Welcome to Krazy Kats - a friendly informal online community discussing life issues that we care about. Open 24/7 for chat & chill. Come and join us!

COVID-19: All the latest LIVE worldwide updates - today's updates are also on our Portal page, here)

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:08

Summary for Thursday, 25th March

  • A Commons vote on extending emergency coronavirus laws for another six months has passed by 484 to 76
  • During the debate, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned "we're not at the finish line yet"
  • Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Labour supported the government "without any enthusiasm or relish"
  • Ministers are currently reviewing the possibility of introducing a document providing proof of vaccination against Covid
  • Boris Johnson says it may only be possible to implement a vaccine passports scheme once everybody has been offered a vaccine
  • Kate Nicholls, of the trade body UK Hospitality, says she doesn't think vaccine passports are "necessary or appropriate" for High Street venues
  • EU leaders are meeting virtually to discuss proposals aimed at improving vaccine supplies as cases continue to rise in several countries
  • The head of the European Commission says the EU "needs to ensure Europeans get a fair share of vaccines"
  • A travel ban within Portugal that covers the whole of Easter week has been brought forward to midnight

Welcome to today's live page - bringing you updates on coronavirus throughout the day.
Here are the stories making headlines in the UK this morning:

What the UK papers say

Boris Johnson's suggestion that people may have to prove they have had the coronavirus vaccine before they can visit a pub makes a number of the front pages.

  • The Times says the prime minister's comments mark a "significant change of approach" - after he appeared to rule out the idea just a month ago.
  • The Daily Telegraph agrees it is a "stark departure", with ministers previously insisting that vaccine certificates would be "discriminatory", and out of step with British values.
  • The paper says Mr Johnson's tacit approval has "triggered a backlash" from lockdown-sceptic MPs, who argue that giving landlords the power to demand proof of vaccination would take the UK down a "dangerous path" to a "two-tier" system.
  • According to the Guardian, vaccine certificates could allow pubs to bypass social-distancing rules, and allow customers to crowd together.
  • Wednesday's joint statement from the UK and the EU amid the ongoing row over vaccine supplies makes the lead for the Daily Mirror - which claims the two sides have "called a truce", with an agreement "in sight".
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells the Financial Times the EU would be "making a serious mistake" if it did stop vaccines reaching the UK.
  • Referring to the government's contract with the manufacturer, AstraZeneca, Mr Hancock says both sides are looking to resolve the dispute, but it was actually "very straightforward" - "our contract trumps theirs".

Read more.

EU leaders meet and German infections rise: Latest across Europe

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 46126310
Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag on Thursday that Germany and the EU were in effect in a "new pandemic"

  • EU leaders will take the AstraZeneca row centre stage in a virtual summit after officials in Brussels proposed stricter export controls for countries with higher vaccination rates than the EU, such as the UK and US. Vaccination rates are sluggish in much of the EU and several countries, in particular Austria, want a new distribution system.
  • EU leaders will also discuss a planned digital green certificate to allow summer travel across borders. Estonia is planning to have a digital vaccine certificate up and running from next month and Denmark is working on a corona passport.
  • There’s been another big rise in German infections in the past 24 hours, with health officials announcing 22,657 cases. Vaccination centres are managing 268,000 inoculations a day but that’s well below capacity. Spain says only half of its population aged over 80 has so far been vaccinated. France starts vaccinating over 70s from Saturday.
  • Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has proposed a new law to limit movement in the capital Helsinki to tackle an increase in Covid cases. The bill could go before MPs today and would stop people visiting each other’s homes in Turku as well as the capital.
  • France is to crack down on gatherings of more than six people outdoors by imposing fines. The rule does not apply to authorised groups such as funerals or professional meetings. Sixteen areas of France are already under lockdown and three more areas including the Rhône are expected to be added to that list.
  • A Dutch church in the town of Urk says it’s been getting death threats because it has gone back to holding services for hundreds of people. Its spokesman Hessel Snoek insists infections in Urk are low and last Sunday the church was almost full. The government advice is a maximum of 30.

