- Boris Johnson's speech to the nation in full
- Three-tier lockdown map: What tier is my area in?
- Explained: The new three-tier lockdown rules
- GCSEs and A-levels will be delayed by three weeks
- PM warns of difficult months ahead
- Students 'may have a case for refunds'
The Prime Minister has announced a new three-tier strategy for local lockdowns in an address to the nation.
The three-tier system will see different parts of England placed in different categories dependent on rates of infection, with areas in the highest level expected to face the toughest restrictions.
Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, who appeared alongside the Prime Minister at No 10, said the decision to place the public under lockdown is a balancing act between "two harms" - for the society and the economy and the health of nation.
"If we damage the economy we damage long term health, and if we damage health we damage the economy... so getting these right is critical," he said.
The new three-tier system, which he presented to MPs earlier today in the Commons, includes:
- Medium tier: The medium level will cover most of the country and will consist of the current national measures - such as the rule of six and closure of venues at 10pm.
- High tier: This level reflects many of the current local restrictions, in these areas people will be prevented from mixing with other households or support bubbles indoors. But meetings of up to six people will be allowed outdoors in public spaces and private gardens.
- Very high tier: Applying to areas where transmissions rates are causing the most concern, pubs and bars will be forced to close and "social mixing" indoors and in private gardens will be banned at the minimum. Groups of up to six people could still be permitted to meet outside in public spaces, but additional restrictions will be imposed based on discussions with local leaders.
From Wednesday local authorities in the Liverpool City region will move into the highest alert level, meaning pubs and bars, gyms and leisure centres, betting shops and casinos will all be closed.
It comes as Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, warned coronavirus infections are now spreading to the elderly and moving south across the country.
Follow the latest updates below.
Government support 'in line' with Europe, says Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak says it was wrong to suggest particular areas in the UK were being treated differently to others.
"It's wrong to say that any particular area has been treated any differently to any other, we value all jobs and all people's livelihoods equally," he says.
"The schemes that we have put in place are national so wherever you happen to be, whatever job you have, not just in regions in England but wherever you are in the UK, you'll be treated the same."
Mr Sunak said the level of Government support is in line with other major European countries and described how the furlough scheme which began in March for three months has now ended up going on for eight months.
"Now, we are putting in place support that we believe is both sustainable and affordable for the long term," he adds.
PM: Local and national measures at the 'best utensil' for fighting virus
Telegraph's political editor, Gordon Rayner, asks the Prime Minister what it would happen if no vaccine is found for Covid-19.
Mr Johnson says: "It doesn't mean that there's not going to be the kind of scientific and technological progress that will start to make a real difference. Already you are seeing how drugs are changing for the better the mortality rates in ICU."
He adds we are "making progress in fighting this disease" and he said he has "high hopes" on getting further on mass testing.
"But for now, this is the best utensil that we have to fight the virus together - strong local and national measures combined," he adds.
Prof Whitty adds that humanity's track record has been "remarkable" for tackling infectious disease.
"This does not depend on a vaccine, science will support us from many different directions," he says.
Prof Whitty: Getting this right is 'balance of two harms'
Prof Whitty says his experience of Britons is that they do not "get scared" and the public want people to give them "straight news" and "know the worse".
He adds that "none of us have any illusions about this ... the idea we can do this without causing harm is an illusion".
He says it is a balancing act of "two harms", one for the society and the economy and one for health of nation.
"If we damage the economy we damage long term health, and if we damage health we damage the economy... so getting these right is critical," he says.
Shielding groups told to take 'greater precautions'
On the question of measures for shielding people, Prof Whitty says people who were previously in the shielding group are at "greater risk" and they would advise them to take "greater precautions".
But, he adds there were greater stresses and pressures put on that group as a result of isolation, which the Government are aware of.
Tier 3 measures alone not enough to drive down cases, Whitty says
Prof Chris Whitty says the "absolute base" of measures included in Tier 3 would "absolutely not be sufficient" for driving down rates, which is why the tier is flexible in allowing additional measures.
"But there are quite a lot more additional things which can be done without that with local guidance," he says.
"These only work if people buy into them," he adds. "Everybody has got to buy into them."
PM 'hopes' national lockdown won't be needed
Mr Johnson says he "really hopes" the country won't have to go back into a national lockdown with the new package of measures introduced.
"Don't forget the R was coming down before we went into full lockdown in March because people had already started to follow guidance about restricting contact and restricting transmission in the way that they needed to do," he adds.
He says they "could go for a national lockdown again" but it would do "a lot of immediate harm".
Can we see our families at Christmas?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says whether a relatively normal Christmas is possible depends on the public sticking to his coronavirus rules.
"We'll do our absolute best to try to make sure we can get life back to as close to normal as possible for Christmas," he says.
"But that is going to depend, I'm afraid, on our success in getting this virus down and our ability as a country to follow through on the package of measures."
Mr Johnson listed advice and rules around social distancing and testing.
"All that basic stuff is essential if we're going to come out of this and allow people to have anything like a normal Christmas," he added.
Chancellor Sunak 'sympathetic' to struggling events sector
Asked what measures are being taken to support the events sector, the Chancellor says there are "some sectors that are now not able to trade in the way they normally would".
For those sectors the Government has put in place the Job Support Scheme to allow companies to benefit from wage support, he says.
"I think more broadly there are specific businesses that have been told to close ... if you are in that category you will be able to benefit from additional support of the JSS," he adds.
He says he is "very sympathetic" to the events sector businesses.
Infection rates translate into admissions, says Whitty
The final slide shows that when you see a rise in people aged over 60 testing positive, that then translates into people going into hospital, Prof Whitty says.
However, Prof Whitty does praise the efforts of the British people in saying that if the measures taken already were not abided by these rates would be "substantially higher".
Hope that infections not translating in admissions dashed
Prof Whitty says there was a "hope" the rise in infections would not translate into hospital admissions.
But a rise on every age band "but in particular those aged over 65, 75 and 85" is now being seen.
How the virus spreads from young to old
This next slides shows how rates have been increasing among different age groups.
"The first rapid rise is in younger people, but then you start to see rises across every age group," Prof Whitty says.
He says the same pattern, as displayed below, is being seen across the rest of the country but at a much slower rate.
Prof Whitty: Cases rising 'steadily' in the North
Prof Whitty now shows how infection rates have been rising "steadily" in the North East, North West, parts of Yorkshire and the Humber.
But the other charts below how the rates have not been increasing as quickly in other areas of the country.
Prof Chris Whitty: 'Clear evidence' Covid is spread around the country
Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer of England, now explains how Covid-19 is spreading across the UK.
"There is already clear evidence of spread around the country, but at this point in time heavily centred on the areas of intervention," he says.
The geographical spread in people over the age of 60 is "really important", he adds, because the rate in people over 60 is a "good predictor in a bad way" of the rates of people going into hospital.
Winter Economy Plan gives 'certainty', says Sunak
Mr Sunak says the Winter Economy Plan will give people and businesses "flexibility and certainty" over the coming months whether they are open or required to close.
Chancellor sets out plan for economic support
Chancellor Rishi Sunak now sets out the Government's three part plan to protect jobs and businesses through the winter.
The job support scheme will protect jobs whether your business is open or closed, Mr Sunak says.
"If you're business can open safely, but with reduced or uncertain demand the Government will directly subsidise people's wages over the winter," he adds.
The new Job Support Scheme means that if businesses are forced to close and people cannot work at all for one week or more, employers will pay two-thirds of salaries and be reimbursed for up to £2,100 a month.
The Government will also allow people and businesses to defer VAT and self-assessed income tax payments.
Mr Sunak says this plan will "protect the job and livelihoods of the British people".
PM: 'British people have the resolve to beat this virus'
Mr Johnson says: "No one wants to impose these kinds of restrictions, erosions of our personal liberty".
But he adds he is "sure the British people have the resolve to beat this virus".
Three-tier system to 'simplify' and 'standardise, says PM
Mr Johnson says they are "simplifying, standardising and in some places toughening" local rules by introducing the three levels of alert - medium, high and very high.
"Areas within the very high alert category will be reviewed every four weeks and no where will be shut down indefinately," Mr Johnson says.
In areas of very high alert, people will be asked not to travel in and out of the area, household mixing will be banned and "pubs and bars must close unless they can operate solely as a restaurant serving alcohol only as part of main meal".
Check out what level your area is in via our post code tool - here.
PM address: 'We must act now'
The Prime Minister is joined by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and Chief Scientific Officer, Chris Whitty at this evening's address.
Boris Johnson begins by stating we are entering a "new and crucial" time in the fight against Covid-19.
He says there are more patients in hospital today than there were when the UK went into lockdown on March 23.
"We must act now," he says.
Navarre takes over from Madrid with Spain’s highest Covid levels
Spain has reported nearly 28,000 new coronavirus cases since Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 888,968, health ministry data showed on Monday, James Badcock reports from Madrid,
The death toll from the virus rose by 195 from Friday to a total of 33,124. Spain does not report its coronavirus data during the weekend.
