The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has blamed the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, for being “the problem” in the row over a lockdown for the city.
The row between the Labour mayor and No 10 continued over the weekend as Downing Street said fresh talks had been set up, only for Mr Burnham’s office to issue a denial.
It comes as police forces will be given the personal details of people told to self-isolate by the government’s Test and Trace service to enforce quarantine rules.
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Andy Burnham writes to Westminster urging government to secure ‘fair financial framework’ for local lockdowns
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has written to political leaders in Westminster urging them to help secure a “fair financial framework” for local lockdowns.
Mr Burnham told Boris Johnson, Sir Keir Starmer and other party leaders that “this is not just a Greater Manchester issue” as he called for a consistent new package for tier 3 restrictions.
Backed by Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, he called for a “full and fair furlough scheme” covering 80 per cent of wages or at least the national minimum wage, support for the self-employed and improved compensation for businesses.
“With the challenging winter that lies ahead of the country, it is likely that most places will find themselves in tier 3 at some point before a vaccine is found,” Mr Burnham wrote.
“That is why we believe it is right for Parliament to debate and agree what is a fair level of support for people and businesses in those areas.
“At present, local areas are agreeing individual deals with the government. It is by no means clear that these will be sufficient to cope with the pressures they will face. Also, the lack of transparency about this process and the risks of differential treatment is potentially divisive.
“Establishing clear national entitlements of the kind we had during the first lockdown will create a sense of fairness which in turn would help build public support for, and compliance with, any new restrictions.”
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 14:26
Some 61 more coronavirus deaths recorded in hospital in England
A further 61 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 30,971, NHS England said on Sunday.
Patients were aged between 54 and 96. All but four patients, aged 56 to 92, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between 4 and 17 October.
Four other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 14:17
Tony Blair denies he broke quarantine rules with US visit to White House
Former prime minister Tony Blair has denied breaking coronavirus restrictions after a trip to the US last month.
Daisy Lester has the details:
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 13:57
Saudi Arabia allows citizens to pray in one of Islam’s most holy sites
Saudi Arabia allowed its citizens and residents to perform prayers in one of the most holy religious sites in Islam, the Al-Haram mosque in Mecca, for the first time in seven months, state television reported.
Earlier this month Saudi Arabia allowed citizens and residents to perform the Umrah pilgrimage at Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, after a seven-month pause due to coronavirus concerns.
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 13:41
Thailand reports three more cases after first infections in more than a month
Thailand has reported three more locally transmitted coronavirus cases, a day after reporting its first local infections in more than a month.
The three new patients are family members of two Myanmar nationals who previously tested positive for the virus this week in the country’s northern province bordering Myanmar, the government’s coronavirus taskforce said.
Before this week’s five cases, Thailand last reported a confirmed local transmission on 11 September. In total, Thailand has reported 3,686 cases of the virus and 59 deaths.
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 13:18
Virus re-emerges in New Zealand
New Zealand has reported one new case of coronavirus in the community, as the virus re-emerged in the country after many days of no transmission within its borders.
The country’s health chief, Ashley Bloomfield, said in a news conference that the infected person was identified early, and risk of transmission was contained.
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 13:05
Australia’s Covid-19 hotspot partially eases lockdown
Australia’s state of Victoria, the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, will see more freedom of movement tomorrow after months-long restrictions, but retailers and restaurants must wait longer, making some of the owners unhappy.
After more than 100 days in a strict lockdown that allowed only for two hours of outdoor activity a day, the 5 million people living in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, will be able to spend as much time exercising outdoors as they wish.
However, they must stay within 15 miles of their homes, Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants must operate only on take-away or delivery orders, with the state government eyeing their reopening by 1 November.
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 12:30
Haste to mechanically ventilate Covid-19 patients may have contributed to higher death rate, senior medic says
Doctors’ haste to mechanically ventilate Covid-19 patients at the start of the pandemic might have contributed to the higher rate of death in spring compared to now, a senior medic has said.
Dr Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine in London, said doctors’ evolving understanding of the virus had dramatically upped the survival rate.
At the start of the pandemic, just 66 per cent of people in hospital with coronavirus survived, compared to 84 per cent in August.
Dr Pittard told Sky News: “Initially we used to put patients straight onto mechanical ventilation – so we would bring them to intensive care, sedate them and put them on ventilators.
“But we have slowly started to realise that perhaps we could manage some patients without doing that.”
She said intensive care teams now use a variety of interventions to help patients breathe, and full mechanical ventilation is a last resort.
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 12:10
Coronavirus will make Christmas ‘tough’ this year, Sage adviser warns
Christmas will be “tough” in the wake of the global pandemic and will not have its usual celebratory atmosphere of families coming together, Sage member Professor Jeremy Farrar has said.
Professor Farrar said he did not believe a vaccine for coronavirus would be rolled out ahead of Christmas this year.
Maya Oppenheim has more details:
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 11:50
Officers given Test and Trace data acting in a ‘very proportionate way’, Michael Gove says
Michael Gove defended police being given data from NHS Test and Trace, saying that officers are operating in a “very proportionate way”.
He said: “I think that actually the behavioural effects show that the majority of people, the overwhelming majority of people, want to be part of a national effort to fight the virus.
“And of course there will be some, a very, very small minority, who will be, you know, heedless of the consequences of their actions.
“But the other thing is, the police to be fair to them, are operating things so far as I can see, in a very proportionate way.
“They engage and they explain well before they enforce. We all know that people make innocent errors and an appropriate word can mean that that innocent error can be corrected by any of us.
“But where you do get persistent, flagrant and deliberate breaching of the rules, then it is appropriate for action to be taken.”
Samuel Osborne18 October 2020 11:37