Coronavirus UK news – New 'stealth lockdown' tier system for 99% of England can't be justified, Tory MPs warn Boris

AstraZeneca is likely to run an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine using a lower dosage, its chief executive said amid questions over the results from its late-stage study.

Instead of adding the trial to an ongoing U.S. process, AstraZeneca might launch a fresh study to evaluate a lower dosage of its vaccine that performed better than a full dosage.

"Now that we've found what looks like a better efficacy we have to validate this, so we need to do an additional study," , Pascal Soriot said.

The news comes as AstraZeneca faces questions about its success rate that some experts say could hinder its chances of getting speedy U.S. and EU regulatory approval.

Meanwhile, UK local lockdown tiers were announced on Thursday, revealing what restrictions Brits will be living under until at least December 16.

London and Liverpool managed to escape Tier 3 rules but there was misery for millions in Manchester and Newcastle who will be plunged into the toughest Covid restrictions next week

Each area will be placed into one of three tiers when lockdown ends on December 2 – but the system has been toughened from the previous regime, meaning more authorities will move into the higher tiers.

Areas which make progress in slowing the spread of the virus could still be moved down a tier before Christmas, however, with the first review of the tiers due to take place by December 16.

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news, reaction and updates on the lockdown plans…

  • Jon Rogers

    COPS HANDED EXTRA POWERS TO STOP ENGLISH SHOPPERS HEADING TO WALES

    Cops are carrying out random stop-checks on cars heading to Cardiff – as shoppers try to take advantage of Black Friday offers and buy their Christmas gifts this weekend.

    Tens of thousands of shoppers have flocked to the Welsh capital since the “firebreak” lockdown ended earlier this month – and police believe many have illegally travelled over the border from England.

    South Wales Police said the powers will run from 9am Friday until 5pm Sunday night and checks would also take place around bars and restaurants.

    The force said: “While rules in Wales have been relaxed, with local travel restrictions removed and hospitality and retail premises now able to open, the public are reminded that the risk posed by Covid-19 has not disappeared.

    “Some restrictions do remain, with those from outside of Wales prohibited from travelling in to the country under both UK Government and Welsh Government rules, and rules around socialising and licensed premises continuing to apply to local residents.

    “South Wales Police will continue to work with Cardiff Council and a range of other partners to ensure those visiting the city can do so safely – increasing the numbers of officers on duty and working jointly to encourage personal responsibility and to ensure compliance at pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.”

  • Jon Rogers

    NO EVIDENCE OF LARGE-SCALE SPREAD OF COVID IN SCHOOLS

    A member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) sub-group said “there is no strong evidence whatsoever of large-scale spread in schools”.

    Epidemiologist Dr Michael Tildesley noted that Tier 3 regions had seen an increase in cases in schools but, as the measures in those areas kicked in, “those had started to come down”.

    He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: “It is very, very clear that, yes, there are cases in schools and there are children isolating, but there is no strong evidence whatsoever of large-scale spread in schools.

    He added: “We are not seeing cases in schools are leading to a spillover to cases in the community.

    “In fact, there is slightly weak evidence admittedly that it is actually the other way around, where we are seeing more cases in the community leading to cases in schools.

    “To me, there really isn't strong evidence that schools staying open represent a strong risk to society in terms of a rise in infections. It is more important, in my opinion, for children's educational needs.”

  • Jon Rogers

    HOPE SOME AREAS COULD MOVE DOWN A TIER

    Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said there is a chance that some areas of England could move down a tier before Christmas.

    He told BBC Breakfast: “There will be a meaning review on or around December 16. At that point we will review the evidence against those five tests for every local authority area in the country.

    “We will listen to the views of the local councils and their directors of public health.

    “There are a number of places which are quite finely balanced in the country today where there was a strong case to be in a tier one degree lower than where they ended up, but on a balanced judgment they are in a tier up.

    “In those places and perhaps others in the country, if people do follow the rules and if we do make the tiered system work, there is every reason to believe that they could de-escalate and go down a tier in time for Christmas.”

  • Jon Rogers

    DON'T 'TAKE OUR FOOT OFF THE BEAST' WARNS JOHNSON

    Boris Johnson has warned the UK not to “take our foot off the beast” in the fight against the coronavirus.