It comes as Navarre has announced new restrictions on social gatherings after a sharp rise in cases over the past week has led to the northern Spanish region surpassing Madrid in terms of new infections on a per capita basis.
María Chivite, Navarre’s president, said on Monday morning that the region’s 546 new cases over the previous 24 hours was the highest so far during Covid-19 pandemic, but she added that her government was confident the measures it has brought into effect on Monday would be sufficient.
Social groups are limited to six people, all indoor leisure facilities - apart from nightclubs, which are closed - must limit capacity to 30 per cent and shut by 10pm, while shops must cut customer capacity to 40 per cent.
Ms Chivite said the restrictions are “stricter” than in Madrid, the region where a monumental political battle between local authorities and the national government last week saw a state of emergency imposed to ban non-essential movement in and out of the capital and other areas.
West Midlands mayor calls for review of new restrictions
Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, called for a review of the Government's decision to impose new Covid-19 restrictions on parts of the region.
Mr Street said he was "very disappointed" Tier 2 restrictions will apply to Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.
Under the new categories, the remaining areas of the West Midlands, Dudley and Coventry, will be in Tier 1 with no new additional restrictions.
Mr Street said in a statement issued on social media: "The most important change between our current restrictions and the new ones announced today is the ban on households mixing in hospitality venues.
"This is something the latest local epidemiology does not support, and I am disappointed that the Government is pressing ahead with this despite the united view of local leaders.
"The main problem in the West Midlands remains transmission within household settings, and stricter measures for the hospitality industry will not solve that.
"I am urging the Government to review this decision as soon as possible."
France reports slight dip in steep case rise
French health authorities have reported 8,505 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours, sharply down from Saturday's record of 26,896 and Sunday's 16,101.
The Monday figure tends to dip as there are fewer tests conducted on Sundays. The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, stood above the 17,000 level for the first time since the outbreak, at 17,029.
The number of people in France who have died from Covid-19 infections rose by 95 to 32,825, versus 46 on Sunday. The cumulative number of cases now totals 743,479.
'Circuit breaker' may be needed within weeks, Sage scientists says
Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), warned the new restrictions had come too late and a "circuit-breaker" could be needed within weeks.
Asked if the level of response announced for London is sufficient for the threat, the University of Liverpool academic told BBC Radio 4's PM: "I'm going to be difficult and say no, I think we're a little late to react."
He said there is a three-to-four-week delay before interventions see benefits in hospitals.
"I and other people who were advocating for quite stringent severe local interventions where necessary three to four weeks ago, our fear is now that we're in another place now," he said.
"And that we're going to need a much firmer intervention perhaps, the so-called circuit-breaker, in the matter of weeks.
"The outbreak is a bit like a super-tanker, you put the brakes on but it takes a long time before you see the effect."
What does the new system mean for you?
A new three-tier system of increasingly tough restrictions will now determine local lockdowns in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced, in an effort to simplify the patchwork of rules in place across the country.
The map below shows which areas are currently under each level.
If you want to know what tier your local area comes under, check out our interactive postcode tool by Alex Clark, Dominic Gilbert, Oliver Edgington and Bruno Riddy here.
Expert reaction: 'Notable silence' on measures for vulnerable
Responding to the new system for establishing local lockdowns, Professor Jackie Cassell, Deputy Dean, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Brighton, said:
“A simpler system is to be welcomed. Hospital admissions have reached alarming levels in several parts of the country and the new measures are likely to play a part in reducing avoidable admissions and deaths in what may be a short window before vaccination is available for those at greatest risk.
“However there was a notable silence on age related recommendations and guidance on ‘what the alert levels mean for clinically extremely vulnerable people’ is to follow.
"This is an interesting omission on a controversial topic. Death and serious illness are so strongly related to older age and to underlying illness that in my view the Tiers are not fully specified without new guidance for these groups.”
PM answers 200 questions on new system
That concludes the Prime Ministers address to the Commons this afternoon.
He addressed around 200 questions from MPs, the Speaker said.
At 7pm Boris Johnson will address the nation to set out the new three-tiered system. Keep following our live blog for all the latest.
Tech glitch: Student cases being registered at wrong addresses
Murina Wilson MP says the "latest technical glitch" in Test and Trace has meant "many positive cases of students have been automatically attributed to their home address instead of their university address".
This has affected around a quarter of new cases in her constituency of Richmond Upon Thames, she adds, and has been replicated in other areas.
The Prime Minister says the Government are aware of that "phenomenon" in the data where the positive case shows up in the students registered GP address, rather than their student address.
"We obviously aim off for that," he adds.
London could move into 'higher tier' this week, mayor warns
Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, has warned the capital could move into a higher tier of coronavirus restrictions "potentially even this week".
The city will initially be "medium" on the new scale, but a spokesman for Mr Khan said: "The mayor met with London leaders today to examine the latest data on the spread of the virus in the city and to discuss the Government's new national alert system.
"The virus is now spreading very quickly in every corner of London. The number of cases is rapidly increasing and all the indicators we look at are moving in the wrong direction.
"As of today, London is at 'medium' in the Government's new alert levels. However, Londoners should understand that this could change very quickly - potentially even this week."
Economic impact of lockdown in Liverpool will be 'massive'
The economic impact of a Tier 3 lockdown in the Liverpool City Region will be massive, metro mayor Steve Rotheram said.
Speaking to BBC News, Mr Rotheram said the Government should provide the region with the same level of support it offered during the national lockdown in March.
He said: "The problem is that while the Chancellor (Rishi Sunak) did the right thing in March when there was a national lockdown and had packages of support that reflected the severity of those lockdown measures, Tier 3 is probably similar to what happened all the way back in March.
"There is comparable lockdown issues in each of those two dates, we are not getting anywhere near what the national lockdown restrictions got in regard to a financial package all those months ago and if it was right then, it has to be right now.
"And that is what we are in detailed negotiations with Government to try and sort out."
In pictures: Liverpool goes into 'very high' tier
PM: R rate must fall below 1 for Liverpool restrictions to be lifted
The Prime Minister says the R rate must fall below 1 for the new restrictions in Liverpool to be lifted.
But what is the R rate, and is it a reliable measure of infections?
Check out the analysis below by TheTelegraph's Science Editor, Sarah Knapton, for more information.
Why has Nottinghamshire been placed in the 'high tier'
Nottinghamshire has been placed into the 'high tier' under the Government's new three-tier system.
Nottingham's weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases has continued to climb, the latest data shows.
A total of 2,777 new cases were recorded in Nottingham in the seven days to October 9 - the equivalent of 834.2 cases per 100,000 people.
It is a huge leap from 1,417 new cases in the previous seven days (the week to October 2), or 425.7 per 100,000 people.
Nottingham remains well ahead of the area with the second highest rate in England, Knowsley, which is now on 656.9 cases per 100,000.
All figures are based on Public Health England data published on Monday afternoon.
Preparing of Nightingale Hospitals 'sobering', says Hancock
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has called the decision to mobilise some Nightingale Hospitals as "sobering but necessary."
"We have placed NHS Nightingale hospitals in Harrogate, Manchester & Sunderland on standby. Let's get Covid under control & save lives," he tweeted.
WATCH: Boris Johnson explains new three-tier system
Yvette Cooper asks PM to 'come back from the moon' on testing
Labour's Yvette Cooper called on the Prime Minister to "come back from the moon and get back to what's happening on planet Earth" as she raised concerns over testing.
She said: "Just a month ago, the PM described his Moonshot plan where there were going to be millions of tests done and returned every day and he said if everything comes together, it may be possible even for sectors like theatres to have life much closer to normal before Christmas.
"Families now are feeling like a normal Christmas is going to be further away (than) ever and local health officials in our area have said people are waiting six days, not a day, to get their test results.
"If we come back from the moon and get back to what's happening on planet Earth, when will he have enough testing capacity in place so my constituents can get their results in 24 hours?"
Boris Johnson replied: "The daily test process has gone up just in the last month by 34 per cent and daily capacity has gone up 28 per cent and as she knows, by the end of this month, NHS Test and Trace are confident they will be doing 500,000 tests a day, they will have capacity I should say for 500,000 tests a day."
Shadow Health Secretary 'sceptical' about new measures
Labour MP and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, whose Leicester South constituency will be put in the "high" tier of restrictions along with the region, said he supports the restrictions but is "sceptical" they will drive down infections.
"If our priority is keeping children in school and ensuring NHS not overwhelmed then there is no option but to take this course so I support restrictions," he tweeted.
"But they need to be backed up by a proper financial package.
"With rising hospital admissions including into critical care will today's announcements be enough? It's clear virus is growing in prevalence & further action may be necessary.
"Lockdowns are blunt tools but buy time. We should use that time to expand testing and fix tracing."
Here is what we know so far on the new alert levels:
1. Medium: The "rule of six" preventing most gatherings of more than six people indoors or outdoors, the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants and other existing national measures will continue to apply.
