Britain’s sluggish coronavirus vaccine roll out may finally be starting to gather steam as pictures emerged today of dozens of elderly residents queuing in the freezing cold to get their jabs, after Boris Johnson brought in the Army to ramp up delivery to 200,000 doses a day by the end of next week.
The pensioners were snapped standing in line outside a vaccination centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, today as they patiently waited to get their first dose.
But many are still yet to be called for an appointment, with 99-year-old RAF veteran Arthur Clark who is classed as extremely vulnerable to Covid because of his age, saying he is still yet to be offered a jab by the NHS despite trying to get a slot since Christmas.
The widower and great-grandfather-of-four told MailOnline from his home in Beckenham, south east London: ‘It’s very annoying, I thought I’d been lost in the system.’ He added: ‘I appreciate it takes a while to get round to everyone, but I would have thought they’d have tried to give people of my age priority.’
And in yet more chaos to the lackluster scheme, a housebound 89-year-old widow was asked to travel 16 miles to a vaccination centre despite being unable to drive. Her daughter claimed the 80-minute journey from her home in rural Harleston, South Norfolk, was out of the question.
One elderly Briton in her nineties also claims she hasn’t yet been able to get vaccinated because health bosses are going down the list in alphabetical order, instead of age priority.
It comes as a patients’ rights group warned that some elderly Britons may be missing their Covid jabs because of AWOL reminder letters and text alerts amid reports of people not turning up to get either the Pfizer/BioNTech jab because they were waiting ‘for the English one’.
MedConfidential told MailOnline it was ‘highly unlikely’ significant numbers of patients would turn down the life-saving jab on that basis. It said the more likely explanation was administrative errors that were ‘bound to happen’ as the NHS tries to carry out the biggest immunisation drive in British history.
But a top SAGE adviser claimed today that summers holidays could still be back on the cards this year if Britain’s sluggish coronaivrus vaccination drive can get up to speed. The expert, who wished to remain anonymous, backed Boris Johnson’s plans to vaccinate the 13million most vulnerable by mid-February and said Covid deaths and hospitlisations will be falling by Easter, paving the way for the most draconian curbs to be lifted.
But they cautioned Britain won’t be out of the woods until middle-aged and even younger people are immunised because ‘if you let infections rip through the younger population then you’ll get a rise in young people who end up in hospital, some of whom will be quite ill’.
So far the UK’s vaccination scheme has been plagued by supply and staffing shortages, logistical problems and bureaucratic barriers strangling its scale-up, meaning only 1.5million have received at least one dose so far. Boris Johnson yesterday announced he will bring in the Army to bolster the UK’s vaccination drive – with 1,500 medically trained officers on standby. NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens praised the UK for its ‘strong start’ but admitting there will be ‘difficulties’ and ‘bumps along the road’ as they scramble to hit the target.
In more positive news, the UK’s regulator today approved the Moderna Covid vaccine for use – adding a third vaccine to Britain’s arsenal although no doses are expected to arrive until the spring.
Patients are pictured queuing outside a vaccination centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, today as they wait for Covid jabs. The Government is aiming to offer an immunisation to all people in the elderly and vulnerable groups before the end of February
Pensioners pictured queuing outside a vaccination centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, today in a sign Boris Johnson may already be making good on his promise to ramp up the country’s roll out
Pensioners pictured queuing to receive their Covid-19 vaccine outside a centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, today
Britons queue for the Covid vaccine at a drive-through clinic in Greater Manchester today
A nurse dishes out a Covid vaccine to a Briton attending a drive-thru inoculation centre in Hyde, Greater Manchester
Pensioners turn up at a vaccination centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, to get the vaccine. The Government is aiming to roll it out to 13million Britons by mid-February
Nurses pictured checking on those waiting in the queue for the Covid jab in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
Arthur Clark, 99, an RAF veteran, says he is yet to receive his Covid vaccination despite the programme starting a month ago
Speaking to MailOnline from his home in Beckenham, south east London, the great grandfather of four said he had been trying to get an appointment since Christmas. Pictured, left, is Arthur with his family and, right, as an RAF serviceman
RACE TO REACH UK: 100,000 BRITS HAVE FIVE DAYS TO GET HOME OR FACE BEING BANNED WITHOUT NEGATIVE COVID TEST RESULT
Grant Shapps today revealed that the diktat forcing travellers to present a negative covid test before travelling to the UK will be imposed ‘next Wednesday or Thursday’ to give 100,000 Britons abroad the chance to get home if they need to.
