Coronavirus UK Update Live: Breaking News As Pfizer Vaccine Works Against New Variants

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UK to require negative Covid test for overseas arrivals, according to Shapps.mp4

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech protects against two new mutant variants, including one causing rapid spread across the UK, according to new research.
The US pharmaceutical giant and researchers at the University of Texas carried out laboratory tests on the variants, one of which was found in the UK and the other from South Africa.
In their study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, blood samples were taken from 20 people who received the Pfizer vaccine.

Laboratory studies revealed that the samples had neutralizing levels of antibodies that worked against the new variants.

All travelers to England and Scotland from international destinations must now be able to show proof of a negative Covid test before they can enter the country.

According to plans laid out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, starting next week, passengers arriving in England by boat, train or plane – including British nationals – will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the Departure country.
Similar measures have been announced by the Scottish government, while officials are said to work closely with the decentralized administrations of Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt them there.

It comes after the UK recorded 1,162 deaths on Thursday, the highest daily toll since the peak of 1,224 reported on April 21.

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Fraudster charged 92-year-old woman £ 160 for fake vaccine

Police are looking for a man who posed as an NHS worker and charged a 92-year-old woman with £ 160 for a fake coronavirus vaccine.

City of London Police said the victim, who lives in Surbiton, southwest London, allowed the man to return home on December 30, where he punched her in the body. arm with a “dart-shaped instrument”.

has more on this story below:
Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 9:52 AM
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Calls on travelers to the UK to also be tested on arrival

House of Commons Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper welcomed the pre-departure Covid testing, but noted that “many countries have been in place for some time” and that it there are still “many gaps” in the British approach.

“Currently the UK still has no arrival testing and very uneven self-isolation arrangements for arriving travelers, unlike strong arrival testing and quarantine arrangements that other countries have, ”the Labor MP said.

“Since arriving travelers may still have contracted the virus in the past 72 hours, or during their trip, the government must explain why it is not also introducing on-arrival testing and quarantine measures and clearer application to prevent new variants from taking hold or threatening the vaccination program.

Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 9:36 AM
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Hospitals in Ipswich and Colchester are full and the NHS faces a ‘very, very serious situation’

Hospitals in Ipswich and Colchester are ‘full’ while the NHS faces a ‘very, very serious situation’, the managing director of the NHS East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust said.

Nick Hulme told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “The real picture for the two hospitals I am responsible for – Ipswich and Colchester – is that we are full.
“The problem with capacity or occupancy data is that it doesn’t give a true picture – an empty bed is not necessarily an available bed as we have to keep some empty beds for infection control reasons.

“The picture is this is a very, very serious situation for the NHS, the worst I’ve seen in my career by far, and we have to be honest about it. ”
Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 9:22 AM
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Workers exempt from travel quarantine must still pass Covid test, says Shapps

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said people whose jobs mean they qualify for travel quarantine exemptions will need to take a coronavirus test before traveling.
The government lists dozens of jobs that may be exempt from completing the passenger locator or self-isolation form, including some defense personnel, elite athletes and health workers.
Mr Shapps told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that while they do not need the quarantine, they “will not be exempt from taking the Covid test”.
Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 9:08 AM
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Passengers Expected to Start ‘Rising’ As Vaccines Roll Out, Heathrow Boss Says

Heathrow Airport Managing Director John Holland-Kaye said as coronavirus vaccines rolled out in the UK and other countries, flights would return and passenger numbers would start to “Increase” during the summer and until the fall.

But he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “It is a very long time for the aviation sector to survive and we need government support for the airport sector. We are already seeing some airports close. ”

He said Heathrow had requested relief in commercial tariffs for airports, as has been planned for the retail sector.

Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 9:00 AM
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Heathrow boss launches idea of ​​’global standard’ for pre-flight testing

Building on his previous comments, Heathrow Airport Managing Director John Holland-Kaye said the government should move to a “global standard” for pre-departure testing.
He told Sky News: “Take a test three days before people leave, isolate themselves in their home country, then take a second test at the airport to confirm they don’t have Covid before. to take the plane. plane, and then be able to travel freely thereafter.

“Now is not the time to do it – we face a new threat with these new variants from South Africa and here in the UK, so we need a much stricter regime, but it needs to be. have a plan in place now for what’s to come. next. ”
Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 8:50 AM
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Heathrow Airport boss suggests ‘common international standard for testing’

The differences between travel and country testing rules are “very confusing” for travelers, the Heathrow airport chief executive said.

John Holland-Kaye argued that the UK government could take the lead in developing a “common international standard for testing”.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today show if there was a country that was doing well in managing travel and testing rules, he said: “It is not clear that a single country is right. ”

Mr. Holland-Kaye added: “In fact, one of the concerns of passengers is that it is very confusing to know what the rules are in different countries. ”

Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 8:42 AM
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Welsh Prime Minister ‘strongly supports’ mandatory testing for travelers to England and Scotland

Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has said he “strongly supports” plans to require all travelers to England and Scotland from international destinations to test negative for the coronavirus before they can enter the country.
“No one is coming to Wales yet,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“Our airport is closed to passenger traffic and people entering Welsh ports all come from the common travel area and these rules do not apply to people in these circumstances.

“So at the moment it doesn’t apply in Wales because nobody comes to Wales the same way people still come to England and Scotland, but I strongly support what is being done.

“When people start traveling to Wales from other parts of the world, we expect exactly the same rules to apply. ”
Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 8:33 AM
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UK Covid death toll exceeds 1,000 for second day in a row

Yesterday, more than 1,000 new Covid-19-related deaths in the UK were reported for the second day in a row, as hospital admissions passed the peak of the first wave.
The government said an additional 1,162 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, the second day in a row they were over 1,000.
It was also the highest daily total since the peak of 1,224 reported on April 21.
Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 8:25 AM
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New compulsory Covid tests for travelers – explained

The independenttravel correspondent of Simon Calder put together this explainer on the new Covid testing requirements for travelers in England and Scotland:
Chiara GiordanoJanuary 8, 2021 8:16 AM

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