The Prime Minister said this will cover most of the nation at the moment.
2. High: All mixing between households and support bubbles will be prohibited indoors.
But meetings of up to six people will be allowed outdoors in public spaces and private gardens.
The PM said "most areas" already subject to local restrictions will be in this level but so will Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a "small area" of High Peak due to rising infection rates.
3. Very high: Pubs and bars will be forced to close and "social mixing" indoors and in private gardens will be banned at the minimum.
Groups of up to six people could still be permitted to meet outside in public spaces.
But additional restrictions will be imposed based on discussions with local leaders, including those that could cover the hospitality, leisure, entertainment and personal care sectors.
Schools, shops and universities will remain open.
The Liverpool City Region will move into this level and will have its gyms, leisure centres, betting shops and casinos closed under agreement with mayor Steve Rotheram.
University of Nottingham responds to new lockdown restrictions
Commenting on the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, a spokeswoman for the University of Nottingham said: "We continue to work with council leaders, public health colleagues and Nottingham Trent University ahead of the further restrictions due to come into force to encourage everyone to change behaviours now.
"We all need to work together to protect everyone."
The spokeswoman added that the university has "encouraged" students to stop mixing outside of their households "stay on campus or in their homes".
"We have introduced our asymptomatic testing programme, running alongside the national Pillar 2 testing regime for people with symptoms of Covid-19, which will identify cases earlier and more quickly," she added.
"While this will mean that our case data will be higher than other universities, we can identify cases that otherwise would remain undetected and thereby reduce asymptomatic transmission and the number of future cases."
The spokeswoman added that any students not obeying the rules could face disciplinary action, fines and campus sanctions - in addition to police fines.
PM defends Government's financial support package
Boris Johnson says the Government's financial support offered to businesses and workers unable to work due to restrictions is "generous by international comparison".
Labour's Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) says: "But for someone on the minimum wage who would lose a third of their income in those circumstances, and by the way the French and German schemes are more generous than those applied here, can the Prime Minister assure my constituents that they will not under any circumstances be evicted from their homes because they could not afford to pay the rent?"
Mr Johnson replies: "Well I must respectfully take issue with his characterisation of the scheme, which remains internationally competitive.
"In France, it is 60 per cent for some, 70 per cent for others, in Germany it is about the same, in Italy they have an 80 per cent provision but a serious cap, or a very low cap, in Ireland it is down at 60 per cent. This is a highly competitive scheme and it is one that I think is generous by international comparison.
"And on his point about evictions, of course nobody wants to see anybody evicted because of the hardship they've suffered because of coronavirus and that's why we've extended the period in which landlords are prevented from conducting such evictions by a further six months."
PM praises students as 'heroic' for containing the virus
The Prime Minister is asked what his strategy is for "containing" spikes in infections among students and preventing them from spreading to the whole city.
Mr Johnson says: "The differentiations that is often made between students and other members of the public is sometimes over done.
"Students, I think, are playing a heroic role in containing the virus where they can and following the guidance, and not spreading it back into their families and their home towns.
"I thank them very much for what they are doing and I hope they continue in that way, in Exeter and elsewhere."
PM apologises for 'excessive turn around times' under Test and Trace
Responding to a question from Dawn Butler MP about the centralisation of Test and Trace measures, Mr Johnson apologises for the "bad experiences some people have had for the excessive turn around times" by NHS Test and Trace.
But he insists a "joined up approach" of local and national Test and Trace is the best approach.
Vaccine 'cannot be taken for granted', says PM
Asked by Steve Baker MP when he expects the vulnerable population to be vaccinated, the Prime Minister says:
"Alas, I can't give him a date by which I can promise confidently that we will have a vaccine, of course there are some very hopeful signs not least from the Oxford AstraZeneca trials that are being conducted.
"But as he knows, SARS took place 18 years ago, we still don't have a vaccine for SARS...
"There's a good chance of a vaccine, but it cannot be taken for granted."
'How can people pay their bills?', MP asks
Mr Johnson says the Government has increased Universal Credit by around £1,000 per year and the "uplift" will remain in place for the whole year.
Test and Trace taskforce could be set up for Liverpool
The Prime Minister is asked to consider a Test, Trace and Isolate Taskforce for the Liverpool City region.
Mr Johnson says "we are already working with the Liverpool City region on improving the local test and trace" system.
PM: Test and Trace needs both local and national approach
Responding to a question from Caroline Lucas about the outsourcing of Test and Trace and whether a local approach would have been more effective, Mr Johnson says: "We need both."
He adds that they are expanding their support for local test and trace, but a "joined up" national and local approach is needed.
People from 'very high areas' should not travel into Wales
Responding to a question about travel into Wales from high risk areas, Mr Johnson says: "The guidance is very clear that people from very high areas, such as Merseyside, should not be making those journeys."
How are cases rising across the country?
The Prime Minister just announced a new system for local lockdowns. Use the tool below to see how infections are rising in your area.
Nottinghamshire, Cheshire and High Peak move to high level
During his statement, Mr Johnson announced that Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into the high alert level - joining other areas already in local lockdowns.
People in these areas will be banned from mixing households indoors.
PM announces economic support for authorities in lockdown
Boris Johnson says around £1 billion of "new financial support" will be provided to local authorities in England, adding in the Commons: "For very high areas, we will give further financial support for local test and trace and local enforcement - and assistance from the armed forces, not for enforcement but rather to support local services if desired in the local area."
More details on three-tiered system
The Prime Minister has just announced a new three-tiered system for local lockdowns.
Here is his statement in full:
"The medium alert level will cover most of the country and will consist of the current national measures, this includes the rule of six and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.
"The high alert level reflects the interventions in many local areas at the moment.
"This primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors.
"In these areas the rule of six will continue to apply outdoors where it is harder for the virus to spread in public spaces as well as private gardens."
He added: "The very high alert level will apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly and where the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions. In these areas, the Government will set a base line of prohibiting social mixing indoors and in private gardens and I am sorry to say closing pubs and bars.
"We want to create the maximum possible local consensus behind this more severe local action, so in each area we will work with local government leaders on the additional measures which should be taken. This could lead to further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors, but retail, schools and universities will remain open."
Read more: The new three tier lockdown rules, explained
PM says Labour leader has 'flip flopped' on support
Mr Johnson responds to Sir Keir's criticism. "What he won't say, Mr Speaker, is what he would do, exactly how he would propose to get this virus down without those kinds of restrictions," Mr Johnson says.
The Prime Minister says Sir Keir should stop "flip flopping" and "go back" to support the Government's measures.
Sir Keir Starmer is 'deeply sceptical' PM has control
Sir Keir Starmer says "the question today is whether the restrictions announced by the Prime Minister will be able to bring the country back from the brink".
He adds that Labour will consider the Prime Minister's package with local leaders, but he says he is "deeply sceptical" the Government has a plan to control the virus and regain public trust.
Sir Keir criticises the measures introduced three weeks ago, which Mr Johnson said would control rising cases that "have not worked".
"What reassurance can the Prime Minister give us that these measures today will get the virus under control?" he says.
PM: 'Weeks and months ahead will be difficult'
Mr Johnson says the "weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and test the mettle of this country", but he adds he has "no doubt at all we will succeed".
Postcode tool for new alert system to be launched
Mr Johnson says regulations for all three Covid alert levels will be laid out today, debated in the Commons tomorrow and come into force Wednesday.
He said all levels will be subject to a four week review and a postcode search tool on the gov.uk website will allow the public to search what level applies to them.
"Mr Speaker, this is not how we want to live our lives, but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic," he says.
Liverpool to move into high level tier
From Wednesday, local authorities in the Liverpool City region will move into the high alert level, Mr Johnson says.
Along with pubs and bars, gyms and leisure centres, betting shops and casinos will be closed.
"I'd like to put on record my thanks to Steve Rotheram and his colleagues for their engagement in difficult circumstance," Mr Johnson says.
PM announced three tiered system
The current R nationally is between 1.2 and 1.5, Mr Johnson says, "but we need to go further".
He says in recent months the Government has worked with local leaders, but the local approach has produced "different sets of rules in different parts of the country that are now conplex to understand and enforce".
"We will now simplify and standardise" these rules, he says, announced a new three tiered system will be put in place.
The medium alert level which will cover most of the country and the current national levels, rule of 6 and hospitality closing at 10pm, he adds.
The high alert level will reflect restrictions already in place some local areas.
"Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will move into the high alert level," he says.
The very high alert level will apply where transmission rates are rising "most rapidly", Mr Johnson adds.
Here, social mixing will be banned indoors and outdoors and the closure of pubs.
PM addresses the Commons
Boris Johnson begins his address in the Commons by saying the number of cases have quadrupled in the last three weeks. "Deaths are already rising," he adds.
Mr Johnson says he does not believe a full national lockdown again "would be the right course".
He adds he understands the "frustrations" people have faced under lockdown restrictions, but if the virus was "let rip" it would put a huge strain on the NHS meaning healthcare workers would be unable to treat patients for other serious illnesses.
