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Coronavirus - 1st October

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 09:39

Summary for Thursday, 1st October


  • Stricter measures on social mixing announced for Liverpool, Warrington, Halton, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough
  • Restrictions include a ban on mixing between households in any indoor setting from 00:01 BST on Saturday
  • The mayor of Middlesbrough says he does not accept the restrictions and intends to defy them
  • Poland and Turkey among countries newly added to UK travel quarantine list
  • The growth in cases in England may be slowing since measures including the "rule of six" were introduced - study
  • The government plans to implement a three-tier regionalised lockdown system in England, BBC learns
  • A row has erupted over a lockdown in the Spanish capital Madrid after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases
  • Madrid's regional government did not vote in favour of the restrictions and questions their legality
  • Gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be permitted in Switzerland as the government starts to ease restrictions
  • An MPs' report says "poor communication" with patients from NHS bodies in England has left many "in limbo"
  • It has emerged that the UK government was warned back in May that its loan scheme for small firms was at "high risk of fraud"
  • Gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be permitted in Switzerland as the government starts to ease restrictions
  • Global sports organisations are dialling in for a virtual summit to discuss ways to make sport more sustainable


Good morning from London and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.Stay with us to see all the latest developments throughout the day. Here are some of the key updates from the UK and around the world:

  • Spain's capital Madrid and surrounding areas have been ordered to go into lockdown because of a spike in cases. However, the regional government is disputing the order's legality
  • The growth in coronavirus cases may be slowing down, the largest study of the infection in England suggests. Scientists found the R number - the virus's reproduction number - appears to have fallen since measures including the "rule of six" were introduced
  • The government was warned in May that its flagship loan scheme to help small firms affected by Covid was at "very high risk of fraud" from organised crime, it has emerged. A BBC report has revealed that criminals were setting up fake firms to get loans worth tens of thousands of pounds
  • The countdown to the end of the furlough financial lifeline has begun, with employers facing increased costs amid a warning that millions of jobs now hang in the balance. From today, the government's contribution to furloughed workers' wages falls, with the current scheme being replaced by a less generous jobs support package
  • Some 34 million jobs have been lost in Latin America because of the coronavirus, the UN's International Labour Organization says
  • Save the Children warns that the pandemic will lead to the biggest rise in child marriages
  • in a quarter of a century and is calling on world leaders to act
  • South Africa is reopening its borders today, but some tourists from countries with high infections rates – including the UK, US and France – will not be able to enter
  • Gatherings of more than 1,000 people are to be allowed in Switzerland as the government starts to ease restrictions. Sports and cultural events will also be allowed
  • The death toll from Covid-19 in the Australian state of Victoria has reached 800 after two more fatalities and 15 new cases were recorded. The national death toll stands at 888.


England at 'critical period' in combating virus

Our lead story this morning is that the growth in cases of coronavirus in England may be slowing down.
The largest study of the infection in England so far found the R number - the virus's reproduction number - appears to have fallen since measures including the "rule of six" were introduced.
However, scientists behind the study warn cases are high, with one in every 200 people infected.
Prof Paul Elliott from Imperial College London, who was involved in the study, was asked on the BBC's Today programme whether the current national restrictions in place were enough to bring the infection rate down to a level where cases begin to fall.
He said: "We do seem to still have a bit of an upward trajectory, but that very fast increase in the virus seems to have slowed and that's very encouraging.
"But we just need as individuals and as the population to redouble our efforts to follow the guidance - social distancing, handwashing, face covers and making sure that if we get symptomatic that we have tests and then we isolate and our contacts also isolate so that we can really control the virus.
"We're at a very critical period right now because the virus has got to quite high levels."
However, Prof Oliver Johnson, from the University of Bristol, said the study's conclusion that cases were slowing down was "wrong and dangerous".
Read our story here .

Second Madrid lockdown sparks political row

Mark Lobel - BBC World News
Normal life is set to be masked once again in the Spanish capital Madrid and its surrounding area, as a high rate of infections means four million residents must stay put.
Bars will shut at 23:00, playgrounds and parks will be closed. There can be no gatherings of more than six. People will only be allowed out of the restricted zone for work, doctors' visits and shopping.
"I live alone. The park is an important way out and if they close it that's very annoying, because being confined at home lowers morale a lot," one resident said.
Tempers are flaring. Madrid's regional government opposes the restrictions and argues they are not legally valid and may fight the lockdown in court.
Their solution was to bring in targeted localised restrictions, but they too provoked protests as the measures affected poorer parts of the city.
National politicians concluded those measures were not stringent enough. Spain's health minister says Madrid's health is Spain's health and that the situation in the capital is complex and worrying.
Madrid's lockdown was ordered after Spain's regional governments, who are in charge of healthcare, voted in favour of imposing restrictions in areas with more than 100,000 residents that had:

  • 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants
  • 35% Covid patient occupancy in intensive care units
  • Positive results in 10% of tests

Madrid is responsible for nearly half of all Spain's coronavirus cases and meets the criteria for those restrictions.

How Italy fought back from virus disaster

Mark Lowen - BBC News, Rome
Italy's cumulative number of Covid cases over the past two weeks is currently just over 37 per 100,000 people, among the lowest rates in Europe. The UK is at over 100, France exceeds 230 and Spain has around 330.
It is actually difficult to pinpoint exactly why Italy is somewhat bucking the trend of European countries experiencing an alarming spike in cases.
Its testing rate is not exceptionally high - the UK is carrying out over three times the tests of Italy - but the swabs are widely available and rapid testing is now in place at some airports, train stations and schools, so there is no sign of the problems in accessing tests that have been seen in the UK and elsewhere.
The most likely explanation is a combination of factors, including an efficient test and tracing system, and a longer lockdown.
Read the full story here .

