Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

25 February 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • GCSEs and A-levels cancelled in England due to the Covid-19 social restrictions will be replaced by grades decided by teachers, the exams watchdog Ofqual has confirmed.
  • Findings published by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show 13.9% of the population in England had antibodies against COVID-19
  • The government has removed the ban on UK-sourced blood plasma for the manufacture of immunoglobulins.
  • The US company that produces the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine says it’s ready to test a booster shot to target a variant of the virus first discovered in South Africa.
  • Surge testing is to be deployed in targeted areas in Buckinghamshire and Lambeth.
  • Everyone across the UK is being reminded of the importance of staying at home and the risks in relaxing their behaviour at this crucial point, in a new advertising campaign launched today.
  • The first major real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing Covid-19.
  • The JCVI has advised the government to invite all people on the GP Learning Disability Register for COVID-19 vaccination.
  • The scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine are investigating whether it could be delivered via a nasal spray or even a tablet.


  • A plan setting out Northern Ireland’s pathway to recovery from lockdown will be discussed by the Stormont Executive when it meets later today.
  • It is better to be “too cautious than reckless” when it comes to easing Northern Ireland’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Robin Swann has said.
  • More than half a million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said.
  • All adults in Wales will have been offered a first Covid vaccine by 31 July, the health minister has promised.
  • People in Wales could be able to visit loved ones in care homes indoors in a fortnight, according to the older people’s commissioner.


  • France will bring in new Covid-19 restrictions around its common border with Germany in a bid to contain a surge of coronavirus variants in the Moselle region.
  • The rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe is being hampered by bureaucratic glitches and public suspicion driven by some leaders’ scepticism.
  • The Finnish prime minister said the country would go into a three-week lockdown beginning on 8 March in response to rising case numbers.
  • Ukraine has registered an almost 40% jump in new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours.
  • India reported 16,738 new coronavirus infections, health ministry data showed on Thursday, for the highest daily jump since January 29.
  • EU leaders will today debate the issue of certificates of vaccination for EU citizens who have been vaccinated against Covid.
  • Australian airline Qantas to resume international flights from October.
  • A new coronavirus variant that shares some similarities with a more transmissible and intractable variant discovered in South Africa is on the rise in New York City.


  • Care UK has instituted a no jab, no job policy for new staff amid ongoing concern about vaccine take-up among care workers.
  • Almost half of people with potential cancer symptoms did not contact their GP during the first wave of the pandemic, a survey suggests.
  • The music promoter Festival Republic, which organises Reading and Leeds Music Festivals, has confirmed that the events would take place over the August bank holiday weekend.

Unconfirmed reports

  • Greece is in “technical” talks with the UK over allowing Britons carrying a vaccine passport to travel to its tourist hotspots from May despite concerns in Brussels and other EU capitals.
  • Clinical trials of vaccines against new variants of coronavirus will start in the summer to ensure updated boosters are available for the autumn if needed, Oxford’s lead vaccine researcher has told MPs.