Tuesday morning news briefing: Pressure to vaccinate 24/7
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Pressure on NHS for Covid jabs round the clock
Calls are growing for the NHS to jab round the clock. Ministers are under pressure to expand the Covid vaccination programme and offer jabs 24 hours a day to speed up its rollout. The Government has committed to offering Covid vaccines to 32 million people – 60pc of the UK adult population – by spring. But it is facing demands to explain why the programme is restricted to daytime – with experts pointing to countries such as Israel, which has been credited with the world’s fastest Covid inoculation drive. There was also confusion about parts of the UK scheme last night, with health officials hastily rewriting invitation letters due to be sent to 500,000 elderly people after they sparked panic.
Meanwhile, scientists from the Sage advisory committee reportedly urged the Prime Minister to increase the two-metre rule for social distancing to three metres (almost 10ft). It comes as Boris Johnson considers a wave of tougher restrictions to stem the surge of coronavirus cases. But he faces questions about his "stay local" message on exercising after he was seen on a bicycle seven miles from his home. Matt imagines how Britons might be honoured for staying home in today’s cartoon.
FBI warns of ‘armed uprising’ at Biden inauguration
The FBI has intelligence that pro-Donald Trump supporters are planning armed protests in 50 state capitals around the time of Joe Biden’s inauguration. Warning of a potential "uprising" if the president was removed from office prematurely, the agency said groups were calling for the "storming" of state, local, and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings if Congress attempts to enact the 25th Amendment prior to Jan 20. The violent storming of the US Capitol has "energised" online chatter among far-right groups. Seven-foot "non-scalable" fences have been erected after last week’s "catastrophic" security failures. It came as Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a single article of impeachment against Mr Trump.
Return of Duke and Duchess of Sussex in doubt
It is just over a year since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention to step down from royal duties. Reports suggest Harry, Meghan and their son Archie are planning to return to the UK in June for the Queen’s 95th birthday parade, which coincides with the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday. It would be the first public reunion of the Royal family since "Megxit". But a source close to the couple told Camilla Tominey it would be "presumptuous" to assume they will return.
At a glance: More coronavirus headlines
- Royal Mail | ‘Blacklist’ areas that no longer get regular deliveries
- Shopping | Click and collect could be banned to slow spread
- Travel | Passengers returning from Dubai must now self-isolate
- France | ‘Macron would have botched the Normandy landings’
- Primates first | Two gorillas at San Diego safari park test positive
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
‘Hand over your lunch’ | British hauliers have had ham sandwiches confiscated at the Dutch border after customs officers told them: "Welcome to Brexit". Watch footage of the moment British truckers had their packed lunches confiscated under new rules from New Year’s Day that ban the personal importation of meat and dairy items.
- Bye bye, Britain | Simon Rattle’s Brexit exit ‘a huge loss’
- Exclusive | Tougher restrictions for freed high-risk suspects
- Prostate cancer | Coffee ‘lowers risk’ of death, research claims
- Uniform | Muslim schoolgirl ‘bullied’ for wearing ‘too long’ skirt
- TV | Gay roles should go to gay actors, says Russell T Davies
Around the world: No quarter given in China
A year after coronavirus first erupted in Wuhan, China has declared wartime mode and has locked down another city of 11 million to combat a resurgence of infections. As Sophia Yan reports from Beijing, authorities are taking a hardline suppression of the outbreak, barring people and vehicles from leaving. View our gallery for more global pictures.
A health worker takes a swab in a residential area in Shijiazhuang
Credit: WANG XIAO/AP
Comment and analysis
- Suzanne Moore | We are not Covidiots – just doing our best
- Michael Deacon | No more Mr Nice Guy from Matt Hancock
- Reader letters | Muddling Covid advice with law is deception
- William Hague | Democracy is in greater peril than West realises
- Celia Walden | The question Ivanka Trump needs to answer now
You’ve got this: Getting you through lockdown
Business and money briefing
Tough road ahead | Britain faces even more economic turmoil as hospitality, retail and travel businesses are hammered by further restrictions on normal life, Rishi Sunak said. The Chancellor’s warning will fuel fears of a double-dip recession, as he said: "The economy is going to get worse before it gets better. The road ahead will be tough."
- Mortgages | Self employed borrowers ‘need £100,000 deposit’
- Investment tip | Quick 40pc gain is tempting, but we will hold on
- Alex | View today’s cartoon strip – and all from January
Football | Clubs were warned they would come under "extreme governmental pressure" if they continued to flout coronavirus rules as authorities scrambled to avoid the game being halted. There is mounting concern from ministers over the failure of players and staff to follow strict protocols aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
- Two-week break | English rugby shuts down after Europe calls halt
- Warren Gatland | ‘Why I’m backing Keep Kids Active campaign’
- Lay off my daughter | Bryony Frost’s father hits out at racing bullies
Slow-cooked hoisin spare ribs | A brilliant supper dish by Xanthe Clay that is easy to make in a slow cooker. View the recipe and try out our Cookbook newsletter.
And finally… for this morning’s downtime
Birthday cakes and a drugged cat | After killing a string of travellers in Seventies Bangkok and evading capture, serial killer Charles Sobhraj was finally locked up. But not for long. Ed Power has the real-life story that inspired BBC thriller The Serpent