So, he says, that is why a "balance" of measures have been put in place. "Our actions are saving lives," he says.
Three fined £10,000 each for Norwich house party
Three women have been fined £10,000 each for holding a house party attended by up to 100 people.
Norfolk Police said officers were called to reports of a gathering at an address in Bowthorpe Road in Norwich at about 1.10am on Sunday.
"Officers found up to 100 people attending a party at the address," a force spokesman said.
Police dispersed the gathering and three occupants at the address, a 19-year-old woman and two 20-year-old women, were fined £10,000 for breaching coronavirus restrictions, police said.
The Government's "rule of six" limits gatherings to six people in England.
Prime Minister to set out three tier lockdown system
The Prime Minister will set out the traffic lights system in the House of Commons shortly, after chairing a Cobra meeting this morning to finalise the details, which are expected to come into force from Wednesday afternoon.
Watch live from the video above and follow all the latest updates here.
NHS England reports 36 further deaths
A further 36 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 30,507, NHS England has said.
Patients were aged between 31 and 97 years old. All but two patients, aged 81 and 93, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between October 8 and October 11. Most were on or after October 10.
No other deaths were reported without a positive Covid-19 test result.
Italy to bring in tougher measures
Italy is expected to toughen up its anti-coronavirus measures with a new government decree that could be issued later today, Nick Squires reports from Rome.
Bars and restaurants will be ordered to close at midnight, while the purchase of takeaway alcohol will be banned after 10pm.
Parties could be banned altogether.
The size of groups attending receptions after weddings and christenings could be limited to 30 people.
Italy is now recording around 5,000 new cases each day, sharply up from the 100 to 200 that were registered in June and July.
There is growing alarm that the country is already seeing a second wave of the pandemic.
The government will double down on its message that the main way to stop the spread of the virus is to wear face masks.
Northern MPs express anger over lockdown decision making
Northern MPs have expressed further anger at the handling of the new lockdown announcements for their regions.
Stockport MP Navendu Mishra called the Government's Covid briefing to local MPs "shambolic".
He tweeted: "Just 21 minutes notice by @MattHancock for his #Covid19 briefing.
"Complete disdain by this Government for all those who live and work in Greater Manchester."
While Charlotte Nichols, MP for Warrington North, shared a screenshot of an email invitation to a briefing for Merseyside MPs.
"Don't know how many times we have to go through this: Warrington is not in Merseyside, it is not in the Liverpool City Region, it never has been and if you're going to make decisions that affect us the very least you could do is recognise that fact," she tweeted.
What’s happened so far today?
If you’re just joining us, it’s a busy day for coronavirus news as the Prime Minister is expected to announce a host of new coronavirus restrictions for hotspot regions later today.
Boris Johnson will make the announcement to the Commons at 3.30pm, before that, here’s everything that’s happened so far today:
- Coronavirus infections are now spreading to the elderly and moving south across the country, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer announced.
- Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director of NHS England, said there were now more patients in hospital with coronavirus than there were when the Government ordered the lockdown in March.
- Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate have been mobilised to accept patients “if necessary”.
- Areas of the North West are awaiting the Prime Minister’s announcement to determine which local restrictions apply to them, under the new three-tiered system. Local leaders have criticised the handling of the new restrictions so far, with Lisa Nandy MP calling it "an absolute shambles".
- GCSEs and A-levels will be delayed by three weeks, the Education Secretary has confirmed.
- Wales is still considering a potential ban on visitors from English Covid-19 hotspots, after Mark Drakeford, Wales' First Minister, described the UK Government's proposals for travel restrictions as "inadequate".
- The WHO has said the UK is currently ranking fourth in the world for case increases.
Here comes the fine!
A man was fined £10,000 after police found 80 guests at a wedding party.
Essex Police said officers received reports of the large gathering at Ariana Gardens in Margaretting at around 4.15pm on Sunday.
When officers arrived they found approximately 80 guests enjoying a sit-down dinner. Police spoke to guests and explained that the wedding was in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.
They were told they must leave or they would be issued with a fixed penalty notice, and each guest complied and left the venue.
Police carried out inquiries to establish the identity of the organiser of the event.
A 41-year-old man was identified as being the organiser of the wedding party, Essex Police said.
The force said he was reported for summons to court for holding a gathering of more than 15 people in breach of coronavirus legislation, which carries a £10,000 fine.
UK ranks fourth in the world for rise in cases, WHO
Dr Margaret Harris, from the World Health Organization, said the UK was now fourth in the world in terms of its rise in Covid-19 cases.
She told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme: "You are certainly not on your own.
"We are seeing very, very large outbreaks around the world - only last week India led the number of new cases, 504,000, followed by the US with 327,000 and then Brazil.
"But the United Kingdom is number four and what we are seeing is that, in Europe particularly, in more and more countries we're seeing a bigger change in the number of cases."
Asked how the UK compared to other European nations, Dr Harris said: "The UK recorded 110,827 to us last week and France reported 110,065 - you're essentially on parity with France at the moment."
Oldham restrictions brought into line with Greater Manchester
Jim McMahon, Oldham West and Royton MP, also confirms Greater Manchester would be placed under Tier Two restrictions.
He said on Twitter: "Call with the Secretary of State confirms GM will be placed in Tier 2 with household restrictions on meeting indoors in any setting, but not outdoors.
"Pubs serving food remain open. Oldham will be removed from its enhanced lockdown measures and brought into line with GM *at last*."
Greater Manchester expected to enter Tier Two lockdown
Greater Manchester is expected to be placed in a tier two lockdown, according to Lisa Nandy MP.
In a scathing tweet, Ms Nandy said she only found out about the measures herself via Twitter.
Tier two restrictions are expected to be similar to those currently in place in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool, where different households will not be allowed to mix in any indoor setting, including in pubs and cafes and that a 10pm curfew will remain in place.
"Apparently there was a government briefing for GM MPs but I can’t provide details because I wasn’t invited," she said.
"I suspect this is because they don’t know where Wigan is. What an absolute shambles."
GCSEs and A-levels will be delayed by three weeks
GCSEs and A-levels will be delayed by three weeks, the Education Secretary has confirmed.
Gavin Williamson said that contingency plans are being drawn up for students who are unable to take exams next summer due to illness, self-isolation or a local lockdown.
In a written ministerial statement, he said that exams will go ahead because they are the “fairest way of judging a student’s performance”, but added that they will be “underpinned by contingency measures”.
Read the full story by Camilla Turner, here.
Liverpool mayor objected to closure of gyms
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said he objected to gyms being closed as part of Tier 3 local coronavirus restrictions.
He told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme: "People going to gyms don't go there unless they are kitted out ready to go on the machines and the machines are socially distanced so people can't make human contact.
"And when they leave the gym, they (the exercise machines) are disinfected and sprayed so personally I don't see the reason for that to happen."
Asked why he had shifted his position from wanting a "circuit-break" style lockdown, Mr Anderson said: "I don't like this half-way measure.
"For me, when I said about the option of a circuit-breaker, that meant at least we know where we are - there is clarity, there is no confusion around that.
"It was still an option for me. With Tier 3 comes the potential also with the sweeter measures the Government have put in there for further lockdown measures, so what we're going to be seeing introduced on Wednesday, there may well be more to come."
Plaid Cymru leader 'livid' at PM over travel restrictions
Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, has said the Welsh Government "needs to act today" on the issue of people from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus travelling into parts of Wales with low transmission.
"I'm livid about the attitude of the Prime Minister," Mr Price told BBC Wales.
"Previously Mark Drakeford said there wasn't any evidence of this kind of infection from people travelling from over the border.
"Now we heard it from Vaughan Gething for the first time that there is actual evidence that has been identified of transmission that's happened as a result of people coming from high-infection areas in England into Wales.
"The Welsh Government needs to act today."
Four Swiss Guards test positive for Covid
This just in from Nick Squires in Rome:
Four soldiers from the Swiss Guard, the Pope's personal protection force, have come down with coronavirus, the Vatican has revealed.
The cases were detected over the weekend.
"There are currently four Swiss Guards, with symptoms, who have been placed in isolation," said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
The authorities are trying to establish who the four soldiers have been in contact with.
Three other residents or citizens of the tiny city state have come down with the virus in the past few weeks, all with mild symptoms.
There are around 110 officers and men in the Swiss Guard. They have served the papacy for five centuries, first coming to Rome to protect Pope Julius II in 1506. Members of the Guard must be Swiss, Catholic, single and under the age of 30.
What will the new three-tier system look like?
Later today the Government will introduce a new system of “Local Covid Alert Levels” in England.
The three-tier, or 'traffic light' system will see different parts of the country placed in different categories dependent on rates of infection, with areas in the highest level expected to face the toughest restrictions.
Here is what we expect the three tiers to look like:
- Tier One: Similar to current national restrictions, including the rule of six, 10pm curfew for pubs, group sport only being played outdoors and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.