The Transport Secretary has said nobody will be able to depart for Britain by plane, train or ferry unless they present a ‘recognised’ test result at check-in along with a valid passport and visa if required.
Mr Shapps said that airlines or other travel firms such as Eurostar or P&O would be forced by law to check – and turn back anyone without one. Anyone who slips through will face a £500 on-the-spot fine. It is not clear whether they will then forced into quarantine or prosecuted.
Travellers will have to self-isolate for ten days after arrival, regardless of whether they tested negative, to the ire of travel industry leaders who today declared the plan will further damage Britain’s travel industry with boss of Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye, warning: ‘Very few people will travel with this in place’.
Mr Shapps said the new rules will be imposed in five or six days time to avoid a scramble to get back from abroad.
‘The carriers, airlines, train operators or a ferry, would be required by law to check for a test result in the same way they check you have a passport or if you are going to the States you have a visa or a visa waiver,’ he told Sky News.
‘They will need to check whether you have a coronavirus test valid within the 72 hours before you fly. They are already having to check for a passenger locator form so we can contact them if it later transpires they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
‘For the time being at least these forms and tests are a reality of travel – but we hope that soon most people will be vaccinated so this is not something we will want to do permanently’.
It is expected to cause a scramble for return flights as around 100,000 Brits are currently away in hotspots such as Dubai and the Maldives.
Ministers agreed the strict measures last night amid growing pressure to tighten borders – but have not confirmed a start date, although it is expected to be next week. They will apply to Britons and foreign nationals in a bid to keep out infections and mutant strains such as the one in South Africa.
As Britain prepared to ramp up vaccinations:
- As many as 100,000 Britons abroad have five days to get home or face being banned without a negative Covid test;
- Drivers are turned away from England’s beauty spots while police question parents with pushchairs amid questions as to whether they are taking enforcement of England’s third lockdown too far;
- Welsh lockdown is extended for three more weeks with schools and colleges shut until February;
- Horror as ‘NHS’ fraudster injects 92-year-old woman with fake coronavirus and charges her £160;
- Care home workers with Covid are told to stay in work due to mounting staff shortages;
- Pfizer’s vaccine does work against the South African and UK strains of coronavirus, study finds;
- National Express suspends all coach services due to new lockdown and plummeting passenger numbers;
- Stanley Johnson boasts he is due to he is about to receive his second dose of the Covid vaccine – when many are still waiting for their first
- And a poll reveals more people are planning to take the Covid vaccine, up to 85 per cent from 78 per cent last month.
Mr Clark told MailOnline: ‘Every night on the TV and the radio the government are telling everyone what a great job they’re doing, but it doesn’t feel that way from where I’m sitting.’
Mr Clark, a former RAF airman, served in the Far East during World War Two and witnessed the liberation of Burma in 1945.
He also met Lord Louis Mountbatten, then Supreme Allied Commander in SE Asia, when the pair were introduced around the time of Burma’s liberation from the Japanese.
Mr Clark lives with his 89-year-old partner, Joyce Stewart, who likewise has heard nothing about an appointment for a jab.
He said he assumed he had ‘slipped through the cracks’ in the system, but MailOnline found he’s one of thousands of over 80s in his area alone still waiting for an appointment for their first injection.
The SE London Clinical Commissioning Group which is in charge of the roll-out programme said several thousand people are in the same situation and urged them to ‘wait for an appointment’.
Brian Clark, 73 and Mr Clark’s son, described the process of trying to book an appointment: ‘It took ages to get through as the number was engaged, but when I did, they referred me to a local vaccination hub at the Beacon urgent care centre.
