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tv   BBC News Special  BBC News  October 12, 2020 3:00pm-4:31pm BST

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this is bbc news, i'm reeta chakrabarti. the headlines — boris johnson is preparing to announce tough new local coronavirus restrictions in england, as medical advisers warned of the dangers of failing to act. if we do not take measures to control the spread of the virus, the death toll will be too great to bear. the liverpool city region is expected to face the toughest restrictions with pubs, gyms and bookies closed. and the prime minister will address mps at 3:30pm this afternoon. we'll bring that to you live and have full reaction on bbc news. as three nightingale hospitals are put on standby, it's revealed there are now more people in hospital with covid—19 than when a national lockdown was imposed in march. an anxious wait for businesses to hear whether they will be in the most restricted zones,
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and how they'll cope if they are. and most gcse and a level exams in england next year will be delayed by three weeks, the education secretary has confirmed. boris johnson is preparing to announce a tiered system of coronavirus restrictions for different parts of england, with different parts of the country on medium, high or very high alert levels. it comes as leading government scientists warned of a marked pick up in coronavirus cases across the country. in a briefing this morning, deputy chief medical officer in a briefing this morning, deputy chief medical officer jonathan van—tam produced this graph, which shows the virus "heating up" across all of england, notjust in the north. the dark brown areas show those parts of the country most affected. professor van tam said infections, which started among younger people, have spread to the 60—plus age group
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in the north—west and north—east, and that other regions are following suit. the rise in cases means nightingale hospitals have been put on standby in manchester, sunderland and harrogate. those new tiered restrictions will be a chance for the prime minister to halt the spread of coronavirus — he'll be addressing mps in half an hour to give more details on the measures. we'll be bringing that to you live here on bbc news. our political correspondent nick eardley has our first report. enjoying a drink in liverpool at the weekend, but for the next few weeks, at least, this won't be possible. 1.5 million people in the liverpool city region are facing significant new curbs. pubs, gyms and some other venues closed to try and stop the spread of coronavirus. the point of doing this now is to ensure that we get the disease under control.
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we've seen it rapidly rising, certainly in those areas. we need to take action, because if we don't take this reasonable, measured and proportionate action now, we'll have to take more difficult action further down the line. this afternoon, the government will detail a new three tier system for local restrictions. tier one, medium risk, will see measures similar to those already in place of much of england. the rule of six and early closing times for hospitality. tier two, high risk, is likely to mean more restrictions on household mixing. the top tier, very high risk, will see a raft of new restrictions, with some hospitality venues forced to close their doors again. and here's why. a stark warning this morning from the government's advisors. we now have more patients in hospital with covid—19 than we did before the government announced restrictions of march 23rd in the spring. as the secretary of state for health has said, if we don't take measures to control
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the spread of the virus, the death toll will be too great to bear. the first place to be categorised very high risk will be the liverpool city region. local leaders accept the need for action but want much more support for businesses forced to close, and their employees. the only thing that was open to us is to try and influence the package of support and so we've been negotiating since friday evening, late friday evening and genuinely burning the midnight oil, talks have gone on way into the early hours because we're not going to just roll over and have our bellies tickled. we wanted to understand what that package was. today will give people in england more of an idea about what the next few weeks and months will look like. the different levels of restrictions that will be introduced, depending on how bad local outbreaks are. but even this afternoon, there are still conversations taking place about the economic support that needs to be offered and the conditions that need to be met before restrictions are lifted. in pubs in places like knowsley, in merseyside, a pint will be off the cards for the next few weeks.
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the question is, where else might follow, as the government grapples with the virus once again? nick eardley, bbc news. andy burnham is the mayor of great manchester and a former labour health secretary. hejoins me now. good afternoon to you, mr burnham. good afternoon. we learn just a little while ago that greater manchester is going to be placed in tier two, and not in tier three. your reaction to that? you must be pleased. yes, we are glad that the government has listened not just to me but the ten leaders of greater manchester. we have no evidence that hospitality was the primary cause of spread our city region. however, it is important to say that any restrictions will choke off trade for our pubs, our
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restau ra nts, off trade for our pubs, our restaurants, even our shops, off trade for our pubs, our restaurants, even ourshops, because the whole kind of drive to prevent social mixing will mean less people going out, less people spending gci’oss going out, less people spending across the city region, so what we say to the government today, and i'm joined by other mayors in saying this, is that any restrictions must come with a full economic support package, otherwise we are going to see the risk of redundancies and business failure, running up to christmas. 0k, and do you have a full understanding of what being placed under tier two means? no, we don't, and i have to say actually, though our mps have been briefed, council leaders have not yet been fully briefed on everything this means, but obviously detail is coming through as we speak. what it primarily means is a ban on social mixing indoors in any setting. now thatis mixing indoors in any setting. now that is still a major restriction, asi that is still a major restriction, as i was saying, and will certainly have an impact on our businesses. so we are have an impact on our businesses. so we a re really have an impact on our businesses. so we are really looking to parliament in many ways to stand up to the
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government here and say, look, any restrictions need support, otherwise the areas that are under these restrictions going into the winter will in effect be levelled down and that will be to break a core mission of this government. and are you then aware of which businesses will be eligible for the financial support that the chancellor announced on friday? the chancellor was only talking about businesses forced to close, so obviously this is businesses in areas under tier three restrictions, mainly pubs, it would seem, from what is being proposed, and he was offering 67% of people's wagers will stop that is to treat hospitality workers as second—class citizens, why should they get 67% as opposed to the 80% given to other earlier this year? just to jump in, sorry, it was given to them as well. yeah, but when you close on one's
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place of work, to give them two thirds of their wages, they can't pay two thirds of their rent or their bills, this is going to cause real hardship for people, and i might say as well it is notjust the places that are forced to close, it is the people who supply those businesses, it is the people working in the taxi trade, in security, often who are self—employed. so there needs to be a much wider, well, there needs to be a full furlough scheme covering all of those businesses but also a self—employed package, and it is critical actually that the government puts that in place, restrictions without support will not build public support for what the government is doing. but ijust wa nt to the government is doing. but ijust want to be clear. for businesses in the greater manchester area which will be forced to close, so we don't know all the details yet, but we know all the details yet, but we know that pubs that serve food can stay open, so by extension one assumes that pubs that don't serve food will be forced to close, now is it your understanding that people
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who run those pubs will be allowed financial help from the chancellor? i think you have it slightly confused. pubs in greater manchester won't be forced to close, because we are in tiertwo, won't be forced to close, because we are in tier two, but pubs that don't serve food it would seem will be forced to close in the liverpool city region, and what has so far been announced is that only those businesses will have action —— dash—mac access to the local furlough scheme, for want of a better phrase will stop there will not be the wider catering businesses oi’ not be the wider catering businesses or indeed there security firms that depend upon the pub trade and that needs to be corrected. i don't think it is fairto needs to be corrected. i don't think it is fair to take away people's place of work without leaving them with the finding that they will need to pay the bills and put food on the table. 0k, we're going to have to leave it there and we will of course get more on these restrictions and exactly what it means for pubs in greater manchester but thank you very much indeed, andy burnham, the mayor of greater manchester. thank
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you. our deputy political editor vicki young is in westminster. so vicki, we are getting a bit of an idea of how these restrictions will work and what it will look like. it looks as though liverpool will be hit the hardest, if you like a greater manchester there in tier two. this has taken some time to work out, it feels, doesn't it, partly because of a lot of resista nce partly because of a lot of resistance from local leaders in the north of england. yeah, the idea behind this three tier system was to simplify things. there were lots of complaints from people saying that evenin complaints from people saying that even in areas that had similar numbers of coronavirus cases, they we re numbers of coronavirus cases, they were being treated differently, that restrictions were different, sometimes in neighbouring areas, so the idea around this was to say if you are in tier one, at least you know what the restrictions will become of the same for tier two and tier three. i think what has happened is that tier three, particularly, because it is the most severe restriction, is proving to be the most problematic and partly because as we heard they are about
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the need and desire for lots of financial back—up for the businesses that are forced to close, but also tier three could end up having lots of different mechanisms in them, because in the end the government does not want a national lockdown but within that tier three there may be certain things areas want to do. sol be certain things areas want to do. so i think they will be more leeway than the government probably initially thought about when they started out on this simplification, so started out on this simplification, so it will be the same as it has been since lockdown ended. people will have to check for the area they are in what applies to them, and of course it will change. the key thing we will be eager to hit from the prime minister, apart from clarifying some of that, is what is the trigger, what gets you in or out of one of those tears? what criteria will be a day looking at. all we know as it won't simply be looking at the number of cases, they wanted to be more nuanced than that, because for example in nottingham they feel that the very high case
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numbers are being driven by students. that doesn't necessarily leads to more hospitalisations, though they are worried of course it might. i think they wanted to be more nuanced than that, which means every area will be looked at individually to see which tier they are put into. thank you very much. and the prime minister borisjohnson will be updating mps in the house of commons on the new coronavirus measures in just under half and hour's time, at 3:30 this afternoon. he will also be holding a briefing from downing street at seven o'clock this evening, along with the chancellor rishi sunak and the chief medical officer for england professor chris whitty. we'll bring all that to you live here on bbc news. three nightingale hospitals in england have been put on standby to provide extra capacity to the nhs if needed. cases are rising across most of the country, but the north—west is the worst affected. our health correspondent anna collinson reports.
