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Coronavirus UK news – Liverpool back in LOCKDOWN as cases spiral out of control, Matt Hancock announces

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LIVERPOOL has been placed back in lockdown as cases in the city spiral out of control, Matt Hancock announced today.

Tough new rules on social mixing will be imposed in the city of Liverpool as well as Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough as “cases continue to rise fast”, the Health Secretary said today.

Speaking in the Commons, Hancock said “In Liverpool, the number of cases is 268 per 100,000 population, so together we need to act… I’m today extending these measures that have been in the North East since the start of this week.

The new rules include a ban on all social-mixing between people in different households, only visiting care homes in exceptional circumstances and guidance against all but essential travel, although commuting and going to school are considered essential.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates

10 DIE OF COVID AT HOSPITAL FOLLOWING OUTBREAK

Ten people have died with Covid-19 at a South Wales hospital, where 89 of those patients were linked to an outbreak at the hospital.

Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant has already suspended planned surgeries and its health board has decided to open a field hospital next week to relocate patients who are Covid-free.

On Thursday, Cwm Taf University Health Board also said 22 confirmed Covid-19 cases had been identified at its Prince Charles Hospital site in Merthyr Tydfil, but these were not linked to the outbreak at the Royal Glamorgan.

SPANISH LOCKDOWN

Madrid and its surrounding suburbs are preparing to enter a soft lockdown.

It will restrict trips in and out of the Spanish capital.

Regional President Isabel Diaz Ayuso said she would implement new national health regulations that impose restrictions on movement, business and social activity in large Spanish cities with high infection rates while Madrid also mounts a legal challenge to the national government order requiring the measures.

HANCOCK DEFENDS FIRM FLOGGING TEST AND TRACE

Health secretary Matt Hancock has defended Deloitte after the company was accused of profiteering for “marketing” contact tracing data services to local public health teams.

Labour said it was an “utter scandal” – insisting any information the firm has should be being provided free to local authorities. But Hancock claimed there was nothing wrong.

He told the Commons: “Deloitte have done an incredible job in helping us to put together the contact tracing and the backward contact tracing that we have, and of course they should offer their services to local councils too.”

CELTIC PUB SHUT FOR ‘BIOFOGGING’

A popular Celtic bar shut for a ‘biofogging’ after two staff members tested positive for coronavirus has re-opened in time for the Hoops’ Europa League clash.

The Brazen Head in Glasgow confirmed the cases in a social media post last night.

The pub closed on Tuesday after two bartenders, who had been working on Saturday and Sunday night, tested positive for Covid-19.

Brazen Head bosses say the closure allowed them to bring in a company to perform a ULV biofogging – which kills the virus in areas standard cleaning cannot reach.

And they say the deep clean will be repeated every eight weeks to keep staff and customers safe.

They confirmed the news with a post on Facebook, which included a picture of someone in a full protective suit performing the fogging.

They wrote: “Due to two members of staff testing positive for Covid-19 and concern for other staff members, our customers and the wider community we took the decision to close the bar on Tuesday, despite not being asked or told to.

“As it could take up to five days for Test and Trace to contact the staff members I felt it was the correct thing to do to let customers know that the members of staff concerned were working Saturday and Sunday from 5pm.

“All other staff that were in close contact have been for a test even though none are showing symptoms and will not return to work until test results are back.

COVID ‘SPREADING FAST’ IN LIVERPOOL

Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough have become the latest areas subjected to local coronavirus lockdowns but ministers said there was a “small hope” that progress was being made in slowing the spread of Covid-19 cases.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there were “early signs” that restrictions imposed in the past month were beginning to have an impact.

But announcing the new restrictions, he said the second peak in coronavirus infections was “highly localised” and in some areas it was “spreading fast”.

In Liverpool, there are 268 cases per 100,000 people, he told MPs, so action was needed.

The measures announced for the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough follow similar restrictions imposed in the North East earlier this week.

AREAS IN LOCKDOWN AND ON THE WATCH LIST

WOMAN’S BRAIN LEAKS AFTER COVID TEST INSERTED TOO HIGH UP NOSE

A coronavirus swab test was poked so far up a woman’s nose it caused her brain to LEAK, doctors have revealed.

The patient went to see a doctor after experiencing a metallic taste in her mouth, a runny nose and a headache.

She also said her neck felt stiff and she her eyes were sensitive to light, according to a case report, published today in the journal JAMA.

