The Prime Minister is expected to reveal the full details of the much-anticipated approach in a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, following criticism of the Government for not keeping MPs properly informed of changes.
After a meeting with Government officials, leaders of West Yorkshire councils wrote a joint letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak stating: “We are concerned by rumours in the media that we might be pushed into Level 3 of a new system set to be introduced, without any discussion or consultation, or without adequate economic measures put in place to support affected people and businesses.”
Meanwhile Mr Sunak has said the expansion of the Job Support Scheme will protect jobs and provide “reassurance and a safety net” for people and businesses across the UK in advance of a potentially “difficult winter”.
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Labour leader accuses Government of serial incompetence after “13 or 14 U-turn”
Sir Keir said: “I think it is 13 or 14 U-turns now. If it was one or two, I think many people across the country, if the Government made a mistake and then U-turned, would say ‘well, fair enough, we are dealing with a pandemic’.
“But when you have 12, 13, or 14 U-turns the only thing that can be read into that is serial incompetence,” he added.
Sir Keir also tells Co-operative Party virtual conference Test, trace and isolate is “critical”
“The Prime Minister said we would have a world-beating system – we didn’t need that, we just need an effective one that works,” said the Labour leader.
“‘World beating’ is just Johnson rhetoric. Getting a test quickly, getting the result quickly and then reaching the contacts so that self-isolation works – that’s not working properly, which means that thousands and thousands of people are walking around today who should be in self-isolation.
“So, that bit needs to be fixed.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accuses Government of not having any “anchors” in its economic approach to the coronavirus crisis
Speaking at a Co-operative Party virtual conference, Sir Keir said: “At the moment, amongst my concerns is that the Government hasn’t really got any anchors.
“It’s bobbing all over the place.”
Donald Trump will hold a rally at the White House on Saturday as he aims to get back on the campaign trail despite questions remaining around his health.
The US president has been sidelined for more than a week after he was diagnosed with Covid-19 during a critical period before the November 3 election.
Latest figures show Nottingham has highest coronavirus rate in England
A further 13,864 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported on Friday, and 87 more deaths were confirmed of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
Nottingham has the highest rate in England, with 760.6 cases per 100,000 people – a huge jump from 158.3 per 100,000 in the seven days to September 29.
Knowsley has the second highest rate, which has leapt from 391.1 to 657.6 per 100,000, while Liverpool is in third place, where the rate has also increased sharply, from 419.0 to 599.9.
Separate figures suggested coronavirus cases are doubling about twice as fast in the North West, Yorkshire and the West Midlands as for the whole of England.
Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill tests negative for coronavirus
She will continue to self-isolate and work remotely after a family member was diagnosed, a spokeswoman said.
Some 1,080 cases were notified by the Department of Health on Friday.
Significant limits on household contacts remain in place across Northern Ireland.
More stringent precautions were introduced in the Derry City and Strabane local government district in the north-west where the virus has raged through the community.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said an expansion of the job support scheme would protect jobs and provide “reassurance and a safety net” for people and businesses across the UK in advance of a potentially “difficult winter”.
Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the funding.
Several patients have died in a coronavirus outbreak at a Scottish hospital
NHS Lothian said it is investigating the outbreak in a cancer ward at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh after a “very small number of patients” died. The health board did not confirm the number of deaths, but said it was fewer than five.
A further six patients have tested positive for Covid-19, and the oncology ward has been closed to new patients being admitted and current patients being discharged.
Dr Donald Inverarity, consultant microbiologist, NHS Lothian, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased
and I would like to express our sincere condolences.
“A multidisciplinary Incident Management Team was immediately established and all necessary infection control measures are in place. The situation will continue to be reviewed and monitored very closely.”
Patients who would normally spend the weekend at home with family before returning to hospital on Monday are being asked to remain on the ward to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The health board’s Health Protection Team and the nationwide Test and Protect teams are carrying out contact tracing of visitors and outpatients, where necessary. Routine Covid-19 screening of staff and patients is taking place as part of an enhanced regime.
Two-thirds of workers say their mental health has been harmed by the coronavirus crisis, a new study suggests
A survey of 13,500 workers by the GMB union found that most believe their job is causing them stress or is affecting their mental health.
The report, released on World Mental Health Day, said fear of taking the coronavirus home is the main cause of stress at work. Workers in retail, schools, outsourced services, and care have the highest levels of anxiety, said the GMB.
National officer Nell Andrew said: “These stark results show it’s not just workers’ physical health that’s being impacted by Covid, but their mental health and wellbeing is too.
“Much more needs to be done to prevent poor mental health in the workplace, during the pandemic and beyond. We urgently need full mental health risk assessments to become the norm, because protecting workers’ mental health is just as vital as protecting physical health.
“As we face a second wave and widespread redundancies, we desperately need to protect at-risk industries and fully fund the public services that defend the mental health and wellbeing of the heroic workers who have keep the economy and society together.”
‘Scapegoat move’ criticised as pubs and bars close across Scotland
Max Durrant, manager of Bier Halle on the city’s Gordon Street, was one of those who had been preparing to move customers on because of the 6pm closing time on Friday.
He told the PA news agency: “It’s been a bit more quiet, we’ve been doing Eat Out to Help Out and we’ve noticed the numbers coming down on that.
“If you look at it from July 6 it’s been steady but as soon as schools and universities and colleges have went back, it’s went up so I feel it’s a wee bit of a scapegoat move, an easy way out.
