Hello it’s Samantha Lock with you on the blog today as we unpack all the latest Covid developments from across the world.
I’ll be reporting to you from Sydney and my colleagues from London will take over a little later in the day.
Let’s jump in with the news that New Zealand has begun its vaccine roll-out for children aged 5-11.
Over 120,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been delivered and is available at 500 sites throughout the country, including walk-ins, drive-throughs, pharmacies, and general practices.
Those aged 18 years and older who have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine are also now eligible to book a booster dose.
On the other side of the world in France, the French parliament has approved a range of measures including a vaccine passport. The new law, which will come into force in the coming days, will require people to have a certificate of vaccination to enter public places like restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains.
This comes after President Emmanuel Macron, said he wanted to “piss off” unvaccinated people by making their lives so complicated they would end up getting the Covid vaccine.
France is in the grips of its fifth Covid wave with daily new cases regularly hitting record levels over 300,000 though the number of serious cases putting people in ICU wards is much lower than the first wave in March-April 2020.
Here is a quick round-up of the latest developments:
- Ministers are seeing “encouraging” signs that plan B Covid restrictions in England could be lifted in 10 days’ time, the chair of the Conservative party, Oliver Dowden, has said.
- People in the UK may no longer be legally required to self-isolate after catching Covid, according to unsourced reports in the Telegraph.
- UK Labour leader Keir Starmer says Boris Johnson broke the law by attending at least one of the parties.
- Starmer himself rejected accusations that he had broken Covid restrictions when he was photographed eating and drinking with others in late April 2021, saying “there was no party, no breach of the rules. There is absolutely no comparison with the prime minister.”
- A total of 70,924 people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the government reported on Sunday.
- Hundreds of people marched in Malta against new measures requiring a Covid certificate to enter entry most venues including restaurants, gyms and bars.
- Amnesty International has urged Italy to change its strict anti Covid-19 restrictions to avoid discriminating against unvaccinated people.
- Italian police arrested a nurse in Palermo for allegedly pretending to give Covid vaccines to anti-vaxxer activists so they could benefit from official health certificates to travel and access bars, restaurants and public transport in the country.
- France’s parliament has given final approval to the government’s latest measures to tackle Covid-19, including a vaccine pass contested by anti-vaccine protesters.
- Thousands of people have demonstrated in Amsterdam city centre in opposition to Covid-19 measures and the vaccination programme.
- The billionth Covid-19 vaccine as part of the global Covax scheme was delivered in Rwanda on Saturday night.
- A three-week-old baby died from Covid-19 in Qatar, the health ministry said on Sunday.