Accueil Coronavirus Chris Whitty: UK has reached ‘critical point’ in coronavirus fight ahead of...

Chris Whitty: UK has reached ‘critical point’ in coronavirus fight ahead of ‘challenging winter’

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England’s Chief Medical Officer is to address the nation tomorrow, warning that the UK has reached a « critical point » in its battle against coronavirus.

Professor Chris Whitty will tell a televised briefing that the country faces a “very challenging winter”, as he lays the ground for tough new restrictions.

Boris Johnson has spent the weekend with senior ministers and advisers discussing what action to take as a surge in new infections sweeps the country.

It is thought the Prime Minister could announce new measures at a press conference as early as Tuesday.

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Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to rule out a second national lockdown in England if people fail to follow the social distancing rules.

Prof Whitty, who will appear alongside the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, will explain how the virus is spreading across the UK.

The pair will set out potential scenarios that could unfold as winter approaches.

They will also draw on data from other countries, such as Spain and France, which are experiencing a second spike in infections, to underline how their experience could be replicated in the UK.

The Chief Medical Officer is expected to say: “The trend in the UK is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic.

“We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period.”

Coronavirus in numbers: UK records 3,899 new confirmed cases

Another 3,899 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the UK on Sunday, as the official death toll rose by 18.

The latest figures came after the Government announced that anyone in England refusing to obey orders to self-isolate could face fines of up to £10,000.

Mr Hancock said that as hospital admissions for the disease continue to double “every eight days or so”, further action is needed to prevent more deaths.

“This country faces a tipping point,” he told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

“If everybody follows the rules – and we will be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns.

“But we of course have to be prepared to take action if that’s what’s necessary.”

Hancock warns of national restrictions as UK faces ‘tipping point’

Mr Johnson has been desperate to avoid another nationwide lockdown amid concerns about the economic damage it will inflict just as activity was beginning to pick up again.

However, as of Tuesday, about 13.5 million people across the UK will be facing some form of local restrictions as the authorities grapple with the disease.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is now pressing ministers to extend the controls to the capital, which he believes may be just “two or three days” behind the hotspots of the North West and North East of England.

Warning London lockdown restrictions ‘should come as early as Monday’

Mr Hancock said he was “very worried” about the latest data which suggested Britain could be on the same path as Spain and France – where deaths and hospitalisations are increasing – without effective action.

“I am very worried about this second wave. We have seen in other countries around Europe how it can absolutely shoot through the roof,” he said.

“When the case rate shoots up, the next thing that happens is the numbers going into hospital shoot up.

“Sadly, we have seen that rise, it is doubling every eight days or so – people going into hospital, then, with a lag, you see the number of people dying sadly rise.”

Matt Hancock says UK at ‘tipping point’ and facing national coronavirus restrictions if Brits fail to follow rules

Among the measures being considered by ministers is a temporary two-week “circuit break”, with tighter restrictions across England in an attempt to break the chain of transmission.

However, the Government is facing resistance from some senior Conservative MPs concerned that ministers are taking increasingly stringent powers with little or no parliamentary scrutiny.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful Tory backbench 1922 Committee, said he will table an amendment which would require the Government to put any new measures to a vote of MPs.

He indicated that he would take the opportunity to seek to amend the legislation when the Government comes to renew the emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Coronavirus hits the UK – In pictures

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Electronic bilboards displays a message warning people to stay home in Sheffield

PA

2/50

An image of The Queen eith quotes from her broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the Coronavirus epidemic are displayed on lights in London’s Piccadilly Circus

PA

3/50

Boris Johnson addresses the nation on the Coronavirus lockdown

Andrew Parsons

4/50

Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital

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5/50

Durdle Door in Dorset

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Captain Tom Moore

via .

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Mia, aged 8, and Jack, aged 5, take part in « PE with Joe » a daily live workout with Joe Wicks on Youtube to help kids stay fit who have to stay indoors due to the Coronavirus outbreak

PA

8/50

An NHS worker reacts at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS

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9/50

Goats which have taken over the deserted streets of Llandudno

@AndrewStuart via PA

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Tobias Weller

PA

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Novikov restaurant in London with its shutters pulled down while the restaurant is closed

12/50

London Landscapes: Hyde Park and the Serpentine, central London.

Matt Writtle

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A newspaper vendor in Manchester city centre giving away free toilet rolls with every paper bought as shops run low on supplies due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus

PA

14/50

Theo Clay looks out of his window next to his hand-drawn picture of a rainbow in Liverpool, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue

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15/50

A young man cuts another man’s hair on top of a closed hairdresser in Oxford

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16/50

General view of the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, built to fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London

via .

