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Coronavirus - 26th November

Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 10:24

Summary for Thursday, 26th November

  • People in England are set to find out what tier of a revised three-tier system of coronavirus rules their area will be in
  • The tiers determine what set of restrictions areas will face after a national lockdown ends on 2 December
  • Most areas are expected to be put into the higher tiers two and three - both of which ban households from mixing indoors
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock will set out the plans in the House of Commons later, with a review of the rules by 16 December
  • Tier three areas, where many business must close, will get extra funding - as well as more virus testing to help control infections
  • US President-elect Joe Biden has called on Americans to unite against Covid-19
  • In a speech for the Thanksgiving holiday, he said: "We're at war with a virus, not with one another"
  • The pandemic could wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality, new global data suggests
  • There have been more than 60 million coronavirus cases and 1.4 million deaths across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University

Welcome to today's rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, from the UK and around the world. Here are some of the main Covid stories in the UK this morning:

  • People in England will later find out which of the three coronavirus tiers their area will be placed in , when the national lockdown ends next Wednesday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock will set out the plans in the Commons later - it's expected that most areas will be placed in the two toughest tiers of rules
  • The Covid-19 crisis is on track to cut average pay packets by £1,200 a year by 2025, according to new analysis, which comes a day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned unemployment could surge to 2.6 million by mid-2021
  • And Britain's major pub groups and brewers have pleaded with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to save an industry facing the "darkest of moments". Executives at Fuller's, Carlsberg UK, Greene King, and Heineken UK are among more than 50 signatories of a letter warning of huge job losses , which calls on the PM to publish the evidence justifying Covid curbs on the industry

Hancock to set out England's regional tiers

The main news in the UK today is likely to be Health Secretary Matt Hancock's announcement in the House of Commons later - where he will set out which tier of Covid restrictions people in England will face when a national lockdown ends on 2 December.
The three-tier system has been revised to have stricter rules than the system in place before the current lockdown - and more local authorities will be in higher tiers.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says she understands only a "handful" of areas would be in the lowest tier - with most areas, including London, to be in tier two and "significant numbers" in the strictest level, tier three.
The government has promised to review the allocations by 16 December.
Ahead of his announcement, Hancock urged people to follow the rules so "together we can get out of these tough measures".
"I know for those of you faced with tier three restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we'll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding," he said.

World headlines

And here's a look at some of the top stories making the news around the world:

  • US President-elect Joe Biden has called for an end to the "grim season of division", as the country faces a long, hard winter with Covid-19. He has said that Americans were at war with coronavirus, not each other
  • The Democratic mayor of the US city of Denver has apologised after breaking his own Thanksgiving travel advice. In a message posted to Twitter, Michael Hancock urged residents to "host virtual gatherings" and "avoid travel". But it later emerged that he had travelled to Mississippi to join his wife and daughter for the holiday
  • Germany is seeking an agreement with EU countries to keep ski resorts closed until early January in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.The news came as the country extended its partial lockdown until 20 December
  • The coronavirus pandemic could wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality, new global data from UN Women suggests. Women are doing significantly more domestic chores and family care, because of the impact of the pandemic

Latest in Europe

Croatia has been hard hit by the Covid outbreak in recent weeks and hospitals are struggling to cope. The northern city of Varazdin has begun erecting military tents to cope with the influx of patients. Ten people died in the space of 24 hours and hospital head Nenad Kudelic has spoken of a collapse of the health care system and "wartime conditions".
Tweet  Grabancijaš:
And so it happened, Varaždin's general hospital is out of capacity, first #COVID19 patients were moved into military tents on this macabre evening. County is most contagious region in Europe for more than a week now.
Coronavirus - 26th November Vzmzih10
Germany’s leaders have agreed Christmas restrictions, with a “lockdown light” covering restaurants and bars continuing until 20 December and beyond, but with a slight relaxation over the festive period. Afterwards, states that have low rates of infection can start loosening restrictions.
Turkey has seen a big jump of 28,351 daily infections after it changed its system of reporting to include all positive cases. Doctors’ leaders and the opposition have accused officials of hiding the true numbers. Previously the average number was around 6,000 infections a day.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has extended Covid restrictions in the Russian capital that require over-65s and at risk groups to stay at home and at least 30% of workers to work from home. The requirements will go on until at least 15 January. Nationally, Russia has reported a record 524 deaths over 24 hours and another record 25,487 infections.
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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte holds a summit in Rome on Thursday to decide Covid rules for Christmas and the new year

