The Government announced today’s coronavirus deaths were 120, taking the total number of COVID-19 associated deaths in the UK to 46,119. It comes after Boris Johnson warned up to 30 towns across the UK are at risk of being placed under lockdown following a spike in new coronavirus cases – following the decision to tighten rules in the north of England. A major crackdown has been enforced across Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire following a surge in new COVID-19 cases.
In those regions people from two different households will no longer be able to meet indoors – in the biggest tightening of the rules since lockdown restrictions were eased.
At a Downing Street briefing this afternoon, the Prime Minister slammed the brakes on a further easing of the lockdown in England for “higher-risk settings”.
Mr Johnson confirmed the reopening of bowling alleys, casinos and indoor performances would be delayed for two weeks after being scheduled to open on August 1.
Wedding reception for up to 30 people have also been pushed back for a fortnight.
Face coverings will also be mandatory in indoor settings where people are likely to come into contact with people they do not know, such as museums and places of worship from August 8.
The restrictions in the north were suddenly announced late last night by Health Secretary Matt Hancock who stressed the need for “immediate action” in order to contain the outbreak.
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Boris Johnson has warned up to 30 towns in the UK are at risk of lockdown
10.47pm update: Brazil’s death toll rises to 92,000
Brazil’s death toll has reached a total of 92,475, compared to 91,263 yesterday, according to the country’s health ministry.
The country has registered 2,662,485 confirmed cases of the virus, up from 2,610,102 yesterday.
9.51pm update: Florida reported another record increase in Covid-19 deaths
The state health department said Florida registered 257 fatalities, a record for the fourth straight day despite predictions that the midwest was becoming the worst affected area of the US.
The one-day loss of life in the state was roughly equivalent to the number of passengers on a single-aisle airplane.
Florida also reported 9,007 new cases, bringing its total infections to over 470,000, the second highest in the country behind California.
It is among at least 18 states where cases more than doubled in July, when almost 25,000 people in the US died from Covid-19.
8.44pm update: Prince Charles visits Scottish hospital
Prince Charles gave a “moral boost” to health workers as he visited Caithness General Hospital in the north of Scotland today.
Staff at the hospital in Wick said they were “thrilled” to meet the Prince of Wales, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay while in Scotland.
During his visit on Friday, Charles thanked staff for their “dedication and hard work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic”, according to NHS Highland.
7.47pm update: Sandwell named as ‘area of concern’
Sandwell, in the West Midlands, has been named as an area of concern by Public Health England following a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
It comes after 173 people tested positive for the virus in the borough over the last two weeks.
Council officials are urging those who are shielding to continue to do so and residents have been advised not to enter other people’s homes.
6.51pm update: 1 in 5 Londoners who had coronavirus were symptomless, study suggests
One in five people in London and the south east who have had coronavirus did not show any symptoms, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by Kings College London, found that more than a quarter (27 percent) of people who fell ill did not display the three main signs of coronavirus – persistent cough, fever and loss of smell.
Study lead and consultant geriatrician from King’s College London, Dr Claire Steves, said the findings highlight that a “significant proportion with coronavirus are symptomless.”
5.34pm update: Byron burger chain to permanently shut 31 restaurants
Byron has been saved from administration in a rescue deal but 651 jobs will be lost as the burger chain permanently shuts 31 restaurants.
The company, which employs around 1,200 staff, filed a notice to appoint administrators from KPMG on Monday.
4.25pm update: Government announces latest death toll
The Government announced today’s coronavirus deaths were 120, taking the total number of COVID-19 associated deaths in the UK to 46,119.
The number of new cases rose by 880.
Coronavirus cases around the UK
4.15pm update: Sturgeon urges young people to be cautious when going to bars
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged young people to exercise much greater caution when attending bars and social events after a spike of coronavirus infections, which included 30 new cases overnight.
Ms Stugeon said about half of all the new cases over the last week involved people in their 20s and 30s.
3.40pm update: Manchester authorities hit out at Government for late announcement of lockdown rules
The leaders of Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities and the region’s mayor Andy Burnham have condemned the government’s communication of the change as causing “confusion and distress for our residents”.
In a press conference, Mr Burnham said he first heard about the proposed measures when he was called by Matt Hancock shortly before 5pm.
The meeting was delayed slightly at the Mayor’s request, so that he could feed in information from local health officials.
