United Kingdom

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK bans travellers from South America
UK bans travellers from South America
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The UK has banned people who are from or have travelled through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days. The ban will come into force from Friday and is due to a new variant identified in Brazil. British, Irish and foreign nations may enter the country but must isolate for 10 days.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK coronavirus deaths pass 100,000
UK coronavirus deaths pass 100,000
Credit: unsplash.com / iMattSmart

1,564 deaths were recorded across the United Kingdom on Wednesday 13th January - a record high bringing the total to 101,160.

Regional News • Europe
EU customs seize British ham sandwiches
EU customs seize British ham sandwiches
Credit: Screenshot site: eenvandaag.avrotros.nl

The ham sandwiches of British truck drivers are also affected by the new Brexit trade rules. The BBC on Tuesday showed Dutch TV footage of customs also checking drivers' provisions. Customs officials in Hoek van Holland explain to the drivers in the report of the channel NPO1 that they are no longer allowed to export animal food from the UK.

Education • School Education
British and German public television are expanding their programming with school shows
British and German public television are expanding their programming with school shows
Credit: unsplash.com / Sam McGhee

In Germany and the U.K., public TV stations now broadcast educational shows for schoolchildren.

German education channel ARD-alpha, as well as children's channel KiKa and broadcaster BR, are expanding their learning and school shows.

In the UK, too, the public broadcaster BBC will be broadcasting several hours of lessons every day from the start of next week. Starting this Monday, the children's channel CBBC and the BBC Two channel are to focus on content for schoolgirls. The initiative is intended to support both schools and families during the new lockdown.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband have been vaccinated against Covid-19
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband have been vaccinated against Covid-19
Credit: Courtesy of Instagram

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip have received their first dose of vaccine against the new coronavirus, Buckingham Palace announced. A second source told the British news agency PA that the Queen and her husband had been vaccinated by the royal family's doctor at Windsor Castle, where they spend the confinement period. Usually quite discreet about her state of health, "the Queen has decided to make this information public to avoid inaccuracies and possible rumours," added PA.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
UK Covid-19 variant detected for the first time in Berlin

According to a study by In Berlin, the new variant of the coronavirus from Great Britain has been detected for the first time. This was announced by the Senate Health Administration on Friday. The affected person and other ill contact persons his recovered in the meantime. Possible further contact persons are still being searched for. from German A few days ago, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said that the new virus variant was not very widespread in Germany so far. At least according to current knowledge, it looks like the measures taken have prevented the new form from spreading, Spahn said in Berlin on Wednesday.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Ryanair to operate "few, if any" flights to or from the UK & Ireland
Ryanair to operate "few, if any" flights to or from the UK & Ireland
Credit: unsplash.com/Sangga Rima Roman Selia

Due to new lockdowns in Ireland, the United Kingdom and some other EU countries, the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is drastically cutting its flight offerings starting January 21, the company announced Thursday.

From January 21, Ryanair plans to operate "few, if any" flights to and from British and Irish airports. This will apply until the severe travel restrictions are lifted.

Law
Julian Assange denied bail by UK court
Julian Assange denied bail by UK court
Credit: Cancillería del Ecuador (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Judge Vanessa Baraitser has ruled against releasing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on bail: "I am satisfied that there are substantial grounds for believing that if Mr Assange is released today, he would fail to surrender to court to face the appeal proceedings."

Rebecca Vincent, Director of International Campaigns at NGO Reporters without Borders, called the court's decision to refuse bail "unnecessarily cruel."

Law
UK court denies US extradition request for Julian Assange due to mental health concerns

The US extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was rejected by a London court on Monday. The court cited medical reasons for the decision, in particular Assange's mental condition and suicidal risk. The lawyers for the US judiciary immediately appealed.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK to roll out Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine starting Monday

The UK is set to start administering the new Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and the AstraZeneca group on Monday, stating that the "NHS will be the first health service in the world to provide this life-saving vaccine."

The vaccine will initially be delivered in a small number of hospitals, but will be widely distributed to hundreds of vaccination centers later this week.

Regional News • Middle East
Saudi Arabia: Temporary travel ban ended and international flights resumed

Saudi Arabia lifted its temporary travel ban on 11 o'clock Sunday after closing borders following the UK's new Coronavirus strain detection. The ministry of interior announced lifting the “precautionary measures related to the spread of a new variant of coronavirus” in a statement.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
United Kingdom abolishes "tampon tax" after leaving EU
United Kingdom abolishes "tampon tax" after leaving EU
Credit: unsplash.com / Josefin

With the end of the post-Brexit transition period, the UK is no longer obliged to levy a minimum tax of five percent on hygiene products, as required by EU law. With that the country has now abolished the VAT on tampons and sanitary towels in the United Kingdom.

