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Covid LIVE: UK grinds to halt over isolation rules – bin collections scrapped nationwide

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Bin collections have been cancelled across the country, with councils in Manchester, Essex, Somerset and Buckinghamshire scaling back or suspending waste collection due to a lack of workers. A shortage of COVID-19 tests is also exacerbating the problem – under new rules, people are allowed to end their isolation if they test negative on day six and seven, but have to remain in isolation until day 10 if they are unable to take a test. It is understood that the Government will this week announce plans to prioritise key workers such as nurses, lorry drivers and Government officials for Lateral Flow Devices (LFDS). Almost one in 10 NHS staff were absent from work on New Year’s Eve, according to new data seen by the Sunday Times.

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Ministers unlikely to impose restrictions in coming days

Ministers stated on Sunday that they are unlikely to impose new COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days, ahead of a review on the current rules which is due on Wednesday. 

Boris Johnson is continuing to monitor data on hospitalisations as the after-effects of Christmas gatherings and record case numbers begin to put the NHS under strain. 

He will be briefed on how long people are staying in the hospital and how many patients require ventilators.

The cabinet is due to meet on Tuesday or Wednesday before Health Secretary Sajid Javid makes a statement in the Commons. 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay told Sky News: “We don’t think the data supports [new restrictions] at this stage.”

Mr Barclay said that there was evidence of “significant behavior change as a result of Plan B” measures, including an enormous demand for tests, which suggests England should “avoid the need for further measures.”

Good morning

Good morning, I’m Olivia Stringer and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on Coronavirus, for the next eight hours. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

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