The UK has recorded 151 new deaths from Covid-19 in its daily figures – a rise of 14 compared to last Sunday – as the total death toll now sits at 49,039.
England recorded 122 deaths today, while Scotland announced three, while also reporting 1,115 new cases.
In Wales, 19 new deaths were reported, along with 744 new cases, as it prepares to leave its ‘firebreak’
Seven deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland and an additional 420 cases.
Yesterday the UK confirmed a further 24,957 positive Covid tests, up just 13.9 per cent on last week’s total.
The country’s total death toll currently stands at 49,039, while there have been 1,171,441 positive tests since the start of the pandemic.
In other coronavirus news:
- Tory MPs are warning of a revolt if Boris Johnson extends England’s lockdown past December 2.
- Lorries that have passed through Denmark on their way to the UK are being turned away from ports after outbreaks at mink farms in the Scandinavian country
- Northern Ireland’s policing college in Belfast has had to close for a deep clean after student officers tested positive for Covid-19
Boris Johnson is facing a growing Tory revolt over the Government’s national coronavirus lockdown, as Britain announced 151 new Covid deaths in hospitals, a rise of just 14 compared to last week
Today’s figure come on the fourth day of England’s national lockdown, with Tory MPs warning
Measures were brought in following grim predictions that deaths could rise to 1,000 a day by December, but weekly figures have seen a rise of just 14 compared to last Sunday, when 137 deaths were recorded.
Mr Johnson has insisted it is the ‘plan’ for the England-wide curbs to come to an end at the start of next month.
But his failure to give a cast iron guarantee has spooked many Conservative MPs who believe the ‘public will not accept’ an extension of the draconian measures.
The R rate of the coronavirus dropped in five regions of England this week – except London and the South East, where it did not change – and stayed stable at between 1.1 and 1.3 in England and the UK as a whole. Last week marked a drop from 1.2 to 1.4 the week before
It came as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab denied the Government had used the ‘scariest’ data possible to try to justify the national shutdown.
A slide used at Mr Johnson’s lockdown press conference last Saturday suggested there could be up to 4,000 daily deaths by next month without further action but that number and other projections were subsequently revised down.
Mr Raab insisted this morning the Government is trying to be ‘as transparent as possible’ and that when ‘mistakes’ are made or facts change then ministers respond accordingly.
Mr Raab also said ministers ‘want to get through to December 2’ and then ‘transition back to a localised approach’.
The Prime Minister’s latest
Conservative backbenchers now believe that more than 80 Tories are likely to revolt if Mr Johnson does try to keep the restrictions in place.
The regulations which underpin the new lockdown will expire on December 2 and MPs will be given a vote on what happens next.
There are fears that if infection rates are still high then the PM could be forced into trying to extend the lockdown.
The Government is facing a growing Tory backlash over its handling of the coronavirus response with MPs particularly angry at the data used by Downing Street to justify the shutdown.
One key slide projected daily deaths could hit 1,500 by December but that was subsequently revised down to a peak of 1,000 daily deaths.
Elsewhere today British ports began turning away lorry drivers who had travelled through Denmark, after an outbreak of a Covid-19 mutations at mink farms in the country.
Visitors and freight are being turned away from the UK, while returning British citizens are being told to self-isolate with their families.
The Danish Government has ordered a cull of 17 million mink after a warning that a mutation of the virus – which is less sensitive to an attack from Covid-19 antibodies – had jumped from minks to humans and infected 12 people.
Coronavirus has spread from minks to humans in hundreds of cases – but the mutant strain is restricted to just 12 infections. Scientists fear this small number could be the beginning of ‘a new pandemic starting again, this time from Denmark’.
Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said it could pose a ‘risk to the effectiveness’ of a much-anticipated future Covid-19 vaccine as the antibodies provided by the jab may not be effective enough.
Mr Raab told Sky News the decision to impose travel restrictions on the country was a ‘precautionary measure’.
Concerns at British ports come as Northern Ireland’s policing college was forced to close for a deep clean after four student officers tested positive for Covid-19.
The PSNI College in Belfast, is expected to shut for two days after the first positive case was found on Saturday.
In addition to the four student officers who tested positive, a further 15 have been required to self-isolate.
Head of the college Chief Superintendent Emma Bond said: ‘There are robust measures in place at the college to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, however our officers and staff are also members of the community and the reality is that we face the same risks from this pandemic as all other residents of Northern Ireland.
‘We expect the college to remain closed for two days while staff work remotely.
‘Where training can be delivered remotely we will facilitate this and our student officer team is exploring options for how we can adapt to continue to deliver training to accommodate those who are self isolating.’