Great Britain

Coronavirus UK news – Some Tier 3 areas may not get mass community testing until Jan as gov faces tier rebellion

SOME Tier 3 areas may not get mass community testing until "January and beyond" it has been revealed today.

General Sir Gordon Messenger said he did not yet know how many of the 23 million people going into Tier 3 will be able to access the regime, as “planning is still very much under way”.

He told a Downing Street press conference that capabilities will "sequence over time", adding this will be into "January and beyond".

It comes as the mounting pressure continues to build on the Tory government, which faces a rebellion from within its own ranks as anger over the incoming tier system grows.

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

  • CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER HAILS 'VERY SIGNIFICANT' FALL IN COVID INFECTION RATE

    reland has significantly driven down the rate of coronavirus infection due to good public adherence to restrictions, the chief medical officer said.

    The country will move to Level 3 from Tuesday following a six-week lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

    There has been one more death linked to Covid-19 and an additional 306 confirmed cases.

    Dr Tony Holohan said: “As a consequence of the high levels of adherence on the part of the general public to the measures that are in place we have seen very significant reduction in the burden of infection overall.

    “We have seen significant protection of really essential public services, hospital services first of all, for the most part, although there has been a challenge where there has been specific outbreaks.”

    Figures from the Department of Health show there have been a total of 2,053 coronavirus-related deaths in the country and 72,544 confirmed cases. Numbers in intensive care are stable.

  • CONTINUED

    Downing Street tonight stressed that coronavirus rules apply to celebrities along with everyone else and that enforcement is a matter for the police.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: “It's important that everybody in society sets an example by following the rules – that is for every member of the public, including celebrities.

    “Throughout the pandemic we've been clear that it's vital for everyone to abide by the rules in order to suppress the virus and reduce the transmission, but enforcement matter is for the police.

    “The Prime Minister has been clear of the need for everybody across the country to continue to abide by the rules in order to reduce the transmission of the virus, but it's up to police to decide what action to take.”

    More on the story here.

  • BORIS BLAST

    Boris Johnson has today blasted Rita Ora for not following lockdown rules after her 30th birthday bash.

    Thirty people attended the pop star's secret party at a restaurant in West London on Saturday, sparking a furious backlash.

    The Sun exclusively revealed the hitmaker hosted a party at Notting Hill restaurant Casa Cruz, despite England being in a national Covid lockdown.

    Showbiz pals, including models Cara and Poppy Delevingne, were among those gathered.

    Rita's sister Elena, 32, Towie pal Vas Morgan, 31, and others were seen sneaking through the back exit clutching bottles of alcohol.

    The singer has since apologised for the “inexcusable” gathering and offered to pay a £10,000 fine.

  • AREAS IN TIER 3 MAY NOT GET COMMUNITY TESTING UNTIL 'JANUARY AND BEYOND

    Mass community testing may not be possible “all at once” for areas of England with the toughest coronavirus restrictions, the head of operations for the programme has admitted.

    General Sir Gordon Messenger said he did not yet know how many of the 23 million people going into Tier 3 will be able to access the regime, as “planning is still very much under way”.

    But he told a Downing Street press conference that capabilities will “sequence over time”, adding this will be into “January and beyond”.

    It comes after Boris Johnson signalled last week that mass community testing was the way out of Tier 3 restrictions, referring to the “success story” of Liverpool, where the scheme was piloted.

    In response to a question from the PA news agency on how many people in the toughest tier will be able to access mass community testing, Sir Gordon said he did not yet know how many it will reach.

  • FRANCE PAYS TO FIX A MILLION BIKES TO BEAT CORONAVIRUS

    More than a million French cyclists have used a 50 euro subsidy to get their old bikes repaired as part of measures to fight the coronavirus and now the government wants more people to start riding them.

    Following France's first lockdown in the spring, the government offered subsidies to get old bikes fixed. That programme will now be extended until the end of March following the relaxation of a second lockdown last weekend.

    “After this second lockdown, the government wants to encourage French people to use bicycles to move around,” Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said during a visit to a training centre for bicycle mechanics in Paris on Monday.

    She said about half of the people who got their bikes repaired under the scheme had rarely cycled before.

    “This has put 500,000 people back in the saddle,” she said. But only 3% of French people use their bikes every day and the government wants to triple that number.

    Pompili also announced a new three-year 30 million euro scheme to encourage employers to improve cycling facilities, with financing for 20,000 secure parking spaces.

  • TURKEY TO IMPOSE CURFEW, WEEKEND LOCKDOWN AGAINST CORONAVIRUS

    Turkey will impose a weekday curfew and a full lockdown at weekends to combat the spread of the coronavirus, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, after new cases and deaths hit record highs.

    Citizens will not be allowed to leave home between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays or at all at weekends, Erdogan said.

    Some sectors, including supply chains and production, will be exempt from the measures which will begin on Tuesday, he said.

    “We are taking steps carefully not to turn the health crisis into a full-blown economic and social crisis,” Erdogan said.

