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Trading standards officers are urging Derbyshire residents thinking of buying a pet online to be extra cautious and do their research after receiving dozens of complaints. Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards are concerned that people are falling foul of unscrupulous traders selling sick puppies and kittens often too young to leave their mothers or puppies […]

‘Ice bucket challenge’ co-founder dies aged 37
The co-founder of the viral “ice bucket challenge”, which has raised more than 200 million dollars (£150 million) worldwide for research into motor neurone disease, has died at the age of 37. Pat Quinn was diagnosed with motor neurone disease – known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the US – in 2013, a month after his 30th birthday.

In 2014, Mr Quinn saw the ice bucket challenge on the social media feed of professional golfer Chris Kennedy, who first dared his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia to take a bucket of ice water, dump it over her head, post a video on social media and ask others to do the same or to make a donation to charity.

Ms Senerchia’s husband had the disease.

Mr Quinn and co-founder Pete Frates, along with their teams of supporters, helped popularise the challenge.

The ALS Association said Mr Quinn “knew it was the key to raising ALS awareness”, calling it “the greatest social media campaign in history”.

Mr Frates, a former Boston College baseball player, died in December 2019 at the age of 34.

When the two men picked up the challenge, the phenomenon exploded, the organisation said. Thousands of people participated in the viral trend, including celebrities, sports stars and politicians — even Donald Trump before his election, and cartoon character Homer Simpson.

Online videos of the challenge were viewed millions of times.

The ALS association said: “Pat fought ALS with positivity and bravery and inspired all around him.

“Those of us who knew him are devastated but grateful for all he did to advance the fight against ALS. Our thoughts are with the Quinn family and all of his friends and supporters. Pat was loved by many of us within the ALS community and around the world.

“It dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS, leading to new research discoveries, expanded care for people living with ALS, and significant investment from the government in ALS research.

Motor neurone disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis due to the death of motor neurones in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cure.

In the US it was named Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the New York Yankees baseball great who also suffered from it.

The organisation added that Mr Quinn continued to raise awareness and funds after popularising the challenge.

In 2015, the association honoured him, among others, as “ALS Heroes” – an award given to people living with the disease who have had a significant positive impact on the fight against it.

On the fifth anniversary of the challenge, Mr Quinn, who was from Yonkers, New York, addressed a crowd in Boston.

“Nobody knew the ice bucket challenge would become a worldwide phenomenon, but we united as one because that is what it takes to change a disease like ALS,” he said.

“There are warriors all over the world unwilling to accept it as a death sentence.

“We will never stop fighting together. I will not leave this Earth until I know the next person diagnosed with ALS has a real plan to live with this disease, not just die from it.”

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

People should do their own Christmas risk assessment – expert
People should decide for themselves whether it is safe to meet relatives at Christmas even if governments allow it, a public health expert has said. Professor Linda Bauld said that, with infection levels higher than we would wish across the UK, meeting indoors offers an opportunity for Covid-19 to spread and people could be particularly concerned for older relatives.

The Westminster Government has said that a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions “for a small number of days” over Christmas is planned to allow a limited level of mixing between households across the UK.

The Cabinet Office said on Sunday that leaders across the UK had endorsed an objective of “some limited additional household bubbling” over the Christmas period for a small number of days; however the Scottish Government said “no agreement has been reached”.

Prof Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, said that meeting people indoors would not come without risks.

She told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “Many of us would wish to see our older relatives at Christmas, and we know that mortality from Covid-19 is significantly higher for older people – I think around 86% of deaths in hospital occurred in people over the age of 65 – so this is concerning.

“At the moment we still have levels of infection in the community across the UK that are higher than we would wish.

“If we come together with people from different households at the time of year when the windows are closed, the people you care about, physical distancing is difficult, it is an opportunity for the virus to spread, so this is really really tough.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to set out the basis of plans for the festive period on Monday.

Prof Bauld said that, in planning whether people can meet over the festive period, governments may also be concerned about mental health, with levels of depression and anxiety significantly higher than expected for the time of year due to the pandemic.

