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Boris Johnson will announce a national coronavirus lockdown NEXT WEEK to save Christmas

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boris johnson will announce a national coronavirus lockdown next week to save christmas

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a national lockdown next week after his scientific advisers told him it was the only way to save Christmas.

Scientists from the Sage committee yesterday presented No 10 with bleak figures showing that Covid is spreading ‘significantly’ faster than even their original ‘worst-case scenario’ prediction.

Last night a Cabinet source told the Mail that the dramatic move will be announced next week. It was not clear exactly what form the new lockdown would take, or what would be ordered to close or how long it would last.

The Government now faces a critical weekend to determine the shape of the measures before an announcement.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are said to have agonised over the decision because of fears it would leave the economy in tatters. 

But the scientists – backed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and senior minister Michael Gove – told them the virus was on track to kill 85,000 this winter, and that it was too late for a so-called ‘circuit break’.

They called for a longer national lockdown – similar to the month-long shutdown in France – saying it was the only way to stop hospitals from running out of beds.

In a clear signal of the deep Government split on the issue, a Cabinet source said those opposed to a lockdown were ‘not prepared to surrender’. 

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a national lockdown next week after his scientific advisers told him it was the only way to save Christmas

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a national lockdown next week after his scientific advisers told him it was the only way to save Christmas

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The Mail has been told that Mr Johnson’s No 10 team is also split, with an influential adviser understood to have warned him this week that a national lockdown was ‘inevitable’ – and delaying it could backfire on him. It came as:

  • Mr Johnson is to meet the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to thrash out a ‘common approach to Christmas’;

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds praise ‘utterly brilliant’ NHS staff for saving his life and the maternity team that delivered son Wilfred 

Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for delivering their son Wilfred and for saving the Prime Minister’s life as he fought coronavirus.

In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their ‘courage and dedication’ during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday.

The couple nominated nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma, two nurses who cared for Mr Johnson at St Thomas’ Hospital in April, and the maternity team who delivered Wilfred later the same month.  

 

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  • The number of virus patients in hospital has doubled in the past fortnight, with 10,708 patients being treated by the NHS.
  • The ONS said 50,000 people were becoming infected with coronavirus each day, with a further 274 fatalities reported yesterday;
  • A poll by anti-lockdown group Recovery found that more than 70 per cent of people were more worried about the effect of lockdown than they were of catching Covid.

Details of the lockdown row emerged after the Mail disclosed how the Prime Minister has been warned by scientists – led by Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance – that all hospitals in England will be full by December 17 unless he took more action.

Andy Street, the Conservative West Midlands mayor, said it was clear more action was needed. He added: ‘Whether it be a national four-week lockdown, I do not know, but what I do know is that the message is very clear: we have to take further action to turn this tide.’

Professor Dominic Harrison, director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen council, called for a circuit-breaker because Tier Three households were ‘not complying completely’ with the guidance.

But Jon Dobinson, of Recovery, said: ‘The concept of a four-week lockdown to save Christmas is yet more cruel and inhumane policy which will further fuel the growing mental health crisis – all justified by holding out a false hope.

‘People are dying in their thousands from lockdown and restrictions: it’s time to focus on that.’

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Government was ‘striving to avoid’ a national lockdown. 

He added: ‘We’re always ready for further measures that we can take. But I think the most important thing about further measures is that we continue on the track we’re on of targeting the virus.’

There were also reports of more Tory infighting, with claims by older MPs that the lockdown revolt by Conservative MPs in northern ‘Red Wall’ seats was led by ‘selfish young MPs who have nothing to fear personally’ from Covid because of their age.

In their first joint television appearance on Sunday, Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for saving the Prime Minister's life as he fought coronavirus and for delivering their son

In their first joint television appearance on Sunday, Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for saving the Prime Minister’s life as he fought coronavirus and for delivering their son

Percentage change in coronavirus cases across England in the week to October 25: The five local authorities where the infection rate grew the most are: Kingston upon Hull City, 92.81 per cent; Derby, 91.84 per cent; North Somerset, 82.99 per cent; Medway, 77.17 per cent; and Bath and North East Somerset 69.72 per cent

 Percentage change in coronavirus cases across England in the week to October 25: The five local authorities where the infection rate grew the most are: Kingston upon Hull City, 92.81 per cent; Derby, 91.84 per cent; North Somerset, 82.99 per cent; Medway, 77.17 per cent; and Bath and North East Somerset 69.72 per cent

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Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official data

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official data

Almost 20 NHS trusts in England are already treating more coronavirus patients than at the peak of the first wave, according to official statistics that come amid warnings hospitals across the country could run out of beds before Christmas

