Covid-19: ‘Unethical’ vaccine passports and staff plea to returning customerson April 17, 2021 at 5:59 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday morning.

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

No 10 is facing increasing opposition to coronavirus passports, with more than 1,200 church ministers now urging Boris Johnson in an open letter not to introduce them. Anglican and Catholic ministers have written to the prime minister calling such certificates an “unethical form of coercion” and a tool that could create a “surveillance state”. They join the UK equality watchdog which this week warned passports could create a “two-tier society”. So, what are the UK plans for Covid passports?

A nurse administers a coronavirus vaccine

image copyrightPA Media

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As non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants in England prepare for their first weekend open since restrictions eased, staff are asking customers to consider those working. “Just try and be kind to all the workers,” says Hannah, a Primark employee. She recalls her first shift back on Tuesday as “chaos” and hopes this weekend customers will be less “rude”. Read more about the roadmap for lifting lockdown.

Primark shop front

image copyrightGetty Images

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“Once again many outsiders have underestimated Russia,” an Eastern European diplomat told the BBC, drawing parallels between the 2020 search for a coronavirus vaccine with the 1950s race for a space flight. Russian scientists seem to have – once again – surprised the West. Although its Sputnik V vaccine has not yet been approved by the EU’s European Medicines Agency, it has already been ordered by countries including Argentina, Mexico, Israel and the Philippines. Now, parts of Europe are starting to turn to Moscow out of frustration with the EU’s slow vaccine rollout. Meanwhile, how fast is vaccine progress around the world?

A medical worker administers the Sputnik V vaccine to a young woman in Hungary, 13 April 2021

image copyrightEPA

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Gary and Jude Stewart were married for more than five decades. Jude moved into a care home after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and died earlier this year after contracting coronavirus. But, like so many other families who have lost loved ones during the pandemic, only 30 people could attend her funeral and they had to socially distance. Her husband described it as a “ridiculous non-event”. His comments come ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, which will also adhere to Covid rules.

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses around the world to adapt, as lockdown restrictions limit people’s movements and activities. The hospitality sector has been hit particularly hard. But one Michelin-starred restaurant in Amsterdam has turned from fine dining to takeaway burgers. A burger costs €20 (£17) – without chips.

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Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Chart showing latest UK Covid data
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