Latest around Europe

The Spanish capital and nine towns around it have been given 48 hours to impose a lockdown as infections rise, but Madrid's centre-right local leaders argue the order isn’t valid. Social contact and moving between different areas will be strictly limited under the ministry of health order published this morning. But Madrid's regional leader Isabel Díaz Ayuso insists Spain's inter-territorial health council, which voted for the lockdown, "can't impose anything". Spain reported 11,016 new infections late on Wednesday and Madrid has 4,810 of them.
Germany has issued travel warnings for 11 European countries – there are advisories for Belgium, Iceland and parts of UK, including Wales and Northern Ireland, and also Ireland's border area with Northern Ireland.
Parisians will find out this evening whether bars and restaurants are to shut because of rising infections. Infections in the capital are up to 263 per 100,000 people, but reports say the government wants to hold off for now.
Meanwhile, after six months of closure, the legendary Crazy Horse cabaret club in Paris opens its doors tonight after six months – there will be a limit of 150 spectators instead of 250.
A state of emergency has come into force in Slovakia, where face masks must be worn outside if a safe distance cannot be maintained.
Mask requirements are being lifted today in most of the Belgian capital, Brussels, and gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be allowed in Switzerland from today.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 09:46

Any new restrictions in Merseyside to be 'much more draconian'

A decision on further coronavirus restrictions for Merseyside in North West England is expected to be taken today.
Merseyside has recorded a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, according to recent Public Health England data.
Politicians in the region are understood to have met Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Wednesday evening, with a final decision to be taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson today.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said new restrictions for Merseyside were needed to control the spread of the virus and would be "much more draconian".
Asked if the new measures would involve restrictions on how pubs operate, Rotheram said "that's one of them", but he said there would be others - such as around weddings and funerals.
"The menu [of restrictions] really is quite strict in regards to the freedoms that people have started to enjoy since lockdown," Rotheram added.
Earlier, Environment Secretary George Eustice told BBC Breakfast a decision on introducing further coronavirus restrictions in the area had not yet been made.

The second wave is here - but how bad will it be?

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The warning by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his senior officials at Wednesday's televised briefing was stark.
Things, they said, are heading in the "wrong direction", leaving the UK at a "critical moment" . Infections are on the rise and so too are hospital admissions and deaths.
There can be no doubt the second wave is now well and truly here.
What remains to be seen is just how bad it will be.
Read on this more here .

Switzerland allows gatherings of 1,000 people

Imogen Foulkes - BBC News, Geneva
Gatherings of more than 1,000 people will be allowed in Switzerland from today, as part of the government's strategy to ease restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Although cases of the virus are rising, the Swiss government has said sporting and cultural events should be allowed to go ahead, as long as strict hygiene and distancing rules are followed.
Since July, cases of Covid-19 have been steadily rising in Switzerland – not nearly as fast as in France or Spain, but fast enough for some Swiss regions to order mask wearing in shops and for others to recruit more contact tracers.
But the government is sticking with its advice that mass gatherings can go ahead for events such as football and ice hockey matches, concerts and exhibitions. The rules are strict: stadiums can only be two-thirds full and spectators must wear masks and be seated.
Local health authorities can ban events if they think the risk is too great. Some members of Switzerland's own Covid-19 task force have advised against this relaxation - but, after months of restrictions, the government argues, the people and the economy need it.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 09:50

India gives green light to reopening schools and cinemas

Andrew Clarance - BBC News, Delhi
India is allowing cinema halls, multiplexes and exhibition centres to reopen with up to 50% seating capacity from 15 October, in the next phase of lifting coronavirus-related lockdown rules.
Schools and colleges – which have been shut since March to curb the spread of the virus – will also be allowed to reopen, "in a graded manner", from the same date, India's Home Ministry has said. The final decision, however, has been left to the state governments.
Lockdown restrictions will still apply to containment zones until 31 October.
This announcement comes even as India battles a high caseload with more than six million confirmed infections, adding more than 80,000 new cases on Wednesday.
Swimming pools used by sportspersons for training and entertainment parks will be permitted to reopen, with accompanying standard operating procedures that will be issued separately.
Religious and political gatherings outside containment zones will be allowed to host up to half of the capacity of the closed space with a ceiling of 200 people. Face masks and thermal screening will be mandatory at these venues.

Victoria governor pledges 'Covid-normal Christmas' as death toll reaches 800

People in the Australian state of Victoria have been subject to some of the country's harshest restrictions in recent months as it battles to contain the virus that has so far killed 800 people there.
Amid rising criticism and anger about the length of the lockdown, Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions were working and Victorians could be hopeful for a "Covid-normal Christmas, a Covid-normal summer, and a virus at such a low level that we can sustain that over the long term".
He had earlier tweeted that there were 2,352 active coronavirus cases on 1 September and "today there are 289, The strategy is working – and that's all down to you".
The night-time curfew was lifted earlier this week and a further easing of restrictions on peoples' movement are promised by 19 October.
Victoria has registered more than 20,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, which is three-quarters of the total cases in Australia. The state also accounts for 90% of the country's number of deaths.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 12:45

UK ministers were warned of 'high risk' of Covid loans fraud

Coronavirus - 1st October 26922310
The BBC revealed how criminal gangs had set up fake companies to claim loans

The UK government was warned in May that its flagship loan scheme to help small firms affected by Covid was at "very high risk of fraud" from "organised crime", it has emerged.
The state-owned British Business Bank, which supervises the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, twice raised concerns.
A BBC report previously revealed that criminals were setting up fake firms to get loans worth tens of thousands of pounds.
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme has already paid out more than £38bn.
Read more on this story here .

Rolls-Royce to raise billions for Covid-lifeline

Rolls-Royce has announced it will seek to raise billions of pounds to bolster its finances after a "sharp deterioration" in civil aerospace because of the pandemic.
The plane engine maker will tap shareholders for £2bn (€2.2bn) through a rights issue and the remainder will come from issuing new bonds.
There has been speculation for weeks that Rolls-Royce will seek funding.
The company, which has been severely affected by the slowdown in air travel because of coronavirus, has already borrowed £2bn from the state.
Read more on this story here .

Patients left 'in limbo' by NHS virus response

The stress and anxiety caused to patients by "poor communication" from NHS bodies in England during the Covid pandemic has been criticised by MPs.
While recognising the huge burden placed on the NHS, their report said cancelled treatments and surgery had left some "in limbo" and others "too scared" to seek medical help.
The report also questioned why weekly testing of NHS staff had not yet begun. And it called for their mental and physical wellbeing to be supported.
Read more here .
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 12:51

.Coronavirus - 1st October Breaki36

New restrictions confirmed for parts of England

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is now delivering his coronavirus statement in the Commons.
He says in parts of Teesside and the north-west of England cases are continuing to rise fast.
Working with council leaders, he says he's extending restrictions introduced to north-east England this week to the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
Those restrictions include a ban on mixing between households in any indoor setting, such as pubs and restaurants.

