- Here are the headlines on Sunday, January 10
Home Secretary defends ‘strong’ enforcement of lockdown
The Home Secretary has defended the way police have handed out fines for lockdown breaches, warning that officers ‘will not hesitate’ to take action.
Priti Patel said the increasing number of new Covid-19 cases showed a need for ‘strong enforcement’ in cases where people were clearly breaking the rules.
It comes after recently published guidance from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said officers no longer needed to give repeated warnings before issuing fines.
NHS is facing ‘most dangerous situation’
England’s chief medical officer has warned the NHS faces the ‘most dangerous situation’ in living memory as the pandemic causes record deaths and hospital admissions.
As the country awaits the ramping up of coronavirus testing and vaccinations this week, Chris Whitty has said the only way to prevent avoidable deaths is for the public to stay home wherever possible.
‘Hospitals are always busy in winter, but the NHS in some parts of the country is currently facing the most dangerous situation anyone can remember,’ Prof Whitty wrote in the Sunday Times. ‘If the virus continues on this trajectory, hospitals will be in real difficulties, and soon. Staff-to-patient ratios – already stretched – will become unacceptable even in intensive care.’
Targeted testing to be rolled out as over-80s get vaccine invites
Coronavirus testing and vaccinations are to be ramped up across England this week, as the government tries to get a hold on the outbreak.
People without coronavirus symptoms and who cannot work from home are to be prioritised for quick turnaround tests made available to every local authority.
Meanwhile, as the vaccine rollout gathers pace, more than half a million over-80s are due to receive invites this week to get a jab. It comes as the official coronavirus death toll for the UK passed 80,000 yesterday.
National lockdown needs to be stricter
The national lockdown needs to be toughened further to have a similar impact on case numbers as the March shutdown, scientists have said.
A more infectious variant, coupled with the usual winter pressures, requires stricter measures than the ones announced by Boris Johnson for England this month, the experts warned.
Professor Robert West, a participant in the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours, said the current restrictions are ‘still allowing a lot of activity which is spreading the virus’. He, and his colleagues, think the rules should be tightened.
Parents demanding school places despite lockdown
Too many children are returning to school despite the national lockdown, a union has warned.
The NASUWT teachers’ union said some schools had reported that the majority of parents were demanding places for their children during lockdown.
Primary and secondary schools in England have moved to remote learning for most pupils, but remain open for the children of key workers and those deemed vulnerable. But NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said ‘further steps’ were needed to ‘strongly’ encourage parents to keep their children at home.
SNP pushes for multibillion-pound ‘compensation’ over Brexit
The SNP at Westminster has called for Scotland to be given ‘compensation with billions’ for the economic effects of Brexit.
The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has described leaving the European Union, which was finalised on December 31, as an ‘act of economic vandalism’.
The Scottish government has said changes to customs and exports could cost the UK £7bn annually, while constitution secretary Mike Russell has said Scotland’s GDP could drop by sis per cent in the next decade.
Queen and Philip receive Covid-19 vaccinations
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have received their Covid-19 vaccinations, joining more than a million people who have been given the jab.
In an unusual move, Buckingham Palace, which rarely comments on the private health matters of the monarch and duke, announced the 94-year-old head of state and her consort, 99, had been given the injection.
It is understood the Queen decided the information should be made public to prevent inaccuracies and further speculation.
Consumers warned they will bear cost of Brexit border delays
Consumers will bear the cost of the trouble facing traders following the imposition of Brexit red tape, a senior retail chief has warned.
Lord Rose, chairman of supermarket delivery company Ocado, said the delays and difficulties in international shipping caused by added paperwork meant the ‘cost will be passed on to the consumer’.
A haulage firm boss, meanwhile, predicted the customs changes would lead to a ‘bloodbath’ for the sector with delivery delays eating into already tight profit margins.
Asos and Boohoo show gains from lockdown
Online fashion giants Asos and Boohoo are set to reveal further soaring sales growth as shoppers shifted towards their platforms amid lockdown restrictions.
The fashion retailers both delivered strong growth following the first lockdown in England as shoppers continued to spend money on clothes despite the closure of high street stores.
Investors for the two companies will be keen to find out if this strong sales momentum continued into the key Black Friday and Christmas trading period, with Asos and Boohoo providing updates on Wednesday and Thursday this week respectively.
Renault fits electric truck with solar panels
Renault Trucks has fitted one of its electric vehicles with roof-mounted solar panels.
The idea is to capture green energy from the sun and use it to power the refrigeration unit. This is said to be an efficient route because the panels capture the most energy on sunny days when the unit needs the most power to keep cool.
Logistics firm Rhyner Logistik purchased one of the Renault Trucks D Wide Z.E. vehicles to supply Denner supermarkets in the suburbs of Zurich, Switzerland.
The BBC said much of the country will remain fine and mostly dry today with patchy cloud, and an early mist or fog in places. The northern half of the country will remain cloudy with spells of rain in western Scotland.
Tonight, rain will persist for much of Scotland with snow in the northern mountains. It will be dry with patchy cloud in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Patches of fog in south Wales and southern England.
Tomorrow will be a breezy day for most, with a freshening westerly wind and spells of rain for many. Early bright spells are possible in the southern half of the country and it will feel milder.