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2020-10-15T09:33:01.880Z

And here’s an updated breakdown of key questions about the tiered system in London and beyond:

2020-10-15T09:30:52.066Z

Here’s a reminder of this morning’s big announcement:

2020-10-15T09:28:59.950Z

We’ll get through this dark time together, mayor tells Londoners

Sadiq Khan ended his address: “I must warn Londoners that we’ve got a difficult winter ahead. 

“But, just has we’ve always done throughout our city’s great history, I know we’ll get through this dark time by pulling together.  

“So I’d urge all Londoners to continue following the rules – so that we can support our NHS, save lives and protect our economy.” 

2020-10-15T09:24:57.040Z

The Mayor’s statement to the London Assembly as he calls for circuit-breaker lockdown:

“Given how far the virus has already been allowed to spread – and given the Government’s complete failure to get a working test, trace and isolate system in place – I believe we also need action on a national scale – just as the Government’s own scientific advisers have recommended.   

“That’s why I’ll continue to call for a short national circuit-breaker.

“This could save thousands of lives, drive the virus down to manageable levels, and give the Government more time to finally get a grip on its failing test and trace system.

“In London, we experienced the worst of Covid-19 back in the spring.

“Thousands of lives were lost and our economy has been left reeling. We simply can’t afford for the Government to be slow to act again.

“The supposed choice between saving the economy and saving lives – between restrictions and freedoms – is an entirely false one.

“Because the later we take the necessary steps to slow the spread of the virus, the more severe these steps will have to be and the longer they’ll have to last in order to drive down infection rates.

“No matter how much some people want to pretend otherwise and bury their heads in the sand – the truth is that the health crisis and the economic crisis are inextricably linked.

“That’s why getting this virus under control is the only way we can both protect lives and our economy. 

“There’s simply no other option.”

2020-10-15T09:14:17.800Z

‘I must warn Londoners that we’ve got a difficult winter ahead’ – Khan

Sadiq Khan announced that the city is at a critical moment in the fight against coronavirus.

The Mayor warned that infection rates will soon reach an average of 100 cases per 100,000 people.

Mr Khan told the London Assembly: “Final conversations with ministers are ongoing around this as we meet – but I expect ministers to make an announcement to Parliament later today.”

He said the decision was based on “expert public health and scientific advice” about what is necessary to save lives in the city.

“In addition to the restrictions already in place, this would mean different households in London not being allowed to mix indoors,” he said.

“Nobody wants to see more restrictions – but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners lives by myself, London council leaders and by ministers.”

2020-10-15T09:12:15.966Z

Sadiq Khan is now setting out the new restrictions in a televised statement:

2020-10-15T08:54:32.636Z

Here’s a reminder of what the three tiers involve:

2020-10-15T08:47:01.536Z

Here’s a breakdown of the London mayor’s demands, as set out on Twitter this morning:

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has set out a number of demands, including an increase in testing capacity to protect people living in the capital and bring Covid-19 under control.

Alongside a letter to Boris Johnson, Mr Khan wrote: “Urgent action is needed to protect Londoners and bring the virus under control in our city…

“Government must provide proper financial help to all businesses and vulnerable Londoners affected by restrictions, as well as local authorities who support them.

“It is essential that no one should be faced with added financial hardship through redundancy or a loss of earnings, and is able to access benefits or crisis support straight away should they need to.

“We also need an immediate increase in testing capacity so that London’s testing rates can increase to the national average.”

2020-10-15T08:42:35.436Z

Wales could use number plates to stop cross-border travel

Police in Wales could use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify visitors from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

Mr Drakeford told BBC Breakfast: “I believe the police will have a range of techniques that they will be able to use.

“Number plates are one of the ways in which they are able to identify cars that are travelling long distances, but that won’t be the only way.

“They will have long-practised techniques developed earlier in the year and they will apply those again over the weeks to come.”

2020-10-15T08:25:37.670Z

Cross-border travel rules would help unite UK, Welsh leader insists

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said he is “baffled” by Boris Johnson’s reluctance to impose travel restrictions on people in Covid-19 hotspots across the UK.

