If we go out partying cases will go up rapidly – former chief scientific adviser
SAGE expert and former chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport spoke to Kay Burley about yesterday’s Moderna vaccine developments and what he thinks Christmas will look like this year in England.
He said that the latest vaccine developments will not make a difference to the festive period.
“Christmas is not going to be affected by the vaccines. It’s going to take a bit longer than that,” he said.
“Cases are still rising. Hospitals are continuing to fill up. It’s absolutely critical that people continue to observe the lockdown rules.
“This give us the best chance of a break where we can see our friends and family. It’s hard to believe it’s going to be a normal Christmas.
“If we take up the brakes and go out partying – cases will go up rapidly. The virus will only come under control when we get a vaccine.”
A reminder of the vaccine frontrunners Pfizer and Moderna – and a guide to how they compare
Manchester Mayor calls on government to help three million ‘frozen out of support’ or risk mental health crisis
Andy Burnham is calling on the government to offer greater support to three million people across the UK who he says are not being offered enough financial aid through the pandemic.
The Greater Manchester Mayor is calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to give more money to people who are freelance or became self-employed too close to the start of the pandemic to qualify for any government grants.
He said he and Liverpool leaders met some of them last week.
“It’s quite hard to sit and listen to them, they just feel so down, rejected. They have given so much to this country over the years,” he said.
“I want the government to listen to this. We are going to have a growing mental health crisis.
“Some people have taken their own lives this year. It’s that serious.
“It goes way beyond party politics. These people really need your help.
“And I am calling on the chancellor to do that. He has a spending review next week – he should do the right thing and listen to these people.”
On Boris Johnson’s devolution comments, he added that they “would not go down well” in Greater Manchester and called for a “more federal UK”.
Still no date on end of France’s lockdown
French health minister Olivier Veran has today said he would not give a date for the end of the country’s national lockdown.
It was imposed for an initial period of one month on 30 October – but said currently – there are no plans to lift it on 1 December.
France has reported as many as 90,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day – with ministers considering extending its national ‘state of emergency’ until February next year – after total case numbers became the fifth highest in the world.
The country is currently on the UK travel quarantine list.
EasyJet reports first annual loss in its 25-year history
The budget airline has revealed it has made its first annual loss in its 25-year history – £1.27bn – a result of virus crisis turbulence that grounded airlines globally.
The no-frills carrier said the total loss before tax figure for the year to the end of September compared to profits of £430m in the previous 12 months.
You can read the full story here.
‘Legal certainty’ England will come out of national lockdown on 2 December
Speaking to Kay Burley, Robert Jenrick said: “We’re still in national lockdown measures, but we will come out of lockdown on 2 December. That’s a legal certainty.
“Any changes to that would have to be done by a vote in parliament. Then people in England will move into a tiered system.
“Work is undergoing into what those local tiers will look like. But it’s too early to say which tiers people will be able to go into.
“We all want to see significant easing of restrictions in England next month. But we won’t be able to make a definitive call until the end of the month.”
On yesterday’s Moderna vaccine news, the housing secretary said the five million doses the UK has ordered is “a lot”.
But he said: “Some vaccinations will be at our disposal before the end of this year.
“The Moderna project – that very good news from yesterday – that won’t be available to us until the spring.”
And asked about whether it would be made compulsory, he added: “We’re not in favor of making it compulsory.
“There has been a recent history of people spreading misinformation on those vaccines.
“So there’s work to be done to win that argument. But I would advise my own elderly parents to take it.”
Robert Jenrick is speaking to Kay Burley
PM’s Scottish devolution ‘stooshie’ and why it matters for the pandemic
Sky News political correspondent Joe Pike explains how Boris Johnson has sparked a row in Scotland and why it’s important for the government’s COVID response.
You can read the full story here.
Health secretary unable to rule out lockdown extension beyond 2 December
Matt Hancock was unable to rule out an extension to the lockdown as a health chief warned the tiered system that ministers want England to return to may have to be strengthened.
The health secretary said it was “too early for us to know” whether coronavirus cases will be brought down sufficiently to ease the second shutdown on December 2.
Boris Johnson hopes the nation will return to local restrictions, but Public Health England’s Dr Susan Hopkins – standing alongside Mr Hancock at the Downing Street press conference on Monday – said the lowest tier of earlier measures had had “little effect”.
Dr Hopkins, who is advising the Government’s COVID-19 response, said they would have to consider strengthening the measures “to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone”.
Mr Hancock said “great advances in medical science are coming to the rescue”, but admitted the UK had only secured five million doses of Moderna’s jab.
“While there is much uncertainty, we can see the candle of hope and we must do all that we can to nurture its flame,” he said.
“But we’re not there yet. Until the science can make us safe we must remain vigilant and keep following the rules that we know can keep this virus under control.
And welcome to another day of live coronavirus coverage from the UK and around the world.
First up on Kay Burley this morning will be Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick at 7.05am – stay tuned.