The chancellor must expand support for people self-isolating or risk a fourth national lockdown, Labour has said, as new analysis from the party suggests the lockdown is costing the economy £1.6bn a week.
In one of her major pre-budget interventions, the shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, urged Rishi Sunak to radically extend eligibility for the £500 support payment to anyone without access to workplace sick pay.
At the moment only about one in eight workers are automatically able to access the payment. About 70% of people who apply for financial support are rejected, according to data from half of England’s councils.
Read Jessica Elgot’s report here:
Johnson’s roadmap: schools reopening, outdoor gatherings
Boris Johnson will unveil the government’s eagerly awaited roadmap out of lockdown for England on Monday. Here’s what the prime minister is expected to tell MPs:
- All pupils in all years can return to the classroom from 8 March.
- Outdoor after-school sports and activities will be allowed to restart.
- In a fortnight, socialising in parks and public spaces with one other person will be allowed.
- On 29 March, restrictions will be eased further to allow larger groups to meet in parks and gardens.
- Outdoor sport facilities will also reopen, as well as organised adult and children’s sport.
Ministers will assess the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence of vaccine efficacy, new variants and infection rates before proceeding to the next step of easing restrictions. More on that here:
Brazil reported a further 527 Covid-19 deaths and 29,026 new cases of the virus on Sunday, according to data released by the health ministry.
The South American nation has now recorded 246,504 total coronavirus deaths and 10,168,174 confirmed cases.
People with HIV in England to get jab without disclosing status to GP
People living with HIV in England will no longer have to disclose their status in order to be prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine.
People with the condition will be vaccinated in phase six of the roll-out, after people aged over 65. There are fears that some HIV-positive people may end up waiting for months for the jab, as some do not tell their GP because of fear of stigma.
In light of concerns raised by campaigners and experts, NHS England has changed its policy, allowing HIV clinics to refer patients for a vaccine without notifying their GP, inews.co.uk has learnt.
The Terrence Higgins Trust applauded the policy shift, calling it “an important step for people who may feel uncomfortable sharing their HIV status with medical professionals”.
Egypt has detected 600 new coronavirus cases, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday, raising the total number of infections to 177,543.
A further 48 patients have died from the virus, spokesman Khaled Megahed said, raising the death toll to 10,298.
Officials confirmed that no virus variations have been discovered in Egypt so far, Egypt Today reports.
Health minister Hala Zayed told reporters that Egypt will receive 8.6 million AstraZeneca doses later this month. The country has signed a deal to acquire a total of 40 million doses from the manufacturer this year.
Nottinghamshire police have issued a £10,000 fine to the organiser of a church gathering in a pub car park.
Officers said about 30 people in Nottingham attended the Church on the Streets service on Saturday afternoon in breach of lockdown rules. They said the group had set up tents, a sound system and were serving food.
Insp James Walker of Nottinghamshire police said: “Over the past few weeks we have been advising this group, having been made aware of events they have held in Bulwell.
“Initially, we have been engaging: explaining and encouraging as to the importance of following the current national lockdown restrictions, which is to protect the NHS, save lives and keep people safe. This has been our immediate approach throughout the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to be.”
He said the “car park is evidently not a place of worship” and that the fine was issued “as a last resort” after the organiser decided to go forward with the the event despite repeated warnings.
From Eric Topol, founder of the Scripps Research Institute and professor of molecular medicine:
France reported 22,046 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, from 16,546 last Sunday, when new cases had dipped briefly.
The seven-day moving average of cases rose above 20,000 again after new cases increased week on week for the fourth day in a row.
The country’s health ministry also reported 160 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, compared with 164 a week ago.
The cumulative toll stands at 84,306, while the total number of cases has passed 3.6 million.
The ministry has not published hospital data for three days.