Coronavirus UK news – HUGE 3rd covid wave after Christmas, lockdown expert fears – plus latest on tests in YOUR area

COVID vaccines will be given to Brits starting from tomorrow – the first country in the world to administer jabs to the general public.

The first of 50 UK hubs received the vaccine on Saturday as an NHS boss declared it was “the beginning of the end” of coronavirus.

And starting tomorrow, patients in the highest risk groups – such as the over 80s – will begin receiving the vaccine.

Those in the vulnerable group who've not yet been contacted about a vaccine have been told not to panic, however, as the vast majority of those getting the jab won't receive it until the new year.

The news comes as a new covid ID card scheme was put in place, providing every Brit who has had the jab with an incredibly detailed report of exactly what vaccine they received and when.

It remains unclear whether the ID card will serve as a sort of passport moving forward, allowing those who've had jabs to attend events such as concerts and sports matches while preventing those who are able to have the jab but refused from attending.

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news, reaction and updates on the lockdown plans…

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    CHRISTMAS BUBBLE

    This Christmas, families and friends across the UK can form a Christmas Bubble of up to three households.

    This applies from December 23 to December 27.

    During that period, the households meeting up should always remain the same.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    BRITS URGED TO CONTINUE SOCIAL DISTANCING

    The Prime Minister's official spokesman said it was "very important that people continue to adhere to the social distancing guidelines" following scenes of packed shopping centres over the weekend.

    The spokesman told reporters: "We have set out clearly the importance of people continuing to shop in a Covid-secure way.

    "That's why we have provided businesses with the guidance they have needed to ensure they can do that.

    "It's very important now that people continue to adhere to the social distancing guidelines to ensure that we can build on the gains of the second national lockdown and continue to drive the transmission of the virus down."

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    COVID JAB 'ID' COULD 'DISCRIMINATE' AGAINST PEOPLE WHO DON'T GET VACCINE

    A Covid vaccine ID card could be used to "discriminate" against Brits who don't get the jab, MPs have warned.

    Pictures of the Covid cards have been released this morning, ahead of the first round of jabs set to start tomorrow.

    Deputy Chair of the Covid Recovery Group Steve Baker told The Sun: "Ministers must decide whether they are content for businesses to discriminate on the basis of vaccination status.

    "If they are not, they may have to legislative."

    Click here to read more

    The card will be handed to every Brit who gets the vaccineCredit: PA
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    STUDENTS IN WALES ASKED TO TAKE DOUBLE COVID TEST AFTER XMAS BREAK

    Students returning to Welsh universities after Christmas will be asked to take two coronavirus tests over three days or to "lay low" for a fortnight, the Welsh Government has said.

    A four-week phased return for learners will begin from January 11 with in-person teaching prioritising those studying in healthcare professions, those on placements or who need access to campus facilities.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WALES RECORDS 2,021 NEW COVID CASES AND A FURTHER TWO DEATHS

    There have been a further 2,021 cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 91,013.

    Public Health Wales reported another two deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 2,711.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ENGLAND CRICKET TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA ABANDONED DUE TO COVID FEARS

    PA News Agency has reported England's tour of South Africa has been abandoned due to concerns over a Covid-19 outbreak.

    It comes after three failed attempts to get the one-day international series up and running led to scheduled matches being scrapped three times in the past four days.

    Concerns over the integrity of the so-called "bio-secure environment" at the teams' shared base – the five-star Vineyard Hotel near Newlands in Cape Town – have been growing over the past fortnight and the rising incidence of positive cases effectively ended any hopes of further cricket being played.

    One Proteas player tested positive after the Twenty20 series – which England won 3-0 – leading to an initial postponement of the first ODI, but the news that two unnamed members of the touring party had also received 'unconfirmed positives' alongside two members of hotel staff, raised the alarm levels.

    England's medical team, led by Dr Moiz Moghal, asked for independent analysis of their samples having suspected potential "false positives" from the pair, who are both understood to be asymptomatic.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MATT HANCOCK CONFIRMS 'ALL PARTS OF THE UK' HAVE COVID VACCINE DOSES

    In response to the Welsh Secretary of State's earlier tweet, Matt Hancock has announced doses of the Pfizer vaccine are now available across the UK.