    He said transmission in homes had increased and asked people to stop hosting guests until the risk decreases.

    Turkey recorded 31,219 cases on Monday, data from the Health Ministry showed, placing it fourth globally as the highest number of daily new cases.

    It remains behind the United States, India and Brazil – all countries with far larger populations than Turkey.

  • NEARLY THROUGH

    Coronavirus infections are now “back under control” – just as England is set to be plunged into a harsher Tiers system, Matt Hancock said tonight.

    The Health Secretary hailed the latest figures showing case rates going down after the month-long lockdown, just as the nation is about to be shoved into a harsh system of tiers keeping pubs closed and stopping people from seeing friends and family.

    Speaking at the No10 press conference tonight, he claimed that the lockdown has worked in “reducing the pressures on the NHS” and “hope is on the horizon” for Spring.

    He stated: “We've got this virus back under control, I want to thank you for that.”

    And Professor Stephen Powis of NHS England said today that in recent days “we have started to turn the corner” on hospital admissions.

    It takes a couple of weeks before the effects of a national lockdown to be shown, he explained today.

    He added: “It will be the next week or two where we see the full effects come through.”

  • WHO WORRIED COVID 'AMNESIA' WILL LEAD TO ANOTHER PANDEMIC

    The World Health Organisation's top emergency expert said on Monday that the world risked future pandemics if it suffered “amnesia” and did not learn from the current coronavirus crisis.

    “I have seen the amnesia that seems to descend upon the world after a traumatic event, and that's understandable,” Mike Ryan told a briefing in Geneva.

    “But if we do this again like we did after SARS, like we did after H5N1, like we did after H1N1 pandemic, if we continue to ignore the realities of what emerging and dangerous pathogens can do to our civilisation, then we are likely to experience the same or worse again within our lifetimes,” he said.

    Ryan also took a swipe at developed nations, saying that northern countries had been running healthcare systems “like low-cost airlines” and that the world was paying for that now.

    “In the north, because of the cost model for health systems, we have designed our health systems to be delivered at 95%, 98%, at 100% efficiency. It's almost like a low-cost airline model for health service delivery,” he said.

  • HEALTH SECRETARY SAYS SOME AREAS COULD BE MOVED TO LOWER TIER WHEN RULES ARE REVIEWED IN 2 WEEKS

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that some areas could be moved into a lower tier when the rules are reviewed after 14 days.

    “We will look at the data on December 16 and will announce the results of that review on December 17,” he told a No 10 news conference.

    “Of course you've got to take into account that Christmas is coming up, but, nevertheless, with the case rates coming down as they are – coming down by almost third in the last week – then we will be absolutely looking at each area and seeing what is the right tier for that area.

    “I want to see areas that have pulled together, followed the rules, got the case rate down – like Liverpool has over the last month, which has led to it going into Tier 2 – I want to see that happening more broadly.”

  • CONTINUED

    The secret jabs come while Covid victims are starving to death after being abandoned in secret quarantine camps in the rogue regime.

    Coronavirus “quarantine camps” have been purpose-built to house patients in cities near the Chinese border, sources have told Tim Peters, a Christian activist who runs Seoul-based Helping Hands Korea.

    But, he said that those isolated in the camps are not receiving proper medical help, and are cruelly being left to starve to death.

    Kim's self-protective measure also coincide with a report that North Korean cyber criminals are hacking into research firms working hard to develop coronavirus vaccines.

    South Korea’s intelligence agency foiled the regime's attempts to hack into South Korean companies developing jabs.

    Ha Tae-keung, a member of the parliamentary intelligence committee, said Kim had taken “unreasonable” actions due to Covid-19 “paranoia”.

  • SHOT IN THE ARM

    Kim Jong-un has secretly been given a protective coronavirus jab from China as he’s terrified of dying from the bug, it’s been revealed.

    The North Korean leader and “multiple other high-ranking officials within the Kim family and leadership network” have also been vaccinated, say national security experts.

    A report by 1945 says the vaccines were supplied by allies, the Chinese government, according to two Japanese intelligence sources.

    The tyrant, close allies and family members were given the jab “within the last two to three weeks”, the sources added.

    China is North Korea’s most important trading partner, explains the Council on Foreign Relations.

    It has helped sustain Kim’s regime, and has opposed harsh international sanctions in the hope of avoiding regime collapse and a refugee influx across their 870-mile border.

  • EASYTESTS

    EasyJet and easyJet Holidays are going to start offering passengers cheap Covid tests.

    The budget airline and holiday company have today announced partnerships with two testing firms Confirm Testing and City Doc, which means customers can get access to testing when it is required for entry into countries.

    The partnership follows the recent announcement of the UK Government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme, where people travelling into the UK from countries requiring quarantine can reduce self-isolation time to five days by taking a Covid test. 

    When customers make a booking on easyJet.com or easyJetholidays.com, they are given a unique code to use on the testing partners’ websites to access a discounted test price.

