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Shop worker tells of terrifying moment he was attacked with a KNUCKLE-DUSTER

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shop worker tells of terrifying moment he was attacked with a knuckle duster

 CCTV reveals the shocking moment a shop worker  was attacked with a knuckle-duster after asking a customer to wear a face mask.

Ian Robson, 48, was working at a Nisa convenience store in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear when he was dragged over the counter and punched in the head and face.

The incident took place after  he politely reminded a customer that face coverings are now mandatory as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Northumbria Police are still hunting the thug, who was caught on CCTV storming into the shop and attacking Ian, with his identity concealed behind a scarf.

And now Ian has spoken out about the daily challenge retail workers face in trying to get customers to follow the rules to help keep everyone safe.

Ian, said: ‘I was just doing the right thing and just trying my best to keep everyone safe.   

‘I had four customers come in and none of them had masks on so I mentioned to them that they had to wear masks.

Ian Robson was punched in the head and face with a knuckle duster at a Nisa store

Ian Robson was punched in the head and face with a knuckle duster at a Nisa store

Ian was attcked after asking a customer to wear a face covering in the store

Ian was attcked after asking a customer to wear a face covering in the store

Ian Robson was punched in the head and face with a knuckle duster at a Nisa store

‘Three of them turned round and said that was fine, but one of them said: ‘Well I won’t wear a mask ever’.’  

 The incident took place on September 13 at Nisa convenience store on Coatsworth Road in Bensham. 

The man left after Ian told the him he would not be able to come into the store again if he refused to wear a face-covering.

But about ten minutes later, while Ian was serving an elderly lady at the till, a man burst into the shop and launched a terrifying attack. 

 After the attack the man fled the shop and disappeared leaving Ian with a black eye,cuts and bruises.

Ian returned to work soon after the incident, but says he now feels nervous in the job he has done for more than a decade.

Ian added: ‘I was serving a customer and he just ran into the store, tried to pull me over the counter and punched me twice in the head.

‘He had a knuckle-duster on. All I can remember is that it was silver and it hurt. He hit me twice, once on the head and once on the face.’

 ‘I was in shock more than anything else. ‘I have worked there 11 years and nothing like that has ever happened before. It’s a friendly shop. I know all of the regulars.

‘I’m back at work now and I have found it difficult.

‘I’m nervous and I’m anxious about whose going to come through the door. But the amount of support I have had from the community since it happened has been brilliant.

  ‘It’s not a normal part of the job, it’s very difficult and it’s got worse since they made it mandatory for staff too.

‘Most people are fine if you remind them. We sell masks in the shop and some of them will stand at the door and say they haven’t got a mask but will pay for one inside. We don’t have a lot of problems.  

The attack was caught on CCTV and police have appealed for anyone who knows who is responsible to get in touch.

PC Martine Coxon, of Northumbria Police, said: ‘We don’t believe this is an attempted robbery and believe it could be related to an earlier verbal altercation in the shop.

‘The victim was working behind the counter but not wearing a mask as he is exempt due to underlying health conditions.

‘Shortly before the assault he had asked a customer to put on a mask but the man challenged the staff member as he was not wearing a mask himself.

‘The man left the store as a result of the verbal altercation and a short time later the suspect has entered the shop and assaulted him.

‘There could be other motives for this attack, and we are keeping an open mind as to why the victim was targeted.

‘However, we are now asking for your help to trace the person responsible for what appears to be an unprovoked attack. 

‘This type of violence is completely unacceptable and we are determined to identify them and put them before a criminal court.’

The suspect is described as Asian, aged in his 20s or 30s and of slim build. At the time of the attack he was and wearing a grey and black tracksuit and had a white patterned scarf over his face.

Anyone who knows the man, or has information that may help police, is asked to called Northumbria Police on 101 quoting log 530 13/09/20.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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BAZ BAMIGBOYE gets a first look at ‘breathtaking’ season four of The Crown

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baz bamigboye gets a first look at breathtaking season four of the crown

Emma Corrin has come a long way since she made her debut, aged ten, playing Toad in a school production of The Wind In The Willows.