“This discussion is about trying to recognise that there are not only harms from the virus, there are other harms, people want to see their loved ones,” she said.

She added that, even if restrictions are eased, people should make their own decisions about what they feel comfortable doing.

“It is up to us to decide, even if government says ‘OK, you can get together indoors with other people’, let’s all make our own risk assessment about the people we care about and ourselves and say how are we going to apply that to our own personal circumstances.

“So I think, as with everything throughout this pandemic, it has got to be a partnership between guidance and support that government gives and what people decide to do for themselves and for their families.”

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

PM to outline post-lockdown plan for strengthened tiers and a limited Christmas
Boris Johnson will set out plans for a strengthened three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions to replace the national lockdown in England and to pave the way for a limited relaxation at Christmas. The Prime Minister is to detail his winter strategy on Monday afternoon, with a proposal to deploy a major testing scheme in an attempt to win over rebels on the Conservative backbenches.

It is understood that he will tell MPs that non-essential shops can open in all three tiers after the current restrictions expire on December 2, in a boost for retailers during the festive period.

However, pubs and restaurants will face the harshest of the new measures with businesses in the new Tier 3 only allowed to offer takeaways, while those in Tier 2 must serve food with any drinks, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The paper added cinemas will be allowed to reopen in England for places in Tier 1 and 2, and midnight mass and Christingle services will be permitted in all three tiers.

Mr Johnson will set out the basis of plans to allow a small number of households across the UK to mix over a limited number of days around Christmas, but is not expected to be in a position to give the specifics.

Appearing virtually in the Commons from his test and trace-ordered quarantine, Mr Johnson is to announce major rapid testing programmes for all areas forced into the highest tier of restrictions.

He will also set out a trial of the repeat testing of close contacts of individuals who test positive for Covid-19 to prevent them from having to isolate, having got his proposals signed off by his Cabinet on Sunday.

Mr Johnson is expected to tell MPs that “we are not out of the woods yet” but that “with expansion in testing and vaccines edging closer to deployment, the regional tiered system will help get the virus back under control and keep it there”.

He will hope that the testing plans will be enough to show he has a fresh approach to dozens of Conservative MPs in the Covid recovery group (CRG) which is threatening to oppose any new restrictions in a Commons vote unless they get detailed evidence to prove they will save more lives than they cost.

More areas are expected to enter the higher end of the tiered-system next month, which will be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the four-week lockdown.

Ministers will on Thursday set out what tier each area will enter, while one easing expected is to the 10pm curfew rule for pubs and restaurants.

Mr Johnson is understood to be preparing to unveil a plan so that while last orders must be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish their food and drinks, with opening hours to be extended until 11pm.

Over the weekend, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove met with leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to endorse “a shared objective of facilitating some limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days”.

But the public will be “advised to remain cautious” and told that “wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact”, a statement from his department said.

Mr Gove, Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon, Wales’s Mark Drakeford and Northern Ireland’s Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill “reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way” in a meeting on Saturday.

The Cabinet Office said talks are continuing to finalise the agreement, including over travel arrangements, but that it is hoped the conclusion will come “this week”, while the Scottish Government said “no agreement has been reached”.

Downing Street will hope an easing at Christmas, potential vaccines on the horizon and new scientific evidence will lessen the scale of a rebellion, with the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) expected to publish papers on Monday saying the previous tiers were not strong enough.

But the CRG, led by former Brexit minister Steve Baker and ex-chief whip Mark Harper, warned against any post-Christmas increase in restrictions to counteract the relaxation in a letter to the Prime Minister said to be signed by 70 Tories.

Conservative former minister Nus Ghani, who joined the CRG having voted for the current lockdown, added in an article for the Telegraph that she will not be able to support the restrictions unless the Government details a “fresh strategy”.

When the Commons voted on the current lockdown earlier this month, 32 Conservatives rebelled to oppose the measures and 17 more, including former prime minister Theresa May, abstained.

But Labour has so far been supportive of the need for restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19 and a full-scale Commons defeat on the plan is unlikely.

