Coronavirus UK latest – Boris set to address nation next week as £10k fine for those refusing to quarantine introduced

PEOPLE in England who refuse orders to self-isolate will face fines of up to £10,000 amid surging coronavirus numbers in the UK.

In a significant toughening up of the regulations, the government has warned it is now people's legal duty to self-isolate if they test positive for the disease – or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly warned Boris Johnson the capital needs new Covid restrictions by Monday – including a 10pm curfew for pubs – to stop a surge in cases.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is set to deliver a televised speech next week.

The Prime Minister is expected to address the nation, providing an update on lockdown and the potential coronavirus second wave.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates…

  • COVID DENIER

    An anti-mask protest leader is a suspended nurse who has compared coronavirus lockdown restrictions to the Holocaust.

    Mum-of-four Kate Shemirani claims vaccines are poisonous and believes they even contain military-style tracking tech.

    She was seen speaking from a makeshift podium to those who flooded to Trafalgar Square to protest against the Government's pandemic restrictions.

    And despite 35 years as a registered nurse, she believes the health crisis which has left 42,000 Brits dead is nothing more than a “scamdemic.”

    Shemirani, from East Sussex, also sparked fury when she outrageously likened lockdown restrictions to Nazi atrocities.

    She asked on Twitter whether the public will wake up “on the cattle truck? Or in the showers?”

  • SCOTLAND 'TO DECIDE ON LOCKDOWN NEXT WEEK'

    A decision on greater lockdown restrictions in Scotland will be made in the early part of this week, the Scottish Health Secretary has said.

    The rate of transmission in Scotland – or R-number – is now believed to be between 1.1 and 1.4.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned on Friday that greater measures may have to be put in place “if we want to avoid another full-scale lockdown”.

    Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Sunday, Jeane Freeman said Ms Sturgeon had hoped to have a Cobra meeting with the four nations this weekend to discuss measures “to see if we could reach a shared view”, but that the Prime Minister was still considering the request.

    When asked when the decision on lockdown measures may be made, Ms Freeman replied: “We certainly will have an announcement very shortly. Not necessarily today, but definitely by the early part of next week.”

  • CHRISTMAS 'GIFT OF SIX'

    Lockdown laws could be lifted on Christmas Day — to allow friends and families to celebrate together.

    Ministers want the “rule of six” suspended so people can meet in larger groups to tuck into their festive turkey.

    Boris Johnson is considering the move as a “sweetener” when to soften the blow when he announces new restrictions.

    An insider told The Sun on Sunday: “The PM is anxious to avoid being portrayed as Scrooge.

    “He’s fully aware that millions of people are making big sacrifices to defeat this virus and is considering ways to allow them to experience the joy of Christmas for at last part of the holiday season.”

  • LAST ORDERS?

    Brits hit the town in Leeds, London and Cardiff last night as the UK teeters on the brink of a new lockdown, curfew and shut pubs.

    Revellers enjoyed a night out on Saturday in what could be the last weekend of freedom before another national lockdown is announced.

    Soho in Central London was busy last night as people sat down to enjoy a meal and drinks, while further north groups were seen out and about on the streets of Liverpool and Leeds, and Cardiff.

  • 'REPORT THY NEIGHBOUR'

    Matt Hancock today urged “everybody” to snitch on their neighbours who don’t self-isolate – potentially landing them with a £10,000 fine.

    It comes as Boris Johnson braces families for fresh curbs, which could be in place for the next six months.

    When asked if he would report a neighbour flouting the rules to authorities, Mr Hancock told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Yes, and everybody should.

    “And the reason for that is the way we control this virus is by breaking the chains of transmission.

    He added: “Making sure that you follow the rule of six, and the social distancing. Everybody has got a part to play in this, it's so important.”

  • VACCINE THIS YEAR 'STILL POSSIBLE'

    Matt Hancock has said it is still possible that there could be a coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year.

    The Health Secretary told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show: “There is still hope that we will get one of the vaccines over the line this year.

    “The Oxford vaccine is still at the front of the queue. More likely is next year, and probably the early part of next year.

    “We have got the cavalry coming over the next few months – the vaccine, the mass testing and the improvements in treatments – but we have got to all follow the rules between now and then to keep people safe.”

  • 'NO EVIDENCE OF SECOND WAVE'

    Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine has said “there is no evidence right now of what's called a second wave”.

    He told Sky News: “I think over the next few weeks if we can see a slower, analytical approach to the data, and a different approach to the advice, the Prime Minister might see a subtle change in his language that reflects a need to normalise what's going on.

