Coronavirus - 21 January


• 8.4m UK residents borrowing more in the pandemic, ONS link
• French ski lifts will remain closed in February
• Glastonbury Festival cancelled again
• One in 10 major hospital trusts has no spare ICU capacity
• Dubai suspends live entertainment and non-essential surgery

World news

• In France, ski lifts will remain closed at the start of next month, and the tourism minister has said it is highly unlikely they can reopen later in February. At least 250,000 French jobs rely on the ski season.

• In the UK, 8.4 million people have had to borrow more money last year. Since June last year, the proportion of workers borrowing £1,000 or more increased from 35% to 45%. Self-employed people were more likely than employees to borrow, and there was also a large increase in the proportion of disabled people borrowing similar sums, according to the ONS.

• Moscow is lifting some Covid restrictions from tomorrow, with city colleges and sport schools allowed to reopen and capacity at theatres and cinemas raised from a quarter to a half. Schools reopened last week.

• Infections over 6-15 January were up 50% on early December, with one in 63 people infected, Imperial College London’s initial findings suggest. Swab tests from 143,000 people indicate 1.58% had the virus during in early January – up from 0.91% in December.

• A total of 3,333 patients waited longer than an hour to be handed over from ambulance teams to A&E staff at hospitals in England last week – down from more than 5,513 in the previous week.

• One in 10 major hospital trusts had no spare adult critical care beds for the week ending 17 January, according to figures published by NHS England this morning.

• Glastonbury Festival has been cancelled for a second year running due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

• Hungary has become the first country in the European Union to give preliminary approval to the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V.

• The Jersey government has set a preliminary date of 27 January for reopening shops.

• The International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, has declared that the Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead as scheduled in Japan this year, reiterating that there is “no plan B”.

• India has today sent 1 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine to Nepal as a gift.

• Africa’s coronavirus case fatality rate stands at 2.5%, higher than the global level of 2.2%.

• The US intends to join the Covax vaccine facility, which aims to deliver vaccines to poor countries, chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci told the WHO today.

• Dubai has suspended non-essential surgery for a month and live entertainment in hotels and restaurants until further notice.

• Two London buses have been converted into makeshift ambulances, to help transfer patients, including to the reopened London Nightingale field hospital.

Company news


 Saga – Anyone going on one of their holiday or cruises in 2021 must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The firm said it would delay restarting its travel packages until May to give customers enough time to get jabs.