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The six big changes to lockdown Boris Johnson just announced in Parliament

Everything you need to know…

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BBC

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has addressed the nation today to impose a curfew on England’s pubs and restaurants, plus other new updates to the current rules.

Mr Johnson addressed the House of Commons starting at 12:30pm, where he confirmed the latest updates. 

The latest rules could be in place for six months, according to the Prime Minister, who warned people ‘not to be complacent’ as the virus poses a threat.

The new rules are being put in place due to the rate of Covid-19 spread, something Mr Johnson said is not just driven by more testing but also due to an increasing positivity rate. 

He added that the Covid alert level increased to four yesterday, ‘so this is the moment when we must act’. 

From Thursday evening pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be required to close by 10pm. They will also be required by law to only provide table service to help issues regarding social distancing. 

Mr Johnson will be addressing the nation in a TV announcement at 8pm this evening. 

The new updates from the House of Commons: 

10pm curfew & table service only in hospitality venues 

The curfew rules used in some areas which are in local lockdown are set to be rolled out across the country. This means all hospitality and leisure venues will be forced by law to close between 10pm and 5am, including pubs, bars, restaurants, bingo halls, cinemas and takeaways (which will be allowed to make deliveries but not to have customers in the takeaway). 

There is also expected to be tougher enforcement for pubs and restaurants when customers are found breaking the rules. Mr Johnson said: “to help the police enforce this rule that means, alas, closing not just calling for last orders, because simplicity is paramount.” Last orders must be called at 9:30pm. 

The hospitality industry will also be restricted by law to table service only from Thursday as well as the new curfew rules. 

‘Back to work’ replaces ‘work from home’ with immediate effect 

Brits have been urged to return to offices for the past few months, however,  the message from the government has now shifted to work from home if and where you can.

Office workers are being asked to work from home but for those people who need to go to work they should continue to do so in a Covid-secure way. 

Fine increases 

Failing to wear a face covering or breaking the rule of six has previously resulted in a £100 fine, however this has now been doubled to £200.

Additionally, the £10,000 fines that were already in place for people who don’t quarantine will now be also applied to businesses. 

Face coverings

The requirement to wear face coverings has now been extended to include retail staff, and all taxi users (including private hire vehicles) from Thursday. From Monday, all staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to drink or eat, must wear a face mask. 

Follow Social Distancing

The Prime Minister is expected to continue to emphasize ‘hands, face, space’. Furthermore, the capacity on weddings, from Monday, has now been reduced to 15 people. 30 people can still attend a funeral.

The rule of six has now been extended to indoor adult team sports, although five-a-side football has been removed from this.

Delay to certain sectors re-opening

From October 1st, there is a further delay on opening indoor concert venues plus a halt on the trials of spectators returning to sport events.

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New government proposals could see cat owners fined £500

Here’s everything you need to know…

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@vnevremeni & @little_plants / Unsplash

Cat owners could be slapped with hefty fines under a subtle new rule change proposed by the government this week.

The new plans propose that all cat owners must ensure their pet is microchipped before they are twenty weeks old – there, the cat’s details will be stored and kept up-to-date in a database.

If a cat owner is found to not have microchipped their cat, however, they will have twenty-one days to get their pet microchipped or risk facing a fine of up to £500. 

@little_plant / Unsplash

Government figures show that out of the 10.8 million pet cats in the UK, as many as 2.8 million are still not microchipped. And, according to Cats Protection, eight out of ten stray cats coming into their centres are not microchipped.

The charity added that the procedure only costs between £20 and £30.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen.

“These new rules will help protect millions of cats across the country and will be brought in alongside a range of other protections we are introducing under our Action Plan for Animal Welfare.”

Paul Hanaoka / Unsplash

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy and Government Relations, also stressed the importance of microchipping, adding: “Every day, we see how important microchipping is for cats and for the people who love them.

“Whether it’s reuniting a lost cat with their owner, identifying an injured cat, or helping to ensure an owner can be informed in the sad event that their cat has been hit and killed by a car.

“Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost cats and can help ease the pressure on rescue charities like Cats Protection. Without a microchip, a lost cat will most likely end up being rehomed to a new home as there is often no trace of their original owner.”

The new rules, which have been announced as part of the government’s ‘Action Plan for Animal Welfare’, won’t come into place until an official review has been completed.

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Chill Factore forced to close after section of roof damaged by Storm Barra

Major damage to the roof has forced the popular attraction to close

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@stefm84 / Twitter

The Chill Factore has been forced to close after a section of its roof was damaged from severe winds brought on by Storm Barra. 

All activities at the Beyond building, which houses an indoor ski slope, have been cancelled for the rest of the day, with car parks surrounding the Trafford attraction closing ‘with immediate effect’. 

In a statement on its website, Chill Factore said: “The Beyond building has sustained some damage due to the severe winds.

“As a result we’ve made the difficult decision to close our building and surrounding car parks with immediate effect to protect the health and safety of our guests and team.

“All activities for the remainder of the day have been cancelled and we are in the process of contacting guests with bookings for today to rearrange their activities.

“We are awaiting contractors to come and assess the damage and we will provide more information as soon as possible through our website & social media accounts.”

This comes after the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning in various areas across Greater Manchester ahead of the arrival of Storm Barra.

@adventurecat__ / Instagram

The second named storm of the season hit the region today, bringing with it plummeting temperatures plummeting and heavy rainfall.

Forecasters say travel disruption is ‘likely’, especially over higher routes, as is delays to rail and air travel. There is also the ‘slight chance some rural communities may become cut off’. 

The Met Office said: “A deep area of low pressure moving in across the UK from the Atlantic is likely to bring high winds to many parts of the UK.

“Strong winds arriving into the west through the morning, spreading inland and reaching eastern areas through the afternoon and early evening. Gusts of 45-50 mph are expected widely, with 60-70 mph in exposed coastal locations.

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People who kill children will face mandatory life sentences under new Arthur’s Law

The law has been named after six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who was murdered by his stepmother last year

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@BorisJohnson / Twitter

The Prime Minister has backed a newly proposed law that will ensure child murderers will never leave prison.

Following the horrifying death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, Boris Johnson has announced that his government will be amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make ‘whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes’. 

Johnson said in a statement: “Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison. So we’re toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes.

“The Attorney General is also urgently considering the facts of this case and the sentence handed down, but this is a Government that will always legislate for the toughest possible sentences for such repugnant crimes.”

Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin was jailed last week for at least twenty-nine years for his murder, while his father Thomas Hughes was sentenced to twenty-one years for manslaughter.

However, the attorney general announced over the weekend that the sentences are to be reviewed to ‘determine whether they were too low’. 

According to The Guardian, the AGO has twenty-eight days from the date of sentence to review a case, assess whether it falls under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme and make a decision as to whether to refer a sentence to the court of appeal. 

West Midlands Police

Arthur died in Solihull, Midlands on June 16th 2020, as a result of a serious head injury inflicted by Tustin. His body was also covered in 130 bruises.

It was later discovered that the six-year-old had been starved, beaten and poisoned with salt in the weeks leading to his death.

Harrowing footage recently released by West Midlands Police show a weak and emancipated Arthur struggling to lift his duvet from the living room floor, where he had been forced to sleep. 

Social worker and member of the House of Lords Herbert Laming said the reduction in funding for social care in the last ten years meant abused and neglected children like Arthur were being missed by the authorities. 

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