As of 9am on Friday there had been a further 20,252 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,473,508.
* The process of approving the Pfizer vaccine has begun and delivery could start from December, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says
* He says NHS hubs are being set up around the UK where the vaccine can be kept at the necessary -70C
* It’s still too early to tell what restrictions will follow the England lockdown or what rules will be in place at Christmas – Hancock
* But the UK is now “now on the glidepath to landing this plane” says deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam
* Infection rates are levelling off in England and Scotland and decreasing in Wales and Northern Ireland, latest data from the Office for National Statistics suggests
* The figures cover the week to 14 November, nine days after the second lockdown was introduced in England
* Rates of infection are rising in London and the south-east while coming down in the north and Midlands, the ONS says
* People aged 50-64 in England are being offered free flu jabs from 1 December as part of an expanded winter vaccine scheme
Portugal’s parliament on Friday approved a 15-day extension of a state of emergency from next week to allow continuation of coronavirus measures as the government considers fresh steps.
“This approval reflects well the collective commitment to fight COVID-19,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Twitter. “With the mobilisation of all we will be able to overcome the virus.”
The nationwide state of emergency, which came into force for 15 days on Nov. 9 and included a night-time curfew and a half-day lockdown on weekend days across 191 of the country’s 308 municipalities, will now be extended until at least Dec. 8.
Government ministers met on Friday afternoon to agree on new rules, which will be announced on Saturday and could include a tiered system of restrictions based on the state of the virus in each area.
Under Portuguese law, a state of emergency is limited to 15 days but can be extended indefinitely in 15-day periods. Internal Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita told parliament the state of emergency was likely to be renewed again after Dec. 8.
Portugal, with around 10 million people, has recorded 249,498 coronavirus infections and 3,762 deaths, relatively low figures compared to some European countries. But cases have been rising and are putting the health system under pressure.