Coronavirus UK news – Scotland 'circuit breaker' lockdown as northern towns rage 'we were sacrificed to save London'

SCOTLAND is bringing in a two-week "circuit breaker" lockdown this Friday as cases continue to spiral.

The “circuit breaker” lockdown, centred on a stay-at-home order for a fortnight or more, is said to be on the cards after a surge in Covid-19 cases, doctors have been warned.

It comes as northern leaders fumed that the North was "sacrificed" to keep London open despite surging coronavirus cases.

All five areas with covid cases at or above 200 per 100,000 are in the North, according to Public Health England data – with deaths in hospital and infection rates rising much faster than in the South.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘SHUT BARS AND RESTAURANTS TO KEEP SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES OPEN’

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, said that with schools and universities open ways needed to be found to reduce contacts in other areas, such as closing hospitality venues.

    Prof Ferguson added: “So we are in a more difficult position, if we want to keep schools open we have to reduce contacts in other areas of society by more.

    “You will have heard measures being discussed across society as a whole such as extended half terms where we try to reduce transmission for a concerted period.

    “I think those measures should be considered.”

  • Patrick Knox

    HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS BLAST STURGEON’S LOCKDOWN

    In a joint article, human rights advocate Niall McCluskey and former tribunal judge Christian McNeill claimed the impact was worse than the virus.

    They claimed the effect on the economy, civil rights, mental health, addictions, domestic abuse and the NHS was becoming disproportionate to the infection risk.

    They wrote: “The question arises, why would the government do this? The answer might be that having conducted a highly effective psychological fear project against the population, restrictions are really popular.

    “A vicious circle has been created where a terrified population rewards unwarranted government restrictions with positive poll numbers.”

    NHS sources said doctors in Glasgow had been told to expect the stay-at-home order to kick in at 7pm on Friday.

  • Patrick Knox

    SCOTLAND TO IMPOSE TWO-WEEK LOCKDOWN FROM FRIDAY

    Nicola Sturgeon is poised to impose a two-week mini lockdown from Friday, according to doctors.

    NHS sources said they were told to expect the “circuit breaker” stay at home order for the whole of the country of Scotland from 6pm on Friday.

    In Scotland, a further 697 new coronavirus cases were recorded on Monday.

    No further deaths of anyone who’d previously tested positive for the bug were logged, but the number of hospital cases rose by eight to 218 – including 22 in intensive care.

  • Patrick Knox

    END OF 10PM CURFEW LIKELY AS DOZENS OF TORIES PREPARE TO REBEL

    Boris Johnson's 10pm coronavirus curfew for pubs, restaurants and bars could be ended after it emerged that dozens of Tory MPs are prepared to vote against the measure on Wednesday night.

    The rebel Conservatives are set to meet at lunchtime today to plot their next steps, reports the Telegraph.

    They have reportedly been emboldened by Chancellor Rishi Sunak who questioned the measure.

    Tory backbenchers have also been encouraged by Labour's refusal to say whether it will support the curfew until it has seen the scientific evidence that underlies it.

  • Patrick Knox

    WORLD'S HIGHEST RATE OF POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES

    Argentina has the world's highest rate of positive Covid-19 tests, according to Oxford-linked tracker Our World In Data.

    This has been blamed onlow testing levels and loose enforcement of lockdown rules.

    Argentina hit 809,728 confirmed cases on Monday, with an seven-day rolling average of around 12,500 new daily infections. The country, which started strongly against the virus, passed 20,000 fatalities la

  • Patrick Knox

    COVID SECOND WAVE COULD CAUSE 'TSUNAMI OF NHS CANCELLED OPS'

    Leading surgeons in England are warning of a “tsunami” of cancelled operations this winter as the NHS deals with surging numbers of Covid-19 patients.

    Calling it “a national crisis”, the Royal College of Surgeons of England said it doubted the NHS could meet targets for planned procedures.

    But an NHS spokesman said figures cited by the organisation underestimated the amount of surgery taking place.

  • Patrick Knox

    CORONAVIRUS SURVIVES MANY HOURS ON HUMAN SKIN

    The discovery was made by researchers who conducted lab experiments using cadaver skin that would otherwise have been used for skin grafts.

    While influenza A virus survived less than two hours on human skin, the novel coronavirus survived for more than nine hours.

    Both were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by hand sanitizer containing 80 per cent alcohol.

    It comes as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there was evidence that people with Covid-19 possibly infected others who were more than 6 feet away, within enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. And it was found that viruses in aerosols can remain in the air for hours.

  • Patrick Knox

    SINGAPORE PARENTS OFFERED 'PANDEMIC BABY BONUS'

    The one-off payment comes amid worries that citizens are putting off parenthood as they struggle with financial stress and job insecurity.

    Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said:”We have received feedback that Covid-19 has caused some aspiring parents to postpone their parenthood plans.”

    Details of the amount have yet to be released.

