Coronavirus UK updates: England and Wales begin tougher rules for millions

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Coronavirus UK Updates: Government 'difficult, finely-balanced judgement' on whether to strengthen the coronavirus rules.
Coronavirus UK Updates: Government 'difficult, finely-balanced judgement' on whether to strengthen the coronavirus rules.

Stricter coronavirus rules are coming into force for nearly six million people within the next 24 hours.

Greater Manchester moved into the highest alert level , Tier 3, on Friday morning, and Wales will introduce its two-week “firebreak” lockdown at 6pm.

Coventry, Stoke and Slough will enter Tier 2 on Saturday , while talks between Westminster and Nottingham over possible Tier 3 restrictions are continue on Friday.

Under Tier 3 measures in Greater Manchester, pubs and bars will be closed, unless they are serving substantial meals, for a 28-day period, along with casinos, bingo halls and bookies.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an emergency multi-billion pound bailout on Thursday aimed at supporting workers and firms through the second coronavirus wave.

The Job Support Scheme, which replaces the current furlough system from November 1, will be made more generous in an effort to persuade firms to keep staff in work.

There will also be grants of up to £2,100 a month available for firms in Tier 2 areas of England, aimed at helping hospitality and leisure venues which have seen takings plummet due to restrictions on households mixing.

The package could cost the Exchequer around £13 billion over six months.

It came as the Prime Minister acknowledged that the test and trace system, which he previously promised would be “world beating”, needed to be improved.

He said turnaround times for tests needed to be faster, after it emerged that just one in seven people having a test at a centre get their result back in 24 hours.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance also said problems with the system could be “diminishing the effectiveness” and there was “room for improvement”.

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