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.
A bomb hoaxer who sent a suspicious package to a Covid vaccine plant has been jailed for two years and three months. Anthony Collins, 54, from Chatham, Kent, was convicted of posting the package to Oxford-AstraZeneca’s factory in Wrexham, with the intention of making people believe it was likely to explode or ignite. Some 120 people had to stop manufacturing vaccines and bomb disposal teams found no explosives.
Poland has recorded more than 25,000 daily infections for the first time since April, as much of Europe battles a fourth wave of the pandemic. There were 28,380 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours – a 17% increase from cases reported a week ago – and 460 coronavirus-related deaths. The government has so far been reluctant to introduce more restrictions, citing street protests in the Netherlands and Austria. But earlier this week, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said restrictions could be reintroduced if the infection rate did not begin to fall by mid-December.
A Bill to create a legal process to settle disputes between commercial tenants and their landlords for rent arrears accrued during the pandemic has had its second reading the Commons. The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill is aimed at bringing a “swift” resolution to rent disputes after businesses in England and Wales were forced to close during the pandemic. The government is aiming for the Bill to become law by 25 March, when some temporary measures to help businesses falling behind on rent are due to expire.
People in Northern Ireland have been urged to behave responsibly and “save Christmas” as emergency departments in the country come under heavy pressure. Andrew Dobbin, a consultant at Ulster Hospital, said the stream of very sick patients turning up at the emergency department was “relentless”. The director of hospital services, David Robinson, urged people to get vaccinated, as many of the Covid patients in the intensive care unit had not been.
Consumers could face a reduced food choice this Christmas because of supply chain issues, MPs have been warned. Shane Brennan, head of the Cold Chain Federation, said suppliers were scaling back plans to ensure they could deliver. The federation represents firms involved in the storage and distribution of chilled and frozen products. The coronavirus pandemic, Brexit and tax changes have been blamed for contributing to lorry driver shortages.
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