The woman, in her forties, told medics she had recently been tested for Covid-19 ahead of an operation to repair a hernia.

But she said that shortly after the surgery she had developed a runny nose, headache and vomiting.

During an examination, medics at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, US, discovered she had a mass in the

middle of the right nasal cavity.

They drained the mass and it tested positive for a protein in cerebrospinal fluid, which is found in the brain or spine.

NEW YORK SET TO TEST STUDENTS MONTHLY

The New York City school district is rolling out a monthly plan to test students and staff for the coronavirus.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city plans to do more than 100,000 virus tests on students a month, at a cost of between $78 and $90 per test.

The nations largest school district will test 10% to 20% of students and staff in every building monthly beginning Thursday, the same day the final wave of the districts more than 1 million students began returning to brick-and-mortar classrooms.

De Blasio announced the plan as part of an agreement with the teachers union to avert a strike. At least 79 Department of Education employees have died from the coronavirus.

Los Angeles public schools launched a similar $150 million testing program.

The CDC says coronavirus in school-age children in the U.S. has been rising since early September when many returned to classrooms.

ARGENTINA PASSES 750,000 CASES

The number of people tested positive for coronavirus in Argentina has passed 750,000.

The country’s overall tally now stands at 751,001, giving it the eighth-worst outbreak in the world.

It is one of four Latin American countries – along with Brazil, Peru, and Colombia – to feature in the top ten.

Argentina’s death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands at 16,937.

‘MONSTROUS’ LACK OF COMMUNICATION BY GOVT, SAYS MIDDLESBOROUGH MAYOR

Middlesborough Mayor Andy Preston has accused the government of a “monstrous” lack of communication and said he will not be abiding by new measures announced today.

Preston was speaking after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that local lockdowns would be introduced in a number of areas across the north of England, including Middlesborough.

“I think this measure has been introduced based on factual inaccuracies and a monstrous and frightening lack of communication and ignorance,” Preston said.

“I don’t accept the statement at all. I don’t accept the measures. We need to talk to government, they need to understand our local knowledge, expertise, and ability to get things done and preserve jobs and wellbeing.

“As things stand we defy the government and we do not accept these measures.”

NO LARGE-SCALE EVENTS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE FOR REST OF YEAR

Buckingham Palace has said no “large-scale events” like investitures will be held at the palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year.

A statement on the palace’s website read: “In line with current Government guidelines, and as a sensible precaution in the current circumstances, there will be no large-scale events held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year.

“A variety of possibilities were examined to see if it was possible for investitures to safely take place in line with the guidelines.

“Sadly, due to the large numbers of guests and recipients attending, it was not possible to find a way of safely delivering these events in the current circumstances.

“The Queen’s intention remains to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace during an autumn programme of audiences and engagements, in line with all relevant guidance and advice.”

STARMER CALLS FOR REVIEW OF 10PM CURFEW

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called on the government to review the 10pm curfew following concerns raised by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and others.

Burnham said earlier this week that he feared the curfew was simply encouraging people to gather in homes and on the streets and was “doing more harm than good”.

Speaking today, Sir Keir said: “We are supporting the package the Government has put in.

“But I think Andy Burnham in particular has questioned whether the 10pm curfew is working as intended.

“I suggest it might be a good idea for the Government to reflect on what Andy Burnham is saying and ask themselves the question whether that should stay in place.”

THREE DEATHS IN SCOTLAND

Scotland recorded three new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The deaths – of patients who first tested positive for the virus in the previous 28 days – take the overall toll to 2,522.

Speaking at Holyrood, Sturgeon also said 668 new coronavirus cases have been recorded in Scotland in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the state of the pandemic to 29,912.

SIX DEATHS IN WALES

A further six deaths of people who had tested positive for coronavirus have been recorded in Wales, Public Health Wales has said.

The announcement brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,622.

Another 398 cases of coronavirus have also been reported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Wales to 24,383.

ENGLAND RECORDS 44 NEW DEATHS

A further 44 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, NHS England has said.

The deaths bring the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 30,049.

Patients were aged between 60 and 99 years old and all had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths occurred between September 18 and September 30.

MIDDLESBROUGH MAYOR: ‘WE WILL DEFY THE GOV’

Covid lockdowns were thrown into chaos today after a mayor declared war on tough new restrictions – and vowed: “We will defy the government.”

Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston fought back after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the latest measures in a Commons address.

A ban on different households meeting will be introduced after a spike in infections.

