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2.30pm Coronavirus UK latest – New UK-wide Covid lockdown fears and how many people can I meet indoors? – LIVE UPDATES

THE Government is about to slash the number of people who are allowed to gather indoors after the number of Covid-19 cases have soared for the past two days.

People in Bolton will not be allowed to socialise with those from other households after coronavirus restrictions were imposed.

The UK has seen the number of reported coronavirus cases reach nearly 3,000 each day for the past two days.

John Edmunds, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, told ITV’s Robert Peston the next few months could be crucial.

He hinted that Christmas could be at stake, saying: "What is Christmas? Well it’s meeting with your family very close. Restaurants and pubs and stuff like that."

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates…

  • CEMETERY IN VIRUS-HIT INDONESIA RUNNING OUT OF SPACE

    Pondok Ranggon cemetery – one of the two graveyards designated for coronavirus victims in the capital Jakarta – is expected to run out of space in the coming days.

    The city remains Indonesia’s worst-hit region, accounting for 1,014 of the total new cases detected since Monday.

    The overall count in the capital now stands at 48,393, including 1,317 deaths and more than 36,000 recoveries, according to the Health Ministry.

    A management official told Anadolu Agency that an average of 25 bodies are being buried at the graveyard each day.

    He said: “In a month, there were around 720 burials with coronavirus protocols,” said Nadi, who goes by only one name.”

  • PRIVATE GATHERING DECISION ABOUT TO BE MADE

    Boris Johnson on the verge of slashing how many people can attend private gatherings amid concerns a second wave is about to engulf the country.

    The number of people legally allowed to meet up in private homes could be reduced in England from the current maximum of 30.

    This reportedly could potentially be as low as six.

    Addressing his Cabinet this morning, Johnson warned that in other countries the rise in infections “was followed a couple of weeks later by a rise in hospitalisations”.

    “He said that was due to them 'going on to infect other generations”.

  • RESTRICTIONS TO BE RAMPED UP IN BOLTON CARE HOMES

    Healthy Secretary Matt Hancock added that visitor restrictions will also be put in place in care homes in Bolton.

    He told MPs: “We're also putting in place extra measures including visitor restrictions to restrict the spread of virus into care homes and hospitals in Bolton and I want to thank the leadership of Bolton Council who are doing an outstanding job in very difficult circumstances.”

    Mr Hancock added: “And I want to say this to everybody directly living in Bolton – I know how anxious this can be, and I know the impact that these measures will have.

    “We're asking you to take a step back at a time when we all just want to get on with our lives and what we love and back to normal. But we need to take this crucial step to keep the virus at bay.

    “Because as we've seen elsewhere, if we act early and control the virus then we can save lives.”

  • DUTCH CORONAVIRUS CASES RISE TO HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE APRIL

    The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands jumped 51% last week to their highest level since the end of April, Dutch health authorities today confirmed infections increased to 5,427 in the week to Tuesday September 8.

    It was up from 3,597 in the previous week, while the total number of tests rose 10% to just over 180,000.

  • CORONAVIRUS DEATHS IN SCOTLAND AT TWO-MONTH HIGH WITH THREE FATALITIES

    Coronavirus deaths in Scotland have hit their highest level in more than two months as three fatalities were recorded in a single day for the first time since June 30.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the deaths during the Scottish Government's briefing in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

    She said 176 positive cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours “in every mainland health board area” in the country, taking the total to 21,719.

    A total of 2,499 people have died with the virus in Scotland.

    On Monday evening, the Scottish Government imposed restrictions on Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire and continued existing measures in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire for at least a further seven days.

  • HOW TO GET A COVID TEST?

    With demand for tests increasing here is how you can get one.

    Tests can be taken by dropping by either a drive-through or walk-through testing site, or a mobile testing unit.

    They need to be booked. This can be done online or by calling 119.

    The Department of Health advises searching for “coronavirus testing” on Google Maps.

    Also, you can order a home testing kit but only in the first four days of having symptoms — otherwise you have got to visit a site.

  • SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER ANNOUNCES MORE LOCAL LOCKDOWNS

    Nicola Sturgeon said the “really unwelcome” decision to impose more restrictions was a “proportionate” response to rising coronavirus cases.

    There are now restrictions stopping people meeting in homes in East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Refrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Glasgow City.

    The First Minister, speaking at the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing, said of the restrictions: “Overall, I believe that they represent a proportionate and hopefully effective — but also an absolutely necessary — response to a worrying increase in Covid-19 across these areas.

    “The restrictions will be reviewed again next week and they will stay in place for as long as they are needed, but they will not stay in place for any longer than that.”

    Sturgeon added the rise in coronavirus cases in Inverclyde and Lanarkshire “does not warrant additional restrictions” but the Government would be keeping that decision under review”.

