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World News

Wales lockdown – Brits baffled as winter clothes, stationary for home-workers & CLEANING supplies deemed ‘non-essential’

BRITS have been left baffled as winter clothes, stationary for home-workers and even cleaning supplies have been deemed 'non-essential' under the new Welsh lockdown.

Wales went into a 17-day firebreak shutdown at 6pm on Friday – and under the measures, stores are now unable to sell a range of items to customers.

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But the decision to tape off items including kettles, children's clothes, warm jumpers, birthday cards, duvets and mops has sparked fury.

It comes as:

  • Sky New's Kay Burley clashed with a Welsh minister over essential items
  • Revellers in Cardiff hit the town for one last night before the 'firebreak'
  • Nicola Sturgeon revealed a strict five-tiered coronavirus system for Scotland
  • Warrington is set to join Tier 3 next week with the toughest restrictions
  • All areas of Britain have got an R rate above 1

Major supermarkets including Tesco, Lidl and Sainsbury's have used barriers to block aisles and tape to mark off unavailable items.

The terms of the new measures are far harsher than the original March lockdown – when supermarkets weren't banned from selling any items.

And many in the country have now lashed out at Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Hundreds of people have taken to social media to voice their fury.

So, what does count as ‘essential’ in Wales?

Welsh people can buy products that would normally sold in:

  • Food and drink retailers (including off licences)
  • Newsagents
  • Building supplies and hardware stores
  • Pharmacies and chemists
  • Bicycle shops
  • Petrol stations
  • Garages and vehicle hire businesses
  • Post offices, banks, building societies and similar
  • Pet shops
  • Agricultural and aquacultural supplies shops
  • Livestock markets and auctions
  • Batteries, light bulbs and rubber gloves may continue to be sold.

The rules state: "Businesses which would normally sell a range of products in their stores may only sell those items which fall into the categories above.

"This is likely to mean some areas of stores should be closed to customer access. It will be important though for such stores to manage access to different categories of goods in a way that ensures customers and staff can circulate safely within the store.

"Some products may need to remain available to avoid creating unnecessary constraints on a mixed product aisle to the safe circulation of customers."

Town councillor Stephen Ellis, who represents Cheadle West, said: "If you're already buying 'essential' things in the same shop, what difference does it make if you buy a 'non-essential' item – especially as you've forced all other shops to close?

"Daft policy."

One social media user tweeted Mr Drakeford directly, writing: "You make wine/alcohol essential, but clothes and kettles that are used everyday non-essential."

He accused the official of going "power mad".

One mum shared a photo of taped-off mops, adding: "Welcome to Wales, the only place where in the midst of a pandemic, cleaning supplies can be deemed a non essential purchase.

"Madness. Someone, somewhere surely has the ability to stop this now, please?"

Jessica Tilley wrote: "The photos of supermarkets in Wales covering up 'non essential' items is giving me the creeps.

"So you can't buy stationary if you're working from home. You can't pick up a book, or a winter coat.








"You can't pick up a birthday card to post to family that you're not allowed to visit."

Another said: "Words fail me.

"How is a microwave not essential for someone if theirs breaks?

"Same with a kettle? Or a duvet/blanket with the weather getting colder?

"Yet again it's the people struggling financially that are hit the hardest… definitely not 'in this together' in Wales!"

All non-essential shops, pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels must shut altogether during the restrictions, which come into force today at 6pm.

Food shops, off-licences, pharmacies, banks and post offices are allowed to remain open.

Mr Drakeford has attempted to defend the strict measures.

He said: "It is a straightforward matter of fairness – we are in this together here in Wales.

"No individual and no organisation is above the effort that we are all required to make.

"That includes people who may believe that they themselves are beyond the law, and includes those organisations that are large and powerful."

What are the rules in Wales?

People living in Wales will now have to:

  • Follow strict stay at home orders
  • Pubs, restaurants and all non-essential retail will be closed
  • No meeting with anyone outside your household
  • No alcohol sales after 10pm
  • Leisure centres and services, including gyms, will have to close
  • Professional sports will be able to continue
  • Hairdressers and beauty services will have to close
  • No gatherings will be allowed outdoors including Halloween and fireworks on Bonfire night

He told a press conference in Cardiff that any suggestion that the ban, which was announced on Thursday, was based on his own politics was "nonsensical".

