Covid-19: Germany facing fourth wave and NI votes for mandatory Covid passportson November 17, 2021 at 5:13 pm

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday evening.

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

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the country is being hit by a fourth wave of the pandemic with “full force” as the seven-day infection rate hits a new peak for the 10th consecutive day. Mrs Merkel told a congress of German city mayors that new infections were higher than ever before and the daily death toll was “frightening”. The central government and leaders of Germany’s 16 states are due to meet this week to discuss new national restrictions. There are also concerns that Germany’s renowned Christmas markets could be cancelled for a second year running.

A man walking past a coronavirus sign in Germany

Image source, Reuters

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Healthy children in the UK aged 12 to 17 are being told to wait 12 weeks after an infection before having a Covid jab, in an update to guidance. Previously, the advice was to leave a four-week gap. The change is a precaution against the small risk of heart inflammation, the UK Health Security Agency said. UK vaccine advisers also recommended a 12-week gap between doses when they gave the green light on Monday for 16 and 17-year-olds to get a second jab. When can teenagers get a second dose?

Child being given a vaccine by a doctor while her mother watches

Image source, Getty Images

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Ministers in Northern Ireland have voted in favour of mandatory Covid vaccine passports to be introduced in the country from next month, the BBC has been told. Under the measure, people would need a passport to access venues such as nightclubs, pubs and restaurants. Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party and the SDLP all backed the proposals from Health Minister Robin Swann. It is understood that DUP ministers voted against the move, with the result finishing six to four.

A hand holding a phone which is displaying a Covid-19 vaccine certificate
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In Scotland, pubs and restaurants say they could face an “avalanche of cancellations” if the country’s vaccine certification scheme is extended before Christmas. The Scottish government said extra mitigations could be put in place at hospitality venues from 6 December. Deputy First Minister John Swinney told the BBC one option is for people to have to show proof of a negative Covid test as well as vaccination. But bar and restaurant owners have warned that introducing “draconian” measures now would be “a massive step backwards”.

vaccine certificate in pub

Image source, Getty Images

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The night sky of London is due to glow like the famous Northern Lights this Christmas as an international artist projects his work over the city. The Borealis, by Switzerland-based Dan Acher, will be part of a larger “winter lights” season across the capital. Wendy Hyde, chairperson of the London Assembly’s culture, and heritage committee, said the arts were “playing a leading role in our recovery from the pandemic”.

Illuminations from previous years

Image source, Doug Southall

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Take a look at when the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds across the UK.

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

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