Covid-19: 'Behave responsibly' as lockdown eases and China 'vaccine efficacy low'

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

1. Behave responsibly, says PM as lockdown eases

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns people to continue to take steps to "suppress Covid" as the latest stage of lockdown easing comes into effect. Pub gardens, indoor gyms and hairdressers are among the businesses that can now reopen in England as part of the third stage of the government's "roadmap" out of this lockdown. There's a five-week gap between each step so infection rates and hospital admissions can been assessed. With that in mind, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged everyone to "behave responsibly" as he welcomed the "major" step towards normality. He had planned to have a celebratory pint to mark the measures easing, but it has been postponed following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday. England isn't the only nation in the UK where lockdown rules are changing, Northern Ireland's remaining school year groups 8-11 will return to the classroom and some rules are also being relaxed in Scotland and Wales.

image copyrightGetty Images

2. China official says local vaccine efficacy is low

China's top disease control official has said the efficacy of the country's Covid vaccines is low, in a rare admission of weakness. In a press conference, Gao Fu added that China was considering mixing vaccines as a way of boosting efficacy. China has developed four different vaccines approved for public use, though some trials abroad had suggested efficacy as low as 50%. Mr Gao later said his comments had been misinterpreted. More than 100 million people in China have received at least one shot of the vaccine. Beijing insists the jabs are effective and said it will grant visas only to foreigners with a Chinese shot.

image copyrightGetty Images

3. G7 nations 'should finance global vaccine scheme'

The G7 group of wealthy nations must lead a "Herculean mobilisation" to push for global mass vaccination against Covid, former PM Gordon Brown says. Writing in the Guardian, Mr Brown said £22bn was needed to ensure yearly vaccinations for lower income countries until Covid no longer claims lives. The next G7 summit is due to take place in the UK in June. The UK government said millions of doses had been sent to developing countries under the Covax scheme.

image copyrightGetty Images

4. 'Lockdown has been messing with our twin-ection'

"It's hard to explain to someone who isn't a twin," says Aneira. "We call it the twin-ection." For 28-year-old Aneira Hayward, who lives in Gateshead, the pandemic and successive lockdowns have meant prolonged separation from her twin sister Anwen who's in Cardiff. She says many people with siblings who aren't twins "don't understand" how lonely it can feel. See how they and other twins have found lockdown.

media captionAneira and Anwen Hayward say they cannot wait to hang out on the sofa and watch videos together

5. 'I'm back on brows after year in horsebox shop'

A beauty therapist is returning to her job in a salon after a year of working in a pop-up shop in a converted horsebox. Sarah Byrd set up the mobile grocery shop when coronavirus restrictions stopped her from carrying out treatments. The mother-of-two, from Derbyshire, says the shop helped bring communities together but she won't have time to continue running the store when she returns to work as a therapist. Closing the pop-up shop the 35-year-old says it's "the end of an era".

image copyrightSarah Byrd

And don't forget...

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

With lockdown rules easing, have a read of this to find out when you can go on holiday abroad or in the UK.

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