Summary of recent events around the world today

  • EU leaders are likely to shy away from supporting the use of new powers to block Covid vaccine shipments to countries with better jab coverage such as the UK, with Pfizer describing bloc export restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines as a “lose-lose” situation for everyone .
  • Ursula von der Leyen revealed to EU leaders that 21m doses of Covid vaccine have been exported to the UK from suppliers based in the bloc’s member states as she emphasised the need to secure jabs at home.
  • The EU has been overly cautious and budget conscious over Covid vaccines and should step back from waging a “stupid vaccine war” with Britain, the former European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said .
  • Novavax is delaying signing a contract to supply its Covid-19 vaccine to the EU, according to a bloc official involved in the talks , as the US biotech company warned it was struggling to source some raw materials.
  • Iceland will resume the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after suspending it on 11 March pending investigations into reports that it might be linked to blood clots in some people who had been vaccinated, the government has said. It comes after Sweden said it would resume use of the jab but only people aged 65 and older, while Denmark announced an extension of the suspension for another three weeks
  • Israel has administered two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to more than half its population, the country’s health minister said , though the country continues to be dogged by criticism for not doing more to enable Palestinian vaccination.
  • Italy will fail to met an EU target of vaccinating 80% of citizens aged over 80 by the end of March, a leading health institute said , questioning the vaccine policies of many local health authorities.
  • Ukraine registered a record number of coronavirus deaths for the third straight day , health authorities said, as new infections also reached a record high.
  • People wishing arrive in Germany by plane are set to be required to show a negative Covid test before boarding from Sunday, the health ministry said, as airlines lay on hundreds of extra flights to cope with a surge in demand after Mallorca was taken off the country’s red list.
  • New York governor Andrew Cuomo set up friends and family members with scarce coronavirus tests when most New Yorkers did not have access to them in the early days of the pandemic, according to multiple reports .
  • Chilean health officials extended a lockdown across the capital Santiago in an attempt to tame a second wave of infections even as the South American nation continues with the world’s fastest per capita vaccination campaign.
  • New Zealanders overseas reacted with despair to news that the government has doubled the time returning citizens are required to stay to avoid paying a $3,100 quarantine fee.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:18

Vaccination certificates for pubs ‘fraught with difficulties’

A review is looking into whether people should have to prove they have been vaccinated, as lockdown measures ease.
It follows comments by Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday, when he said it "may be up to individual publicans" to decide.
The public "want me as prime minister to take all the action I can to protect them" said Mr Johnson.
Jonathan Neame, Chief Executive of the Shepherd Neame pub chain, told Radio 4’s Today programme he thought suggestions that people might need to show a vaccination certificate to enter a pub was “a poorly thought-out idea” which was “fraught with difficulties”.
He said the “essence” of a pub was its “diverse and inclusive environment”, and asking people to prove they had been vaccinated would trigger lots of “issues with discrimination”.
“The whole point about a pub is you turn up on spec,” he said, adding “the average dwell time is 20 minutes when people pop in for a pint after work”.
“Who is going to make the judgement on the door?” he queried - citing the practical considerations, as well as the pressure on the many young people working in pubs, many of whom are under 25 and “not qualified or trained as door staff”.

EU leaders to meet to find 'win-win situation'

The European Commission will today ask leaders of the 27-nation bloc to support plans for added controls on vaccine exports, which could affect supply to the UK.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously warned against imposing "blockades".
In a joint statement released yesterday, the UK and the EU said they wanted to "create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply for all".
But EU leaders remain divided on what to do next.
Thursday’s planned EU summit will be virtual, as a third wave of coronavirus infections sweeps across much of mainland Europe.
The bloc’s vaccine rollout has been slow in comparison to some other regions, notably the UK. The European Commission has blamed pharmaceutical companies - primarily AstraZeneca - for not delivering the promised doses to the EU.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called for greater reciprocity, complaining the EU had exported more than 10 million doses to the UK, but the UK had so far exported none in return.
UK sources insist vital components are being sent to the continent, for example for the Pfizer vaccine, and they have emphasised the UK's role in investing early in vaccine development, BBC correspondent Nick Beake reports.
Read more.

