BORIS Johnson is failing to safeguard the livelihoods of UK fishermen currently unable to visit seas off the coast of Norway, Greenland and the Faroe Islands because no deals have yet been struck to allow them to do so, a UK company has warned. And Hull-based UK Fisheries Ltd fears it could be put out of business completely unless a solution is found in the next few weeks – ultimately costing the industry up to £100million. Mr Johnson unveiled his post-Brexit trade deal on Christmas Eve, with advocates pointing out the agreement guarantees tariff-free trade for goods, and takes the UK out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). However, critics have accused the Prime Minister of caving in when it comes to fishing rights – and UK Fisheries has suggested the problems did not end with access to UK waters either, with distant-waters fishing – referring to boats reliant on catches outside the nation’s territorial waters – at risk.
Government efforts to rebuild relations with the fishing industry by pledging £100m to expand UK fleets in the coming years have been rejected by industry leaders. Ministers are finalising plans to use millions in taxpayers’ money to help British fishing fleets take advantage of new quotas as they are gradually handed over by the EU under the terms of the Brexit trade deal. On Monday, Downing Street confirmed proposals to help UK fishing fleets to expand during the five and a half year transition deal agreed between Brussels and Westminster last month. It follows stinging criticism from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations in regards to the agreement struck over the Christmas break, which warned it would leave many fishing companies worse off than if the UK remained a member of the EU.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a strict lockdown until March with the promise that 13 million vaccinations will ensure it is “the last phase of the struggle” against Covid-19. He warned “the weeks ahead will be the hardest yet” as he ordered the closure of all schools from Tuesday and said GCSE and A-level exams will be cancelled for a second year. New laws banning socialising will come into force on Tuesday in a return of the draconian measures of last spring, but Mr Johnson asked the country to start obeying the rules straightaway. He set out a timetable for the NHS to vaccinate all over-70s, health workers, care home residents and clinically extremely vulnerable people by mid-February, which would allow the easing of restrictions, perhaps permanently.
BORIS Johnson has ordered everyone in England to stay at home until mid-February as he launched an emergency shutdown to try and save Britain’s NHS. In a dramatic escalation in the fight against Covid, the PM ordered the closure of all schools and non-essential shops for at least the next six weeks. The PM urged Brits to follow the third nationwide lockdown immediately, and once again put Brits under effective house arrest – resurrecting the ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives slogan’. And it was the new variant – which is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible – which has forced him to act.
Boris Johnson plunged England into a national lockdown in some ways even more brutal than last March last night in a desperate bid to keep the mutant coronavirus at bay while vaccines are rolled out. Just a day after he urged parents to send their children back, the PM declared in a sombre address from No10 that primary and secondary schools will be shut from today until at least February half-term, with only the vulnerable and offspring of key workers allowed to go in. University students are being told to stay at home and study remotely, while exams will not go ahead as planned. Nurseries can stay open. Under the new guidance, published overnight, non-essential retail, all hospitality, gyms and swimming pools will be ordered to close across the country.
BORIS JOHNSON has been praised for taking the decision to enforce a national lockdown in order to stop the spread of the new strain of coronavirus and soaring case numbers. Due to infection rates rising to levels not seen before, Mr Johnson addressed the nation and announced a lockdown will begin on Wednesday despite initial speculation of a potential new Tier 5 being added to the Government’s tier system. The lockdown – which will replace the current tiers – will last for six weeks into the middle of February, meaning schools and businesses must now close across England, while the public has once again been urged to stay at home. This now means England will enter into a third lockdown as the Prime Minister insisted stricter measures are needed to bring the new strain of coronavirus under control.
The strict new lockdown imposed by Boris Johnson on Monday night may not be able to contain the new Covid variant, scientists have warned. The Prime Minister ordered schools to shut – after just one day back after Christmas – and told people again to “stay at home” in a return to the stark messaging from March. But scientists have warned that the strict lockdown may not even succeed in lowering infection rates as the first national shutdown did last spring. A new national lockdown was still “inevitable” and “necessary”, experts have said, with daily cases yesterday reaching a record high of more than 58,000. But the new virus variant is a “game changer” and its high transmissibility means the latest lockdown may not be as effective as the initial March shutdown, warned Professor Mark Woolhouse.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown across England, but refused to give a firm end date of the restrictions. He suggested a soft date to exit the lockdown in late February, but only “if things go well”. Speaking to the public in a televised address from Downing Street on Monday night, Prime Minister Johnson put the whole of England effectively under house arrest, banning leaving home for all but essential reasons, blaming the new variant of the Chinese coronavirus for the lockdown. “With most of the country under extreme measures, it’s clear we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out. In England, we must therefore go under a national lockdown tough enough to contain this variant,” Prime Minister Johnson said.