No indoor household mixing or non-essential travel

Mr Hancock confirms the new rules for the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough are as follows:

  • Recommendation against all social mixing between people in different households
  • Regulations to be brought in to prevent social mixing between different households anywhere apart from outdoor public spaces such as parks and outdoor hospitality settings
  • Recommendation people should not attend professional or amateur sporting events as spectators
  • Recommendation people only visit care homes in "exceptional circumstances"
  • And guidance against all but essential travel, such as going to work or school


Follow the rules and we'll recover quicker - Hancock

Mr Hancock tells Parliament the measures now extended to cover much of the north of England are "hard" but there are signs they are working.
"I understand how much of an imposition this is. I want rules like this to stay in place for as short a time as possible - I'm sure we all do," he said.
The study published today shows us hope that together we can crack this, and the more people follow the rules and reduce their social contact the quicker we can get Liverpool and the North East back on their feet."

Restrictions in Bolton to be aligned with Greater Manchester

Mr Hancock also confirms restrictions in Bolton are to be aligned with those in Greater Manchester.
Extra measures in the town, brought in when it had the most Covid-19 cases in England, mean pubs and restaurants can only provide takeaways.
The borough's Tory council leader, David Greenalgh, had said "inequalities" in local restrictions were "breeding resentment" in the area.
There are no changes to measures to West Yorkshire, West Midlands, Leicester, Lancashire or the rest of Greater Manchester, the health secretary says.

Hancock says government will 'closely monitor' 22:00 pub closures

Mr Hancock moves on to the hospitality sector, which he says has faced a "terrible impact" from the virus.
He says with all the measures - including the 22:00 closing time for pubs in England - the government is "seeking to strike a balance" by allowing people to continue to safely socialise while reducing contact, "which the virus thrives upon".
He says all measures are kept under review - and the government will "closely monitor" the impact of the pub restrictions.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 12:59

'Frustration' over timing of announcement

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, called the measures "very regrettable".
But he added "we are where we are" and "must now focus on obeying the rules" and getting back to normal as soon as possible.
"People in Middlesbrough are incredibly resilient and community-minded, and together we will come through the weeks ahead," he tweeted. "It’s going to be tough, but let’s get this done."
Meanwhile, Labour Wallasey MP Angela Eagle spoke of her frustration on the timing of the announcement.
"It is enormously frustrating that the government have given MPs less than 24 hours’ notice for these new restrictions and due to the social distancing requirements and ballot system in the House of Commons, no Merseyside MPs were able to be present for the statement to question the health secretary," she wrote on Facebook.
"We have asked for the government to urgently provide the evidence and data behind these decisions to introduce stricter measures."
She said the government was using local lockdowns as a first response "without putting in place any increased testing".
Labour MPs are calling for more financial support for the affected areas.

Test and Trace figures record new weekly virus high

A total of 31,373 new people tested positive for Covid-19 in England in the week up to 23 September, according to the latest NHS Test and Trace figures that have just been released.
It's a 61% increase in positive cases compared with the previous week and is the highest weekly total since Test and Trace was launched at the end of May.
The latest Department of Health figures showed 71.6% of close contacts of those who tested positive in England were reached through the Test and Trace system in that week.
That was down from 76.3% the previous week, but more than the 69.9% for the week to 2 September, which was the lowest to date.
Just 2.9% of people in England who used a home test kit for Covid-19 received their result within 24 hours in the week to 23 September.
This is up slightly from 1.8% in the previous week, which was the lowest weekly percentage recorded.
The figures also showed 30.4% of people received the result of a home test within 48 hours, up from 11.3% in the previous week.
Here's more about how Test and Trace works .

I don't accept new restrictions, Middlesbrough mayor says

Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston has described new restrictions for the area - announced earlier today by Health Secretary Matt Hancock - as "unacceptable" - and says intends to defy the government.
New rules were confirmed for the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, which include a ban on social mixing between households indoors.
Mr Preston tweeted : "We tried to communicate with govt but they didn’t listen They’re imposing restrictions that’ll kill viable jobs & damage mental health. I do not accept the government’s intended restrictions - they’re based on ignorance."
In a video, he says the decision has been based on inaccuracies and ignorance - adding that there has been a "monstrous" lack of communication with the government.
Meanwhile, mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, told BBC Merseyside he was "deeply worried" there was no financial support for businesses and the £7m earmarked for local authorities was a "drop in the ocean".
"It's got to be in the hundreds of millions that we need to support businesses to survive just for a matter of weeks.
"A local lockdown is fine if it helps curtail the virus but there has to be a local furlough financial scheme for local businesses to survive."
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 13:02

Middlesbrough MP blames rise in cases on household mixing

While the mayor of Middlesbrough says he doesn't accept the new restrictions - its Labour MP has described them as "inevitable".
Andy McDonald said household mixing was the "root" cause of a rise in cases locally.
He said: "The further restrictions for Middlesbrough and Hartlepool announced today are sadly inevitable.
"I've said before that no-one welcomes further restrictions, but we on Teesside sit next to seven neighbouring North East local authorities where tighter restrictions have been imposed for some time now because of worryingly high rates of Covid-19."
He said the "tighter restrictions around household mixing are necessary" as "the data is telling us that people mixing across households is the root of the increases we've been seeing".
"Of course, I am worried about how long these restrictions might go on for," added Mr McDonald. "But the sooner we take action to suppress the virus in our area, the better chance we have of seeing the rates drop and, consequently, an earlier relaxation of the restrictions."

Three-tier lockdown system to go ahead in England

Matthew Cole - BBC Westminster
The government is to push ahead with a new "three-tier" localised approach to coronavirus restrictions in England, the BBC understands.
The Department of Health confirmed last month the system was being considered - but it has now been signed off by government officials and politicians.
According to a memo seen by the BBC, public health officials will receive precise proposals later today.
So, how will it work?

  • Tier one areas - with fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 of population - will need to adhere to national restrictions - like the "rule of six" and social distancing
  • Tier two would kick in where cases are above 100 per 100,000. Restrictions for these areas would be similar to those currently in place in large parts of northern England, such as bans on people from different households mixing together
  • Tier three areas would have significantly higher rates and would face full lockdowns - excluding schools and essential businesses, like supermarkets, which would stay open

An announcement has yet to be made as to when the system will start, but the government's aim is to replace the patchwork of existing Covid-19 restrictions across the country.
The Department of Health said there were "no imminent changes" expected.
Read more here
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 13:07

Where in the UK are there extra measures?