PM drops big hints about post-lockdown life

Laura Kuenssberg - Political editor
Ministers, and the devolved administrations, have set out plans for how the rules they imposed will be rolled back - with MPs due to vote later today on new coronavirus laws for England's roadmap out of lockdown.
But there are still question marks over what will take the place of the laws we have lived with for so long.
Mr Johnson was happy [at Wednesday's House of Commons Liaison Committee hearing] to sketch out how that question could in part be answered, in a way that not all of his party will like.
He made clear that he was willing to countenance the idea of 'jabs for jobs' and held open the possibility that bars might ask for 'papers for pints'.
When tests are widely available, proof of a negative test, is also being considered as a tool to help venues open up
The government is reluctant to make any of this compulsory for everyone.
But it seems that proving our Covid status, through the vaccination, or a test, is likely to be part of our lives in the medium term."
Read more of Laura's thoughts here.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:22

Vaccination passports for pubs 'not necessary or appropriate'

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the UK Hospitality trade body, says any vaccination certification requirement "would need to be voluntary".
"We don't think it's necessary or appropriate in a High Street hospitality setting," she tells BBC News.
"A large proportion of our staff and customer base are younger - and therefore won't have been vaccinated until much later in the year.
"You've also got potential discriminatory issues that arise in both the workplace, and in a customer setting.
"While you have most of the adult population vaccinated and certainly all of the vulnerable population vaccinated - there seems to be no need for papers."
Nicholls says going to the pub is primarily "a walk-in, spontaneous activity, for people to socialise with family and friends" and vaccine passports should "remain voluntary for venues that might want to do it or can see that there is a benefit".
"First and foremost these venues are safe, there doesn't need to be an extra barrier to entry - and there shouldn't need to be a passport to get a pint."
She adds there will be a significant cost implication which many small businesses "simply won't be able to manage".

Optimism in Cuba as experimental vaccine rolled out

Will Grant - Latin America correspondent
There was an air of optimism and relief among the first frontline medical staff in Cuba to receive the island's experimental vaccine, Soberana 2 - meaning Sovereignty 2.
The vaccine candidate, which is still officially in phase 3 trials, represents Cuba's best hope of lifting the lockdown on the capital Havana and beginning to claw back some of the lost economy, especially in the tourism sector.
Even though Soberana is yet to be fully certified as an official vaccine, the authorities are so confident in its effectiveness the process of giving it to 150,000 Cuban doctors, nurses and healthcare workers is now fully under way.
Cuba has a strong record in vaccine development having produced its own meningitis B vaccine in the late 1980s. The numbers of infections and deaths from Covid-19 are much lower in Cuba than elsewhere in the world but the lockdown has caused serious economic hardship.

Hard-hit Brazil surpasses 300,000 Covid-related deaths

The number of people who have died with Covid-19 in Brazil has surpassed 300,000, the world's second-highest death toll after the US.
The country is struggling to contain the rapid spread of the virus, which has pushed hospitals close to collapse. Many are running out of ICU beds and drugs needed to treat critically ill patients are in short supply.
On Wednesday President Jair Bolsonaro announced a special committee to deal with the crisis. He has faced severe criticism for playing down the pandemic, defending unproven drugs as treatments, raising doubts about the vaccine and opposing lockdowns.
The president has argued the collateral damage to the economy brought by restrictions would be worse than the effects of the virus itself, a view shared by many of his supporters.
But states and cities have announced a number of measures in recent weeks to limit the movement of people in an attempt to slow contagion.
The worsening of the Brazilian outbreak is also attributed to the spread of highly contagious variants of the virus. To date, the country has reported more than 12 million Covid-19 cases, according to the health ministry.
Brazil has also been struggling with the rollout of its vaccination programme, with 7.16 doses administered per 100 people, according to the Our World in Data tracker.
Critics say the Bolsonaro government was slow in negotiating supplies amid a worldwide run, leaving Brazil facing delays in receiving jabs.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:25


What's happening in the UK and beyond?

