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New hotline launched to report COVID fraudsters

 

In an initiative between government and the independent charity Crimestoppers, the public can now call a new COVID Fraud Hotline (0800 587 5030) anonymously and free of charge to report suspected fraudulent activity.

 

Over 150 COVID support schemes have been introduced by the government to help those struggling financially, but a minority of individuals have been abusing these schemes by claiming support illegally.

 

Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez said:

"Many people work hard to pay their taxes, so it’s a gross injustice that fraudsters are shamefully taking advantage of measures set up to help people during the lockdown."

"We cannot let criminals profit from the COVID crisis, as every pound stolen by fraudsters could be invested in our vital public services. This is why we are urging the public to report any information to the Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline."

 

Chief Executive of Crimestoppers, Mark Hallas OBE said:

"Fraud against the public purse denies access to vital funds that benefit us all."

"It’s crucial that anyone who has information or knows of someone who has fraudulently claimed Government grants or loans to contact our charity completely anonymously and tell us what you know."

"The COVID Fraud Hotline is open 24/7, 365 days a year on 0800 587 5030 or fill in the simple and secure anonymous form at Covidfraudhotline.org. You’ll be doing the right thing to help ensure the public purse is protected from fraudsters."

 

Although fraud is a hidden crime and can take time to be discovered, the public can still look out for tell tale signs. These can include unusual buying activity by companies and individuals, as well as cold calling by those falsely claiming that they are from the government, offering money for schemes.

 

The government has partnered with the independent charity Crimestoppers to provide an anonymous hotline to gather information to ensure it carefully guards public resources paid for by the taxpayer for vital services like hospitals and schools.

 

Published 13 October 2020

From: Cabinet Office and Julia Lopez MP

Link to source

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
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Rather brutal figures here so I would encourage anybody who still thinks it is a good idea to ignore the government's requirement to stay indoors unless they are a key worker or their journey is absol

FYI if you have not received  a letter from 10 Downing Street, below is a copy of what has been sent out.    

Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 3 July 2020 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)   "Good evening, Since I last spoke to you from this podiu

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Oral statement to Parliament

Statement to Parliament about the government's local action strategy and areas in England that will move into local COVID alert level high from Saturday 17 October.

From: Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP

Thank you very much Mr Speaker. And Mr Speaker, with permission, I’d like to make a statement on coronavirus.

The threat remains grave and serious.

In Europe, positive cases are up 40% from one week ago. And in Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, they have doubled in the last fortnight.

And here, we sadly saw the highest figure for daily deaths since early June.

Mr Speaker, let us be under no illusions about the danger posed by this virus. Coronavirus is deadly. And it is now spreading exponentially in the UK.

We must act to prevent more hospitalisations, more deaths and more economic damage. Because we know from recent history that this virus keeps growing, unless we act, together, to get it under control.

Local action strategy

Our strategy is to suppress the virus, supporting the economy, education and the NHS and local action is at the centre of our response.

This virus is not evenly spread, and the situation is particularly severe in some parts of the country.

Through the JBC and through NHS Test and Trace, we have built up a detailed picture of where, and how, this virus is spreading.

This week’s NHS Test and Trace statistics show that testing capacity is up, testing turnaround times are down, and the distance travelled for tests is down too.

And thanks to this capacity and analysis, we have been able to take a more targeted approach, keeping a close eye on the situation in local areas.

Bearing down hard through restrictions on a local level, where they are necessary.

I know that these restrictions are difficult for people. I hate the fact that we have to bring them in. But it is essential that we do bring them in.

Both to keep people safe, and to prevent greater economic damage in the future. But when a virus is moving fast, we cannot stay still. And if we act collectively, we know we can control the virus, because we have done it before.

I believe in the people of this country. And I believe ‒ in fact, I know ‒ that the people of this country want to control this virus, to protect their loved ones, their lives and their livelihoods. And I believe from the bottom of my heart that acting together, we can.

We must take firm and balanced decisions to keep this virus under control. This is the only way to protect lives and livelihoods.

We must act now. Delayed action means more deaths from COVID.

It means more non-COVID deaths. And means more economic pain later. Because this virus comes down slower than it goes up. So we should stop it going up in the first place.

Unless we suppress the virus, we cannot return to the economy we had. Unless we suppress the virus, we cannot keep non-COVID services going.

And unless we suppress the virus, we cannot keep the elderly and the vulnerable safe and secure.

Mr Speaker, I didn’t come into politics to put restrictions on how people live their lives. I want people to have as much freedom as possible, subject to not harming others.

But the nature of this virus means that anyone of us can inadvertently pass it on without even knowing.

That is the liberal case for action. And I believe that the British people get that.

But I want that action to be as targeted as feasible. Local action is one of the best weapons we have.

Mr Speaker, we have seen how local action can flatten the curve, for example in Leicester and Bolton.

Local COVID alert levels

This is the principle that sits behind our new, simpler system of local COVID alert levels. I am pleased that the House approved these measures earlier this week.

Yesterday, I chaired a meeting of the Local Action Committee Gold Command.

This brings together the best data, and the best clinical and public health expertise, to look at how the virus is spreading.

Local COVID alert level very high: discussions

Turning first to the parts of the country where the prevalence of the virus is highest. Discussions are ongoing with local leaders, on moving from high to very high.

These are areas where transmission rates are rising at the sharpest rate. And where we see a very real risk to the local NHS.

The Liverpool City Region moved into the very high level yesterday, and I want to thank the local leadership for their public service, and cross-party teamwork in the face of this virus.

We have developed a substantial package of support for areas that enter this third tier.

This includes more support for local test and trace, more funding for local enforcement and the Job Support Scheme alongside the offer of help from the armed services.

And in other areas currently in the second tier, where discussions are ongoing, no further decisions have yet been made, but we need to make rapid progress.

London

Mr Speaker, turning to other areas of the country currently in the medium level, where rates are rising fast.

First, in London, infection rates are on a steep upward path, with the number of cases doubling every 10 days.

The 7-day average case rate today stands at 97, rising sharply.

We know from the first peak that the infection can spread fast and put huge pressures on the NHS. So we must act now, to prevent the need for tougher measures later on.

So, working with the Mayor, cross-party council leadership, local public health officials and the national team.

We have together agreed that London needs to move to local COVID alert level high.

I want to take a moment to thank all involved for their exemplary hard work. The collegiate nature of decision making, the collaborative approach.

And the constructive work, all focused on the public health and economic wellbeing of our citizens. And to Londoners, and all who work in our great capital.

I want to say thank you, for what you have done to suppress this virus once.

We now all need to play our part in getting under control once again.

I know the sacrifices this means. But I know, if we work together, then we can defeat this.

Working with local leaders in Essex and Elmbridge, we are also moving them to the high local alert level.

And I want to pay tribute to the leadership of Essex County Council and in Elmbridge, who are working so hard to suppress the virus.

Mr Speaker, infection rates are also rising sharply in Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield.

In all of these places, cases are doubling in less than a fortnight.

For all of the areas entering the high alert level, the change will come into effect one minute past midnight on Saturday morning.

And this includes Barrow-in-Funess, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield too.

The central change is that people cannot now meet other households socially indoors. This applies in any setting, at home, or in a restaurant, or in any other venue.

The rule of 6 still applies in any outdoor setting.

And although you may continue to travel to open venues, you should reduce the number of journeys where possible.

I know that these measures are not easy. But I also know that they are vital.

Conclusion

Mr Speaker, responding to this unprecedented pandemic requires difficult choices. Some of the most difficult choices any government has had to make in peacetime.

We make these decisions with a heavy heart. With the sole aim of steering our nation through troubled waters.

Things will get worse before they get better. But I know that there are brighter skies and calmer seas ahead. That the ingenuity of science will find a way through.

Until then, we must come together. Because we all have a part to play to defeat this dreadful disease.

And I commend this statement to the House.

Published 15 October 2020

Link to source

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Guidance

Full list of local COVID alert levels by area

 

Local COVID alert level: medium

All areas in England are medium, apart from those listed below as high or very high.

 

Local COVID alert level: high

The following areas will be in local COVID alert level: high from midnight on Saturday 17 October.

See the areas that are currently in local COVID alert level: high.

