LiveCoronavirus LIVE: Everyone in Sheffield over 40 offered Covid jab & 30-year-olds are next
Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Friday April 30.
Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Friday April 30, where you will be able to find a round-up of the latest coronavirus news and the biggest Sheffield news stories of the day.
Last updated: Friday, 30 April, 2021, 08:16
- Everyone aged 40 and over in England now eligible for Covid vaccine
- Yorkshire and Humber records highest covid ratesin the UK - Barnsley and Doncaster have highest covid infection rates in the region
- The Sheffield neighbourhood where house prices have soared by 50 per cent
- Police called to The Range as furious Sheffield customer demands refund for broken hot tub
Barnsley and Doncaster have highest covid infection rates in the region
Overall the infection rate fell across the region although there were small rises in Barnsley.
Doncaster and Barnsley have the highest rate of infection with 60 cases per 100,00 people. In Rotherham the rate was 49 and 42 in Sheffield and Bassetlaw. The England average is 23.
In South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw just under 800,000 people have received the first dose of a covid vaccine. The number of people being admitted to hospital has fallen a gain. In the week up to Sunday 37 people were admitted for treatment .
Everyone aged 40 and over in England now eligible for Covid vaccine
People aged 40 and over in England are now being invited to book their coronavirus jab, NHS leaders have announced.
NHS England said that text messages will be sent out from Friday to 40 and 41-year-olds allowing them to arrange their vaccination appointments.
It follows nearly three quarters of a million appointments being made on Monday and Tuesday after the vaccine rollout was extended to people aged 42 to 44,
Police called to The Range as furious Sheffield customer demands refund for broken hot tub
A customer has accused a popular multi-channel retail chain in Sheffield of refusing a refund or an exchange for a broken £500 hot tub that he bought over the weekend.
The Sheffield neighbourhood where house prices have soared by 50 per cent
Average house prices have rocketed by more than 50 per cent in the last year in one Sheffield neighbourhood, with an estate agent suggesting people moving out of the city centre are fuelling the property boom.
Yorkshire and Humber records highest covid rates
Covid-19 case rates in all regions of England have either fallen very slightly or remain broadly unchanged, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England.
Yorkshire and the Humber recorded the highest rate in the seven days to April 25: 44.7 cases per 100,000 people, down very slightly from 46.0 in the previous week.
South-west England had the lowest rate: 14.2, broadly unchanged from 14.4.
Huge funeral procession takes over Sheffield streets for friends killed in M1 crash
Flares were lit, engines were revved and horns were sounded in a funeral procession through Sheffield for two friends who died together in a horror crash.
Teenager charged with murder of Sheffield solicitor and beloved dad Khuram Javed
A teenager has been charged over the murder of a Sheffield solicitor.
Sir Keir Starmer said the public “scream at their televisions” for Boris Johnson to “answer the question” at Prime Minister’s Questions, telling the Commons: “The Prime Minister hasn’t answered the question, he knows he hasn’t answered the question, he never answers the question.”
The Labour leader reminded Mr Johnson he is required to declare any benefits that relate to his political activities, including loans or credit arrangements, within 28 days.
He added: “He will also know any donation must be recorded in the register of ministers’ interests and, under the law, any donation of over £500 to a political party must be registered and declared. So, the rules are very clear.
“The Electoral Commission now thinks there are reasonable grounds to suspect an offence or offences may have occurred. That’s incredibly serious. Can the Prime Minister tell the House does he believe that any rules or laws have been broken in relation to the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s flat?”
Mr Johnson replied: “No, I don’t. What I believe has been strained to breaking point is the credulity of the public.”
The Prime Minister argued Sir Keir had failed to put “serious and sensible” questions to him about the pandemic or other issues, noting: “He goes on and on about wallpaper when I’ve told him umpteen times now, I paid for it.”
Sir Keir Starmer next questioned who paid for the redecoration of the Prime Minister’s Downing Street flat.
The Labour leader said: “Well, somebody here isn’t telling the truth. The House will have heard the Prime Minister’s answer and I remind him that the Ministerial Code says, and I quote, ‘ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation’”.
Sir Keir continued: “Who initially, and Prime Minister, initially is the key word here, who initially paid for the redecoration of his Downing Street flat?”
Boris Johnson replied: “As for the latest stuff that he is bringing up, he should know that I have paid for Downing Street refurbishment personally.
“And I contrast it… any further declaration that I have to make, if any, I will be advised upon by Lord Geidt.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pushed again on the payment for the Downing Street flat refurbishment and offered the Prime Minister “multiple choice”.
He said: “Either the taxpayer paid the initial invoice, or it was the Conservative Party, or it was a private donor, or it was the Prime Minister.”
