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Dec 31, 2020

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Critically ill patients are being evacuated from hospitals in the south of England as they struggle to provide enough critical care beds.
It is understood that NHS England will announce plans today to reopen the Nightingale Hospital, in east Londons Excel conference centre, on 4 January.
Meanwhile, police have warned that large New Years Eve parties should not be happening, with the vast majority of the population reminded that indoor mixing between people from different households will be illegal. The organisers of gatherings of more than 30 people could be punished with £10,000 fines.
It comes as more than three quarters of Englands population has been ordered to stay at home to stop then spread of the virus, with large areas of the country placed under tier 4 restrictions overnight.
It leaves a total of 44 million people, or 78 per cent of Englands population, in tier 4, where non-essential shops, gyms, cinemas, casinos and hairdressers have to remain shut.
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Secondary school return delayed for mass testing, education secretary says
The education secretary has said he is “absolutely confident” that secondary schools will be able to run a mass testing regime with an extra week to prepare.
Gavin Williamson told Sky News: “In terms of secondary year groups, the reason that we have moved that back is so we give all schools, every single school, every single college that teaches secondary-age pupils the opportunity to roll out a mass testing regime, making sure we root out this coronavirus.
“It’s not just about making it safer for pupils, it’s not just about making it safer for those who work in schools, but actually it’s about rooting out coronavirus in our communities and we did need to give schools a little bit extra time.”
Asked if a week was enough time to prepare for a functioning mass testing system, Mr Williamson said: “We are absolutely confident that it is, we’ll be seeing all the testing equipment that is needed for schools being delivered on the 4th January, schools have already had notice of the guidance of what they need to do, they’ve also had notification of the extra £78 million that we’re offering.”
The Education Secretary added that 1,500 members of the armed forces will be supporting schools in “exceptional cases” who are facing problems.
He added: “At every stage we’re making sure that children are able to benefit from getting a brilliant education that we want all our children to get.”
Samuel Osborne31 December 2020 08:13
Critically ill patients evacuated hundreds of miles as fears grow London could run out of beds
Critically ill patients are being evacuated from the south of England to hospitals hundreds of miles away as NHS bosses in London revealed data showing the capital is set to run out of critical care beds within a week, health correspondent Shaun Lintern reports.
There were 50,000 positive cases reported across the UK for the second day running on Wednesday, with figures showing London now the centre of the crisis with 5,524 patients in hospital, more than its first-wave peak in April. 
Exclusive: Londons mothballed Nightingale field hospital to be opened next week to help the capital to cope
Samuel Osborne31 December 2020 08:01
Good morning, here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.
Samuel Osborne31 December 2020 07:43