UK Coronavirus LIVE: Matt Hancock says UK ‘on home straight’ as vaccine rollout expands and Government looks at March lockdown end


ealth Secretary Matt Hancock has said the UK is “nearly on the home straight” out of the pandemic as the vaccine rollout gathers pace.

But Government sources have “dismissed as speculation” reports that every adult in Britain could be vaccinated by the end of June. Other reports state the government is looking at relaxing lockdown restrictions in March.

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Oak National Academy and National Literacy Trust give free access to books for children who are remote learning

A new scheme has launched offering children free access to online books during lockdown


‘NHS vaccinating at 140 jabs a minute’

Sir Simon Stevens said the NHS in England is vaccinating at a rate of “140 jabs a minute”.

He said: “We will start testing 24/7 in some hospitals over the course of the next 10 days.

“But we are at the moment vaccinating at about 140 jabs a minute and yesterday (Saturday), a quarter of a million people got their vaccinations on the NHS.

“I’m pretty confident by the time we get to the end of today, Sunday night, we will have perhaps done 1.5 million vaccinations this past week, that’s up from around a million the week before.”


NHS boss: ‘lockdown will be eased gradually’

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said he expects lockdown to be eased gradually around spring and summer time.

He said: “It is not going to be the case that on Valentine’s Day, with one bound, we are free.

“Equally, I don’t think we will have to wait until the autumn, I think somewhere between those two.

“Subject, of course, to this uncertainty around new variants of coronavirus and it will be very important we don’t see those taking off in a way that undermines the effectiveness of the vaccines we have.”


Government plan to vaccinate all UK adults by September revealed

More here on Dominic Raab saying it is the Government plan to have offered all UK adults a jab by September 


UK lecturers warn of strike action over ‘unsafe’ conditions

The union representing  lecturers has ruled out face to face this academic year over covid fears.

Members of the University and College Union are to ballot members with the threat of strike action if the government tries to force them back onto campuses. 

The moves comes as the National Union of Students called for universities to stop charging students fees and offer them rent rebates while they are unable to use their accommodation. 


Tokyo reports 1,592 new covid cases

Japan has extended a state of emergency in Toyko after 1,592 new cases were reported in the city.

The government has announced seven more zones in and around the city where restrictions are to be beefed up.

Tokyo is the host city for the Olympics scheduled for the summer.


Sir Ed Davey: ‘Gavin Williamson is worst education secretary we’ve had in living memory’

Sir Ed Davey has said that Gavin Williamson is “the worst education secretary we’ve had in living memory”.

Asked whether university students should be financially recompensed for the disruption of their education during the pandemic and who should pay for it, the Lib Dem leader said: “I think it should be the Government.

“I think the Government has really let down universities, it has let down schools, frankly. I mean the fiasco from Gavin Williamson, the way he has mismanaged this whole crisis for our children and young people and students.

“That is why I have called for him to resign. I think he is the worst education secretary we’ve had in living memory.”


Government ‘looking at quarantine hotels and enhanced monitoring’

Dominc Raab told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday when asked about the reports: “We will consider all the measures in the round.”


Dominic Raab dismisses claims that the Government had been “too slow” in setting up border measures

Dominic Raab dismissed claims that the Government had been “too slow” in setting up border measures to prevent the importation of new coronavirus variants.

He told the Andrew Marr show on the BBC: “I don’t accept that we have been too slow in this – we are broadly the same pace in terms of Canada and Germany.”

He said “all the potential measures” would be kept under review when asked about quarantine hotels.


Government hopes it can start to lift lockdown measures in March

Dominic Raab told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: : “I think it is true to say that when we get to a situation in the early spring, perhaps March, if we succeed in hitting those targets – we have made good process so far – we can start to think about the phased transition out of the national lockdown.


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