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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Wednesday, March 24
Last updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2021, 12:03
- Seven deaths of coronavirus patients recorded on Tuesday
- 495 new Covid cases reported in Scotland
- Sturgeon: Public inquiry into Covid-19 a ‘priority’
692 new Covid cases reported in Scotland on Wednesday - and three further deaths
Scotland has recorded three deaths of coronavirus patients and 692 cases in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The death toll under the measure used for the daily figures – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 7,562.
Speaking ahead of First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon said the daily test positivity rate is 3.1%, down from 3.6% on Tuesday.
The First Minister said 321 people in hospital are confirmed to have the virus – down 20 in 24 hours – and of these, 31 patients are in intensive care, up three.
A total of 2,249,612 people received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination as of 7.30am on Wednesday and 249,252 have received their second dose.
Sir Keir Starmer began Prime Minister’s Questions by demanding a “full public inquiry” into the Covid-19 pandemic.
The EU said 10 million doses have been exported from the bloc to the UK while zero have returned in the other direction, as it introduced an export authorisation mechanism based on “proportionality”.
Boris Johnson says 'greed' and 'capitalism' were behind UK vaccine success
Boris Johnson has reportedly claimed “greed” and “capitalism” were behind the UK’s vaccine success.
Latest NRS figures released
A total of 9,897 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).
The figures show 65 deaths relating to Covid-19 were registered between March 15 and March 21, down 39 on the previous week.
Of these, the majority – 80% – happened in hospital at 52, with six in care homes and seven at home or in a non-institutional setting.
The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.
Scots can book foreign summer holiday flights 'with reasonable confidence' - Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary
Scots were told today by Ryanair they could book flights abroad this summer with “reasonable confidence” because high vaccination rates “must result in the removal of restrictions”.
Passengers likely to be asked to wear face masks until 2022, says Ryanair boss
Passengers will be asked to wear face masks on Ryanair flights potentially until 2022, the airline’s boss has said, as he announced a return to a more normal summer schedule.
The budget airline plans to run around 2,300 flights every day during the summer this year, Michael O’Leary said.
The schedule will mean that Ryanair is running at about 80% of its usual capacity, with British people desperate to get back to European beaches, according to the chief executive.
However, beachgoers will need to remember to pack their face masks alongside their swimwear.
“I would imagine at this point in time, we’re planning to continue to require mandatory face mask wearing on board our aircraft through the remainder of this summer schedule and next winter’s schedule,” Mr O’Leary said.
He said this could continue until the spring of next year, unless there are new guidelines from European authorities.
Baftas to be awarded across two nights with largely virtual ceremonies
The Bafta film awards will be handed out over two nights, with two largely virtual ceremonies.
Eight of the gongs will be handed out on April 10 in a BBC Two show hosted by Clara Amfo, which will use behind the scenes footage from the nominated films to explore the creative process of movie-making.
The programme will also feature the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema recipient, who will be at the Royal Albert Hall to collect their award in person.
The main ceremony will take place on April 11, as previously announced, and will be hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman, who will be joined by a small group of awards presenters at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as additional presenters joining virtually from Los Angeles.
All nominees will join the show virtually, alongside a virtual audience, for the remaining 17 awards to be announced on BBC One, including the EE Rising Star award, which is voted for by the public, and the Fellowship, Bafta’s highest honour.
Each nominee for the Rising Star prize will be celebrated individually during the show and there will be musical performances.
Culture minister Caroline Dinenage has defended the decision not to introduce a Government-backed insurance scheme for music festivals.
Priest wins legal fight as Covid ban on worship ruled unlawful
The Scottish Government’s blanket ban on church services as part of its Covid regulations has been ruled unlawful in Scotland’s highest civil court.