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UK Covid live: Sturgeon says 'vaccine passports' worth considering if they can 'give us greater normality' Sturgeon says 'vaccine passports' worth considering if they can 'give us greater normality' – as it happened
(32 minutes later)
Scottish first minister says she would not support ‘vaccination passport’ use for access to public services but is not completely against ideaScottish first minister says she would not support ‘vaccination passport’ use for access to public services but is not completely against idea
Scotland’s schools are expected to fully reopen in early April, with some household mixing allowed, after Nicola Sturgeon unveiled a partial route map to lifting the country’s strict Covid controls.Scotland’s schools are expected to fully reopen in early April, with some household mixing allowed, after Nicola Sturgeon unveiled a partial route map to lifting the country’s strict Covid controls.
Nicola Sturgeon has said “vaccine passports” would be worth considering if they could help people to get “some greater normality back”. But she also said she would like to see a “broad consensus” behind any plan to introduce them. (See 3.14pm.) Earlier Boris Johnson expressed concern that “vaccine passports” could be discriminatory”. He said Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, will lead the review to consider policy on this. (See 1.11pm.) The review is described as genuinely open, but it is understood that that ministers are not keen on a system where entry to a venue might depend entirely on whether or not someone has been vaccinated. Instead there is more interest in using test results too - so that entry might depend on either having been vaccinated, or having tested negative.Nicola Sturgeon has said “vaccine passports” would be worth considering if they could help people to get “some greater normality back”. But she also said she would like to see a “broad consensus” behind any plan to introduce them. (See 3.14pm.) Earlier Boris Johnson expressed concern that “vaccine passports” could be discriminatory”. He said Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, will lead the review to consider policy on this. (See 1.11pm.) The review is described as genuinely open, but it is understood that that ministers are not keen on a system where entry to a venue might depend entirely on whether or not someone has been vaccinated. Instead there is more interest in using test results too - so that entry might depend on either having been vaccinated, or having tested negative.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has been criticised for a “disgustingly disrespectful” claim that there was never a national shortage of personal protective equipment during the pandemic.Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has been criticised for a “disgustingly disrespectful” claim that there was never a national shortage of personal protective equipment during the pandemic.
Welsh ministers and health experts have expressed concern at the UK government’s target to lift all limits on socialising in England by June and insisted that reopening schools to all pupils at the same time is unsafe.Welsh ministers and health experts have expressed concern at the UK government’s target to lift all limits on socialising in England by June and insisted that reopening schools to all pupils at the same time is unsafe.
Boris Johnson has said he is “very optimistic” all restrictions on normal life in England will end on 21 June, saying the government will continue to provide economic support to businesses until they can operate as normal – appearing to confirm that many financial packages will be extended in the chancellor’s March budget.Boris Johnson has said he is “very optimistic” all restrictions on normal life in England will end on 21 June, saying the government will continue to provide economic support to businesses until they can operate as normal – appearing to confirm that many financial packages will be extended in the chancellor’s March budget.
Airlines and travel companies have reported a surge in holiday bookings after the Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown.Airlines and travel companies have reported a surge in holiday bookings after the Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown.
Unemployment in the UK edged higher to 5.1% in December as the government’s furlough scheme continued to prevent a steep rise in job losses in the run-up to Christmas.Unemployment in the UK edged higher to 5.1% in December as the government’s furlough scheme continued to prevent a steep rise in job losses in the run-up to Christmas.
Boris Johnson quit journalism for politics because he felt guilty about “abusing or attacking people” without putting himself in their shoes, he told a group of schoolchildren.Boris Johnson quit journalism for politics because he felt guilty about “abusing or attacking people” without putting himself in their shoes, he told a group of schoolchildren.
Labour has been accused of an anti-left “stitch-up” after it reopened the contest to find a mayoral candidate for Liverpool, sidelining the three women who were in the running. (See 4.53pm.)Labour has been accused of an anti-left “stitch-up” after it reopened the contest to find a mayoral candidate for Liverpool, sidelining the three women who were in the running. (See 4.53pm.)
