UK coronavirus LIVE: New lockdown rules start in north of England as 'thousands of students test positive for Covid-19'

New lockdown restrictions have been rolled out in Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The new restrictions, which means more than a third of the UK is under heightened lockdown rules, makes it illegal for households to mix indoors.

Meanwhile, more than 50 universities in the UK have confirmed cases of coronavirus as thousands of students return to campus, a survey suggests.

Over 2,500 Covid-19 cases have been identified among university students and staff, according to a PA news agency survey.

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Police investigating Margaret Ferrier MP over reported coronavirus law breaches

Police are investigating MP Margaret Ferrier for alleged breaches of coronavirus laws after she took a train from London to Scotland knowing she had coronavirus.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she had made it “crystal clear” in a call with Ms Ferrier, who has had the whip withdrawn by the SNP, she should resign her seat following the “monumental” error of judgment.

The Metropolitan Police said it is “conducting an investigation into potential offences” with British Transport Police.

The London force said in a statement:

“An investigation is under way into reported breaches of the Health Protection Regulations 2020.On Thursday October 1, a Member of Parliament contacted Police Scotland to report she may have breached legislation and guidance relating to Covid-19. This related to her actions earlier this week, including a train journey on Tuesday September 29, between London and Glasgow, following a positive Covid-19 test. Following consultation with Police Scotland, officers from the Metropolitan Police, working with British Transport Police, are conducting an investigation into potential offences.The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has been informed.”

Ms Ferrier could face a £4,000 fine for a first-time offence of coming into contact with others when she should have been self-isolating.


More than 50 universities across UK have Covid-19 cases, survey shows

More than 50 universities in the UK have confirmed cases of coronavirus as thousands of students return to campus.

Over 2,500 Covid-19 cases have been identified among university students and staff, a Press Association survey suggests.

A surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks has led to thousands of students having to self-isolate in their halls at some universities – including Manchester Metropolitan and Glasgow University.

Northumbria University confirmed late on Friday afternoon that 770 students have tested positive for Covid-19 and they are all now self-isolating.


‘Potent’ experimental drug given to Trump already being used in UK

An experimental coronavirus drug being given to Donald Trump is already being used in a handful of UK hospitals, according to an Oxford University professor.

The US president was given the artificial antibody treatment at the White House on Friday after being diagnosed with Covid-19, before he was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre.

The drug began being used in “about three hospitals in the north” last weekend as part of Oxford University’s national Recovery trial, said Professor Peter Horby.

Prof Horby, who specialises in emerging infectious diseases at Oxford University and is co-chief investigator of the Recovery trial, added that the drug is due to be rolled out to “another 30 to 40 hospitals” in the UK next week.



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Trump takes experimental cocktail of unproven Covid-19 drugs

S President Donald Trump has been given an experimental cocktail of medicines as part of his treatment for coronavirus.  

The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the 72-year-old was being treated with Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail as well as zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin. 

“As of this afternoon the President remains fatigued but in good spirits,” White House doctor Sean Conley, said in a statement on Fri

Melania Trump “remains well with only a mild cough and headache,” he wrote, while other family members have tested negative for the virus.



Northumbria student slams rule breakers

Northumbria student Ewan Hillier said he is not surprised by the rise in cases but felt the rule-breaking of public figures sets a poor example.

“There are accommodations with hundreds of students in and some are not following the rules and mixing … so I am not surprised by the cases,” the 21-year-old from Hexham said.

“When you see MPs breaking the Covid rules such as Margaret Ferrier or the bars in parliament open after 10pm … we are young adults who follow what we are told and when rules are unclear and the leaders break the rules themselves how do they expect us to follow them?”

Mr Hillier, who studies film and television production, said he is disappointed to still not have received his results five days after taking a Covid-19 test.

He is isolating as his flatmate tested positive on Saturday.

“I am annoyed that the uni told us to come back,” added Mr Hillier.

“Most students have and are in contracts with accommodations for the year when I could have stayed at home, been safe and not wasted money.”


Staff told of 770 cases in university in an email

A Northumbria University lecturer said she had spoken to a colleague who felt face-to-face teaching was unsafe.

The lecturer, who asked not to be named, said: “I had to remind her we are not working on the railway lines, on oil rigs or other extreme circumstances.

“We shouldn’t be in a situation where we don’t feel safe at work – nobody should.”

The lecturer said a cyber attack on the university in the summer had caused large problems ahead of the restart.

“I think senior management are very keen to repair our reputation after the cyber attack and are bending over backwards to do things that they think will make the students happy.”

She said staff were told in an email about the 770 positive cases.

“It’s terrifying, and that information was delivered in a way that did not recognise that we would see that figure and gasp in horror.”


1,433 new cases in Liverpool alone

The latest Public Health England data also shows that 1,433 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Liverpool in the seven days to September 29 – the equivalent of 287.7 per 100,000 people, up from 239.3 in the previous week.

