Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

21 December 2020

A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.

Key Announcements:

  • The number of people who tested positive for the virus yesterday in the UK was 35,928, with 326 people sadly losing their lives.
  • On Saturday evening, the Prime Minister announced the creation of a new Tier 4 with a “stay at home” order to take effect from Sunday 20 December – the full list of local areas under the new restrictions can be found here, and the legislation can be found here.
  • Relaxed indoor mixing rules for Christmas in England have now been cut from five days to just Christmas Day. In Tier 4 areas, households will not be able to mix at all.
  • The other three nations of the UK will also be cutting the relaxation of Christmas restrictions.
  • The Government has announced that anyone who has had to cancel travel plans will receive a full refund.
  • France has closed its border to the UK for 48 hours, and several other countries have suspended flights from the UK, due to the prevalence of the new variant of coronavirus – the Prime Minister will chair a Cobra meeting this morning on the situation.
  • Travel company Tui has also cancelled its flights out of Luton Airport because it falls under new Tier 4 restrictions.
  • MPs are asking the Government to publish a full list of companies that signed up to the furlough scheme amid concerns money is being lost to fraud and error.


  • Scotland’s First Minister has said that no non-essential travel between Scotland and England could take place over the festive period – level 4 restrictions will also be introduced across all of mainland Scotland for three weeks from 26 December.
  • Wales has now entered a new national lockdown early, and any relaxing of restrictions is now limited to just Christmas Day.
  • In Northern Ireland, a new six-week lockdown will come into place from 26 December.


  • At the time of hitting send on this bulletin, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Turkey, Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Colombia, El Salvador and Iran have all suspended travel to and from the UK.
  • Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended all international flights.
  • Australian states and territories have begun enforcing entry bans on Sydney residents amid a growing outbreak in the city.
  • Thailand has been hit by its worst Covid-19 outbreak yet after hundreds of cases have been linked to its biggest seafood market.
  • On Friday, the French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19.
  • US lawmakers have agreed a $900bn (£660bn) Covid-19 aid package.
  • Chile , Oman and Qatar are the latest countries to approve the Pfizer vaccine.


  • The FTSE 100 fell 1.8 percent in its opening minutes today, and the pound has also been falling, amid the ongoing issues at the UK-France border.
  • The British Retail Consortium (BRC) have said the Government’s “stop-start” restrictions will cost retailers a further £2bn a week in lost sales.
  • The CBI, among others, in responding to the new tier 4 restrictions have said it is vital that business receives swift access to support that’s in place to help them through.
  • The Food and Drink Federation have warned of the risk to Christmas fresh food supplies posed by the suspension of freight traffic from the UK to France.
  • Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer gave a press conference at the weekend in which he criticised the Government for not acting until “the 11th hour”.
  • At the BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night, Marcus Rashford received the Expert Panel Special Award for his work on child poverty and Capt. Sir Tom Moore was awarded the Helen Rollason Award for his fundraising activity during the first national lockdown.