- Tier Two: Here the rules expected to be similar to those currently in place in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool, where different households will not be allowed to mix in any indoor setting, including in pubs and cafes and that a 10pm curfew will remain in place.
- Tier Three: This will be the strictest level, which will run in four-week blocks, subject to a monthly review. Restrictions could include a potential ban on household mixing indoors and outdoors, pubs, restaurants, bars and bookmakers forced to shut, and people told not to travel beyond their local area except for essential reasons.
At 3.30pm, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to address the House of Commons to announce the measures.
Northern Ireland asks for more financial support
More details from this morning's Cobra call are coming out.
Michelle O'Neill, Deputy First Minister for Northern Ireland, said she flagged the need for extra financial support during the call. "Raised the need for additional finances with the British Government this morning," she tweeted.
"Our covid situation requires decisive action to stop the spread and therefore we need the finances to support workers, families and business in these challenging times."
Further restrictions for North East 'unlikely', council leader says
Nick Forbes, Newcastle City Council Leader, said it is "unlikely" any further lockdown restrictions will apply in the North East.
"We need a period of stability and consistent rules, so everyone is clear what we all need to do," he said via Twitter.
"However, we can't be complacent - Covid numbers are still on the rise.
"Mass closures of hospitality venues would be counter productive at this stage, as the vast majority of operators are running safe venues with appropriate precautions in place.
"But the threat of further closures can't be ruled out if Covid numbers don't start to come down."
He added it wasn't a "political row" and Government and local government are "united in our determination to drive down Covid numbers".
Travel ban for people entering Wales still under consideration, Health Minister says
Vaughan Gething, Wales' Health Minister, said that "sadly the Prime Minister has chosen not to act" on the issue of travel restrictions for areas of England with high levels of Covid-19.
"Myself and the First Minister are meeting again later today but we're both really disappointed that the Prime Minister is still taking an approach where there is only going to be guidance on whether people should or shouldn't travel out of highly infected areas," Mr Gething told a press conference in Cardiff.
"This isn't just an issue for Wales, it's an issue for the whole UK - lower prevalence areas in England will be equally affected as lower prevalence areas in Wales.
"We do understand that there has already been an importation of coronavirus cases from contact with some of those high prevalence areas in England."
Mr Gething said the Welsh Government, which has been considering imposing quarantine restrictions on people arriving in Wales from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus, would meet later on Monday and "make choices".
Wales' First Minister: England travel restrictions 'inadequate'
Mark Drakeford, Wales' First Minister, has described the UK Government's proposals for travel restrictions in areas of England with high levels of coronavirus as "inadequate".
Mr Drakeford attended the Cobra meeting on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to discuss the proposed introduction of a tiered system of local restrictions in England, the Welsh Government said.
"The First Minister expressed deep disappointment at the inadequate proposals for travel restrictions in high-infection areas in England, and said these would be met with great dismay in many parts of Wales where infection rates are lower," a spokeswoman said.
"He also requested greater clarity on the metrics for placing areas into each tier, and agreed with other devolved leaders that the Treasury's proposals for financial support, while welcome, did not go far enough in protecting the lowest paid workers."
Ich bin ein ice cube: Berlin schools keep windows open for Covid ventilation
This just in by Justin Huggler in Berlin:
Schools in Germany are advising pupils to bring blankets to class as part of the fight against the coronavirus. The German authorities are convinced ventilation is key to preventing the spread of the virus, and schools have been ordered to ventilate classrooms every 20 minutes.
Leaving the windows open a crack is not enough. The windows have to be fully opened for five minutes to allow air to circulate. But with autumn temperatures already plunging in Germany, many classrooms are getting too cold to study -- and no one is under any illusion about how cold it will be in winter, when daytime temperatures can be well below zero.
Many schools already allow pupils to wear gloves, hats, scarves and outdoor coats in class. The regional education minister for Lower Saxony has told pupils to prepare for classrooms to "get a little cold" and warned them to "dress warmly".
"For the cold months, sweaters, scarves and blankets will now be part of the basic equipment for schoolchildren", said Susanne Lin-Klitzing, head of a German teachers' union.
But doctors have spoken out against the ventilation guidelines, warning they will cause a wave of colds and other illnesses. "The rules are absurd," Dr Stephan Pilsinger, a Munich GP, told Bild newspaper. "They're a health hazard."
Andy Burnham: 'Too many rush to blame the North'
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said that he was "grateful" to the deputy chief medical officer for recognising part of the problem in the North stems from a failure to reduce disease levels as much in the South.
He tweeted: "Too many rush to blame the public in the North without understanding this."
London to enter Tier 2 restrictions, according to reports
London could be placed into a Tier 2 lockdown, the Evening Standard is reporting, meaning a potential ban on household mixing.
It is understood the announcement could come within the next few days.
Under the new tiered system - expected to be announced by the Prime Minister today - pubs and restaurants can remain open in Tier 2 regions.
We will bring you more as we get it.
Iran's Covid-19 crisis worsens
Iran’s coronavirus crisis has marked a dark new milestone, recording over 250 deaths in a single day for the first time, reports Campbell MacDiarmid, Middle East correspondent.
In the past 24 hours, 251 people had died from the virus, health ministry spokeswoman Sadat Lari announced yesterday. That death toll was a record, surpassing the previous high of 239 fatalities in one 24-hour period set last Wednesday.
With Sunday’s deaths, 28,544 people have now succumbed to the virus in Iran, Ms Lari said.
Iran’s ability to combat the virus is being affected by an economic collapse, with the rial dropping to a record low of 312,200 against the US dollar on the black market on Sunday, having shed well over half of its value this year alone.
The economic situation is being compounded by new US sanctions aimed at isolating Iran from the global financial system. Iran says sanctions hinder the country’s pandemic response by blocking the purchasing of some medicines.
Since new US sanctions were announced last Thursday, pharmaceutical companies in three countries had cancelled contracts with Iran, Alireza Wahhabzadeh, an advisor to Iran’s health minister, told semi-official Fars news agency on Sunday.
Russian vaccine trials begin in UAE
Elsewhere today, human trials of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine have begun in the United Arab Emirates, the Kremlin said in a statement detailing a phone call between President Vladimir Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The trials in the UAE are the second trials of the Sputnik V vaccine abroad, following the launch of trials in Belarus. Trials are also expected to begin in Venezuela in the near future.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is marketing the vaccine abroad, declined to comment.
Stages of Covid-19 infection
During today's press briefing, Professor Stephen Powis explained how the virus impacts patients and the period of time between infection and hospitalisation.
"Any additional measures put in place this week will take a number of weeks before we begin to see their benefits in hospital admissions, because of the length it takes from the point of infection to develop symptoms, and then the additional time beyond that before people become sick enough to require hospital treatment," he said.
Check out the slide below for the timescale in Covid-19 infection.
England 'in better position' than March and April
Prof Powis said the country was in a better position than in March and April.
"Clearly we have learnt many things from that first wave, we have learnt better treatments for patients, and Dexamethasone... we learnt that that reduces deaths," he said.
But he warned: "R is above one, that means that infections will continue to rise, and as infections continue to rise, then hospital admissions and impact on health services continue to rise."
On Test and Trace, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the country could have been in a "worse situation by now if we had not had Test and Trace notifying people when they had been close contacts and asking them to self-isolate".
"So please keep on using this system, it remains vitally important."
That concludes this morning's briefing, we will continue to bring you all the latest reaction and any developments before Boris Johnson's 3.30pm address in the Commons.
Prof Van-Tam: School age groups have 'very low' infection rates
Prof Van-Tam says closed indoor spaces carry a much greater risk of infection than outdoor.
Regarding education settings, he says if you "salami slice" the infection data across the school age groups "what you actually see is very low rates of increase in infection up to around the age of 16 and then picking up a bit into the 17 to 18-year-olds".
He adds that it is "already known" that children are not spreader or drivers of the virus in the community.
New measures would take 'weeks' before benefiting hospital admissions
Prof Powis cautioned that it would take "a number of weeks" before the benefit of any additional measures put in place this week are shown in hospital admissions.
He also said he did not want to have to delay operations by diverting staff to battle coronavirus second time round.
"Where we can, we don't want this to happen again this time, but that depends on all of us doing what needs to be done to contain this virus in the community," he said.
And he urged: "Please use NHS services if you need them for your health needs."
Nightingale's in North West told to 'mobilise'
The temporary Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate could be brought back into use to help with the spike in Covid-19 cases.
NHS England's Professor Stephen Powis told the briefing there would also be increased testing of health staff in hotspot areas.
He said: "To protect our staff and our patients we will be introducing - with tests provided by the Test and Trace service - regular testing for staff in these high-risk areas, even when they don't have symptoms.
"This will help us keep staff and patients in those hospitals as safe as possible.
"Secondly, we have asked the Nightingale hospitals in Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate to prepare for this next phase.
"They are being asked to mobilise over the next few weeks to be ready to accept patients if necessary."
