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Headlines
• Single vaccine dose reduces 62% of infections in care homes
• Portugal extends flight ban to the UK
• Vaccination rates up to seven times lower in minority communities
• US extends eviction ban to 30 June
• French ICUs close to record levels

World news

• A study by UCL on the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines showed that a single dose was effective at stopping 62% of infections in care homes. The study used data from 10,000 adults in England, with an average age of 86.

• French Government numbers show patients in ICUs and hospital surveillance units rose to 4,872 on Sunday night, close to the high point of 4,919 ICU cases on 16 November.

• In England restrictions begin to ease: • Two households or groups of up to six can now meet outside, including in private gardens (with social distancing)

• The “stay at home” rule is ending, although people are being urged to stay local

• Outdoor sport facilities are reopening, including golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, and outdoor swimming areas. Formally organised outdoor sports can restart

• Weddings can now take place, with no more than six people.

• Vaccination rates in England up to 11 March were lower in the over-70s who identify as black African and black Caribbean, Muslim, and disabled, according to the Office for National Statistics. The proportion of over-70s among different ethnic groups having at least one dose of the vaccine was:

• White – 91%

• Pakistani – 74%

• Bangladeshi – 73%

• Black Caribbean – 69%

• Black African – 59%

• No deaths have been reported in London due to Covid-19, for the first time in six months.

• The US Government increased its weekly supply of vaccines by more than 20% to 27m last week, helped by 4m Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, up from only a few hundred thousand in weeks prior.

• From 30 April, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will open its locations including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Fort George and Caerlaverock Castle.

• Johnson & Johnson have said that its Janssen Pharmaceutica unit has entered into a deal with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust to make available up to 220m doses of its single-shot vaccine.

• The US CDC today extended to the 30 June a nationwide order that prevents US renters from being evicted.

• The Portuguese Government says it is extending to 15 April the suspension of commercial and private flights to the UK and Brazil.

• The Scottish SPCA says its centres across Scotland have hit capacity, in part due to the rise in demand for puppies leading to an increase in the number of raids and seizures of dogs from puppy farms and dealers.

• Malta tightened its restrictions on public gatherings on Sunday. The limit on the number of people from different households who can meet outdoors has been reduced from four to two.

• Sweden will not meet its target of fully vaccinating all adults by 30 June, the country’s vaccine coordinator said, citing delays in deliveries.

• From Sunday authorities in India’s western state of Maharashtra will impose a curfew on residents between 8pm and 7am, which will remain in force until 15 April.

• Kosovo on Sunday received its first shipment of vaccines through the UN-backed Covax scheme.

• Hong Kong will ease some coronavirus restrictions, allowing swimming pools and beaches to open and shortening the quarantine period for some international arrivals from 21 to 14 days.

• Saudi Arabia said today that starting on 17 May it would allow people who have been vaccinated to attend sporting events at stadiums up to a maximum capacity of 40%.