Coronavirus reside information: Boris Johnson publicizes new tier four and tightens Christmas guidelines; Scotland publicizes journey ban with remainder of UK | World information

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2.39pm EST
14:39

Right here’s extra from the Labour chief, Keir Starmer, who stated he was “actually annoyed” following the announcement that Christmas could be cancelled for a lot of households throughout the UK.

The an infection charges are going up very, very quick and so one thing must be performed, and we assist the steps the federal government has put in place however hundreds of thousands of households are going to be heartbroken by this information – having their Christmas plans ripped up.

I’m actually annoyed as a result of I raised this with the prime minister on Wednesday and he dismissed that and went on to inform folks to have a merry little Christmas – solely three days later to tear up their plans.

I feel the British public is entitled to extra decisive management than that.

Up to date
at 2.47pm EST



2.38pm EST
14:38

Good night everybody.

That is Nicola Slawson and I’m taking up the liveblog from Lucy for the night. Get in contact in the event you assume I’m lacking something. My e-mail is nicola.slawson@theguardian.com.



2.00pm EST
14:00

The Labour chief, Sir Keir Starmer, has lambasted Boris Johnson’s authorities for making last-minute adjustments to coronavirus restrictions round Christmas, including that stricter guidelines ought to have been in place earlier.

New tier four restrictions have been introduced throughout England, Wales and Scotland on Saturday amid a surge in coronavirus instances and issues a few new pressure of coronavirus.

Hundreds of thousands throughout Britain can be ‘heartbroken’: Keir Starmer reacts to coronavirus U-turn – video



1.51pm EST
13:51

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon informed the briefing that the overwhelming majority of recognized instances of the brand new pressure are in Higher Glasgow and Clyde, including:

In Scotland, however for this new pressure I wouldn’t be standing right here proper now. That is about this new pressure and the chance we all know it poses if we don’t do one thing.

She underlined that the journey ban can be legislation: whereas enforcement choices are for Police Scotland to make, she needs the general public to think twice about whether or not journeys are essential.

Sturgeon stated she recognises how troublesome the phased return to highschool can be for working mother and father, and added that her authorities can be setting out additional info on the influence on nurseries over the subsequent few days.

Nicola Sturgeon imposes Scotland journey ban as new Covid pressure results in instances rising – video

Up to date
at 2.18pm EST



1.41pm EST
13:41

Benjamin Netanyahu has turn out to be the primary individual in Israel to get vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus, because the nation begins it inoculation rollout on Saturday night time.

The prime minister had beforehand stated he needed to set an instance for different Israelis by taking the Pfizer vaccine first.

“What’s vital to me is that the folks of Israel get vaccinated. I imagine on this vaccine. I would like the folks of Israel to get vaccinated and so I can be first,” he stated earlier this month.

Israel, a rustic of 9 million folks, has made offers with Pfizer to offer a number of million doses, in addition to separate agreements with Moderna Inc and AstraZeneca Plc.

Each day an infection charges in Israel have risen shut to three,00zero per day, and the federal government is contemplating renewed restrictions to avert a potential third nationwide shutdown.

Authorities had beforehand debated imposing nighttime curfews, whereas faculties and lots of outlets may be closed.

Benjamin Netanyahu and the health minister Yuli Edelstein were injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine live on TV at the Sheba Medical Center, the country’s largest hospital, in Ramat Gan near the coastal city of Tel Aviv.

Benjamin Netanyahu and the well being minister Yuli Edelstein have been injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reside on TV on the Sheba Medical Heart, Israel’s largest hospital, in Ramat Gan close to the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv. : Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Pictures

Up to date
at 2.25pm EST



1.38pm EST
13:38

Abstract

Here’s a recap of the principle developments from the previous few hours from the UK:

