Former Australian PM Julia Gillard receives Covid vaccine
Auckland emerges from week of lockdown
‘Be brave and get vaccinated’ – Dalai Lama
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, emerged on Sunday from a strict weeklong lockdown imposed after a community cluster of the more contagious UK coronavirus variant.
- The reopening of England’s schools to all pupils on Monday will mark the first step back towards normality, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. A
further 158 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK as of Saturday, bringing the total to 124,419.
- France reported 23,306 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Saturday, down from 23,507 on Friday. The French health ministry reported 170 new deaths, taking the total to 88,444.
- Italy has reported 307 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 297 the day before, the health ministry said. The daily tally of new infections fell to 23,641 from 24,036 the day before.
- The US Senate has passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan. The all-night session saw Democrats battling among themselves over jobless aid and the Republican minority failing in attempts to push through some three dozen amendments.
- Ireland reached the milestone of half a million coronavirus jabs administered. The taoiseach, Micheál Martin, hailed progress made fighting the pandemic. He said he was inspired by recent visits to vaccination centres where thousands of frontline healthcare workers are receiving the vaccine doses.
- The Dalia Lama had a Covid-19 vaccine administered. The Tibetan spiritual leader said: “In order to prevent some serious problems, this injection is very, very helpful.”
- Hundreds of thousands of people in northern France went back into lockdown. The residents of Pas-de-Calais on the north coast joined those in the region’s port of Dunkirk – and the Mediterranean resort of Nice – already shut down on Saturdays and Sundays.