January 25, 2021

Coronavirus live news: Nadhim Zahawi appointed UK vaccine minister; anti-lockdown protesters gather in London


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The Metropolitan police has warned people against joining a mass anti-lockdown protest due to take place on Saturday in central London, saying that such gathering sare banned under current coronavirus legislation.

A Met statement said: “Protest is not currently a permitted exemption to the prohibition on gatherings under the current coronavirus regulations.

“Strict regulations have been introduced by the government nationally to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. This means that anyone gathering for protest risks enforcement action by officers.”

You can read the full report here:

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UK PM appoints minister responsible for coronavirus vaccine

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Ten months into the pandemic, and with a difficult winter ahead, the Greek government has decided to lower the cost of screening tests for Covid-19. For most, the move, announced last night, is not a moment too soon.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted at private clinics are the fastest way of being tested and have price tags of up to €95 (£85) although most hover around €75. Announcing the decision, Panagiotis Stampoulidis, secretary general of trade and consumer protection at the Ministry of Development, said PCR tests would be set at a flat fee of €40.

Rapid antigen tests would cost €10 once the decision is tabled in parliament in the coming days.

Covid Testing Point at Athens International Airport.

Covid Testing Point at Athens International Airport. Photograph: Helena Smith/The Guardian

The move follows the announcement that the lockdown imposed on Greece on 6 November will be extended through to 7 December. Today, health officials said even that sounded optimistic, with a growing consensus that with restrictions failing to reign in infection rates as fast as had been hoped, 14 December may be the date when curbs finally begin to be relaxed before the festive season. Any relaxation will start with schools, the government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Saturday.

Greece broke two benchmarks this week: crossing the milestone of more than 2,000 deaths as a result of Covid-19, and more than 100,000 infections. Although the country has fared comparatively better than other European states, it has experienced a surge in cases since the autumn.

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Free vitamin D for more than 2.5m people in England

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More than 1,300 people wrongly told they have Covid

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