It will be for local clinicians to decide whether they are used for Covid patients or to provide extra capacity to maintain services for people without coronavirus.
30pc of Manchester's ITU beds occupied by Covid-19 patients
Dr Jane Eddleston, Greater Manchester Medical Lead, says 30 per cent of beds are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients.
She adds they have seen a three fold increase in the number patients admitted to intensive care in the last few weeks and an eight fold increase in the number of patients admitted to hospitals.
And the increase is starting to have an impact on their care for other patients, she adds.
A quarter of patients admitted to intensive care are subsequently being ventilated, she says.
Prof Powis: Liverpool University Hospital has the most Covid patients
In the next slide, Prof Powis shows how the increases in hospital admissions are split regionally.
"Liverpool University Hospital has the highest number of Covid patients," he says, with currently more than 250 patients with Covid.
North West and East hospitals have witnesses a seven-fold increase in Covid patients in their intensive care units, he adds.
If infections continue to rise, he adds, in four weeks the could be treating more patients than there were in the beginning of the first wave.
See the chart below for where hospital admissions are rising across the country.
'Steep rise' in older groups being admitted to hospital
Prof Powis says the rise in infections among older people are being reflected in hospital admissions, as the chart below shows.
"You can see that now in the over 65s, particularly in the over 85s, we are seeing steep rises in the number of people being admitted to hospital," he says.
'Now more patients in hospital with Covid-19' than before March restrictions
Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, says: "We are not seeing renewed growth in infection rates... so we are now having to make greater use of our third line of defence - hospital care for those who are sickest."
He adds Netherlands and France are also seeing a rise in hospital admissions.
But Prof Powis says there are now more patients in hospital with Covid-19 than before restrictions were put in place in March.
The chart below shows a time series of admissions from March to October.
"You will see that since the beginning of September paralleling that rise in infection in the community we are starting to see an increased rise in hospital admissions," he says.
Prof Van-Tam: Heat maps show infections rising in older groups
Prof Van-Tam shows a new heat map to explain how the infection rate was initially highest in 16-29 age bracket, but it has been "creeping up" into the older age groups.
"You can now see the 60 plus and now heating up", he says.
He adds this pattern can be seen in the North West, and this is now creeping up in other regions.
Prof Van-Tam: Covid-19 cases are now spreading south and to the elderly
Professor Van-Tam now shows a map of England of where Covid-19 is currently concentrated, but where it is now spreading.
The dark brown map shows where cases are "heating up", he says.
He says the brown chart has changed in the last few days showing cases are spreading further south dramatically.
The next chart shows how Covid-19 infections are now spreading from the young, to the eldery, which Prof Van-Tam is of "much concern".
Prof Van-Tam: 'There is a lag' between cases, admissions and deaths
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam begins the briefing by showing an "apples and pears comparison" of case numbers from March to September.
He says "having had a rather flat summer" with low Covid-19 cases "you can see from early September there has been a marked pick up" of new cases.
He says: "I want to be very clear with you that as patients become ill with Covid-19 they don't immediately go into hospital, it takes some time before they become ill enough to come into hospital, and they don't die in hospital the moment they arrive... they point I am trying to make here is there is a lag between cases... and when we see deaths rise."
He adds the hospital admissions we currently have are related to infections we had three previously.
Confusion: Local leaders still unclear which venues to close
David Baines, St Helens Council leader, said the level of restrictions and the detail of businesses which would be forced to close were "not up for negotiation" with the Government.
In a statement, he said: "Government had decided this already and were adamant that they wanted to keep education, retail and the majority of workplaces open, giving us the indication that all other settings were chosen for closure by default.
"There is no scientific evidence we have been given that shows the areas told to close are a higher risk than others.
"We still do not know the full list of businesses and settings that will be told to close.
But Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said on Twitter that leaders in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) had been told restaurants would not have to close under the new restrictions.
He said: "To be clear the Government agreed with CA leaders and me that restaurants can continue to stay open across the city and region till 10.30 pm."
Number of NHS contact tracers cut
The number of non-NHS contact tracers has been cut as more work is passed to local teams, the Department of Health has confirmed.
Non-NHS call handlers were reduced from 18,000 to 12,000 in August, and to 10,000 at the end of September.
It follows reports that some call handlers employed by private firms as part of a Government contract did not have enough work to do.
It is also part of a shift to more localised contact tracing as outlined by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick on Sunday.
Private firms Serco and Sitel are now providing 5,000 call handlers each to make up the 10,000 figure.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said: "NHS Test and Trace is providing tests at an unprecedented scale - over 240,000 a day on average last week - and more than half a million people have been contacted to self-isolate, helping cut transmission.
"As contact tracing becomes more locally targeted, we have adjusted the number of non-NHS call handlers as well as ring-fencing specific teams to work closely with local authorities and public health teams to make sure we reach people in their communities and prevent the spread of Covid-19."
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam to give data briefing
At 11am, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, will give a data briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.
We can expect Prof Van-Tam will provide an update on how the virus is spreading across the country and where the current hotspots are.
Watch via the livestream at the top of this blog and follow all the latest updates here.
Margaret Ferrier says she was 'hung out to dry' by SNP
Margaret Ferrier has claimed she was "hung out to dry" by the SNP after posting a scripted statement in which she admitted breaching coronavirus rules, it has been reported.
The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP had the party whip withdrawn after travelling while awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test.
In an interview with The Scottish Sun, published on Monday, she said the whip was withdrawn around an hour after the statement was released - a decision she feels was based on the public outcry over her actions.
The former SNP MP has previously said the infection caused her to act "out of character" and she "panicked" before taking the train trip back to Scotland.
She has said she has no intention of standing down as an MP.
Ms Ferrier told the newspaper that party officials had prepared the admission statement for her and she initially did not understand their "urgency" during a virtual meeting to discuss the situation.
She said: "I just felt it was very pushy. You've just been told you have Covid. You're stressed, with a lot of things going through your mind. You're wanting somebody to help you. I said at that point: 'Hang on a minute - as soon as this goes out am I going to be bombarded with abuse?'
"They were not considering the fact that I had only been diagnosed with Covid and I don't know how that's going to affect my mental state. It just went crazy. I still haven't looked at Twitter but I have heard about it."
Local lockdown: Leaders react to anticipated restrictions
Boris Johnson is expected to announce a wave of new lockdown restrictions for parts of the North of England today. Local leaders have expressed their concern that they have not been listened to or consulted in the decision making process.
Here is a roundup of what they've been saying this morning:
- Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said his priority is to secure a support package for businesses affected by the new restrictions. He added there is little they can do to challenge the decision: "We were told we were going into Tier 3, no ifs, no buts. We can either expend energy on that or we can try and get a better deal.”
- Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said on Twitter: "Let's be clear that having ignored my pleas for over a month, the Government now blame us, and impose 'lockdown by diktat' without a full financial package and support for businesses we are levelling down not levelling up.”
- Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "When the UK went down into national lockdown it was 80 per cent furlough. But now, if you live in the north and work in hospitality, you will see 67 per cent. It doesn't make sense, it's not fair, and for us, and for many, many other operators, it feels reckless and like we're thrown under the bus."
- Sir Richard Leese, Manchester City Council leader, said local officials are still in discussions with the Government as to what restrictions should apply in the area. He said they have made the case that Greater Manchester should be placed in Tier 2 rather than the stricter Tier 3 which could mean closing pubs and bars.
- Shadow business minister and Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell called on the Government to publish proof that hospitality venues such as pubs were associated with high risk of coronavirus transmissions. "Government and scientists still haven't produced this evidence," she said.
Here's a summary of coronavirus news from around the world today:
- Indonesia reported 3,267 new coronavirus infections on Monday, the smallest daily rise since September 14, and 91 new deaths, data from the country’s coronavirus taskforce showed.
- The Philippines reported 3,564 new coronavirus cases, the country's biggest daily tally since September 19 and bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 342,816.
- Russia reported 13,592 new coronavirus cases, almost the most recorded in a single day since the pandemic began, pushing the national tally to 1,312,310.
- Delhi authorities have stopped putting notices outside the homes of people infected with coronavirus because this has amplified the social stigma associated with the disease and in turn caused others to hide their illness, officials said on Monday.
- South Korean drugmaker Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co Ltd said on Monday that it had received regulatory approval for Phase 1 clinical trials of its anti-parasitic niclosamide drug to treat Covid-19 patients.
- French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Monday he did not rule out local lockdowns in France due to a resurgence of new coronavirus infections.
Glasgow hospital ward closes due Covid-19 outbreak
A ward at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow has been closed to new admissions following a coronavirus outbreak among staff and patients.
In a statement NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "All those affected have been contact traced, screened and are self-isolating."
It added that staff will continue to follow "strict infection prevention and control guidelines" to continue treating patients "without putting them at additional risk".
Sir Keir Starmer: Government has treated hotspot areas 'with contempt'
Sir Keir Starmer said areas with high coronavirus rates had been treated with "contempt" by Boris Johnson's Government.
