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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Monday evening UK news briefing: Medical officers approve vaccines for teenagers

It comes as Downing Street admitted Boris Johnson’s Covid winter plan will not rule out future lockdowns as a “last resort”. 

The Prime Minister is expected to set out his roadmap for the next few months to Parliament and the public tomorrow, with some restrictions being put on the back-burner. 

But although Mr Johnson is said to be “dead set” against another lockdown, the power to impose one will be retained. 

Here is what we expect to learn from the Covid winter plan. 

Matthew Lesh sets out the steps ministers should take to dodge “entirely avoidable” lockdowns.

Vaccine death figures

All this comes after new figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that only 59 fully vaccinated people without serious health conditions died from Covid-19 out of more than 50,000 deaths in England this year. 

In the first study of deaths by vaccination status, the ONS found that around 99 per cent of Covid-19 deaths between January 2 and July 2 2021 were in people who had not had two doses. 

Science Editor Sarah Knapton explains why it calls into question the need for a booster programme. 

Meanwhile, the French pharmaceutical company Valneva has said its contract to supply coronavirus vaccines to Britain had been terminated by the Government. Read on for details.

‘Breach of human rights’

The Government’s Covid winter plan is expected to remove the traffic light system for overseas travel, although quarantine hotels are likely to remain a feature for countries deemed a risk. 

A law firm representing travellers affected by the UK’s quarantine hotel policy says it has issued court proceedings against the Government, and slammed the current system as an “unlawful deprivation of liberty”. 

Read why London-based PGMBM thinks the scheme is a “fundamental breach of people’s human rights”. 

Annabel Fenwick Elliott sets out her reasons for why they are useless, morally corrupt and must be scrapped. 

Nevertheless, John Arlidge whispers that travel as we once knew it seems to be back. 

Here are the countries that could leave the red list after this week’s review.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: German votes no laughing matter

The sleepy market town of Erftstadt may become the place where the election to choose Angela Merkel’s successor as German chancellor was decided. It was here that Armin Laschet, the candidate for Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrat party (CDU) and her annointed heir, was filmed laughing during an event to honour victims of the devastating floods that killed 184 people in Germany this summer. With two weeks left until Germany votes, the CDU are on just 20pc in the polls. Read how the gaffe is affecting the campaign in the flood-affected town and the country.

Friday interview

‘When friends realise you’re using material on them, it’s awful’

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