good morning. As my colleague Jessica Murray Reports, Margaret Keenan, 90, became the world’s first non-clinical patient to receive a Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine as the UK vaccination program began springing up.
It is an appropriate historical moment, and a “turning point in this epidemic,” as well Professor Stephen BoyceSaid the National Medical Director for NHS England for Today. It is to explain:
This is the way out of it, the beginning of the end. It won’t happen tomorrow, and it won’t happen next week or next month.
We still need social distancing, we need to follow all of those established restrictions. But in 2021, the vaccination programs will mean we can return to normal life.
But the ministers were careful to stress that this does not mean that people can waive the restrictions now. And in a separate interview, Matt HancockWhen the government reviews category restrictions in England next week, the health secretary said, some regions may find themselves moving to a tighter level. When asked if the restrictions could get tougher next week, Hancock replied:
Well, that’s right. What I would like to say is that this is a very important moment in the path out of this epidemic, but we still have a long way to go this winter.
And people need to continue to respect the rules and try to live in a way that, if you have the virus, it is infecting as few people as possible.
And we’re seeing an increasing number of cases, in parts of Essex, parts of Kent and parts of London in particular, and we have to keep this under control.
Here is today’s agenda.
9.30am: Boris Johnson presides over the cabinet.
9.30am: The Office for National Statistics publishes the latest weekly death figures for England and Wales.
12 PM: Downing Street is expected to hold its daily briefing in the foyer.
12 PM: The Ministry of Education publishes the most recent student attendance figures.
12.30pm: Matt Hancock, the health secretary, answers an urgent question to the House of Commons about the vaccine release.
After 2 pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, made a statement to the Scottish Parliament updating the coronavirus restrictions in Scotland.
After 2 pm: Representatives begin discussing decisions related to the draft tax law (post-transitional period).
2.15 pm: Robert Buckland, Attorney General, presents evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee on the Constitution and the Committee on Democracy and Government Rights.
2.30pm: George Eustis, Environment Minister, presents evidence to the House of Commons’ Environment Committee.
Politics Live is now doubling as a coronavirus live blog in the UK, and given the way the Covid crisis is overwhelming everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we’ll also cover non-Covid political stories, like BrixiAnd when it appears more important or more interesting, it takes precedence.
This is our global live blog for Coronavirus.
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