Bolton has seen an increase of coronavirus infections from 120 per 100,000 population from 99 at the weekend. Matt Hancock has announced new measures for the town including restrictions to hospitality venues from tonight. The Health Secretary warned: “Just because we’ve come through one peak, it does not mean we cannot see another one coming.”
Earlier it emerged Boris Johnson is set to limit the maximum number of people who can legally gather indoors in England. A Government inside said the figure will be reduced from 30, but the new number is yet to be finalised.
It comes as China’s emergency coronavirus vaccine programme is close to being rolled out nationwide.
Sinovac Biotech Ltd, the Chinese firm leading the programme, has said initial research shows the vaccine is safe, including for the elderly – who are more vulnerable to the deadly virus.
Chinese researches have said preliminary results show the vaccine, named CoronaVac, appeared to be safe for elderly people.
But they did say the results of the mid-stage trial found immune responses triggered by the vaccine were slightly weaker than in younger adults.
Sinovac’s CoronaVac did not cause severe side effects in combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials launched in May, which involved 421 participants aged at least 60, Liu Peicheng, the firm’s media representative.
But the full results of the trials were not made available.
Coronavirus news: The Government is poised to change lockdown restrictions
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with Beijing on requirements for international approval of any Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, a senior official said on Monday.
CoronaVac is currently being tested in Brazil and Indonesia in final-stage human trials to evaluate whether the drug is safe and effective for mass use.
The vaccine has already been given to tens of thousands of people, including 90 percent of Sinovac employees and their families.
China hopes to roll out a vaccine to protect essential workers against a potential second wave of COVID-19.
So far no vaccine has passed final, large-scale trials to prove it is effective and safe enough to protect people against the virus.
FOLLOW EXPRESS.CO.UK FOR LIVE UPDATES:
Matt Hancock has tightened lockdown restrictions in Bolton
9.15pm update: EasyJet cuts flights after Greek islands fall under quarantine rules
The airline giant is reducnig flights following the government’s decision to impose quarantine resitrctions for seven Greek islands.
From 4am on Wednesday, travellers arriving in England from Lesbos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini or Zakynthos (also known as Zante) must self-isolate for 14 days.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “Following the imposition of additional quarantine restrictions to seven Greek islands and the continued uncertainty this brings for customers, demand is now likely to be further impacted and therefore lower than previously anticipated.
“We know our customers are as frustrated as we are with the unpredictable travel and quarantine restrictions.
“We called on the Government to opt for a targeted, regionalised and more predictable and structured system of quarantine many weeks ago so customers could make travel plans with confidence.”
8pm update: Canada coronavirus cases surging as schools begin to reopen
Canada has seen a huge increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus as schools throughout the country begin to reopen.
Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said an average of 545 new cases had been reported daily over the last week – nearly double from around 300 in July.
She told a briefing: “This is concerning and I want to underscore that when cases occur, including in schools, it is a reflection on what’s happening in the community.
“This week is a really critical week.”
7.03pm update: France cases and deaths mount up as country battles to avoid second wave
France has announced a further 6,544 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, with an additional 39 deats, as the country battles to avoid a second wave of COVID-19.
The totals now stand at 335,524 and 30,764 respectively.
Health Minister Olivier Veran said earlier on Tuesday the escalating coronavirus situation is worrying, but believes a significant second wave of infections can be avoided.
He told France Inter radio: “The reproduction rate of the virus stands at 1.2 which is less than the 3.2-3.4 level seen during the spring.
“So the virus is spreading at lesser speed but it is circulating, which is worrying.”
6.58pm update: Coronavirus cases in Glasgow pubs surge since lockdown tightened
The number of coronavirus cases linked to pubs in the Scottish city has increased since restrictions on visits to other homes were reintroduced, the health board has said.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC) said there had been a growing number of positive tests in Glasgow’s hospitality sector, although there were no major outbreaks.
Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHS GGC director of public health, said: “We are seeing increased number of cases in this area, often due to house parties but some also relate to visits to bars and restaurants.
“Nobody wants to see pubs and restaurants have to close down again.
“When we examine the rate per 100,000 population it is highest in West Dunbartonshire where many cases relate to family gatherings and parties.
“The next highest rate is in Glasgow City where more cases are associated with visits to bars and restaurants.
“Only the Inverclyde rate is remaining relatively low at present.”
