Coronavirus news you may have missed overnight: Universities to be asked to move teaching online as majority of public backs ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown

Kate Ng
·3-min read
A sign in the window of the student accommodation at Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham (PA)
A sign in the window of the student accommodation at Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham (PA)

As the UK government considers placing more parts of the UK under the highest alert level in the new three-tier lockdown system and local leaders grapple with the possibility of more restrictions, Covid-19 continues to affect lives in every corner of the country and globe.

On Wednesday, a further 19,724 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 654,644.

Here is your round-up of coronavirus news you may have missed overnight.

Universities to be asked to abandon face to face teaching ahead of Christmas break

Universities are to be asked to move all teaching to virtual spaces ahead of Christmas in an effort to get students home safely and prevent mass coronavirus outbreaks throughout the UK.

Tens of thousands of students who moved into campuses in recent weeks have tested positive for coronavirus, with entire student hall buildings forced to self-isolate. Around a million young people are expected to make the journey to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones.

Meetings are due to be held between government ministers and universities shortly.

Majority of public backs half-term ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown

A large majority of the public back the introduction of a circuit-breaker lockdown over the October half-term, a poll has found.

YouGov surveyed more than 3,390 adults in Great Britain on Wednesday and found some 68 per cent of respondents said they would support the measure, with 20 per cent saying they would oppose them. Twelve per cent said they did not know.

The poll suggested 65 per cent of Conservative voters would back a circuit-breaker, compared to 76 per cent of Labour voters and 75 per cent of Liberal Democrats.

Children will not be among first to receive initial Covid-19 vaccine, CDC says

When vaccines for coronavirus first become available, they may not be recommended to children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The agency said drugmakers have tested potential Covid-19 vaccines on non-pregnant adults and while trials are expected to expand to other groups, it’s unclear when those phases would begin.

In an update outlining US vaccine planning, the CDC said that “there may be a limited supply of Covid-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow.”

Merseyside pub changes name to mock Johnson, Hancock and Cummings as local lockdown takes effect

A pub in Merseyside has renamed itself ‘The Three Bellends’ to reflect local dissatisfaction with the response to Covid-19 from Boris Johnson, his chief aide Dominic Cummings and the health secretary Matt Hancock.

The pub was previously called The James Atherton pub, located in New Brighton, the Wirral. New signs were also erected, depicting the prime minister, the minister and the adviser all with bells for hats.

Daniel Davies, chief executive of pub owner Rockpoint Leisure, said the new moniker was a “reflection of what the community thinks about them and their decision making”.

Paris curfew ordered amid massive surge in coronavirus cases, Macron says

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced a 9pm curfew on Paris and eight other French cities from this weekend, after a major surge in Covid-19 cases.

The curfew will last from 9pm until 6am and will come into force at midnight on Saturday. Curfew breakers will face a fine of €135, which will rise for repeat offences.

It comes as the country recorded more than 22,000 cases on Wednesday – more than three times the number of infections seen at the peak of France’s first wave back in April.

Mr Macron said in a televised announcement that France had “not lost control of the virus”, but warned that the pandemic situation is worrying.