Great Britain

Coronavirus UK news – Queen may be first in line for Covid jab as Hancock says vaccine could help ease measures by March

THE Queen may be the first in line for a Covid vaccine as Matt Hancock says the jab could help ease measures by March.

Scientists hope the move will curb anti-vaxxers and get Brits vaccinated as the first UK jabs will be administered on Tuesday.

The Sunday Times reports that royal aides said it was a “personal decision” and a “private matter" as to whether the couple would be among the first Brits to receive the vaccination.

But, if they do get the jab, it's possible Her Majesty will allow that information to become public, to encourage fellow Britons to also be vaccinated against the rampaging bug.

This comes as The Health Secretary told the Telegraph he can't wait to scrap the Tier system and allow a return to normal life by the Spring.

Mr Hancock said that the swift approval of Pfizer and Biontech’s coronavirus vaccine earlier this week would bring about a quicker end to measures which have upended life for Brits since last March. 

Follow our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news, reaction and updates on the lockdown plans...

  • NEW CORONAVIRUS VACCINE ARRIVES IN SCOTLAND

    Scotland has received its first delivery of the new coronavirus vaccine, the Health Secretary has announced.

    Jeane Freeman confirmed the arrival of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine ahead of its rollout from Tuesday.

    She said the vaccine, which has to be kept at between minus 70C and minus 80C, is being stored before vaccinations begin next week.

    Those giving out the vaccine, people aged over 80 and health and social care workers will be the first to receive it.

    Scotland will receive 8.2% of the 800,000 doses – just over 65,500 – in the first delivery secured by the UK, with more expected in the weeks ahead

  • HUGE SECURITY OPERATION TO PROTECT JABS FROM GANGS

    A huge security operation is being mounted to guard the Covid-19 vaccines from criminal gangs.

    Intelligence agencies and security services have warned ministers about organised syndicates planning to intercept the precious treatments.

    Prof Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “Despite the complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history from Tuesday.” 

    Hi-tech trucks have been equipped with satellite GPS tracking, locking systems and alarms as they prepare to dispatch the first of 800,000 Pfizer/BioNTech doses to three locations in the next 48 hours.

  • KEIR STARMER SELF ISOLATING AFTER OFFICE MEMBER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is self-isolating after a member of his private office tested positive for coronavirus, the party has said.

    “Keir is well and not showing any symptoms. He will now be working from home,” a spokesman for Sir Keir said.

  • QUEEN AND PRINCE CHARLES FIRST TO GET COVID JAB

    The Queen and Prince Philip may be among the first to receive protective Covid jabs in a bid to curb anti-vaxxers and get Brits vaccinated.

    The first jabs will be administered in each of the UK nations on Tuesday.

    The Sunday Times reports that royal aides said it was a “personal decision” and a “private matter" as to whether the couple would be among the first Brits to receive the vaccination.

    But, if they do get the jab, it's possible Her Majesty will allow that information to become public, to encourage fellow Britons to also be vaccinated against the rampaging bug.

  • DRINKER CLAIMS TO GET £500 WORTH OF BOOZE WITH JUST ONE SCOTCH EGG

    A drinker has claimed they managed to buy almost £500 worth of booze alongside just ONE scotch egg under new coronavirus rules.

    A receipt for a posh restaurant in central London appears to show that a table of nine guests managed to get through 63 pints of Peroni - at £6.50 a glass.

    The Refinery, which is under Tier 2 restrictions, also apparently served them twelve glasses of prosecco, for £6.95.

    The bill then shows a single chorizo scotch egg was ordered for the whole table - costing £7.25.

    However a spokesperson for The Refinery New Street said: "The bill has clearly been cropped and a substantial amount of food was consumed.

    "The order also included three charcuterie platters, a number of yakitori plates, three falafel, a beetroot and feta salad and several portion of fries.

    "All Tier 2 restrictions in line with Government policy were strictly adhered to. The safety of our team and our guests are our number one priority – our team wear masks, adhere to social distancing, service is at the table, payment contactless and we follow the most stringent of hygiene procedures”"

  • INDIA’S CASES FALL BELOW 50,000 FOR FIRST TIME IN A MONTH

    India has registered 36,652 confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

    India’s health ministry on Saturday also recorded 512 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total deaths to nearly 140,000.

