Coronavirus map LIVE: PM shamed by brutal academic letter – Boris to address nation TODAY

Coronavirus map LIVE: PM shamed by brutal academic letter – Boris to address nation TODAY

Mr Johnson is set to address the nation today where it is thought he will set out certain measures, such as a curfew on pubs and bars. Despite some calling for a second lockdown to help control the virus, 32 academics have demanded the Prime Minister think twice before enforcing a strict measures. The letter was penned by academics including Professor Sunetra Gupta and Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University and Professor Karol Sikora of Buckingham University. The scientists say due to the high age variant in deaths, a nationwide lockdown could cause significant harm in the long run. 

They said in the letter: “This large variation in risk by age and health status suggests that the harm caused by uniform policies that apply to all persons will outweigh the benefits.”

Overall, the academics claim more should be done to limit infection to those over the age of 70, as they are at highest risk. 

Mr Johnson is expected to set out plans for a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues. 

The Prime Minister is also expected to ask employees to work from home again. 

As well as making the announcement today, he will also chair a COBR meeting to discuss the next steps of the Government’s plans. 

This comes as the Government’s top advisers, Sir Patrick Vallance, and professor Chris Whitty, warned the UK could see case levels rise to 50,000 a day by October if action isn’t taken. 

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Coronavirus live: Boris Johnson warned against lockdown

Coronavirus live: Boris Johnson warned against lockdown (Image: GETTY)

8.26am update: ‘Rule of six’ not going far enough

Member of the Government’s SAGE panel, professor Calum Semple from the University of Liverpool, has stated the new rule hasn’t done enough to curb infections. 

He told BBC Radio 4: “Is the rule of six enough to stick with for the time being?

“I don’t really think so. 

“And I’m sorry to say it’s going to hurt people the most.

“I think we will go to a stage where we are restricting people to not mixing between households.

“I think that the rule of six has been tried and has not had time to kick in yet, but based on the numbers I’m seeing, it isn’t going far enough.”

Coronavirus Live: Rule of six not working

Coronavirus Live: Rule of six not working (Image: PA)

8.03am update: More from Michael Gove 

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Gove added: “There is evidence that the longer venues stay open, the greater degree of social mixing that takes place.

“So, placing a restriction like this is something that we’ve already done in parts of the country where the virus has been spreading particularly fast.

“I think it will make a difference, but I think that there are other steps that require to be taken as well, and the Prime Minister will be saying more to the House of Commons.”

7.46am update: Premier Inn owner to announce 6,000 job cuts 

The hotel chain’s owner, Whitbread is set to announce a restructuring plan aimed at reducing 6,000 jobs. 

This means the workforce will be cut by 18 percent as the company becomes the latest to hit by the coronavirus pandemic. 

A statement read: “With market demand expected to remain at lower levels in the short to medium-term, we have now taken the very difficult decision to announce our intention to enter into consultation on proposals that could result in up to 6,000 redundancies for our hotel and restaurant colleagues representing 18% of our total workforce.

“We expect a significant proportion of these redundancies to be achieved voluntarily. Our priority now is to ensure that the process is fair and that impacted colleagues are supported throughout.”

7.41am update: Sir Bernard Jenkin clashes with potential lockdown message 

The Tory MP for Harwich and North Essex, has stated the Government should not enforce a second lockdown across the country. 

Speaking this morning, he insisted another lockdown would be devastating for the economy. 

He added: “What would be the worst case is if we have to have another major lockdown.

“That would be terrible for the economy.

“And, so anything that can avoid that risk, or mitigate that risk, seems to be justified.”

7.35am update: Michael Gove pushes employees to work from home 

Ahead of Mr Johnson’s announcement today, the Cabinet Office Minister has reiterated the Government’s previous message to “work from home” where possible. 

He told Sky News’ Kay Burley: “If is is possible to work from home we would encourage them to do so.”

7.21am update: Boris Johnson urged against second lockdown 

A group of 32 academics have hit out at any possible second lockdown plans. 

The group penned a letter to the Prime Minister where they indicated more must be done to limit infection to the over 70 group, rather than enforce strict measures across the country. 

Including professor Sunetra Gupta and professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University, and professor Karol Sikora of Buckingham University, they demanded the Prime Minister pay more attention to the age varient in deaths. 

By placing so much on reducing deaths across all groups, they also claim there will long-term consequences for the economy and wide healthcare. 

In the letter, they say: “This large variation in risk by age and health status suggests that the harm caused by uniform policies (that apply to all persons) will outweigh the benefits.”

Published at Tue, 22 Sep 2020 06:28:00 +0000