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Covid live: UK government resists calls to bring in ‘plan B’; Putin approves week-long Russia workplace shutdown

1 hora 12 minutos ago

UK not returning to restrictive measures, known as plan B, despite high deaths; Vladimir Putin approves workplace shutdown from 30 October to 7 November

Chief executive of the NHS confederation Matthew Taylor has been on Sky News in the UK, and he had a strong message in support of the government taking steps towards “plan B” and take some action to avert a healthcare crisis over the winter. He said

The question is do we need to act? And I would say the overwhelming evidence is we do need to act, and then the question is, is it better to act early and take measures which don’t stop the economy working – but I recognise they are inconvenient – or do we wait, wait for things to get worse, and possibly risk having to take more severe measures.

So, the elements of plan B enable us to carry on with our lives, carry on with the economy, but to do so in a way which produces the risk. And after all, most of the measures in plan B are measures that other countries in Europe are continuing to enact, and they have lower infection rates than we do.

The government said that the criteria for determining whether or not we enacted elements of plan B was the position of the health service, and the health service is facing a perfect storm.

Winter is always tough for the health service for various reasons. We have got thousands of Covid patients in hospital, and it looks like those numbers are rising in line with the rising infection rate. And we’ve also got the huge pent-up demand that’s built up over the last 18 months.

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Miranda Bryant (now); Martin Belam and Samantha Lock (earlier)

Boris Johnson questioned over online safety and extremism at PMQs – UK politics live

1 hora 13 minutos ago

Latest updates: prime minister takes questions in Commons after Kwasi Kwarteng rules out further lockdown

Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, told the London assembly this morning that it was a mistake for the Met, at a briefing, to suggest that women stopped by an undercover lone officer could, as a last resort, flag down a bus if they were worried. When asked about this at a hearing this morning, Dick said that a colleague had used that line after being “pressed, pressed, pressed” as to what to do if all else failed. She went on:

I completely understand why that ended up as the headline. It was not intended. And that is not how we see things.

And, yes, we have reviewed it. And I think we would, hopefully, address the question differently were it to come again in the future.

The prime minister thinks he can continue to hide behind the NHS’ successful vaccine rollout but he is undoing all of their hard work by proceeding with the careless attitude that this pandemic is over.

In August the APPG on coronavirus warned how dropping all restrictions coupled with increased winter pressure could spell disaster and two months on, with case numbers and deaths continuing to rise, the government must act or risk of repeating the failures of last Christmas.

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Andrew Sparrow

Further Covid restrictions in England not needed ‘for now’

1 hora 22 minutos ago

Business secretary denies government is being complacent as infections and deaths rise

The return of some Covid restrictions in England is not needed “for now”, the business secretary has insisted, as he denied the government was being complacent in the face of daily infections and deaths rising.

Kwasi Kwarteng also ruled out any further lockdowns, after calls from scientists and health experts for ministers to activate their “plan B” winter measures given the UK now has one of the highest weekly rates of new reported cases in the world.

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Aubrey Allegretti and Andrew Gregory

Latvia enters month-long Covid lockdown as fourth wave breaks

1 hora 33 minutos ago

Former coronavirus success story forced to impose night-time curfew as infections surge

Latvia has announced a month-long Covid-19 lockdown after an unprecedented surge in infections, becoming the first country in Europe to reimpose far-reaching restrictions as countries across the continent suffer a new wave of cases.

The Baltic country now has one of the highest rates of new Covid cases per capita in the world, according to the US Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), after successfully keeping the virus at bay for months.

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Pjotr Sauer in Moscow

Why September’s dip in UK inflation may be a false dawn

1 hora 55 minutos ago

Analysis: Covid support schemes have distorted official data and experts fear inflation will resume its ascent

Just when everyone was preparing for a stratospheric rise in September’s consumer prices index from August’s 3.2%, the Office for National Statistics said it fell to 3.1%.

Anyone concerned about rising prices could be forgiven for thinking that the momentum building in recent months had slipped a gear and forecasts of inflation running away to 4% or even 5% next spring could joyfully be put in the bin.

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Phillip Inman

The populist right is regretting its encouragement of Covid conspiracists | Paolo Gerbaudo

3 horas 14 minutos ago

Extremists are being pitted against moderate centre-right voters in the next chapter of the culture wars

At the 1992 US Republican convention, the paleoconservative pundit and presidential candidate Pat Buchanan introduced the world to the idea that politics had become a “culture war” between progressives and conservatives. Campaigns for environmentalism, abortion and LGBT rights weren’t just about policy, he claimed, but were in fact intended to destroy wider American traditions and identity. “This war is for the soul of America, ” Buchanan said, and called on fellow citizens to “take back our culture, and take back our country”.

