Breaking COVID19

Gyms and non-essential shops in all areas are expected to be allowed to reopen when England’s lockdown ends

On Monday afternoon, PM Boris Johnson will explain the detail of England’s return to the “three tier system” when lockdown ends on 2 December.
While parts of the tier system will be toughened, the 10pm closing time for pubs and restaurants will be relaxed, alongside gyms and shops reopening.
And mass testing will be introduced in all tier three areas, the PM will say.
Mr Johnson will say rapid testing with military support, as used in Liverpool, will form part of the stricter system.
He is expected to tell MPs that it will “help get the virus back under control and keep it there”.
Meanwhile, the ban on outdoor grassroots sport is also set to be lifted.
More areas are set to be placed in the higher tiers – high risk or very high risk – after lockdown, No 10 has said.
Details of which tier every region of England will be put into are expected on Thursday.
Gyms and non-essential shops have been closed in England since 5 November, but are expected to reopen in all areas. Gyms were previously allowed to open in tier three, despite initially being told to shut in some places
Under the new plans, last orders in pubs and restaurants allowed to open will remain at 10pm, but customers will have an extra hour to drink up.
However, it has been reported that pubs in tier three will only be open for takeaway – while those in tier two must serve substantial meals, even to outdoor customers.
The PM had hoped to announce arrangements for the Christmas period on Monday, but this has been delayed until at least Tuesday to allow the Scottish and Welsh cabinets to agree the plans.
Americans could start receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as early as 11 December, according to the chief scientific adviser for the US government’s vaccine programme.
Dr Moncef Slaoui, part of Operation Warp Speed, told NBC: “Within 24 hours from the approval, the vaccine will be moving and located in the areas where each state will have told us where they want the vaccine doses.”
The front-runner is a candidate developed by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, which demonstrated an efficacy rate of 95% in the companies’ phase 3 clinical study.
There were no serious safety concerns observed in those who took part in the trials, with the vaccine tested on people with and without a prior coronavirus infection.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s outside advisers will meet on 10 December to discuss whether to authorise the vaccine for emergency use.
A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore, originally slated to begin on Sunday, has been postponed amid a spike in infections in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
The air travel bubble, meant to boost tourism for both cities, will be delayed by at least two weeks, Hong Kong’s minister of commerce and economic development, Edward Yau, said at a news conference on Saturday.