Great Britain

Coronavirus UK news – Cops told to back down over threats to break up Christmas as France goes into a second lockdown

COPS have been told to back down after threatening to break up Christmas family gatherings.

Tory MPs have urged ministers to halt the heavy-handed approach to the festive season after a furious backlash.

Former party leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “It’s time for the Government to stand down these jobsworth Christmas turkeys.”

All of England could face tough Tier 3 restrictions by Christmas as coronavirus cases continue to soar, scientists have warned.

This comes as French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that the country would be going into a second national lockdown.

It will kick in on Friday morning until December 1 and are considered to be 'more flexible' than the country's first lockdown, with all public services, schools and essential workplaces to remain open.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates...

  • 174 MORE DEATHS IN ENGLISH HOSPITALS

    There have been 174 more coronavirus deaths in English hospitals.

    Patients were aged between 33 and 102 years old. All except four (aged 61 to 87 years old) had known underlying health conditions.

    Date of death ranges from 27 March to 27 October 2020, with the majority being on or after 20 October.

    Their families have been informed.

  • BURNHAM: MANCHESTER FEARS BEING TRAPPED IN TIER 3 FOR REST OF WINTER

    Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says he fears that his region will be under the strictest Covid-19 restrictions until the end of the winter.

    The Labour mayor said there appears to be no clear exit route for Manchester, and has once again called for a “circuit breaker” lockdown.

    When asked by Sky News presenter Kay Burley whether he saw a way out of the restrictions, Mr Burnham replied: “No, it's not at all clear and this is one of our

    frustrations and I'm sure it's felt in Liverpool and Sheffield as well.

    “The exit route isn't clear and as I’ve been saying the experts don’t think what we’ve got at the moment will produce the drop in cases to enable us to exit tier three.

    “So the fear is we’re trapped in this situation and could be for the remainder of the winter and that as I say will do a lot of harm to people’s lives and people’s businesses,” he admitted.

  • DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLU AND COVID

    Winter is well and truly on the way and with it comes the seasonal flu.

    The coronavirus is still lingering and experts have urged people to get a flu jab in order to prevent further strain on the NHS this winter.

    Seasonal flu is different to Covid-19 and strains of the flu change every year – which is why is you had a flu jab last year – it won't protect you from this year's strain.

    While symptoms of the flu and the coronavirus differ, the two are also transmitted differently.

    Both are spread through droplets that are omitted which is why measures such as face masks and social distancing are underway.

    Understanding how the two illnesses spread could help you determine which virus you have if you start to feel unwell.

    For more, click here.

  • COVID RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE UNTIL MARCH NEXT YEAR

    Lockdown rules are set to stay in place until March after a three month deadly second peak of the virus, leaked doomsday documents reveal.

    A “reasonable worst case scenario” set out by the Government's Sage group of scientists has warned of a grim winter ahead with 85,000 deaths from coronavirus.

    Sage scientists, led by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, have laid out another horrifying vision for the winter – after the two boffins wrongly claimed there would be 50,000 cases by mid October.

    In a document from the top experts, seen by the Spectator, said they were working on the “core assumption” it would be a “difficult autumn follow by a large winter peak”, with the number of fresh infections doubling every two weeks.

    Lockdown restrictions would have to be slapped on the country to “reduce non-household contacts to half of their normal pre-March 2020 lockdown levels”.

  • COPS CONFIRMED THEY WILL ENFORCE RULE OF 6 ON XMAS

    More police forces have confirmed they will enforce the rule of six on Christmas Day.

    The announcements came as a poll found that a fifth of Brits plan to ignore coronavirus rules over the festive season.

    The Met Police, Greater Manchester Police and Merseyside Police all said they would take actions to stop gatherings larger than six on Christmas “as a last resort”.

    A National Police Chiefs' Council spokesperson said: “We understand that this is a period where people want to be with their loved ones, celebrating this holiday.

    “We police against the regulations that are in law, and everybody has their part to play to help protect local communities and loved ones and we are confident people will adhere to the rules and help us to reduce the risk of transmission.

    “The police's approach remains to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules in the first instance and enforce as a last resort, where there are clear breach of the rules taking place.”

    A Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner spokesperson said: “Enforcement is always a last resort but will be used where necessary.”

  • DAILY COVID DEATHS RISE

    Another 310 Brits have lost their lives to coronavirus as deaths double in just a fortnight – while a further 24,701 people tested positive overnight.

    It's the second consecutive day that deaths have been above 300. A further 367 people were reported to have died with the virus yesterday – the highest number in more than five months.

    Two weeks ago – Wednesday, October 14 – 137 people were recorded to have died, meaning the death rate has more than doubled.

    However, today is the first time the daily number of cases has fallen on the amount recorded the week before since September 28.