The World Health Organization says Italy has seen the biggest number of cases in Europe in the past week with 235,979 new infections. Last night Italy reported 722 deaths in 24 hours, a fall on the previous day, and a drop in the number of people treated in hospital.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 10:43

'Covid has divided us' - Joe Biden

US President-elect Joe Biden says Covid-19 has brought the US "pain and loss and frustration " and cost many lives.
"It's divided us, angered us, set us against one another. I know the country's grown weary of the fight, but we need to remember - we're at war with the virus, not one another," he said in a speech for the Thanksgiving holiday.
"We have to steel our spines, redouble our efforts and recommit ourselves to the fight."
The US saw more than 1.2 million confirmed cases last week, with 2,200 deaths on Tuesday - the highest number since late May.
On Wednesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that nearly eight coronavirus infections went unreported for every one that was counted in the country.
The CDC suggests that as many as 53 million Americans had been infected by the end of September.

US mayor ignores own Thanksgiving travel advice

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The Democratic mayor of the US city of Denver, Colorado, has apologised after breaking his own Thanksgiving advice to "avoid travel" by visiting family in Mississippi.
In a message posted to Twitter early on Wednesday, Michael Hancock urged residents to "host virtual gatherings".
Just hours later, however, it emerged he had travelled to Mississippi to join his wife and daughter for the holiday.
"I apologise to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance," he responded.
"I recognise that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone," the mayor wrote on Twitter.
"I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head."
Millions of Americans have travelled home to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, despite warnings from health officials amid a significant wave of coronavirus cases and deaths.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 10:47

Sudan's ex-prime minister dies from coronavirus at 84

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Sudan's former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi has died from coronavirus three weeks after being admitted to hospital in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to a statement from his family and his National Umma Party.
He was hospitalised after 21 members of the al-Mahdi family contracted the virus in early November.
The 84-year-old was prime minister in 1989 when he was overthrown in a coup led by former President Omar al-Bashir.
Sudan has so far confirmed more than 16,600 cases of coronavirus and reported more than 1,200 deaths.

Pakistan cricket squad quarantined in New Zealand

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Six members of Pakistan's cricket team have tested positive for Covid-19 while on tour in New Zealand and have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine.
Health officials said all 53 members of the visiting squad were tested on arrival in the country. The team's exemption from social-distancing rules for training has been suspended.
New Zealand's cricket authorities said two of the six cases were "historical" and the other four were new. Historical can refer to a positive test returned some time after a person has recovered.
Some members of the Pakistan team had contravened protocols on their first day in managed isolation in Christchurch and would be reminded of their responsibilities, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said.
New Zealand, widely praised for its pandemic response, had previously seen a total of 2,040 cases and 25 deaths.
Pakistan, meanwhile, has seen 356,198 confirmed cases and 7,843 deaths.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 10:52

UK pub industry warns it faces 'darkest of moments'

Major pub groups and brewers are pleading with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to save an industry facing the "darkest of moments".
Executives at Fuller's, Carlsberg UK, Greene King, and Heineken UK are among more than 50 signatories of a letter which warns of huge job losses and calls on the PM to publish the evidence justifying the coronavirus restrictions on the industry.
An announcement on tiers in England is due in a couple of hours - and could see two thirds of the country placed into tiers two or three when the current lockdown lifts next month.
Pubs in tier-two areas will be able to serve drinks only to customers having a substantial meal, and those in tier three will not be able to open.
"The pub is clearly being singled out for exceptionally harsh and unjustified treatment and unless your government changes course, and soon, huge portions of this most British of institutions will simply not be there come the spring," the letter says.
"We believe it is in the interests of openness and transparency that any evidence showing pubs to be the source of outbreaks of the virus, and thereby justifying these extra restrictions, must be published immediately."
Downing Street says it will respond in due course.


