Boris Johnson appeared to pour a large cauldron of humbug on Hallowe’en fun today as Downing Street warned against trick-or-treating.
No10 warned that families under local lockdowns in England – some 12 million people in total – should not mix, when asked whether traditional ghoulish events should take place.
And it warned that elsewhere the Rule of Six applied, meaning parents face fines of up to £200 if their children are caught in larger groups going door-to-door.
Asked repeatedly about whether trick-or-treating can go ahead around October 31, the PM’s deputy spokesman said: ‘The Rule of Six is clear, it includes children. We are asking people not to meet in groups of six or more.
‘In local lockdown areas we have been very clear that households should not mix. In other areas not in lockdown the Rule of Six applies.
‘It is correct parents will be fined if children meet in groups of more than six children.’
It came amid fears that London could follow parts of the North East and North West including Newcastle and Liverpool into localised lockdown.
No10 warned that families under local lockdowns in England – some 12 million people in total – should not mix, when asked whether traditional ghoulish events should take place
Asked repeatedly about whether trick-or-treating can go ahead around October 31, the PM’s deputy spokesman said: ‘The Rule of Six is clear, it includes children. We are asking people not to meet in groups of six or more’
Boris Johnson will meet with civic leaders in the capital next week amid rising fears over the number of cases.
Mayor sadiq Khan has called for more restrictions ot be put in place.
Last night he was involved in a row with Shaun Bailey, the Tory candidate in the mayoral election due to take place in May.
Mr Bailey lashed out at the Government’s homeworking rules, in an article for the City AM newspaper.
‘Look around London and you see a city that has stalled. Tube use is down 70 per cent. High streets are empty. 69 per cent of Londoners are still working from home,’ he wrote.
‘We can talk about the cost to the economy — but we should also think about the cost to Londoners themselves. Because the truth is that I don’t believe coronavirus is a good reason to put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk.
‘Our city is built on people. And the more restrictions people face, the more our city is unable to function.
‘If we keep introducing new restrictions on businesses and workers, we’re putting livelihoods at risk — from small businesses to people who were struggling long before coronavirus hit.’
Mr Khan responded saying: ‘This is very dangerous. Please ignore him. The Government advice is to work from home if you can – scientists say doing so could save lives.
‘Urging Londoners to disregard scientific and medical advice risks the lives of Londoners.’
One in three Britons will be living under tougher Covid-19 rules than the rest of the country tomorrow, despite data showing local lockdowns don’t work in most places and that infection rates have actually risen.
From Saturday, two million residents in Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough will be banned from meeting people they don’t live with indoors in a bid to curtail outbreaks there.
It will mean a total of 22.4million Brits will be living under some form of economically crippling and socially restricting local shutdown. Ministers have justified the measures by claiming they are the only way to stop a second national wave of the disease.
But data shows Covid-19 infections have doubled in the majority of areas in England that have been subject to long-term restrictions. In 11 out of 16 English cities and towns hit with lockdowns in the last nine weeks, the infection rate has risen at least two-fold and in some cases by more than 10 times.
In Bolton, Britain’s current Covid-19 hotspot, there were 200 infections per 100,000 in the last seven days, up from 14 per 100,000 on July 31. In Wigan cases have risen from seven per 100,000 people to 102 in the same period.
Luton is the only area in the country which has successfully managed to drive down cases far enough to break free from the shackles of a local lockdown – but even the Bedfordshire town could be slapped with restrictions once again because cases have started to rebound.
Scientists, MPs and local leaders say adherence to the rules is low because they have been too ‘complex and confusing’ to follow. In Middlesbrough, the mayor Andy Preston said he would ‘defy the government’ and that his town would ‘not accept these measures’ because there was no evidence they would work.
Shaun Bailey lashed out at the Government’s homeworking rules, in an article for the City AM newspaper
Mr Khan responded saying: ‘This is very dangerous. Please ignore him. The Government advice is to work from home if you can – scientists say doing so could save lives’
The number of people getting infected with coronavirus has fallen in the last week, official data showed today.
An Office for National Statistics (ONS) report released today estimated there were 8,400 daily cases of the disease in England in the week ending September 24.
This marks a 12.5 per cent fall from the 9,600 infection thought to have been occurring every day the week before.
The ONS described its findings as ‘limited evidence’ transmission of the virus ‘may be levelling off following steep increases during August and September’.
But, because the study is only based on a few hundred positive swabs, the Government-run body said it is too early to say the UK is out of the woods yet.
The ONS report today is the first to report a dip in infections in the last two months, after cases started to rocket in August when lockdown was fully lifted.
But it comes on the heels of a wave of statistics yesterday suggesting the UK’s spike in transmission is finally starting to slow down.
There were 6,914 cases picked up through the Government’s official testing programme yesterday – just 4.2 per cent higher than last Thursday. This was significant because cases had been almost doubling every week since late August.