Fourteen years later, the Cambridge graduate is on the brink of her own star-is-born moment. 

Because I can attest that the 24-year-old’s portrait of Princess Diana, in the fourth season of The Crown, is nothing short of breathtaking.

Following in the footsteps: Emma Corrin as Diana and Josh O’Connor as Charles

Following in the footsteps: Emma Corrin as Diana and Josh O’Connor as Charles

They were recreating the night the couple danced in Sydney in 1983

They were recreating the night the couple danced in Sydney in 1983

Following in the footsteps: Emma Corrin as Diana and Josh O’Connor as Charles recreate the night the couple danced in Sydney in 1983, right

The Crown knows how to turn out stars, of course. Just think of Claire Foy, Vanessa Kirby and Matt Smith, cast as the youthful Queen, Princess Margaret and Prince Philip respectively, in the first two seasons.

Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies were already award-winning names when they took over the same roles.

But Miss Corrin and Josh O’Connor, as Diana and Charles in the fourth season, are unforgettable.

Peter Morgan, creator of the Netflix drama which returns to our screen in two weeks, said he gave a private screening for a couple of people who knew Diana well ‘and they said it was the first time somebody absolutely nailed it for them’.

Morgan believes the fact that Emma’s speech therapist mother Dr Juliette Corrin ‘looked very much like Diana’ may have had something to do with it. 

Style icon: Miss Corrin’s dazzling Diana echoes the real princess in Paris in 1988

Style icon: Miss Corrin’s dazzling Diana echoes the real princess in Paris in 1988

Style icon: Miss Corrin’s dazzling Diana echoes the real princess in Paris in 1988

In 1988's Paris visit, Diana wore a white beaded dress and was the inspiration by Miss Corrin's outfit in The Crown

In 1988's Paris visit, Diana wore a white beaded dress and was the inspiration by Miss Corrin's outfit in The Crown

In 1988’s Paris visit, Diana wore a white beaded dress and was the inspiration by Miss Corrin’s outfit in The Crown

‘I think, somehow, Emma’s had this in her DNA,’ he said.

When I mentioned this theory to Miss Corrin on Wednesday, she laughed – but conceded that her mother’s resemblance to the Princess ‘maybe made it not so much of a jump’.

Even so, she’s a tad concerned that the first glimpse viewers will have of her, when the Netflix series begins on November 15, will be her as a 16-year-old Lady Diana Spencer, dressed as a wood nymph for a bit part in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

It’s also the first time Diana meets Prince Charles. ‘There’s going to be so much hype about the series,’ she said, ‘and the first scene anyone is going to see me in, I’m dressed as a mad tree!’

It’s actually a surprisingly tender moment: the innocent schoolgirl meeting the future king. Three years later, they were married.

‘She was 19!’ Miss Corrin exclaimed. ‘If I stop and think about what I was at 19, it’s incredible. I didn’t know anything about who I was.’

Double take: Emma (above) as demure Diana at a polo match in the new series

Double take: Emma (above) as demure Diana at a polo match in the new series

Double take: Emma (above) as demure Diana at a polo match in the new series

The real Diana wore a similar outfit, complete with dungarees, at a polo match at Windsor in 1981

The real Diana wore a similar outfit, complete with dungarees, at a polo match at Windsor in 1981

The real Diana wore a similar outfit, complete with dungarees, at a polo match at Windsor in 1981

Diana’s childhood offered some clues as to how to portray her, she told me. She noted that Diana had spoken in a documentary about how she remembered being inside her pram, and how it made her feel incredibly lonely. 

‘That stuck in my head,’ Miss Corrin said. 

The actress, who studied child psychology as part of her degree course at St John’s College, called the pram memories ‘text-book behaviour of childhood affecting how relationships are formed’. 

She said: ‘I thought, that means she saw in Charles a Prince Charming. 

That person who would be her protector.’ Unfortunately for Diana, ‘Charles was looking for the same thing’.

Miss Corrin and O’Connor are explosive together. 

