Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday evening.
Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Saturday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed the urgent need for Britons to get their Covid booster jabs, as he warned coronavirus “storm clouds” gathering over parts of Europe could reach the UK. While new infections currently remain steady in the UK, countries such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have seen steep rises in positive cases, with some moving to bring in tougher Covid restrictions. Mr Johnson said there was no room for complacency in the UK, warning that if booster jabs were not in arms fast enough “we can see the potential risks to the state of the pandemic in what’s happening in other parts of Europe”.
The Netherlands is facing western Europe’s first partial coronavirus lockdown of the winter after record infections and rising intensive care cases in hospitals. According to reports in Dutch media, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s caretaker government agreed late on Thursday that the three-week partial lockdown would start on Saturday evening. The restrictions are due to be confirmed later on Friday. It’s believed the measures will see non-essential shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels having to close at 19:00. Professional sport will be allowed to continue – but without spectators.
Drugs giant AstraZeneca will start to draw an income from its Covid vaccine through a string of for-profit deals next year. Other vaccine makers, including Pfizer and Moderna have been making profits from their jabs. AstraZeneca had been providing its vaccine – which was developed with the University of Oxford – to countries on a not-for-profit basis, and previously said it would only start to make money from it when Covid-19 was no longer a pandemic. AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot says the disease is becoming endemic in society. The firm will continue to supply its vaccine on a not-for-profit basis to poorer countries.
Dozens of military personnel will continue to help ease pressure on two Scottish health boards after the Ministry of Defence granted an extension to assistance efforts. The support for NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders was due to end on 10 November but the MoD has approved its continuation into December in both areas, with some 84 personnel remaining to help.
A woman whose TikTok videos of her singing in a supermarket – which have been viewed millions of times during the coronavirus lockdown – has landed her dream job in the West End. Hannah Lowther, 24, from Reading, took the retail job when theatres shut during the pandemic. She posted the videos while at work, changing lyrics to popular songs, including Dolly Parton’s hit 9-5, while using props from the shelves. Hannah has now been cast in Heathers The Musical when it opens in London later this month.
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Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
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