It's lunchtime in the UK so let's have a recap of the stories we've been talking about so far today:

  • A government report on whether the UK could adopt "vaccine passports" to allow foreign travel or entry to pubs will be released in early April
  • The PM says it may only be possible to implement when everyone has been offered a vaccine and will not be needed when venues are due to reopen on 12 April
  • The British Institute of Innkeepers has called the idea "unworkable" but Britain’s largest nightclub operator Deltic Group says clubbers would likely accept it
  • MPs are set to decide whether or not to extend coronavirus legislation for a further six months later
  • NHS staff in Scotland will be offered a pay rise of at least 4%, the Scottish government has confirmed
  • The government should be "shamed" into increasing the proposed 1% rise for NHS staff in England, union leaders say
  • Meanwhile, EU leaders will meet virtually later to discuss improving vaccine supply and distribution as cases continue to rise in several countries.

National Express coaches back on the road next week

National Express coaches will be back on the road from next week.
The new timetable comes into effect on Monday 29 March, with just 15% of the normal network - and 200 drivers - up and running.
But the company has promised the timetable will be expanded quickly - adding new locations and routes, and increasing frequency, as lockdown restrictions are lifted and customer demand grows.
"It’s a great feeling to be getting hundreds of drivers back behind the wheel," says Chris Hardy, managing director of National Express UK Coach.
Significant Covid-secure measures will remain in place for travel, with limited numbers on coaches and in stations, enhanced cleaning, improved air conditioning and temperature screening of passengers before travel.
All customers will have to wear face coverings, in line with government guidelines.
"Like the rest of the population, we look forward to being able to see friends and family, go on holiday, attend events and visit attractions again," says Mr Hardy.

Domestic travel ban in Portugal brought forward

Alison Roberts - Portugal Correspondent, Lisbon
A travel ban within Portugal that covers the whole of Easter week has been brought forward to midnight on Thursday.
Under the published amendment to legislation, people are barred from leaving their local district from the early hours of tomorrow until 05:00 local time on 5 April - except in certain exceptional circumstances.
Originally the travel ban was intended to start at 20:00tomorrow - the same time as previous travel bans that are currently in place across the weekends in Portugal.
The domestic travel ban forms part of the government’s plan for a gradual easing of the lockdown first imposed in mainland Portugal on 15 January.
Portugal saw a surge in coronavirus deaths at the end of January, with the country's national health service overwhelmed.
Earlier this month, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa asked for the country’s state of emergency to be extended until 31 March as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:28

MPs to vote on extending emergency Covid powers

MPs will vote later on extending emergency coronavirus laws in England for another six months.
The government says the measures are still needed to deal with the pandemic as the country moves out of lockdown.
But some Conservative backbenchers have expressed concerns about the extent and length of the powers set out in the Coronavirus Act.
It's a year since the Coronavirus Act came in to force, in March 2020.
The law gave the government wide-ranging powers unlike others seen before - from shutting down pubs to detaining individuals deemed at risk - to counter the spread of the virus.
The regulations have to be approved by Parliament every six months.
Labour has indicated it will support the extension, but a small Tory rebellion is expected.
Conservative Sir Graham Brady said he would be voting against the government because the powers had only been intended as a "very temporary set of extreme emergency measures".
"Nobody then envisaged that they would still be in place a year later, still be in use 18 months on."

Poland tightens restrictions further as cases hit worst level

Poland is to tighten coronavirus restrictions still further as new infections in the country hit their worst level yet.
From Saturday nurseries, hairdressers and large DIY and furniture shops will close for two weeks.
The new measures come on top of a partial lockdown introduced at the weekend that shut shopping centres, hotels, cultural and sporting facilities.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says Poland is experiencing its most difficult moment since the pandemic began, urging people to stay at home for Easter.
More than 34,000 new cases were registered in the latest daily figures.