The Labour leader told LBC Radio: "The Government has been treating local communities, particularly in the Midlands, North West and North East - and their leaders - with contempt, that Whitehall knows best and we will simply tell you what's coming your way.
"It's just not good enough, you have to take people with you on this, listen to what local leaders are saying."
Sir Keir said he wanted Mr Johnson to set out how he will get the NHS Test and Trace system to operate properly and explain how areas which are subjected to local restrictions are able to get out of those measures.
"The tier system is the first part of what we need to hear from the Prime Minister, but there's a lot more than that we need to hear this afternoon," he said.
People have had 'false sense of security', expert says
Professor Sir Robert Lechler, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said the pandemic is entering a "really difficult phase and everybody is extremely fatigued".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he is satisfied that bars and restaurants are sites of transmission.
"I'm not privy to the data itself because I'm not a member of Sage, but what I understand, from people like Chris Whitty, is that there is emerging evidence that hospitality venues are sites of transmission.
"And certainly, when you see the televised images of the close mixing of people without any kind of protective masks and so on, it seems intuitively rather likely, I think, that that also is the case."
He said people potentially have had a sense of "false security", adding that the second wave now being seen will put the NHS under pressure.
He said the NHS "getting swamped" is a "very bad outcome" due to the knock-on effect on managing other clinical conditions, adding that he believes the restrictions announced today are "absolutely necessary".
Turkey will include asymptomatic patients in its official figures
The Telegraph's Middle East correspondent James Rothwell says that Turkey has announced it will include patients without symptoms in its official coronavirus figures, following claims that the country was trying to play down the true scale of the infection rate.
"We will start [releasing all the numbers] on 15th,” Fahrettin Koca, the Turkish health minister, told Hurriyet News.
"We will share the cross sectional screening results even though they show no symptoms. We will report these to the World Health Organisation."
It comes after an opposition MP and the mayors of two Turkish cities raised doubts over the accuracy of the official coronavirus figures, which did not tally with their own local records on the infection and mortality rate.
Murat Emir, a member of the Republican People’s Party, said he had obtained a Turkish health ministry document which stated there were more than 29,000 positive coronavirus tests on September 10, while the public figure was only 1,512.
“If this document is true, it is time to explain the truth to our people,” Mr Ermir said at the time.
As of this week, Turkey has recorded 336,000 coronavirus cases in total, of which the majority have recovered, and around 8,800 deaths.
MPs will be given vote on new restrictions
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has denied the Government has been panicked into imposing unnecessary new coronavirus controls.
He said MPs will have an opportunity to vote on the new restrictions on Tuesday.
"We are certainly not panicking. We are taking reasonable and proportionate measures because we can see the risk coming down the line," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"It is sadly the case that the number of deaths tends to lag the number of infections. If you look at the lead indicators - both the number of infections and now sadly the number of people that are in hospitals with Covid - all of those point to a rapidly rising disease. The path is very clear."
Mr Dowden said the case for new restrictions on the hospitality sector is supported by the Government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.
"We know there are challenges around hospitality - for example, the obvious point you can't wear a mask when you are sat down and eating, that frequently you are in contact (with people) that you don't normally meet, and we know that the virus thrives on that kind of social interaction."
Furlough offer not fair, says economic advisor
Night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "When the UK went down into national lockdown it was 80% furlough. But now, if you live in the north and work in hospitality, you will see 67 per cent.
"It doesn't make sense, it's not fair, and for us, and for many, many other operators, it feels reckless and like we're thrown under the bus."
He said it is "far safer, in our opinion" to go to a pub where there are restrictive measures in place, rather than people ending up at house parties.
He added: "Whoever's making these knee-jerk decisions in the Government are not dealing with operators because we saw what happened with the curfew and, by leaking that news that came out on Wednesday, what do you think happened in the city centres across the UK this weekend? On Saturday night it was like New Year's Eve."
Trouble brewing in Liverpool
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said on Twitter: "Let's be clear that having ignored my pleas for over a month, the Government now blame us, and impose 'lockdown by diktat' without a full financial package and support for businesses we are levelling down not levelling up.
"We will continue to stand up for our local businesses."
Meanwhile, Steve Rotheram, metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said his priority is to secure a support package for businesses affected by the new restrictions.
"We are told that the order will be placed before Parliament today, there will be some debate tomorrow, but that the orders are likely to be enacted on Wednesday," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Let’s be clear that having ignored my pleas for over a month, the Government now blame us, and impose “lockdown by diktat” without a full financial package and support for businesses we are levelling down not levelling up. We will continue to stand up for our local businesses.— Joe Anderson (@mayor_anderson) October 12, 2020
"What we are trying to do is to see whether we can get support and the support package for the businesses in our city region that will be affected by the Government's decision."
Mr Rotheram said there is little they can do to challenge the decision.
"We were told we were going into Tier 3, no ifs, no buts. We can either expend energy on that or we can try and get a better deal," he said.
"Some people like to shout at the wind but if they can't change the direction of the wind it is important to shield people from its effects."
Air travel still in dire conditions
Heathrow's passenger numbers were down 81 per cent in September, figures published by the airport show.
Just 1.3 million people travelled through the west London airport last month, compared with 6.8 million in September 2019.
More than half of the passengers who used Heathrow last month were flying to or from the European Union.
Heathrow said long-haul business travel continues to be restricted by international border closures and "a lack of testing" for Covid-19.
Last week, the Government unveiled a taskforce to develop a coronavirus testing system as a potential way of easing quarantine restrictions for arriving passengers.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: "The Government's Global Travel Taskforce is a great step forward, but needs to act quickly to save the millions of UK jobs that rely on aviation.
"Implementing 'test and release' after five days of quarantine would kickstart the economy.
"But the Government could show real leadership by working with the US to develop a common international standard for pre-departure testing that would mean that only Covid-free passengers are allowed to travel from high-risk countries."
Elsewhere, British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz has been shown the door as the airline struggles to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
The carrier's parent company, IAG, announced that he has stepped down after four-and-a-half years in the role.
He has been replaced by Sean Doyle, who is the boss of another IAG airline, Aer Lingus.
New polling suggests support for local lockdowns
A new Ipsos MORI poll has found that seven in ten (73 per cent) Britons support local lockdowns in areas where coronavirus is rising and 68 per cent of people support implementing local lockdowns where they live if needed.
Support remains strong for the “rule of six” and six in ten people would also support banning all travel in and out of the country.
There is +6 net support for closing all restaurants, pubs and bars and when it comes to a full national lockdown the public are split, with 43 per cent supporting and 40 per cent opposing the idea.
The British public strongly support the majority of current measures, including face masks in shops and public transport (81 per cent), the two week quarantine from countries with a high number of cases and encouraging people to work from home (both 76 per cent) and local lockdowns (75 per cent).
The majority of the British public trust scientists (60 per cent), but this falls to 50 per cent when asked about their level of trust for scientists advising the UK Government, down 5 percentage points since August.
University students could get refunds
Students are "paying for what's called 'learning outcomes'" says Prof Dame Nancy Rothwell, President & Vice Chancellor, Uni of Manchester .
"At the end of the year, if you have not met those learning outcomes, you will have a case for a refund."
She has blamed outbreak at the university on a "minority who didn't follow the rules."
More than 1,000 students have tested positive, most of them living in halls, plunging thousands of others into isolation.
Dame Nancy added that they have been surprised by “speed and scale” of transmission and says that they could have communicated measures required of students better.
She added however that infection rates were coming down quickly.
"These restrictions are necessary," says SAGE professor
Calum Semple, professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Breakfast: "The science is clear that social distancing is the most effective way of stopping this virus so that's the sort of headline.
"And then, where are the outbreaks happening?
"Well, most of the outbreaks are happening between within and between households and then after that, it's in the retail and hospitality sector.
"So, the major issue here is to focus on the cities and areas with the largest outbreaks and sadly my home city of Liverpool is being hammered at the moment. These restrictions are necessary."
Asked about the specific science underpinning restrictions on hospitality, Prof Semple said: "Alcohol and people's behaviour are well known to be factors that result in relaxation of one's adherence to regulations, let's put it politely.
"And so I can understand why this move is happening."
Lockdown tier details still being finalised
Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool city region, said discussions on new measures expected to be announced today had been going on "all night".
He told BBC Breakfast: "We're still continuing to try and find the fine detail that will give us some comfort that, one, we can go to our nearly two million residents in the Liverpool city region and explain to them what it is that we've negotiated on their behalf, but also we wanted some surety from national government that if we hit some of the milestones we can come out of Tier 3 very quickly."
He said test and trace with "much more local control", issues around enforcement and "one or two other packages of support" around capacity for local authorities are already "in the bag" but that other details are being worked out.
He said there is a "sunset clause" after four weeks of restrictions, measuring progress, but the meaning of that is not yet known.
He said: "We want to know what are those measures, how can we ensure that we measure progress against them and how quickly can we come out the other side?"