    He tweeted: "All parts of the UK now have doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

    "I want to thank the whole team involved in rolling-out the vaccine across the whole UK, starting from tomorrow – great progress."

  • Joseph Gamp

    WALES 'NOW RECEIVING COVID VACCINE SUPPLIES', CONFIRMS SIMON HART

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: THE NEW RULES FOR ENGLAND'S CORONAVIRUS TIERS

  • Joseph Gamp

    STURGEON VISITS COVID-19 VACCINE CENTRE AS STAFF PREPARE FOR ROLLOUT

    Nicola Sturgeon has visited a centre where the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine is due to begin on Tuesday.

    The First Minister met staff who are co-ordinating the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

    The first to get the jab will be the vaccinators themselves, with priorities set by the UK-wide Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

    The Western General is one of 23 sites around Scotland which will act as vaccination centres for the priority groups.

    Ms Sturgeon said: "I'm grateful to everyone involved in giving this vaccine to those who need it most. By vaccinating the priority groups they will be covering those associated with 99% of preventable Covid-19 deaths. That is a very compelling reason to put these groups first in the queue for this vaccine."

    Nicola Sturgeon visits the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where vaccinations begin for health care staff tomorrow

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    SOUTH KOREAN HEALTH MINISTER SAYS CAPITAL SEOUL IS NOW A COVID WAR ZONE

    South Korea's health minister said Monday that the Seoul metropolitan area is now a COVID-19 war zone, as the country reported another 615 new infections and the virus appeared to be spreading faster.

    The country has recorded more than 5,300 new infections in the past 10 days and Monday was the 30th day in a row of triple-digit daily jumps.

    Most of the new infections were detected in the Seoul metropolitan area where health workers are struggling to stem transmissions tied to various places, including restaurants, schools, hospitals and long-term care facilities.

    The capital area is now a COVID-19 war zone, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in a virus meeting, pleading for citizen vigilance.

    He said the country may have to further increase social distancing to prevent the resurgence in the capital area from exploding into a major outbreak nationwide and collapsing the health-care system.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SCOTLAND: ONE NEW DEATH AND 677 POSITIVE COVID TESTS

    Scotland has recorded one death from coronavirus and 677 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said.

    It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 3,917.

    Ms Sturgeon said 100,783 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 100,106 the previous day.

    The daily test positivity rate is 6.7%, up from 5.2% on the previous day.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WILLIAM AND KATE MEET FRONTLINE AMBULANCE WORKERS IN EDINBURGH

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thanked frontline workers from the Scottish Ambulance Service for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic as they kicked off their country-wide tour.

    William and Kate met the ambulance staff in Newbridge, near Edinburgh, during their first engagement after they set off on their 1,250-mile morale-boosting festive trip on the royal train.

    It coincided with the announcement that the duke and duchess have become joint patrons of NHS Charities Together.

    The 240 NHS charities in the UK provide extra funding and additional services above and beyond what the NHS core-funds, supporting hospitals, community and mental health services, and ambulance services.

    Ian Lush, chairman of NHS Charities Together, said: "This is such an honour for our organisation and for all the NHS charities across the UK. The involvement of their Royal Highnesses will inspire the public to do even more to support the amazing NHS staff and volunteers who have done so much to keep us safe and well this year."

  • Joseph Gamp

    OVER 45% OF PEOPLE HAVE HAD TO RELY ON CREDIT AS A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC

    The ongoing pandemic continues to take its toll on the British economy, wreaking havoc with the nation's finances.

    In a recent financial survey – conducted by KIS Finance – it was discovered that 45.5% of people have been forced to take out some kind of financial facility or borrow money from friends/family due to the pandemic.

    Alongside this, a further 43.2% of people expect to seek out more financial help before the end of the year. Young adults between 25 and 34 were the worst hit, with people in London also suffering more than the rest of the UK.

    As well as asking consumers if they had to take out any credit due to the pandemic, the survey also found out what type of credit people are turning to in these troubling times.

    Almost 50% of respondents were forced to take out credit due to COVID-19

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: CROWDS OF REVELLERS BREAK TIER 3 RESTRICTIONS IN NOTTINGHAM

    Crowds of revellers ignore Tier 3 restrictions in Nottingham with city centre party

  • Joseph Gamp

    DENMARK TO IMPLEMENT FURTHER COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

    Denmark will implement further lockdown measures in parts of the country to curb a recent spike in coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Monday.

