Coronavirus UK news – Covid cases 'OUT OF CONTROL' with Britain facing 'unbelievably serious situation', minister warns

CORONAVIRUS is "out of control" in northern England, a government minister has warned.

Gillian Keegan, minister for skills and apprenticeships, said the country was now facing an "unbelievably serious situation" and desperately needed the new restrictions the government are bringing in.

Her sentiment was echoed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock who warned the country was at a "perilous moment" in its fight against coronavirus with hospital admissions in parts of Britain now doubling every two weeks.

Mr Hancock told NHS leaders he was "very worried" about the growth in new Covid-19 cases in northern England, as well as in Wales, Scotland, northern Ireland and parts of Yorkshire.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    GDP UP IN AUGUST

    The UK economy grew again in August, new figures show.

    Gross National Product (GDP) was up by 2.1% during the month, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    It was the fourth consecutive month of growth, after the economy took a serious hit during the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    But it is less than half of what experts had expected, and a major slowdown since July.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    WHAT LOCKDOWN TIER ARE YOU?

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    ECONOMIC DAMAGE TO THE NORTH WILL BE ‘DEEP AND LASTING’

    Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has warned “the damage to the economy of the North will be deep and lasting” if the Government does not extend the furlough scheme.

    Reacting to the news that 465 jobs are set to be lost at Manchester Airport, he tweeted: “The Government's line is that these jobs are 'not viable'. I say that they are.

    “(Without) an extension to the main furlough scheme, the damage to the economy of the North will be deep and lasting.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    RISHI TO ANNOUNCE NEW JOB SUPPORT

    The Chancellor is to announce further support for jobs and businesses affected by coronavirus shutdowns amid calls to help the hardest-hit industries and regions.

    Rishi Sunak will detail “the next stage” of the Jobs Support Scheme on Friday, ahead of new restrictions expected for the hospitality sector.

    Cities in northern England and other areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases may have pubs and restaurants closed among measures to combat the spread.

    A Treasury spokeswoman said: “The Chancellor will be setting out the next stage of the Job Support Scheme later today, that will protect jobs and provide a safety net for those businesses that may have to close in the coming weeks and months.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    NEWSPAPER LEAKS ‘CORROSIVE’

    Business minister Nadhim Zahawi has said “leaks” to newspapers over upcoming coronavirus restrictions are “corrosive”.

    He told Sky News: “I think you will agree with me that these leaks are completely counterproductive.

    “You're doing a disservice to the service by speculation and leaks, I think that's wrong. I think the right thing to do is to wait for the decision that the Government will always make sure we attempt to do in a co-ordinated way with the local teams.

    “I can promise you that this minister, or no minister, would actually instruct any member of staff to go out and actually brief this stuff out.

    “This is really bad that people are leaking this stuff and I hope that whoever's doing this will stop because actually it's counterproductive, it's confusing and it's corrosive.”

  • Tariq Tahir

    PUBS CLOSURE 'BASED ON DODGY DATA'

    MPs have accused ministers of using data from fewer than 100 pubs to justify pub closures, it was reported.

    Boris Johnson is facing a growing backlash over his plan to close Northern pubs and restaurants despite a series of grim warnings from government advisers.

    Public Health England data was reportedly derived from contact tracing data referring to just 98 pubs and 67 cafes and restaurants.

  • Tariq Tahir

    INDIA NOW HAS NEARLY 7 MILLION CASES

    India has reported another 70,496 new infections in the past 24 hours, taking the country’s total since the pandemic began to more than 6.9 million.

    The Health Ministry on Friday also reported 964 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 106,490.

    Since the pandemic began India has reported the second most total cases in the world behind the United States.

    Health experts have warned that congregations during major festivals later this month and in November have the potential for the virus to spread.

  • Tariq Tahir

    PRIVATE SCHOOLS PANDEMIC COUNSELLING BETTER

    Private schools are more likely to provide pupils with mental health counselling in the wake of the pandemic than state schools in less affluent areas, according to a think tank.

    Fewer state schools appear to be offering support services for students, like on-site counselling and parental schemes, than a decade ago, an IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) report suggests.

    But the IPPR said three in four of teachers in private schools said pupils had access to on-site mental health support, such as a counsellor.