 

Cumbria

  • Barrow-in-Furness

Derbyshire

  • Chesterfield
  • Erewash
  • North East Derbyshire

Essex

  • Basildon
  • Braintree
  • Brentwood
  • Castle Point
  • Chelmsford
  • Colchester
  • Epping Forest
  • Harlow
  • Maldon
  • Rochford
  • Tendring
  • Uttlesford

London

  • all 32 boroughs plus the City of London

Surrey

  • Elmbridge

York

  • York

 

The following areas are currently in local COVID alert level: high.

 

Cheshire

  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Cheshire East
  • Warrington

Greater Manchester

  • Manchester
  • Bolton
  • Bury
  • Stockport
  • Tameside
  • Trafford
  • Wigan
  • Salford
  • Rochdale
  • Oldham

Derbyshire

  • High Peak ‒ the wards of:
  • Tintwistle
  • Padfield
  • Dinting
  • St John’s
  • Old Glossop
  • Whitfield
  • Simmondley
  • Gamesley
  • Howard Town
  • Hadfield South
  • Hadfield North

Lancashire

  • Blackpool
  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Burnley
  • Chorley
  • Fylde
  • Hyndburn
  • Lancaster
  • Pendle
  • Preston
  • Ribble Valley
  • Rossendale
  • South Ribble
  • West Lancashire
  • Wyre

West Yorkshire

  • Leeds
  • Bradford
  • Kirklees
  • Calderdale
  • Wakefield

South Yorkshire

  • Barnsley
  • Rotherham
  • Doncaster
  • Sheffield

Durham

  • Durham

Northumberland

  • Northumberland

Tyne and Wear

  • Newcastle
  • South Tyneside
  • North Tyneside
  • Gateshead
  • Sunderland

Tees Valley

  • Middlesbrough
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Darlington
  • Hartlepool

West Midlands

  • Birmingham
  • Sandwell
  • Solihull
  • Wolverhampton
  • Walsall

Leicestershire

  • Leicester
  • Oadby and Wigston

Nottinghamshire

  • Ashfield
  • Bassetlaw
  • Broxtowe
  • Gedling
  • Mansfield
  • Newark & Sherwood
  • Nottingham City
  • Rushcliffe

 

Local COVID alert level: very high

Liverpool City Region

Find out what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in the Liverpool City Region.

  • Liverpool
  • Knowsley
  • Wirral
  • St Helens
  • Sefton
  • Halton

Updated 15 October 2020

Link to source

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
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Speech

Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 20 October 2020

Good afternoon,

Across the world, the countries most successful in their fight against coronavirus are adopting regional and local measures to protect their populations.

 

That is why last week we launched the three Local COVID Alert Levels for England, with interventions based on the prevalence of the virus in local areas.

 

Since then we have been undertaking discussions with local leaders in those parts of the country which are currently bearing the brunt of the second wave of this epidemic.

 

Before I update you on those discussions, I will ask Jonathan Van-Tam to brief us on the latest data nationally and in Greater Manchester.

 

Thank you very much JVT.

 

That presentation you’ve just seen shows you clearly why we must act.

 

Now I don’t want anyone to think their actions or efforts have been in vain.

 

Our collective action, across the country, has brought the R number well below its natural rate of about 3.

As a result, the virus is not spreading as quickly as it did in February and March.

 

However, while the R is below its natural level, it does remain above 1, meaning the virus continues to spread.

 

So, we need to take action to reduce the R and control the virus, especially in those parts of the country, as you’ve just seen, where the virus is most prevalent.

 

This evening, informed by the data we have just seen, I can announce that Greater Manchester will move to the Very High alert level.

 

This means that:

  • Pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals.
  • Households can’t mix indoors or in most outdoor settings.
  • In some public outdoor spaces, groups must be limited to the rule of six.
  • And we strongly advise against travel into and out of the area.

In line with the additional measures taken in Lancashire, casinos, bingo halls, betting shops, adult gaming centres and soft play areas must also close.

 

Regulations will be laid in Parliament on Thursday and come into force just after midnight.

 

I know that these restrictions are tough, both on businesses and individuals. And believe me no one wants to be putting these things into effect. But that is why we are putting in place a comprehensive package of support:

  • The Job Support Scheme ensures those affected by business closures are still paid. And once you top that up with Universal Credit, those on low incomes will receive at least 80% of their normal income.
  • We have made available up to £465 million to help local authorities implement and enforce restrictions. Greater Manchester will receive £22 million of this.
  • And that’s on top of the extra £1 billion of extra funding we are providing for all local authorities across the country.
  • We will work with local authorities to allocate testing and introduce local contact tracing.

Over the last 10 days, we have sought to agree an approach with local leaders in Greater Manchester.

 

Unfortunately, agreement wasn’t been reached.

 

And I do regret this. As I said last week, we would have a better chance of defeating the virus if we work together.

In addition I must say, to the support outlined above, we made a generous and extensive offer to support Manchester’s businesses. This offer was proportionate to the support we have given Merseyside and Lancashire, but the Mayor didn’t accept this unfortunately.

 

And given the public health situation, I must now proceed with moving Greater Manchester, as I say, to the Very High alert level.

 

Because not to act would put Manchester’s NHS, and the lives of many of Manchester’s residents, at risk.

 

Despite the failure to reach an agreement, I hope the Mayor and council leaders in Greater Manchester will now work with us to implement these measures.

 

Elsewhere, discussions on moving to the Very High alert level continue with local leaders in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and the North East.

 

I hope and expect central and local government will continue to work closely together, as we are seeing in Merseyside, Lancashire, London and many other parts of the country.

Because – ultimately – all of us want to protect the NHS, and in doing so to save lives.

 

Published 20 October 2020

Link to source

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Policy paper

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 20 October 2020

Covid-19 Heat Map Sept 01 - Oct 01 2020.jpg

Covid-19 Heat Map Sept 24 - Oct 15 2020.jpg

Covid-19 Greater Manchester Heat Map Sept 24 - Oct 15 2020.jpgPublished 20 October 2020

Link to source

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Speech

Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 31 October 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.

31 October 2020 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

 

Good evening and apologies for disturbing your Saturday evening with more news of Covid and I can assure you I wouldn’t do it unless it was absolutely necessary.

 

First I will hand over to Chris and then Patrick who will present the latest data.

 

Data Presentation

Thank you very much Patrick, and Chris. I am afraid that no responsible PM can ignore the message of those figures.

 

When I told you two weeks ago that we were pursuing a local and a regional approach to tackling this virus, I believed then and I still believe passionately that it was the right thing to do.

 

Because we know the cost of these restrictions, the damage they do, the impact on jobs, and on livelihoods, and on people’s mental health.

 

No one wants to be imposing these kinds of measures anywhere.

 

We didn’t want to be shutting businesses, pubs and restaurants in one part of the country, where incidence was very low, when the vast bulk of infections were taking place elsewhere.

 

Our hope was that by strong local action, strong local leadership, we could get the rates of infection down where the disease was surging, and address the problem thereby across the whole country.

 

And I want to thank the millions of people who have been putting up with these restrictions in their areas for so long. I want to thank local leaders who have stepped up and local communities.

 

Because as you can see from some of those charts, the R has been kept lower than it would otherwise have been, and there are signs that your work has been paying off

 

And we will continue as far as we possibly can to adopt a pragmatic and local approach in the months ahead

But as we’ve also seen from those charts, we’ve got to be humble in the face of nature

 

And in this country alas as across much of Europe the virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst case scenario of our scientific advisers

 

Whose models as you’ve just seen now suggest that unless we act we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day

 

A peak of mortality alas far bigger than the one we saw in April

 

Even in the South West, where incidence was so low, and still is so low, it is now clear that current projections mean they will run out of hospital capacity in a matter of weeks unless we act.

 

And let me explain why the overrunning of the NHS would be a medical and moral disaster beyond the raw loss of life

 

Because the huge exponential growth in the number of patients – by no means all of them elderly, by the way – would mean that doctors and nurses would be forced to choose which patients to treat

 

Who would get oxygen and who wouldn’t

 

Who would live and who would die,

 

And doctors and nurses would be forced to choose between saving covid patients and non-covid patients

 

And the sheer weight of covid demand would mean depriving tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of non-covid patients of the care they need

 

It is crucial to grasp this that the general threat to public health comes not from focusing too much on covid, but from not focusing enough, from failing to get it under control

 

And if we let the lines on those graphs grow in the way they could and in the way they’re projected to grow, then the risk is that for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us and for our families

 

And even if I could now double capacity overnight – and obviously I am proud that we have massively increased capacity, we do have the Nightingales, we’ve got 13,000 more nurses now than last year, we have many more doctors – but it still would not be enough, because the virus is doubling faster than we could conceivably add capacity

 

And so now is the time to take action because there is no alternative.

