Coronavirus UK news – Even HARSHER lockdown rules needed for a safe Christmas as tiers 'don't work', health chief warns

HARSHER rules are needed to ensure a safe Christmas for Brits, the boss of Public Health England has warned.

PHE boss Dr Susan Hopkins said that Tier one restrictions didn’t work, which could see family Christmas dinners under threat.

Dr Hopkins said tonight: "We see very little effect from Tier 1.

"When we look at what the Tiers may be in the future, we will have to think about strengthening them in order to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone."

Tier 2 was only working in some areas – but Tier 3 was driving down cases in the North West, she said.

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  • Debbie White

    NEW CORONA TIER SYSTEM MIGHT BE 'EMBEDDED'

    The Government might “embed” in a new tier system the additional measures previously available to local areas placed under Tier 3 before England's lockdown, the Communities Secretary has said.

    Asked by BBC Breakfast if there could be a tougher Tier 3 in the new system, Robert Jenrick replied: “We haven't come to a decision on that – the Tier 3 that we had before was just considered a baseline.

    “And then we did ask local areas whether they would be willing to go further and some did.

    “My own area of Nottinghamshire, the local council chose to go over and above and limit the sale of alcohol for off-licences and so on after a certain time, so that people didn't go home and have parties or drink alcohol on the streets.

    “So there were some tweaks to the tiers that you're seeing in some parts of the country and it's that sort of thing that we now need to consider. Was that a sensible move? If so, should we embed that in the new tier structure?”

  • Debbie White

    MORE PSYCHIATRISTS NEEDED TO HELP WITH COVID – SCOTLAND

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) in Scotland is calling for more investment and commitment for mental health services, to deal with the forthcoming demand.

    Dr Jane Morris, consultant psychiatrist from RCPsych in Scotland, said: “Lockdown, bereavement, job losses and isolation are all having a terrible effect on the population's mental health and it's concerning that those who were already dealing with mental ill health have seen their condition deteriorate.

    “We need more medical students and doctors to choose psychiatry to keep up with demand, but we also need solid and decisive government action on workforce, infrastructure and funding.”

    The College is launching the Choose Psychiatry in Scotland campaign to encourage more trainee doctors to take up the specialism.

  • Debbie White

    ONE IN FOUR SCOTS FEARS COVID PANDEMIC IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH

    One in four people say the pandemic will have a negative effect on their mental health in the future, according to new research.

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland study also found that for those who had experienced a mental health problem before the pandemic, one third (33%) said their condition had worsened since March 2020.

    A poll of 1,055 people from across Scotland found that 40% of those questioned think the pandemic will be damaging to their mental health over the next year.

    Just under a third (32%) thought mental health services across Scotland are bad and almost half (46%) said the Scottish Government is investing too little in mental health services during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Debbie White

    REVIEW OF TIERS IN ENGLAND: ROBERT JENRICK

    Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that ministers are keen to see coronavirus restrictions rolled back once the current England lockdown ends on December 2.

    Speaking to Sky News this morning about returning to tiered controls, he added: “There will be a review. That work is undergoing on what those tiers look like and how local areas go back in but that will very much depend on the data.

    “We will have to make decisions nearer the end of the month once we have got the most up-to-date information possible.

    “So it is too early to say which tiers people will be able to go into. But we all want to see a significant easing of the measures in all parts of England at the beginning of next month.”

  • Debbie White

    BACK TO TIERS AFTER LOCKDOWN LIFTED ON DEC 2?

    Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said ministers want to see a “significant easing” of coronavirus controls when the lockdown in England is lifted on December 2.

    Mr Jenrick said this morning that it was too early to say which tiers particular areas moved into when the country returns to a system of tiered controls.

    However he said that any extension of the lockdown would require a vote of Parliament.

    “It is our hope and expectation that that won't be the case and that people in England will be able to move back into the tiered system,” he told Sky News.

  • Debbie White

    FUNERAL DIRECTOR CREATES GUIDE TO SHARE COVID LEARNING

    A funeral director who is preparing for a second wave of Covid-related deaths has used the experiences of professionals in the industry to create a guide to help support bereaved people.

    Sarah Jones, Full Circle Funerals, said many of those in the funeral industry had stepped up to become a support network for people who might otherwise be isolated due to coronavirus restrictions.

