HERE'S everything you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic from the past 24-hours:

  • The Government is looking at how coronavirus testing of pupils could help the return to school amid reports that parents may become responsible for tests, a health minister has confirmed. Helen Whately said there is “work in progress” after being questioned about reports that parents could be asked to test their children at home twice a week.
  • Another vaccination centre in the North-East is set to open in County Durham - with the first to be vaccinated at the site on Monday. The region's third 'Large Vaccination Centre' will officially open at Northumbrian Water's Boldon House at the Arnison Centre in Durham. It follows on from figures this week which revealed more than 500,000 people in the first four priority groups have had their first dose in the North-East.
  • A breakdown of cases in the North East and North Yorkshire is as follows: County Durham: 35,080, was 34,987; Darlington: 6,687, was 6,658; Gateshead: 12,862, was 12,831; Hartlepool: 8,133, was 8,113; Middlesbrough: 11,437, was 11,382; Newcastle: 21,950, was 21,904; North Tyneside: 11,304, was 11,267; North Yorkshire: 27,458, was 27,379; Redcar and Cleveland: 8,661, was 8,627; South Tyneside: 10,560, was 10,524; Stockton: 14,314, was 14,257; Sunderland: 20,387, was 20,314; York: 11,641, was 11,622. The total increase in cases is 609.
  • More surge testing is being introduced in England after a further discovery of the South African variant of Covid-19. The mutation has been found in Leeds, prompting the Department of Health (DH) to announce additional testing and genomic sequencing in a bid to detect cases and control the spread. It is the latest area of the country to have targeted testing set up.
  • The Prince of Wales has said it is a “tragedy” everyone is not benefitting from the Covid vaccine. He made the comment during an online conference aimed at encouraging take-up among minority communities. Charles praised the “extraordinary achievements” of the medical experts who have produced the vaccines at short notice and whose efforts “must rank as one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time”.
  • Bosses from leading UK airlines are calling on the Prime Minister to outline a recovery road map for the industry so they can plan for the summer. The chief executives of British Airways, easyJet,, Loganair, Ryanair, Tui and Virgin Atlantic warned that without a clear indication of intent from the Government that aviation will restart in the coming months, the UK faces a year of limited connectivity to the rest of the world, and the economic recovery will be hampered.