Breaking News 

Christmas bubbles in Scotland limited to eight people

So-called "Christmas bubbles" of three households in Scotland should contain no more than eight people, the Scottish government has said.
The rule is part of the government's guidance for Christmas which temporarily relaxes some Covid-19 restrictions for five days between 23 and 27 December, with similar rules for the rest of the UK.
Children under the age of 12 will not count towards the total number of people in the bubble.
Follow our breaking news story here.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 10:58

Swedish prince and his wife test positive

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Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, pictured here in 2019

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip, 41, and his wife Princess Sofia, 35, have both contracted coronavirus.
The couple are in quarantine with their children after reporting symptoms on Wednesday, the Swedish royal court has confirmed.
Other members of the royal family are now being tested for Covid-19, the court said.
Among them are King Carl XVI Gustaf (aged 74), Queen Silvia (76), Crown Princess Victoria (43) and Prince Daniel (47).
The family had gathered together at a funeral for the queen's brother, Walther Sommerlath, last Friday, spending some time at a church, the court added. 

Exeter Nightingale hospital gets first Covid patients

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Exeter's field hospital is the first Nightingale hospital to be used for Covid care during the second wave of the virus

Exeter's Nightingale hospital is today accepting its first coronavirus patients.
The 116-bed emergency field hospital will treat patients from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, "which is very busy", a spokesperson said.
It's one of seven Nightingale Hospitals built in England, set up in a matter of weeks during the first wave of coronavirus as an insurance policy in case the NHS became overwhelmed.
Our health editor Hugh Pym says it's the first Nightingale hospital to be used for Covid care during the second wave of the virus.
Government figures show the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in south-west England has steadily risen over the previous weeks.
A total of 540 people have died with coronavirus in hospitals in the region, including four in Devon on Wednesday.
While today marks the first Covid patients to be treated at the Exeter field hospital, since building finished in July it has been used for vaccine trials as well as diagnostic tests, including about 200 CT scans and 100 ultrasounds.
Meanwhile, Bristol's Nightingale hospital announced yesterday that it would shortly begin hosting outpatient appointments for non-Covid patients - although it remains on standby to care for critically ill virus patients "if we are needed".
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:05

What are the rules where I live?

As we've been hearing, people in England will find out this morning which tier of restrictions they will be placed under when the national lockdown ends on Wednesday.
But the individual nations of the UK all have their own Covid rules:

  • In Scotland there is a five-tier system, with eleven local authorities now under the toughest tier of restrictions, meaning non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and gyms have to close.
  • Northern Ireland is preparing for a two-week circuit-break lockdown from tomorrow.
  • In Wales lockdown restrictions were eased on 9 November, allowing two households to form a bubble and meet in their own homes, and all businesses to reopen.

You can read more about the different rules across the UK here or check the restrictions where you live using our postcode look-up tool .

South Korea reports new surge in cases

South Korea has today reported 583 new coronavirus cases - the highest number of new infections there since March.
Most were locally transmitted - with young people at the centre of the surge - and were recorded in the greater Seoul area, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
South Korea was held up as a model for its response to Covid-19 earlier this year, but has more recently been struggling to contain a new outbreak despite new social distancing measures.
Infections there currently stand at more than 32,000, while 515 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported.
In September, BBC Korea joined South Korea’s virus detectives as they battled long hours to gain the trust and co-operation of suspected carriers reluctant to provide personal information.

