Covid News Live: Latest lockdown updates as West Midlands face Tier 3 move

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Experts warn second wave of coronavirus is at ‘critical stage’ in England
Experts have warned that a second national lockdown is needed as soon as possible, as UK coronavirus cases approach 100,000 every day.

Government science adviser Dr Mike Tildesley said that some sort of national lockdown – “a circuit breaker, or something” – would have more effect than putting the whole country in Level 2 restrictions.

A study from the University of Warwick estimated that there were around 96,000 new infections per day between October 16 and 25. Meanwhile, a Birmingham local council leader says it is ‘inevitable’ the city will move to level 3 restrictions as infections and the number of people taken to hospital continue to rise in the West Midlands .

Follow the latest updates

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More restricted areas of Scotland

The local authority areas of the Highlands, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland in Scotland will be at the second lowest level of restriction, Nicola Sturgeon said.

The premier said the ban on meeting indoors will continue for now, but she hoped officials would lift it during the November 10 review.

No local authority area will be in level 0, the lowest proposed by the Scottish government.

Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Fife, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross and Angus will be at level 2 restrictions.

She told MSPs that a “finely balanced” decision had been taken to place the borders and Argyll and Bute at Level 2 rather than Level 1, which she said was due to their proximity to areas where the coronavirus level was higher.

Jane DaltonOctober 29, 2020 1:05 PM

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New restrictions revealed around Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon announced that new coronavirus restrictions for Scotland would begin on Monday, with the central belt, Dundee, Inverclyde and Ayrshire placed at level 3; Aberdeenshire, Fife, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway at level 2; and the Highlands and much of the islands at level 1.

Scotland has recorded 37 deaths from the coronavirus and 1,128 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Ms Sturgeon said.

The prime minister said the death toll under the measure – of people who tested positive for the virus for the first time in the previous 28 days – rose to 2,791.

She said the new tiered restriction system will take effect at 6 a.m. on Monday.

Jane DaltonOctober 29, 2020 12:56 PM

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Drinkers raise a glass to a legal loophole

When is a bar not a bar? Social clubs such as working men’s establishments and bars affiliated with political parties still serve alcohol under an apparent loophole in the coronavirus restrictions, it emerged. Our correspondent in the north of England Colin Drury examines how they are allowed to do this:

Jane DaltonOctober 29, 2020 12:53 PM

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Putin raises hopes of massive strikes in Russia weeks

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Russia’s experimental Covid-19 vaccines were effective and that his country hoped to start mass vaccinations by the end of the year. Mr Putin was speaking via video link to an investor forum in Russia.

Jane DaltonOctober 29, 2020 12:33

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Scotland introduces an ‘exemption card’ for masks

The Scottish government has introduced a new exemption card for people who cannot wear face coverings in shops or other public places due to health issues or disability.

Jane Dalton29 October 2020 12:30

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Pret stands out from the founder

Pret a Manger has distanced itself from founder Julian Metcalfe after urging the government not to introduce another lockdown to save “a few thousand lives”.

Mr Metcalfe, who sold his remaining stake in the coffee chain last year but still owns a majority of the high street restaurant Itsu, sparked an angry backlash online after being quoted in the Daily mail as saying “society will not recover if we do it again (lockdown) to save a few thousand lives of the very old or vulnerable”.

Pret later tweeted: “We are aware of Julian Metcalfe’s comments this morning, but he hasn’t been running the company for over ten years and we don’t share his opinion.

“At Pret, we firmly believe that we must take action to stop the spread of the virus and tackle the new wave of infections. “

Chiara Giordano29 October 2020 12:12

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National lockdown “cannot be ruled out”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government couldn’t rule anything out regarding coronavirus restrictions – including a nationwide lockdown.

When asked if she would rule out another national lockdown, she said: ‘Well I think at this point of course we can’t rule anything out because we are a government that is trying hard to do so. so that we stop the spread of this virus, and protect our public health.

“So we have used, and we are using and will continue to use, every means at our disposal to do just that. “

Chiara GiordanoOctober 29, 2020 11:51

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Airbus suffers huge losses

Airbus has warned that the recovery in global air transport is slower than expected after revealing big losses.

The company’s third quarter results show Airbus lost € 2.7 billion (£ 2.5 billion) in the first nine months of 2020.

Chiara GiordanoOctober 29, 2020 11:32

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No national lockdown for Russia

President Vladimir Putin has said Russia has no plans to impose general restrictions or a nationwide lockdown to curb the surge in coronavirus cases in that country.

Speaking at an investor forum, he said Russia will impose targeted measures in response to the pandemic – if necessary.

Chiara Giordano29 October 2020 11:29

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‘They overreacted’

Leading hotelier and Conservative Party donor Sir Rocco Forte has accused the government of “completely overreacting” with the coronavirus restrictions.

The 75-year-old claimed the government had created a ‘grim situation’ for the UK hotel industry with its pandemic measures.

Chiara Giordano29 October 2020 11:11

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