He said: "We are requiring many hundreds of small businesses to close on the high street right across Wales.

"We cannot do that and then allow supermarkets to sell goods that those people are unable to sell.

"And we are looking to minimise the amount of time that people spend out of their homes during this two-week period.

"This is not the time to be browsing around supermarkets looking for non-essential goods."

The lockdown falls over the half-term holiday and extend for a week beyond that.

Primary schools will reopen as normal after the break and kids in secondary school in Year 7 and 8 will be able to go to school.

All other students will have to go back to home learning.

Mr Drakeford stressed that children were the "top priority" and childcare centres would be able to stay open throughout.

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World News

Tier 3 lockdown rules mean Manchester locals will be EVICTED from their homes and sleeping on the streets, claims MP

PEOPLE in Manchester will be evicted from their homes and sleeping in the streets this winter if the region doesn't get more financial support from the government, Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has warned.

Speaking on GMB this morning, Ms Nandy accused the government of "actively doing harm to its own citizens" and "not having our interests at heart" as Manchester was forced into Tier 3 lockdown.

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It follows a bitter standoff after talks with Mayor Andy Burnham collapsed over the size of the government's financial support package amid a furious blame game.

Amid chaotic scenes, Mr Burnham was filmed appearing to find out the government's deal via text message live on TV, sparking anger from many watching.

But Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick claimed this morning he told Mr Burnham about the deal in a phone call as the Labour Mayor faced accusations of showboating for the cameras.

Greater Manchester will be forced into the strictest Tier 3 lockdown rules to stem the spread of Covid-19 from Friday.

HOMELESS WARNING

Ms Nandy said the government had offered £22 million deal to "help survive this winter", leaving locals in "complete shock" and workers facing homelessness.

She said: "What will happen if we don't get financial support from the government is people will start being evicted from their homes.

"The government hasn't enforced evictions as they did when the national lockdown happened.

"We are going to have people sleeping on the streets in winter in the middle of a pandemic.

"The government knows how serious the situation is."

The Labour frontbencher insisted the PM's adviser told MPs a £55 million injection of cash had been on offer but was withdrawn.



She was adamant £65 million was the minimum needed as Greater Manchester goes is put into Tier 3 after being in partial lockdown since the end of July.

It comes as Boris Johnson is expected to make a statement about South Yorkshire today – with the region set to go into Tier 3 in days.

Mr Burnham yesterday blasted the government's "brutal" offer for Greater Manchester and accused Downing Street of "grinding people down".

But speaking today, Cabinet minister Mr Jenrick said the Labour Mayor didn't find out about the government's deal via text message as yesterday's footage appeared to show and that he called Mr Burnham at 2pm with the news.

Mr Jenrick told Sky News: "We had several conversations over the course of the morning, including with the Prime Minister.

We are going to have people sleeping on the streets in winter in the middle of a pandemic.

"And I told him the final news at 2pm."

When asked by Kate Burley if Mr Burnham was showboating, he added: "I am not in the slightest bit interested in points scoring.

"It isn't about personalities or press conferences on the steps of town halls. In the end, it's about an important public health situation and that the people of Greater Manchester now get the support they deserve."

Speaking from Downing Street yesterday, the Prime Minister appeared to withdraw the £60m that had been on the table for Greater Manchester – saying the region will now get just £22m plus access to additional national support. 

Mr Johnson repeatedly refused to clarify if the extra funding offered earlier was still available to the region – sparking fury and confusion from northern MPs.

However, No10 later confirmed that the full £60million was on the cards in a take it or leave it deal – but Mr Burnham must come to the table to get it.

In a Commons statement Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the £60 million offer of extra financial support was still on the table and urged Mr Burnham to "pick up the phone".

Boris said the Government had made “a generous and extensive offer” to support Manchester’s businesses and blasted Mr Burnham for snubbing the package and not budging below £65million.

But he said he had no choice but to impose Tier 3 on Greater Manchester given the increasing numbers of cases, hospital admissions and deaths in the region.

