UK News Virus measures targeted by protesters despite case spikes
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.
LONDON (AP) — Demonstrators took the streets of London, Tel Aviv and other cities on Saturday to protest coronavirus restrictions, decrying how the measures have affected daily life even with infection rates rising in many places and the global death toll approaching 1 million.
New lockdown restrictions begin in North East as Lancashire expected to follow
People in northeast England will not be able to meet others outside their household from today - as Lancashire is also expected to be placed under tighter restrictions. More than 10 million people across the UK are now in lockdown, after new restrictions in Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham began at midnight.Residents in these areas are banned from socialising with others outside their household or bubble, food and drink venues are restricted to table service only and all leisure and entertainment venues must close at 10pm.
In the U.K., the latest official estimates released Friday showed that new infections and coronavirus hospital admissions have been doubling every seven to eight days. Britain has Europe’s highest death toll since the start of the pandemic, with 41,821 confirmed virus-related deaths.
The government recently banned social gatherings of more than six people in the hopes that it would help reverse a steep rise in COVID-19 cases and suggested that tougher restrictions could be coming.
NHS Nightingale hospital in Birmingham on high alert to reopen as cases soar
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Saturday's protest in Trafalgar Square, which was themed “Resist and Act for Freedom,” ended in clashes between demonstrators and London police, as officersholding banners and placards scrawled with anti-restriction messages such as “This is now Tyranny.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned that the city may add curfews, force pubs to close earlier and ban household visits to try to limit the city's sharp rise in new cases.
“I am extremely concerned by the latest evidence I’ve seen today from public health experts about the accelerating speed at which COVID-19 is now spreading here in London,” Khan said Friday. “It is increasingly likely that, in London, additional measures will soon be required to slow the spread of the virus.”
Residents fear return of students will cause Covid spikes
Tens of thousands of students are due back on campus in the coming days and a new poll has suggested 57 per cent of people fear local restrictions will result. Nearly half (48 per cent) indicated they will blame the Government. Earlier this month, Government scientific advisers warned it is 'highly likely' there will be significant coronavirus outbreaks linked to universities. The Survation poll, carried out for the University and College Union (UCU), also found half of respondents believe universities should cancel all face-to-face teaching.
In Israel, meanwhile,that began Friday and coincided with the Jewish High Holidays, which are typically celebrated with family gatherings and large prayer services.
Demonstrators in swimsuits gathered on a beach in Tel Aviv and waved black and pink flags connoting various protest movements.
In Australia,in the Melbourne beachside suburb of Elwood on Saturday before being scattered by police.
Police in the region have tried to dissuade lockdown opponents from protesting, but the rallies have become routine. The Victoria police said in a news release that “the behaviour of these selfish few who choose to blatantly ignore the directions will not be tolerated.”
Boris warns critics of 'many more deaths' as he brings in new lockdown
The Prime Minister said he was 'deeply, spiritually reluctant' to make the changes but they were necessary in order to avoid a dramatic surge in deaths and a new total lockdown.In a televised address to the nation the Prime Minister, flanked by a Union Jack, said he was 'deeply, spiritually reluctant' to make new 'impositions, or infringe anyone's freedom' after unveiling new measures in Parliament today.
In Romania's capital city, Bucharest, several hundred people protested against virus restrictions, including the mandatory use of masks in schools. About 2.8 million children in Romania began the school year Monday and schools took various precautions to try and prevent outbreaks.
Romania is among the countries that has had a new spike in confirmed cases, including a national daily record of 1,713 cases earlier in the week and 1,333 more on Saturday. In all, Romania has had 111,550 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,402 deaths from the disease since the start of the pandemic.
Protesters in Bucharest’s University Square drew parallels between the protective measures against the pandemic and Nazi regimes. One of the speakers compared the measures to the torture of dissidents during communism.
The virulent language and comparisons echoed that of conservative protesters at rallies in dozens of U.S. cities earlier in the pandemic, including some who successfully pressured governors and local officials into lifting restrictions on businesses and social activities.
Hundreds of homeless lives saved due to lockdown measures, study suggests
Emergency accommodation provided during the coronavirus pandemic may have saved the lives of hundreds of homeless people, researchers estimate. © Getty Homeless people hold up signs for help as the coronavirus crisis begins to escalate in March A study by University College London (UCL) found that the use of hotels, increasing infection control measures in hostels and closing dormitory-style communal shelters possibly prevented 266 deaths linked to COVID-19.
Experts have said some state authorities gave up on the restrictions too quickly, allowing the virus to continue spreading this summer in parts of the country that didn't experience the full force of the pandemic early in the year.
As of Saturday, Johns Hopkins University reported nearly 200,000 deaths in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic and 6.7 million confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S.
Ghirda reported from Bucharest, Romania.
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10pm pub curfew comes into force in England - this is how the first night went .
The first night of a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants has passed largely without incident in England - but some venues are warning that the absence of late-night drinkers could put their future into jeopardy. In London, there was a small police presence on the streets of Soho last night, but no problems were reported.Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick joined a patrol in Shoreditch, a fashionable area in the capital's east, to remind the public of the measures they need to follow to stop coronavirus from spreading.