- Wales begins easing its lockdown, with the stay-at-home rule replaced with a requirement to stay local
- It means up to four people from two different households can now meet up outdoors to socialise, including in gardens
- Outdoor sports facilities such as golf, tennis and basketball can also reopen
- Welsh hairdressers will be able to open from Monday - but non-essential retail remains closed until 12 April
- A UK national day of reflection to be held on 23 March, the anniversary of UK's first national lockdown
- Vigil for Sarah Everard cancelled after Reclaim These Streets unsuccessfully challenged Covid restrictions forbidding gatherings in the High Court
- More than 48,000 businesses in England have signed up for workplace Covid testing, the health secretary says
- Italy to shut shops, restaurants and schools from Monday amid an infection spike
Good morningWelcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
We will be bringing you the latest updates throughout the day.
Latest developments in the UK and around the worldHere’s a quick look at some of the main headlines from the UK and around the world to get you started:
- Wales begins easing its lockdown today. It means outdoor sports facilities such as golf, tennis and basketball can reopen and up to four adults from two households can meet up in a private garden. Hairdressers and barbers are set to reopen on Monday
- A minute's silence and a national doorstep vigil will form part of a day of reflection on 23 March to mark the anniversary of the UK's first Covid lockdown
- More than 48,000 businesses in England have signed up for workplace Covid testing , says Health Secretary Matt Hancock
- School staff say it's been "brilliant" to see classrooms and playgrounds full of children after schools in England were allowed to reopen this week
- Shops, restaurants and schools will be closed across most of Italy from Monday, with PM Mario Draghi warning of a "new wave" of the coronavirus outbreak
- A French actress has protested naked at the César Awards - France's equivalent of the Oscars - to demand the government do more to support culture during the coronavirus pandemic
- The leaders of the US, Australia, India and Japan have agreed to deliver one billion doses of coronavirus vaccine to much of Asia by the end of 2022
Headlines in today’s coronavirus related news from around the world include:
- More than 21 million vaccination doses have now been administered in England, according to the latest official figures. Provisional NHS England data showed that a total of 21,187,615 Covid-19 vaccinations took place between 8 December and 12 March, a rise of 380,230 on the previous day. Of these, 20,111,189 were the first dose of a vaccine, while 1,076,426 were a second dose.
- Covid restrictions were relaxed in Wales. Under the new rules, announced by the first minister, Mark Drakeford, on Friday, four people from two households will be able to meet outdoors to socialise, including in gardens. Outdoor sports facilities including basketball courts, tennis courts and golf courses can reopen and indoor care home visits will restart for single designated visitors.
- Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, has said that more than 48,000 businesses have signed up to offer rapid coronavirus testing to their employees, a move he said would be a “huge step forward” in getting businesses “back on their feet”. In January it emerged that it had spent £800m on tests that were later found in a pilot to give the wrong results as much as 60% of the time.
- Jordan’s minister for health has stepped down following the deaths of six patients at a hospital where oxygen supplies failed. Sources told Reuters said it was not clear what caused the oxygen failure in intensive care, maternity units and coronavirus wards in the new Salt government hospital, west of the capital Amman.
- Three health workers in Norway who recently received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 are being treated in hospital for blood clots. According to Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian medicines agency, their symptoms included “bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets.” He told broadcaster NRK: “They are quite sick...We take this very seriously.”
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo has become the latest country to suspend use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, postponing its vaccination programme until results of investigations into suspected links to blood clots are available. DRC was due to begin distribution of the vaccine on 15 March, after receiving 1.7m doses of the vaccine. A new start date has not been announced.
Saturday’s front pages: 'Zero Covid areas' and Easter jabs for over-40s
- The Daily Mail offers positive news on coronavirus, saying one in three Britons now lives in areas where infections have almost fallen to zero .
- It says the progress shown by official data has prompted calls for the lockdown to be lifted more quickly.
- The Telegraph says everyone over 40 is on course to be offered their first Covid jab by Easter .
- It says stocks are expected to more than double next week - what it calls a "bumper boost" to supplies.
- The New Statesman offers a word of caution. It says the rollout of vaccines has been "extraordinarily effective" , but notes that its pace has been slowing for weeks.
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