Coronavirus - 1st October 2ba72c10
Under the tighter restrictions, you can't meet a friend for a drink inside

Today we've been hearing about the tightening of restrictions in Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
People there are not to be allowed to mix outside their households unless they are in an outdoor public space.
They should also not attend amateur sports events as spectators, only visit care homes in exceptional circumstances and stick to guidance against all but essential travel.
But other parts of the North East have had restrictions put in place already - with bans on household mixing there as well.
Take a look at our guide here for the full details of where in the UK is currently under tighter restrictions and all the latest on those measures.


South Africa opens borders to African countries

South Africa has opened its borders to travellers from all African countries, but has retained restrictions against countries with higher coronavirus infection rates including the UK, the US and Russia.
The country closed its borders in March to limit the spread of the virus.
From today, it is reopening some land borders and its three main airports in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said all arriving travellers must produce a Covid-19 testing certificate from their countries and will be screened on arrival.
Travellers from countries whose infection and death rate are higher than South Africa will not be allowed into the country for leisure.
"Only citizens who are investors, diplomats, high-skills visa holders and businesspeople [coming from the high-risk countries] will be allowed," Pandor told journalists on Wednesday.
Travellers who exhibit coronavirus symptoms or test positive will incur all the medical expenses.
South Africa has been Africa's worst hit country when it comes to coronavirus infections. It has so far confirmed 674,000 cases, about half the number reported on the continent.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 13:23

Israel's president cancels woman's fines

Israel's president has cancelled fines amounting to thousands of shekels owed by a woman struggling to meet her payments due to the pandemic.
In the first case of its kind, President Reuven Rivlin pardoned the woman, a single mother of three children - two with disabilities - and a survivor of domestic violence, who was under threat of eviction.
It comes as Israel continues to record its highest daily rates of infection, nearly two weeks into its second lockdown. Israel's Channel 12 News reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as having warned ministers that fully lifting restrictions could take up to a year.
Almost 9,000 new cases of Covid-19 were registered on Wednesday in Israel, which is suffering one of the highest rates of infection per capita in the world. Close to 250,000 Israelis have been infected out of a population of 9.2 million since the pandemic began.

US airlines begin to furlough 32,000 staff

Two of the US's largest airline carriers have begun furloughing more than 32,000 employees after talks in Washington on an additional national coronavirus aid package failed.
American Airlines and United Airlines said they could reverse the measures - effectively giving employees unpaid leave - if a stimulus deal is reached between Congress and the Trump administration.
The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic as demand for air travel has dropped by nearly two thirds. A $25bn (£19.5bn) federal payroll package approved in March prohibited airlines from cutting jobs until 1 October.
"Tomorrow, tens of thousands of essential aviation workers will wake up without a job or healthcare and tens of thousands more will be without a paycheck," Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the country's largest flight attendant union, said on Wednesday.
Talks between Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach a deal earlier on Wednesday but discussions are reportedly set to continue.
An industry group, the Air Transport Action Group, has warned that as many as 46 million jobs globally could be affected by the downturn in the aviation industry.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 13:54

Scotland's R number could be as high as 1.7

Nicola Sturgeon has warned that the R number - which represents the average number of others infected by each person with Covid-19 - in Scotland could now be as high as 1.7.
She said 668 new coronavirus cases had been recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours.
It means 10.8% of individuals newly tested for the virus were found to have it - up from 10.3% yesterday. And it means 29,912 people have now tested positive in Scotland.
On the R number, First Minister Ms Sturgeon said: "That partly reflects the impact of the outbreaks we've seen in the past two weeks, including in student accommodation, but as a point of perspective it's also worth stressing that because this estimate, as the R number always does, relies on past data, it doesn't yet take any account of any impact of the new measures we announced last week."
Measures brought in last week include a national ban on visits between households, apart from a limited range of exceptions.
Scotland has also recorded three more deaths in the past 24 hours, of people who tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, Ms Sturgeon said, taking the overall death toll under this measure to 2,522.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 14:33

What are the rules across Europe?

Measures to deal with coronavirus outbreaks have been - and continue to be - introduced across Europe.
Many involve the reintroduction of restrictions that had been eased after initial lockdowns.
For example in the Spanish capital, Madrid, people can only leave their local area to go to work, school or for medical care. On top of that, social gatherings are limited to six people, public parks are shut, and businesses have to close by 22:00.
In the Netherlands, masks have to be worn in shops in major cities, and bars and restaurants need to close by 22:00 across the country. Social gatherings inside people's homes are limited to three people. Businesses also have to log clients' contact details, and people are being encouraged to work from home.
Bars and restaurants in 11 French cities have to close by 22:00, including in Paris. Gatherings are limited to 10 people and wedding receptions, student parties and other organised gatherings in hired venues are banned.
A ban on large gatherings in Germany - such as public festivals, sporting events with spectators and concerts - has been extended to the end of the year. The new Bundesliga football season is taking place behind closed doors.
And in Italy, the authorities ordered the closure of all dance venues and nightclubs. Face masks must also be worn from 18:00 to 06:00 in all public spaces where social distancing isn't possible.
Cases have been steadily rising again across Europe since August, as the continent heads into a second wave of the virus.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 14:37

Warning signal flashes red over Madrid's hospital wards

Damian Grammaticas - Europe correspondent
In Madrid's main hospitals the situation has become serious.
Critical care beds in intensive care units in many hospitals in Spain's capital are once again full-to-overflowing with Covid-19 patients. Just as at the height of the pandemic, beds in other areas, like hospital burns units, are now having to be used for Covid-19 patients too.
It's a warning signal that's flashing red - and why Spain's national government wants the whole of Madrid to be put under new restrictions.
The level of infection in Madrid, at around 735 cases per 100,000 people, is by far the highest in Europe. But Spain's attempts to control the virus are being complicated by political battles between the country's regions - which are in charge of healthcare and infection control - and the central authorities.
Madrid, governed by a centre-right administration, is refusing to impose the measures the socialist-led federal government wants. Today, Madrid has said it is taking legal action to avoid bringing the new restrictions in across all of the capital, arguing that the measures need to be justifiable, proportionate, agreed by consensus and not restrict people's freedoms or economic activities any more than is necessary.

