Covid UK news – Massive UK-wide TOTAL LOCKDOWN could be enforced after Christmas as government 'rules nothing out'

Covid UK news – Massive UK-wide TOTAL LOCKDOWN could be enforced after Christmas as government 'rules nothing out'

A MASSIVE post-Christmas lockdown could still be enforced as the government said it "rules nothing out".

This week Northern Ireland announced six-weeks of full lockdown, while Wales announced a further freeze and Scotland is teetering on the edge.

Asked if England would follow suit, effectively putting the entire UK back in a full lockdown, schools minister Nick Gibb said "Nothing is ruled out of course as we tackle this pandemic".

Earlier the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “We’ve been clear of the rationale behind the tiered regional approach and that’s what we’ve set out for the time.

“As we’ve said throughout we will obviously keep the latest data and the latest trends under review.”

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news, reaction and updates on the lockdown plans…

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    SAGE PROFESSOR SAYS MEASURES ARE LIKELY TOBE TIGHTENED AFTER CHRISTMAS

    Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Sage scientific advisory panel, said measures are likely to have to be tightened after Christmas.

    He told Sky News: "At the moment it doesn't look like the tier system is holding the epidemic wave back, unfortunately. So I think we are going to have to look at these measures and perhaps tighten them up, we really will.

    "It's a horrible thing to have to say but we are in quite a difficult position."

    But Prof Edmunds, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggested that, while the relaxation of restrictions at Christmas is "probably not good for the epidemic", it is "probably good for people's wellbeing in other ways".

    He said he will not mix with elderly relatives over the festive season, choosing to wait until they have been vaccinated.

    He said: "Personally, I'm not seeing my older relatives at Christmas. I'll go and see them once they've been vaccinated. And I think many people are probably going to do something similar and I think that's the right, sensible thing to do.

    "But I guess we're leaving people to make that decision for themselves.

    "And to some extent I can understand that. As long as people understand the risks and know what's happening then I think it's up to them to make these decisions."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BUG DELAY

    Angela Merkel is facing a growing backlash over Britain getting the Covid-19 vaccine before Germany.

    The German leader has been criticised for sticking to a common EU approach instead of fast-tracking approval for the jab like the UK.

    Experts say if Berlin had rolled out the shot at the same time as Britain it could have saved up to 15,000 extra lives.

    And it comes as it was revealed French President Emmanuel Macron has Covid-19 — and may have infected other EU leaders.

    He tested positive after developing symptoms just days after a top-level summit, with Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez now also self-isolating.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    SCHOOLS MINISTER GIBB SAID 'WE RULE NOTHING OUT' WHEN ASKED ABOUT LOCKDOWN AFTER CHRISTMAS

    Schools Minister Nick Gibb said "we rule nothing out" when asked about the possibility of a national lockdown after Christmas.

    He was asked if the Government was going to prepare the rest of the country for lockdown, following announcements in Northern Ireland and Wales.

    He told BBC Breakfast: "We (in England) have a very localised approach because we have the data from the mass testing. Forty-six million tests have been issued through that Test and Trace system since the beginning.

    "It means that we can identify where, in particular local areas, infection rates are rising, and then we can apply those restrictions on an area-by-area basis through the tier system, and when infection rates are rising we will increase the tier from Tier two to Tier Three. When they're falling, we will reduce it as we have in Bristol, North Somerset and in Herefordshire."

    Asked if there would be no national lockdown, he added: "We think the tier system is a very effective way, of course, (but) you know, we rule nothing out. This Government is absolutely determined to tackle this virus."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    UK CASES & DEATHS PER DAY

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    THE DOC WILL SEE YOU NOW

    The NHS has set up special centres for thousands of people suffering with long Covid – as one in five people develop lasting symptoms after contracting the coronavirus.

    Assessment centres are now taking referrals from GPs for people experiencing conditions such as anxiety, brain fog, breathlessness, depression, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.

    Patients will need to be referred by their GP who will asses their symptoms so that they can rule out other health conditions before referring patients to the long Covid centres.

    There will be a total of 69 centres dotted across the country and NHS England has coughed up £10 million in funding for the network of clinics.

    Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive hailed the move and said the NHS was “taking action” to help those still suffering from ongoing symptoms.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    PFIZER APPLIES FOR COVID-19 VACCINE APPROVAL IN JAPAN

    Drugmaker Pfizer Inc said on Friday it had applied for approval in Japan for its Covid-19 vaccine, which is already being administered in the UK and in the U.S.

  • Tariq Tahir

    NEW NATIONAL LOCKDOWN CAN’T BE RULED OUT

    A new national lockdown in England can't be ruled out after Christmas, British schools minister Nick Gibb said on Friday,

    Asked if the whole of England was now headed to towards a national lockdown, Gibb told Sky News: "Nothing is ruled out of course as we tackle this pandemic but the test system is a very effective way… to focus the restrictions."

