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

Coronavirus - 4th April (Easter Sunday)

Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 13:06

Summary for Sunday, 4th April

  • Pilot events will start to try out measures like testing and ventilation to see if they can be safe in the pandemic
  • It's hoped the moves will allow the safe return of sports matches, conferences and club nights in England
  • The Carabao Cup final between Tottenham and Manchester City will have 8,000 fans in attendance as one test event
  • The UK PM and Labour leader have both talked about the pandemic in their Easter messages
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter sermon will be on BBC One at 10:00 GMT, on radio, and on digital platforms
  • The pandemic is disrupting Easter in eastern Europe, where cases are surging
  • France has entered its third national lockdown in a bid to bring down infections

Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
We will be bringing you the latest updates throughout the day.

What's happening today?

Here’s a quick look at some of the main headlines from the UK and around the world:


Sunday’s papers: 'Passport to freedom', and trips abroad 'on track'

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  • "Passport to Freedom" is the headline on the front of the Sunday Mirror , which claims a phone app to prove whether someone has received their coronavirus vaccine, or has recently tested negative for the disease, could start being rolled out nationally in June.
  • But the Sunday Telegraph says the technology may not be ready until the autumn as senior government sources believe it will take "months, not weeks" to develop.
  • Writing in the paper , Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove admits that a "host of practical and ethical questions" still need to be answered - including how to treat fairly people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
  • In an article for the Sunday Express, the healthcare law professor, Sir Jonathan Montgomery, hopes that trials at major events will "shed light" on whether the certificates can easily be forged.
  • He also questions whether they could increase the risk of infection by giving their holders a "false sense of security", making them less inclined to practice social distancing and thorough hand washing.

Read the full newspaper review here.

England Covid passport trials to begin


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The FA Cup semi final and final at Wembley Stadium in London will form part of the pilots

Government plans for a Covid passport scheme will start being trialled in England this month at a series of pilot events.
Ministers are hoping passes will allow the safe return of sports matches, conferences and night clubs.
They would show whether a person is vaccinated, had a recent negative test, or natural immunity determined by a positive test in the last six months.
Officials are looking to find a way to allow venues to reopen without the need for social distancing and the government said trials will also explore how ventilation and testing on entry could help audiences return to mass events.
The pilots will last until mid-May and include the FA Cup semi final and final, the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, a mass participation run at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, and several events in Liverpool including an evening at a nightclub, a business conference and a cinema screening in the city.
The first pilot event will be a comedy night in Liverpool on 16 April where audience members will be tested for Covid before and after the show.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 14:13

France enters third lockdown amid surge

More now on France, which has gone into its third lockdown following a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases.
Schools and non-essential shops across the country are closed for four weeks and a curfew will be in place from 19:00 to 06:00. People also need a valid reason to travel more than 10km (six miles) from home.
President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to avoid another lockdown but a rapid increase in Covid patients needing intensive care beds threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
On Saturday, health officials said 5,273 people were in intensive care units for Covid - a rise of 19 from Friday.
France has been hit by new, more contagious, variants of coronavirus as well as an EU-wide delay in the vaccine rollout.

Breaking News 

Carabao Cup: Final to have 8,000 fans in stadium

The Carabao Cup final between Tottenham and Manchester City will have 8,000 fans in attendance after it was confirmed as a pilot event to test the return of big crowds.
A proportion of tickets will be made available to both clubs for the game at Wembley Stadium on 25 April.
The rest will be given to local residents in Brent and NHS staff.
Rick Parry, chair of the English Football League (EFL), said it was an "important milestone".
Read more here.

Why is the pandemic peaking in Eastern Europe?

The first wave of the coronavirus pandemic last year seemed to leave Eastern Europe largely unscathed.
But in recent months the picture has changed, with several countries now reporting record infections and deaths.
Governments are scrambling to vaccinate their populations but still the figures are rising in many areas.
In a series of reports, BBC correspondents from around the region explain why .

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Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 14:24

Boat Race has new 'home' for 2021

The traditional showdown between Oxford and Cambridge universities has been moved from the River Thames in London to Ely in Cambridgeshire for the first time since World War Two, because of the coronavirus pandemic and safety concerns over the structure of Hammersmith Bridge.
The 166th Boat Race will take place on the River Great Ouse on Sunday 4 April.

Bulgaria votes as Covid cases rise


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This mobile polling station was set up at Pirogov Hospital in the capital, Sofia

Bulgarians are going to the polls today in parliamentary elections overshadowed by a spike in Covid infections.
With about 10,000 Bulgarians being treated in hospital for the virus, some facilities have been provided with mobile polling stations. Special voting arrangements have also been made for thousands of people isolating.
All election officers have been vaccinated but observers say turnout could be badly affected by the outbreak. That could hit the main opposition Socialists in particular, whose older electorate is more likely to abstain.
Ahead of the vote, there were no campaign rallies.
Throughout March, Bulgaria recorded an average of about 4,000 new Covid cases a day, leading the government to impose a lockdown. Restaurants, shopping centres, schools and kindergartens have all been closed.
In total the country has recorded about 352,000 infections and 13,500 deaths.

