- The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being rolled out to hundreds of GP-run vaccination centres in England later
- People are starting to receive vaccinations at the repurposed Derby Arena
- Seven more mass vaccination hubs in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Surrey and Stevenage are due to open next week
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to give a briefing at 17:00 GMT
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock is to appear before MPs later
- Figures yesterday revealed the UK has 30,074 Covid-19 patients in hospital – 39% higher than the April peak
- A weekly doorstep round of applause returns at 20:00 GMT - under the new name of Clap for Heroes
- For the first time, Sweden is recommending face masks on public transport during rush hours
- Japan is to announce a new state of emergency for Tokyo and surrounding areas as infections reach record levels
- Global virus cases have exceeded 87m and nearly 1.9m have died during the pandemic, according to figures tracked by Johns Hopkins University
Good morning and welcome to today’s live coverage. Here’s a look at the main UK headlines to bring you up to speed:
- The Oxford-AstraZeneca jab will be rolled out to hundreds of GP-run vaccination centres in England later as part of the biggest vaccine programme in NHS history. More than 700 local sites will administer the jabs, while another 180 GP-led sites, 100 new hospital sites and a pilot scheme involving local pharmacies will also open this week.
- Seven mass vaccination centres at sites such as sports venues and exhibition centres have been announced for London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Surrey and Stevenage. They are due to start work next week.
- A doctor in a major London hospital says it can only cope with the caseload from rising coronavirus infections for “about a week”, as the BBC visits an intensive care ward in the midst of the UK’s winter surge .
- There are now over 30,000 Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals - 39% higher than at last April's peak. Two English counties, Surrey and Sussex, have rolled out major incident plans amid fears that health services will be overwhelmed
- A mother warns parents to be aware of unusual coronavirus symptoms in babies, after her son is admitted to hospital with Covid-19. He had symptoms of patchy skin, swelling on his lips, a high temperature and could not keep fluids down - but no cough
- Labour MP for Cardiff Central Jo Stevens, who announced she was being treated for Covid-19 last week, is out of hospital .
What's happening around the world today?Here are some of the latest headlines from around the world:
- A further 3,865 people have died in the US, a new record. This brings the number of deaths since the pandemic began to 367,279, according to Johns Hopkins University. The US has recorded more than 21 million cases
- Japan is set to announce a state of emergency in the Tokyo area following a surge in cases. On Wednesday, 6,004 cases were confirmed, a new record
- Authorities in Sweden are asking people to wear face masks while on public transport from today. People should wear face coverings during rush hour if it is not possible to book a seat. It is the first time face coverings have been recommended in the country since the start of the pandemic
- The Canadian province of Quebec has announced a four week lockdown from Saturday. People will be asked to stay at home unless they have to work or go out for essential reasons. A curfew will also be in place from 8pm to 5am
- Authorities in the Chinese province of Hebei are tightening restrictions after 51 cases were confirmed there on Thursday. Mass testing has been launched and gatherings have been banned. Cities in Hebei have stopped selling railway tickets to Beijing. It comes after authorities in the northern Chinese province closed schools on Tuesday
Canadian province to go into lockdownThe Canadian province of Quebec is set to go into a four week lockdown on Saturday following a rise in cases there.
A curfew will be in place from 8pm until 5am and people will be asked to remain at home unless they have to work or buy essential goods.
But primary schools are due to open on Monday while secondary schools will open a week later.
According to data from the province’s health ministry, about 1,400 people are in hospital with the virus. On Tuesday more than 70 people were hospitalised.
Russia death toll surpasses 60,000Russia’s official Covid-19 death toll has now exceeded 60,000, according to authorities there.
A further 506 deaths were reported on Wednesday bringing the total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 60,457. More than three million cases have been confirmed in the country.
However there have been claims the death toll could be higher.
Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, claimed 80% of excess deaths are linked to the virus.
On 28 December, she said excess deaths in the first 11 months had been 13.8% higher than the previous year.
Excess deaths are the difference between the total number of deaths registered and the average over the previous years for the same period.
President Vladimir Putin has hailed the country’s healthcare system as more effective than the rest of the world in tackling the virus, however hospitals in many areas of the country have struggled to cope with the rise in patients.
Sweden recommends mask wearing on public transport for first timePeople in Sweden are being asked to wear face masks on public transport from today. It is the first time face coverings are being recommended.
People travelling on public transport in the morning and evening rush hour will be recommended to wear a mask unless they have booked a seat.
However the measure is voluntary and people won’t be fined if they choose not to wear one.
Authorities in the country have previously not recommended the wearing of masks in public, aside from healthcare settings.
Sweden has never imposed a full lockdown and has recorded 469,748 infections and 8,985 deaths - more cases and deaths than its Scandinavian counterparts.