Coronavirus must be taken very seriously again or the UK will face “a bumpy ride over the next few months”, a deputy chief medical officer has warned.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said on Monday that the public had “relaxed too much” over the summer and described the rising number of cases were of “great concern”.
It comes after a further 2,948 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded in the UK as of 9am on Monday.
Meanwhile, regional corridors have launched in England, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying if infection rates differ from mainland countries, islands can be added to or removed from the quarantine list.
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That’s all for tonight’s live coronavirus coverage.
Check back tomorrow morning for all the latest updates as they come.
Donald Trump has accused Joe Biden and Kamala Harris of spreading “anti-vaccine rhetoric” after his democratic rivals questioned the president’s pledge to secure a coronavirus jab “in record time”.
Mr Trump has suggested the US could see a Covid-19 vaccine approved before the November elections, but both Mr Biden and Ms Harris have urged voters not to “trust his word”.
Ms Harris told a CNN interview on Sunday that she would not trust a vaccine if one were ready at the end of the year because “there’s very little that we can trust that… comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.”
A rallying cry to all Britons:
The public must start taking coronavirus “very seriously again” after people “relaxed too much” over the summer, England’s deputy chief medical officer has warned.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam said the recent surge in infections was of “great concern” and the UK faced “a bumpy ride over the next few months” if cases continued to rise.
His comments came after figures showing that the UK’s coronavirus infection rate had surpassed 20 cases in 100,000 people — the level at which the Government considers imposing quarantine restrictions on foreign countries.
Brits abroad respond to Greek island quarantine rules
A Briton in Greece has said she feels more comfortable in Crete than in the UK after the island was included in the UK’s coronavirus quarantine policy.
“We’ve felt 100 per cent safer here than back in Leeds as all employees are wearing masks and areas are a lot less crowded,” Beth Maybury, 24, from Leeds said.
Ms Maybury, who will return to the UK before the quarantine deadline, added: “Bars etc just seem a lot quieter, the hotel seems not even at half capacity so there’s plenty of room round the pool/beach. There just seems to be a lot more awareness in terms of masks too.
“We live near the White Rose (shopping centre) in Leeds which has been consistently heaving throughout with people ignoring social distancing measures while out shopping and going out to eat.
“I’ve been nervous going out for food or drinks in the UK because it’s too busy with no one following rules which is (the) polar opposite to how I feel here.
“I’ve worked all throughout lockdown as I’m a key worker and I’ve been so nervous to do anything outside of work. I’ve had to fly four hours to feel comfortable doing anything.”
People in Dublin need to assume that Covid-19 is circulating in the community and adhere to social distancing, the acting chief medical officer has said.
Dr Ronan Glynn said the Department of Health was “particularly concerned” about the increase in cases of Covid-19 in Dublin and Limerick.
“The next week is vital and people really need to cut down their social contacts,” he said.
“They need to take all the precautions over the next week in those counties.
“They need to assume now again, unfortunately, that Covid is circulating in the community and act appropriately.”
Dr Glynn added: “I can’t say it strongly enough that people in Dublin in particular need to adhere to physical distancing. They need to cut down their social contacts.”
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) said on Monday that another 102 new cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed in Ireland, bringing the total number of cases to date to 29,774.
No further deaths linked to the pandemic were reported.
Authorities need to take long-term approach
Professor Van-Tam said politicians and public health policy officials would have to think about “how we manage this and how we do so not in a short-term way, not about the next six days, not about the next six weeks, but about the next six months and how we get through this until the spring”.
He added that it was “clear” that the level of compliance with restrictions “is very variable indeed”.
Prof Van-Tam added that the “downstream consequences” of gatherings such as parties “are that we get increased transmission and I am quite concerned that we must take this seriously so that we don’t end up with a spreading problem over the next few weeks and months”.
It’s time to start taking coronavirus seriously again – Van-Tam
Professor Van Tam said the recent rise in cases is “much more marked” in the 17-21 age group.