Almost 20 NHS trusts in England are already treating more coronavirus patients than at the peak of the first wave, according to official statistics that come amid warnings hospitals across the country could run out of beds before Christmas 

SAGE's presentation of the estimates of the median R rate in the four nations of the UK. The bars represent different independent estimates, the grey shaded areas represent the combined numerical range and the black bars are the combined range rounding to one decimal place

SAGE’s presentation of the estimates of the median R rate in the four nations of the UK. The bars represent different independent estimates, the grey shaded areas represent the combined numerical range and the black bars are the combined range rounding to one decimal place

SAGE's presentation of the median R rate in different NHS regions of England. The bars represent different independent estimates, the grey shaded areas represent the combined numerical range and the black bars are the combined range rounding to one decimal place

SAGE’s presentation of the median R rate in different NHS regions of England. The bars represent different independent estimates, the grey shaded areas represent the combined numerical range and the black bars are the combined range rounding to one decimal place

SAGE's presentation of the growth rate of Covid-19 in the NHS England regions. The bars represent different independent estimates, the grey shaded areas represent the combined numerical range and the black bars are the combined range rounding to one decimal place

SAGE’s presentation of the growth rate of Covid-19 in the NHS England regions. The bars represent different independent estimates, the grey shaded areas represent the combined numerical range and the black bars are the combined range rounding to one decimal place

SAGE's presentation of the median R rate in the UK, with bars representing different independent estimates

SAGE’s presentation of the median R rate in the UK, with bars representing different independent estimates

One Conservative elder statesman said: ‘Many of our MPs who won Red Wall seats last year and are making the most fuss about lockdowns are young and are not at risk personally. 

‘They should think about their constituents in their 60s and over who are at much greater risk.’

The senior Tory, who is over 60, singled out four MPs who have been most outspoken – William Wragg, who represents Hazel Grove, Manchester, aged 32; Jake Berry, Rossendale and Darwen, 41; Chris Green, Bolton West, 47; and Dehenna Davison, Bishop Auckland, 27. 

Act now to save Christmas, urge Government scientists as they warn Britain will exceed the worst-case scenario unless country goes into lockdown

By Elanor Hayward, Xantha Leatham and Victoria Allen for the Daily Mail 

The national lockdown announcement is expected after government scientists said it was needed to save Christmas.

The experts believe soaring cases mean the UK could face 1,000 deaths a day within a month. Yesterday a further 274 fatalities were reported, compared with 136 a fortnight ago.

There is a lag of around three weeks between infections and deaths. The scientists told ministers that without further restrictions, the death toll will keep rising exponentially, and hospitals will be overwhelmed.

The number of virus patients in hospital has doubled in the past fortnight, with 10,708 currently being treated by the NHS. 

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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

If this trajectory of doubling every fortnight continues, there will be more than 20,000 patients in hospital by mid-November, higher than at the peak of the first wave.

The number of coronavirus infections is currently four times higher than was anticipated under the Government’s ‘worst-case scenario’ plan, which estimated that daily infections would be around 12,000 throughout October.

It leaves the country on track to exceed the previous worst-case scenario of 85,000 Covid-19 deaths this winter.

The new national lockdown comes after the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) called for urgent national action including the closure of all bars and restaurants and other venues where households mix indoors.

They believe ministers have left it ‘too late’ for a two-week ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown – which they had called for in September – to work.

Instead, they demanded a longer national lockdown, similar to the month-long shutdown imposed yesterday in France. 

They argued that this is the best option to bring the R rate below 1 and prevent hospital capacity being overwhelmed.

Data for the week between October 12 and October 15 suggests the rate of infection has increased significantly in some parts of the country

Data for the week between October 12 and October 15 suggests the rate of infection has increased significantly in some parts of the country

If new measures were introduced quickly, restrictions could potentially be lifted in time for Christmas, allowing people to reunite with their loved ones over the festive season.

A senior official said: ‘Time is marching on, we are two months to Christmas… the more the numbers increase, the more difficult it is to turn it around.’ 

On Tuesday, it emerged that ministers had been told to prepare for 85,000 deaths this winter, with 500 deaths a day for at least three months and more than 300,000 hospitalised.

But Government scientists said yesterday that this ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ has already been breached.

The planning document had estimated there would be 100 deaths a day by the end of October, but Britain has already recorded three times that amount on some days this week. 

In a newly released document from a Sage meeting on October 7, scientists said: ‘In England, we are breaching the number of infections and hospital admissions in the reasonable worst-case planning scenario…

‘The number of deaths is also highly likely to exceed reasonable worst-case levels within the next two weeks.

‘Were the number of infections to fall in the very near future, this exceedance of the reasonable worst-case scenario could be modest and short-lived, but if R remains above 1 then the epidemic will further diverge from the planning scenario.’