What's the latest?

If you’re just joining us today, here’s a quick look at some of the main headlines from the UK and around the world:

  • The UK government is to trial a series of measures in England in the coming months, including Covid passports, to allow the safe return of sports matches, events and nightclubs
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged people around the world to choose a "better future for all" as we emerge from the pandemic
  • Bulgarians are going to the polls today in parliamentary elections overshadowed by a spike in Covid infections - about 10,000 people are being treated in the country’s hospital for the virus
  • France has entered its third national lockdown as it battles a surge in cases of Covid-19 that threatens to overwhelm the country's hospitals All schools and non-essential shops will shut for four weeks, and a curfew will be in place from 19:00 to 06:00.
  • Eastern Europe largely escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but the picture has changed dramatically with several countries experiencing record infections and deaths
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 14:31

Liverpool sets out passport-free vaccine pilot events

We've heard today about plans to get mass events back on track safely and now Liverpool City Council has set out how it's involved with running some of the pilot events - people won't be required to show Covid-19 vaccine passports.
The council said: "The line which was briefed out yesterday by the government about Liverpool's events being included in the vaccine passports trials is incorrect - none of our events in Liverpool will involve them."
Instead it will use the government's Events Research Programme to "provide key scientific data" on managing and mitigating the risk of Covid transmission.
The city's pilots include a comedy gig, an outdoor cinema, a club night and a business event.
The events will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation, including the use of lateral flow tests.
Matthew Ashton, Liverpool's director of public health, said: "We really hope we can help provide the scientific evidence needed to ensure the wider sector is able to open across the country in the coming months."

Scots urged to stick to rules as lockdown eases further

Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney has urged Scots to continue sticking to the rules as restrictions ease, warning: "The virus is down but it's not yet out."
His comments come after Scotland's "stay at home" order was lifted on Friday, and replaced with guidance to "stay local".
From Monday, Scots will be able to have a haircut and visit garden centres, homeware stores and click-and-collect services.
On a visit to a garden centre in Perthshire, Mr Swinney said: "After the long winter months of being cooped up inside, I know everyone will be keen to get back to our more normal lives.
"The last thing we need is to see [the virus] making a comeback and undoing all the progress from the massive effort and sacrifices we have all had to make."
Read more: What can I do in Scotland now... and what's next?

Mass events pilots will try to 'mitigate Covid risks'

More now on the government trialing various measures for the safe return of mass events in England.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston says the pilots are intended as a "learning experience" to understand how to "manage and mitigate" the risks of coronavirus transmission.
"What we will be looking at is the mitigation measures," he tells reporters. "So ventilation, one-way systems, hygiene measures, all of those kind of things to help inform long-term decision-making."
Earlier pilots will involve testing people before and after events, he says.
The trials, which will include the FA Cup semi final and final in London's Wembley Stadium and the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, will last until mid-May.
Read the story in full here .
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 16:00

Germany tightens curbs on 'high-risk' Netherlands


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Those crossing the Dutch-German border face extra checks from midnight on Tuesday

Germany will tighten restrictions for those arriving from the Netherlands from Tuesday due to a high number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
The move came after the Robert Koch Institute, which is overseeing Germany's pandemic response, declared the Netherlands to be a high-risk area because of coronavirus.
Spot checks will be carried out to ensure those entering can show evidence of a recent negative test.
The Netherlands recently announced an extension of its coronavirus restrictions until 20 April amid steeply rising infections.
The German government is facing widespread domestic criticism of its handling of the pandemic amid a surge in cases and slow rollout of the vaccines.
On Saturday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a televised address urging politicians to "get it together" in response to public frustration. He said he had complete trust in all the vaccines that have been cleared for use in Germany, urging citizens to have their jab.