Schools and colleges across England have been told to shut until the middle of February under Boris Johnson’s new national coronavirus lockdown as the Prime Minister said exams will not go ahead as planned. Primary and secondary schools will have to shift to remote learning for the overwhelming majority of pupils, with only vulnerable children and the children of key workers allowed to attend classes in person. Meanwhile, university students will be banned from returning to campuses and will be told to study remotely from home as the Prime Minister desperately tries to get the rate of Covid-19 infection back under control. The restrictions and school closures are expected to last until the February half-term which is due to begin on February 15.
GCSEs and A-Level exams could be cancelled for a second year running as Britain goes into another national lockdown. go ahead “as planned” for the second year running and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson “will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements”. Ahead of the announcement, ITV’s political correspondent Robert Peston tweeted: “By the way, my assumption is that the PM will make clear that GCSE and A-Level exams will be cancelled for second successive year. “Impossible to hold them with so much schooling missed, even though remote learning will be much better than first time round.” Boris Johnson confirmed all schools will remain closed throughout January in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
BORDER controls for the UK are set “to be tightened”, where all arrivals require a negative coronavirus test result to enter the country. Ministers are discussing tougher entry requirements for the UK ahead of the third lockdown. Hauliers carrying stock into the country will be exempt from the coronavirus restrictions. Ministers plans could include a negative coronavirus test needed within 72 hours of departure. Ministers are also considering whether a second coronavirus test would be needed on arrival in the UK. It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown for England, with “stay at home” orders applied across the country yesterday Under lockdown restrictions, people in England are being urged to travel only when necessary.
BORDER controls for the UK are set “to be tightened”, where all arrivals require a negative coronavirus test result to enter the country. Ministers are discussing tougher entry requirements for the UK ahead of the third lockdown. Hauliers carrying stock into the country will be exempt from the coronavirus restrictions. Ministers plans could include a negative coronavirus test needed within 72 hours of departure. Ministers are also considering whether a second coronavirus test would be needed on arrival in the UK. It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown for England, with “stay at home” orders applied across the country yesterday. Under lockdown restrictions, people in England are being urged to travel only when necessary.
International arrivals to Britain will have to present a negative coronavirus test as the government tries keep out new strains of the virus. Passengers will be required to show a negative result obtained no more than 72 hours before departure, although measures could be even tighter and include a second test on arrival. Hauliers will be exempt from the restriction. At present arrivals are required only to complete a passenger locator form and undergo quarantine if arriving from a country not on the government’s “travel corridor” list. Senior Conservative MPs had demanded immediate action to prevent further importation of new strains such as that identified in South Africa.
Millions of clinically vulnerable people were ordered on Monday night to stay indoors until they are vaccinated. The Prime Minister has brought back ‘shielding’ guidance for people with severe underlying health conditions. He said: ‘If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, we are advising you to begin shielding again and you will shortly receive a letter about what this means for you.’ More than 2.2million people in England – almost four per cent of the population – are on the NHS Digital shielded patients list. They have been told to stay at home and only leave for medical appointments and exercise, and not to go to work even if they cannot work from home. However, Mr Johnson pledged that everyone who is on the shielding list will be offered the vaccine by the middle of February.
Britons were warned last night they ‘should expect more enforcement’ from police under the new lockdown. John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, predicted there would be more fines handed out and less tolerance from officers as there are ‘no excuses’ for not knowing the rules this time. But he also warned police could be cast as ‘villains of the pandemic’ as they bear the brunt of the public’s lockdown fatigue and frustration. People caught breaking Covid lockdown laws face initial fines of £200, potentially doubling for each subsequent breach. Mr Apter said the record number of fines handed out on New Year’s Eve demonstrated that increasing numbers of young people were prepared to break the rules.
BREXIT is well and truly a reality after the UK’s trade deal with the EU came into place on January 1 – but concern remains in Germany as figures warn of “enormous damage” to the country’s industries. Many in Europe were relieved that a deal was reached with just days remaining, as business had warned of the catastrophic consequences of a no deal Brexit. One country with more at stake than most was Germany, whose cars are exported to the UK more than any other country. About one in seven cars made in Germany are sold in Britain, meaning a trading arrangement was clamoured for in Berlin in order to prevent a crisis in the country’s automotive industry. But, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s positivity, concern remains in Germany.
