Coronavirus UK news 9am – Test and Trace security fears as 'Covid creep' contacts woman – plus will pubs close at 9pm?
THERE are security fears over the test-and-trace forms after a "Covid creep" contacted a woman using the information she had given.
Kat Kingsley, 25, received messages from the Original Tour Bus worker saying he wanted to see her.
It has now raised doubts on how companies have been using punters' information and how the data is kept.
This comes as pubs could be forced to shut at 9pm if the "rule of six" fails to stop the rise in coronavirus infections.
A source said: “Curfew is hurtling up the agenda.”
Pubs closing early was also “a tool in the armoury actively under consideration”, another added, though it was not “imminent”.
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HEALTH STAFF AND PATIENTS SHOULD BE PRIORITISED SAYS NHS CHIEF EXEC
Health staff and patients should be prioritised regarding coronavirus testing, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson has said.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “If you have got a demand-capacity mismatch what you need to do is, kind of, prioritise really clearly in terms of work out who should have greatest access to tests.
“Now, clearly from the NHS's point of view we would want to have our staff tested and we would also want to have our patients who are needing treatment. They are the people who are the real priorities.”
OCADO SET TO DELIVER FULL YEAR EARNINGS DUE TO PANDEMIC
Retailer Ocado has said it is set to deliver full-year underlying earnings of at least £40 million thanks to surging demand for online groceries amid the pandemic.
The group said its retail business – a joint venture with high street giant Marks & Spencer – saw revenues jump 52% to £587.3 million in its third quarter to August 30.
It said sales growth picked up on the previous three months as customer demand remained high amid a shift to online supermarket shopping.
The group said its switchover to selling M&S products on September 1 had seen average shopper baskets rise by around five items and also saw its biggest ever forward order day, on the day of launch.
AROUND 695,000 JOBS LOST SINCE MARCH AS UNEMPLOYMENT RISES
Around 695,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the coronavirus lockdown began, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of unemployment increased as another 36,000 jobs fell off payrolls across the country.
Meanwhile, unemployment increased by 104,000 to 1.4 million for the three months to July.
ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “Some effects of the pandemic on the labour market were beginning to unwind in July as parts of the economy reopened.Fewer workers were away on furlough and average hours rose. The number of job vacancies continued to recover into August, too.
“Nonetheless, with the number of employees on the payroll down again in August and both unemployment and redundancies sharply up in July, it is clear that coronavirus is still having a big impact on the world of work.”
REASONS BEHIND LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF COVID STILL 'SO UNKNOWN', SAY UK RESEARCHERS
The long-term health effects of Covid-19 could cause a “cycle of illness” and strain care systems, researchers have said, adding that the reasons behind them are still “so unknown”.
Many coronavirus patients have reported debilitating symptoms months after initially falling ill, with common “long Covid” symptoms including breathlessness, chronic fatigue and brain fog.
Dr Rachael Evans is a co-investigator with the Government-funded £8.4 million PHOSP-Covid study at the University of Leicester, a UK-wide investigation into the long-term effects of Covid-19 for patients admitted to hospital.
“At the moment it is just so unknown… we're still very much at the point where we're learning what the after-effects are,” Dr Evans told the PA news agency.
“It has become very apparent that the long-term effects can happen to people that were young and fit before and perhaps had a fairly mild acute illness… enough to bring them to hospital but maybe only a day or two.”
POLICE FEDERATION CALL FOR GUIDANCE OVER ENFORCEMENT OF RULE OF SIX
The national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales has called for guidance over enforcement of the rule of six.
In response to a question about having “more guidance” on Good Morning Britain, John Apter responded: “Maybe we should have 'guidance', because we haven't had any yet.”
Mr Apter said he understood the Government faced a “very fast-moving” and complicated situation.
“But my colleagues who are on the front line trying to interpret this law, trying to educate and work with the public, are now being accused of asking (people) to snitch on their neighbours.”
Britain's unemployment rate rose for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, official data showed on Tuesday.
The unemployment rate increased to 4.1 per cent in the three months to July from 3.9 per cent in the April-June period, the Office for National Statistics said.
However, a fall in the number of people in employment was less severe than expected at 12,000, compared with a median forecast for a fall of 125,000 in the Reuters poll.
NHS staff are off work because of a lack of coronavirus tests for them, hospital bosses have warned.
NHS Providers, which represents hospital trusts in England, said staff are having to self-isolate rather than work because they can't get tests for themselves or their family.
It comes as tests are not available in England's top 10 coronavirus hotspots.
More than 200,000 tests are currently being carried out each day, but demand is much higher.
Labs are understood to be struggling to process all the samples being sent to them, forcing test centres to cut back on appointments.
