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Live Reporting

Edited by James Clarke

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thanks for joining us

    That's it from us for today. Thanks for joining us.

    Our coronavirus live page will be back tomorrow morning.

    The live page writers today were: Victoria Lindrea, Kelly-Leigh Cooper and Alex Therrien.

    The page was edited by James Clarke.

  2. Evening round-up

    A woman being vaccinated

    We will soon be bringing our coronavirus live page to a pause for the day.

    But before we do, here's a round-up of the main stories today.

  3. The Scottish pilot who turned his hand to manufacturing PPE

    By Giancarlo Rinaldi

    Douglas Jones was previously a pilot with Aegean Airlines

    Pilot Douglas Jones, 27, was enjoying his dream job, working for Aegean Airlines and living in Greece, when the pandemic began last spring - and borders began to close.

    Fearing being stranded in Greece, he booked a flight home to Scotland and within a couple of weeks learned his job was gone.

    Back home, in the small Scottish town of Moffat, in Dumfries and Galloway, he found himself “desperate to do something”.

    "When you have been used to living in Berlin and Athens and you move back to Moffat, living with your dad, it is a bit of slowdown," he says.

    It was a relative of a friend who spotted south of Scotland firm Alpha Solway was hiring new workers to meet demand for personal protective equipment (PPE).

    It certainly marked a change of pace – the nine-to-five office-based routine was difficult to adjust to for someone accustomed to navigating the skies of Europe – but Douglas says he was "surprised" by what parts of his old job he could bring to his new post.

    "A lot in commercial aviation is about awareness - situational awareness - and a lot of that can be built into manufacturing as well," he says.

    While looking forward to returning to the skies one day, he adds: “I have learned a huge amount here.

    “There are good people here doing a good job and I am helping at least with that."

    Read more.

  4. Virtual library gives children in England free book access

    Child reading a book

    Children in England will be able to access free books online during school closures.

    The Oak National Academy is creating a virtual library, after schools moved to remote learning for the majority of pupils until at least February half-term.

    Formed with The National Literacy Trust, the library will provide one free book each week, from its author of the week.

    The first book to feature will be Dame Jacqueline Wilson's The Story Of Tracy Beaker, which will be available for a week from today.

    "Many children's literacy skills were profoundly affected by the first lockdown and school closures,” said Jonathan Douglas, chief executive of the National Literacy Trust.

    "We will do everything in our power to support children, families and teachers during this new lockdown period."

  5. A roadside van - and no passing traffic

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid-19: Running a roadside van when a pandemic cuts traffic

    Running a roadside van can give a whole new perspective on a national lockdown.

    In Wales, car journeys reduced by two-thirds during lockdown periods.

    "We haven't seen any of our regular customers since the big lockdown back in March," says one business owner, languishing in a silent layby. Hours can go by without seeing a solitary vehicle.

    But the food vans have also provided a lifeline for hungry hauliers too - when shops and service stations are closed down - and drivers seek refreshment.

    "With this pandemic, the money fluctuates - it's up and down - one day, you're rock-bottom, the next day you're flying high," says another owner.

    "You can't plan anything."

    And with the working environment likely to be very different post-pandemic, what future is there for these small businesses?

  6. Man said he had travelled 100 miles 'for a McDonald's'

    McDonalds sign

    A man told police he had driven from Luton to Devizes to visit a McDonald's, even though the town does not have a branch of the burger chain.

    Wiltshire Police pointed out he had driven across "numerous counties", called his actions a "flagrant breach" of lockdown regulations and fined the man £200.

    The 34-year-old was stopped on Estcourt Street in Devizes, a distance of more than 100 miles (160km) from Luton.

    "The majority of people across Wiltshire continue to act responsibly and we thank you for that, however, it is important to protect the NHS that we all stick to the rules," said police.

  7. 'Up to a fifth of staff in some care home groups have refused vaccine'

    A vaccination centre

    Up to a fifth of staff in some care home groups have refused a coronavirus vaccine when offered, the PA news agency has been told, with suggestions younger workers are more likely to be resistant.

    The majority of care home staff who have been offered the jab are getting vaccinated, but data obtained by PA from a number of providers shows between 5% and 21% of staff offered a vaccine have declined it.

    There is currently no regular data from the NHS or government on how many residents and staff have been given the vaccine, and how many have refused a jab.

    Care groups have been calling for daily figures so they can check if the government is on track to have offered vaccines to all residents by 24 January and address any take-up issues.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that almost 40% of elderly residents have been vaccinated.

  8. Israel to start vaccinating prisoners

    The Israel Prison Service said on Sunday that it will begin vaccinating all prisoners against Covid-19 amid a political row over a policy not to.

