The Government is considering introducing a complete lockdown in Oldham, a town in Greater Manchester, as coronavirus infections continue to soar. The new measures could see pubs, restaurants and gyms close again.
New lockdown restrictions are already in place in Oldham, with people prohibited from meeting other households indoors.
But the measures are feared to not go far enough, as infections continue to soar.
Ministers have been consulting with the local council about potential new restrictions, with an announcement expected later today.
Katrina Stephens, the director of public health for Oldham Council, said a full lockdown could take place in “days rather than weeks” unless people adhered to the rules.
Infections continue to rise in Oldham, which now has the highest seven-day coronavirus infection rate in the country, with 108.8 cases per 100,000 people.
The council said 255 new cases were recorded in the week ended August 8, compared with 137 cases the week before.
Most cases in the past four weeks have been diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s.
The majority of new cases have been women in their 20s (66 people), followed by men in the same age bracket (52 people).
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8.50am update: Russia reports more than 5,000 new cases
Russia reported 5,065 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing its nationwide tally to 912,823 – the fourth highest caseload in the world.
The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 114 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing its official death toll to 15,498.
8.22am update: Government hikes up fines for breaking lockdown rules
People who repeatedly flout rules on wearing face coverings could be fined up to £3,200 under tough new rules for England.
Failing to wear a mask in places like shops and on public transport carries a fine of £100 at present, which is reduced to £50 if paid within two weeks.
But under new measures in “the coming weeks”, repeat offenders will see their fine double on each repeat offence – with a maximum penalty of £3,200.
Fines have also been increased for people hosting raves or other unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.
People caught flouting these rules can be hit with a £10,000 fine.
The UK has secured early access to 90 million doses of two promising coronavirus vaccine candidates, boosting hopes of a weapon in the fight against the pandemic.
Potential vaccine Novavax will complete its Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK. If the vaccines are proven to be safe and effective they could be delivered to the UK by the middle of next year.
There are now plans to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine in the UK and gain access to 60 million doses.
The UK will also co-fund a global clinical trial with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson which will account for the other 30 million doses.
Paris and Bouches-du-Rhone area in France have been put on lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to surge.
The French government has declared the city and the area around Marseille on the Mediterranean coast as “red” zones with a high coronavirus infection risk.
The decree gives local authorities the power to limit the circulation of people and vehicles, to restrict the access to public transport and air travel, to limit the access to public buildings and to close some establishments where there is a high risk of infection.
It comes as the latest data shows over the past week there has been a 66 percent increase in newly reported cases and a 52 percent rise in weekly incidence rate per 100,000 population, indicating a sharp rise in COVID-19.