The plans emerged as the Government said a further 739 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Coivd-19 as of the weekend, bringing the UK total to 55,024.

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Spending review ‘to hit lowest paid and savers’
The lowest paid and savers could lose out in the Government spending review this week, according to reports. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to address the Commons on Wednesday to set out where money will be spent and cut back as the UK deals with the economic shock of Covid-19.

Some spending – including tens of millions on a counter-terrorism operations centre – has already been mooted, but at the weekend Mr Sunak warned there was a need to find out “what the best way of returning to sustainable public finances is”.

The Times reported a 5.6% increase to the national living wage – which was due to increase to £9.21 an hour in April – will be cut back to £8.90 an hour, a rise of 2%.

The paper said it followed a report from the Low Pay Commission – who said there were around two million workers paid at or below the minimum wage in April 2019 – claiming the full rise from the current rate of £8.72 an hour was unaffordable.

Employees aged 25 and over are entitled to the National Living Wage, with lower rates – the national minimum wage – applying to those who are younger.

In March’s budget, Mr Sunak gave the commission, which recommends the wage rates, a formal target that as long as economic conditions allow, by 2024, the statutory rate will reach two thirds of median earnings.

However, lockdown brought economic activity to a halt, with tax revenues drying up, while the Treasury has paid out more than £200 billion on furlough and other schemes to try to nurse the economy through the crisis.

The latest official figures for October show public sector debt passed the £2 trillion mark for the first time in history.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph said an “inflation shake-up”, where the measure will switch from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to the generally lower Consumer Prices Index plus housing costs (CPIH), will cost investors more than £100 billion.

The Government and UK Statistics Authority has previously consulted on the plans which proposed implementing the changes between 2025 and 2030, and the paper said Mr Sunak will press ahead with the recommendations.

The RPI was 1.3% in October, compared with the CPIH – the Office of National Statistics’ preferred measure of inflation – which stood at 0.9%.

The Telegraph said the change will save the Treasury around £2 billion a year on interest payments for index-linked gilts, or bonds issued by the Government, as a higher inflation rate means higher payments to holders.

In August, the Association of British Insurers said implementing the plans by 2025 could leave those affected worse off by up to £122 billion by reducing the value of gilts tied to inflation.

It said some long-term saving products, especially defined benefit pensions, are linked to the RPI measure of inflation, and a change to CPIH would “significantly reduce the expected returns on these assets, leaving savers out of pocket”.

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

PM urges Britons to be ‘jolly careful’ as UK leaders devise Christmas plan
Christmas will be the season to be “jolly careful”, Boris Johnson has warned, as he continues to thrash out a plan with the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which will allow families to reunite. The Prime Minister was unable on Monday to confirm details of how people across the UK would be able to spend the festive period as talks continue between the devolved administrations.

However, he confirmed that England will return to a regional tier system from December 2, though details of which areas will be in which tiers will not be set out until Thursday.

The Government has also announced that travellers arriving in England will be able to end their quarantine period with a negative coronavirus test after five days from December 15.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said passengers who arrive from a destination not on the Government’s travel corridors list can reduce the 14-day period by paying for a test from a private firm after five days at a cost of £65-£120.

In a press conference on Monday evening, Mr Johnson said “we’re not out of the woods yet” despite a breakthrough with a British vaccine, warning that the UK faced a “hard” start to 2021 but that he expected “things will look and feel very different” after Easter.

He said that with a “favourable wind” the majority of people most in need of a vaccination might be able to get one by April, as the Oxford-AstraZeneca team said its jab had proved up to 90% effective.

It follows positive results from Pfizer and Moderna, but none of the jabs have yet been approved for use.

Mr Johnson, speaking via videolink at a Downing Street press conference as he continues his self-isolation, said: “We can hear the drumming hooves of the cavalry coming over the brow of the hill but they are not here yet.

“Even if all three vaccines are approved, even if the production timetables are met – and vaccines notoriously fall behind in their production timetables – it will be months before we can be sure we have inoculated everyone that needs a vaccine.”

