Coronavirus UK news LIVE – Boris to insist national lockdown will end on December 2 as death forecast '4 times too high'

BORIS Johnson will today insist the lockdown in England will end on December 2 — despite claims the forecasted death toll used to justify it was four times too high.

The Prime Minister is set to use a statement to the Commons this afternoon to say there is "no alternative" but to impose four weeks of stringent restrictions across England to control rising cases.

It comes amid confusion over whether the measures could be extended beyond December 2, after Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove admitted they may need to be in place for longer.

Johnson will tell MPs the Government will "seek to ease" restrictions and return to the tiered system on December 2, though a Number 10 source insisted the measures would be "time-limited" for four weeks.

But some experts have cast doubt on the validity of the predicted death toll of 80,000 that spurred the lockdown, saying it was four times too high.

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  • Patrick Knox

    BOJO TO TELL MPS THERE IS 'NO ALTERNATIVE' TO LOCKDOWN

    The PM will warn coronavirus deaths over the winter could be twice as high as during the first wave of the pandemic when he outlines plans for a second national lockdown to MPs.

    He is set to use a statement to the Commons on Monday afternoon to say there is “no alternative” but to impose four weeks of stringent restrictions across England to control rising cases.

    It comes amid confusion over whether the measures could be extended beyond December 2, after Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove admitted they may need to be in place for longer.

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘DEATH FORECAST TO JUSTIFY NATIONAL LOCKDOWN MAY BE WRONG’

    A Downing Street press conference led by Boris Johnson on Saturday included data suggesting that England could be seeing up to 4,000 deaths each day by early December.

    The projections were based on research conducted three weeks ago by Cambridge University, the Telegraph reports.

    But experts have questioned why the work is still being used to make decisions when the university has published more recent research, whose estimated death tolls are considerably lower.

    They also point out that the original research suggested the daily death toll would by now be around 1,000 day.

    The average daily death toll in England over the last week was 260 – roughly four times lower.

  • Patrick Knox

    WORLD IN PERIL

    More than 46.12 million Covid-19 cases have been reported globally now.

    And1,195,428 people have died according to a Reuters tally released on Sunday evening.

  • Patrick Knox

    BRAZIL HEALTH MINISTER BACK IN HOSPITAL WITH COVID-19

    Eduardo Pazuello will stay in a military hospital overnight after having been discharged from a civilian facility earlier in the day, the ministry said in a statement.

    Pazuello, an active duty Army general, will stay in the military hospital as “a precautionary measure,” the ministry said.

    “Pazuello is well and stable and should stay resting until tomorrow,” the statement said.

    The minister tested positive for coronavirus on Oct. 21. He checked into a hospital on Friday, suffering from dehydration, the ministry said earlier.

    Roughly half of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro's 23-member cabinet has gotten the coronavirus, with the president and his wife coming down with the disease in July.

  • Patrick Knox

    BOJO SAYS THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE TO LOCKDOWN

    The PM will say there is no alternative but to lock down England as lawmakers prepare to vote on measures to contain a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    After resisting calls for a new national lockdown for most of last month, Johnson announced on Saturday that restrictions across England will begin after midnight on Thursday and last until December 2.

    The United Kingdom, which has the highest official death toll in Europe, is grappling with more than 20,000 new cases a day.

    Scientists have warned a worst-case scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded this winter.

    Britain has reported 46,717 deaths — a broader measure of those with the virus on their death certificates puts the toll at 58,925.

  • Patrick Knox

    MANCHESTER MAYOR CALLS FOR SCHOOLS TO CLOSE NOW AND REGULAR CIRCUIT-BREAKER LOCKDOWNS

    Andy Burnham said coronavirus cases won't be curbed unless schools shut their doors.

    The senior Labour politician said a period of closure, with online teaching, is needed to avoid the region going back into Tier 3 when the second national lockdown ends.

    The mayor, who fought a fierce battle against Greater Manchester being moved into Tier 3 last month, said cases in the region's schools are the highest in the country.

    He insisted this afternoon the only way to lower the transmission is with total shutdown for a number of weeks, the Manchester Evening News reports.

  • Patrick Knox

    WEEKLY TESTS FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS AND VULNERABLE, LABOUR URGES

    Frontline workers and vulnerable people living in coronavirus hotspots should be tested every week in a bid to identify asymptomatic carriers and protect those most at risk, Labour has urged the Government.

    NHS staff and those working in education, transport, retail and hospitality, as well as at risk groups in areas with high infections, should be given access to rapid saliva tests, the party said.

    Labour has urged ministers to use the November lockdown to expand testing and fix contact tracing, saying that a plan to rollout strategic mass testing would give a roadmap for containing the virus.

    Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said ministers should use the four-week period of stringent restrictions to speed up the roll-out of quick testing, deploying it in all high-risk workplaces and high-transmission settings.