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they were set up to protect the nhs from being overwhelmed during the height of the coronavirus crisis, but now staff at some of the nightingale hospitals are once again readying themselves for a potential surge. we have asked the nightingale hospitals in manchester, sunderland and harrowgate to prepare for this next phase. they are being asked to mobilise over the next few weeks, to be ready to accept patients, if necessary. latest government figures say there are around 4,000 covid patients in hospital in the uk. treating 60% of cases, hospitals in the north of england are under particular pressure. 231 patients on ventilators are in the north west and north east and yorkshire — more than half the total figure for england. data shows coronavirus cases are rising across the uk but it varies greatly, and there are hotspots. derry city and strabane has the highest levels, with 171 cases per 100,000 people. nottingham, knowsley, liverpool and newcastle upon tyne are also in the top five.
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in comparison, north devon hasjust 35 cases per 100,000. but during this morning's briefing, england's deputy chief medical officer warned covid—19 is notjust a problem for the north. the dark brown areas on the right—hand side show where cases are said to be rising and it's spreading south. the increase since early september is said to be mainly down to young adults. and you can see, again, that there is the spread from those younger age groups into the 60—plus age group in the north west and the north east and this is again of significant concern because, of course, the elderly suffer a much worse course with covid—19. health officials are concerned that as we approach winter, the pandemic could once again spiral out of control. but the problem with the government's expected three—tier system is no one is sure whether it will work. sceptics of the 10pm curfew
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and the potential closure of pubs and bars believe it will drive people away from covid—secure venues and towards illegally mixing in homes, where transmission of the virus is more likely. there are also serious concerns about the impact the toughest measures will have on communities. we should try and shield the vulnerable because we know now, what we do know is that the virus specifically has, causes deaths in a segment of the population. we should put all our resources that we have at our disposal towards shielding them, or allowing them to make the choice to shield themselves, while permitting the general population to conduct their lives as normal. but the government advisers say it's wishful thinking that the vulnerable can be fenced off, and this is now a nationwide phenomenon. anna collinson, bbc news.
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scotland will develop its own coronavirus tiering framework and will look to align as closely as possible with other uk nations. but the scottish first minister, nicola sturgeon, said in her daily briefing earlier that advisers told this morning's cobra meeting that the "very minimum level of tier 3" due to be announced later are "probably not sufficient to get the r numberunder1." i don't want to go into detail of what will be announced in england, because well, obviously it is for them to finalise and definitely for them to finalise and definitely for them to finalise and definitely for them to announce, but one of these things that was, and i think it is perhaps relevant to the bars, restau ra nts perhaps relevant to the bars, restaurants divide, and i don't know what the final shape of that will be in england, or what areas of england may be going into that sort of tier three category, but one of the points that was made, and i think broadly accepted on the cobra call was made by some of the professional advisers on the call is that the very minimum level of the tier three
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that might be published in england todayis that might be published in england today is probably not sufficient to get r back under one, so probably what you needed something to be discussed with local areas that is beyond that bare minimum, but of italy those other factors we will ta ke italy those other factors we will take into account when making the decisions here. that is for others to reach these decisions in their own way and based on the evidence they have. it's notjust the north of england that is seeing a worrying rise in cases. let's speak now to sian lloyd who's in nottingham for us. sian, vicki young, our deputy political editor was saying just a little earlier that a lot of the cases in nottingham are being driven by students. well, certainly nottingham has the highest covid rate per 100,000 in england, and of course the question everyone has been asking here was would nottingham go into the highest tier, these new rankings. we understand
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110w these new rankings. we understand now that nottingham could be well headed for the second tier. of course, that is just our understanding at this stage. we have been told that three quarters of all the new cases here in nottingham are in the 18 to 20 tier year group, certainly, and there are some 60,000 stu d e nts certainly, and there are some 60,000 students in nottingham studying at the two universities here. they have been significantly linked to the outbreak in nottingham, the student population, but public health officials have stressed that it is wider than that. that is not the com plete wider than that. that is not the complete story, and they are worried about the rate, the rise here in nottingham, across the city certainly, but also across the wider county, and what we were being told ata county, and what we were being told at a briefing were certainly on friday, was that they would welcome uniform regulations being introduced not just across nottingham uniform regulations being introduced notjust across nottingham city centre, but across the wider county
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area, because currently there are no restrictions, no particular restrictions, no particular restrictions for nottingham, above the 10pm curfew and the rule of six, of course, which other cities in england also have, but with this exceedingly higher rate, local public officials have been advising residents here since last week not to mix households. that hasjust been advised though, and they do expect that that regulation will now become mandatory here in nottingham. it is unclear yet whether there will be further restrictions as well, rheeder. sian, just as you are starting to speak on one of our collea g u es starting to speak on one of our colleagues in bbc nottingham tweeted that he understands all of nottinghamshire will be placed under tier two restrictions, so that middle level. thank you very much indeed. our correspondence sian lloyd. our correspondentjon kay is in tiverton, in devon. jon, what is the picture where you are? well, overall, rheeder, the
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rate here in the south—west of finland has been far, far lower than it has been relatively another of the country. —— south—west of england. yes, they have been individual spikes in places at times, yes they have been so very sad stories from time to time, but generally people here feel that they've escaped the very worst of it. the south—west has not seen anything like the situation in the north—west of the north—east or in a place like nottingham, where sian was just then. place like nottingham, where sian wasjust then. in place like nottingham, where sian was just then. in fact the rate here in mid devon, it still exists here, but the rate here is 15 times lower thanit but the rate here is 15 times lower than it is in nottingham. so over the last few weeks we have spoken to a lot of people, particularly businesses, who have told us they have been very worried about the possibility of another national lockdown. they were really fearful that the whole system could be shut, like it was early in the year. people here were saying to us, where does that leave my business, my pub, my restaurant? why should i be shut down when the situation here is nowhere near as bad as it is may be
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hundred miles away full stop so i think there is relief now that the government is not going to do a national lockdown, that it will be a more tiered, targeted approach, but community leaders, politicians are saying do not get complacent, there are still rules to follow, still regulations, and things can turn very quickly and they point to the situation right now in exeter and in bristol, both either side of tiverton where we are right now where because of students returning to university, the rates have started to increase quite significantly over the last few days and that they say is an example of why, even in a place like tiverton, that might be feeling slightly relieved tonight, but they should still be aware that things can switch very, very quickly. 0k, thanks very much for that update, jon kay in tiverton. we can speak to speakto an speak to an epidemiologist and senior clinical lecturer at the university of exeter medical school and afamiliar university of exeter medical school and a familiar face to watch as bbc news. so you are aware of the three
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tier system coming in. we are getting details dribbling in over the course of the afternoon. do you think this is the right way to go? yes, but we need a little bit more. i hope prime ministerjohnson is going to say from here on in i am giving greater autonomy to the local authorities and the local experts to handle their outbreaks, because going forward, six, ten, 12 months from today, we will need the shoe leather, the local people, the local experts to handle these outbreaks, and they can do it much, much better than the essential approach that we have had thus far. so that's really interesting. so local people, who will be able to differentiate, for example, between quite where the virus is spreading on how to prevent that, is that what you mean? and much more, because we are a lot more responsive, so to use an example, you were mentioning tiverton there, which is my neck of the woods, i
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know the lie of the land, i know where all the hotspots are, i know the estates, i know the people, i know where the risk points are, and ican know where the risk points are, and i can mobilise my environmental health, my public health, my public health england people very, very quickly, very nimbly, and go into any one of those areas very, very quickly and stamp down a rise in number of cases, and that is the way forward , number of cases, and that is the way forward, because it allows us a lot more timely responsiveness to control the outbreak. and when you say stamp down the cases, what do you mean, impose very, very localised lockdowns? well, not necessarily, but what you will find for example is if there is a hotspot that has created the cases, you look at why it was created, so is it a restau ra nt, at why it was created, so is it a restaurant, is it a pub, is it an outing, a shopping centre? and you then bring in control measures not to repeat it, and introduce control for the people who have already been