  • ‘YOUNG PEOPLE CAN SUFFER DEBILITATING COVID AFTER-EFFECTS’

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the long-term effects of coronavirus were not “very strongly correlated” with the severity of the infection.

    He added: “This is not just about people who were hospitalised, in fact, and this is really relevant for now because the latest rise in the last few days has been largely among young people.

    “But it doesn't matter how serious your infection was the first time initially, the impact of long Covid can be really debilitating for a long period of time, no matter if your initial illness wasn't all that severe.”

    When asked if there would be a campaign to educate people about the long-term effects of the virus, Mr Hancock said there were not “easy and clinically validated” treatments.

    He added: “There is a challenge which is supporting people when actually there isn't a readily available treatment.”

  • APOLOGY OVER COVID TEST PROBLEMS AMID SURGE IN CASES

    A senior official at NHS Test and Trace has said sorry to people unable to get a Covid-19 test as officials consider new lockdown restrictions to curb the current spike in cases.

    Director of testing Sarah-Jane Marsh said there is capacity at testing sites but laboratories processing the tests are at a “critical pinch-point”.

    Ms Marsh added that the system is doing “all it can to expand quickly”.

    There have been reports of people being told there are no appointments available at test centres in England and that there are no home tests kits available to send out.

  • 60K BRITS STRUCK BY ‘LONG COVID’ SYMPTOM ILL FOR MONTHS

    People who were previously fit and healthy who have recovered from the virus have in some cases been left bed ridden and unable to climb the stairs.

    A report compiled by the team behind the Covid Symptom Study app has now revealed that many are suffering with on-going issues.

    Professor Tim Spector said that 60,000 people have been ill for more than three months.

    Breathlessness and fatigue have been reported by long-term sufferers and some have described how doing shopping or climbing stairs can leave them bed-ridden for days.

    Last month it was reported that over half a million Brits were suffering with long-Covid and that some doctors were dismissing symptoms.

  • ENGLAND’S HOUSEHOLD GATHERING LIMIT SET TO BE CUT

    Ministers are meeting today to sign off on the first new national rules in months, after two days of huge spikes in the nation's infection numbers.

    An announcement is expected to be made tomorrow.

    Sources said there would be a “toughening up” of the rules to stop the spread as scientists feared it was spreading across the country.

    The current rules mean no more than 30 people can meet inside.

    But it could be cut down to as low as six.

  • THOUSANDS OF BRITS FACE RACE BACK FROM GREECE TO AVOID QUARANTINE

    As many as 60,000 Brits are facing a mad rush home from the Greek islands after the UK government enforced last-minute quarantine rules.

    From 4am tomorrow, all arrivals from the islands of Zante, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Lesvos, Tinos and Serifos will have to quarantine for two week.

    Following the announcement, flights have jumped in price – according to Google Flights, a one way ticket from Zante to the UK costs £108 today – and drops to just £44 tomorrow, after the quarantine is enforced.

  • UK COVID OUTBREAK COULD BE ‘TAKING OFF’

    Speaking to Sky News, GP Dr David Loyyd said: “Anecdotally I think we are certainly getting the feeling that there are more cases arriving in hospital now.

    “So I think we are beginning to see the slightest chance that we may be taking off.

    “Warnings to all: please, please, please stay socially distanced, wash your hands and wear a mask.

    “Really this is not the time to relax.”

  • ‘DON’T KILL YOUR GRAN’

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said young people had become too relaxed about social distancing and could endanger older relatives through complacency.

    It comes after a marked rise in Covid cases in the 17-21 age group

    Mr Hancock told a BBC programme aimed at young people: “Don't kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on.

    “And you can pass it on before you've had any symptoms at all.”

    Some 41,554 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 in Britain, the worst fatalities toll in Europe.

    “The numbers have been going up and we've seen in other countries where this leads, and it is not a good place,” Mr Hancock added.

  • WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A HOLIDAY BOOKED WITH TUI?

    TUI travellers can cancel their trip and get a full refund, or they can ask to change their travel dates.

    If you decide to rebook and the new trip is more expensive, keep in mind that you'll have to cover this price difference yourself.

    You can find different ways of contacting TUI on its website here, but remember its customer service centres are likely to be extremely busy.

    If you have a holiday booked to any of the cancelled islands, you can get a full cash refund.

  • TUI CANCELS HOLIDAYS TO GREEK ISLANDS

    The tour operator has cancelled all holidays to Crete, Zante, Santorini and Mykonos following the travel quarantine enforced by the UK government

    It is allowing anyone with trips booked from today until September 22 to move their holiday for free or request a full refund.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the new restrictions.

    Anyone returning from the Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (Zante) from 4am on Wednesday will need to quarantine for 14 days on their return.

  • WELSH TOWN SHUT OFF FROM REST OF COUNTRY LATER TODAY

    The public has been told they cannot enter or leave Caerphilly without a reasonable excuse when new restrictions are imposed at 6pm.