‘They in turn suggested I ring a central vaccination booking line run by the NHS, but I waited on the phone for two hours without being answered.
‘It’s unbelievable that a man of 99 years old hasn’t yet been vaccinated – or even given an appointment time – a month after they started doing it.’
Mr Clark’s Labour MP Ellie Reeves said: ‘This just shows the shambolic truth behind the government’s empty promises about getting 2 million people a week vaccinated.’
‘When a 99-year-old constituent can’t even find out when he’s likely to receive his vaccination a month into the roll-out programme, it is very concerning. My poor constituent is stuck at home in a very vulnerable position waiting to hear when he’ll get his first vaccination, let alone the second dose.’
Nurse Sue Toye, 51, being vaccinated at Coventry Health Centre yesterday
A spokesperson for NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group said: ‘The NHS is making every effort to contact all individuals in the priority groups so they can receive their vaccine as quickly as possible, with hospitals and GPs using local booking systems and getting in touch with patients through a range of methods, including outpatient clinics, phone calls and letters.’
Housebound Rita Farmer, 89, has been asked to travel 16 miles to a vaccination centre – an hour and a half bus ride from her rural home in Norfolk.
Her daughter Sheenagh Farmer said this was out of the question. ‘She was expecting a nurse to come to her home for the vaccination, which they’ve always managed when it came to the flu jab,’ she said.
‘But when she called her local GP she was told she’d have to get to the hub in Poringland, near Norwich, which is 16 miles away and not at all easy to reach.’
Boris Johnson has brought in the Army to turbo charge the UK’s Covid vaccine roll out. He appeared yesterday with Brigadier Phil Prosser, right holding a medal, to announce the Army had been called in to help
TRANSPORT SECRETARY GRANT SHAPPS WARNS COVID VACCINES MIGHT NOT WORK ON SOUTH AFRICAN STRAIN… HOURS AFTER STUDY SAYS IT WILL WORK
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on ITV
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned today the current wave of vaccines might not protect against the South African strain of coronavirus.
Mr Shapps said introducing a mandatory test and release system for travellers coming into the UK had become ‘much more urgent’ because of the threat the variant poses to Britain’s mass vaccination programme.
But there was confusion about the timing of his comments, which came just hours after a study by Pfizer/BioNTech suggested their vaccine could be just as effective against a mutation in the super-transmissible strain.
Amid international fears about the South African strain, thought to be at least 60 per cent more infectious than regular Covid, the UK has made it compulsory for travellers to test negative when they arrive in the country.
Mr Shapps told Sky News: ‘This is an extra check and we’re doing this now because there are these variants that we’re very keen to keep out of the country, like the South African variant, for example.
‘There are the concerns about the South African one in particular about how effective the vaccine would be against it so we simply cannot take chances. So today because of that variant it has become much more urgent.’
The Pfizer study – which hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet – tested how well the vaccine worked on the key N501Y mutation, an alteration on the virus’s spike protein which is thought to be responsible for making it far more infectious than regular Covid.
And because current vaccines work by training the immune system to recognise the virus’s spike protein and attack it, there were fears this change could render jabs useless, or less effective.
Results showed that neutralising antibodies were made against the mutation, which is also found in the highly-infectious Kent variant that is spreading rapidly across the UK. But both strains contain a catalogue of mutations, and the researchers have yet to prove that the vaccine works against them all.
About a month ago, Rita received a call from her GP about the flu jab, telling her she’d have to get down to the surgery as soon as possible if she wanted one, so her next-door neighbour had to push her in a wheelchair about a mile.
‘There must be thousands of other people in the same position as my mum and I feel this is discrimination against the aged who can’t leave home,’ said Mrs Farmer, 64 a former nurse who lives in Sydney, New South Wales.
She added: ‘My mum has very bad arthritis and is physically immobile, but in other ways she’s very independent.
‘I organise her Tesco deliveries online from Australia and she has a home help who comes in once a week. My mum is a retired PA and worked for the Post Office for many years and when she and many others like her need an extra bit of help, it doesn’t seem too much to ask that she be given it.’
NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, which manages vaccine distribution in the area, was contacted for comment.
Phil Booth, from MedConfidential, highlighted elderly people are less likely to have smartphones or computers to receive digital alerts about their appointments.
The NHS is using its normal winter flu vaccination booking service to run the Covid immunisation programme, with individual GP practices responsible for contacting patients about their appointments.
It is not uncommon for flu jabs to be missed due to letters lost in the post or undelivered text messages. It may also be the case that a patient has changed their contact details or home address without notifying their local practice.
The NHS is also trying to juggle the mass Covid vaccination programme with its biggest ever flu jab scheme, with more than double the usual number of Brits being invited for an influenza vaccine this year.
Professor Parker, who is also an expert in population health at the University of Oxford, cautioned NHS workers should be mandated to get the jab.
He told a virtual Royal Society of Medicine briefing on vaccine hesitancy, reports The Telegraph: ‘There is a strong case for certainly saying healthcare workers working with vulnerable groups (should get the vaccine)… there is a strong case for compulsion.’
But he added the move would be ‘complicated’ because there is a ‘huge amount of stress on the NHS’.
‘The last thing we want is loads of people leaving because they don’t want a vaccination,’ he said. ‘Let’s be realistic.’
He also said it should be a disciplinary offence for doctors and nurses to try to put members of the public off the vaccine, and mentioned a situation where a nurse tried to encourage him not to get a jab.
The number of doctors and nurses off sick or self-isolating due to the coronavirus has quadrupled since September, leaked NHS England figures reveal. As many as 46,400 doctors and nurses are unable to attend shifts, reports The Independent, which is almost four times as high as the 12,382 reported on September 2.
It comes as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today approved Moderna’s Covid vaccine – although none of the 17million doses ordered will be available until March at the earliest.
It is the third vaccine to be given the green light in the UK, joining the jabs made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
UK APPROVES MODERNA’S COVID JAB – BUT WON’T GET ANY DOSES UNTIL MARCH
Britain today approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine – but won’t be able to get any of the 17million doses it has bought until March at the earliest.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.’ Business Secretary Alok Sharma described it as ‘another huge step towards ending lockdown’.
The EU – which approved the same vaccine two days ago – will get supplies of the jab from next week after health chiefs struck a deal with the US-firm to buy 180million doses last summer.
With Britain now scrambling to vaccinate millions of people each week, an extra jab could have been a blessing.
Boris Johnson last night revealed he was bringing in the Army to help speed up the UK’s sluggish scheme, in the hope of ending the endless cycle of lockdowns if the 13million most vulnerable Britons can all be vaccinated by mid-February.
But so far the inoculation drive – the biggest in British history – has been plagued by supply and staffing shortages, logistical problems and bureaucratic barriers strangling its scale-up, meaning only 1.5million have received at least one dose.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.
‘We have already vaccinated nearly 1.5million people across the UK and Moderna’s vaccine will allow us to accelerate our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring.
‘While we immunise those most at risk from Covid, I urge everyone to continue following the rules to keep cases low to protect our loved ones.’
Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, heralded the move as ‘excellent news’ and ‘a further crumb of comfort amid the huge levels of Covid-19 currently circulating around the UK’.
‘Matt Hancock confirmed yesterday that vaccine supply is a key rate-limiting factor in scaling up the roll out to meet demand,’ he said.
‘When these Moderna vaccines arrive, they will help to ease any bottlenecks or delays in the administration programme.’
Moderna’s jab is based on mRNA, like Pfizers, and was shown to be 90 per cent effective during trials. It is already being administered in the US, where it has raised no significant issues in terms of safety.
In yesterday’s Downing St press conference Brigadier Phil Prosser, the army officer and Iraq veteran put in charge of speeding up the UK’s sluggish vaccination programme, insisted the military would use ‘battlefield techniques’ to ramp up the roll-out, adding: ‘My team are used to complexity and building supply chains at speed in the most arduous and challenging conditions.’