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exposed and created as cases. so that way you deal with what you have, and you deal with the future, not allowing it to happen again. and do you fear that might create the sort of confusion we have heard in a people's minds about what the rules are in one area and what they are in another area? are in one area and what they are in another area ? what are in one area and what they are in another area? what is the case being made for this three tier system the prime minister is about to announce is that it is simple. it may be simple but the trouble is that it is centrally directed and controlled, and the outbreaks are still happening. the outbreaks are happening. the outbreaks are happening all over the country, and you need the local people to actually control them and bring them down, and therefore we are not going to, locally, people are not going to invent new rules and things, but they are actually going to what i would call control the outbreak, bring it under control, by bringing in measures. those are not going to be at variance with national
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directives, but local people will be running it. and the old solution of using test and trace, we shouldn't lose sight of that, i suppose? no, we shouldn't, but you know there has been a lot of reliance on test and trace, and it is really worrying me, because i talk to headmasters, head teachers every day, and they are telling mejohnny teachers every day, and they are telling me johnny has teachers every day, and they are telling mejohnny has not been tested and therefore mum is sending him to school, and that really, really, really worries me, because we have many people unable to get their tests, and they are saying until the test is done, i am not taking any other actions. this is serious, so we need people, whether you are tested or not tested, if you have any signs and symptoms, to pull yourself out of circulation. don't wait for the test result to tell you to pull yourself out of circulation. 0k, to pull yourself out of circulation. ok, that's very clear, good to talk to you, thank you so much. there are
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more patients in hospital with covid—19 now than there were right at the onset of the pandemic, back before restrictions were introduced in march, according to the latest figures provided by the nhs. because of this, the nhs medical director stephen powis says nightingale hospitals in manchester, sunderland and harrogate have now been put on standby to take patients. so with this increase in virus related hospital admissions, what are doctors on the front line seeing? drjoel dunning is a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon working at south tees hospitals nhs foundation trust. he spent two months working as an icu nurse to help during lockdown. good afternoon to you, nice to see you again. of course we have spoken to you at various times in the last six months. how would you assess the situation now, are you seeing an increase in numbers? yes, absolutely, just like many other hospitals in the north of england we
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are seeing an increase in numbers. in march at our peak we had 150 patients in our hospital. that went all the way down to just four in the summer, in august, and as of today, we've got 33 patients in our hospital, and we've got five patients in critical care. so it is rising, we are all getting ready to face whatever comes, but the numbers are going up. we saw some data given by governments's medical advisers this morning that suggested that numbers of positive cases had started off by being quite high in younger age groups, you know, between 16 and 30, but were now moving up into the older age groups, which of course is very worrying. are you seeing that as well? yes, so professor va n are you seeing that as well? yes, so professor van tam just this morning has shown us the graphs that, as the young get it in large numbers, that prevalence creeps up in the age
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groups, because that's just what we've experienced, and yes, the people coming into hospital are the older age groups, so it is u nfortu nate we older age groups, so it is unfortunate we cannot older age groups, so it is u nfortu nate we ca nnot safely older age groups, so it is unfortunate we cannot safely have only the young getting this and protect our elderly, which is the reason why i think restrictions are going to come more strongly this afternoon. we are six months on from the first spike in the pandemic. do you feel that you and your collea g u es you feel that you and your colleagues are better able to cope, because you know more about the virus now? yeah, i mean, the nhs just did an amazing job in march. we totally turned round all our systems, we created phenomenal work streams and certainly in south tees we had a great command structure. we split our hospitals into two, we really dealt with it well. the nhs did the amazing recovery trial, and thatis did the amazing recovery trial, and that is still going, exciting things for treatment are going on right now. regen a run, that $90,000 treatment that donald trump had, was
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just given by one of my dr collea g u es just given by one of my dr colleagues in north tees to an nhs patient, so we've got steroids, we've got render severe, we've got patients who have recovered from coronavirus, giving their own convalescent plasma. so we are really well—prepared, we have split our hospitals again into safe and covid areas, so we're well prepared, that we do wish the next bike will be as little as possible because we totally shut down non—coronavirus services and we don't want to stop services and we don't want to stop services to lung cancer patients and urgent heart disease patients, we have backlogs and we want to get through them. very interesting what you say about the next treatments, are they things that can be given at scale, should that be necessary? the great thing about the recovery trial is that they are proven treatments we have proven to work, and when
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that happens, we will roll it out, so that happens, we will roll it out, soi that happens, we will roll it out, so i don't think there will be a limit to them, i think we are measured and careful, unlike some other countries, so we just give proven treatments and i don't have any worries that anyone in the country will get the absolute best care. again, i think we are definitely robust enough to com pletely definitely robust enough to completely deal with any peak. i don't think we are worried we will be overwhelmed at all, so i think all patients out there can be very reassured they will get the absolute best of care, whatever may come in the future. as we wait for the prime minister to announce exactly what the new restrictions are going to be, which areas are going to come under them, in your own area, do you feel that the restrictions are the right ones? the most important thing to get across is the fact this is not something where we can pick and choose our own rules. some of us break the speed limit a little bit, that just harms me break the speed limit a little bit, thatjust harms me but we've all got to stick to the rules. this is a
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storm that is coming and we had to row together to survive and get through this storm. if 20 or 30% don't follow the rules, that will increase the prevalence and people will be harmed. it is a really difficult decision to decide what the rules will be but i think for us, the average people and my message out there is we can all have a discussion about whether we like the rules, but please do follow whatever rules may come and the rules will be difficult, they will be change and they will be different north to self but unless we follow them, we won't be able to react quickly when the storm gets stronger or the storm subsides. doctor, thank you so much for talking to us. a—level and gcse exams are to go ahead next summer but later than usual. gavin williamson has announced that they will be pushed back by about weeks and will cover
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u nless back by about weeks and will cover unless less content. school leaders have called for a plan b. speaking in the house of commons this afternoon, the education secretary told mps it is important each child gets the education they require. every member of this house recognises the value that all children gain from being in school, being with their teachers, having the opportunity to learn and that's why issuing the direction of continuity of education, making schools are held accountable for delivering education even if pupils are having to isolate at home is so important. we need to ensure every child whether in the classroom or at home are getting the education they require. that was the education secretary gavin williamson speaking earlier. we are waiting for the statement from the prime minister,
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borisjohnson, in the house of commons about the new three tier levels of restrictions for coronavirus across england. i can show you some pictures ofjust a few minutes ago of the prime minister, one mast up, leaving downing street to go on his way to the house of commons. one or two details have emerged during the course of the afternoon. greater manchester and nottinghamshire it is suggested will be in tier two, so that is the middle level of restrictions and there are indications that liverpool and the liverpool area will be placed under tier three. just before we hear from the placed under tier three. just before we hearfrom the prime minister i wa nt to ta ke we hearfrom the prime minister i want to take you back to westminster and vicki young who is there for us now. a big moment for the prime minister. and for lots of people some despair we are back here where we are after those few weeks of
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freedom and even then, not for everybody over the summer. it has all come to a halt rather quickly. the prime minister back to the house of commons to explain why there are going to have to be tighter restrictions. the whole idea of having these three different tiers was to simplify things but central government has got in a dialogue and argument about what is supposed to happen and particularly ram the financial support there should be for those places that are forced to close which looks if you are in tier three, places like liverpool, that the pubs there will be. you closed. what kind of support what they get. fascinating over the next couple of hours to see labour ‘s reaction but also conservative mps, some of whom have felt the closures have already gone too far and they don't want that to happen, they are extremely worried about the economic impact.
