BORIS Johnson hopes the proposed measures for a second lockdown, announced on Saturday, will overcome any back-bench Tory rebellion in today’s House of Commons debate and vote.

Despite being pledged backing by Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, some Conservative rank and file MPs were critical of Mr Johnson for allowing himself to be “bounced” into a new national lockdown before giving regional restrictions time to work.

Should today’s vote go in favour of the new measures, England will be back into a national lockdown from tomorrow until at least December 2.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail will remain closed for four weeks, but schools, colleges and nurseries will remain open.

People will only be able to exercise and socialise in outdoor public spaces with their household or one other person.

A FURTHER 397 people died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, the Government announced last night, bringing the UK total to 47,250.

Separate figures show there were 10,377 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England, up from 8,171 a week earlier, while 952 were in ventilation beds, up from 742 seven days earlier.

THE Government has announced plans for city-wide testing of the people of Liverpool.

If the pilot-test, starting from Friday, proves a success it could be spread to other parts of the country.

Anyone living or working in Liverpool can be tested regularly even if they have no symptoms.

A rapid turnaround is promised for the lateral flow tests, in which a swab is taken from the nose and throat, then applied to a special test kit, providing results without the need for a lab.

Testing will be carried out at new and existing sites across the city, including in hospitals, care home settings, schools, universities, workplaces and using at-home kits.

People can book a test online, by walk-up, or by invitation from the local authority.

Results will be received from NHS Test and Trace via text and email.

Those who test positive and their contacts will be asked to self-isolate in the usual way.

Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said people could be tested on a, “regular basis”.

He told the BBC: “The offer to the people of Liverpool is clear, which is that anyone can be tested regardless of whether you have the symptoms or not, and we will make available enough testing capacity to do that on a regular basis.

“It will mean that we’ll be able to get on top of the virus faster, understand where there are positive cases and ask those people to self-isolate, to properly contact-trace everyone they’ve been in contact with and get a much better picture of what’s happening with the virus, where it is within the city.”

Ministers hope to roll out the system to other towns and cities if it is successful.

PUBS, bars and restaurants will be permitted to sell takeaway alcohol during England’s second national lockdown, from tomorrow, but only if it is pre-ordered online, or via phone or post, according to proposed regulations.

If backed by MPs, the revised rules say customers will be able to collect pre-ordered drinks as long as they do not enter the premises.

Details of regulations drafted to cover England’s expected second lockdown were released last night and will be voted on in the House of Commons today.

Previously released official guidelines said that although restaurants, bars and pubs will have to close from Thursday, food takeaway and delivery services are still permitted, but serving alcohol to take away was not.

However, exceptions to restrictions on the service of food and drink are outlined in the newly published proposed regulations.

These state a restricted business can only sell alcohol for off-premises consumption, “by making deliveries in response to orders received”, through a website or other on-line communication, by telephone, including text message, or by post.

The regulations also explain that pre-ordered drinks can be sold to, and collected by, a customer “provided the purchaser does not enter inside the premises to do so”.

A customer can also collect pre-orders in a vehicle, providing it is passed over, “without the purchaser or any other person leaving the vehicle”.

Elsewhere in the regulations, breweries are listed as being included among “off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol”, which are permitted to stay open during lockdown.

Pub owners and campaigners had previously urged the Government to reverse the “baffling” and “nonsensical” decision to restrict the sale of takeaway alcohol during a second national lockdown.

BUSINESS Secretary Alok Sharma travelled to South Korea on Government business days after coming into contact with staff who later tested positive for Covid-19, it is understood.

The Cabinet minister was in close contact with at least one member of his private office last month at the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) who later was diagnosed with coronavirus, a source has told the PA news agency.

Mr Sharma travelled to South Korea in the days after the contact, tweeting about meetings he was holding in the country as of Monday October 26.

According to The Guardian, it was while in Asia that he learned of the positive case among his inner circle but, despite the development, opted to continue meeting foreign dignitaries.

Aides have insisted Mr Sharma tested negative for coronavirus both before and after his time in South Korea and that safe working guidelines were followed while on the trip, allowing him to return to his office afterwards.

A spokeswoman for the Business Secretary said: “Mr Sharma has followed Government guidelines at all times.

“He had no close contact with the individual prior to his departure and has not been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

“As required when travelling to South Korea, the Business Secretary was tested in the UK prior to departure and again on arrival in South Korea. Both tests returned negative results.

“Mr Sharma followed the local guidelines at all times during his visit.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters he was not aware th

GOVERNMENT advisors have been probed on the data used to argue the case for a new national lockdown in England.

Chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty were challenged about the evidence behind the lockdown when they appeared before MPs, particularly the use of modelling scenarios which suggested there could be as many as 4,000 deaths a day.

Labour MP Graham Stringer suggested to Sir Patrick that he had, “frightened a lot of people around the country”.

Sir Patrick told the Science and Technology Committee: “I think I positioned that, and if that didn’t come across then I regret that, but I positioned that as a scenario from a couple of weeks ago, based on an assumption to try and get a new reasonable worst-case scenario.”

The experts stressed the importance of six-week projections, rather than the longer-term scenarios.

Sir Patrick said the six-week forward projection suggested the number of people in hospital would pass the first wave, “towards the end of November”.

GPs are to be put on standby in case of a potential Covid-19 vaccine rollout beginning in December, reports suggest.

The magazine Pulse reported that family doctors are going to be told to be prepared to start vaccinating over-85s and frontline workers from early December.

Work has been going on behind the scenes to prepare for any potential Covid vaccine and how it could be rolled out.

Pulse reported that GPs will receive a, “directed enhanced service” (DES) from next week which sets out how they deliver a service above their usual contract.

It has been told the DES on a potential Covid vaccine rollout is, “imminent, potentially by next week”.

There are two frontrunners in the Covid-19 vaccine race, one a collaboration between German biotech firm BioNtech and US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and the vaccine candidate being developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

Both vaccine candidates are currently in phase three clinical trials.

RUGBY League’s Super League is to call an early halt to the regular season following further major disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Clubs have agreed to make what are left of this week’s fixtures the last following another spate of cancellations and will kick off a six-team play-off series a week later, leading up to the Grand Final series.

The decision follows the league’s lone French club, Catalans Dragons cancelling the tomorrow’s home game against St Helens due to the imminent national lockdown and heightened concerns over international travel, while the scheduled match between Wigan and Huddersfield on the same day will move to Friday.

The previous requirement for a club to complete a minimum of 15 games has been scrapped so the Catalans now qualify for the top six play-offs..