Covid latest news: Booster vaccine rollouts could prolong global pandemic, warns WHO chief

·26-min read

Covid booster programmes may “prolong the pandemic”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) boss has predicted.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a stark warning about the booster rollout as he told wealthy nations they couldn’t “boost its way out of the pandemic”.

During a news conference, he said: “Blanket booster programmes are likely to prolong the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than ending it, by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate.”

He urged countries and manufacturers to prioritise rolling out vaccines to poorer nations.

“No country can boost its way out of the pandemic,” he said.

“And boosters cannot be seen as a ticket to go ahead with planned celebrations without the need for other precautions.”

It comes as the UK recorded 106,022 Covid cases in new daily record as Omicron cases jump before Christmas.

Follow live updates below.

Javid: Self-isolation rule change is ‘sensible'

07:17 , Daniel Keane

Good morning and welcome to the Standard’s live coverage of the Covid pandemic.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid described the decision to reduce the self-isolation period from 10 to seven days with two negative lateral flow tests as a “sensible way forward”.

He told the BBC: “We want to reduce the disruption to people’s everyday lives caused by the pandemic. So today we will be cutting the self-isolation period from 10 days to 7 days for those people that take a lateral flow test on day six and day seven and the result of both those tests are negative.

“This decision has been informed by the advice from our clinicians at the UK Health Security Agency who have looked at this very carefully and they are very comfortable that the protection that is provided by making this change … is very similar to 10 days of isolation without tests.”

‘Continue to remain cautious’ after leaving iso, says Javid

07:29 , Daniel Keane

Mr Javid continued: “Of course, anyone who leaves after day seven under this new procedure, they should continue to remain cautious but we are also very clear that the best way to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our community, is to make sure you get boosted if you are eligible.

“I think this is a very sensible, balanced and proportionate take. Of course this new variant is spreading very rapidly, it is disrupting many people’s lives. It is great that when people do get infected that they are properly isolating, I think that clearly helps prevent infection.

“But it is important also to look at how we can have policies that can help to minimise that and this step, again informed by our clinicians, is a very sensible way forward.”

Health minister says 129 people hospitalised with Omicron

07:39 , Daniel Keane

Health minister Gillian Keegan is doing this morning’s media round.

Speaking to Sky News, she says 129 Britons are currently in hospital with the Omicron variant.

Asked about the potential issues with IT reporting, Ms Keegan acknowledged there are “some lags in certain bits of the data”, but said the current data shows “129 people (in hospital) as of yesterday and 14 deaths with Omicron”.

Circuit-breaker after Christmas ‘not being ruled out'

07:50 , Daniel Keane

Health minister Gillian Keegan did not rule out a so-called circuit-breaker lockdown after Christmas.

Asked on Sky News if Omicron cases have plateaued, Ms Keegan said “we don’t know that yet”, saying: “No, we haven’t been given that information, we are watching the data very, very carefully.”

She said the decision that was taken on further restrictions was “a difficult decision”.

She added: “We do not have all the information that you would like to have at your fingertips, in particular … the severity of the disease.

“So it is a difficult balance but we think we’ve got the balance right.

“You know, saying to the country we wanted to lock down etc, when you’ve got those kind of figures wouldn’t look proportionate.”

‘Be cautious’, minister urges Britons

08:03 , Daniel Keane

Ms Keegan said the Government is urging Britons to “be cautious” and not just to those who may now be eligible to leave isolation earlier than day 10.

Asked on Sky News why people who can leave self-isolation on day seven rather than 10 are being asked to minimise social contact, Ms Keegan said: “We’re saying that for everybody.

“We are saying to everybody, ‘look be cautious if you’re going somewhere … make sure you go to somewhere that’s well ventilated’. Be cautious, we’re saying that to everybody.

“Be cautious to enjoy your Christmas”.

She said the advice was that there is “equivalent” risk between negative tests on day six and seven, and waiting to 10 days.