In the ensuing decades, the right closely adopted the strategy proposed by Buchanan. It claimed that, by dint of their alleged control of the media and academia, unpatriotic and elitist progressives were imposing radical changes – like openness to immigration and the demolition of the traditional family – against majority will. The plan worked: culture war tactics were instrumental in the right gaining support among disgruntled workers increasingly suspicious of a centre-left that had little to offer in terms of socio-economic policies.

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Paolo Gerbaudo

UK Deliveroo orders soar by 59% despite restaurants reopening

5 horas 3 minutos ago

Tie-up with Amazon more than doubles members of food courier firm’s premium subscription service

Deliveroo enjoyed a 59% increase in orders in the UK and Ireland between July and September despite the return of dine-in restaurant eating, as a partnership with Amazon more than doubled members of its premium subscription service.

The food delivery platform, which has performed strongly during the coronavirus pandemic, with customers often under lockdown restrictions, reported 35.8m orders in the third quarter compared with 22.6m in the same period last year.

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Mark Sweney

UK inflation falls despite rising petrol prices and supply chain crisis

6 horas 30 minutos ago

Consumer price index eased to 3.1% in September from 3.2% in August, says the ONS

UK inflation fell back slightly in September despite pressure on households from soaring petrol prices and businesses being hit by shortages of lorry drivers and materials.

The Office for National Statistics said the consumer price index eased to 3.1% from 3.2% in August as the impact of the government’s eat out to help out scheme dropped out of the calculation for the annual inflation rate.

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Richard Partington Economics correspondent

‘He cared when no one did’: Filipino human rights lawyer Chito Gascón dies of Covid

7 horas 39 minutos ago

Gascón, who frequently clashed with Rodrigo Duterte over his ‘war on drugs’, has been hailed as a ‘true hero’ of democracy

José Luis Martín C Gascón used a walking stick to carry out his duties as the Philippines’ “courageous” human rights lawyer, a result of living with with diabetes and the wound it left on his right foot.

But in the words of his brother, Miguel Gascón, who confirmed his death on Facebook earlier this month, “of all the battles you fought, we had to lose you to Covid-19”.

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Saeed Kamali Dehghan

NSW Covid restrictions: reopening rules for Sydney, regional NSW, freedoms for vaccinated people explained

8 horas 43 minutos ago
Guardian staff

Victoria Covid exposure sites: full list of Melbourne and regional Vic coronavirus hotspots and trend in cases

8 horas 44 minutos ago

Here are the current coronavirus hotspots and Tier 1, 2 and 3 Covid-19 public exposure site locations in Victoria and Melbourne, and what to do if you’ve visited them

Authorities have released a list of public exposure sites in Melbourne and regional Victoria visited by a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Here are the current coronavirus hotspots, Covid exposure sites, venues and case location alerts and what to do if you’ve visited them.

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Nick Evershed, Andy Ball and Josh Nicholas

‘The time is now’: Western Australia to mandate Covid vaccines for most workers

8 horas 45 minutos ago

Workers, including teachers and supermarket staff, will need jab by end of year as premier Mark McGowan dashes hopes state will reopen for Christmas

Covid-19 vaccinations will become compulsory for most Western Australian workers, including teachers and supermarket staff, by the end of the year.

The premier, Mark McGowan, said the drastic step is necessary to prepare the state for community transmission of the virus.

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Australian Associated Press

Victoria Covid restrictions: Melbourne lockdown, curfew and regional Vic coronavirus rules explained

8 horas 45 minutos ago

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced Melbourne’s lockdown will end from Friday 22 October. Here’s what you need to know about schools, travel, childcare and work, then and now

Covid restrictions across Victoria will change again from Friday 22 October when Melbourne’s lockdown will end after the state reaches a full vaccination rate of 70%.

In metropolitan Melbourne, from Friday curfew will end and there will be no more travel limits (although travel to regional Victoria will still not be permitted). There will no longer be only six reasons you can leave your home. Home visits with restrictions will be allowed and hospitality businesses will reopen. All students will attend classrooms part-time.

Reasons to leave home and curfew no longer in place.

10 people, including dependants, can visit a home each day.

15 people can gather outdoors.

Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors.

Funerals and weddings allow for 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 fully vaccinated outdoors.

All students to return to school at least part-time.

Hairdressing and beauty salons to open for up to five fully vaccinated people at a time.

Shopping for essentials.

Authorised work, if you cannot work from home, or education.

Exercise for up to four hours.

Caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons.

To get vaccinated.

For limited outdoor social interaction.

Queensland

New South Wales

South Australia

Western Australia

Tasmania

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

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Guardian staff