MATT Hancock has announced that people from different households have been banned from meeting indoors across a large area of northern England after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases.
The government announced the measures at 9.16pm last night, less than three hours before they took effect.
Meanwhile, Leicester's local lockdown was last night partially lifted with pubs, restaurants and hairdressers to reopen on Monday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, are to hold a press conference today at noon.
The UK death toll stands at 46,084.
Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…
JOHNSON TO HIT THE BRAKES ON EASING COVID LOCKDOWN
The Prime Minister will give a press conference at midday and is expected to announce that most of the measures which were to be lifted tomorrow would now be put on ice.
The reopening of leisure centres including skating rinks, casinos and bowling alleys will now be pushed back.
Socially-distanced theatres and music venues had also been expected to open.
Story here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12276805/boris-johnson-brakes-coronavirus-lockdown-easing/
PREMIER LEAGUE LOOKING AT 'CLINICAL PASSPORTS' TO GET FANS BACK IN STADIUMS
PL chief executive Richard Masters said they are looking at “clinical passports” to try and get fans back into stadiums for next season.
The end of the season was playing behind closed doors.
Mr Masters said the PL was “willing to see how we can support the development of 'clinical passports' – an app-based system that looks at all symptoms and other Covid-19 contributing factors”.
The 2020-21 season is scheduled to start on September 12.
UP TO 20% OF PEOPLE MAY HAVE CORONAVIRUS WITHOUT SYMPTOMS – STUDY
One in five people in London and the South East who have had coronavirus did not show any symptoms, a new study suggests.
It also found that more than a quarter (27%) of people who did fall ill did not display the three main signs of Covid-19 – persistent cough, fever and loss of smell (anosmia).
Researchers said this is the first UK-based pre-print study linking detailed ongoing symptom collection data with antibody testing, and highlights the likely extent of Covid-19 infection across the region.
Study lead and consultant geriatrician from King's College London, Dr Claire Steves, said: “Our findings highlight the fact that a significant proportion of people who get infected with coronavirus don't have any obvious symptoms but may still pass the disease on to others.”
Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East and shadow transport minister, said the way the new Covid-19 restrictions were announced was “a complete shambles”.
He said: “As much as I always support the Government, it's a complete shambles the way it was announced.
“It's been released on social media with hours notice.
“It puts people in a place of uncertainty, fear and confusion.”
He said local MPs were invited by regional public health officials on Thursday morning to discuss how the pandemic was affecting the area, but he said no one had known about the impending new restrictions that were announced that evening.
“The Government has got to do better than this in informing people and give people the heads up,” he added.
“These things shouldn't be binary, it shouldn't be switched on and then switched off.”
…BUT SOME GOOD NEWS
STARMER – 'POOR COMMUNICATION' FROM GOVERNMENT
The Labour leader has his say.
1 IN 1,500 HAVE CORONAVIRUS IN UK – ONS
This figure was 1 in 2,300 a couple of weeks ago.
It shows how the figure has crept up again as restrictions have eased across the UK.
POLICE IN LONDON BRACED FOR ANOTHER 'NIGHTMARE' WEEKEND OF ILLEGAL RAVES
Scotland Yard is readying itself for another “nightmare” weekend of illegal raves with scorching hot temperatures in the capital.
The Met revealed it has shut down more than 540 unlicensed music events, some attended by huge crowds, since last month.
Scotland Yard Commander Ade Adelekan told the Standard: “These are a nightmare for our communities. People living nearby don’t want them on their doorstep. I wouldn’t want them on mine.”
He issued a direct request to residents to give them a “heads up” before events get out of control.
MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN'S SECRETARY GENERAL CRITICISES GOVERNMENT
The Muslim Council of Britain's secretary general, Harun Khan, has said the government gave “shockingly short notice”.
In a statement, he said: “With the first day of Eid being today, for Muslims in the affected areas, it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself.
“Whilst the safety of communities is of paramount importance, as has remained the case from the very outset of this crisis, so is effective communication delivered in a timely fashion.
“Failure to communicate makes it difficult for communities across the country to continue working together to minimise the spread of the virus, whilst eroding trust in the ability of authorities to steer our course as we tackle the Covid-19 crisis.
“The UK Government has failed to provide clarity on the shockingly short notice and the reasoning behind the new rules that British Muslims deserve – any such clarification would be most welcome.”
LEICESTER CITY'S MAYOR: 'I WISH THERE WAS CLARITY'
Giving his reaction to the Government's announcement about Leicester on Thursday night, the city's mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “I wish there was clarity.
“We're beginning to get clarity but even now there's a number of questions about travel and other aspects of this that haven't been spelt out – and the people of Leicester are turning to me and the council and asking what can we do, and when can we do it.
“The answer to that is: we'll let you know as soon as the Government tells us.”
