Coronavirus UK news – Christmas could be SAVED with new lockdown rule allowing households to mix indoors for five days

BRITS may be able to spend time with their families at Christmas thanks to a new rule allowing households to mix indoors.

Health chiefs are looking at the idea in a bit to save the festive season.

The aim is to unite the UK under a common rule that enables households to mix indoors for a limited period.

The plan will come as a huge boost to families who feared they might miss out on seeing their loved ones over Christmas.

The Sun can reveal that Sage scientists have been modelling the impact of groups bigger than six meeting up.

With Christmas Eve falling on a Thursday and a planned Bank Holiday for Monday December 28, ministers are considering that five-day weekend for a short lifting of a ban on gathering in homes.

Follow our coronavirus updates below...

  • Dan Keane

    POLAND SEES RISE IN DEATHS

    Poland reported a daily record 603 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.

    The country also reported 19,883 new cases, lower than the one-day record of 27,875 reported on November 7.

  • Dan Keane

    TEST AND TRACE CHIEF SELF ISOLATING

    Baroness Harding, who heads the NHS Test and Trace service, is self-isolating after receiving an alert from her service.

    The Tory peer posted an image of the “you need to self-isolate” app notification, and wrote: “Nothing like personal experience of your own products …. got this overnight. Feeling well. Many hours of Zoom ahead.”

    Lady Harding's husband, Tory MP John Penrose, has previously been told to self-isolate by the Test and Trace app after potentially coming into contact with someone who has coronavirus.

  • Dan Keane

    YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR COULD BE HIT WITH £20K BILL IF LOCKDOWN EXTENDED

    A budding entrepreneur who is planning to put on a Covid-friendly version of A Christmas Carol after spending his time on furlough finishing a 115-page script could be left with a whopping £20,000 bill if lockdown is extended.

    Tobias Cornwell, 23, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, has vowed to find a way for the 17-night immersive theatre show to go on, including “begging, borrowing and working tirelessly” to pay for it – as he’s determined to give people 'something to look forward to’.

    As well as writing up to 10,000 words a day while furloughed from his job in hospitality, the 23-year-old business studies graduate is fronting all the costs – including venue hire and serving a three-course meal.

    Tobias, whose show has been rescheduled to start running from December 2, the day lockdown is expected to be lifted, said: “The cost of A Cratchits’ Christmas Carol is currently between £15,000 – £20,000, and if the shows get cancelled then I will be the one who’s feet the bill lands at. 

    “That’s not the kind of money I have in my bank account. It’s serious cash I signed off on while the government were adamant that they were going to stick with their tiered system.”

  • Dan Keane

    TOKYO SEES RECORD CASE RISE

    Authorities in Tokyo have announced nearly 500 new cases of the coronavirus, the biggest daily increase in the Japanese capital since the pandemic began.

    It comes amid a nationwide spike in infections and as the country discusses with Olympic officials how to safely host next summers games.

    The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 493 new cases on Wednesday, surpassing the city's previous high of 472 recorded on Aug. 1, during the peak of Japans earlier wave of infections.



  • Dan Keane

    VACCINATED BRITS COULD GET QR CODES

    Brits who have had the Covid vaccine may get special mobile phone QR codes to allow them access to major sporting events, it's been reported.

    Government insiders say those who have been inoculated could be issued with some kind of digital proof showing they are immune from the virus.

    The Daily Telegraph reports that could allow them to attend football matches and cultural events currently out of bounds to large crowds.

    However, it is reported Whitehall sources insist the controversial idea is still only at the discussion phase.

  • Dan Keane

    PREM BOSSES 'MUST BAIL OUT SMALLER CLUBS'

    Ministers yesterday warned stingy Premier League bosses must bail out smaller footie clubs or face tough new regulation.

    Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden held showdown talks with top flight bosses to try to broker a rescue package.

    Downing Street is fuming with Premier League chiefs for failing to cough up cash to help struggling teams facing bankruptcy in the Covid lockdown.

    The soccer summit ended without a deal being signed – but insiders told The Sun they are “optimistic” they are on the cusp of an agreement.

    Read our full report here.

  • Dan Keane

    MORE BRITS LOOKING FOR NEW JOBS AMID PANDEMIC, STUDY SUGGESTS

    The number of people looking for new jobs has increased in the past six months, a new study suggests.

    A survey of 2,000 people by recruitment firm Reed found that almost one in three people had been looking for a job for at least three months, while one in four have applied for at least 50 jobs since becoming unemployed.

    Reasons for looking for a new job included wanting a better work-life balance, not feeling valued and re-evaluating priorities.

