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Covid-19: Virus spread speeds up and local restrictions for Cardiff and Leeds

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Saturday morning.

1. Covid cases in England up 60% in a week

The rate at which the Covid-19 virus is spreading appears to be speeding up,as the R number has risen from 1.1-1.4 to 1.2-1.5. Meanwhile, a weekly survey has estimated there were 9,600 new cases a day in England in the week to 19 September, three times that being picked up by general testing. Talking of that latter testing regime, it was identified a new daily high of 6,874 UK coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, according to the latest government figures.

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Media captionWhat is the R number and why does it matter?

2. Restrictions tighten around the UK

Further parts of the UK are now facing tighter restrictions in a bid to curb the rise in infections. By the end of the weekend about half of Wales’ population will be in lockdown. Meanwhile, different households in Leeds and in Stockport, Wigan and Blackpool will be banned from meeting in private homes or gardens from midnight. And London is the latest addition to the government’s watchlist – the local mayor says the capital’s at “a worrying tipping point”.

Image copyright Getty Images

3. Supermarkets limit sales of some items

Tesco has become the latest supermarket to limit the number of items shoppers can buy following a similar move by rival Morrisons. Both shops are trying to prevent a repeat of the panic-buying that led to shortages in March, when coronavirus infections in the UK were rising quickly. Tesco’s three-items-per-customer limit applies to on flour, dried pasta, toilet roll, baby wipes and anti-bacterial wipes.

Image copyright PA Media

4. Sturgeon: Students ‘not to blame’ for outbreaks

Some students in Scotland claim they are being “singled out” after they were told not to visit pubs or restaurants over the weekend, after outbreaks of the virus. Ms Sturgeon told them the outbreaks are “not your fault” but she backed universities taking disciplinary action against those who break the rules. As some students ask why they were ever even sent to university accommodation this year, Ms Sturgeon urged institutions to make sure food and essentials are delivered to self-isolating students.

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Media captionNell Manson and Lucy Owens are self-isolating at the University of Glasgow

5. The Australians trapped in the UK

Last Thursday, Andrew Leslie, 52, woke up at 04:30 BST at his east London home for his mother’s funeral. It was taking place some 10,000 miles away in Sydney, Australia, but strict coronavirus rules meant Andrew was unable to get a flight home in time. He had no choice but to say a “surreal” goodbye to his beloved mum via an online live stream.

Image copyright Andrew Leslie

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And don’t forget…

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Find out what you need to know about the new Jobs Support Scheme replacing the furlough, such as how to get paid, and check what support is available for self-employed people.


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