He said: “We have to act. Because not to act would put Manchester’s NHS, and the lives of many of Manchester’s residents, at risk."




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World News

What is tier 3 lockdown and which areas are under the Covid restrictions?

THE UK’s entire 67 million-strong population is living under some sort of Covid-19 restrictions, though the severity of the rules varies hugely.

In England, to tackle a swiftly accelerating second coronavirus wave, areas have been categorised in tiers of one to three – here are the locations currently tagged as the highest level, Tier 3.

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What is Tier 3 lockdown?

Tier Three has the most serious measures – including a closure of pubs and bars and a ban on overnight stays outside the home.

However, restaurants and "food-based" pubs can remain open and you're allowed to order an alcoholic drink as long as it is with a "substantial meal".

Casinos, bookmakers and gyms are also shut under Tier 3.

Local politicians will decide whether businesses in the personal care, entertainment, sports and leisure should remain open – like beauty salons and sports.

Non-essential shops, schools, colleges and universities can remain open.

Non-essential travel is advised against, as well as travelling outside the area in which the restrictions have been imposed.

PM Boris Johnson said: "The exact restrictions at this level, Very High, will be worked out with local leaders, along with tailored packages of support."

The move will come as another blow to the hospitality industry left reeling after a 10pm curfew already in place.

Which areas are under Tier 3 lockdown restrictions now?

Areas currently under Tier 3 restrictions are:

Liverpool City Region

  • Liverpool
  • Knowsley
  • Wirral
  • St Helens
  • Sefton
  • Halton

Lancashire

  • Lancaster
  • Wyre
  • Ribble Valley
  • Pendle
  • Blackpool
  • Preston
  • Hyndburn
  • Fylde
  • South Ribble
  • Chorley
  • West Lancashire
  • Blackburn Darwen
  • Rossendale
  • Burnley

 

Will Manchester move into Tier 3 lockdown?

Boris Johnson is preparing to impose stringent new coronavirus controls on 2.8million people in Greater Manchester after talks with local leaders failed to reach agreement.

Manchester is set to be plunged into Tier 3 after tense crunch talks with Downing Street have resulted in an angry stalemate as both sides continue to fight over a deal.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warned civic chiefs that they have until midday on October 20 to reach a deal or face unilateral Government action.

Leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese acknowledged officials would have no choice but to comply if ministers decided to impose the most stringent Tier 3 restrictions.

Other places at risk of moving into Tier 3 lockdown include South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, the North East and Teesside.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he would talk with local officials in all of these areas.

But, Hartlepool Borough Council leader Shane Moore said no talks had happened since October 16, when the Tees Valley and the North East were given a reprieve from the toughest measures.

He tweeted that talks in relation to Hartlepool and wider TeesValley going into Tier 3 were "untrue" and "if anyone suggests it to me this week they'll be told to sod off."

Asked if Hartlepool will be placed in Tier 3 next week, Mr Moore replied on Twitter: "Not unless I am presented with clear evidence that the current restrictions are not working and that serious hospital admissions are causing strain on local health services."

Ben Houchen, the Tory elected mayor for Tees Valley, said he had received a reassurance there were no plans to put them in Tier 3.

He tweeted: "After today's statement, I spoke to Matt Hancock's team and I was pleased that they confirmed what local leaders were told on Friday – that there are NO imminent plans to move our area to tier 3. "

What are the tier 3 restrictions?

Tier 3 covers areas with a very high level of coronavirus infections and mean that:

  • You must not socialise with anybody you don't live with or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • You are banned from socialising in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
  • Pubs and bars must close unless they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – BUT wedding receptions are banned
  • Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors
  • You should continue to work from home where you can effectively do so

For those areas placed under a very high alert level, the government will also try to agree additional interventions with local authorities, including:

  • Closing all hospitality (except takeaway and delivery)
  • Shutting indoor and outdoor entertainment venues and tourist attractions
  • Closing venues such as leisure centres and gyms
  • Shutting public buildings, such as libraries and community centres
  • Closing personal care and close contact services

When do Tier Three lockdown restrictions come into force?

Restrictions in the Liverpool City Region came into force at midnight on Wednesday October 14.

The rules in Lancashire were enforced on Saturday, October 17.