And it means hundreds of people with Covid symptoms are waiting more than five days for a result.
RULE OF BRUM
Brits in Birmingham are waking up this morning with new local lockdown restrictions.
Ministers announced the partial lockdown in Birmingham and two neighbouring boroughs, Solihull and Sandwell, on Saturday.
The shutdown affects more than 1.6million people.
The ramped-up rules mean a ban on different households meeting indoors in the three areas – except for those in a support bubble.
Birmingham City Council confirmed people could still go out to shops, restaurants and other venues, in a maximum group of six from more than one household, but told people to be “vigilant”.
WHERE ARE THE AREAS WHERE COVID IS NOT RISING?
A new map reveals the 17 areas where coronavirus isn’t on the rise.
The top regions include Southampton, Swindon and Greenwich.
They are joined by the likes of Bedford, Gloucestershire and Norfolk where infection rates have all fallen since the start of September.
See the full list here.
TORY MPS HIT OUT AT ‘NEIGHBOURHOOD SNITCH’ ORDER
Angry Tory MPs have hit out against a “neighbourhood snitch” order after a top cop urged Brits to turn in neighbours breaking the new Rule of Six.
Guidance that came into force yesterday means groups of more than six are banned under new coronavirus measures.
And Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said Brits should call 101 if they saw anyone flouting the new rules.
But Police Federation boss Ken Marsh said of Mr Malthouse: “Does he think we have an endless supply of officers who can just go out to these things? It will be hundreds and hundreds of calls coming in from curtain-twitchers.”
Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said busybodies may try to settle scores.
He told The Sun: “Calling on people to spy on each other is not a particularly good situation to be in.
“Police will be inundated and unable to separate out the trivial from the serious. They could be snowed under with people trying to get even.”
NEW RULE OF SIX: DOS AND DON'TS
CIVIL SERVANTS STILL AREN’T BACK IN THE OFFICE – DUE TO A LACK OF CHAIRS
Government efforts to get civil servants back in the office are being hampered because of a lack of chairs, The Sun can reveal.
Departments sent thousands of chairs to civil servants’ homes to help them work remotely during lockdown.
This has caused a major stumbling block to getting officials to return to the office part-time.
Civil servants returning to the Department for International Trade said there was a bum fight for chairs because there was a shortage when they returned earlier this month.
One said: “Some of us returned to the office as we were told to – but there literally weren't enough chairs for us – because they sent us back home with them back in March!”
US STUDENTS HOST PARTY – DESPITE KNOWING THEY’RE COVID POSITIVE
Miami University students were busted by cops for throwing a house party despite knowing they had coronavirus.
Police bodycam footage showed several students sat on a porch in Ohio drinking and listening to music, without wearing masks.
An officer ran one of the student's ID's and called him over. He asked: “I've never seen this before, there's an input on the computer that said you tested positive for COVID?”
“Yes,” the student answers, before telling the officer that he was diagnosed a week ago and said everyone at the party also had coronavirus.
GROUSE SHOOTING AND HUNTING EXEMPT UNDER RULE OF SIX
Grouse shoots and hunting have been given a special exemption from the new coronavirus “rule of six”.
Hunting and shooting groups will be able to hold gatherings of up to 30 people because of an exemption hat allows licensed “outdoor activity”.
Brits in England are not allow to meet with more than five other people indoors or outdoors if it is a social gathering.
But there are a handful of carve out for sports clubs, weddings, funerals and even political protests.
‘MINGLING BANNED’ UNDER RULE OF SIX
Under the new Rule of Six, “mingling” is banned.
The new legislation tells Brits they can only meet in groups of up to six people but in certain circumstances are allowed to meet in larger “gatherings” as long as they don't “mingle” with other people who are not a member of their original group of six.
It means a family of six could go to church – as long as they don't mingle with any other families or groups.
PUBS WILL BE HIT WITH CURFEW IF NEW RULES FAIL
Pubs will be shuttered at 9pm if Covid cases do not start falling from the Rule of Six clampdown.
The Sun has learnt an extra meeting of the “Covid Gold Command” of ministers and medics has been hastily organised for Tuesday as the resurgent virus continues to spread around the UK.
They will discuss how to tackle the creeping figures, with a government source saying last night: “curfew is hurtling up the agenda.”
And another admitted pubs shutting early was “a tool in the armoury actively under consideration” but insisted the move was not “imminent” last night.
A minister insisted they were keen to “give the 'Rule of Six' time to have an effect” before taking even more drastic measures.
BRITS FLOUT NEW RULE OF SIX AS TEMPERATURES SOARED
Young people were pictured enjoying the sunshine in large groups across Brighton, Bristol and London – risking a £100 fine.
It comes as the new rule of six came into force today, limiting the amount of people can meet inside and outside.
