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Coronavirus UK news – England to enter second lockdown TONIGHT after MPs back Commons vote 516 to 38

MPs voted for a second lockdown by 516 votes to 38 as Covid deaths more than doubled in a fortnight.

Lockdown measures from tomorrow will include forcing non-essential retail shops, gyms and hospitality venues to close. Schools and universities will stay open.

At least 20 Tory MPs were prepared to vote against the measures but the Prime Minister could rely on votes from the opposition.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pledged support for the restrictions, having urged Boris Johnson to put the country on a circuit-breaker lockdown for weeks.

Coronavirus deaths have risen by 492 in the largest daily increase since May, but Boris Johnson has shown optimism in UK testing sites.

The PM said that he "sees light ahead" in the fight against the pandemic as 3,000 armed forces and scientists have stepped in to help mass testing.

Ben Wallace revealed top Ministry of Defence biomedical scientists will oversee troops from the 8 Engineer Brigade, the Royal Anglian Regiment and the King’s Royal Hussars as part of the first trial in testing a whole city.

And he hinted the Liverpool deployment was the first of many, saying: "As the latest testing technologies and developments in combating the virus come into play, Defence stands ready to support local communities, and the nation, to benefit from them as soon as possible."

Despite fatalities rising by 397, cases have continued to level off as 20,018 more people tested positive for the bug today – as the country faces a second lockdown from tomorrow.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates

 

  • Jon Rogers

    CYPRUS UNDER NIGHT TIME CURFEW

    Cyprus has announced it is to bring in a night time curfew starting on Thursday.

    The restrictions will cover the hours between 11pm to 5am and last until November 30.

    On Wednesday, the Mediterranean island reported 166 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 5,100. There have been 26 deaths.

  • Jon Rogers

    FRANCE REPORTS 40,500 NEW COVID CASES

    France has reported 40,558 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

    On Tuesday it recorded 36,330 new cases.

  • Jon Rogers

    ITALY PLACES LOMBARDY AND PIEDMONT IN COVID 'RED ZONE' RESTRICTIONS

    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has placed the Lombardy and Piedmont regions under tough Covid “Red Zone” restrictions and infections rise.

    The red zone restrictions are the harshest the country has after it introduced yellow, orange and red levels.

    Yesterday Puglia and Sicily were put under orange measures.

    In the red zone areas people are urged to stay indoors as much as possible with all public spaces forced to close.

  • Jon Rogers

    COPS HAND OUT FINES OF £10K AFTER TWO COVID RULE BREACHES IN TWO DAYS

    A man and a woman have been handed fines of £10,000 each after police in Greater Manchester shut down two separate parties in two days for breaching coronavirus regulations.

    Local authorities said the behaviour showed “a level of reckless selfishness that is almost beyond comprehension,” and praised the actions of officers.

    Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were called to a warehouse in Salford on Tuesday evening and dispersed a group of about 200 people who were attending a wedding reception.

    GMP said that screens had also been put up in an attempt to prevent the event – which featured catering, musicians, an MC and sound equipment – from being seen from outside.

    Following the dispersal of guests, a man, believed to be the organiser, was issued with a £10,000 fine for the breach of coronavirus legislation.

    On Monday night officers were called to an address in Bolton following reports of a house party and dispersed a crowd of about 40 people.

    A woman, believed to be the party's organiser, was also issued with a £10,000 fine.

  • Jon Rogers

    LONDON IN GRIDLOCK

    Parts of central London were in gridlock this evening as people fled the capital ahead of the second coronavirus lockdown.

    Traffic along Regent Street came to a virtual stand-still with the lockdown due to start at midnight.

    Pubs, along with restaurants, hairdressers and shops selling non-essential items will have to close Thursday until at least December 2.

  • Jon Rogers

    LORD LILLEY SAYS LOCKDOWN BASED ON 'DODGY DATA'

    Conservative peer Lord Lilley said the restrictions are “based on dubious law and dodgy data”.

    Former minister Lord Lilley, who had also tabled a regret motion against the Government's new restrictions, told peers: “These measures involve grave restrictions on the economy and on our liberties.

    “They may be necessary, but we should only take them on the basis of sound law and solid data. Unfortunately they are based on dubious law and dodgy data.

    “I may not be a lawyer but I did the Institute of Statisticians exams half a century ago and since then have been allergic ever since to statistical jiggery-pokery.”

    Lord Lilley continued: “In short, instead of evidence-based policy we've seen policy-based evidence.

    “I am not claiming that a second wave is not serious – it is, and I am not suggesting that no action is required – it may be, but using a weak legal base and playing fast and loose with the statistics can only undermine trust in what is proposed in these regulations.”

