Pfizer and BioNTech say early analysis suggests their vaccine is ‘more than 90% effective’ against COVID-19 prompting global stocks surge Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving news briefing from Downing Street at 5pm.
Troops help set up 19 testing sites in Liverpool
Brigadier Joe Fossey, who is co-ordinating the military support for mass testing in Liverpool, said over 2000 troops have helped set up 19 test facility sites in the city.
Brigadier Fossey said troops are working hard with the authorities to set up more sites.
PM urges people to get the virus ‘back in its box’
Boris Johnson said it is more important than ever that people follow the lockdown rules.
He had earlier said testing is no substitute for lockdown measures.
Mr. Johnson said we must get through this to 2 December when “we plan to move forward with a tiered approach”.
He said: “Hands, face, space. Follow the rules – that’s how we can protect the NHS, save lives, and get the virus back in its box.”
Analysis from Laura Bundock, news correspondent
Very cautious talk from Boris Johnson on the vaccine.
We cannot rely on this as a solution, he says, reinforcing his message this is not the time to ignore/relax current lockdown measures.
PM: ‘UK will be ready if vaccine is approved’
Mr. Johnson has said interim results suggest the Pfizer vaccine is 90% effective at protecting people from the virus.
However, he added “we haven’t yet seen the full safety data”.
Mr. Johnson also said there are “several more” hurdles to go before we know the vaccine can be used.
The prime minister added the UK will be ready to start using the vaccine if it is approved.
But he said we were “still some way off” the end of this pandemic being in sight.
Joe Biden tells Americans: ‘Please, I implore you, wear a mask’
The incoming president is addressing the US – he starts by talking about COVID and the country’s response to the pandemic.
It comes after he launched a coronavirus taskforce today, despite not taking office until January. The president-elect was highly critical of Donald Trump’s handling of the virus during the presidential campaign.
Mr Trump has been vocal in his skepticism of mask wearing.
“We just received positive news in this fight with an announcement that there has been progress made toward a successful vaccine,” Mr Biden says.
“Soon the expectation is the FDA will run a process of rigorous reviews and approvals.”
He adds: “The process must also be grounded in science and full transparency so the American people can have every confidence that any approved vaccine is safe and effective. At the same time it’s clear that this vaccine even if approved will not be widely available for many months yet to come. The challenge before us right now is still immense and growing.
“Although we are not in office yet, I’m just laying out what we expect to do and hope can be done between now and the time we are sworn in.”
‘Coronavirus has reminded us financial services are essential services’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is taking questions on the future of the financial services sector in the House of Commons.
Mr. Sunak has said: “This is the start of a new chapter for financial services, the industry is better regulated, better capitalized and more resilient than in 2008.
Coronavirus has reminded us financial services are essential services.”
He added he wanted to set out a “new vision” for the sector, “based not on a race to the bottom but for a financial services industry that is open, is innovative and leads the world in the use of green finance”.
Mr. Sunak said he wanted to “give certainty on our approach to regulation after we leave the transition period”.
On equivalence, he said: “I remain firmly of the view that it is in both the UK and EU’s interests to reach a comprehensive set of mutual decisions on equivalence.”
He added: “It is now clear that there are many areas where the EU is simply not prepared to even assess the UK, so we need to now decide on how best to proceed.
“Of course we will always want a constructive and engaged relationship with the EU, but after four years I think it is time for us to move forward as a country and do what’s right for the UK. To provide certainty and stability to industry and deliver our goal of open, well-regulated markets, I’m publishing today a set of equivalence decisions for the EU and EEA member states.”