Coronavirus - 8 February


• Pfizer vaccine effective against South African variant
• Rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine stopped in South Africa
• Portugal advises against AstraZeneca for over-65s
• 61% of Japanese residents oppose Olympics
• France bans homemade masks in schools

World news

• In Austria, schools have reopened, with pupils receiving regular antigen tests. Non-essential shops, museums and zoos have also opened again, with limits on the numbers of customers. Hairdressers and beauticians are now open for business, but people have to show negative tests before they can get their hair cut. FFP2 masks are mandatory in shops and confined public spaces. Restaurants and hotels remain closed.

• South Africa will suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after data showed it gave minimal protection against mild-to-moderate infection caused by the country’s dominant variant.

• In Japan, a poll by Yomiuri newspaper showed a combined 61% wanting the Games to be postponed or cancelled. Just 36% of the public are in favour of holding the Tokyo Olympics this summer, of which 28% are calling for no spectators, while the remaining 8% back allowing spectators.

• Jordan has reopened schools.

• Israel has begun lifting restrictions, with some shops and businesses allowed to reopen.

• Hungary has approved Russia’s coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V.

• A WHO panel is due to meet to discuss the AstraZeneca vaccine today.

• In France, all staff and pupils at school are required to wear only Category 1 facemasks.

• In South Korea, cats and dogs will be tested if they display symptoms, the city government of Seoul has announced.

• Portugal has advised against using the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged over 65.

• Schools in Denmark have reopened for the youngest children.

• The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is effective against the variant that emerged from South Africa, according to a new study by the University of Texas.