  • Patrick Knox

    NIGEL FARAGE TO RELAUNCH BREXIT PARTY AS REFORM UK

    In a joint article for the Daily Telegraph, Farage and Richard Tice Tice declare “lockdowns don't work”, and say their new party will back “focused protection” from Covid-19 only for the most vulnerable.

    This would allow the rest of the population to develop herd immunity, they say.

    The plans to change the name of the Brexit Party to Reform UK are subject to approval of the Electoral Commission.

    Papers were reportedly submitted to the regulator last week.

    Reform UK hopes to stand a slate of candidates at May's local elections.

  • Patrick Knox

    PRINCE WILLIAM BATTLED CORONA IN APRIL BUT KEPT IT SECRET

    William “struggled to breathe” after being struck down by Covid-19, The Sun can reveal.

    The Duke of Cambridge kept his diagnosis a secret because he didn’t want to alarm the nation.

    The heir to the throne, 38, caught the virus in April days after dad, Prince Charles, and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, were struck down.

    William told one observer at an engagement: “There were important things going on and I didn’t want to worry anyone.”

  • Patrick Knox

    BAN ON CARE HOME VISITS 'WOULD BREACH FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS'

    The warning comes from the National Care Forum (NCF) in a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

    In the letter signed by 60 organisations, NCF leaders have urged Hancock, along with Social Care Secretary Helen Whately, to allow limited numbers of relatives to visit care homes.

    Government guidelines currently tell care homes to “follow existing guidance” with more to come ahead of the lockdown, which will be introduced from Thursday.

    Vic Rayner, executive director of the NCF, said their letter is signed by a coalition of residents, relatives, care providers and academics who “must be listened to”.

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘LIFE WON'T RETURN TO NORMAL UNTIL AT LEAST 2021’

    Professor Robin Shattock, of Imperial College London, said even if a coronavirus vaccine is ready by early next year for the most vulnerable it won’t mean a quick return to life before the pandemic struck.

    Prof Shattock told The Independent: “I would anticipate with getting a vaccine out to vulnerable populations in the first half of next year, and with the potential gain over the summer that we saw this year – with incidences going down – that we'll start to see life going back to normal in the summer of next year.”

    He added vaccinating high-risk groups, including healthcare workers and the elderly would be “game-changing” but warned: “It wouldn’t mean everything went away, but it would give the opportunity to start coming out of this situation.”

    Prof Shattock said he expected the first vaccines would be available soon after Christmas but it wouldn’t be rolled out to the general public until 2021.

  • Patrick Knox

    SPAIN'S FUNERAL HOMES STRIKE AS CASES RISE

    They are demanding more staff as coronavirus deaths continue to rise.

    Unions say more workers are needed to prevent the delay in burials that was seen during the first wave in March.

    Meanwhile anti-lockdown protesters in several Spanish cities clashed with security forces for a second night running Saturday, police said.

  • Patrick Knox

    COUPLES LIVING APART BANNED FROM SEX – UNLESS THEY’VE BUBBLED UP

    Under the strict new measures announced last night, people from separate households will not be able to visit friends and family at home unless they have formed a support bubble.

    Overnight stays and holidays will also be scrapped from Thursday, dashing any hopes of hooking up away.

    The new guidelines state: “You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household — meaning the people you live with — or support bubble.”

    They continue: “Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed — including holidays in the UK and abroad.”

    A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household.

  • Patrick Knox

    WETHERSPOONS’ 99P PINTS BEFORE LOCKDOWN

    The chain has launched a four-day sale with pints of real ale for just 99p before pubs across the UK close at 10pm on Wednesday night.

    Spokesman Eddie Gershon confirmed: “All of our pubs in England will be serving their real ales at 99p a pint until the pubs close on Wednesday night.

    “The reality is that any real ales not sold between now and lockdown will have to be thrown away, so it is better that customers can enjoy it at a great price while the pubs remain open.”

  • Patrick Knox

    BORIS JOHNSON FACES TORY REBELLION OVER NEW LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS

    A House of Commons backbench backlash threat comes amid warnings that the measures would be “disastrous” for the economy.

    The Commons will debate the Government's proposals to control the spread of coronavirus this week, with a vote expected on Wednesday.

    But some Conservative MPs have suggested they could vote against them.

    Tory former minister Sir Desmond Swayne told Sky News it would take a “huge amount of persuasion for me to vote for this disastrous course of action”.

    He said: “It is very difficult to believe scientists who tell you that there is a deadly pandemic taking place when there are no excess deaths beyond the normal five-year average.”

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  • Patrick Knox

    ‘HEALTH CHIEFS SAID ICE RINKS COULD BE USED AS MORTUARIES’

    Boris Johnson ordered a month long national lockdown starting on Thursday after health chiefs warned ice rinks could be used as mortuaries in the second Covid wave.