Young 'Diana' roller-skating in The Crown

Young 'Diana' roller-skating in The Crown

A similarly attired princess carrying Harry in 1986

A similarly attired princess carrying Harry in 1986

Check out those slacks: Young ‘Diana’ roller-skating in The Crown and similarly attired princess carrying Harry in 1986

The Prince is tender when wooing Diana, but volcanic when he realises he’s made a mistake, and it’s Emerald Fennell’s Camilla Parker Bowles he really wants. 

There’s a Shakespearean scale to the human tragedy, which makes for dynamite television.

What’s astounding is Miss Corrin’s ability to capture not just Diana’s inner turbulence but also her gauche sense of fun. The scenes exploring her bulimia are candid and, while sensitively filmed, are bound to upset some viewers.

But Miss Corrin defends their inclusion. 

‘If you’re going to put these things on screen you can’t just suggest it,’ she said, adding that bulimia ‘becomes such a central part of your experience, day to day, that to shy away’ from it would have been a cop-out.

Miss Corrin was raised in Sevenoaks, Kent. Her father Christopher is a businessman. In hindsight, it seems an acting career was always likely. 

‘The amount of make-believe I used to play when I was a child is insane!’ she revealed.

She remembers fashioning a raft out of living room furniture one rainy day because ‘I was sure we were going to flood and I’d have to build a raft and sail away – I used to love creating worlds I could hide away in’. 

After her turn as Toad in The Wind In The Willows, something just ‘clicked’. She watched Nora Ephron films and loved Meg Ryan. 

Then Emma Watson became an obsession. She watched a lot of Westerns and war films at home, because her younger brothers ruled the remote control. 

‘I’m the most capitulating older sister,’ she admitted. ‘I’m really bad at being bossy. It’s something I’m going to have to get better at.’

She says that when she landed the role of Diana, Helena Bonham Carter (so good as Princess Margaret) ‘took me under her wing’. 

They live in the same neighbourhood in London. ‘I’m often popping round for tea,’ she told me. 

‘She helped me realise that the only people who should really matter to you are the ones who are closest to you.’

It’s interesting that they should become friends, because out of all the royals depicted in The Crown, it’s Miss Bonham Carter’s Margaret who signals, with a mere glance, that all might not be well between the couple. 

Fateful: The first time Charles sees Diana, when she is 16, she is dressed as a wood nymph

Fateful: The first time Charles sees Diana, when she is 16, she is dressed as a wood nymph

Fateful: The first time Charles sees Diana, when she is 16, she is dressed as a wood nymph 

There are extraordinary scenes between Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth and Diana, too. People are going to have their own views, but I was riveted when I devoured the ten-hour season.

Miss Corrin has become pals with O’Connor; and enjoyed larking about with the ensemble. 

When they were all together on set it was like ‘a family Christmas’, with everybody playing games between takes. 

Sadly, she wasn’t able to bid goodbye to them – or the role – properly because coronavirus halted filming abruptly a week before it was due to finish.

When restrictions were lifted, she completed post-production work. 

Oh, and made a film – a beautifully shot black-and-white short called Red Rendezvous, about a Western-inspired face-off between a mother and daughter – on Canvey Island! 

It is part of the Absolute Beginners programme, sponsored by Gucci and fashion magazine Dazed, and was released yesterday.

For now, however, she is about to entrance the nation… just as the People’s Princess did a lifetime ago.

Series four of The Crown airs on Netflix on November 15.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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New lurch towards lockdown: London will be placed on Tier 3 restrictions ‘within two weeks’

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new lurch towards lockdown london will be placed on tier 3 restrictions within two weeks

England was creeping towards lockdown by the back door last night as millions more were told they will face extra curbs.

Almost 60 per cent of the population – around 32.6million – will be under stricter rules by Monday.

And it is understood London could also be moved into the top tier within the next fortnight unless infection rates drop significantly.