17/50

Jason Baird is seen dressed as Spiderman during his daily exercise to cheer up local children in Stockport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues

.

18/50

A woman wearing a face mask walks past Buckingham Palace

.

19/50

A man holds mobile phone displaying a text message alert sent by the government warning that new rules are in force across the UK and people must stay at home

PA

20/50

Medical staff on the Covid-19 ward at the Neath Port Talbot Hospital, in Wales, as the health services continue their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

21/50

Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking part in a virtual Cabinet meeting with his top team of ministers

PA

22/50

A shopper walks past empty shelves in a Lidl store on in Wallington. After spates of « panic buying » cleared supermarket shelves of items like toilet paper and cleaning products, stores across the UK have introduced limits on purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have also created special time slots for the elderly and other shoppers vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

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23/50

People on a busy tube train in London at rush hour

PA

24/50

Mia, aged 8 and her brother Jack, aged 5 from Essex, continue their school work at home, after being sent home due to the coronavirus

PA

25/50

Children are painting ‘Chase the rainbows’ artwork and springing up in windows across the country

.

26/50

Social distancing in Primrose Hill

Jeremy Selwyn

27/50

Westminster Bridge is deserted

PA

28/50

A general view of a locked gate at Anfield, Liverpool as The Premier League has been suspended

PA

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An empty escalator at Charing Coss London Underground tube station

Jeremy Selwyn

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Homeless people in London

. via .

31/50

A piece of art by the artist, known as the Rebel Bear has appeared on a wall on Bank Street in Glasgow. The new addition to Glasgow’s street art is capturing the global Coronavirus crisis. The piece features a woman and a man pulling back to give each other a kiss

PA

32/50

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace, London, for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself amid the coronavirus pandemic

PA

33/50

A general view on Grey street, Newcastle as coronavirus cases grow around the world

.

34/50

Matt Raw, a British national who returned from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China, leaves quaratine at Arrowe Park Hospital on Merseyside

PA

35/50

Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty (L) and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance look on as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news conference inside 10 Downing Street

.

36/50

The ticket-validation terminals at the tram stop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street are cleaned following the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

37/50

Locked school gates at Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

PA

38/50

A sign at a Sainsbury’s supermarket informs customers that limits have been set on a small number of products as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases grow around the world

.

39/50

Jawad Javed delivers coronavirus protection kits that he and his wife have put together to the vulnerable people of their community of Stenhousemuir, between Glasgow and Edinburgh

. via .

40/50

A sign advertising a book titled « How Will We Survive On Earth? »

.

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A man who appears to be homeless sleeping wearing a mask today in Victoria

Jeremy Selwyn

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A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads « Diseases are in the City » in Edinburgh

. via .

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Staff from The Lyric Theatre, London inform patrons, as it shuts its doors

PA

44/50

A quiet looking George IV Bridge in Edinburgh

PA

45/50

A quieter than usual British Museum

.

46/50

A racegoer attends Cheltenham in a fashionable face mask

SplashNews.com

47/50

A commuter wears a face mask at London Bridge Station

Jeremy Selwyn

48/50

A empty restaurant in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre

.

49/50

A deserted Trafalgar Square in London

PA

50/50

Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at Gatwick Airport

.

1/50

Electronic bilboards displays a message warning people to stay home in Sheffield

PA

2/50

An image of The Queen eith quotes from her broadcast to the UK and the Commonwealth in relation to the Coronavirus epidemic are displayed on lights in London’s Piccadilly Circus

PA

3/50

Boris Johnson addresses the nation on the Coronavirus lockdown

Andrew Parsons

4/50

Military vehicles cross Westminster Bridge after members of the 101 Logistic Brigade delivered a consignment of medical masks to St Thomas’ hospital

.

5/50

Durdle Door in Dorset

.

6/50

Captain Tom Moore

via .

7/50

Mia, aged 8, and Jack, aged 5, take part in « PE with Joe » a daily live workout with Joe Wicks on Youtube to help kids stay fit who have to stay indoors due to the Coronavirus outbreak

PA

8/50

An NHS worker reacts at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the Clap for our Carers campaign in support of the NHS

.

9/50

Goats which have taken over the deserted streets of Llandudno

@AndrewStuart via PA

10/50

Tobias Weller

PA

11/50

Novikov restaurant in London with its shutters pulled down while the restaurant is closed

12/50

London Landscapes: Hyde Park and the Serpentine, central London.

