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Coronavirus UK news – Chancellor Rishi Sunak set to announce furlough help for workers hit by second wave

- What are thenew lockdown measures?
- What did Boris say in his latest announcement?
- How to get a free coronavirus test

RISHI Sunak will today announce extended furlough help for some workers hit by the second coronavirus lockdown.

The Chancellor has bowed to pressure and will unveil new measures to ­subsidise the wages of struggling hospitality staff, including pubs and restaurants, if they can find only part-time work.

In Commons statement tomorrow, the Chancellor is expected to announce a new “flexible furlough” scheme targeted at industries that will be hardest hit by the new Covid restrictions.

For example, a worker who usually works 37 hours a week would be able to do just 17 hours but still receive their full wage.

The company would be able to charge the remaining 20 hours of wage costs to the Government.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates...

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    INDIA PASSES 90,000 DEAD

    The subcontinent’s death toll has now reached the grim milestone with 15,000 deaths in just 13 days.

    India also saw 86,825 new infections on Wednesday taking September’s count past 2 million – the highest recorded in a month by any country, the Times of India reports.

    Some 5.7 million people have been infected with Covid-19 in the country and it is second behind the United States for cases and deaths.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    NO PAIN, SOME GAIN

    Rishi Sunak has shelved his Budget of tax rises and will extend furlough for some workers.

    Amid another major spike in daily Covid cases, the Chancellor has delayed paying for the crisis until next year.

    Mr Sunak has bowed to pressure and will today unveil new measures to ­subsidise the wages of struggling hospitality staff, including pubs and restaurants, if they can find only part-time work.

    In a Commons statement tomorrow, the Chancellor is expected to announce a new “flexible furlough” scheme targeted at industries that will be hardest hit by the new Covid restrictions.

    Read more here.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    SWEDEN SHIFTS LOCKDOWN STANCE

    Sweden could be heading for local lockdowns, chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has said.

    Tegnell is the architect of the country’s strategy of personal responsibility rather than major lockdowns to slow the virus.

    Infections dropped significantly in the summer but around 1,200 new cases and five deaths have been reported since Friday compared to around 200 cases in the last weeks.

    “We are thinking of fairly short restrictions, to break the spread of infection requires perhaps two to three weeks at most,” Tegnell told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    THOUSANDS OF SWISS STUDENTS QUARANTINED

    Switzerland has quarantined all undergraduates at a college just days after their return from summer holiday.

    All 2,500 undergraduate students at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne must remain in their housing, including on-campus accommodation, until September 28.

    The move followed a number of major outbreaks among the students which had made it impossible to trace which had come into contact with the virus.

    Like many European countries, Switzerland has seen a resurgence of cases since lockdown measures were eased and some international travel resumed over the summer months.

  • Hana Carter 's avatarHana Carter

    KEIR STARMER BRITISH PUBLIC HAVE BEEN 'LET DOWN' BY GOVERNMENT

    “The British people have done everything asked of them. But I’m afraid the government has not,” Starmer said.

    He said the pandemic had continued despite “the sacrifices and heroism of the British people” and, while Labour supported the new restrictions, they were the consequence of mismanagement of the virus.

    “We’re a great country. We shouldn’t have one of the highest death rates in the world, or one of the worst recessions,” he said.

    “It’s a national scandal that we still don’t have a testing system that works. Or a plan to protect our care homes. It shouldn’t be like this.”

  • Hana Carter 's avatarHana Carter

    NICOLA STURGEON URGES BORIS FOR FOUR-NATION TALKS

    Nicola Sturgeon has urged Boris Johnson to consider urgent four-nation talks to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

    The first minister has pointed to scientific opinion that bringing the virus back under control will require measures beyond those announced so far.

    This comes after at least 124 students at Glasgow University have tested positive for coronavirus.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    GREGGS FACTORY CLOSED

    A coronavirus outbreak has forced a Greggs factory in the North East to halt production.

    The bakery chain said it decided to temporarily close the site in Newcastle after a “small number” of its team tested positive for the disease.

    They said the move was just “a precautionary measure to keep teams as safe as possible”.

    Greggs has not confirmed how many workers tested positive with some employees still waiting to find out whether they are infected.

    The site in Longbenton has around 300 employees and will be deep cleaned before reopening.

    Read more here.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    MARSEILLE TO CLOSE BARS, CAFES AND RESTAURANTS

    France has unveiled a map of coronavirus “danger zones” around the country including Marseille.

    Bars cafés and restaurants will now shut down in France’s second city as the number of people hospitalised with coronavirus doubled in just a week.

    The closures in Marseille will take hold on Monday as part of a nationwide series of tough new measures.