    “This is a seasonal effect now, if it becomes worse and it impacts on disease, then, yes, that's the point when we have restrictive measures, but that time is not now.”

  • 'HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS RISING'

    Matt Hancock has said the number of coronavirus hospital admissions was rising and would be followed by an increase in deaths.

    “We have seen in other countries when the case rate shoots up, the next thing that happens is the numbers going into hospital shoot up,” he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.

    “Sadly, we have seen that rise, it is doubling every eight days or so – people going into hospital – then, with a lag, you see the number of people dying sadly rise.”

  • 'WE CANNOT AFFORD HARSH MEASURES'

    Professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, told Sky News the country cannot afford to introduce “harsh measures” immediately to curb the spread of Covid-19, adding: “What we have to do now is slow down, this is a long winter.”

    He said: “We can't afford to go now with harsh measures … the impact on the economy here is going to be significant.

    “What happens is as soon as you pause and then open up again, it tends to come back.

    “We still have to be vigilant about ensuring the infections stay manageable across the board.”

  • 'KIDS COME FIRST'

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the Government to hand coronavirus testing to local authorities who have a better understanding of their communities.

    He also urged the Government to put children at the front of the testing queue.

    In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Sir Keir said: “They were up for this months ago but even at the eleventh hour I say localise this.

    “If the Prime Minister does not get a grip of the testing crisis, children will be robbed of an education. We are seeing a growing flood of schools closures.

    “That is why I'm urging the Prime Minister, like our key workers, to put children at the front of the queue for testing. To this week give parents a cast iron guarantee that they can get their child a test within 24 hours and the result back 24 hours later.”

  • MATT HANCOCK 'VERY WORRIED'

    The Health Secretary has warned the Government will impose fresh national coronavirus restrictions if the public fails to follow existing rules.

    Matt Hancock said he was “very worried” about the second wave of the virus now emerging in the UK.

    “The nation faces a tipping point,” he told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.

    “We have a choice. Either everybody follows the rules – the rule of six and the need to self-isolate if you have a positive test or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace – or we will have to take more measures.

    “I don't want to see more restrictive measures, but if people don't follow the rules that is how the virus spreads.”

  • MANCHESTER ON RED ALERT

    Greater Manchester has been placed on RED ALERT as coronavirus cases rocket in all ten boroughs.

    Infections have surged to levels equal to or higher than what was seen in April, as Manchester records 100 positive cases for three days in a row.

    Greater Manchester as a county now has an infection rate of 102.34.

    In April, the highest the figure reached was 75.5.

    Being in the red zone is where Public Health England deems that intervention is required.

  • £10K FINE FACES OPPOSITION FROM SENIOR TORIES

    Senior Tories are planning to try to stop ministers imposing new coronavirus lockdown restrictions without the say of Parliament.

    Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, has said he intends to table an amendment which would require the Government to put any new measures to a vote of MPs.

    It comes as Boris Johnson announced that anyone in England who refuses to obey an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000.

    Sir Graham told the Telegraph: “In March, Parliament gave the Government sweeping emergency powers at a time when Parliament was about to go into recess and there was realistic concern that NHS care capacity might be overwhelmed by Covid-19.

    “There is now no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.

    “It is essential that going forward all of these massively important decisions for family life, and affecting people's jobs and businesses should be exercised with proper supervision and control.”

  • COST OF COVID

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering a freeze on benefits and public sector pay to fight the spiralling cost of the coronavirus crisis.

    Mr Sunak is also said to be trying to persuade Boris Johnson to tear up the “triple lock” which protects the income of pensioners.

    Unemployment is also predicted to rise to more than four million as a result of people being laid off during the pandemic and a dramatic fall in GDP.

    The Chancellor is said to have told fellow ministers he is deeply concerned about the long-term damage to the country’s finances.

    The government borrowed a record £127.9billion between April and June this year to help tackle the crisis.

  • COVID CLAMPDOWN

    Boris Johnson is set to unveil £10,000 fines for Brits suffering from coronavirus who defy orders to stay at home.

    The PM will brace families for fresh curbs, which could be in place for the next six months, in a sombre TV address to the nation.

    He is looking at cutting pub opening hours, a ban on households mixing and tough penalties for those who flout the rules.

    New laws will be rushed through to enforce self-isolation, with fines of up to £10,000 for anyone who defies orders to stay at home.

    A senior government source said: “There’s not much on the cards to look forward to. The next six months’ll be pretty s***.”

  • PANIC BUY FEAR

    Supermarkets have warned they’ve been hit by increased demand – fuelling fears a second wave of Covid will spark a second wave of unnecessary panic buying.