Responding, Boris Johnson talked about former Labour governments’ spending on the flat and said: “I think people will think it absolutely bizarre that he is focusing on this issue when what people want to know is what plans a Labour government might have to improve the life of people in this country.”
He added: “I would much rather help people get on the property ladder and it’s this Conservative government that has built 244,000 homes in the last year, which is a record over 30 years.”
Boris Johnson said “no” he did not say that he would rather see “bodies pile high” than implement another lockdown in October.
Opening PMQs, Sir Keir Starmer said: “It was reported this week, including in the Daily Mail, the BBC and ITV – backed up by numerous sources – that at the end of October the Prime Minister said he would rather have, and I quote, ‘bodies pile high’ than implement another lockdown.
“Can the Prime Minister tell the House categorically yes or no, did he make those remarks or remarks to that effect?”
The Prime Minister replied: “No. And (Sir Keir) is a lawyer, I am given to understand, and I think if he is going to repeat allegations like that he should come to this House and substantiate those allegations, and say where he heard them and who exactly is supposed to have said those things.”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford raised the UK Covid death toll, asking: “Are you a liar, Prime Minister?”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford raised the UK Covid death toll, asking: “Are you a liar, Prime Minister?”
He said: “NHS staff have given their all fighting to keep people alive, that’s why so many people find the Prime Minister’s remark that he would rather let the bodies pile high in their thousands than go into lockdown, utterly, utterly sickening.
“People are willing to go under oath confirming that the Prime Minister said these exact words… Parliamentary rules stop me from saying that the Prime Minister has repeatedly lied to the public over the last week, but can I ask the question, are you a liar Prime Minister?”
Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “Can I just say unfortunately they’re in order, but were not savoury and not what we would expect.”
Mr Johnson replied: “If he is going to relay that kind of quotation, it is up to him in a place like Parliament to produce the author, the person who claims to have heard it, because I can’t find them, he’s says that they’re willing to go oath. Perhaps they’re sitting somewhere in this building, I rather doubt it because I didn’t say those words.
“What I do believe is that a lockdown is a miserable, miserable thing and I did everything I could to try to protect the British public throughout the pandemic, to protect them from lockdowns, but also to protect them from disease … We grieve, as I know the whole House grieves, for every family that has lost a loved one.”
Boris Johnson insisted he has not broken any laws over the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat after the Electoral Commission launched a formal investigation.
The watchdog said there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect an offence may have occurred, dramatically deepening the Prime Minister’s troubles over the renovations on Wednesday.
Holidaymakers could be able to visit Portugal from the “middle of May”, the nation’s ambassador to the UK has said.
Asked when Portugal will be opening its borders to tourists from the UK, Manuel Lobo Antunes told Sky News: “As soon as possible, this is not just a unilateral matter, we have to coordinate this issue with our British friends and the UK Government.
“But we are hopeful, as we have been saying for these last months, that from the middle of May, regular mobility between the UK and Portugal and vice versa, can be established, that’s our hope.”
Asked if Britons who have not been vaccinated can travel into the country, he added: “Yes, that’s the idea, that’s what we wanted, to as much as possible go back to the regime that existed before the pandemic.
“It’s in that direction we are working and that is possible.”
Professor Peter Openshaw welcomed the findings of a Public Health England (PHE) study showing that a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine can cut transmission by up to half.
Prof Openshaw, a member of the Covid-19 clinical information network, described the results as “very, very reassuring and “certainly better than many of us expected just a few months ago”.
He told the BBC Radio Four Today programme: “It shows that the immune system is doing something a lot more than we were expecting of it really.”
He said it is known from other studies that infection is “typically much milder” in people who have been vaccinated and added that with two doses the outcome is “almost certainly going to be even better”.
Dr Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) group, suggested the decision on whether social distancing would need to be in place after June 21 could be a political one.
Asked at what stage people will be able to be close to another person if both have been vaccinated, he told Times Radio: “I think this is really difficult because of course, in a sense, this becomes more of a sort of a political decision rather than an epidemiological decision because we have been told that on June 21 all of these legal limits on contact will be removed, but it’s still unclear exactly what that means.
“Whether that means that on that date some social distancing will be in place or whether all of those will be removed and you’ll be able to go and hug your loved ones…
“I think the key thing is that if you’re both vaccinated, of course, it does reduce the risk of anyone becoming severely ill and my hope is that as we move towards that June date, we will be in a position that we can not just see our loved ones, but also we can hug our loved ones because it’s been a very long time since we’ve been able to do that.
“We obviously do need to monitor the data as we get to the main relaxation, when you are allowed to go inside people’s households, it’s really important that we monitor that data and ensure that we don’t get a resurgence at that point.”