UK News Khan presses for new Covid controls for London as infections rise
Hancock admits COVID testing issue could take weeks to solve - with certain groups prioritised
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted there are "challenges" with the coronavirus testing system following a "sharp rise" in demand.The mother of twins born with coronavirus has spoken of their “miracle” recovery
London mayor Sadiq Khan is pressing for new coronavirus restrictions amid rising infection rates in the capital – including a return to working from home.
Mayoral sources said the city was catching up with disease hotspots in the North West and North East of England, which have been placed under new controls.
While data from only a few days ago suggested London was two weeks behind those areas, the latest modelling seen by Mr Khan was said to show the gap had closed to two or three days.
North East lockdown: 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and ban on household mixing
New local restrictions are being introduced in northeast England - including a 10pm curfew for bars and pubs and a ban on people mixing with others outside their household. Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the measures in a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday morning after the government's talks with North East councils and local MPs.They will come into force from Friday in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.
The mayor is now urging ministers to extend the latest regional restrictions – including ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10pm – to cover the capital as well.
He is also said to be looking at the possibility of asking those who are able to work from home to do so.
Such a move would be in sharp contrast to the Government, which has until recently been urging people to get back to their offices following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
A mayoral source said: “It’s clear that cases in London are only moving in one direction, we are now just days behind hotspots in the North West and North East. We can’t afford more delay.
“Introducing new measures now will help slow the spread of the virus and potentially prevent the need for a fuller lockdown like we saw in March, which could seriously damage the economy once again.”
'Subdued' PM 'worries about money' after salary shrank to £150k .
Those in contact with Mr Johnson claim the embattled UK premier has 'misery etched on his face' as he struggles to cope with ever-growing political and personal pressures. The Prime Minister is understood to detest being 'at the helm in rough seas' as his 'longstanding tendency for dark moods' is exacerbated by the twin problems of coronavirus and Brexit - which threaten to jeopardise his standing at the next General Election.Meanwhile friends allege that he is worrying about money, having sacrificed his Daily Telegraph column (£275,000) and lucrative speaking engagements for his prime ministerial salary (£150,000).