It will be illegal to meet in settings, such as pubs and restaurants, in the Liverpool City Region, Warrington and Hartlepool.

Today’s news means around 20million people across the UK are now living under local lockdown restrictions.

But Mr Preston vowed not to obey the new rules.

HANCOCK DEFENDS FIRM FLOGGING TEST AND TRACE

Health secretary Matt Hancock has defended Deloitte after the company was accused of profiteering for “marketing” contact tracing data services to local public health teams.

Labour said it was an “utter scandal” – insisting any information the firm has should be being provided free to local authorities. But Hancock claimed there was nothing wrong.

He told the Commons: “Deloitte have done an incredible job in helping us to put together the contact tracing and the backward contact tracing that we have, and of course they should offer their services to local councils too.”

CORBYN APOLOGISES FOR BREAKING COVID RULES

Ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tonight apologised for breaching the “rule of six”.

The former Labour leader, 71, was photographed looking grumpy at the posh nine-strong bash.

He told The Sun: “I recently had dinner at a friend’s house where the number of guests eventually exceeded five.

“I understand that remaining at the dinner was a breach of the rule of six. I apologise for my mistake.”

GOVERNMENT ‘WANTS TO AVOID NATIONAL LOCKDOWN’

The government hopes to avoid having to introduce another national lockdown, Environment Secretary George Eustice has said.

The comments come after the announcement of new restrictions in Liverpool, Middlesborough, and other parts of the North.

Asked about reported concerns that the pandemic could see UK unemployment hit four million, Eustice said: “I’ve not seen any projections of four million but certainly we know that there are some 700,000 extra people that are already unemployed as a result of this.

“And yes, you know the projections are that there are going to be economic impacts.

“It’s for precisely that reason that we are trying to avoid full lockdown.”

GOVT’S £7MILLION FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES ‘NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH’, SAYS LIVERPOOL MAYOR

The government’s package of £7million to help local authorities in the North with the impact of new coronavirus restrictions is “nowhere near enough”, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has said.

The package was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning alongside new measures to be imposed in the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough.

Speaking to BBC Merseyside, Anderson said: “It’s nowhere near enough. £7 million wouldn’t be enough for Liverpool alone, let alone across the city region.
“It’s got to be in the hundreds of millions that we need to support businesses to survive just for a matter of weeks.

“A local lockdown is fine if it helps curtail the virus but there has to be a local furlough financial scheme for local businesses to survive.”

‘WE WANT RULES IN PLACE FOR AS SHORT A TIME AS POSSIBLE’, SAYS HANCOCK

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he wants new restrictions that have been imposed across the north of England to remain in place for as little time as possible.

Measures announced this morning will apply to Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough, and will mirror those already in place in parts of the North East.

Speaking in the Commons, Hancock said: “I understand how much of an imposition this is.

“I want rules like this to stay in place for as short a time as possible. I’m sure we all do.

“The more people follow the rules and reduce their social contact, the quicker we can get Liverpool and the North East back on their feet.”

HIGHEST WEEKLY CASE COUNT SINCE TEST AND TRACE LAUNCHED

England has seen the highest number of positive coronavirus tests in one week since the Test and Trace scheme was launched in May.

A total of 31,373 people were diagnosed in England in the week to September 23, the latest data shows. The figure is an increase of 61 percent on the previous week.

‘NO MIXING BETWEEN HOUSEHOLDS IN NORTHERN AREAS’, SAYS HANCOCK

New measures imposed in areas across the north of England will include a ban on almost all social mixing between different households, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

The rules will now apply in the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough.

“We recommend against all social-mixing between people in different households,” Hancock said in a statement to the Commons.

“We will bring in regulations, as we have in the North East, to prevent in law social mixing between people in different households in all settings except outdoor public spaces like parks and outdoor hospitality.

“We recommend that people only visit care homes in exceptional circumstances and there will be guidance against all but essential travel.”

STRICTER MEASURES INTRODUCED ACROSS NORTH

Tighter restrictions on social mixing will be imposed in the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough, the government has announced.

In a statement to the Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Earlier this week we brought in further measures in the North-East, however in parts of Teesside and the North-West of England cases continue to rise fast.

“In Liverpool, the number of cases is 268 per 100,000 population, so together we need to act.

“Working with council leaders and the mayors, I’m today extending these measures that have been in the North East since the start of this week to the Liverpool City Region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

“We will provide £7 million to local authorities in these areas to support them with their vital work.”

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