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is it proportionate, they will be asking. the big question, what are the triggers for entering and also leaving these tiers. we have had lots of men saying once extra restrictions are brought in and it is impossible to get out of them and the broad picture which i think eve ryo ne the broad picture which i think everyone will want to know and no one can know is whether this is going to work. the government very clear they don't want a return to a national knock—down, that's not what they are planning here... with your permission i will make a statement on our continuing fight against coronavirus and how we intend to fulfil our simultaneous objectives, saving lives, protecting the nhs while keeping our children in school and our economy runny. protecting jobs and livelihoods. this morning the deputy chief medical officer set out the stark reality of the second wave of this virus. the number of cases has quadrupled in the last
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three weeks. there are now more people in hospital with covid than when we went into lockdown on march 23 and deaths are rising. of course there are those who say that on that logic we should go back into a full national knock—down of indefinite duration. closing schools and businesses, telling people to stay at home as we did in march. once again shattering our lives and our society. i do not believe that will be the right course. we would not only be depriving our children of their education, we would do such damage to our economy as to erode our long—term ability to fund the nhs and other crucial public services. on the other side of the argument there are those who think that the patience of the public is not exhausted, that we should abandon the fight against covid,
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stand aside, let nature take her course and call a halt to these repressions of liberty. of course i understand those emotions, i understand those emotions, i understand the frustration of those who have been chafing under the restrictions, the sacrifices they have made. but if we were to follow that course and let the virus rip, then the bleak mathematics dictate we would suffer not only an intolerable death toll, we would put such a huge strain on our nhs with an uncontrolled second spike that our doctors and nurses would be unable to devote themselves to other treatments for cancer, heart disease and hundreds more. there have already been delayed and that would be delayed again with serious long—term damage to the health of the nation. it is no answer to say we could let the virus take hold among the young and fit while shielding the elderly and vulnerable
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because the virus would then spread with such velocity in the general population that there would be no way of stopping it from spreading among the elderly. and even if the virus is less lethal for the under 60s, there will still be many younger people for whom alas it remains lethal. so we don't want to go back to another national knock—down. we can't let the virus rip and so we followed since june a balanced approach. with the support of many members across the house. to keep the letter are down while keeping schools and the economy going and controlling the virus by changing our behaviour so as to restrict its spread. that's why we have the will of six and we have restrictions such as the 10pm closing time on our hospitality sector and i take no pleasure whatsoever in imposing restrictions
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on these businesses. many of which have gone to great lengths to reopen as safely as possible. nor do i want to stop people enjoying themselves. but we must act to save lives. and the evidence shows that in changing our behaviour, in restricting transmission between us, our actions are saving lives. left unchecked, each person with the virus will infect an average of between 2.7 and three others. but sage says that the current letter are nationally between 1.2 current letter are nationally between1.2 and 1.5. current letter are nationally between 1.2 and 1.5. we are already suppressing that r to well below its natural level which is why the virus is not spreading as quickly as it did in march. but we need to go further. in recent months we have
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worked with local leaders to counter local spikes with targeted restrictions, but this local approach has inevitably produced two different sets of rules in different parts of the country that are now complex to understand and to e nforce. complex to understand and to enforce. sojust complex to understand and to enforce. so just as we simplified our national rules with the rule of six, we will now simplify and standardise our local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local covid alert levels in england, set at medium, high and very high. the medium alert level will cover most of the country which will cover most of the country which will cover most of the country which will cover most of the country and will consist of the current national measures. this includes the will of six and the closure of hospitality at ten p:m.. the high alert level will reflect the interventions in the many local areas at the moment. this
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primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors. in these areas the role of six will continue to apply outdoors where it is harder for the virus to spread in public spaces as well as private gardens. most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the high alert level. as a result of rising infection rates, nottinghamshire, east and west cheshire and a small area of will also move into the high alert level. the very high alert level will apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly and where the nhs could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions. in these areas the government will set a baseline prohibiting social mixing
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indoors and in private gardens and i'm sorry to say closing pubs and bars. we want to create the maximum possible local consensus behind this more severe local action, so in each area we will work with local government leaders on the additional measures which should be taken. this could lead to further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors. but retail, schools and universities will remain open. as my right honourable friend the chancellor has set out, the government will expand its unprecedented economic support to assist those affected by these decisions, extending our job assist those affected by these decisions, extending ourjob support scheme to cover two thirds of the wages of those in any business that
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is required to close and providing those businesses with a cash grant of up to £3000 a month instead of £1500 every three weeks. we will also provide local authorities across england with around £1 billion of new financial support on top of our £3.6 billion pounds fund. and for very high areas we will give further financial support for local test and trace and local enforcement. and assistance from the armed forces not for enforcement but rather to support local services if desired in the local area. i can report that we have been able to reach agreement with the leaders in merseyside. localauthorities reach agreement with the leaders in merseyside. local authorities in the liverpool city region will move into the very high alert level from wednesday. in addition to the baseline i've outlined, this is as
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well as pubs and bars. in merseyside, gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close. i'd like to put on record my thanks to steve rotherham and his colleagues for their cooperation in very difficult circumstances. engagement with other leaders in the north—west, the north—east and yorkshire and humber is continuing. i know how difficult this is. they like us, like everyone in this house are grappling with very real dilemmas. but we cannot let the nhs fall dilemmas. but we cannot let the nhs fa ll over dilemmas. but we cannot let the nhs fall over when lives are at stake, so fall over when lives are at stake, so let me repeat the offer that we are making to those local authorities. work with us on these difficult but necessary measures in the areas that are rated very high
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in return for more support for local test and trace, more funding for local enforcement, the offer of help from the services and the job support scheme as announced by the chancellor. i believe not to act would be unforgivable, so i hope rapid progress can be made in the coming days. regulations for all three covid local alert levels are being allayed today, they will be debated and voted on tomorrow before coming into force on wednesday. we will also keep these measures under consta nt will also keep these measures under constant review, including a four week sunset clause four interventions in very high areas. a postcode search on guv .uk as well as the nhs and covid will show which local alert level applies in each area and also publishing updated guidance to explain what the covid alert levels mean for those who are
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clinically extremely vulnerable. and while these levels specifically apply to england, we work closely with the devolved administrations to tackle this virus across the whole united kingdom. this is not how we wa nt united kingdom. this is not how we want to live our lives but this is the narrow path we had to tread between the social and economic trauma of a four lockdown and the massive human and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic. with local and regional and national government coming together, in a shared responsibility and a shared effort to deliver ever better testing and tracing, ever more efficient enforcement of the rules, and with ever improving therapies, with the mountains of ppe and the ventilators that we have stockpiled, with all the lessons we have learnt in the last few months, we are
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becoming better and better at fighting this virus. and though i must warn the house again that the weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the mettle of this country, i have no doubt at all that together we will succeed and i commend this statement to the house. i called the leader of the opposition, keir starmer. thank you. cani the opposition, keir starmer. thank you. can i thank the prime minister for advance sight of his statement and for his telephone call earlier today. we are at a critical moment, a tipping point to quote the deputy chief medical officer. we have all seen chief medical officer. we have all seen the clear and alarming trend of infection rates, the virus is now spreading in all areas of the united kingdom they're much faster in some areas than others. as the prime minister said and the deputy chief medical officer said there were now more patients in hospital with covid today than when the country went
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into lockdown on the 23rd of march. and deaths are rising. nobody should be under any illusion about where this is heading stop or of the need for decisive action. the question todayis for decisive action. the question today is whether they restrictions announced by the prime minister can bring the country back from the brink, whether they can regain control of the virus and provide the support and confidence that local businesses and communities need. that is how high the stakes now are. so we will consider the package, we will look at the small print of the prime minister's statement. we will discuss them with local mayors, councillors and leaders in the areas most affected. and we will scrutinise the economic package that sits alongside them. but i had to say to the prime minister, i am now deeply sceptical that the government has actually got a plan to get control of this virus, to protect jobs or regain public trust. we have