  • Jon Rogers

    FIVE MEN FINED £10K EACH OVER HOUSE PARTY

    Five young men who together hosted a party for almost 80 people at a house, face a total fine of £50,000 after Covid-19 police swooped and handed each of them a £10,000 fixed penalty fine.

    Neighbours alerted police to the noisy party which had even spilled out into the back garden of a house in Canterbury, Kent, last Saturday evening.

    Officers said that there were between 60 and 80 people in the rooms of the house, all clearly breaching the coronavirus regulations.

  • Jon Rogers

    BIDEN TO ISSUE NATIONAL COVID STRATEGY IF HE BECOMES PRESIDENT

    Presidential hopeful Joe Biden has said he will issue a national strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, if he gets into the White House.

    The policy is expected to include a mask mandate and clearer guidance on testing and school reopenings.

    He has also promised to work more productively with health officials.

    But a Republican Senate could reject Cabinet appointees they deem too liberal, forcing Biden to opt for consensus picks that might frustrate those on his party's left wing.

  • Jon Rogers

    UK TO GET JUST 4M OXFORD UNI VACCINE THIS YEAR

    Britain will receive just 4million doses of the shot this year, the head of the UK's vaccine procurement programme said on Wednesday.

    In May, Britain agreed a deal for 100 million doses of the vaccine, developed by Oxford University and licensed to AstraZeneca , with 30 million doses estimated for delivery by September 2020.

    UK Vaccine Taskforce Chair Kate Bingham said that the target of 30 million doses of the vaccine by September had not been achieved, and she estimated that Britain would get 4 million doses by the end of the year instead.

    “The predictions that were made in good faith at the time were assuming that absolutely everything would work and that there were no hiccups at all,” she told lawmakers.

    She said the scale-up in manufacturing usually took years to do but instead was moving at unprecedented speed, adding that the full 100 million doses would be delivered next year.

  • Jon Rogers

    IRELAND RECORDS EIGHT COVID DEATHS

    Eight further deaths of people with Covid-19 and 444 new cases of the virus have been reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

    There has been a total of 1,930 Covid-19 related deaths and 63,483 cases in Ireland.

  • Ed Southgate

    FORMER PM THERESA MAY ABSTAINED IN LOCKDOWN VOTE

    She had launched an attack on the Government for using out of date data to justify the tough new measures.

  • Ed Southgate

    34 TORY MPS VOTE AGAINST LOCKDOWN

    It is more than the 20 MPs expected to reject the measures earlier today.

    They include former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, former cabinet ministers Esther McVey and Tim Loughton, Peter Bone and Steve Baker.

    They were supported by four DUP MPs.

    Lockdown will be imposed from midnight tonight after the bill passed by 516 votes to 38.

  • Ed Southgate

    FARAGE: LOCKDOWN OPPOSITION NEEDED

    Nigel Farage said an opposition to lockdown is needed.

    It comes as MPs voted by 516 to 38 to impose new lockdown restrictions from midnight.

    Brexit Party leader Mr Farage tweeted: “An opposition voice to lockdown is needed.”

    He is set to relaunch his Brexit Party as the Reform Party, dedicated to fighting lockdown.

  • Ed Southgate

    PM SEES TORY REVOLT FIRST HAND

    Boris Johnson saw the boiling Tory revolt in the Commons today ahead of the lockdown vote.

    Former PM Theresa May led a furious charge arguing the data and graphs used to impose the lockdown were out of date.

    Some projections used could even be up to four times wrong.

    The lockdown passed by 516 votes to 38 as Keir Starmer rallied his Labour troops to back the Government.

    Read more here.

  • Ed Southgate

    DEATHS MORE THAN DOUBLE IN A FORTNIGHT

    UK coronavirus deaths have more than doubled in a fortnight, rising by 492 today in the largest daily increase since May.

    Another 25,177 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, the second highest daily increase ever.

    Today's rise in deaths is the highest Britain has seen since May 19, when 500 fatalities were recorded.

    It is considerably bigger than last Wednesday's rise, when 310 fatalities were recorded.

    It is also more than double the rise recorded two weeks ago (191).

    It brings the total number of coronavirus fatalities in the UK to 47,742, while the nation's positive test results stand at 1,099,059.

    Read more here.

  • Ed Southgate

    LOCKDOWN PASSES BY 516 VOTES TO 38

  • Ed Southgate

    MINISTERS TALKING TO FAITH LEADERS AHEAD OF LOCKDOWN

    Ministers are talking to faith leaders ahead of the new lockdown, the Health Secretary said.

    They are trying to find a solution to let people of faith congregate, worship and celebrate their religion freely.

    The new measures will only allow individual prayer in a socially-distanced space.

