Tuesday, October 26

Covid: More from England could go to level 4 from Boxing Day, says minister | World News


Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has suggested that more areas of England will be placed under level 4 coronavirus restrictions as soon as Boxing Day to combat the “very concerning” hyper-infectious variant of Covid-19.

Jenrick said the government’s Covid-O operations committee will meet Wednesday morning and a decision on further action will be announced “as soon as we can.”

Amid reports that all of Sussex, parts of the Midlands and the North of England could be placed at level 4, meaning a ban on all domestic mixing, Jenrick hinted that the new rules would not go into effect before Christmas Day. .

He told BBC Breakfast: “It is necessary to judge whether the tiered system is strong enough or whether at some point in the future we need to take further action.”

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced strict nationwide restrictions in the last 48 hours to try and contain the new Covid-19 variant, which is said to be 70% more infectious than previous strains and has already spread across the world. UK.

Jenrick said the government did not plan to impose a third national lockdown on England, but wanted to make sure the tiered system was “robust enough” to control the disease.

While it may be too early for scientists to fully understand the impact of the Level 4 restrictions, which were introduced in London and other parts of the South East on Saturday, there will be concerns that the infection rate has started to rise, so pronounced, in some cases. locations: in areas below level 3, such as Lancashire, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.

Jenrick described the new Covid-19 variant as a “major game changer” and it was now prevalent outside London and south-east England, although it is still much more concentrated in and around the capital.

He added: “What we want to do now is make sure that the tiered system is correct, that it is robust enough, that it can hold up and do the job of keeping the virus under control, even in these new changing circumstances. “

The Daily Telegraph reported that local leaders and health officials in Birmingham met Tuesday evening to discuss the possibility of the city moving to level 4, while areas at lower levels could move to level 3.

France It reopened non-essential stores this month, allowing holiday shopping to begin. But an increase in new infections since then means that while travel is allowed starting December 15, a nationwide curfew will begin from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., lifting for December 24, but not on Christmas Day or New Years Eve. Bars and restaurants won’t reopen until January and private gatherings are limited to six adults.

GermanyThe “closing light”, with bars and restaurants closed since November, has not proven to be effective and the country has closed more, closing all essential bar shops (such as supermarkets and pharmacies), as well as hair and beauty salons. until at least 10 January. A maximum of five people from two households can meet, except on December 24, 25 and 26, when up to four close relatives from other households can be invited.

AustriaThe strict lockdown has ended and the country is carrying out a massive program of 10 million tests over the next fortnight with the goal of allowing more families to reunite during the holiday period. Christmas markets have been canceled.

ItalyThe prime minister has said that stricter restrictions will be needed during the holiday period, but these have yet to be announced. Interregional travel is already prohibited from December 20 to January 6, except for work, health or emergency reasons, and Italians cannot leave their home cities on Christmas, Saint Stephen or New Year’s Day. Midnight Mass on December 24 was brought forward so that the faithful can get home before curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. across the country.

Spain has called for people to be held accountable, but will allow movement between regions “for family reasons” between December 23 and January 6. Regional curfews, which run from 10 p.m. to midnight, will be delayed until 1.30 a.m. on December 24 and 31, when the meeting limit will be raised from six to ten, a measure that will also apply on the day of Christmas and New Years.

the Netherlands has imposed a harsh Christmas blockade, closing non-essential shops and businesses, gyms, museums, cinemas and theaters for five weeks until January 19. Bars and restaurants have been closed since mid-October. Schools are shifting to online learning and people are being advised to stay home. Households can invite up to two people a day, except from December 24 to 26, when the maximum limit is raised to three, excluding children under 13 years of age.

Belgium It has said that households can be in close contact with just one other person during the Christmas period, although people living alone will be able to meet two others. Fireworks will be banned on New Years Eve to limit gatherings.

Poland It will allow people to spend Christmas only with their immediate family, with no more than five guests to be invited to each home until at least December 27, and travel outside of people’s home cities will be prohibited.

Brittany is relaxing restrictions on the “Christmas bubble” holidays that allow up to three households to mingle between December 23-27. Scientists, government advisers and medical experts have called for an urgent rethink, suggesting the move could result in a disastrous third wave in the New Year.

Jon henley Correspondent in Europe

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has written to the prime minister to tell him that his party would back any government move to tighten restrictions if that is what scientists recommend.

Sinn Féin has said that an island-wide travel exclusion should be introduced in Ireland to stop the spread of the new variant there.

It came as France lifted its travel ban and allowed travel from the UK to resume, but said those seeking to travel must test negative for the coronavirus.

NHS and military test and trace personnel are expected to be deployed for the mass testing program in Kent, where more than 2,800 heavy vehicles were stuck Tuesday afternoon.

Coronavirus cases in the UK

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) warned that UK supply chains would be affected despite the massive testing program that is being introduced. An RHA spokesperson said: “Even if the border is opened, a short delay in the process will mean big delays in the supply chain.”

The protocol agreed with the French government will be reviewed on December 31, but could be in force until January 6, said the Department of Transport (DfT).

Those who can take trips include French and EU residents, British or third party citizens who normally live in France or the EU, as well as some other groups.


www.theguardian.com

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