Boris Johnson said science allowed us to “turn the lights on”, having been fighting in the dark originally against Covid as he held a Downing Street press conference to mark the anniversary of lockdown. Standing alongside him were Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty, who warned another surge in cases is inevitable, saying he expected “upward pressure” in case loads. It comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that shipments from a Dutch AstraZeneca plant to the UK remain in the EU’s sights – although she ruled out an EU blanket ban on vaccine exports to Britain. The value of the pound sunk to a six-week low over the EU vaccine threats, which come as Germany prepares to impose a complete shutdown over Easter. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard analyses why scapegoating Britain will not save Europe from a self-made disaster.
Meanwhile, Tory MPs are demanding the Government set out a “clear” plan for overseas summer holidays or risk a major revolt against Covid rule extensions. It comes as the Government unveiled draft laws for a foreign travel ban potentially up to the end of June – which will face a vote in Parliament on Thursday. The looming extension of the ban came as the Queen paid tribute to the “grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many” on a day of national reflection to mark the anniversary of the lockdown. Oliver Smith looks at how holidays were sacrificed on the altar of Covid and read whether you should cancel your holiday.
Nicola Sturgeon survives ‘no-confidence’ vote
Nicola Sturgeon has comfortably survived a vote of no confidence in Holyrood, hours after it was confirmed that she had been found to have misled a parliamentary inquiry. The committee examining the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond found the First Minister gave “an inaccurate account” of what happened at a meeting with him and so misled the cross-party investigation. The long-awaited 192-page report comes after a separate inquiry ruled Ms Sturgeon did not breach the ministerial code. She survived today’s no-confidence vote brought by the Scottish Tories after a fraught debate.
Key to how universe works may have been discovered
The key to understanding how the universe works may have been found by scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, in a breakthrough hailed as the most exciting in 20 years. Particle physicists have seen signs that a mystery particle or force is interacting with other particles in a manner never witnessed before. It may explain some of the deepest puzzles in modern physics, such as what dark matter is made from, or why there is an imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe. Details here.
At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Prince Harry gets a job | The Duke of Sussex has a new job with a Silicon Valley startup, where he intends to “create impact in people’s lives”. Prince Harry, 36, has been named as chief impact officer of BetterUp Inc, a coaching and mental health firm. Read on for details.
Around the world: Israel’s fourth election in two years
Israelis returned to the polls today for the fourth election in two years, as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks victory on the back of his high-speed vaccines drive and normalisation deals with Arab states. Mr Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud party, is leading in the polls but is projected to fall short of the 61 seats needed in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, for a majority. He is likely to need support from right-wing rivals and ultra-orthodox parties. Read on for details.
‘Black Lives Matter are using Lewis Hamilton’