Sir Keir Starmer has used a speech to the National Farmers Union conference to say Labour would be “absolutely committed” to investing in farming and rural communities.Sir Keir Starmer has used a speech to the National Farmers Union conference to say Labour would be “absolutely committed” to investing in farming and rural communities.
Boris Johnson has warned world leaders that failure to address the issue of climate change will undermine global security.As PA Media reports, chairing a virtual meeting of the United Nations security council (UNSC), the prime minister said climate change was a “geopolitical issue every bit as much as it is an environmental one”.Boris Johnson has warned world leaders that failure to address the issue of climate change will undermine global security.As PA Media reports, chairing a virtual meeting of the United Nations security council (UNSC), the prime minister said climate change was a “geopolitical issue every bit as much as it is an environmental one”.
The UK has given the European Union until April 30 to approve the Brexit trade deal. As PA Media reports, MEPs insisted they did not have time to scrutinise the deal between it being struck on Christmas Eve and coming into effect on January 1 so it has only been provisionally implemented since then.A deadline to approve it by February 28 has now slipped after Michael Gove agreed to the EU’s request for an extension.The UK has given the European Union until April 30 to approve the Brexit trade deal. As PA Media reports, MEPs insisted they did not have time to scrutinise the deal between it being struck on Christmas Eve and coming into effect on January 1 so it has only been provisionally implemented since then.A deadline to approve it by February 28 has now slipped after Michael Gove agreed to the EU’s request for an extension.
The Scottish parliament is redacting one of Alex Salmond’s submissions about “malicious” attempts by former colleagues to banish him from public life after legal warnings from the Crown Office.The Scottish parliament is redacting one of Alex Salmond’s submissions about “malicious” attempts by former colleagues to banish him from public life after legal warnings from the Crown Office.
That’s all from me for tonight. But our coverage continues on our global coronavirus live blog. It’s here.That’s all from me for tonight. But our coverage continues on our global coronavirus live blog. It’s here.
This is from Liam Thorp, political editor of the Liverpool Echo, on the Labour mayoral selection controversy. (See 4.53pm.)This is from Liam Thorp, political editor of the Liverpool Echo, on the Labour mayoral selection controversy. (See 4.53pm.)
This is from Dan Carden, the Labour MP from Liverpool Walton, on the party’s decision to reopen the Liverpool mayoral selection contest (which means closing it for the three current candidates, who are being sidelined).This is from Dan Carden, the Labour MP from Liverpool Walton, on the party’s decision to reopen the Liverpool mayoral selection contest (which means closing it for the three current candidates, who are being sidelined).
And this is from Jennie Formby, who was general secretary of the party when Jeremy Corbyn was leader.And this is from Jennie Formby, who was general secretary of the party when Jeremy Corbyn was leader.
The Scottish Conservative leader at Holyrood, Ruth Davidson, has criticised the Scottish government for not providing enough detail about when Scotland will exit lockdown. In her response to Nicola Sturgeon’s statement in the Scottish parliament, Davidson said the strategic framework update was not a routemap out of Covid, but just a “holding document”.The Scottish Conservative leader at Holyrood, Ruth Davidson, has criticised the Scottish government for not providing enough detail about when Scotland will exit lockdown. In her response to Nicola Sturgeon’s statement in the Scottish parliament, Davidson said the strategic framework update was not a routemap out of Covid, but just a “holding document”.
The Scottish Conservatives have also tweeted this.The Scottish Conservatives have also tweeted this.
Anna Rothery, the current lord mayor of Liverpool and one of the three candidates for mayor now sidelined (see 4.53pm), says she may go to court to challenge the party’s decision.Anna Rothery, the current lord mayor of Liverpool and one of the three candidates for mayor now sidelined (see 4.53pm), says she may go to court to challenge the party’s decision.
And this is from Howard Beckett, the Unite assistant general secretary and member of Labour’s national executive committee. Beckett is one of the leading candidates hoping to replace Len McCluskey as the union’s general secretary when he retires.And this is from Howard Beckett, the Unite assistant general secretary and member of Labour’s national executive committee. Beckett is one of the leading candidates hoping to replace Len McCluskey as the union’s general secretary when he retires.