Coronavirus latest: France is fighting to avoid a second wave of infections hitting the country
6.07pm update: Ireland reports most coronavirus cases since May
Ireland has reported a further 307 cases of COVID-19 – the highest number of daily infections in the country since mid-May.
The National Public Health Emergency Team said 182 of the new cases were in Dublin.
Government minister Simon Harris said earlier on Tuesday the Irish capital was at a “delicate point” due to a surge in cases.
5.45pm update: Keir Starmer warns test and trace ‘on verge of collapse’
The Labour leader told the BBC: “Everybody is deeply concerned about the rise in the rate of infection.
“As we reopen the economy, as children go back to school, this was always going to be a risk, we understand that.
“What we’re now seeing is stories over the past few days that is showing the testing regime is on the verge of collapse.
“Heartbreaking stories from people who need a test being told no tests are available.
“Or the website is crashing, or people are being told to go miles and miles for a test.
“Nobody can argue that that is good governance.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Health and Care insisted test and trace “is working”.
But she acknowledged there is “significant demand” for tests and capacity was being targeted at the areas that need them most.
5.40pm update: Northern Ireland reports two further deaths and 40 new COVID cases
An additional two deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said.
A further 40 confirmed COVID-19 cases have also been confirmed over the most recent 24 hour period.
Coronavirus latest: More than 41,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the UK
5.28pm update: EU ministers cancel plenary session in Srasbourg because of coronavirus
European Union law states parliament must hold a four-day session once a month in the French city.
But European Parliament President David Sassoli said in a statement: “The resurgence of the pandemic in many member states and the decisions taken by the French authorities to classify the entire Lower Rhine department as a red zone obliges us to reconsider the move to Strasbourg.”
referring to the more regularly used assembly building in the Belgian capital, where EU ministers work when they are not in Strasbfourg, he added: “The plenary session of the European Parliament will take place in Brussels.
In their own statement, France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune and Strasbourg’s Mayor, Jeanne Barseghian, called for a “swift return to plenary sessions” in French city.
4.56pm update: Lord Sugar hits out at ‘unfair’ criticism of the Government’s response to coronavirus
The Apprentice star believes Chancellor rishi sunak has done a “good job in the circumstances”.
But Lord Alan Sugar told the PA News Agency the government should now demand office workers return to their city centre workplaces.
He said: “I think the Chancellor a done very well generally, and I say that as someone who is not exactly a supporter of the Government.
“There have been a lot of people saying how costly it has been and giving them stick, but I think that’s unfair to be honest.
“But I do think they need to demand that people come back to offices and support the city, support the economy.
“The City is suffering as there are no workers there, so until they really push to get more people there it will continue to look like a ghost town.”
4.30pm update: Government confirms 2,420 new coronavirus cases – NI results delayed
There have been a further 2,420 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus as of 9am on Tuesday, taking the overall total to 352,520 infections.
The latest figures do not include those from Northern Ireland, which have been delayed.
This compares to 2,948 new COVID-19 cases that were announced on Monday.
The Government said 41,584 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday – an increased of 30 on the day before.
Coronavirus latest: Ireland could reimpose restrictions in Dublin following a surge in cases
3.40pm update: Ireland to reopen all pubs from September 21
A senior minister has confirmed Ireland is planning to reopen all pubs on September 21 – dropping a ban on those that do not serve food.
Pubs serving food have been allowed to open since the end of June under strict rules after after public health officials said they represented a safer environment than pubs that only serve alcohol.
Simon Harris, minister for Higher Education and Science, said: “What we are not proposing to do on September 21 is to reopen pubs, packed bars, crowded places.
“We’re talking about allowing a pub to reopen with table service and not serve chicken goujons to justify it.”
3.23pm update: Hancock warns of importance to act on rising number of cases – despite death numbers being low
The Health Secretary told the Commons: “Of course, there is a lag between people catching the disease and the statistics for new cases, and those who sadly die.
“The second thing is that this rise most recently has been largely, predominantly, not entirely, amongst young people who are much less likely to die.
“The danger is that they will pass it on to others and it will spread more broadly into the community.
“So, it is important to act on these cases even though, thankfully, currently the number who are dying is small.”
3.18pm update: Government looking at ‘asymptomatic testing’ where COVID levels are high
Conservative Party MP for Gelding Tom Randall said: “Testing is a vital line of defence against coronavirus and while we’ve got one of the best testing systems in the world, I appreciate that there is much more that can be done.