Another newly revealed Sage statement, from October 14, said: ‘The number of daily deaths is now in line with the levels in the reasonable worst case and is almost certain to exceed this within the next two weeks.’

The documents also show that for weeks, scientists have been calling for the closure of bars and restaurants to ‘anything but takeaway service’.

A document from October 7 – produced by SPI-M-O, a sub-group that reports to Sage – said there was ‘clear evidence’ for shutting them to slow the growth of the epidemic.

So what’s the TRUTH about Britain’s second wave? R rate drops again and symptom-tracking app says outbreak is ‘stable’ – but Imperial warns of 96,000 cases a day and even ONS claims infections are ‘rising steeply’ 

There is no doubt that coronavirus infections are still surging in the UK but mathematicians and scientists don’t agree on how bad the second wave really is. 

A raft of statistics have been published in the past 48 hours with conflicting estimates of the number of people getting infected with the virus ranging from 35,000 to 96,000 per day, and some casting doubt over doom-laden warnings of a repeat of March’s catastrophe.

Statistics published this week have produced a wide range of possible daily infections in England, from as few as 34,000, according to an estimate by King's College London to as many as 96,000, according to the Government-run REACT study

Statistics published this week have produced a wide range of possible daily infections in England, from as few as 34,000, according to an estimate by King’s College London to as many as 96,000, according to the Government-run REACT study

One of the Office for National Statistics’ top Covid-19 analysts today said cases in England are ‘rising steeply’, while an epidemiologist behind another project said people could be ‘reassured’ that the virus isn’t out of control. 

Of studies estimating the numbers of new infections each day in England, the ONS put the figure at 51,900; King’s College’s Covid Symptom Study said 34,628; a Cambridge University ‘Nowcast’ said 55,600; and the Government-funded REACT study by Imperial College London put it at 96,000. The Department of Health’s official testing programme is picking up 22,125 infections each day, but is known to miss large numbers without symptoms.

All the calculations have increased since their previous estimates and are in agreement that the outbreak is getting worse, but the speed at which this is happening is unclear. 

Meanwhile, SAGE today published its weekly estimate of the R rate and said the speed of spread has dropped. The Government’s scientific advisers put the ranges for the UK and England at 1.1 to 1.3, down from 1.2 to 1.4 last week. They said, however: ‘SAGE is almost certain that the epidemic continues to grow rapidly across the country.’

Numbers of people being admitted to hospital and dying of coronavirus continue to rise rapidly, with an average of 230 deaths per day now being announced and 10,308 people in hospital with Covid-19, increasing by more than 1,000 per day. 

These will keep increasing for the coming weeks and months even if cases start to slow down or even fall, officials say, because hospitalisations and deaths are ‘baked in’ by infections that happen two to three weeks earlier.

One statistician not involved with any of the predictions – Professor James Naismith, from the University of Oxford – said there were ‘uncertainties’ in all of them, meaning no one number was correct. He added: ‘We can be almost certain that we will see an increase in the number of deaths per day from Covid-19 over the next few weeks.’

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Man, 31, is arrested after hospital worker mother, 62, was beaten to death 

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man 31 is arrested after hospital worker mother 62 was beaten to death

A 31-year-old man has been arrested after a hospital worker mother was beaten to death at her west London home. 

Police were called to the home of Harsha Patel, 62, in Greenford at 5pm yesterday where she was found with head injuries. 

She died 20 minutes later.   

Residents say Mrs Patel lived with her husband and their son, who had a mental illness, while their older son lived in nearby Ruislip. 

The son would often be heard talking to himself around the house and was described as a clever child before ‘something flipped.’

A 31-year-old man has been arrested after a hospital worker mother was beaten to death at their west London home. Pictured: Police at the scene

A 31-year-old man has been arrested after a hospital worker mother was beaten to death at their west London home. Pictured: Police at the scene

A 31-year-old man has been arrested after a hospital worker mother was beaten to death at their west London home. Pictured: Police at the scene

Police (pictured at the scene today) were called to the home of Harsha Patel, 62, in Greenford at 5pm yesterday where she was found with head injuries

Police (pictured at the scene today) were called to the home of Harsha Patel, 62, in Greenford at 5pm yesterday where she was found with head injuries

Police (pictured at the scene today) were called to the home of Harsha Patel, 62, in Greenford at 5pm yesterday where she was found with head injuries

Two years ago he was seen fleeing their terraced house when it caught fire while he was home alone. 

A police helicopter was seen circling the house in search of the killer yesterday. Around 10 police cars and an ambulance were also deployed to the scene. 