 

From Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home.

 

You may only leave home for specific reasons, including:

 

For education; For work, say if you cannot work from home; For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household; For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; To shop for food and essentials; And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

 

I’m afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed – though click and collect services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.

 

Pubs, bars, restaurants must close except for takeaway and delivery services.

 

Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.

 

Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.

 

If you are clinically vulnerable, or over the age of 60, you should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others.

 

I know how tough shielding was, and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way again. However we are asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimise their contact with others, and not to go to work if they are unable to work from home.

 

I am under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure hardship this year. I am truly, truly sorry for that.

 

This is why we are also going to extend the furlough system through November. The furlough scheme was a success in the spring. It supported people and businesses in a critical time. We will not end it. We will extend it until December.

 

There will be some differences compared to March.

 

These measures above all will be time-limited, starting next Thursday 5 November. They will end on Wednesday 2 December, when we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.

 

Christmas is going to be different this year, very different, but it is my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now, we can allow families across the country to be together.

 

My priority, our priority, remains keeping people in education - so childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Our senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be.

 

We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures even more than it has already. I urge parents to continue taking their children to school and I am extremely grateful to teachers across the country for their dedication in enabling schools to remain open.

 

And it is vital that we will keep provision for non-Covid healthcare groups going.

 

So please - this is really important - unless your clinicians tell you otherwise, you should continue to use the NHS, get your scans, turn up for your appointments and pick up your treatments. If at all possible, we want you to continue to access these services, now and through the winter. Indeed it’s only by taking this action that we can protect the NHS for you.

 

On Monday I will set out our plans to parliament. On Wednesday, parliament will debate and vote on these measures which, if passed, will as I say come into force on Thursday.

 

We have updated the devolved administrations on the action we are taking in England and stand ready to work with them on plans for Christmas and beyond.

 

We should remember we are not alone in what we’re going through. Our friends in Belgium, France and Germany have had to take very similar action.

 

So as we come together now to fight this second wave, I want to say something about the way ahead

 

Because people will reasonably ask when will this all end

 

And as I have said before I am optimistic that this will feel very different and better by the spring

 

It is not just that we have ever better medicine and therapies, and the realistic hope of a vaccine in the first quarter of next year

 

We now have the immediate prospect of using many millions of cheap, reliable and above all rapid turnaround tests

 

Tests that you can use yourself to tell whether or not you are infectious and get the result within ten to 15 minutes

 

And we know from trial across the country in schools and hospitals that we can use these tests not just to locate infectious people but to drive down the disease

 

And so over the next few days and weeks, we plan a steady but massive expansion in the deployment of these quick turnaround tests

 

Applying them in an ever-growing number of situations

 

From helping women to have their partners with them in labour wards when they’re giving birth to testing whole towns and even whole cities

 

The army has been brought in to work on the logistics and the programme will begin in a matter of days

 

Working with local communities, local government, public health directors and organisations of all kinds to help people discover whether or not they are infectious, and then immediately to get them to self-isolate and to stop the spread

 

And I can tell you tonight that the scientists may be unanimously gloomy about the immediate options

 

But they are unanimously optimistic about the medium and the long term future

 

We will get through this – but we must act now to contain this autumn surge

 

We are not going back to the full-scale lockdown of March and April

 

It is less prohibitive and less restrictive

 

But from Thursday the basic message is the same

 

Stay at home. Protect the NHS. And save lives.

 

Published 31 October 2020

Link to source

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Guidance

New National Restrictions from 5 November

Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.

 

From: Cabinet Office

Applies to: England

Contents:

1. Stay at home

2. Staying safe outside the home (Social Distancing)

3. Meeting with family and friends

4. Businesses and venues

5. Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

6. Going to work

7. Going to school, college and university

8. Childcare and children’s activities

9. Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus

10. Visiting relatives in care homes

11. Travel

12. Financial support

 

COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

 

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:

 

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.

These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

 

Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live.

 

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

 

Complying with the new measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. They will be underpinned by law which will make clear about what you must and must not do from 5 November. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

 

Protect your loved ones. Download the App.

 

Please download the NHS App to keep updated on the latest guidance from Thursday 5 November

There is separate additional guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection

 

1. Stay at home

This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include:

  • for childcare or education, where this is not provided online
  • for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes)
  • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.
  • for any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm - such as domestic abuse
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible
  • to visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer

This list is not exhaustive and there are other limited circumstances where you may be permitted to leave or be outside of your home. These will be set out in law and further detailed guidance will be provided.

 

2. Staying safe outside the home (Social Distancing)

You should minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.

 

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space’:

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)

3. Meeting with family and friends

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with - or support bubble.

 

support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

 

You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or 1 person from another household.

 

Outdoor public places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside,
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments
  • playgrounds

You cannot meet in a private garden.

 

4. Businesses and venues

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

 

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

 

Playgrounds can remain open.

 

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

 

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

 

A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law.

 

Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups.

 

Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

 

A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • the NHS and medical services like GPs. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
  • Jobcentre Plus sites
  • Courts
  • Civil Registrations Offices

5. Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

 

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

 

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

6. Going to work

To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.

 

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work . The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

 

7. Going to school, college and university

The Government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our young people and will not be closing schools, colleges or universities. It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school. Schools have implemented a range of protective measures to make them safe.

 

The Prime Minister and Education Secretary have been clear that exams will go ahead next summer, as they are the fairest and most accurate way to measure a pupil’s attainment. We therefore need to keep schools and colleges open so that children are able to keep progressing towards exams and the next stage of education or employment. Students now have more time to prepare for their exams next year, as most AS, A levels and GCSEs will be held 3 weeks later to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic.

 

Universities have welcomed students back and we have published guidance advising universities on reopening to ensure they have safety measures in place to minimise the spread of the virus. Universities and adult education settings should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible.

 

There are further restrictions in place:

  • If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term for Christmas. We will publish further guidance on the end of term.

8. Childcare and children’s activities

Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.

 

Early years settings can remain open. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. As above, some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble, which allows single adult households to join another household.

 

Some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.

 

9. Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus

If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. If you are clinically vulnerable you:

  • Should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others
  • should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  • aged 60 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 60 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
  • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
  • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • pregnant

There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. Over this period, we are advising the CEV to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). You are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise. The full new guidance will be published on Monday 2 November and the Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place. Current advice is in place at each local COVID alert level.

 

10. Visiting relatives in care homes

Guidance on care home visits will be published ahead of Thursday. For now, you should follow existing guidance

 

11. Travel (note this information was updated the following day - see link)

You should avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport.

Essential travel includes, but is not limited to

  • essential shopping
  • travelling to work where your workplace is open or you cannot work from home
  • travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
  • hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health.

If you need to travel we encourage you to reduce the number of journeys you make, walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.

 

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed- including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes.

 

You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

 

If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance. This includes the rules on wearing face masks and advice on car sharing.

 

Developments in the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain around the world. No travel is risk-free. If you do need to travel abroad before 2 December (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice and the current travel corridor list.

 

12. Financial support

Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.

 

The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can.

 

Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than support currently on offer.

 

The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:

Published 31 October 2020

Link to source

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
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Guidance (updated from government information issued yesterday)

11. Travel

You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:

  • travelling to work where this cannot be done from home
  • travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
  • hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • visiting venues that are open, including essential retail
  • exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so

If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.

 

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

 

You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

 

If you need to use public transport - to travel to work for example - you should follow the safer travel guidance. This includes the rules on wearing face masks and advice on car sharing.

 

For those planning to travel into England, you should check the current travel corridor list to see whether you need to isolate for 14 days. You will still be required to abide by the restrictions set out here even if you do not need to isolate. If you do need to travel overseas from England before 2 December (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

 

British nationals currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
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Thanks to Wispman, FYI this is the situation regarding CCC and CMC sites.

 

12 hours ago, WispMan said:

This is on the CMC website front page

 

Following the UK Government announcement which will place the whole of England into a countrywide lockdown, it is likely that the Club will have to temporarily close its network of campsites in England from 6pm on Wednesday 4 November until the Government advises that we are able to reopen them (currently forecast for the beginning of December). The temporary closure also applies to our Certificated Locations and Affiliated Sites.