While Mr Burnham said he supported the extra measures, he was concerned that they were first announced by the Health Secretary on Twitter at 9.16pm without any additional detail.
Emily Ferguson has taken over live reporting from Luke Hawker
2.30pm update: Scotland records 30 new cases of coronavirus
There have been 30 new cases of coronavirus in Scotland in the past 24 hours, according to Scottish Government statistics.
A total of 19,027 people have tested positive for the virus.
The number of new cases is almost double the 17 announced the previous day and is 0.8 percent of the 15,307 new tests which reported results.
Boris Johnson has delivered a coronavirus press conference this afternoon
1.30pm update: ONS says 4,200 new cases reported in England each day
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said between July 20 and 26 there were around 0.78 new Covid-19 infections for every 10,000 people in the community population in England.
This is equal to around 4,200 new cases per day.
This is up from an estimated 2,800 new cases a day in the previous week.
1.00pm update: Boris unveils new ‘hands, face, space’ coronavirus slogan
Boris Johnson has urged people to remember the slogan “hands, face, space”, in combating coronavirus.
Mr Johnson said: “The only real utensil we have controlling the spread of this new virus is human behaviour, and the only way we can encourage people to behave in one way or the other is through advice.
“And so you’re totally right, we need to keep it as simple as we possibly can and that’s why, to sum it up in a nutshell, is: hands, face, space.
“Wash your hands, cover your face in the settings that we had mentioned and keep your distance from other people where you don’t know them, you’re coming into contact with them for the first time, and of course get a test and self-isolate if you have symptoms.
“I hope that was pretty… you know, that was pretty punchy I think – hands, face, space, and get a test.
“I think everybody can more or less remember that.”
12.40pm update: Whitty warns the UK has ‘reached near the limit’ of reopening society
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned that the UK has potentially reached a limit for how much of society can be opened up.
He said: “I think what we’re seeing from the data from ONS and other data is that we have probably reached near the limit or the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society.
“So what that means potentially is that if we wish to do more things in the future, we may have to do less of some other things.
“And these will be difficult trade-offs, some of which will be decisions for government and some of which are for all of us as citizens to do.
“But we have to be realistic about this. The idea that we can open up everything and keep the virus under control is clearly wrong.”
12.25pm update: Boris extends face guidance on face coverings
The Prime Minister has said face coverings will be mandatory in indoor settings where people are likely to come into contact with people they do not know, such as museums and places of worship from August 8.
Coronavirus cases around the world
12.15pm update: Boris warns the UK not exempt from second wave
Boris Johnson has warned the UK is not exempt from a second wave of coronavirus infections and he begins to scale back lockdown restriction.
The Prime Minister said: “I’ve also consistently warned that this virus could come back and that we would not hesitate to take swift and decisive action as required.
“I’m afraid that in parts of Asia and in Latin America, the virus is gathering pace and some of our European friends are also struggling to keep it under control.
“As we see these rises around the world, we can’t fool ourselves that we are exempt. We must be willing to react to the first signs of trouble.”
12.10pm update: Boris delays easing restrictions on weddings and leisure
Boris Johnson has confirmed the further easing of lockdown restrictions in England due on August 1, including allowing small wedding receptions and the reopening of bowling alleys and casinos, has been postponed for at least two weeks.
12.05pm: R rate between 0.8-0.9 in the UK
The Government has said the coronavirus R rate of transmission is between 0.8-0.9 in the UK.
The UK is on the brink of a second wave of coronavirus after an ominous update from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today.
Panic is sweeping across the UK amid fears the nation will be forced into a second lockdown after the latest figures revealed a rise in cases of the invisible killer disease.
The ONS revealed in the time between 20 and 26 July, around 1 in 1,500 people not in care homes, hospitals or other institutional settings in England would test positive for COVID19, compared to 1 in 2,000 the previous week.
The statistics from the infection survey showed this equates to an average of 35,700 people in England, who had COVID-19 during the most recent week.
ONS said during the most recent week, there were around 0.78 new COVID-19 infections for every 10,000 people in the community population in England, equating to around 4,200 new cases per day.
The ONS said: “Modelling of the rate of new infections over time suggests that there is now some evidence that the incidence of new infections has increased in recent weeks.”
11.30am update: Ashworth says announcement has caused ‘widespread confusion’
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has said he understands the coronavirus restrictions in the north of England but criticised the Government over how the message was put across.