    That's compared to 48% of teachers in state schools located in the least affluent areas.

  • Elizabeth Little

    SCOTS FLOCK FOR FINAL HURRAH

    Scots have flocked to pubs and bars for a final hurrah tonight before the 16-day booze ban comes into place tomorrow.

    Revellers have been spotted in Edinburgh necking last orders, with massive queues snaking around some of the bars in the city.

    The Scottish First Minister has outlined tough new booze bans for the next two weeks to curb the rise in infections – as the UK-wide infection rate for Covid-19 doubled in a week.

    It comes as Scotland recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the first time.

    The Department of Health says there have been a further 14,162 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK – with 70 deaths.

  • Elizabeth Little

    TRUMP DOCTOR ANTICIPATES PRESIDENT’S RETURN

    White House physician Sean Conley says that President Donald Trump “has responded extremely well to treatment” and that he will “return to public engagements” on Saturday.

    The doctor said: “Saturday will be day 10 since Thursday’s diagnosis…I fully anticipate the president’s safe return to public engagements at that time.”

  • Elizabeth Little

    NORTH HOSPITALITY CLOSURES 'LIKE A GUILLOTINE ABOUT TO DROP'

    Hospitality workers in the North of England are demanding clarity from the government after being told they face closure from Monday. 

    As he oversaw lunch service at the Art School restaurant in Liverpool, Paul Askew said: “It feels like the guillotine is about to drop.“

    The venue is serving a fraction of its normal customers and says it in desperate need of knowing what the government has planned.

    The head chef said: ”I liken it to a death by a thousand cuts at the moment.”

    “And what's most annoying is that we're not being told this by the prime minister – it's anonymous briefings to the papers – we need and deserve better leadership than this.”

  • Elizabeth Little

    BRAZIL CONFIRMS 27,750 NEW COVID-19 CASES

    Brazil has registered 27,750 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 5,028,444, the health ministry said.

    Reported deaths have also risen by 729 to 148,957, the second highest death toll in the world.

  • Elizabeth Little

    ITALY INTRODUCES COMPULSORY COVID-19 TEST FOR BRIT TOURISTS

    Italy has introduced compulsory Covid-19 testing for UK visitors.

    Minister of health Roberto Speranza announced that arrivals from European countries “at greater risk for coronavirus” – such as the UK, France and Spain – must provide evidence of a negative test taken in the 72 hours prior to travel.

    Visitors unable to provide proof of a negative result at the border have to take a test in Italy.

    Anyone who tests positive is quarantined until two consecutive negative results are recorded.

  • Elizabeth Little

    HOLLAND DECLARED COVID-19 HOTSPOT

    Holland has become one of the world's Covid-19 hotspots after refusing to bring in face mask regulations and its testing system failing to meet demands.

    Prime Minister Mark Rutte has repeatedly said he has no intention of forcing people to wear a mask – despite the World Health Organisation calling it one of the key tools to stop the virus.

    In the last month, a surge in new coronavirus cases has catapulted the per capita infection rate into the top 10 in the world, with a weekly infection rate of around 160 per 100,000 people.

    On Wednesday, the Dutch parliament was debating an emergency law that would give government the power to make masks mandatory in public places if it chose to, as the daily rate of new infections reached a new record high of nearly 5,000. 

  • Elizabeth Little

    ILLEGAL BOAT RAVE IN LONDON

    Bouncers at a packed illegal boat rave made clubbers delete the NHS Track and Trace app before boarding.

    The illicit boat party in North London last week was advertised to punters over WhatsApp, with the location revealed just hours in advance.

    Ravers were given a strict list of rules to follow – which included deleting the coronavirus tracking app from phones.

    Obtained by The Mirror, the message said: “You must (have) deleted trace and test NHS App.

    “If you haven't before you (have) reached the location you will get banned as you will cause serious trouble to us.”

    Another rule warns: “Staff will put a sticker on your mobile phone's camera upon entry.

    “Removing the sticker and/or recording any footage in or outside the venue will result in (you) being kicked out with no chance of re-entry.”

    Read more on this here.