NO TESTS AVAILABLE IN COVID HOTSPOTS
There are reportedly no coronavirus tests available in current virus hotspots across the country.
LBC tried to request a test in each of the postcodes on the Public Health England watchlist – but was reportedly unable to get any.
The Government's online testing portal returned an error message saying there were no home test kits, drive-through or walk-in sites available.
The website reportedly returned a message saying: “This service is currently very busy. More tests should be available later.
“If you cannot book a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours. Do not call the helplines – you will not be able to get a test this way.”
15 SCIENTISTS LAUNCH CRITIQUE OF RUSSIA'S VACCINE
A group of scientists sent a formal letter to the Lancet today outlining doubts about the accuracy of early data on Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, one of the authors said, adding further fuel to a dispute surrounding the “Sputnik-V” shot.
Fifteen scientists from five countries signed the letter presenting their concerns to the international medical journal, Enrico Bucci, biologist adjunct professor at Philadelphia's Temple University, told Reuters.
The move nonetheless highlights growing concern among scientists about the safety and efficacy of the Sputnik-V vaccine, which the government approved for use before completing full human trials.
The official letter came days after a larger group of scientists – including the 15 – signed an open letter to the Lancet's editor, published on Bucci's personal blog, after the journal published the early-stage trial results from Moscow's Gamaleya Institute.
They said they found patterns in the Phase I/II data, which was peer-reviewed in the journal, that looked “highly unlikely”, with multiple participants reporting identical antibody levels.
COVID-19 TRIALS RESUME IN BRAZIL
Clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University resumed in Brazil today after the country's health regulator got confirmation over the weekend that its British equivalent MHRA had approved the restart, a company representative said.
The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is running the trials, said in a statement that 4,600 of the planned 5,000 volunteers have been vaccinated in Brazil without any of them reporting any serious health issues.
The volunteers have been recruited in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador in the northeastern state of Bahia where a hospital is conducting the tests.
AstraZeneca paused global trials temporarily last week after an unexplained illness in a participant in Britain.
2,000 COVIDIOTS PACK OUT ILLEGAL RAVE IN FRANCE
Thousands of Covidiots packed out an illegal rave in France – as the country recorded its highest number of virus infections yet.
Roland Zamora, the head of the French gendarmerie police force, told Ouest France: “There were a maximum of 1,800 people from the night of Saturday to Sunday.”
Intent on not going home, more than 300 ravers remained on the site at 6pm on Sunday evening.
The rave, which took place in the north-western French region of Brittany, was cleared out early Monday morning.
It comes as France set a new daily record on Saturday with 10,561 people testing positive for coronavirus.
RULE OF 6 ‘LOOPHOLE’ MEANS YOU CAN HAVE MORE PEOPLE ROUND IF THE KIDS ARE ASLEEP
‘Confusing’ coronavirus ‘rule of six’ small print suggests you can have more people over if your children are ASLEEP.
Human rights barrister Adam Wagner claimed kids cannot be counted as part of a group under the new rules if parents are socialising while they are in bed.
Mr Wagner, a visiting law professor at Goldsmiths University, made the point on Twitter when someone asked if sleeping youngsters count as part of a “gathering” downstairs at their home.
DAN WOOTTON: NEW COVID RULES WILL CREATE ‘TOXIC TELL-TALE CULTURE’
The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton writes: “The nonsensical Rule of Six – which perhaps should be renamed the Rule of Snitch – is a boon for the jobsworth busybodies and amateur security guards up and down the country who love nothing better than making life more difficult for others.”
It comes after Brits were called on to call cops and grass up neighbours and friends breaking the new rules.
Dan added: “What happened to policing by consent? Where’s our great British culture of common sense and fairness?”
SNORERS 3X MORE LIKELY TO CATCH COVID
People who snore could be three times more likely to die of coronavirus, experts have warned.
Those who have been diagnosed with the loud snoring condition, obstructive sleep apnoea, are being urged to take extra precautions.
The warning comes after researchers from the University of Warwick analysed the outcomes of Covid-19 patients with the condition.
Their findings, published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews, showed that those with obstructive sleep apnoea were at greater risk of dying or needing hospital treatment after catching the virus.
WALES DATA BREACH OF 18,105 PEOPLE
Public Health Wales has released a statement following a data breach of more than 18,000 Welsh residents who tested positive for coronavirus.
The statement says: “A risk assessment has been conducted and legal advice has been sought, both of which advise that the risk of identification of the individuals affected by this data breach appears low.
“The incident, which was the result of individual human error, occurred on the afternoon of 30 August 2020 when the personal data of 18,105 Welsh residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 was uploaded by mistake to a public server.”
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