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tried to give the prime minister the benefit of the doubt but it increasingly feels the prime minister is several steps behind the curve and running to catch up with the virus that he has lost control of long ago. it was less than three weeks ago, 22nd of september that the prime minister came to this house to announce new restrictions. he said then that the measures he was introducing ben would i quote curb the number of daily infections, but those restrictions were carefullyjudged to achieve the maximum reduction in the r number. that hasn't happened. those measures have not worked. we wouldn't be here today if they had. there's a pattern here. on the first of the prime minister told us of his new black or strategy to control local outbreaks. 20 areas have now been in restrictions for over two months. 19 have seen their infection rates rise, some by large amounts. so
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those measures have not worked either. in may the prime minister boasted of a world beating track and trace system, he told us it would be a real game changer in the fight against the virus. we have debated this many times since but last week, the figures were the worst yet. the prime minister promised 100% of test results would be turned around in 2a hours, the latest figure for in—person testing is just 24% being turned around in that period. this serial failure turned around in that period. this serialfailure combined turned around in that period. this serial failure combined with the repeated leaks serial failure combined with the repeated lea ks of serial failure combined with the repeated leaks of briefing to the newspapers in the last few days have fatally eroded public confidence just when we need it most. so can the prime minister tell us what reassurance can he give us that these measures today will be sufficient to get the virus under control? will he finally accepted that trace and isolate should be handed over to local authorities as we have been saying for months? will
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he accept the support packages announced by the chancellor simply won't work for many thousands of people are particularly those on the minimum wage? the huge anger about this in areas under lockdown and there is a huge gap in the government's plan. will he confirm that mayors, local leaders, council leaders and others will be fully involved in any future decisions? finally i want to say this to the prime minister, i know there will be some who oppose further restrictions, there will be those who will look at the data and tell him to disregard it. or say the cost of acting now is too high. i want to be clear, the worst thing the prime minister can do is not act quickly and decisively enough, or to keep coming back to this house every couple of weeks with a new plan that doesn't work and isn't up to the scale of the task. we need to break that cycle, finally get on top of the virus, rebuild public
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confidence. i hope the measures announced today will do so. but the housein announced today will do so. but the house in the country will be deeply sceptical whether they can. thank you, mr speaker. we have had a slight change of tack from the right honourable gentleman who has been hitherto willing to support the measure is this government is putting in place to restrict the spread of coronavirus and we now see and equivocation. he wants it both ways. he said he supported the rule of six and then his side refused to vote for it. he said he is unwilling to support the restrictions replaced on hospitality, he continually runs down nhs test and trace. what he won't say is what he would do and what he won't say is exactly how he would propose to get this virus down without those kinds of restrictions. if he supports the tier three measures that merseyside have rightly put into place today, he
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should say so today, should have the guts to say so to local leaders across the country. that he supports those measures, he encourages them to go into tier three. it is a stunning silence we have heard from the right honourable gentleman. we by co nt ra st the right honourable gentleman. we by contrast are working with those local leaders to put in the measures that will protect their populations, protect the nhs, keep our economy moving and drive the virus down. that is our collective endeavour and i strongly urge him to work out where he stands, to stop flip—flopping from one side to the next or rather to go back to his previous position which was support the restricted measures are necessary to drive the virus down. iain duncan smith. can i welcome the right honourable friend's statement and recognise these are difficult times and he has to make very difficult and i hope balance
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choices. balancing the economic damage against the need to save our fellow citizens. but in all of this there is one positive point which is rarely referred to it which is that the death rate has fallen from 3% in june two not .6% which has to be seen as possibly part of what the government is trying to do and given that, the strategy of the government is to drive down the infection rate, quite legitimately, while searching for a vaccine. i want to raise that others have said and the scientific advisers have said as well that there is a lot of talk about the antivirals, these two that have now arrived and given the government's objective to drive infection rate, also underneath that, surely given the age of death at the moment averaging 82.4, shouldn't we make these much more widely available at these much more widely available at the earliest opportunity through gps
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and every other doctor to get them to those people to reduce the likelihood of bringing themselves to hospital and then dying? can we get short and she answers and questions to get through everybody on this. he is right that we have better treatments but alas, the death rate has risen many times overjust in the last few weeks, six times over in the last few weeks and we have no choice under the circumstances with more people being admitted to hospital to get the virus down. to the scotland and ian blackford. over recent weeks we have all witnessed the worrying trends, the upsurge in hospitalisations and the increase in death. the danger of the virus is self evident. we know we are at a tipping point so today must be a turning point. a turning point where
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we must once again act collectively and get back to the absolute priority of suppressing the virus, protecting the nhs and saving lives. cani protecting the nhs and saving lives. can i ask the prime minister is the policy to bring the r below one through the highest level interventions and proposed ? through the highest level interventions and proposed? since the beginning we have known that mass testing is vital. any delays in the processing of tests slow the start of contact tracing. can the prime minister advise what proportion of tests in the last seven days took longer than 48 hours to process? and what steps are being taken to ensure there is no backlog in processing from the lighthouse? mr speaker, if today is to be a turning point, then the uk government needs to carry out another u—turn on financial support for workers. it is blindingly and blata ntly for workers. it is blindingly and blatantly unfair just as for workers. it is blindingly and
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blatantly unfairjust as health restrictions are being strengthened, economic support is being weakened. the chancellor needs to finally wake up the chancellor needs to finally wake up to that logic. no more last—minute half baked economic announcements, even tory backbenchers are calling for furlough to be maintained at 80% of wage support. will the prime minister give some certainty and security to businesses and workers, will he finally instruct his tra nsfer to will he finally instruct his transfer to extend the furlough scheme beyond october? businesses and workers must not pay the price for managing the lockdown with closures and unemployment when their businesses would be a viable post of the special measures. can the prime minister also confirm that devolved administrations will be able to trigger the financial support directly without requiring approval from the uk government when they choose an area under restrictions to help reduce the spread of the virus? finally, a universal credit and support for the most vulnerable,
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last wednesday the prime minister suggested, i ask him again what his plan is to maintain the lifeline of the universal credit support. now he has another week to consider it, will he do the right thing and make the £20 universal credit uplift permanent? on nhs test and trace, capacity has massively increased and as he knows to 312,000. we are introducing new testing sites, 500 new testing sites, introducing more labs for testing and he asked also about what we can do to get the virus down, they measures that we are taking. he is completely right that it depends on enforcement, it depends on testing and tracing, it also depends on each and every one of us following the guidance,
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working together to get the virus down and that is what i hope that he will encourage everyone to do. on the excellent point he raises about support for businesses that are going to be affected by the latest measures, i willjust stressed that the chancellor's latest job support scheme at 67% is highly competitive with all other european countries, indeed more generous than many. and we will continue to put our arms around every worker and every business in this country to the best of the ability of this country, and on his point about universal credit, the uplift will remain at present for the rest of this financial year. i will finish this at 5:50pm. jeremy hunt. this morning it was announced that the routine testing of asymptomatic nhs staff in hotspot areas would start, this has been
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long advocated by the select committee and i want to thank the prime ministerfor committee and i want to thank the prime minister for progress committee and i want to thank the prime ministerfor progress in committee and i want to thank the prime minister for progress in this area. we all want to avoid a second national lockdown which would be devastating for jobs. national lockdown which would be devastating forjobs. does my right honourable friend agree that the evidence from china, korea and italy is that the best way to avoid this is that the best way to avoid this is early a decisive, localised interventions however difficult, however unpalatable and that today's difficult decision is not there for about a trade off between jobs and health, but ultimately the best way to secure both? my right honourable friend is absolutely right in what he says and i know local leaders across the country will listen to him and i hope they will accept our offer and go to tier three when necessary. the cove na nt has go to tier three when necessary. the covenant has asked a lot from people from this pandemic, stay home, close
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your business, don't be there for the death of your loved one. the british people have borne the advice with grace and resilience. all they ask from government is clear communication and basic competence yet it seems, mr speaker, their sacrifices have been squandered by the government's failure to build a robust test, trace and isolate system or even communicate confidently. so can the prime minister promised that the new sacrifices he is asking for people today will not be squandered this time? well, mr speaker, of course we are working hard with colleagues across the house to get our messages across the house to get our messages across and i'm grateful to him for the support he has felt able to give for the measures that we've outlined. i do believe that they can be very effective, if they're delivered jointly with local authorities, with local support, and that's what we are working for, and againi that's what we are working for, and again i hope that he willjoin us in that effort. thank you, mr speaker.
