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Blustering Boris Johnson urges Britons to ‘flatten the second hump of the camel’

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blustering boris johnson urges britons to flatten the second hump of the camel

Desperate Boris Johnson today pleaded for Britons to ‘save Christmas’ by obeying his ‘Rule of Six’ – warning that lockdown will only get stricter if the country does not ‘flatten the hump of the camel’.

The PM begged the public to keep faith with his draconian rules despite the testing system descending into a shambles, with fears schools and offices will have to shut because people with mild symptoms cannot prove they are negative. 

Amid bitter clashes between experts over the best way to respond to the spike in Covid cases, the North East is the latest area facing new curbs, including forcing pubs to shut at 10pm and a ban on households socialising with anyone else.

In London, public health chiefs have warned of looming curfews, while ministers have hinted that the edict for everyone to work from home could be reinstated soon if infections do not come back under control.

The new rules for the North East are expected to come into force just after midnight after a dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the area. 

In an interview with The Sun justifying his agenda, Mr Johnson emphasised that social restrictions, localised lockdowns, and a ‘ramped up’ testing were being used in a bid to prevent a second wave.

He warned: ‘The only way to make sure the country is able to enjoy Christmas is to be tough now.’  

In other coronavirus developments:

  • Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson were warned the testing fiasco is on the brink of dooming the country to a de facto lockdown with keeping schools open ‘unsustainable’ 
  • Covid-19 cases are soaring among middle-aged people in England and have risen by upwards of 90 per cent in a fortnight as the outbreak continues to grow, official figures show.
  • The boss of British Airways defended his decision to cut up to 12,000 jobs and said the pandemic has left the national carrier ‘fighting for survival’
  • One hospital in Manchester accounted for a third of all Covid-19 deaths in England last week, it was revealed amid fears the life-threatening disease is spreading between wards.  
Boris Johnson said new rules could be imposed on the country if people don't obey the new 'rule of six' and halt the pandemic in its tracks.

Boris Johnson said new rules could be imposed on the country if people don’t obey the new ‘rule of six’ and halt the pandemic in its tracks.

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The UK has announced a further 14 Covid-19 deaths in the preliminary count, although the final figure can sometimes differ

The UK has announced a further 14 Covid-19 deaths in the preliminary count, although the final figure can sometimes differ

The proportion of results coming back positive has stayed relatively low since June - although in April most of the people being tested were already in hospital whereas more than 200,000 tests a day are now being carried out, many in the community among people with relatively mild symptoms

The proportion of results coming back positive has stayed relatively low since June – although in April most of the people being tested were already in hospital whereas more than 200,000 tests a day are now being carried out, many in the community among people with relatively mild symptoms

Public Health England (PHE) data reveals 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people aged between 40 and 49 — up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates have nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, jumping from 10.9 to 20

Public Health England (PHE) data reveals 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people aged between 40 and 49 — up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates have nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, jumping from 10.9 to 20

Professor Chris Whitty ‘wants a new two-week national lockdown and true UK cases are as high as 38,000-a-day’ 

Professor Chris Whitty is pushing for a new two-week national lockdown amid concerns the true number of coronavirus cases is far higher than being reported, a former World Health Organisation expert claims.

Anthony Costello, who sits on the independent SAGE panel, made the statement on Twitter on Wednesday evening, adding that daily infections could be as high as 38,000.

It comes after Boris Johnson insisted he was doing ‘everything in my power’ to avoid plunging the country back into blanket restrictions, voicing fears that we could not ‘afford’ it.

But he acknowledged he could not dismiss the possibility, conceding there is ‘not enough’ capacity for screening and pleaded for people only to get checked if they have symptoms.

According to Mr Costello, the Prime Minister has been told by his Chief Medical Officer that such a move may be needed to stop the recent rise in infections.

He wrote: ‘I’m hearing from a well-connected person that government now thinks, in absence of testing, there are 38,000 infections per day. Chris Whitty is advising PM for a two week national lockdown.’

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Although cases have been surging over 3,000 a day, it was initially among younger people, who are less likely to be badly affected. 

But now Covid-19 cases are soaring among middle-aged people in England and have risen by upwards of 90 per cent in a fortnight as the outbreak continues to grow.

The PM claimed the chart of infections is starting to resemble a camel’s back, so ministers are implementing new measures to ensure the virus doesn’t ‘rip’ through the country. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘All this is to say that: Christmas we want to protect, and we want everyone to have a fantastic Christmas.

‘But the only way to make sure the country is able to enjoy Christmas is to be tough now. So if we can grip it now, stop the surge, arrest the spike, stop the second hump of the dromedary, flatten the second hump.

‘Dromedary or camel? I can’t remember if it is a dromedary or a camel that has two humps? Umm. Please check.

‘Anyway a double hump. So that is what we need to do!’

There were claims today that chief medical officer Chris Whitty has been urging an immediate two-week national lockdown, and the true number of daily cases could be 38,000.  

But Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University dismissed the idea that the disease was ‘out of control’ again.

‘Most of the problems here occurred if you look at the data, after the Bank Holiday Monday, from about the 2nd of September onwards,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘You can argue here that one of the issues here that happened was significant people met over that weekend, and then we’ve had a bit of a surge.

‘But the language of ‘out of control, we need more testing, this is terrible’ needs to be dialled back. Look, we have problems, significant problems, but we also have shifting policy every day now.

‘I think what we’ve got a huge problem here, we are losing the trust of the population… This is a huge moment right now, and what we have to do is slow down our thinking, pause and start to be more analytical about the steps we take.

‘We rush in, like with the test and trace programme, it is falling over.’

But Dr Adam Kucharski, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the lack of testing meant ‘blunt tools’ were needed to control the outbreak.

‘I think we are getting to the point where potentially we are losing our ability to accurately track the virus,’ he told Today.