'Traffic light travel system to protect UK vaccine programme'

The UK government has said its risk-based traffic-light system for international travel would "help ensure the UK's vaccine progress isn't jeopardised and provide clear guidance for travellers".
International leisure travel will not be allowed until 17 May at the earliest .
After this point, travellers from countries in the green category will not have to isolate, although pre-departure and post-arrival tests will still be needed.
For countries assigned red and amber, restrictions would remain as they are now , with arrivals required to enter quarantine or self-isolation.
The list of countries included in each category will be drawn up closer to the time, and the government continues to advise people not to book summer holidays abroad.
Further detail on international travel will be provided on Monday, along with information about a review into social distancing - which is examining how and when distancing requirements and the working from home guidance could be lifted, and whether Covid certification could facilitate changes to the rules.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 16:08

Libya receives first shipment of vaccines

Libya has just received its first delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has announced.
"Thanks to God, we have managed to import the first batch of coronavirus vaccines," Abdul Hamid Dbeibah tweeted, urging people to sign up to an online "vaccine portal" which will be used to administer the doses.
The Libyan health ministry says that 100,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine are now in Tripoli.
Libya has suffered political and economic chaos since the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and its crumbling health system has struggled to cope in the pandemic.
The World Health Organization warned last week that two new variants of the coronavirus were spreading in Libya.
The country has reported about 1,000 new daily cases but a lack of testing means the real numbers may be far higher. In total Libya has reported more than 160,000 infections and 2,700 deaths in its population of about seven million people.

Covid passports pub plan 'rather silly'

Former Tory cabinet minister David Davis has questioned the need for the Covid passport scheme in England that the government has been looking at .
Speaking on LBC Radio, he said: "It is really rather hard to see what the purpose of this test is. It is very different from anything we have done in Britain outside wartime."
Davis said Brits are "not used to presenting papers - or the electronic equivalent" - to go to the pub or to go to a football match.
"That is not what we think of our freedoms," he said.
"Once you have got the population to above about 70% vaccinated then you have got herd immunity. So it is very difficult to see what they are trying to stop.
"The idea that we'd somehow stop [coronavirus] variants by this rather silly measure in Britain alone is nonsense.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 17:31

Breaking News

UK records 10 coronavirus deaths

A further 10 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, government daily figures show.
That takes the total number of people to have died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test to 126,836.
There were also 2,297 new infections recorded.
A total of 31,523,010 people have received their first dose of a vaccine and 5,381,745 received a second.
The figures over the weekend and just afterwards can be lower because of the way they are recorded.

Covid-hit Indian state imposes strict lockdown


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Widespread testing is taking place in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra

The western Indian state of Maharashtra, which includes the financial capital Mumbai, is to impose a stringent lockdown from Monday to try to tackle a rapid rise in Covid-19 infections.
It comes a day after a warning from chief minister Uddhav Thackeray that the health system could become "inadequate" within weeks unless cases fall.
Shopping centres, cinemas, bars, restaurants and places of worship will all close from Monday evening. Nawab Malik, a minister in the state government, told reporters that the government would also impose an overnight curfew from 20:00 to 07:00, with only essential services allowed to operate during those hours.
Maharashtra now accounts for more than half the daily new infections in India - although it has less than a tenth of the population. There were 93,249 new cases in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, of which 49,447 were in Maharashtra.
In total, India has reported more than 12.2 million cases and more than 163,000 deaths. It is the third-highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world after the US and Brazil.
Kitkat
Kitkat

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

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Post by Kitkat Sun Apr 04 2021, 17:43

Bid to trace 100 people after 'illegal rave'


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Police were called to reports of about 100 people on land of Buckingham Hill Road

Police are trying to trace about 100 people who attended an unlicensed music event.
Officers were called to land off Buckingham Hill Road in Stanford-le-Hope at about 22:50 BST on Saturday, but when they arrived a "large group" left the scene.
Essex Police says it seized music equipment and was working to identify and fine those who attended.
Ch Insp Richard Melton says it was a "blatant breach" of Covid-19 rules.

What’s been happening around the world today?


We're ending our live coverage now. Before we go, here’s a reminder of today’s main coronavirus headlines from the UK and around the world:

  • The UK government is to trial a series of measures in England in the coming months, including Covid passports, to allow the safe return of sports matches, events and nightclubs
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged people around the world to choose a "better future for all" as we emerge from the pandemic
  • Libya has just received its first delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has announced
  • The UK government has said its risk-based traffic-light system for international travel would "help ensure the UK's vaccine progress isn't jeopardised and provide clear guidance for travellers"
  • Germany will tighten restrictions for those arriving from the Netherlands from Tuesday due to a high number of Covid-19 cases there
  • Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney has urged Scots to continue sticking to the rules as restrictions ease, warning: "The virus is down but it's not yet out."
  • Bulgarians are going to the polls today in parliamentary elections overshadowed by a spike in Covid infections - about 10,000 are being treated in the country’s hospital for the virus
  • France has entered its third national lockdown as it battles a surge in cases of Covid-19 that threatens to overwhelm the country's hospitals
  • Eastern Europe largely escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but the picture has changed dramatically with several countries experiencing record infections and deaths


Updates were brought to you today by Jo Couzens, David Walker, Jennifer Meierhans and Claire Heald. Join us again tomorrow.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:30