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Live Reporting

Edited by Paul Gribben

All times stated are UK

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  1. The main coronavirus headlines from today

    A graph of coronavirus statistics

    Thanks for joining us today as we've brought you the latest coronavirus news from the UK and around the world.

    Here are some of the main headlines from today:

    • The UK has identified 77 cases of the coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says. They're linked to travellers arriving in the UK, rather than having been transmitted in the community
    • It comes as government ministers prepare to meet on Monday to consider imposing tougher restrictions on people arriving in the UK from abroad
    • Three quarters of all over-80s in the UK have now received their first vaccine, with a similar percentage of care-home residents having had their first jab too
    • Staff are scared to go to work at the UK vehicle licensing agency's contact centre in Swansea where 500 workers have contracted coronavirus since the pandemic began, a union claims
    • Police have issued more than £15,000 in fines after 300 people attended an illegal rave in a railway arch in Hackney, east London, on Saturday night
    • More than 25 million cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across the United States, with experts saying the true number is likely to be higher. More than 417,500 people have died with the virus in the US. President Joe Biden warned the death toll could get much worse, saying: "Let me be clear - things will continue to get worse before they get better."
    • New Zealand has reported its first case of Covid-19 outside of a quarantine facility in more than two months. Health officials said a 56-year-old woman who had recently returned from Europe tested positive days after completing a compulsory two-week period of managed isolation
    Coronavirus figures in the UK

    Today's live page was brought to you by Victoria Lindrea, Sophie Williams, Paul Gribben and Lauren Turner. We'll be back with more on Monday morning.

  2. Snow shuts six West Midlands testing centres

    Snow on the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon

    Six coronavirus testing centres have been forced to close due to heavy snow in the West Midlands.

    The weather is also causing travel disruption, with treacherous conditions reported on some of the region's roads.

    A severe weather warning for snow remains in place until midnight, with another warning for ice issued by the Met Office until Monday morning.

    Workers for an aid charity have been despatched to support emergency workers and those affected by recent flooding.

    Read more here.

  3. Midlands is first England region to reach 1m first Covid doses

    The Midlands has become the first region in England to administer more than one million first doses of coronavirus vaccine, new figures from NHS England show.

    The data also shows London still lags behind all other regions in terms of the total number of jabs given. It has delivered around 641,000 jabs since 8 December.

    Over the last seven days, London also delivered the lowest number of first doses, with 219,350 given between 17 January and 23 January. In the same time period, there were 219,350 in the Midlands.

    Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he fully expects the capital's numbers to rise.

    One possible reason for the discrepancy could be that London has a lower average age than the rest of the UK, according to data from Trust for London, and older people are being vaccinated first.

  4. Egypt begins vaccinations

    Alan Johnston

    BBC Middle East analyst

    Ahmed Hamdan Zayed receives the Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine

    Egypt - the Arab world's most populous nation - has begun the process of vaccinating its more than 100 million citizens against the coronavirus. The country has recorded nearly 9,000 deaths from the disease.

    The first recipients of a vaccine were a doctor and a nurse. They were given a Chinese-made injection.

    Vaccines from Britain and Russia will be included in the inoculation programme as it unfolds.

    Egypt’s health minister said the country was aiming to produce an injection locally, with a view to distributing it to the rest of Africa.

    There have been warnings that the continent is in danger of being left behind, as richer parts of the world strike vaccine-supply deals and drive up prices.

    Read more:

  5. More than 6m have received first vaccine in UK

    Shoukatali Dahya, 80, receiving an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at the Al Abbas Mosque, Birmingham

    There have now been a total of 6,353,321 people who've received their first coronavirus vaccine in the UK, the latest government figures show.

    In addition, 469,660 have had their second dose.

    The government is planning to offer a vaccine to everyone in the four most vulnerable categories by 15 February.

  6. Breaking30,004 new cases in UK and 610 deaths

    Another 30,004 positive coronavirus tests have been recorded in the UK, according to government figures just released. It brings the total number of cases so far to 3,647,463.

    It's the lowest daily number of cases since 19 December.

    There were an additional 610 deaths recorded today of people who had tested positive within the previous 28 days. The total number of deaths now stands at 97,939.

    Figures tend to be lower on Sunday and Mondays because of lags in reporting at the weekend.

  7. Portugal heads to polls amid rising cases

    Portugal has been heading to the polls to vote for the country's president.

    The election comes as the country continues to see a surge in cases.

    Portugal has recorded 624,469 cases and 10,194 deaths since the pandemic began. Hospitalisations are at an all-time high according to Reuters news agency.