They arrested a 31-year-old man who is still in police custody. 

Police officers and a forensic team were still at the scene on Thursday afternoon, and the road was closed off to non-residents.

A murder investigation has been launched led by Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.

Residents say Mrs Patel lived with her husband and their son, who had a mental illness, while their older son lived in nearby Ruislip. Pictured: Forensic officers at the scene

Residents say Mrs Patel lived with her husband and their son, who had a mental illness, while their older son lived in nearby Ruislip. Pictured: Forensic officers at the scene

Residents say Mrs Patel lived with her husband and their son, who had a mental illness, while their older son lived in nearby Ruislip. Pictured: Forensic officers at the scene

DCI Harding said: ‘At this early stage we retain an open mind around the circumstances surrounding this incident.

‘However, we can confirm that the victim and the man arrested were known to each other, and we are not actively seeking any other suspects at this time.’ 

Akbar Khan, a civil engineer, said his wife was friends with Ms Patel who he said cared for her son.

He said: ‘She was a lovely lady, it’s very sad. She was a gentle person, a placid person.

‘My wife knew them well. Her son had some mental issues.

The son would often be heard talking to himself around the house and was described as a clever child before 'something flipped. Pictured: A policeman at the scene

The son would often be heard talking to himself around the house and was described as a clever child before 'something flipped. Pictured: A policeman at the scene

The son would often be heard talking to himself around the house and was described as a clever child before ‘something flipped. Pictured: A policeman at the scene

‘Recently you could hear him indoors. He used to talk very loud as if he was talking to someone in a very high pitches voice.

‘Whether he was talking to someone or to himself, I don’t know.

‘He was clever when he was young and I think he went to private school.

‘But I think something just flipped.

‘My wife felt so sad every time she saw him because I think he was a bright student. It’s a shame how it’s all happened.

‘Two years ago, the parents were away and he was at home alone. It was mid morning and the house caught fire.

‘He legged it like he did yesterday and the neighbours rang the police.

‘Yesterday, I left the house at about 5.05pm and my wife said as soon as I left, it all went crazy.

‘It’s quite shocking. The parents were really nice people, they were really nice people.

‘She worked in a hospital and her husband told her to retire early because of Covid.

A police helicopter was seen circling the house in search of the killer yesterday. Pictured: Police on the scene

A police helicopter was seen circling the house in search of the killer yesterday. Pictured: Police on the scene

A police helicopter was seen circling the house in search of the killer yesterday. Pictured: Police on the scene

‘I think it was an NHS hospital but I’m not sure what exactly she did.’

Commenting on social media, other neighbours shared thoughts for Ms Patel’s husband.

One person said: ‘I hope that her husband has people to support him.

‘He is dealing with the loss of his wife and essentially the loss of his son too.

‘This is when he will need neighbourly support even if it’s just a meal or a card dropped in.’

Another person added: ‘So sad thoughts to the family and I hope he gets some help as he does suffer from mental illness.

‘I really don’t think he would of done this on purpose. I know the son is ill I see him most days out walking and he keeps himself to himself never troubles anyone.

Around 10 police cars and an ambulance were also deployed to the scene

Around 10 police cars and an ambulance were also deployed to the scene

Around 10 police cars and an ambulance were also deployed to the scene

‘It’s very sad and I feel for the husband. They are great neighbours and this will be hard for the whole family.

‘So let’s be there for our fellow neighbours and try and help them out as best we can at this sad time.’

Warnings circulated last night as police scoured the streets for the killer with riot vans, flood lights and a helicopter.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, added: ‘There were flood lights, riot vans and offices searching the streets and the allotments.

‘They were a very nice family. It’s terribly sad.’

Aqib Minhas, 28, said: ‘There was a bit of a frenzy last night, police were telling everyone to stay indoors and stay away from the scene.

‘It was crazy and especially scary because it’s right on our doorstep – at the time everyone thought the guy did a runner and was on the loose.

‘People I’ve spoken to have said there was a bit of shouting from inside the house beforehand.

‘The neighbourhood is a bit shook up by it all.’

The woman’s next of kin are aware and a post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Tier 1 Cornwall residents call on rest of country to stay away in case they bring Covid with them

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tier 1 cornwall residents call on rest of country to stay away in case they bring covid with them

Cornwall residents today pleaded with people living in the rest of the country to stay away after the county was the only part of the mainland UK to be put in the loosest band of coronavirus restrictions. 

People in the region, along with those in the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight, will be living under Tier 1 measures – which allow socialising inside homes and pubs subject to the Rule of Six – after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2.

But nearly 99 per cent of England will be in the toughest two levels next week, according to the breakdown released today.

