HERE is all of the latest Covid news:

  • There have been more than 2,500 coronavirus confirmed cases in the North-East and North Yorkshire in the last 24-hours. Nationally, there have been a further 47,525 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,211,576. A further 1,564 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday – the highest number of UK deaths reported on a single day since the outbreak began. The previous highest daily toll was on Friday, when 1,325 were reported to have died.
  • The Government has “no intention” of closing nurseries, the Education Secretary said, as he described how many families rely on early years services. Gavin Williamson defended his decision amid concerns over the high infection rates of the more transmissible Covid-19 variant.
  • A police chief has called for front-line officers to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Richard Lewis, Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, said officers should be a priority so they can work in the community safely.
  • Asda will become the first UK supermarket to offer in-store Covid-19 vaccinations, starting this month. The supermarket giant was selected by NHS England to issue vaccinations from an in-store pharmacy from 25 January – with a Birmingham branch selected to be the first. The supermarket giant is currently looking at other sites across the UK where vaccinations can be administered by pharmacy staff with the help of NHS England and the government as they help with the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine programme.
  • Most North-East students will not pay rent for the time they are not in university accommodation due to the latest Covid lockdown, Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Sunderland have announced, while Teesside has offered a discount. The third, England-wide lockdown could last until at late as March, with restrictions likely in place much longer as vaccinations are rolled out to the most vulnerable ahead of the general population. 
  • Police in North Yorkshire have issued more than 100 fines to Covid rule-breakers since the new national lockdown began on January 6. Officers have issued a total of 107 Covid fixed penalty notices, with almost half, 49, being issued in Scarborough followed by 22 in York. According to the police figures, just four have been issued in Hambleton and none in Richmond. Police say 50 have been issued to North Yorkshire locals, with the remainder being visitors to the county.
  • Police and council wardens should be taking the addresses of visitors to Saltburn during the latest national lockdown, a local councillor has said. Cllr Philip Thomson – who has previously been vocal about visitors to the seaside town not adhering to covid-19 guidelines – said there were hundreds of visitors to Saltburn last weekend despite poor weather and the advice to stay local for exercise.