Covid: Nightclubs in Wales to shut and Scotland’s restrictions take effecton December 17, 2021 at 7:49 am

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

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

1. Nightclubs to shut as Wales imposes restrictions

Nightclubs will close in Wales after Boxing Day – staying shut over new year – while businesses will be required to enforce restrictions, such as social distancing in shops and workplaces, from 27 December. First Minister Mark Drakeford is calling on people to avoid meeting “wider circles of friends” in a bid to hinder the spread of the Omicron variant, which helped drive the number of coronavirus cases to a record 88,376 on Thursday.

Generic image showing shoppers in Cardiff

Image source, PA Media

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2. Scotland’s new rules come into force

Restrictions requiring shops and hospitality outlets to reduce crowding and queueing, erect screens and barriers, and enforce the wearing of face masks have taken effect in Scotland. Holyrood ministers have offered £100m of support to firms, and are calling on the UK government to provide additional funds.

Alana Forrest
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3. ‘Covid stopped my life-saving operation’

The number of coronavirus patients – many of them unvaccinated – in hospital is having a knock-on effect on other patients. As Lara Wahab explains, she has type 1 diabetes and needs a life-saving kidney and pancreas transplant. But despite matching organs being found, she says her hospital couldn’t do the operation because no intensive care beds were available.

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4. Concerns over using student teachers as substitute cover

Officials looked into the possibility of using student teachers as substitute cover in Northern Ireland’s schools but Education Minister Michelle McIlveen says universities raised significant concerns. She says she concluded it would not be “reasonable or fair to use student teachers to address the current short-term pressure”.

Stock picture of teacher in front of class

Image source, Getty Images

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5. ‘I’m worried about Covid – can I get a refund?’

Having second thoughts about attending a gig, football match or panto? Ticket resale websites are finding supply far outweighing demand, as people heed warnings about the spread of the Omicron variant, and in many cases customers are not entitled to a refund. Newsbeat hears from a consumer rights specialist at Which? about what can be done.

A photo of OG Courts

Image source, OG Courts

And don’t forget…

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

Wondering if children will be going to school in January? We run through what ministers in the UK’s nations have said about testing, masks and ventilation in class.

Government statistics show 146,973 people have now died, with 146 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 11,097,51 people have tested positive, up 88,376 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 7,579 people in hospital. In total, 51,360,976 people have received their first vaccination
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