    But MPs from all sides of the House of Commons took issue with constituents not being able to freely express their religion.

    Mr Hancock said: “I can tell the house that ministers are talking to faith leaders to do everything we can to reach an agreement as soon as possible.”

  • Ed Southgate

    'EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES FOR EXTRAORDINARY TIMES'

    The Health Secretary branded the second lockdown as “extraordinary measures for extraordinary times”.

    He said in a debate before the vote: “The measures that we just debated are extraordinary measures in response to an extraordinary effect on our nation's health and prospserity.”

    He insisted the measures “do not come easily” because Britain's hard-fought liberties “should not be infringed on save the gravest times”.

    Mr Hancock told the House that the NHS “would not be able to cope” if the second lockdown was not imposed.

  • Ed Southgate

    MPS ARE VOTING NOW

    The lobby has been cleared as MPs vote for the new lockdown.

  • Ed Southgate

    WHAT WILL THE NEW LOCKDOWN MEASURES BE?

    A second lockdown will come into force tomorrow from midnight.

    All non-essential retail shops, hospitality and gym venues will be forced to shut.

    Essential shops can still sell non-essential goods.

    People will only be allowed to meet one other person at a time from another household – and it must be outdoors.

    Read more on the rules here.

  • Ed Southgate

    'THERE MUST BE NO MORE INNOVATIVE EYE TEST PROCEDURES'

    Tory rebel Steve Baker swiped at Dominic Cummings' lockdown breaches when he warned the Government: “There must be no more innovative eye test procedures.”

    He told parliament that he will vote against the measures because of the varying data sets, some of which he cited suggest the countries R rate is close to 1.

    He said: “The Government strategy by the best strategists relies on a bet that science will deliver.I'm delighted that people are optimistic about it but I'm being asked now to impose the most enormous costs on my country on a bet about science delivering in an environment where there is contested data sets.”

    Admitting the lockdown measures will pass, he insisted: “There must be compliance and a good example set. There must be no more innovative eye test procedures.”

  • Ed Southgate

    MP WILL SUPPORT GOVERNMENT LOCKDOWN“WITH RELUCTANCE”

    Tory MP Stephen Hammond said he will support the Government's lockdown but with reluctance.

    The Wimbledon MP spoke in today's debate ahead of a vote on the new coronavirus restrictions, due to come into force tomorrow.

    He told parliament: “No responsible government could sit and not listen to the overwhelming rate of scientific evidence.”

    But he slammed the contradictions in the measures, which allow people “to go for a run when someone can cough and splutter” but they cannot play a round of golf.

    He added: “I regret that we are putting privations and restrictions on huge numbers of people who worship and wish to express their faith.”

  • Ed Southgate

    LESS THAN AN HOUR UNTIL MPS VOTE ON LOCKDOWN 2

    MPs will vote on a second lockdown in less than an hour.

    They have been debating the new restrictions, set to come into force at midnight tonight, since straight after PMQs this afternoon.

    They will vote at around 4pm.

    It is expected to pass through the Commons with the support of Labour MPs.

    At least 20 Tory MPs are expected to rebel and vote against the measures, citing duff data used to justify the tough new measures.

  • Ed Southgate

    SACK THE LOCKDOWN LEAKER, FORMER TORY LEADER SAYS

    A former Tory leader insisted whoever leaked the Government's lockdown plan to the press should be sacked and “strung up to dry”.

    Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the leak was appalling and the person responsible should apologise.

    He said: “I thought the leak is appalling, that … whoever did it should be sacked, strung up to dry, come here to apologise, grovelled out the door on hands and knees and beaten on the way out, frankly.

    “Because, to be honest with you, this is appalling, what they have done.

    “It is appalling because what they did was bounce the Government, and they bounced the Government because I'd like to think that the Government would have then spent its time investigating the data that was being presented to them that has now subsequently unravelled in the last few days.”

    Sir Iain told MPs he would not vote for the Government's proposals as he believes the tier system is working.

  • Ed Southgate

    NATIONAL STRATEGY NEEDED TO MANAGE HOSPITALS, PHYSICIANS WARN

    A national strategy to manage hospitals during the second wave of Covid-19 is needed to ensure the NHS stays afloat through the “impending winter storm”, leading physicians have said.

    They warned that, unless Covid-19 is managed effectively in the country's hospitals, “we cannot safely provide essential and elective care”.

    The strategy must agree how to balance the competing pressures of treating patients with Covid-19 and those without who need urgent care, and elective work, the heads of three medical and surgical colleges in Scotland said.

    They also said that health boards must be given the flexibility to plan the right balance for themselves as the needs of different parts of the country can vary greatly over time.

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