He added: “For the first time I think I see a trend that this is no longer about disease in those specific hotspots, such as Leicester a few months ago, the North West more recently, but there is a more general and creeping geographic trend across the UK, across England, that disease levels are now beginning to turn up on a wider geographical basis.
“That again is a signal that we’ve got to start taking this very seriously again.”
Britons have relaxed too much – it’s time to re-engage
Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has expressed concern about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK.
“People have relaxed too much,” he said. “Now is the time for us to re-engage and realise that this is a continuing threat to us.
“It’s all very well saying that hospital admissions and deaths are at a very low level in the UK, which is true, but if you look further into the European Union you can see that where case numbers rise initially in the younger parts of the population they do, in turn, filter through and start to give elevated rates of disease and hospital admissions in the older age groups and we know that that then becomes a serious public health problem.
“That’s my concern, that if we don’t get on top of this, if people don’t start to take this seriously again, then there is a risk that that’s where we end up.”
France forward Kylian Mbappe has tested positive for Covid-19, the French Football Federation has announced.
The Paris St Germain star will miss his country’s Nations League clash with Croatia on Tuesday after a routine test administered on behalf of UEFA.
A statement on the FFF’s website read: “Kylian Mbappe will not play in France-Croatia, Tuesday evening at the Stade de France.
“His Covid-19 test carried out by UEFA on Monday morning revealed a positive result, he was isolated from the squad after receiving the results at the end of training, and returned home in the evening.
“Mbappe was (also) tested before joining up with the squad. The result was negative, like that of a test taken on Wednesday at UEFA’s request for the Sweden-France game.”
Mbappe is the seventh PSG player to test positive for the virus, with the other cases picked up by pre-season testing at the club.
Greece reports 17 coronavirus cases in migrant camp
Greece has registered at least 17 cases of coronavirus in the overcrowded migrant camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos, a ministry official has confirmed.
Last week, the facility was placed under quarantine after authorities confirmed that a 40-year-old asylum-seeker had tested positive for Covid-19.
So far, 1,600 tests have been conducted in Moria, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi told Alpha TV.
Since March 1, all migrants reaching Lesbos have been quarantined away from the island’s camps.
The Moria facility, which hosts more than 12,000 people – more than four times its stated capacity – has been frequently criticised by aid groups for poor living conditions.
Most recently, aid groups have warned that social distancing and basic hygiene measures are impossible to implement in the camp due to the conditions.
Late on Monday, Greek authorities said that three more migrant facilities had been quarantined: the Eleonas camp in Athens, the Malakasa camp just north of Athens and the facility in Schisto, near the port of Pireaus.
Greece has recently seen a surge in coronavirus cases.
It has recorded 11,524 cases since the first infection surfaced in February, and 284 Covid-related deaths.
An SNP councillor has urged Nicola Sturgeon to consider closing down Scotland’s pubs to curb the spread of coronavirus.
With the number of new cases of Covid-19 on the rise, Chris McEleny said keeping bars open is “not compatible” with efforts to control the virus.
Mr McEleny said that if the Scottish Government wants to keep people safe and schools open full-time “the decision to reimpose lockdown restrictions on all pubs must now be on the table”.
He made the plea after Sunday’s figures showed Scotland had recorded 208 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily increase in positive tests since May.
Hospitality was one of the hardest hits sectors of the economy when lockdown was imposed in March, with pubs, restaurants and cafes all forced to shut their doors.
An easing of restrictions has allowed them to open back up again although bars in Aberdeen were closed again for a period after a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
Mr McEleny said while he fully supports “innovative” measures to support businesses it is “not compatible to have pubs across the country open when we are seeing new cases at a rate that previously we were in a country wide lockdown to get them under control”.
He said: “If we want to keep ourselves and others safe, keep schools open full time and make workplaces more productive again, the decision to reimpose lockdown restrictions on all pubs must now be on the table.
France reports more than 4,000 new cases
France has confirmed another 4,203 coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 328,980.
The number of deaths has also risen by 25 over the last 24 hours to 30,726.