‘People are still going out’, claims minister

08:10 , Daniel Keane

Ms Keegan stressed that Britons “are still going out” despite widespread cancellations across the hospitality sector.

She defended additional business support, saying the Government is not trying to compensate for all income, but said: “What we’re looking to do is provide a security blanket for businesses.”

Asked why the Government is not bringing back furlough, she said: “Because people are still working.

“I went out for a family meal yesterday you know, the pub … not every table was full but most of it was.

“You know people are still going out and people are still enjoying themselves, so you know we’re trying to get that balance.”

Omicron ‘could cause milder disease’

08:25 , Daniel Keane

The Omicron variant of Covid could cause milder disease than Delta, according to reports.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), seen by Politico, suggests the new strain is less likely to result in severe illness and hospitalisation than previous forms of the virus.

The data could prove vital as ministers decide whether to impose fresh restrictions after Christmas, with Boris Johnson previously stressing not enough was known about the severity of the disease to justify harsh interventions.

However, the data reportedly points to very high transmissibility - meaning hospitals could still be overwhelmed by a large number of infections.

It suggests that once patients are in hospital, their outlook is broadly the same as those infected by the Delta variant.

Minister admits ‘uncertainty’ over NYE

08:40 , Daniel Keane

Ms Keegan said there is “uncertainty” around people making New Year’s Eve plans.

Asked on LBC about going ahead with a gathering or party on December 31, Ms Keegan said: “There is uncertainty. So, if you can’t change your plans quickly, then maybe think about it.

“There is uncertainty. We can’t predict what the data is going to tell us before we’ve got the data.

“We are trying to take a balanced and proportionate approach so that people can see their families over Christmas to try and plan some stuff.”

Change in isolation rules ‘will relieve staffing pressure’ on NHS

08:53 , Daniel Keane

Ms Keegan also defended changes to self-isolation rules, saying that testing “will relieve some of the pressure” on staffing in health and social care settings.

She was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme how much difference she expects the change to make in hospitals and care homes.

Ms Keegan said: “Obviously it will relieve some of the pressure, but obviously we still have to monitor very closely, because we know we had, in the care sector for example, we had quite a lot of vacancies already, so we do monitor that very closely.”

Israel becomes first country to give fourth jab to over-60s

09:09 , Daniel Keane

Israel will become the first country in the world to roll out a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine to citizens aged over 60, prime minister Naftali Bennett has announced.

It comes amid concern over the spread of the Omicron variant in the country, with at least 340 cases reported so far.

A health ministry expert panel recommended the fourth shot on Tuesday, with Mr Bennett describing the decision as “great news that will help us overcome the Omicron wave that is spreading around the world”.

Health workers will also receive a fourth dose, Mr Bennett said.

You can read more here.

Explained: What are the new self-isolation rules?

09:22 , Daniel Keane

From Wednesday, those in England who receive negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven of their self-isolation period, and are vaccinated, will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days.

If both results are negative, you can leave on day seven – eliminating the extra three days of quarantine.

Under previous self-isolation rules, Britons were ordered to take a test whenever they had one of the three typical Covid symptoms: a high temperature, a continuous cough and a loss of taste or smell.

Those who test positive on a rapid lateral flow test are ordered to follow up with a PCR test but must self-isolate unless they receive a negative result.

For those who have symptoms, the period of self-isolation lasted ten days from when those symptoms began.

Watch: Inside a Covid ward at King's College Hospital in London

09:32 , Daniel Keane

Passengers urged to check for rail disruption

09:43 , Daniel Keane

Rail passengers have been urged to check for disruption to services amid concern over staff shortages caused by rising Covid cases.

Seb Gordon, director of external communications at industry membership body the Rail Delivery Group, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that operators may have to prepare for “a lower level of staffing”.

He said: “We think that, at the moment, that in the Christmas week, when people are trying to get away - fewer people than in a normal year but lots of people still trying to get away - we think it’s important to prioritise running as many trains as we can even if that means there’s a few more of those frustrating short-notice cancellations.