  • STURGEON: ‘HOSPITAL DISCHARGES DID NOT CONTRIBUTE TO CARE HOME OUTBREAKS’

    Nicola Sturgeon said the Public Health Scotland report on care homes concludes that allowing for other factors, such as the size of a care home, “hospital discharges were not found to have contributed to a significantly higher risk of an outbreak”.

    Quoting directly from the report, the First Minister said: “The analysis does not find statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks.”

    But she added: “Nothing in it detracts from the tragedy of the deaths that have occurred in care homes over the course of the pandemic, and nothing ever will detract from the heartbreak of those bereaved.”

  • SWEDEN'S DAILY DEATH TOLL FALLS – DESPITE NO NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

    Sweden's seven-day rolling average coronavirus daily death toll has fallen to 0.6 despite the country having no national lockdown.

    But cases surged yesterday to 1,980, the highest since the start of the pandemic.

    Sweden has stood out for not imposing a national lockdown like other European countries, and has so far avoided a large spike wave of deaths in the second wave.

    It comes as the UK and France see their seven-day average death toll hit almost 200.

    On Tuesday, France reported 523 Covid-19 deaths, its highest daily total since April.

    Britain saw another 310 deaths today, the highest daily toll since the end of May as health officials warn the spike in second-wave deaths may continue "for some time".

    And Germany was tonight plunged back into national lockdown with France set to follow suit.

  • GYMS ARE COVID SAFE ACCORDING TO RESEARCHERS

    Keeping gyms and leisure centres open is critical to ensuring the health and wellbeing of communities,

    according to academics who found they pose an extremely low Covid-19 risk.

    Analysis of more than 62 million fitness facility visits across Europe since September has found the average infection rate in gyms, leisure centres and fitness clubs is 0.78 per 100,000 visits.

    The SafeACTiVE study found only 487 positive cases reported from operators based in Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg and the UK.

  • BREAKING – FRANCE ANNOUNCES SECOND LOCKDOWN

    Brits' hopes of a festive reprieve took a huge knock as France and Germany were plunged back into national lockdown.

    Emmanuel Macron tonight imposed four weeks of stricter measures from Friday after French health chiefs admitted the pandemic is now “out of control”. 

    German leader Angela Merkel announced a month-long circuit breaker in the hope it will “save Christmas” for millions of families. 

    Under the new French national lockdown, bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses will close and people will be banned from travelling to different regions.

    Residents can only leave their homes for essential work or medical reasons but schools and workplaces will remain open.

    People must use official passes to leave their homes, as they had to when March's lockdown was imposed.

    In a TV address to the nation the French leader warned: “The second wave will be more deadly than the first.”

  • KATE GARRAWAY'S CORONAVIRUS DOCUMENTARY

    The Good Morning Britain star has had to witness husband Derek Draper battle the illness since March, making him the country’s longest-fighting coronavirus patient.

    And now Kate is going to use her unique position to front an emotional new documentary for ITV, called Still Fighting.

    A source said: “Kate is keen to spread the message about how serious Covid-19 can be and was happy to talk about it if it meant people would take it seriously, as well as updating the thousands of fans who ask daily about Derek’s progress.

    “Kate and her family have had their lives turned upside down by the virus and want to show the effect it’s had on them, but also on others going through the same thing.”

  • NOTTINGHAMSHIRE TO BE PUSHED INTO 'TIER 3 PLUS' WITH EXTRA RULES

    Nottinghamshire will be plunged into a 'TIER 3 plus' lockdown on Friday – with extra new rules including shutting beauty salons, a 9pm booze curfew and even a ban on shisha.

    The area will face the toughest lockdown in the country with a string of new closures and extra rules for 800,000 people.

    It comes as hospitals in the area have been forced to cancel operations and infection rates across the region are spiralling out of control.

    The Tier 3 lockdown will apply to Nottingham, Broxtowe, Gedling, and Rushcliffe, Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Mansfield and Newark and Sherwood, meaning a total of 828,000 people will have tougher restrictions.

    That brings the number of people under extra rules in England to 8.3milion by the weekend.

  • 'SECOND WAVE WILL SEE MORE DEATHS'

    Teams of Government scientists are working on the assumption a second wave of coronavirus will be worse than the first.

    If the analysis of the second wave is correct, it will mean that the coronavirus death toll could stay steady for longer than it did in March and April.

    A source told the Telegraph: “It's going to be worse this time, more deaths.”

  • JOHNSON UNDER PRESSURE TO SAVE CHRISTMAS

    Boris Johnson is under pressure to host a four-way crunch summit to save Christmas amid fears that people WILL break the rules anyway to see their family.

    Leaders have demanded the PM bring the four nations of the UK together to come up with a new blueprint to allow people to spend the holiday period with their loved ones.

