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Coronavirus - 12th February 2021


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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 11:15

Summary for Friday, 12th February

  • From Monday, travellers arriving in England from Covid "red list" countries will have to self-isolate at a hotel
  • Home Office minister Victoria Atkins defends England's hotel quarantine system, saying its "standards are amongst the strongest in the world"
  • It comes after BBC analysis found the system will be less strict than a similar scheme in Australia
  • More police will be deployed at travel hubs next week to ensure the new quarantine rules are enforced, Home Secretary Priti Patel says
  • The UK economy "experienced a significant shock" last year, Chancellor Rishi Sunak says, after figures show it shrank by a record 9.9%
  • Wales will be the first UK nation to have offered the top four priority groups a Covid jab, the Welsh Government has said
  • A five-day lockdown has been imposed in the Australian state of Victoria, following a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to a quarantine hotel
  • A further 678 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, with a further 13,494 cases reported, the latest figures show

The latest coronavirus news this morning

Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic on this Friday morning.
Here are the latest headlines:

Latest updates from around the world

  • US President Joe Biden has confirmed the US has ordered 200m more doses of coronavirus vaccine. He said “my predecessor did not do his job” in scaling up the country’s vaccine rollout and urged Americans to “mask up”.
  • The Brazilian Amazon variant of the coronavirus disease may be “three times” as contagious as other strains, the country’s health minister has said.
  • Germany will ban travel from Czech border regions as well as Austria’s Tyrol over a troubling surge in infections of more contagious coronavirus variants.
  • Donald Trump was reportedly much more ill with Covid-19 in October than the White House publicly admitted at the time, with some officials concerned that he would need to be put on a ventilator.
  • Melbourne, Australia, will go into a five-day snap lockdown - a “circuit-breaker” to stem the spread of a new outbreak
  • The director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, appears to have rejected comments made on Tuesday by the team of experts studying the origins of the Covid-19 virus after they said it was “extremely unlikely” that it leaked from a Wuhan virology laboratory and “isn’t a hypothesis we suggest implies further study”. Tedros said “I want to clarify that all hypotheses remain open and require further study”.
  • Portugal has extended a lockdown until 1 March or perhaps later to tackle its worst surge of Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began.
  • People in the US who have received a full course of Covid vaccine can skip the standard two week quarantine following exposure to someone whose infected as long as they remain asymptomatic, health officials have suggested.
  • Ireland, which, according to the latest official figures, has recorded 3,794 Covid related deaths, is set to extend its lockdown until April , prime minister Micheal Martin has said.
  • Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has defended her government’s decision to extend Germany’s lockdown into March by highlighting the “very real danger” of a third wave driven by Covid mutations.
  • The Philippines is poised to receive 600,000 doses this month of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine donated by China, a portion of which will be used to inoculate military personnel.

Latest news from around Europe

  • Germany is to ban travel from Austria’s Tyrol region as well as Czech border areas from Sunday without a negative test, but commercial links will continue. Austrian police halted travel out of the Tyrol last night without a negative test, because of a surge in cases of the South African coronavirus variant. But Czech MPs have refused to back an extension of a state of emergency so it will end at midnight on Sunday.
  • France is worried about an outbreak of South African and Brazilian variants in the north-east Moselle region. Health minister Olivier Véran says the situation is worrying and he’s heading there today.
  • Poland is reopening swimming pools and ski slopes today and allowing hotels, cinemas and theatres to start up again at 50% capacity. Authorities already reopened museums and shopping centres on 1 February and they want to give the new relaxation two weeks to assess its effect. Another 7,008 infections were reported yesterday.
  • Dutch policing unions are worried about a potential surge of skaters this weekend on the country’s frozen lakes and canals. Crowds were reported around some lakes yesterday – attracted by the big freeze - and some 500 people were told to leave a park in the eastern city of Nijmegen.
  • But Portugal’s state of emergency is to stay until 1 March. And the lockdown will carry on at least until the end of next month, according to Prime Minister António Costa. He says the situation is extremely serious and it’s "premature" to talk about easing restrictions.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 11:20