From midnight tonight, London, the south-east and the east of England will enter tier four – the hardest degree of restrictions, just like the final nationwide lockdown in November. The adjustments have an effect on areas together with, Kent, Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and all 32 London boroughs – some 17.7 million folks. Folks can be suggested to not journey into or out of tier four areas. In tier four, a stay-at-home order can be issued to residents (other than those that should journey for work or training), social mixing can be restricted to the assembly of 1 different individual in an open public area, all non-essential retail and companies must shut (together with, hairdressers, nail bars and indoor leisure venues). Boris Johnson stated the measures could be reviewed each two weeks.
The comfort of guidelines for Christmas has been scrapped for a lot of south-east England and lower to simply Christmas Day for the remainder of England. The deliberate leisure of guidelines over 5 days for Christmas has been cancelled fully for the areas going into tier four, the place households are longer permitted to combine in any respect (other than assist bubbles). For the remainder of England in tiers 1-Three, the gathering of as much as three households can solely happen on Christmas Day. The announcement adopted days of significant concern from scientists and medics over the relief of restrictions amid rising an infection charges and hospitalisations and the fast-spreading new pressure of the virus, significantly within the south-east of England.
The brand new variant, spreading most quickly throughout London, the south-east and the east of England, is as much as 70% extra transmissible than the unique virus. At current, the brand new pressure isn’t considered any extra harmful or deadly than the unique virus, and it’s believed that the vaccine needs to be enough for it. Rising alarm over the dramatic unfold of the brand new variant was a major motivating issue behind the above restrictions introduced right now for England, Wales and Scotland and the festive interval.
Scotland introduced a strict journey ban with the remainder of the UK, festive bubbles will solely be allowed on Christmas Day and degree four restrictions from Boxing Day. The primary minister Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement after an emergency cupboard assembly the place details about the influence of the brand new pressure of the virus advised that this was “in all probability probably the most severe and harmful juncture” for the reason that starting of the pandemic. Sturgeon emphasised that it remained important to behave on a preventative foundation. The five-day Christmas window for indoor mixing can be diminished to Christmas Day itself alone, and near-lockdown degree four restrictions will come into pressure for all of mainland Scotland from Boxing Day morning for 3 weeks, with non-essential outlets and hospitality closing. To be reviewed after three weeks, Sturgeon’s measures are the hardest of these introduced throughout the UK right now.
Wales can be positioned beneath lockdown from midnight tonight with all festive leisure plans restricted to Christmas Day solely. The choice introduced by the primary minister, Mark Drakeford, adopted pressing talks over the brand new pressure of coronavirus that’s spreading quickly in London and the south-east of England. Drakeford stated the sample of transmission linked to the brand new variant, is “remarkably in step with the speedy acceleration of transmission in Wales” in latest weeks and required an “rapid response”. There had been plans for Wales to enter lockdown from 28 December, however the adjustments introduced this ahead to 00.01 on Sunday 20 December. The entire of Wales will enter the very best degree of lockdown – degree four – with all however important outlets shut from the tip of buying and selling right now, and the general public informed to “keep residence”, the deliberate leisure of guidelines from 23 to 28 December has been scrapped and festive bubbles at the moment are restricted to Christmas Day solely.

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Up to date
at 1.39pm EST



1.35pm EST
13:35

There isn’t any rapid plan to alter the Christmas Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Eire, regardless of guidelines being tightened in different elements of the UK, PA Media understands.

Sources stated conferences between the chief and the UK authorities had been ongoing all day. The primary minister Arlene Foster, the deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill, the well being minister Robin Swann and the chief medical officer Michael McBride held discussions on the difficulty on Saturday.



1.03pm EST
13:03

The brand new pressure of Covid-19 might depart the NHS struggling to offer its traditional vary of care, particularly within the new tier four areas, hospital bosses stated after Boris Johnson’s announcement.

In a depressing evaluation of the state of affairs going through the well being service Danny Mortimer, the chief govt of the NHS Confederation, stated:

The NHS was already going through its most difficult winter on document earlier than the invention of a extra virulent pressure of Covid-19 and even with these newest measures, we’re nonetheless prone to see elevated transmission of the illness and a deteriorating state of affairs going through different frontline NHS companies, regardless of the very best efforts of a stretched well being and care workforce.

NHS leaders are frightened that the tide is in opposition to them and the federal government might want to degree with the general public in regards to the companies the NHS will have the ability to present within the areas transferring into tier 4 and nationally ought to the state of affairs deteriorate additional.