He warned that it is “not the moment to let the virus rip for the sake of Christmas parties”, saying: “Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be jolly careful, especially with elderly relatives.”

Mr Johnson said the months ahead “will be hard, they will be cold, they include January and February when the NHS is under its greatest pressure”.

That pressure meant new tiers had to be introduced from December 2, replacing England’s lockdown, with more areas facing tougher restrictions than under the previous regional regime.

Under the new system:

– People will be able to leave their home for any purpose, and socialise with others in outdoor public spaces, subject to the rule of six. But only in Tier 1 will people be able to meet indoors with those not in their household or bubble.

– Collective worship and weddings will resume, though with a cap of 15 guests, and in Tier 3 receptions will be banned. Thirty people will be allowed to attend funerals, but only 15 will be able to attend a wake.

– Pubs and restaurants in Tier 3 will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery services, while indoor entertainment, hotels and other accommodation will close. In Tier 2, hospitality must close unless it is operating as a restaurant and in Tier 1 it will be table service only.

– In areas where hospitality venues are allowed to stay open, the 10pm curfew will be replaced with a last orders call at 10pm – but venues must close at 11pm.

– Retail and personal care – such as hairdressers and beauty salons – can reopen in all tiers, and indoor entertainment venues – such as cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and casinos – will be allowed to stay open in Tiers 1 and 2, but not Tier 3.

– Gyms and swimming pools can reopen everywhere, though restrictions vary across the tiers for classes and organised adult sport. Spectator sport – and theatre – will be permitted in Tiers 1 and 2, though only drive-in events will be allowed in Tier 3.

As well as the progress on vaccines, Mr Johnson pointed to the expansion of rapid mass testing as a way of returning to something approaching normality.

This could include greater freedoms for people who test negative and the prospect of daily tests replacing precautionary self-isolation for people who come into contact with an infected person.

While retailers welcomed the announcement that they will be allowed to reopen, there was fury in the hospitality and arts industries.

Kate Nicholls, of trade body UKHospitality, said: “Sadly, for many staff, it will be a Christmas out of work.”

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

The Spending Review: what you need to know
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out the budgets for Whitehall departments on Wednesday against the grim economic backdrop of the coronavirus crisis. – What is the Spending Review?

The Treasury sets out how much taxpayers’ money will be allocated to the various branches of government and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Typically this is a multi-year settlement but, because of the economic uncertainty caused by coronavirus, Mr Sunak will only set out the figures for 2021/22.

– What else will happen on Wednesday?

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will publish its latest forecasts for the state of the economy and the public finances, a document likely to make grim reading and one which will certainly influence the Chancellor’s decisions both now and in the future.

In August, the OBR said the national debt had hit more than £2 trillion, with the Government expected to borrow £372.2 billion in 2020/21 to fund measures such as the furlough scheme which kept the economy on life support during the pandemic.

At some point Mr Sunak will have to set out how he intends to balance the books and, while tax rises will only be set out at a Budget, the Spending Review could offer a chance to show how he will meet the eye-watering bills.

– What do we know so far?

Despite the mounting costs of coronavirus, the Treasury has already indicated that huge sums will be spent on health and other government priorities.

There will be £3 billion more to support the NHS, including £1 billion to address treatment backlogs built up while attention was focused on Covid-19 patients.

A new Restart scheme will receive £2.9 billion over three years to help more than a million people find jobs.

There will be a further £1.4 billion of funding to increase capacity in Job Centre Plus to provide additional assistance to those looking for work.

The criminal justice system will get £275 million to help courts cope with the cases that have built up due to coronavirus capacity constraints and tens of millions will be spent on a new counter-terrorism HQ.

Measures to support Boris Johnson’s “levelling-up” agenda will see investment across the UK’s regions and nations, including £1.6 billion for local roads, and the Treasury’s green book – which sets the rules for government spending – will be altered to make it easier to spend money outside London and the South East.

– All that sounds expensive – I thought the public finances were dire?