If the government has its way, Greater Manchester will shortly join those areas in Tier 3.

Leaders have been given deadline of noon on October 20 to reach an agreement on greater restrictions or face unilateral Government action.

It's not clear when the higher tier controls would be put in place.

How long will Tier Three lockdown restrictions last?

The measures will be reviewed every four weeks, but this does not necessarily mean they will be in place for a specific amount of time.

The restrictions will be eased depending on the current data.

The PM said: "Areas within the Very High Alert category will be reviewed every four weeks and nowhere will be shut down indefinitely."

But it's been insinuated that some of the restrictions could be in place for six months.

 

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TV and Movies

Wales to Go Into Two-Week ‘Firebreak’ Lockdown

Wales will go into a two-week lockdown, described by the local government as a “firebreak” circuit breaker, from Oct. 23 to Nov. 9.

Members of the public will be told to stay at home and leisure businesses will be shut. Pubs and restaurants will be closed, as will non-essential shops. It’s believed that cinemas will also close under the guidance, although this isn’t yet confirmed.

Primary schools will reopen after the half-term break. Secondary schools will see only years seven and eight return to classrooms, while universities will continue offering a hybrid model that combines online and physical classes.

Meanwhile, both indoor and outdoor gatherings of people who aren’t from the same household will be banned.

Apart from critical workers, jobs where working from home is not possible are allowed to be carried out. As such, Variety understands that film and TV production can continue unless authorities specifically restrict the sector’s activities.

“If they are working to safe COVID guidelines as approved by the Wales and U.K. governments it shouldn’t have a major impact,” industry body Pact told Variety.

Productions set to shoot in Wales include ITV’s “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here,” which is scheduled to film in Gwrych Castle.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the news on Monday after an emergency meeting of the cabinet. He described the firebreak as “a short, sharp shock to turn back the clock, slow down the virus and buy us more time.”

On Sunday, 16,982 people tested positive for coronavirus across the U.K., with 950 of them from Wales.

Wales is one of the nations and regions that make up the United Kingdom, which also includes Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

All schools in Northern Ireland will close for two weeks from Monday. Since last Friday, sit-in customers haven’t been allowed in pubs, restaurants and cafes across the territory. Meanwhile, several parts of England are now under Tier Two and Tier Three restrictions.

Manori Ravindran contributed to this report. 

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World News

Police break up lockdown mass orgy in holiday flat as dozens arrive at event advertised as 'crime against public health'

POLICE broke up a mass orgy in a Spanish holiday flat after dozens of people queued up outside to be filmed having sex.

The event, which broke lockdown rules, had been advertised as a "crime against public health," according to reports.

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Three organisers of the unlicensed sex event, including controversial porn director Ignacio Allende, have been warned they face heavy fines.

The police operation unfolded on Wednesday evening after filming of the sex party got underway at a fifth-floor studio in Madrid’s San Blas neighbourhood.

Local reports said dozens of men had gathered for the event after being offered the chance of satisfying themselves for free with a small selection of women with prizes for the best performers.

Many eager participants are understood to have been queuing outside the area where the X-rated action was going on in the hope of getting the go-ahead to join in.

LOCKDOWN ORGY

Allende, better known as Torbe, is one of three Spaniards said to have been identified as the trio of organisers and informed they would be receiving fines.

Madrid is currently in a state of emergency mini-lockdown, with restrictions on the number of people who can get together.

There is also a ban on leaving or entering the city unless it is for work or humanitarian reasons.

Torbe spent seven months on remand in prison in 2016 after being arrested on suspicion of crimes including sexual abuse of minors and distribution of child porn.

He has yet to be tried but prosecutors announced recently they would be seeking a seven and a year prison sentence on charges including distribution of child pornography linked to the filming of two minors.
.
At the start of Spain’s three-month state of emergency in March, eight people were arrested in a Barcelona apartment after being accused of flouting the coronavirus lockdown to organise a drug-fuelled orgy.

Undercover officers tipped off about the sex party were let into the holiday flat by revellers who mistook them for potential orgy participants.

Drugs including cocaine and liquid ecstasy were also seized from the apartment, which had been rented for a week by one of the partygoers.

