UK coronavirus LIVE: Lockdown ‘long way’ from being lifted as first mass vaccine centres open in England

UK coronavirus LIVE: Lockdown ‘long way’ from being lifted as first mass vaccine centres open in England


ngland’s chief medical officer has warned the third lockdown is a “long way” from being lifted, despite a major step in the fight against coronavirus with the opening of seven mega vaccination centres

The seven mass vaccination centres are set to open in England today, offering jabs to those aged above 80, and health and care staff. Matt Hancock is also due to set out the Government’s new plan for delivering the vaccines.

Live updates


Sir Keir: “When I think about the economy I think about how it affects families”

The Labour leader said: “Family has always been really important to me… It’s meant everything to me that the NHS was there to care for my mum when she desperately needed it.”

He added: “When I think of Britain I think of the hopes of millions of families across the country”.

Sir Keir slammed the Government for doing “so little” to support families.


Sir Keir Starmer says vaccine is the “only way out of this darkness”

He told the press briefing: “As we start the New Year, we need a new approach and a new national contract.

“The British people must stay at home and in return the Government delivers on their priorities by delivering vaccines and securing the economy to protect families’ incomes and support businesses.”


Keir Starmer accuses Government of being “too slow” to act

The Labour leader told a press briefing: “The indecision and delays of the Prime Minister cost lives, and they cost people’s jobs. The British people will forgive many things, but they also know serial incompetence when they see it.

“And they know when a Prime Minister simply isn’t up to the job.”


Londoners warned of ‘very high chance’ of meeting people with Covid-19 if they don’t stay home

Some 19 of the 32 boroughs are now recording more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 population over a seven day period, a level that was unheard of in early December.


Hospital’s oxygen supply ‘critical’ amid rising numbers of Covid-19 patients

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust said in a letter to staff that the amount of oxygen used to treat patients at Southend Hospital should be reduced.

The document, shown to the BBC, said: “We have reached a critical situation with oxygen supply.

“It is imperative we use oxygen safely and efficiently.

“All patients should have a target saturation of 88–92 per cent. Patients with a saturation above 92 per cent which are on oxygen should have their oxygen weaned within the target range.

“I can assure all that maintaining saturations within this target range is safe and no patient will come to harm as a result.

“It is imperative that this is acted on immediately.”


More than 120k people tune in for the return of Joe Wicks’ PE with Joe live stream

Personal trainer Wicks, 34, shot to national fame during the first Covid-19 lockdown last March thanks to his daily online PE lessons.


All residents of nursing homes will have their first dose of the vaccine by the end of January, says Ireland’s Tanaiste

The Government anticipates they will be fully vaccinated by mid-February, which could cut the death rate in half, Leo Varadkar said.

Mr Varadkar told Today FM: “The reason why we’re doing nursing home staff and residents first is over half the deaths in the first wave were people in nursing homes.

“So even though it’s only a small percentage of the population, it could actually reduce the death rate in half.

“By the end of January we anticipate having all the nursing home residents and staff vaccinated, and by mid-February they’d have their second dose.”


New ‘Nightingale’ courts open in the High Court in London in coronavirus pandemic response

Two courtrooms within the sprawling Royal Courts of Justice estate in central London have been converted into emergency crown courtrooms for jury trials.


Tanaiste Leo Varadkar warns first two months of the year will be a “very, very rocky period” for Ireland’s health service

It comes as patients were forced to wait in ambulances at Letterkenny University Hospital before being admitted because of the high level of Covid-19 patients at the hospital.

Mr Varadkar told Dermot and Dave on Today FM: “The first two months of the year are going to be a very, very rocky period.

“The best thing we can do to help is to stay at home, if at all possible, to buy us some time so that we can get the vaccine to those who need it the most.”

He urged people to continue to attend hospitals for issues other than Covid-19 if they need to.

He said: “People who are, you know, suffering from an emergency, who may be experiencing, say, a stroke or heart attack, don’t be afraid to go to hospitals, don’t be afraid to use the emergency service.”


Japan discovers new Covid variant in Brazilian travellers

The Japanese Health Ministry said that the new Brazilian variant differs from the ones discovered in Britain and South Africa.