The government, in the face of overwhelming numbers of people with Covid-19 being admitted to hospital, told everyone to stay at home and threatened them with unspecified harsher measures. The law brought into force on 6 January allowed any amount of exercise and visits to food shops, dry cleaners, takeaway restaurants, banks, pet-food suppliers, off licences, public lavatories, garden centres, bicycle shops and libraries (for collection of books ordered in advance) or anywhere for the purpose of picketing. The Speaker asked MPs to wear masks in the House, except when speaking. Two women were stopped by Derbyshire police as they walked in the country, told that the cups of peppermint tea they carried were ‘classed as a picnic’, and had to pay a £200 penalty each; five days later police rescinded the penalties.
At the beginning of the week, Sunday 10 January, total deaths (within 28 days of testing positive for the coronavirus) had stood at 80,868, including 6,298 in the past week. London’s Nightingale hospital began to admit patients, none suffering from Covid. A third vaccine, from Moderna, was approved but would not be available until the spring. The government set a target of 15 million people to be vaccinated by mid-February, having vaccinated 2.3 million by 11 January. The Queen, aged 94, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, were vaccinated against Covid-19.
At least 160 migrants crossed the Channel to England in ten boats on Saturday and Sunday. Khairi Saadallah was sentenced to his whole life in jail for murdering three homosexual men with a knife in a Reading park in June. Kwasi Kwarteng became Business Secretary in place of Alok Sharma. James Brokenshire, found to have lung cancer three years ago, is to leave his post as a Home Office minister for surgery on a lung tumour.