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i know pubs across burton and uttoxeter will appreciate the support available to them through thejob support support available to them through the job support scheme in the event ofa the job support scheme in the event of a local lockdown, but will my right honourable friend consider the impact on breweries for example, which won't be eligible for the support but won't have any pubs to be able to sell to? well, mr speaker, i understand the point she makes and we will have of course the regularjob support makes and we will have of course the regular job support scheme makes and we will have of course the regularjob support scheme available to businesses that are open but not able to trade in the way they would wa nt able to trade in the way they would want to. we must of course do all we can to ensure that the nhs is able to cope with the current situation, but i agree with the prime minister that a localised approach is the right approach, whilst keeping schools and businesses open, but in terms of support for those who have so far not received that support, will the prime minister commit to
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putting his arms around those people who have not yet benefited from the various schemes that have been brought forward by the government? glenn mr speaker, we always do what we can to improve the welfare system of those who aren't benefiting but i would just remind the house that the self—employed, which is a group i think we all care about very much, have received so far £13.5 billion of support and we will continue to look after them as well. one of the many reasons the prime minister has proved himself such a formidable and popular politician over so many yea rs has popular politician over so many years has been his resolute belief in the common—sense of the british therefore, instead of a constant blizzard of arbitrary rules which will only serve to collapse the economy and destroy businesses and jobs, will he instead remind people what is important, social distancing, washing hands, the groups who are most at risk of the elderly, people with health conditions etc, and once again put his trust in the british people to act responsibly? after all,
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believing that individuals make better decisions for themselves, theirfamilies better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities than the state can make for them is surely at the heart of what it means to bea surely at the heart of what it means to be a conservative? well, mr speaker, he is exactly right and the best decision individuals can make themselves, for their families and for communities is to follow the guidance, wash your hands, face, space, protect the nhs and save lives. people from conwy, with 122 cases per 100,000, are not permitted by welsh law to make nonessential journeys into merion if next door where cases stand at 18 per hundred thousand, but the people of liverpool, with almost 1600 cases per hundred thousand can still go on holiday there. people in wales are asking the prime minister how is this fair? well, the guidance is
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very clear that people from very high areas such as merseyside should not be making those journeys.“ high areas such as merseyside should not be making those journeys. is my right honourable friend aware that in essex, though the case rate remains relatively low, we have cases doubling every ten days? and isn't it better to bring in decisive measures, which would be effective at suppressing the curve before it climbs, rather than waiting until after it claims, provided the measures are effective, and provided there is economic support, particularly for the hospitality sector? my right honourable friend is completely right and that is why we are bringing in the package that we are bringing in the package that we are bringing in the package that we are today. so today we seem to have a partial admission of the failure of the government's outsource, test and trace system, when so many of us have argued for so long that it should be in the hands of public local health teams, does he regret handing billions over to the private sector, who have failed so spectacularly, and will he
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now give it back to local public health teams who know their communities best so that they can do that in all areas, notjust the very high areas? and one final thing, prime minister, will he stop saying he has put his arms around the self—employed, because over 3 million of them have had no support since march? mr speaker, on her substantive, i repeat the point we have made about the self—employed, 13.5 billion have been given to support them and where there is more we can do we will honestly look at it. she makes an interesting point about whether a local approach would have been better throughout this thana have been better throughout this than a national approach. all the evidence is that you need both, and thatis evidence is that you need both, and that is what we have supplied and that is what we have supplied and thatis that is what we have supplied and that is what we have supplied and that is what we have supplied and that is what we will continue to supply and that is why we are expanding our support for the local approach, because the experience of other countries shows you need a national approach, other countries shows you need a nationalapproach, because other countries shows you need a national approach, because otherwise the local test and trace operation simply do not join the local test and trace operation simply do notjoin up, mr speaker, and there are plenty of other countries where they have had that experience, and that's why we are going down the approach that joins up going down the approach that joins up local test and trace with national test and trace as well.
