Covid: English pubs welcome no curbs and France tightens measureson December 28, 2021 at 7:55 am

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

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday morning.

1. No new curbs welcomed by hospitality industry

The hospitality sector has welcomed the decision not to impose further Covid restrictions in England. It described the decision as a “lifeline” for pubs, bars and clubs, which have been looking to New Year’s Eve trade to recoup pre-Christmas losses. On Monday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the government would re-evaluate the situation in January. But he said people should remain cautious and celebrate outside on New Year’s Eve if possible.

Four people at an outdoor event dancing

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2. France tightens Covid restrictions

France has announced tighter Covid restrictions amid concerns over the Omicron variant. From 3 January, remote working will become compulsory for those who can and public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events. France recorded more than 100,000 new infections on Saturday – the highest number reported in the country since the pandemic began. But France’s prime minister Jean Castex did not bring in a New Year’s Eve curfew.

Nursing assistants tend to a patient infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19) at the reanimation unit of the Antoine Beclere AP-HP hospital in Clamart, outside Paris, on December 23, 2021

Image source, Getty Images

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3. Hundreds given false results after Sydney lab error

Hundreds of people were told they did not have Covid when they had tested positive after a “data processing error” at a lab in Sydney, Australia. The SydPath lab apologised in a statement on Tuesday and said the mistake, which affected 886 people in total, had happened as workers faced an unprecedented volume of tests. The Australian state of New South Wales is seeing rising infection numbers following the arrival of the Omicron variant. Some of those affected have expressed concern that they may have unknowingly infected their loved ones over Christmas.

Health workers conduct COVID-19 tests at the Bondi Beach testing clinic on December 28, 2021 in Sydney, Australia

Image source, Getty Images

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4. US halves self-isolation time for asymptomatic cases

The United States has halved the recommended isolation time for people with asymptomatic Covid infections from 10 to five days. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that this must be followed by five days of wearing a mask around others. While the new recommendations are not mandatory, they are closely followed by many businesses and policymakers across the US. The CDC said the change is “motivated by science” demonstrating that most transmission happens early in the course of illness.

Medical workers prepare tests at a new testing site inside the Times Square subway station in New York City

Image source, Getty Images

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5. Medic hopes vaccine uptake will mean Wales avoids more lockdowns

More than one and a half million people have now had a booster in Wales, and a senior doctor says he hopes this means there won’t be a return to lockdowns. British Medical Association chairman in Wales Dr David Bailey said after the “big push” to get people jabbed before Christmas, he would expect to see reduced Omicron transmission in the very early part of the new year. New rules including limits on social gatherings came into force on Sunday in Wales.

Wales is shut sign

Image source, Getty Images

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And there’s more…

With different rules in place in the four nations of the UK here is a reminder of what the restrictions are.

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

Government statistics show 148,003 people have now died, with 143 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 12,239,835 people have tested positive, up 109,077 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 8,240 people in hospital. In total, 51,663,078 people have have had at least one vaccination
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