    It comes despite the pandemic causing high levels of unemployment, which stood at 4.5% in the most recent estimate by the Office for National Statistics.

  • Dan Keane

    DOCS CALL FOR TRAVEL BAN BETWEEN TIERS TO SAVE XMAS

    Travelling across tiers should be banned and enforcing a “rule of two” at Christmas is the only way to save the NHS, docs have warned.

    The British Medical Association says that without tough measures in place when England's lockdown ends, the health service won't be able to cope.

    In a stark new report, the country's leading medics warn that hospitals and GP practices risk being unable to provide even the most critical care.

    They have called for new measures to be introduced to “bridge the time” between the planned end of England's lockdown on December 2 and “an effective vaccine programme getting underway”.

    Read our full report here.



  • Dan Keane

    SHARMA 'NOT SORRY' FOR PPE FIASCO

    Mr Sharma also said he does not apologise for working rapidly to secure supplies during the coronavirus crisis after a damning report by the public spending watchdog.

    He told BBC Breakfast there was “huge pressure” at the time to secure PPE for frontline workers after the National Audit Office exposed transparency failings.

    “We had to do an enormous amount of work very fast to secure PPE and that's what we did, and I'm not going to apologise for the fact that quite rightly we made that effort,” he added.

    Mr Sharma also insisted that “checks were done” in the case of a Spanish businessman acting as a go-between who was reportedly given £21 million of UK taxpayers' cash.

  • Dan Keane

    'TOO EARLY' TO KNOW WHETHER MEASURES CAN BE LIFTED FOR XMAS

    Business Secretary Alok Sharma has said it is “too early” to know whether social distancing restrictions could be eased around Christmas.

    Asked about reports that measures could be relaxed for five days, he told BBC Breakfast: “I want to have my mum and dad around, I want to have members of my family around that Christmas table.

    “I just think it's too early to be reaching any conclusions on that. What none of us knows right now is what the infection rate is going to be in different parts of the country.”

  • Abe Hawken

    TAXI FEARS

    One in five black cabs in London has been taken off the road since June as drivers struggle to earn a living during the coronavirus pandemic, research reveals.

    The number of taxis licensed in the capital plummeted from 18,900 on June 7 to 15,000 on November 8, according to Transport for London (TfL) data obtained by the PA news agency.

    Black cab rental firms have been forced to hire fields and farmland dotted around the edge of the city to store vehicles handed back by drivers in recent months.

    The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) believes only 20% of cabbies are still driving their vehicles.

  • Abe Hawken

    BLUEPRINT

    Travelling across tiers should be banned and enforcing a "rule of two" at Christmas is the only way to save the NHS, docs have warned.

    The British Medical Association says that without tough measures in place when England's lockdown ends, the health service won't be able to cope.

    In a stark new report, the country's leading medics warn that hospitals and GP practices risk being unable to provide even the most critical care.

    They have called for new measures to be introduced to “bridge the time” between the planned end of England's lockdown on December 2 and “an effective vaccine programme getting underway”.

  • Abe Hawken

    'INADEQUATE'

    The tiered system of Covid-19 restrictions is “inadequate” and must be revised before England leaves lockdown leading medics have said, amid reports of a plan to briefly relax household mixing around Christmas.

    The British Medical Association (BMA) said the previous system was “inconsistent” and did not contain the spread of the virus, echoing a Government adviser who warned the tiers needed “strengthening”.

    The Government will decide next week how to end the second national lockdown as ministers come under pressure to outline any restrictions which could be in place over the Christmas period.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    PEOPLE WHO HAD COVID VACCINE COULD BE GIVEN QR CODE TO ACCESS MAJOR EVENTS

    People who have had the Covid vaccine may get special mobile phone QR codes to allow them access to major sporting events, it has been reported.

    The Daily Telegraph reports that could allow them to attend football matches and cultural events currently out of bounds to large crowds.

    However, it is reported Whitehall sources insist the controversial idea is still only at the discussion phase.

    One minister highlighted the fact that a vaccination requirement for those wanting to attend the Tokyo Olympics had already been suggested.

    “I think there are lots of people who think it is a logical extension and lots of people are interested in it,” the minister added. 

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN LAWS ARE A 'MESS', CAMPAIGNERS CLAIM

    Coronavirus laws have been branded a “mess” after figures suggested thousands of fines have gone unpaid or were withdrawn after being challenged.

    Data obtained by the PA news agency under freedom of information laws indicated more than three in five coronavirus fines have gone unpaid in some parts of the country.

    Thousands of fixed penalty notices have been rescinded by police forces after being issued.

    Lawyer Raj Chada, head of the criminal defence department at Hodge Jones & Allen, told PA: “The mess of Covid regulations know no bounds.