‘That means that we could have a situation where it is getting into risk groups, we start to see more cases appear and we don’t have good warning of that.

‘It also affects our ability to have more targeted, nuanced measures. If we lose the ability to track the virus it ends up that more blunt tools will be deployed. That is what we saw earlier in the year.’

Health Minister Edward Argar played down the idea of a two-week national lockdown.

Covid testing chief Dido Harding faces grilling from MPs as system teeters on the verge of collapse 

Testing tsar Dido Harding is facing a grilling from MPs today with the system teetering on the verge of collapse.

The Tory peer is set to give evidence to politicians amid anger that coronavirus screening has turned into a ‘chaotic disaster’, with thousands of people struggling to get checked even though a rise in cases was predictable.

In a sign of the shambles engulfing the arrangements, the government has even stopped publishing figures on its total capacity – with claims that labs have been exaggerating how many samples they can process.

There are fears that the country could be plunged into a ‘lockdown by default’ because people with mild symptoms cannot prove they are negative and have to stay in quarantine.

Experts say that perhaps half a million people a day will develop Covid-like symptoms at this time of year, even in a normal times. Hundreds of schools are already believed to be partly or fully closed due to pupils and teachers having to self-isolate. 

Politicians have questioned why Lady Harding was appointed, amid a public furore over the national shortage of Covid tests.

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‘It is not something I have seen within the department,’ he told Sky News.

‘The Prime Minister has been very clear on this. He doesn’t want to see another national lockdown. He wants to see people abiding by the regulations and making the local lockdowns work.’

Mr Argar said the North East was now seeing a spike in cases similar to that in the North West.

‘In the North East we are seeing a spike in infections. It is exactly what we have seen in the North West. We monitor that rate. Where we need to, we step in and take action,’ he said.

Mr Argar said that in the North West, the rise had been driven in part by people not adhering to the social distancing requirements – and blamed pubs.

‘Obviously a nighttime economy will fuel that with people having been out late into the evening.’

Kevan Jones, Labour MP for Durham North – one of the areas set to be plunged into lockdown – told MailOnline the government had ‘totally lost control’ and was ‘thrashing around’.

He said the Department of Health had moved mobile testing sites out of Country Durham just last week, with no explanation.

‘It’s an absolute mess. I’ve got people who can’t get results or tests. I’ve got someone who lives just outside Durham and was given the nearest test as Aberdeen airport.’

Mr Jones said the claim from ministers that the ‘worried well’ were breaking the system was nonsense.

‘It’s not the worried well. I’ve even got NHS workers who can’t get tests. They have just lost control.’

‘You don’t need the restrictions if you get test and trading done.’

‘Hancock is completely out of his depth.’

‘It’s going to be over by Christmas? It’s just rubbish. They haven’t got a clue.’ 

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said ‘additional, temporary’ measures are being planned to prevent another full lockdown. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to make a formal announcement this morning.

The restrictions will reportedly apply to Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland – which have all seen rises in cases, according to the latest weekly rates.

The lockdown measure will include a 10pm curfew on pubs, restaurants and other licensed premises and people will be banned from socialising with anyone outside their household, as reported by ChronicleLive.

Other possible restrictions include people being told not to go on holiday with different households and spectators advised not to attend sporting venues.

Care home visits could be restricted to essential visitors, and people will be advised to avoid public transport at peak times except for essential journeys, and to avoid car-shares.

Workers prepare ahead of opening at a Coronavirus testing centre in Southwark, south London on Wednesday

Workers prepare ahead of opening at a Coronavirus testing centre in Southwark, south London on Wednesday

People queue at a test centre following an outbreak of the coronavirus  in Southend-on-sea, Essex, on Wednesday

People queue at a test centre following an outbreak of the coronavirus  in Southend-on-sea, Essex, on Wednesday 

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Curfews, pub closures and small gatherings only: how the UK could throttle second wave

Britain could follow the example of Belgium in taking steps to throttle the rising number of coronavirus cases.

Brussels was able to curtail a second wave of coronavirus by limiting the number of people who could socialise together and imposing a nationwide curfew. 

The European country experienced a resurgence of the virus in mid-July that was comparable to the UK’s current trajectory.

On July 29, officials there brought in new rules reduced the number of people who could socialise together from 15 to five and introduced a 10pm curfew on the entire population.

Coronavirus infections started to rise in Belgium in mid-July, with the weekly case rate going over 35 per 100,000 by August- the level currently being felt in Britain – and daily infections breaching 1,000. The numbers have fallen over recent weeks, with only 194 new cases reported on September 1.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is among those who have praised the actions of the Belgian Government to  tackle the outbreak.

Last week he said Belgium was a ‘clear indication that if you act rapidly and decisively when these changes are happening, there is a reasonable or good chance of bringing the rates back down under control.’ 

Such a move would allow people to go still go to work and school but would place curbs on nightlife, which could place high pressure on the hospitality industry, with pubs and restaurants forced to close early. 

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Mr Forbes tweeted: ‘Some additional, temporary restrictions are being planned to prevent another full lockdown.’

The most recent figures show Newcastle to have recorded a sharp increase in its weekly rate, up from 51.2 to 64.1, with 194 new cases in the seven days to September 13. 

On a more national scale, business leaders claimed employers will be left with no choice but to send staff to work from home due to the shortage of Covid-19 tests.

Such a move would put a sizeable dent in the little progress that has been made to boost the economy since certain restrictions were eased.

Testing tsar Dido Harding is facing a grilling from MPs today with the system teetering on the verge of collapse.

The Tory peer is set to give evidence to politicians amid anger that coronavirus screening has turned into a ‘chaotic disaster’, with thousands of people struggling to get checked even though a rise in cases was predictable.