    Ms Jones recently spoke to more than 60 professionals who help bereaved people to ask them to share their experiences in order to create an open-access guide to help those in the industry to deliver the best possible care over the coming months.

    She added: “It's about recognising they might have some really basic needs, they might be self-isolating and not have any food, and being more proactive with checking-in, make that slightly more human connection and give more practical support that normally people would have got from friends and family.”

    For more information please visit http://fullcirclefunerals.co.uk/

  • Debbie White

    MORE SAFETY TESTS FOR PFIZER JAB

    The Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he did not want to give people “false hope” over a potential vaccine, due to the need for safety tests and the time required to produce them.

    He also told BBC News this morning: “We're told that the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine should be in the UK and available to be used by the end of this year.

    “We'll then roll that out in a sensible and fair way, focusing on the most vulnerable people in society and key workers within health and social care first.

    “But it does look as if over the course of the first half of next year, a very large proportion of population will have access to the vaccine and that will make a huge difference in our ability to return to a degree of normality.”

  • Debbie White

    PFIZER VACCINE READY 'BY END OF YEAR'

    Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the first doses of a Pfizer-produced coronavirus vaccine candidate could be received by the end of the year.

    Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, he said: “The Pfizer programme – we've secured 40 million doses of – and we think we will take the receipt of the first 10 million or so of those before the end of the year.”

    Mr Jenrick said the Government had also pre-ordered five million doses of the Moderna jab in development that “has a lot of promise”.

    But he added it “won't actually be available to be used until the spring of next year”.

  • Abe Hawken

    SPENDING SPREE

    Black Friday next week will see Britain’s biggest online spree, due to the Covid lockdown.

    With non-essential shops shut until December 2, web spending on November 27 is set to hit a record £1.93billion — 70 per cent up on last year.

    An army of more than 150,000 couriers is in place to deliver the goods, but experts say huge demand will trigger hold-ups and some orders may not arrive before Christmas.

  • Abe Hawken

    NO DRIVING HOME FOR XMAS

    Matt Hancock has warned England's lockdown could be extended beyond December 2 – fuelling fears of a ruined Christmas.

    The Health Secretary said last night it was “too early to know” if the current Covid restrictions have worked.

    Mr Hancock hinted the next week will be crucial, as cases should start to fall if “lockdown is working”.

  • Abe Hawken

    DISINFECT PRESENTS

    Disinfecting parcels and sending cards early are among scientists’ recommendations for those wanting to take extra coronavirus precautions this Christmas.

    Medical experts have said the risk of spreading coronavirus through the post is “really low” as laboratory experiments suggest it can live on packaging materials like cardboard for a maximum of 24 hours.

    Research published by Australia’s national science agency CSIRO in October showed the virus can last up to four weeks on mobile phone screens and banknotes, but it has a much shorter survival on porous surfaces like paper.

    Dr Lena Ciric, who specialises in molecular biology and described her work as “looking at where microbes lurk”, recommended sending gifts to family and friends “at the start of December” so they have time to quarantine parcels for “a few extra days”.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    CHRISTMAS LOCKDOWN LOOMS

    Matt Hancock has hinted at a possible Christmas lockdown.

    The health secretary said that it was “too early to know” if the current lockdown restrictions had been effective, and that lockdown may have to continue.

    Mr Hancock said at a press conference yesterday: “At the moment most of the tests that we're getting back and most of the positive cases are from around the time when the lockdown came in.

    “It's too early to expect to see in the data the impact of the second lockdown, but we absolutely hope to be able to replace the national lockdown with a tiered system.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    COVID VACCINE ROLLOUT TIMELINE

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    JVT ON VACCINES

    Speaking at a Downing Street press conference tonight alongside Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Prof Van Tam said: “The guidance is provisional.

    “We do not yet have the data on the vaccines available to us and authorised by MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).

    “We can't yet those make final decisions until we make sure that the vaccines are suitable for all groups, I am hoping so, but that is a decision that needs to be made in the future.

    “It is very clear that the clinically extremely vulnerable are on the JCVI priority list and many of them will already be subsumed within the priority list by virtue of age or by virtue of having chronic conditions – right down to the age of 18.

    “From that perspective I do expect there to be coverage of the extremely clinically vulnerable.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    COVID CASES ‘FLAT-LINED’ WEEKS AGO

    Covid cases “flat-lined” two weeks ago raising hopes of a “normal Christmas and the end of national lockdowns”, experts said today.