 

Quote

And this from the CCC

 

England: Sites will be closed from Wednesday, 4 November (last overnight stay Tuesday, 3rd November) until 2 December. Following that period, only our year-round and extended season Club Sites will re-open, though that is subject to further local lockdown measures or extended national restrictions.

Wales: Sites are now closed for the season. Wyeside in Powys will re-open for Holiday Home owners when the Welsh Government advises.

Scotland: Most of our Club Sites are now closed for the season. Scone and Moffat are in Covid Protection Level 2 areas and will remain open, in line with sector guidance for tourism and hospitality where members can stay with their household, unless that official guidance changes. Please see this link for more information

 

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Second lockdown from 5th November to 2nd December 2020

________________________________________________________  

 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020

Made at 2.45 p.m. on 3rd November 2020

Laid before Parliament at 4.10 p.m. on 3rd November 2020

Coming into force 5th November 2020

 

CONTENTS

PART 1

Introductory

1. Citation, commencement and application

2. Interpretation

3. Elite sportsperson

4. Meaning of vulnerable person and disability

 

PART 2

Restrictions on movement

5. Restrictions on leaving home

6. Exceptions: leaving home

PART 3

Restrictions on gatherings

7 Part 3: general interpretation

8. Participation in indoor gatherings

9. Participation in outdoor gatherings

10. Organisation or facilitation of gatherings

11. Exceptions in relation to gatherings

12. Linked household

13. Linked childcare household

14. The required precautions

PART 4

Closure of, and restrictions on, businesses

15. Restrictions on service of food and drink for consumption on the premises

16. Requirement to close premises and businesses

17. Exceptions

18. Further restrictions and closures

PART 5

Enforcement

19. Enforcement of restrictions and requirements

20. Offences and penalties 

21. Fixed penalty notices

22. Prosecutions

PART 6

Final provisions

23 Expiry  

24. Consequential amendments

25. Revocations

26. Transitional provisions

________________________________________________________  

The above are just the headlines and full  legally enforcable details can be found in the attached pdf

Lockdown 2 - The Law - uksi_20201200_en.pdf

________________________________________________________  

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
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News story

 

Measures to protect England from new COVID-19 strain extended

 

Freight exemption removed so UK haulage drivers arriving from Denmark are now required to self-isolate on entry to England.

 

  • exemption for non-UK resident freight drivers removed so those who have travelled from or through Denmark in the last 14 days can no longer enter UK
  • passenger planes and ships travelling directly from Denmark, and accompanied freight, will no longer be able to land or dock at English ports
  • anyone from the UK who arrives in England after 4am 6 November after travelling from or through Denmark in the last 14 days – including HGV drivers after previous exemptions were removed - must self-isolate along with their household

 

The government has tonight extended measures to prevent the potential spread of a variant strain of coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

The government yesterday implemented immigration powers which meant all non-British national or resident travellers who had been in or through Denmark in the last 14 days will now be denied entry upon arrival.

 

Non-UK resident HGV drivers have now been added to those restrictions, while all passenger vessels and accompanied freight from Denmark will be halted.

 

The move follows the release of further information from health authorities in Denmark reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms, with a variant strain of the virus spreading to some local communities.

 

Denmark was removed from the UK’s travel corridors list on Friday. Non-British or resident visitors who had come from or through Denmark were banned from arriving in the UK from 4am on Saturday. Anyone who has arrived within the last 2 weeks now needs to self-isolate along with their households for 14 days.

 

Given the significant unknowns regarding the new mutation of COVID-19 originating in Denmark we have moved quickly to protect our citizens and prevent the spread of the virus to the UK.

 

The UK government is working closely with international partners to understand the changes in the virus that have been reported in Denmark and we are conducting a programme of further research here in the UK to inform our risk assessments.

 

British Nationals and residents who are returning from Denmark will be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the UK. This is critical in being able to track the virus in case of any local outbreaks.

 

Yesterday the Home Office announced they would step up Border Force presence to ensure that those arriving to the UK from Denmark were compliant with the new restrictions.

The travel ban and expanded self-isolation requirements will be reviewed after 7days.

 

Published 8 November 2020

Link to source

________________________________________________________ 

 

News story

Social media giants agree package of measures with UK Government

to tackle vaccine disinformation

 

  • Platforms and UK government agree a package of measures to reduce vaccine disinformation
  • Platforms endorse the principle that no company should be profiting from COVID-19 vaccine mis/disinformation and commit to swifter responses to flagged content

Platforms will step up work with public health bodies to promote factual and reliable messages

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have agreed with social media platforms new measures to limit the spread of vaccine misinformation and disinformation and help people find the information they need about any COVID-19 vaccine.

 

At a virtual roundtable to address the growth of vaccine disinformation, Facebook, Twitter and Google committed to the principle that no company should profit from or promote COVID-19 anti-vaccine disinformation, to respond to flagged content more swiftly, and to work with authorities to promote scientifically accurate messages.

 

As the UK moves closer to developing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, Mr Dowden and Mr Hancock used the roundtable to welcome the progress these companies have made in strengthening their policies towards false coronavirus information and helping publicise the steps people should take to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

But the ministers raised concerns about the length of time misleading and false information about coronavirus vaccines remains on platforms, and called for swifter action to tackle such content.

 

Together the platforms have now agreed:

 

  • To commit to the principle that no user or company should directly profit from COVID-19 vaccine mis/disinformation. This removes an incentive for this type of content to be promoted, produced and be circulated.
  • To ensure a timely response to mis/disinformation content flagged to them by the government.
  • To continue to work with public health bodies to ensure that authoritative messages about vaccine safety reach as many people as possible.
  • To join new policy forums over the coming months to improve responses to mis/disinformation and to prepare for future threats.

The forums will see the government, social media platforms, public health bodies and academia increase their cooperation and ongoing information sharing to deliver a better understanding of the evolving threat caused by false COVID-19 vaccine narratives.

 

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

 

"Covid disinformation is dangerous and could cost lives. While social media companies are taking steps to stop it spreading on their platforms there is much more that can be done."

 

"So I welcome this new commitment from social media giants not to profit from or promote flagged anti-vax content, given that making money from this dangerous content would be wrong."

 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

 

"After clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in the world and has saved countless lives across the globe, eradicating one disease entirely."

 

"I am encouraged that social media companies have agreed to do more to prevent the spread of dangerous misinformation and disinformation on their platforms."

 

"We want users to have greater access to reliable and scientifically-accurate information on vaccines from trusted sources like the NHS so they can make informed decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones."

 

Vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and effective healthcare solutions. Ministers used the meeting, which also included representatives from fact-checking charities, academics and data experts, to highlight that robust action must be taken against misleading messaging and content online which could harm and discourage people from protecting themselves or their loved ones.

 

Throughout the pandemic the government’s Counter Disinformation Unit has been developing a picture of the extent, scope and reach of disinformation and working with online platforms to ensure appropriate action is taken.

 

The unit has observed a range of false narratives about coronavirus vaccines across multiple platforms, including widespread misuse of scientific findings and baseless claims challenging the safety of vaccines or plans for their deployment.

 

Ronan Harris, Google UK Managing Director, said:

 

"Since the beginning of the covid-19 epidemic, we have worked relentlessly to promote authoritative content from the NHS and to fight misinformation. In the last few months, we have continued to update our policies to make sure that content contradicting scientific consensus about the virus is swiftly removed and demonetised. Today, we are redoubling our commitment to take effective action against covid vaccine misinformation and to continue to work with partners across Government and industry to make sure people in the UK have easy access to helpful and accurate Information."

 

Katy Minshall, Head of UK Public Policy, Twitter UK, said:

 

"We are focused on protecting the public conversation and helping people find authoritative information on Twitter – in May 2019, we launched a search prompt that serves people with credible vaccine information from the NHS. In January this year, we launched a dedicated COVID-19 search prompt, ensuring that when people come to the service for information, they’re met with authoritative, public health information first. To date, over 160 million people have visited the Twitter COVID-19 curated page, over two billion times."

 

"Since introducing COVID misinformation policies in March, and as we’ve doubled down on tech, our automated systems have challenged millions of accounts which were targeting discussions around COVID-19 with spammy or manipulative behaviours. We remain committed to combating misinformation about COVID-19, and continue to take action on accounts that violate our Rules. We look forward to continued collaboration with government and industry partners in our work towards improving the health of the public conversation."