Ministry of Defence chiefs were instructed to devise the plans to hit the PM’s lofty target of vaccinating all over-70s, care home residents and staff, frontline NHS workers and extremely vulnerable adults of all ages to end the endless cycle of lockdowns by mid-February.
The NHS operation, considered the biggest vaccination drive in British history, will involve more than 100 soldiers next week with almost 1,500 reserve troops on standby. And as many as seven mass vaccination centres are set to open in England to aide the roll-out, set up in locations including sports stadiums and London’s ExCeL centre.
So far the UK’s vaccination scheme has been plagued by supply and staffing shortages, logistical problems and bureaucratic barriers that have strangled its scale-up.
Hugely ambitious claims about the Government’s vaccination programme will cause worry from some corners after it failed to live up to promises on its swab-testing scheme.
Matt Hancock had promised the programme would hit 100,000 tests per day by the start of May – and claimed at the time that it did – but it later emerged the Department of Health had posted out tens of thousands and counted them, and that the number never breached six figures until three weeks later on May 21.
And Boris Johnson promised in the summer that NHS Test and Trace would scale up to get everyone who visited a major testing centre their results within 24 hours, but this target has never been achieved.
The number of doctors off due to the virus has quadrupled since September. Above are Covid-19 absences as a proportion of all absences registered at the NHS since the pandemic began
POLICE HUNT CONMAN WHO JABBED 92-YEAR-OLD WITH FAKE CORONAVIRUS VACCINE
The City of London Police asked for the public’s help in tracing the man (pictured)
Police are hunting a fraudster who injected a pensioner with a fake vaccine before demanding £160 for the useless jab.
A 92-year-old woman was jabbed in the arm with a ‘dart-like implement’ after a man claiming to be an NHS worker knocked on her door in South London, saying he was administering vaccines in the area.
The conman then asked for £160, which the victim paid as he said it would be reimbursed by the NHS, before leaving her home around 2pm on December 30.
Five days later he returned to the pensioner’s home in Surbiton, south London and demanded another £100.
It is not yet known what substance, if any, was injected, but the victim was later checked over at her local hospital and has suffered no ill effects following her ordeal, police said.
Yesterday the City of London Police’s asked for the public’s help in tracing the fraudster amid fears he may have duped other pensioners and vulnerable people.
Detective Inspector Kevin Ives from the City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit said: ‘This is a disgusting and totally unacceptable assault on a member of the public which won’t be tolerated.
‘We are appealing to anyone who may have information that could assist us in identifying this man to get in touch.
‘It is crucial we catch him as soon as possible as not only is he defrauding individuals of money, he may endanger people’s lives.’
The man is described as white with a London accent, in his early thirties, 5ft 9in tall, medium-build, with light brown hair that is combed back.
On his second visit to the victim’s address on Kingsmead Avenue, he was wearing a navy blue tracksuit with white stripes down the side.
An NHS spokesman said: ‘The Covid-19 vaccine will always be available free of charge.
‘The NHS will never ask you to share bank details to confirm your identity or pay for a vaccine.’
Missing the mark on vaccinating could have far worse consequences, with Britain stuck in lockdown until the most vulnerable people can all be immunised.
Mr Johnson’s mammoth jab pledge — which critics fear he won’t be able to deliver because it is over-ambitious — came after Britain yesterday recorded 1,162 Covid deaths in the second worst day of the pandemic. Department of Health data shows only April 21 had a worse death toll than today, when 1,224 victims were declared.
Experts fear the daily number of Covid deaths may rise further, because of the spiralling number of infections in the community. But in a slight glimmer of hope, cases dropped compared to last week as health bosses posted 52,618 infections — down 6 per cent from the same time last week.
The figures mark the tenth day in a row Britain has recorded more than 50,000 new infections, as the virus continues to spread across the country.
It takes at least two weeks for someone who has been infected with the virus to develop symptoms bad enough to become hospitalised, and eventually sadly die from the disease, meaning the deaths are expected to rise at a later date.