    The PM was presented with horrifying plans in the event of hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

    This included storing dead bodies in skating centres, amid warnings of 4,000 deaths a day.

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘YOU CAN STILL MOVE HOUSE’

    Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that people can continue to move house despite the new coronavirus lockdown coming into effect in England.

    Writing on Twitter, he said: “Housing market update ahead of Thursday's measures: Renters & homeowners will be able to move; Removal firms and estate agents can operate; Construction sites can and should continue; Tradespeople will be able to enter homes.

    “But all must follow the Covid safety guidance.”

  • Patrick Knox

    BABIES AND YOUNG KIDS EXEMPTED FROM LOCKDOWN SOCIAL RULE

    They will be exempt from a two-person limit on public gatherings under England's new lockdown rules, the government has said.

    The move follows concerns raised about the isolation that parents with young children could face during the four-week “circuit breaker” announced on Saturday.

    The exemption, announced this afternoon, will mean children under school age will not count towards the two-person limit on meetings between members of different households.

    It will also apply to anyone of any age who requires round-the-clock care.

    Announcing the change on Twitter today, health minister Nadine Dorries said: “Children under school age who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside.”

  • Patrick Knox

    ‘SCHOOLS COULD CLOSE IN ENGLAND LOCKDOWN AFTER ALL’ — SAGE EXPERTS

    Sir Mark Walport, the former chief scientific adviser, said the new restrictions in place for the second lockdown were not as “severe” as the first time.

    And he said there was a “possibility” the restrictions may have to remain in place for longer than the initial four weeks.

    He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “It's unlikely this time to come down quite as fast as it did during the first lockdown because we have got schools open.”

    Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), echoed those comments, saying transmission in secondary schools was “high”.

    Appearing on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “The big difference to the first lockdown is that schools remain open.

    “Because we have delayed the onset of this lockdown it does make keeping schools open harder.

  • Patrick Knox

    SCOTLAND COULD BE NEXT TO FACE COMPLETE LOCKDOWN

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said Scotland cannot rule out having to follow England into a second national lockdown, despite coronavirus being at lower levels north of the border,

    The nation has recorded six more coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, with 1,148 new cases of the disease.

    Meanwhile Conservative leader Douglas Ross insists the UK Government must “immediately” guarantee the furlough scheme will be extended in Scotland if the country is forced into a second lockdown.

  • Patrick Knox

    US REPORTS 229,932 DEATHS FROM CORONAVIRUS

    The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported 9,105,230 Covid-19 cases, an increase of 80,932 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 823 to 229,932.

    Meanwhile the White House’s top infectious diseases expert is warning the country will have to deal with a whole lot of hurt in the weeks ahead due to surging coronavirus cases.

    Dr Anthony Fauci's comments in a Washington Post interview take issue with President Donald Trump's frequent assertion that the nation is rounding the turn on the virus.

  • Patrick Knox

    TOP TORY WARNS LOCKDOWNS DAMAGING MENTAL HEALTH AND FAMILIES

    Senior Conservative MP Sir Graham Brady has said the “repetitive cycle” of lockdowns is “immensely damaging to people's livelihoods, is deeply depressing and is causing a huge toll in terms of people's mental health and family relationships”.

    The chairman of the 1922 Committee told BBC Radio 4's The Westminster Hour he is likely to vote against the new restrictions set to come into force in England on Thursday, as he warned of a “mission creep” of more restrictions.

    He said he was concerned about the intrusion into people's rights: “The freedom of association, the right to a family life.

    “If these kinds of measures were being taken in any totalitarian country around the world we would be denouncing it as a form of evil.

    “Here the removal of people's fundamental liberties is going almost without comment.”

  • Patrick Knox

    WILL PEOPLE HAVE TO STAY AT HOME AGAIN?

    Yes, those living in England will.

    They will only be allowed to leave their home for the following reasons:

    • Education
    • Work if you cannot work from home
    • For exercise and recreation outdoors – with your own household, on your own or with one other person from another household
    • Medical reasons
    • To escape injury or harm
    • Shop for food and essentials
    • Provide care to vulnerable
    • Volunteering

    But people will be allowed to sit on park benches and on beaches and won't be told to move along like the last lockdown.

    WHAT DOES THE SHUTDOWN MEANS

    PANIC-BUYERS RETURNS AS SUPERMARKET SHELVES STRIPPED BARE

    Brits have been loading up trolleys and formed snaking queues outside stores as England faces another lockdown from Thursday.

    The announcement of a new shutdown prompted huge queues at supermarkets across the country despite repeated warnings against panic-buying.

    Hundreds of masked shoppers were seen lining up outside Costco stores in Leeds, Birmingham and Hampshire this afternoon as shoppers stocked up on essential goods.

    Meanwhile shelves were also stripped bare in Morrisons in St Helen’s, Merseyside as shoppers hoarded toilet roll in scenes reminiscent of the country’s first lockdown in March.

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