    The state has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, which it has struggled to boost for decades.

  • Patrick Knox

    MISSING CONTACTS URGENTLY BEING TRACED

    The race is on to trace contacts of almost half of the thousands of positive coronavirus cases initially not recorded in England because of a technical glitch, as infection rates rocket in northern university cities.

    Some 49 per cent of the almost 16,000 cases had still not been reached for contact tracing purposes as of Monday morning, following data issues over the weekend.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the technical problem with the system “that brings together” data from NHS test sites and tests processed by commercial firms “should never have happened” but he insisted the team had “acted swiftly to minimise its impact”.

    The Department of Health dismissed reports of issues with phone lines hampering contact tracers' efforts.

  • Ben Hill

    WARNING OF RISING LEVELS OF CORONAVIRUS FATIGUE

    New data shows significant increases in apathy towards Covid-19 across Europe, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    Fatigue has been measured in different ways across 27 countries but “is now estimated to have reached over 60 per cent” of the population in some places, said WHO regional director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge.

    Dr Kluge set out three strategies for addressing the slide towards apathy.

    Regular community consultation, including with local authorities as well as “expertise beyond the medical and public health sectors”, should be promoted, he suggested.

    There had been positive responses when Scandinavian countries asked the public to help devise “reasonable guidance”, which Dr Kluge said is “a good example of recognising that people are experts in their own environment”.

    “Citizens are at the heart of a solution to the pandemic and policymakers should treat them as such,” he added.

  • Ben Hill

    ALCOHOL ABUSE IN LOCKDOWN

    Alcohol abuse has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the British Liver Trust.

    The organisation said they have had a 500 per cent rise in calls to its helpline since lockdown began in March.

    Laura Bunt, from charity We Are You, said referrals for treatment for alcohol problems were down 72 per cent compared to January – but drink sales have spiked.

    “Social isolation and a lack of a human connection is a big factor behind why some people turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism, so clearly the pandemic continues to be really tough for many people,” she said.

  • Ben Hill

    SCOTLAND'S 'CIRCUIT BREAKER LOCKDOWN'

    A Scotland-wide mini-lockdown will start at 7pm on Friday, docs were told last night.

    The “circuit breaker” lockdown centred on a stay-at-home order for a fortnight or more is said to be on the cards after a surge in Covid-19 cases.

    In Scotland, a further 697 new coronavirus cases were recorded on Tuesday.

    No further deaths of anyone who’d previously tested positive for the bug were logged, but the number of hospital cases rose by eight to 218 – including 22 in intensive care.

    It comes as Nicola Sturgeon denied a decision had already been made amid fears over the impact on society including business.

    But an NHS source revealed last night: “We’ve  been told to expect it from 7pm on Friday.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    HOSPITAL BOSSES CONCERNED ABOUT NHS STAFF BURNOUT

    Hospital bosses in England have raised concerns about staff burnout from the first wave of coronavirus ahead of the winter months.

    Leaders warned of a “perfect storm” of workforce shortages, staff burnout, a second wave of Covid-19 and a difficult winter, according to a survey by NHS Providers.

    Concerns were also raised by hospital bosses about funding for social care in their local area, and the impact of seasonal pressures over winter amid rising coronavirus cases.

    Almost all surveyed (99%) said they were either extremely or moderately concerned about the current level of burnout across the workforce.

    One director of nursing told NHS Providers that staff had been working long hours in “high stress circumstances for quite some time”, adding that it was a “real concern”.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    UK CORONAVIRUS CASES PER DAY

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    MISSING CONTACTS URGENTLY BEING TRACED

    The race is on to trace contacts of almost half of the thousands of positive coronavirus cases initially not recorded in England due to a technical glitch, as infection rates rise in northern university cities.

    Some 49% of the almost 16,000 cases had still not been reached for contact tracing purposes as of Monday morning, following data issues over the weekend.

    Addressing the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the technical problem with the system “that brings together” data from NHS test sites and tests processed by commercial firms “should never have happened” but he insisted the team had “acted swiftly to minimise its impact”.

    Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said problems with testing were “putting lives at risk” and that as many as 48,000 contacts may not have been traced due to the glitch.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    LABOUR CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO PREPARE NHS FOR WINTER

    Labour is calling for urgent action to ensure the NHS is properly equipped to deal with the winter amid warnings that staff shortages and failing equipment are putting patients at risk.

    An analysis by the party of 114 NHS Trust risk registers found more than half the trusts in England reported risks classified as “significant” or “extreme” just as coronavirus cases are picking up again.

    Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “In a normal winter, these risks would be worrying.

    “We urgently need a commitment from ministers to fix the problems with Test and Trace and a timetable by which these issues will finally be sorted.

    “On top of this it is vital that ministers confirm that the NHS will get the additional support it needs to address these risks.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    EU NATIONS HAVE MORE COVID CASES THAN THE US

    The European Union is now seeing more new coronavirus cases per day than the United States for the first time since April.