Tier 3 will be brought in for huge swathes of the country including the bulk of the North, much of the Midlands, all of Kent, and Bristol – putting a wrecking ball through pubs, restaurants and clubs now forced to close except for takeaway. 

Soon after the announcement, worried Cornish residents took to Twitter and local media to warn people from other parts of the country to stay away. 

One wrote that it was ‘beyond stupid’ because ‘people from high rate areas will descend’ on the region, prompting another to reply, ‘God help Cornwall’.   

Cornwall residents today pleaded with people living in the rest of the country to stay away after the county was the only part of the mainland UK to be put in the loosest band of coronavirus restrictions

Cornwall residents today pleaded with people living in the rest of the country to stay away after the county was the only part of the mainland UK to be put in the loosest band of coronavirus restrictions

Cornwall residents today pleaded with people living in the rest of the country to stay away after the county was the only part of the mainland UK to be put in the loosest band of coronavirus restrictions

Another concerned woman wrote, ‘with Cornwall being one of three places on the lowest tier, please don’t think it’s ok to come here if you’re in the highest tiers because it’s really not.’ 

A third asked other Britons, ‘don’t all come to Cornwall now please just let us have our moment.’ 

A fourth Twitter user claimed putting Cornwall into Tier 1 was ‘asking for trouble’ and there would be ‘tourists inbound’.

Another resident demanded, ‘everyone stay away from Cornwall please, we’re ok on our own down here! 

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And in comments on articles by local news outlets, residents were similarly unhappy about a potential influx of Britons from elsewhere.  

One said that while people in the region should feel ‘very fortunate’ to be in Tier 1, they hoped people from other tiers ‘treat that with the respect it deserves.’ 

They added: ‘Other than masks, the rule of six, self-isolation, etc we’re pretty much back to a normal life or as much as a normal life can be.

‘We as individuals now control our destiny in terms of can we keep ourselves in Tier 1 or will peoples actions result in moving up a Tier.’ 

Isle of Wight pub owner delighted with Tier 1 news 

Victoria Calder, who runs the Anchor and the Pier View in Cowes, and the Lifeboat in East Cowes, told MailOnline: ‘It’s excellent news and we’re very pleased indeed. 

‘There’s quite a lot of regulars who come in the day and just like to have a drink and would have been disappointed if they couldn’t do that.

#Also in Tier 2 you can’t mix households, which is not good with Christmas party season coming up, but since the announcement this morning we’ve had the phone ringing constantly.’

Asked if she thought it was right for the Island to be in Tier 1, she said: ‘Definitely. Because we are way lower than the rest of the country and I think most people are being very careful.’

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Another resident added: ‘Cornwall is the only mainland place in the country that is in tier 1. 

‘Wonder how long that will last if the tier above are allowed to travel in and stay? 

‘I am sure if people do visit, they will all observe the guidance and follow the rules of their own tier!’

West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly MP Derek Thomas welcomed the news.

He wrote on Facebook: ‘Cornwall in Tier 1

‘As I predicted Cornwall has just been announced as being in Tier 1 of covid restrictions.

‘Thank you to everyone for doing your bit!  

‘Thank you to everyone for doing your bit! This is the best possible outcome both for our businesses and families.

‘Please let’s work to keep it this way!’  

Despite his positive tone, things are looking bleaker for the rest of the country.    

Although London and Liverpool were spared the harshest Tier 3 in small glimmers of light, just 700,000 people – one per cent of the population – will be subject to the loosest grade of restrictions. 

Most of England will be banned from mixing indoors with other households, apart from five days over Christmas. Pubs in Tier 2 will only be able to serve alcohol with ‘substantial’ meals. 

Tory rebel ringleader Steve Baker warned that the government must explain how it is balancing the economic harm with public health.

‘The authoritarianism at work today is truly appalling. But is it necessary and proportionate to the threat from this disease?’ he tweeted.

‘On the economy and on coronavirus, I fear we are now so far down the rabbit hole that we have forgotten we even entered it.’ 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock formally unveiled the breakdown of areas in the Commons after days of wrangling, saying the country has to stay ‘vigilant’. 

He also defended the criteria being used amid complaints that they are too vague and amount to ‘finger in the air’.

And he immediately signalled a retreat on the fortnightly reviews, suggesting that in fact the tiers could be rethought weekly. 

Amid shambolic scenes the government had set an online postcode checker live before the statement.

As residents, journalists and MPs scrambled to gather the news on what decisions had been taken, the website then promptly crashed under the weight of traffic.

Tier 3 means that millions of people face a ban on households mixing indoors and outdoors, and pubs will be only be able to provide takeaway service or must close altogether. 

