Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that England would enter another national lockdown on Monday (January 4) – citing “a frustrating and alarming” rise in COVID cases as the need for tough action.
Speaking from Downing Street, the PM’s third lockdown announcement since the start of the pandemic struck a sombre tone – warning that the next few weeks ahead would be “the hardest yet”.
The UK has recorded more than 50,000 cases per day for one week straight – with medical chiefs warning that the NHS could be overrun in just 21 days if infection rates continue to soar.
A new mutated variant has been blamed for the increase in COVID cases – which have now toppled more than 2.7 million.
The latest lockdown – which has no scheduled end date but is expected to last until mid-February – has been designed to limit social contact and bring the R number back down in England to protect the NHS, with the PM saying he believed this would be “the last phase of the struggle.”
‘Lockdown 3’ is more comparable to the first lockdown seen back in March – with most premises forced to close and people being urged to stay at home as much as possible.
Here’s what you need to know about the latest lockdown rules.
For what reason can I leave home?
The government has declared that people can only leave home for essential purposes.
Shopping for basic necessities
Going to work, or providing voluntary or charitable services (if you cannot do so from home)
Exercising once per day (you should not travel outside your local area)
Seeking medical assistance or avoiding injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
Attending education or childcare – for those eligible
Are schools and universities closed?
Many pupils are being told to stay at home until February – with learning continuing remotely for most students instead.
However, vulnerable children and the children of critical workers can attend school or college as normal.
Early years settings such as nurseries will also stay open.
End-of-year exams – such as GCSEs and A Levels – will not take place this summer as normal.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.
Can I meet others?
The new rules state you cannot leave your home to meet anyone you do not live with or who isn’t in your support bubble.
You are allowed to leave your property to exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, “unless for a permitted reason.”
Larger gatherings are mostly banned.
Places of worship may remain open.
Wedding receptions can take place with a maximum of six people in attendance.
Funerals can proceed with a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events are limited to six people.
Is sport allowed?
Outdoor sports venues including golf courses, tennis courts and outside gyms must close.
Amateur sports are not allowed, but elite sport – including Premier League football – will continue.
Which businesses can stay open?
Most premises must close under the latest lockdown measures – including all non-essential retail, hairdressers, bars, restaurants, cafes, animal attractions, entertainment venues and community centres.
However, essential retail businesses such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants/suppliers of building products, and off-licences can all stay open.
The government has also confirmed the following businesses can continue to trade:
Market stalls selling essential retail
Businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
Laundrettes and dry cleaners
Medical and dental services
Vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
Agricultural supplies shops
Mobility and disability support shops
Storage and distribution facilities
Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
Crematoriums and burial grounds
Restaurants, bars and cafes can continue to offer delivery and takeaway services for food.
For the full list of national lockdown rules and regulations, head on over to the government website.
Manchester City named the most valuable football club brand in the world
Manchester City have been named the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time in their history.
Following yet another successful season punctuated with a fifth Premier League title in six years, another FA Cup following their historic Manchester derby victory and potentially a first-ever Champions League trophy in just a few days’ time, the club has arguably never been in a stronger position.
In monetary terms, it is a simple fact: according to this year’s Brand Finance Football 50 report, Man City’s brand value has grown 34% since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to more than £1.3 billion and overtaking European giants Real Madrid to become the most valuable club in world football.
Despite Man United being named the most valuable club in the Premier League according to Forbes’ latest rankings at the start of this month, this report suggests that Man City took in the most revenue on a global scale, reaching their all-time high notwithstanding the pandemic recovery period.
Further backing up the numbers, City also topped Deloitte’s Money League for the second year running after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record — and that was before the two most recent major honours. Crikey.
Elsewhere in the report, United did jump back above Liverpool into fourth overall, with Arsenal seeing the most growth over the last year following an impressive runner-up season. As for around Europe, PSG leapfrogged German giants Bayern Munich, and AC Milan are said to be the fastest-growing Italian club.
The City Football Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Roel de Vries, said the following after the announcement: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years.
“This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the Club as a whole. The Club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season…
“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this Club’s great history.”
Pep Guardiola and his squad are now just one game away from winning the treble, an achievement which would not only see them join an exclusive club of just seven teams to do so, such as United’s famous 1999 team, but would no doubt see their value skyrocket even further. Can they do it?
19-year-old charged with murder of man stabbed to death in Old Trafford
A 19-year-old has been charged with murder after a man was stabbed to death in Old Trafford last week.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has confirmed that 19-year-old Demari Adrian Raymond Rose has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article after officers were called to reports of a “disturbance” at an address on Kings Road in the Old Trafford area of Manchester at around 7:45pm on Wednesday 31 May.
A 21-year-old victim – who has since been named as Salah Adam Eldin – was found seriously injured when police arrived, and despite the best efforts of the first responders, GMP confirmed that the young man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Rose was arrested in the early hours of last Saturday morning (3 June), and was remanded into custody, before appearing at Tameside Magistrates Court yesterday.
A further two teenage males were arrested on the night of the attack in connection with the murder – a 15-year-old on suspicion of murder, and a 16-year-old on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the nearby area – but GMP has revealed they have both been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Salah’s family are continuing to be supported by officers, GMP assured, and are also being continuously updated with the progress being made in the investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said in a statement when Rose was arrested last week that the force “recognises the impact this tragic event will have on the friends and family of Salah,” and insisted that their thoughts remain with them as they “come to terms with this loss in terrible circumstances”.
DCI Hopkinson also reissued an urgent appeal to the public for witnesses and information, as well as any CCTV, doorbell, or dashcam footage.
“Whilst we have made a number of arrests,” DCI Hopkinson continued, “we are still in the early stages of a murder investigation and are working hard to piece together the timeline of events.
“We are also keeping an open mind and are continuing to appeal to members of the public to share any information they might have about this case with the police.
“It is believed the two offenders were riding a black mountain bike and a yellow Council Beryl bicycle, and enquiries also suggest there were approximately five people in the area at the time of the murder who may have vital information that could assist the investigation.”