It has been confirmed that Boris Johnson is to hold a televised Downing Street press conference to update the nation this evening at 5pm.
The Prime Minister will be joined by Sir Partick Vallance and Chris Whitty.
The UK government’s third televised update of the week comes as ministers are under increasing pressure to address the subject of people entering the UK from abroad.
It also comes after it was confirmed this morning that one of two Brazilian coronavirus (COVID-19) variants was detected in the UK ahead of ministers banning the arrival of travellers from South America to limit the spread of a concerning new strain, with Professor Wendy Barclay – who is advising the government’s COVID-19 response – saying the variant may have been “introduced some time ago”, but it was unclear whether it was this strain that prompted the ban.
Professor Barclay – Head of the G2P-UK National Virology Consortium, a new project set up to study the effects of emerging coronavirus mutations – added: “There are two different types of Brazilian variants and one of them has been detected and one of them has not.
“In the databases, if you search the sequences, you will see that there is some evidence for variants from around the world, and I believe including the Brazilian one, which probably was introduced some time ago.
“That will be being traced very carefully.”
The restrictions come into force at 4am on Monday in response to the new variant.
Professor Barclay’s comments followed those of Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who said he was “not aware” of any cases of the strain that led him to impose the restrictions – which also covers Portugal due to its strong links with Brazil.
Earlier, Mr Shapps described the ban – which includes an exemption for British and Irish nationals – as a “precautionary” measure to ensure the vaccination programme rolling out across the UK was not disrupted by new variants of the virus.
When asked if the Brazilian strain was currently in the country, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Not as far as we are aware, I think, at this stage.
“There hasn’t been any flights that I can see from the last week from Brazil, for example.”
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.