Tag Archives: Michael Gove

Great Britain to pilot COVID certificates for sporting events and nightclubs – POLITICO | Instant News

LONDON – Britain will begin piloting domestic COVID certificates this month, giving access to certain venues including sports stadiums and nightclubs, as ministers consider ways to reopen the post-lockdown UK economy.

People who have been vaccinated, received a negative test recently or have natural immunity after recovering from infection in the past six months, can attend trial events at sports venues, conference centers and nightclubs. That includes this month’s FA Cup semi-final and May’s final.

Businesses, including pubs and restaurants, which are allowed to reopen outdoors on April 12, and indoors on May 17, will not be asked to ask customers to prove their COVID status, Downing Street said. The hotel sector warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson that such a move would be unsuccessful and discriminatory when he pitched his idea last month.

The plans for a COVID certificate will be one of the details that Johnson will set out on Monday as part of a broader update on Britain’s route out of lockdown, which began last week with people allowed to meet outdoors in groups of six.

Returning to non-essential international travel on May 17 has not been ruled out, but Downing Street warned people may have to wait longer as some countries experience a third wave of the disease. The ministers also weighed the risks posed by the so-called “attention variant” that may be resistant to current vaccines. The country’s traffic light system will come into effect when restrictions are lifted.

There will be no isolation requirements for travel from countries in the new “green category” – although pre-departure and post-arrival tests are still required. The “red” and “yellow” restrictions will remain as they are, with conditions for quarantine or self-isolation when returning to the UK, Downing Street said in a press release explaining his thinking.

Meanwhile, Germany is also considering introducing a system that allows people to be vaccinated into shops, restaurants and hotels, Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“Anyone who has been fully vaccinated can, in the future, be treated like someone who has tested negative,” said Spahn.

Germany is considering a rapid testing system to reopen its retail and hospitality sectors. New findings from the country’s infectious diseases agency, obtained by Bild, suggest the risk of transmission is so low two weeks after the second dose of vaccine that those who are fully inoculated can skip tests and quarantine to shop and travel.

The UK government has faced strong opposition in parliament over its plans for a domestic COVID certificate. More than 70 lawmakers, including more than 40 Conservative supporters of Johnson himself, oppose the so-called COVID passport in Britain.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister overseeing the certificate plan, said a COVID certificate would become “a necessity for international travel,” in an article for the Sunday Telegraph.

The European Commission has proposed so-called digital green certificates, which would permit travel across the block confirming vaccinations, immunity or coronavirus testing status.

Gove said the certificate could be “a valuable aid to opening up our domestic economy and society more quickly.”

The pilot event should be closed to the public until the end of this year without a certificate scheme, Gove said. He also warned businesses could start setting up their own private certification schemes to restrict access if the government doesn’t act.

“Unless the Government takes the lead, we run the risk of someone else setting the rules of the road. So where is the line to be drawn to help protect freedom, respect privacy, promote equality and return us to normalcy? And how can we ensure that our approach is proportionate. and limited time ?, “he wrote.

“Appropriate exceptions” for people who have been advised not to be vaccinated, or who cannot be repeatedly tested, are being examined, and the NHS is working on digital and non-digital certificates, Downing Street said.

Sarah Wheaton contributed reporting.


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Ministers prepare for border restrictions as Britain concludes another lockdown | Instant News

Topline In an effort to control the spread of the most infectious variant of the coronavirus which is causing another wave of Covid-19 cases across the country, UK ministers are preparing to announce new restrictions on international travel on Tuesday to supplement measures lockdowns that prohibit everything but essential activities and travel for the foreseeable future. The UK will announce tighter border restrictions on Tuesday in a bid to control a recent outbreak of … [+] coronavirus case. Getty Images Key Facts Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said the government will release new border restriction plans on Tuesday, which is the first day of the third Covid-19 lockdown in England. “The message is very, very clear to British citizens that they should not travel,” the minister told Sky News. It’s unclear what the new restrictions will entail, although it is possible they will include Covid-19 testing on new arrivals – which ministers have long ruled out – as well as stricter quarantines and a travel ban abroad. When the lockdown was first announced on Monday, travel agency ABTA urged the government to support the struggling sector which it said has not received personalized government support. “It is true, of course, that the government is taking action to control the spread of the virus,” the group said, “but it must be accompanied by the right measures to support travel companies that have little or no means. to work.” Key Context In an effort to control an upsurge in Covid-19 cases across the country, British nations have imposed strict lockdowns restricting individual freedoms. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday imposed a new lockdown in England, banning all activities except essential activities outside the home, including the closure of schools and universities. Scotland has issued similar stay-at-home orders, Wales has closed schools and Northern Ireland is expected to finalize tougher restrictions on Tuesday. It’s unclear when many of these restrictions will end, although politicians have said they will likely be in place until at least mid-February. Much of the new wave of Covid-19 is being driven by a contagious new variant, B.1.1.7., Which was discovered in south-eastern England and London in December. While the new variant isn’t considered vaccine resistant – manufacturers are testing it to make sure – or causing more serious illness, it is more infectious. This makes the virus harder to control and can overwhelm hospitals with an influx of cases. Further Reading New Variant Of Covid-19 Has Appeared In England – Here’s What It Could Mean For The Pandemic And Vaccines (Forbes) Here’s What You Need To Know About The New Variant Of Covid-19 In England (Forbes) England to enter nationwide lockdown Amid Covid-19 Surge (Forbes) UK to tighten COVID-19 border controls soon – Gove (Reuters) Full coverage and live updates on coronavirus.