They are, but Mr Sunak wants to keep pumping money in to help a fragile recovery at a time when the Government can borrow cheaply due to low interest rates.

However there are already hints that the Chancellor – who has built his reputation on expensive giveaways – will start to tighten the purse strings.

Public sector workers appear to be in line to bear the brunt of that effort with a pay freeze, although frontline NHS staff may be spared.

Mr Sunak told Cabinet ministers they would have to “think about public pay settlements” in the context of the “wider economic climate”.

The Centre for Policy Studies – a centre-right think tank – has calculated that a three-year total pay freeze would save £23 billion, or £15.3 billion if the NHS is excluded.

– Anything else on the cards?

The Chancellor is expected to announce that he is suspending the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid, with a cut to 0.5% thought likely.

But this is another controversial move, as the commitment is enshrined in law and was reaffirmed in last year’s Conservative general election manifesto.

Aid agencies have accused the Government of trying to balance the books on the backs of the world’s poor.

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said it would look “appalling”, particularly after the bumper £4 billion-a-year rise in defence spending announced last week.

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

Covid-19 vaccination to start across UK next week
The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech has been approved in the UK, paving the way for vaccination to start next week. The jab has been shown in studies to be 95% effective and works in all age groups.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.

“This follows months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA who have concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will shortly also publish its latest advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

What do we know about the Christmas bubble rules?
Plans to allow people to form a temporary bubble over the festive season will be welcome news to families across the country. But how much do we know about what is being proposed?

Here, we look at some key questions based on information released by the Cabinet Office and relating to England.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are yet to publish their full guidance, which could contain variations in approaches.

– What is a Christmas bubble and when can I join one?

People will be allowed to form an exclusive Christmas bubble made up of people from no more than three households between December 23 and 27.

This rule applies across the whole of the UK.

Christmas bubbles can only meet in private homes and gardens, places of worship and public outdoor spaces.

– Can I be in more than one Christmas bubble?

No. Christmas bubbles will be fixed for the period they are permitted.

You are also not allowed to change your Christmas bubble once it is formed.

– Is there a limit to how many people can be in a Christmas bubble?

The Cabinet Office guidance only stipulates that the bubble should not include people from more than three households.

However, it highlights that the more people someone sees, the more likely they are to catch or spread Covid-19, and asks the public to be mindful of risks before agreeing to form a bubble.

The Scottish Government said people should keep the numbers within a bubble as low as possible and minimise the length of contact between different households in the bubble.

– Will we have to social distance within Christmas bubbles?

Social distancing will not be necessary in bubbles, but people will be advised to exercise restraint and judgment if they plan to mix with vulnerable friends or family.

It means friends and family will have the chance to hug for the first time in months.

– What happens if I’m self-isolating?

If you have Covid symptoms or are required to self-isolate then you must not join a Christmas bubble.

If someone in a Christmas bubble tests positive for coronavirus or develops symptoms between December 23 and 27, or up to 48 hours after the bubble last met, then all bubble members must self-isolate.

– Can I be in a different Christmas bubble from people I normally live with?

Cabinet Office guidance says you can choose to form a different Christmas bubble from the people you live with normally.

To prevent virus transmission within your normal household and between bubbles, people should try to stay with another member of their Christmas bubble between December 23 and 27 where possible.

Extra precautions such as cleaning surfaces and door handles and letting in fresh air after someone has visited your household are also advised.

However, the Scottish Government has said that “different people in a household should not pick their own bubble”.

– Can I still meet people outside of my Christmas bubble?

You will be able to meet people not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier you are staying in.

The tier system of restrictions applies to England, with rules in other parts of the UK varying.

– Can I stay overnight with my Christmas bubble?

Yes. If someone is in your Christmas bubble, you can visit each other’s homes and stay overnight, including in private rented accommodation.

– Can I travel through different areas and across borders to join a Christmas bubble?

Yes. You are allowed to travel between England’s tiers and the four nations of the UK to meet your Christmas bubble.

– When am I allowed to travel to and from my Christmas bubble?

