Boris Johnson press conference and Liverpool lockdown updates

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Coronavirus latest updates throughout the day as the Prime Minister will lead a Covid-19 briefing later after the UK recorded the highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the outbreak began.

The Prime Minister will give a press conference, possibly around 5pm, with England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance this Wednesday to provide an update on the coronavirus situation in the UK.

It is the 100th coronavirus briefing since the pandemic hit the UK and amid reports that a final decision will come on Wednesday on whether Merseyside will join the North East with tougher lockdown measures banning households mixing indoors.

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Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson told The Daily Telegraph it was "only a matter of days" until a more severe lockdown was imposed on the city.

He said: "For me, it is only a matter of time because the virus isn't able to be controlled in the city with the restrictions we have now.

"We need a circuit breaker or stricter lockdown to try to stop the virus spreading.

"If we can have the severest measures of lockdown now, we may arrest the increase and start to bring it down by the end of October, so that in the lead up to Christmas we can get some normality."

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As of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 7,143 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK – the highest daily figure recorded since the outbreak began, although far more tests are being carried out than in the spring.

A further 71 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 42,072 – although separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in nearly 57,900 cases.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman played down tomorrow's press conference and said: "The purpose of that is to provide an update on the latest statistics. It is not because there is some specific set of new announcements to make."

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Key Events

  • Press conference to update the nation

Ben Turner-LE

Concessions hint

Business Secretary Alok Sharma hinted that concessions could be on the way as the Government looks to quell a Commons rebellion over coronavirus laws.

More than 50 Tory MPs have backed an amendment calling for a debate and vote on any future curbs on people's freedoms.

Mr Sharma told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The reason we are sometimes having to bring these in pretty quickly is to actually keep people safe – and I know all parliamentarians, Steve (Baker) and others totally get that – and the issue is the scrutiny.

"It is the case that when we've introduced restrictions, we have to make sure there is a vote within 28 days or they lapse.

"But what colleagues are asking for is if there is some way, prior to decisions being made, whether they can be involved and I know that is something that we are looking at in Government and we will come forward with some suggestions."

Alok Sharma

Pressed on whether there were concessions coming, the minister said: "We are having a look, as I said – I don't want to pre-empt anything that comes out."

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Ben Turner-LE

Jobs warning

Boris Johnson warned that "not every job will be the same" after the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about warnings for retail jobs, the Prime Minister said: "I'm not going to say that any particular sector faces some fatal or mortal change, I think of all kinds of ways sectors will continue to evolve. But there will be change. And not every job will be the same."

Mr Johnson said: "Before Covid people were already shopping ever more online, were already sending out for food."

Coronavirus "has compressed that revolution", he said.

He said: ""Let's imagine that you are 30 years old, you left school without A-levels and you are thinking – you were in retail or hospitality – you could find a job in the wind farm sector in the North East, or in space technology in Newquay or in construction here in Exeter."

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Ben Turner-LE

Hospital outbreak

A major outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.

The hospital said the "significant temporary service restrictions", which includes suspending planned surgery, will be put in place from 2pm.

Sky News say 82 cases of coronavirus were confirmed.

Ben Turner-LE

Students warning

Business Secretary Alok Sharma, when asked about a video which apparently shows a group of university students having a party, said the Government was asking students to "follow the rules, follow the guidance, and act responsibly".

"This has been actually a very, very difficult time for young people and actually, they want to get back to some sense of normality, we can't just sort of lock people down forever," he told BBC Breakfast.

"Universities are open, students have gone back, and of course we ask them, just as we ask the rest of the population, to follow the rules, follow the guidance, and act responsibly, and ultimately this is for their own good, and I hope people will do that."

Asked about students going home at Christmas, Mr Sharma said: "I know that was a concern and a worry over the last few days, whether parents would miss out on spending time with their children and vice versa, so we've given that commitment.

"He (Education Secretary Gavin Williamson) is looking to see precisely how we will make this possible.

"But as I said, we want students to have a sense of normality, to be able to enjoy the teaching that they have at universities, and of course ultimately to also keep safe."

Ben Turner-LE

Curfew concerns

Asked about a letter to the Prime Minister from more than 100 hospitality businesses raising concerns about the 10pm curfew, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the Government had provided "a lot of specific support" to the sector.

"I completely understand that they have concerns about a restriction at 10pm, but actually they are able to operate through large parts of the evening," he told BBC Breakfast.