    Sainbury’s and online retailer Ocado have both uploaded notices on their websites warning customers they may struggle to get a delivery slot.

    Ocado told shoppers “delivery slots are selling out faster than usual”.

    Sainbury’s says vulnerable customers are being given priority because “slots are still in high demand”.

  • SADIQ KHAN: LONDON NEEDS NEW RESTRICTIONS BY MONDAY

    Sadiq Khan has reportedly warned Boris Johnson that London needs new coronavirus restrictions by Monday including a 10pm curfew for pubs to stop a surge in cases.

    London's mayor is also preparing to urge people to do their job from home once again despite the government's push to get people back to the workplace.

    Labour mayor Mr Khan has been briefed by officials that the capital is facing an acceleration in coronavirus cases, reports The Huffington Post.

    Read more here.

    Sadiq Khan warns London needs a new lockdown by MONDAY with 10pm curfews for pubs

  • THOUSANDS OF INTERNATIONAL NURSES 'ON ORDER BOOK' TO JOIN NHS, REPORT SAYS

    Thousands of international nurses are reportedly lined up to join the NHS as England's chief nurse outlined plans to spend up to £180 million to boost numbers ahead of a second wave of coronavirus.

    Ruth May told the Independent that 6,500 nurses were “on the order book” to join the health service, with almost two dozen travelling from India in the past two weeks.

    Ms May told the news site that 2,500 retired nurses who rejoined to help during the first stage of the pandemic were being supported to stay on, as the health service aims to prevent operations being cancelled this winter.

    She told the Independent: “Nurses were at the forefront of the Covid-19 response, they have worked so hard.

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  • SELF-ISOLATE OR FACE A FINE OF UP TO £10,000, WARNS JOHNSON

    People in England who refuse an order to self-isolate will face fines of up to £10,000, the Government has warned amid deepening concern at the sharp upsurge in coronavirus infections.

    In a significant toughening up of the regulations, ministers will impose a new legal duty on people to self-isolate if they test positive for the disease or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace after coming into contact with someone with the virus.

    Those on lower incomes who face a loss of earnings as a result of going into quarantine will be eligible for a one-off support payment of £500 to help them cope financially.

    With new cases of the infection doubling every week, Boris Johnson said the measures were necessary to control the spread of the virus and to protect the most vulnerable from becoming infected.

    However they are likely to alarm some Conservative MPs already concerned at the wide-ranging powers being taken by ministers to curb the disease with little or no debate in Parliament.

  • BRAZIL REPORTS 33,057 NEW COVID CASES AND 739 DEATHS

    Brazil recorded 33,057 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 739 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

    South America's largest country has registered more than 4.5 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, according to ministry data, ranking it as the third worst outbreak in the world after the US and India.

    More than 136,000 people have died of the virus in Brazil.

  • AUSTRALIA: VICTORIA STATE CONFIRMS SEVEN NEW DEATHS

    Australia’s death toll from COVID-19 rose to 844 on Saturday with 21 more cases and seven fatalities in Victoria state.

    The hardest-hit Victoria has had 757 deaths.

    It's capital city of Melbourne, with a population of 5 million, has been in lockdown for a month and faces nightly curfews in an effort to stem the increases.

    The city has a 14-day new case average of 39.3, well below the state’s target of 50, despite a few clusters of cases in several southeastern suburbs.

  • PICTURED: NEWCASTLE DESERTED AS PUBS ADHERE TO 10PM CURFEW

  • WETHERSPOON BOSS SAYS 1MILLION JOBS AT RISK IN PUB AND RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

    Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has warned pubs and restaurants face being wiped out – with up to a million jobs on the line.

    The hospitality industry could be left in ruins as tighter local measures are introduced to fight the coronavirus and a second national lockdown lasting two weeks could be on the cards.

    Tim Martin, the boss of JD Wetherspoon, which employs 43,000 people in its pubs and hotels, said many smaller venues had already gone to the wall after the first lockdown.

    He said further restrictions would be “even more devastating,” The Times reports.

  • CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP VOICES CONCERN OVER 'UNDERESTIMATION' OF COVID-19 IN DUBLIN

    The Catholic Archbishop in Ireland has expressed concern at the “underestimation” of Covid-19 in Dublin.

    The capital city came under tighter restrictions on Saturday following a surge in the number of cases.

    Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the spread of the virus has “reached serious levels” and “constitutes a real risk of radically increased infection within the community”.

    “In many cases, the increase in numbers is due to gatherings within households and communities,” he said.

    “That is the reason why the public health authorities are stressing the urgent need to reduce the number of contacts that each one of us has in this period.

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