    It came as a minister said the rule of six was likely to stay in place by Christmas.

    And gloomy modelling from the Government's scientific advisers warned that everywhere could be under Tier 3 rules – meaning no mixing of households – by the end of the year, effectively cancelling Christmas.

  • SAGE: ‘CASE NUMBERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES’

    Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “The numbers speak for themselves.”

    The Sage member told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “The number of cases is rising very significantly – it was 22,800 on 27 October and the seven-day average was just over 22,000, so there are an awful lot of

    cases.

    “One of the differences of course is that we are better at looking after people with coronavirus now and so hopefully the case fatality rate will be lower than it was in the first wave, but at the end of the day the fatality rate, the number of people who die is a product of the number of people who are infected and their vulnerability.”

    He added: “The numbers of deaths are rising, we can see from other countries. It is for the Government as policy-makers to decide how to manage that.”

  • CHRISTMAS DINNERS COULD BE BROKEN UP IF BREAKING RULES

    Christmas dinners in lockdown areas could be broken up even if they have fewer than six people present – because people aren't allowed to mix between households, the Government said today.

    Cabinet Minister George Eustice said that even if people were in a group of six – which is the national rule – then they may not be able to meet with other households if they are under extra restrictions in Tier 2 and Tier 3.

    The minister said it is “too early to say” how lockdowns could affect festivities, but told LBC this morning: “Obviously if we do need to have restrictions in place, and prevent families from coming together in large gatherings, if that's necessary to control the virus that's what we'll have to do.”

  • BRIGHTON 'VERY CLOSE' TO TIER TWO

    Brighton and Hove is “very close” to the threshold where an escalation to Tier Two would be considered, the chair of the city's health & wellbeing board has said.

    Councillor Sue Shanks added: “It's sensible for Brighton & Hove to start to plan for a move to Tier Two (high alert level) and think about what that would mean to all aspects of life.

    “We do believe that we are very close to the thresholds whereby other regions have started to have those discussions with Government which sees them then escalate to Tier Two.”

  • COUNCILS CONFIRM NOTTS TIER THREE LOCKDOWN

    Newark and Sherwood District Council have confirmed they, alongside Nottingham city and other boroughs in Nottinghamshire, are expected to go into Tier 3 restrictions on Friday at 12.01am.

    In a tweet, the council said: “In response to the increase in infection rates across Nottinghamshire and following a meeting with government this morning, Newark and Sherwood, along with the other Nottinghamshire districts and boroughs and Nottingham City, will move into Tier 3.

    “This is expected to come into force in the early hours of Friday morning (00:01 Friday 30 October).”

  • NO10 ‘UNFLINCHING’ ON PUTTING WEST YORKSHIRE INTO TIER 3

    Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said discussions about West Yorkshire were ongoing but it appeared the Government was “unflinching in their resolve” to place the region into Tier 3.

    She said it was unclear what support would be offered to businesses in the event of a move to the higher tier but the Government had told council leaders it would be a “template package” with no room for negotiation – although ministers had promised to clarify the support package in a further meeting.

    The councillor said she was concerned about rising infection rates, hospitals reaching capacity, vulnerable people contracting the virus, rising mental health issues and people's jobs.

  • 174 MORE DEATHS IN ENGLISH HOSPITALS

    There have been 174 more coronavirus deaths in English hospitals.

    Patients were aged between 33 and 102 years old. All except four (aged 61 to 87 years old) had known underlying health conditions.

    Date of death ranges from 27 March to 27 October 2020, with the majority being on or after 20 October.

    Their families have been informed.

  • FESTIVITIES WILL NOT BE ‘NORMAL’ THIS YEAR

    Government ministers have warned that festivities including Christmas, Bonfire Night and Diwali will not be “normal” this year – but it is unclear exactly what will be allowed.

    As the patchwork of local lockdowns evolves in England and Scotland alongside national measures in Northern Ireland and Wales, the PA news agency considers what this means for celebrations.

  • COVID OUTBREAK AT KENT SCHOOL

    Nearly 800 children won't be allowed back to school after half-term this week because of a 'hugely concerning' COVID outbreak.

    Garlinge Primary School in Margate, Kent, will remain shut for at least a week after the holiday 'to ensure any transmission is completely eradicated'.

    The school, in Westfield Road, which has 796 pupils, has had more than 15 staff and children test positive for the virus.

  • CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

    Christmas dinners in lockdown areas will be broken up even if they have fewer than six people present – because they aren't allowed to mix, the Government said today.

    George Eustice said that even if people were in a group of six – which is the national rule – then they may not be able to meet with other households if they are under extra restrictions in Tier 2 and Tier 3.

    Only people living in Tier 1 will be allowed to have a Christmas with up to five others from other homes, as it currently stands.

    Click HERE to read more

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