Coronavirus is on the march in the community in “all areas” of the UK. That is the verdict of government health officials after a surveillance project foundthe infection rate is doubling almost every week– with the national R value estimated to be as high as 1.7. Data from an Imperial College London study shows virus rates are increasing in all adult age groups below the age of 65. You cansearch for confirmed infectionsin your area. And Science EditorSarah Knaptonexplains the R value(or reproduction rate) and its reliability. Meanwhile, new restrictions are beingimposed across Birmingham after infections rocketed. People in the city of 1.14 million residents – alongside neighbouring Solihull and Sandwell boroughs – are to be banned from mixing with other households. Read a reminder of thelocal lockdowns imposed so far.
Number 10 today suggested it would not review the decision to include children in the“rule of six” limit on social gatherings, which comes into force on Monday – despite Scotland and Wales exempting those under 12. Its handling of the crisis has been fraught with convoluted guidelines and haphazard quarantines that have forced holidaymakers to rush back from countries where infection rates were, in some cases, barely higher than our own. How does this appear from elsewhere? Telegraph Travel’s destination expertstake the temperature around Europe.
PM tries to head off growing Brexit rebellion
Downing Street has insisted a post-Brexit free trade deal with the European Union is still possible despite an increasingly bitter war of words with Brussels amid the threat of legal action. The Prime Minister will this eveningurge Conservative backbenchers to support his bidto override the divorce deal, as MPs plan to rebel over controversial new legislation. More than 30 MPs could support an amendment by Tory rebels that would block the Government from overwriting the Withdrawal Agreement. It comes after the EU gave Britain20 days to back downor face the collapse of trade talks. With relations at an all-time-low, Brussels CorrespondentJames Crispsaysthe stakes are high.
UK orange skies caused by California wildfires
Have you noticed an orange tint to the sky today? It could be due to wildfires 5,000 miles away. California’s largest ever inferno has been identified as the cause of an unusual glow in parts of Britain after smoke blew across the Atlantic.View pictures. More than half a million people have fled blazes on the US West Coast and officials warned the death toll could shoot up. At least eight people have been confirmed dead in the past 24 hours across California, Oregon and Washington. Officials say some areas are still impossible to reach. Watch the latestvideo footage.
At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Officer attacked| A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a police officer after trying to set him on fire outside a school in Newquay. The officer suffered serious, “life changing” burns to his arms and legs. Crime CorrespondentMartin Evansexplains he had beentrying to tackle a man who had been acting aggressively.
Around the world: ‘Are we safer than four years ago?’
Donald Trump had active and retired servicemen to thank for his victory over Hillary Clinton, winning the military vote – which accounts for nearly 12 per cent of the electorate – by a decisive 27-point margin. While many appear to be sticking by him, recent polls suggest there has been a small but significant dip in support. US CorrespondentJosie Ensorexamines why Mr Trumprisks losing the military vote in November.
Friday interview: ‘Actors are not used to begging for themselves’
Tom Hollander talks toBenji Wilsonabout his new drama series, the paradox of partnering up and the crisis facing theatre.Read the full interview.