Canada police uncover gambling den 'exploiting lockdown'

Police in Canada say they have uncovered a major underground gambling den, which was profiteering from the shuttering of legal casinos during the coronavirus lockdown.
Officers stormed a mansion in an affluent neighbourhood north of Toronto in July, and found dozens of gamblers at the mahjong table and on slot machines. They made 29 arrests, seized $1m in cash, $1.5m worth of alcohol, 11 guns and dozens of ammunition, police said.
"This is organized crime truly exploiting and demonstrating their money, their positions and opulence, thinking somehow that they are above the law," local police chief Brian Bigras told reporters.
Police began hearing about the ring in 2019 but the group's activities escalated significantly during the months of lockdown, another officer Supt Mike Slack, was quoted by CBC as saying.
Two other properties have been raided in connection with the investigation and a further 47 people have been arrested.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 14:39

Government's £7m for local lockdown areas 'not enough'

The government's offer of £7m for local authorities to deal with increased coronavirus restrictions is "not enough", regional politicians have said.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced earlier that extra restrictions to prevent social mixing anywhere apart from public outdoor spaces would be brought in for the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
He told the Commons: "We will provide £7m to local authorities in these areas to support them with their vital work."
But mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson told BBC Merseyside the amount was a "drop in the ocean".
He said he recognised the infection rate was "basically out of control" but said hotels, bars and restaurants in the city were in danger of closing.
The Labour mayor said: "It's nowhere near enough, £7m wouldn't be enough for Liverpool alone, let alone across the city region.
"It's got to be in the hundreds of millions that we need to support businesses to survive just for a matter of weeks."
Meanwhile, the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, called for a "compensatory package" for businesses to sit alongside the new restrictions.
He said he had also asked Mr Hancock for an "exit strategy".
You can read our piece on how the government's job retention scheme is changing here.

Local politicians challenge government over Covid rules

Nick Eardley - Political correspondent
With rules becoming more complicated, the government’s biggest challenge is to explain and persuade why they are necessary.
We’ve seen some problems with that this week with the prime minister struggling to explain rules in the north east of England.
There are issues today too. The mayor of Middlesbrough has rejected the new rules and said there needed to be more work with local politicians. To be clear, these rules still come into force on Saturday. The mayor cannot veto them. But it shows not everyone is on the same page.
In Liverpool, local leaders have backed the measures. But they too want to see more of the evidence behind how decisions are being made. They’ve suggested more measures may be needed.
At this crucial and complicated part of the pandemic response – public disagreements are becoming more common.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 16:57

No results 'in 30% of Portsmouth care-home staff tests'

The leader of Portsmouth City Council has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he fears a lack of an effective testing system could make it "increasingly difficult to run the care sector".
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he had been told today that results were failing to come back for 30% of Covid-19 tests for care home staff in Portsmouth City Council homes.
"It is an impossible situation for people to run care homes safely and efficiently if they do not get the results of Covid-19 tests sent back accurately and in a timely way. A 30% failure rate in sending back test results is just not good enough."
He added: "I am extremely worried that the lack of an effective and efficient testing system means that it will become increasingly difficult to run the care sector and look after vulnerable residents through the winter.
"If staff have to wait for test results that do not arrive, and cannot work until they do, the number of people who are available to work in care homes will be put under great stress. This could lead to a disaster."

Countdown to end of furlough scheme

Now that we are in October, the countdown to the end of the furlough scheme has begun .
From today, the government's contribution to furloughed workers' wages falls.
It's also the deadline for some firms to issue redundancy notices before the furlough scheme ends on 31 October.
The current scheme is being replaced by a less generous jobs support package.
According to Citizens Advice, queries about redundancy and benefits are on the rise. Last week one-to-one redundancy advice was given to more than 1,000 people - and there were more than 250,000 views to the charity's employment pages on its website.
Labour says almost three million people working for small businesses are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of the government's "flawed" support,
From today, the government's contribution towards furlough wages is dropping from 70% to 60%, up to a cap of £1,875 a month. And employers have to pay a minimum of 20% of wages, bringing monthly earnings to at least 80% of salary.

Middlesbrough mayor says he won't condone law-breaking

Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston earlier said that new restrictions for the area announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock were "unacceptable" and that he intended to defy the government.
But, in a later interview on BBC Radio 5 Live he stressed that he did not intend to break the law himself, and would not condone anyone else breaking the law.
He said the new rules were unacceptable and unfair - and that he feared for people's mental health, adding that the new rules could "push some people over the edge of despair".
There was a "myth" that there had been government discussions with local leaders, Preston said, adding that the decision had been made "based on information from God knows where and assessments from God knows who".
He told Emma Barnett: "This is being done to us, rather than with us, and together we could do a much better job."
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 17:01

New York to test pupils and staff returning to school

Pupils and teachers in New York are going to be tested for coronavirus after their return to school, in an attempt to curb the spread among schoolchildren.
From today schools in the city are going to test between 10% and 20% of pupils and staff in every school building on a monthly basis - a testing programme agreed with the teachers union in order to avoid a strike.
More than one million middle school and high school pupils are returning to classrooms today, for the first time in six months, while primary school pupils started back on Tuesday.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said: "Every single school will have testing. It will be done every single month. It will be rigorous."

Edinburgh's Christmas festivals cancelled

Edinburgh's Christmas festivals for 2020 have been cancelled.
There are usually festive market stalls and rides to celebrate Christmas, but the city's council and event organiser Underbelly said they were following the latest advice from public health experts.
Instead, the focus will move to celebrating Edinburgh's Christmas online this year, said the council. Adam McVey, leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Edinburgh's Christmas isn't cancelled and our businesses right across the city will be offering their usual festive cheer."
The Hogmanay street part had already been cancelled, back in July, but it was hoped other events could still take place.
It comes as cases of coronavirus are on the rise in Scotland.
Read more on the cancellation here .