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The UK appoints a vaccine minister to oversee the inoculation of COVID | Instant News

The British government has appointed a vaccine minister as it prepares to inoculate millions of people against the coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi would oversee the country’s biggest vaccine program in decades.

Britain says frontline health care workers and nursing home residents will be first vaccinated, followed by parents, starting with those over 80.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, enough for 20 million people, and 100 million doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.

In all, the UK government has agreed to purchase up to 355 million doses of vaccine from seven different manufacturers, as it prepares to vaccinate as many as possible of the country’s 67 million people.

Decisions on which vaccines, if any, will be authorized will be made by the independent Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency.

Pfizer and BioNTech say their vaccine is 95% effective, according to preliminary data. It should be stored in an extremely cold temperature of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit).

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at conventional refrigerator temperatures, and is also cheaper than its main competitors. But some scientists question the gaps in the reported results.

Oxford and AstraZeneca reported this week that their vaccine appeared to be 62% effective in people receiving two doses, and 90% effective when volunteers were given half the dose followed by the full dose. They say half the dose was given due to a production error, and they are planning a new clinical trial to investigate the most effective dosing regimen.

The British government hopes the combination of vaccines and mass testing will end the need for restrictions on business and daily living being put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The UK has the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, with more than 57,000 confirmed virus-related deaths.

The prime minister said this week that officials hoped to inoculate “most of the people most in need of protection before Easter.” But he warned that “we must first pass through the harsh winter” restrictions.

The UK’s four-week national lockdown will end Wednesday and will be replaced by a three-tier system of regional measures restricting business activity, travel and outreach. Most countries are placed in the top two tiers.

The restrictions have sparked protests, with police arresting dozens of people at an anti-lockdown demonstration in London on Saturday.

Several bottles and smoke bombs were thrown as anti-mask and anti-vaccine demonstrators clashed with officers in the city’s West End shopping district. Metropolitan Police said more than 60 people were arrested, and that number is expected to increase.

Johnson has also faced opposition to moves from dozens of members of his own Conservative Party, who say the economic damage outweighs the public health benefits.

Cabinet Minister Bur Michael Gove said the restrictions were “absolutely” necessary to avoid overwhelming the health system this winter.

Writing in The Times of London, Gove said there are currently 16,000 coronavirus patients in UK hospitals, not far below the peak of 20,000 in April. The increase in infections will mean coronavirus patients will “replace all but emergency cases. And even that, “he said.

“However, if we can keep infection rates stable or, even better, fall, and persist during January and February, then we can be sure that vaccinations will stop the problem,” Gove wrote.


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Germany begins its ‘breakwater’ close while Europe is locked in | Instant News

But in many countries, experts say it should have been done a few weeks ago – a reflection of an increasingly difficult balance in countries struggling to fight between controlling the virus and boosting ravaged economies.

“We recognize the frustration, the loss, the fatigue of the citizens, as well as the anger manifested in these days, by citizens who find themselves living with new limits on their personal freedom,” said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as he defended the decision. his government to order new actions.

Restrictions have slowly increased over weeks in many European countries, but virus cases have continued to rise. There are, however, signs of hope from hard-hit Belgium, where a leading virologist said that “high-speed trains are waning somewhat.”

Overall, Europe has seen more than 250,000 confirmed virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the case and death toll understates the true number from the pandemic due to missed cases, limited testing and other reasons.

In Germany, restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, gyms and other recreational facilities were closed in a four-week “breakwater” closure that seeks to force daily new infections back to manageable levels. Germans have been asked not to travel, and hotels are barred from accommodating tourists.

In a worrying sign for a country that has long been lauded for its testing and traceability capabilities, German officials said they were unable to trace the source of three-quarters of the new coronavirus cases. Health Minister Jens Spahn, who contracted the virus himself, said he did not know where he was infected.

