France Tightens COVID Restrictions – Banning UK Travellers in response to Omicron Surge
France is witnessing a rise in Omicron cases, albeit the number of confirmed Covid cases in the UK is higher. To curb the virus spread, France has banned all non-essential travel from the UK until further notice, starting Friday 17th December (11 pm UK time).
JUST IN: France to ban non-essential travel from the UK
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) December 16, 2021
The decision comes quite close to Christmas, dampening holidays for the UK citizens who will have to cancel their visit to friends and family in France. However, French citizens, their partners and children, some lorry drivers, and students will be allowed to travel to France.
The French government will introduce tougher restrictions for travellers from the UK including a test less than 24 hours before travel and isolation for up to 48 hours on arrival. @adamfleming explains the details: pic.twitter.com/ZOvUOdkNBf
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) December 16, 2021
This also means that many ski travel plans are out of the window as the Alpine destinations go out of reach for Brits. Ski operators and resorts in France are preparing for huge losses and refunds while trying to convince travellers to postpone rather than cancel.
'Omicron is already in France, and has been for a fortnight, so these new measures will serve no purpose other than to deal a severe financial blow to France's ski resorts which were relishing the arrival of the big-spending Brits.'
✍️ Gavin Mortimerhttps://t.co/RKcHNT9bRr
— The Spectator (@spectator) December 17, 2021
Twitter was filled with controversy and differing views on the travel ban, questioning the efficacy of such Covid measures.
Are the UK being penalised for being good at identifying the variant?
"There is certainly a political aspect to all these decisions" says travel editor @SimonCalder, but he is confident other countries will not follow France in blocking British tourists.https://t.co/TxnQpBiH8R pic.twitter.com/nTvqmq97Jx
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 16, 2021
France to close borders to UK tourists from Saturday morning.
Including to the fully vaccinated & no compassionate exemptions at all such as visiting seriously ill family members.
Such an hysterical & ridiculous response.
— Chris Rose (@ArchRose90) December 16, 2021
I'm not surprised France has banned us. Now others will follow suit. If we constantly act like the UK is in the middle of a massive covid crisis, of course we'll be international pariahs! Optics matter.
— Isabel Oakeshott (@IsabelOakeshott) December 16, 2021
Star Hobson Murder: Savannah Brockhill Sentenced to Minimum 25 years in Jail for Toddler Death
Savannah Brockhill, a 28-year-old woman who murdered her partner Frankie Smith’s 16-month-old daughter with a ‘fatal punch or kick’ on 22nd September 2020, has been given life imprisonment. The mother Smith, 20, was also handed an 8-year prison sentence for causing or allowing the toddler’s death.
Woman jailed for minimum of 25 years for murdering partner's 16-month-old daughter Star Hobson after causing "catastrophic" injuries https://t.co/1CnfXeNtoS
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 15, 2021
The judge, Mrs. Justice Lambert, said the pair treated Star with ‘’cruelty, neglect and callous indifference”.
The 7-week trial brought to light, shocking facts about months of physical and mental abuse Star Hobson was subjected to amidst the crossfire of a toxic relationship. After her death, “Numerous other injuries were identified on Star’s body including two brain injuries and various fractures to her skull, ribs, and leg”.
Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Northwest, Nazir Afzal, reacted to the couple filming their acts of cruelty on the toddler.
“They filmed many acts of cruelty, added soundtracks & sent them to friends”
Scum of the earth & I include the friends who did nothing
If you cut resources, more failure, more “lessons will be learned” & more children like Star Hobson will be harmed or die https://t.co/OHsO6n8pxS
— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) December 14, 2021
A startling revelation of the trial was that despite five referrals from concerned family members and friends in the 8 months before Star’s death, social services and police failed to act.
One of those who raised a flag was Star’s former babysitter who believes that had the authorities interfered, Star would be alive today.
"It broke me – I don't think I've been the same since."
Star Hobson's former babysitter, who had raised concerns about the toddler's safety, describes the moment she heard about her death.
— ITV News Calendar (@itvcalendar) December 15, 2021
After the sentencing, David Fawcett, Star Hobson’s great step-grandfather called the verdict a “relief” and spoke about how he will remember the 16-month-old baby girl.
“To us she’s a baby forever, she’s frozen in time”
— Vicki Smith (@VickiSmith_) December 15, 2021
Amidst a nationwide outcry, PM Boris Johnson called the tragedy shocking and heart-breaking while some members in the parliament demanded widespread reforms to protect the children.
What happened to Star Hobson is shocking and heartbreaking. We must protect children from these barbaric crimes and ensure lessons are learned. https://t.co/rHzMu5SAZ9
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 14, 2021
After a Controversial F1 Title Showdown, Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff Is Unsure Lewis Hamilton will Continue Racing
Addressing the media, Toto Wolff said, “Lewis and I are disillusioned at the moment” as he confirmed that they will not be present at FIA’s prize-giving gala.
Wolff said that while this has “nothing to do with Max”, he does not think Hamilton “will ever overcome the pain and distress caused on Sunday” and it is not certain he will be back for the race next January.
