Monday briefing: ‘Abide by rule of six,’ police plead

Top story: 86% of doctors fear second wave

Morning everyone. I’m Martin Farrer and these are the top stories to start your week.

Police chiefs have urged people in England to abide by the new “rule of six” guidelines on social gatherings after people made the most of the last weekend before the restrictions come into force today. Despite increasing alarm about the spread of coronavirus among young people especially, police were forced to break up parties throughout the country. In Nottinghamshire, a teenager faces a £10,000 fine after hosting a party at his house with dozens of guests. Martin Hewitt, the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said everyone had to do their bit to fight coronavirus and that the public had to take “personal responsibility” as demand for officers to enforce the rulesincreased.

The new rules are being introduced in a bid to prevent a second wave of the virus, but a poll by the BMA has found that almost 86% of doctors in England say they expect a second peak of coronavirus in the next six months. New cases are running at their highest rate since May. Doctors have condemned the NHS test-and-trace system as an “utter shambles” amid continued stories about people facing trips of hundreds of miles to get a Covid-19 test. And GPs have been told by NHS bosses that they must revert to face-to-face consultation where necessary. Thousands of pubs, bars and nightclubs will be forced to close for good due to renewed lockdown curbs unless they receive fresh state support, according to a survey of licensees. Union leaders have also warned ministers must continue to support key workers to avoid mass post-Covid unemployment. A bleak survey by the Institute for Employment Studies says up to 700,000 more jobs could be lost across the country this autumn.

Donald Trump has held his first indoor rally for weeks, breaching Nevada’s Covid-19 guidelines and those of his own administration. The WHO reported a record global daily number of new infections on Sunday of more than 307,000. Israel became the first country to impose a second national lockdown yesterday. Follow these and other developments at our live blog.

Brexit rebellion – Boris Johnson is facing mounting opposition from his own backbenchers over his plans to break international law with legislation that could override parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Dozens of Tory MPs are expected to support an amendment to the internal market bill that would give parliament a veto of any changes to the agreement. MPs will have a chance to air their opposition during a second reading and debate of the bill later today, when it will also be put to a vote before passing to committee stage. Geoffrey Cox, the former attorney general, said last night he could not support the bill, describing the government’s plan as “unconscionable”. Our columnist Nesrine Malik argues that for the Tories, breaking the law is seen as a sign of strength while enemies face zero tolerance for similar transgressions.

Speed rap – Drivers who kill people as a result of speeding, racing or mobile phone use face life in prison under tougher sentencing guidelines to be unveiled this week. Robert Buckland, the justice secretary, will unveil a white paper on Wednesday following growing concern among families of victims and campaigners that the maximum punishment of 14 years in jail does not match the impact of the crime.

Sochi showdown – Another day of mass protests in Belarus have piled the pressure on the country’s authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, as he prepares to meet the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Sochi today. Lukashenko’s hopes that the popular movement against his regime might be fading were dashed by the sight of 100,000 people defying riot police and a string of arbitrary arrests to march on his residence in the capital, Minsk, yesterday. Today’s meeting on the Black Sea is likely to be a delicate balancing act as Putin tries to back his unreliable neighbour without sparking a rise in popular discontent at home.

Out on a limb – Arm Holdings, the Cambridge-based chip designer, is being sold to an American company for $40bn by its Japanese owner, Softbank. But the deal for Arm, which designs components for Apple and Samsung phones, faces tough regulatory conditions on keeping jobs in the UK.

People enjoy the sunshine on Primrose Hill, London.

People enjoy the sunshine on Primrose Hill, London. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Last days of summer – Much of the UK will bask in warm and sunny weather this week as the country enjoys a late burst of summer. Temperatures will be highest in the south of England where it could reach 30C. But many other areas will also have days well into the mid-20sC, although parts of the west coast, especially in Scotland, could see some rain today.

Today in Focus podcast

When Nigel Mallender headed to Ischgl in March, he was looking forward to a fun-packed break with friends. Just four days later, he and thousands of other tourists were desperately trying to leave after authorities became aware of coronavirus cases. Mallender and the Guardian’s Philip Oltermann discuss the fallout from that week.

Today in Focus

How an Austrian ski resort became the centre of Europe’s Covid outbreak

Lunchtime read: Nicola Adams: ‘It shows the fun side of me’

Nicola Adams for G2. Photo by Linda Nylind. 9/9/2020.

Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian

Nicola Adams, the double Olympic gold medal-winning boxer, is about to set another first when she becomes the first celebrity to dance with a same-sex partner on Strictly Come Dancing. Adams, who retired from the ring last year, talks to Emine Saner about breaking boundaries (“it shows the fun side of me”), Black Lives Matter (“you can’t be silent”) and her role-model status as a visible LGBTQ+ athlete (“you can achieve anything you want”).


Novak Djokovic may still be the best player in men’s tennis but Dominic Thiem can fairly lay claim to be leading the charge of the new wave of contenders after beating Alexander Zverev to win the 2020 US Open on a tie-breaker in a five-set thriller. Eoin Morgan hailed the aces in his bowling pack after a thrilling fightback at Old Trafford that saw Australia blow their chance to wrap up the ODI series and instead set up a decider on Wednesday. José Mourinho was critical of his Tottenham team after they slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against Everton, describing their pressing as lazy and complaining about the overall lack of intensity. Chelsea’s manager, Emma Hayes, described big scorelines as “teething pains” symptomatic of the growth of women’s football after her team put nine past a crumbling Bristol City.

Lewis Hamilton and leading drivers have condemned Formula One and the FIA for putting drivers at risk for the sake of entertainment after a safety‑car restart led to a major accident at the Tuscan Grand Prix. Egan Bernal’s defence of his Tour de France title wilted and then collapsed definitively in the September heat, as Primoz Roglic tightened his grip on the leader’s yellow jersey and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar took his second stage win. Saracens scored five tries in their 40-17 win against Exeter with both teams fielding understrength teams before the European Champions Cup quarter-finals. Hull FC recorded their second victory in four days to set up a Challenge Cup quarter-final with Wigan Warriors, after eliminating Castleford. And Tom Brady, the man who helped the New England Patriots to six Super Bowl titles, may be gone but the most successful NFL team of the 21st-century started the season in familiar fashion.


The Chinese company ByteDance will not sell TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft, with reports suggesting that it has instead picked a consortium led by Oracle as a “technology partner”. ByteDance has been in talks to sell TikTok’s US business since Donald Trump threatened last month to ban the service if it was not sold. The FTSE100 is set to rise 0.55% this morning, while the pound is worth $1.282 and €1.082.

The papers

Guardian front page, Monday 14 September 2020

Photograph: The Guardian

The Guardian leads with “No 10 faces showdown as Tory rebellion over Brexit bill grows” and the Times agrees that is the best story of the day with “Law chief leads Brexit rebellion”. Others stick to Covid-19 for their main stories with the Mirror saying “Final virus warning” and the Telegraph “GPs warned they must see patients ‘face to face’”. The Mail prefers “Revealed: lockdown blow to UK health”, as does the Express with “Lives at risk in cancer research cash crisis”. The FT leads on “SoftBank executives revive talks on delisting Japanese tech group”. In Scotland the Herald says “Consultants could demand more money in second wave”, while the Record has “The sex beast on Tinder”.

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