“But obviously, as we get further into this wave of the pandemic - we hope will not materialise in the way that people are anticipating - it may be that we decide actually we need to prepare for a lower level of staffing over a longer period of time and we will reduce the timetable.

“Obviously the Government’s announcement today of the reduced isolation period is going to really help.”

WHO chief says people should encourage loved ones to get vaccinated

09:55 , Daniel Keane

A senior doctor at the World Health Organisation has said people should encourage their loved ones to get vaccinated.

Dr Margaret Harris, of the World Health Organisation, told Times Radio that, while there is a "small group of hardliners", the majority who remain unvaccinated had gone to get their jab when "it wasn’t the right day or their GP didn’t have the vaccine or they’re housebound", or had not known where to go for one.

"It’s up to all of us to help those who are yet to be vaccinated to find a way to get vaccinated, and if that involves having a long conversation with a relative who’s got concerns, please do it,” she said.

France says Omicron will be dominant soon but resists restrictions

10:08 , Daniel Keane

France could soon see 100,000 new Covid cases a day due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant but the government does not plan to introduce new restrictions for the time being, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Wednesday.

Mr Veran said he expected 22-23 million booster doses will have been administered by Christmas, up from 20 million as of Wednesday.

“The objective is not to reduce the speed of the virus’ spread because the variant is too contagious,” he told repoters.

“The objective is to limit the risk of serious cases overwhelming hospitals.”

“This is why we are moving fast on booster shots.”

France is reporting about 70,000 Covid infections a day as it battles a fifth wave of the epidemic.

The Omicron variant will be the dominant strain of the virus in France by early January, Mr Veran said.

Rail travel more than halves in a week as Britons stay at home

10:20 , Daniel Keane

Preliminary figures published by the Department for Transport show rail travel fell to 53 per cent of pre-pandemic levels on Monday, down from 61 per cent a week earlier.

The figures lay bare the extent to which many Britons have stayed at home and cancelled their social plans amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

There was an even sharper drop for weekend travel, from 65 per cent on Saturday December 11 and Sunday December 12 to 51 per cent on Saturday December 18 and Sunday December 19.

Bus use in Britain outside London was at 62 per cent of pre-virus levels on Monday, down from 78 per cent a week earlier.

Delaying restrictions ‘makes them less effective’, says professor

10:35 , Daniel Keane

Professor Mike Tildesley, a member of Sage subgroup the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M), said the delaying of restrictions could make them less effective to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

Prime minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced no further restrictions would be imposed before Christmas, citing uncertainty in the data on the new strain.

Reacting to the decision, Prof Tildesley said: “It’s a really difficult time of year, of course, as a modeller you always say if you’re going to introduce restrictions then, of course, the sooner you introduce it, the more effective any of those restrictions are going to be.

“But of course at this time of year it’s really challenging, because given what happened last year, the very late introduction of restrictions a few days before Christmas, I think that’s quite damaging for people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“I suspect there’s one eye on that one eye on allowing families to be together, but of course we do need to remember the Omicron variant has not yet gone away.”

‘Keep Christmas small’, says WHO doctor

10:53 , Daniel Keane

Dr Margaret Harris, from the World Health Organisation, told Times Radio that Britons should “keep Christmas small” to minimise transmission of Omicron.

She said: “Certainly have Christmas and certainly enjoy that time, but keep it small - don’t go to big, large gatherings where there are lots of people coming from all over the place, and that’s where mostly a lot of the transmission occurs.

"So, have a small gathering, know who’s coming, ideally have everyone vaccinated, and take all the precautions - do your best to have a well-ventilated space and open the windows whenever you can - we are basically saying keep it small, keep it careful, keep it happy."

Millions more antivirals secured to fight Omicron

11:09 , Daniel Keane

A further 4.25 million courses of Covid antivirals have been secured for the UK in a bid to help tackle Omicron.

The new deals have been accelerated in light of the new variant, with the aim of protecting vulnerable people over the coming months.