Matt Writtle

13/50

A newspaper vendor in Manchester city centre giving away free toilet rolls with every paper bought as shops run low on supplies due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus

PA

14/50

Theo Clay looks out of his window next to his hand-drawn picture of a rainbow in Liverpool, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue

.

15/50

A young man cuts another man’s hair on top of a closed hairdresser in Oxford

.

16/50

General view of the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, built to fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London

via .

17/50

Jason Baird is seen dressed as Spiderman during his daily exercise to cheer up local children in Stockport, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues

.

18/50

A woman wearing a face mask walks past Buckingham Palace

.

19/50

A man holds mobile phone displaying a text message alert sent by the government warning that new rules are in force across the UK and people must stay at home

PA

20/50

Medical staff on the Covid-19 ward at the Neath Port Talbot Hospital, in Wales, as the health services continue their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

21/50

Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking part in a virtual Cabinet meeting with his top team of ministers

PA

22/50

A shopper walks past empty shelves in a Lidl store on in Wallington. After spates of « panic buying » cleared supermarket shelves of items like toilet paper and cleaning products, stores across the UK have introduced limits on purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have also created special time slots for the elderly and other shoppers vulnerable to the new coronavirus.

.

23/50

People on a busy tube train in London at rush hour

PA

24/50

Mia, aged 8 and her brother Jack, aged 5 from Essex, continue their school work at home, after being sent home due to the coronavirus

PA

25/50

Children are painting ‘Chase the rainbows’ artwork and springing up in windows across the country

.

26/50

Social distancing in Primrose Hill

Jeremy Selwyn

27/50

Westminster Bridge is deserted

PA

28/50

A general view of a locked gate at Anfield, Liverpool as The Premier League has been suspended

PA

29/50

An empty escalator at Charing Coss London Underground tube station

Jeremy Selwyn

30/50

Homeless people in London

. via .

31/50

A piece of art by the artist, known as the Rebel Bear has appeared on a wall on Bank Street in Glasgow. The new addition to Glasgow’s street art is capturing the global Coronavirus crisis. The piece features a woman and a man pulling back to give each other a kiss

PA

32/50

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace, London, for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself amid the coronavirus pandemic

PA

33/50

A general view on Grey street, Newcastle as coronavirus cases grow around the world

.

34/50

Matt Raw, a British national who returned from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China, leaves quaratine at Arrowe Park Hospital on Merseyside

PA

35/50

Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty (L) and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance look on as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) news conference inside 10 Downing Street

.

36/50

The ticket-validation terminals at the tram stop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street are cleaned following the coronavirus outbreak.

PA

37/50

Locked school gates at Rockcliffe First School in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear

PA

38/50

A sign at a Sainsbury’s supermarket informs customers that limits have been set on a small number of products as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases grow around the world

.

39/50

Jawad Javed delivers coronavirus protection kits that he and his wife have put together to the vulnerable people of their community of Stenhousemuir, between Glasgow and Edinburgh

. via .

40/50

A sign advertising a book titled « How Will We Survive On Earth? »

.

41/50

A man who appears to be homeless sleeping wearing a mask today in Victoria

Jeremy Selwyn

42/50

A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads « Diseases are in the City » in Edinburgh

. via .

43/50

Staff from The Lyric Theatre, London inform patrons, as it shuts its doors

PA

44/50

A quiet looking George IV Bridge in Edinburgh

PA

45/50

A quieter than usual British Museum

.

46/50

A racegoer attends Cheltenham in a fashionable face mask

SplashNews.com

47/50

A commuter wears a face mask at London Bridge Station

Jeremy Selwyn

48/50

A empty restaurant in the Bull Ring Shopping Centre

.

49/50

A deserted Trafalgar Square in London

PA

50/50

Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at Gatwick Airport

.

Under the new rules, from September 28, people in England will have a duty to self isolate for 14 days if they test positive for coronavirus, or if they are instructed to do by NHS Test and Trace because they have been in contact with someone with the disease.

Fines for non-compliance will start at £1,000, rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders in the most “egregious” cases.

People on benefits will be eligible for a one-off support payment of £500 if they face a loss of earnings as a result of being required to quarantine.

Read more

Sir Keir Starmer said Labour would support the measures but warned that a second national lockdown was becoming more likely because the Test and Trace programme was in a state of “near collapse”.

“Because the Government’s now effectively lost control of testing, it doesn’t necessarily know where the virus is.

“So if I was the prime minister, I would apologise for the fact that testing is all over the place,” he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.

More about:

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Coronavirus

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covid-19

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Sir Patrick Vallance

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Sadiq Khan

  • Canon Occasion Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
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