New F1 World Champion Max Verstappen said Lewis Hamilton had no reason not to return and challenge for an eighth title next year.
🗣️ "This is racing at the end of the day."
New #F1 World Champion Max Verstappen says Lewis Hamilton has 'no reason' not to return next season after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he could not guarantee Hamilton would race next year. pic.twitter.com/ZJ4WdnUtbq
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 17, 2021
The seven-time champion, Lewis Hamilton hinted he could retire after he was denied an eight-championship title on the final lap of the race amidst a controversial finish in Abu Dhabi. If won, it would have broken Michael Schumacher’s record of 7 titles.
Max Verstappen was able to put Hamilton in a significantly disadvantaged position with fresh tires in the last lap, eventually winning the title.
Toto Wolff’s wife Susie Wolff tweeted a strong statement about the controversial decision of the race being sickly and hard to comprehend.
— Susie Wolff (@Susie_Wolff) December 16, 2021
Among the millions showing their support for Hamilton was former Formula One World Champion, Mario Andretti.
The @LewisHamilton Master Class on how to be the best in every way. A champion who wins most days & shows the world how to behave & stay composed when situations aren't kind to you. LH brings his A-game even when his soul is ripped out. Strength. Control of spirit. Role model
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) December 13, 2021
Mercedes launched protests after the race but were dismissed by the stewards. Earlier on Thursday, they announced their intention to appeal but later decided otherwise as FIA has resolved to set up a commission to investigate the events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
We appealed in the interest of sporting fairness, and we have since been in a constructive dialogue with the FIA and Formula 1 to create clarity for the future, so that all competitors know the rules under which they are racing, and how they will be enforced. pic.twitter.com/SCdNuFPwIb
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) December 16, 2021
However, Hamilton experienced a victory off the racing track!
Sir Lewis Hamilton was awarded his knighthood at Windsor Castle on Wednesday 15th December 2021.
🏎️ Arise Sir @LewisHamilton!
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 15, 2021
Premier League struggles to keep the Football Championship on track as Covid outbreaks rattle Clubs
All is not back to normal in the new normal! Due to a Covid outbreak in the Watford squad, a decision was announced to postpone the match against Burnley, just as spectators had started arriving.
This became the third topflight fixture called off this week, followed by five more games over the weekend in an accelerated crisis and uncertainty caused by Covid.
Manchester United presenter and YouTuber Mark Goldbridge tweeted that Premier League is heading for a shutdown.
Trouble with COVID now is, if you have a positive test it's automatic isolate for 10 days. Premier League is heading for shutdown
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) December 13, 2021
Manchester United reported as many as 20 cases among players and staff. Since last week, Tottenham has been reeling from an outbreak that forced a cancellation of their matches against Rennes and Brighton.
Cases have also been reported at Liverpool, Burnley, and Chelsea.
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi have tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss their match against Everton today.
Nine Premier League games have been postponed because of COVID-19 outbreaks. pic.twitter.com/JyrsaKulPO
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 16, 2021
However, taking each match on a case-by-case basis, the Premier League rejected requests for a “firebreak” suspension and insisted that the play must go on.
Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, asked about the clarity and fairness of the competition as some matches are being postponed while some are being forced to play despite many players in their club testing positive for Covid.
"The fairness of the competition can be altered."
Mikel Arteta has asked for clarity on why recent Premier League fixtures have been allowed to be postponed after #AFC's opening game of the season against Brentford went ahead with four players testing positive for Covid. pic.twitter.com/3RhrQlwpy4
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 17, 2021
Clubs have ramped up their Covid protocols to ‘break the chain’ and are focusing on changing the minds of players who are refusing the vaccine.
Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp compared being unvaccinated to drinking and driving and urged to ignore lies and misinformation.
Jurgen Klopp on the COVID-19 vaccine 👊 pic.twitter.com/lPyaLXs5MI
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 17, 2021
Marvel Hits Home with new Spiderman Film: No Way Home
The third film in the Spiderman series starring Tom Holland and Zendaya is being reviewed as an intricate weave of entertainment and nostalgia in an interdimensional multiverse.
The wait is over! #SpiderManNoWayHome is NOW PLAYING exclusively in movie theaters!
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) December 17, 2021
The film was released on 15th December 2021 in the UK and social media is already full of spoilers as fans can’t wait to share their excitement about the twists in the movie.
(replies are turned off to avoid spoilers) pic.twitter.com/JdU0KtpYCh
— 9GAG ❤️ Memeland (@9GAG) December 16, 2021
Enhancing the earlier films – three starring Tobey Maguire, two starring Andrew Garfield, one animation, and two with Tom Holland, Spiderman: No Way Home is making the audience smile and get teary.
A film enthusiast’s reaction tweet that went viral reflects all of us in the movie theatres.
— cri (@crialterego) December 16, 2021
In an interview, Tom Holland told CinePop that No Way Home is a bigger movie than Avengers: Endgame as it is 20 years of work and three different universes. Endgame broke all-time records with $2.79 billion in ticket sales.
So, if what Holland says is true, the results will be a blockbuster!
And that’s a wrap of another week filled with controversy!
Post curated by Nidaa Koreishi & Manuela Willbold