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what does he make of the statement that we at the world health organisation do not advocate lockdown is as the primary means of control for this virus? —— lockdowns. i totally agree with what david navarro had to say. i think is completely right and i think the best way of controlling this virus is common sense restrictions on person—to—person contact, because it is that person—to—person contact that spreads the virus, that is what we need to do. heading to north down with stephen farrow. thank you, mr speaker. northern ireland is suffering from some of the worst covid figures in the uk. can the prime ministerfollow covid figures in the uk. can the prime minister follow through on his commitment to give the northern ireland executive the financial firepower so it can follow the science and do what is necessary to address a deteriorating situation and to give us the support to do
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what is necessary? of course, mr speaker, and the northern ireland businesses in northern ireland will receive exactly the same support on the basis of barnett consequentials. that's inevitable. thank you, mr speaker. i welcome the prime minister's commitment to work on a local level, and i hope you will understand my disappointment that wolverhampton has been lumped into a tier two situation, despite what we are. my fantastic pubs and restau ra nts are. my fantastic pubs and restaurants have done everything asked of them are now because they are in tiertwo, asked of them are now because they are in tier two, they face no financial support at all and a devastating effect on their viability. can he urgently look into it? i am gratefulto my honourable friend but actually the job support scheme is precisely available to
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pubs, restaurants and businesses in her constituency that are facing, that are not able to trade, they may be open but not able to trade as they normally would. up to merseyside with sir george howard. thank you, mr speaker. the prime minister is aware that if we are to tackle these horrendous rises in covid—19 in liverpool city region, we need a much more effective track, trace and isolate system. but we haven't got one yet. will he accept my suggestion that we establish a liverpool city region test, trace and isolate task force, including the nhs, local authorities, the metro mayor and other stakeholders, to report at the end of this week how the unused nhs capacity that exists could be used more
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effectively, so that we have a proper test trace and isolate system in place? i am gratefulto the right honourable gentleman, i can tell him we are already working with the liverpool city region on improving local test and trace and i think his suggestion is very apposite and i'm sure it is one that will be taken forward in the course of those conversations. mr speaker, we are seeing a very unwelcome trend from the party opposite that backs the government's sensible measures one week, only to flip—flop and change their mind the next week. does my right honourable friend agree with me and several constituents from derbyshire dales who have said that what they want to see is this house working together for sensible policies, rather than political point scoring? yes, indeed, mr speaker, and i think what the people of this country want to see is unanimous support for measures that
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restrict the spread of the virus, and we've had that before. i hope we will have it again. what i hope is that members opposite who are calling on me to do more in greater manchester will prevail on the authorities in greater manchester to come into tier three and help us to get there. tragically, one of the few certainties about this second wave is that economic hardship will rise, so why will the prime minister neither review the level of statutory sick pay, which even the health secretary said he couldn't afford to live on, or crucially extend the holiday hunger food voucher extend the holiday hunger food voucher programme extend the holiday hunger food voucher programme to extend the holiday hunger food voucher programme to cover extend the holiday hunger food voucher programme to cover half term and christmas holidays? mr speaker, as he knows, we have given substantial sums to support meals for kids in need of free school meals in these difficult times, £380 million already, and we will continue through universal credit
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and other support to support families across this country throughout this crisis.|j families across this country throughout this crisis. i warmly welcome my right honourable friend's collaborative approach with local government, and with the mayors, but will he bear in mind that we have unity amongst politicians and the public health experts across the west midlands under our skilful and much respected mayor andy street, in support of the current levels of restrictions, because they do appear to be working? the medical evidence and political consensus suggests leaving the west midlands at level one with the additional local restrictions. alas, the virus continues to rise across the country, not uniformly, butjudgment is that we have made are ones that we are sticking to. for the record, as you are well aware, mr speaker, horton is in cheshire though it is a
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member of the liverpool regional authority it is actually in cheshire, so can i ask the prime minister this? he and cheshire, so can i ask the prime ministerthis? he and his cheshire, so can i ask the prime minister this? he and his ministers announced new measures, new restrictions on the 14th, the 22nd and the 24th of september, and as recently as the 3rd of october, either national or local, which impacted upon my constituency. is this an example of how the government is shifting from one restriction to the next without any real proper plan to deal with this, or cani real proper plan to deal with this, or can i ask the promised one specific question about my constituency? horton has a lower level of infection than a number of other areas that are not in the highest restriction rate so can i ask him why houlton is not in —— is in the highest restriction rate when others are not? of course this government is obliged to adapt its plans to combat the virus is the epidemic changes shape and course. but our objective remains unchanged, which is to get the r down in his constituency and elsewhere whilst keeping education open and keeping
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our economy going, and that is something i think on which both sides of this house are united. the prime minister has said there will bea prime minister has said there will be a four—week sunset for areas in the highest restrictions. what reassurance can he give to areas in tier one and tier two, some of which have had additional restrictions for two and a half months, that this isn't going to become a permanent state ? isn't going to become a permanent state? mr speaker, we keep all these things under constant review, and nothing could be more attractive to the government than moving the whole country out of the present restrictions that we are in as fast as possible. that requires us all to follow the guidance. heading up to scotland with drew hendry. thank you, mr speaker. the prime minister has just you, mr speaker. the prime minister hasjust said he you, mr speaker. the prime minister has just said he wants to put his arms around every worker in the country. that will sound pretty hollow to those people left alone and abandoned, those who have been excluded from any covert support from this government. they now face a £20 reduction a week reduction in
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their universal credit, so can they a nswer their universal credit, so can they answer the question i am asked by my increasingly desperate constituents every day, how are they to pay their bills? mr speaker, don't forget this government has increased universal credit by about £7 billion, perhaps £9 billion, thousand pounds a year, and the uplift will remain in place for this financial year, as i told the house earlier on. buy when does my right honourable friend expect to have vaccinated the vulnerable population, what is his confidence in that date and why does he have that confidence? i am grateful to my right honourable friend, alas i can't give him a date by which i can promise confidently that we will have a vaccine. there are some very hopeful signs, not least from the oxford astrazeneca trials that are being conducted, but as he knows,
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sars took place 18 years ago, we still don't have a vaccine for sars. i don't wish too depressing but we must be realistic about this. there isa must be realistic about this. there is a good chance of a vaccine but it cannot be taken for granted. thank you, mr deputy speaker. prime minister, sorry, mr speaker, how dare i? my apologies. prime minister, instead of establishing a system in public health, you have invested £10 billion in privatised companies. it hasn't controlled the virus, it hasn't saved lives, and it hasn't rebuilt the economy. in brent, wonderful ceo carolyn downes with the leader of the council know but had control of local testing, we we re but had control of local testing, we were able to test people very quickly and surrounding areas. now the garment has taken the majority of testing away, people have been told they have to drive miles to be tested and in addition care workers have waited seven days to get their results. when will the prime minister stopped his obsession with
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a centralised approach and go with a decentralised approach that works?|j understand decentralised approach that works?” understand the point she makes and againi understand the point she makes and again i am sorry for the bad experiences that some people have had with the excessive turnaround times for nhs test and trace and so on, buti times for nhs test and trace and so on, but i do think that the mixed approach we are taking is the right one. you need a joined up national test and tray system, combined with the work of local authorities and thatis the work of local authorities and that is what we are delivering.” thank the prime minister for his statement after the tireless work is putting in to tackle this wretched virus. a number of constituents in hospitality business have contacted me like cheryl in bishop auckland, and she is particularly concerned about the lack of households being able to beat in her local pubs, so cani able to beat in her local pubs, so can i reassure cheryl we will look at lifting those restrictions as soon as possible and also take every step possible to provide additional support financially for those in tier two lockdowns? of course mr
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speaker, and in addition to providing support for hospitality pubs in bishop auckland through the jss that i pubs in bishop auckland through the jss that i have mentioned already, there is the business rate cut that she is familiar with, the grants that i have announced today, but the best thing is, she rightly says, is to get the virus under control so that we can lift these restrictions altogether. that's what we want to do. right, well, we will leave the prime minister addressing mps there in the house of commons, outlining to them the new system of local restrictions for coronavirus. i want to bring in our deputy political editor vicki young, who is in westminster for us and who was listening to all of that. vicki, what did you learn they are?” listening to all of that. vicki, what did you learn they are? i think he has loaned out more of the details of some of the three tiers. there will be a way that people can check to a post code exactly what it means, but broadly those areas that
