Great Britain

Coronavirus UK news latest – More of UK will be in higher tiers after lockdown as PM warns against Christmas complacency

MORE areas of the UK will be in higher tiers after the current lockdown ends, Boris Johnson has said.

It came as the prime minister today confirmed that the country would return to a three-tier system when the lockdown expires on December 2.

He also used the announcement to urge people to think carefully before visiting vulnerable friends and family over the Christmas period.

“T’is the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season to be jolly careful, especially with elderly relatives,” he said.

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news, reaction and updates on the lockdown plans...

  • SWEDISH AMBASSADOR HAILS UK-SWEDEN VACCINE COOPERATION

    Sweden's ambassador to the UK has praised the UK and Sweden's cooperation on the Oxford vaccine.

    The vaccine was developed jointly by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which was formed in 1999 through the merger of Swedish Astra AB and the British Zeneca Group.

    Writing on twitter, Torbjörn Sohlström said: “Encouraging news on the @UniofOxford and @AstraZeneca vaccine.

    “World class UK scientists in partnership with British-Swedish pharma company.”

  • SWISS DOCTORS ASK OVER 60s TO SIGN 'DO NOT RESUSCITATE' FORMS

    Swiss doctors have asked all over 60s and heart patients to sign “do not resuscitate” forms to free up intensive care beds.

    Switzerland has seen its total case count rise from 100,000 a few weeks ago to 300,000 now, with nearly 9,800 new infections each day and the death toll over 4,100.

    The Swiss Society for Intensive Care Medicine called on the “especially imperiled”, including the over 60s or those with conditions like heart disease and diabetes, to put their wishes on paper.

    “This will support your own relatives, but also the teams in the ICUs, as they make decisions so the treatment can be done in the best possible manner according to the individual patient wishes,” the body said in a statement.

    Read the full story here.

  • WHAT IS THE NEW TIER SYSTEM?

    Boris Johnson has confirmed that England will move back to a three-tier system once the current lockdown ends on December 2.

    He also said that more regions across the country would now fall into higher tiers than before.

    The change will see the Rule of Six reintroduced across all tiers but the 10pm curfew moved to 11pm.

    In tier 2, pubs will only be able to serve drinks with food, even outside, while in tier 3, pubs, restaurants, casinos, bowling alleys, soft play areas, museums, galleries, and cinemas will have to stay shut.

    More details here.

  • '£4.8BN BOOST FOR UK MANUFACTURING' FOLLOWING COVID AND BREXIT

    UK factories could produce an additional £4.8billion worth of goods for British retailers over the next 12 months because of the combined impact of coronavirus and Brexit, a report has found. 

    The pandemic has exposed some weaknesses in global supply chains, prompting retailers to look closer to home for suppliers. 

    The risk of tariffs levied following a possible no-deal Brexit has also moved some to look at alternative suppliers based in the UK. 

    The new orders are set to come mostly from the food and fashion sectors, but could also be for DIY and homeware products, the Guardian reports. 

  • GLOBAL DEATHS PASS 1.4MILLION

    The total number of people to have died globally after contracting coronavirus since the start of the pandemic has now passed 1.4million.

    The exact tally on the Worldometer now stands at 1,400,518.

    The worst-hit country has been the US, with 263,480 deaths, while Brazil in second has seen 169,485.

    Third, fourth, and fifth are India, Mexico, and the UK, which have seen 134,251, 101,676, and 55,230 deaths respectively.

  • 'WE MUST BE JOLLY CAREFUL THIS CHRISTMAS', SAYS PM

    The prime minister has said that “Christmas is the season to be jolly”, but that we must be “jolly careful” this year.

    He was speaking at a Downing Street press conference held this evening to discussion the measures that will come into force once England's lockdown ends on December 2.

    “I know that many of us want and need Christmas with our families. We feel that after this year we deserve it,” he said.

    “But this is not the moment to let the virus rip for the sake of Christmas parties.

    “T’is the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season to be jolly careful, especially with elderly relatives.”

  • GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS 15,450 NEW CASES

    The government has confirmed that an additional 15,450 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the UK as of 9am on Monday.

    The figure brings the total number of cases registered since the start of the pandemic to 1,527,495.

    The global total now stands at 59.4million.

  • PM CONCLUDES PRESS CONFERENCE

    The prime minister has now concluded the Number Ten press conference.

    Stay with us for more updates on the pandemic in the UK and around the world.

  • 'NO COMPULSORY VACCINATION'

    The PM says there will be no compulsory vaccination in the UK once vaccines become available.

    “That's not the way we things we do things in this country,” he said.

    “We think it's a good idea. I totally reject the propaganda of the anti-vaxxers. They're wrong.

    “Vulnerable people, people who need a vaccine should definitely get a vaccine, and everybody should get a vaccine as soon as it is available.”

  • MAJORITY 'COULD BE INOCULATED BY EASTER'

    Asked by Robert Peston when the UK could see all restrictions lifted, the PM says: “With a favourable wind, we should be able to inoculate, I believe, on the evidence i'm seeing, the vast majority of the people that need protection by Easter.

    “That will make a very substantial change to where we are at the moment.

    “I don't want to give any more hostages to fortune that that.”

  • VACCINE DISTRIBUTION A 'HUGE LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE', SAYS POLLARD

    Professor Pollard says that distributing vaccines once they are available will be a “huge logistical challenge”.

    But he adds: “There has been a lot of work in the NHS so start preparing for that.”

  • NO PLANS TO CLOSE SCHOOLS EARLY

    Responding to a question from a member of the public, the PM says there are currently no plans to close schools a week early to allow pupils to see vulnerable relatives over Christmas.

    Professor Pollard says he also thinks children should remain in school.