Local reports at the time said another 20 people were expected at the sex bash, organised as a website launch, before police intervened.

One of the party goers is said to have tipped off detectives after an attack of remorse.

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World News

Tier 2 and 3 lockdown rules explained: Can I go to the pub, have my friends over or cancel my holiday?

AS more regions and cities are plunged into tougher coronavirus lockdowns, rules are rapidly changing.

Today it was announced Lancashire will join Liverpool in Tier 3 with the strictest restrictions.

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And yesterday eight other areas were confirmed as moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2, with half the population soon to be under the harshest rules.

Greater London will be rolled into Tier 2 lockdown from midnight today- meaning households will be banned from mixing indoors.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed Essex, Erewash, Elmbridge, North East Derbyshire, Barrow in Furness, Chesterfield and York will be in Tier 2 from midnight today.

Here we explain what you can and can't do depending on what tier you are living in.

I'm in Tier 2, can I have my friends over this weekend?

In places that will be moving to Tier 2 from midnight tonight, you can have pals (within a group of six) over for an indoor gathering.

But from 12.01 on Saturday morning you won't be able to be indoors together anymore, unless within the same household or support bubble.

You will only be able to hang out from Saturday outside as a group.

Can I travel from a Tier 2 lockdown area to a Tier 1 area to see friends or family?

You can, but if you have to follow the rules for Tier 2 still and only see people outside your household or support bubble outside.

You cannot stay with friends and family in a Tier 1 area or gather inside with them.

Can my friends from Liverpool or Lancashire come and visit me?

No – anyone living in Liverpool at the minute are under the strictest rules and are unable to mix with other households at all, indoors or outdoors.

Lancashire is due to join Liverpool in Tier 3 from midnight tonight and will be under the same restrictions.

Greater Manchester is expected to also be moved into Tier 3 but its leaders are still arguing with No10 over support measures and have so far rejected the idea.

Can I still see my support bubble?

Yes. A support bubble is defined by the government as "a close support network between one household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size".

However, the Rule of Six still applies in any tier – so if your support bubble contains more than six people you should not meet all at once.

In Tier Three mixing between households is banned – but support bubbles are exempt.

I'm in Tier 2, can I meet my brother for a drink in the pub?

Only if you live with your brother, or you have formed a support bubble, can you meet him in the pub with no restrictions.

If you live separately and are not in a bubble you can only sit in a pub garden and cannot go indoors together.

If you live in Tier 3 you cannot meet anyone outside your household indoors or outdoors.

If I live in Tier 2 can I go to a restaurant to see friends in Tier 1?

Although the restrictions in Tier 1 still allow households to mix indoors our outdoors in a group of six, if you have come from a tier with stricter restrictions you must stick to them.

So therefore you can travel to meet them still but can only sit outside at a restaurant together – and remember to bring a mask if you need to pop to the loo, and that you will be kicked out at 10pm.

Are schools and universities still open?

Yes. In all tiers schools, universities and places of education remain open.

The Government has been consistent in its message that schools will remain open, unless we return to a full national lockdown, which Boris Johnson does not want.

Can I have a plumber around to fix my boiler?

Yes, you are allowed to have tradespeople come into your home in any tier as long as they are there for work.

But it is advised that they stick to the distancing rules and wear masks.

Can I car share?

In most cases it is advised against, as it can be dificult to socially distance in cars.

In Tier 2 and 3 you should avoid sharing a car with anyone not in your household or support bubble.

Can I still go on holiday?

You can, but the rules vary depending on which tier you are living in.

If you already on holiday when rules change in your hometown, you do not need to come home and can carry on your trip worry free.

Those in Tier 1 can still go on holiday with a group of up to six people from six households and stay together, as long as they practice distancing.

Those in Tier 2 can only go on holiday and stay with those in their household or support bubble. You can stay in a hotel with people outside your household but you shouldn't share rooms and should be outside when mixing with them.

Those in Tier 3 can only go away with their household or bubble, but have been encouraged not to travel out of their area.

Can I go on holiday to Wales or Scotland?

You can certainly try, but as Wales has brought in fines for anyone crossing the border from a coronavirus hotspot, and Scotland has suggested it may follow suit, it is probably wise to stick to holidays in England for now.