Spahn tweeted Monday that the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has tripled in Germany over the past two weeks, and “we must break this momentum, together and with determination.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff said the aim was to end restrictions “in this tightness” by the end of November.

“It’s also about enabling Christmas business for German companies, and family Christmas celebrations for all of us,” Helge Braun told RBB Inforadio. “The tighter the measures, the quicker the results, so we decided on relatively strict measures.”

The new restrictions are still lighter than those imposed by Germany in the first phase of the pandemic in March and April. This time, the school, the shop was not important, and the hairdresser remained open. Officials will review the situation after two weeks.

Britain is headed for a tighter lockdown starting Thursday, with nonessential shops and hairdressers closed for a month and people allowed to leave homes for only a short list of reasons including sport. Traveling is also not recommended.

The lockdown was supposed to end on December 2, but minister Michael Gove told Sky News on Sunday that it could not be guaranteed “by this vicious virus, and with its capacity to move so fast.”

The plan, which requires the approval of lawmakers, has faced resistance from some of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own Conservative Party, who are concerned about its economic impact. Still, the journey was almost certain because of the support of the opposition Labor Party.

Austria also imposed new restrictions this week. From Tuesday and until the end of November, restaurants and bars are closed – except for delivery and takeout, as in Germany and the UK – and cultural, sporting and recreational activities are canceled. Residents will be asked to stay at home from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. They can go out for sports or work, among other things.

In Spain, lawmakers last week approved an extension to May 2021 of the country’s state of emergency. The measure imposes a national curfew and allows regions to impose more local restrictions, such as restricting movement outside city limits on weekends.

The Spanish curfew invites weekend protests in many cities. Most of the young protesters burned vehicles and trash cans, blocked roads and threw objects at riot police.

Cabinet Minister José Luis Escrivá told Antena 3 television Monday that “this kind of behavior is expected” as people are getting tired of restrictions.

Countries including Belgium, France, Poland and the hard-hit Czech Republic have implemented various restrictions.

In Italy, Conte announced new restrictions including the closure of shopping malls at the weekend and museums. Transfers between regions will be restricted and a “late night” curfew imposed, Conte said, without specifying a time or saying when the measures would take effect.

Greece announced a local lockdown in its second largest city, Thessaloniki, and the northern province of Serres.

While cases have been increasing and well outside the comfort zones of governments across the continent, data from the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows wide variations in the average number of new cases per 100,000 population reported over the past 14 days, with Germany’s figure of around 215 on Monday less than half of cases were in Austria and the UK. The country currently worst affected, Belgium, has 1,735 new cases per 100,000.

A leading Belgian virologist said that “long-expected points of light” are starting to emerge, although the situation remains “very worrying”.

“The number of infections and hospital admissions is continuing to rise but not as fast,” said Steven Van Gucht of the government health group Sciensano.


Associated Press writers across Europe contributed to this report.


Follow coverage of the AP corona virus pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


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Michael Gove heads to Brussels as UK trade talks with the EU resume | Instant News

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is heading to Brussels today to start the week Brexi trade talks.

Mr Gove will discuss the implementation of the Brexit divorce deal European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic.

Formal negotiations between the EU and Britain will resume on Tuesday.

The Brexit transition period will end on December 31, but the UK and EU have yet to agree on a trade deal.

Michel Barnier is neither optimistic nor pessimistic (REUTERS)

Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier was said to be neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the chances of a deal, BBC news reported.

Relations were strained after England introduced the Internal Market Bill , which would violate the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, as well as international law, if approved by the Commons.

The Internal Market Bill has criticized for violating the terms of the Good Friday Agreement by several US politicians, including Nancy Pelosi and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who also said she would make a trade deal between Britain and the US impossible.

Lorries queuing to enter the port at Dover, Kent (PA)

It happened after Mr. Gove announced that the carrier would need special permission to gain access to Kent as the Government plans to create “internal borders” in an effort to avoid post-Brexit congestion.

Mr Gove said the permits could help avoid queues of up to 7,000 trucks trying to cross the English Channel after Britain left the single market and customs union at the end of the year.

The Kent Access Clearance System (KAP) can be enforced by the police or the use of cameras that monitor the number plates of vehicles entering the area at points such as the Dartford Crossing carrying goods from Essex.

Mr Gove set the measures as he outlined a “plausible worst case scenario” that could emerge from January 1.

Lack of preparation for the end of the transition period could result in as many as 70 percent of trucks being sent home from France, with thousands of freight vehicles waiting up to 48 hours to reach Dover as a result of the chaos.


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