    Paris and its suburbs as well as the Lille, Toulouse and six other cities have been declared “reinforced danger zones”.

    Read more here.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    COVID VACCINE VOLUNTEERS TO BE GIVEN VIRUS

    A coronavirus trial that will see volunteers given the killer disease with no proven treatment is set to begin.

    Scientists in the UK are working on a “challenge trial” that could rapidly speed up the process of finding a vaccine against the disease.

    Those taking part will be infected with a dose of the virus that causes Covid-19 a month after being given the potential vaccine, the Financial Times reports.

    The trials have been used before when developing vaccines against malaria, typhoid and flu.

    But with coronavirus, there is no proven treatment for the disease and therefore nothing to stop volunteers falling seriously ill.

    Read more here.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    MASKS IN OFFICES URGE DOCS

    Masks should be made compulsory inside offices to stop the spread of coronavirus, doctors have warned.

    Staff in pubs, restaurants and shops, as well as anyone getting a taxi, will have to wear one from tomorrow while fines for flouting the rules increases to £200.

    The British Medical Association today said it's “illogical” that rules are only coming into force now and not when businesses first reopened.

    It also warned that the latest measures to curb the spread of coronavirus don't go far enough to avoid a second peak.

    Read more here.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    DAY LONG WAIT FOR TESTS IN CANADA

    A recent spike in cases has created day-long queues at testing centres and a long wait for results.

    Canada stuck with the basic deep nasal swabs collected by healthcare workers and sent off to labs.

    New rapid point-of-care tests or home collection kits used in the United States could help clear the backlog – but are not yet available in Canada.

    High school teacher Mary Capin, 47, who was queuing outside Toronto's Women's College Hospital said: “There's got to be more testing stations. This is ridiculous.”

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    SINGLE SHOT IS HOT

    Johnson & Johnson has said it has begun a trial of an experimental single-shot coronavirus vaccine.

    That could simplify distribution of millions of doses compared with leading rivals requiring two doses.

    The company expects results of the Phase III trial on 60,000 people by year end or early next year and plans to manufacture as many as 1 billion doses in 2021.

    Rival vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca all require two shots separated by several weeks

    This could them more difficult to administer and means twice as much vaccine is needed to inoculate the same number of people.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    RISHI’S NEXT MOVE

    The Chancellor has been getting a few suggestions ahead of his announcement tomorrow on how he will support workers and businesses through the coronavirus second wave

    Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said on Tuesday it was time to “stop and rethink” the furlough scheme in favour of a targeted approach.

    The Trades Union Congress which outlined its furlough replacement proposal last month, said the Government must “fast-track a new plan” to protect jobs.

    Another proposal put forward by the CBI business group would see subsidies for firms that can offer staff at last 50 per cent of their normal hours, with the cost for non-working hours shared equally by the company, the Treasury and the employee.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    NOT APPY

    German has been held up as an example of a country that’s coped well with the pandemic.

    But there appear to be a number of problems with its coronavirus contact-tracing app, The Guardian reports.

    It only works on newer smartphones and experts found its contact tracing via Bluetooth to be unreliable on buses, trains and subways, where the risk of an infection is higher.

    While 22 per cent of have downloaded the Corona-Warn-App only 3-6 per cent of tests were explicitly taken because people had been warned by the app.

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    BELGIUM EASES RESRTRICTIONS AS CASES RISE

    Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said mask requirements, some attendance limits and other measures will be relaxed as part of a less stringent, long-term coronavirus strategy.

    Wilmes said citizens should learn to live with the virus but warned against a widespread slackening of the basic social-distancing rules.

    We are in a risk-management phase,” she said after a National Security Council meeting adding the rules will be relaxed because they are “no longer useful or tenable.”

    But leading Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst said: “When you look at the numbers, its certainly not time to relax.”

  • Tariq Tahir 's avatarTariq Tahir

    THIRD HIGHEST DAY OF CASE RISES

    UK coronavirus cases have risen by 6,178 in 24 hours in the third highest day ever.

    The concerning climb brings the total number of people infected by the virus to 409,729.

    Some 37 deaths were recorded – bringing the total to 41,862.

    The last highest number of daily cases came on May 1 with 6,201 infections.

    Before that infection figures peaked on April 5, the peak of the pandemic, with 6,199.

    Read more here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    MAN AND WOMAN IN BOLTON HANDED £1,000 FINES FOR FAILING TO QUARANTINE

    A man and woman who returned to work in Bolton when they should have been in quarantine have been issued with £1,000 fixed penalty notices, police said.

    Officers issued the fines to the two people who should have been self-isolating after travelling abroad, including one who worked at a high school.

