Sophie Gallagher, The Independent

Sophie Gallagher

The Independent

United Kingdom

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Recent articles by Sophie:

Will ‘social bubbles’ let me see friends and family? How they will be used to merge households next month

Since the beginning of lockdown on 23 March, people across the UK have been prevented from meeting with anyone outside of their own household, including friends and family. → Read More

Non-essential shops to reopen: What shops will it include and when will it happen?

The government has unveiled a full list of the shops which will be allowed to reopen in England under new guidelines from 15 June. The measures are part of the second phase in Boris Johnson’s roadmap to easing lockdown, first announced on 10 May, following eight weeks of the “stay at home” message. → Read More

‘Why were we not shielded from the beginning?’: Type 1 diabetics respond to high Covid-19 death rates

It was in late February when Katie*, 49, heard in the playground that a class from her son’s Essex school had been on a trip to Northern Italy over half term. The coronavirus was already spreading rapidly in the country and some of the first lockdowns in Europe were being implemented in the Lombardy province on 21 February. → Read More

Scotland lockdown: What does Nicola Sturgeon's new roadmap mean for socialising and exercising?

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has today unveiled a new four-phase route map to ease lockdown restrictions for Scotland. The SNP leader told the Scottish Parliament on Thursday that the first phase of the process will begin on 28 May and will be assessed every three weeks to ensure it is safe to continue with further lifting measures. → Read More

Wagamama to reopen 67 UK branches for delivery by next month

Wagamama has announced plans to reopen 67 stores for delivery and take-out by the end of June. Like all restaurants, the high street chain, famous for its Katsu curry, was forced to close its doors when the UK-wide lockdown was installed on 23 March. Now it has announced plans to start a phased reopening following successful trials in Leeds and London. → Read More

Normal People star Paul Mescal is ‘looking forward to dating’ when lockdown ends

Paul Mescal, who plays Connell in the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People, has said he is “looking forward to dating” when the lockdown ends. The 24-year-old from Maynooth, Ireland, who currently lives in London, says “if lockdown ever happens again I’m making sure I’m married”. → Read More

Pick for Britain: How to get involved with campaign backed by royals

In the last few years Britain has been facing a growing problem finding labourers to pick its fruit and vegetables. → Read More

Coronavirus test: Who is eligible for one and what happens when you get it?

Since 16 March the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been telling countries with Covid-19 to “test, test, test” for the virus. As well as implementing strict social distancing measures and lockdown policies, experts have said a system of testing and tracking those with the virus is an essential component to recovery. → Read More

People who live near parks should pay additional taxes, says think tank

People who live near parks should be made to pay additional taxes to help maintain the green space, a think tank report has found. In the report, published on 18 May, the non-partisan Social Market Foundation (SMF), said that the government policy of austerity had meant park provisions “suffered” and forced many to be kept afloat by a combination of volunteer labour and → Read More

Chelsea Flower Show: How to watch livestream from home

In the 107-year history of the Chelsea Flower Show it has only been cancelled once before, due to the Second World War. This year the show has been axed once again, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the UK lockdown. → Read More

Prince Charles says it is ‘hard to bear’ the cancellation of Scotland’s highland games over coronavirus

Prince Charles has said he is sad and frustrated to learn that most, if not all, of Scotland’s traditional Highland Games are to be cancelled for 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. → Read More

Coronavirus: Does obesity make the virus more dangerous?

Following his admittance to intensive care with coronavirus in April, prime minister Boris Johnson is reportedly now preparing a more “interventionist” drive to tackle UK obesity in the ongoing and long-term fight against Covid-19. → Read More

‘I just want to hug her’: How it feels to see friends and family for the first time in 8 weeks

Jessica Ratty’s mum only lives five minutes away from her home in rural Cornwall, but for more than two months the close-knit family have been physically kept apart by the UK lockdown. The 36-year-old has been cooped up in a static caravan with her partner Ben and daughter, Lily, eight. → Read More

‘I'm a mortuary technician working in the coronavirus crisis – all the credit goes to doctors and nurses not those looking after the dead’

‘Where I am working it is not possible to determine exactly how many Covid-19 cases we are dealing with day to day’: a mortuary worker tells Sophie Gallagher about working with those who don’t survive the pandemic → Read More

What happens to furloughed workers when the government scheme ends?

The coronavirus outbreak has not only caused thousands of deaths around the world but has caused untold damage to the economy: on 7 May the Bank of England warned the pandemic will push the UK economy towards its deepest recession on record. → Read More

If I've been furloughed am I paid for Bank Holidays or annual leave?

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak many businesses have struggled to maintain revenue and bring in enough money to pay staff. In order to avoid a huge number of redundancies and a spike in nationwide unemployment the government intervened with a job retention scheme, known as the furlough programme. → Read More

‘We’ve lost memories we dreamed we’d have’: How it feels giving birth in lockdown

As the Prime Minister and his fiance celebrate the arrival of their new baby, Sophie Gallagher speaks to parents across the UK about how coronavirus and lockdown changes giving birth → Read More

‘He is losing his connection to the world’: Caring for someone with dementia during a pandemic

The first time Estelle Clarke, 28, really noticed her dad’s forgetfulness was when he couldn’t remember the word for hedgehog, instead describing it as the spiky animal in the garden. Phillip Clarke, 60, was officially diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia four years ago, although the family suspect he had it for many years prior. → Read More

‘My dad had early stage cancer but he died of Covid-19 following a hospital appointment’

“I 100 per cent hold the government responsible for my dad’s death,” Jo Goodman, 31, tells TThe Independent the day after the funeral of her dad Stuart Goodman, a former Evening Standard picture editor and photographer, who died from coronavirus aged 72. “They [the government] treated people like my dad as expendable and it was totally avoidable if they’d acted sooner." → Read More

Coronavirus: Helpline formerly for bereaved parents reopened for NHS workers to cope with mounting death toll

The National Bereavement Partnership, formerly a helpline for parents who had lost children, has been re-opened to help people deal with the coronavirus. Michaela Willis from Devon, who set up the free phone number, said she decided to restart it after being “bombarded” with calls from NHS key workers who were distressed by the deaths of their colleagues; there have been 82 → Read More