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Covid news – live: Schools to remain closed until 8 March in England as hotel quarantine plan unveiled

Schools to remain closed until at least 8 March, says Boris Johnson

Schools won’t reopen in England until at least 8 March — and only then if the UK vaccination programme is on track, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons.

The prime minister also finally unveiled the first details of a 10-day mandatory hotel quarantine scheme that will cost travellers thousands of pounds.  It will apply to 22 ‘red list’ countries where there are fears over the spread of virus variants.

The announcement came after Robert Jenrick admitted the government’s coronavirus response should “almost certainly” have been different “with the benefit of hindsight”, Robert Jenrick has admitted.

However the communities secretary also defended the government’s actions, insisting ministers took “the right decision at the right time” and “everything that we could to protect people’s lives”.

It comes after the UK passed the grim milestone of 100,000 official deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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What it’s really like to quarantine in a hotel room for two weeks

As UK hotel quarantine looks set to be introduced, Chloe Cann relives the lows (and even some highs) of mandatory isolation in Australia

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 14:15

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Madrid halts Covid vaccinations as it runs out of doses

Madrid health authorities have suspended Covid vaccinations this week and next because they are running out of doses.

The region has halted the vaccination of new people, keeping the few doses it still has to give second jab to patients, deputy regional president Ignacio Aguado told reporters.

The Madrid region has already vaccinated 180,000 people since the campaign started, he said.

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 14:00

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Just 22 countries on quarantine hotel list, Boris Johnson announces

An Australia-style hotel quarantine system will be introduced in the UK, Boris Johnson has told the House of Commons — but only for the 22 countries on the current ‘red list’ where there are fears from a coronavirus variant.

Alastair Jamieson27 January 2021 13:50

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Schools to remain closed until at least 8 March

The reopening of schools will begin from Monday, 8 March if the coronavirus vaccination programme stays on track, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons.

Alastair Jamieson27 January 2021 13:47

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Nicola Sturgeon says PM’s quarantine plan ‘does not go far enough’

Nicola Sturgeon has called for a “comprehensive system of supervised quarantine” for travellers arriving in the UK and said prime minister Boris Johnson’s plan “does not go far enough”.

The UK government is expected to announce further restrictions for those arriving from other high-risk countries, but speaking after a four-nations call, Scotland’s first minister said she was concerned about the proposed measures.

Ms Sturgeon also highlighted travel restrictions as an area where the Scottish and UK governments “perhaps should have done more at an early stage” of the pandemic.

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 13:45

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Scotland announces £20m for struggling students

Scotland has announced £20m for students struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Another £10m will be given to help universities, who have been offering rent rebates to students who have been unable to return to accomodation due to lockdown.

Zoe Tidman explains more in this article:

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 13:30

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Nicola Sturgeon ‘truly sorry’ for any mistakes made by government

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “truly sorry” for any mistakes made after the UK’s coronavirus death toll passed 100,000.

Scotland’s first minister confirmed 5,888 Scots have died after testing positive for Covid-19, while a total of 7,902 deaths in Scotland have been linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic.

At the Scottish government’s coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon led a moment of silence “in memory of all those who have died in this pandemic so far” and said the death toll should make all political leaders “think very hard about what more we could have done and what lessons we must continue to learn”.

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 13:15

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Councils ‘will be dealing with Covid cases into 2030s’

Dr Richard Harling, director of health and care at Staffordshire County Council, said councils will be dealing with Covid-19 cases into the 2030s.

“I expect to be dealing with cases of coronavirus throughout the 2020s, into the 2030s,” he told MPs.

“The only question is how many (cases). Under a best-case scenario hopefully, it will be relatively unusual.

“In a more pessimistic scenario, we might be dealing with much larger volumes.”

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 13:00

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Antibody treatment 100% effective in protecting against Covid-19

An experimental drug being trialled by the NHS is 100 per cent effective in protecting against symptomatic cases of Covid-19, according to its manufacturer.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said partial results from its ongoing study suggest its two-antibody cocktail also cuts the coronavirus infection rate by about 50 per cent.

Samuel Lovett has more details below:

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 12:42

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Priti patel to set out tougher quarantine measures for ‘red list countries’

Boris Johnson told MPs home secretary Priti Patel would set out tougher quarantine measures for “red list countries where we have particular concern about new variants”.

Chiara Giordano27 January 2021 12:17

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