    But asked to confirm that the government was not ruling out a post-Christmas national lockdown, Gibb said: "That's not what I said. We have a very effective tier system." 

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    MODERNA VACCINE TAKES STEP FORWARD IN US

    A second Covid-19 vaccine earned a government advisory panel’s endorsement on Thursday – the same day that the US surpassed 17million coronavirus infections.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted 20-0 that benefits of the vaccine by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health outweighed the risks.

    The FDA is expected to quickly approve Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use, allowing the company to start shipping millions of doses.

    As the advisory panel paved the way for administering the second coronavirus vaccine in the US, the country on Thursday afternoon reported more than 17million cases.

    The US passed the new mark just five days after breaking 16million.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    ESSEX DESERTED AS IT IS PLUNGED INTO TIER 3

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    LONG COVID CENTRES SET UP AS ONE IN 5 BATTLE SYMPTOMS

    The NHS has set up special centres for thousands of people suffering with long Covid – as one in five people develop lasting symptoms after contracting the coronavirus.

    Assessment centres are now taking referrals from GPs for people experiencing conditions such as anxiety, brain fog, breathlessness, depression, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.

    There will be a total of 69 centres dotted across the country and NHS England has coughed up £10 million in funding for the network of clinics.

    Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive hailed the move and said the NHS was “taking action” to help those still suffering from ongoing symptoms.

    Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that one in five people with Covid-19 develop longer term symptoms and around 186,000 people suffer from problems for up to 12 weeks.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    PAUL MCCARTNEY: 'I WILL BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO GET THE JAB'

    Sir Paul McCartney has given the Covid vaccine a major shot in the arm — by vowing to be among the first big names to receive the jab in the UK.

    The Beatles legend, 78, will be among the third tier of people eligible to receive the jab alongside other over-75s, and said he believes it will finally offer Britain a way out from the pandemic crisis.

    In an exclusive interview with The Sun’s Something For The Weekend today, Sir Paul tells how he is eager to be back on stage as soon as possible after being forced to miss out on headlining Glastonbury Festival after it was cancelled this year.

    He said: “The vaccine will get us out of this. I think we’ll come through it, I know we’ll come through, and it’s great news about the vaccine. I’ll have it as soon as I’m allowed.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TOM CRUISE ‘SHUTS DOWN MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FILMING’ AFTER COVID RULES MELTDOWN

    Tom Cruise is shutting down production on Mission: Impossible 7 to take an earlier than planned Christmas break – following controversy over his now infamous on-set meltdown.

    The superstar has lost his temper with crew on several occasions over a failure to stick to strict Covid guidelines – with five staffers later quitting.

    And now sources say he is preparing to wrap up filming for the year this Friday, before heading to Miami via private jet to spend the festive period with his son, Connor.

    An insider said: “It has been exhausting keeping the production on track for so long, and it’s not getting any easier – Christmas can’t come soon enough.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    US DEATHS & CASES

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    US XMAS COVID SPIKE COULD LAST 90 DAYS

    A spike in coronavirus cases caused by extra socialising at Christmas could see after-effects for 90 DAYS in America an expert claims.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield revealed his frightening coronavirus prediction on Thursday, The Hill reported.

    Speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations event, Dr Redfield said: "We are in the timeframe now that probably for the next 60 to 90 days…

    "We’re going to have more deaths per day than we had at 9/11 or we had at Pearl Harbor."

    He anticipates a continued death toll for weeks to come.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    SCHOOL HOLS ‘EXTENDED BY A WEEK’

    Some secondary school kids will get an extra week at home in January while mass testing is rolled out, Gavin Williamson will say today.

    In effect the Christmas holidays will continue for millions of children, with older students told to study at home and online instead.

    Primary school kids, key workers' children, or key exam year kids will go back as usual on their first day back, The Sun understands.

    And they will be first in line for the tests to make sure they have not picked anything up from their Christmas bubbles.

    Other kids in secondary schools will get an allotted time to go in that week and get a Covid test, but will not come in full time until the following week.

    Online learning is expected for those kids instead, with everyone back in school by January 11.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    ALOK SHARMA ON FURLOUGH EXTENSION

    Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “While our loan schemes have provided a vital lifeline to millions of firms across the country, we know that business owners need additional certainty as we head into the New Year.

    “Extending government-backed loan schemes will give companies right across the UK the finance they need to support, protect and create jobs as we build back better from the pandemic.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    SUNAK STATEMENT ON FURLOUGH EXTENSION

    Mr Sunak said: “Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world – helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods across the country.