    It comes as data revealed that cases of the virus are starting to fall in the UK according to the latest data from the Covid Symptom App.

    Professor Carl Heneghan, director of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University said hospitals are not being overwhelmed and that they are running at “normal” capacity for this time of year.

    He told talkRADIO this morning that Brits may be able to enjoy a somewhat “normal Christmas” if they prepare in advance by reducing contact in the weeks leading up to the festive period.

    This, he said, would lower the chances of Covid and other bugs like flu passing from household to household.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    SHIELDING BRITS AMONG FIRST IN LINE FOR VACCINE

    Shielding Brits under the age of 65 will be among the first in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine, the deputy chief medical officer has confirmed.

    Professor Jonathan Van Tam tonight said that while vaccines have not yet been given the green light, those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable will be a priority.

    The elderly will be at the front of the queue but Prof Van Tam today addressed concerns that others who are vulnerable would be left behind.

    Interim guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) sets out who would get the vaccine in the first instance – but is subject to change.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN LEVELS EXPLAINED

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    CHRISTMAS TIER FEARS

    Fears have risen tonight that Christmas could be at risk from a new, harsher coronavirus tiers system to stop the spread of the virus.

    Hopes of lifting all the lockdown rules after December 2 were dashed tonight after PHE boss Dr Susan Hopkins said Tier 1 wasn't working – which could put family dinners and indoor parties under threat.

    Dr Hopkins said tonight: “We see very little effect from Tier 1.

    “When we look at what the Tiers may be in the future, we will have to think about strengthening them in order to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone.”

    Tier 2 was only working in some areas – but Tier 3 was driving down cases in the North West, she said.

    She suggested that “if the lockdown is working, we will start to see cases decline over the next week”.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    MODERNA VACCINE SPARKS STOCK SURGE

    This morning, Moderna said its two-dose jab was 94.5 percent successful at fighting the deadly virus in infected volunteers – and Dr Anthony Fauci said it may be rolled out as soon as December.

    The news was welcomed by an array of experts and politicians after coronavirus cases topped 11 million around the country over the weekend, killing 245,000 Americans in total.

    It also prompted a huge stock rush on Wall Street as the Dow Jones doubled premarket gains and was up 500 points before the opening bell, while shares of Moderna, which rocketed 13 percent higher, were set to surge.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    TRUMP HAILS MODERNA VACCINE

    Donald Trump has hailed the discovery of an almost 95 per cent affective vaccine.

    “Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95 [percent] effective,” Trump wrote. “For those great 'historians,' please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    HOPES TO REPLACE NATIONAL LOCKDOWN WITH TIERED SYSTEM

    Matt Hancock explained No 10 hopes to replace the national lockdown with a tiered lockdown system.

    At this evening’s press conference, government officials addressed how the data for the current lockdown was not yet available.

    However, it is hoped that we should be able to see cases falling this week, it was said.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    CANDLE OF HOPE

    Matt Hancock said that we can now see a “candle of hope” but added that we must “nurture its flame”.

    He said promising news of vaccines is a good sign.

    But the health secretary said that we must trust the science, and until the vaccines are available must continue to take care of new covid rules and regulations.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop

    NEW QUICK TESTS

    A new test that can be done in around 30 minutes was explained at this evening’s coronavirus briefing.

    The new tests relies on a colour-coding system that allows negative or positive test results to be calculated in between 15-30 minutes.

    Tests will also be carried out on uni students before they go home for Christmas, No 10 said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK RECORDS 21,363 NEW COVID-19 CASES AND 213 DEATHS

    The UK has reported 21,363 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the overall total number of cases to over 1.39 million.

    Government data also revealed there were 213 new coronavirus-related deaths.

    The death toll in the UK since the start of the pandemic is now 52,147 and still the highest in Europe.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SPAIN: 38,273 NEW COVID-19 INFECTIONS, 484 DEATHS SINCE FRIDAY

    Spain's coronavirus infections have risen by 38,273 since Friday, according to health ministry data released today.

    The latest increase brings Spain's total infections since the start of the pandemic to 1,496,864 – the second highest in Europe after France.

    The new figures also showed 484 more fatalities since last Friday, bringing the total overall death toll in the country to 41,253.

    Spain imposed a six-month state of emergency at the end of October, giving its regions legal backing to implement curfews and restrict travel.

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