Brazil COVID ‘variant of concern’ discovered in UK, health officials say

The Brazil COVID-19 ‘variant of concern’ first detected in the city of Manaus has been discovered in the UK. Three cases of the new variant, known as P1, have been found in South Gloucestershire, Public Health England said on Sunday. The other three were detected in Scotland, but are not linked to the England cases, according to the Scottish government. Two of the cases in England come from a household in South Gloucestershire, where one person returned from Brazil in mid-February, before the new hotel quarantine measures were introduced. The third case is unlinked and the whereabouts of the individual unknown, as the person did not complete their test registration card, PHE said. Advertisement Scotland’s three variant cases have been

Read More

‘Magnificent achievement’: 20 million people have received first coronavirus jab in UK – Hancock

More than 20 million people have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, the health secretary has said. Matt Hancock offered his “huge thanks” to the team and called it a “magnificent achievement for the country”. In a video posted on Twitter he added: “I’m absolutely delighted that over 20 million people have now been vaccinated across the UK – it’s absolutely fantastic. “I want to thank every single person who has come forward to get the jab because we know with increasing confidence that the jab protects you, it protects your community and it also is the route out of this for all of us.” He added: “There’s a long way still to go but

Read More

Budget to offer £5bn for firms hit hard by COVID – but rebels warn Sunak against raising taxes

A £5bn grant scheme to help pubs, restaurants and retailers hit hardest by lockdown restrictions is set to be unveiled by the chancellor in Wednesday’s budget. Rishi Sunak is also planning to support first-time buyers by incentivising lenders to accept deposits of just 5% for properties up to £600,000. The chancellor has warned hard decisions will need to be made to repair the economic damage wrought by COVID-19 – but Labour and some Conservative backbenchers have cautioned Mr Sunak against increasing taxes. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player How can the budget fix the economy? Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be interviewed live on Sophy Ridge On Sunday from 8.30am on Sky News To help businesses open

Read More

High streets look to Sunak for post-pandemic help in budget to save them from collapse

Guildford High Street, with its pretty cobbled streets, chi chi shops and historical architecture, is the perfect example of an affluent commuter suburb. But even this pleasant corner of Surrey hasn’t been immune from the economic shock of the pandemic. The Hair and Beauty Bar has been a staple on the High Street for 21 years, but after being forced to close for the third time in 12 months, owner Gemma Raif is fearful of the future. “The past year’s been very difficult,” she said. “I had a successful business that gave me a nice lifestyle, with no debt. Now I owe at least £35,000 in rent, which is not a nice place to be when you’re not used to

Read More

Prince William urges vaccine uptake and warns of social media ‘awash with misinformation’

Prince William has urged people to get the COVID vaccine and warned of the dangers of “social media awash sometimes with lots of rumours and misinformation”. The Duke of Cambridge said it was important for COVID vaccination efforts to continue so young people would feel “it’s really important for them to have it”. William and Kate spoke with Shivali Modha and her family on Tuesday via a video call, as part of a talk with two clinically vulnerable women. Image: The Duke and Duchess spoke with the Modha family about their hesitancy to get the vaccine. Pic: Kensington Palace The royals also chatted with Fiona Doyle. Ms Doyle and Mrs Modha, who both live in London, have been shielding since

Read More

‘They’re genuinely frightened’: Life in a village with 142% rise in COVID cases

Felpham sits on the sunny West Sussex coast and basks in the joys of being a village far away from urban COVID-19 hotspots.  But it’s gained the attention of those in government for being an anomaly, as latest figures show there’s been a 142% rises in coronavirus cases. Its position in the COVID cases table was revealed in Friday’s Downing Street briefing and prompted England’s deputy chief medical officer to warn the battle is not yet won, with a warning “not to wreck it now”. Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said some areas of the UK are “burning quite hot”. Felpham being one such area that is now under the watchful eye of scientists. It is not considered to be an area

Read More

‘We couldn’t afford to live’: The people waiting for the Budget after months of lockdown

The chancellor is set to announce the Budget on Wednesday nearly a year after the country was placed under a national lockdown. Huge parts of the the economy remain closed and families are feeling the strain as at least 150,000 jobs have been lost to the pandemic. The specific details of the Budget remain unclear but the announcement is expected to include a swathe of actions aimed at kickstarting the UK economy as restrictions ease. Sky News spoke to three people in different financial circumstances about how they hope the Budget will help them. ‘We’re scraping money together’ Advertisement Image: Mr Kelly and Ms May have been viewing homes in Bristol Dan Kelly, 29, and Annie May, 22, are hoping

Read More

Families of school-aged children to get two rapid COVID tests a week

Anyone living with school-aged children in England will be entitled to two rapid coronavirus tests a week when pupils return to the classroom, the government has said. All secondary school and college students will be tested twice a week when they go back on 8 March, according to the prime minister’s roadmap out of lockdown. But now ministers are promising all members of their households twice-weekly swabs as well. The new measures apply to anyone in a household or support bubble with a child or young person who goes to college, primary or secondary school in England, the Department of Health and Social Care said. Coronavirus tests for family members will be available at 500 pickup locations nationwide, existing local

Read More

‘His spirit lives on’: Military flypast among tributes at Captain Sir Tom Moore funeral

A Second World War plane soared over the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore in a military flypast as his family paid tribute to the 100-year-old veteran whose “message and spirit lives on”. The C-47 Dakota flew over Bedford Crematorium to mark the death of Captain Sir Tom, who raised more than £33 million for the NHS before his death on 2 February. His coffin was draped in a Union Jack, with his Second World War service cap, a wreath from the Yorkshire Regiment, his war medals and knighthood placed on top. Image: Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment carry his coffin Just eight members of his immediate family attended the funeral due to coronavirus restrictions, which began with the flypast

Read More

More than 2,000 homes evacuated after ‘unexploded Second World War bomb’ found

Bomb disposal experts have evacuated 2,600 homes after a suspected unexploded Second World War bomb was found in Exeter. Royal Navy bomb disposal teams were sent to Glenthorne Road near the University of Exeter at 9am on Friday. They found a “possible unexploded World War Two device” on a building site to the west of the university campus and worked through the night ahead of a disposal operation on Saturday. Today the Army has evacuated around 2,600 properties so teams can examine the device and remove it from the site safely. A 400-metre cordon and nearby road closures are also in place, Devon and Cornwall Police said. Advertisement “Police hope this work will be completed by the end of today,

Read More

1 2 3 27