The Papers: Stay apart until autumn, and jab invites for over-65s

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The Times leads on a plan being considered by ministers to keep social distancing restrictions in place until at least the autumn.
The newspaper understands the government's route out of lockdown is based on the assumption that people will have to wear face masks and remain a metre apart for months.
Meanwhile, the headline on the front of the Metro reads: "There's no quick fix”. It’s referring to a warning from a Sage scientist that lockdown should not be eased.
Senior government adviser Sir Jeremy Farrar said the prime minister's plan to reveal a road map on 22 February for easing virus measures "arbitrarily, for some time in March or April, frankly doesn't make any sense". "Transmission is still incredibly high in the UK,” he says.
But the Sun carries some more positive news. From Monday, over-65s in the UK will begin receiving letters inviting them for jabs, the paper says.
Read more from the papers here.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 11:23

Minister defends hotel quarantine measures

A government minister has defended England's hotel quarantine system - due to come into effect from Monday - saying the rules are among the strongest in the world.
Home Office minister Victoria Atkins told BBC Breakfast earlier that "as of Monday, with the introduction of the red list set of countries - Covid hot spots from which entry to the UK is banned - these measures will be even stronger".
She also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the hotel quarantine rules will be kept “under review”.
Asked about a BBC analysis which showed England's rules for the hotels are not as strict as rules elsewhere , she said: “I think we have to look at our own measures in our own country.”
She added: “We are confident the measures we have in place - ready to go on Monday - are strong and they will help to protect our country from any of these new variants that are being found.”
“We keep these measures under review,” she said.

Countries 'could be added to travel ban list at few hours' notice'

Currently, the UK government has a "red list" of countries - meaning travel from these countries is banned.
There are 33 countries on the list right now, and they've been selected to try and stop new variants of the virus being imported into the UK.
UK or Irish nationals can still return to England from these countries but they must pay to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel . (In Scotland, the rule to quarantine in a hotel applies to all countries, not just those on the "red list".)
But UK government sources have now confirmed that there will no longer be weekly reviews of the "red list" countries.
Instead there will be a fast track system that could see countries added to the list at just a few hours' notice.

After it emerged that Britain’s hotel quarantine strategy will be less stringent than in Australia, where it was pioneered, there have been warnings this morning about the risks involved.
Allowing travellers quarantining in hotels to leave their rooms with guards is “very risky”, Australian epidemiologist Professor Michael Toole told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
Prof Toole, from the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, Victoria, said there had been coronavirus cases in the city where an infected guest opened their room door and “with the positive pressure this kind of fog of virus went out into the corridor, travelled down and infected hotel staff”.
Asked for his views on people being allowed to leave their rooms in UK quarantine hotels while accompanied by guards, Prof Toole said: “We’ve learnt that that is a very risky procedure.”
Victoria has entered a third lockdown after an outbreak of cases thought to be linked to a quarantine hotel.

Allowing someone “a gulp of fresh air during a 10-day visit in the hotel” as part of the forthcoming quarantine strategy for incoming travellers to Britain is reasonable, according to a minister in the UK’s Home Office.
Victoria Atkins was responding to questions put to her on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about why the strategy in Britain will be less stringent than in Australia, where those in the hotels have to remain inside and cannot open windows.
Atkins was speaking after an Australian epidemiologist said that the more relaxed regime – details of which were reported by the BBC – was very risky.
“I am certainly not claiming to be more expert than him but of course in terms of the policy development we will keep it all under review,” said Atkins. “We are confident that we have the measures in place, are ready to go and they will help protect out country from the new variants.”
Atkins was also asked why the UK was not insisting on compulsory Covid-19 tests for staff and security guards at the hotels.
“Again we keep these measures under review. There is a testing regime planned for hotel and security staff. Of course we want to keep them safe and they are critical part of this policy”.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 11:31

'People shouldn't be complacent about Covid'

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The mother-of-one was put into an induced coma after her vital organs were at risk of failing

A woman who was put into an induced coma for 13 days after contracting coronavirus has urged people to follow restrictions.
Amanda Wilson, 49, from Swindon, had a sore throat and felt sick before she tested positive on Christmas Eve. She was found to have blood clots on her lungs and on New Year's Day was put into the induced coma.
Ms Wilson left hospital last week and hopes to return to her job as a bus driver next month. But she said she had to learn how to walk again.
"It's scary how it can affect a healthy younger person so extremely and people shouldn't ever be complacent," she said.
Read more on this story here.