“Can Mr Hancock tell me what steps he is taking to explore the benefits of repeat population testing and if that it is effective, will he look to scale that up across the country?”
The Health Secretary replied: “We are looking at the asymptomatic testing of parts of the population where the virus is rife.”
3.14pm update: SNP warns making people travel dozens of miles for COVID test is ‘dangerous’
Dr Philippa Whitford, health and social care spokeswoman for the SNP, warned against “possibly infectious people” having to travel long distances when unwell.
She told the House of Commons: “Would it not make more sense to still allow Covid tests to be taken locally and just shift the samples around the UK to the labs with greatest capacity?”
Coronavirus latest: Keir Starmer has warned track and trace i ‘on the verge of collapse’
Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Emily Ferguson.
2.54pm update: Hundreds of pupils sent home and forced to quarantine
Dozens of schools across England and Wales have been forced to send entire year groups home and instruct them to self-isolate after a number of pupils tested positive for coronavirus.
Some schools have had to shut their doors completely, after teachers and pupils tested positive for the deadly virus.
It comes just days after schools fully reopened, after shutting at the start of the nationwide lockdown in March.
Matt Hancock has been accused of testing the ground for a second national lockdown after severe restrictions were imposed in Bolton this afternoon.
Locals have reacted furiously to the news, as last week they were told last week local lockdown restrictions would be easing.
One person wrote on Twitter: “So Bolton is the test bed for public reaction to a second lockdown. What utter nonsense this all is.”
Another local fumed: “COVID-19 Restrictions tighter still for Bolton. Yet there is a road which marks the border between Bolton & Wigan.
“People on the Bolton side are in strict lockdown, while in the houses opposite ( Wigan) the people are free to go about their business. Govt haven’t a clue.”
1.55pm update: Lockdown restrictions are tightened in Bolton
Pubs and restaruants are being restricted to takeaway-only in Bolton as part of new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the town, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told MPs.
The hospitality venues will shut to anyone eating and drinking on-site.
Mr Hancock said a number of pubs have been identified as places where the virus has spread significantly.
Tighter restrictions will also be introduced on the numbers of people allowed to visit care homes and hospitals.
Bolton Council said on Saturday it was introducing tougher measures “with immediate effect”, with people asked not to mix with other households in any setting, either indoors or outdoors, and to only use public transport for essential purposes.
The number of cases in the area has risen to 120 per 100,000 people, up from 99 per 100,000 at the weekend.
Those aged between 18 and 49 account for more than 90 percent of the cases, the local authority said.
1.27pm update: Dutch coronavirus infections jump to highest level since April
The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands jumped 51 percent last week to their highest level since the end of April, Dutch health authorities said on Tuesday.
Newly confirmed infections increased to 5,427 in the week to Tuesday, up from 3,597 in the previous week, while the total number of tests rose 10 percent to little over 180,000.
12.50pm update: Piers Morgan brands NHS test and trace ‘world-class shambles’
Piers Morgan has branded the NHS Test and Trace programme a “world-class shambles” as Britons are unable to book coronavirus tests due to an increase in demand.
Sarah-Jane Marsh, the director of NHS Test and Trace, has apologised to those unable to book a coronavirus test.
The NHS chief said authorities were “doing all we can” to expand testing capacity but Piers Morgan has branded the news a “world-class shambles”.
Ms Marsh issued the public apology after continuing reports people cannot get tested for COVID-19, or are being told to travel hundreds of miles to access a test.
12.37pm update: Scotland records highest daily death toll since June
Nicola Sturgeon has said three more coronavirus patients have died in Scotland.
It is the first time three deaths have been recorded in one day since June 30.
It brings the total number of COVID-19 fatalities to 2,499.
Piers Morgan has blasted the NHS Test and Trace system as a ‘world-class shambles’
12pm update: Hancock says it will take two weeks to resolve testing shortages
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said it would take a couple of weeks for the government to resolve the laboratory processing problems that have led to people being unable to get a coronavirus test.
Mr Hancock, who is giving evidence to the Commons health committee, paid tribute to the work being done by Sarah-Jane Marsh, the director to testing at NHS test and trace.