“We’ve got another two weeks of furlough so that’s going to help us out a wee bit. I prefer to be on my feet and moving about rather than sitting about for two weeks twiddling my thumbs.
“An older guy who’s lived through a lot of things told me it’s the worst it’s ever been in Glasgow.”
Another lockdown will have a “devastating” effect on the town and city centres and regional economy of West Yorkshire, council leaders warn
In a joint letter to the Chancellor and health and housing secretaries on Friday, the leaders said it will result in the “levelling down” of the region.
Their comments come days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline a new three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions that is expected to cause pubs and restaurants to shut across the north of England.
The leaders added: “We remain to be convinced that further restrictions that involve closing businesses would be the most effective way of tackling the virus, particularly when the health of our economy, people’s jobs and livelihoods are at stake.
“Therefore, we are concerned by rumours in the media that we might be pushed into Level 3 of a new system set to be introduced, without any discussion or consultation, or without adequate economic measures put in place to support affected people and businesses.
“Another lockdown will have a devastating effect on our town and city centres and the overall regional economy. It will result in a levelling down of our region and undo the good work we have done over the last decade to improve the fortunes of our people.”
The leaders said that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that workers in businesses which are forced to close under the new restrictions will have two thirds of their wages paid by the Government was “not enough”, and that more support was needed to prevent an “even deeper economic catastrophe”.
Public in danger of losing faith in coronavirus measures due to the Government’s “inconsistent” messaging, BMA warns
The British Medical Association added clearer, stronger measures are needed to halt the spread of the Covid-19.
As the Government prepares to unveil a new three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions on Monday, the doctors’ trade union body has published a list of recommendations it says could reduce the nation’s level of infection while providing people with the confidence they need to go out safely and boost the economy.
The BMA’s council chairman, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said the inconsistency of the Government’s messaging once the first lockdown was lifted had played a part in the resurgence of the virus.
He said: “The infection has risen following rapid relaxation of measures and with the Westminster Government letting down its guard – as recently as August, the Government was encouraging people to travel, go to work and mix in restaurants and pubs.”
“The Government has a duty to regain the public’s confidence and faith in measures being taken to get the spread of the virus back under control. It must also provide the financial support businesses need to enable them to make premises and settings Covid secure while providing clear rules on what ‘Covid secure’ means.”
Martin Gannon says current measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus needed to be given time to work
The Gateshead Council leader said: “Our argument is that even with the mixed messaging, even with the confusion and frustration, the measures that are in at the moment are beginning to work.
“Work with us, give us more time, help us to win confidence and persuade people who want to do the right thing.
“Help us to win confidence to the measures that are currently in, not bring in new measures and get even further resistance and further confusion.”
Labour leader of Gateshead Council Martin Gannon says he is opposed to a lockdown of hospitality venues across the north-east region
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think new measures would be counter-productive. We had three different sets of regulations in 10 days which caused huge resistance and confusion.
“Even the Prime Minister at one stage didn’t have the foggiest idea what actual restrictions he had imposed on the north-east of England.”
Mr Gannon also complained that no minister took part in a conference call with North East leaders regarding the situation on Friday.
Deputy director of Public Health England’s national infection service provides update on 16,000 missed by test and trace
Asked about the 16,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus but were not contact traced due to a technical problem using Excel, Dr Susan Hopkins said 75 per cent had now been reached.
Dr Hopkins said: “We are very sorry that this happened in the first place in Public Health England. But, I would also say that we are very happy with the work that we have done with our colleagues in NHS Test and Trace and the efforts that have gone into tracing these individuals.”
Public Health England urges Londoners to help stop rising spread of Covid-19
Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Health England, said: “Coronavirus cases in London are continuing to rise and we are seeing undeniable evidence of that trend. Unless this changes and we slow the spread we will have a much more serious situation on our hands in the coming weeks.
“I would urge all Londoners to be aware of the data and recognise the very real threat our city is facing. Our actions today matter and by working together we can have an impact.
“We can limit the severity of a second wave and help protect ourselves and our city by being vigilant in our approach to social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing our hands regularly.
“Government restrictions including the rule of six and reducing hospitality hours will also help prevent transmission by providing fewer opportunities for the virus to spread. Now is the time for us to pull together, collectively put our guard up and do our bit for London.”
PHE expert says cases are rising more quickly in the north than in the south
Susan Hopkins, deputy director of Public Health England’s national infection service told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The picture shows that all over the country the numbers of cases are rising.
“They are rising more quickly in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and Humber than they are in the south of the country.
“Concerning aspects in terms of the North West is that in certain pockets of the North West it is rising quite fast now in the over-60s. And that’s the group of people that we know would need admission to hospital more significantly than the younger population.”
Mayor of Liverpool says he expects the city to be put in a tier three lockdown within days
Joe Anderson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday: “We had some conversations with Downing Street yesterday, we have got further conversations, discussions with them this afternoon.
“And I expect that Liverpool will be one of those announced. We will be in the local lockdown, new local lockdown, which is announced, which will probably be, well, will be tier three, and that that will be enacted in Parliament on Tuesday.
“We are continuing the discussions and conversations today.”
Good morning and welcome to today’s live coronavirus coverage – bringing you all the latest updates from the UK and across the world.
Pub owners are not happy:
People in charge of pubs in England have criticised Rishi Sunak’s expanded job support scheme, saying their industry needs more financial help.
Workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses which are forced to close under new coronavirus restrictions will have two-thirds of their wages paid by the Government, the Chancellor announced.