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 in the morning.
1. Self-isolation law could be scrapped in England this month, PM says
All remaining Covid restrictions in England – including the legal requirement to self-isolate – could end later this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. Under current rules, anyone who tests positive must self-isolate for at least five days. While existing restrictions are due to expire on 24 March, the PM told MPs he expected they would end early – as long as the positive trends in the Covid data continue. Mr Johnson added the government will announce a plan for living with Covid after 21 February, when Parliament returns from a break.
2. Picture of PM and bubbly at No 10 quiz published
In a new “partygate” revelation, a photo showing Boris Johnson standing next to a bottle of sparkling wine at what appears to be a Christmas event in Downing Street has been published. In the photo from 15 December 2020, published by the Daily Mirror, the PM is seen with three staff, with an open wine bottle and crisps on a desk in front of them. Mr Johnson’s spokesman insisted the event was a “virtual quiz”. The Metropolitan Police, which previously decided not to look at this gathering as part of its investigation of government lockdown parties, has said it is reviewing the decision not to investigate.
3. Watchdog to review Capt Sir Tom Moore charity’s accounts
The accounts of the charity set up in honour of Capt Sir Tom Moore will be reviewed by the Charity Commission. The Captain Tom Foundation’s books show it gave out grants of £160,000 to four charities, but spent nearly £210,000 on support costs in its first year – including more than £162,000 in management fees. The accounts also show £16,000 was paid in reimbursement to a company run by Captain Sir Tom’s daughter. The foundation has welcomed the commission’s input. Capt Sir Tom walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden at the start of lockdown in 2020, raising £33m for NHS charities, but died last year at the age of 100.
4. Minister apologises for not ending meeting after positive Covid test
Health minister Gillian Keegan has apologised for continuing a meeting despite discovering she had tested positive for Covid. She said she found out her result during a visit with group of bereaved fathers on Tuesday, after taking a “precautionary” lateral flow test. She said she briefly continued to talk with them with their consent, but added this was “an error of judgment”. One of the fathers confirmed to the BBC they agreed to keep talking while she moved further away, adding Ms Keegan had “nothing to apologise for”.
5. Covid waste water testing technology could measure happiness
Ever thought sewage was the key to understanding happiness? It turns out technology used to test Covid levels from waste water could be used to gauge “how happy the nation is”, according to one Welsh scientist. During the pandemic sewage in Wales has been tested to tell whether Covid levels are rising or falling within communities. Prof Davey Jones, of Bangor University, described waste water as an “incredible Pandora’s box which just needs to be opened”, which could be used to indicate levels of drug use, as well as the presence of viruses, microplastics and levels of serotonin, which can modulate mood.
And there’s more…
Confused about how exams in England and Wales will work this year? Click here to read about the latest information published by exam boards.
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