Those in Tier 3 areas are advised to stay in those regions and not travel outside the area.

Should I use public transport?

You can still use public transport whatever tier you are living in – and you must wear a face mask.

However the Government continues to encourage people to reduce the number of journeys made where possible.

Instead they suggest walking or cycling if they can or avoiding busy travel times to keep distancing in place.

Those in Tier 3 are encouraged not to travel outside their area if possible. They are advised not to stay overnight in another area, and people from other areas are advised against overnight stays in Tier 3 spots.

Should I be working from home or in the office? 

You should be working from home where possible across all tiers.

However if you cannot do your job from home or your workplace has been made Covid safe then you can go to the office or place of work.

But everyone should stick to social distancing, wear masks where appropriate and keep washing their hands.


 

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Lifestyle

Kylie Minogue had a ‘meltdown’ while recording new album in lockdown

Kylie Minogue has revealed it was very "intense" making her new album Disco whilst in lockdown earlier this year.

The 52-year-old star will release her latest record in November – much to the delight of her fans – but it hasn't exactly been an easy process thanks to the events of 2020.

In order to meet her release deadline, the former Neighbours star was forced to record songs whilst in isolation.

Describing the process as "intense", Kylie spoke about the difficulties during an interview with Music Week.

"I’d been going at such a pace every day and juggling different writers, producers and schedules and trying to be prepared – it really wore me out," Kylie said.

"I had a slight, well, meltdown. Probably sounds a bit dramatic, but I realised I’d been going at such a pace because I was driven to get this done."

"There was a point near the end where I actually felt just so drained," she added.

Kylie even resorted to buying her own equipment and learnt how to record vocals at home, in order to get the album completed in time.

  • Kylie Minogue gushes over boyfriend Paul Solomons for 'saving her' amid breakdown

"Lockdown happened, and I had to figure out how to do everything remotely,' she told Billboard.

"It was very exciting to get the equipment, fire up my logical-rational brain and find the right place in the house to put it.

"I was dragging [around] duvets and blankets and clothes racks to make [my lounge room] good for sound," she added.

The songstress also taught herself how to use digital audio workstation software Logic Pro.

"I got really into it, and I’m annoyed with myself it took this long for me to get a handle on it," she said of the experience.

Kylie's new album comes after she admitted she needed a mentor to help her after she found fame on Australian soap Neighbours.

As she enters her fifth pop decade, she admits today’s stars have it much harder because of the scrutiny and nastiness they face on social media.

Talking about Twitter negativity she said: “I honestly don’t know how I would have dealt with that. But I do know it was difficult when there were nasty things written (in the media). I’d check myself, were they being nasty or was I just taking it personally?

“But no, a lot of it was just nasty. Even back then, I remember saying to my family or my manager, 'who are these people? Where’s the person that we never get to see and would never say this to my face?' You didn’t have social media where you could react, although I largely don’t react.”

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Lifestyle

Ever since lockdown my marriage has gone down the pan and all we do is argue

DEAR DEIDRE: EVER since lockdown, my marriage has gone down the pan. All we do is argue.

I’m 48 and I have been working throughout the ­pandemic.

My husband was furloughed and is now due to go back to work but he’s dreading it. He’s 45.

We have had family problems, such as our son coming out as gay.

My husband is a great dad and accepts it, even though it goes against beliefs from his upbringing.

But one day after this, he couldn’t get an erection and now avoids sex and lacks motivation across all aspects of his life.

Get in touch with Deidre today

My team and I are working safely from home but we are here to help you as always.

Send an email to [email protected]

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter @deardeidre.

DEIDRE SAYS: He needs his confidence boosting so reassure and cuddle him.

He behaved as a loving dad but maybe old attitudes ate away underneath, and now anxiety is blocking his sexual responses.

He can find support at fflag.org.uk who help famil­ies and friends of LGBTQ+.

Also check out my e-leaflet Solving Erection Problems.