In a sign of the shambles engulfing the arrangements, the government has even stopped publishing figures on its total capacity for the past week – with claims that labs have been exaggerating how many samples they can process.

There are fears that the country could be plunged into a ‘lockdown by default’ because people with mild symptoms cannot prove they are negative and have to stay in quarantine.

Experts say that perhaps half a million people a day will develop Covid-like symptoms at this time of year, even in a normal times. Hundreds of schools are already believed to be partly or fully closed due to pupils and teachers having to self-isolate. 

Politicians have questioned why Lady Harding was appointed.

Mr Jones said she had ‘no experience’ and the responsibility should be given to local officials who had a background dealing with outbreaks of diseases such as TB.

‘It comes back to the fact she’s got no experience in public health. Local directors of public health, they know how to do test and trace. It’s what they do,’ he said. 

A fortnight would be needed to determine whether Mr Johnson’s new rule of banning gatherings of seven or more people had successfully reduced infections, senior government sources told the Telegraph, adding that further lockdown measures may be required if not.

Official messaging of ‘go to work if you can’, repeated by the Prime Minister in recent weeks, appears to have been dropped, while No10 has also insisted there is no ‘back to work’ campaign being driven in the same way other key advice is being communicated with the public.

However, telling workers to stop going back to their desks would inflict further woe on pubs, cafes and restaurants which have already struggled during the pandemic and are only recently reaping the benefits of more footfall and schemes such as Eat Out to Help Out.

Matthew Fell, the UK chief policy director of the CBI, said: ‘If we are to successfully encourage more people into their workplace safely, then the test and trace system will be a key component.’

Adam Marshall, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, added: ‘A truly comprehensive test and trace programme is essential if the UK is to manage the virus without further lockdowns, which will cripple businesses. Continuing delays and a shortage of tests saps business, staff and consumer confidence at a fragile moment for the economy.’

Many companies with headquarters in London's city centre have only a fraction of their total workforces back in the office

Many companies with headquarters in London’s city centre have only a fraction of their total workforces back in the office

The concourse at London's Waterloo station - which is one of the capital's busiest - during the rush hour earlier this month

The concourse at London’s Waterloo station – which is one of the capital’s busiest – during the rush hour earlier this month

More than half of workers expect NEVER to return to a five-day working week in the office, survey finds 

More than half of workers have said they never expect to return to a five-day working week in the office, a new survey by broadband provider TalkTalk has found.

A new report called ‘Lockdown Lessons’ also found that 58% of people in employment said they felt more productive as a result of working from home.

Bosses also agreed, with 30% of business leaders saying the changes had seen a boost in productivity and 35% said the moves had seen more collaboration.

The new working arrangements for millions of office workers also found that with the commute being removed, many are turning to learning a new skill or hobby, the survey found.

Around 40% said they had watched an online educational video during lockdown and 16% enrolled in an online learning course.

In other areas, nearly one-in-four work-from-home staff started learning a new language, with a similar number also learning new cooking methods. Around 15% said they researched baking and 13% learned about gardening.

TalkTalk added that internet usage during lockdown increased 40% year-on-year and has remained at high levels, despite the relaxation of rules and the reopening of pubs and restaurants. Uploads have also increased significantly, the data found.

The company is hoping the increase in work-from-home staff will lead to demand for more reliable internet and has launched a business-quality broadband service for companies willing to install faster connections in workers’ homes.

But less than half – 40% – of business leaders said they have provided financial support to employees for phone or home broadband bills and only one in four have invested in mental health and wellbeing apps for staff.

The survey also found that 62% of bosses believe they can save money to spend on upgrading home working due to less work trip costs and 45% said company entertainment spend is also expected to fall.

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Meanwhile, a public health chief has suggested curfews could be imposed in London to help fight a potential second wave.

Professor Kevin Fenton, London director of Public Health England, highlighted an influx of around half a million students to the capital from across the UK and around the world as a potential hazard for increased infections.

The London director of Public Health England also warned the city’s testing capacity was struggling to cope with demand, as resources are piled in to help hotspot areas,

About 500,000 students are coming to London from around the country and world for the start of term which is likely to increase infections.

He told the Evening Standard: ‘Before we get to that stage [of a full lockdown] there are many other things that you can do in order to help to reduce the risk of transmission and contain your outbreak.

‘In some areas which have seen resurgence there have been limits placed on the amount of time you can spend socialising. In some it might be local curfews so you’re not out drinking until the wee hours of the morning.

‘By limiting that you also limit the amount of time people are spending in close contact with others.’

His comments come as a survey found more than half of workers have said they never expect to return to a five-day working week in the office.

A new report called ‘Lockdown Lessons’ also found that 58% of people in employment said they felt more productive as a result of working from home.

Bosses also agreed, with 30% of business leaders saying the changes had seen a boost in productivity and 35% said the moves had seen more collaboration.

Tristia Harrison, chief executive at TalkTalk, who compiled the research, said: ‘Lockdown Britain has seen a boost in skills and productivity for home workers, with unexpected lessons for how we emerge from the pandemic.

‘As people have been working from home, they’ve also been learning: from new languages, to cooking, to IT skills. With flexible working we’re becoming so much more productive it seems that Britain is now getting five days’ work done in four, which is encouraging as we build back from the crisis.’

Catherine Barnard, from consultancy Working The Future, which analysed the data for TalkTalk, said: ‘A future where a four-day work week is the norm could be a lot closer than people think.

‘If someone can do their work in four days rather than five as a result of flexible working hours, it stands to reason that they can use the fifth day to further improve skills that complement their role. The challenge is to pivot from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to employment.’ 

Mr Johnson made a spirited defence on the new ‘rule of six’ which bans on groups of more than six people from meeting to help prevent the spread of the pandemic.

