Monday evening UK news briefing: New York announces Covid vaccine mandate for workers

·7 min read
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph
Your evening briefing from The Telegraph

Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines

The big story: Mandatory jabs for all New York firms

It is getting harder to raise your eyebrows any higher as the omicron variant grips the world.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a blanket Covid-19 vaccine mandate for the private sector in the US's most-populous city starting on December 27.

The mandate will cover around 184,000 businesses and goes further than a national mandate already announced by Joe Biden. Our Covid liveblog has updates.

Back home, your ideal hotel stay probably does not involve cold food, people crying and requesting a 20-minute daily walk around a bleak car park.

But this is now the quarantine reality for people returning to the UK from South Africa.

One such couple serving time at one of the government-appointed hotels is Kate and Alex Freed. After getting married in September, their honeymoon period is well and truly over, stuck in an "awful" hotel overlooking Heathrow serving "inedible" food.

Read about the grim reality of hotel quarantine, while Mickey Bevridge describes the struggle to actually book a stay and the stress involved.

Some of the hotel quarantine food
Some of the hotel quarantine food

It comes as travel industry bosses blasted the reintroduction of pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK.

The measure, which was announced by the Government over the weekend and comes into force at 4am on Tuesday, comes despite Transport Secretary Grant Shapps telling the Telegraph just a few days earlier that such a move could "kill off the travel sector again".

Meanwhile, Nigeria has accused Britain of a "travel apartheid" by adding the African country to its red list.

Our travel liveblog will have any more developments.

Omicron dominant 'in weeks'

It looks increasingly likely we will have to learn to live with omicron, after a scientist specialising in emerging infectious disease said it will become the dominant strain of Covid in the UK "within weeks".

Professor Paul Hunter, from the school of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said there was current concern that omicron "is spreading rather more quickly than the Delta variant" and there were probably more than 1,000 cases in the UK at the moment.

Professor Tim Spector, the professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London, has said don't leave the house if you have a cold, as one in three are "actually due to Covid".

Meanwhile, Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, the co-creator of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, has warned that a future pandemic could be "more contagious" and "more lethal" than Covid-19, urging against complacency when preparing for new disease threats.

Heart condition 'mild'

Some of the misinformation touted by anti-vaxxers concerns the health implications of being vaccinated.

Data show that coronavirus vaccines increase the risk of a person developing myocarditis, a condition which is characterised by inflamed cardiac muscle, with the risk highest in young boys and after the second dose.

However, the rare heart-related health condition induced by the vaccine is mild and resolves quickly, according to scientists.

Read how it shows vaccines are safe, highly effective and fundamental to saving lives - and ending the pandemic.

Comment and analysis

Around the world: Suu Kyi jailed by military regime

A court in Myanmar has sentenced ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison, the first verdict in multiple charges that could put the Nobel Peace Prize winner behind bars for the rest of her life. The ruling was condemned by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who called her sentence "another appalling attempt by Myanmar's military regime to stifle opposition and suppress freedom and democracy." Ms Suu Kyi, 76, was detained and put under house arrest by the junta when it seized power in a February coup and has since been hit with 11 charges that have combined maximum sentences of more than 100 years.

Monday interview

'Mum's last six months were the worst'

Lesley Manville - David Rose
Lesley Manville - David Rose

The actress Lesley Manville tells Boudicca Fox-Leonard why the Alzheimer's Society means so much and how she wishes she had known how much support the charity provides when her mother was diagnosed

Read the full interview

Sport briefing: F1's title flashpoints - England Ashes XIs

Lewis Hamilton claimed an incredible victory in an action-packed Saudi Arabian GP on Sunday to draw level with Max Verstappen in the world championship standings with just one race remaining. Read the verdict on the five title flashpoints of the race - and whether they were ruthless, reckless or just racing. Joe Root and his side will be desperate to add their names to English cricketing folklore with an Ashes series win Down Under. The Telegraph's array of experts have picked the XI they want to take the field at the Gabba on Wednesday. There were 36 tries over the weekend in the Premiership highlighting three new tactical trends, analysed here. After Saracen Billy Vunipola was marched back by referee Luke Pearce in Saturday's game against Exeter, Brian Moore sets out why the referee was right to employ the rarely-used sanction.

Editor's choice

  1. Analysis | How Kamala Harris became 'the incredible disappearing vice president'

  2. Money Makeover | 'Taxes killed my buy-to-let empire – where should I invest my £600,000?'

  3. Meet Amelia and Eliza | The Spencer twins set to take London by storm

Business briefing: Electric car sales charge forward

Electric car sales doubled in November to account for one in every five purchases as the switch away from petrol and diesel vehicles gathers pace. Almost a third of new cars sold were either pure electric or a petrol/electric hybrid, according to figures for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Meanwhile, campaigners say the courts are failing to reflect the cost of pollution in fines levelled on water companies, as figures show they were fined less than one per cent of their profits over the past decade. Read more on the Telegraph analysis suggesting the fines levied barely made a dent in their profits.

Tonight starts now

Lubaina Himid, review | Over the past five years, Lubaina Himid, who was born in Zanzibar in 1954 and won the Turner Prize in 2017, has had a great deal of eye-catching success. But where were the curators and critics singing her praises in, say, 1995, when, as her new Tate exhibition reveals, she was producing big, bold paintings with simplified forms and scorching colours? This show, then, her largest to date, represents an important moment not only for her but also for Tate Modern, which, according to its director, Frances Morris, is committed to "opening up art history" and "exploding the canon". Read more on the exhibition.

Three things for you

And for this evening's downtime....

Culture wars v Shakespeare | Hailey Bachrach, a researcher at the University of Roehampton, argued in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph that scenes in Shakespeare's Richard III and Henry V, in which female characters are married without explicitly giving their consent, could be troubling to modern audiences. Claire Allfree sets out why the lack of consent in Shakespeare is entirely the point.

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