UK coronavirus LIVE: Millions wake up under new Tier 3 lockdown restrictions as Covid infection rate continues to increase

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  • October 24, 2020
  • Comments Off on UK coronavirus LIVE: Millions wake up under new Tier 3 lockdown restrictions as Covid infection rate continues to increase

South Yorkshire which includes the city of Sheffield, will enter into tier 3 restrictions from 12.01am on Saturday

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AFP via Getty Images

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Millions of people across the UK woke up to stricter coronavirus restrictions on Saturday as health officials battle to stem the spread of the disease.

From midnight, South Yorkshire joined Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire on the highest Tier 3 alert level , banning mixing between households indoors and forcing many pubs and bars to close.

On Friday the seven-day rolling average number of daily coronavirus cases in the UK eclipsed 20,000 for the first time , with 20,530 new infections.

But scientists have suggested the rate of spread of the virus may be slowing, with the UK’s reproduction number, or R value, nudging down to between 1.2 and 1.4.

Follow our live updates here…

Live Updates


2020-10-24T21:30:20.780Z

Thank you for following today’s live blog

Tune back in tomorrow for more updates on the coronavirus pandemic.


2020-10-24T20:53:19.646Z

Eighteen are arrested at anti-lockdown protests

Eighteen people have been arrested after protesters clashed with police at an anti-lockdown demonstration in London.

Hundreds of campaigners marched to Parliament after bringing Oxford Street to a standstill.

The Met said 18 arrests were made after officers took action to disperse crowds when “disruption” was caused on Westminster Bridge.

Three officers sustained minor injuries after they clashed with campaigners at the Stop the New Normal protest, said the force.

Arrests were made for breaches of coronavirus regulations, assaulting an emergency service worker, violent disorder and for being wanted by police.


2020-10-24T20:15:00.000Z

Marcus Rashford condemns abuse of MPs as “unacceptable and “unnecessary”

He wrote on Twitter: “I want to take a quick second to acknowledge that a number of MP’s, and their families, have received unacceptable abuse over the last couple of days, especially on Twitter.

“Believe me, as a Premier League player, I know all too well what that feels like, and it’s unnecessary. We are all bigger than that.”


2020-10-24T19:45:16.000Z

Welsh Government to ‘review supermarket ban on non-essential items’

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government will review “how the weekend has gone” with supermarkets and make sure that “common sense is applied” to the ban on selling non-essential items during the firebreak lockdown.

Mr Drakeford tweeted: “Thank you for all your efforts over the last 24 hours to stay at home. We know people are fed up.

“It’s not easy, but we all have a responsibility to stop the virus spreading. We’ll be reviewing how the weekend has gone with the supermarkets and making sure that common sense is applied.

“Supermarkets can sell anything that can be sold in any other type of shop that isn’t required to close. In the meantime, please only leave home if you need to.”


2020-10-24T19:15:16.000Z

Commander leading today’s police operation for anti-lockdown protests comments:

Commander Ade Adelekan said: “Throughout the day, officers have been managing a number of complex protests at various locations across central London. One demonstration in particular attracted a large number of protesters and I became increasingly concerned that those in the crowd were not maintaining social distancing or adhering to the terms of their own risk assessment.

“Organisers did not take reasonable steps to keep protesters safe which then voided their risk assessment. At this point, officers then took action to disperse crowds in the interests of public safety.

“I am grateful that the vast majority of people listened to officers and quickly left the area. Frustratingly, a small minority became obstructive, deliberately ignoring officers’ instructions and blocking Westminster Bridge.

“Although the majority of protests have concluded, our policing operation will continue into the night and I would urge Londoners to stick to the regulations, avoid gathering in large numbers and maintain social distancing.”


2020-10-24T18:45:16.000Z

Leeds have announced they will match the £25,000 donation pledged by the club’s playing squad in support of Marcus Rashford’s campaign for free school meals

Hours after Leeds captain Liam Cooper revealed the players’ donation on Twitter, the club said they would stand “united” with those seeking to stop children going hungry in the half-term holidays.

Leeds tweeted: “@MarcusRashford We all stand united at this time, #LUFC will match the £25,000 donated by our players.”

Manchester United striker Rashford stepped up his campaign this week after the Government voted against a Labour motion to extend the school dinners scheme.

Leeds City Council announced its Healthy Holidays programme on Friday following Rashford’s increased efforts and Cooper responded on Twitter with the players’ donation.


2020-10-24T18:21:13.100Z

University of Edinburgh students protest “mistreatment” by the institution amid the coronavirus pandemic

Protesters claim the university made a “false promise” of hybrid learning and said that many students would not have taken out leases on flats if they had known most learning would be online.

They also claim the university’s treatment of first years has been “terrible”, saying that the university has “locked them in halls of residences with zero regard for their mental health and wellbeing”.

Students gathered to protest in the city’s Bristo Square on Saturday, calling for better treatment and services and an “actual provision of hybrid learning”, saying if the university cannot provide this then a cut in fees for the online semester is needed.

They held placards with messages such as “9k for Zoom”, “Students before profit” and “Less contact same fees”.

The university said that students are receiving a hybrid learning experience, and that when they are asked to self-isolate they are provided with support.

(PA)


2020-10-24T18:00:00.000Z

Petition challenges ban on supermarkets selling non-essential items

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling on the Welsh Government to reverse a ban on supermarkets selling non-essential items during the firebreak lockdown.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the restriction was a “matter of fairness” as non-essential retail has to close during the two-week period, which began at 6pm on Friday and will last until November 9.

Read more here…


2020-10-24T17:40:21.100Z

Northern Ireland hardship scheme for the taxi, private bus and coach sectors – whose trade has collapsed during the pandemic – has been rubber-stamped by the Executive

Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon wrote to First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill asking for the power to establish the scheme for the taxi sector on Friday.

