Coronavirus news UK LIVE – Final day of tough restrictions before pubs reopen, as UK’s fourth COVID jab to be approved

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Live Blog

11 Apr 2021, 0:47Updated: 11 Apr 2021, 0:47

PUBS are preparing to finally reopen tomorrow for the first time this year.

Non-essential shops, hairdressers and theme parks, as well as restaurants with outdoor space, reopen in England on Monday. A legal loophole means even pubs without gardens can fling open their doors to customers. 

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes can utilise any outdoor space available to them as a makeshift drinking and dining area - an initiative first mooted last June. 

Pub-goers will be able to soak up the sun in beer gardens across the UK, with a ‘mini-heatwave’ expected.

It comes as the  single-dose Janssen vaccine is set to be approved in DAYS with the UK's fourth Covid jab expected to help widen the rollout to under-50s.

A decision by the health regulator is expected to be made within the next ten days - with the Government having already ordered 30 million doses of the lifesaving jab.

Coronavirus cases in the UK have dropped by 24 per cent with 2,589 daily infections recorded on Saturday. The latest figures show 40 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, transport secretary Grant Shapps has insisted foreign holidays will be able to resume "safely and sustainably" under new Government plans.

How the traffic light system will work:

* Green: Passengers will not need to quarantine on return, but must take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on return to the UK

* Amber: Travellers will need to quarantine for 10 days, as well as taking a pre-departure test and two PCR tests

* Red: Passengers will have to pay for a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, as well as a pre-departure test and two PCR tests

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the very latest news and updates on the pandemic...

SUNAK FACES CALLS TO AXE TAX ON COVID TESTS

Rishi Sunak is facing calls from the travel industry to axe the tax on Covid tests before the return of foreign holidays.

The Chancellor is under pressure to drop VAT charges on PCR tests which can cost around £120 each.

Airlines chief Willie Walsh wants all coronavirus tests to be VAT-free.

He said: “The government should not be taking a 20% premium on what has become an essential service. And VAT on testing is an unnecessary barrier to the very travel that this initiative is trying to facilitate.”

Read more here.

FOURTH COVID JAB TO BE APPROVED IN DAYS

The single-dose Janssen vaccine is set to be approved in DAYS with the UK's fourth Covid jab expected to help widen the rollout to under-50s.

A decision by the health regulator is expected to be made within the next ten days - with the Government having already ordered 30 million doses of the lifesaving jab.

The jabs, which Britain secured last summer, will add to the UK’s expanding stockpile.

And the extra doses means ministers are in a position to begin vaccinating under-50s as lockdown continues to ease, according to the Mail on Sunday.

FRANCE TO LENGTHEN GAP BETWEEN VACCINES

France will lengthen the period between the first and second shots of mRNA anti-COVID vaccines to six weeks from four weeks as of April 14 to accelerate the inoculation campaign, Health Minister Olivier Veran told the JDD newspaper on Sunday.

Veran went on: “That will allow us to vaccinate more quickly without reducing protection,” Veran told the paper.”

Veran also said that from Monday the AstraZeneca vaccine would be made available to all over-55s and not just those with serious pre-existing conditions.

France has approved use of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines.

HAIR SALONS TO REOPEN FOR ’18 HOURS A DAY’

Hair salons will be open for up to 18 hours a day as millions of Brits rush to get haircuts on April 12.

Customers have booked out barbers and salons for the coming months - forcing shops to open their doors for longer in order to fit appointments in and beat the Covid backlog.

Brits are set to flock to get their new trims after three months without professional haircuts.

MANIC HIGH STREET RUSH EXPECTED

High Street shops will kick-start their recovery tomorrow as they begin to claw back £30billion in lost lockdown sales.

Queues are expected outside stores when non-essential retail opens for the first time since their doors were slammed shut four months ago.

Department stores, gift shops and fashion chains will be among those welcoming back shoppers in the next stage of relaxing Covid-19 ­restrictions.

With pubs also reopening for customers seated outdoors, some four million Brits are set to hit the boozer in the next week. But five times as many — around 20million — plan to hit the shops.

