Boris Johnson is set to announce today that people should work from home where they can and a curfew will force pubs, bars and restaurants to close by 10pm from Thursday.
New measures to tackle the surge in Covid-19 is to be announced today. Boris is expected to issue a statement in the House of Commons before a TV address to the nation this evening.
Michale Gove spoke to Sky News before the statement and said there would be a ‘shift in emphasis’ and ‘if it is possible people to work from home they should do so’.
He added: “They are reluctant steps we’re taking, but they’re absolutely necessary because as we were reminded yesterday and as you’ve been reporting, the rate of infection is increasing, the number of people going to hospital is increasing, therefore we need to act,”
The news not only puts a curfew on the hospitality industry but also restricts the industry, by law, to table service only.
The updates comes as the chief medical officers for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales raised the Covid-19 alert level from three to four.
Mr Johnson is expected to host a cabinet meeting this morning at 8:30am, where ministers will sign off the proposals.
Following that, he will chair an emergency COBRA committee of senior ministers and officials, plus Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford, Arlene Foster, Michelle O’Neill.
Mr Johnson will then issue a statement in the Commons at 12:30pm and then a Downing Street broadcast at 8pm.
The TV broadcast will be about ‘further ways we will confront the virus in line with the latest scientific advice, and the role everyone can continue to play in tackling the spread, including by following the social distancing guidance, wearing face coverings and washing hands regularly’, according to Number 10.
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy spoke to Sky News: “If it takes the pressure off those people who have to go into the workplace, then I think it’s very welcome news.”
She added: “But I do hope the government comes forward with a much more comprehensive message later today.
“I think people are now really struggling to understand what it is they’re being asked to do and why.”
Downing Street confirmed Mr Johnson held meetings with scientific advisers, ministers and senior officials over the weekend. On Sunday, MR Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak held a summit to hear scientific views from across the spectrum.
Monday began with a briefing from Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick which explained that the number of coronavirus cases a currently doubling every seven days. They added that if this rate continued, this would be close to 50,000 cases a day by mid-October.
Matt Hancock explained that the response reflected a significant shift in the current threat posed by coronavirus: “This country now faces a tipping point in its response and it is vital everybody plays their part now to stop the spread of the virus and protect lives,”
Greater Manchester Nightingale Hospital open again due to high levels of coronavirus
The Nightingale Hospital for the North West will open later this week and house non-Covid patients.
The temporary facility to treat patients with Covid-19 opened originally in April but has been closed in summer.
However, later this week it is set to reopen for non-Covid patients.
It is set to reopen as figures show the number of coronavirus patients being treated in the North West is now approaching the level it was in the first surge of the virus.
A spokesperson said: “The NHS Nightingale Hospital North West will accept patients from today to provide care for those who do not have Covid-19, but do need further support before they are able to go home, such as therapy and social care assessments.”
As of October 26th, North West hospitals had 2,407 patients with coronavirus, the highest number of cases since April 23rd.
Dr Jane Eddleston, medical director of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Nightingale will not be used as a critical care facility and neither was it in the first phase. It will be used as a facility for patients to have additional rehabilitation.”
Sacha Lord says 10pm curfew will be reviewed next month
Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, has said the government will review the 10pm curfew in November.
All hospitality venues must shut their doors at 10pm under current laws, however, Sacha Lord and other industry members have been campaigning the curfew.
Since September 24th, when the curfew was put in place, the #CancelTheCurfew movement has been backed by a number of industry professionals.
The Parklife founder, Lord, filed a pre-action letter last night which claimed there was no scientific justification of the Tier 3 regulations and the limits on pubs and bars operating hours.
Lord has tweeted that the government ‘are reviewing the UK 10pm curfew’ in November.
He wrote: “In November, the Government are reviewing the UK 10pm curfew.
“It doesn’t work for the public or operators.
“Overloaded transport, crowded takeaways, supermarkets etc.
“It’s doing far more harm than good. Operators are running safe and secure COVID19 venues.
“Cancel the Curfew”
Lord confirmed they had a formal response from the government regarding the judicial review where he said ‘we consider it insufficient’.
He added “I cannot go into detail, but I can say that we have considered it and it is insufficient. I have instructed my lawyers to commence legal proceedings.”
Lord is now backing the OneGM campaign, which sees different sectors of the industry coming together to show support for businesses and people in Greater Manchester.
It is unclear yet when Greater Manchester will be removed from Tier 3 restrictions.
Dr Hilary backs calls for tier 3 restrictions across all of England by Christmas
It’s not looking good.
Dr Hilary has responded on GMB this morning to reports that the whole of England should be in tier 3 by Christmas.
It comes following some reports that all of England could be placed under the strictest coronavirus restrictions by mid-December.
The UK deaths hit their highest level in five months on Tuesday, when 367 new fatalities linked to coronavirus and nearly 23,000 more cases were recorded.
The Sun explained that SAGE member, Professor Sir Mark Walport said it is ‘not unrealistic’ to think that 25,000 people could be in hospital with Covid-19 by the end of November.
With total Covid related deaths reaching 61,000 across the nation, there are predictions that figures will be higher than the Spring peak come December.
Members of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Body (Sage) are reportedly warning that virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas in the North already.
A government source also told The Sun ‘the latest Sage numbers are utterly bleak.’
According to the Daily Telegraph, ‘Downing Street is working on the assumption that the second wave of COVID-19 will be more deadly than the first.’
From next week parts of Nottinghamshire and Warrington will be placed into Tier Three.
This means that more than eight million people in England, predominantly in the North, will be under the most stringent Covid-19 restrictions by the end of the week.
The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, told Sky News: “The prime minister has been very clear, as we all are, that we want people to celebrate Christmas in a way that is as close to normal as possible.
“But it is too early to be able to say exactly what the situation will become Christmas, and exactly what different parts of the country will or will not be able to do.
“Obviously checking the spread of this virus is paramount, but alongside that we want people to live their lives as close to normal as possible, including at Christmas which is an incredibly important time for families.”
Dr Hilary Jones spoke on Good Morning Britain this morning explaining that a vaccine ‘won’t stop a rise in infections’.
Jones said: “Just look at the figures, the hospital admissions are increasing, doubling every two weeks. In a month from now, we’ll be worse than we were in the first wave.”
He said: “We can’t rely on a vaccine, we hope it will save people from dying but it won’t stop infections, not the early vaccine anyway.”
Adding that: “I think we still need to rely on the basic principles which is hands, face, space and if we all do that and we’re realistic and don’t say Christmas is an exception.
“If we make Christmas an exception, then every celebration will be an exception. A birthday, a Friday night, a promotion…”