Coronavirus 1) National lockdown “under consideration”

“Boris Johnson is considering the imposition of new national lockdown restrictions from next week amid concerns that hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed. The prime minister met Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, and Matt Hancock, the health secretary, to discuss “alarming” new NHS data yesterday. He is expected to hold a press conference on Monday to announce the new measures, under which everything could be closed except essential shops and “educational settings”, including nurseries, schools and universities. The new restrictions could be introduced on Wednesday and remain in place until December 1.” – The Times

  • Pubs and restaurants face being shut for weeks – The Sun
  • Royal Family banned from singing national anthem at Remembrance Day – Daily Express
  • It could “destroy hospitality and the high street” – Daily Telegraph
  • Deaths could peak just before Christmas – The Times
  • Data exceed ‘worst-case’ scenario – Financial Times
  • Mayhem as thousands flee Paris – The Times
  • Welsh minister’s business loan claim nonsense, says Treasury – BBC
  • Almost three in four people are more concerned about the impact of lockdown restrictions than catching coronavirus – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Nick Fletcher on Comment: Ministers must do more to strike the right balance between health and happiness

Coronavirus 2) R rate falls, but is still above 1

“The UK’s coronavirus R rate has dropped for the second week in a row – but remains above 1 across the country, it emerged today. The current R value – the number of people an infected person will pass Covid-19 on to – is now estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.3. The estimate from Sage is lower than the R rate prediction from Imperial College London scientists, who yesterday published the latest data from their REACT study. Their findings – based on tests from 85,000 people – suggest the UK’s R rate is 1.6, with most of the South nearing 2, while London is almost at 3.” – The Sun

  • Covid cases are not spiralling out of control, says King’s College – Daily Telegraph
  • Glimmer of hope as infections in hotpots fall – Daily Mail

Coronavirus 3) Alternative plan would be Tier 4 restrictions

“Johnson is likely to summon ministers from his Cabinet coronavirus subcommittee over the next 48 hours and could hold a full meeting on Sunday if he decides he needs to act as soon as Monday. The alternative to a national lockdown would be a fourth tier of restrictions on top of the existing three tier system, but government scientists now believe even Tier 3 is not enough to stop the spread of infections…Discussions are ongoing about whether the harsher restrictions would be referred to as Tier 4 or Tier 3 plus.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Ministers threw fortunes at protective clothing – much of which was overpriced or can never be used – Daily Mail
  • We must keep our heads and accept Covid is here for the long term – Camilla Cavendish, Financial Times
  • Three facts No 10’s experts got wrong – Dr Mike Yeadon, Daily Mail
  • A second national lockdown would be catastrophic – Leader, The Sun
  • A contagion of hatred and hysteria – Professor Sunetra Gupta, Daily Mail
  • UK should follow European neighbours’ lockdown approach – Leader, Financial Times

PM and Chancellor clash over defence spending

“Boris Johnson has told Rishi Sunak that he wants a £15 billion multi-year settlement for defence in a clash over the scale of spending to strengthen Britain’s place on the world stage after Brexit. The prime minister met the chancellor on Tuesday to discuss the issue and has demanded he guarantee defence spending until 2025 to underpin a defence and security review. Mr Sunak wants a one-year settlement for defence worth £1.9 billion as part of the spending review.” – The Times

Johnson and Symonds in joint TV appearance to praise NHS

“Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds will praise NHS medics for delivering their son Wilfred and for saving the Prime Minister’s life as he fought coronavirus. In their first joint television appearance, a recording for the Pride of Britain awards, they will thank frontline workers for their ‘courage and dedication’ during the pandemic in a broadcast on Sunday. The couple nominated nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma, two nurses who cared for Mr Johnson at St Thomas’ Hospital in April, and the maternity team who delivered Wilfred later the same month. Ms Symonds’ £30,000 emerald engagement ring matches her green dress in the broadcast filmed at Chequers earlier this week.” – Daily Mail

Jenrick pledges to protect women’s lavatories

“Ministers will today unveil plans to boost the number of female-only toilets to protect women from the surge in mixed-sex bogs. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick will launch a review to guarantee all publicly accessible toilets have female-only cubicles to prevent women having to queue ages for the loo. Evidence shows increasing numbers of publicly accessible toilets are being converted into ‘gender neutral facilities’ – causing problems for women and the elderly in particular.” – The Sun Continue to all today’s Newslinks