    “Criminal law should be clear, certain and widely adhered to – otherwise it becomes arbitrary and unfair. These figures show that and worse – the situation is a farce.”

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    CHINESE COVID-19 VACCINE APPEARS SAFE

    A Chinese coronavirus vaccine candidate appears to be safe and induces an immune response in healthy volunteers, according to preliminary study results.

    Phase one/two trials of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate – CoronaVac – involved more than 700 healthy volunteers aged 18-59 recruited in China between April 16 and May 5.

    According to preliminary results published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the vaccine appeared to be safe and well tolerated at all tested doses.

    The most common reported side effect was pain at the injection site.

    Within 14 days of the final dose, researchers detected robust antibody responses after two jabs of the vaccine candidate were given two weeks apart.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    TOKYO TO RAISE CORONAVIRUS ALERT LEVEL

    Tokyo is preparing to raise its coronavirus alert level to the highest of four levels as infections are spreading and the number of positive cases in the Japanese capital have crept up recently, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday.

    As part of the move, the metropolitan government is considering asking some businesses to shorten their hours, the paper said, citing multiple unnamed sources.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    BOY, 4, LOSES BOTH PARENTS TO COVID

    A four-year-old boy who lost both his parents to Covid-19 will celebrate his 5th birthday with a community drive-by parade put together by his relatives.

    Raiden Gonzalez, 4, lost both his parents due to Covid-19 complications, in October his mum died just four months after the deadly virus killed his dad.

    “He misses his mom since he was a mama’s boy,” his grandmother, Rozie Salinas, told NBC News.

    “Just this morning he told me that he wishes he had his mom back and he just wanted her back.

    “I mean, what do I tell him? You know, so I just told him that they’re now angels watching over us and protecting us,” said Salinas, who was the mother of Mariah, the boy’s mum.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    ESSENTIALS FLY OFF SHELVES AGAIN

    Americans have started panic-buying again with toilet paper and essentials flying off the shelves as coronavirus cases surge.

    Images of empty supermarket shelves across the nation are making headlines as the demand for sanitizing products and other essentials are on the rise.

    The United States has recorded more than 100,000 daily infections for two weeks straight and on Monday have reported more than 166,000 new cases.

    Read more here

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    DOG-OWNERS ARE 78% MORE LIKELY TO CATCH COVID

    Dog-owners are 78 per cent more likely to catch the coronavirus, experts claim.

    They say pet owners should take hygiene seriously when they're out with their pets.

    The team stated that living with a dog and taking it for walks upped the risk of contracting the virus by 78 per cent.

    The experts stated that this could be due to the fact that when out walking, dogs may touch surfaces that are contaminated and then pass it on to their owners.

    Click here to read more

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    COVID CASES AMONG CHILDREN RISE IN HULL

    Coronavirus hotspot Hull has seen a “terrifying and astonishing” rise in cases with 12,000 schoolchildren isolating at home.

    Headteachers in the East Yorkshire city have warned that there will be a “major threat” to public services unless schools can partially close.

    More than a quarter of pupils (27.6 per cent) – around 12,000 children – were not in school yesterday, according to figures seen by the Guardian.

    This is compared to around one in ten pupils across the whole of England.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    DOLLY PARTON HELPED FUND MODERNA'S CORONAVIRUS VACCINE RESEARCH

    Dolly Parton has helped fund Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine research.

    Her name appears in the preliminary report on the vaccine among sponsors like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – which Dr Anthony Fauci heads – and Emory University.

    She previously donated $1 million to coronavirus research at Vanderbilt University.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    GOVERNMENT TO DECIDE NEXT WEEK ON NEW TIER RESTRICTIONS FOR ENGLAND

    The Government will decide next week how to end the current lockdown as scientists warned a tougher tier system is needed until vaccines can drive back the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Tuesday that ministers want to see a “significant easing” of coronavirus controls when the lockdown in England is lifted on December 2, but suggested tighter controls may be needed in the top Tier 3.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    SCIENTISTS TELL PEOPLE NOT TO BE WORRIED ABOUT COVID VACCINE

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    BORIS JOHNSON TO TAKE PART IN PMQS FROM CORONAVIRUS SELF-ISOLATION

    Boris Johnson will answer Prime Minister's Questions remotely as he continues to self-isolate.

    The Prime Minister has been confined to Downing Street after being in contact with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who tested positive for coronavirus.

    Mr Johnson will take part from self-isolation rather than having his deputy Dominic Raab stand-in for him at the despatch box.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: “There is an agreement that Prime Minister's Questions will go ahead and the Prime Minister will take part remotely.”

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