Cases rise in South Africa ahead of holiday season

Andrew Harding - BBC News, Johannesburg
After a long lull, coronavirus infection rates are beginning to rise in some areas in South Africa - particularly along the southern coastline.
Doctors in Cape Town and in Port Elizabeth are reporting a spike in hospital admissions.
One provincial leader described the increase as "staggering", and said the virus was spreading widely, not just in a handful of hotspots.
Concerns about a second wave are coinciding with nationwide protest action over low pay by community health workers – key figures in South Africa's fight to contain the virus.
The country is now heading towards its main summer holiday season - a time when millions of people travel.
With the economy in deep trouble, the government is thought to be reluctant to reimpose tough lockdown restrictions.
South Africa is the worst-affected country on the continent, with more than 775,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 21,200 recorded deaths.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:33

How are England's tier allocations decided?

The prime minister and his cabinet are finalising what tier of Covid rules to place each area in England in, when the national lockdown comes to an end next week.
We'll hear the decisions later today - but what are they based on?
While the final decision lies with the prime minister, these are the main factors that inform public health recommendations:

  • Case detection rate - in all age groups and, in particular, the over-60s
  • How quickly case rates are rising or falling
  • Positivity in the general population
  • Pressure on the NHS - including current and projected NHS capacity
  • Local context and exceptional circumstances, such as a local but contained outbreak

An area could be moved up a tier if these indicators are not improving, and likewise down to a lower one if they improve.
And for a reminder about what the rules actually are for each tier, check out our explainer - and take a look at the graphic below.
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:40

Breaking News 

Government publishes post-lockdown tier areas

People can now search for which tier level their part of England will go into after lockdown ends, as the government has just published a postcode search tool.
We'll bring you more detail as we get it, but here's a link to the tool.

Government tier look-up tool crashes as Hancock announcement due

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We're expecting an announcement from Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons very soon, with further detail on which parts of England will go into which of the three tiers of coronavirus rules after 2 December.
In the last few minutes the government has published a postcode look-up tool for people to find out what tier their area is in, but several people have reported that they can't access the site due to technical difficulties.
At the moment, we don't have a definitive list of which areas are in which tier.
But through a manual search (before the site crashed...) we can tell you that tier three areas include Manchester City Council, Birmingham City Council and Leeds City Council.
Tier two areas include Liverpool City Council and London.
We'll bring you more detail as we get it.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:42

What happens if I'm put in tier three?

It's not long now until UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock gives details of the Covid tier allocations across England, in a statement to the House of Commons.
The higher the tier your area is in, the more severe the restrictions you will face after the national lockdown ends next week.
If you're placed in tier three - the top tier with the tightest restrictions - it's not just the rules that will change.
Tier-three areas will be eligible for rapid or "lateral flow" coronavirus tests - which give results in about 20 minutes without the need for a lab - to help bring down infections and reduce restrictions.
The areas will also be offered support by NHS Test and Trace and the armed forces to deliver a six-week rapid community testing programme.
Some of those in tier-three areas have been describing the help they've already received to curb infection rates.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said the area - which was the first to enter the highest tier in October - has made "remarkable" progress since being put into tier three, with infection rates in two areas dropping from about 750 per 100,000 people "to 180 across the city region".
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the help received from the armed forces in a mass testing trial had helped to bring virus "back under control again".
There will also be further financial support for tier-three areas. As Chancellor Rishi Sunak said to our colleagues on BBC Breakfast this morning: "I know for those of you faced with tier-three restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we'll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding."
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:45

.
Breaking News 

Full list of England tier areas revealed


The government has now published a full list of which parts of England will be in which of the three tiers of coronavirus rules, from 2 December.
Here's a link to the list.