Sixteen areas will move into the ‘high risk’ Tier Two at midnight including Oxford, Luton, East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston Upon Hull, Derbyshire Dales, Derby and Staffordshire

That means that more than 21.6million face the restrictions that include a ban on socialising indoors with anyone from another household, whether at home or in bars, restaurants and cafes.

Almost 60 per cent of the population – around 32.6million – will be under stricter rules by Monday

Almost 60 per cent of the population – around 32.6million – will be under stricter rules by Monday

Almost 60 per cent of the population – around 32.6million – will be under stricter rules by Monday

A further 11 million will be in the ‘very high risk’ Tier Three from midnight on Sunday when Leeds and the rest of West Yorkshire are added to the places where pubs are closed unless serving food.

This will leave only 23.7million without enhanced restrictions.

With tougher restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it means just over three-fifths of the UK population are living under extra lockdown restrictions.

London was moved into Tier Two a fortnight ago with Downing Street expecting that data in the next few days will start to give an indication whether the restrictions are having a sufficient impact.

Sources close to London mayor Sadiq Khan said he believes it is ‘highly likely’ that Tier Three restrictions will be brought to London in the ‘coming weeks’.

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Scientists have warned the second wave of coronavirus could result in 85,000 deaths, almost double the number of victims from the first epidemic

Nearly 100,000 people in England are catching Covid-19 every day, the R rate in London is almost THREE – and one in 75 Brits are currently infectious, new Imperial study finds 

Nearly 100,000 Britons are getting infected with coronavirus every day, according to results of Government-led surveillance study that suggests the UK is hurtling towards a second peak that could rival the first.

The REACT-1 project — which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week — estimated there were around 96,000 people getting infected every day in England by October 25.

Imperial College London experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were slightly more than 100,000 daily cases in spring, which led to over 40,000 deaths in the first wave. 

The study warned infections are doubling every nine days, suggesting there could be 200,000 daily cases by the first week of November. 

Imperial researchers said it was possible that the recent wet and dreary weather had played a role in the surge in infections, by driving people indoors where the virus finds it easier to spread. But they warned it was more likely a small dip in adherence to social distancing rules across the board had opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread more rapidly.

Imperial’s best guess is that 1.3 per cent of everyone living in England was carrying the disease by October 25, the equivalent of one in 75, or 730,000 people. Covid-19 prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7 per cent) and the North West (2.3 per cent).

The study, which will likely be used to pile more pressure on No10 to impose a national lockdown, also estimated the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate — the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects — was nearly three in London, a finding the researchers described as ‘scary’. It was lower in the North West, where millions of people are living under draconian lockdowns.

Overall, the R rate was around 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the reproduction rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

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Last night ministers were in talks about putting millions more under the highest Tier Three restrictions before the end of next week, including the West Midlands and the North East. The two regions have a combined population of 8.6million.

Ian Ward, the leader of Birmingham Council, said it ‘would seem to be inevitable’ the curbs will be imposed on the country’s second city.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said last night: ‘We continue to see a worrying rise in cases right across the country, and it is clear decisive action is needed.’

Andy Street, the Conservative West Midlands mayor, yesterday said there ‘active conversations’ as to whether all or part of the region move into Tier Three and what support it would receive.

In the North East, council leaders in the Tees Valley have been informed by the Government of its intention to move the area into Tier Three. The leaders of Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington, Stockton and Hartlepool councils, the mayor of Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley mayor will hold further talks with ministers this morning.

Other local authorities in the North East are also in discussions about whether restrictions need to be escalated. Areas already in Tier Three are Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Warrington.

They were joined last night at midnight by Nottinghamshire, which has the strictest curbs yet, including a ban on the sale of alcohol in shops after 9pm.

Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday said the Government would not rule anything out as experts continued to ramp up pressure for a more national approach to address the rising infection rate.

Asked yesterday about the possibility of another national lockdown, she said: ‘Well I think at this stage of course we can rule nothing out because we are a Government that is focused on making sure that we stop the spread of this virus, and also we protect public health. So we have been using, and we are using and we will continue to use, every single means available to us to do exactly that.’

But earlier, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Government will ‘try everything in our power’ to avoid a ‘blanket national lockdown’.

