The Met Office has released a yellow weather warning as snow and ice is predicted for the Capital.
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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Follow here for all of Thursday’s updates
Last updated: Thursday, 31 December, 2020, 08:06
- Met Office release yellow weather warning.
- Snow and ice expected across the Capital.
- Travel disruptions expected.
Met Office forecast
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Education Secretary Gavin Williamson outlined some of the reasoning behind the Government's plans to reopen a proportion of primary schools in England, with more than 85% due to open next week.
He told Sky News: "The work that was done with the Department of Health who identified areas where it was either a very high rate or, using their latest data, were seeing very sharp increases in the number of cases or equally the pressures on hospitals in that area and the clinical needs.
"These were all the considerations that were taken into account but what I want to say, and this will come as no surprise to you whatsoever, I want to see schools, any school, that's closed for those first two weeks, opening at the earliest possible opportunity."
Asked whether he apologised to parents, teachers and children for the notice given for the measures, Mr Williamson said: "I think we all recognise that if we go back a few weeks where there was no new variant of Covid, none of us would have been expecting us to be having to take the actions, whether it's in regards to schools, whether it's in regards to Tier 4 moves that the Government has had to make, but it's the Government that's having to respond at incredible pace to a global pandemic and then a new variant of that virus.
"It's not what any of us would want to do, it's not a decision that any of us would be wanting to have to implement, but we've had to do that because circumstances have dictated it.
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China conditionally approves first homegrown Covid-19 vaccine
Chinese health regulators have given conditional approval to a coronavirus vaccine developed by a state-owned company.
The two-dose Covid-19 vaccine is the first approved for general use in China. The approval comes as the country has started to vaccinate 50 million people before the Lunar New Year holiday in February.
Chen Shifei, the deputy commissioner of China's National Medical Products Administration, told a news conference that conditional approval means research is still ongoing and the company will be required to submit follow-up data as well as reports of any adverse effects after the vaccine is sold on the market.
The vaccine was developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of state-owned conglomerate Sinopharm. The company announced that preliminary data from last-stage trials had shown it to be 79.3% effective.
It is an inactive vaccine, which means the virus was grown in a lab and then killed. The germ is then injected into the body to generate an immune response.
Final proof of its effectiveness will depend on publication of more data.