UK coronavirus live: Tory backlash grows over England’s new tier restrictions | UK news









Johnson defends government’s latest tiered controls





Northern Ireland has started a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown to curb Covid-19 infection rates that have remained stubbornly high and piled pressure on a struggling health system.

Pubs, restaurants, non-essential retail, gyms and close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, closed on Friday until 11 December, mirroring many restrictions that will cover 99% of England’s population from next week.

Indoor household visits have been banned in Northern Ireland since 22 September. Schools remain open and pubs, restaurants and cafes can offer takeaway and delivery services.

The deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill, defended the restrictions, announced last week, saying they were difficult but right.

The region recorded eight more Covid-related deaths on Thursday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 962. There were 442 new confirmed cases, raising the total to 51,118.

The R rate was just below 1, said Arlene Foster, the first minister. Hospital bed occupancy was at 99%. Of 431 people being treated for the virus, 39 were in intensive care and 33 were on ventilators.

The government in the Republic of Ireland, where infection rates are much lower, will ease restrictions next week. Public health experts said the lack of an all-island strategy was undermining the fight against the pandemic.

Updated





Updated





Updated





Some Covid controls may be eased before Christmas, says minister

Updated









Updated





Updated





Updated





Updated





Updated





Here’s the main line of yesterday: the backlash has grown against the tiers plan. Our political editor, Heather Stewart reports on MPs’ fury as 55m people in England face months in top tiers.

This morning, the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said some areas in England could have their coronavirus restrictions eased before Christmas.

Jenrick said there was “every reason” to believe some places could see a change when the current tiers are reviewed in mid-December.

“It is possible. There will be a review point in 14 days’ time, around 16 December. At that point we, advised by the experts, will look at each local authority area and see whether there is potential to move down the tiers,” he told Sky News.

Updated





Morning, I will be updating today’s UK blog. Please send your stories, tips and ideas to nazia.parveen@theguardian.com or follow me on Twitter to send me a DM and follow updates on the global situation on our global blog here.

Updated




Source link

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Leave a Reply