UK coronavirus live: Burnham says 10pm closing time for pubs ‘doing more harm than good’

Greater Manchester mayor says rule ‘creates an incentive for people to gather in the streets or at home’

9.54am BST

In his Today interview Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, also denied reports saying Manchester students who have been told told to stay in their university accommodation were being banned from going for coronavirus tests. “I have spoken to the vice-chancellor and I am assured that people are able to leave if they have got good reason to do that,” he said.

9.51am BST

Micheál Martin, the Irish taoiseach (PM), has said he is “not that optimistic” about the EU and the UK reaching a trade deal. In an interview with the i, to be broadcast today a part of the Lib Dems’ online conference, Martin was asked if he thought a trade deal was likely. He replied:

I’m not that optimistic, if I’m honest. Just to let you know that the [Irish] government is preparing its budget in three weeks’ time on the basis that there will be a no-deal Brexit.

That’s the basis on which we’re preparing the budget and we’re warning and alerting businesses to that terrible reality.

Continue reading…