Unfair vaccine distribution could damage EU - Austrian leader

Austria's Chancellor is warning the European Union will be seriously damaged if vaccines are not distributed fairly among member states.
Sebastian Kurz has made the comment shortly before a virtual EU summit to discuss vaccine supplies and improving distribution across the 27 nations.
Kurz has joined forces with counterparts from five eastern European nations to fix what they say is an uneven distribution.
Despite the EU agreeing to administer doses based on population, Kurz says that has been undermined by deals between the board negotiating on behalf of EU states and drug companies.
"If no solution is found here it could cause damage to the European Union the likes of which we have not seen in a long time," Kurz tells a news conference.
However, Kurz's opponents have accused him of attempting to detract attention from his failure to purchase enough doses.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:35

Data show rising case numbers in children

Robert Cuffe - BBC head of statistics
The picture is building piece by piece.
In Scotland, where the youngest pupils returned to school at the end of February, data from Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week suggested infections may be gradually rising again.
The most recent data on confirmed cases in England show rising numbers amongst pupils since the schools re-opened on 8 March, up by about a quarter last week.
Some, but not all, of the rising numbers are likely to be children without symptoms flagged by the new screening program in English schools.
And, while more mixing does mean more transmission, the consequences are not so clear cut.
If the cases do not develop into serious sickness or if infected children do not pass it on to others who become seriously sick, then the English re-opening will likely remain on track.
And so government scientists will judge the success of reopening based not on the case numbers this week, but on the hospital numbers next week and the week after.

'It was always obvious vaccine passports were going to come in'

Prof Tim Spector, who leads the Covid Symptom Tracker app study run by King's College London, says any vaccine passport would have to be digital and people just have to "bite the bullet".
He tells the PA news agency: "It was always obvious to me that vaccine passports were going to come in.
"Bits of paper are not going to be that. It's got to be digital, it's got to be something on your phone, and I think that's going to be useful in some scenarios."
Prof Spector says: "We just need to get used to it and bite the bullet, in a way, because it's going to affect our travel outside this country as well, so we might as well get our own system in order.
"It has got to be a simple system - that should be quite possible - and everyone gets a unique code number from their vaccine that can be checked."

'Europeans must get fair share of vaccines'

The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has told EU leaders that the bloc has exported 77 million doses of coronavirus vaccines since early December.
The figure is greater than the number of inoculations given to EU citizens so far, and includes more than 30 million doses delivered to low and middle income countries under the global vaccine sharing scheme.
Leaders at a virtual summit are debating the Commission's proposal to tighten export controls on vaccines as a way to boost supplies within the EU, as infections surge in many member states.
Speaking to German MPs before the summit, Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the EU's decision to procure vaccines jointly as the bloc struggles with delays in rollout.
But some EU states, led by Austria, are calling for a revision in the distribution method after failing to obtain enough doses earlier this year.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:38

Breaking News

MPs vote to extend emergency coronavirus laws

MPs have voted to extend emergency coronavirus laws for another six months.
A total of 484 MPs were for the motion and 76 against giving a majority of 408.

Breaking News 

UK records another 63 deaths

The UK has recorded another 6,397 new infections and 63 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, according to the government's daily figures .
Today's case numbers are up 94 on last Thursday's figure of 6,303 but the number of Covid-related deaths reported has fallen 32, compared with 95 last Thursday.
Meanwhile, the latest vaccination figures show almost 29 million people have now received a first dose of a Covid vaccine.
The exact figure is 28,991,188 - and 2,775,481 people have had their second dose.

