian coronavirus articles here, you can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here and here is the Politico Europe roundup of this morning’s political news.

If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow Lucy is on @lucy_campbell_.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter.

Source link