Coronavirus news UK – Ireland brings in strictest lockdown in Europe for 6 weeks as millions more in England face curbs

IRELAND will bring in one the strictest lockdowns in Europe, imposing a 5km travel limit for six weeks.

Taoiseach Michael Martin made the announcement at Government Buildings in Dublin after Cabinet ministers approved a move to Level 5 restrictions under the Government's five-tiered Living with Covid framework.

Ministers agreed to place the country under level 5 restrictions from midnight on Wednesday for six weeks until December 1.

Meanwhile, millions of Mancunians are set for Tier 3 lockdown after Boris Johnson agreed to pay the city up to £100 million.

In order to break the lockdown rebellion, the Prime Minister is understood to be planning to hand Manchester's political leaders tens of millions each in extra funding to get them to back Tier 3.

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  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told airline chiefs passengers could be released from self-isolation if they pass the “rapid daily tests”.

    Quarantine would be halved by December, he added.

    Other options he outlined include daily testing with no quarantine and a pre-departure test scheme.

    He could not offer a timescale as it will require global co-operation through air travel organisations.

    But Mr Shapps said: “We’re talking to the US Homeland Security and others. We’d like to get trials set up. That could mean a series of tests involving quarantine before and after flights – or, ultimately, no quarantine at all if the technology is there for rapid daily tests.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    TAKING OFF

    Rapid one-hour Covid tests for holidaymakers are to launch at Heathrow Airport, giving a boost to international air travel.

    The tests are to be put in place today so travellers can enter countries that require a negative coronavirus test in order to avoid being quarantined.

    The system will initially be brought in for people flying to Hong Kong and Italy, which permit quick pre-flight tests as evidence the traveller is free from Covid-19.

    Anyone wanting the test will have to book in advance and pay a fee of £80.

    The Government is also in talks with the US over a trial of pre-departure tests between the two countries.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    JOG ON

    Shops have said there could be shortage of sportswear after a spike in demand for comfortable clothes during lockdown.

    Retailers, including ASOS, have said that a rise in a demand for trainers, joggers and tracksuits combined with factories overseas temporarily closing after the spread of the virus means some of their stock is in short supply.

    During a media call last week, Nick Beighton, the chief executive of Asos, said the company was “working hard to make sure we have supply” but didn’t expect stock to return to normal until Spring 2021, the Guardian reported.

    Neil Primett, founder of retailer 80s Casual Classics, told the newspaper his website was up 200% in sales from February to April, but when people stopped production it meant his stock dropped.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    EUROPE TIGHTENS VIRUS CURBS AS GLOBAL CASES TOP 40 MILLION

    A number of European countries took urgent new measures on Monday to combat a second wave of coronavirus infections, as the World Health Organization blamed the surge in worldwide cases — now more than 40 million — on countries' failure to quarantine infected people properly.

    Ireland and Wales became the first EU countries to re-enter lockdown as the number of people who have died from Covid-19 in Europe passed 250,000, according to an AFP tally.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN SAYS IT IS 'PAINFUL' BEING UNABLE TO PERFORM LIVE

    Bruce Springsteen said it is “painful” not being able to perform his new songs in front of fans due to the pandemic.

    The veteran rocker, 71, is preparing for the release of album Letter To You, which has been described as being similar to his classic 1975 record Born To Run.

    Discussing the similarities between the two albums, Springsteen told Zane Lowe's Apple Music radio show his latest effort is perfect for performing live in front of fans.

    “This is great material to play live,” he said. “It's very painful to not be able to go out and play right now, because this is material that'll play incredible on stage. And so I was really just all in on wanting the record to… I wanted to go back to a style probably closest, you'd have to go back to maybe Born To Run, where I gave Roy (Bittan, pianist) free rein on the piano and the arrangements were… the songs fit those kinds of arrangements. And so it was a lovely, modern revisitation of that style.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HERO WORLD CHALLENGE CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

    This year's Hero World Challenge has been cancelled due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 18-player event, hosted by Tiger Woods, was scheduled to start on December 3 in Albany in the Bahamas.

    “Given the current global restrictions and ongoing developments resulting from Covid-19, the 2020 Hero World Challenge will not be played this year,” read a statement from tournament organisers.

    “This decision was made with the health and wellbeing of all tournament constituents and the Albany community in mind. We look forward to hosting 18 of the top players in the world and welcoming tournament guests to Albany, Bahamas next year.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    ROYAL SUPPORT

    Prince William described fears of a “mental health catastrophe” if Britain’s entertainment industry goes bust due to coronavirus lockdown.

    The Duke of Cambridge spoke to business owners facing Tier 3 restrictions.

    During a video call with entrepreneurs, William discussed the challenges the industry is facing due to an explosion of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

    The second-in-line to the throne spoke to world renowned DJ Yousef behind the city’s Circus club nights and Natalie Haywood, an entrepreneur who runs the wedding, events and restaurant venues Leaf, Oh Me Oh My and One Fine Day, both in Liverpool.

