Coronavirus: UK to vaccine all over-50s by March-end, London to receive more jabs, government bans t

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The current ramp-up of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the UK may see all over-50s receive the first dose by the end of March.

The government is gearing up to more than double the rollout to half a million inoculations every day.

According to The Times, Whitehall is increasingly confident all 32mln people aged 50 and over will be covered by mid to late March.

“We have the supply coming in,” a source told the paper. “Once we get to the over-60s things will speed up dramatically and distribute at scale through pharmacies.”

Meanwhile, Scotland looks to administer 3.8mln jabs next week alone, while the whole of the UK has reached 3mln so far.

The current daily rate is 248,000 vaccinations.

London to receive more jabs

Following the publication of regional figures, it emerged that nearly half of over-80s in the North East & Yorkshire had received one dose, compared to 30% in London.

The capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan initially said he was “hugely concerned” that Londoners were given only a tenth of all jabs.

He then met with vaccines deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi on Thursday night to discuss the situation, where it is understood the government set out to solve the issue.

“Over the next two weeks the Department of Health is promising a very significant escalation and uptick,” the Evening Standard was told.

The news that the Government has listened and will be scaling up the vaccine supply and rollout across London is welcome.

The situation in London remains critical. If one of your family members is offered the vaccine, please encourage them to take it. https://t.co/VztSQF4vl2

— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 15, 2021

It has been calculated that one in 44 Londoners currently has COVID-19, which is the highest infection rate in the country.

Ban on travellers over Brazilian strain

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced ban arrivals from Portugal and 15 countries in South America after a new strain of the virus emerged in Brazil.

Portugal was blacklisted due to its strong travel links with the South American country, though there is an exemption for hauliers to allow transport of essential goods.

This measure does not apply to British and Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residence rights though they must self-isolate for ten days on arrival.

Aruba, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, Chile, Qatar, Madeira and the Azores were also removed from the travel corridor list, meaning inbound travellers must also quarantine for ten days.

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