How the South Africa variant spread across the region

A number of countries in southern Africa have recently seen a huge spike in their coronavirus case numbers. Healthcare systems, already facing massive challenges, are now struggling to cope.
The spike is due to the new variant first identified in South Africa. The country has a huge migrant population and during December's holidays people returned to their families elsewhere across the region.
BBC Africa's Nomsa Maseko explains more:


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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 11:34

Victoria to enter lockdown with fans barred from Australian Open

The Australian state of Victoria will enter lockdown for a third time in a bid to suppress an outbreak of the UK strain of coronavirus.
Officials this week found 13 cases stemming from a quarantine worker who became infected at a Melbourne hotel.
The lockdown will begin on Friday midnight and end on Wednesday.
However, the government has said the Australian Open tennis tournament would continue in the state's capital, Melbourne.
Spectators will be banned from attending the event from Saturday, which had previously allowed up to 30,000 visitors a day. Tickets will be refunded, tournament director Craig Tiley said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the current outbreak was not linked to the quarantine hotels used by the tennis players.

KPMG boss quits after 'stop moaning about lockdown' row

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Mr Michael reportedly made the comments in an online meeting with 500 staff members

The UK boss of one of the world's biggest accounting firms, KPMG, has resigned after a row over comments he made at a meeting.
Bill Michael reportedly told consultants to "stop moaning" about the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on people's lives and to stop "playing the victim card".
Mr Michael had temporarily stepped aside while an investigation was launched and has now resigned. He said his position was "untenable".
He added that he was "truly sorry that my words have caused hurt amongst my colleagues".
Read the full story here.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 11:41

Majority of Swedes ignore transport face mask advice

Maddy Savage - BBC News, Stockholm
Around two out of three commuters living in Sweden’s 10 largest cities are ignoring national guidelines to wear face masks during rush hour, according to a study by Swedish public service broadcaster SVT.
After months of arguing against the use of face masks, Sweden's Public Health Agency began recommending them on public transport at peak travel times in January. The agency's experts previously claimed that social distancing was a more effective measure.
Anders Tegnell, the lead epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, told SVT he'd hoped people would follow the new guidelines and was disappointed with the level of compliance.
Last month his boss Johan Carlson, the agency's director general, admitted taking public transport during rush hour, without wearing a face mask.
Masks are not recommended in any other public settings in Sweden. However, a pandemic law, passed in January, has forced shops and sports facilities to limit numbers to ensure there is at least 10 square metres of space available per visitor.

Drakeford 'can see a path into the spring' for Wales restrictions easing

Wales will be the first UK nation to have offered the top four priority groups a Covid jab, the Welsh government has said.
All over 70s including care home residents will have been offered a first dose within hours, officials have said - ahead of the UK government's target of Monday.
Meanwhile, First Minister Mark Drakeford told BBC Breakfast that, if cases continue to go down, "then we can see a pathway into the spring in which we will be able to restore freedoms to people".
But that is a very big 'if' because there are so many unknowns, new variants that are happening in different parts of the world that could make a difference here in the United Kingdom.
"But with vaccination, and with numbers falling, provided we reopen society carefully and cautiously and don't allow the virus to get away from us again, we can see a path into the spring where it will be possible for us to go back to doing some of the things that we're all missing so much," he said.
Read the latest from Wales here.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 12:04

Public health expert 'hopeful' of domestic summer holidays

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Matt Hancock previously said he was looking forward to a "great British summer"

People should be able to enjoy domestic holidays this summer, a public health expert has said.
Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh said while holidays abroad will be "off the cards for a while", she is hopeful people will be able to take breaks in their home country.
She told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I'm certainly already thinking about where I could go in a couple of months' time.
"I think if we continue to make progress we will be able to holiday - not abroad, I think because of quarantine unfortunately foreign travel is going to be off the cards for a while - but travelling around more domestically."
It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock - who has booked a summer break to Cornwall - said it was "too early" to know whether summer holidays can go ahead, but ministers were doing everything possible.
Another minister, Grant Shapps, previously warned "people shouldn't be booking holidays right now - not domestically or internationally".
Read more about the prospect of taking a UK holiday here, and the latest from our political editor about the messages from ministers.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 13:36

