The Front Page: Vaccine passport could unlock holidays abroad; plus new cladding budget ‘not enough’
The Transport Secretary says a Covid vaccination certificate that could unlock holidays abroad is on the way.
Grant Shapps says talks are underway with governments and the United Nations aviation body about an international system to help people who have had the Covid-19 jab to fly.
But the Cabinet minister warns it’s “too soon” to book summer holidays yet — and he even suggests that staycations in the UK could be in doubt.
He told Sky News: “The truth is we just don’t know how the virus will respond to the vaccines”
A vaccines expert says “it’s all pointing in the right direction” as early data suggests that
first doses of both the Pfizer and Oxford jabs give a good level of protection.
Professor Adam Finn, from Bristol University and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, also says that the Pfizer jab appears to give some protection for the very elderly and frail.
Leaked data suggests the first Pfizer dose reportedly cuts the symptomatic infection risk by 64 per cent in over-80s and by 65 per cent in younger adults. After a second dose, the protection level was said to rise to between 79 and 84 per cent in all ages.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is reported to offer similar levels of protection.
Researchers say a “cautious” reopening of schools from March 8 can be done without sparking another wave of Covid-19.
The findings raise hope that Boris Johnson will be able to proceed with an easing of the lockdown from next month.
The Prime Minister is due to set out his roadmap on February 22, with the reopening of schools said to be a priority.
Experts from University College London, Oxford university and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say there is “tentative evidence” that it will be safe to start reopening schools, with the best option being to start with primary schools and secondary pupils in exam years.
A multi-billion pound fund to strip unsafe cladding from buildings was unveiled as the Standard revealed the scale of misery inflicted by the scandal.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced up to £3.5 billion worth of grants to strip cladding, nearly four years after the Grenfell Tower fire exposed the crisis.
The scandal left hundreds of thousands of leaseholders across the country facing huge bills to remove dangerous cladding from their homes — unable to sell or mortgage.
Stephen Manderson, also known as Professor Green, has joined the Evening Standard’s chief restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa for the lockdown sessions.
In the latest episode of our weekly video series, Professor Green talks about mental health, being social media aware and why he’s switched off from the news.
They also discuss the relentlessness of continued lockdowns with still no clear end in sight, adding he now has a weird relationship with his own house as work and personal life combine.
To watch the full interview in video, head to the Evening Standard’s YouTube channel.
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