    Public Security Minister Amir Ohana had previously said prisoners in Israeli jails should not be inoculated yet until further notice - on the basis other groups should be prioritised first.

    Public Security Amir Ohana
    Image caption: The minister faced backlash after saying the vaccinations should only be given to staff, not inmates

    The order has faced criticism from human rights groups both inside and outside the country, as well as from senior figures such as Defence Minister Benny Gantz, the country's attorney general and the president.

    “Preventing life-saving medical treatment from people in prison - whether due to a sentence imposed on them by the court or due to detention prior to sentencing - is inconsistent with our values, the values ​​of the state, Judaism, and democracy,” President Reuven Rivlin said Thursday.

    The prison service confirmation comes days after the Minister of Health said the rollout would start in prisons on Monday or Tuesday.

    Israel has vaccinated at least one vaccine to more than two million of its citizens so far - leading the race globally per capita.

  9. Government urged to 'safeguard' Eurostar's future

    A Eurostar train

    A group of London business leaders has written to the government calling for financial support for the struggling rail firm Eurostar.

    In a letter to the Treasury and Department for Transport, they urge "swift action to safeguard its future".

    Bosses of firms such as Fortnum & Mason signed the letter asking for access to government loans and business rates relief "at the very least".

    The government says it is "working closely" with Eurostar.

    The cross-Channel rail company is threatened by a large drop in passenger numbers due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

    It reported in November that passenger numbers had been down 95% since March 2020.

    Read more

  10. UK vaccinations exceed 3.8 million

    The government's daily figures also show the number of UK vaccinations is 3,857,266 up to and including 16 January.

    This is a 298,087 increase from yesterday's total of 3,559,179.

    A further 4,179 patients have been admitted to hospital - down from 4,262 on Saturday.

  11. BreakingUK deaths rise by 671

    A further 671 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, according to the latest government figures.

    There were also 38,598 new cases.

    Yesterday there were 1,295 deaths and 41,346 cases.

  12. Call for crackdown on employers 'who break Covid rules'

    Employees having temperature checks at work

    Concerns are being raised about employees forced to go into workplaces that are not Covid-compliant during lockdown.

    In just one week in January, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received 2,945 complaints about safety issues.

    The head of the UK's unions is calling for ministers to crack down on employers "who break Covid safety rules".

    "If the government is upping enforcement, ministers should start with employers who break Covid safety rules," says TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady.

    O'Grady calls for an increase in resources for the HSE "to stop rogue employers getting away with putting staff at risk".

    "Every employer needs to know an inspection could happen any time," she says.

    A spokeswoman for the HSE says its inspectors "continue to be out and about, putting employers on the spot and checking that they are complying with health and safety law".

    The HSE has carried out more than 32,300 site visits during the pandemic, and introduced telephone spot-checks in response to the coronavirus crisis, she says.

  13. 'Patchy supply' hampering vaccine rollout in Scotland

    Doctors' leaders say the "patchy supply" of vaccine to GP surgeries across Scotland is hampering the speed of delivery to patients.

    Ministers have pledged a first dose of the vaccine to 1.4 million of the most vulnerable Scots by mid-February.

    But the British Medical Association in Scotland says inconsistencies in supply make it difficult to plan patient appointments - and some GP surgeries have yet to receive any vaccine at all.

    Dr Andrew Buist, who chairs the British Medical Association's GP committee in Scotland, says so far "good progress" has been made in giving it to priority groups such as care home residents and front-line health staff.

    But he tells the BBC's Politics Scotland programme: "The current problem lies with the next priority group, which is the 80-plus group, which GPs in Scotland are set to vaccinate because the supply of the vaccine so far has been quite patchy.

    "Some practices have a good supply, some have had none so far."

    He says his practice has received 100 doses of the vaccine for 600 patients over the age of 80, who all need to be vaccinated by 5 February.

    "We don't want to send out appointments to patients until we know that we can definitively vaccinate them, otherwise patients get very upset."

    Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has pledged the workforce and infrastructure will be in place to vaccinate 400,000 people each week by the end of February.

    Meanwhile no new Covid-related deaths have been reported in Scotland today and while 1,341 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported, that is the lowest daily figure since 28 December.

    Read more.

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid in Scotland: BMA Scotland GP chief says GPs 'can't plan' for vaccines
  14. Anti-lockdown protest in Amsterdam

    Riot police have had to disperse an unauthorised anti-lockdown protest held in Amsterdam.

    Reuters reports thousands turned out to the event - which was held outside the popular Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum art galleries.

    View more on twitter

    Many held signs about "freedom" and did not wear masks or socially distance, gathering in crowds outlawed by current lockdown rules.