    More on the story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    DOUBLE DECKER TIERS

    A Manchester burger bar has weighed in on the lockdown wars and created a 2-tiered Andy Burnham burger after the Mayor's “battle of the Tiers”.

    Ex-Coronation Street actor and I'm a Celebrity contestant Adam Thomas and owner of The Spinn burger bar has decided to poke fun at the clash over lockdown restrictions in the North in a mouth-watering way.

    The new burger has a double patty as Mr Burnham tries to fend off Mr Johnson's demands to put Manchester into Tier 3 restrictions.

    The appetising ad, on a massive billboard in Gately, promised “two flaming hot tiers”.

    They pronounced the burger as part of the “battle of the Tiers” as the war between Downing Street and Northern leaders rages on.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    IRELAND – TAOISEACH MAKES ANNOUNCEMENT FOR EUROPE'S LONGEST LOCKDOWN

    Ireland's Taoiseach Micheal Martin made the announcement at Government Buildings in Dublin after Cabinet ministers approved a move to Level 5 restrictions under the Government's five-tiered Living with Covid framework.

    Ireland imposed one of Europe's longest lockdowns during the first surge in cases and has tightened restrictions over the last number of weeks as infections climbed again.

    Unlike the first lockdown, this time schools will stay open and essential services such as construction allowed to continue, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said as he moved the country to the highest level of restrictions, Level 5, for six weeks.

    The new measures will come into effect at midnight on Wednesday.

    They will remain in place until December 1.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    EXCLUSIVE – MONSTER DIES

    A deprived child rapist jailed for historic sex attacks in the 1980s and 1990s has died in jail after testing positive for Covid-19.

    Brian Learmonth, 65, was discovered in his cell on a coronavirus isolation wing at Stafford prison in Staffordshire on October 8.

    He had been transferred to D wing days before and was found by guards struggling to breath.

    Paramedics tried to resuscitate Learmonth, serving a sentence of 12 years and six months, but he was pronounced dead.

    More on the exclusive story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    STOP THE SPREAD

    Labour leader Keir Starmer has demanded a “circuit breaker” national lockdown instead of the PM's three-tier system.

    Today, the First Minister of Wales announced a fire-break lockdown, otherwise known as a circuit breaker lockdown, which will start on 23 October. But, what exactly is it?

    A circuit breaker lockdown would be short, sharp bursts of full, national lockdown measures intersected with breaks of a few weeks.

    More on the story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    EIGHT TEST POSITIVE IN LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE COVID-19 TESTS

    The Premier League said on Monday that eight people had returned positive results in its latest round of COVID-19 tests conducted on players and staff last week.

    The league said the individuals who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus would now self-isolate for 10 days.

    “The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 12 October and Sunday 18 October, 1,575 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, there were eight new positive tests,” the Premier League said in a statement.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    NHS TRACK AND TRACE DIRECTOR SAYS RATE AT WHICH COVID PATIENTS ARE FILLING BEDS IS MADE FOR 'UNCOMFORTABLE READING'

    NHS Track and Trace testing director Sarah-Jane Marsh has said the rate at which Covid-19 patients are “filling” hospital beds, according to an NHS CEOs WhatsApp group, has made for “uncomfortable reading”.

    “The NHS CEOs WhatsApp Group is uncomfortable reading tonight as friends and colleagues share the rate at which Covid patients are filling NHS in-patient and ITU beds against a much busier backdrop than March/April protecthenhssavelives,” she tweeted.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    ITALY'S GOVERNMENT AGREES ON NEW CURBS REQUEST FOR LOMBARDY REGION SAYS HEALTH MINISTRY

    Italy's government agreed on a request from the Lombardy region, hard hit by COVID-19, to impose further restrictions to curb a new surge in infections, a health ministry spokesman told Reuters today.

    Lombardy, centred around Italy's financial capital Milan, accounts for some 128,400 of the over 423,500 coronavirus cases detected in Italy since the outbreak was discovered in February.

    The Lombardy region said in a statement it would propose the government stop from October 22 non-essential economic activities and people's movements between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m, adding they would also be asked to shut down all large shops on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    IRELAND SEES HIGHEST LEVEL OF RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE FOR SIX WEEKS

    Ireland will move to the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions under the Government's five-tier living with Covid roadmap.

    Cabinet ministers have agreed to place the country under level 5 restrictions from midnight on Wednesday for six weeks in a bid to combat the rise in cases of the virus.

    The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday evening.

    The restrictions will last until December 1.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    TWO-WEEK 'FIREBREAK' LOCKDOWN WILL SAVE LIVES, FIRST MINISTER SAYS

    A two-week “firebreak” lockdown in Wales will protect the NHS from being overwhelmed by resurgence of coronavirus and save lives, the First Minister has said.

    Mark Drakeford appealed to the nation to “come together” and “play our part in a common endeavour” during the latest round of measures to come into force from 6pm Friday.

    The restrictions, which will require people to stay at home and non-essential businesses like pubs and shops to be closed, will last until November 9.