He told BBC Breakfast that if the Prime Minister had supported the measure, it would have reinforced “the sense of acting together across the United Kingdom”.

“I never wanted this to become an issue of the border and people travelling in and out of Wales,” Mr Drakeford said.

“I’ve always thought it’s an issue of high-incidence areas and low-incidence areas, wherever they may be.

“The Prime Minister says to me he’s issued guidance. The problem with that is the police can’t take action on the basis of guidance, they have to have the force of law behind them.”

Mr Drakeford said Mr Johnson “could still change his mind and then we wouldn’t need to do what we are doing”.

2020-10-15T08:21:22.946Z

London needs an ‘immediate increase’ in testing capacity and better support for low-paid workers forced to quarantine, says mayor

2020-10-15T08:20:00.160Z

‘No one should be faced with added financial hardship through redundancy or a loss of earnings,’ Khan stresses

2020-10-15T08:18:51.090Z

The London mayor is calling for an extension to the business rates holiday for retail, leisure and hospitality, calling such support “vital”:

2020-10-15T08:16:58.436Z

Sadiq Khan is calling for ‘urgent action’ to protect Londoners and struggling businesses ahead of imminent new restrictions:

2020-10-15T08:13:47.200Z

Welsh holiday sites urged to reject half-term bookings from UK hotspots

First Minister Mark Drakeford said holiday providers in Wales should not accept half-term bookings from people in areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus.

Asked about existing bookings, he told BBC Breakfast: “I’m afraid those bookings will no longer be able to be honoured.

“It’s why we’re taking this action now to give people a good period of time to understand that, if you did book a holiday in those parts of Wales, I’m afraid that holiday will now no longer be able to take place.”

2020-10-15T08:08:42.500Z

Police to help stop cross-border travel, Welsh minister confirms

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said police forces will carry out extra patrols on main roads to enforce a planned travel ban to prevent people entering Wales from Covid hotspots in the UK.

He told BBC Breakfast that officers will explain the rules to people but could also issue fixed penalty notices to those who “knowingly and flagrantly” breach them.

“They will take the action that they need to take but enforcement is the final resort, not the first resort,” he said.

Mr Drakeford added that he has discussed the plans with police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales.

Officers will use a “range of techniques” to police the travel ban, he said.

2020-10-15T08:07:46.530Z

World update: Singapore and Hong Kong agree to new travel bubble

Hong Kong and Singapore say they have agreed to a bilateral air travel bubble, re-establishing travel links as coronavirus infections in both cities decline.

This means that tourists from each region will be able to visit the other without facing any restrictions.

Both Hong Kong and Singapore temporarily closed their borders earlier this year, banning short-term visitors from entering as they fought to reduce infections.

Under the air travel bubble, travellers will also not be subject to compulsory quarantine, provided they have taken Covid-19 tests mutually recognised by both cities, and received a negative result.

Additionally, passengers are required to fly on dedicated flights, which will only serve air travel bubble travellers between Hong Kong and Singapore.

The launch date has yet to be announced.

(AFP)

2020-10-15T07:59:07.940Z

Health update: Interesting new research has emerged

People with blood type O may be less vulnerable to Covid-19 and have a reduced likelihood of getting severely ill from the virus, according to two new studies.

The two independent studies, carried out by researchers in Denmark and Canada and published in the journal Blood Advances, found that individuals with blood types A and AB are most vulnerable to the disease.

The research provides further evidence that a person’s blood type may play a role in their susceptibility to coronavirus and could shed further light on why the illness proves deadly for some but others only experience mild symptoms, or none at all.

Read more…

2020-10-15T07:50:42.986Z

Economic damage to North ‘could last a decade’

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson tweeted: “We are making the same mistakes again.

“The deadly dithering by @BorisJohnson is causing untold grief we need a ‘circuit breaker’ now and continuous 80% financial Furlough for businesses, the economic damage being caused could last a decade.”