France has the seventh-highest Covid-19 death toll in the world.
Authorities are scrutinising the data to see what further measures might be needed to help the country cope with an expected second wave of the virus this winter.
Today’s big travel announcement continues to divide opinion:
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Holidaymakers are acutely aware of the risks involved with foreign travel, but this latest snap change still offers no clarity as to how these decisions are made.
“This approach continues to cost travellers dearly, either through paying extortionate airfares in the scramble to get home, or because speculation that their destination may be added to the quarantine list causes them to needlessly cancel a holiday.
“It’s clear that the current travel corridor system is not working for passengers, and is further damaging confidence in the sector.
“A major reassessment of the UK government’s approach is needed to ensure holidaymakers don’t continue to lose money, and tour operators and airlines have a better opportunity to get back on their feet financially.”
Up to £3.5 billion has been dished out on fraudulent or incorrect claims for the Government’s furlough scheme, a top civil servant has revealed.
Jim Harra, chief executive of HMRC, said his staff believe between five and 10 per cent of furlough cash might have been sent to ineligible claimants.
The Government has so far paid out £35.4 billion in furlough cash, according to the latest figures.
It means that somewhere between £1.75 billion and £3.5 billion could have been paid out wrongly.
Caerphilly to be placed under local lockdown
The county borough of Caerphilly in south Wales is to be placed under a local lockdown from 6pm on Tuesday following an increase in coronavirus cases in the area.
People will not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse, may only meet others outdoors and everyone over the age of 11 must wear a face covering in shops, the Welsh Government said.
The new restrictions, which apply to everyone living within the Caerphilly County Borough Council area, also prohibit overnight stays.
There have been 133 new cases confirmed in the Caerphilly area over the past seven days, equivalent to a rate of 55.4 cases per 100,000 population – the highest rate in Wales and one of the highest in the UK.
Health minister Vaughan Gething said there had been a “significant rise” in cases over a short space of time, linked to holiday travel abroad, as well as people socialising indoors and not social distancing.
“A lot of these cases are in younger people and thankfully, at the moment, most of these are mild,” Mr Gething said.
“But coronavirus is now circulating in the community and it’s only a matter of time before we start to see more serious cases, which need hospital treatment.
“We need the help of everyone in Caerphilly borough to prevent the increasing and onward spread of coronavirus.
“We can only bring this local outbreak under control if everyone pulls together and follows these new steps.
“If we do not see cases falling, we may need to take further steps to bring this local outbreak under control.”
Lockdown restrictions extended in western Scotland
Lockdown restrictions on household visits have been continued for a further week in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire – as well as being extended to Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire.
Nicola Sturgeon described the move as “regrettable” but said the measures were necessary.
The Scottish First Minister said the evidence pointed to transmission taking place between households, but an eye will be kept on the hospitality sector.
Children may show different symptoms of Covid-19 than adults, one expert has said.
Professor Tim Spector, who is leading the Covid Symptom Study app research, said there could be different symptoms according to different age brackets.
Fatigue, headache and fever appear to be the most common symptoms among children, according to an article in the Guardian.
The NHS website lists the main symptoms of coronavirus as: a high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss or change to a person’s sense of smell or taste.
Experts analysed symptoms from 198 children who tested positive for the disease out of 16,000 tested.
A third of the children showed no symptoms.
More than half (55 per cent) of the children who tested positive had fatigue, 54 per cent had a headache and almost half had a fever.
Over a third (38 per cent) had a sore throat, 35 per cent skipped meals while 15% had an unusual skin rash and 13 per cent had diarrhoea, according to the newspaper.
Prof Spector said that of children who tested positive and had symptoms, around half did not have any of the three main signs listed by the NHS.
He told the newspaper: “We need to start telling people what are the key symptoms at different ages rather than this blanket obsession with fever, cough and lack of smell.
“If you followed the Government’s advice you’d be missing half of the (symptomatic) infections.
