Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
26 October 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The total stands at more than 800,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 40,000 dead.
- Rumours of a Tier 4 lockdown rang out over the weekend, with Matt Hancock confirming this morning that a Tier 4 is on the cards. The Health Secretary told BBC Breakfast that: “we have seen the rise in the number of cases has slowed a bit. The problem is it’s still going up, and while it’s still going up, we’ve got to act to get it under control. We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we’re working to and it’s effective in slowing the growth of this virus, but it hasn’t brought this curve to a halt.”
- BBC Panorama has found that people aged 16-25 (being dubbed as ‘Generation Covid’) are more than twice as likely as older workers to lose their job during this time. Six in ten of this group have also seen a fall in earnings. The study also looked at schools, and those who have lost out on teaching time. Panorama’s report found that nearly three quarters of private school pupils had full days of teaching (74 per cent) – almost twice the proportion of state school pupils (38 per cent).
- People without symptoms who want to get a coronavirus test will now be able to pay for one at Boots stores across the UK. Boots’ nasal swab test which gives results in 24 to 48 hours is being introduced now, and within weeks an even faster test will offer customers results in just 12 minutes. The initial cost will be £120.
- Tensions remain following the Government’s vote against extending Free School Meal vouchers out of term time. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already introduced food voucher schemes. The footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaigning on the issue has seen hundreds of councils and businesses pledging to feed children out of term time. You can see an interactive map here .
- The FT are reporting that the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca produces a robust immune response in elderly people.
- Greater Manchester is officially in Tier 3 as of midnight last Friday, with South Yorkshire joining on Saturday. Lancashire and Liverpool City Region remain Tier 3.
- Wales’ health minister has said that supermarkets in the country can sell non-essential items during the firebreak lockdown in “exceptional circumstances”. The Welsh government is due to discuss the ban, which has been heavily criticised over the weekend, with supermarkets on Monday.
- In Ireland, authorities have vowed to “crack down” on shops that circumvent lockdown rules and continue to sell clothes, toys and other non-essential goods. The government imposed a 5km travel limit and ordered non-essential retail to close on 21 October for six weeks in some of Europe’s severest restrictions. However, some clothing stores have remained open, citing their stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE), and some supermarkets continue to sell clothes and toys along with food. The Guardian has the write up here .
- For further information on local lockdowns and restriction measures, please see the Gov.UK website , or PoliticsHome have produced a live interactive map.
- Tough new coronavirus measures are being introduced in Italy and Spain. Madrid has declared a national state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew country-wide, whereas in Italy, bars and restaurants will close for table service at 6pm, and gyms, cinemas and theatres will shut.
- The Guardian are reporting that France may be experiencing 100,000 new cases a day. The French total stands at 1,138,507, with the country ahead of Argentina and Spain to register the world’s fifth highest number of cases after the US, India, Brazil and Russia.
- Commenting on the Department for Transport announcement that admin fees will be removed for Covid disrupted rail travel on Advance tickets, Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith, said: “Passengers will welcome this decision. It takes the risk out of booking ahead in the fast-changing coronavirus situation. Passengers can plan ahead for Christmas knowing that they won’t lose their money if they aren’t allowed to go.”