    Mr Drakeford said the lockdown was the best chance the country had of regaining control of the virus and avoiding “a much more damaging national lockdown”.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    FIRST RESULTS OF RUSSIAN VACCINE TRIAL TO INCLUDE DATA FROM 5,00-10,000 PEOPLE

    Interim results from the late-stage human trial of Russia's main coronavirus vaccine candidate could include data from 5,000-10,000 participants, Denis Logunov, a director at the Gamaleya Institute that developed the vaccine, said on Monday.

    Russia's plan to publish preliminary data about the Sputnik V jab as early as November is likely to make it one of the first vaccine developers to share any data from a final stage trial, known as Phase III, but also puts it at odds with competitors.

    The Sputnik V trial, involving 40,000 volunteers, has been underway in Moscow since the beginning of September.

    Interim results, when published, will be based on the first 42 days of monitoring participants, Gamaleya developers told Reuters last month.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    SPAIN ADDS NEARLY 38,000 CASES OVER WEEKEND AND 217 DEATHS

    Spain's cumulative tally of coronavirus infections increased by 37,889 over the weekend, bringing the nationwide total to 974,449, health ministry data showed on Monday.

    Total deaths from the virus increased by 217 to 33,992, according to the ministry.

    In recent weeks, Spain has frequently reported more than 12,000 cases per day after hitting a record of more than 16,000 in mid-September.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    VALLANCE SAYS A VACCINE IS “UNLIKELY” TO STOP DISEASE COMPLETELY

    The Government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said it is “unlikely” that a coronavirus vaccine will stop the disease completely.

    Giving evidence to the joint Commons and Lords National Security Strategy Committee, Sir Patrick said that only one disease – smallpox – had ever been completely eradicated.

    He said that in future, treating Covid-19 may become more like seasonal flu.

    “I think it is unlikely that we will end up with a truly sterilising vaccine that completely stops infection,” he said.

    “It is likely that this disease will circulate and be pandemic. My assessment – and I think that's the view of many people – is that's the likely outcome.

    “Clearly as management becomes better, as you get vaccination that will decrease the chance of infection and the severity of the disease – or whatever the protocols of the vaccines are – this then starts to look more like annual flu than anything else and that may be the direction we end up going in.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    WHO SAYS EXPECTS TO HEAR MORE SOON ON PAUSED COVID-19 ANTIBODY TRIAL

    The World Health Organisation's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Monday she expected to hear more “this week or next week” about clinical trials of an Eli Lilly and Co COVID-19 antibody treatment that were paused because of a safety concern.

    U.S. drug maker Lilly said earlier this month it was pausing the government-sponsored trial, called ACTIV-3, which was testing the treatment on COVID-19 patients who required hospitalisation.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    BREAKING

    England's Chief Scientific Adviser Vallance says an effective vaccine for Covid-19 is unlikely before the spring.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    GREATER MANCHESTER'S INTENSIVE CARE CAPACITY COULD BE OVERWHELMED, SAYS NO 10

    Greater Manchester's intensive care capacity could be overwhelmed by Covid-19 within weeks, Downing Street has insisted, as it increased pressure on the region to accept Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

    Projections produced by the Government suggested Manchester's hospitals risked being overwhelmed by November 12.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “Cases in Greater Manchester continue to rise.

    “In the over-60 age group, cases have tripled in the most recent 15 days of full data – there were 89 cases per 100,000 on September 27 compared to 282 per 100,000 on October 12.

    “Hospital admissions in Greater Manchester are doubling every nine days.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    INFECTION RATE IN LANCASHIRE AMONG HIGHEST IN COUNTRY SAYS HANCOCK

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons: “Infection rates in Lancashire are among the highest in the country and are continuing to rise rapidly, including in the over-60s.

    “Both the number of cases and the number of hospital admissions are doubling almost every fortnight and the number of Covid patients in intensive care beds in Lancashire has already reached nearly half the number seen at the height of the pandemic earlier this year.

    “So we knew we had to take rapid action to supress the epidemic in Lancashire.

    “We've always said that we'd stand side by side with any local area that agreed to move into this third tier and offer substantial support to local authorities, including for testing, tracing, enforcement and business support.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    FRENCH FIRST LADY TO SELF-ISOLATE AFTER CONTACT WITH COVID-19 PATIENT

    French First Lady Brigitte Macron will self-isolate for seven days after having been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, BFMT TV reported on its website.

    BFM added that the First Lady had had contact with the person on Oct. 15 and that she had displayed no symptoms of the respiratory disease.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SISTER SLEDGE TO DONATE PROCEEDS OF 'WE ARE FAMILY' SPECIAL EDITION COVER TO WHO

    Kim Sledge of the band Sister Sledge will donate proceeds from a cover of the band's classic song “We Are Family” to the World Health Organization Foundation, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.

    “I would like to thank Kim Sledge for her kind offer to donate proceeds from the sale of her special edition cover of We Are Family,” said Tedros, adding that the money would be used to support the COVID-19 response and strengthen health services around the world.

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