People in their 20s now have the highest rate of coronavirus infection in England, with 0.8 per cent of the population infected.
Public Health England figures show young adults – between the ages of 20 and 39 and, to a lesser extent, people in their 40s – are the worst affected groups but case numbers are surging in every age group.
In the week ending January 3 there were 843 positive tests per 100,000 people among 20 to 29-year-olds, compared to 813 per 100,000 in people in their 30s.
The figures rose 40 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively, with the 20s age group overtaking the 30s as the one with the highest rate.
The rate for people in their 40s was 738 per 100,000, the third worst and up a quarter in a week.
Some of the lowest rates of infection were in children, ranging from 194 in under-fives to 435 in teenagers, but they were still rising despite school holidays.
It comes amid fears police may be taking their Covid crackdown too far, as they move to enforce England’s third national lockdown.
Officers have been seen forcing their way into a family home for ‘having too many people inside’, as benches were taped off and visitors turned away from beauty spots.
Two policeman knocked on a door in Aberdeen after complaints from a neighbour and stormed in as a woman shouted ‘this is my house, get out of my house’ and children screamed in the background.
Two women, aged 18 and 48, and a 43-year-old man were charged in connection with assaulting police officers and threatening and abusive behaviour.
The footage immediately sparked controversy, with critics accusing the police of ‘oppressive’ behaviour for storming into a private house – while others argued they were just trying to enforce the Covid rules.
Meanwhile, police at Euston were seen stopping passengers to ask where they were going. Barrister Alex Wright tweeted: ‘Good to see lockdown being taken seriously, but a sad sight that I’d have dreamed of seeing in London.’
Snowdonia National Park has now closed all its car parks to visitors to ‘protect our communities and the NHS’, as officials slammed the public for ‘disregarding’ the law.
Priti Patel yesterday said it is ‘right’ for officers to confront Britons sat on park benches and argued that police should stop people and demand to know why they are outside their homes.
Police cars were patrolling the market square in Ely this morning to ensure people were obeying the rules. All the benches in the Market Square were also cordoned off with red tape to prevent residents sitting down.
Five police officers surround a man at Hammersmith Tube Station in west London yesterday as part of a crackdown on people shunning lockdown
One MailOnline reader sent a picture of these taped off benches in Ely, Cambridgeshire, claiming they are not allowed to be used because of the pandemic
MORE BRITONS ARE PLANNING TO TAKE THE COVID VACCINE, ONS POLL REVEALS
More Britons are planning to get the Covid-19 vaccine than ever before, a poll by the Office for National Statistics has revealed.
Almost eight in ten adults (85 per cent) said they would get the jab compared to 78 per cent last month.
‘There has been a gradual increase in the percentage of adults that reported they would be either very likely or fairly likely to have the Covid-19 vaccine if offered,’ the statisticians wrote.
They had surveyed 2,246 Britons for the survey after Christmas – between December 26 and January 3.
The Government is preparing to turbo charge the vaccines roll out to get the UK back to normal and end the cycle of lockdowns.
Boris Johnson has promised that 13million Britons – all over 70s, NHS workers, care home residents and the vulnerable – will get at least their first dose by mid-February.
It is hoped this will lead to restrictions first being lifted in March, as the vaccinations start to take effect.
The UK’s medicine regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today approved Moderna’s vaccine, adding another weapon against the virus to Britain’s arsenal.
But none of the 17million doses ordered will start arriving until March.
Footage taken in Aberdeen at 11.20pm on Wednesday before being shared online showed a police officer standing inside the hallway of a home as a woman was held back by another man.
She said: ‘My house. That is bullying. This is my house. Get out of my house. I did not ask you in here.’
A young boy can be seen in the video as the woman’s daughter said: ‘Just stop it mum’.
A police spokesman said: ‘We received a complaint from a member of the public regarding a breach of coronavirus regulations at a property in Aberdeen, around 11.20pm on Wednesday, 6 January, 2021.
‘Officers attended and two women (aged 18 and 48) and a 43-year-old man were charged in connection with assaulting police officers and threatening and abusive behaviour and will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.’