Johnson leaves No 10 for first time as self-isolation ends

In the past few minutes, the prime minister has left Downing Street - for the first time in two weeks.
Boris Johnson had to self-isolate , under coronavirus rules, after coming into contact with an MP who later tested positive for Covid.
During his isolation period the PM attended two sessions of Prime Minister's Questions via video link, in the first virtual PMQs in history.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:46

Where is in tier two?

The following areas are in tier two (high alert):
North West

  • Cumbria
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Warrington and Cheshire

Yorkshire

  • York
  • North Yorkshire

West Midlands

  • Worcestershire
  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin

East Midlands

  • Rutland
  • Northamptonshire

East of England

  • Suffolk
  • Hertfordshire
  • Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough
  • Norfolk
  • Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
  • Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

London

  • all 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South East

  • East Sussex
  • West Sussex
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Surrey
  • Reading
  • Wokingham
  • Bracknell Forest
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • West Berkshire
  • Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire

South West

  • South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor
  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Dorset
  • Bournemouth
  • Christchurch
  • Poole
  • Gloucestershire
  • Wiltshire and Swindon
  • Devon
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:48

Only three areas in England's tier one of virus rules

Only three areas make the lowest level of restrictions, tier one.
They are as follows:

  • Isle of Wight
  • Cornwall
  • Isles of Scilly



Where is in tier three?

We understand from the government postcode look-up tool that tier-three areas will include: Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Nottingham, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Kent.
However, the look-up tool has crashed. We will bring you more when we have it
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:53

Hancock 'grateful' for shared sacrifice

Matt Hancock thanks people for their "shared sacrifice" and "resolve" so far - saying this means there is no need to renew nationwide measures in England.
He says while this "provides hope for so many", we "must remain vigilant".
It is crucial to protect the NHS so it is there for all of us - through the pandemic and beyond.
With 16,570 people in hospital across the UK and 696 deaths reported yesterday, "we cannot simply flick a switch" and have life return back to normal.
This would see the NHS overwhelmed, he adds.
The return to a tiered approach will see us suppress the virus while supporting the economy, education and the NHS.
The tiers have to be tougher than before to avert another national lockdown.
Kitkat
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 11:58

Long list of areas in tier three

There's a long list of areas in England's top tier of Covid rules, tier three, where many businesses must close.
The areas are as follows:
North East
Tees Valley Combined Authority:

  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Darlington

North East Combined Authority:

  • Sunderland
  • South Tyneside
  • Gateshead
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • North Tyneside
  • County Durham
  • Northumberland

North West

  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire
  • Blackpool
  • Blackburn with Darwen

Yorkshire and The Humber

  • The Humber
  • West Yorkshire
  • South Yorkshire

West Midlands

  • Birmingham and Black Country
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire

South East

  • Slough (remainder of Berkshire is in tier two)
  • Kent and Medway

South West

  • Bristol
  • South Gloucestershire
  • North Somerset
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Post by Kitkat on Thu Nov 26 2020, 12:07

More areas in top two tiers - Hancock

Hancock now sets out how the government decided which tier to place different areas in.
He says decisions have been based on:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups
  • Case detection rates in the over 60s
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
  • Pressure on the NHS

However he says the government has also considered things like travel patterns between different areas.
The health secretary adds that the rules are less stringent than the national lockdown but are designed to keep people safe and safeguard the gains that have been made.
As a result, he says more areas will be in the top two tiers of restrictions, to keep the virus under control and protect the NHS.

Measures to be reviewed after a fortnight - Hancock

The measures will be reviewed every fortnight, says Matt Hancock, with the first full review to be completed by the end of 16 December.
A "significant" number of areas are in tier three - and Hancock says he knows "how tough this is".
Those with the lowest number of cases - Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly - are in tier one. Hancock thanks them for their "vigilance".
Regardless of tiers, he asks everyone to think of their own responsibilities.
People should see them "not as a boundary to push" but a limit as to what they can do.
The less any one person passes the virus on, the faster it gets under control "and that is on all of us", he says.

    Current date/time is Wed Jan 20 2021, 03:43