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UK News Third national lockdown not ruled out as minister warns it may be summer before we 'get back to normal'

12:35  30 november  2020
12:35  30 november  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

Most lockdown rules should STAY after national shutdown ends

  Most lockdown rules should STAY after national shutdown ends Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, said Tier Three restrictions could be needed in a 'great majority of locations' when England's lockdown ends to suppress Covid-19.Most draconian coronavirus curbs must stay in place when England comes out of its national shutdown next month or it will result in another Covid-19 'rebound', 'Professor Lockdown' Neil Ferguson has warned.

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DOMINIC RAAB could not rule out the UK would be forced into a lockdown for the third time in January as he urged Britons to follow the strict coronavirus tiering Mr Rabb admitted there was a risk but maintained the best way to avoid a spike of infections after the holidays was to follow the rules .

It is "too early to say" if another national lockdown will be needed after Christmas, according to a senior minister.

George Eustice said "you can't rule anything out" when asked by Sky News if the "stay at home" measures could come back into force to keep coronavirus under control.

The environment secretary also admitted it may be as late as "next summer" until "we can all start to get back to normal" - dependent on a vaccine.

A crucial vote is coming up in parliament tomorrow on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's tier system and attempted return to a regional rules approach from 2 December.

UK rules to be eased over Christmas - and pub closing time could be extended beyond 10pm

  UK rules to be eased over Christmas - and pub closing time could be extended beyond 10pm Boris Johnson is poised to announce up to a week of freedom from COVID-19 restrictions at Christmas - but tough rules will remain in force in England after the national lockdown ends on 2 December. © Imagebridge The PM is in talks with devolved administrations over a UK-wide plan for Christmas The aim - subject to agreement from the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - is for a UK-wide relaxation of rules, reportedly from 22 to 28 December, so that several families can join in one "bubble".

Dominic Raab refused to rule out a third national lockdown if there is another spike in cases in the new year, adding that the Government was “doing Mr Raab insisted the restrictions – which will place swathes of England under stringent rules from 2 December – are necessary to “bear down ” on the

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a second national lockdown for England to He said Christmas may be "very different" but he hoped taking action now would mean families can gather. After 2 December, the restrictions would be eased and regions would go back to the tiered system

People make their way along Commercial road in Bournemouth, Dorset, in the final week of a four week national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images People make their way along Commercial road in Bournemouth, Dorset, in the final week of a four week national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)

He is facing deep unhappiness from many backbenchers about how many areas have gone into Tiers 2 and 3, with Sky News calculating more than 60 have gone public with their concerns.

Mr Eustice admitted there were "up to 100" potential rebels - meaning the government may have to rely on backing from Sir Keir Starmer.

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More on coronavirus:

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What are the new tier rules after lockdown? (The Independent)

Pub bosses say they face disaster with a million jobs on the line

  Pub bosses say they face disaster with a million jobs on the line Peter Tiley, landlord of The Salutation Inn, Gloucestershire, a former winner of National Pub of the Year, said he would not be able to open if forced to serve a meal. He told MailOnline: 'I'm gutted. I think it's a real slap in the face for community wet-led pubs. Neither of my pubs serve food and they're deliberately designed that way so people can come in, for a chat, without feeling like they're imposing on a restaurant.'Mr Tiley said that pubs have been 'sacrificial lambs' throughout the pandemic and is desperate to open to claw back some earnings in the vital winter trading window.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refused to rule out a third national lockdown to stop the spread of Covid, if the tougher Tier system doesn't keep infection rates down .

He also refused to rule out the possibility of a third lockdown in January, saying: “You can’t rule The US top infectious disease expert said Sunday that the country may see “surge upon a surge” of The prime minister tried to quell a rebellion over tougher coronavirus tiers ahead of a Commons vote

What is the new Covid mass testing plan? (Sky News)

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The Labour leader, who is expected to hold talks with England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty later, has not said yet if he will support the plans.

Shadow education secretary Kate Green told Sky News the opposition party has "always supported sensible public health restrictions" and will endorse the plan "with the right reassurances".

Gallery: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world (Photo Services) 

In a bid to appease Tory MPs, Mr Johnson has agreed to their demands to publish impact assessments that will spell out the health, economic and social ramifications of the tier system.

And he said the Commons will get another vote on 3 February to decide whether to extend it until April.

When the tiers come into force on Wednesday, 99% of England will enter Tier 2 or 3, with tight restrictions on bars and restaurants and a ban on households mixing indoors.

However the rules will be eased for five days over Christmas - from 23-27 December - to allow three households to "bubble" and celebrate together.

a close up of a person wearing a costume: Boris Johnson is under-fire for how many areas he has put into Tier 3 © Getty Boris Johnson is under-fire for how many areas he has put into Tier 3

Scientists advising the government have warned that could lead to a growth in COVID-19 infections.

Mr Eustice played down the threat of a third lockdown being needed afterwards, but did not rule the possibility out.

"Provided we maintain the tiered approach for as long as necessary, I don't think it'll be necessary to go back into another full lockdown," he told Kay Burley.

"You can't rule anything out because this is a rapidly developing situation… It's always difficult to predict what will happen."

a person walking down a city street: England is in its second national lockdown © Getty England is in its second national lockdown

But Katie Pickett, owner of Pinky's Beauty Salon in Gillingham, Kent, warned the businesses that have avoided folding during the first and second lockdown may not last a third.

"Who knows who will survive a third lockdown? I think only the strongest out there," she told Sky News.

"There aren't people as lucky as us... but we've taken such a hit anyway."

Another 215 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK were announced on Sunday, taking the total to 58,245, with 12,155 more cases meaning there have been 1,617,327 since the pandemic began.

a person is walking down the street: Rules are being eased across the UK over Christmas © Getty Rules are being eased across the UK over Christmas

A new study by Imperial College London found coronavirus infections have dropped by almost a third in England during the second national lockdown.

Though it is not known if the lockdown itself led to that dip since case rates had already started decreasing, especially in the worst affected areas.

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Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

UK's R number falls to four-month low, estimate suggests .
The estimated R number for coronavirus is between 0.8 and 1.0 in the UK - its lowest level since August. R represents the average number of people each person with COVID goes on to infect.The growth rate, which estimates how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, indicates the number of new infections is shrinking by between 1% and 3% every day. © Thomson Reuters A man wearing a protective mask uses a phone at a bus stop, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain December 3, 2020.

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