11.08 am update: UK has now had 57,417 coronavirus deaths, according to official figures
The latest report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on deaths in England and Wales says that in the week ending August 28 coronavirus accounted for just 1.1 percent of deaths.
The report also states that 52,316 deaths involving COVID-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to August 28, and had been registered by September 5.
Figures published last week by the National Records for Scotland showed that 4,228 deaths involving COVID-19 had been registered in Scotland up to 30 August, while 873 deaths had been recorded in Northern Ireland up to August 28.
Combining these total means that at least 57,417 deaths have been registered in the UK where coronavirus was mention on the death certificate.
10.34am update: People continue to struggle to get a coronavirus test
People in England are still finding it difficult to get a coronavirus test.
Sarah-Jane Marsh, one of the experts on the Government’s coronavirus test and trace team, has apologised to people struggling to get a test as the system struggles to cope with demand.
In a tweet, she said: “Can I please offer my heartfelt apologies to anyone who cannot get a Covid test at present.
“All of our testing sites have capacity, which is why they don’t look overcrowded, its our laboratory processing that is the critical pinch-point.
“We are doing all we can to expand quickly.”
People in England are struggling to get coronavirus tests
9.50am update: Government set to limit household gatherings
The maximum number of people who can legally gather indoors in Englnad is set to be cut.
A Government source told Sky Newsy the figure will be reduced from 30 – but the new number is still being ironed out.
9.42am update: Caerphilly’s lockdown restrictions will remain until at least October
Local lockdown restrictions in Caerphilly will not be lifted until October “at the very least”, Wales’ health minister has said.
People will not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a reasonable excuse after the restrictions come into force at 6pm on Tuesday.
Everyone over the age of 11 will be required to wear face coverings in shops – the first time this will be mandatory in Wales.
Meetings with other people indoors and extended households will not be allowed, while overnight stays have also been banned.
9.14am update: Scientists keeping a ‘close eye’ on rising coronavirus cases
Professor Andrew Hayward, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the latest increase in coronavirus cases is “very worrying”.
He said scientists are monitoring the data closely for signs of wider community transmission of the disease.
Professor Hayward told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Generally it is local outbreaks, but there is also very worrying increases in cases, particularly over the last few days.
“That is what we are really keeping a close eye on – the extent to which it moves away from these local outbreaks to broader community transmission.
“What we saw in the last few days from this surveillance data was this worrying increase in cases which, as we know from the first wave of the pandemic, can potentially get out of hand if we don’t be very serious about the control measures.”
Caerphilly, in Wales, has had local lockdown measures introduced after a spike in cases
8.43am update: Welsh health minister explains why Caerphilly is in local lockdown
Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said a local coronavirus lockdown is being imposed in Caerphilly because there is evidence of “community transmission” in the area.
He said a failure to follow social distancing guidelines had resulted in an increase in the number of cases.
Mr Getting told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “That is largely driven by some infection that comes from travellers from the European mainland, but the largest element of it is that people are socialising in larger numbers in private homes.
“It is that breakdown in social distancing, that breakdown in respecting the rules around extended households that is driving infection rates.”
The health minister said that without action the disease would spread to more vulnerable people in the community.
8.15am update: Easy jet cuts flights in response to changes to quarantine rules
EasyJet has announced it is cutting flights following the Government’s decision to impose quarantine restrictions for seven Greek islands.
The UK’s largest airline said it will reduce its schedule as “customer confidence to make travel plans has been negatively affected”.
This means it will have flown “slightly less” than the 40 percent of pre-coronavirus pandemic capacity it previously said it would operate between July and September.
From 4am on Wednesday travellers arriving in England from Lesbos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini or Zakynthos (also known as Zante) must self-isolate for 14 days.
7.50am update: Recent rise in coronavirus cases is ‘concerning’, says minister
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the recent rise in the number of coronavirus cases is “concerning”.
Mr Jenrick said it was essential that people followed the Government guidelines if they wanted to avoid the need for further restrictions.
He told Sky News: “The coronavirus is still with us so we all need to take great care. There is a concerning rise in cases and it reminds us that we have to keep following the guidance.
“Although we are encouraged to return to the workplace to support jobs, cafes and so on, we need to do so responsibly.
“As we approach the autumn and winter there is going to be even more responsibility on all of us to keep following the guidelines.
“Nobody wants to see a return to full national restrictions of the kind we had earlier this year.”
Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed