Coronavirus UK news LIVE: 17m living under stricter lockdown measures as Covid-19 deaths hit 41,936

MORE than 17million people are now living under stricter lockdown measures after the government confirmed a ban on households mixing in each others’ homes in Leeds, Wigan, Stockport and Blackpool.

It comes as the coronavirus death toll hit 41,936 yesterday and the total number of positive Covid-19 cases reached 423,236.

An NHS spokesman said: "While some people had understandable concerns about coming forward for care during the pandemic, the NHS stayed opened to care for all who needed it."

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  • THOUSANDS GATHER IN CENTRAL LONDON FOR ANTI-LOCKDOWN PROTEST

    Thousands of protesters have gathered for an anti-lockdown demonstration in central London.

    Crowds massed in Trafalgar Square on Saturday carrying a variety of signs, flags and placards to take part in a “we do not consent” rally, none appearing to wear face coverings or to social distance.

    The demonstrators, who are protesting against Government lockdown measures, cheered and clapped, shouting “we will win”.

    Earlier, police searched a man and confiscated a makeshift riot shield that he was carrying.

    The protest comes a week after a separate event which saw more than a dozen officers injured when a “small minority” targeted police and more than 32 arrests were made.

  • POLICE BREAK UP OUTDOOR ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE

    Merseyside Police broke up an outdoor orchestral performance after 150 concert-goers gathered in “close proximity”.

    The orchestra was performing songs by US rapper Dr Dre and the organisers had said the event would be operating under “strict Covid government guidelines”.

    It took place at the 19th century-built Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Liverpool’s Stanley Park.

    Organisers No Strings Attached were fined £10,000 for the Covid-19 breach.

  • TOP SCIENTISTS CONSIDERED PLAN FOR EVERYONE OVER 45 TO SHIELD

    Scientists had reportedly asked the government to consider having everyone over the age of 45 shield under new coronavirus plans.

    Papers from SAGE have suggested that those over 45 were at greater risk from the killer bug and said could be “segmented” from the rest of the population.

    However, the idea was eventually advised against as it was considered unlikely to be successful – but it is still being kept under review.

    It follows a similar plan to potentially target over-50s with another lockdown.

  • EASYJET 'HANGING BY A THREAD' AFTER CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

    EasyJet is “hanging by a thread” after being crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, a union official has claimed.

    In a leaked recording obtained by BBC News, Martin Entwisle of pilots' union Balpa said the airline was in a “really, really dire situation”.

    Mr Entwisle, who's also an EasyJet captain, reportedly made the comment after a meeting with the airline's chief financial officer, Andrew Findlay.

    During the presentation to Balpa members, Mr Entwisle added: “I think the easiest way to put it is that the company is hanging by a thread.

    “If we don't have a good summer next summer and make a considerable amount of money, we really are going to be out of a job.”

    Read more here

  • LIB DEMS DEMAND 'CABINET MINISTER FOR WELLBEING'

    A “minister for wellbeing” should take a seat at the Cabinet table to ensure the Government's policies are in keeping with people's health needs, according to the Liberal Democrats.

    The party's health spokeswoman Munira Wilson made the call in a speech to the Lib Dems' annual conference on Saturday, being held virtually because of the pandemic.

    She said coronavirus had “exposed in technicolour the health inequalities facing the UK and shown us why we need to rethink the way we see healthcare as a whole”.

    Ms Wilson added Boris Johnson needed to “put public health at the top of his agenda in the long-term”.

  • STRICTLY COME DANCING STARS REFUSE TO ISOLATE BEFORE SHOW

    Strictly bosses have ditched plans to isolate celebs throughout the series after a storm of protest from stars.

    The contestants kicked off at the idea of not seeing their loved ones for up to five days a week.

    Producers have quietly shelved the move and instead agreed to contestants coming and going.

    But they have been told they must stick to their contractual hours and socially distance while cameras are not rolling.

    Click here to read the full story

  • WEDDING RECEPTION SHUT DOWN BY POLICE

    A wedding reception was shut down by police after they found dozens of guests crammed into a restaurant.

    The bar in Swansea, Wales, has been ordered to shut after “a large number of people” attended the nuptials.

    Officers were called to Adelina's Bar and Kitchen on Thursday night and forced everyone at the party to leave.

    Pictures from the night apparently show wedding guests crammed into the bar before the cops arrived to break up the gathering.

    Read more here

  • SHOPPERS LOST ALMOST £100MILLION IN VOUCHERS

    Shoppers lost almost £100million in unused vouchers as stores closed during coronavirus lockdown, according to new Which? research.

    The consumer champion has found that a quarter of UK adults had a shopping voucher worth £45 on average that expired during the period.

    Non-essential retailers were forced to shut in March due to Covid-19, and homeware stores then reopened in May followed by the rest in June.

    Based on a survey of 2,000 people, Which? found that 49% of shoppers with a voucher expiring during this period had it automatically extended by the retailer.

    You can read more here

  • HOUSEHOLD MIXING BAN COMES INTO FORCE ACROSS PARTS OF NORTHERN ENGLAND

    Bans on households mixing have come into force across swathes of northern England amid a warning that the new measures may not be enough to halt the spread of coronavirus.

    Extra restrictions were introduced at midnight in Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds, with residents advised not to meet people outside their household or bubble in any setting.

    Tougher rules are already in force across large swathes of north-west England, West Yorkshire, the North East and the Midlands, as well as parts of west Scotland.

    A ban on households mixing indoors was extended across Northern Ireland earlier this week.

  • MAN, 29, FIGHTING FOR LIFE AFTER CONTRACTING CORONAVIRUS

    A Brit who thought he was “invincible” and dismissed coronavirus as “bull***t” is scared for his life after catching the bug in Tenerife.

    Chris Grailey, previously a healthy 29-year-old, has warned others to take the virus seriously as he struggles to breathe while being given oxygen treatment.

    He said: “I caught it in Tenerife thinking I was invincible, not wearing a mask.

    “I paid the price. I have got no underlying health issues. I don't want anyone making the same mistakes as me.

    “Now I'm in intensive care, waiting to get more treatment, and not knowing if I'm coming out the other side.

    “So I really want you to take this message on board because it could happen to anyone, please please take care.”

    Click here to read the story

  • TOUGHER CORONAVIRUS RULES TO AFFECT 17 MILLION PEOPLE

    More than a quarter of the UK population will be living under extra coronavirus restrictions when new measures on socialising come into force in parts of the country.

    A ban on households mixing in each other's homes came into effect at midnight in Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds.

    Residents in those areas are also advised not to meet people outside their household or bubble in any other settings including bars, shops or parks.

  • HUNDREDS OF MANCHESTER STUDENTS TOLD TO SELF-ISOLATE

    Hundreds of students in Manchester have been told to self-isolate after 127 of them tested positive for coronavirus.

    Residents at the Birley campus and Cambridge Halls at Manchester Metropolitan University have been told to stay in their rooms for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.

    In total, 1,700 students have been locked down, according to the Manchester Evening News.

  • JUDITH BLAKE CALLS FOR MORE TESTING IN LEEDS

    Leeds City Council leader councillor Judith Blake said if the Government provided more testing the city could manage the situation better locally.

    She added: “What we are also saying to Government is we need more local testing capacity, trying to get across to government that if they give us the resource to do things locally we can do a much better job than a national programme run outside the city.”

  • CORONAVIRUS DEATHS WARNING

    Infectious disease modelling expert Professor Graham Medley warned there would be 100 coronavirus deaths a day in a few weeks' time.

    Prof Medley, who attends meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “The treatments have improved, the way the virus is transmitting is going to be different, but nonetheless it is a dangerous virus and inevitably it will lead to some deaths.

    “Now whether it is as many – in February and March we were essentially assuming 1% of infections would lead to deaths. Now even if that is 0.8%, which I think would be a great success in terms of treatment, it still means that we are going to see deaths increase.

    “At a level of 10,000 (cases) we are seeing now, means that in three or four weeks we are going to see 100 deaths a day.

    “In order to stop that process increasing again, then we need to make sure that that transmission comes down now because that doubling time will carry on. The things that we do now will not stop 100 people dying a day but they will stop that progressing much higher.”

  • 'VIOLENCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED'

    Protesters taking part in an anti-lockdown demonstration in London have been urged to abide by coronavirus restrictions and warned that violence will not be tolerated.

    Saturday's protest in Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park comes a week after a separate event which saw more than a dozen officers injured when a “small minority” targeted police and more than 32 arrests were made.

    The Metropolitan Police said it had been engaging with organisers throughout the week to remind them of their legal obligations and explaining the events could be in breach of coronavirus regulations.

    While protests are exempt from the rule of six which is in force in England, organisers must submit a risk assessment and comply with social distancing.

    Police said some organisers had done so but where this had not happened the Met will “increase their engagement and encourage attendees to disperse”.

    They added that enforcement “remains a last resort but will be undertaken if required”.

  • SAVE CHRISTMAS

    Ministers are working to save Christmas from coronavirus and are prepared to do “whatever it takes” to keep families together this year.

    The Government is hoping to roll out three million coronavirus tests a day and have a vaccine available by December, according to The Telegraph.

    But if these plans fail, there is a backup plan to help Brits enjoy the festive period.

    It could be suggested that families isolate two weeks before Christmas to enable them to meet safely in groups larger than six.

    But the Department for Health have said nothing can be guaranteed at this stage.

  • PULL TOGETHER

    Premier League managers have come together to call for support to help lower-league clubs through the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Plans to reintroduce spectators to sports venues from October 1 have been paused by the Government following a rise in Covid-19 infections.

    The English Football League has warned it faces a £200million collective loss if spectators cannot return in the 2020-21 season.

    Talks between the Premier League and the EFL over a bailout continue, and it is understood there will be conditions within it about how any money is spent.

  • COVID CASES ROCKET

    UK coronavirus cases soared by 6,874 on Friday – reaching a new high for the second day in a row.

    Yesterday's figures brought the total number of Covid-19 cases to 423,236.

    Public Health England medical director Yvonne Doyle said: “This is the highest number recorded and a stark warning for us all. The signals are clear.

    “Positivity rates are rising across all age groups and we’re continuing to see spikes in rates of admission to hospital and critical care.

    “We must all follow the new measures that have been bought in to help control the virus and download the new NHS Covid-19 App which is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk.”

    Government scientists say the Covid reproduction rate is now somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5.

  • TOUGHER CORONAVIRUS RULES AFFECT 17 MILLION PEOPLE

    More than a quarter of the UK population will be living under extra coronavirus restrictions when new measures on socialising come into force in parts of the country.

    A ban on households mixing in each other's homes came into effect at midnight in Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds.

    Residents in those areas are also advised not to meet people outside their household or bubble in any other settings including bars, shops or parks.

    It comes as the UK recorded its highest single-day figure of coronavirus cases, with 6,874 lab-confirmed cases.

  • A-LEVEL RESULTS FIASCO HAS PUT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AT RISK

    The rising Covid-19 problem at universities has been made worse by the Government's “incompetence” over A-level results, the leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.

    Sir Ed Davey accused ministers of making the risk of coronavirus infection “worse” for thousands of students across the country as they prepare to start the new academic year.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock this week refused to rule out asking students to stay at their university accommodation for Christmas to prevent coronavirus spreading to older relatives.

    But ex-cabinet minister Sir Ed said ministers should look at their own performance, blaming the sudden changes to the way the exam results were worked out for producing an influx of numbers enrolling at university this year.

    Ministers U-turned on a decision to deploy a “mutant algorithm” – the description given to it by the Prime Minister – and instead use teacher predictions for grades after exams were cancelled, in a move that boosted pupil results.

    The University of Liverpool earlier this week confirmed there were already 87 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among students and staff on campus before the autumn term had even begun.

    Universities in Manchester have also recorded cases, while Scottish higher education establishments are fighting to control the number of infections.

  • WIGAN, STOCKPORT & BLACKPOOL FACE EXTRA RESTRICTIONS

    From Saturday, Wigan and Stockport – which had been exempt from a lockdown imposed on Greater Manchester – will now face the same restrictions as the rest of the region.

    Blackpool, previously exempt from Lancashire's restrictions, will join the rest of the county in having to follow the same rules.

    Residents in these three areas must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.

    Locals are also advised only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work, and avoid attending amateur sporting events.

    The ban already exists in the city of Manchester, Merseyside, parts of Cheshire, Trafford, Bury, Tameside, Rochdale, Salford, Bolton, Oldham, Preston, Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle – with people also advised to avoid mixing in public venues too.

  • LEEDS IN LOCAL LOCKDOWN

    Leeds will follow the coronavirus restrictions currently in place in Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford from Saturday.

    Residents in the city will be banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens.

    They will also be advised not to socialise with anyone outside their household in public venues, including bars, restaurants and parks.

    The Department of Health and Social Care said some wards in West Yorkshire were exempt from existing restrictions on gatherings introduced at the start of August, but these wards will now also be subject to the ban.

    The city council said there had been a “steep rise” in Covid-19 infections, with the rate at 98.5 per 100,000 people.

  • BELT-TIGHTENING FOR THE QUEEN

    More cost-cutting is in store for the royal family as the coronavirus pandemic has driven away tourists.

    The royal household will not ask for more government money but will look to manage the impact through its own efforts and efficiencies.

    Buckingham Palace has already introduced a staff pay freeze and a halt to hiring.

    Keeper of the Privy Purse Michael Stevens said a lack of income from visitors to royal buildings was likely to bring a general funding shortfall of £15million over three years.

    The accounts also show that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, paid an undisclosed sum to reimburse the public purse for rent and refurbishment of their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.

    While the exact sum will appear in next year's accounts, the revamp itself cost £2.4million.

  • STUDENT BLOCKS LOCKED DOWN IN MANCHESTER

    A string of Manchester student blocks are locked down tonight after more than 100 Covid cases were recorded.

    Halls at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley campus, as well as Cambridge Hall near All Saint's Park, are to be locked down for a fortnight and 1,700 students living there told to self isolate “with immediate effect”.

    The Manchester Evening News reported last weekend that a number of students were already self-isolating at the Birley campus, in Hulme, days after a 100-strong party was reported in the courtyard.

    Since then, Covid-19 infections have soared to 127 across that site and Cambridge Halls, with a number of other students also recording symptoms.

    As a result the council, university and Public Health England have jointly agreed to introduce lockdown measures.

  • LOCAL LOCKDOWNS: THE LATEST UK TOWNS AND CITIES TO FACE EXTRA RESTRICTIONS

    Leeds in West Yorkshire, Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, and Wigan, Stockport and Blackpool in Lancashire will have local coronavirus lockdowns enforced from Saturday, September 26.

    Wales's two largest cities, Cardiff and Swansea, will follow suit the following day to curb a rise in Covid-19 cases.

    “The local restrictions mean that when in force people living in Llanelli, Cardiff, and Swansea will not be able to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse,” Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething told a media conference.

    London has also been highlighted as an area of concern, and Teesside as an area of enhanced support by the Department of Health and Social Care.

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