Covid RECAP: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a month-long lockdown for England
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has held a press conference where he has told members of the public across England to “stay at home”
The lockdown is set to last from Thursday, November 5 until Wednesday, December 2 – however schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
Pubs, bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms will have to close across England.
Boris Johnson also stated that the manufacturing and construction industry will remain open throughout the four-week period.
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Scroll down to read the developments on the second national lockdown as they happened.
Live coronavirus updates: Saturday, October 31
Last updated: Saturday, 31 October, 2020, 19:06
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to address the country following reports of a second national lockdown.
- Media reports suggest it will last until early December.
- The PM has held a cabinet meeting this afternoon.
Boris Johnson set to hold Downing Street press conference
The Prime Minister will begin the press conference at 5pm where it is expected that he will announce a second national lockdown for England.
Media reports suggest that the lockdown will be a month long, lasting until around early December.
A further 208 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England
The latest figures bring the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 32,855, NHS England said on Saturday.
Patients were aged between 26 and 101. All except eight, aged between 47 and 101 years old, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between October 21 and October 30.
Schools, colleges and universities set to remain open
Media reports are suggesting that schools, colleges and universities will remain open despite a second national lockdown for England.
Parliament and the court system are also expected to carry on as normal.
The Prime Minister has held a cabinet meeting
Boris Johnson has held a cabinet meeting this afternoon ahead of a 5pm press conference from Downing Street.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Cabinet will meet at 1.30pm today to discuss the Government’s coronavirus response.”
Who will be at this afternoon’s press conference?
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host the press conference, live from Downing Street this afternoon.
He will be joined by Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.
Press conference start time delayed
This afternoon’s press conference has now been delayed until 6.30pm.
It was due to start at 5pm.
Latest case figures
Across the UK on Saturday, October 31, 21,915 more people had tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 1,011,660.
Sunderland saw 130 new cases, bringing the total to 7,307.
A further 62 were recorded in South Shields, with the total standing at 3,637.
In Hartlepool, there was an increase of 55 to bring the total to 2,293.
British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall described the new restrictions as “a devastating blow” to business communities
Market confidence has been “hit hard by the unclear, stop-start approach” taken by governments across the UK during the pandemic.
He said: “Many firms are in a much weaker position now than at the start of the pandemic, making it far more challenging to survive extended closures or demand restrictions.”
He called for Government support for businesses facing hardship, whether through loss of demand or closure, to be boosted.
He said: “The Government must not squander the time afforded to them through another lockdown to enable mass testing and fix test and trace systems – which hold the key to a lasting exit strategy for both public health and the economy.”
North East England Chamber of Commerce sets out five things they want to see the Government meet over lockdown
James Ramsbotham, chief executive, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “Any restrictions imposed on our communities and companies must meet five business tests.
EVIDENCE: Are the restrictions evidence-based and targeted effectively?
CLARITY: Are the restrictions clear and do businesses have time to prepare?
SUPPORT: Is support for businesses commensurate with the impact on them?
TESTING: How will the time be used to fix the Test, Trace and Isolate system?
EXIT STRATEGY: Is there a clear process for increasing and decreasing restrictions?
The press conference has started
This evening’s Downing Street press conference is underway.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is joined by Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.