Covid: No new measures but nothing ruled out, and festive football goes aheadon December 20, 2021 at 7:01 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 tomorrow morning.

1. No new Covid measures but we rule nothing out, says PM

No new measures to stop the spread of coronavirus are being introduced in England yet, Boris Johnson has said, but the government will rule nothing out and is “looking at all kinds of things”. The prime minister was speaking after a cabinet meeting where scientists briefed ministers, and options for new restrictions were discussed. He said the government would keep data under constant review and “we will have to reserve the possibility of taking further action to protect the public and our NHS”, adding “we won’t hesitate to take action”. A further 91,743 Covid cases were reported across the UK on Monday, the second highest daily total on record.

Boris Johnson
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2. Premier League Christmas fixtures to go ahead

Premier League football clubs have chosen to fulfil their fixtures over the Christmas period – despite ongoing disruption caused by Covid cases. The league’s 20 clubs met to discuss how they could deal with the challenges faced after six fixtures were postponed because of Covid-19 numbers over the weekend. Two rounds of fixtures remain in place across five days from 26 December.

Football fan wearing face covering at Newcastle United v Manchester City on 19 December 2021

Image source, Getty Images

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3. Christmas Day guidance in Scotland ‘will not change’

People in Scotland will not face fresh restrictions on Christmas Day gatherings, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. People have been advised to reduce their contacts as much as possible in the coming days, but have not been asked to cancel Christmas plans. Ms Sturgeon said guidance for individuals would not change despite ongoing concerns about Covid-19. The first minister said she wanted “people to have clarity about what we are expecting of them”, and that they should “listen carefully to advice”. Cabinet was meeting tomorrow, she said, and any other steps that needed to be taken would be announced to the Scottish parliament then – but she stressed she was not changing the advice for individuals around Christmas.

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4. Queen cancels spending Christmas in Sandringham

The Queen has cancelled her traditional Christmas in Sandringham in Norfolk, amid concerns about the rising levels of the Omicron variant. Instead she will stay in Windsor where she will be joined by members of the Royal Family. Buckingham Palace aides described it as a personal decision and “reflects a precautionary approach”. It is the second year the pandemic has caused the cancellation of the Queen’s Christmas trip to Sandringham. Last week the Queen announced that she would not be going ahead with her family pre-Christmas lunch.

The Queen

Image source, Joe Giddens

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5. Davos world leaders’ event postponed because of Omicron

The elite annual gathering of business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in mid-January has been postponed due to the spread of Omicron. Organisers said the current pandemic conditions “make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting” and they will instead host a series of “state of the world” sessions online.

Davos event in 2018

Image source, Reuters

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Government statistics show 147,261 people have now died, with 44 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 11,453,121 people have tested positive, up 91,743 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 7,482 people in hospital. In total, 51,498,034 people have received their first vaccination. Updated 20 Dec.

And there’s more…

With face coverings now compulsory again in many indoor spaces across the UK, find out about all the rules here.

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

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Image source, BBC

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