  • HEAD OF OXFORD GROUP HAILS VACCINE

    “It's a very exciting day for us,” says Professor Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group.

    “We're hugely proud of our team in Oxford who have been leading this effort.”

    He added it was important to pay tribute to the 20,000 people around the world, 10,000 of them in the UK, who have taken part in trials.

    The team working on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have said it has proved to be 70 percent effective in trials.

  • 'MASSIVE THANK YOU TO TRIAL VOLUNTEERS', SAYS WITTY

    Chief medical officer Chris Witty issues an “absolutely massive thank you” to people taking part in vaccine trials and other covid studies

    “It is only science that is going to get us out of this hole and people across the UK and contributing enormously to this by volunteering their time [and] volunteering their expertise,” he said.

  • PM WARNS AGAINST 'PREMATURE CELEBRATION'

    “For now, the problem is not a shortage of hope or a lack of optimism,” the PM says.

    “Not with the amazing news that we're getting from the laboratories in this country.

    “The challenge now, as we face this difficult winter ahead, is to fight down any over-optimism, to master any tendency to premature celebration of success.

    “That success will come if we work together to follow the guidance.”

  • THREE TOOLS TO TACKLE VIRUS

    The government will use the “three tools” of tiering, testing, and the roll out of vaccines to tackle the virus once lockdown is lifted, the PM says.

  • MORE REGIONS WILL BE IN HIGHER TIERS THAN PREVIOUSLY

    More regions of the UK will be in higher tiers of the government's three-tier system after lockdown is lifted, says the PM.

    Reports had previously suggested that the restrictions in each tier would also be stricter than previously.

  • UK HAS SECURED 350MILLION VACCINE DOSES, SAYS PM

    The UK has secured 350 million doses of various vaccines, the prime minister says.

    Recent weeks have seen manufacturers including Pfizer and AstraZeneca announce that their trials have performed well in trials.

  • PM ADDRESSES NATION

    Boris Johnson is beginning an address to the nation to lay out plans for measures to replace England's current lockdown on December 2.

    The prime minister was scheduled to begin speaking from Downing Street at 7pm.

    Watch the address live on the Downing Street Youtube channel.

  • PM HAS A WEEK TO CLOSE 'HUGE GAPS' IN COVID PLANS, SAYS STARMER

    Boris Johnson has a week to close huge gaps in his plans for the measures that will replace England's lockdown on December 2, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said.

    Speaking ahead of an address by the prime minister laying out the plans at 7pm tonight, Starmer said: “Labour has backed the prime minister on all the big decisions the government's had to take to protect public health, including the two national lockdowns.

    “We've done so because we want there to be a national consensus on difficult issues like this and because we'll always put public health first.

    “Ideally, I'd like to be in a position to do so again. But there are huge gaps in this plan, huge uncertainties and huge risks.

    “We will await the detail, we want the prime minister to get this right. He's got a week to do so.”

  • NEW RULES 'WILL DESTROY PUB INDUSTRY'

    New rules set to come into force after the end of England's lockdown could destroy the country's pubs, industry leaders have said.

    Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Our sector has been singled out by these new measures which unfairly target pubs.

    “The additional restrictions will destroy our sector if they go ahead as proposed.

    “Whilst the review of curfew is overdue, the relaxation of the 10pm curfew is meaningless if most pubs are rendered unviable or forced to close under Tiers 2 and 3.

    “If these tighter tier restrictions are forced upon us, far more government financial support will be needed to avoid the resulting carnage.”

  • 206 DEATHS ANNOUNCED

    The government has announced that a further 206 people had died as of Monday having tested positive for Covid-19 in the previous 28 days.

    It brings the total number of deaths in the UK since the start of the pandemic to 55,230.

    It comes as the total global death toll approaches 1.4million.

  • THEATRES TO CLOSE IN TOP TIERS

    The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre has said the latest coronavirus measures will have a detrimental impact on the performing arts.

    Theatres will have to close in the top tier of restrictions, and audience capacity limits will be set for venues in tiers where performances are permitted.

    Julian Bird, chief executive of the society, said: “Today's announcement of new restrictions for performing arts venues in all tiers has shaken an already fragile sector.

    “Closure of venues in Tier 3 areas will mean cancellation of pantos and other shows, risking organisations' long-term survival and leaving theatre freelancers adrift with no compensation.

    “The capacity constraints in Tiers 1 and 2 will lead to financial problems for venues and disappointment for audiences.

    “It is unclear why these have been instituted in a sector with no known spread of the virus.”

  • MATT HANCOCK STEPPED IN FOR PM

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock, seated on the front bench, then took the next questions on behalf of the Prime Minister.

    Boris Johnson ruled out imposing restrictions by district rather than region or county after Conservative former minister Damian Green warned him that people will not follow the rules if they are judged to be unfair.

    Mr Green told the Commons: “In the spirit of a wise constituent who told me, 'if the Government imposes stupid rules, we'll all stop obeying the sensible rules as well', can I ask (Mr Johnson) that the new tiers be imposed at a local level, districts rather than counties or regions, because restrictions which people feel are unfair to their particular community will simply not be respected or obeyed – and this in itself will have a damaging effect on our long-term health.”

  • LAUGHTER BROKE OUT IN COMMONS AFTER TECH FAULT

    There was a ripple of laughter in the Commons from MPs following the technical issues.

    Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “Have you pressed the button Prime Minister?”

    He added: “I think we're just going to have to stop for a moment so we can have it checked…

    “We're just checking the sound Prime Minister, we lost your answer. Have you pressed the button by mistake Prime Minister? It's not our end Prime Minister, it could well be yours.”

    The Prime Minister could then be seen moving out of shot on-screen. Sir Lindsay then suspended the Commons for three minutes.

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