As it happened: UK reports 26,852 new Covid cases and 170 deaths – BBC News

Read original article here

Copyright: PA Media

The Scottish government is seeking to make many of its emergency coronavirus powers permanent, including the ability to close schools, introduce lockdowns and operate virtual courts.

It is also looking at a change in the law to permanently allow them to release prisoners early or permit a wider range of healthcare workers to administer vaccinations.

In June, MSPs agreed to extend the emergency measures until March 2022, with the option of extending them for six months, to September 2022, without passing a new law.

Announcing a public consultation on removing the planned expiry date, SNP Deputy First Minister and Covid Recovery Secretary John Swinney insisted that some of the changes have had a “demonstrable benefit to the people of Scotland”.

The consultation published by ministers argues that making many of the measures permanent would ensure “ministers can respond effectively and rapidly to any future threats to public health in Scotland” and not just coronavirus.

Under the proposals, ministers would also be able to order school closures “during the remainder of the pandemic” or for any future outbreak of an infectious disease, so long as they believe it is “necessary and proportionate”, and the chief medical officer has been consulted.

The consultation also suggests a permanent shift to more digital options, including the remote registration of deaths or still births, council meetings and electronic court documents.

Mr Swinney said: “As we enter the recovery phase, we now have a unique opportunity to reimagine how health and social care, learning and justice services can be designed and delivered around the lives and needs of the people who use them.”

He added that the government remains “committed to expiring or suspending any existing provisions that are no longer necessary, and will continue to report to Parliament every two months on the use of any temporary powers”.

The public will have 12 weeks until the consultation period ends on 9 November to share their views.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “These powers were intended to be temporary measures to deal with the pandemic.

“The fact that SNP ministers are now seeking to make many of them permanent is a clear sign they are unwilling to give up their control over people’s lives.

“It is a dangerous route to go down to allow ministers to implement sweeping powers upon society on a whim.”

Uncategorized

Covid live: no contingency measures for UK despite high deaths; Pfizer jab 93% effective in keeping children out of hospital – MSN UK

Read original article here © Photograph: Neil Hall/AFP/Getty Images An intensive care medic in Cambridge as UK reports highest daily deaths since March. LIVE – Updated at 22:04 UK reports further 223 deaths but UK government says no to plan B for now; US study shows success in preventing hospitalisation of 12- to 18-year-olds.   […]

Read More
Uncategorized

Businesses nervously await fine print of vax-or-test rule – Yahoo News UK

Read original article here WASHINGTON (AP) — More than six weeks after promising a new vaccination-or-testing rule covering the millions of Americans at companies with 100 or more workers, President Joe Biden’s most aggressive move yet to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is almost ready to see the light of day. An obscure White House office […]

Read More
Uncategorized

Covid LIVE: Horror update as UK hits highest daily death count since MARCH –lockdown fears – Express

Read original article here Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) from Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there is “a number of reasons” why the UK currently has higher infection levels than many other European countries. “First of all, we have lower functional immunity in […]

Read More