Market stalls remain open at The Moor Open Market in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 23 September 2020.

Dominic Raab has warned a second national lockdown “can’t be ruled out” if the latest coronavirus restrictions do not manage to control a surge in cases.

The foreign secretary said a new raft of measures announced by the prime minister on Tuesday, including a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, has been brought in to avoid a nationwide shutdown come Christmas.  

Meanwhile, Professor Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, has said a ban on households mixing in England could be coming “very soon” and waiting just two or three weeks to implement such a measure would be too late. 

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Denmark and Iceland set to be added to government’s no-go list

Denmark and Iceland are set to be the next countries to be added to the government’s no-go list, travel correspondent Simon Calder reports.

As new coronavirus infection rates increase across Europe, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, is expected to remove quarantine exemption from more nations at 5pm on Thursday. At the same time, the Foreign Office will warn against travel to those countries

The latest figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that the rate of new infections per 100,000 in seven days in Denmark has more than doubled in the past week.

Wednesday’s figures show a rate of 63. The British government’s threshold is 20, and the UK itself is at 44.

Iceland has experienced an even steeper rise in cases. In the four weeks from 19 August, it kept daily new infections in single figures. But for the past week they have been running at an average of 35 per day. With a population of barely one-third of a million, the rate per 100,000 has risen to 69.

Samuel Osborne23 September 2020 17:44


Panama to resume international flights in October

Panama’s aviation authorities have said the central American nation will resume international flights on 12 October, after suspending most air travel in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Samuel Osborne23 September 2020 17:27


Isles of Scilly report first cases

The Isles of Scilly have reported their first coronavirus infections since the pandemic began, Clea Skopeliti reports.

The islands, 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, had managed to avoid transmission during the last six months.

The council of the Isles of Scilly said it was “informed by public health of positive test results” this week.

It is not known how many cases there had been, or if the infected persons were residents, or visitors. It was also not confirmed which of the five inhabited islands they were on.

The council said in a message to islanders it was working to “ensure risk is minimised”.

Samuel Osborne23 September 2020 17:07


Budget cancelled amid rapid rise in coronavirus cases

Rishi Sunak has called off plans for a Budget later this year, Treasury sources have confirmed, political editor Andrew Woodcock reports.

The chancellor had been expected to deliver his second budget of 2020 within the next few weeks, but his plans have been blown off course by the rapid upsurge of coronavirus cases which last night forced Boris Johnson to announced new restrictions to economic and social activities.

Samuel Osborne23 September 2020 16:38


UK coronavirus cases reach highest level since 1 May

Coronavirus cases in the UK have hit 6,178, according to the latest government statistics.

It is the highest daily level since 1 May when the UK was in lockdown.

Samuel Osborne23 September 2020 16:27


Chancellor to update MPs on job protection plans

Rishi Sunak will update MPs on plans “to continue protecting jobs” tomorrow.

The chancellor said: “As our response to coronavirus adapts, tomorrow afternoon I will update the House of Commons on our plans to continue protecting jobs through the winter.”

Samuel Osborne23 September 2020 16:09


Government playing ‘blame game’ with public

A public health expert has accused the government of blaming the public over the coronavirus crisis, the day after Boris Johnson said in an address to the nation that there had been “too many breaches” of the restrictions, Rory Sullivan reports.

Linda Bauld, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, suggested that the “punitive message” coming from the prime minister and other leading politicians was a “problematic” communications strategy.

Downing Street’s “blame game” consists of reproaching young people for their behaviour, accusing the population of wanting too many Covid-19 tests and of threatening the public with larger fines, according to Ms Bauld.

Chiara Giordano23 September 2020 15:57


Stockholm facing local restrictions

Stockholm could face new local restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, as health officials warn of “worrying signs” in the Swedish capital.  

Sweden, which has so far chosen not to use lockdowns to tackle the virus, is also seeing early signs the number of infections is increasing nationally, experts have said.  

Stockholm’s top health official has raised the alarm about a rise in cases in the region.

Zoe Tidman has more details on this story below:

Chiara Giordano23 September 2020 15:48


First single-shot vaccine reaches final stage of trial

Johnson & Johnson is beginning a huge final study to try to prove if a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine can protect against the virus

The study starting Wednesday will be one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccine studies so far, testing the shot in 60,000 volunteers in the US, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

A handful of other vaccines in the US – including shots made by Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc – and others in other countries are already in final-stage testing. Hopes are high that answers about at least one candidate being tested in the US could come by year’s end, maybe sooner.

Chiara Giordano23 September 2020 15:34


Coronavirus ‘creating climate of extremism’

Security chiefs have warned coronavirus is creating a “growing climate of extremism” amid worsening unemployment and the spread of dangerous conspiracy theories.

Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee was told the worsening economic situation in Britain was combining with hate crime and misinformation to create an environment “very conducive” to radicalisation.

Sara Khan, who leads the Commission for Countering Extremism, told MPs: “We are going to see a growing climate of extremism in our country and we are currently ill-equipped to deal with that.”

Security correspondent Lizzie Dearden has more on this below:

Chiara Giordano23 September 2020 15:12

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