“What we want to do here is not push (children) to have tests, but just keep them away from school (if they show symptoms).”
Researchers behind the app have previously argued that rashes should be considered as a fourth key sign of Covid-19.
“It is certainly as important as the other features, and in children it is much more important,” Prof Spector added.
“One in six children will have (a rash) and many times it will be the only sign, and you don’t get a funny rash with most coughs, colds (or) flus.”
Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has postponed its sailing from Portsmouth Naval Base after a number of crew tested positive for Covid-19.
The £3 billion warship was set to leave Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Monday afternoon for training exercises but the departure was put on hold at the last moment.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that “fewer than 10” members of the 1,000-strong crew had tested positive for the coronavirus and had been taken ashore to be put into isolation in barracks.
Other sailors who had contact with their infected crew-mates will isolate on board the 65,000 tonne ship which is expected to leave Portsmouth as soon as Tuesday.
It is the second time the carrier has had to postpone its sailing after two crew members tested positive for Covid-19 in April.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “A small number of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s personnel have tested positive for Covid during routine preparation for sailing.
“Those affected have been isolated and are working with the NHS Test and Trace system to ensure the virus does not spread further.
“The crew will continue to follow appropriate health guidelines and the HMS Queen Elizabeth will depart once their status has been confirmed.”
Children and their families should not be stigmatised if they test positive for coronavirus, a senior director at the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned as pupils return to school around the UK.
Parents, who may be worried about being “pariahs in the neighbourhood” if their child is sick and a whole class is sent home, need to understand what system is in place, according to Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.
He said it is “extremely important” that there is no stigma around a child testing positive for Covid-19, pointing out that “anybody can get this disease”.
His comments come as one secondary school in Suffolk closed its doors just days after reopening, while whole classes at two schools in Wales have been told to self-isolate for two weeks following confirmed cases.
Speaking at a WHO briefing, Dr Ryan said: “I think for a lot of parents, it really comes down to understanding from the school authorities and from the health authorities, what’s going to happen if my kid gets sick?
“What’s going to happen if there’s a suspected case in the school, which is very different to a confirmed case, and it’s really important that authorities communicate that clearly and that it’s clearly laid out to parents.”
Reflecting on the concerns of parents, Dr Ryan said: “There’s an element of stigma. People feel fearful.
“If my kid get sick and then the whole class is sent home, does that mean that we’re going to be pariahs in the neighbourhood?
“So people have a lot of concerns that bubble underneath the processes, and the more that schools communicate with parents, and the more that parents understand what’s going to happen if… and the more the public health authorities come in and intervene when there is a confirmed case.
“And it’s very clear that the school doesn’t have to go through this process alone.”
He said it is important that public health authorities work with schools so it is clear immediately when there is a case or a cluster that the public health authorities are explaining to everyone what is going to happen next.
“And it’s extremely important that we don’t see stigma arising from the fact that a child is diagnosed, or confirmed with coronavirus.
“Anybody can get this disease, and anybody can carry this disease, symptomatically or asymptomatically.
“And it is not the fault of a child that they have this disease,” he said.
More from the travel sector on today’s announcement from Grant Shapps:
Airport Operators Association (AOA) chief executive Karen Dee said: “Treating islands separately to a mainland, for the purposes of quarantine, is a welcome step in the right direction for Government policy.
“But the quarantine requirement is devastating the UK aviation industry and this change is unlikely to improve consumer confidence significantly. It is essential that we find a safe alternative.
“Industry has been calling for Government action on a testing regime for the aviation system for months while the sector has suffered through its worst summer in a generation.
“While there are certainly some issues with testing immediately on arrival – as the Transport Secretary outlined – there are other options available, such as testing on day five or day eight after arrival, which could improve the situation.
“Government must work quickly and decide upon a testing regime which can be put in place as soon as possible.
“The aviation sector cannot continue operating against these headwinds for much longer. AOA estimates more than 100,000 jobs are at risk unless the industry can restart properly. A testing regime for UK aviation would help kick-start such a recovery.”