    Meetings with other people indoors will be banned and everyone over 11 will have to wear masks in shops, the first time the measure has been made mandatory in Wales.

    The South Wales borough has seen 133 new Covid-19 cases over the past seven days, equivalent to a rate of 55.4 cases per 100,000 population, giving it one of the highest rates in the UK.

    Meanwhile, restrictions on household visits across western parts of Scotland were extended for a further week and expanded to also include East Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire.

  • EASYJET CUTS FLIGHTS DUE TO QUARANTINE RULES

    The budget airline has announced it is cutting flights following the Government's decision to impose quarantine restrictions for seven Greek islands.

    It said it will reduce schedule as “customer confidence to make travel plans has been negatively affected”.

    This means it will have flown “slightly less” than the 40 per cent of pre-coronavirus pandemic capacity it previously said it would operate between July and September.

    From 4am on Wednesday travellers arriving in England from Lesbos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini or Zakynthos (also known as Zante) must self-isolate for 14 days.

    This is part of the Government's new regional approach to quarantine policy.

  • IRELAND TO FINALLY OPEN ITS PUBS

    The Irish government has announced hostelries will open from September 21 date for full pub reopening.

    But this will only affect more than half the country's pubs which do not serve food.

    Ireland exited lockdown at a slower pace than most of Europe and is the only one not to fully reopen bars and pubs.

    The disparity led to protests from some publicans over the last week.

    Data on Monday showed that Ireland's average number of cases has continued to rise slowly over the past week.

  • PLANS TO REOPEN HOLIDAY ISLAND OF BALI DITCHED

    A spike in Covid-19 infections in Indonesia's holiday island of Bali has scuppered chances of it reopening.

    Initially it appeared to weather the health crisis better than other parts of Indonesia, which has suffered Southeast Asia's biggest death toll by far.

    But Bali posted a record 196 coronavirus cases on Friday, the fifth consecutive daily record.

    Daily cases in the holiday island almost tripled on average over the past six weeks, while the death tally doubled to 116 over that period.

    The country suspended plans for a “travel bubble” agreement with select countries in August as new daily coronavirus cases rose in parts of Asia.

  • HOLS CHAOS – EXPLAINED

    If you're booked in to go on holiday to a Greek island soon, you'll likely have had your trip thrown into doubt due to changing travel advice.

    Here's some useful information if you're worried.

    Image: AFP

  • BRITS ARE RELAXING TOO MUCH, WARNS HEALTH CHIEF

    One of England's top health chiefs has warned Brits are relaxing “too much” as infections spike.

    Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said a surge in cases in the 17 to 21 age group has now become increasingly worrying.

    He said the wild parties witnessed across the country after lockdown measures were eased have now started to take their toll.

    Here's what you need to know.

  • STUDENTS TOLD 'DON'T KILL GRAN' AS UNIS OPEN

    Young people have been urged by the health secretary not to “kill your gran” by spreading coronavirus.

    It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday blamed “affluent younger people” for a sudden spike in infections.

    A million university students will soon return to halls.

    A further 2,948 confirmed cases of coronavirus were announced yesterday after 2,988 were reported on Sunday.

    The Times reports that Mr Hancock has warned: “Don’t kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on.

    “And you can pass it on before you’ve had any symptoms at all.”

    Image: PA

  • POSH AND BUGS

    Good morning.

    Today's top story is that David and Victoria Beckham secretly battled coronavirus after catching it in the US.

    Several relatives and staff members also came down with the killer bug following the launch of Becks’ new football club – and the couple feared they were 'super-spreaders'.

    Here's what you need to know.

  • SCHOOLS ACROSS UK HIT WITH COVID-19 CASES

    Dozens of schools across the UK have been hit with coronavirus cases since pupils returned to class.

    Some schools have closed their doors just days after reopening while others have told whole classes and year groups to self-isolate for two weeks following confirmed cases of Covid-19.

    In Suffolk, five members of teaching staff at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill tested positive for Covid-19 and the academy closed on Monday on the advice of Public Health England.

    In Leicestershire, a member of staff at Castle Rock school in Coalville – which was visited by Boris Johnson on August 26 – has tested positive for Covid-19.

    At least 10 schools in Wales are believed to have been affected by coronavirus since reopening.

    Liverpool City Council said eight schools have had positive cases of Covid-19 – and it confirmed the year 11 “bubble” at Liverpool College was told to self-isolate after one pupil tested positive.

    In Wiltshire, all 160 pupils in year nine at St Augustine's Catholic College in Trowbridge were told to self-isolate after a student tested positive.

    St Benedict's RC Primary School in Redcar, St Aidan's CE Primary School in Hartlepool and Outwood Academy Ormesby in Middlesbrough have all seen positive cases – but they will remain open.

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