It is hoped the move will help reduce hospital admissions and therefore ease pressures on the NHS.

The UK Government has signed new contracts for 1.75 million additional courses of Merck Sharp and Dohme’s (MSD) molnupiravir (Lagevrio), and 2.5 million additional courses of PF-07321332/ritonavir (Paxlovid) from Pfizer.

They will be available from early next year.

Police watchdog expected to make ruling on No10 party before Christmas

11:21 , Daniel Keane

The police watchdog is expected to decide before Christmas whether or not to investigate a complaint over the Metropolitan Police’s handling of an alleged Downing Street party.

Scotland Yard has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after concerns were raised over its response to the December 18 2020 event and its lack of an investigation.

Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb initially wrote to the watchdog to make a complaint, saying the Met were “deliberately failing to enforce the law in favour of Government politicians and their staff” due to the “extensive” police presence in Downing Street.

It is claimed that dozens of aides and other staff held a party on the night while London was in Tier 3 restrictions, which banned all indoor socialising with other households.

Both the IOPC and the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (Mopac) have confirmed they are assessing the complaints to decide if further action is required.

Omicron ‘behaving in a way that is less severe’, according to South African study

11:37 , Daniel Keane

A new South African study suggests that the risk of severe disease is lower with Omicron than with previous variants.

The authors found the risk of hospital admission was roughly 80% lower for those infected with Omicron compared with Delta, and that for those in hospital the risk of severe disease was roughly 30 per cent lower.

The analysis was carried out by a group of scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and major universities including University of the Witwatersrand and University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“In South Africa, this is the epidemiology: Omicron is behaving in a way that is less severe,” said Professor Cheryl Cohen of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), one of the authors of the new study.

They used data from four sources: national case data reported to the NICD, public sector laboratories, one large private sector lab and genome data for clinical specimens sent to NICD from private and public labs across the country.

South African study authors urge caution

12:02 , Daniel Keane

Some important caveats to note for that study.

The study’s authors write: “It is difficult to disentangle the relative contribution of high levels of previous population immunity versus intrinsic lower virulence to the observed lower disease severity.”

It appears to make reference to South Africa’s level of natural immunity, with large swathes of the population already infected by the virus in the four previous waves.

They make clear it is not known what would happen if Omicron spread in a population with less immunity.

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia, also notes that it compares Omicron data from one period with Delta data from an earlier period.

“So even though cases of Omicron were less likely to end up in hospital than cases of Delta, it is not possible to say whether this is due to inherent differences in virulence or whether this is due to higher population immunity in November compared to earlier in the year,” he said.

Antivirals ‘will keep people out of hospital’, says Javid

12:14 , Daniel Keane

Health secretary Sajid Javid has been speaking to Sky News.

He urges Britons to “build their defences” by getting a booster jab, but says “we still need more people to come forward”.

Elsewhere, Mr Javid hailed the announcement of the purchase of 4.5 million new antivirals.

He added: “These new treatments are particularly valuable to those who are vulnerable to Covid.

“They will keep lots of people out of hospital.”

Javid: Ministers will have conclusive data on severity ‘this evening'

12:27 , Daniel Keane

Asked by Sky News if he was confident that Omicron was in fact less severe, Mr Javid stressed he would not have a definitive answer until this evening.

He said: “Were learning about Omicron all the time… We know that its more transmissible.

“In terms of severity, there is analysis taking place – but I’ll see more on that this evening.

“The best advice to everyone is continue to remain cautious and keep looking forward to Christmas. Beyond that we will keep the situation under review.”

New restrictions to be introduced in Wales on Boxing Day

12:43 , Daniel Keane

New measures are to be introduced in Wales from 6am on Boxing Day to tackle rising rates of the Omicron variant, first minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

From Boxing Day, the alert level two measures will mean:

- A general requirement of two-metre social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.

- The rule of six will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.

- All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.

- Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.

- Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.

