UK coronavirus news TODAY – Pub curfew must be SCRAPPED, Sage expert warns as Covid cases rise in ALL London boroughs

THE national 10pm pub and restaurant curfew is counterproductive, a top SAGE expert has warned.

Forcing large crowds out of pubs into the streets at exactly the same time undermines any benefits of closing early, Professor Susan Michie said.

Having large crowds of people not socially distancing form outside pubs and restaurants as a result of them closing early is something that was always "predictable", she said

Professor Michie added that the problem was particularly bad in London where the early closures created a mini rush hour on public transport with everybody heading home on the Tube and buses at the same time.

Her comments come as coronavirus cases soared in every London borough raising fears of a full lockdown with pubs shut and a ban on meeting up with friends.

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  • LOCKDOWN FINES IN THE UK

    • The highest fine for flouting social distancing rules is £10,000, which can be issued to any organiser of an illegal gathering.
    • England (over 18s):£100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days.£200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200.
    • Wales (over 18s):£60 for the first offence, which may be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.£120 for the second offence and for each further offence.
    • Scotland (over 16s):£60 for the first offence, lowered to £30 if paid within 28 days.£120 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £960.
    • Northern Ireland (over 18s): £60 for the first offence, lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.£120 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £960.

    EXPERT: ‘LOCAL LOCKDOWNS HAVE NO IMPACT AT ALL’

    Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University has now said the area is a good example of where local lockdowns have had “no impact at all”.

    Speaking to The Telegraph he said: “Attempting to reduce the numbers over the summer can have the counterproductive effect of increasing the susceptible population going into winter.

    “We are now seeing rises across the country in line with the seasonal effect of going back to schools and universities, all of which is highly predictable and happens every year for circulating respiratory pathogens.”

    ANGER AT DRINKERS SPILLING OUT INTO STREET

    Critics have slammed the new 10pm booze curfew as revellers spill out of pubs onto the streets in their hundreds.

    They said the measure is doing 'more harm than good' as boozers were videoed partying to a brass band after the strict new measures see thousands of people turned out of bars at the same time.

    STUDENTS HOME AT CHRISTMAS

    University students are expected to be allowed to return home for Christmas despite fears of the virus spreading among students.

    This comes as 1,700 students in Manchester were quarantined after 127 tested positive for coronavirus.

    Manchester Metropolitan University's Birley campus and Cambridge Halls have been told to self-isolate “with immediate effect”, with many criticising the handling of the situation.

    UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN STUDENTS WARNED

    A top university has asked private landlords to report students caught breaching coronavirus restrictions.

    The University of Aberdeen has warned students of the consequences facing them if they breach national Covid-19 related guidance.

    In a statement emailed last night, university bosses said students caught breaking the rules would face “robust” disciplinary action.

    Sanctions include a fine of up to £250 as well as possible suspension or expulsion.

    And private landlords around the city have been asked to report “any incidents of a breach” to the university.

    The statement read: “Given the events of the last few days I want to emphasise that any breaches will not be tolerated, and those found to be breaking the rules will face robust action.

    “Sanctions include a fine of up to £250 as well as the potential for further action – including suspension and/or expulsion – under our Code of Conduct on Student Discipline (non academic).

    “Regardless of whether you live in University provided accommodation, a private flat or in student accommodation from a private provider, we will still look to take the same appropriate disciplinary measures against any student that fails to follow the requirements that are currently in place to protect everyone in Scotland.

    MPS TO HOLD DEBATE ON PANDEMIC TODAY

    MPs will hold a general debate on the pandemic this afternoon, with two week shutdown of pubs, restaurants and bars in London and Northern Ireland to be discussed.

    The Times reported that plans for a “total social lockdown” with a ban on household socialising being considered.

    MPs are also expected to question ministers on the implementation of coronavirus legislation following disquiet from Tory backbenchers over the lack of parliamentary scrutiny for the new restrictions.

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