Covid: Use your Covid travel vouchers and German minister’s winter warningon November 22, 2021 at 5:12 pm

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

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Tuesday.

Holidaymakers are being urged to use £132m worth of unspent vouchers issued during the pandemic before they lose financial protection. The credit notes were offered by travel firms as alternatives to cash refunds when holidays had to be cancelled. The vouchers are backed by the Atol insurance scheme and can be used towards new holidays or exchanged for cash. But the regulator said the refund protection against firms going bust will end on 30 September 2022. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also said travel firms would no longer be able to issue the Atol-protected cover after 20 December.

Waterfront in Malta

Image source, Getty Images

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Germany’s health minister has issued his starkest warning yet on the importance of getting vaccinated, saying that “by the end of this winter everyone in Germany will either be vaccinated, recovered or dead”. Jens Spahn was speaking at a news conference in Berlin as Germany, like much of Europe, continues to struggle with a fourth wave of coronavirus. The country has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, with 68% of people fully vaccinated. Mr Spahn said he was against making Covid vaccines compulsory but that it was a “moral obligation” to get the jab because it impacts on other people.

BBC made graph showing the trends of cases in Europe
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A doctor who died after contracting Covid-19 “touched a lot of lives” helping people, his brother has said. Dr Irfan Halim, 45, who worked at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, was taken ill on 10 September after collapsing on a coronavirus ward where he was working. The father-of-four died nine weeks later, not knowing that his father had also died in September. Amir Halim told the BBC he would make sure his brother’s children knew “what an amazing person he was”. Paying tribute to him, he said: “He was always very happy, very energetic. Till the day he passed a week ago he was exactly the same.”

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Kenyans will be barred from bars, restaurants and public transport from 21 December if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe says. With less than 10% of the population currently vaccinated, the measures are aimed at increasing the rate of vaccinations ahead of the festive season. Mr Kagwe raised concern about the slow uptake, saying a 10-day vaccination campaign would begin from 26 November. The Kenyan government is confident it has enough vaccines for its inoculation campaign with only 6.4 million jabs delivered so far out of the 10.7 million it has received.

A Kenyan medic gives a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, during a mass vaccination drive at the Dandora Health center in the Nairobi's informal settlement on August 10, 2021

Image source, AFP

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A heart warming aspect of the pandemic has been some of the extraordinary efforts done in the name of charity. One of those who has gone to great lengths to do their bit is 12-year-old Max Woosey, from Devon, who began camping in a tent in his garden back in March 2020. Tonight marks his 600th night sleeping outside and North Devon Hospice said the near £680,000 it had received from his efforts was “insane”. The hospice faced a £1m drop in funding because of the lockdown and the funds raised by Max have equated to almost 20 nurses for the whole year, the hospice said.

Max Woosey

Image source, Rachael Woosey

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Government statistics show 143,972 people have now died, with 45 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 9,889,926 people have tested positive, up 44,917 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 8,024 people in hospital. In total, 50,777,474 people have received their first vaccination

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

If you’re wondering how the vaccine rollout is going across the world you can read our explainer here.

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