  • Elizabeth Little

    ALLEGRA STRATTON TO LEAD NO. 10 BRIEFINGS

    Former journalist Allegra Stratton has today been appointed as Boris Johnson’s press secretary to front No 10's new daily televised press briefings.

    The daily updates, similar to the format used by the White House in the United States, will start next month.

    Boris Johnson has said the briefings will allow the public more “direct engagement” with the government.

    Since April, Stratton has been working alongside Rishi Sunak as the chancellor’s director of communications, helping him launch key economic coronavirus policies such as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

  • Elizabeth Little

    ITALY CONFIRMS OVER 4,000 NEW COVID CASES

    Italy has recorded 4,458 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours.

    It is the first time the country has exceeded 4,000 cases in a single day since mid-April.

  • Elizabeth Little

    OVER 80% OF PEOPLE WHO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 HAVE NO SYMPTOMS

    Most people who test positive for the coronavirus do not have symptoms at the time samples are taken, according to new research.

    Data suggests 86% of people who tested positive in a national coronavirus survey in the UK had none of the core symptoms of the disease the day they took the test – a cough, a temperature or a loss of taste or smell.

    The results have led to warnings that future Covid-19 outbreaks will be hard to control without more widespread testing in the community to pick up “silent spreaders”.

  • Elizabeth Little

    CITY WITH HIGHEST COVID-19 RATE IN ENGLAND

    Nottingham now has the highest weekly rate of new coronavirus cases in England.

    More than 2,000 cases were recorded in the city in one week – the equivalent of 689.1 cases per 100,000 people.

    It also emerged that the city would learn what stricter Covid-19 rules would be imposed on Monday.

  • Elizabeth Little

    PARIS HOSPITALS PUT IN EMERGENCY MODE

    Hospitals in the Paris region have moved into emergency mode, cancelling staff holidays and postponing non-essential operations, as coronavirus patients made up close to half of all patients in intensive care units (ICUs).

    It comes as the health ministry on Thursday reported more than 18,000 new confirmed cases for the second day in a row.

    Nationwide, the number of people in intensive care rose by 11 to 1,427.

  • Elizabeth Little

    FEARS FOR PARTY WEEKEND AHEAD OF NEW RESTRICTIONS

    Nottingham City Council has revealed fears of a 'party weekend' ahead of new coronavirus restrictions.

    The city, which has become the latest coronavirus hotspot in the UK, is set to believed to face more restrictions on Monday.

    Councillor David Mellen made calls for the government to “let us get on with taking the action ourselves” as cases continued to spike.

    The council has said they now fear people may see the weekend as “the last chance before Christmas” to have a party.

  • Elizabeth Little

    NO PLAN TO IMPOSE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IN FRANCE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

    France’s health minister has said there are no plans to impose travel restrictions during the forthcoming mid-term school holidays.

    Olivier Véran made the announcement, despite record levels of daily new Covid-19 infections.

    Véran said: “We have not taken the decision to limit the travel from one town to another.”

  • Elizabeth Little

    NORTHERN IRELAND COVID FINE HIKE

    An increase in Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 fines and extension of places where face coverings are mandatory will be considered by Stormont ministers later.

    Justice minister Naomi Long is expected to present the outcome of a rapid review into penalties and enforcement of the coronavirus regulations at an executive meeting today.

    It is understood a proposal to increase the fine that accompanies a fixed-penalty notice for a rule breach will go from £60 to £200.

  • Elizabeth Little

    BRITAIN’S HOMELESS UNDER COVID WINTER THREAT

    Britain's homeless face a deadly winter risk of freezing weather and deadly coronavirus, advocates have warned the government.

    In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 18 charities and organisations called for a repeat of the Everyone In scheme that housed almost 15,000 people during the pandemic, as jobless figures rise and evictions loom.

    Jon Sparkes, chief executive of homeless charity, Crisis, said: “The Everyone In scheme saw unprecedented efforts to protect people, and undoubtedly saved lives – this must be repeated.”

  • Elizabeth Little

    GLOBAL RECORD RISE IN COVID CASES

    The World Health Organization has reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Thursday.

    The total number of confirmed cases increased by 338,779 in 24 hours.

    Deaths rose by 5,514 to a total of 1.05 million.

    The previous WHO record for new cases was 330,340 on 2 October.

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