He said:  ‘I know that a lot of people feel that it’s excessive and heavy-handed . . . but unfortunately the disease has not gone away.

‘There are places in Europe which I will not name, such is my reputation for diplomacy, where we’ve come down one hump of the camel and we are approaching the next.’ 

Mr Johnson he was keen not to implement another full nationwide lockdown that ‘stops business from functioning.’  

The PM was also at pains to tell Britons that he doesn’t want to impose further restrictions.

He added: ‘We don’t want to go there. We want this package to work.

‘We are urging people to be cautious. We want people to be disciplined to get the R down.’ 

Pictured: A demonstration was held in solidarity for Iranian/Kurds however police officers were helpless in stopping the new government rules on groups of no more than six people meeting at one time

Pictured: A demonstration was held in solidarity for Iranian/Kurds however police officers were helpless in stopping the new government rules on groups of no more than six people meeting at one time

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, right, and Chief Whip Mark Spencer give each other an elbow bump greeting in Downing Street in London

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, right, and Chief Whip Mark Spencer give each other an elbow bump greeting in Downing Street in London

The Red Lion pub in Westminster, just yards from the Houses of Parliament, was surrounded by drinkers last night despite the introduction of the Rule of Six on Monday.

The Red Lion pub in Westminster, just yards from the Houses of Parliament, was surrounded by drinkers last night despite the introduction of the Rule of Six on Monday.

The ‘Rule of Six’ imposed by Boris Johnson on Monday makes it illegal to have larger gatherings, although in Scotland and Wales children under 12 do not need to be counted in the numbers. 

Ministers have suggested they are following the example of Belgium, where a surge appears to have been tackled using tight limits on gatherings and curfews. 

A senior member of the government told ITV’s Robert Peston that there was ‘no possibility of us waiting for the death rate to rise before we act’.

They added that the government will reassess whether the Rule of Six has been enough to control the situation in fortnight – but there is a widespread view that schools should not be shut again.

A leading scientific advisor reportedly said: ‘I think that if we want to keep schools open, we probably have to give serious consideration to a wide range of other measures to stop a major second wave.

‘And we have to think about doing that right now – which we are starting to do.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was forced to miss Prime Minister’s Questions because of a delay in receiving a coronavirus test result for one of his children, his deputy said.

Angela Rayner, standing in for Sir Keir at the despatch box on Wednesday lunchtime, told Boris Johnson that she had a message from ‘a man called Keir’.

She told the Commons: ‘Keir wasn’t able to go to work today and his children couldn’t go to school because his family had to wait for their coronavirus test results despite the Prime Minister’s promise of results within 24 hours.

‘Keir was able to do the right thing and self-isolate and work from home, but other people aren’t in this position – many of them are the very people getting us through this crisis.’

Mr Johnson said he understood a negative test had been returned for Sir Keir’s child, adding: ‘I don’t know why he is not here.’

The Labour leader was advised to self-isolate on Monday while awaiting the result of a test for a member of his household who showed possible symptoms of Covid-19.

Less than half an hour before PMQs was due to begin, Sir Keir said he was ‘very pleased and relieved that the test result for one of my children came back negative this morning’.

A decision had been made on Tuesday for his deputy, Ms Rayner, to take his place at the question session.

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‘Overstretched police are struggling to crack down on curfew breakers’

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overstretched police are struggling to crack down on curfew breakers

Police are ‘struggling’ to enforce coronavirus rules because there are not enough officers to crack down on the 10pm curfew breakers, a union boss warned today.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation, said there were often now just ‘one or two’ officers available to police busy high streets in towns and cities at night when the curfew begins on pubs and restaurants.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think we’re struggling now if I’m honest, certainly my colleagues are, because of just the daily pressures.’

Mr Apter added: ‘Here’s the reality – in a typical large town or city centre, I think the public think we have hundreds and hundreds of police officers to police.

‘We probably have a handful, and we have to prioritise. So what we will find in a city centre, some officers will be dealing with 999 calls, crimes in action, people being seriously assaulted, that you might only have one or two people in a busy high street at 10pm when hundreds and hundreds of people are coming out onto the streets.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation, said there were often now just 'one or two' officers available to police busy high streets in towns and cities

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation, said there were often now just ‘one or two’ officers available to police busy high streets in towns and cities

‘Now my colleagues will do the best they can to encourage and coerce people to move on, but it’s really difficult, and all you need is a hostile group who turns against those officers and the resources for that town centre or that city centre are swallowed up dealing with that one incident. It happens all the time. It happens in every city.’

He added that other agencies must now step in to assist, including ‘local authorities and local health trusts and other organisations to help to try and make sure that the regulations are being enforced and are being complied with’. 

It comes as police will carry out spot checks and act on tip-offs to enforce strict new Covid-19 self-isolation rules from today.

People ordered to quarantine after they or a contact test positive for the virus face a knock on the door from officers to check they are not leaving their home.

It comes amid a growing revolt by Tory MPs over the way Boris Johnson‘s Government is infringing liberties with restrictions to tackle the pandemic.

Signalling a tough crackdown, Home Secretary Priti Patel warned last night that ministers ‘will not allow those who break the rules to reverse the hard-won progress made by the law-abiding majority’.

From today, people across England are required by law to quarantine for ten days if they test positive for Covid-19 or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Those who do not self-isolate – or employers who force staff to turn up to work – will be hit with fines of up to £10,000.

