ENGLAND'S mass Covid vaccination regime got underway yesterday as centres opened up and down the country. Here's everything you need to know from the past 24-hours.

  • There were 1,586 new cases of coronavirus recorded in the North-East and North Yorkshire region yesterday. The Government said a further 529 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 81,960. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 97,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK. The Government also said as of Monday the total number of lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK is now 3,118,518. The total number of cases recorded in the North East and North Yorkshire since the start of the pandemic is 171,513.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the number of people in the UK to have been given a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is nearly 2.3 million, according to Government figures.
  • Seven mass vaccination centres opened in England on Monday amid efforts to ramp up immunisation. Boris Johnson has warned that tougher lockdown measures may be needed as he announced that around 2.4 million vaccines for Covid-19 have now been put in people’s arms. The Prime Minister stressed “now is the moment for maximum vigilance” amid increasing calls for tougher lockdown restrictions as case rates soar in several parts of the country. During a visit to a vaccine centre in Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol, the Prime Minister said: “We’re going to keep the rules under constant review. Where we have to tighten them, we will."
  • Boris Johnson has urged the public to respect coronavirus regulations when out grocery shopping and buying takeaway coffee, amid “deep” concerns from food retail workers over their safety. Shopworkers’ union Usdaw said that it had been “inundated” with complaints from its members – who are classed as key workers – and called for supermarkets to revert to more stringent in-store measures. Retail bosses have also suggested that further police support is needed to help enforce measures, which they say are leading to an increase in abuse towards staff.
  • Customers who do not wear face masks will not be allowed to shop in Morrisons unless they are exempt, the supermarket giant has announced. Morrisons says it is strengthening its policy on masks, meaning anyone entering a store without a mask will need to to have a medical exemption. The move comes as pressure mounts for supermarkets to revert to more stringent in-store measures due to staff safety concerns.
  • Rishi Sunak has warned the UK economy will “get worse before it gets better” given the latest lockdown. The Chancellor also cautioned the “road ahead will be tough” for the UK in its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, as he updated MPs in the House of Commons. He added he will “bear in mind” Tory calls to extend business rate relief and provide further support for the hospitality sector at the Budget in March.
  • Nearly 1,030 people are currently being treated for Covid in hospitals across the North East and North Yorkshire, with almost 90 on ventilators. Every NHS Trust across the region reported patients on ventilators, ranging from four to 21, while one trust is currently caring for 231 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus. South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is treating 231 Covid patients in hospital, while nine are on ventilators.
  • A council leader has come under fire after issuing a 'stay local' warning to constituents, while on holiday thousands of miles away in the Maldives. Angie Dale, leader of Richmondshire District Council, was quoted in a press release sent out on Friday urging people to 'heed the stay local message' amid surging Covid cases in the area. But it has now emerged at the time Mrs Dale and her family were enjoying the crystal waters of the Indian ocean from a beach on the Maldivian island of Kudahuvadhoo.