 

Rebecca Stimson, Facebook’s Head of UK Public Policy, said:

 

"We’re working closely with governments and health authorities to stop harmful misinformation from spreading on our platforms. Ads that include vaccine hoaxes or discourage people from getting a vaccine are banned, we remove harmful misinformation about Covid-19 and put warning labels over posts marked as false by third party fact checkers. We’re also connecting people to accurate information about vaccines and Covid-19 whenever they search for these topics. In the first months of the pandemic we directed more than 3.5 million visits to official advice from the NHS and UK government and we’re pleased to continue to support public health efforts."

 

Published 8 November 2020

Link to source

________________________________________________________

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
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Government response

UK government response to Pfizer/BioNTech’s publication of efficacy data of their COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer/BioNTech published positive efficacy results from Phase 3 studies of their potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer/BioNTech today (Monday 9 November) published positive efficacy results from Phase 3 studies of their potential Covid-19 vaccine, showing it to be more than 90% effective in preventing coronavirus in participants.

 

A government spokesperson said:

 

"The results from Pfizer/BioNTech are very promising and we have procured 40 million doses of their vaccine."

 

"While we are optimistic of a breakthrough, we must remember that there are no guarantees."

 

"We will know whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety and effectiveness once the safety data have been published, and only then can the medicines regulator consider whether it can be made available to the public."

 

"Once approved, the NHS stands ready to begin a vaccination programme for those most at risk, as currently recommended by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), before being rolled out more widely."

 

 

Published 9 November 2020

Read Pfizer’s full announcement

________________________________________________________ 

Transcript of Pfizer statement

 

ALBERT BOURLA DISCUSSES COVID-19 VACCINE EFFICACY RESULTS

09/11/20

 

I am happy to share with you that Pfizer and our collaborator, BioNTech, announced positive efficacy results from our Phase 3, late-stage study of our potential COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.

 

The results demonstrate that our mRNA-based vaccine can help prevent COVID-19 in the majority of people who receive it. This means we are one step closer to potentially providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global pandemic.

 

This is a first but critical step in our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine.

 

It’s important to note that we cannot apply for FDA Emergency Use Authorization based on these efficacy results alone. More data on safety is also needed, and we are continuing to accumulate that safety data as part of our ongoing clinical study.

 

We estimate that a median of two months of safety data following the second and final dose of the vaccine candidate - required by FDA’s guidance for potential Emergency Use Authorization – will be available by the third week of November.

 

We are also generating data to show that our vaccine can be consistently manufactured to meet quality standards.

 

Efficacy, safety and consistent manufacturing are the three requirements that are needed before we are able to file for authorization.

 

We look forward to sharing additional updates in the coming weeks and will continue to work closely with regulatory authorities to provide access to our anticipated vaccine for those who need it most.

 

I want to thank the thousands of people who volunteered to participate in the clinical trial, our academic collaborators and investigators at the study sites, and our colleagues and collaborators around the world who are dedicating their time to this crucial endeavor.

 

We could not have come this far without the tremendous commitment of everyone involved. Their dedication and courage are the reasons we continue to believe that science will win.

 

Thank you all.

image.png

________________________________________________________ 

 

Press release

More rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England

600,000 lateral flow tests to be sent out this week to kick-start the significant expansion of testing, followed by weekly local allocations.

  • Next stage of partnership between NHS Test and Trace and local directors of public health will enable increased testing of priority and high-risk groups in local communities on a weekly basis
  • Increase in asymptomatic testing will help pick up more cases, stop the spread of the virus and support communities and critical industries

Over half a million rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests will be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to local public health leaders this week, signalling the next phase of the government’s plan to expand asymptomatic testing for COVID-19, the Prime Minister announced today.

 

Test kits will be issued to over 50 directors of public health across England this week, to enable local teams to direct and deliver community testing based on their local knowledge. Each will receive a batch of 10,000 antigen lateral flow devices as part of a new pilot to enable them to start testing priority groups.

 

Directors of public health will determine how to prioritise the allocation of these new tests, based on the specific needs of their communities, and will determine how people in the local area are tested. They will be supported by NHS Test and Trace to expand testing programmes in their area through access to training and clinical and operational guidance.

 

This initial 600,000 batch will then be followed up with a weekly allocation of lateral flow antigen tests. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has now written to all upper-tier local authority leaders, confirming that all directors of public health will be offered this weekly allocation, equivalent to 10% of their population. This will build on the existing partnerships between NHS Test and Trace and local leaders.

 

Directors of public health were prioritised for the first phase of rapid community testing based on the local prevalence of COVID-19 and expressions of interest to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Any director of public health who wants to start rolling out local testing using lateral flow tests can do so by contacting DHSC.

 

Proactively testing asymptomatic individuals will help identify those who unknowingly have the virus and enable those who test positive and their contacts to self-isolate, which can help drive down the R rate locally and save lives. This is crucial to break the chains of transmission of the virus and to support critical industries, key workers and institutions. With lower rates of transmission, those at highest risk from the virus will be more protected and residents will feel more confident in getting back to their day-to-day lives.

 

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:

 

"Last week we rolled out mass testing in Liverpool using new, rapid technology so we can detect this virus quicker than ever before, even in people who don’t have symptoms. Mass testing is a vital tool to help us control this virus and get life more normal."

 

"I am delighted to say 10,000 of these tests will now be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to over 50 directors of public health as part of our asymptomatic testing strategy. I want to thank all directors of public health for their support and efforts over the past months to help us tackle this virus, bring it under control and get the country back to what we love doing."

 

This rollout will further develop the evidence base for how testing with fast, reliable COVID-19 tests can be delivered at scale. Local leaders will also benefit from a more accurate picture of the number of cases in their area, by picking up those who may not have symptoms, supporting local decision-making to manage the spread of the virus and support their communities.

 

This innovative new testing technology – which is already being rolled out as part of whole-city testing in Liverpool that began on Friday – can provide results within an hour without needing to be processed in a lab.

 

Liverpool has set up 16 testing sites for asymptomatic testing, a number of mobile test units and is delivering a significant number of home testing kits across the city.

 

Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection Baroness Dido Harding said:

 

"I am delighted that as part of our expansion of testing we are able to partner with local authorities to deliver these new rapid turnaround tests to our local communities. Building on national capacity of 500,000 tests a day, we are now moving to the next stage of testing tailored around the individual needs of local areas with control in the hands of local directors of public health."

 

"There has been a huge amount of work to develop these new testing capabilities and I want to thank colleagues across NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England and the wider scientific community for ensuring that we are one of the first countries in the world who are able to deploy these new tests for the benefit of our public."

 

Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate along with their household immediately and their contacts will be traced. Eligible individuals who test positive – and contacts who are required to self-isolate – will be entitled to the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment in the same way as a regular swab test ordered through NHS Test and Trace.

 

Those who test negative will need to continue to follow all national guidance.

 

Today’s announcement follows the Prime Minister’s commitment on 16 October that lateral flow antigen tests would soon be made available to directors of public health in England for them to direct and deliver an expansion of asymptomatic testing in line with local priorities.

 

The government has also committed to providing the Devolved Authorities with an allocation of lateral flow tests as they are made available, as part of UK-wide collaboration to stop the spread of the virus. Eligibility and deployment of testing in devolved administrations will be determined by the respective administrations.

 

Background information

 

NHS Test and Trace is already working closely with local authority leaders to tailor testing to local need. This includes agreeing the sites of mobile testing units and local (walk-in) test sites, surging in testing to support outbreak management and in managing regular testing in care homes. This deeper partnership with local authorities builds on this with NHS Test and Trace providing the tests, clinical and operational expertise, designs of test sites and protocols and creating a best-practice network to share learning across local areas and with the national team.

 

Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that could be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people, better enabling us to identify and isolate more people who are at high likelihood of spreading virus, and break the chain of transmission.

 

Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. Swabbing and processing of these tests must currently be conducted at a dedicated testing site by trained personnel. The devices are designed to be intuitive and require minimal training to operate, and we are looking at how this test could be self-administered.

 

Published 9 November 2020

Link to source

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Government response

 

Response to media coverage of the UK government’s procurement of the Moderna vaccine

 

The government, through the work of the Vaccine Taskforce, has put the UK in an extremely strong position if and when a vaccine meets robust standards of safety and effectiveness.

 

Front page articles in The Guardian and Metro today (16 November) regarding the UK government’s procurement of the Moderna vaccine are entirely misleading.

 

It is inaccurate to say that Britain is “back of the queue” for vaccines, or there was a scramble to secure access to Moderna’s vaccine.