The police will be used to ‘check compliance’ with the rules and will investigate claims by informers that a person who should be in quarantine is flouting the requirement. In other developments:

  • Ministers faced mounting pressure to review their ‘shambolic’ 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants after it caused huge crowds across city centres;
  • A Mail poll found that a third of patients have avoided or delayed making a GP appointment in the past six months;
  • Three more areas of South Wales were added to the local lockdown list yesterday, meaning two-thirds of the Welsh population are covered by restrictions;
  • Labour called for a delay to the new university term in England after 1,700 students locked down in Manchester were unable to find out if they have Covid-19;
  • Universities faced mounting pressure to refund tuition fees as thousands of students faced lockdowns, online-only courses, and the prospect of spending Christmas in their halls;
  • More than 10 million Britons have downloaded the virus tracing app;
  • Ministers promised they would provide four months’ worth of personal protective equipment to frontline health and care staff over the winter.
People ordered to quarantine after they or a contact test positive for the virus could face a knock on the door from officers to check they are not leaving their home. Pictured: Drinkers out in Nottingham around closing time

People ordered to quarantine after they or a contact test positive for the virus could face a knock on the door from officers to check they are not leaving their home. Pictured: Drinkers out in Nottingham around closing time

Signalling a tough crackdown, Home Secretary Priti Patel warned last night that ministers ‘will not allow those who break the rules to reverse the hard-won progress made by the law-abiding majority’. Pictured: Police attempt to disperse crowds gathered in London

Signalling a tough crackdown, Home Secretary Priti Patel warned last night that ministers ‘will not allow those who break the rules to reverse the hard-won progress made by the law-abiding majority’. Pictured: Police attempt to disperse crowds gathered in London

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The Prime Minister could suffer a hugely damaging defeat within days over his use of emergency legislation to push Covid-19 restrictions through the Commons without proper debate.

Conservative backbenchers are increasingly angry about the imposition of the ‘rule of six’ without debate in Parliament – and believe they have a good chance of winning a vote on Wednesday.

The Government said yesterday there had been a further 5,693 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus. While an increase on last Sunday’s total, this is nowhere near the doubling that chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance suggested last week was on the way.

Last night ministers unveiled the steps they will take to ensure people comply with self-isolation rules. The Government said it would ‘use police resources to check compliance’ in areas of the country with the highest rates of disease, and on people in high-risk groups.

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The Prime Minister could suffer a hugely damaging defeat within days over his use of emergency legislation to push Covid-19 restrictions through the Commons without proper debate

The Prime Minister could suffer a hugely damaging defeat within days over his use of emergency legislation to push Covid-19 restrictions through the Commons without proper debate

Officers will ‘investigate and prosecute high-profile and egregious cases of non-compliance’, and ‘act on instances where third parties have identified others who have tested positive, but are not self-isolating’.

The rules state that if someone receives a positive test result, they are required by law to self-isolate for ten days after they first displayed symptoms, or ten days after the date of the test if they did not have symptoms.

Other members of their household must self-isolate for 14 days after the onset of symptoms, or after the date of the positive test.

Pubs and restaurants have started displaying QR codes to support the app, but punters have complained after they were denied entry for not installing it

Pubs and restaurants have started displaying QR codes to support the app, but punters have complained after they were denied entry for not installing it 

If someone is instructed to self-isolate because they have had close contact with someone outside their household who has tested positive, they are legally required to self-isolate for the period instructed by NHS Test and Trace.

Users of the NHS contact tracing app are not covered by the new rules. They are anonymous and the Government cannot force them to self-isolate.

People on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result will be eligible for a new £500 ‘test and trace support payment’.

The legal obligation to self-isolate has exemptions, including for those who need to escape from illness or harm during their isolation.

1,400 cases at food factories

Virus infections linked to the nation’s food processing plants could be many times higher than admitted by industry bosses, it has been claimed.

Official records suggest there have been 47 infections and no deaths among the workforce.

However an investigation by Pirc, which advises shareholders on ethical investment, claims the number of infections is likely to be much higher and includes some deaths. It found that there have been at least 1,461 individual cases and six fatalities, with the true figures likely to be even higher.

The investigation found a loophole in the regulatory system potentially allows companies to determine whether employees became infected while at work or elsewhere in the community.

The findings were based on one-to-one interviews with workers, trade union surveys and media reports about food processing companies.

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Tories are urged to call time on ‘shambolic’ 10pm pub curfew as swarms of young people are seen dancing in the streets after kicking-out time

ByGlen Keogh For The Daily Mail 

As city centres were swamped with revellers over the weekend, the Government came under mounting pressure to review its ‘shambolic’ 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants last night.

Astonishing footage emerged of swarms of young people singing and dancing in the streets after kicking-out time.

Photographs captured across the country showed drinkers leaving pubs and bars at 10pm – and simply heading to off-licences or supermarkets to purchase more alcohol.

The weekend was the first with the new rule in effect.

MPs, business leaders and publicans condemned the measure as a ‘big mistake’ and ‘another random and arbitrary move’.

Photographs captured across the country showed drinkers leaving pubs and bars at 10pm – and simply heading to off-licences or supermarkets to purchase more alcohol. Pictured: Police speak to a group of young people on Harbourside, Bristol

Photographs captured across the country showed drinkers leaving pubs and bars at 10pm – and simply heading to off-licences or supermarkets to purchase more alcohol. Pictured: Police speak to a group of young people on Harbourside, Bristol

Officers have been attempting to disperse large crowds of people in London's West End after pubs were forced to move kicking-out time forward to 10pm

Officers have been attempting to disperse large crowds of people in London’s West End after pubs were forced to move kicking-out time forward to 10pm

Leading hospitality figures also hit out at the lack of consultation before the curfew came into force.

Speaking to the Mail, Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller’s, which operates 420 pubs, said: ‘You can see from the photographs the problem with dispersing customers at exactly the same time. This creates the wrong signal that the customer is better off socialising at home in people’s houses.

‘I think it was clearly a big mistake and the Government has to be sensible and review their decision.’

Tim Martin, founder of JD Wetherspoon, added: ‘The main problem with the 10pm curfew is that it’s another random and arbitrary move by the Government which lacks logic or scientific credibility.’

Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: ‘It’s very clear across the UK that this ill-thought-out 10pm curfew has pushed everyone out of venues with socially distanced measures into the streets, into off-licences, supermarkets, overcrowded public transport and house parties. Every operator predicted this. Shambolic.’

Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan will be put under coronavirus lockdown from tomorrow

Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan will be put under coronavirus lockdown from tomorrow

Senior Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood added that the curfew ‘makes no sense’.

The criticism came as Professor Graham Medley, a member of the Sage group advising the Prime Minister on the virus, yesterday revealed scientists had ‘never discussed’ the curfew.

Professor John Edmunds, another member of the committee, added that the 10pm shut-off was ‘fairly trivial’ and ‘will have a very small impact on the epidemic’.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden yesterday insisted that there was ‘definitely science’ behind the measure as he was grilled by the BBC’s Andrew Marr, who suggested the measure was actually making matters worse.

Critics of the curfew said many would simply retire to one household or wander around city centres in groups in breach of Covid-19 guidelines

Critics of the curfew said many would simply retire to one household or wander around city centres in groups in breach of Covid-19 guidelines

Mr Dowden said: ‘We are reducing the closing times in order to stop people staying later and drinking. The point about all of this is that everyone has their part to play.’

But critics of the curfew said many would simply retire to one household or wander around city centres in groups in breach of Covid-19 guidelines.

Shadow justice secretary David Lammy said he was ‘not clear’ where the science behind the move had come from, adding that it led to people ‘bubbling out of pubs… hanging around towns and they’re potentially spreading the virus’.

A Government spokesman yesterday said all measures were kept under ‘constant review’, adding: ‘These measures strike a balance between saving lives by protecting our NHS and the most vulnerable and minimising the wider impact on the economy and schools.

‘The latest data suggests a considerable rise in the infection rate from within the hospitality sector in recent weeks.’

Backlash over ‘pathetic’ Covid tracing app as pubs and restaurants turn away customers who don’t have it – despite faulty system blocking tens of thousands of users from logging their test results

ByMax Aitchison For The Mail On Sunday 

Pubs and restaurants are turning away customers who don’t have the Government’s ‘pathetic’ tracing app,’ – despite glaring errors that stopped thousands from logging their test results.

The beleaguered app’s latest fiasco came last night when it blocked up to 70,000 users from logging their test results.  

The app relies on Bluetooth to determine if someone has been within two metres of an infectious person for 15 minutes, but other Bluetooth devices can interfere with the signal, generating a ‘false positive’. 

To compound the problems, it has also transpired that the app doesn’t work on millions of older smartphones.

It also requires a code to register a completed test but it is only given if the test returns as positive. 

Those with a negative test are only able to register their result if they booked directly through the app.

Despite the issues, Matt Hancock hailed the app as a success as he revealed more than 10 million people downloaded it since its launch on Thursday.

It comes as a further 5,693 people tested positive for coronavirus in the UK today – marking a 46 per cent rise on last Sunday’s total, with 17 deaths.

Matt Hancock's new coronavirus tracing app was hit by another fiasco last night after it blocked tens of thousands of users from logging their test results

Matt Hancock’s new coronavirus tracing app was hit by another fiasco last night after it blocked tens of thousands of users from logging their test results

Pubs and restaurants have started displaying QR codes to support the app, but punters have complained after they were denied entry for not installing it

Pubs and restaurants have started displaying QR codes to support the app, but punters have complained after they were denied entry for not installing it 

The Health Secretary said on social media it was an ‘absolutely fantastic’ response so far, and urged more people to download it. 

Despite problems, pubs and restaurants are starting to bar customers from entering, unless they’ve downloaded the beleaguered app, with QR codes on display for punters to use.

Government advice tells businesses they ‘must’ display the ‘official NHS QR poster’ and apply for a code to be connected to the app. 

One punter wrote on Twitter today: ‘Last night I was denied a meal because I didn’t have a Gvt phone app!!!! 

‘You may think I’m being over dramatic but you must now get the point. What else are we soon going to be denied access to unless we have a government phone app. Please, please, please people wake up.’

Development of an earlier version of the app – which cost nearly £11million – stopped in June. 

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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that six million people had downloaded the app the first day it launched, and this had since risen to 10 million by midday on Sunday.

More than 1.5 million venue check-ins were recorded on Saturday while more than 460,000 businesses have downloaded and printed QR code posters that can be scanned by the app to check-in to premises, it added. 

Mr Hancock said: ‘The enthusiastic response of over 10m people downloading the app in just three days has been absolutely fantastic.

‘This is a strong start but we want even more people and businesses getting behind the app because the more of us who download it the more effective it will be.

‘If you haven’t downloaded it yet I recommend you join the growing numbers who have, to protect yourself and your loved ones.’

One user, Chloe James, wrote: ‘I’m in a pub and apparently they’ve been told they can’t serve anyone unless they have the track and trace app.’ 

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Brits have encountered problems using the tracing app, while others who refuse to install it say they have been denied entry into pubs and restaurants

Brits have encountered problems using the tracing app, while others who refuse to install it say they have been denied entry into pubs and restaurants

Hospitality expert Ollie Vaulkhard wrote today: ‘Perhaps you could also trust hospitality to work alongside the app, rather than the current disaster? No app details being taken by people on the street at 10:30pm.’ 

 Last night, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said of the latest glitch: ‘This beggars belief.’

Other Labour politicians have lent their voice to the criticism.

David Lammy told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show this morning: ‘By Christmas we would have had the coronavirus for nine months, that we couldn’t get a test, track and trace system in place by then has got to be described as pathetic.’

Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens added: ‘The whole point of these local lockdowns, they’re happening because our test and trace system is not effective… the Government needs to get a grip on test and trace and isolate.’ 