    Images from the polls show people wearing PPE, sanitizing their hands and socially distancing while queuing.

    Marisa Matias (R) disinfects her hands as she enters a polling station
    Some people wore gloves as a precaution in casting their ballots
    People stand in a line, waiting for their turn outside a polling station
  8. Scotland's over-70s to get vaccine date from Monday

    Video content

    Video caption: Nicola Sturgeon: '95% of Scottish care home residents have been vaccinated'

    Blue envelopes with details of vaccine appointments for those aged 70 to 79 will begin arriving in households across Scotland from Monday.

    The envelopes being sent out in Fife, Forth Valley, Ayrshire and Arran, Lanarkshire, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and Lothian are part of a new booking system being used in six health board areas.

    According to the Scottish government's vaccine deployment plan, the 470,000 people aged in the 70 and 79 age bracket should receive their first dose by mid-February.

    But many over-80s have yet to receive their first jab and the government has faced criticism from opposition parties concerned that Scotland is "lagging behind" England on the vaccine roll-out.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that figure had now reached about 40% and the rollout was "gathering pace every day".

    Ms Sturgeon said the rollout to the over-80s has been slower because the Scottish government has "very deliberately" focused on vaccinating care home residents first, which is "more time-consuming and labour intensive".

    Read more here.

  9. Italy to seek legal action against Pfizer and AstraZeneca

    Vaccines in front of a Pfizer sign

    Italy has announced it will take legal action against Pfizer and AstraZeneca over a delay in the distribution of vaccines.

    Both companies have warned they will not be able to deliver vaccines to the EU as agreed due to production issues.

    On Saturday a senior Italian health official warned that the country will have to rethink its vaccination programme if supply issues continue.

    Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said the aim of the legal action would be to secure the doses rather than to seek damages.

    "We are working so our vaccine plan programme does not change. We are activating all channels so the EU Commission does all it can to make these gentlemen respect their contracts,” he told RAI state television.

    The head of Italy's Higher Health Council Franco Locatelli said Pfizer deliveries were 29% lower than planned this week but the levels were expected to return to those agreed by 1 February.

  10. Praise for 'exhausted' staff who cared for dying dad

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid: Norwich man's daughters praise hospital staff as he loses virus battle

    Two daughters have spoken of their gratitude to the nurses who cared for their father, who died this month with coronavirus after spending 11 days at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

    A tearful Sam Folkard recalled how a nurse looked "heartbroken" as she turned off the machine keeping father-of-seven Edward Folkard alive.

    "The nurse that had to turn his machine off in the end was probably about the same age as me, if not younger," said Sam.

    Katie Folkard said she was "eternally grateful" to the nursing staff for letting her family say goodbye.

    "That would have been our worst fear - that he went on his own."

    The sisters plan to raise money for the staff as a thank you for their help.

  11. 'No Trump vaccine distribution plan', Biden's chief of staff claims

    Donald Trump and Dr Anthony Fauci

    President Joe Biden’s chief of staff claims there was no distribution plan for the vaccine from the Trump administration.

    “The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House,” Ron Klain told NBC News.

    Last week sources told CNN that the Biden team were having to “build everything from scratch” when it came to distribution plans.

    However top US medical expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, hit back at criticism in a White House Briefing.

    "I mean we're coming in with fresh ideas, but also some ideas with the previous administration. You can't say it was absolutely not usable at all," he said.

    President Biden has criticised the rollout of the vaccine in the country. He has promised 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days.

    Watch how President Biden plans to tackle the pandemic below.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How Biden plans to tackle Covid crisis
  12. What's happening around the world?

    Here's a brief round-up of the latest headlines on Sunday:

  13. Wales health minister 'hopeful' vaccine targets will be met

    Patients queue outside the Ty Doctor surgery in Nefyn

    Wales' health minister says he is "hopeful" Covid vaccination targets can be met.

    Vaughan Gething said there had been a "significant increase" in doses sent out, with 20,000 delivered daily over the past few days to health boards.

    It is hoped that 70% of the over-80s will get the first dose of a Covid vaccine by the end of Sunday.

    Read more about efforts in Wales here.

  14. Dutch police arrest 25 and fine thousands flouting curfew

    A man is arrested by the police after a protest against the curfew in Rotterdam

    Police in the Netherlands say they have arrested 25 people and fined more than 3,500 others over violating a night-time curfew.

    Under the restrictions, which came into effect on Saturday, people must remain at home from 21:00 until 04:30.It is due to remain in place until 9 February.