 

Firstly, if the Moderna vaccine is approved by our regulators, it will be available to the UK in spring 2021 at the earliest - the same timetable as other countries in Europe.

 

Secondly, the UK was already in advanced discussions with Moderna for some time to procure 5 million doses of their vaccine. Yesterday we were able to finalise that agreement following the publication of their positive Phase III results.

 

As Moderna is currently scaling up their European supply chain, their vaccine was never going to be available in the UK before spring next year - no matter when we ordered it.

 

Thirdly, the UK is one of the first countries in Europe to sign a deal with Moderna. Furthermore, the UK was also the first country in the world to sign a binding agreement for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in July 2020.

 

The EU are yet to formally sign a deal with either developer. If we had joined the EU vaccine programme, the UK would not have secured doses from either Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna at this stage.

 

Finally, the UK will be one of the first countries in the world to receive the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, of which we have ordered 100 million doses – if it meets robust standards of safety and effectiveness.

 

The UK has now secured access to 355 million doses from seven different vaccine developers, more per head than almost any other country. This includes 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, which is expected to begin delivery as early as December 2020, if approved by our regulators.

 

The government, through the work of the Vaccine Taskforce, has put the UK in an extremely strong position if and when a vaccine meets robust standards of safety and effectiveness.

 

Read our full announcement around securing 5m doses of the Moderna vaccine, as well as our response to the Pfizer vaccine data.

 

Published 17 November 2020

Link to source

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  • 2 weeks later...

Written Statement to Parliament

 

Returning to a regional tiered approach

 

A written statement from the Health and Social Care Secretary to the House of Commons on returning to local COVID restriction tiers in England.

 

From: Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP

 

On 23 November, the Prime Minister set out our COVID-19 Winter Plan in Parliament. Our COVID-19 Winter Plan puts forward the UK Government’s programme for suppressing the virus, protecting the NHS and the vulnerable, keeping education and the economy going, and providing a route back to normality.

 

Thanks to the shared sacrifice of everyone in recent weeks, in following the national restrictions, we have been able to start to bring the virus back under control and slow its growth, easing some of the pressure on the NHS.

 

We will do this by returning to a regional tiered approach, saving the toughest measures for the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high.

 

The tiering approach provides a framework that, if used firmly, should prevent the need to introduce stricter national measures. On 2 December we will lift the national restrictions across all of England and the following restrictions will be eased:

  • the stay-at-home requirement will end
  • non-essential retail, gyms, personal care will reopen. The wider leisure and entertainment sectors will also reopen, although to varying degrees
  • communal worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume
  • people will no longer be limited to seeing one other person in outdoor public spaces, where the rule of 6 will now apply

 

The new regulations set out the restrictions applicable in each tier. We have taken into account advice from SAGE on the impact of the previous tiers to strengthen the measures in the tiers, and help enable areas to move more swiftly into lower tiers.

 

The changes to the tiers are as follows:

  • in tier 1, the government will reinforce the importance that, where people can work from home, they should do so
  • in tier 2, hospitality settings that serve alcohol must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • in tier 3, hospitality will close except for delivery, drive-through and takeaway, hotels and other accommodation providers must close (except for specific exemptions, such as people staying for work purposes, where people are attending a funeral, or where they cannot return home) and indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres and bowling allies must also close. Elite sport will be played without spectators. Organised outdoor sport can resume, but the Government will advise against higher risk contact sports

These are not easy decisions, but they have been made according to the best clinical advice, and the criteria that we set out in the COVID-19 Winter Plan.

These are:

  1. case detection rates in all age groups
  2. case detection rates in the over 60s
  3. the rate at which cases are rising or falling
  4. positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
  5. pressure on the NHS

 

The indicators have been designed to give the government a picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken. These key indicators need to be viewed in the context of how they interact with each other as well as the wider context but provide an important framework for decision making – assessing the underlying prevalence in addition to how the spread of the disease is changing in areas. Given these sensitivities, it is not possible to set rigid thresholds for these indicators.

 

The regulations will require the government to review the allocations every 14 days, with the first review complete by the end of 16 December.

 

We have been able to announce UK-wide arrangements for Christmas, allowing friends and loved ones to reunite, and form a Christmas bubble of 3 households for 5 days over the Christmas period.

 

We have increased funding through our Contain Outbreak Management Fund, which will provide monthly payments to local authorities facing higher restrictions.

 

We are also launching a major community testing programme, honing in on the areas with the greatest rate of infection.

 

This programme is open to local authorities in tier 3 areas and offers help to get out of the toughest restrictions as fast as possible.

 

The following areas will be in each tier from the 2 December. This list will also be published on GOV.UK and a postcode tracker will be available for the public to check what rules apply in their local area.

 

Published 26 November 2020

Link to source data

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Guidance

 

Full list of local restriction tiers by area

 

This page sets out the full list of local restriction tiers by area from Wednesday 2 December 2020.

 

Decisions on which area goes into which tier are primarily based on 5 key epidemiological indicators:

  • case detection rates in all age groups
  • case detection rates in the over-60s
  • the rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
  • pressure on the NHS, including current and projected occupancy

The indicators are designed to provide a full picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken.

Find out more information on tiers, including what you can and cannot do in each tier.

 

Tier 1: Medium alert

South East

  • Isle of Wight

South West

  • Cornwall
  • Isles of Scilly

Tier 2: High alert

East of England

  • Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
  • Cambridgeshire, including Peterborough
  • Essex, Thurrock and Southend on Sea
  • Hertfordshire
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk

East Midlands

  • Northamptonshire
  • Rutland

London

  • all 32 boroughs plus the City of London

North West

  • Cumbria
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Warrington and Cheshire

South East

  • Bracknell Forest
  • Brighton and Hove
  • Buckinghamshire
  • East Sussex
  • Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight), Portsmouth and Southampton
  • Oxfordshire
  • Reading
  • Surrey
  • West Berkshire
  • West Sussex
  • Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Wokingham

South West

  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire
  • South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor
  • Wiltshire and Swindon

West Midlands

  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
  • Worcestershire

Yorkshire

  • North Yorkshire
  • York

Tier 3: Very High alert

East Midlands

  • Derby and Derbyshire
  • Leicester and Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

North East

  • North East Combined Authority:
  • County Durham
  • Gateshead
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • North Tyneside
  • Northumberland
  • South Tyneside
  • Sunderland
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority:
  • Darlington
  • Hartlepool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Stockton-on-Tees

North West

  • Blackburn with Darwen
  • Blackpool
  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire

South East

  • Kent and Medway
  • Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)

South West

  • Bristol
  • North Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire

West Midlands

  • Birmingham and Black Country
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull

Yorkshire and The Humber

  • The Humber
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Yorkshire

 

Published 26 November 2020

Link to source data

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Advice to vulnerable people 

 

Summary of advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) for each local Tier

 

You must follow the rules and restrictions that relate to the Tier your local area is in – they apply to everyone.

The below sections summarise the additional things you are advised to do to keep yourself safe at each local Tier.

 

·                       At all local Tiers we urge you to continue to access the care and support you need

·                       You should continue to access NHS services, and you should contact the NHS if you have an urgent or emergency care need

·                       If you are in a Tier Three: Very High alert area and need extra support at home, please contact your local council. You can find the contact details by looking on your local council’s website

 

Tier 1: MEDIUM

Socialising

·                       Strictly observe social distancing

·                       Meet outside if possible

·                       Keep the number of different people you meet low

·                       Still go outside for exercise

Travel

·                       Limit unnecessary journeys on public transport

Work and school

·                       Work from home where possible

·                       Attend work if you cannot work from home

·                       You should continue to attend school or college

Going to the shops and the pharmacy

·                       Consider shopping or visiting the pharmacy at quieter times of the day

·                       Strictly observe good hand hygiene and maintain social
distancing as much as possible

·                       NHS Volunteer Responders can support you if you need help

 

Tier 2: HIGH

Socialising

·                       Reduce the number of different people you meet

·                       Still go outside for exercise

Travel

·                       Avoid travel where possible except for going to work, school, or for essential shopping

·                       If you need to travel, walking, cycling, or travelling in a private car are safer than public transport

Work and school

·                       Work from home where possible

·                       Attend work if you cannot work from home

·                       You should continue to attend school or college

Going to the shops and the pharmacy

·                       Reduce the number of shopping trips you make, including to pharmacies

·                       Consider using online delivery slots for food shopping, or ask friends and family to help deliver shopping or collect medicines for you

·                       NHS Volunteer Responders can support you if you need help

 

Tier 3 : VERY HIGH

Socialising

·                       Stay at home as much as possible

·                       Still go outside for exercise

Travel

·                       Avoid travel where possible except for going to work, school, or for essential shopping

·                       Stay at home as much as possible

Work and school

·                       Work from home where possible

·                       If you cannot work from home, speak to your employer about taking on an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily. You can attend work if this is not possible

·                       You should continue to attend school or college

Going to the shops and the pharmacy

·                       Significantly reduce your shopping trips, including to pharmacies

·                       Consider using online delivery slots for food shopping, or ask friends and family to help deliver shopping or collect medicines for you

·                       NHS Volunteer Responders or your local authority can support you if you need help

This is a summary of the guidance only. It is effective from 2 December 2020.

