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Headlines
• France outlines its lockdown release plans
• Turkey goes into lockdown
• Italy extends restrictions on travellers by 15 days
• Germany vaccinates 1.1m in a day
• Moderna warns of vaccine delays

World news

• The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 6.4% in the quarter to March, up from 4.3% in the final three months of 2020.

• Case rates have fallen to below 50 cases per 100,000 in more than 95% of local areas in the UK. In England, only 12 areas are still above 50, ranging from Selby in North Yorkshire on 109.2 to Slough on 53.5.

• The UK Government has ordered an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

• A total of 16,776 people tested positive at least once in the week to 21 April, according to the latest Test and Trace figures. This is down 9% on the previous week and the lowest number since the week to 2 September 2020.

• In the year to March 2021 the NSPCC’s helpline was contacted almost 85,000 times, up 23% on the previous year; 47% of calls led to a referral.

• Italy has extended restrictions on travellers from other European countries for 15 days. People entering Italy from other European countries face five days of quarantine, and mandatory testing both before arrival and at the end of their isolation period.

• France has announced its stages of releasing lockdown:

• May 19: Curfew moves from 19:00 to 21:00. Shops, museums, cinemas, terraces, outdoor sports venues can reopen. Gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited.

• June 9: Curfew extended to 23:00. Cafes and restaurants can reopen inside with tables of up to six people.

• June 30: Curfew comes to an end.



• Later today Turkey will go into lockdown. All travel between cities will require official approval. People will have to stay at home except for essential shopping trips and urgent medical treatment. Schools will close and strict capacity limits will be imposed on users of public transport, and alcohol sales are being limited.

• The Wightlink catamaran passenger ferry service between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight has resumed after a four-month break due to the pandemic.

• Italy has imposed an entry ban on travellers from Bangladesh.

• The Philippines has extended restrictions in the capital region and four nearby provinces for another two weeks. From 1 May, non-essential movement, mass gatherings and dining in restaurants will remain banned in Metropolitan Manila and in the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite.

• In Mexico antibodies were found in 33.5% of samples from blood banks and medical laboratory tests. The levels varied by region: the highest exposure rate was in the northwest, from Baja California to Chihuahua, at 40.7%. The lowest was in western states, at 26.6%. In general, areas along the US border had higher rates.

• Moderna has warned its vaccine deliveries to countries including Britain and Canada will miss original targets in the second quarter.

• Ireland is to reopen all retail stores, personal services and non-residential construction in May with hotels, restaurants and bars to follow sooner than expected in early June.

• South Korea’s drug safety ministry has said that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and a shot developed by Novavax have been submitted for preliminary regulatory approval.

• Romania detected its first case of variant found in India.

• In Germany, nearly 1.1m people were vaccinated today, more than 1% of the population in a single day.

• Thailand has made masks mandatory and banned dining in the capital Bangkok.