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.
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.
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.
Student suffers severe heart failure after drinking four cans of energy drink a day
‘I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children’
A young man who consumed two litres of energy drink a day was admitted to intensive care with severe heart failure.
According to a leading medical journal, the university student landed himself in hospital after drinking four cans of energy drink per day.
The 21-year-old spent nearly two months in intensive care due to heart failure, with the British Medical Journal stating this was ‘potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption’ in a report.
According to the report, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, becoming so ill that medics thought he might require an organ transplant.
The patient went on to describe his medical episode as ‘traumatising’, eventually seeking medical help after he suffered from weight loss and shortness of breath for roughly four months.
Doctors performed blood tests, scans, and ECG readings, and found that he had both kidney and heart failure – however, the kidney failure was discovered to be linked to a previously undiagnosed condition.
Each energy drink the man was consuming contained around 160mg of caffeine, and medics said that ‘energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity’ was the most likely cause of the severe heart failure.
In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”
They said the conclusion to their report ‘adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks’, adding that the man’s heart function seems to have returned to normal nine months later but with ‘mildly impaired function’.
The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, saying: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.
“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.”
He added: “I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.
“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”
Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules
Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes
A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.
Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.
According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.
The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.
They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.
The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.
A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.
The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.
However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.
The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.
Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.
“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.
“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”
Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death
Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today
Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.
The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.
Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.
According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.
Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.
Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.
Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.
According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.
Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.
The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.
The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.
As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.