Major coronavirus developments on Friday 27 November

Watch: Seven of the Tier 3 areas with the lowest coronavirus rate

Here’s what you need to know on November 27th. This article was updated at 4.30pm.

Deceased: There were 12 other coronavirus deaths recorded in Northern Ireland, 37 in Scotland and 21 in Wales. The UK as a whole recorded 521 deaths.

According to ONS, around 28,300 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in the winter of 2019/2020. That’s almost 20% more than the excess winter deaths in 2018/19, but less than the same statistic in 2017/18. Read more here.

R rate: The R rate fell below one for the first time in three months. It is now in the range of 0.9 to 1.0 across the UK. Read more here.

Wales: Wales will introduce stricter rules soon after exiting a two-week lockdown. Cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues will close again and there will be new rules for hospitality venues. Read more here.

Northern Ireland: In Northern Ireland a switch lock was imposed for two weeks. Most stores will operate on click and pick up by appointment only during the period. Read more here.

Watch: UK R number drops to 0.9-1.0

Levels: Discussions on the new tier system for England, on which MPs will vote next week, continued. Boris Johnson defended the system saying it would bring simplicity and clarity. Read more here.

Those living in level 2 areas will need to leave the pub once their drinks are finished, a spokesperson for Number 10 confirmed. Level 2 pubs and bars cannot serve alcohol without a hearty meal. Read more here.

Some parts of England could change their coronavirus level before Christmas, a government adviser said, potentially allowing people in more places to meet friends and family in the home. Professor John Edmunds, who is part of the Emergency Science Advisory Group (SAGE), said it was “feasible” for an area to go from level 3 or 2 to a more lax during the first review on Dec.16. Read more here.

Vaccines: Downing Street attempted to obtain doses of the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine labeled with Union Jacks. The Huffington Post reported that fledgling “Union Unit” # 10 wanted the injection kits to carry the flag. Read more here.

Schools: An independent group of scientists called for “urgent action” in schools as it emerged that infection rates among secondary school pupils have risen 50 times since September. While many teens show no symptoms of COVID-19, the Independent Sage group has warned that they risk bringing the virus to the homes of parents and grandparents, who are more vulnerable to developing serious health problems. Read more here.

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