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UK Covid: 96 further coronavirus deaths recorded, highest daily total since March – as it happened | Politics





Ombudsman’s report into Waspi women brings prospect of compensation closer


Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson tests positive for coronavirus

Joanne Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, has tested positive for Covid, the Liverpool Echo reports.

A council statement said that the mayor has contracted the virus even though she was following social distancing guidelines, wearing a face covering, and had received both doses of the Covid vaccination.

In her own statement, Anderson said:

I’m feeling tired at the moment, but I’m relieved that I made sure that I was fully vaccinated as soon as possible or the symptoms could have been much worse.

On Twitter she added that she was glad to have had both jabs.

Joanne Anderson

Feeling very lucky to have had both jabs.

I urge everyone to keep being sensible and to get the vaccine as soon as you can so we can keep each other safe.

Vaccine drop-ins:

July 20, 2021



Johnson renews call for EU to show ‘pragmatism’ over Northern Ireland protocol



UK records 96 further coronavirus deaths – highest daily total for almost four months







Nicola Sturgeon has obliquely chided her deputy, John Swinney, for tweeting a graphic wrongly stating that face coverings could cut Covid transmission by 100%, but she said he was trying to illustrate a valid point that masks were protective.

Swinney came under heavy criticism on Monday after tweeting an unsourced and contested graphic that said if two people wearing face masks are 2 metres apart, that cuts virus transmission to zero. He has resisted calls from the Scottish Conservatives and others to take the tweet down.

John Swinney

As we move to Level 0 in Scotland – marking good progress on our careful process of relaxing restrictions – this is a helpful graphic showing why we must use face coverings and keep our distance. #staysafe

July 19, 2021

Sturgeon, questioned during her press briefing, said Swinney’s tweet “was intended to illustrate what is absolutely the case, that wearing face masks protects people from transmission of the virus”. She went on:

[And] I think the more we can illustrate that point the better. What I would say in addition to that is we recognise that in seeking to illustrate that, we should take care to use properly verified graphics and we will certainly take that on board in terms when we tweet that information in future.

Nicola Steadman, Scotland’s deputy chief medical officer, said during the briefing the evidence on this was “incredibly complex”. It partly depended on the type of mask people were wearing, implying general use face masks were not sufficient. She said tests of this hypothesis were done in laboratories, not in the real world.

A similar graphic, widely-circulated on social media in different parts of the world, was factchecked last year by the news agency Reuters. It said its claims were unsubstantiated and “partly false”.

Reuters said the US Centers for Disease Control had found no evidence to substantiate the data repeated in Swinney’s graphic.



Main Northern Ireland parties unite to condemn Troubles amnesty plan at Stormont emergency sitting



Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she is considering vaccine passports but warned that imposing them on specific places or activities presented ethical and civil liberty risks.

The first minister said during a media briefing on the Covid pandemic the potential benefits vaccine certificates could offer businesses had to be weighed “very carefully” against the risks they could be discriminatory or damage public support for voluntary vaccinations.

Boris Johnson has said the UK government is considering requiring vaccine passports for businesses such as nightclubs, to suppress transmission, but Sturgeon pointed out that under Scotland’s still tougher Covid rules, nightclubs were still closed north of the border. That was because they posed risks of wider transmission of the virus. She went on:

We haven’t taken a decision on whether or not to require vaccine passports in any particular setting. It’s something we’re considering over the next period.

I have said many times before that while there are arguments for requiring vaccination to enter certain places, it raises sensitive ethical and equity considerations, not least because there are some people who can’t be vaccinated because of health conditions.

Nicola Steadman, Scotland’s deputy chief medical officer, implied this morning there was little prospect of Scotland doing so. “We don’t believe in using coercion to encourage people to be vaccinated,” she told BBC Radio Scotland.

But despite confirming that approximately 500,000 adults in Scotland have not yet been vaccinated, including 30% of those aged 18 to 29, Sturgeon said that no new or special measures were being considered to drive up vaccination rates.

The latest data showed too that 20% of 30- to 39-year-olds in Scotland had also not yet had their first jab. Scotland recorded one of its lowest daily vaccination rates on Monday, with only 2,483 people getting their first jab.

Sturgeon said: “We will do everything we can to encourage people who haven’t been vaccinated to get vaccinated.”

That encouragement would rely on the current measures, she said, such as walk-in and mobile vaccination clinics; she said there were no plans to deploy more “ambassadors” to promote vaccination amongst younger adults.






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