Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
4 December 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Yesterday, the number of people who tested positive for the virus in the UK was 14,879 and sadly 414 people died.
- The first batch of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has now arrived in the UK. The vaccine will be distributed to hospital vaccination centres across the UK.
- The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that the Government shall be taking the precautionary step to “ensure that, in the very rare possibility where someone is severely disabled as a result of taking a COVID-19 vaccine, they can access financial assistance through the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme (VDPS).” This is in line with other immunisation programmes.
- Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced yesterday that the quarantine rules are set to be relaxed for business travellers. The tweet read “New Business Traveller exemption: From 4am on Sat 5th Dec high-value business traveller will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to ENGLAND from a country NOT in a travel corridor, allowing more travel to support the economy and jobs. Conditions apply. ” A press release from the Department for Transport said “exemptions will also come into force at the same time for domestic and international performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists, and recently signed elite sportspersons, ensuring that industries which require specific, high talent individuals who rely on international connections can continue to complete their work.”
- Manchester Airports Group has announced that covid-19 testing facilities shall be available at Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports.
- Transport Secretary Grant Shapps launched a plan to minimise travel disruption over the Christmas period. This plan includes postponing some rail upgrades, enabling extra rail services as well as 778 miles of roadworks being cleared.
- The Executive in Stormont has agreed that non-essential retail and parts of the hospitality industry can reopen in Northern Ireland from next Friday. Ministers met yesterday to discuss what restrictions should remain in place when the lockdown ends on the 11th December.
- Scotland’s Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman has announced that care homes residents in Scotland would be able to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from the 14th December.
- People in Wales will be able to travel to parts of the UK, but only tier 1 and 2 areas. The new regulations in Wales mean that you cannot travel to tier three zones in England, tiers three and four in Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland.
- Italy has banned travel between different regions of the country from 21 December until the 6 January as part of plans to curb the spread of the virus. This is in addition to a curfew between 10pm and 5am. This comes as Italy has announced its highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.
- It is being reported that US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci was cr i tical of the UK Government decision in their decision to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. ” Fauci argued that the U.K. “kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile.” He added: “They really rushed through that approval.” ” Dr Fauci later told the BCC that “I have a great deal of confidence in what the UK does both scientifically and from a regulator standpoint .”
- US President-elect Joe Biden has said he will ask Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
- Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon MP has responded to the announcement from Grant Shapps on the new business traveller exemption. McMahon said “If this Government was serious about supporting the economy and jobs it would bring forward a proper package of financial support for businesses and the self-employed and a comprehensive plan for airport testing. Instead, we have Tory ministers announcing loopholes for those they consider ‘high-value.’ With this Government it is always one rule for some and another rule for everyone else.”