A government scientific adviser has warned even the toughest coronavirus restrictions in the new three-tier system will not be enough to reduce the coronavirus R rate below one.

And just yesterday, chief medical officer Chris Whitty also said he was “not confident” the top tier restrictions would be enough to get on top of Covid-19 on their own.

More details on this here:

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 12:32


Travel under the new restrictions

It is not yet clear how the new three-tier lockdown system will affect travel, but my colleague Simon Calder has the answers to some questions in this guide:

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 12:20


It’s a question that is sure to divide people – but does a pasty count as a meal?

According to Robert Jenrick, at least, it does. The communities secretary suggested a Cornish pasty could be considered a “normal meal” in a pub if it came with a side of chips or salad and was served on a plate, to a table.

Under new restrictions, pubs can stay open and serve alcohol to customers as long as they also order a “substantial meal”.

My colleague Kate Ng has more on this:

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 11:58


‘Momentous miscalculations’ at ski resort

A probe has found “momentous miscalculations” were made at an Austrian ski resort which helped speed up the spread of coronavirus earlier this year.

Having investigated how the resort of Ischgl in the Tirol region responded to the virus in March, an independent commission identified individual failings that helped contribute to thousands of holidaymakers catching Covid while staying there.

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 11:47


‘Painful’ lockdowns necessary

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, has said “painful” lockdown measures are necessary to reduce number of national cases and give hospitals “the best possible chance over winter”.

He told Good Morning Britain: “The fact that we are beginning now to mobilise the Nightingale centres is a clear indication of the pressure the NHS might come under which is why we have been arguing … that it’s really important we move quickly and decisively to tough local lockdowns wherever they are needed.”

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 11:16


‘More places should have pubs and bars closed’

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth has said he thinks more areas should have seen their pubs and bars closed under the new three-tier system announced yesterday.  

The shadow health secretary told the Today programme he supported the decision to close such venues in Merseyside, adding: “I think actually the government should have gone further yesterday because we’ve got to reduce social mixing given where we are with the prevalence of the virus in parts of the country.  

“I would have looked at closing pubs and bars in other parts of the country and I wouldn’t say to the areas going into the now so-called Tier 3 that you only get the Test and Trace capacity if you’re in Tier 3.” 

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 10:45


India’s health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has claimed the country will have at least one viable Covid-19 vaccine by the beginning of 2021.

Like much of the rest of the world, India is looking to a vaccine for some respite from the pandemic, as its own recorded cases of the virus keep rising at an alarming rate. 

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 10:33


Northwest England had 106 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending 2 October – the highest number for the region since the week ending 26 June, according to the ONS.

In northeast England, 40 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the same period, the highest for the region since the week to 12 June.

Registered deaths involving Covid-19 increased week-on-week in all but two regions of England in the week to 2 October. The exceptions were the West Midlands and southwest England.

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 10:15


Test and trace having ‘marginal impact’

It appears the government’s “world-beating” test and trace system isn’t having the desired effect. 

Scientists advising ministers on the pandemic have warned it is only having a “marginal impact” on limiting the spread of Covid-19.

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 10:01


‘Tier 3 restrictions not enough’

Andrew Hayward, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London, has said he does not think the restrictions included in Tier 3 would be enough to push the R rate below one.  

The Sage member told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it is very disappointing that we had clear advice – we needed to take decisive action several weeks ago.  

“And really since that time, all we’ve done is send students back, introduced the rule of six, advised people to work from home if possible but not really promoted that in any real way and closed the pubs an hour early.”

He added: “I think it is clear that even at the ‘very high’ levels of restrictions – so-called – that they will not be sufficient to reduce R below one.”

Chiara Giordano13 October 2020 09:48

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