A shop stylist adjusts a face mask on a mannequin in a window display at fashion store ¯ST London, after a range of new coronavirus restrictions came into place in England.

Around 200 people have been filmed partying in student accommodation – as some universities warned those caught in serious breach of coronavirus rules could face expulsion.  

Police said they attended a large gathering at Coventry University halls in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Footage showed scores of people in a common room singing as a handful danced on a ping pong table at the centre of the packed crowd.  

A final decision is expected to be made on whether Merseyside will join the North East with tougher lockdown measures banning households from mixing indoors, as Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson told the Telegraph it was “only a matter of days” until a more severe lockdown was imposed on the city. 

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Trump to host massive rallies in coronavirus red zones 

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign will once again stage major rallies amid the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday, this time in parts of the country reportedly deemed “red zones” by his own White House coronavirus response task force, Chris Riotta reports.

Thousands of the president’s supporters are expected to gather in large crowds this weekend in Wisconsin, a state with one of the highest rates of new Covid-19 cases in the country, according to tracking data published by Johns Hopkins University.

Chiara Giordano30 September 2020 14:46

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Labour accuses Rishi Sunak of snubbing appeal for help from his own constituent

Labour have accused the chancellor Rishi Sunak of snubbing an appeal from one of his own constituents for financial support during the coronavirus crisis.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Sir Keir Starmer quoted an email he said he had received from a wedding venue owner in Mr Sunak’s Richmond constituency.

The businessman warned that his industry appeared to have been “forgotten” by the government and he was facing having to make staff redundant.

Conrad Duncan30 September 2020 14:24

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Police do not have capacity to launch ‘manhunts’ for people refusing to self-isolate, senior officer says

Police do not have the capacity to launch “manhunts” for people who break coronavirus rules by refusing to self-isolate, a senior officer has warned.

Figures released on Wednesday suggested that hundreds of people were getting away with breaking the law by giving false details or not answering the door to police.

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), told a virtual press conference that there was “real pressure” on police services, with crime levels returning to pre-pandemic levels in England and Wales.

Our home affairs correspondent, Lizzie Dearden, has the full story below:

Conrad Duncan30 September 2020 14:08

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Confusing coronavirus laws for North East ‘unacceptable’, human rights lawyer says

A human rights lawyer has said the confusing way the government has introduced extra coronavirus laws for large parts of the North East of England is unacceptable.

Barrister Adam Wagner has been critical of the way the North of England Coronavirus Regulations have been worded, with amendments and lengthy exceptions to existing legislation making the document difficult to follow, even for lawyers.

“You cannot do law-making like that,” Mr Wagner told the PA news agency.

“You cannot do it by means of amendments in the middle of the night. It is unacceptable as a way of doing law-making.”

He added: “The only saving grace is that I don’t think the police are enforcing this yet because they haven’t a clue either.”

Conrad Duncan30 September 2020 13:59

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Ministers need to explain regional lockdown rules better, Starmer spokesperson says

Sir Keir Starmer’s spokesperson has said ministers need to explain regional lockdown rules better to reduce confusion rather than introduce more streamlined national Covid measures.

“I think it is time for the government – the priority right now, and I hope we will see it from his press conference this afternoon, is for the prime minister to get a grip of these messages, get a grip of the guidance coming from government ministers and to set out how he is going to tackle the problems that exist with test, track and trace,” Sir Keir’s spokesperson said.

“What we need to see is maximum competence from the government and that is not what we have seen over this past week.”

The spokesperson was also pressed on Labour’s continued support for government lockdown measures.

“The government has introduced these restrictions and we accept it has done so based on the advice it has been given by the medical experts. As such, we will support those restrictions,” they replied.

“What we won’t support, however, is a prime minister who just dismisses criticism and can’t accept that he has been grossly incompetent … not least on test, track and trace.”

Conrad Duncan30 September 2020 13:42

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Cats able to develop stronger immune response to Covid-19 than dogs, new study finds

Cats and dogs can be infected with coronavirus but neither animal is likely to get sick from Covid-19, a new scientific report has found.

Researchers found there was no evidence to suggest pets had passed the virus to humans but cats were found to shed the virus and infect other cats.

Neither animal in the study showed any illness – although cats were found to have developed a strong protective immune response to the virus.

Our reporter, James Gorman, has the full story below:

Conrad Duncan30 September 2020 13:34

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Britons drank more but smoked less during lockdown

Britons drank more alcohol but smoked fewer cigarettes during lockdown, research suggests.

The proportion of people who drank four or more times a week increased along with binge drinking, according to a study based on data from more than 27,000 people.

Chiara Giordano30 September 2020 13:22

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Number of lockdown fines expected to rise

Police expect the number of lockdown fines handed out to members of the public to rise despite thousands of penalty notices already issued having gone unpaid.

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) chairman Martin Hewitt said that as new regulations are brought in, forces in England and Wales are expecting the number of fines issued to increase.

This came as figures showed that of 18,646 enforcement letters sent out in England and Wales, 9,428 resulting fines had been paid, while 9,413 had not.

These include some people who are formally contesting their fine, while others who have not paid fall to be considered for prosecution.

Mr Hewitt said: “We anticipate there will be an increase obviously as regulations are introduced in different parts of the country.

“The FPNs (fixed penalty notices) were designed in the way that a number of other FPNs are and every individual has the right to decide not to pay that fine and elect to go to court and plead their case.”

Data published by the NPCC today also shows hundreds of travellers suspected of breaking quarantine rules had not been traced.

Chiara Giordano30 September 2020 13:05

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Local lockdowns remain ‘because of rule-breakers’

Boris Johnson has suggested areas are failing to escape local lockdowns because people are breaking the rules.

Only Luton – of 48 areas – has escaped Covid-19 restrictions which have been imposed in recent weeks, the prime minister was told.

Mr Johnson said that “success” was because “local people pulled together to follow the guidance”, appearing to imply that residents of other areas were not.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has more  details:

Chiara Giordano30 September 2020 12:43

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Government’s ‘total disregard’ for parliament

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the government has shown a “total disregard” for parliament with its handling of Covid-19 regulations.  

He added: “The way in which the government has exercised its power to make secondary legislation during this crisis has been totally unsatisfactory. 

“All too often important statutory instruments have been published a matter of hours before they come into force and some explanations as to why important measures have come into effect before they can be laid before this house has been unconvincing and shows a total disregard for the House.”

Chiara Giordano30 September 2020 12:22



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