You should only travel to meet your bubble and return home between December 23 and 27.

For those heading to or from Northern Ireland, they may travel on December 22 and 28 December, but should only meet their Christmas bubble between December 23 and 27.

Travel outside these periods is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, for example if your are required to self-isolate.

People are advised to avoid unnecessary stops on their journey and not to share a car with people not in their household.

If crossing borders, travellers should read the local coronavirus guidance as different rules may apply.

– Does my support bubble count as one household still?

According to the Cabinet Office, existing support bubbles will count as one household contributing to the three household Christmas bubble limit.

A support bubble in England is defined as a support network between a single adult household, or a one adult household with one or more people aged under 18 on June 12, and one other household of any size.

Rules on household bubbles are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with full Christmas guidance still pending from those nations.

– Can childcare bubbles continue?

In England, a childcare bubble is where one household links with one other household to provide informal childcare to children aged 13 or under.

Between December 23 and 27 you can continue to use a childcare bubble but “only if reasonably necessary” and “where there are no reasonable alternatives”, Cabinet Office guidance states.

If meeting socially during this period, the two households should form a Christmas bubble, with one further household permitted to join the grouping.

Again, guidance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may differ.

– What happens to children whose parents are separated?

Children who are aged under 18 can be part of both their parents’ Christmas bubbles if the adults do not live together and separate groupings are formed.

Nobody else is allowed to be in two bubbles.

– Can care home residents join Christmas bubbles?

In England, visits outside of care homes should only be considered for residents “of working age”.

A care home resident that is allowed to leave, subject to a home’s agreement and individual risk assessments, may form a bubble with one other household only and should not form a three-household Christmas bubble at any point.

If a care home resident does join a household for Christmas they should maintain social distance and take steps to minimise risks.

– Can students returning from university join Christmas bubbles?

Students heading home for the holidays will be considered part of the household they return to.

– Can I form a Christmas bubble if I am clinically extremely vulnerable?

Yes, but people are warned this involves greater risks.

If someone decides to join a bubble they should take extra precautions, while others within the group should be extra vigilant in the days before getting together.

– Can my bubble have Christmas dinner together at the pub?

No. Under the rules Christmas bubbles cannot meet up at indoor settings such as pubs, hotels, retail businesses, theatres or restaurants.

In England, rules on who you can and cannot meet will still depend on which tier of restrictions a venue is in.

– Should I follow the rules of the tier I travel to or the tier I’ve come from when forming my Christmas bubble?

In England, if travelling to join your bubble you should follow the tier rules of your destination.

In Scotland, you must stay with your bubble where they are hosting you and you should follow the travel advice for the level you are in.

For example, people being hosted in a level 3 area cannot go on an outing to a level 2 area.

– Can I stay in a hotel during Christmas?

In England, you can stay in a hotel during the Christmas period, including in a tier 3 area, but only on your own or with members of your household.

– How will the Christmas rules be enforced?

No specific details have been released over how authorities might enforce the newly announced rules during the festive period.

– Will we face tougher restrictions in January to make up for this?

We do not yet know. It has been speculated that a further circuit-breaker might be needed in January or February if transmission rates rise during Christmas.

The Prime Minister has urged families to still be “jolly careful”, warning against “a big blowout Christmas” that could risk another lockdown in January.

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub

British vaccine is 70.4% effective against Covid-19, data shows
A coronavirus vaccine developed in the UK can prevent 70.4% of people from getting Covid-19, according to new data. AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced their jab is effective in preventing many people getting ill and it has been shown to work in different age groups, including the elderly.

Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said: “The announcement today takes us another step closer to the time when we can use vaccines to bring an end to the devastation caused by (Covid-19).

“We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators. It has been a privilege to be part of this multi-national effort which will reap benefits for the whole world.”

The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved.

It also has orders for 40 million doses of a jab from Pfizer and BioNTech, which has been shown to be 95% effective.

Another jab from Moderna is 95% effective, according to trial data.

Published: 23/11/2020 by Radio NewsHub


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