Good morning. Later today Boris Johnson will announce a new three-tier framework for local lockdowns in England. This will coincide with restrictions being toughened in some areas, because places in level three, the “very high” alert level, will face tougher rules than anything currently in force in England.
Our overnight story is here.
And Jamie Grierson explains here how the new system may work.
Johnson is chairing a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee now to discuss the new measures.
But it has not all been finalised yet, and it is quite possible that by the end of the day exact details of what is happening in some places will still not be resolved. Here are some indications that it’s not yet a done deal.
We made it clear [to government] we do not feel that the furlough scheme announced recently is adequate and that businesses in the region especially those in the hospitality sector and those serving it will be damaged and many will suffer long term damage or close for good.
- Joe Anderson, the Liverpool city mayor, posted a message on Twitter this morning accusing the government of “levelling down”. He also said he would continue to stand up for local businesses.
- Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester city council, indicated on the Today programme that Manchester was still opposing measures that could lead to its pubs being shut. Manchester was different from Liverpool, he said. (Liverpool accepts its pubs will be shut.) Leese told the programme:
We’ve have one meeting with government on Friday. They’ve not been able to show us any data that connects bars and pubs in Greater Manchester with transmission of Covid-19 virus. They’ve not been able to provide any evidence that closing them down will work. Our own data – we have finely-grained data collected by our own directors of public health – seems to demonstrate that there isn’t a connection, or not a particular connection, between bars and restaurants and the transmission of Covid-19.
- Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, told the Today programme that, even though the PM was announcing a three-tier system, local leaders in the worst areas would be able to make their own changes. He said in the the very high risk tier there would be “further discretion for local leaders, working with national government, to impose appropriate restrictions to control this virus”.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9am: Sir Keir Starmer hosts his LBC phone-in.
11am: Prof Jonathan Van Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, is due told a coronavirus data briefing.
12pm: Downing Street is expected to hold its daily lobby briefing.
12.15pm: Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, holds the Welsh government’s regular coronavirus briefing.
12.15pm: The Scottish government is due to hold its regular coronavirus briefing.
2.30pm: Alex Chisholm, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office, and Sir Chris Wormald, permanent secretary at the Department of Health, give evidence to the Commons public accounts committee about the supply of ventilators.
After 3.30pm: Boris Johnson makes a statement to MPs about the new local Covid alert levels.
Around 6pm: Johnson is due to hold a press conference.
Politics Live has been doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog for some time and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too.
Here is our global coronavirus live blog.
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