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.

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Further 138 Covid cases and three deaths in Northern Ireland

A further three people who had previously tested positive for coronavirus have died in Northern Ireland.

The latest data from the Department of Health also shows another 138 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours.

There are 227 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, with 33 in intensive care.

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 15:07

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England records 90 new Covid deaths

A further 90 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 84,366, according to NHS England.

Patients were aged between 34 and 97. All except three, aged between 54 and 87, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between January 17 and March 6, with the majority being on or after March 3.

There were 20 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 14:45

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Scotland records 390 new cases

Scotland has recorded 390 positive coronavirus tests in the past 24 hours, Scottish government figures show.

No deaths have been recorded and the death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7,421.

The daily test positivity rate is 3.2 per cent, up from 3 per cent the previous day.

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 14:32

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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.

Sean Russell explains:

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 14:00

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Boris Johnson meets former vaccine sceptic getting jab

Boris Johnson was filmed speaking to a former vaccine sceptic as she was getting her Covid jab this morning.

The prime minister was touring a vaccination centre in Brent, north London, when he met the woman, who was receiving her first dose of the AstraZeneca jab.

She told Mr Johnson she “refused to have it” at first, but the “encouragement and persistence” of her local pastor convinced her in the end.

Boris Johnson meets former vaccine sceptic getting jab

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.

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 13:40

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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”.

Daisy Lester and Kate Devlin have more on this:

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Labour demands at least 2.1% pay rise for NHS staff

Labour has renewed its attack on the government’s proposed NHS pay offer, calling it “reprehensible” and demanding that ministers give nurses a larger salary increase.

Shadow secretary of state Lisa Nandy criticised the government for not recommending pay for NHS workers rise by more than 1 per cent .

Daisy Lester has more details:

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 13:10

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‘Risk is actually in not going back to school tomorrow’, says prime minister

Boris Johnson said he believed the risk was actually in children not returning to classrooms.

The prime minister told broadcasters: “You ask about the risk (of schools returning).

“I think the risk is actually in not going back to school tomorrow given all the suffering, all the loss of learning we have seen.”

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 12:50

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Boris defends NHS pay rise saying government has given ‘as much as we can’

Boris Johnson has defended his controversial pay offer to ‘heroic’ NHS staff, suggesting his government has given “as much as we can”.

Follow our breaking news story for more updates:

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 12:32

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Boris Johnson says he thinks schools are ‘ready’ to reopen and people want to go back

Boris Johnson has said he thinks schools are “ready” to reopen and that people want to go back to classrooms.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a north London vaccination centre today, the prime minister said: “Tomorrow is the big step on the roadmap that we hope is a roadmap to freedom.

“It is made possible by the rollout of the vaccination programme.

“I’m very hopeful that it will work, it will all go according to plan and that all kids, all pupils, will be back in schools tomorrow.

“I’m massively grateful to parents who have put up with so much throughout the pandemic and teachers who have done an amazing job of keeping going.

“I do think we are ready, I think people want to go back, they feel it, they feel the need for it.”

Chiara Giordano7 March 2021 12:20

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