    The Prime Minister made the remarks as he outlined the new tougher tier system for England which sees most of the country put in the highest two tiers.

    The PM said: “If we ease off now, we risk losing control of this virus all over again.”

    Mr Johnson said severe tiers were the only way to avoid a winter of hibernation and a New Year national lockdown.

    Read more here.

  • Patrick Joseph DUGGAN

    CASES DROP

    THE number of UK coronavirus cases have dropped by 23 per cent in a week after 17,555 new infections were recorded today.

    The figure is down by almost a quarter on last Thursday's rise (22,915) and follows a recent trend of infections slowing.

    Another 498 more fatalities were confirmed, raising the total number of Covid deaths in Britain to 57,031.

  • Patrick Joseph DUGGAN

    MILLIONS HIT BY NEW RESTRICTIONS

    MORE than 34million people are facing tougher restrictions than before the national lockdown in the new “unfair” tier system.

    Sixty one percent of the population are now worse off after being shifted into a higher tier.

    Fifty five million people are now in tiers two and three – with tougher restrictions than last time.

    Read the full story here.

  • Patrick Joseph DUGGAN

    BLOOD TYPE FIND

    PEOPLE with certain blood types are more likely to catch the coronavirus and die from it, scientists say.

    Their findings, using data from more than 225,500 people, add to mounting evidence that blood type is a risk indicator for Covid-19 disease.

    There are four blood groups – A, B, AB and O. A person can either be positive or negative, meaning there are eight types in total. 

    Read the full story here.

  • Samantha Lock

    NEW TIERS LEAVE 34MILLION BRITS 'WORSE OFF'

    More than 34million people are facing tougher restrictions than before the national lockdown in the new “unfair” tier system.

    Boris Johnson could be facing Tory rebellion after 99 per cent of England's population was placed in the highest tiers, two and three today.

    The PM claims they were necessary to prevent a “New Year national lockdown” after it was revealed just Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly placed in the lowest Tier 1

    Over 23 million people in the Midlands, North East and North West have been placed in the most restrictive Tier 3, where almost all household mixing is banned, bars and restaurants are limited to takeaway and delivery.

    In total, 34.1 million people – 61 percent of the population – are now worse off after being shifted into a higher tier than before the November national lockdown.

    55 million people are now in tiers two and three – with tougher restrictions than last time.

  • Samantha Lock

    ASTRAZENECA TO RUN NEW GLOBAL TRIAL

    AstraZeneca is likely to run an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine using a lower dosage, its chief executive said amid questions over the results from its late-stage study.

    Instead of adding the trial to an ongoing U.S. process, AstraZeneca might launch a fresh study to evaluate a lower dosage of its vaccine that performed better than a full dosage.

    “Now that we've found what looks like a better efficacy we have to validate this, so we need to do an additional study,” , Pascal Soriot said.

    The news comes as AstraZeneca faces questions about its success rate that some experts say could hinder its chances of getting speedy U.S. and EU regulatory approval.

  • Samantha Lock

    ROLLOUT OF NI VACCINATION PROGRAMME 'COMPLETE BY SUMMER 2021'

    The rollout of the coronavirus vaccination programme in Northern Ireland should be complete by the summer of next year, Stormont leaders have predicted.

    Healthcare workers, care home residents and staff, and people aged over 80 will be first to receive the vaccine in a process that could begin next month if the required regulatory approvals are granted.

    People who have signed up to become vaccinators, which include retired healthcare professionals, will also be prioritised for vaccination.

    First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill outlined the timetable after receiving an update from a senior official on plans for the vaccination programme at Thursday's Executive meeting.

    In the new year, other at risk groups will be vaccinated along with over-65s, with plans to vaccinate the over-50s by the spring.

    It is anticipated that everyone else in the population who wants to be vaccinated will be able to access it by the summer.

  • Samantha Lock

  • Samantha Lock

    PARENTAL LONELINESS 'ROCKETED' DURING PANDEMIC

    Parental loneliness has “rocketed” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study led by the Duchess of Cambridge.

    The proportion of parents of children aged five and under experiencing loneliness “increased dramatically” from 38% before the Covid-19 crisis to 63%, the early years study found.