He added: "I think that they (the Government) haven't yet bottomed out all of the detail."
New rules could be in place through Christmas
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said that tough new coronavirus restrictions may be needed until after Christmas.
Boris Johnson is due to set out a new three-tier system of controls for England in the Commons later on Monday.
Mr Dowden told Sky News: "If those measures are successful we hope to be able to take areas out of those high levels of restrictions.
"The purpose of doing this is to ensure we get the virus under control so by the time that we get through to after Christmas we are in that position where it is under control.
"Indeed I hope it will be sooner than that."
"The point of moving to this tiered-system is so that in those highly affected areas we've got measures in place to control the virus."— SkyNews (@SkyNews) October 12, 2020
Culture Sec @OliverDowden says he hopes new restrictions will "get the virus under control" before January.#KayBurley https://t.co/uqFkxjIl0D pic.twitter.com/2c4fYMMDZs
He also made clear the Government will resist any legal challenge to close down pubs and restaurants under new coronavirus controls.
Mr Dowden said: "I think they will find that if they challenge the Government we do have robust evidence for doing this.
"The evidence shows that there is a higher risk of transmissions in hospitality settings. There is academic evidence from the United States."
Virus can survive for four weeks on phone screens, researchers claim
The virus responsible for Covid-19 can survive for up to four weeks on surfaces including banknotes and mobile phone screens, researchers have claimed.
Australia's national science agency CSIRO found the virus was "extremely robust" at 20C (68F), or room temperature, and survived for less time at hotter temperatures.
The research involved drying virus in an artificial mucus on different surfaces, at concentrations similar to those reported in samples from infected patients and then re-isolating the virus over a month.
The study was also carried out in the dark, as research has demonstrated direct sunlight can rapidly inactivate the virus.
Dr Debbie Eagles, deputy director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, said: "Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 can remain infectious on surfaces for long periods of time, reinforcing the need for good practices such as regular handwashing and cleaning surfaces.
"At 20 degrees Celsius, which is about room temperature, we found that the virus was extremely robust, surviving for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as glass found on mobile phone screens and plastic banknotes.
"For context, similar experiments for Influenza A have found that it survived on surfaces for 17 days, which highlights just how resilient SARS-CoV-2 is."
The findings, published in Virology Journal, suggest the virus survives longer on smooth surfaces such as glass, stainless steel and vinyl, compared to porous surfaces such as cotton.
Hotels appeal to Sturgeon to relax alcohol ban
The owners and managers of more than 100 Scottish hotels have warned Nicola Sturgeon that thousands of jobs will be lost unless she immediately relaxes a ban on serving guests alcohol.
In a letter to the First Minister, they warned of a "damaging drop in revenues" to the stricken industry and said future guests are already starting to cancel bookings.
The hotels concluded: "We are talking about trying to survive, not about profitability.
"Without this small change in your policy, there will be thousands more job losses in the coming month.”
Read the full story here.
Asia attempts to create travel bubbles
The Telegraph's Asia correspondent Nicola Smith says Asian countries are contemplating a complicated network of regional travel bubbles to help boost their economies after months of border closures:
Hong Kong has initiated talks with 11 jurisdictions, including Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, on a travel bubble under pressure from the tourism industry which has called for residents to be allowed quarantine-free travel.
Thailand's Foreign Ministry said it had reached out to Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong to negotiate special travel arrangements.
Singapore already has green channels with China and South Korea and has now announced that a reciprocal green lane between Singapore and Indonesia will begin on October 26, the Straits Times reported on Monday.
Australia on Friday will open its borders for the first time since March to allow travel from New Zealand, and is also considering the creation of travel bubbles with other low-risk countries including Singapore, Japan and South Korea.
Airline takes mask message to a whole new level
Indonesia’s national airline Garuda has shown its support for the government’s “Let’s Wear Mask” campaign.
"The total number of aircraft that will use the masked livery are about five fleets," Garuda announced this month.
"These special aircraft will serve domestic flight routes as well as international flight routes."
India records one million cases in just 13 days
India's total coronavirus cases rose by 66,732 in the past 24 hours to 7.12 million on Monday morning, data from the health ministry showed.
Deaths from infections rose by 816 to 109,150.
India's coronavirus case load topped seven million on Sunday and the country has added a million cases in just 13 days.
It has the second-highest number of infections, behind the United States which is approaching the eight million mark.
Chinese city to test millions of people over five days
China's Qingdao city will conduct Covid tests for the entire population of more than nine million people over five days after new cases appeared linked to a hospital treating imported infections.
The city reported six new cases and six asymptomatic cases late on Sunday. Most of the cases were linked to the Qingdao Chest Hospital.
Daily infections in mainland China have fallen drastically from peaks early this year, but the country remains on high alert to prevent painful lockdowns that led to an outright contraction of the world's No. 2 economy.
Qingdao has already locked down Qingdao Chest Hospital as well as the emergency department of its central hospital.
Buildings that the infected individuals live in have also been locked down as part of the virus containment measures.
The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China is now 85,578, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.
PM calls last orders for the North
Boris Johnson will on Monday unveil tough new regional lockdowns that are expected to see hundreds of pubs in the north-west of England closed for four weeks from 5pm on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister is expected to signal that six boroughs in Liverpool, covering 1.6 million people, could be the first to be placed in the highest tier of new restrictions.
Pubs, gyms, casinos, bookmakers and social clubs will be shut for at least a month and up to six months.
The regions deemed at highest risk could also face bans on households mixing indoors and outdoors, on overnight stays outside their area and on all but essential travel for work or education in or beyond the region.
Donald Trump declares: 'It looks like I'm immune'
US President Donald Trump on Sunday declared himself immune to Covid-19 and ready for a fight as his White House race against surging rival Joe Biden enters its critical final weeks.
Mr Trump's doctors gave him the all-clear on Saturday to return to the campaign trail after he was ruled no longer a coronavirus transmission risk. On Sunday, while calling in to a campaign event, he said that he tested "totally negative".
But he has yet to be declared virus-free, and his immunity claim is unproven.
"It looks like I'm immune for, I don't know, maybe a long time and maybe a short time, it could be a lifetime, nobody really knows, but I'm immune," Mr Trump said.
"The word immunity means something, having really a protective glow.
"So now you have a president who doesn't have to hide in a basement like his opponent."
But it is not yet clear to what degree contracting Covid-19 offers immunity; with early studies suggesting a few months while newer ones have indicated it could last longer.
Twitter on Sunday hid a tweet from Mr Trump in which he claimed he was immune, saying the post violated its rules about misleading and potentially harmful misinformation.
Fauci praise used 'out of context' to support Trump
Top government scientist Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that an ad aired by Donald Trump's reelection campaign was edited to make him seem to endorse the President's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
"In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate," Dr Fauci, the long-time director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said.
The 30-second campaign ad cites Mr Trump's personal experience with the virus: "President Trump is recovering from the coronavirus, and so is America." It then includes a brief clip in which Dr Fauci appears to praise the President's response to the pandemic.
"I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more," Dr Fauci is shown as saying, creating the clear impression he is referring to Mr Trump.
In his statement on Sunday, Dr Fauci said, "The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials."
They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a “phenomenal” job, according to certain governors. Many people agree...And now come the Vaccines & Cures, long ahead of projections! https://t.co/ANqKL4eBqJ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2020
Mr Trump defended the clip, and his handling of the pandemic, and rebutted the doctor's criticism.
"They are indeed Dr Fauci's own words. We have done a 'phenomenal' job, according to certain governors," the President wrote in a tweet.
Read the full story here.
Revealed: 'Doomsday graph' v reality
It was perhaps the most notorious graph of the pandemic so far – a stark warning of 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October unless ministers placed new restrictions on daily life.
Presented by Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, the graph showed that case numbers could double every week, with deaths growing past 200 a day.
"If – and that's quite a big if – but if that [rising cases] continues unabated, and this grows, doubling every seven days, you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October per day," he said.
However the latest figures show that the true acceleration of Covid has fallen far short of his doomsday scenario.
Today's top stories
Boris Johnson will on Monday unveil tough new regional lockdowns that are expected to see hundreds of pubs in the north-west of England closed for four weeks from 5pm on Wednesday
From Monday the Government will introduce a new system of “Local Covid Alert Levels” in England - more commonly known as the three-tier system, which will see different parts of the country placed in different categories dependent on rates of infection
Researchers in Australia have found that coronavirus can remain infectious on an array of surfaces for 28 days, which suggests the virus can survive far longer than previously believed
Commuters could face a chilly winter on trains as the industry is set to recommend windows are kept open to prevent the spread of coronavirus
The Government must lift the secrecy surrounding the "opaque" body guiding the local lockdowns enforced on millions of people across the country, senior MPs and scientists have said
Home workers who develop bad backs from working at their kitchen tables are being offered video Zoom calls with health and safety inspectors to check they are working safely
Twitter has censured Donald Trump after he claimed he was immune from coronavirus. The social media giant said Mr Trump had "violated the Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19"