    Bolton has the highest rate of coronavirus cases in the country and council leader David Greenhalgh has said the area's spike was partly caused by a man who went on a pub crawl when he should have been in quarantine after returning from abroad.

    A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said a woman in her 20s was handed a fine on September 22 after flying back from Amsterdam and returning to her job at a Bolton high school two days later.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    ENDING OF EVICTION BAN DRAWS FIRE IN LORDS AMID RESURGENT CORONAVIRUS

    Peers have criticised the ending of an eviction ban which it is argued will leave tens of thousands of renters at risk of losing their homes in the face of the resurgent coronavirus.

    The House of Lords backed by 268 votes to 237, majority 31, a so-called regret motion put down by Labour following the withdrawal of the safeguard this week.

    It bemoaned the loss of protection for tenants against possession proceedings, amid the continuing health crisis, and urged law changes to give courts temporary discretion on evictions, including those arising from rent arrears.

    A separate Liberal Democrat bid to block a ministerial order enabling the resumption of evictions was rejected by 266 votes to 126, majority 140. Renters in England and Wales had been shielded from eviction during the Covid-19 outbreak by a moratorium announced in March.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    BREAKING – CASES CLIMB

    UK coronavirus cases have risen by 6,178 in 24 hours in the third highest day ever.

    The concerning climb brings the total number of people infected by the bug to 409,729.

    The last highest number of daily cases came on May 1 with 6,201 infection.

    Before that the highest number cases in a day came on April 5, the peak of the pandemic, with 6,1999.

    More on the story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    UK FINANCE MINISTER TO GIVE JOBS PLAN UPDATE ON THURSDAY

    British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he would update parliament on Thursday on the economy and the government's plans to protect jobs.

    “As our response to coronavirus adapts, tomorrow afternoon I will update the House of Commons on our plans to continue protecting jobs through the winter,” Sunak said.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    MADRID PLEADS FOR MORE DOCTORS, POLICE AS CORONAVIRUS CASES SURGE

    Authorities in Spain's Madrid region today requested urgent help to hire hundreds of foreign doctors and reinforce police, as they mulled widening a partial coronavirus lockdown to more areas as cases rise.

    The region is the hardest-hit in Spain by a second wave of the coronavirus and has restricted movement between and within some districts that are home to about 850,000 people.

    Ignacio Aguado, the deputy head of the regional government, told reporters the region needed 300 doctors from outside the European Union who had worked in the first wave of the pandemic, but could not hire them immediately due to complex regulations.

    He also asked the central government for an additional 222 national police to enforce quarantines and fines in areas under partial lockdown.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    CHAUFFEUR-DRIVEN CARS EXEMPT FROM LAW ENFORCING PASSENGERS IN TAXIS WEAR MASKS

    Chauffeur-driven cars will be exempt from new laws forcing passengers to wear masks in taxis to slow the spread of coronavirus, Downing Street has said.

    Boris Johnson announced that passengers in licensed vehicles would have to wear coverings under new restrictions in England aimed at preventing a resurgence of Covid-19.

    But No 10 said the measure, to come into force on Thursday, would not include passengers in chauffeur-driven cars, though the driver's employer would have to ensure they could work safely.

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: “The employer of the chauffeur will have to make sure that their employees can work in a Covid-secure way.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    STUDENTS WARNED 'PARTIES ARE NOT ALLOWED', AS UNIVERSITIES TACKLE OUTBREAKS

    Students in Scotland have been given a strong warning against house parties, following a “significant” coronavirus outbreak at Glasgow University halls of residence.

    National clinical director Jason Leitch said there has been a number of Covid-19 cases confirmed at universities across Scotland.

    During the daily coronavirus briefing, he said: “We need you not to have house parties, I could not be more clear.”

    Nicola Sturgeon said the “significant outbreak at the University of Glasgow” had impacted on the daily Covid-19 infection figure for the NHS Greater Glasgow area.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    ENGLAND COVID-19 DEATHS

    A further 23 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,808, NHS England said on Wednesday.

    Patients were aged between 69 and 96 and all had known underlying health conditions.

    The dates of the deaths were between August 14 and September 22.

    Seven other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

  • Niamh Cavanagh 's avatarNiamh Cavanagh

    BRITAIN KEEPS BUSINESS SUPPORT UNDER REVIEW, SAYS PM'S SPOKESMAN

    Britain's government will always keep its support for businesses under review as the coronavirus crisis evolves, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said today after being asked whether it would consider a German-style wage subsidy scheme.

    “We've always said that we will keep our support under review and that it would be adapted as the circumstances evolve, but there is a huge amount of support available and that continues to be the case,” the spokesman said.

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