Liverpool has the third highest weekly rate of new cases in England.

Other cities continuing to see increases in their weekly rate include Newcastle upon Tyne (up from 212.0 to 239.4, with 725 new cases); Leeds (up from 119.7 to 149.3, with 1,184 new cases); and Nottingham (up from 42.7 to 100.6, with 335 new cases).



154 in hospital in Scotland

In Scotland, 154 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Thursday, up from 85 a week earlier, with 17 in ventilation beds, up from 10 a week earlier.

In Wales, 214 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Thursday, up from 115 a week earlier, with 32 in ventilation beds, up from 19 a week earlier.

In Northern Ireland, 70 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Wednesday, up from 66 a week earlier, with seven in ventilation beds, up from five a week earlier.

Data on patients with Covid-19 is not comparable across the UK due to differences in the way the figures are reported.


Northumbria university ‘doing more face-to-face teaching than other universities’

A member of staff at Northumbria University who asked to remain anonymous said there was more face-to-face teaching there than at other universities in the region.

The source said: “We have high anxiety levels among staff and students who have a sense that the establishment is not listening to those anxieties about face-to-face teaching.

“There’s a lot of frustration because almost everything that we deliver face-to-face could be done much more safely online.

“There’s confusion about why we are not following other universities in the region who I think moved online earlier, pre-empting this.”

The member of staff said many students were staying away from face-to-face sessions, with some lessons attracting fewer than half the course members.

Many Northumbria University undergraduates lived in the family home rather than staying in student accommodation, so may be staying away to protect relatives, the employee said.

The source added: “We are worried about their access to full teaching, this is not just about anxiety for health but fairness and who is able to access teaching, and who is not.”


More than 2,000 people in hospital for coronavirus

Separate figures show there were 2,084 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England as of Friday, up from 1,615 a week ago, while 310 Covid-19 hospital patients were in ventilation beds, up from 227 a week ago.

A total of 328 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Wednesday, compared with 314 a week earlier.



More than 50 universities have Covid-19

More than 50 universities in the UK have confirmed cases of coronavirus as thousands of students return to campus.

Over 2,000 Covid-19 cases have been identified among university students and staff, a survey suggests.

A surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks has led to thousands of students having to self-isolate in their halls at some universities – including Manchester Metropolitan and Glasgow University.

Northumbria University confirmed late on Friday afternoon that 770 students have tested positive for Covid-19 and they are all now self-isolating.

There have been more than 200 cases at the University of Sheffield and 177 University of Liverpool staff and students have tested positive, according to a PA news agency survey which contacted 140 institutions.

Around 56 universities across the UK have had at least one confirmed case of Covid-19, an analysis of university responses and media reports suggests.


DUP MP self isolating

DUP MP Jim Shannon is self-isolating after he was seated at the same dining table as Margaret Ferrier, his party said.

The room seating arrangements on Monday evening included proper social-distancing measures, the statement added.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has called on Ms Ferrier to quit as an MP after she made a “monumental” error of judgment by taking a train from London to Scotland when she knew she had tested positive for coronavirus.

The Scottish First Minister said she had spoken to the public representative – who has had the whip withdrawn by her party – and made it “crystal clear” she should resign her seat.

On Wednesday evening, the Commons Speaker’s Office alerted Mr Shannon, who represents Strangford in Co Down, that he had been identified as a close contact of an individual diagnosed with Covid-19.


Trump has mild symptoms but is in good spirits, according to the White House’s chief of staff



The personal is political


Much speculation on the effect of catching coronavirus on Trump’s presidential bid


Ireland’s premier Micheal Martin has wished US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania “the very best” for a “speedy recovery” from Covid-19.

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Martin said: “It’s difficult for them to have tested positive for Covid-19 but we wish them a speedy recovery.

“I think it reminds us all of the ever-present prevalence of this virus.”



The borough of Tower Hamlets in east London has advised residents to avoid mixing with other households “unless absolutely necessary”.

In an open letter, the borough’s mayor John Biggs wrote: “Despite a fall over the summer, we are seeing cases of Covid-19 rise and we need to accept that the situation is once again worsening. Tower Hamlets now has one of the highest levels of Covid-19 in London.

“As a second rise in infections hits us, we must take all steps necessary to limit the spread of the virus and protect those most at risk.”

He added: “With this in mind, now is the time we must take further action. I am clear that the current national rules are a minimum and my advice to you all is to do everything in your power to protect each other. Our individual actions have consequences for us all.

“The next few months will be very challenging. Without a vaccine or more effective treatment, our primary weapon against the virus is responsible behaviour. Measures to curb the spread of the virus will only work if people follow them.”


Labour Party leader Keir Starmer during a visit to Buck Street Market in Camden, north London, to call on locals to support independent businesses:

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