The Confederation represents all kinds of care suppliers in England, reminiscent of hospitals, GP networks, ambulance service and psychological well being suppliers. Mortimer added:

New Christmas restrictions is the current nobody needed however the NHS wants.

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He urged the general public to do every part they’ll over the festive interval to comply with the foundations to guard the NHS.

The federal government is true to degree with the general public about how difficult the state of affairs within the coming days and weeks can be and it’s vital this chilling however clear message is maintained all through the Christmas season.

The virus has redoubled its efforts and so should we with a brand new heightened vigilance and social contact stored to an absolute minimal even when and the place permissible.

NHS Suppliers, which speaks for England’s 240 well being service trusts, additionally backed Johnson’s motion. Chris Hopson, its chief govt, stated:

Belief leaders have persistently referred to as for the restrictions to be as powerful as wanted to chop an infection charges. It’s subsequently proper that the federal government has acted rapidly to avert vital additional deaths and ranges of hurt.

Belief leaders, who’re seeing quickly rising ranges of Covid-19 sufferers and hospital admissions, will clearly hope that these measures will quickly decelerate virus unfold and the variety of instances. However that can rely on everybody following the foundations meticulously.

This was a tricky however essential determination.



12.51pm EST
12:51

Scotland publicizes journey ban with remainder of UK and curbs to Christmas mixing

There can be a strict journey ban between Scotland and the remainder of the UK all through the festive interval, and the 5 day Christmas window for indoor mixing can be diminished to at some point, Christmas Day itself, Nicola Sturgeon has stated.

Close to-lockdown degree four restrictions will come into pressure for all of mainland Scotland from Boxing Day morning for 3 weeks, with non-essential outlets and hospitality closing.

Sturgeon additionally introduced a staggered return to highschool for pupils, with faculties on-line solely till 18 January, aside from for the youngsters of key employees who can return on 11 January.

Chatting with the media and the general public after an emergency cupboard assembly on Saturday afternoon, Scotland’s first minister emphasised that – whereas the state of affairs isn’t presently as extreme as that in England and Wales – it remained important to behave on a preventative foundation.

Sturgeon stated that info she had mentioned at cupboard in regards to the influence of the brand new pressure of the virus advised that this was “in all probability probably the most severe and harmful juncture” for the reason that starting of the pandemic. Seventeen instances of the brand new variant have now been recognized throughout Scotland however she stated this was prone to be an understatement of its true prevalence.

Sturgeon, who has taken a persistently extra cautious strategy to Christmas steerage, stated the brand new restrictions have been designed to stop extra of the brand new pressure coming into Scotland and to scale back the chance of it spreading additional in Scotland.

The festive bubble stays at a restrict of eight folks from Three households, with a powerful advice to maintain it as small as potential.

She urged folks to not meet indoors with different households over Christmas if they’ll probably keep away from it. Journey inside Scotland can be allowed on Christmas Day solely, and he or she could be asking Police Scotland to contemplate tips on how to implement the cross-border journey ban.

Sturgeon stated:

Standing right here saying this makes me need to cry as a result of I understand how harsh it sounds…however this virus is unfair.

She stated that she understood that folks would have a look at Scotland’s case numbers and question whether or not these rapid tightening of restrictions was essential.

This new pressure is transmitting so rapidly that it’ll very quickly overwhelm us.

Up to date
at 1.50pm EST



12.48pm EST
12:48

The Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford has stated the brand new pressure of coronavirus was “genuinely a part of the reason” for a speedy surge in instances throughout Wales.

He informed BBC Wales:

We all know as of right now there are tons of of individuals in all elements of Wales who at the moment are affected by this variation, and people folks can be extra infectious to different folks.

And different individuals are extra prone to catch the virus due to the best way the virus has modified.

I feel while you have a look at these numbers that are so just like the numbers in London and the south-east, it’s genuinely a part of the reason.



12.19pm EST
12:19

Again to Johnson’s press convention.

Q. Three days in the past you knew in regards to the new pressure and rising infections, and nonetheless you stated it was ‘too late’ to cancel Christmas – how do you count on folks to comply with the foundations in the event that they maintain altering?