    The pace of new cases has seen a downward trend, with single-day cases remaining below the 50,000 mark a month.

    India has 9.6 million total cases, second behind the U.S. with 14.3 million. But globally it has one of the lowest deaths per million population, according to the Health Ministry.

    India’s home ministry has allowed states to impose local restrictions, such as night curfews. It has asked state officials to consult before imposing lockdowns at state, district or city levels.

  • CHINA'S 'BAT WOMAN' WARNS OF OTHER ANIMALS CARRYING COVID-TYPE VIRUSES

    A Chinese scientist has warned bats could be carrying even more deadly coronaviruses that could transmit to humans just like Covid.

    Dr Shi Zheng-Li - known as "Bat Woman" for her research - called on experts worldwide to hunt down these infections to stop another potential pandemic.

    The scientist warned that bats, particularly in China and South Asia, could be carrying coronaviruses which could mutate and cross over to humans.

    She said some the bugs were similar to Covid-19, which is believed to have made the jump at a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

    Spreading out from the city like wildfire, almost one year on the coronavirus has gone on to kill 1.5million people worldwide and infected 66million.

    "We should not only search for them in China, but also in south Asian countries," Dr Shi said.

    She added: "We think these viruses have a high risk of interspecies transmission to human."

  • MEDWAY IS UK'S NUMBER ONE COVID HOTSPOT

    Medway in Kent is now the country's number one coronavirus hotspot, startling new figures show.

    The hard-hit district has seen its infection rate soar after more than 1,600 new people tested positive for Covid-19.

    The news comes as most of England - 250 out of 315 - has recorded a week-on-week fall in cases.

    Medway recorded 1,620 new cases in the seven days to November 30 - the equivalent of 581.6 cases per 100,000 people.

    This is up from 449.5 in the seven days to November 23, according to Public Health England data

    Swale - also in Kent - has the second highest rate, up very slightly from 561.7 to 567.7, with 852 new cases.

  • WALES RECORDS 24 NEW DEATHS AND 1,645 CASES

    There have been a further 1,645 cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 87,077.

    Public Health Wales reported another 24 deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 2,695.

  • BARMAN SLAMS PUNTERS FOR FOOD WASTE

    A barman has begged punters to only go for a pint if they're hungry - because meals ordered for the drinks are being thrown into the bin untouched.

    Will Dalrymple, who works in a Tier 2 boozer, made the plea as cooped-up Brits head out to raise a glass with pals amid 'confusing' new Covid rules.

    In Tier 2 and 3 areas, pub-goers have been told they must order a 'substantial' meal to have a drink - although there's been widespread uncertainty about what actually counts.

    Now Will has taken to Twitter to urge drinkers to be ready to eat so that pub grub doesn't go to waste.

    And he shared a photo of three plates of sandwiches with accompanying bowls of chips that had been left uneaten by punters.

  • COVID DEATHS FALL AGAIN

    The UK's new Covid cases and deaths have fallen again, with 397 more people dying and 15,539 testing positive.

    The increases take the UK's total case number to 1,705,971, while the death toll is 61,014.

    Today's new figures are lower than yesterday's, as the effects of the month-long coronavirus lockdown begin to show.

    Yesterday, cases rose by 16,298, whiledeaths increased by 504.

    And last Saturday, there were 15,871 new infections and 479 deaths - meaning there has been a slight dip for both figures compared to the same time last week.

  • RETAIL THERAPY

    Millions of Brits hit the shops today after high street stores re-opened following the lifting of the nationwide lockdown.

    Shoppers and drinkers are tipped to splash out £1.5 BILLION to help boost the UK’s broke economy on what has been dubbed "Stupor Saturday”.

    Malls were rammed with punters keen to catch up with their shopping and grab some huge bargains in the run up to Christmas.

    The much-needed boost - which is being seen as a life-line to the economy - comes on the first non-working day since lockdown ended.

    More than 300,000 people are tipped to hit London’s West End, 150,000 at Birmingham’s Bullring and 120,000 at Manchester’s Trafford Centre by close of business today.

