Coronavirus - 31 March


• Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children aged 12-15
• Arizona and Arkansas lift mask mandates
• Germany bans AZ vaccine for under 60s
• Mass testing begins in Bolton after discovery of SA variant
• Malta to allow UK travellers this summer

World news

• Surge testing is being deployed in Bolton, Greater Manchester, after one case of the South African variant was identified.

• Germany will only administer AstraZeneca’s vaccine to those aged over 60 following the recommendation of the country’s vaccination commission (Stiko).

• Arizona and Arkansas are the latest US states to lift mask requirements against federal advice.

• People aged 45-49 are now eligible for vaccinations in Northern Ireland.

• China will launch mass vaccinations in four cities and counties in the South Western Yunnan province that borders Myanmar.

• Malta has said UK travellers who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be allowed to enter from 1 June.

• Australia has administered 600,000 Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, short of its target of delivering four million vaccinations by 31 March.

• Austria is in late-stage talks with Russia to buy a million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

• Organisers of Glastonbury have announced they will be holding an online livestream event in May, after the festival was cancelled for a second year.

• Pfizer says its vaccine is safe and 100% effective in preventing the illness in young people aged 12-15.

• Israel plans to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to 12-15-year-olds upon FDA approval.

• PwC will allow flexible working to continue when coronavirus restrictions ease. The firm said it expects staff will spend an average of 2-3 days per week co-located with colleagues, either in the office or at client sites.

• South Africa has banned the sale of takeaway alcohol over this weekend’s Easter holiday. Bars and restaurants may still serve drinks. Religious gatherings have also been restricted to 50% capacity if indoors.

• Yemen has received its first 360,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine through the Covax scheme.