Thanks for joining our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today, we’ll be back on Monday. Here are the day’s main Covid headlines: Scientists advising the UK government say telling people to work from home is likely to have the greatest impact on stopping Covid spread this winter

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies says the government should be prepared for the “rapid deployment” of greater virus restrictions

A new mutated form of coronavirus that some are calling “Delta Plus” may spread more easily than regular Delta, the UK Health Security Agency says. The variant has been escalated to a “variant under investigation” to reflect this possible risk

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there is “nothing to indicate” that a return to a full lockdown is on the cards this winter

An estimated one in 60 people in the UK had Covid in the week ending 16 October, according to the Office for National Statistics

Northern Ireland is “facing into the most difficult winter ever experienced” , health minister Robin Swann says

A further 49,298 people have tested positive for Covid in the UK, while a further 180 have died within 28 days of a positive test

Today’s live page was written by Joseph Lee, Malu Cursino and Doug Faulkner. It was edited by Hamish Mackay.
Scientists advising the government say plans for reintroducing stricter Covid measures should be ready for “rapid deployment” .

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) says advising people to work from home could have the greatest impact on stopping viral spread.

It comes as ministers in England resist pressure to reintroduce controls such as compulsory mask-wearing as part of its winter Plan B measures . Covid cases have been continuing to rise, with more than 50,000 reported yesterday.

In minutes of a meeting of scientific advisers published on Friday, they warn that acting earlier rather than later could reduce the need for stricter measures over a longer timeframe “to avoid an unacceptable level of hospitalisations”.

The scientific advisers, led by Sir Patrick Vallance, say models forecasting the coming winter suggest Covid hospital admissions are “increasingly unlikely” to rise above the levels of January 2021 peak – but they are unsure of the impact of waning immunity and people’s behaviour.

There has been a noticeable dip in people saying they are wearing face coverings and latest figures from the ONS suggest more than half of British working adults are now travelling to work.

Sage says making face coverings compulsory in some places is likely to also help reduce the spread of Covid and other winter viruses, such as flu.

It also notes the risks of high levels of the virus circulating in the UK, compared to other countries.

data-reactid=”.bkga518vsm.2.0.0.1.0.1.0.$lx-tabs0.0.$lx-commentary.$lx-commentary.2.0.1.1″> The military leaders have ended a night curfew but some other measures against Covid remain Image caption: The military leaders have ended a night curfew but some other measures against Covid remain Guinean authorities have relaxed Covid-19 measures, including ending a night curfew and suspending a requirement for prior authorisation to transport bodies outside the capital, Conakry.

“The curfew is lifted; advance requests for authorisation to transport bodies from Conakry to the interior and exterior of the country have been suspended,” says the military junta, the National Rally and Development Committee (CNRD).

But the junta says Covid-19 testing remains mandatory.

The CNRD adds that “burial of bodies that tested positive for Covid-19 has to be supervised by the Red Cross”.

Other Covid measures that will remain in force include mandatory wearing of masks in public areas, hand washing and social distancing.

Home-schooling: 60% rise in two years of kids being taught at home Parents homeschooling their children in Wales say the Covid pandemic made the decision easier, as figures show numbers have surged.

Welsh government data shows 4,002 five to 15-year-olds are homeschooled – up 60% from 2,517 in 2018-19.

Clare from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, has been teaching her 12-year-old son Aiden at home since September.

“Lockdown has changed the options,” she says. “It made it very easy for exiting school.”

Fewer than 900 children were identified as having their education at home a decade ago.
In the UK, Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and daily deaths are on the rise. Here are the latest statistics showing how Covid is spreading in the UK.On Thursday, the number of reported Covid cases rose above 50,000 for the first time since July, taking the seven-day average to 46,791 cases per day.The latest figures show there are 8,142 patients in hospital with coronavirus – a 1,070 increase on the week before.Reported daily deaths after a positive coronavirus test are also rising. The latest seven-day average for deaths is 130 per day.However, this is still far below the daily totals seen during last winter’s peak. Ending the return to the office could have a big impact on the spread of the virus, a Sage expert saysImage caption: Ending the return to the office could have a big impact on the spread of the virus, a Sage expert says Prof Stephen Reicher, a member of the government’s Sage committee on behavioural science, tells BBC Breakfast that most of the measures needed to reduce the spread of Covid “aren’t restrictions at all”.He says more investment in ventilation of public spaces and inspections to ensure they meet Covid standards before opening “would give people choice because they would know the spaces were safe”.Allowing people to work from home would have a “big impact” on reducing the spread of the virus, he says. Prof Reicher says: “If people are infected, they need to stay at home, we need to give people the support to give them the choice to stay at home to allow them to do the things we want them to do.”It is “simply wrong” to tell people they must go into work because one of the key factors which determines the spread of the virus is “how many contacts we have – if we have more contacts, we’re going to infect more people”, […]

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