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Users, including NHS workers, have pointed out major flaws in the app that apparently drains battery and takes up space

Users, including NHS workers, have pointed out major flaws in the app that apparently drains battery and takes up space 

The government’s advice to pubs and restaurants reads: ‘By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you will help NHS Test and Trace to identify and notify people who may have been exposed to the virus.

‘You must register for an official NHS QR code and display the official NHS QR poster. 

‘The NHS COVID-19 app has a feature that allows users to quickly and easily ‘check in’ to your venue by scanning the code. 

‘The information stays on the user’s phone. In England, you do not have to ask people who choose to ‘check in’ using the official NHS QR code to provide their contact details. 

‘If there is an outbreak associated with a venue, a message will be sent to the relevant app users with the necessary public health advice.

‘This will help to avoid the reintroduction of lockdown measures and support the country to return to, and maintain, a more normal way of life.

‘In addition to maintaining and sharing records where requested and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you must also continue to follow other government guidance to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. This includes maintaining a safe working environment and following social distancing guidelines.’ 

The app has come under fire after it emerged that only ‘Pillar 2’ tests – those carried out by commercial testing centres – provide the relevant codes to allow users to enter their results.

Although people tested under ‘Pillar 1’ – the NHS and Public Health England – will still be contacted by NHS Test and Trace if they test positive, they could not log the result on the app and alert everyone they have been in close contact with.

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After a flood of complaints yesterday, the Department of Health and Social Care said it was ‘urgently’ trying to fix the problem. Hours later it promised that ‘everyone who receives a positive test result can log their result on the app’ by requesting a code from NHS Test and Trace.

The latest official Government figures show that a total of 409,975 people have been tested in England since the app was rolled out on Thursday morning, including 128,960 Pillar 1 and 281,015 Pillar 2 tests. 

The blunder means that the results of 31 per cent of the tests carried out on Thursday and Friday have not been logged.

The app relies on Bluetooth to determine if someone has been within two metres of an infectious person for 15 minutes, but other Bluetooth devices can interfere with the signal, generating a ‘false positive’

The app relies on Bluetooth to determine if someone has been within two metres of an infectious person for 15 minutes, but other Bluetooth devices can interfere with the signal, generating a ‘false positive’

Although the exact numbers are unclear, it potentially means that hundreds of positive cases uncovered since the app’s official launch have not yet been registered.

The shocking oversight came to light only after a Twitter user asked how he could log his test result if he did not have a code.

In response, the official Twitter page for the NHS Covid-19 app said: ‘If your test took place in a Public Health England lab or NHS hospital, or as part of national surveillance testing conducted by the Office for National Statistics, test results cannot currently be linked with the app whether they’re positive or negative.’

The reply was met with outrage online, with many users questioning why it was called an ‘NHS app’ when it did not recognise tests carried out by the NHS.

Last night, Mr Ashworth said: ‘This just beggars belief. How can this app be effective if someone is unable to link up their tests carried out by the NHS or tests carried out for surveillance? We all have an interest in this app working which is why we’ve promoted its uptake.

‘This weekend Ministers have thrown cash at promoting this app across local and national newspapers. They need to outline how they will quickly fix this flaw.’

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Technology expert Benedict Evans told The Sunday Times: ‘A contact tracing app is based on people with a positive test entering that into the app. But the English app that just launched is incompatible with tests done by the NHS.

He added: ‘We’re six months into this and the UK still doesn’t have a unified test result system.’ 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘We are urgently working to enable positive tests for people who aren’t already given a code to be added to the Covid-19 app.

‘NHS Test and Trace will continue to contact people by text, email or phone if your test is positive advising you to self-isolate and for those who don’t have a code, the contact tracers will shortly be able to provide codes to insert in the app.

‘If you book your test via the app, the results will be automatically recorded and the isolation countdown will be updated.’

The Welsh Government revealed it is an England-only issue. In a tweet yesterday after the Department of Health and Social Care statement, it said: ‘This issue doesn’t apply to Wales. We took the decision to link our all-Wales laboratory testing systems with the NHS Covid-19 app.’

Last week’s launch came after a fourth-month delay beset by technological problems.

A trial on the Isle of Wight had to be abandoned after the initial model failed to detect iPhones.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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You’re never too old! A quarter of middle-aged women say sex is still ‘highly important’ to them

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youre never too old a quarter of middle aged women say sex is still highly important to them

Hitting midlife can still turn up the heat among women – in ways many might not expect.

It’s not just the onset of hot flushes with the menopause – but the fire of passion burning brightly.

Thousands of women aged 45 to 60 were quizzed about their feelings on intimacy in the bedroom… or elsewhere for that matter. 

Hitting midlife can still turn up the heat among women ¿ in ways many might not expect. It¿s not just the onset of hot flushes with the menopause ¿ but the fire of passion burning brightly [File photo]

Hitting midlife can still turn up the heat among women – in ways many might not expect. It’s not just the onset of hot flushes with the menopause – but the fire of passion burning brightly [File photo]

And rather than feeling like the flames of desire had long since gone out, more than a quarter said sex was ‘highly important’ when they got to middle age.

Not only that, it continued to matter as they headed into their senior years. They were also more likely to have better sexual satisfaction with their partners.

Meanwhile nearly half of those in the study told how sex was important during midlife although the buzz faded after 60.

The reactions of the 3,200 women interviewed about how their interest in sex was affected throughout the menopause echoed those of Davina McCall this month. 

Flirty signs your date’s keen on you

Are you the kind of single chap who struggles to tell if your date likes your jokes – or can’t wait to head for the exit door?

Luckily for you, researchers think they’ve identified the look a woman gives when she’s interested in a man.

They cracked the ‘perfect flirting face’, used by women to demonstrate sexual interest. 