 (PA)
(PA)

New blueprint suggests vaccines ‘could be made in 100 days’ after virus is identified

13:02 , Daniel Keane

Researchers have published a blueprint for making millions of doses of a new vaccine within 100 days.

They say the new methods could enable clinical trials within 60 days of identification of a new virus, a process which could save “a lot of lives”.

The researchers believe their work could enable Oxford’s ChAdOx vaccines – like the AstraZenecaCovid jab – to hit the “moonshot” objective set by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

This aims to reduce the timeline of vaccine development to just 100 days after a virus is discovered to mass production.

New road signs for smaller vax centres to be rolled out

13:46 , Josh Salisbury

Thousands of new road signs will be installed to guide people to Covid vaccination centres following an agreement between the AA and the Government.

Smaller centres, often in non-medical locations, can be harder to find, said the AA.

AA president Edmund King said: "The AA has been producing road signs to guide drivers for over 100 years, so we knew straight away that using this expertise was a unique way for us to offer further help in the national booster vaccination effort.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "I’m pleased to announce our agreement with the AA, who will support us with the booster vaccination effort in helping provide signs directing people to vaccination centres.

"Their expertise will help people reach their centre, contributing to the already huge national effort under way to get more people vaccinated and to support the booster vaccination programme."

Drakeford says UK Government should reintroduce furlough measures

14:12 , Josh Salisbury

Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford has called on the UK Government to reintroduce furlough measures.

“I think the measures we have announced today are the ones that we think are sufficient in the light of the information we currently have," he said.

"In order to go further, the Welsh Government simply does not have the financial firepower or even the practical ways of getting help to people who might not be able to be in work.”

He added that he did not rule out new measures next year, but that he hoped the measures introduced from Boxing Day would flatten the infection rate.

"I think it probably depends on how successful the measures we’ve already announced will be," he told the Welsh Government briefing.

UK hits booster jab record with nearly a million jabs given out

14:30 , Daniel Keane

A record 968,665 booster and third doses of Covid vaccine were reported in the UK on Tuesday, new figures show.

The previous record was 940,606 doses on Saturday.

More than 30.8 million booster and third doses have now been delivered in the UK, with 6.1 million in the past seven days.

The figures have been published by the UK’s four health agencies.

Pfizer jab approved in 5-11 year olds

14:47 , Daniel Keane

A new form of the Pfizer Covid vaccine has been approved for use in children aged five to 11.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) made the approval following a review of safety data that shows a positive benefit-risk profile for this jab to be used in the age group.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is now advising that children aged five to 11, who are in a clinical risk group, or who are a household contact of someone (of any age) who is immunosuppressed, should be offered a primary course of vaccination.

Austria tightens restrictions as it braces for Omicron wave

15:06 , Daniel Keane

Austria has tightened its Covid restrictions amid a surge in Omicron cases.

Hospitality venues will close at 10pm in a bid to slow the spread of the variant - just weeks after the country emerged from lockdown.

The UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway will be classified as risk areas because of the prevalence of the Omicron variant there, Covid policy coordinator Katharina Reich told a news conference on Wednesday.

New arrivals from those countries will have to go into quarantine unless they have had a booster shot and can show a recent negative PCR test, Ms Reich said.

Drakeford criticises Boris Johnson over Covid ‘inaction'

15:27 , Daniel Keane

Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford has criticised Boris Johnson for refusing to take further action to curb the spread of Omicron.

He said: “I believe the UK Government sees all the data we see and gets all the advice that we get about the need to act and act urgently in the light of the Omicron wave coming our way.”

“They are paralysed by their internal divisions and are unable to act on it.”

It came as he announced tougher rules for Wales, with the Rule of Six to return from Boxing Day.

Breaking: Cases break 100,000 mark for first time ever in the pandemic in UK

16:14 , Elly Blake

More than 100,000 daily cases have been recorded on Wednesday.

Official figures show 106,122 infections were recorded in the UK - the highest number ever seen since the start of the pandemic and the first time daily reported cases have risen above 100,000.