Angela Merkel came under fire on Monday after it emerged she intervened personally to block a bid by European health ministers to secure larger orders of coronavirus vaccine over the summer. Public anger is growing across the continent at the European Union’s failure to order enough doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine which was developed in Germany and manufactured in Belgium. But it now appears Mrs Merkel blocked an initiative by the German, French, Italian and Dutch health ministers to order more stocks of vaccine last summer. Bild newspaper published a leaked letter from the four health ministers to Ursula von der Leyen in which they agreed to drop the initiative and hand over control of vaccine orders to the European Commission.
More than a dozen UK nationals have been refused entry to the Netherlands since 1 January because Britain is no longer exempt from Covid-related restrictions on non-essential travel from outside the EU since it left the bloc. A Dutch border force spokesman confirmed on Monday that up to 13 British citizens had been turned away at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport since Friday because their trips were not necessary and third-country coronavirus regulations now applied. The news came after British citizens living in Spain were barred from boarding flights in the UK because the airline said their pre-Brexit residency papers were declared no longer valid, while others were refused entry to Germany.
BRITONS attempting to return to their homes in Spain, Germany and Italy have been refused entry and blocked from boarding their flights this weekend due to confusion over paperwork. British citizens attempting to return to their homes in Europe have been barred from boarding flights after Brexit, despite having valid proof of residency. Dozens of reports have surfaced of airlines blocking Britons from boarding, over claims they do not have valid proof of resident status in countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany. On January 2, British expats hoping to return to their homes in Spain were blocked from boarding their pre-booked flights after airline staff claimed their ID documents were no longer valid after Brexit.
The French government came under withering fire yesterday over fresh obstacles to vaccination in France, including the creation of a 35-member “citizens’ council” to monitor and advise the government on the inoculations. The body, made up of members of the public drawn at random, is part of the response to the yellow vest protest movement of 2018-19 and is intended to counter fears that the state is forcing a dangerous vaccine on to the people, who are the most sceptical of vaccines in Europe, polls show. Bureaucracy and elaborate measures needing the written consent of Europe’s most vaccine-hostile population were blamed for what doctors, opposition politicians and commentators called a fiasco since December 27, when some European nations began injections.
President Emmanuel Macron came under intense pressure on Monday to ramp up France’s snail-paced Covid vaccination campaign, which one top regional leader dubbed a “state scandal”. France, a country that prides itself on its world-class health system, launched nationwide vaccinations in late December starting with care home residents and older health workers. But little more than a week later, a piddling 516 French had received jabs compared to around 240,000 in Germany and one million in Britain, according to health ministry figures. “What we have seen is a state scandal,” Jean Rottner, the head of France’s hard-hit Grand Est eastern region told France 2 television.
EMMANUEL MACRON is battling a coronavirus vaccine “fiasco” as officials vow to speed up the country’s jab rollout – which has so far been slow. The country reported 516 vaccinations in the first week the rollout was announced, according to public health data tool CovidTracker. The number is far below the tens of thousands of daily vaccinations needed for France to reach its target of one million doses administered by the end of this month. Martin Blachier, a French health expert and epidemiologist, went so far as to call the slow rollout “the biggest fiasco we’ve ever had in the medical world”, the BBC reports. French officials are claiming the delay is due to logistics, with teams being sent to care homes and also needing consent.
Best Western is spearheading a plan to turn as many as 500 hotels into “cottage hospitals” that could ease the pressure on the NHS as it reels from surging Covid cases. The reconfigured sites would handle pre-surgery assessments, IV treatments such as for antibiotics or dialysis as well as MRI and CTI scans and post-Covid recovery support, according to proposals sent to the Cabinet Office this week. The hotel chain is already in talks with St Bartholomew’s NHS Trust in London and Kent Medway Trust about converting some of its premises. It is understood to have carried out a modelling and feasibility study with the Medway Innovation Institute and taken guidance from the Care Quality Commission.
The BBC has been slated after restarting home visits to catch people who do not have a valid TV licence despite the ongoing coronavirus cases as thousands of people remain out of work. TV Licensing inspectors are targeting unlicensed homes again after they stopped in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The corporation has sent letters to people during the COVID-19 pandemic threatening taxpayers with a knock at the door by one of their enforcement officers. One letter issued by the Corporation, seen by Express.co.uk, is being sent to addresses across the UK with a red box telling them they are breaking the law. The letter, sent to one address makes clear that users could be breaking the law: “Warning, You are in breach of the Communications Act 2003. “You should expect a visit from Enforcement Officers.” Under UK law, Britons can be fined up to £1,000 if they do not pay the £157.50 annual fee charge. It comes as BBC data revealed £12,865 was spent on first-class rail travel for top BBC executives in the 2019-2020 financial year.