The facial cues include a head turned to one side and slightly tilted down, a smile and eyes turned towards the implied target, the study published in the Journal of Sex Research found.

And these expressions are most likely to activate associations with relationships and sex in male brains. Lead author Omri Gillath, of Kansas University, said: ‘Not only were we able to identify the expressions that represent flirting, but we were also able to reveal their function.’

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The TV presenter, 52, rejected the notion that women’s sex lives are ended by the change, insisting she still wants to be ‘naughty’ and women can still enjoy intimacy as they age.

She added: ‘People say, ‘Oh, it’s all gone… menopause… you’re finished’. It’s really important to say that people in their 50s are having the time of their lives.’ 

Scientists say studies like this are important in understanding the needs of women as they age.

Lead author Dr Holly Thomas said: ‘In contrast to prior literature reporting that the importance of sex decreases as women move through midlife, we found that, for a quarter of women, sex remains highly important.’

And rather than feeling like the flames of desire had long since gone out, more than a quarter said sex was ¿highly important¿ when they got to middle age. Not only that, it continued to matter as they headed into their senior years [File photo]

And rather than feeling like the flames of desire had long since gone out, more than a quarter said sex was ‘highly important’ when they got to middle age. Not only that, it continued to matter as they headed into their senior years [File photo]

From an ethnic perspective, black women were more likely to rate sex as important for the duration of midlife.

However, Chinese and Japanese women said more often that it did not matter or that intimacy became less important.

Other variables included women with symptoms of depression, who were more likely to rate sex as mattering less to them.

The results from the University of Pittsburgh study will be presented today during the virtual annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society.

Medical director Dr Stephanie Faubion said waning sexual desire was often dismissed as a natural part of ageing.

But she added: ‘Often there are other treatable reasons, such as depression.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Can you guess the names of iconic TV shows from these minimalist versions of set designs?

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can you guess the names of iconic tv shows from these minimalist versions of set designs

Some TV shows become such a major part of popular culture that actors who star in them are forever known by their characters’ names. 

However, the design of sets also sticks in people’s minds, to the extent that just one image is enough to trigger instant recognition. 

A new quiz developed by HouseholdQuotes puts your telly show knowledge to the test by showing a minimalist take on the sets of some of the world’s most iconic shows.

Among those featured are long-running TV classics as well as more recent global successes. With the help of some handy clues, put your knowledge to the test and then check out the answers below… 

1. Things Are Pretty Strange Around Here 

This one should be pretty easy - especially if you consider the dated style of the furniture

This one should be pretty easy – especially if you consider the dated style of the furniture

2. The One with the New Yorkers 

The signature colour scheme says a lot here, as does the picture frame on the door and the open cupboards

The signature colour scheme says a lot here, as does the picture frame on the door and the open cupboards

3. It’s the Accepted Creation Theory 

Do you get the feeling here that geeks might be somewhere nearby? Batman and Superman are standing in front a nice and clean whiteboard

Do you get the feeling here that geeks might be somewhere nearby? Batman and Superman are standing in front a nice and clean whiteboard

4. Gritty Melodrama, Four Times a Week 

This is almost too easy. Let's just say it has been running since the 1980s and features a very famous pub

This is almost too easy. Let’s just say it has been running since the 1980s and features a very famous pub

5. This Show is a Ball 

This is slightly trickier but it might help if we tell you that a third season is in the pipeline - and it's a very glamorous show...

This is slightly trickier but it might help if we tell you that a third season is in the pipeline – and it’s a very glamorous show…

6. A Show About Very Little 

This show's title character ended up as an unlikely style icon, even though the final episode aired more than 30 years ago

This show’s title character ended up as an unlikely style icon, even though the final episode aired more than 30 years ago

7. Beaming into Your Living Room… 

This set has become a major part of TV fandom, especially for dedicated fans of the show in question

This set has become a major part of TV fandom, especially for dedicated fans of the show in question

8. Vampires Beware 

There's a fair amount going on in this set mock-up, but it shouldn't be too tricky to guess the show

There’s a fair amount going on in this set mock-up, but it shouldn’t be too tricky to guess the show

9. Sitcom. Or Documentary. Meh. 

A version of this show was first made in the UK before it was taken to the US and became even more popular

A version of this show was first made in the UK before it was taken to the US and became even more popular

10. America’s First Family 

This show has been running for so long that many people forget that new episodes are still being made

This show has been running for so long that many people forget that new episodes are still being made

11. It’s the New Upstairs Downstairs 

This creation gripped millions of viewers across the world and turned some stars into household names

This creation gripped millions of viewers across the world and turned some stars into household names

12. Everyone’s Favourite Mum & Daughter Show 

This show first ran in the early 2000s and centred on the relationship between a mother and daughter

This show first ran in the early 2000s and centred on the relationship between a mother and daughter

13. These Girls are Golden 

This show pre-dates another iconic classic but it doesn't mean that people of all generations can't have a good guess

This show pre-dates another iconic classic but it doesn’t mean that people of all generations can’t have a good guess

14. What’s the Weather Like in Philly? 

The familiar shade of slime green in this poster should be a hint for fans of this show, although you can take a guess if you're still not sure

The familiar shade of slime green in this poster should be a hint for fans of this show, although you can take a guess if you’re still not sure

15. A Very Dangerous Game 

Fans of this show were just a little disappointed with the final series' finale but it has still gained global recognition

Fans of this show were just a little disappointed with the final series’ finale but it has still gained global recognition

ANSWERS 

 

1. Stranger Things

2. Friends

3. The Big Bang Theory

4. EastEnders

5. Pose

6. Seinfeld

7. Star Trek

8. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

9. The Office

10. The Simpsons

 

 

11. Downton Abbey

12. Gilmore Girls

13. Golden Girls

14. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 

15. Game Of Thrones

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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