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Coronavirus map LIVE: Cases rise for fifth day – Boris compared to rival in bitter attack

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Tory MPs hit out at the Prime Minister after a U-turn on face masks in schools. Former minister Steve Baker told the Daily Mail: “It is alarming to see yet another U-turn.

“I know from my own postbag that the credibility of the Government is being damaged.

“In a situation like this, we need a little ideological keel to hold on course.

“Instead of worrying about focus groups first and following Nicola Sturgeon, the Government should be focusing on doing the right thing. Then we can worry about how to present it.”

Speaking to Times Radio, Sir Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, added: “Things now just seem to change on a daily basis and there is growing concern that they tend to change three days after Nicola Sturgeon makes a decision.”

The criticism of Mr Johnson comes as the rolling seven-day average of coronavirus cases increased to 1,090 on Wednesday.

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7.40am update: Officials to meet to decide if local lockdowns should continue

Officials are set to meet today to decide whether local lockdowns should continue in England.

The next announcement on restrictions in parts of Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and west Yorkshire is due to take place after a meeting on Thursday of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

7.30am update: Hancock confirms payment scheme for self-isolation

People on low incomes who need to self-isolate in areas where there are high numbers of coronavirus cases will be able to claim a maximum of £182 from the Government, Matt Hancock has announced.

The Health Secretary has confirmed that as of September 1 people on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, who are required to self-isolate and are unable to work from home, in areas with high levels of coronavirus, will benefit from a new payment scheme.



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