Life 'won't return to normal by spring'

James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
It goes without saying that what everyone wants is a return to normality.
But now a group of leading scientists has warned that this is unlikely to happen by next spring - even if there is an effective vaccine by then.
The report , from researchers brought together by the Royal Society, said it's worth being "realistic" about what a vaccine could achieve and when.
Restrictions may have to be "gradually relaxed" - rather than all at once - as it could take up to a year to roll out the vaccine.
There are more than 200 different vaccines being developed around the world, in a process that has been massively sped up.
There's the hope that some people might get a vaccine this year, with mass vaccination from early 2021.
"Even when the vaccine is available it doesn't mean within a month everybody is going to be vaccinated, we're talking about six months, nine months... a year," said Prof Nilay Shah, head of chemical engineering at Imperial College London.
You can read more here .
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 17:04

UK records 6,914 new cases

There have been 6,914 new cases of coronavirus recorded today, according to the latest figures.
It's a very slight decrease from yesterday, when there were 7,108. It brings the total number of cases to 460,178.
A further 59 people have died within 28 days of a positive test. It brings the total number of deaths to 42,202.
Again, it is slightly down from the previous day when there were 71.
All the stats can be found here


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New restrictions for Derry and Strabane

Pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels in Derry and Strabane are to be placed under new restrictions from next week to try to curb the spread of Covid-19, the BBC understands.
The Northern Ireland executive has agreed they will only be able to open for takeaway, delivery and outdoor dining.
It has one of the highest Covid-19 rates in the UK, and on Wednesday Health Minister Robin Swann said it was inevitable additional measures would have to be introduced there.
It is understood residents of Derry and Strabane - which has one of the highest Covid-19 rates in the UK - will be "strongly advised" to work from home where they can.
People are also being advised to avoid unnecessary travel and to walk, cycle or use private transport where possible.
Schools and other educational settings stay open but all museums, galleries and cultural attractions will remain closed.
Read more here .



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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 17:08

People sent for Covid testing at closed site

People in south Wales needing coronavirus tests have been sent to a centre in an area that's in local lockdown - and that is also closed .
Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant said the situation in Clydach Vale, near Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), was an "utter farce".
The site is run by Serco and slots are booked via the UK government-run online system.
All those who booked at the Clydach site were contacted and advised to go to an alternative site in Abercynon where they will be tested, a spokesman said.
RCT's Labour council leader Andrew Morgan told BBC Wales a mobile testing unit was originally set up at Porth and then moved to Clydach three weeks ago.
It was closed on Wednesday as demand had fallen, but bookings were still being taken on Thursday, he said.
The Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board tweeted to say its teams were "working on this as a matter of urgency".

'Micro lockdown' as Karachi tackles hotspot

M Ilyas Khan - BBC News, Islamabad
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Students in protective masks have their temperature checked before entering school in Karachi, Pakistan

Officials in Karachi have imposed a "micro smart lockdown" in a neighbourhood in the north of the city after active coronavirus cases were found in a couple of residential buildings.
Streets around the buildings in the Manghopir area have been closed to outsiders for two weeks and all businesses have been ordered shut except grocery and medicine outlets.
The government in Pakistan's most populous city has indicated there could be many more local lockdowns - health officials have identified more than 750 such potential hotspots.
Separately, nine restaurants in Karachi have been closed for flouting safety measures such as social distancing and mask wearing.
Sindh province, whose capital is Karachi, has the strictest Covid controls in Pakistan, while accounting for nearly half of total infections and deaths - despite having less than a quarter of the population.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 17:34

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Poland and Turkey added to quarantine list

Travellers arriving in the UK from Poland and Turkey will have to self-isolate for 14 days from 04:00 on Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says.
It comes after a rise in the infection rate in both countries, with Poland reporting 25.9 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, up from 15.6.
Polish is the most common non-British nationality in the UK. There are about 900,000 Polish nationals living in the UK.
And British nationals made over 2.5 million visits to popular holiday destination Turkey in 2019.
The islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba - known as the Caribbean Netherlands - are also being removed from the travel corridor list, meaning anyone travelling from there will also have to self-isolate.

Clashes as Greek students march for more safety measures in schools

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Clashes broke out during the student rally

Students, parents and teachers marched in the Greek capital to demand more stringent safety measures in schools to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Clashes broke out in front of the parliament building in Athens, with some protesters throwing petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas.
Students have been staging sit-ins in their schools since the start of term, calling for - along with some teaching unions and parental associations - more teachers and cleaning staff so class sizes can be smaller and schools can be kept hygienic.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 17:39

Maximum fine for quarantine breach to rise to £10,000

Tom Burridge - Transport correspondent
The maximum fine for repeatedly breaching the travel quarantine in England is set to rise from £3,200 to £10,000. The fine for a single offence will remain at £1,000.However in the case of someone committing a second offence it would rise to £2,000, or £4,000 for a third offence.For a fourth or subsequent offence, the fine would be £10,000.

Shapps: 'You MUST self-isolate if you enter UK from non-exempt country'

Grant Shapps, announcing the new quarantine rules, also took the opportunity to remind people of the rules.
"You MUST self-isolate if you enter the UK from a non-exempt country - from tomorrow, we’re increasing the penalties for people who refuse to do so to a maximum of £10,000 for repeat offenders," he wrote on Twitter.
Those fines apply to England, rather than the whole of the UK.
He added a message saying: "REMINDER: If you do travel, you must complete a Passenger Locator Form before returning to the UK. Do your bit to help keep everyone safe."
Mr Shapps added that data from Poland showed that positive tests had nearly doubled - increasing from 3.9% to 5.8% - and there had been "a rapid increase in weekly cases" there.
Read all the latest on the new rules here .
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 18:26

'Let students study online now'

Students should be allowed to leave university and study online if they want to, according to unions representing academics and students.
The National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union are calling for the government to take urgent action.
It comes after university campuses have been hit by outbreaks of the virus, with many students in self isolation.
Larissa Kennedy, NUS president, said students had been left "trapped in halls" and were struggling to access food and wellbeing resources.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said students will be allowed to be with their families at Christmas if they choose to.
But the education unions are calling for a move to online learning wherever possible - and they say students should be given a safe way to leave campus now if they want to.
Students should not face any financial detriment for giving up accommodation, or choosing to defer or leave university, they say.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the government to provide a "support package" to those university students currently self-isolating.
He said: "There should have been serious consideration to delay going back. There certainly should have been some thought as to testing."
Read more here .