For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

 

See the link below:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

 

Sent in an email to vulnerable people in England  1 December 2020

________________________________________________________

 

 Below are links to government pages for each tier

Tier 1 instructions for everybody from 2 December 2020

Tier 2 instructions for everybody from 2 December 2020

Tier 3 instructions for everybody from 2 December 2020

________________________________________________________

 

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Latest R number and growth rate

 

Latest R number range for the UK

0.8-1.0

Latest growth rate range for the UK

-3% to -1%

 

image.png

Published 4 December 2020.

Link to source

________________________________________________________

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

All 32 boroughs plus the City of London are in Tier 2 until 12:01am on 16 December, at which point they will move to Tier 3.

 

The following local authorities in Essex are in Tier 2 until 12:01am on 16 December, at which point they will move to Tier 3:

  • Basildon
  • Braintree
  • Brentwood
  • Castle Point
  • Chelmsford
  • Epping Forest
  • Harlow
  • Maldon
  • Rochford
  • Southend-on-Sea
  • Thurrock

The following local authorities in Hertfordshire are in Tier 2 until 12:01am on 16 December, at which point they will move to Tier 3:

  • Broxbourne
  • Hertsmere
  • Three Rivers
  • Watford

Published 14 December 2020

Link to source

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Published 14 December 2020

Link to source

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Guidance

Government guidance for the Christmas period

Rather then duplicate the whole document here, below is a link to both the original source and a "easy read" pdf versions.

Republished 16 December 2020

Link to source

Link ro pdf (English version)

Link to pdf (Welsh version)

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Overview Local Authority Infection Rate

image.png

Click here for an interactive map for more detail.

Published 16 December 2020

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Latest R number and growth rate

 

Latest R number range for the UK

1.1 to 1.2

Latest growth rate range for the UK

+1% to +4%

 

image.png

Updated on Friday 18 December 2020

Link to source

________________________________________________________

 

 

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Areas that moved from Tier 3 to Tier 4

from the beginning of Sunday 20 December

 

London

  • All 32 London boroughs plus City of London

 

South East

  • Kent and Medway
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire (Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, Wokingham, Windsor and Maidenhead and West Berkshire)
  • Surrey (excluding Waverley)
  • Hastings and Rother
  • Havant, Gosport and Portsmouth

 

East of England

  • Hertfordshire
  • Essex (excluding Tendring, Uttlesford and Colchester)
  • Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton
  • Peterborough

Published 19 December 2020

Link to source

________________________________________________________

 

PDF for Tier 4 restrictions says "Stay at home

Tier 4 - Stay at home.pdf

Published 19 December 2020

Link to data source

________________________________________________________

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News story

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): information about the new virus variant

The new strain transmits more easily than the previous variant but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality.

 

Main Points

Data from Whole Genome Sequencing, epidemiology and modelling suggest the new variant ‘VUI – 202012/01’ (the first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020) transmits more easily than other strains.

 

We currently have no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality – but we are continuing investigations to understand this better.

 

The way to control this virus is the same, whatever the variant. It will not spread if we avoid close contact with others. Wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance from others, and reduce your social contacts.

 

Is there any evidence that the variant is more serious?

We currently have no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or higher mortality – but we continue to study cases to understand this better. We know that mortality is a lagging indicator and we will need to continually monitor this over the coming weeks.

 

Why is this more transmissible?

We know that mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that makes it infectious, can change how the virus interacts with human cells. However, we do not yet know the mechanism for this increase in transmission.

 

The evidence shows that infection rates in geographical areas where this particular strain has been circulating have increased faster than expected, and the modelling evidence has demonstrated that this variant has a higher transmission rate than other variants in current circulation.

 

How long has this variant been in circulation?

All viruses mutate over time and new variants emerge regularly.

 

Backwards tracing using the genetic evidence suggests this variant emerged in September 2020 and then circulated at very low levels in the population until mid-November.

 

The increase in cases linked to the new variant first came to light in late November when PHE was investigating why infection rates in Kent were not falling despite national restrictions. We then discovered a cluster linked to this variant spreading rapidly into London and Essex.

 

Evidence of increased transmissibility was provided to NERVTAG and ministers on December 18.

 

Is this strain resistant to the Pfizer vaccine?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that the Pfizer vaccine would not protect people against the new strain.

 

Further laboratory work is currently being undertaken as a priority to understand this.

How widespread is the variant geographically?

 

144 Lower Tier Local Authorities have identified at least 1 case genomically, although the vast majority of cases identified are in London, the South East and the East of England.

 

Can tests detect this new variant?

Labs have been issued with guidance to adapt processes to ensure that PCR tests can detect this variant.

 

PCR tests can be adapted rapidly to respond to the new variant.

 

Published 20 December 2020

Link to source

________________________________________________________

 

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image.png

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PRESS RELEASE

Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine authorised by UK medicines regulator

The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for use. This follows rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA, which has concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will also publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive this vaccine.

 

The NHS has a clear vaccine delivery plan and decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes. It has already vaccinated hundreds of thousands of patients with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and its roll out will continue. Now the NHS will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to roll out the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.

 

Throughout this global pandemic we have always been guided by the latest scientific advice. Having studied evidence on both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccines, the JCVI has advised the priority should be to give as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing the required two doses in as short a time as possible.

Everyone will still receive their second dose and this will be within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection.

 

From today the NHS across the UK will prioritise giving the first dose of the vaccine to those in the most high-risk groups. With two vaccines now approved, we will be able to vaccinate a greater number of people who are at highest risk, protecting them from the disease and reducing mortality and hospitalisation.

 

The JCVI’s independent advice is that this approach will maximise the benefits of both vaccines. It will ensure that more at-risk people are able to get meaningful protection from a vaccine in the coming weeks and months, reducing deaths and starting to ease pressure on our NHS.

 

To aid the success of the vaccination programme, it is vital everyone continues to play their part, abides by the restrictions in their area and remembers hands, face, space so we can suppress this virus and allow the NHS to do its work without being overwhelmed.

 

Published 06:56hrs 30 December 2020

Link to source

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image.png

This has just been announced this evening from Westminster for England

Hopefully there will be more detals available tomorrow.

________________________________________________________

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Policy paper

Slides to accompany coronavirus press conference: 30 December 2020

Slides on coronavirus presented by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and Professor Steve Powis.

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Details

Press conference slides presented by Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and NHS England Medical Director Professor Steve Powis in the coronavirus press conference on 30 December 2020.

Published 30 December 2020

Link to source

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Oxford University/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine innoculations

being given from 7am this morning (4 January 2021)

Announced on BBC Radio Two News

(confirmed by GOV.UK Email)

(to CT Admin at 08:44hrs)

 

The first people will receive the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine today as the NHS rapidly expands COVID-19 vaccination programmes across the UK.

 

The NHS is the first health service in the world to deploy the life-saving jab, which has been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. It is the only approved vaccine which can be stored at fridge temperatures.

 

The government has secured access to 100 million doses of the vaccine on behalf of the whole of the UK, crown dependencies and overseas territories.

 

More than half a million doses are available today, with tens of millions more to be delivered in the coming weeks and months once batches have been quality checked by the MHRA. More than 730 vaccination sites have already been established across the UK and hundreds more are opening this week to take the total to over 1,000, helping those who are most at risk from COVID-19 to access vaccines for free, regardless of where they live.

 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

"I am delighted that today we are rolling out the Oxford vaccine – a testament to British science. This is a pivotal moment in our fight against this awful virus and I hope it provides renewed hope to everybody that the end of this pandemic is in sight."

