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UK Covid live: Johnson to address parliament as MPs set to vote to approve new lockdown

Latest updates: the Commons has been recalled for vote on new lockdown laws, amid record hospitalisation figures and Covid infection rates

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The Office for National Statistics has published its latest figures for deaths in England and Wales. They cover the period up to the week ending Friday 25 December (or week 52, as the ONS calls it). Here are the main points.

Dr Susan Hopkins, deputy director of the national infection service at Public Health England (PHE), told BBC Breakfast this morning that it could take 12 to 14 days for infections to come down after the introduction of lockdown restrictions. She said:

I’m hopeful that because London went into the restrictions on 18 of December, that we are starting to see a flattening in London.

It’s still rising in other parts of the country, and I would expect that if people really take heed and reduce their contacts that we will start seeing a reduction in cases in about 10 days’ time.

I think it will really depends on the epidemiology of the virus… we will have to look at it by year, age group by age group, as happened the first time round, and the final decisions will lay with government over when they want to bring the students back.

We can’t rule it out, but they will be the first back to school, it will be the first thing to open, that would be our advice.

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