Police officers are legally allowed to enter Britons’ homes if ‘that person reasonably suspects that an offence under regulation 5(1) is taking place on the premises,’ according to legislation.
Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore decided to visit Foremark Reservoir on Wednesday afternoon to get some fresh air.
Ms Moore said she was ‘stunned’ by what had happened so did not challenge police and gave her details so they could send a fine.
The legislation does not specify a maximum distance that people are allowed to travel for exercise, and Derbyshire Police insists it is at the ‘discretion’ of the individual officer.
Just hours after Home Secretary Priti Patel threw her support behind the crackdown yesterday, it emerged that officers in Birmingham questioned a couple with pushchair to ask what business they had in town.
In Ely, Cambridgeshire, disturbing pictures highlighting the harsh reality of lockdown 3.0 showed town-centre seats taped off to stop people using them.
Snowdonia National Park took the decision to close its car parks yesterday after an ‘increase’ in the number of people disregarding Covid rules.
Officials said people could only take part in exercise that started and finished in their own home.
Nigel Harrison, Temporary North Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable said: ‘We understand that people want to go outside to enjoy the mountains and snow, however this is a national emergency and we will continue to work with our National Park colleagues to ensure that Welsh Government restrictions around essential travel are adhered to.’
The World Physiques Gym in Mansfield was raided by police on Monday, with one person at the venue fined £1,000 and another £200 for breaching Covid guidelines.
In Rochester, licencing officers forced the closure of the Hop and Rye pub after finding six people drinking on November 28 last year during the second lockdown.
STANLEY JOHNSON, 80, REVEALS HE IS DUE HIS SECOND COVID VACCINATION TODAY THREE WEEKS AFTER GETTING HIS FIRST… DESPITE SON BORIS JOHNSON TELLING THE REST OF THE UK TO WAIT 12 WEEKS FOR THEIR FOLLOW-UP JAB
Today he blamed his ‘prominent nose’ for a picture showing him without a mask covering his face while waiting for a train
Stanley Johnson has claimed he is having his second shot of the coronavirus vaccine today after receiving his first dose three weeks ago – despite his son Boris Johnson telling people to wait 12 weeks between jabs.
The 80-year-old father of the prime minister said he was ‘very much looking forward’ to getting his second and final jab today.
He said: ‘I had my first jab on December 18 and three weeks on is today and I’m very much looking forward to it. I don’t have to go far.’
To accelerate the rollout of the vaccine, the Government recently opted to extend the gap between the first and second jab to 12 weeks to allow it to be administered to a greater number of people.
Ministers have set a target of vaccinating the 14 million people in the top four priority groups – which includes the over-80s – by mid-February.
Care home residents, vulnerable people and frontline health workers are also first in line for jabs of the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines.
Revealing his second jab today on Good Morning Britain, Stanley queried if the vaccine would give him a ‘get out of jail free card’ to resume normal life – but this was quickly kiboshed by presenter Kate Garraway who said it would not.
Stanley said: ‘I’m very reassured by the fact that we have got a grip of the vaccination programme… and as someone said – “give us the tools and we will finish the jab!” I’m confident we’ll get there by Easter.’
He also defended his lockdown-busting behaviour by insisting that ‘sometimes the mask slips’ as he prepared to receive his second vaccine shot today.
During the pandemic he has often undermined his son, the Prime Minister, by not wearing a mask, travelling to his Greek holiday home and going against initial advice by declaring he would still visit the pub.
Today he blamed his ‘prominent nose’ for a picture showing him without a mask covering his face while waiting for a train.
Grilled about his antics on Good Morning Britain, he said: ‘Sometimes the mask slips, by accident, I have a very prominent nose and sometimes it’s not very easy to keep it all covered.’
Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper remains struck down with coronavirus, branded him ‘naughty’ and put it to Stanley that his bullish tone has at times been at odds with the Boris Johnson’s more somber messaging.
Stanley insisted he will now behave ‘perfectly properly’ as the 80-year-old revealed he was due to have his second vaccine administered today.