    Available from later this week, customers will receive a reduced rate of £75 per home test with Confirm Testing, or £100 per home test or £150 for an in-clinic test with CityDoc.

  • UK VIRUS CASES DOWN A THIRD

    UK coronavirus cases are down by a third in a week after new 12,330 infections were recorded in the past 24 hours.

    A further 205 people have died from Covid-19 a slight decrease from yesterday's tally of 215.

    Coronavirus infections continue to fall as this time last week 15,450 people tested positive for coronavirus.

    The number of patients being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 are also falling.

    Yesterday, there were 12,155 new infection and 215 further deaths – which may be explained with a lag in weekend reporting.

    NHS England have reported a further 183 coronavirus deaths, bringing the grim tally to 40,588.

  • RITA PAYS £10K PARTY FINE

    Rita Ora has paid a £10k fine after throwing an “inexcusable” 30th birthday party with 30 pals.

    The pop star told The Sun she is “deeply sorry for breaking the rules” as she apologised for throwing the lavish bash on Saturday night.

    Sources revealed she voluntarily paid the £10,000 fine after speaking to cops who also attended her home this morning.

  • HANCOCK TO LEAD 5PM CONFERENCE

    Matt Hancock is due to lead the government’s Covid-19 press conference at 5pm this afternoon.

    The Health Secretary is poised to announce further details on how areas in Tier 3 will be able to access mass testing.

  • SCOTS SAY 'NO TORY PAY FREEZE'

    Scotland's Finance Secretary has told public-sector workers she will not impose a “Tory pay freeze” on them.

    Kate Forbes made the pledge as she attacked the UK Government over austerity and for leaving her to prepare the Scottish budget “blindfolded”.

    Ms Forbes is scheduled to announce her draft tax and spending plans for 2021-22 at the end of January – weeks ahead of the UK Government Budget, which is not expected to be delivered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak until March.

    In his Spending Review last week, Mr Sunak said he is unable to give pay rises to all those working in the public sector in England.

  • MORE COVID HOSPITAL DEATHS

    A further 183 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 40,588, NHS England said today.

    Patients were aged between 52 and 95. All except three, aged between 84 and 93, had known underlying health conditions.

    The deaths were between November 5 and November 29, with the majority on or after November 23.

    Four other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

  • GROTTOS GET GREEN LIGHT

    Santa's grottos will be allowed to reopen if they take place in a venue which has not be asked to close.

    Grottos will be allowed to open this week but Father Christmas will have to wear a mask.

    And kids will be banned from sitting on the festive-present-giver’s knee to stick to strict social distancing rules.

    You won't be allowed to head to the grotto with people from outside your household if you live in Tier 2 or Tier 3.

  • ARE KIDS INCLUDED IN RULE OF SIX LIMIT?

    Yes. The new rules mean only six people can meet at any one time in any indoor or outdoor social setting, including in pubs and restaurants in England.

    This includes situations where there are only two households meeting, but there are more than six people in total as a group.

    The total number includes children, so if there is a household of five with three kids and two parents, they will only be able to meet up with one other person.

    It sadly means big family gatherings won't be able to take place if the total number exceeds six people, with children under 12 not exempt from the 'rule of six'.

  • NEWBORN 'ONLY SURVIVOR' OF COVID FAMILY

    A newborn baby is the sole survivor of a family wiped out by Covid-19 in Russia, say reports.

    The boy’s mother gave birth to him as she lay dying attached to a ventilator in the Russian city of St Petersburg.  

    Svetlana Sorochinskaya, 36, is believed to have caught coronavirus visiting her father Kirey Pinchin, 64, in hospital where he had undergone heart surgery. 

    He died from Covid-19 on November 5, 2020, eight days after he was discharged from hospital.

  • DRY NOSE COULD BE COVID SIGN

    Having a dry, crusty nose could be one of the earliest signs of coronavirus, Spanish doctors claim.

    Researchers found that 70 per cent of Covid-19 patients experienced nasal dryness before any other symptom.

    Some reported a constant feeling of having had a strong nasal douche – when a liquid is inserted into the nostril to wash mucus out, typically to alleviate symptoms of a cold or after surgery.

    The experts from the University of Barcelona said that it could come before an infected person notices they have lost their sense of smell or taste.

    Dr Jordi Navarra, who led the research, said they might have discovered “yet another warning sign of Covid-19 that has been ignored so far”.

  • PROF WHO 'INFECTED HIMSELF TWICE' ISSUES STARK WARNING

    A scientist who says he infected himself with coronavirus TWICE has warned of a “wave of mass reinfections” and claimed vaccines might not stop people falling ill.

    Prof Alexander Chepurnov, 69, caught Covid-19 for the first time in February – then claimed he deliberately got it again to test if he still had antibodies.

    Now the senior virologist has demanded an urgent study of people catching it twice and accused Russian authorities of not taking the risk seriously. 

    He hit back at medical chief Anna Popova for “closing her eyes” to the issue of reinfections in the country amid rising anecdotal reports of such cases. 

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