Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

3 March 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • The BBC is reporting that the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September by the chancellor in the Budget later.
  • People with low immunity due to health conditions, including cancer, are being recruited to a study to urgently find out if coronavirus vaccines will still offer them high protection.
  • Some international arrivals to the UK have waited nine days for Covid test kits that should be taken on day two of a 10-day quarantine period, the BBC reports.
  • The search for an individual infected with the Covid variant first found in Brazil has narrowed to 379 households in south-east England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
  • Britain’s Covid-19 vaccines may stop people passing on the virus “almost completely”, the head of immunisation at Public Health England has revealed.
  • Rishi Sunak is set to unveil a £1.65 billion boost for the UK’s coronavirus vaccine rollout as part of his Budget on Wednesday.
  • Matt Hancock has ruled out a regional approach to ending the coronavirus lockdown in England, insisting “we are going to move down” the current roadmap as one nation.
  • The Telegraph reports that the fall in Covid deaths in England is running around three weeks ahead of modelling estimates, figures show, as experts called for lockdown to be eased more quickly.


  • Northern Ireland’s plan for easing the coronavirus lockdown was unveiled yesterday, and is “cautious and hopeful”, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has said.
  • Schools who use transfer tests run by the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) are to consider “radical change” to the tests in the autumn. Due to the pandemic disruption, they are being suggested as an option instead of tests in English and Maths.
  • In Northern Ireland, some fertility treatments that were paused because of the coronavirus pandemic are to begin once more, the Belfast Trust has confirmed.
  • All secondary school pupils in Scotland will return to classrooms part-time from 15 March, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
  • The Times reports that Scotland’s lockdown is likely to end sooner than ministers thought possible as coronavirus cases and hospital admissions continue to plummet, Nicola Sturgeon said.
  • More pupils in Wales could be back in class before Easter, but there will not be a full return to school, the education minister has said.
  • The number of people in Wales claiming emergency Covid grants has hit a new high, figures have shown.


  • Texas will lift its mask requirement to and allow businesses to reopen at full capacity, Governor Greg Abbott has announced.
  • Country music star Dolly Parton has been given a Covid-19 vaccine dose, after urging others to follow her example by reimagining one of her hit songs.
  • The US will have enough coronavirus vaccines for every adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden has said.
  • Sky News is reporting that, in North Carolina, anyone who has smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime will be eligible to receive a vaccine from 24 March.
  • Qantas is launching “mystery flights” in a effort to boost domestic tourism across Australia and spark nostalgia. Airlines across the region are coming up with different strategies to tackle the pandemic-induced travel slump, with Thai Airways announcing this week it will slash its workforce by 50%.
  • Japan has asked China to stop taking anal swab tests for Covid-19 on its citizens when they enter the country, the BBC reports.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received the coronavirus jab as the country opened its vaccination programme for the wider population.
  • The French government says older people with pre-existing conditions can now get AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, revising its stance on the issue.
  • Coronavirus vaccines meant for Palestinian medical workers have been administered to VIPs including ministers and the national football team, the country’s health ministry has admitted.


  • Retail trade union Usdaw launched a retail recovery plan yesterday to help struggling high streets build back better from the coronavirus crisis. The union is challenging the Chancellor to provide immediate assistance, in tomorrow’s Budget, for a struggling retail industry to help high streets, save our shops and protect jobs.
  • Responding to the Welsh education minister’s comments that more pupils in Wales could be back in class before Easter, Hugh Davies, president of the Association of School and College Leaders in Wales, said “there is a lack of clarity”.