UK coronavirus live: Wales to decide on short ‘fire break’ lockdown as Manchester stand-off continues | Politics

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Good morning. In politics it’s never a good idea to be fighting too many battles at the same time and No 10 starts the week with its stand-offs with Brussels, over the UK-EU trade deal, and with Greater Manchester, over the proposal to subject it to the stricter tier 3 local coronavirus restrictions, still unresolved. But there might be an agreement on Greater Manchester soon. Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, told the BBC this morning:

I do think it is very clear that having now discussed this for well over a week this does now need to be brought to a conclusion.I think everybody in Greater Manchester would agree with that. So, I am hopeful that either today, or tomorrow, we will reach a conclusion, one way or the other.

There are almost 3m people who live in Greater Manchester. But there are more than 3m people who live in Wales, and today it is possible that they will be told they are going to face restrictions even tougher than the ones that apply to regions placed in tier 3 under the English system. The Welsh government has been mulling over the need for a “fire break” lockdown – a short, hard national lockdown, like the “circuit breaker” recommended for England by Sage and the Labour party – and this morning the Welsh cabinet will meet to take a final decision.

Last night the Welsh government issued this statement.

The measures we have put in place at both a local and a national level, with help from the people of Wales, have kept the spread of Covid-19 under check.

However, there is a growing consensus we now need to introduce a different set of measures and actions to respond to the virus as it continues to spread across Wales more quickly during the autumn and winter months ahead.

Ministers have held a number of meetings over the weekend with senior Welsh government officials, scientists and public health experts to consider their advice on a potential need for a ‘fire break’ set of measures to control the virus.

The Welsh cabinet met this evening to consider that advice. The cabinet will meet again tomorrow morning to make a final decision. The first minister will update the people of Wales on any decisions taken tomorrow.

Here is the agenda for the news.

9.30am: The ONS publishes figures on deaths in private homes in England and Wales.

12pm: Downing Street is due to hold its lobby briefing.

12.15pm: Mark Drakeford, the Welsh first minister, is due to hold a coronavirus briefing.

12.15pm: The Scottish government is due to hold a coronavirus briefing.

After 1.30pm: Peers begin the first day of the second reading debate on the internal market bill.

4pm: Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, gives evidence to joint national security strategy committee.

Also today Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, and Maroš Šefčovič, the European commission vice-president, will convene a meeting of the joint committee overseeing the implementation of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

And David Frost, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, is expected to hold a call with Michael Barnier, his EU counterpart, about the trade talks supposedly called off by No 10 on Friday.

Politics Live has been doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog for some time and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, like Brexit, and when they seem more important or more interesting, they will take precedence.

Here is our global coronavirus live blog.

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Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: UK coronavirus live: Wales to decide on short ‘fire break’ lockdown as Manchester stand-off continues | Politics

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