Boris Johnson is expected to make a statement to MPs on Monday in which he will unveil new coronavirus restrictions and a three-tier system for local lockdown rules.
It is likely that pubs and restaurants could be closed in parts of northern England and the Midlands under the new system due to high levels of Covid-19 cases in those areas.
It came as Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, warned MPs that the UK’s crisis was at a “critical” moment, with figures suggesting the number of infections had doubled in a week.
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India’s total coronavirus cases near seven million
India’s total of confirmed coronavirus cases is nearing seven million after another 73,272 infections were reported over the past 24 hours.
The country’s Health Ministry also reported 926 deaths on Saturday, taking total fatalities to 107,416.
Although case numbers remain high, the country has been seeing a slower rate of infections since mid-September – when daily infections reached a record of 97,894 cases.
However, health experts have warned that congregations during major festivals later this month and in November could help the virus spread further.
“We have to work aggressively to make sure that during winter months and during the festive season coronavirus cases don’t rise dramatically,” Dr Randeep Guleria, a government health expert, said.
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 11:56
Our policy correspondent, Jon Stone, has more details below on Sir Keir Starmer’s criticism of anonymous briefings for coronavirus restrictions:
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 11:34
Starmer hits out at government over U-turns and Test and Trace failures
Sir Keir Starmer has used his speech at the Co-operative Party virtual conference to attack the government over a series of U-turns and failures with the Test and Trace system.
“The prime minister said we would have a world-beating system – we didn’t need that, we just need an effective one that works,” Sir Keir told the conference.
“’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.”
The Labour leader added that the government had been responsible for “13 or 14 U-turns” during the pandemc and ministers had failed to get a grip on the crisis.
“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’,” he said.
“But when you have 12, 13, or 14 U-turns the only thing that can be read into that is serial incompetence.”
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 11:28
Starmer criticises ‘gross irresponsibility’ of briefing newspapers on future restrictions
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the briefing of details on future lockdown restrictions to newspapers is “an act of gross irresponsibility” by government sources.
“It was an act of gross irresponsibility for anonymous government sources to tell newspapers on Thursday about plans to impose further restrictions on millions of people,” Sir Keir said.
“They did so without any detail, without any consultation and without any statement from the prime minister.”
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 11:18
US coronavirus cases hit two-month high
New coronavirus cases in the US have hit a two-month high with over 58,000 infections reported and hospitalisations in the Midwest reaching record levels for a fifth day in a row, according to analysis by Reuters.
Ten of the 50 states reported record one-day rises in cases on Friday, including the Midwestern states of Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin and Illinois recorded more than 3,000 new cases for a second day in a row.
It came as Donald Trump was set to resume his re-election campaign on Saturday by addressing supporters from the balcony of the White House.
He is then scheduled to travel to central Florida on Monday to hold his first campaign rally since leaving the hospital after being treated for Covid-19 last week.
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 11:11
A warning from Greater Manchester’s night time economy adviser…
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 10:53
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham will be joined by the mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram and the North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll at today’s press conference on local lockdown measures, according to ITV’s Paul Brand.
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 10:36
Our reporter, Anthony Cuthbertson, has put together an explainer below on some of the latest coronavirus data from the UK and other parts of Europe:
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 10:28
Details on strictest measures in new tier system
Sky News’ Joe Pike has shared some details from a briefing given to Northern council leaders on the proposed three-tier system for local lockdown restrictions which is set to be announced next week.
The measures will reportedly run in four week blocks and in the strictest tier (level 3), pubs and bars will be closed and households mixing indoors and outdoors will be banned.
However, schools and universities are expected to remain open.
Of course, the system could change before it is officially unveiled on Monday.
You can find details of the briefing below:
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 10:18
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and other leaders across the north of England will give an update on their position on local lockdown restrictions at 12:30 today…
Conrad Duncan10 October 2020 10:03