Why Dutch PM made awkward U-turn on masks

Anna Holligan - BBC News Hague correspondent
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"Shambolic" is how one journalist in The Hague described the Dutch position on masks.
Faced with one of the most rapidly spreading infection rates in Europe, last night Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, under pressure from parliament and the public, issued "urgent and immediate advice" for people to wear face masks in indoor spaces.
It's been an awkward but unavoidable U-turn for Mr Rutte, who initially stood out as one of the world's most mask-sceptic leaders.
While neighbouring countries locked down and brought in wide-reaching restrictions and compulsory mask-wearing in public places, Mr Rutte said he was "not a dictator" and congratulated the Dutch for being capable of following social distancing rules without being "treated like children".
Six months since the start of the pandemic, the Dutch are breaking their own records for the daily number of new cases, while neighbouring nations are easing their rules.
From what I witnessed in The Hague today, there are still more people exercising their right not to mask up than taking responsibility to do what the widely accepted science suggests could help to protect themselves and others.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 18:30

Pubs and other indoor venues can re-open in Bolton

We've been hearing today about further restrictions being brought in for parts of north-east and north-west England.
A bit more information has come through, confirming the measures are being made law in the Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.
It means people living there won't be able to mix with those outside their own household, in any indoor setting.
Meanwhile, stricter measures in Bolton are being eased, so it will be in line with the rest of Greater Manchester. The move follows pleas from local leaders to allow hospitality venues to open under the same conditions as the rest of the region - like having table service, and closing at 10pm.
It also means bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, casinos, indoor play, including soft play and conference centres and exhibit halls will also be able to reopen in Bolton.
And rules on weddings, wedding receptions and funerals will be the same as the rest of the country.
All the latest - including the areas now on the government's watchlist - can be found here . As part of that, Sheffield has been moved from an "area of concern" to an "area of enhanced support", which means more resources - which could mean more testing - for the city.

SNP MP 'very sorry' for travelling on train with Covid

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has apologised for breaching Covid rules by travelling to and from London while she had coronavirus symptoms.
Ferrier says her symptoms were "mild", and that by the time she took the train to London to attend Parliament she was "feeling much better". She later tested positive for the virus.
She says she's notified the police.
"Despite feeling well, I should have self-isolated while waiting for my test result, and I deeply regret my actions," she says.
She tweeted her full statement, below.
Tweet  Margaret Ferrier MP:
:Left Quotes:  Statement:
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 18:40

Why are there so many outbreaks in meat processing plants?

This week 170 workers at a pork meat processing plant in Cornwall tested positive for Covid-19. Most of those who tested positive were unaware they had Covid-19 and were not displaying symptoms.
This is just the latest in a long line of meat processing plants across the world that have experienced outbreaks, including in Germany, France, Spain and the US.
So what makes them so vulnerable?
"Factories and, in particular, indoor areas which are cold and damp, are perfect environments for coronavirus to linger and spread," according to Lawrence Young, Professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Warwick.
Read more about how Covid spreads in meat processing plants here .

'Further blow to travel sector'

The Manchester Airports Group said Poland and Turkey's removal from the travel exemptions list "means that a large proportion of the markets our passengers usually travel to are now effectively closed off, despite many of them having much lower infection rates than the UK".
The announcement "is a further blow to the already struggling aviation sector", said the group, which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports.
It is "vital" for the government to establish a testing regime "which would allow for a safe reduction in quarantine periods for passengers arriving from abroad", it added.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 19:17

London coronavirus: 8 London boroughs which could be creeping closer to a local lockdown

Coronavirus cases are increasing at a terrifying rate, and while initially it seemed local lockdowns were only happening in the north it seems like London might now be headed for one.
Sadiq Khan has been pressing for the government to put in tougher restrictions for the capital, such as a ban on households mixing, and there's been talk of a national 'social lockdown'.
All of London's 32 boroughs have now been placed on the government's official watch list, which highlights they are areas of concern - but some are more concerning than others.
There are several boroughs over the 40 cases per 100,000 threshold, which in the past has caused the government to initiate a local lockdown - but in London it's suspected that a 'local lockdown' will mean the whole of the capital.

There are eight boroughs across the city that are seeing a sharp rise in cases, with some kind of tougher restrictions seemingly necessary.
Worst of all in London is Redbridge, which has been above the 40 cases per 100,000 people threshold for some time now. Currently it's at 68.1, up from 45.5 last week - and it saw an increase of 208 cases in just seven days.
Barking and Dagenham is the second worst in the capital, with an infection rate of 57.8 and 123 new cases this week, compared to 70 new cases last week.

Tower Hamlets has seen a huge surge in case rates, jumping from 22.5 last week to 46.8 this week - and another 152 cases in the borough this week alone.
The borough of Newham has seen the second highest number of new cases this week, with 157 cases confirmed in just seven days, taking it to an infection rate of 44.5.
Four other boroughs have seen more than 100 new cases in the last week - Hillingdon (136), Havering (110), Hounslow (112) and Waltham Forest (113).

They are all above the serious 40 cases per 100,000 rate too - at 44.3, 42.4, 41.2 and 40.8 respectively.
Sadly, we can expect this upward trend to continue - and in fact by now the rates are probably considerably higher than currently reported, as it takes time for the numbers to filter through the system.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 19:24

How to fly in the era of Covid

Jumping on a plane and going on holiday looks and feels very different to how it did at the start of 2020.
Airports and airlines have both been making changes to the way they work to get passengers flying again - including measures that help reduce the chances of the virus being spread.
In this video, BBC journalist Laura Foster goes to Southend Airport to show you what you need to do if you're thinking of catching a flight.




'Our voice has been heard,' says Bolton bar owner

The owners of a bar in Bolton say they feel the hospitality sector has been blamed for a rise in coronavirus cases.
Rebecca Brayshaw, who runs Little Bolton Town Hall bar and events space, said it had been shut for the past three weeks.
But with Bolton now set to fall into line with the rest of Greater Manchester, the bar can reopen from Saturday. "Our plight, our voice has been heard," she says.
She and husband Chris are now waiting to hear the finer details of whether customers will have to be from a single household, or if the rule of six will apply.
The regulations have been "devastating in a lot of ways, financially and emotionally" she tells he BBC. "It's exhausting to wake up every day and wonder what, if any, part of your business will survive.
"We want people to be safe. That's the key everyone is striving for. The issue potentially is if hospitality is being blamed, which it very much feels like it has been recently, that ongoing negative effect continues."
That means people don't go out as much and are fearful, "through no fault of our own", despite the bar's Covid security measures, adds Mrs Brayshaw, adding: "We need people to come and visit us."
Mr Brayshaw said today's news was a step in the right direction - but that it is part of a bigger battle.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 19:28

Schools to be made to offer same lessons in class and online

Schools will be made to offer pupils at home the same lessons remotely as those they're teaching in person.
The government, which is using powers under the Coronavirus Act, says it's formalising pupils' right to remote learning.
Ministers also insist that schools will only close as a last resort. Instead, where areas are high, schools may switch to a rota system of two weeks on and two weeks off.
But teachers' unions say it's a "grave error" to reach for legal powers when schools are already preparing for all eventualities, and that ministers should focus on "support not sanction".
"By reaching for legal powers, the government risks sending an unequivocal message to the profession and parents that they do not trust school leaders to act in the interests of young people in this country," Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT head teachers' union, says.

