Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

25 March 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • Yesterday, there were 5,605 new cases of Covid-19 in the UK. The number of people in hospital decreased to 5,407, and a total of 28 .7million people have received at least the first doze of vaccine.
  • The government is considering adding France to the red list countries, the PM said yesterday, citing ” ambiguity about the effectiveness” of vaccines against new variants of coronavirus.
  • France’s transport minister said truck drivers travelling from the UK to France would no longer be required to present negative Covid tests on departure.
  • The PM suggested yesterday that pub landlords would be able to require drinkers to have been vaccinated before being allowed inside. Downing Street then clarified that the plan would have to include testing to permit entry to venues for the non-vaccinated.
  • The UK and the EU have released a joint statement following the vaccine row saying that ” in the end, openness and global cooperation of all countries will be key to finally overcome this pandemic” but did not note any concrete decisions.
  • Despite the joint statement, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton accused the UK of “vaccine nationalism” in an FT interview and Health Secretary Matt Hancock responded by saying “Our contract trumps theirs. It’s called contract law — it’s very straightforward.”
  • Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, has been appointed head of a new UK Health Security Agency. The new agency will merge Public Health England (PHE), the Joint Biosecurity Centre and NHS Test and Trace from next week.
  • AstraZeneca revised down their efficacy rate of the UK Covid-19 trial down to 76 percent from 79 per cent following criticism that the data released this week was incomplete.


  • NHS staff in Scotland will be offered a 4 per cent pay rise, including nurses, paramedics and domestic staff but excluding doctors. The rise would be backdated to 1 December 2020.
  • Extra Covid testing is being rolled out in Holyhead port to tackle a “concerning” rise in positive cases.


  • EU leaders are holding virtual talks to discuss ways to boost the Covid vaccine supplies and improve the rollout. The European Commission plans to ask leaders to support plans for added controls on vaccine exports, which could affect supply to the UK.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancelled her proposed Easter lockdown, admitting it was impractical.
  • Reuters reports that India has blocked all major exports of AstraZeneca vaccine as cases rise in the country.


  • Two studies suggest that middle-aged women experience the most severe long-lasting symptoms after being treated in hospital with Covid. Most patients treated in hospital experience a wide range of symptoms five months after discharge.
  • The Covid Recovery Group (CRG) criticised the idea of pubs requiring vaccines to enter, with Steve Baker saying that requiring people to have a vaccination to be allowed in a pub was a “ghastly trap” and would unfairly penalise those advised not to have a vaccine , such as pregnant women.
  • British Pub Confederation Chairman Greg Mulholland said: “On top of having to take on extra staff to serve people at tables, the idea pubs can take on staff to act as door staff for vaccine passports is absurd.”
  • CRG will put down an amendment to Covid regulation to be extended today to seek suspension of “Schedule 21” police powers, which permit police officers to take various actions against “potentially infectious” people.

Unconfirmed reports

  • The Guardian reports that pubs could be allowed to ditch social distancing rules and allow people to crowd together as long as they check customers’ Covid status on entry.