Johnson says their understanding of the speed of transmission of the brand new variant modified.

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Q. Are you going to place further assist in place for companies which have to shut now?

Johnson factors to the mortgage scheme and the prolonged furlough scheme (till April).

Up to date
at 12.55pm EST



12.12pm EST
12:12

Wales lockdown introduced ahead to midnight tonight with curtailed Christmas

The primary minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, has introduced lockdown restrictions will come into pressure throughout Wales from midnight tonight, with festive leisure plans cancelled apart from Christmas Day.

The choice adopted pressing talks over the brand new pressure of coronavirus that’s spreading quickly in elements of the nation. Drakeford stated the sample of transmission in London and the south-east of England, linked to the brand new variant, is “remarkably in step with the speedy acceleration of transmission in Wales” in latest weeks.

In a press release, the primary minister stated the most recent proof advised that the brand new pressure is current “all through Wales” and stated this required an “rapid response”.

The Welsh authorities’s cupboard met this afternoon to debate the “worrying new improvement within the pandemic”, in addition to recommendation from senior medical and scientific advisers, together with the influence on NHS Wales.

Drakeford stated:

The state of affairs is extremely severe. I can’t overstate this. Now we have subsequently reached the troublesome determination to convey ahead the alert degree four restrictions for Wales, in step with the motion being taken in London and the south-east of England. These new restrictions will come into impact from midnight tonight as a substitute of throughout the Christmas interval.

The deliberate leisure of guidelines from 23 to 28 December has been scrapped and competition bubbles at the moment are restricted to Christmas Day solely.

The primary minister stated:

Sadly, we should additionally look once more on the preparations for Christmas – we can’t expose folks to the chance of this new, extra virulent pressure of coronavirus.

We are going to subsequently change the present guidelines, which permit two households to come back collectively to kind a Christmas bubble over a five-day interval, in order that they may apply on Christmas Day solely.

All through the alert degree four interval, a single individual family will have the ability to be part of with one different family.

Drakeford added:

Whereas all of us need to keep away from additional disruption to companies and plans for Christmas, our overriding responsibility is to guard lives right here in Wales. We all know that 2021 can be a distinct and a greater yr. Our economic system will recuperate. Christmas will come once more.

There had been plans for Wales to enter lockdown from 28 December, however the adjustments imply this has been introduced ahead and can start at 00.01 on Sunday 20 December.

The entire of Wales will enter the very best degree of lockdown – degree four – with all however important outlets shut from the tip of buying and selling right now, and the general public informed to “keep residence”.

Up to date
at 12.24pm EST



12.06pm EST
12:06

Q. As you knew in regards to the new variant way back to November, was it reckless to vow 5 days of Christmas in opposition to scientific recommendation?

Johnson says they’ve all the time tried to comply with scientific recommendation.

The science has modified, when it comes to what we’ve realized about its transmissibility, so we couldn’t ignore that and needed to take these additional steps, he provides.

Q. What does ‘preserving it brief’ over Christmas Day imply?

Whitty says to the extent you probably can – maintain it small, maintain it brief and maintain it native, and keep in mind that the susceptible are susceptible.

Minimise the quantity of contact, maintain it at a distance and the shortest interval you possibly can.

Vallance provides it’s essential to assume that you simply is likely to be infectious and that’s how you must behave.

Johnson provides one in three infections are nonetheless being transmitted asymptomatically and folks want to recollect this.



12.01pm EST
12:01

Q. Ought to police be stopping folks from travelling outdoors tier four and knocking on doorways of households breaking the foundations on Christmas Day?

Johnson says he’s certain the majority folks will proceed to take this severely.

Q. Is that this an admission that the tier system has failed and are we primarily again in a lockdown till March?

Johnson didn’t reply this.

Q. Why has Britain received this new variant so unhealthy, do different international locations have it, and the way did Britain get it?

Vallance says a lot of mutations of the virus have occurred around the globe.

It could be in different international locations as effectively and it could have began right here however we are able to’t make certain, he says, which is why the sequencing is so vital.

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