EU urges unity as leaders meet for key vaccine summit

European countries must not turn on each other amid growing tensions over Covid vaccine supplies, the president of the EU Parliament has said.
The call for unity comes as EU leaders hold virtual talks to discuss supplies and improving distribution across the bloc's 27 member states.
Some countries have complained that doses have not been distributed fairly.
"There is no sense in us turning on each other, just as there is no sense in thinking that others are doing much better," European Parliament President David-Maria Sassoli said at a press conference.
"The more unity we show, the more trust we will inspire," he added. "Salvation lies in working together."
Vaccine rollouts in EU states have started sluggishly, and the bloc has blamed pharmaceutical companies - primarily AstraZeneca - for not delivering its promised doses. The company denies that it is failing to honour its contract.
Read more here.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:39

More than 700,000 in NI receive first dose of Covid vaccine

More than 700,000 people in Northern Ireland have now received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine .
It means that almost half the adult population - 703,334 people - have had at least one jab.
The official figures showed that more than 104,907 people had now received a second dose.
There have been no further Covid-related deaths recorded by NI's Department of health, meaning the total number of deaths remains at 2,107.

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 F82aae10

The latest figures come after Health minister Robin Swann said on Wednesday that foreign travel in the summer should be ruled out.
Mr Swann said Westminster and the devolved governments were discussing the so-called "red list" for foreign countries.
He added that fragilities in NI's health system underlined the need for caution as lockdown eases.
Professor Ultan Power, a virologist at Queen's University, said that at least 80% of the population of Northern Ireland should have two doses of a Covid vaccine before travel to Europe is allowed again.
He told Good Morning Ulster: "If we have mass foreign travel we run the risk of picking up new variants that may not be covered by the vaccine and that could being us back to a pretty bad place."

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:45

Dutch sign up for test holiday on Greek island

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 A2796510
The group will be given exclusive use of a hotel on the Greek island of Rhodes

A Dutch travel firm will take nearly 200 people for an eight-day holiday in Greece aimed at seeing if tourism is feasible during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Those picked will have an all-inclusive getaway on the island of Rhodes at a cost of €399 (£344; $472) per person, but there are some catches.
They will not be allowed to leave the resort and will have to quarantine for up to ten days when they return home.
At least 25,000 people have signed up for the government-backed experiment.
The Dutch government's travel advice otherwise is that all foreign trips should be avoided, unless essential, until at least the middle of May.
While many people may like to swap a life of lockdown for a week of Greek sunshine, questions have been raised about whether enabling such escapism is responsible or reckless at a time when both the infection rate and hospital admissions in the Netherlands are on the rise, the BBC's Anna Holligan reports.
The Netherlands has recorded at least 16,536 deaths and 2,746,581 cases of infection during the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.
But with public pressure mounting to allow summer holidays to go ahead, experiments like this one could help to determine whether there is a Covid-secure way to allow people to take an overseas break during the pandemic, she adds.
Read more here.

PM: 'I do badly need a hair cut'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson admits he "badly" needs a haircut, but jokes that he's booked in to the pub.
In video recorded shortly before an interview, he's asked if Carrie Symonds, his fiancée, might cut his hair, to which he responds "she's going to have another go, yeah".


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:48

Biden aims for 200 million jabs in first 100 days

US President Joe Biden says officials aim to deliver 200 million coronavirus jabs in the first 100 days of his administration.
The target is double the original goal.
"I believe we can do it," he says.
After a slow start under the Trump presidency, the pace of vaccinations has been rapidly climbing.
Biden says economic growth is now expected to exceed 6% this year as his recovery plan takes effect. He says there are still too many Americans out of work and hurting, but help is on the way.
Biden has been making the comments in his first news conference since taking office.

How are vaccine passports being used in other countries?