In a statement, the First Minister and Deputy First Minister said they have designated the powers to the minister under the terms of the 2009 Financial Assistance Act.

The financial package for the sector will be developed urgently, the statement added. It will complement the existing Executive schemes which are being progressed to provide support to other sectors impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mrs Foster said: “Covid-19 has had an enormously damaging impact on all sectors of business and services. The operators of taxis, private buses and coaches have faced a significant reduction in demand for their services, yet their overheads have continued.

“It is absolutely right that they should be able to avail of financial assistance to sustain them through this difficult time and I hope they will take some comfort in the knowledge that support will be forthcoming.”


2020-10-24T17:15:00.000Z

Latest figures on coronavirus patients in England hospitals is in:

A further 185 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 31,743, NHS England said on Saturday.

Patients were aged between 32 and 98. All except seven, aged between 66 and 90, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between April 6 and October 23, with the majority being on or after October 20. Thirteen other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.


2020-10-24T16:55:00.000Z

Coronavirus cases rise by 859 in Ireland

A further four Covid-19 linked deaths and 859 new cases of the virus have been reported in Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team said.

The death toll now stands at 1,882 while the total number of infections since the pandemic began is 56,108.

On Saturday, 315 Covid-19 patients were in hospital in Ireland, 37 of whom were in ICUs.


2020-10-24T16:40:00.000Z

Police arrest 10 people at anti-lockdown protests

The Metropolitan Police said 10 people had been arrested so far at the Stop the New Normal protest.

The force tweeted: “This protest is no longer exempt from the regulations and we are asking demonstrators to leave. There is disruption on Westminster Bridge as officers continue to disperse crowds.”

(PA)


2020-10-24T16:25:00.000Z

Opposition leader Paul Davies writes to Welsh Parliament calling for members to be recalled to discuss the ban

In a statement alongside the letter, Mr Davies said: “It is madness that people have been banned from buying books, bins and baby clothes in local shops.

“The Welsh Labour-led Government may not think these items are essential, but many will beg to differ.

“The Wales-wide lockdown is disproportionate, unnecessary and biting our economy hard. I’d rather see people being able to buy items in shops in their communities that provide employment to local people than see millions spent at online internet giants.”

He said the petition is a “clear sign” that people want the rule to be “scrapped immediately and the Welsh Parliament must meet to resolve this matter as soon as possible”.


2020-10-24T15:57:46.553Z

Coronavirus cases have risen by more than 23,000 in the UK

The Government reported a further 23,012 lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK on Saturday.

This brings the total number of infections since the pandemic began in the UK to 854,010.

A further 174 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, as of Thursday.

The total death toll in the UK now stands at 44,745.


2020-10-24T15:55:00.000Z

Welsh Government defends its ban on supermarkets selling non-essential items

It tweeted on Saturday: “Supermarkets can keep selling items you can find in other essential shops – such as stationery/greeting cards.

“The purpose of selling essential items only during firebreak is to discourage spending more time than necessary in shops and to be fair to retailers who have to close.”


2020-10-24T15:42:14.170Z

Armed police officers disperse crowds of anti-lockdown protesters

Armed police officers have dispersed large crowds of anti-lockdown protesters at Trafalgar Square following a march through central London.

Demonstrators called for an end to the “tyranny” of pandemic restrictions and voiced their opposition to vaccines and paedophilia, playing Michael Jackson’s greatest hits via a PA system as they marched.

At least two people were led away in handcuffs by officers at Trafalgar Square, and Piers Corbyn, brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, also attended the protest.

(PA)


2020-10-24T15:25:14.710Z

Students protest ‘mistreatment’ at Edinburgh University

Students from the University of Edinburgh have staged a protest over their “mistreatment” by the institution amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Protesters claim the university made a “false promise” of hybrid learning and said that many students would not have taken out leases on flats if they had known most learning would be online.

They also claim the university’s treatment of first years has been “terrible”, saying that the university has “locked them in halls of residences with zero regard for their mental health and wellbeing”.

Students gathered to protest in the city’s Bristo Square on Saturday, calling for better treatment and services and an “actual provision of hybrid learning”, saying if the university cannot provide this then a cut in fees for the online semester is needed.

They held placards with messages such as “9k for Zoom”, “Students before profit” and “Less contact same fees”.


2020-10-24T15:11:04.190Z

Belarussian opposition leader self isolates

Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is self-isolating and will take a COVID-19 test after meeting earlier this week with the Slovenian foreign minister, who has since tested positive for the coronavirus.

“This does not hinder the work of her team,” her spokeswoman Anna Krasulina said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Lithuania, where Tsikhanouskaya lives after fleeing Belarus following a disputed presidential election in August, requires a 14-day self-isolation period for anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian foreign ministers are also self-isolating after a meeting with the Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar this week, according to their spokeswomen and Twitter messages.

Logar tested positive for coronavirus on Friday after the trip to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, state news agency STA reported.


2020-10-24T14:39:56.563Z

Deaths rise by 11 in Scotland

Deaths from coronavirus have risen by 11 in Scotland in the past 24 hours, the Scottish Government has announced.

Daily data released on Saturday also shows an increase of 1,433 cases since Friday, a positivity rate of 8.7% of tests done.

Again, Greater Glasgow and Clyde saw the highest increase in new cases with 524, followed by 321 in Lanarkshire, 174 in Ayrshire and Arran and 166 in Lothian.

All four health board areas are subject to tougher restrictions on hospitality as a result of a spike in cases in recent weeks.

The number of people with coronavirus in Scotland’s hospitals has also increased by 16 to 985.

Intensive care admissions have also gone up by eight and stand at 84.