Regional News • Middle East
Israel: 1 million people vaccinated against coronavirus
The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, visits the vaccination center of the Maccabi Healthcare Services in Jerusalem. Wednesday, December 30, 2020. Photo credit: Haim Tzach / GPO.
The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, visits the vaccination center of the Maccabi Healthcare Services in Jerusalem. Wednesday, December 30, 2020. Photo credit: Haim Tzach / GPO. Credit: Haim Zach / Government Press Office (Israel), Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Over a million people in Israel have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, the highest amount for a country globally. This results in 11.55 in 100 people being vaccinated, compared to 1.47 in 100 people in the UK. Israel started vaccinations on December 19th with a rate of 150,000 vaccinations per day.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Britain extends Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Britain extends  Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Credit: unsplash.com / John Cameron

In Great Britain, the highest Corona warning level has been applied to further parts of the country. It has been extended beyond London and the southeast of England to large parts of the center, the north and the southwest of England, according to the British Health Minister Matt Hancock.

As a result, three-quarters of England's population is now subject to the most severe restrictions under the country's Corona regulations: It is forbidden for members of more than one household to gather together. Non-essential businesses will be closed, and restaurants and bars can only offer a pick-up service.

Regional News • Europe • France
Brexit: France announces rules visa requirements for British citizens from January 2021
Brexit: France announces rules visa requirements for British citizens from January 2021
Credit: unsplash.com/Ethan Wilkinson

The French government published detailed rules for visa requirements for British citizens who want to spend lengthy periods in France after January 1st, 2021.

From January on "UK citizens will need a Long Stay visa if staying in France or in a French Oversea territory for more than 90 days whatever the purpose of stay". UK citizens with a second home in France, who are spending between 3-6 months a year in France, are "not considered as a resident in France and cannot apply for a carte de séjour under the withdrawal agreement" and "will have to apply for a temporary visitor visa - visa de long séjour temporaire visiteur."

Health
UK health expert warns that Covid-19 is "probably the biggest hit to mental health since the second world war"
UK health expert warns that Covid-19 is "probably the biggest hit to mental health since the second world war"
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to Dr Adrian James, the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, that the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences probably pose "the biggest hit to mental health since the second world war" and will result in around 10 million people needing new or additional mental health support.

“This is going to have a profound effect on mental health,” James said. “It is probably the biggest hit to mental health since the second world war. It doesn’t stop when the virus is under control and there are few people in hospital. You’ve got to fund the long-term consequences.”

Health
United Kingdom approves Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 for use
United Kingdom approves Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 for use
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, with the first doses due to be given on Monday amid rising coronavirus cases. This will cover the entire population when combined with the full order of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
England supermarkets to be barred from displaying unhealthy foods and drinks at checkout
England supermarkets to be barred from displaying unhealthy foods and drinks at checkout
Credit: unsplash.com/Franki Chamaki

As part of a proposed government measure to tackle obesity, England's supermarkets could be barred from displaying unhealthy foods and drinks at checkouts or use them in "buy one, get one free"-offers, starting in April 2022.

"Finally, Downing Street is acting decisively with a bold first step to restrict the sale of junk food on multi-buy offers and at checkouts, and taking on one of the biggest threats to Britain’s future health – childhood obesity," so Action on Sugar chairman Professor Graham MacGregor.

Regional News • World
Both UK and South Africa Covid-19 variants found in Finland

Finland has confirmed that one person tested positive for the new UK Covid-19 strain and two people tested positive for the South African variant. At least a dozen countries have confirmed cases of both new variants.

Regional News • World
Newly discovered South African Covid-19 strain may be "more effective at spreading"
Newly discovered South African Covid-19 strain may be "more effective at spreading"
Credit: Illustration by Ashley Winkler for Pendect (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The newly discovered South African variant of Covid-19 seems to be "more effective at spreading" and might be slightly more resistant to vaccines, South African scientists believe.

"Putting our data together with that in the UK, this [South African] variant is a bit more effective at spreading from person to person and that is not good. It means we have to get a bit better at stopping it," so Dr. Richard Lessells who is one of the specialists leading the research into the new mutation. "Ours raises a few more concerns for a vaccine [than the UK variant] … Another worry is reinfection. We are currently doing the careful, methodical work in the laboratory to answer all the questions we have and that takes time."