Scientist sees 'good news' in latest Covid data

There are currently an average of 14,818 daily new symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in the UK, according to the latest figures from the Zoe Covid Symptom Study app.
The data, which is based on swab tests data from up to five days ago, also puts the UK's R number - the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average - at 0.8.
The figures, which includes information from around one million weekly reporters, estimates around one in 233 people in the UK currently has symptomatic Covid-19.
Cases of coronavirus can be both symptomatic and asymptomatic, showing and not showing symptoms of the virus respectively.
Tim Spector, lead scientist on the Zoe app and professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London, says based on the data and the researchers' predictions "we are soon to be in the same place we were in early June, with the advantage of having a large proportion of the population vaccinated, which could mean good news in terms of lifting some restrictions sooner rather than later".
He adds that by 8 March the UK should have less than 1 in 740 people with symptoms "allowing us to get kids back into the classrooms and starting to allow people to exercise and meet, at least outdoors, where the risk of transmission is much lower".
The prime minister has said the government hopes to start reopening English schools on 8 March, but it is not guaranteed. Read more on schools reopening here.

One in 80 people in England had Covid last week

Around one in 80 people in private households in England had Covid in the week to 6 February, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics out today.
That's a lower proportion than the week before - suggesting the levels of infection are going down.
In Wales, around one in 85 people are estimated to have had Covid in the same week, while the figure is one in 75 in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, the estimate for Scotland is one in 150 people - showing that Scotland's infection levels are lower than the rest of the UK.

No 10 defends hotel quarantine restrictions

Downing Street has defended the level of restrictions that will be in place at quarantine hotels in England, saying they are "in line with other countries who are taking this approach".
A No 10 spokesman confirmed it would be up to hotel staff to determine when travellers are allowed out of their rooms for a "limited" number of reasons.
"Travellers must quarantine inside their room for 10 days, they are allowed outside for exercise with permission from hotel staff," he said.
He also said the government's quarantine hotel booking website was expected to be functioning later on Friday after a technical issue took it offline following its launch yesterday.
The spokesman confirmed the government's plan to ease the lockdown in England would be set out on 22 February, after some Conservative MPs were concerned the timetable may have slipped.
He said: "We keep the latest data and evidence under constant review and on 22 February we will be setting out our plan to reopen schools and gradually reopening our economy and society."

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 13:46

More than 10 million Covid-19 cases in Eastern Europe

The number of Covid-19 cases in eastern Europe surpassed 10 million on Friday, according to Reuters tally, as countries across the region aim to increase vaccine procurements from multiple suppliers to accelerate inoculation programmes.
Countries in eastern Europe have reported more than 10.02 million cases and 214,691 deaths since the pandemic started. However, daily average new cases in the region have declined by about 31% in past 30 days compared with the previous 30 days.
Russia has the most cases in the region and became the first European country to surpass 4 million on Monday. The country has also reported the most deaths in eastern Europe at about 79,194, according to a Reuters tally.

Worrying shortage of doctors and medical workers in Lebanon

Lebanon is suffering from a brain drain of doctors and other medical workers, leaving hospitals there badly in need of intensive care staff, The National reports.
A demand across the region for medical staff is placing further strain on the state’s existing pool of healthcare workers, many of whom were already considering emigration.
Dr Youssef Bakhach, general secretary of the Lebanese Order of Physicians in Beirut, said one in five doctors had already left the country or was planning to do so.
He estimated that 16 to 20 per cent of Lebanese doctors have already left or are planning to leave.

Severe restrictions to continue in Ireland until at least late April

Rory Carroll - The Guardian
After briefly leading the world in Covid-19 infections last month Ireland has dramatically curbed the spread of the virus.
A lockdown that includes a 5km travel limit has reduced the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people to 326, around mid-way in Europe’s table, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
However authorities have signalled severe restrictions will continue at least until late April to drive down infections to around 100 a day, followed by a slow, cautious reopening of the economy.
Ireland has experienced a rollercoaster. In early December it had the EU’s lowest infection rate only to see cases explode after it relaxed restrictions in the run-up to Christmas, fuelled in part by the virus variant first identified in England.
The number of people in hospital for coronavirus has halved in recent weeks but the virus remains widespread, keeping pressure on the health system, Philip Nolan, the chair of Ireland’s Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, told RTE on Friday.
“Last week by every indicator we had more disease and more severe disease than any point in 2020. We still have 170 people in ICU. That is an extraordinarily high number.”