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already have extra restrictions on top of the rule of six if you like, so lots of places for months in some cases have had restrictions on households mixing for example, they will go into tier two, and at the moment it isjust will go into tier two, and at the moment it is just that one area of liverpool that is going into tier three with the most restrictions, which will include some further closures. but it is obvious that is going to change over time and more places will go into the air, and actually the measures that might be taken could go even further, but you could hear there from the criticism coming at the prime minister from all sides, including his coming at the prime minister from allsides, including his own, coming at the prime minister from all sides, including his own, the range of opinion there. some people do not think he is acting quickly enough and should go much further with more national restrictions right now, and there are others, including some of his own conservative mps who are saying, look, individuals need to be able to make their own choices, all this is going to do is going to close down more parts of the economy and lead to longer term pain. so he was laying out what has become a very
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familiar theme for him, really, how he is trying to balance between saving lives, stopping hospitals becoming overwhelmed, but also making sure that, for example, educational establishments stay open, and that is much a part of the economy can stay open as possible, including of course education, universities and other places and offices. and what about the response from the labour leader, sir keir starmer? did you think it was more critical than usual? yes, starmer? did you think it was more criticalthan usual? yes, sober him up criticalthan usual? yes, sober him up until now, and he said today i have been trying to give the prime minister the benefit of the doubt, but today he was much more critical, saying that he now doesn't think that the government has a plan to suppress the virus. he accused the prime minister of being behind the curve on lots of these measures. now, that all suggested, he felt, that the government should be going further. he certainly called for more financial support, but he seemed to suggest that he felt there should be further and tighter
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restrictions. he didn't quite say it, though, so it is unclear at the moment whether he feels actually there should be more national restrictions put in place, or whether he simply thinks that actually local authorities, local mayors should be allowed to take more stringent measures. ok, thank you very much, vicki young, our deputy political westminster editor. naomi grimley, our health correspondent, joins us now. i wonder if you could recap for us the distinction between these tees england is being divided into? the lowest tier is called medium, so there is no lower tier, so in the medium tier, the baseline will be the rule of six, you can only meet up the rule of six, you can only meet up with six other people, and a 10pm cu rfew up with six other people, and a 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants and hospitality. now, the next tier up is called high, and that involves a ban on all indoor mixing, so that
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includes going to the pub but also includes going to the pub but also includes having friends round for dinner. but you are able to continue to meet six people outdoors, and that includes private gardens, so that includes private gardens, so thatis that includes private gardens, so that is an interesting change. and then when it goes to the highest tier, very high, as vicki was saying, that concerns liverpool, this is a ban on all household mixing, whether inside or outside, also pubs and bars close, also gyms, casinos, betting shops, leisure facilities. the only thing is really that can carry on there are retail, schools, universities and restau ra nts, schools, universities and restaurants, interestingly, because although bars and pubs are closing, restau ra nts ca n although bars and pubs are closing, restaurants can carry on. and why has liverpool been singled out, all the liverpool city region been singled out and not other areas of the north—west? is it because of the number of cases per 100,000? well, really it is because of the number of hospitalisations, and this
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morning we saw from the government has backed scientific advisers and medical advisers that liverpool was seeing a particularly sharp acceleration of the numbers being hospitalised, and in fact liverpool university's hospital trust, they now have 250 patients in their beds who are suffering from covid. that is the highest in the country. but the situation we were always warned was very serious the situation we were always warned was very serious in manchester, where the head of intensive care at manchester royal infirmary was warning that 30% of their critical ca re warning that 30% of their critical care beds were filled with covid patients, so you can see that although it applies to liverpool now, it may well apply to greater manchester in due course. we will have to wait and see. and, naomi, we have to wait and see. and, naomi, we have during this time just received the latest information on new cases of covid—19, and deaths. you just wa nt to of covid—19, and deaths. you just want to run through those for us? yes, and these are deaths reported
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today, is 50, that's down from the previous day of 65, but remember that the general seven day rolling average suggests that deaths are on the increase, and also when it comes to cases in the uk, today, they have been reported as 13,972, sojust to cases in the uk, today, they have been reported as 13,972, so just shy of 14,000, which was the kind of figures we were seeing last week. so again, all the data, i'm afraid, is headed in the wrong direction. ok, thank you very much, our health correspondent naomi grimley. joe anderson is the labour mayor of liverpool and he joins me anderson is the labour mayor of liverpool and hejoins me now. good afternoon to you, mr anderson. so, liverpool city area, the only one to be put into tier three. how do you feel about that? well, i get mixed feelings really. we knew it was going to happen, so it didn't come asa going to happen, so it didn't come as a great shot, because we have had conversations with the government
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over the weekend, so we were aware we would be placed in tier three, but sadness, and by the way, your figures that you gave, that the scientist gave out, 250 in the hospitals in liverpool, that is now 277 cases are hospitalised in liverpool, with 3000 people infected. so the point is that we knew that the government were going to impose tougher restrictions, and we agreed with the government of having to impose tougher restrictions. we want, like them, to bring the virus down, and what we argued was, you know, i have been arguing for six weeks for better track and trace systems and testing systems, and they have agreed with us that now, so we have the armed forces coming into liverpool to work with us to actually achieve a better system. but, you know, we also argued as well as protecting lives and doing things to tackle the
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virus, we also need to protect livelihoods, so we argued really strongly for a stronger financial package, better than the furlough scheme that is currently on offer. u nfortu nately, scheme that is currently on offer. unfortunately, that wasn't listened to. so i feel a sense... unfortunately, that wasn't listened to. so i feela sense... sorry unfortunately, that wasn't listened to. so i feel a sense... sorry to but in there, so that financial help on offer to businesses will be what the chancellor announced last friday, effectively two thirds of a work of‘s wage paid? friday, effectively two thirds of a work of's wage paid? yeah, and if you are on low pay, the living wage, which most people in the hospitality sector are on, that means you are going to get two thirds of a very low wage, and they will still have to find the money for the rent, the money for the mortgage, the money for the shop and electricity, gas. they won't be expected to pay two thirds of that. so it is really a slap in the teeth to those in businesses and also to those that work for them who can't afford to make ends meet. and that is why we have been arguing really strongly over the weekend that if you are
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having a local lockdown, forcing businesses through no fault of their own to close, then you need to compensate those businesses and have a local furlough scheme that compensates them. but you haven't been given the funding for that? no, no, infact been given the funding for that? no, no, in fact we were just totally told that is not going to happen. that's why it is disappointing to hear the prime minister in the commons say that the city leaders have reached an agreement with government full stop that is not the case. we agreed on track, trace and testing, we agreed on how we could have new powers on lockdown measures to enforce those powers, but not in terms of the financial package. we wa nted terms of the financial package. we wanted a local furlough scheme that reflected fully, fully what people are losing in businesses, and people are losing in businesses, and people are losing in wages, and only that would have satisfied ask. so we are not in agreement, i am not in agreement with the imposition of a
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furlough scheme on us with that local lockdown. ok, we will have to leave it there, very good to talk to you, joe anderson, the mayor of liverpool. thank you. well, let's just recap what we have heard in the past hour. borisjohnson has announced a new set of restrictions design to curb the rapidly rising number of coronavirus cases. the prime minister told mps that every area of england would be placed into medium, high or very high alert levels. places listed as medium would be subject to the current rules. in the high alert category, household mixing would be banned indoors. in the very high alert areas, social mixing will be banned indoors and in private gardens, and pubs and bars would be closed. the prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer are due to give a statement at 7pm tonight, which will be shown live on bbc one full stop between now and then, you will get reaction and analysis to this afternoon's announcement continuing
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on the bbc news channel. you are watching bbc news. and now it is time for a look at the weather with ben rich. good afternoon. it hasn't exactly been the brightest of starts to the new week, not the warmest of starts either. it is cool, cloudy, we have had some outbreaks of rain in many places. things are set to change through the coming week. it will gradually turn dryer, but it will stay rather chilly with temperatures just a touch below par for this time of year full stop so through the rest of today then, a band of rain pushing its way eastwards, the further west you are, the sky brightening with some sunshine but one or two showers, some of which will be heavy across northern ireland and western parts of scotland. those are the temperatures as we head into the evening, just eight or 9 degrees for some north sea coasts and elsewhere 11 or 12 degrees. a cool afternoon leading into a rather cool night. as we go through the night, we will see these outbreaks of rain lingering for a while across the south—east of england and then starting to
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feedback in across scotland and north—east england, and further west there will be a mix of clear spells and showers will stop most spaces holding up around five, six, 7 degrees. could be a bit colder than that for parts of south—west scotla nd that for parts of south—west scotland and northern england. so as we head into tomorrow, low pressure still in charge, this frontal system bringing a spiral of wet weather across the british isles. you can see that rain across parts of scotla nd see that rain across parts of scotland to start off, pushing down into northern england, parts of wales as well. some hefty showers pushing southwards across the south—west of england. something a little drier and brighter towards the south—east of the uk, although some rain may return to some eastern coasts later, and certainly it will brighten up for northern ireland and scotla nd brighten up for northern ireland and scotland with sunny spells and just a small chance for a shower. windy though, particularly across the northern half of the uk and that wind coming down from the north—east, never a warm wind direction, so temperatures at best around 11, 12 or 13 degrees. as we look ahead to wednesday, there will be showers around, chiefly i think as we go through the day across
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england and wales, something dryer developing for

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