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COVID-19 Informer: Britain passes unenviable mark

Britain is about to pass an unenviable mark, 40,000 (or maybe 50,000 depending on the source) deaths from COVID-19.

The official death toll is nudging closer to 40,000, but other figures show the number has already tipped 50,000, with British news sources already using the higher figure.

And while that debate goes on, so does the debate over Prime Minister Boris Johnson's two-week quarantine plans.

Senior figures from the Conservatives have attacked the science behind them, reports The Times, with Theresa May saying the measures would "close Britain off from the rest of the world" and warning without international travel "there is no global Britain".

And while Britain discusses quarantine, Italy has reopened its borders to visitors from the European Union and dropped a travel ban between its regions.

Visitors from non-EU countries that are part of the Schengen zone, like Switzerland and Norway, as well as Britain, can also freely travel to Italy as of Wednesday.

Quarantine rules still apply for travellers from the rest of the world.

In Sweden, Anders Tegnell, the man behind the Public Health Agency's pandemic strategy, has said in hindsight Sweden should have done more to combat coronavirus.

Nearly 4500 Swedes have died in the outbreak, a higher mortality rate than in Denmark, Norway and Finland, and AAP reports criticism has been growing over the government's decision not to impose lockdown measures as strictly as elsewhere in Europe.

Sweden relied on voluntary measures, social distancing and common-sense hygiene advice to stem the virus.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said the government would launch an inquiry into the handling of the pandemic.

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This story Britain passes an unenviable mark first appeared on The Canberra Times.