LiveCoronavirus in Scotland RECAP: 38 deaths from Covid and 951 positive cases in past 24 hours
Live updates on coronavirus in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.
Follow along here to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on Wednesday.
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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Wednesday
Last updated: Wednesday, 02 December, 2020, 13:55
- First Scottish vaccinations in 'next six days'
- Nicola Sturgeon welcomes approval of new vaccine for use
- Scotland records 38 deaths on Wednesday
- 951 positive cases reported
- Christmas school holidays ruling expected this week
Vaccine can be delivered to care homes, BioNTech says
The makers of the newly-approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have said it can be delivered to care homes, after confusion emerged over whether it would be practically possible.
The vaccine can be transported into care homes, stored for five days and then administered, according to Sean Marett, chief commercial officer at BioNTech and responsible for distribution.
Matt Hancock: “Today is a triumph for all those who believe in science, a triumph for ingenuity, a triumph for humanity.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, making a statement to the Commons, told MPs: “Today marks a new chapter in our fight against this virus.”
Coronavirus in Scotland: Who will get the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine first?
The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, making it the first western country to license a Covid-19 vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine is effective at reducing people’s susceptibility to Covid-19 but it is not known whether it will reduce community transmission, Wales’ chief medical officer has said.
BioNTech’s Sean Marett said the UK was likely to receive at least five million doses of vaccine by the end of year.
Tesco hands back £585m from business rates holiday
Supermarket Tesco has said it will return £585 million to the Government – money it saved from a business rates holiday introduced to help struggling retailers.
Chairman John Allan said the board “are conscious of our responsibilities to society” and that the company did not need the saving due to remaining open and trading strongly throughout the pandemic.
The decision was welcomed and saw calls for other supermarkets to make similar commitments, with new data from business rates specialists Altus Group showing “essential” retailers enjoyed savings of £3.03 billion.
Sean Marett, chief commercial officer at BioNTech, said the first consignment of its newly-approved vaccine could reach Britain as soon as Thursday.
Boris Johnson will be joined by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens and England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam at a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Piers Morgan vows to inject Covid vaccine live on TV with Health Secretary Matt Hancock
Piers Morgan and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have pledged to inject the just-approved Covid-19 vaccine together, live on air, to help convince the UK public it is safe.
Covid-19 vaccinations to start in Scotland on Tuesday
The first coronavirus vaccines in Scotland will be administered on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Scotland’s First Minister welcomed the UK becoming the first country in the world to approve the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, saying it may mark the “beginning of the end of the pandemic”.
The jab has been shown in studies to be 95% effective and works in all age groups.
Ms Sturgeon made the announcement at the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 briefing on Wednesday as she confirmed 38 coronavirus deaths and 951 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.
She said: “The first vaccines against Covid will be administered in Scotland on Tuesday December 8.”
This is dependent on the first vaccine doses being received in Scotland when expected, she said, but there is “no reason at this stage to doubt that”.
Surge in travel as England’s lockdown ends
Demand for travel in England spiked on Wednesday following the end of the national lockdown.
Location technology firm TomTom found that the level of congestion on London’s roads between 11am and noon was 28%, compared with 23% during the same period last week.
Other cities to see an increase in traffic jams include Liverpool (from 24% to 27%), Manchester (from 19% to 23%) and Birmingham (from 20% to 23%).
Congestion levels represent the proportion of additional time required for journeys compared with free-flow conditions.
Transport for London (TfL) said 760,000 journeys were made on the London Underground network on Wednesday from the start of service until 10am.
This was a 14% increase on the same period last week but just 31% of normal demand.
There were 970,000 bus journeys made in the capital, up 8% on last week and 57% of pre-pandemic levels.
Some 1.13 million mainline train journeys were made in London over the same period (33% of usual demand), while 30,000 trips on TfL Rail services were recorded.
First vaccines to be administered in Scotland will be on Tuesday, December 8
In her afternoon coronavirus briefing today, the First Minister announced that the first round of vaccines will be administered in Scotland on Tuesday, December 8.
While urging continued compliance, Ms Sturgeon said she was doing it with “a lighter feeling in my heart and a bigger smile on my face today than I’ve been able to muster for the last nine months”.
The First Minister urged people in Scotland to continue to follow the public health advice, regardless of the news of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which has been approved for use in the UK.
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