EU leaders are looking at how digital certificates - called the Green Digital Certificate - might work to enable travel across Europe in time for summer.
The aim is to enable anyone who has been vaccinated against Covid-19, or who has tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus to travel within the EU.
But some individual countries, such as Denmark and Estonia, have already outlined plans for so-called vaccine certificates. And outside of the EU, Israel has a working system in place.
Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world , with more than half the population having already received two doses, and last month it was able to begin easing a nationwide lockdown.
A "Green Pass" is available to anyone who has been fully vaccinated or has recovered from Covid-19 .
To access some of the country's facilities - like hotels, gyms or theatres - people have to show their pass. It is available as a paper certificate or in an app, which links users to their health ministry data.
The app opens the possibility of being used for international travel, and Israel has struck deals with Greece and Cyprus to allow its citizens with vaccination passports to travel to those two countries.
Read more here.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 19:52

Albania v England qualifier set to go ahead after security doubts

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 1be8a710
England are due to arrive in Albania on Saturday

England's World Cup qualifier against Albania in Tirana on Sunday looked at risk of being called off today because of doubts over security - but the issue now seems to have been resolved.
The Albanian Football Association (AFA) earlier said it had been informed by local police the force could not guarantee the safety of the teams.
But the country's state police have since issued a statement to say they have "taken all measures to guarantee order and security" for the game.
The dilemma followed the AFA's request for a restricted number of fans vaccinated against Covid-19 to be permitted to attend the game, which was rejected by government.
The match will therefore be played behind closed doors, and with no other lockdown measures in place in the country it could have meant the area around the Air Albania Stadium being busy - seemingly with no promise of adequate policing until the guarantees were given by police.
The AFA said it would have had "catastrophic consequences for the image of our country, the national team and in general for Albanian football" if it had been forced to cancel the game.
England open up their campaign against San Marino in less than half an hour , while Albania play in Andorra at the same time.
Read more here.

NI looks at hotel quarantine plan while youth services to reopen

Chris Page - BBC News Ireland correspondent
Northern Ireland’s devolved government has announced youth services will be reopened on a phased basis at the start of next month.
The SureStart programme, which supports the parents of children aged under four, will also resume.
Ministers in the power-sharing Stormont Executive also discussed international travel at a meeting this afternoon.
At a news conference afterwards, the First Minister Arlene Foster and the deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill indicated travellers arriving from countries on the so-called “red list” would soon have to isolate in a hotel for 10 days.
There are currently no international flights operating to or from Northern Ireland, but plans are being made for the quarantine system to come into operation when air routes resume.
O’Neill also said the current coronavirus R-rate in Northern Ireland is thought to be between 0.75 and 0.95.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 Empty Re: Coronavirus - 25th March 2021

Post by Kitkat Thu Mar 25 2021, 20:19

What's been happening?

Coronavirus - 25th March 2021 6f379f10

We are going to be drawing our live updates to a close soon so here's a look back at the day's news:

  • MPs voted by 484 to 76 to extend emergency coronavirus laws until the end of September
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the powers are essential in the event of new variants and warns "we're not at the finish line yet"
  • Shadow Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth says Labour supported the renewal of the Coronavirus Act "without any enthusiasm or relish"
  • Meanwhile, EU leaders have been holding virtual talks on how to boost vaccine supply and distribution as infections surge in many of the member states
  • The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told the meeting the bloc has exported 77 million doses of coronavirus vaccines since early December - which is greater than the number of jabs given to EU citizens so far
  • A government report on whether the UK could adopt "vaccine passports" to allow foreign travel or entry to pubs will be released in early April
  • The PM says it may only be possible to implement when everyone has been offered a vaccine and will not be needed when venues are due to reopen on 12 April
  • The British Institute of Innkeepers has called the idea "unworkable" but Britain’s largest nightclub operator Deltic Group says clubbers would likely accept it
  • In other news, Boris Johnson admitted he "badly" needs a haircut
  • And we're leaving you with a photo of head gardener Simon Tetlow at Tatton Park in Cheshire. He's preparing for the return of visitors when outdoor venues reopen in England next week

Have a good evening

That's all from the live team for today.
Your updates were brought to you by Emma Owen, George Wright, James Clarke, Jennifer Meierhans, Owen Amos and Victoria Lindrea.
We hope you have a peaceful evening - and the live page will be back in the morning.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:52