30 October 2020 04:30

Andy Murray Kimmer Coppejans Donna Vekić

Almost 60 per cent of the population – around 32.6 million – will be under stricter rules by Monday, and it is understood London could be moved into the top tier in two weeks unless infection rates drop significantly. London could be plunged into Tier 3 lockdown within two weeks as England creeped closer towards full national lockdown by the back door last night, with millions told they will face extra curbs Nearly 100,000 people in England are catching Covid-19 every day, the R rate in London is almost THREE - and one in 75 Brits are currently infectious, new Imperial study finds Nearly 100,000 Britons are getting infected with coronavirus every day, according to results of Government-led surveillance study that suggests the UK is hurtling towards a second peak that could rival the first. Imperial College London experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. The study, which will likely be used to pile more pressure on No10 to impose a national lockdown, also estimated the virus' reproduction 'R' rate — the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects — was nearly three in London, a finding the researchers described as 'scary'. Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday said the Government would not rule anything out as experts continued to ramp up pressure for a more national approach to address the rising infection rate.

Asked yesterday about the possibility of another national lockdown, she said: 'Well I think at this stage of course we can rule nothing out because we are a Government that is focused on making sure that we stop the spread of this virus, and also we protect public health. He said the Government's 'very firm view' is that a short national 'circuit-breaker' lockdown would be the wrong approach, saying 'you can't have a stop- start country'. Government scientific adviser Dr Mike Tildesley yesterday said more national restrictions are needed, with the current trajectory likely to put nearly everywhere in Tier 2 before Christmas. 'That could happen if, for example, cases in parts of the county start to rise faster again, to the extent that controlling spread with travel restrictions will not be effective.' The new tiered restrictions will come into force from 6am on Monday and Ms Sturgeon told MSPs in Holyrood that decisions to change the levels of each local authority area, depending on increases and decreases in infections, will be put before the Scottish Parliament on Tuesdays. A well-placed source said: 'Ministers have been told in clear terms that if no further action is taken, at the present rate of rising infections, every hospital bed in England will be full by December 17.

Calls for a tighter clampdown follow research showing there are currently nearly 100,000 new cases a day in England and the virus is accelerating rapidly across the country, and fastest in the South. They said it reached 60.3 per cent of all contacts - 171,674 - of all the people Covid-19 cases had spent time with in the week ending October 21, a slight rise from the previous week's 59.6 per cent - 149,961. And one scientist said the figure is likely to be even worse because call handlers failed to get hold of almost 25,000 infected people in England - or 19.5 per cent - a surge from the almost 19,000 - or 19.3 per cent - missed the week before. Scientists have said positive cases must be identified rapidly to curb the virus - but many are waiting longer than 48 hours for their test results Distance travelled to get a swab fell to 2.8 miles in the latest data, Department of Health said Yet the latest figures published by the Department of Health reveal Test and Trace is still trailing expectations on this measure after it only reached 28.9 per cent of contacts transferred to its system within 24 hours compared to 31.8 per cent the previous week. French leader Emmanuel Macron last night announced a new nationwide lockdown, claiming that 400,000 people will die of coronavirus if the country does nothing to control a second wave that will be 'more deadly' than the first Just under 33 million people watched President Macron announce the grim news in a prime-time address on Wednesday - a mere five days after having said: 'it's still too early' to consider new lockdowns.

Germany's disease control agency said local authorities reported 16,774 new positive tests for COVID-19 in the past day, pushing the country's total close to the half million-mark. Mr Jenrick said coronavirus rates are in a "bad place" all over the country but added that the Government is resisting another national lockdown. Government scientific adviser Dr Mike Tildesley has said more national restrictions are needed, with the current trajectory likely to put nearly everywhere in Tier 2 before Christmas. The Imperial College London study also showed that nearly 100,000 people a day are being infected with coronavirus in the UK.