"There's a range of measures that we've introduced in the last few days, the reason is to keep this thing under control.

"If we didn't do that, what we might end up having to do is something more draconian, and nobody wants to do that."

He said the policies would be kept under review but added the 10pm curfew in areas with local restrictions "has worked".

"Nobody wants this to get out of control and for us to go back to where we were in March, which is a lockdown affecting large parts of our economy, I think that would be absolutely terrible, particularly I think for the businesses that have written this letter," he added.

Ben Turner-LE

Knowsley tighter lockdown call as 'virus is effectively out of control'

Knowsley Council's leader has called on the government to impose a tighter lockdown on the borough after it recorded the country's highest coronavirus infection rate last week.

Cllr Graham Morgan said the current restrictions, which he described as "lockdown light", had been "confusing and difficult to enforce" and said the government should consider a short "circuit breaker" lockdown with clear rules.

He said: "I know that this would be difficult for so many people but the consequences of not following the rules will be even more difficult for families and individuals to bear if the virus is allowed to go unchecked.

"Any intervention which is going to make a real difference will need Government support and regulations. Issuing guidance clearly isn't enough. We will also need the Government to provide financial support for everybody who is impacted."

Figures released yesterday showed Knowsley had recorded 422 new cases of Covid-19 in the week up to last Friday, almost double the previous week's total.

With almost 280 cases per 100,000 people, the borough now has the highest infection rate in the country and case numbers are still rising.

Cllr Morgan said: "Once you get to a point where there is widespread community transmission – when the R number is above 1 – the virus is effectively out of control. That means that case numbers increase faster and faster – that's what we are seeing now in Knowsley and the City Region.

"We know that household mixing has been an issue but the virus is widespread in our community so people will be picking it up in other places like shops or pubs – anywhere that isn't COVID secure.

"'Lockdown light' has been confusing and difficult to enforce so I think we need the government to consider going further here as our COVID-19 rates are alarmingly high.

"Nobody wants to go back to a long-term lockdown like earlier this year so the 'circuit breaker' option of a short lockdown, with clear rules, might disrupt the spread of the virus enough to help us regain some control."

Cllr Morgan has joined the growing chorus of Merseyside council leaders calling for additional restrictions in light of rising cases.

Liverpool City Mayor Joe Anderson and Sefton Council leader Cllr Ian Maher have both also spoken out in favour of a tighter lockdown for the region and the government is understood to be considering additional measures.

Ben Turner-LE

Confusion

Kim McGuinness, Labour police and crime commissioner for Northumbria Police, said the Prime Minister had stoked further confusion after his comments about the North East restrictions on Tuesday.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I do think there is a lot of confusion.

"I think yesterday with the Prime Minister when he mis-spoke caused a lot of confusion.

"I think it is a big ask for people and what I would ask Government to do is be better at communicating in advance of these local restrictions, but also communicating with residents the reason why we need to be doing this."

Ms McGuinness said police would "enforce if absolutely necessary" the new regulations but stressed that "compliance in general is very high" across the force area.

Ben Turner-LE

Latest number of cases and deaths

KEY EVENT

Press conference to update the nation

The Prime Minister will lead a Covid-19 briefing later after the UK recorded the highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the outbreak began.

Boris Johnson will be joined at a Downing Street press conference by chief medical officer for England professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance in what will be the 100th coronavirus briefing since the pandemic hit the UK.

The last time the three men appeared together at the podiums was September 9 when Mr Johnson outlined the "rule of six" and urged people to limit their social contact "as much as possible".

But three weeks on, the number of cases has risen, and The Times is reporting that a final decision will come on Wednesday on whether Merseyside will join the North East with tougher lockdown measures banning households mixing indoors.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson told The Daily Telegraph it was "only a matter of days" until a more severe lockdown was imposed on the city.

He said: "For me, it is only a matter of time because the virus isn't able to be controlled in the city with the restrictions we have now.

"We need a circuit breaker or stricter lockdown to try to stop the virus spreading.

"If we can have the severest measures of lockdown now, we may arrest the increase and start to bring it down by the end of October, so that in the lead up to Christmas we can get some normality."

As of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 7,143 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK – the highest daily figure recorded since the outbreak began, although far more tests are being carried out than in the spring.

A further 71 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 42,072 – although separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in nearly 57,900 cases.

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