Labour has reopened the contest to find a successor to the Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson, PA Media reports. PA says:Labour has reopened the contest to find a successor to the Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson, PA Media reports. PA says:
Labour has not said why the three candidates are no longer wanted. But a party spokesperson said:Labour has not said why the three candidates are no longer wanted. But a party spokesperson said:
Momentum, the Labour group set up to support Jeremy Corbyn when he was leader, says this looks like a “stitch-up to keep left candidates off the ballot”.Momentum, the Labour group set up to support Jeremy Corbyn when he was leader, says this looks like a “stitch-up to keep left candidates off the ballot”.
John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, has described this as a “fiasco”.John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, has described this as a “fiasco”.
The latest UK Covid figures have been published on the government’s dashboard.The latest UK Covid figures have been published on the government’s dashboard.
Here are the key figures.Here are the key figures.
The UK has recorded 8,489 further cases – the lowest daily total for more than four months. This is the lowest daily total for new cases by date recorded since early October, and it is only the third day this year the total has been below 10,000. Week on week, new cases are down 11.8%.The UK has recorded 8,489 further cases – the lowest daily total for more than four months. This is the lowest daily total for new cases by date recorded since early October, and it is only the third day this year the total has been below 10,000. Week on week, new cases are down 11.8%.
The UK has recorded 548 further deaths. A week ago today the equivalent figure was 799. Week on week, deaths are down 28.4%.The UK has recorded 548 further deaths. A week ago today the equivalent figure was 799. Week on week, deaths are down 28.4%.
There were 1,323 Covid admissions to UK hospitals on Thursday last week, the most recent day for which figures are available on the dashboard. That is the lowest daily total since late November. Week on week, admissions are down 20.7%.There were 1,323 Covid admissions to UK hospitals on Thursday last week, the most recent day for which figures are available on the dashboard. That is the lowest daily total since late November. Week on week, admissions are down 20.7%.
192,341 people in the UK received their first dose of a vaccine yesterday. This confirms a trend that has been apparent for several days; the rate at which first doses are being administered is falling.192,341 people in the UK received their first dose of a vaccine yesterday. This confirms a trend that has been apparent for several days; the rate at which first doses are being administered is falling.
Rachel Clarke, the palliative care doctor and author, has described Matt Hancock’s claim this morning that there was never a national shortage of PPE last year (see 11.26am) as a “lie”.Rachel Clarke, the palliative care doctor and author, has described Matt Hancock’s claim this morning that there was never a national shortage of PPE last year (see 11.26am) as a “lie”.
PA Media has also pointed out in its news report that there is ample evidence to show that what Hancock said was wrong. PA says:PA Media has also pointed out in its news report that there is ample evidence to show that what Hancock said was wrong. PA says:
From Newsnight’s Lewis Goodall, on the differences between the Scottish and UK governments’ approaches to lockdown easingFrom Newsnight’s Lewis Goodall, on the differences between the Scottish and UK governments’ approaches to lockdown easing
Boris Johnson has described the threat climate change poses to global security as of “paramount importance”. Speaking at the start of a virtual United Nations security council session on climate change, he said:Boris Johnson has described the threat climate change poses to global security as of “paramount importance”. Speaking at the start of a virtual United Nations security council session on climate change, he said:
Johnson also introduced a video message from Sir David Attenborough, a man he described as having “devoted much of his life to chronicling the threats to all forms of life on our fragile blue planet”.Johnson also introduced a video message from Sir David Attenborough, a man he described as having “devoted much of his life to chronicling the threats to all forms of life on our fragile blue planet”.
Public Health Wales said a total of 869,653 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had now been given, an increase of 7,405 from the previous day, PA Media reports. PA says:Public Health Wales said a total of 869,653 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had now been given, an increase of 7,405 from the previous day, PA Media reports. PA says:
The Scottish parliament is redacting one of Alex Salmond’s submissions about “malicious” attempts by former colleagues to banish him from public life after legal warnings from the Crown Office, my colleagues Severin Carrell and Libby Brooks report.The Scottish parliament is redacting one of Alex Salmond’s submissions about “malicious” attempts by former colleagues to banish him from public life after legal warnings from the Crown Office, my colleagues Severin Carrell and Libby Brooks report.