'Why can I go to the pub with friends - but not see my parents?'

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One Warrington dad has spoken about his frustration over the new tightening of restrictions.
Contract commercial manager Colm Buteux said: "So as a family of four, we cannot see our parents, or our friends as a family group.
"But I'm allowed on my own to go to the pub with five others from different households?
"My children are facing another six months of not being able to see our closest friends even though that is the only family we mix with."
Meanwhile his son, 10, has had a Covid test - and was still awaiting the results, 60 hours later. This meant his 13-year-old daughter couldn't go to school and his wife, a teacher, couldn't work.
"I do get why the government is doing this but they should let people have access to a support bubble," he told the BBC.
"Everywhere I go I see people disobeying the rules - they need to be sorted out.Why should I suffer and they don’t?
"The kids have been at home for four months. Now they can go to school and do sports. I’m pleased they can do that.
"I don’t care if they close every pub, I want my children to go to school and do exercise. Trying to keep everything together is stressful.”
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 19:32

Scotland's justice secretary: 'All foreign travel carries risk'

Separately in Scotland, those arriving from the Azores and Madeira will no longer need to quarantine due to the low number of cases there.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "Although we are lifting quarantine restrictions on those travelling from the Azores or Madeira, in line with the public health data we have received, people should think long and hard before choosing to travel abroad, particularly during the forthcoming October break.
"At present all foreign travel carries a risk. Quarantine requirements could be imposed on those arriving on holiday abroad, just as we may make the decision to impose the same in Scotland.
“People should think very hard before committing to non-essential foreign travel."

SNP MP who travelled with Covid has whip suspended

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We reported earlier that SNP MP Margaret Ferrier had travelled on the train to London and back with Covid symptoms, and later tested positive for the virus.
Now, SNP Westminster group leader Ian Blackford tweets that he's suspended the whip.
"I have spoken with @MargaretFerrier this evening who fully accepts that what she did was wrong," he writes. "Margaret will be referring herself to the parliamentary standards commissioner as well as the police. I am tonight suspending the whip from Margaret."
Others have been reacting to the news, too.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: "Margaret, all the issues surrounding transmission of Covid-19, how infectious it is, how much pain and suffering it has caused to so many.
"You are an elected Member of Parliament making laws to protect citizens from Covid, it wasn't one mistake but multiple ones. So disappointing."
You can read our full story on this here.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 19:47

Paris on verge of new lockdown

Officials could place Paris under a new lockdown as early as Monday, French Health Minister Olivier Veran told reporters today.
The capital and surrounding suburbs already appear to have breached the thresholds for being placed on maximum virus alert, he said, adding that if this was confirmed they would "have no choice" but to do so.
"That would imply that people in Paris and suburbs would have to drastically limit their social interactions," he said. "No more family gatherings, no more evenings out, and a total closure of bars."
So far in France, only Marseille and the Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe have been placed on maximum alert.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 19:52

The latest from around the world

It's evening here in the UK, where our team of reporters has been bringing you the latest coronavirus news.
A lot has happened today. To summarise, here are the main global headlines.

  • US airlines have started laying off thousands of workers because of the pandemic. American Airlines is letting 19,000 people go, while United is making 13,000 redundant
  • France's health minister says Paris could be placed on maximum virus alert as soon as Monday, potentially forcing all bars to close and other new restrictions
  • Students, parents and teachers marched in Athens, Greece, to demand more stringent safety measures in schools
  • Dutch PM Mark Rutte has made a U-turn on mask-wearing. Despite previously being one of the world's most mask-sceptic leaders, he has now urged people to wear masks indoors
  • Employers in Moscow have been ordered to make at least a third of their staff work from home, after Russia recorded the largest single-day increase in Covid cases since 12 June
  • South Africa has reopened its borders to travellers for the first time since its initial lockdown in March
  • But in China, where Covid first emerged, hundreds of millions of people celebrated the National Day holiday with gatherings and getaways. With the virus suppressed in the country, it's now a far cry from the days of strict lockdown at the start of the year


What's been happening in the UK today?

There have been quite a few developments in the UK today. So here's a round-up to bring you up to speed as we prepare to close our live coverage shortly.

  • A ban on different households meeting is to be extended across parts north-west England. It will be illegal to meet others indoors in the Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, from Saturday
  • In Northern Ireland, new restrictions are also coming in for pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels in the Derry and Strabane council area . They will only be able to open for takeaway, delivery and outdoor dining from next week
  • There are some new travel quarantine rules . Travellers arriving in the UK from Poland, Turkey and the islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba will have to quarantine from Saturday
  • It has also been announced that the maximum fine for failing to self-isolate in England, when told to, is increasing from £3,200 to £10,000, for repeated breaches
  • An SNP MP has been suspended by her party after travelling to Westminster despite experiencing Covid symptoms - then going home by train after getting a positive test result. Margaret Ferrier, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said she regretted her actions and had informed police
  • Ministers are using powers under the Coronavirus Act to require schools to offer pupils who are not in school the same lessons as those in class
Kitkat
Kitkat
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Join date : 2011-03-19
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Coronavirus - 1st October Empty Re: Coronavirus - 1st October

Post by Kitkat on Thu Oct 01 2020, 19:59

Thanks for joining us

We're closing this coronavirus live page now until Friday. Thanks for joining us.

Today's updates have been written by Penny Spiller, Ashitha Nagesh, Alex Therrien and Lauren Turner. The editors have been Mal Siret and Martha Buckley.

    Current date/time is Sat Nov 28 2020, 08:22