The Government said a further 140 people had died within 28 days of a positive test.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 173,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Read more here.

Number of people in hospital with Covid is highest since November 22

16:18 , Elly Blake

A total of 8,008 people were in hospital in the UK with Covid-19 as of December 21, official figures show.

This is the highest number since November 22 and is up four per cent from a week earlier.

During the second wave of coronavirus, hospital numbers peaked at 39,254 on January 18.

London Covid hospitalisations jump 48 per cent in one week - NHS England data

16:29 , Elly Blake

There were 2,036 coronavirus patients in hospital in London as of December 22, according to NHS England.

This is the highest number since February 27 and is up 48 per cent from a week earlier.

During the UK’s second wave, the number peaked at 7,917 on January 18.

Meanwhile, across England some 7,080 patients were in hospital with Covid-19 on December 22 – the highest number since November 4 and up 11 per cent week-on-week.

The second wave peak for England was 34,336 on January 18.

Met Police make further arrest while investigating suspected fake Covid-19 vaccination records

16:55 , Elly Blake

A 28-year-old woman from Redbridge has been arrested on Wednesday by Metropolitan Police officers investigating suspected fake Covid-19 vaccination records.

She was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit offences under section 2 of the Computer Misuse Act, fraud by false representation and money laundering and is in police custody.

Two laptops and two mobile phones were also seized by the investigation team.

It comes as a man, 36, from Ilford was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of unauthorised computer access and conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation.

He was released from custody but remains under investigation.

Both are employees of the same NHS Trust.

The investigation was launched by the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit after suspicious vaccination records were flagged within the NHS Trust’s online system.

Enquiries continue.

Detective Inspector Alex Flanagan, from the Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Following arrests last week regarding two separate investigations into fake vaccine records, we have identified a fourth person suspected to be involved.

“Misuse of IT systems is extremely serious, we will be analysing all devices seized and are working closely with our partners.

“I want to stress that no systems were hacked into from outside of NHS networks.”

People who have died with Omicron rises to 18

17:43 , Elly Blake

The number of deaths in England of people with the Omicron variant has risen to 18, the UK Health Security Agency said.

Hospital admissions in England for people with confirmed or suspected Omicron rose to 195.

‘No country can boost its way out of the pandemic’ – World Health Organisation

18:13 , Elly Blake

The World Health Organisation has warned that “no country can boost its way out” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rush for wealthy countries to roll-out the additional Covid vaccine doses is making it harder for other nations to get hold of the jab and is “likely to prolong the pandemic”, according to the World Health Organisation’s director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu.

He also warned that it is wrong for any nation to think that boosters alone can guarantee that everyone has a safe festive season.

He told a WHO press conference: “No country can boost its way out of the pandemic and boosters cannot be seen as a ticket to go ahead with planned celebrations, without the need for other precautions.”

His comments came as new figures showed that more than 30 million extra doses of Covid-19 vaccine have now been given in the UK.

A record 968,665 booster and third doses were reported for the UK on Tuesday. The previous record was 940,606 doses on Saturday.

Nightclubs in Northern Ireland to close from Boxing Day

18:38 , Elly Blake

Stormont ministers have agreed that nightclubs in Northern Ireland will close from 6am on December 26.

The move was agreed at a virtual meeting of the powersharing Executive on Wednesday.

Ministers are later set to announce a series of measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Police watchdog will not investigate alleged Downing Street party

18:51 , Elly Blake

The police watchdog has said it will not be investigating the Metropolitan Police over a complaint regarding how the force handled an alleged Downing Street party.

Following complaints regarding its handling of the alleged event on 18 December last year, Scotland Yard referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The IPOC said that after “having fully assessed the referral” it has decided the complaint was invalid, and said the police force would need to handle it “as it determines would be appropriate”.

End of our live reporting for today

20:52 , Elly Blake

That’s all for today.

Make sure to tune back in tomorrow for more live Covid-19 updates.

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