    After failing to leave under police orders, water cannon were used to disperse the protest. Some in the crowd had thrown fireworks, according to reports.

  15. Watch: UK vaccinations 'four times faster than new Covid cases'

    Video content

    Video caption: Covid-19 vaccinations done "four times faster" than people catching virus

    Coronavirus vaccinations are being carried out four times faster than people are newly catching Covid-19, the chief executive of NHS England has told the BBC.

    Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show this morning, Sir Simon Stevens also said he didn't think England "would have to wait until the autumn" to see movement over the lockdown restrictions.

    He added it would be a "balance of risk" and a judgement that government and policy makers would have to make.

  16. Hospitals in Northern Ireland prepare for peak of latest surge

    A hospital ward with a "do not enter sign"

    Hospitals in Northern Ireland are preparing for the expected peak of the latest Covid-19 surge this week, a health and social care trust chief has said.

    Jennifer Welsh, Northern Trust's chief executive, said there was "huge pressure across the (healthcare) system" with more intensive care admissions expected.

    Thirty patients were awaiting admission to Antrim Area Hospital on Sunday morning, she said.

    There are 840 patients being treated for Covid- 19 across Northern Ireland.

    Sixty-two of those patients are in intensive care and NI hospitals are working at 95% capacity, with some exceeding that, latest figures show.

    On Saturday, 22 more Covid-19-related deaths were reported in Northern Ireland, bringing the total number of deaths recorded by the Department of Health since the start of the pandemic to 1,581.

    Read more

  17. Airport support scheme to open in England

    People at Heathrow Airport

    A financial support scheme for airports in England will open this month, the government says, as the aviation sector faces new Covid travel curbs.

    Aviation minister Robert Courts says the move is a response to the closure of all UK air corridors from Monday.

    The aim is to provide grants by the end of this financial year, he says.

    Industry groups have warned there is only so long airports can "run on fumes", following the announcement of the new quarantine rules.

    Under the new rules beginning at 04:00 GMT on Monday, all travel corridors - which have been in place to allow arrivals from some countries to forgo quarantine - will close.

    All arrivals to the UK after that time will need to isolate for up to 10 days, although the quarantine period can be cut short with a negative test after five days.

    People will also have to show proof of a negative test taken in the previous 72 hours before travelling.

    Read more

  18. Michelin to unveil top picks despite Covid

    The Michelin Guide will unveil its annual list of top restaurants in France tomorrow in spite of Covid-19 closures.

    Gwendal Poullennec, the guide's director, has defended the decision to continue with the awards in spite of the pandemic with other rival lists having canceled or altered their rankings this year.

    "It's an important decision to support the industry, despite the current situation and perhaps even because of the situation," Poullennec tells AFP.

    French chef Alexandre Mazzia (L) and his team prepare takeaway meals in a food-truck in Marseille, southern France, on November 24, 2020
    Image caption: Even Michelin star restaurants have made adaptions this year to work around pandemic restrictions

    He says all three-star businesses will keep their rankings, with demotions only impacting restaurants that have closed or changed their concept completely.

    The Michelin ceremony will broadcast on YouTube from the Eiffel Tower instead of at a lavish in-person event, AFP reports.

  19. Video of great-grandad receiving vaccine goes viral

    Gemma Davies and her father, Reg
    Image caption: Gemma has cared fulll-time for her father since 2009

    A great-grandfather has spoken of his disbelief after a video capturing him receiving his Covid vaccine became an internet hit.

    When Reg Davies, 84, was vaccinated on Friday, it was the first time he had left his home in Witham, Essex, since the first lockdown last March.

    His daughter Gemma, 32, captured his glee in a 55-second Tiktok video that has already clocked up 91,000 views.

    "It's gone mad," says Reg, a retired marine window-maker, who has diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as arthritis.

    The video includes his joyful reaction at seeing trees on the car journey.

    Gemma says she set up the Tiktok account because her father "just does these things - and he's so cute".

    "It makes people realise why they stay at home," she says, "it's for people like my dad."

    Read more.

  20. Outbreak on Scottish island 'serious and escalating'

    Image caption: About a tenth of the island's community is currently self-isolating

    A Covid outbreak on Barra in the Western Isles of Scotland is "serious, and escalating", health officials have said, after 17 further cases were identified.

    There are now more than 110 people in isolation after 27 positive cases, with islanders being urged to stay at home.

    The number in isolation represents about a tenth of the island's total population.

    Two people have already been taken off the island for further treatment after testing positive.

    All close contacts of those who are positive are being offered tests to try and limit the spread of the virus on the island, which has limited medical resources.

    Read more