He said the Government’s ‘very firm view’ is that a short national ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown would be the wrong approach, saying ‘you can’t have a stop- start country’.

Government scientific adviser Dr Mike Tildesley yesterday said more national restrictions are needed, with the current trajectory likely to put nearly everywhere in Tier Two before Christmas.

The University of Warwick researcher, who sits on the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We are seeing the R number is greater than one everywhere…

‘So really we need to move away from these regional firefighting techniques to try to move to something more national.’

Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London, said there would be ‘genuine benefits to some kind of national policy’.

He told the Today programme: ‘There has to be a change. The rate of growth that we’re seeing in these data is really quite rapid. So one way or another, there has to be a change before Christmas.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Boris Johnson has been told NHS may be at maximum capacity a week before Christmas

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boris johnson has been told nhs may be at maximum capacity a week before christmas

Boris Johnson has been told that every hospital in England will be full by December 17 unless he orders more lockdowns.

The blunt warning emerged a day after a leaked Sage committee document revealed that ministers had been told to prepare for a ‘worst case scenario’ of 85,000 deaths.

A well-placed source said: ‘Ministers have been told in clear terms that if no further action is taken, at the present rate of rising infections, every hospital bed in England will be full by December 17. 

 ‘They would have no choice but to turn people away, including additional Covid patients, people who have heart attacks, cancer, road accident victims – because there would be no beds to put them in or staff to treat them. 

‘There could be a repeat here of the scenes in Lombardy in Italy at the start of the pandemic: the sick put in operating rooms or corridors.

Boris Johnson has been told that every hospital in England will be full by December 17

Boris Johnson has been told that every hospital in England will be full by December 17

Boris Johnson has been told that every hospital in England will be full by December 17

Ministers had been told to prepare for a ‘worst case scenario’ of 85,000 deaths

Ministers had been told to prepare for a ‘worst case scenario’ of 85,000 deaths

Ministers had been told to prepare for a ‘worst case scenario’ of 85,000 deaths

Government insiders insist there is evidence that NHS beds in cities like Liverpool, which are already in Tier Three lockdown, are already running out

Government insiders insist there is evidence that NHS beds in cities like Liverpool, which are already in Tier Three lockdown, are already running out

Government insiders insist there is evidence that NHS beds in cities like Liverpool, which are already in Tier Three lockdown, are already running out

 ‘Hospital admissions are forecast to go up slowly for the next few weeks but shoot up towards Christmas. 

‘People don’t realise that social distancing measures can mean only ten beds in a ward meant to take 20. 

‘And there is a finite number of trained ICU [intensive care unit] staff – you cannot do it without special training.’

Last night, a Downing Street source confirmed the Government had been advised that hospitals in England could run out of beds by Christmas but declined to give a precise date.

Government insiders insist there is evidence that NHS beds in cities like Liverpool, which are already in Tier Three lockdown, are already running out.  

The forecast of no beds being available by December 17 is understood to include the emergency ‘Nightingale’ wards.

However Mr Johnson is under pressure from powerful groups who are demanding he resist any new nationwide measures.

Tory MPs in the so-called ‘Red Wall’ Northern seats claim their lockdowns are not working and are unfair. 

‘Some medical experts claim lockdowns will lead to more deaths among people with cancer and other serious illnesses. 

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Scientists have warned the second wave of coronavirus could result in 85,000 deaths, almost double the number of victims from the first epidemic

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 ‘And some businesses believe the long-term damage to the economy outweighs the benefits. 

‘However there is some good news: the lockdowns in Liverpool and Manchester are said to have slowed their rate of infections.

A senior Tory said: ‘The Prime Minister is in an impossible position. He cannot let the economy collapse but a collapse in the NHS could be worse in the short-term.

‘Having said his priority is to protect the NHS he cannot risk hospitals being overrun. It would be disastrous at any time but much worse at Christmas.  

 ‘The risk of a permanent scar to his political and personal reputation is too great. Covid may have sealed Trump’s fate; no Conservative wants that to happen to the PM.’ 