WILL HOLIDAYS GO AHEAD THIS SUMMER?

The Government’s Travel Task Force has finally revealed the framework for a return of international travel.

But you could be forgiven for still being just as unsure about what we can do and when.

While there is some detail about the new traffic light system and what it will mean in terms of quarantine on return, and testing, we still have no idea which countries will be in which bands.

Lisa Minot unravels the tortuous road map to the resumption of holidays - read more here.

WHAT TIME WILL PUBS REOPEN ON MONDAY?

Pubs will finally welcome back customers on Monday April 12 - but what times will chains including Wetherspoons and Green King reopen?

The hospitality industry has been given the green light to reopen to serve food and drink outdoors, as well as takeaway pints from this Monday.

Read the opening hours of the major pub chains here.

WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO SUFFER VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS?

Women and those under 40 are more likely to suffer side effects from Covid vaccines including "aches and pains", according to an expert.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist based at Nashville's Vanderbilt University, revealed experts are now trying to work out why.

He told the New York Post: "Women and younger people have more local reactions - a sore arm, a day of not feeling so well, or aches and pains.”

“People wonder if it’s because women have more estrogen but that remains to be studied.”

“The short answer is there’s got to be reasons for it but we don’t know what they are."

SOUTH AFRICAN COVID VARIANT CAN ‘BREAK THROUGH’ VACCINE

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found - though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease. It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

The researchers said: “We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection.”

WHEN CAN BRITS EAT INDOORS?

Pubs, shops, and hairdressers are set to reopen on April, 12, 2021, as the lockdown restrictions are eased further.

However, indoor dining is still banned and it is expected to be allowed during the third stage of the roadmap out of lockdown.

According to Boris Johnson's lockdown roadmap, indoor dining will be possible on May 17, when step three of the lockdown roadmap is put into action

Some businesses will not open on Monday, April, 12, 2021 and sadly some will stay closed forever.  Along with pubs, cinemas and indoor bingo halls, restaurants will also be able to open for indoor dining, with social distancing, in May.

VACCINES TO BE SENT TO EU NOT UK

The EU's vaccine tsar has claimed millions of AstraZeneca Covid-19 jabs will now be kept within Europe and not sent to Britain.

Thierry Breton said the pharmaceutical giant told him all but a fraction of doses produced at a Dutch plant would be delivered to EU member states.

And in an interview on Friday, he said “zero” doses made in the EU would now be sanctioned for delivery to the UK until AZ fulfilled its contract with the bloc.

FRANCE COVID CASES CONTINUE TO RISE

France reported a further increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care on Saturday and the country’s death toll from the epidemic also kept rising.

Data showed there were 5,769 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, compared with 5,757 on Friday.

Over the past 24 hours, 227 people died of the disease in hospitals, taking to 72,450 the number of people who have died of coronavirus in hospitals.

COVID CASES DROP IN UK

Coronavirus cases in the UK have dropped by 24 per cent with 2,589 daily infections recorded today.

The latest figures show 40 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours as Brits prepare for the next phase of lockdown lifting.

PARIS DINERS FINED FOR LOCKDOWN BREACH

More than 110 people dining at a clandestine restaurant were fined late on Friday for violating a COVID-19 lockdown, Paris police said.

It comes days after the government denied allegations that ministers had attended similar underground soirees.

Reuters report the swoop in the French capital’s 19th arrondissement was the latest police action against restaurants breaking the rules to offer patrons a slice of pre-pandemic life.

Restaurants, bars and cafes have been closed for sit-down dining for months, and public frustration is growing amid a third national lockdown and another wave of coronavirus infections.

COLOMBIA TO ALLOW PRIVATE IMPORTS OF VACCINE

Colombia will allow the private importation of COVID-19 vaccines, the health ministry said on Monday, but the shots must be free for those being inoculated.

The Andean country plans to immunize about 70% of its 50 million people this year under a free national program and has administered some 2.4 million doses since February.

Those giving out privately acquired shots must comply with government standards and cannot use facilities needed by the national program, the health ministry said in a draft decree shared with journalists.

