The prime minister, who is self-isolating, addressed the nation after setting out his new winter plans in the Commons via videolink, cautioning that “many more places” will be in higher tiers once lockdown ends than they were previously.
Meanwhile, no date has been set for in-person Brexit trade talks, after a member of the EU’s team tested positive for coronavirus last week.The Independent understands that the UK side returned to London on Friday and that top-level negotiations are now taking place via videoconference. The disruption of face-to-face meetings could not have come at a worse time, with the end of the Brexit transition period looming.
Elsewhere, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has not ruled out a public sector pay cut in his upcoming one-year spending review, with one trade union boss condemning the potential move as “morally obscene”. While no details have been given by the Treasury, millions of teachers, police officers and civil servants could have their salaries frozen from next year.