Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
20 April 2021
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to hold a Downing Street press conference this afternoon.
- Yesterday, 2,963 people tested positive for Covid-19, and four people died within 28 days of testing positive.
- As of 18 April, a total of 32,932,448 people had received a first dose of a Covid vaccine in the UK and 10,152,039 had also received a second dose.
- The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in the three months to February, according to the latest official figures. ONS director of economic statistics Darren Morgan said: “The latest figures suggest that the jobs market has been broadly stable in recent months after the major shock of last spring.”
- British motorists are facing the biggest drop in car insurance costs in almost six years, a price comparison website has found. This follows a 43 percent drop in average mileage during the pandemic.
- India has been added to a “red list” of countries from which most travel to the UK is banned, over fears of a new Covid variant, the health secretary has said. Johnson’s planned visit to India next week has been cancelled because of the country’s escalating coronavirus crisis.
- Downing Street has said it does not rule out clawing back Covid support money from football clubs taking part in the proposed breakaway European Super League, the Independent has reported.
- The Scottish first minister is expected to confirm the most significant stage in lockdown easing later today. The biggest raft of changes since Scotland went into lockdown on Boxing Day last year is due to take place on Monday 26 April. The scheduled unlocking will include the reopening of hospitality, gyms and non-essential shops.
- Six people from six households will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday, and in pub beer gardens once they reopen next week.
- Vaccine appointments for a limited number of people aged between 35 and 39 are being made available from Monday in Northern Ireland.
- A “tsunami of harm” could hit the North East in terms of alcohol consumption during the Covid-19 pandemic, an outgoing health campaigner fears.
- An Auckland airport worker has tested positive for Covid-19 a day after New Zealand opened a reciprocal travel bubble with Australia.
- India has widened its vaccination programme as infections surge and the capital goes into lockdown. All adults over the age of 18 will be offered a coronavirus jab starting from 1 May, the government said on Monday.
- Plans to host Olympic athletes at training camps in Japan are under review amid growing concerns about the threat of coronavirus as the nation copes with a fourth wave.
- Persecution of journalists in China may have contributed to the global coronavirus outbreak by stopping whistle-blowers coming forward in the early days of the pandemic, according to the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders.
- The BBC reports that a review of policing says officers sometimes struggled to enforce coronavirus restrictions because of a lack of clarity from ministers. The analysis by a policing watchdog found chief constables heard about new restrictions from the government’s television briefings. Sky News reports that some police forces did not follow self-isolation rules last year due to “confusion” and fears over lack of staffing.
- Speaking to Sky News, John Apter, the National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said it was “almost impossible” to enforce social distancing in most circumstances, because the two-metre rule is “guidance” and is not legally enforceable. “But when you mix social distancing with alcohol, it’s very easy to say that does not mix well at all,” Apter added.
- More research is needed into vitamin D supplements and possible protection against Covid, experts have said.
- The Times reports holidaymakers will have their coronavirus paperwork digitally linked to their passports under Border Force plans to cut lengthy queues by the middle of the summer.