Live updates on Covid-19 in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.
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Last updated: Wednesday, 06 January, 2021, 07:17
- Scottish health board just 12 patients away from breaching Covid-19 capacity
- 2,529 new coronavirus cases reported on Tuesday
- 11 additional Covid deaths registered in past 24 hours
- Phased return of schools possible, First Minister says
Scottish Borders and Greater Glasgow at the epicentre of Covid-19 spread
Scottish health board just 12 patients away from breaching Covid-19 capacity
Half of people hope to return to the concert hall by spring – survey
One in two people said they hope to return to the concert hall before the spring, according to a survey from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO).
But 48% felt it would be at least six months to a year before they would feel comfortable going to a concert again.
Only 10% of those aged over 55 – a key demographic for orchestral music – said they would feel comfortable being back in an audience immediately, while 29% felt the wait would likely be up to 12 months.
Figures from the RPO’s report, titled “Focusing on what can be done – in a year when it mattered most”, indicate the beneficial role orchestral music played during lockdown in 2020 and suggest mixed feelings among audiences about returning to the concert hall.
The research was conducted by Maru Blue over a nine-month period – before the pandemic, during the first lockdown, in the summer and then in November.
Grammys postponed due to coronavirus surge in Los Angeles
The Grammys has been delayed as a result of the surge in Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles, it has been announced.
The so-called biggest night in music had been due to take place on January 31, but has a new date of March 14, the Recording Academy said.
The Academy, the body which oversees the Grammys, said the raging pandemic in Southern California meant a postponement was “the right thing to do”.
In a joint statement, the Recording Academy and CBS said: “After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards to be broadcast Sunday, March 14, 2021.
“The deteriorating Covid situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of those in our music community and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly on producing the show.”
Business leaders say vaccine rollout is ‘our path out’ of high unemployment
Business leaders have said they will be putting pressure on the Government to deliver vaccine promises in order to limit the economic damage of the latest national lockdowns.
The Prime Minister has laid out plans to vaccinate 13 million of the most vulnerable people by mid-February, which he said could enable restrictions to be progressively eased from next month.
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said there are “lots of reasons to worry about where we are right now”, but the vaccine programme is among the strongest “reasons for optimism” that unemployment levels could ease later this year.
He said: “Unemployment at 7% is a big problem.
“But we can see the finish line now. It’s why the vaccination programme has to be our number one priority, that’s our path out.
“I think a lot of pressure from the business community will actually focus on the Government delivering its vaccine promises over the next few weeks.”
MPs to vote on national lockdown restrictions as coronavirus cases spiral
MPs will return to Westminster to vote on regulations enforcing England’s national lockdown as the stringent restrictions entered into force overnight amid spiralling coronavirus cases.
The Commons has been recalled from its Christmas recess for the second time, to debate and retrospectively vote on the measures announced by the Prime Minister on Monday.
Boris Johnson will update MPs on the new controls – which include the closure of schools to most pupils and a return to the stay at home order – before a vote due in the evening.
The measures are expected to pass with ease, with Labour set to support the motion.
It comes as the World Health Organisation said it would not recommend witholding the second dose of the vaccine for up to 12 weeks, insteading suggesting the interval should be between three and four weeks.
Phased return of schools possible, First Minister says
Some school pupils could return to schools earlier than others, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
On Monday, the First Minister announced Scotland would go into lockdown for the rest of the month, forcing most school pupils to undertake online learning until then.
However, when asked about the potential for some pupils to return earlier than their peers, perhaps by age or local authority area, the First Minister was open to the idea, but cautioned that was not a “definite statement of intent”.
She said: “Getting schools open, as opposed to them being essentially closed as they are right now, is not necessarily going to be binary.
“That should not be taken as a definite statement of intent, but we will consider if we can get primary schools back even if we don’t think it’s possible to get secondary schools back.
“Can we get some schools back?
“That would apply to the regional approach as well, if we do think we could get schools in part of the country back but not others – we don’t want the areas where they could be back held back by the areas where it’s not safe.”