Covid news — live: Hope for summer holidays, says Sage expert as Boris Johnson defends NHS pay rise
Hope for summer holidays but Britons should prepare for hard winter, Dr Susan Hopkins says
A leading government adviser has predicted Britons will all have a summer holiday this year – but warned the NHS will have to prepare for a possible “hard winter” ahead.
Public Health England’s response director for Covid-19, Dr Susan Hopkins, told The Andrew Marr Show she thought “we will hopefully all have summer holidays” but we must also have “options available for the country in case things are not as satisfactory as we’d all like them to be”.
Dr Hopkins warned there could be “surges in flu” as well as other respiratory viruses because public health measures against Covid-19 could mean there is less “population immunity”.
Boris Johnson on Sunday defended his controversial pay offer to “heroic” NHS staff, suggesting his government had given “as much as we can”.
Nursing leaders and unions expressed anger last week when it emerged ministers had recommended a 1 per cent pay rise.
Speaking on a visit to a vaccination centre in Brent, north London, the prime minister, who was himself hospitalised with Covid-19 last year, said he was “massively grateful” to NHS and social care staff.
NHS Covid guidelines ‘fundamentally flawed’ and need replacing, says nursing union
An independent report commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing has deemed government Covid-19 NHS infection control guidelines “fundamentally flawed” and in need of replacing in order to protect front-line healthcare staff.
The independent report concluded that NHS guidelines failed to consider airborne infection, a key way the virus is transmitted.
Boris Johnson was filmed speaking to a former vaccine sceptic as her Covid jab was administered on Sunday morning. The prime minister was touring a vaccination centre in Brent, north London when he met a woman as she was receiving her first dose of the AstraZeneca jab. “At first I refused to have it”, she told Mr Johnson before revealing it was the “encouragement and persistence” of her local pastor that convinced her to go ahead with it. More than 21 million people have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine so far in the UK.
Ofsted chief hopes face masks in schools can be scrapped after Easter
The head of the official schools watchdog has said she hopes pupils will not need to use face masks in the classroom after Easter.
Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman, said children are “adaptable and flexible” around measures including mask-wearing and testing in schools, and “can live with a little bit of inconvenience for a few weeks”.