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 18:03

The latest headlines

If you are just joining us here are some Covid-19 headlines from the UK and around the world:

Government introducing laws with 'very little scrutiny'

The government's former leading lawyer has accused Downing Street of getting "into bad habits" by introducing emergency legislation during the pandemic without proper "scrutiny".
Sir Jonathan Jones, who quit his role running the government's legal service in September, told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "Regulations have been made by ministers with no prior scrutiny by Parliament at all.
"It's not a good, sustainable way of making complicated policy and complicated law."
He said it looked "increasingly likely" there wouldn’t be any time for that there won't be any time for scrutiny of the "detailed quarantine regulations" which are due to come into force on Monday.
"That has been the picture for virtually all of the Covid legislation that has been passed over the last year."
He added: "I do think that the government has, in that way, got into bad habits.
"I understand that in an emergency, some things may have to be different and they need to be done very quickly, but not all of that legislation has truly been urgent, and there is no doubt it would have benefited from scrutiny."
On the government’s plans to bring in a maximum 10-year jail term for lying about recent travel history, he said: "I don't expect that anybody will be sentenced to 10 years, or anything like it. I get the point that ministers sometimes want to use legislation to send a message, but normally, that is not a good idea.
"The risk is that if the message that is being sent by the legislation doesn't correspond with the reality, then the law becomes a kind of empty gesture."

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 18:09

Analysis: There's welcome news - but it's still too soon to lift restrictions

Michelle Roberts - Health editor, BBC News online
The evidence is clear - lockdown is having the desired effect of controlling the virus, bringing the number of new infections down .
It is very welcome news, but does it mean we can now safely start to lift some restrictions? Not quite yet, say experts.
As one explained, it's a bit like when a relative has been very ill in hospital and you hear that they are getting better.
It's wonderful, but it doesn't mean the "treatment" can stop or that things can’t take a turn for the worse.
There is still plenty of the virus circulating that people could catch.
And although the vaccine rollout is going really well, there are lots of people in the UK who are not yet protected and who could fall serious ill with Covid-19 if they become infected.

UK fourth highest in world for cases - but third for vaccinations

Here are our latest charts showing the global picture of coronavirus.
There are more than 100 million confirmed cases and 2.3 million deaths across nearly 200 countries. The US, India and Brazil have seen the highest number of confirmed cases, followed by the UK, Russia and a number of European countries.
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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 18:11

Breaking News 

Daily figures: UK has vaccinated more than 14 million people

The UK government has reported another 758 people have died with coronavirus within 28 days of a positive test, taking the total by that measure to 116,287.
There have also been a further 15,144 daily cases confirmed.
Latest figures show a total of 14,012,224 people have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine in the UK, with 503,116 getting their jab on Thursday.

UK cases continue to decrease

This time last week, the UK reported 1,014 coronavirus deaths, so today’s figure is a drop of 256.
Last Friday there were 19,144 daily cases – compared to the 15,144 reported today.
Cases have remained under 20,000 for the last eight days in a row.

Germany to halt travel from Czech Republic and Austria's Tyrol region

Germany is to ban travel across some of its borders , after the interior ministry said Austria's Tyrol region and the Czech Republic were now classed as coronavirus "mutation areas".
Austrian police and soldiers were deployed in Tyrol on Friday to restrict travel outside the region.
The Czech Republic has also banned movement in and out of three regions.
In a blow to the government, Czech MPs refused to extend a state of emergency, even though infections have not fallen.
The order restrictions with Tyrol and the Czech Republic will come into force on Sunday.
A travel ban will also come into effect with Slovakia.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 18:26

Police frustrated after being 'outnumbered' by sledgers

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Police were left "outnumbered" and "hugely frustrated" when hundreds of people gathered to sledge in snow .
Large crowds congregated to frolic on Newcastle's Town Moor and Flatts Lane Country Park in Middlesbrough on Wednesday and Thursday.
Covid regulations allow police to issue fines for organised gatherings but the rules do not apply for crowds consisting of individual households.
Cleveland Police Insp Tony Cross said the force was "going to have to start taking names and addresses and issuing fines" if people did not engage with officers, while Northumbria Police said officers would "engage with the public where it is proportionate to do so".