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And in comments on articles by local news outlets, residents were similarly unhappy about a potential influx of Britons from elsewhere

And in comments on articles by local news outlets, residents were similarly unhappy about a potential influx of Britons from elsewhere

And in comments on articles by local news outlets, residents were similarly unhappy about a potential influx of Britons from elsewhere

The revised Tier 2 restrictions shut pubs unless they serve meals and order people not to meet other households indoors. 

Some 23million people will be in that category from next Wednesday, and 32million are in Tier 2.

London was spared after data showed coronavirus falling quickly in more than two-thirds of boroughs – and seemingly stalling in the rest. 

Liverpool has also run a successful campaign to control its outbreak after mass testing in the city. 

Mr Hancock pointed out that his own Suffolk constituency was going into Tier 2 despite having some of the lowest infection rates.

In a nod to anger on the Tory benches, he said he knew that many other places would prefer to be in the lowest bracket.

West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly MP Derek Thomas welcomed the news

West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly MP Derek Thomas welcomed the news

West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly MP Derek Thomas welcomed the news

The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said

The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said

The onerous tiered system will be in place across England from December 3 until the end of March, the Prime Minister said

And he rejected criticism that there are no specific thresholds for putting areas into the levels. 

Mr Hancock told MPs: ‘The indicators have been designed to give the government a picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken. 

‘These key indicators need to be viewed in the context of how they interact with each other as well as the wider context but provide an important framework for decision making – assessing the underlying prevalence in addition to how the spread of the disease is changing in areas. 

‘Given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid thresholds for these indicators.’ 

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth demanded that the government publishes a ‘scorecard’ showing exactly how each area measured against its criteria for deciding Tiers. 

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In the Commons, Conservative MP Greg Smith said he was ‘incredibly disappointed’ his Buckingham constituency was placed in Tier 2.

He said: ‘It’s incredibly disappointing news that Buckinghamshire having entered the national lockdown in Tier 1 will emerge from the national lockdown into the more punitive restrictions of Tier 2.

‘A decision that will be hard to understand in the rural communities of north Buckinghamshire that have relatively low infection rates and a decision that will be hard to understand given that there has been zero consultation between central government and Buckinghamshire Council and our local NHS.’

Tory MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy urged the Government to review the situation every week, rather than once a fortnight.

Mr Hancock appeared to concede that should happen.

‘We will review these in a fortnight, and then regularly, by which he can reasonably take weekly,’ he said.

‘And we will have a weekly cycle of meetings with the CMO chairing a meeting typically on a Tuesday, I then chair the meeting on a Wednesday for an announcement on Thursday for any change to the tiers.’ 

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham criticised the lack of business support available to Tier 3 areas, and said he wanted the region moved down before Christmas if it continued to make progress.

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He said: ‘Greater Manchester’s infection rate is reducing faster than any other part of the country but we have to accept that it is still significantly higher than the England average.

‘That said, if the current rate of improvement continues, we will be asking the Government to move our city-region into Tier 2 in two weeks’ time.

‘What we believe is completely wrong is the Government’s decision to provide no additional business support to areas in Tier 3 than those in Tiers 1 and 2.

‘The new Tier 3 will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses forced to close, there is no extra support for business which supply them like security, catering and cleaning.

‘This will cause real hardship for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses.’

Conservative mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street tweeted: ‘Tier 3 for the WM is very disappointing, but we must now focus on getting out ASAP.

‘The trajectory is good, and our stay should be short-lived if people stick to the rules.

‘However more support is needed whilst in T3, particularly for the hospitality and live events sectors.’

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis warned that ‘lockdown must not become limbo’.

Mr Jarvis, who is also Labour MP for Barnsley Central, said: ‘I welcome Government plans to review our tier arrangements every two weeks, because every extra day we are under restrictions could be the difference between a business surviving the pandemic or going under.

‘It is now essential we get a roadmap to get us out of Tier 3 as a matter of urgency.’

He said: ‘We need absolute clarity and consistency from the government about the criteria for areas moving between the Tiers. We need a test and trace system that is fit for purpose and we need clear communications

‘There is light at the end of the tunnel. In South Yorkshire the rate of new infections, and more importantly the number of older people in hospital with the virus, is moving in the right direction.

‘We’ve been under tighter restrictions in South Yorkshire since October 24, and they are slowly suffocating businesses, particularly in the hospitality and events sectors. They are now being hit again just as they enter their busiest time of year.’

Mr Jarvis added: ‘It’s deeply concerning that the government yet again excluded mayors and local leaders from the decision-making process around the new Tiering arrangements.’

Earlier, Chancellor Rishi Sunak insisted people will ‘see a difference’ when England’s national lockdown ends next week. He told Sky News today: ‘Whichever tier you’re in I think people will see a tangible change.

