Live updates on Covid-19 in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.
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Last updated: Thursday, 28 January, 2021, 13:52
- Scotland’s R number has dropped below 1
- Boris Johnson to visit Scotland on Thursday
- PM talks up benefit of the Union in tackling Covid-19
- 82 further coronavirus deaths on Thursday
- 1,201 more cases recorded in Scotland
UK musicians ‘betrayed’ by ministers in Brexit trade deal, says peer
Touring musicians and road crews have been “betrayed” by the Government in the Brexit trade deal, the Lords has been told.
Liberal Democrat Lord Strasburger urged ministers to apologise for having “screwed up” negotiations and come back with nothing.
At question time, he urged the Government to go back to Brussels and sort out the failure to ensure visa-free travel for musicians.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister Baroness Barran denied the Government had “betrayed” the sector, saying support of £1.57 billion had been provided through the culture recovery fund.
Leading musicians have criticised the Government’s Brexit deal for not including visa-free travel for musicians, with UK ministers and the EU blaming each other for the failure to reach an agreement.
Liberal Democrat Alex-Cole Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh Western, says Edinburgh Airport is concerned about the need for unplanned redundancies
Boris Johnson met Army troops setting up a vaccination centre on his visit to Scotland. The Prime Minister bumped elbows to greet soldiers at the site in Castlemilk, Glasgow. He spoke to members of the military as he was shown around the centre.
Michael Gove has insisted that Boris Johnson’s trip to Scotland is “absolutely essential” despite criticism of the visit from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Boris Johnson in Scotland: Prime Minister arrives in Glasgow on visit to ‘save the Union’
Downing Street defends Boris Johnson’s decision to visit Scotland
Downing Street has defended Boris Johnson’s decision to visit Scotland after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon questioned whether it was an essential journey during the current state of lockdowns.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “It is a fundamental part of the Prime Minister’s job to go out and see businesses and communities and people.
“These are Covid-related visits. You’ve seen the Prime Minister do a number of them over the past few weeks.
“It is obviously important that he is continuing to meet and see those who are on the front line in terms of those who are providing tests, in terms of those who are working so hard to deliver the vaccination plan.”
Global Covid-19 vaccine passports ‘probably’ way to go, says Jason Leitch
Michael Gove vows ‘no interruption’ to UK vaccine supplies in EU row
Coronavirus in Scotland: 1,201 new cases and 82 more deaths recorded in the last 24 hours
Covid restrictions putting TV sector workers at risk of burnout, MSPs told
The physical and mental toll of coronavirus restrictions mean people working in film and television are at “great danger of burnout”, a leading writer has warned.
Filming work has now resumed after the initial Covid-19 lockdown, but Bill Armstrong, the Scottish chair of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, said the second lockdown has pushed many workers in the sector into “really quite desperate uncertainty”.
Mr Armstrong, who works on BBC daytime drama Doctors, said the Covid-19 crisis has for many writers “exposed more than anything else the precariousness of their livelihood”.
He said coronavirus restrictions “slow down production to about a third of its normal speed”, adding this then has a knock-on impact on commissions.
Speaking to MSPs on Holyrood’s Culture Committee, he said: “Most of our film and television writers record a loss of half to two-thirds of their income, that is from a very low base to begin with because it is a very precarious livelihood.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed anti-Semitism, says SNP MP
The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed anti-Semitism, an SNP MP has said.
During a Commons debate following International Holocaust Memorial Day, Dr Lisa Cameron (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow) said: “A recent briefing by the Antisemitism Policy Trust found that throughout history Jewish people have been blamed for diseases and pandemic.
“Indeed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, these age-old tropes have re-emerged in updated forms on our social media channels and popular anti-Semitic online forums.”
Labour MP Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside) said anti-Semitism can be “found at a disturbing level” online.
Mr Tami told the Commons: “In the 1920s and 1930s that hate and anti-Semitism was whipped up at rallies and pamphlets were published and transformed Germany from an advanced liberal democracy to a vicious dictatorship.
“Today those poison and lies have not gone away. We rarely see the mass rallies and events but the battle has moved online where hate speech and Holocaust denial can be found at a disturbing level.”
Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Progress made progress in suppressing the virus’
Nicola Sturgeon has said that Scotland’s R number has dropped below 1 as the country has made “progress in suppressing the virus”.
Speaking ahead of First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: “That is not unexpected given the declining cases that we have seen recently but it is very welcome and it provides further evidence that the lockdown restrictions are working.
“That said, case numbers remain very high and our NHS remains under severe pressure.
“The number of people in hospital with Covid-19, for example, is still approximately 30% higher than at the peak last spring, although we are starting to see a welcome stabilisation in those figures.”
82 further coronavirus deaths on Thursday
Scotland has recorded 82 deaths of coronavirus patients and 1,021 new cases in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 5,970.
Speaking at the Scottish Government coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said the daily test positivity rate is 5.6%, down from 6.2% on Wednesday, when 1,330 new cases were recorded.
There are 1,938 people in hospital confirmed to have Covid-19, down 33 in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 142 are in intensive care, a fall of three in the same period.
Covid vaccine passport system likely, says Leitch
A coronavirus vaccine passport system is likely to be introduced in future, Scotland’s national clinical director has said, though he urged caution around the level of protection jabs offer.
Professor Jason Leitch said vaccine passports are an “interesting concept”, after former prime minister Tony Blair called for the UK to use its G7 leadership to introduce such a scheme globally.
In evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Covid-19 Committee on Thursday, Prof Leitch also said coronavirus is likely to be present in some sort of “endemic” form for years to come.
Asked about Mr Blair’s proposal for a global system to verify vaccinated individuals, Prof Leitch said: “I agree it is an interesting concept, the WHO (World Health Organisation) have begun to look at it.”