The Tory finger pointing continues while north of the border there was more sympathy for students who may be stuck in halls over xmas period and have been subjected to contracting Covid.
The UK is seeing a rise in cases and there are concerns a full lockdown could be on its way, as winter draws in.
Household visits must soon be banned for London’s 9 million residents, Sadiq Khan has urged the prime minister
Khan warned that a 43% fall in testing in London could be masking the reality of the spread of the disease in the capital, fearing it could be much higher than thought.
Khan said: “It beggars belief. We all knew that in September there would be a greater need for testing.”
He continued: “I’m really angry. It’s another example of lessons not being learned. You can explain the delay, incompetence in March. There’s no excuse now.”
Nicola Sturgeon has insisted students are not to blame for a rise in coronavirus outbreaks, as she announced a record daily total of new Covid-19 cases.
Hundreds of students at universities across Scotland are self-isolating after outbreaks of the virus.
All students face disciplinary action if they break strict measures imposed on them by their universities, including bans on visiting pubs over this weekend and restrictions on socialising.
Speaking at the daily briefing in Edinburgh, the First Minister said 558 people tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland in the past 24 hour, bringing the total to 26,518.
This is the highest daily total since the pandemic began.
Addressing students, Ms Sturgeon said: “I am so sorry, so heart sorry, that this time of your lives is being made as tough as it is just now – I really feel for you, but I feel especially for those of you starting university for the first time and, of course, living alone for the first time.
“This is an exciting time in your lives but I remember from my own experience… that it’s also a time of adjustment and it’s also a time of home sickness as well, and that’s the case for students every year without Covid-19 but it is much more difficult given the circumstances you are all facing right now.”
She said some students feel they are being blamed for the spread of Covid-19 but “that is not the case”.
“It’s not your fault”, she added.
however, she has backed disciplinary action being taken as a “last resort” against students who breach new rules aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 on university campuses.
As part of efforts to prevent outbreaks in university campuses from spreading into the wider population, all students are being asked to avoid pubs this weekend.
In addition, universities will adopt a “yellow card/red card” approach to breaches of discipline, with students warned the consequences could include “potential discontinuation of study”.
A health minister has suggested that “late-night intimacy” is one reason for the Government’s decision to introduce a 10pm closing time for entertainment and hospitality venues.
In a debate on Covid-19 regulations, Lord Bethell said establishments that follow the rules are unlikely to “present a threat” but he added that not all do.
He told the Lords: “If a hospitality venue like a pub has good contact tracing when you arrive, socially-distanced seating, table service and booking then there is no reason why that should present a threat.
“But not all pubs abide by those disciplines. Mass crowding either inside or outside and late-night intimacy, mixed groups, this is where the disease spreads.
“And that is why we have cracked down including through the 10pm curfew which sends a clear signal to hospitality venues that they have to abide by the regulations.”
Earlier, former Labour cabinet minister Lord Blunkett said the “elephant in the room” was whether the Eat Out to Help Out scheme might have driven a spike in infections.
He added: “Infection rates during August rose and admissions to hospital by the end of August had started to rise.
“Has this any correlation with the Eat Out to Help Out, which economically was incredibly successful, but might actually have contributed to where we are today.”
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