‘That said, things are obviously not normal and I can’t pretend that next week things are going to feel like they were before the spring.’  

New coronavirus tiers: which one is your home in? 

TIER THREE: VERY HIGH

North East

Tees Valley Combined Authority:

Hartlepool

Middlesbrough

Stockton-on-Tees

Redcar and Cleveland

Darlington

North East Combined Authority:

Sunderland

South Tyneside

Gateshead

Newcastle upon Tyne

North Tyneside

County Durham

Northumberland

North West

Greater Manchester

Lancashire

Blackpool

Blackburn with Darwen

Yorkshire and The Humber

The Humber

West Yorkshire

South Yorkshire

West Midlands

Birmingham and Black Country

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

East Midlands

Derby and Derbyshire

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

Leicester and Leicestershire

Lincolnshire

South East

Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

Kent and Medway

South West

Bristol

South Gloucestershire

North Somerset

TIER 2: HIGH

North West

Cumbria

Liverpool City Region

Warrington and Cheshire

Yorkshire

York

North Yorkshire

West Midlands

Worcestershire

Herefordshire

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin

East Midlands

Rutland

Northamptonshire

East of England

Suffolk

Hertfordshire

Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough

Norfolk

Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea

Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes

London

All 32 boroughs plus the City of London

South East

East Sussex

West Sussex

Brighton and Hove

Surrey

Reading

Wokingham

Bracknell Forest

Windsor and Maidenhead

West Berkshire

Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton

Buckinghamshire

Oxfordshire

South West

South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor

Bath and North East Somerset

Dorset

Bournemouth

Christchurch

Poole

Gloucestershire

Wiltshire and Swindon

Devon

TIER 1: MEDIUM 

South East

Isle of Wight

South West

Cornwall

Isles of Scilly

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Harley Street dentist says he ‘didn’t plan to have sex with patient at Savoy hotel’

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harley street dentist says he didnt plan to have sex with patient at savoy hotel

A Harley Street dentist to the stars who slept with a patient after wining and dining her at the Savoy said he only had a condom with him to carry water in an emergency.

Dr Sahil Patel, 28, said he had the contraceptive in his bag ‘for several years’ after attending a survival course.

The dentist twice met up with the woman at a pub in north London after providing her with his mobile phone number.

He then took the patient out to dinner at the Savoy on November 1 last year after completing her veneer treatment.

They carried on drinking until after midnight, when the dentist said he could not get home ‘as there are no underground trains,’ the General Dental Council heard.

Dr Sahil Patel (pictured), a Harley Street dentist to the stars who slept with a patient after wining and dining her at the Savoy, said he only had a condom with him to carry water in an emergency. Dr Patel, 28, said he had the contraceptive in his bag 'for several years' after attending a survival course, the General Dental Council heard today

Dr Sahil Patel (pictured), a Harley Street dentist to the stars who slept with a patient after wining and dining her at the Savoy, said he only had a condom with him to carry water in an emergency. Dr Patel, 28, said he had the contraceptive in his bag 'for several years' after attending a survival course, the General Dental Council heard today

Dr Sahil Patel (pictured), a Harley Street dentist to the stars who slept with a patient after wining and dining her at the Savoy, said he only had a condom with him to carry water in an emergency. Dr Patel, 28, said he had the contraceptive in his bag ‘for several years’ after attending a survival course, the General Dental Council heard today

The dentist twice met up with the woman at a pub in north London after providing her with his mobile number. He then took the patient out to dinner at the Savoy on November 1 last year after completing her veneer treatment. They carried on drinking until after midnight, when Dr Patel said he could not get home 'as there are no underground trains,' the tribunal heard

The dentist twice met up with the woman at a pub in north London after providing her with his mobile number. He then took the patient out to dinner at the Savoy on November 1 last year after completing her veneer treatment. They carried on drinking until after midnight, when Dr Patel said he could not get home 'as there are no underground trains,' the tribunal heard

The dentist twice met up with the woman at a pub in north London after providing her with his mobile number. He then took the patient out to dinner at the Savoy on November 1 last year after completing her veneer treatment. They carried on drinking until after midnight, when Dr Patel said he could not get home ‘as there are no underground trains,’ the tribunal heard

Dr Patel then went to the patient’s hotel room across the street and had sex with her, the tribunal heard.

The dentist is said to have referred to the woman a ‘Jewish princess’ but he denies using the phrase.

The disciplinary hearing is being held in Marylebone, central London, near The Harley Street Smile Clinic, where Dr Patel is an associate dentist.

