Brief. Me Better Faster September 16, 2021 7:46 pm



Covid-19: Shielding coming to an end for millions

BBC News says today is the last day that about four million of the most clinically vulnerable people in England and Wales are advised to shield at home.

They are still being advised to keep social contacts at low levels, work from home where possible and stay at a distance from other people.

The change comes amid falling Covid cases and hospital admissions.

Read on

Booze ban and police warnings for sun worshippers as the UK temperature hits 24.5C

Sky News says the UK’s highest March temperature in 53 years has been recorded – and with it came warnings from the police about sticking to COVID rules.

The record was broken in Kew Gardens, London, on Tuesday afternoon where it reached 24.5C (76.1F), according to the Met Office.

It is the highest March temperature since 1968, when the heat reached 25.6C (78F) in Mepal, Cambridgeshire.

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UK and US criticise WHO’s Covid report and accuse China of withholding data

The Guardian says The US and the UK have sharply criticised a World Health Organization report into the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan, implicitly accusing China of “withholding access to complete, original data and samples”.

The statement, also signed by 12 other countries including Australia and Canada, came hard on the heels of admission on Tuesday by the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, that the investigation was “not extensive enough” and experts had struggled to access raw information during their four-week visit to Wuhan in January.

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UN raises $6.4 billion for Syrians, falls short of $10 billion aid goal

France24 says the EU, the U.S. and dozens of other nations pledged $6.4 billion in aid Tuesday to help tackle war-ravaged Syria’s deepening humanitarian and economic crises and assist neighbouring countries hosting refugees, coming up short of the $10 billion the U.N. had hoped for. 

The promise of aid came on the final day of an annual conference co-hosted by the United Nations and the EU amid a worsening coronavirus pandemic. The conflict in Syria has entered its 11th year with no political solution in sight.

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Turkey reimposes restrictions after sharp rise in infections

Arab News says Turkey is re-introducing weekend lockdowns in most provinces and will impose restrictions over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan following a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

Infections in Turkey have soared less than a month after authorities divided the 81 provinces into four colour-coded categories and relaxed restrictions in some provinces under a “controlled normalization” effort.

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French air attack in Mali killed 19 unarmed civilians, UN says

Aljazeera says a French air attack in January killed at least 19 civilians at a wedding party in central Mali, United Nations investigators have said, confirming locals’ accounts and contradicting France’s version that only rebel fighters were hit.

The human rights division of the United Nations mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said on Tuesday it had visited the village of Bounti where the attack took place on January 3, analysed satellite images and interviewed more than 400 people, including at least 115 in face-to-face, individual sessions.

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Emotional witness regrets not doing more to save Floyd as trial continues

TRT World says the teenager who took the viral video of George Floyd’s death has told the trial of the white police officer charged with killing the 46-year-old Black man that she regrets not being able to save his life.

Darnella Frazier, 18, was among the witnesses who provided emotional testimony on Tuesday at the high-profile trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

“It’s been nights I stayed up apologising and apologising to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” she said.

Read on


Live Updates

  • Covid-19: Shielding coming to an end for millions
  • UK weather: Booze ban and police warnings for sun worshippers as the UK temperature hits 24.5C
  • UK and US criticise WHO’s Covid report and accuse China of withholding data
  • UN raises $6.4 billion for Syrians, falls short of $10 billion aid goal
  • COVID-19: Over-65s lead return to supermarket aisles as online surge pauses
News Briefing


Most of Wednesday’s front pages lead with the UK’s heatwave and the government review on racism. 

The Times, along with several other papers, leads with a “landmark” government review on racism. It says Britain is a “model” on race, with many children from ethnic communities outperforming their white peers. The commission formed in the wake of BLM protests said inequalities had narrowed in education and employment – but Britain was not a “post-racial” society and disparities persist. 

Read on


The Daily Mail comments the review found no evidence the UK is institutionally racists, in what the paper calls a “rejection of the common view of activists. The Commission chairman says the UK had progressed into a “successful multi-ethnic and multicultural community” which was a “beacon to the rest of Europe and the world.”  

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The Daily Mirror, along with other papers, focus on the unseasonal heat experienced across the country, with the paper warning not to break COVID rules. On Tuesday, temperatures soared to 24C (75F), beaches and parks across the country were packed, the paper adds, on what was the hottest March day for 53 years. 

Read on


The i’s front splash says Britain does not have enough capacity to manufacture vaccines, despite this week’s deal to produce tens of millions of Novavax doses in north-east England.  The co-creator of the AstraZeneca jab tells the paper the UK lacks industrial partners – describing the situation as “terrible.”

Read on

News Briefing



A spat over Covid vaccine doses has erupted between the European Union and the UK threatens to have far reaching implications over coronavirus jab disruption.

Brussels demanded access to AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in UK plants to make up for a shortfall after the pharmaceutical giant said it would have to cut the amount of doses delivered to the bloc by the end of March.

What do we know about the dispute? And what potential implications could the rumbling dispute have on future Covid vaccine rollouts? – (ITV)

Recent and upcoming changes

Restrictions are easing across the UK.

In England

Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown has begun. Shielding ends on 31 March.

In Scotland

People will be asked to ‘Stay Local’ from 2 April. A timetable for further lockdown easing from 5 April is on GOV.SCOT.

In Wales

The stay at home restriction was lifted on 13 March. Read about the rules on GOV.WALES.

In Northern Ireland

The next review will happen on or before 15 April. You can read the guidance on current restrictions on nidirect.

latest Covid-19 news

For the latest Covid-19 news visit the UK governement website 

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