Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
13 October 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Yesterday, the Prime Minister set out how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England. The Tiers will be debated this afternoon and voted on. Subject to this vote, they will come into force on Wednesday.
- The “medium” alert level – which will cover most of the country – would consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. This includes the Rule of Six, and the closure of hospitality at 10pm. You can find the relevant statutory instrument here.
- The “high” alert level would reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country. This primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission by preventing all mixing between households or support bubbles indoors. The Rule of Six will apply in outdoor spaces, including private gardens. Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the “high” alert level. You can find the relevant statutory instrument here.
- The “very high” alert level would apply where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern, based on an assessment of all the available data and the local situation.
- This includes incidence and test positivity, including amongst older and more at-risk age groups, as well as the growth rate, hospital admissions and other factors.
- In these areas, the government would set a baseline of prohibiting social mixing indoors and in private gardens, with the Rule of Six allowed in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
- Pubs and bars must close and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant – which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
- People will be advised not to travel in and out of these areas.
- You can find the relevant statutory instrument
- A postcode checker on uk will show which alert level applies in each area and the NHS COVID-19 app will also direct people to this information . You can find the full list of Local COVID Alert Levels by area here.
- Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary, has told Sky News that the government may need to go even further and introduce stricter measures to combat a rise in coronavirus cases in high-risk areas.
- The UK unemployment rate has surged to its highest level in over three years as the pandemic continues to hit jobs.
- The coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause a record seven percent decline in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2020, but governments are not doing enough to prevent a rapid rebound, according to an influential report.
- Johnson & Johnson has temporarily paused all dosing in their Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Clinical Trials , due to an unexplained illness in a participant
- The UK Government yesterday imposed new rules that split areas of England into risk zones.
- Liverpool city region was the only area categorised as very high risk on Monday – with pubs forced to close and household mixing banned in almost all circumstances from Wednesday for at least four weeks.
- Greater Manchester and the north-east resisted attempts to close their hospitality sectors, insisting that ministers had not provided scientific evidence and saying the measures were proving counterproductive , the Guardian reports.
- London could be classed as “high risk” for Covid-19 within days, mayor Sadiq Khan has warned.
- Stormont ministers will meet later today , amid growing pressure to reach a decision about imposing new coronavirus restrictions across Northern Ireland.
- Scotland’s unemployment rate remained at 4.5% over the summer, with 124,000 people seeking work, figures show.
- The Scottish government will implement a three-tier framework of Covid restrictions later in October, similar to that being introduced in England.
- First Minister Mark Drakeford has threatened a travel ban in Wales on people from English Covid hotspots if the prime minister does not impose his own.
- A second national Welsh lockdown is being considered as Covid-19 cases rise, the health minister has said.
- The Guardian reports that China’s 56-day streak without new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases has been broken after officials reported six infections in the eastern coastal province of Shandong on Tuesday.
- US President Donald Trump has tested negative for Covid-19 and he is not infectious to others, the White House physician said on Monday. In a memo released by the White House, Dr Sean Conley said Trump had tested negative on consecutive days using an Abbott Laboratories BinaxNOW antigen card.
- A new case study published in The Lancet revealed a 25-year-old man in Nevada was infected with coronavirus twice this year.
- New Zealand has recorded its 18th consecutive day of no new cases of Covid-19 spread in the community, health officials said on Tuesday.
- South Korea reported 102 new coronavirus cases as of Monday midnight, marking a triple-digit increase in six days, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said on Tuesday.
- The Czech government will order bars, restaurants and clubs to close from Wednesday until 3 November and shift most schools to distance learning as it puts new measures in place to curb the fast spread of Covid-19 cases in the country.
- France reported a three-month high in ICU patients. Health authorities said the number of people treated in intensive care units for Covid-19 surpassed the 1,500 threshold on Monday, for the first time since 27 May, raising fears of local lockdowns in the country.
- Ahead of a French cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss further measures to control the coronavirus pandemic, a minister has said the government could not rule out imposing curfews on cities such as Paris.
- In Spain, the government agreed protocols to establish travel corridors between European states and the Canary and Balearic Islands, both of which rely heavily on tourism and have been hit hard by the Covid crisis.
- For the second day in a row, Iran has announced the highest single-day death toll from the coronavirus, with 272 new victims, as well as its single-day highest count of new cases, with 4,206.
- Malaysia announced that it will impose some restrictions on movement in its capital city and in the neighbouring state of Selangor from Wednesday, as the country grapples with a fresh surge of cases.
- Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, commented : “This new phase in the UK’s response to Covid-19, where nations and regions implement different levels of lockdown and recover at different speeds, requires new strategies to power up – and level up – the UK economy. To help people find jobs, we are proposing a partnership between Government and our fellow trade bodies for a skills programme to retrain and upskill people in areas of advertising and marketing services where there are national shortages. This plan complements our existing proposal for an advertising tax credit to provide additional stimulus to consumer spending and to boost economic growth as we all work together to get through this pandemic. Meanwhile, the Government’s communication and message-sharing must be as clear as possible for people to understand the new rules in their area and our industry is ready to ensure these vital public health messages land effectively.”
- Commenting on Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘s announcement of a new, tiered approach to local Coronavirus restrictions in England – and following the introduction last week of deeper restrictions in other nations of the UK, BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: “Intensified restrictions will be a real blow to business and public confidence at a delicate time for the economy. Firms have put hard work and precious cash into making their businesses COVID- secure, and must be allowed to operate unless there is overwhelming and clear evidence to the contrary. Businesses cannot be subjected to a rollercoaster of stop-start restrictions with no end in sight… Above all, businesses need to see an exit strategy to prevent economic paralysis. Mass testing, faster processing and proportionate financial support for those forced to self-isolate are crucial to supporting businesses and communities in the months ahead.”
- Following the Prime Minister ‘s statement to Parliament this afternoon, Ian Blackford MP said the Tory government was “not doing enough” to prevent thousands of jobs and good businesses being lost unnecessarily – and urged the Prime Minister to announce a full extension to the furlough scheme instead of scrapping it at the end of the month.
- Unite regional secretary for the North West, Ritchie James, said: “The spread of coronavirus throughout the Liverpool region can only be brought under control through an efficient and well-functioning test and trace system.”
- Responding to the Prime Minister ‘s announcement of new coronavirus guidelines, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said: “The priority now has to be keeping people safe and ensuring no one is left behind, particularly in the north of England, which is bearing the brunt of the government’s shambles. Boris Johnson must get testing, tracing and isolating right, and provide proper economic support to save jobs and livelihoods. If the Government does not do more to help, it risks pushing millions of families into poverty”.
- The BBC reports that new documents show that the Government’s scientific advisers called for a short lockdown in England to halt the spread of Covid-19 last month . The Guardian reports that t he official documents dated 21 September also called for a ban on household mixing in homes; the closure of all bars, restaurants, cafes, indoor gyms and services such as hairdressers; and all university and college teaching to be online “unless absolutely essential”. Only one of the five SAGE proposals has been introduced nationally – an exhortation for people to work from home if they can.