No comments yet

Newslinks for Monday 15th February 2021

Coronavirus 1) Johnson eyes Easter self-catering escape

“Ministers are examining plans that would allow people to go away for self-catering breaks as soon as the Easter holidays after Boris Johnson said he expected coronavirus rates to fall sharply in a matter of weeks. The Times has been told that under one ambitious timeline being considered by the government, families who live in the same household could be allowed to go on breaks together from April. However, there are also concerns that letting people travel to self-catered accommodation too soon would lead to “big movements” across the country and could increase the rate of infection.” – The Times

  • UK reaches milestone of offering first Covid vaccinations to 15 million people – The Guardian
  • Grandparents able to reunite with grandchildren in March under lighter lockdown proposal – Daily Telegraph
  • Vaccines are working as over-80s deaths drop twice as quickly as under-65s – Daily Telegraph
  • London faces long slump, warns West End chief, Russell Lynch – Daily Telegraph
  • Major Israeli study finds Pfizer jab 94 per cent effective in ‘real world’ use – Daily Telegraph
  • Unions pour cold water on plan to reopen classrooms on March 8 and say ‘phased return’ to school should remain an option – Daily Mail



Coronavirus 2) Steve Baker: Ministers must never again be free to impose crippling restrictions without proper scrutiny

“Just like Coronavirus itself, lockdowns and restrictions cause immense damage. Food insecurity has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic, half of us have put on weight, one in three people are drinking more, children’s educational prospects have been damaged, perhaps irrevocably, and many of the limited company directors, freelancers and the self-employed who were excluded from Government support have suffered untold harm. Using World Bank figures, the measures we have taken to slow the spread of the disease since March 2020 have cost the UK £280bn – the equivalent of £4,112 per person. And most concerningly of all, one in five adults has contemplated self-harm or suicide during lockdown. As we reclaim our lives from 8 March, today’s cross-party Treasury Committee report recommends crucial steps for handling any future pandemic.” – Daily Telegraph

More comment:

Coronavirus 3) Raab rules out MPs’ ‘arbitrary’ April deadline to remove all Covid restrictions

“The foreign secretary has rejected an “arbitrary” demand from lockdown-sceptic Tory MPs for all coronavirus restrictions to be lifted by the end of April amid cabinet tensions. More than 60 MPs in the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) have sought to increase pressure on Boris Johnson by insisting that he commit to a firm timetable for ending controls. In a letter to the prime minister they said that schools “must” return on March 8 as planned, with pubs and restaurants opening in a “commercially viable manner” from Easter. With the top nine priority groups due to have received the vaccine by the end of April, they said that that should be the end of lockdown.” – The Times

  • Vaccine passports to go to the shops could happen, says the Foreign Secretary – The Times

Coronavirus 4) England hotel quarantine begins for arrivals from high-risk countries

“All UK nationals or residents arriving back in England from high-risk countries will begin checking into government-designated accommodation on Monday as the hotel quarantine regime to prevent the spread of new coronavirus cases begins. People returning to England from 33 “red list” countries – comprised of hotspots with Covid-19 variants in circulation – will be required to quarantine in hotels for 10 days. Anyone who has been in one of the high-risk destinations will have to enter England through a designated port and have pre-booked a quarantine package to stay at one of the government’s managed quarantine facilities. The government has struck deals with 16 hotels so far, providing 4,963 rooms, and a further 58,000 rooms are on standby, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said on Sunday.” – The Guardian

  • ‘Red list’ travellers free to mix with passengers on planes and at airports – The Times

Coronavirus 5) MPs demand Treasury ends ‘unfair exclusions’ blocking millions from income support

“MPs have slammed the Treasury for its “unfair” exclusion of millions of workers from coronavirus support schemes and put pressure on the Chancellor to overhaul the rules. The Government has “wrongly” ignored gaps in support according to the Treasury Committee, an influential group of cross-party MPs, which said there is little justification for not having addressed the issue over the past 11 months. ExcludedUK, a campaign group, has estimated three million workers have fallen through the cracks, receiving little to no money from the furlough programme or self-employment income support scheme since the pandemic began.” – Daily Telegraph

Newslinks February 2021

Source link

Post a comment

© 2021 Common Unity. All Rights Reserved