"Through its vaccine delivery plan the NHS is doing everything it can to vaccinate those most at risk as quickly as possible and we will rapidly accelerate our vaccination programme."

"While the most vulnerable are immunised, I urge everybody to continue following the restrictions so we can keep cases down and protect our loved ones."

 

 

The first Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccinations will be delivered at hospitals for the first few days, as is standard practice, before the bulk of supplies are sent to hundreds of GP-led services and care homes later in the week.

 

More than a million people in the UK have already been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and its roll out will continue at pace.

 

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, between two to eight degrees, making it easier to distribute to care homes and other locations across the UK. The vaccines will be deployed through:

  • hospital hubs for NHS and care staff and older patients to get vaccinated
  • local community services with local teams and GPs already signing up to take part in the programme
  • vaccination centres across the country, ensuring people can access a vaccine regardless of where they live

An army of current and former NHS staff have applied to become vaccinators, with tens of thousands having already completed their online training. These are being processed as quickly as possible and volunteer vaccinators will be deployed as more vaccine supplies become available.

 

GPs and local vaccination services have been asked to ensure every care home resident in their local area is vaccinated by the end of January.

 

The MHRA, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the 4 UK chief medical officers agreed to delay the gap between the first and second dose of vaccines to protect the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

 

In line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be rolled out to the priority groups including care home residents and staff, people over 80 and health and care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

 

Background information

 

There are more than 730 vaccination sites across the UK.

 

Up to 100 more hospital sites are due to come online in England this week, subject to final assurance checks.

 

There are also another 180 GP-led services which are due to come online this week.

 

The following hospitals in England will start delivering the vaccine today ahead of the rollout to hundreds of GP-led services later in the week:

  • Royal Free Hospital London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
  • George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust

Published 4 January 2021

Link to source

________________________________________________________

 

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Level 5

image.png

Full lockdown throughout England

from midnight tonight

STAY AT HOME

In Boris Johnson's announcement this evening he confirmed that this decision 

will be backed by law from the early hours of Wednesday 6th January 2021

 

________________________________________________________

 

News story

COVID-19 alert level: update from the UK Chief Medical Officers

A joint statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending that the UK COVID-19 alert level move from level 4 to level 5.

 

"Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England Medical Director recommend that the UK alert level should move from level 4 to level 5."

 

"Many parts of the health systems in the 4 nations are already under immense pressure. There are currently very high rates of community transmission, with substantial numbers of COVID patients in hospitals and in intensive care."

 

"Cases are rising almost everywhere, in much of the country driven by the new more transmissible variant. We are not confident that the NHS can handle a further sustained rise in cases and without further action there is a material risk of the NHS in several areas being overwhelmed over the next 21 days."

 

"Although the NHS is under immense pressure, significant changes have been made so people can still receive lifesaving treatment. It is absolutely critical that people still come forward for emergency care. If you require non-urgent medical attention, please contact your GP or call NHS 111."

 

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton

Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith

Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride

NHS England, National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis

 

Published 4 January 2021

Link to source

________________________________________________________

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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Guidance

Tier 1: Medium alert

This guidance was withdrawn on 4 January 2021

replaced by National lockdown - Stay at Home

________________________________________________________

Guidance

Tier 2: High alert

This guidance was withdrawn on 4 January 2021

replaced by National lockdown - Stay at Home

________________________________________________________

Guidance

Tier 3: Very High alert

This guidance was withdrawn on 4 January 2021

replaced by National lockdown - Stay at Home

________________________________________________________

Guidance

Tier 4: Stay at Home

This guidance was withdrawn on 4 January 2021

replaced by National lockdown - Stay at Home

________________________________________________________

Guidance

National lockdown: Stay at Home

Updated 4 January 2021

Link to source

________________________________________________________

Press release

Prime Minister announces national lockdown

A transcript is shown below  of the speech broadcast at 8pm 4 January 2021

 

Since the pandemic began last year, the whole United Kingdom has been engaged in a great national effort to fight Covid.

 

And there is no doubt that in fighting the old variant of the virus, our collective efforts were working and would have continued to work.

 

But we now have a new variant of the virus. It has been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading.

 

Our scientists have confirmed this new variant is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible – that means you are much, much more likely to catch the virus and to pass it on.

 

As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic.

 

In England alone, the number of Covid patients in hospitals has increased by nearly a third in the last week, to almost 27,000.

 

That number is 40 per cent higher than the first peak in April.

 

On 29 December, more than 80,000 people tested positive for Covid across the UK – a new record.

 

The number of deaths is up by 20 per cent over the last week and will sadly rise further. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones.

 

With most of the country already under extreme measures, it is clear that we need to do more, together, to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out.

 

In England, we must therefore go into a national lockdown which is tough enough to contain this variant.

That means the Government is once again instructing you to stay at home.

 

You may only leave home for limited reasons permitted in law, such as to shop for essentials, to work if you absolutely cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance such as getting a Covid test, or to escape domestic abuse.

 

The full details on what you can and can’t do will be available at gov.uk/coronavirus.

 

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, we are advising you to begin shielding again and you will shortly receive a letter about what this means for you.

 

And because we now have to do everything we possibly can to stop the spread of the disease, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across England must move to remote provision from tomorrow, except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

 

Everyone will still be able to access early years settings such as nurseries.

 

We recognise that this will mean it is not possible or fair for all exams to go ahead this summer as normal. The Education Secretary will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements.

 

We will provide extra support to ensure that pupils entitled to free school meals will continue to receive them while schools are closed, and we’ll distribute more devices to support remote education.

 

I completely understand the inconvenience and distress this late change will cause millions of parents and pupils up and down the country.

 

Parents whose children were in school today may reasonably ask why we did not take this decision sooner.

 

The answer is simply that we have been doing everything in our power to keep schools open, because we know how important each day in education is to children’s life chances.

 

And I want to stress that the problem is not that schools are unsafe for children – children are still very unlikely to be severely affected by even the new variant of Covid.

 

The problem is that schools may nonetheless act as vectors for transmission, causing the virus to spread between households.

 

Today the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officers have advised that the country should move to alert level 5, meaning that if action is not taken NHS capacity may be overwhelmed within 21 days.

 

Of course, there is one huge difference compared to last year.

 

We are now rolling out the biggest vaccination programme in our history.

 

So far, we in the UK have vaccinated more people than the rest of Europe combined.

 

With the arrival today of the UK’s own Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine, the pace of vaccination is accelerating.

 

I can share with you tonight the NHS’s realistic expectations for the vaccination programme in the coming weeks.

By the middle of February, if things go well and with a fair wind in our sails, we expect to have offered the first vaccine dose to everyone in the four top priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

 

That means vaccinating all residents in a care home for older adults and their carers, everyone over the age of 70, all frontline health and social care workers, and everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

 

If we succeed in vaccinating all those groups, we will have removed huge numbers of people from the path of the virus.

 

And of course, that will eventually enable us to lift many of the restrictions we have endured for so long.

I must stress that even if we achieve this goal, there remains a time lag of two to three weeks from getting a jab to receiving immunity.

 

And there will be a further time lag before the pressure on the NHS is lifted.

 

So we should remain cautious about the timetable ahead.

 

But if our understanding of the virus doesn’t change dramatically once again…

 

If the rollout of the vaccine programme continues to be successful…

 

If deaths start to fall as the vaccine takes effect…

 

And, critically, if everyone plays their part by following the rules…

 

Then I hope we can steadily move out of lockdown, reopening schools after the February half term and starting, cautiously, to move regions down the tiers.

 

I want to say to everyone right across the United Kingdom that I know how tough this is, I know how frustrated you are, I know that you have had more than enough of government guidance about defeating this virus.

 

But now more than ever, we must pull together.

 

You should follow the new rules from now, and they will become law in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Parliament will meet – largely remotely – later that day.

 

I know that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland share my conviction this is a pivotal moment and they’re taking similar steps.

 

The weeks ahead will be the hardest yet but I really do believe that we are entering the last phase of the struggle.

Because with every jab that goes into our arms, we are tilting the odds against Covid and in favour of the British people.

 

And, thanks to the miracle of science, not only is the end in sight and we know exactly how we will get there.

But for now, I am afraid, you must once again stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

 

Thank you all very much.

 

Published 4 January 2021

Link to source

________________________________________________________

 

National lockdown guidence as a  pdf 

NationalLockdownGuidance.pdf

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Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

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