Asked what information he specifically needed from the Government, Sir Peter said: “What we need is to understand what can open and when it can open, understand what we can do about meeting up with family and friends and where they can do that; and what is particularly unclear is what the travel restrictions are going to be.
“A lot of people are hoping that they can grab a bit of time to go for a summer holiday, and we're not sure here in Leicester whether that's going to be permitted or not.”
'DEEPLY CHAOTIC' – LABOUR MP
Tracy Brabin, Labour MP for Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire said the way the new lockdown measures had been announced was “deeply chaotic”.
She said: “The Government had said big announcements would be handled with the seriousness that they merit.
“To announce this sort of measure late at night on Twitter caused an awful lot of anxiety in my community. It's a new low.
“It affects millions (of people) and businesses.
“I have been getting messages from families asking 'can I take my children to the childminder?', 'can I go to work?'
“It's just not good enough.
“Lockdown measures that keep people safe, we back 100%, but this is not the way to do it, and it has caused a lot of anxiety.”
Labour shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy, who is MP for Wigan, told Sky News: “Nobody is arguing that the Government shouldn't move quickly where evidence exits that there has been a spike in Covid cases, and we have certainly seen that in Greater Manchester.
“So, it's absolutely right that they do this. But I cannot describe to you the level of chaos that there was last night with this announcement.”
WHO TO DISCUSS WAY OUT OF GLOBAL EMERGENCY
The World Health Organization's emergency committee will meet today to reassess the Covid-19 pandemic, six months after first declaring a global public health emergency.
LESS THAN HALF OF ADULTS ALWAYS SOCIAL DISTANCING WHEN MEETING OTHERS – ONS
Less than half of adults spending time with family and friends are fully respecting social distancing measures when they meet up, a survey suggests.
Almost three-quarters of adults polled by the Office for National Statistics said they had socialised with others during the last seven days, with 50% welcoming family or friends into their homes.
Of the 1,150 people who reported socialising, 47% said they had always maintained social distancing, with this proportion rising to 70% of those aged 70 and over.
SCENES IN MECCA
Muslim pilgrims wearing face masks and keeping social distance perform Tawaf around Kaaba during the annual Haj pilgrimage.
WORSHIPPER USES HAND SANTISER IN BRADFORD
Where tough new restrictions have been imposed today.
TEMPERATURE CHECKS IN MANCHESTER
People wearing face masks arrive before having their temperatures checked to try stop the spread of coronavirus, before being allowed to go into Manchester Central Mosque, in Manchester.
'FURTHER CLARITY NEEDED' ON LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS – HALIFAX MP
Holly Lynch, Labour MP for Halifax. has criticised the government's announcement last night saying there was a lack of clarity.
She said: “I am calling on government to provide more information and further clarity about these new changes as quickly as possible.
“People understand the seriousness of the situation, but there are some ambiguities and inconsistencies in this information.”
TUI EXTENDS SUSPENSION OF HOLIDAYS TO SPAIN UNTIL AUGUST 17
Tour operator Tui has extended the suspension of holidays for UK customers to mainland Spain until August 17, and the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands until August 10.
The firm said it will instead add more flights to Greece and Turkey “following the overwhelming demand from customers to still get away this summer”.
LOCAL AUTHORITIES MAY MAKE PEOPLE WEAR MASKS OUTSIDE IN FRANCE
Local authorities may enforce the wearing of face masks in outdoor spaces to halt the spread of coronavirus, France’s health minister has announced.
Olivier Veran tweeted: “This decision can be taken locally, depending on the situation of the epidemic in each region.”
WHERE THE LOCKDOWN HAS BEEN ENFORCED
HOUSE PRICES RISE £4,500 AFTER MONTHS IN THE DOLDRUMS
The cost of buying a house shot up by £4,500 in July as the property market recovered quicker than expected since the end of lockdown.
Prices were up 1.7% compared to last month, and 1.5% higher than the same period the year before, according to a closely watched survey.
The Nationwide Building Society said that the average price of a home sold in the last month was £220,936, up from £216,403 in June.
JOHNSON TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE AT NOON
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, are to hold a press conference at noon.
HANCOCK IN A MUDDLE (PART 2)
He's struggling to answer this question.
Here he is on BBC Radio Manchester.
HANCOCK IN A MUDDLE
The Health Secretary appears to have contradicted the government line.
He's in a muddle.
On BBC Breakfast, Mr Hancock suggested households in affected areas could visit other non-affected households – contrary to government guidance which said this will be illegal.
CORONAVIRUS IN WALES
Up to 30 people can meet outdoors and kids under 11 will not have to social distance in Wales from Monday.
Swimming pools, gyms, leisure centres and indoor play areas, including soft play, can reopen from August 10.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said the new guidance for children was because of their lower rates of transmission.
Up to 30 people will be able to meet outside regardless of how many households they are from.
More may be able to meet indoors from August 15.
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