ROYALS URGE PUBLIC TO ‘STAY AWAY’ DUE TO COVID

The grief-stricken Royal Family has urged people to stay away from Prince Philip’s funeral and instead pay their respects in the “safest way possible” from home, due to current coronavirus restrictions.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the Royal Family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects.

“The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.

“His Royal Highness’s funeral will be broadcast to enable as many people as possible to be part of the occasion, to mourn with us and celebrate a truly extraordinary life.”

PROF. JASON LEITCH ‘GRATEFUL’ FOR JAB

Scotland's national clinical director has thanked scientists and health care workers after he received his first coronavirus vaccine.

Prof Jason Leitch said he was "enormously grateful" to everyone involved in the vaccination programme.

‘SHOCKING IMBALANCE’ IN DISTRIBUTION OF JOBS

The head of the World Health Organisation says a "shocking imbalance" remains in the global distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that on average, one in four people in rich countries have received at least one dose of a Cover-19 vaccine - compared with only one in 500 in low-income nations.

Mr Ghebreyesus said: "There remains a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines."

NOT ALL BUSINESSES TO OPEN ON MONDAY

What businesses can’t open on Monday?

Pubs (indoor serving) Restaurants (indoor serving) Steam rooms Saunas Cinemas Bingo halls Bowling alleys Big events (with capacity) Sports stadiums (with capacity) Nightclubs Larger events

Most of these businesses should be able to open on May 17 when step three of the lockdown roadmap is put into action.

COVID QUARANTINE TO BE SLASHED

Coronavirus quarantine could be slashed from ten days to just five if daily lateral flow tests are used, Sage has said.

Under a new scheme suggested by government scientists, the tests could help people who have come into close contact with Covid sufferers to limit the amount of time they must quarantine.

If the schemes go ahead, people would need to get a negative result consecutively to be released early, with the papers noting this could be "as effective" as the current system.

At the moment, government guidelines require anyone who has been in close contact with a Covid case - within two metres up to two days before they test positive - to isolate at home for 10 days.

UK RECORD 40 COVID DEATHS

The number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in the past 24 hours is 40.

It brings the UK’s total number of deaths to 127,080.

The government also said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 2,589 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, which bring the total to 4,368,045.

31 MILLION VACCINES IN UK

More than 32 million people in the UK have now had a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

A total of 32,010, 244 have had one dose - and almost 7 million (6,991,310) have received both, Department of Health figures today revealed.

IRELAND'S COVID RESTRICTIONS SET TO BE EASED ON MONDAY

Ireland's coronavirus restrictions are set to be eased on Monday for the first time this year.

The country has been in level five lockdown since Christmas Eve, having only emerged from the same restrictions that had been in place since October five days prior to that.

Since last December, the return of some children to schools and some construction work have been the only exceptions to the pandemic restrictions.

Monday will see the 5km travel limit relaxed to allow people to travel anywhere within their county, or up to 20km if crossing into another county.

People from two households will be allowed to meet up outdoors for social and recreational purposes, however the Government has insisted that private gardens remain off limits.

All schoolchildren are to return to in-class learning from Monday, while construction on housing and essential projects will also resume.

ITALY REPORTS FURTHER 344 COVID DEATHS

taly reported 344 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 718 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 17,567 from 18,938 the day before.

Italy has registered 113,923 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world. The country has 3.75 million cases to date.

Patients in hospital with Covid-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 27,654 on Saturday, down from 28,146 a day earlier.

There were 186 new admissions to intensive care units, edging down from 192 on Friday. The total number of intensive care patients decreased to 3,588 from a previous 3,603.

Some 320,892 tests for Covid-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 362,973, the health ministry said.

IRELAND RECORDS FURTHER 14 COVID DEATHS

There have been 14 further deaths linked to Covid-19 in Ireland and an additional 455 confirmed cases, the Department of Health said.

Of the deaths reported on Saturday, three occurred in April, one in March, six in February, and four in January.

As of 8am on Saturday, there were 208 Covid-19 patients in hospitals, of which 52 are in intensive care units.

A total of 1,018,264 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Ireland to date.

716,636 people have received their first dose and 301,628 have received the second dose.

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