- The European Medicines Agency says there is "no indication" the AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots.
- The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are reviewing the AstraZeneca vaccine
- Eleven European countries have halted the vaccine rollout after a number of cases of blood clots
- WHO experts have said there is no evidence of a link but are meeting to review the vaccine as well
- Hairdressers and garden centres will reopen in Scotland from 5 April
- Travel restrictions in and out of Scotland will end from 26 April, and pubs and cafes can open until 8pm
- Northern Ireland will begin to ease some restrictions on outdoor gatherings from April
- Bakery chain Greggs is to open 100 new shops in 2021 as it bets on a post-pandemic recovery
Welcome to today’s Live Page. Here are the main coronavirus headlines.
- Vaccine safety experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) are meeting to review the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab , after several European countries halted their roll-outs.
- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is also meeting and is expected to issue its decision on the continued use of the vaccination on Thursday.
- Scotland’s First Nicola Sturgeon is to set out dates for the end of the "stay at home" rule and the reopening of shops and hospitality later.
- Portugal will be removed from England's the "red list" of countries on Friday, meaning travellers arriving from there will be able to quarantine at home rather than in a hotel.
- In Thailand, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has become the first person in the country to receive the AstraZeneca inoculation.
- The UK's cancer death rate is predicted to rise for the first time in decades because of the impact of the pandemic.
Latest in Europe
- With vaccinations of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on hold in much of Europe, European eyes are now on the EU’s medicines regulator EMA, which has so far insisted it’s safe and should still be used. EMA safety experts are reviewing latest information today and will update their advice on Thursday. Latvia, Slovenia and Cyprus have become the latest to suspend use of the jab.
- A German vaccination summit of federal and state leaders planned for tomorrow has been postponed until the EMA updates its advice. Meanwhile, Germany’s public health agency has warned that infections there are rising exponentially.
- France’s health authorities are investigating a new Covid variant at the centre of a cluster of cases in Lannion in Brittany. Several people have shown symptoms of the variant which does not show up in a normal PCR test. President Emmanuel Macron says new measures will be taken in the coming days to fight the spread of Covid.
- The Norwegian capital Oslo is closing all middle and high schools and put a two-person limit on visits to people’s homes amid record Covid infections. "We have never before seen such a high level of recorded cases," said mayor Raymond Johansen.
- Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has tested positive for Covid and has begun self-isolating. She said on Facebook she was closely monitoring her health and staying home but still carrying out her duties.
- Children’s swimming lessons are being allowed in the Netherlands from this morning for the first time since December. Limited outdoor exercise is also being allowed at sports facilities for adults over 27.
Experts to assess AstraZeneca blood clots reportsExperts from the World Health Organization (WHO) are meeting on Tuesday to assess the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, after 11 European countries – including France, Germany, Italy and Spain – paused their rollouts.
It comes after there were a number of cases of blood clots in Europe reported after the vaccine was administered.
Both the UK medicines regulator and the WHO say there is no evidence of a link.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is also meeting and is expected to make a decision on the vaccine’s continued use on Thursday.
Currently, the agency advises that the benefits of having the vaccine outweigh the risks of any side effects.
Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine have said they would continue to administer the jab.
Analysis: Have countries pausing AstraZeneca got it wrong?Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
The key question that has to be asked is whether this is cause or coincidence?
Would these clots have happened anyway?
The 37 reported cases are below the level you would expect. What is more, there is no strong biological explanation why the vaccine would cause a blood clot.
That is why the WHO and the UK say there is no evidence of a link. And the EMA has suggested the vaccine should continue.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the decisions by individual nations to pause their rollouts have baffled experts.
And this is not the first time countries in Europe have exercised caution about the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Germany, France and others did not initially recommend use of the vaccine for the over-65s. That has now been reversed, but the impact is still being felt, it seems.
Now, with supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine going to waste, deadly consequences may ensue.
France, Germany and the other major European nations all have higher rates of infection than the UK, and face the prospect of things getting worse before they get better.
What the UK papers say about jab suspension"Chaos" is how the Daily Telegraph describes the decision by major EU countries including France and Germany to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine because of concerns about blood clots.
The paper says the move has baffled British experts, who point out that the EU’s own medicines regulator insists the jab is safe.
"There is no data to support what they're doing", one Whitehall source tells the Daily Mail - which believes the suspensions are "reckless" and could cost lives .
The Times says British and European regulators have "rushed to the defence" of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It says the European Medicines Agency says the blood clots causing concern seemed to be no more common among people who had the jab and insist that the benefits "outweigh the risk of side-effects".
The Daily Express calls it a "shameful" situation and asks on its front page, "what on Earth are the EU playing at?"
The Independent website agrees that the scientific consensus on the vaccine's safety is "overwhelming" - and says reported cases of blood clots "could easily be coincidental" .
AstraZeneca vaccine 'is safe' insists Foreign SecretaryForeign Secretary Dominic Raab has insisted the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, after 11 European countries paused rollout of the jab over safety concerns.
"People should get the vaccine," he told BBC Breakfast.
He said the UK regulator, the MHRA, had been very clear "there is no additional risk from taking the vaccine".
He added, "the EU's own regulator has said there is no grounds to suspend the rollout - and that is echoed by the World Health Organization".
"We respect the processes and the procedures that some other countries may need to go through," said Mr Raab, but he insisted: "This vaccine is safe".
"People should continue to take it - to protect themselves and to protect their friends and family."