    Bars, restaurants, museums and cinemas will have to close on December 9 in 38 municipalities, including Copenhagen.

    Students in upper primary school, high schools and universities will be sent home under the new measures.

    The new restrictions will be in place until January 3.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GREECE: PARTIAL LOCKDOWN TO REMAIN IN FORCE UNTIL JANUARY 7

    Schools, restaurants and courts in Greece will not reopen until January 7, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Monday.

    Greece was forced to impose a nationwide lockdown in November, its second this year, after an aggressive surge in COVID-19 cases. It has extended it twice since then, most recently until Dec. 14.

    But Petsas said progress was still slow and some restrictions will not be lifted until next month, including a night curfew

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: ENGLAND'S COVID TIERS

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    UNICEF LAUNCHES APPEAL TO RAISE $2.5BN FOR MIDDLE EASTERN CHILDREN AFFECTED BY COVID

    The UN children's agency Monday appealed for $2.5 billion in new funds for 39 million children in the Middle East and North Africa impacted by war, poverty and the coronavirus pandemic.

    "The region is home to the highest number of children in need in the world," said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    "This is largely due to man-made crises including armed conflicts, poverty and economic stagnation."

    He said the latest appeal "aims to reach children with critical humanitarian assistance and continue responding to the massive needs emerging as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic".

    Children are most in need in war-torn Yemen, in and outside conflict-wracked Syria, and in Sudan, UNICEF said in a statement.

  • Joseph Gamp

    THOUSANDS OF HUNGARIANS TO PARTICIPATE IN RUSSIAN VACCINE CLINICAL TRIALS

    Around 3,000 to 5,000 Hungarians could participate in clinical trials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, Hungarian Human Resources Minister Miklos Kasler said on his Facebook page on Monday.

    Kasler said a Hungarian delegation of medical experts had received "detailed notification" about the Russian vaccine in Moscow, and observed "that the vaccine is being manufactured with the latest technology and with WHO protocols being applied." 

  • Joseph Gamp

    IN PICTURES: CROYDON UNI HOSPITAL TAKES DELIVERY OF FIRST BATCH OF VACCINES

    Credit: Twitter / NHS England
    Credit: Getty – Pool
    Credit: Getty – Pool

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    RUSSIA: KREMLIN REFUSES TO IMPOSE LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS

    The Kremlin is declining to impose lockdown restrictions to curb the sharp rise in coronavirus cases since September.

    Russian authorities believe the current set of measures in place were widely seen as ample.

    Infections have surged to record highs in recent weeks.

    Earlier today authorities confirmed 28,142 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, including 7,279 in Moscow. 

  • Joseph Gamp

    EMIRATES AIRLINES HAS CLOSED ITS GLASGOW OFFICE

    Emirates has closed its Glasgow sales office – blaming the impact of coronavirus pandemic for job losses.

    The airline, which previously ran three daily flights from Scotland to Dubai, has shut down its sales office as it suffered a £2.5 million half-year loss – its first for more than 30 years.

    The closure of the Glasgow office has resulted in four job losses.

    The company, which is the largest airline in the United Arab Emirates, previously operated two daily flights from Glasgow to Dubai and one from Edinburgh.

    However it said the pandemic has had an 'unprecedented impact' and it is carrying out redundancies 'across all markets'.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: JAMES CLEVERLY REFUSES TO SAY IF COVID ID IS ESSENTIALLY A 'VACCINE PASSPORT'

    Minister James Cleverly refuses to say if new Covid ID cards are effectively vaccine passports

  • Joseph Gamp

    PLYMOUTH MP JOHNNY MERCER SAYS HE WILL TAKE PART IN PHASE 3 CLINICAL TRIALS ON THURSDAY

    Veterans minister and Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer tweeted: "Huge news this morning that Plymouth is to be one of the first places in the UK to start rolling out the vaccine for Covid."

    He added: "I'll be taking part in a phase 3 clinical trial there on Thursday. I

    "f you think any of my behaviour is odd, do let me know."

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