    There are only a small number of exemptions which include travelling to work, needing urgent medical assistance or if you are walking your dog alone on a lead. Those leaving home should carry a curfew declaration with them.

    Some of those arrested on Saturday refused to go home while others were accused of being violent.

    A group of youths in central Netherlands threw fireworks and rocks at police and set fire to a Covid testing centre.

  15. Israel expanding vaccinations to 16-18 year olds

    A man receives a vaccination against the coronavirus disease

    Israel is expanding its Covid vaccinations to include 16- 18 year olds in order for them to take school exams, the government says.

    The country has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world against coronavirus. According to its health ministry, it has administered at least one dose to more than 25% of its population since 19 December.

    Vaccines are currently available to those over 40.

    A spokeswoman for the country’s education ministry said the addition of the 16-18 year-olds allows their return to school and the “orderly holding of exams”.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is campaigning for re-election, has predicted Israel could emerge from the pandemic as early as February. It is currently in its third national lockdown.

  16. Harpist gives lessons to student 7,500 miles away

    Chris Dearden

    BBC Wales News

    Video content

    Video caption: Harpist Elinor Bennett is giving music lessons to a student in Welsh-speaking Patagonia

    "The miracles of modern technology have been hugely beneficial during this difficult period," renowned harpist Elinor Bennett OBE has said.

    The Welsh musician is teaching Helen Green, 15, who lives 7,500 miles away.

    Elinor and other tutors in north Wales saw lessons moved online in the pandemic.

    But using Zoom enabled her to extend her reach to Patagonia, Argentina, where Helen lives in a Welsh community.

    "To have Elinor as my mentor is a real privilege, a chance to learn so much," Helen said.

    Elinor said it was great that "expertise can be shared and knowledge can be shared and love and passion for music".

    Read about how Helen met Elinor.

  17. Dubai to slow rollout of Pfizer vaccine

    A woman receives a dose of the vaccine

    Dubai is slowing down the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine due to a delay in deliveries.

    Pfizer announced last week that shipments of its vaccine will reduce while it increases production capacity at its Belgian plant.

    The Emirate said it would scale back its vaccinations but all those scheduled to take their second dose should still turn up for their appointment.

    The UAE has one of the highest rates of Covid vaccinations in the world, with more than two million of its 10m population vaccinated so far.

    A total of 274,376 cases have been confirmed so far and 783 deaths.

    Dubai has recently been in the spotlight after a number of British influencers were pictured holidaying while the UK was under tough restrictions. Earlier this month it was dropped from the UK’s quarantine-free list amid a spike in cases.

  18. Two climbers fined for Covid breach after hill rescue

    Mountain rescue at Ben Lomond

    Two women who were rescued from Ben Lomond in Scotland have been charged with breaching coronavirus regulations.

    The walkers, who were in their 20s and from Fife, called for help after getting into difficulty in poor weather on Saturday.

    Lomond Mountain Rescue team said the women were near the summit of the Stirlingshire peak when they raised the alarm.

    Read more here.

  19. Watch: Vaccine plea to prioritise those with learning disabilities

    Nikki Fox

    BBC News Disability Correspondent

    Video content

    Video caption: Learning disability vaccine plea: 'Don't leave us to rot'

    As high risk groups continue to be immunised, there are growing concerns that people with learning disabilities have been missed out.

    "Just because we've got a learning disability, doesn't mean we should sit in the corner and rot," says Amanda. "We need help now."

    "There are so many people that are going to die, and it's not fair."

    "Even before Covid, more than four in 10 people with a learning disability died of a lung condition like pneumonia," says Professor Tuffney-Wijne, of Kingston University.

    "As a group of people, they really are at risk."

    Legal action is being taken against the Department of Health and Social Care, which says it is working hard to vaccinate all those at risk.

    The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said it had made "a clinical decision to prioritise those with profound and severe learning disabilities within our first six categories".

  20. New French border controls come into effect

    A passenger looks at the departure board at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport

    New border controls in France have come into effect.

    Anyone from the EU entering France by air or sea must provide a negative PCR test that has been obtained in the previous 72 hours.

    However those entering the country by land will not need a negative test.

    People arriving in France from outside the EU already have to provide a negative PCR test result and quarantine for seven days before taking another test.

    According to Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, about 62,000 people from EU countries enter France by air or sea every week.

    France has recorded more than three million cases and 72,788 deaths.

    Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed about one million people had already received one dose of the vaccination by Saturday.