The clinic lists former Everton and Scotland striker Andy Gray among its clients as well as TOWIE stars including Lauren Pope, James Lock, Frankie Essex and Kirk Norcross.

Giving evidence, Dr Patel admitted if the condom ‘was present without context then, yes it would show pre-planning’.

But he maintained he kept it ‘in a field craft kit which has been in my bag for several years, incidentally, since attending a training course. It’s used for water retention’.

He claimed ‘Patient A’ asked him to have sex a second time at the hotel.

In his witness statement, he said he turned her down because he was tired, and added today, ‘We couldn’t anyway, due to a lack of contraception’.

Dr Patel is said to have passed her his mobile number on September 27 last year and gone for a drink with her at the White Horse Pub in Parsons Green, south-west London.

Giving evidence, Dr Patel admitted if the condom 'was present without context then, yes it would show pre-planning'. But he maintained he kept it 'in a field craft kit which has been in my bag for several years, incidentally, since attending a training course. It's used for water retention'. Pictured: The General Dental Council building

Giving evidence, Dr Patel admitted if the condom 'was present without context then, yes it would show pre-planning'. But he maintained he kept it 'in a field craft kit which has been in my bag for several years, incidentally, since attending a training course. It's used for water retention'. Pictured: The General Dental Council building

Giving evidence, Dr Patel admitted if the condom ‘was present without context then, yes it would show pre-planning’. But he maintained he kept it ‘in a field craft kit which has been in my bag for several years, incidentally, since attending a training course. It’s used for water retention’. Pictured: The General Dental Council building

He then met her again on October 3 at the same pub, kissed her and the Savoy date was arranged, it is claimed.

But Dr Patel claims the kiss was on the cheek and not on the lips.

Dr Patel claimed he had not planned to have sex and insisted he was about to head home before she asked him to stay at her hotel. 

He told the panel after the Savoy date his ‘intention was to take the Tube home from Charing Cross Tube station.

‘I was invited by the patient to her hotel room which I accepted, which I appreciate now was wholly the wrong thing to do.

‘I’m not shying away from the fact that what I’ve done is wrong and it was unfair on the patient. I am sympathetic for the patient and I’m sorry everyone has to be here to analyse this case.

‘What happened was wrong and shouldn’t have happened, it was my mistake.’

Sam Thomas, for the dental council, asked: ‘You didn’t go prepared to have sex but it just so happened you had the kit with you?’

‘That’s correct,’ replied Dr Patel.

Dr Patel denied she was his patient, claiming she asked to be discharged before their date.

Mr Thomas pointed out no note was made of this request until the Monday after they had sex.

‘It slipped my mind as it’s not a common thing to be asked – to be discharged,’ said Dr Patel.

Mr Thomas replied: ‘Wouldn’t the fact it was uncommon mean it was more likely for you to have written it down because it’s more remarkable?

‘It’s the common mundane things that slip by, isn’t it? This note, after you had sex with Patient A, is very useful for you, isn’t it?

‘Your counsel will use as mitigation she was a former patient.’

Dr Patel denied this and said: ‘The mistakes I made stand whether for current or former patients.’

The charge sheet alleges his actions were ‘sexually motivated’ and Patel could face a ban if the panel finds his ‘fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct’.

Dr Patel graduated from the University of Bristol, achieving merits in Restorative dentistry, Orthodontics, and Paediatrics.

He worked in Cornwall for a year before moving to the Harley Street practice in September 2016.

According to the Harley Street Smile Clinic’s website, he ‘established himself as a leader in cosmetic dentistry, and his wealth of experience has included creating the smiles of several reality TV personalities, Members of Parliament, professional athletes, and social media influencers’.

The post continues: ‘Aside from dentistry, Sahil serves in the Royal Navy Reserves, and he has appreciated an introduction into scuba diving, skydiving, cross-country skiing, and triathlon.

‘He has also committed himself to Performing Arts since the age of 10, leading to choreographing and performing for various organisations, including the BBC Proms. Today, he continues to practise several dance styles and train for selected triathlon events.’

Dr Patel accepts as fact he slept with the woman but denies she was a patient at the time.

He also denied calling the woman a ‘Jewish Princess’ but admitted using the phrase, claiming he was ‘not aware of it being a racial slur or seen it as causing offence’.

‘I mentioned the term in describing an anecdote from my school days, it was not directed at the patient.

‘She asked about my schooling. I mentioned I went to a school which was predominantly Asian and Jewish.

‘I described a couple of friends who were Jewish who referred to themselves as Jewish Princesses. The reason it was funny at the time is because it was an all boys’ school.’

When asked if he had a sexual desire for the patient, he replied ‘yes but no intentions to act upon it’.

The hearing continues on Friday. 

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