    Parents in the most deprived areas were more than twice as likely to say they feel lonely “often or always” (13%) as those in the least deprived parts of the country (5%).

    The research, commissioned by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and carried out by Ipsos MORI, also suggests that parents are now twice as likely to feel uncomfortable asking for help.

    A third (34%) of parents said they felt uncomfortable seeking help and support for how they were feeling, compared with 18% who said this before the outbreak.

    Researchers interviewed 3,733 UK adults between December 2019 and January 2020, and 1,000 parents of children aged 0-5 online in October, to identify any impacts of the pandemic.

  • Samantha Lock

    REGULATOR ASKED TO ASSESS OXFORD UNIVERSITY & ASTRAZENECA VACCINE

    A coronavirus vaccine rollout in the UK could be a step closer after the regulator was formally asked by the Government to assess the Oxford University and AstraZeneca jab.

    The move “marks a significant first step in getting the vaccine approved for deployment” if it meets the necessary safety, efficacy and quality standards, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

    It comes a week after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was formally asked by the Government to assess the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are working tirelessly to be in the best possible position to deploy a vaccine as soon as one is approved by the independent regulator the MHRA.

    “We have formally asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to understand the data and determine whether it meets rigorous safety standards.”

  • Hana Carter

    OXBRIDGE BOAT RACE MOVED FROM THAMES OVER COVID WARNINGS

    The 2021 Boat Race will not take place on the Thames – for the first time in 185 years.

    Organisers have moved the annual Cambridge v Oxford race to the Great Ouse at Ely, Cambridgeshire to avoid large crowds gathering in London next April.

    Official races have been held on a Thames course since the second staging of the race in 1836.

    The Boat Race was held away from London during the Second World War but these were unofficial events.

    A statement said: “The decision to relocate the 2021 event reflects the challenge of planning a high-profile amateur event around continuing Covid-related restrictions.”

  • Samantha Lock

    WHERE HAVE INFECTION RATES FALLEN THE MOST AND LEAST?

    Infection rates fell the most in these areas, listed as the place, the percentage change and infection rate:

    Bracknell Forest: -55.43% (60.38)
    Brighton and Hove: -51.10% (75.98)
    Torbay: -47.12% (107.88)
    Trafford: -46.94% (164.31)
    Southampton: -46.78% (118.01)
    Plymouth: -46.49% (116.37)
    Cheshire West and Chester: -45.35% (164.4)
    Sefton: -45.21% (140.73)
    Liverpool: -43.87% (146.17)
    Wandsworth: -43.55% (102.22)

    Infection rates reduced the least (or rose), in these areas, listed as the place, the percentage change and infection rate:

    Medway: 28.47% (infection rate 414.64)
    East Sussex: 5.22% (122.93)
    Redbridge: 5% (295.85)
    Luton: 0% (285.85)
    Newham: -0.14% (210.68)
    Hounslow: -0.97% (187.46)
    Suffolk: -3.15% (80.65)
    Greenwich: -4.12% (177.81)
    Barking and Dagenham: -5.87% (248.47)
    Thurrock: -6.43% (208.79)

  • Samantha Lock

    MAP REVEALS ONLY 3 OF 150 LOCAL AUTHORITIES SAW COVID RISES

    ONLY three of the 150 local authorities in England have seen infection rates increase in one week.

    Official data from Public Health England offers another glimmer of hope that the second wave is stalling.

    The weekly PHE report gives cases in each authority in relation to population size.

    Today, the data showed only three spots saw cases per 100,000 residents went up in the seven days between 16 and 22 November.

    The data is an improvement on the week prior, when at least a third of local authorities were seeing rising infection rates. 

  • Samantha Lock

  • Samantha Lock

    LOCKDOWN TIERS 'OUTDATED' AS COVID CASES FALL, EXPERT WARNS

    ENGLAND'S local lockdown tiers could already be outdated when they are announced today – as Covid cases are falling, an expert has warned.

    Professor Carl Heneghan, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, claimed the new tiered system may be “unjustified” based on recent data.

    He pointed to recent Government figures, which show new infections halved in a week – from 18,626 last Tuesday to 9,854 seven days later.

    If this trend continues, he said that by the time the national lockdown ends next week, the country could be in a similar place to where it was before the second wave in September when there were minimal restrictions.