    The news follows a rise in cases in recent months as lockdowns were eased in countries across Europe.

    Analysis by the Financial Times found that the seven-day rolling average of new cases in EU member states reached 41,967 in the week to October 2.

    Over the same period, the US saw an average of 41,604 new cases confirmed per day.

    It was the first time the EU's case count has been higher than the US's using that measure since April 5, when the blocs saw 27,304 and 27,301 new cases respectively.

    More on the story here

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    38% OF OLDER ADULTS IN LONDON PSYCHIATRIC WARDS HAD COVID-19 AT PANDEMIC PEAK

    At least 38% of older adults in psychiatric wards in London were infected with Covid-19 at the height of the pandemic, a new study has suggested.

    University College London (UCL) researchers found that 15% of infected patients (19 people) in the mental health wards died from the disease.

    According to the study, psychiatric wards were slow to receive tests and personal protective equipment (PPE), which may have increased the mortality rates.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    TRAVEL QUARANTINE TO BE CUT TO FOUR DAYS WITH AIRPORT TESTING

    Ministers are poised to slash travel quarantine measures to just four days — by finally introducing airport testing.

    But winter sun-seekers will only be able to jet off on tropical holidays if ministers can convince Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty to give the move the green light.

    The Sun understands Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and other government officials are desperate to start trials to kick-start the travel industry.

    But Prof Whitty is holding back, along with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, as others rally round to give it a frantic last-minute push.

    Transport officials are understood to favour the German model of testing to cut 14-day self-isolation by making travellers arriving in the UK have a negative Covid certificate taken from a test 72 hours before they travel.

    More on the story here

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    NOTTINGHAM COULD BE NEXT COVID HOT SPOT

    Nottingham could be the next coronavirus hotspot as infections have soared six-fold in a week.

    The latest PHE data shows that 1,273 of the new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Nottingham in the seven days up to October 2.

    The city's seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is now at 382.4 – a sharp increase from last week's 59.5.

    Nottingham – which is not under a local lockdown – now has a higher case rate than other cities that are.

    Alison Challenger, director of public health for the city, said: “The new data from Public Health England confirms there are more cases of Covid-19 in our city than we were aware of last week.”

    Read more here

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    COVID-19 SHOULD BE TRIGGER FOR WIND POWER BOOST AND GREEN JOBS

    The coronavirus crisis should be used as a catalyst to invest in green energy and wind power, Boris Johnson will say in a keynote address to the virtual Tory conference on Tuesday.

    The Prime Minister will say the Covid outbreak should drive a bid to make the UK a world leader in clean power generation.

    Mr Johnson will insist the green economy is a major area for economic growth with the potential to create millions of jobs.

    The Prime Minister will say the coronavirus crisis can be a trigger for a Britain to “build back greener”.

    The plan would see £160 million made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure across areas like Teesside and Humber in northern England, Scotland and Wales as the next generation of turbines are built.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    LOCAL COVID-19 RULES NEED TO BE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED, SAY EXPERTS

    The shift to imposing local lockdowns to tackle Covid-19 must lead to policies that are “carefully considered and implemented”, medical experts have said.

    It comes amid reports that a new three-tier system is being planned for England which could see harsher restrictions including the closure of pubs and a ban on all social contact outside household groups.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the Government would outline a “more simplified” approach but acknowledged the need for local action to be “more consistent”.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    MAN CITY INSISTS MENDY DID NOT BREAK CORONAVIRUS RULES

    Benjamin Mendy insists he knew nothing of a party which broke lockdown rules at his house on Saturday night.  

    As reported by the Daily Mail, at least 15 people are said to have attended a gathering at the Manchester City star’s mansion in Macclesfield.

    And it was a clear breach of the ‘Rule of Six’ guidelines which have been laid down by the Government in recent weeks to try to curb the spread of Covid.  

    But he has told the club he was not at the party – and that it was organised by his friend who lives with him.

    Mendy also said he knew nothing about the event until after it was finished.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    TIGHTER RESTRICTIONS IN IRELAND

    Ireland will face tighter restrictions as it moves to alter level three after the Government rejected advice from public health officials to move to level five.

    Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the new restrictions will last for three weeks.

    Mr Martin said there will be an increase in the level of public guidance on compliance over the coming days.

    “(The virus) has challenged us to our very core,” he added.

    “This is not about public health and businesses competing against each, it's about protecting and lives and livelihoods.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    PREMIER LEAGUE ANNOUNCE NINE NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES

    The Premier League have confirmed nine new coronavirus cases recorded in the last week.

    The English top flight had 1,587 players and members of staff tested between Monday September 28 and Sunday October 4.

    And they have recorded nine new cases – one fewer than last week's tally of ten.

    An official statement read: “The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 28 September and Sunday 4 October, 1,587 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19.

    “Of these, there were nine new positive tests.

    “Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days.”

    More on the story here

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