Mr Ashworth said: “Given the infection levels in parts of the country, and international warnings of a resurgence in the virus, Labour understands why measures have had to be taken to bring infection rates down.
“The virus remains widely distributed across the UK and yesterday’s official statistics confirming we have had the highest excess death rate in Europe is a clear reminder that being slow to act has devastating consequences.
“But the way in which the Government has made the announcement has caused widespread confusion, anxiety and upset.”
11.00am update: ONS finds three-quarters of adults socialised in the past seven days
Almost three-quarters of adults polled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said they had socialised with others during the last seven days, with 50 percent welcoming family or friends into their homes.
Of the 1,150 people who reported socialising, 47 percent said they had always maintained social distancing, with this proportion rising to 70 percent of those aged 70 and over.
Three in 10 (31 percent) said they often followed the measures, 13 percent said they sometimes did, while eight percent said they rarely or never followed social distancing.
10.30am update: Swindon hit by HUGE wave as 51 depot employees infected
Coronavirus has forced a distribution centre for Iceland’s supermarket to close after an outbreak of the invisible killer disease.
Fifty-one members of staff at the depot in Swindon have been infected with coronavirus.
It comes after officials said 30 staff at the distribution centre in Penzance Drive had become infected with COVID-19 on Wednesday but this has since risen to 51.
XPO Logistics’, which manage food for Iceland at the centre, said: “Protecting our employees is our number one priority.
“We’re working closely with the local authorities and adhering to all local and Public Health England guidance to ensure the appropriate health and safety measures are in place.”
Professor Chris Whitty to join Prime Minister at the coronavirus press conference
10.10am update: Boris and Whitty to hold press conference at noon
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty will hold a press conference at noon following the latest coronavirus restrictions.
Coronavirus cases continue to soar across Eastern Europe following a surge in Russian-backed conspiracy theories according to experts, as a poll found 41 percent of Romanian people believe COVID-19 is a US-made biological weapon.
9.30am update: Germany records 870 new coronavirus infections
Germany reported 870 new cases of coronavirus as COVID-19 continues to spread across Europe.
The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases has confirmed total number of infections has risen to 208,698 while 9,141 deaths have been recorded.
Germany has recorded 870 new coronavirus infections
9.10am update: Hancock says second wave ‘not yet’ taking place in UK despite new measures
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a second wave of Coronavirus was “not yet” happening in the UK,
He added: “These measures are very much being taken to prevent a second wave – we can see that second wave in Europe.
“We’re absolutely determined to keep people safe.”
8.50am update: Hancock confirms PM to make announcement today
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed Prime Minister Boris Johnson will deliver a coronavirus press conference later today.
8.35am update: Labour MP blasts Government handling of north of England lockdown – ‘Bolt out of the blue’
Shadow business minister Lucy Powell described the way the Government announced the new Coronavirus restrictions on parts of northern England as a “disaster”.
Speaking on Times Radio, the MP for Manchester Central said: “I mean announcing them two hours before they come into effect is a bit of a bolt out of the blue.
“With no one around to be able to answer some of the basic questions, I really think is not the way to build confidence and to take people with you and maximise compliance with these steps.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the local lockdown on Thursday evening
8.20am update: Hancock reveals why all 10 Greater Manchester Boroughs included in lockdown
Matt Hancock said the Government had to apply measures across all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs as the virus was spreading more widely than in the local areas where specific action had already been taken.
He told Sky News: “We absolutely looked at what was the right geography for this decision.
“Unfortunately we have seen an increase in the number of cases in Trafford and we also work with the local authority, and local authorities within Greater Manchester including the mayor, and took the decision to apply this across the whole of Greater Manchester.
“The reason for that is we’ve seen these increases across the board in Greater Manchester as well as the other areas that are affected.
“And also the problem was that we had taken more targeted, more specific local action, for instance in Oldham and Blackburn.
“But we could see that it was spreading more widely than that so we had to take the action that we did.”
8.05am update: Hancock reiterates the importance to ‘move quickly’ following restrictions in the north
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended the Government’s decision to impose new restrictions on parts of the north of England and stressed the need for immediate action.
Mr Hancock told Sky News: “We made the announcement last night, we are moving quickly in some circumstances and I think that’s very important and it’s one of the things that when you face a pandemic like this, it is important sometimes to move quickly, if that’s what’s needed.”