  • TURKEY COVID-19 DEATHS REACH RECORD DAILY HIGH

    Turkey's daily coronavirus deaths hit a record high on Saturday, with 196 fatalities in the last 24 hours, data from the Health Ministry showed,.

    The latest figures bring the country's total death toll to 14,705.

    Turkey also recorded 31,896 new coronavirus cases, including asymptomatic ones, in the last 24 hours, down from Friday's 32,736.

    Cases also reached their highest daily number reported by Ankara since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

  • UK COVID CASES AND DEATHS FALL IN LATEST DAILY FIGURES

    THE UK's new Covid cases and deaths have fallen again, with 397 more people dying and 15,539 testing positive.

    The increases take the UK's total case number to 1,705,971, while the death toll is 61,014.

    Read more here.

  • WARNING SHOT

    North Korea executed a man by firing squad for breaking Covid restrictions in a chilling warning to others, say reports.

    He was reportedly gunned down in front of a crowd of terrified citizens in a bid to scare them into following Kim Jong-un's strict pandemic rules.

    Reports from the region say the unnamed man, who was in his 50s, was killed after he crossed the sealed-off border with China to carry out "illegal" business affairs.

    He was killed on November 28 by a "firing squad" for violating "emergency quarantine measures", reports RadioFreeAsia.

  • NEW CORONAVIRUS VACCINE ARRIVES IN SCOTLAND

    Scotland has received its first delivery of the new coronavirus vaccine, the Health Secretary has announced.

    Jeane Freeman confirmed the arrival of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine ahead of its rollout from Tuesday.

    She said the vaccine, which has to be kept at between minus 70C and minus 80C, is being stored before vaccinations begin next week.

    Those giving out the vaccine, people aged over 80 and health and social care workers will be the first to receive it.

    Scotland will receive 8.2% of the 800,000 doses - just over 65,500 - in the first delivery secured by the UK, with more expected in the weeks ahead

  • US CONFIRMS MORE THAN 210,000 COVID CASES IN 24 HOURS

    The United States has recorded more than 210,000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The figures are an all-time high for the country since the start of the pandemic.

    The number of new deaths over the same period was 2,907, the university says, one of the worst US daily tolls yet according to figures recorded by AFP.

  • KEIR STARMER SELF ISOLATING AFTER OFFICE MEMBER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is self-isolating after a member of his private office tested positive for coronavirus, the party has said.

    "Keir is well and not showing any symptoms. He will now be working from home," a spokesman for Sir Keir said.

  • WALES RECORDS 24 NEW DEATHS AND 1,645 CASES

    There have been a further 1,645 cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 87,077.

    Public Health Wales reported another 24 deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 2,695.

  • SCOTLAND RECORDS 777 NEW CASES AND 22 FURTHER DEATHS

    Scotland has recorded 22 coronavirus deaths and 777 new cases in the past 24 hours, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

    The number of deaths of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days was down from the 41 announced on Friday. The cases are 189 lower.

    There were also 945 people in hospital with recently-confirmed Covid-19.

    Of those, 64 were in intensive care.

    In the past 24 hours, the results of 20,723 tests were confirmed, with 4.5% of people testing positive for the virus.

  • LIVERPOOL MAYOR RELEASED ON BAIL FOLLOWING ARREST

    Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has been released on bail after being arrested with four other people by detectives investigating allegations of bribery and witness intimidation linked to building contracts.

    Merseyside Police said in a statement: "We can confirm that five people arrested in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation as part of an investigation on into building and development contracts in Liverpool have been released on conditional bail pending further inquiries."

    Anderson, 62, was detained on Friday and taken to a police station for questioning.

  • INDIA'S CASES FALL BELOW 50,000 FOR FIRST TIME IN A MONTH

    India has registered 36,652 confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

    India's health ministry on Saturday also recorded 512 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total deaths to nearly 140,000.

    The pace of new cases has seen a downward trend, with single-day cases remaining below the 50,000 mark a month.

    India has 9.6 million total cases, second behind the U.S. with 14.3 million. But globally it has one of the lowest deaths per million population, according to the Health Ministry.

    India's home ministry has allowed states to impose local restrictions, such as night curfews. It has asked state officials to consult before imposing lockdowns at state, district or city levels.

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