NEXT IN TODAY'S DEAR DEIDRE I love female company but have no desire to have sex with any of the women I take out

READ DEIDRE'S CLASSIC PHOTO CASEBOOK Steve is angry to come home and find Andrea trying to flirt with Nick

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World News

Tier 3 lockdown not enough to stop Covid, warns Chris Whitty, as it emerges SAGE wanted circuit-break three weeks ago

CHRIS Whitty haswarned tough new restrictions for millions of Brits WON'T be enough to slow the spread of coronavirus.

England's top medic said that even the toughest 'tier three' shutdowns in Liverpool will not "be enough to get on top of it" as documents show the government's scientific advisors recommended a 'circuit-breaker' lockdown three weeks ago.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates


 

During a sombre address to the nation, he said: "I am very confident that the measures that are currently in place are helping to slow the virus.

"These measures will help to slow it further.

"I am not confident – nor is anybody confident – that the tier three proposals for the highest rate, if you did the absolute base case and nothing more would be enough to get on top of it."

It comes as:

  • Another 13,972 Brits test positive for coronavirus overnight and 50 more lose their lives
  • Manchester goes into a 'tier two' lockdown
  • Loud talkers have been warned they are spreading coronavirus
  • Liverpool medics say hospitals are at 'critical' levels and routine ops are being cancelled
  • The number of people hospitalised with Covid is higher now than it was in March
  • Coronavirus can remain on bank notes and mobile phone screens for 28 days, scientists say

Meanwhile, it emerged the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) committee – of which Prof Whitty is a member – officially recommended a two-week lockdown on September 21.

The group said a short-term lockdown would be "likely to have similar levels of effectiveness as national lockdown in spring" and temporarily bring the R-rate below 1.

The rate of infection is currently hovering between 1.2 and 1.5.

Sage suggested a work at home order for those who can, as well as a ban on all contact within the home with members of other households.

The scientists asked the government to consider the closure of all bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms and personal services such as hairdressers.

University and college teaching would take place online unless face-to-face teaching is absolutely essential.

SAGE warned: "A package of interventions will need to be adopted to reverse this rise in exponential cases. Single interventions by themselves are unlikely to be able to bring R below 1."

Following the announcement, in Tier 3 areas – which at the moment is Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton – households are not allowed to mix either indoors or outdoors – including in pubs and private gardens.

Pubs and bars will close in the very high alert level areas unless they can operate as a restaurant.

People will also be advised against travel in and out of the areas.  

Local authorities will be able to put forward 'bespoke' measures under the different tiers – for example, those in tier three could suggest closing gyms.

But Prof Whitty told the briefing he doesn't believe the 'baseline' measures in the tiers will be enough.

During the press conference, he said local authorities in hardest-hit areas will be given more freedom to make stronger decisions.



"There is a lot of flexibility in tier three level for local authorities and directors of public health to go up that range so they can do significantly more than absolute base," he said.

Moreover, the academic added, 'absolute base' "will not be sufficient" to curb the virus.

In the bleak address, he said the notion that restrictions can be imposed "without causing harm is an illusion".

"We're going to have to do more, that's the whole point of what the Prime Minister has just announced, and probably in some areas significantly more," he said.

"None of us have any illusions about this and I would like to be really clear about this because I think we should not have any illusions.

"The idea that we can do this without causing harm is an illusion.

"It is a balancing act between two harms: a harm for society and the economy on the one hand and a harm for health on the other hand."

The PM said cases have quadrupled in just three weeks – adding: "These figures are flashing at us like dashboard warnings in a passenger jet."

During the Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said: "We are entering a new and crucial phase of our fight against coronavirus, because the number of cases has gone up four times in four weeks and it is once again spreading among the elderly and vulnerable. 

"There are already more Covid patients in UK hospitals today than there were on March 23 when the whole country went into lockdown and deaths, alas, are also rising once again."

Areas in Tier Two – where there is a high risk of coronavirus – are banned from mixing with other households indoors, including in pubs.

When outside, only two households will be able to mix.

The Prime Minister said this tier reflects interventions in many local areas at the moment and "primarily aims to reduce household transmission by banning mixing indoors". 

Current social distancing measures, the "rule of six" outdoors and the 10pm curfew will continue in this tier.

And most areas which are currently subject to local restrictions will automatically move into it.

The rest of the country will be in the lowest 'medium' tier.

The 10pm curfew and the rule of six remain in place in these areas.

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