Calls for a tighter clampdown follow research showing there are currently nearly 100,000 new cases a day in England and the virus is accelerating rapidly across the country, and fastest in the South.

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) – more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Lead author Professor Steven Riley, from Imperial College London, said: ‘There has to be a change. 

‘The rate of growth that we’re seeing in these data is really quite rapid. So one way or another there has to be a change before Christmas.’

Hospital admissions have soared to their highest level since April, with a further 1,404 admitted yesterday.

There are currently 10,308 Covid patients in NHS hospitals, up from 5,032 two weeks ago.

Yesterday another 280 deaths and 23,065 cases were recorded.

Nearly 100,000 people in England are catching Covid-19 every day, the R rate in London is almost THREE – and one in 75 Brits are currently infectious, new Imperial study finds 

Nearly 100,000 Britons are getting infected with coronavirus every day, according to results of Government-led surveillance study that suggests the UK is hurtling towards a second peak that could rival the first.

The REACT-1 project — which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week — estimated there were around 96,000 people getting infected every day in England by October 25.

Imperial College London experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were slightly more than 100,000 daily cases in spring, which led to over 40,000 deaths in the first wave. 

The study warned infections are doubling every nine days, suggesting there could be 200,000 daily cases by the first week of November. 

Imperial researchers said it was possible that the recent wet and dreary weather had played a role in the surge in infections, by driving people indoors where the virus finds it easier to spread. But they warned it was more likely a small dip in adherence to social distancing rules across the board had opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread more rapidly.

Imperial’s best guess is that 1.3 per cent of everyone living in England was carrying the disease by October 25, the equivalent of one in 75, or 730,000 people. Covid-19 prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7 per cent) and the North West (2.3 per cent).

The study, which will likely be used to pile more pressure on No10 to impose a national lockdown, also estimated the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate — the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects — was nearly three in London, a finding the researchers described as ‘scary’. It was lower in the North West, where millions of people are living under draconian lockdowns.

Overall, the R rate was around 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the reproduction rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

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MINISTERS DRAG ANOTHER 16 AUTHORITIES INTO TIER TWO LOCKDOWN 

Ministers today dragged another 16 authorities into Tier Two, as Britain creeps another step closer to a de facto lockdown and the UK today confirmed another 23,065 positive test results and 280 deaths.

Cases are up 8.6 per cent on the 21,242 announced last Thursday, while deaths have increased by 48 per cent in the same time.    

The areas entering Tier Two are: East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Dudley, Staffordshire, Telford and the Wrekin, Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Derby City, South Derbyshire, the whole of High Peak in Derbyshire, Charnwood, Luton and Oxford City.

All of the areas will be hit by tougher restrictions banning socialising indoors with anyone they don’t live with from Saturday, the Department of Health confirmed. 

The key factor of Tier Two rules is the ban on indoor socialising with anyone from another household, which rules out meeting in pubs, restaurants, private homes or anywhere outside of work. People are advised not to travel more than necessary and must continue to follow the rule of six outdoors and adhere to all other national social distancing restrictions.

Department of Health officials announced the tier change for those areas this afternoon, but did not upgrade any places to Tier Three. That move had been expected for parts of the North East, where local officials have been discussing it, but they have agreed it is not yet necessary for the region.    

Political leaders there today said that spiking cases had been down to students and were now plateauing, and data would be carefully monitored and officials would meet again on Monday.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today resisted calls from the Government’s scientific experts for another national lockdown as he said ‘you can’t have a stop-start country’ and the ‘very firm view’ remains that a ‘circuit breaker’ is not the right way forward. 

However, he conceded the ‘virus is in a bad place in all parts of the country’ as he urged the nation to ‘redouble our efforts’ to comply with existing coronavirus rules in order to slow the spread of infection.    

His comments came after the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) piled fresh pressure on Boris Johnson to impose tougher restrictions as it warned up to 85,000 people could die in a second wave. 

A ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ put forward by SAGE suggested daily deaths could remain above 500 for three months or more until March next year.    

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