Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday evening.
1. Being cautious is the way to get the results we want, says PM
A cautious approach as lockdown eases in England is the “way to get the results that we want”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, he said a “wave is still rising across the Channel and it’s inevitable, as we advance on this roadmap, that there will be more infections and unavoidably more hospitalisations, and sadly more deaths”. But he said there is nothing in the data “right now” that means the roadmap to unlock cannot proceed as planned. Mr Johnson announced a deal to produce up to 60m doses of the Novavax vaccine entirely in the UK, including at a factory in Barnard Castle, County Durham – the jab is not yet approved.
2. Secret filming exposes contamination risk at test results lab
Secret filming at one of the biggest UK Covid testing labs has found evidence of potential contamination, discarded tests and pressure to hit targets. A BBC reporter working as a lab technician, filmed staff cutting corners and processing samples in a way that could cause contamination. This means some people who had taken a test via NHS Test and Trace may have received no result or a wrong result. Read the full investigation by BBC Panorama.
3. Jabs for households of adults with weak immune systems
People living in the same household as adults with weakened immune systems should be offered a Covid vaccine, the UK’s vaccine committee has said. It will help to stop the spread of the virus to vulnerable people in the same house, after recent evidence suggested they may not respond as well as others to a vaccine. Household contacts of those with blood cancer or HIV are included, but children under 16 are not.
4. Ethnic vaccine gap ‘not due to area or education’
Where people live, how poor that area is and their level of education explains only a fraction of the difference in Covid vaccination rates between ethnic groups, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found. It highlighted higher vaccination hesitancy among some ethnic groups. White people were the most, and people of black African ethnicity the least, likely to have had a jab, the ONS added.
5. ‘We cut our wedding guest list from 180 to six’
The first weddings in England since the latest lockdown have taken place. After months under stay-at-home orders, small ceremonies can now go ahead with up to six people. Jess Warren-Basham and Jonny Cope from Hampshire told BBC News they were thrilled to finally tie the knot in glorious sunshine on Monday – even if it meant cutting down the number of people invited.