    “We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable them to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TIERS AFTER TODAY'S REVIEW

  • Alex Winter

    CHIEFS ISOLATE AFTER MACRON'S POSITIVE TEST

    A host of European leaders and top French officials rushed into isolation on Thursday after President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19, upending political agendas across the continent.

    Macron, 42, was tested after the "onset of the first symptoms" and will now self isolate for seven days in accordance with national regulations, his office said in a statement.

    "He will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely," the statement said.

    A source close to the presidency said that Macron had "probably been infected during an EU summit in Brussels" last week.

    The French president spent 20 hours non stop with the leaders of the 26 other EU countries, including a night of negotiations.

    Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain's prime ministers, European Council president Charles Michel are isolating, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel has tested negative.

  • Alex Winter

    FURLOUGH GOES ON UNTIL APRIL

    The furlough scheme is being extended until April 2021 with the government continuing to pay 80 per cent of wages for hours not worked.

    The scheme had been due to end in March next year.

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he decided to bring his review forward to give businesses certainty going into the new year.

    Mr Sunak also today confirmed the Budget will take place on March 3 2021, after being moved from autumn this year, while businesses have been given another month to apply for a coronavirus loan.

    Here's what you need to know.

  • Alex Winter

    THE UK'S CURRENT TRAVEL CORRIDOR LIST

    These are all the countries on the Government's travel corridors list, meaning you there's no need for travellers to self-isolate.

    • Anguilla
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Aruba
    • Australia
    • the Azores
    • Bahrain
    • Barbados
    • Bermuda
    • Bhutan
    • Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba
    • Botswana (arrivals before 4am 12 December need to self-isolate)
    • British Antarctic Territory
    • British Indian Ocean Territory
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Brunei
    • Cambodia
    • Cayman Islands
    • the Channel Islands
    • Chile
    • Cuba
    • Dominica
    • Falkland Islands
    • Faroe Islands
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Fiji
    • Finland
    • Gibraltar
    • Greek islands: Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos
    • Greenland
    • Grenada
    • Hong Kong
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • the Isle of Man
    • Israel and Jerusalem (read about the UK position on Jerusalem)
    • Japan
    • Kiribati
    • Laos
    • Macao (Macau)
    • Madeira
    • Malaysia
    • Maldives
    • Mauritius
    • Mongolia
    • Montserrat
    • Namibia (will be removed from list 4am, Saturday 19 December)
    • New Caledonia
    • New Zealand
    • Northern Mariana Islands
    • Norway
    • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
    • Qatar
    • Rwanda
    • Samoa
    • Saudi Arabia (arrivals before 4am 12 December need to self-isolate)
    • Seychelles
    • Singapore
    • Solomon Islands
    • South Korea
    • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
    • Sri Lanka
    • St Barthélemy
    • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Pierre and Miquelon
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Taiwan
    • Thailand
    • Timor-Leste
    • Tonga
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Uruguay (will be removed from list 4am, Saturday 19 December)
    • US Virgin Islands (will be removed from list 4am, Saturday 19 December)
    • Vanuatu
    • Vietnam
    • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

      TWO-THIRDS OF THE POPULATION IN TIER THREE

      The Health Secretary revealed a string of areas including Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Peterborough and Surrey would be bumped up into the top level of restrictions earlier today.

      Schools, shops and gyms can stay open in the top Tier, but restaurants, pubs and indoor activities have to shut down under the harsh restrictions.

      Today's changes move around five million more people into Tier 3 at 12.01am on Saturday – facing a near lockdown in all but name.

      Around 38million people will be in the highest level of lockdown rules, totaling more than two THIRDS of the population.

    • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

      NI, SCOTLAND & WALES HURTLE TOWARDS LOCKDOWN

      Case numbers continue to rise in Northern Ireland despite the latest two-week circuit-break.

      First Minister Arlene Foster threw the country into a four-week lockdown in October, only for it to be extended for another two weeks in November.

      Wales is also hurtling towards a post-Christmas lockdown, after First Minister Mark Drakeford made a screeching u-turn on the festive season – meaning only two households, not three, can meet up for the holidays.

      Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out further lockdown measures in Scotland, but stressed yesterday that the situation in Wales was much more serious.

      Ms Sturgeon also gave Scots a gloomy Christmas message, telling them to only see their loved ones for one day over the holidays – and suggesting they stay apart altogether if possible.

    • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

      NORTHERN IRELAND LOCKDOWN

      Today the Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann has said he would put forward a number of "robust and extreme" recommendations at an executive meeting today.

      It is understood this means draconian lockdown measures will shut retail, hospitality and leisure for six weeks.

      It would mark the third lockdown Northern Ireland has had to grapple with.

      Stormont sources told PA that the proposals will be akin to the full-scale lockdown in March than the recent circuit break restrictions.

    • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

      UK DAILY COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS

    Source: Read Full Article