The UK’s coronavirus reproduction rate, or R value, has risen again to between 1.3 and 1.6 following a sharp spike in new cases in recent weeks, the government’s top scientific advisers have said.

The Sage group said there were some early indications to suggest the growth of the UK’s epidemic might be slowing but it was too early to draw clear conclusions.

It came as London braced for tougher measures as ministers are expected to meet next week to discuss stricter measures in the capital, where Covid-19 infections continue to rise. 

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Two more test positive at White House

A journalist and a press staffer working at the White House are the latest to test positive as the fallout from Donald Trump’s Covid-19 infection continues.

Peter Stubley2 October 2020 18:44

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Our reporter, Samuel Osborne, has the full story below on a stark warning by the mayor of an east London borough for residents to avoid household mixing following a surge in coronavirus cases:

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 18:29

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Police open investigation into SNP MP who broke self-isolation

The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into the reported breaches of coronavirus regulations by SNP MP Margaret Ferrier.

“An investigation is under way into reported breaches of the Health Protection Regulations 2020,” the force said in a statement.

“On Thursday, 1 October, a Member of Parliament contacted Police Scotland to report she may have breached legislation and guidance relating to Covid-19.

“This related to her actions earlier this week, including a train journey on Tuesday 29 September between London and Glasgow, following a positive Covid-19 test.”

The statement added: “Following consultation with Police Scotland, officers from the Metropolitan Police, working with British Transport Police, are conducting an investigation into potential offences.

“The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has been informed.”

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 18:11

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Johnson blames rising coronavirus infection rate on UK’s ‘fraying in discipline’

Boris Johnson has blamed the recent rise in coronavirus infections on public complacency rather than government failures on testing.

The prime minister claimed discipline on social distancing and hygiene measures had “frayed” over the summer as restrictions eased.

Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 18:04

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Biden tests negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis

Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus, his primary care doctor has confirmed, after being tested earlier today following news of Donald Trump’s infection.

The Democratic presidential nominee’s wife was also tested on Friday and has received a negative result.

Mr Biden was on the debate stage with Mr Trump for more than 90 minutes earlier in the week.

In a social media post, he thanked his supporters for “messages of concern” and added: “I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands.”

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 17:51

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More than 750 Northumbria University students test positive for coronavirus

More than 750 students at Northumbria University have tested positive for coronavirus and are now self-isolating, the university has said.

A spokesperson added that 78 of the cases were symptomatic, as of Friday.

You can find more on this breaking story below:

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 17:41

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Johnson suggests rule of six could be suspended for Christmas

Boris Johnson has hinted that he could suspend the rule of six for Christmas day to allow people to spend time with family over the holidays.

The prime minister told ITV’s Emma Hutchinson that the government would do “everything we can” to give people a normal Christmas.

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 17:27

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Germany demands majority of UK arrivals enter quarantine

The Foreign Office has said travellers to Germany from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and large parts of northern England will be required to self-isolate when they arrive in the country.

In a move which will bring more disruption to UK travel plans, people from the north-east, north-west, Yorkshire and the Humber in England have been hit by new restrictions.

Our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, has the full story below:

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 17:19

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Proportion of adults worried about coronavirus rises to highest level in five months

The proportion of adults worried about the impact of coronavirus has risen to its highest level for five months, according to a survey.

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of adults were very or somewhat worried about the impact of Covid-19 on their lives at the end of September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is the highest level since the lockdown, when 75 per cent said they were worried between 24 April and 3 May.

As measures eased, the proportion of adults worried about the pandemic decreased but remained high – never falling below 64 per cent.

More than half of the respondents were concerned about a lack of freedom and independence, and their travel plans being affected.

The ONS analysed responses from 1,587 adults surveyed between 24 and 27 September about their feelings and activity during the past week in its Opinions and Lifestyle Survey examining the social impact of coronavirus.

It also found that levels of socialising, eating out and travel decreased after rising during the summer.

A fifth (21 per cent) of adults said they had left home to meet up with people in a “personal place”, such as a relative or friend’s home – down from 30 per cent the previous week.

Meanwhile, a quarter said they had not socialised with anyone outside their household in the past seven days.

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 17:08

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More than 50 universities across UK have coronavirus cases, survey finds

More than 50 universities in the UK have confirmed cases of coronavirus, with nearly 1,800 Covid-19 cases identified among students and staff, a survey has found.

There have been more than 200 cases at the University of Sheffield, while 177 University of Liverpool staff and students have tested positive, according to a PA news agency survey which contacted 140 institutions.

Around 56 universities across the UK have had at least one confirmed case of Covid-19, according to an analysis of the university responses and media reports.

At least 1,798 positive cases of Covid-19 are understood to have been identified at these universities.

Conrad Duncan2 October 2020 16:49



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