Great Britain

Coronavirus live as Boris Johnson faces pressure over 'road-map out of lockdown'

Financial support package agreed for Warrington

Warrington’s Labour council leader Russ Bowden defended the deal done with the government as the authority entered Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

He admitted that “we went in with a larger ask than what we got from government” but denied it had been a “case of rolling over”.

Warrington council will receive a financial support package of £1.68 million to help contact-tracing and enforcement, as well as £4.2 million in business support from the government.

Mr Bowden told ITV’s Good Morning Britain:

Ultimately we had to make a call whether or not to accept that, that’s what a negotiation is about.

We have got a good deal for the people of Warrington, we have got promises for further funding that will come out in due course.

This was the right decision to make. Sometimes they are tough ones, you don’t always get what you ask for, but I can absolutely assure the people of Warrington that we have got them a good deal.

Greater Manchester has a new coronavirus hotspot

Atherton South West has emerged as Greater Manchester’s new coronavirus hotspot.

Public Health England figures show there were 78 positive cases recorded in the area, near Wigan, during the week ending October 21.

With an infection rate of 961.2 cases per 100,000 people, it was the worst affected place in the region over the seven day period.

The areas of Greater Manchester with the highest infection rates in the week ending October 21
The areas of Greater Manchester with the highest infection rates in the week ending October 21 (Image: Datawrapper)

The next highest rate was recorded in Astley Bridge & Waters Meeting, in Bolton, where 84 people tested positive at a rate of 958 per 100,000.

Full report here.

Results from Covid-19 testing programme shows antibody response to virus reduces over time

Findings from the largest antibody testing programme in the country suggests that our antibody response to Covid-19 reduces over time after infection.

Over 365,000 randomly selected adults tested themselves at home using a finger prick test between June 20 and 28 September to check if they had antibodies against Covid-19.

During this time period, the proportion of people who tested positive for antibodies declined by 26.5 per cent.

Researchers say this suggests that antibodies reduce in the weeks or months after a person is infected with the virus.

The study was conducted by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI, and is the largest Covid-19 antibody testing programme so far.

More here.

Covid rates in Warrington and Nottingham

The rate of coronavirus cases in Nottingham fell from 726.6 in the seven days to October 15 to 464.4 in the week to October 22, with 1,546 new cases.

The city had the highest Covid-19 rate in the country in the seven days to October 15, but was 22nd on a list of local authority areas by rate of new cases in the seven days to October 22.

Nottingham, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe Council areas are set to move into Tier 3 from Thursday.

In Warrington, however, cases rose from 343.3 to 395.2 per 100,000 people over the same period, with 830 new cases.

Warrington is in Tier 3 from Tuesday.

Boris Johnson is under pressure from scores of Conservative MPs to reveal a “road-map out of lockdown” as more people in England come under the toughest coronavirus restrictions.

The Prime Minister has been warned by a group of 55 Tory backbenchers representing northern constituencies that the pandemic is threatening his election pledge to “level-up” the country.

By the end of the week, 8.2 million people in England – predominantly in the North – will be under the most stringent Covid-19 restrictions.

Warrington along with Nottingham and boroughs of Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe are the latest areas to be placed into Tier 3, joining the Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Yorkshire.

The North-South divide has sparked concern, with the newly-formed Northern Research Group writing to the Prime Minister to express their fears.

The group – led by former northern powerhouse minister Jake Berry – urged Mr Johnson to set out a “clear road-map” out of lockdown restrictions.

Mr Berry said: “The virus has exposed in sharp relief the deep structural and systemic disadvantage faced by our communities and it threatens to continue to increase the disparity between the North and South still further.

“Our constituents have been some of the hardest hit by this virus with many losing jobs, businesses, and livelihoods.

“Never has there been a more pertinent and urgent political and economic case to support people living in the North.

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“However, instead of moving forwards on our shared ambitions, the cost of Covid and the virus itself threatens to send the North into reverse.”

A Number 10 spokesman said: “We are absolutely committed to levelling up across the country and building back better after coronavirus.

“We stood at the last election on a solemn promise that we would improve people’s lives, and although the pandemic has meant 2020 is not the year we all hoped it would be, our ambitions for the country are unchanged.”

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