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Large crowds have been gathering to sledge on Cow Hill in Newcastle

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 18:31

Driver fined after 'feeding ducks'

A driver claiming to have travelled 25 miles in lockdown to "feed the ducks" before getting their car stuck in the mud has been fined by police.
West Mercia Police issued the £200 fixed penalty notice in Telford, Shropshire, this week.
On the force's Facebook account - alongside a picture of a car with its front tyres bogged down in muddy ground - a message said: "A trip from Walsall to Telford to 'feed the ducks' is one thing, but to get your car stuck as well... This isn't a reasonable excuse."
Under lockdown measures introduced by the government across England, people must stay at home and only go out if they have a reasonable excuse, such as shopping for essentials or exercise.

Good news but we're a long way off getting this sorted - Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has reacted to the latest ONS figures showing levels of coronavirus are going down.
"It's clearly good news that the number of cases is coming down, the plan is working but we're a long way off getting this sorted," he said.
"There's still over 25,000 people in hospital with coronavirus right now.
"Everyone can have confidence that the plan is working, that what we're collectively doing is having a positive impact but there's still a long way to go."
The ONS data shows coronavirus levels are going down in all four nations of the UK.

Greece extends lockdown to more regions to halt Covid spread

Greece has extended the full lockdown imposed on metropolitan Athens earlier this week to more regions of the country in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19 infections, the deputy civil protection minister said.
Reuters reports:
Effective on Saturday, the region of Achaia in the northwest of the Peloponnese peninsula as well as Euboea, Greece’s second-largest island after Crete, will be in lockdown until 22 February at least, authorities said. This means schools, hair salons and non-essential retail shops will close.
“The epidemiological picture countrywide shows a steady deterioration,” Vana Papaevangelou, a member of the committee of infectious disease experts advising the government, told a news briefing.
She said the occupancy rate at Covid-19 intensive care units in Athens hospitals had risen to 83%.
On Tuesday, the government announced a full lockdown in metropolitan Athens to curb a resurgence in coronavirus cases and ease pressure on badly stretched health services.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 18:35

Immigration officials yet to receive quarantine instructions

Caroline Davies - BBC transport correspondent

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Immigration officials have yet to receive any operational instructions on how the measures for quarantine hotels will work, according to the union that represents them, despite the rules coming into force on Monday.
Lucy Moreton, general secretary of the Immigration Services Union, said that officers still have questions about what to do with people who have come from a red-list country, what level of checks they are supposed to be conducting and whether to chase someone they are checking if they run away.
"They have had no operational instructions so far at all and we do not know for certain when they will receive them," she said.
She also raised concerns about the safety of the security halls where she said officers only had a perspex screen with no masks or gloves to protect them.
The Department for Health and Social Care who are managing the scheme have been approached for comment.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 19:16

Daniel Andrews flags shutting out stranded Australians except for 'compassionate cases'

The Victorian premier, battling an outbreak of the UK Covid variant , has flagged slashing the number of Australians able to return home, suggesting travellers could only be allowed to enter the country on “compassionate grounds”.
Read the full story here

Hotel quarantine website back online

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A new booking system for the UK's hotel quarantine scheme is back up and running just three days before tougher border rules are introduced in the UK.
Difficulties with the website were reported since it first went live on Thursday afternoon, but it appeared to have been fixed by Friday night.
UK nationals or residents returning to England from 33 red list countries will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel from Monday.
Scotland is extending the requirement for international arrivals from any country.
The cost for a quarantine hotel stay is £1,750 for a single adult, to cover transport, tests, food and accommodation.
Accommodation must be booked in advance through the online booking system, but it is not possible to choose your hotel.

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Post by Kitkat Fri Feb 12 2021, 20:56

Pubs and restaurants in Jersey to reopen on 22 February

Pubs and restaurants in Jersey will be allowed to reopen for table service only from 22 February, the government has announced.
Up to 10 people will be allowed per group and can be made up of people from different households.
Customers must have a substantial meal and a social distance of 2m must be kept between tables.
Further relaxations to Covid restrictions will begin next week with faith groups being allowed to meet for worship in groups of up to 40 people from Wednesday.
Controlled outdoor sports gatherings can also restart from Wednesday for up to 35 people under 18 and from 8 March for up to 35 people over 18.

What's happened today?

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We are now pausing our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks for joining us today. We’ll be back tomorrow morning with more updates from the UK and around the world.
Today’s coverage was written by Doug Faulkner, Francesca Gillet, Ella Wills and Katie Wright. It was edited by Sarah Collerton and Lauren Turner.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:14