Covid-19: Travel industry 'crisis' and was there Christmas virus spike?

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday morning. We'll have another update for you on Sunday.

1. Warning over travel industry 'crisis'

The UK's aviation sector will need "urgent" government support if it is to survive another long period of travel curbs, industry groups have said. From 04:00 GMT Monday, arrivals to the UK from all destinations will be required to quarantine in an effort to prevent the spread of any new variants of Covid. Airport operators said the move made for a "deepening crisis" for the travel industry, while pilots called it "another huge blow". The government has insisted it is committed to supporting the travel and tourism industry. Read more about the new travel rules. And find out why the UK hasn't banned all international flights.

image copyrightReuters

2. Pfizer vaccine delay

The UK will face short-term delays in delivery of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, as the pharmaceutical company makes modifications to its plant in Belgium. But the government says it still plans on achieving its target of vaccinating all top four priority groups by 15 February. Six EU nations have called the situation "unacceptable" and warned it "decreases the credibility of the vaccination process". Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia urged the EU to apply pressure on Pfizer-BioNTech. Pfizer says the reduced deliveries are a temporary issue, and the changes being made to its plant will speed up production in the longer term. So will a vaccine give us our old lives back?

image copyrightEPA

3. New Scotland restrictions

New tighter Covid restrictions have come into force in Scotland with changes for takeaway outlets and click and collect shopping. Among the six new rules announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, customers buying takeaway food and coffee are no longer allowed inside premises, and staff must serve from a hatch or doorway. Plus, only retailers selling essential items - clothing, footwear, baby equipment, homeware and books - can now provide click and collect services. Customer collections can only be made outdoors, with staggered pick-up times to avoid queues.

image copyrightPA Media

4. 'I caught Covid - and my father-in-law died'

Everyone has heard about doctors and nurses catching Covid-19, but some of the worst affected hospital staff have been cleaners and porters. Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary tells the story of a cleaner who became ill while doing her job, and is now stricken with guilt for taking the virus home.

image copyrightPishdaad Modaressi Chahardehi

5. Was there a Christmas virus spike?

It is almost a month since Christmas was "downsized" across the country. But in most parts of the UK, people did meet in Christmas "bubbles" if only for just one day. So what impact did this have? The overall picture shows a sharp increase in cases around this time. However, a closer look at the numbers suggests this trend was already happening and was probably caused by the new, more infectious variant of the virus rather than increased contact between people. Take a closer look at what happened over Christmas.

image copyrightPA Media

And don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

And if you're wondering whether you can catch the virus outside, our science editor David Shukman considers the risks.

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