    Prof Heneghan told MailOnline: “By the time we get to December 2 we will be in very different position than we are now, therefore we need to be much more flexible and reactive, and set out clear criteria.

    “[There is] no point in saying to people 'this is where you are now [in terms of Covid] and you'll be in this tier next week' — we should be explaining to people the two important criteria that should decide which areas go into which tiers – symptomatic cases and hospital rates.”

  • Samantha Lock

    UK CASES DROP BY 23%

    Government figures showed the number of UK coronavirus cases have dropped by 23 per cent in a week after 17,555 new infections were recorded today.

    The figure is down by almost a quarter on last Thursday's rise (22,915) and follows a recent trend of infections slowing.

    Another 498 more fatalities were confirmed, raising the total number of Covid deaths in Britain to 57,031.

    The number of deaths announced today is almost identical to – but slightly lower than – the rise seen this time last week (501).

    It means 57,031 have now died from Covid-19 in the UK, according to figures published by the Department of Health.2

  • Samantha Lock

  • Samantha Lock

    BRITS TOLD NOT TO CUDDLE RELATIVES AT CHRISTMAS

    CHRIS Whitty has warned Brits not to cuddle elderly relatives at Christmas as they may not “survive to be hugged again”.

    England’s Chief Medical Officer urged the public to abide by social distancing – even during the five-day lockdown holiday next month.

    Earlier this week, Downing Street announced a temporary relaxation of social distancing measures between December 23 and 27 after the four nations hammered out a deal for Christmas.

    As part of the guidance, Brits are allowed to meet up with two other households indoors – and there is no ban on physical contact.

    Speaking at tonight's government briefing, Sir Patrick Vallance stressed that “hugging elderly relatives is not something you want to go out and do”.

    Underlining Sir Patrick's point, Professor Whitty added: “It's not illegal but the fact that you can do something doesn't mean you should.”

    He added: “It does not make sense because you could be carrying a virus and if you’ve got an elderly relative, that would not be the thing you'd want to do in a period where we're running up to that point where actually we might be able to protect older people.

    “So I think people just have to have sense.

    “The fact that you can do something – and this is true across so many other areas of life – doesn't mean you should.”

  • Samantha Lock

    NUMBER OF THOSE IN HOSPITAL FLATTENING BUT STILL HIGH

  • Samantha Lock

    UK RECORDS 498 NEW DEATHS

    The UK recorded 498 new deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, compared to 696 on Wednesday.

    17,555 new cases of Covid-19 were also recorded, compared to 18,213 on Wednesday.

  • Samantha Lock

    REBEL REVOLT

    FURIOUS MPs have blasted the "authoritarian" new Tier rules and threatened to try to vote them down

    Boris Johnson is facing a growing rebellion over the new rules which will force more than 55 million Brits into the top two tiers as senior Tories demanded data backing up the drastic new rules.

    Leader of the House Jacob Rees Mogg said today MPs would get the chance to vote on the new measures on Tuesday before they come in.

    Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful 1922 Committee of backbenchers told BBC Radio 4 he would vote against the measures.

    He said: “I will vote against it. I have severe reservations on so many different levels.

    And Sir Graham stormed: “I do think that the policies have been far too authoritarian.

    “I think they have interfered in people's private and personal lives in a way which is unacceptable.”

    Steve Baker, co-chair of the Covid Recovery Group, demanded ministers publish the impact assessment of the tiers so MPs can decide whether the system is fair or not.

    He stressed: “I am open to supporting measures where it can clearly be demonstrated that the government intervention will save more lives than it costs – as long as this data and analysis is published in full and in time ahead of any votes in Parliament, so that MPs and the public have a chance to scrutinise it.”

    But he attacked the Government's use of dodgy data with models which “wrong time and time again”.

    “How much longer can we go on with this rubbish determining the course of all our lives?” he added.

  • Samantha Lock

    TRAVEL BAN ON DENMARK LIFTED

    The travel ban on Denmark hasbeen lifted, Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced today.

    However, the country will remain off the UK Government’s Travel Corridor list.

    The change becomes active at 4am on Sat 28 November.

Source: Read Full Article

click fraud detection