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Coronavirus live news: ‘Highly likely’ BioNTech vaccine works against new variant; Ireland to close restaurants and some shops

BioNTech’s CEO says tests being run on mutant strain; Ireland to tighten restrictions from Christmas Eve; US could require negative Covid-19 tests for passengers from Britain

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Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, has told MPs that he believes at least 4,000 trucks could be impacted by the French travel ban, PA reports.

I don’t think the number of trucks in the queue or other areas is the relevant number,” he told the

We reckon about 4,000 on their way to Dover at various points. Anyone seeing this all happening in the run-up would have parked somewhere else, somewhere more congenial and in a better state. I think the number of trucks that needs to be clearer as this unwinds will be more than 4,000.

There are dozens of lorries there with product that is going off. There is a huge hit here to Scottish seafood.

The government was well aware of the power of the announcement it made on Saturday and Chris Whitty went out of his way to rightly scare people over the impact.

Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, has confirmed that the US is considering testing UK travellers before they are allowed to enter the US.

But he dismissed an outright ban on travel from the UK as an “over reaction”. Asked by BBC News if the US planned to follow more than 40 countries in banning travellers from the UK, Fauci said:

At this point I am not recommending that, I think that might be a bit of an overreaction. However, I certainly respect the other countries in their decisions of what they’re going to do.

I think we should seriously consider the possibility of requiring pre-flight testing before people leave from the UK to the United States. That’s something that’s on the table that I believe needs to be seriously considered rather than an out-and-out now ban on all travel from the UK to the United States.

I want this to be a symbol for the people in the United States to encourage them about the safety and the efficacy of this vaccine, and to get them to be enthusiastic when their time comes to get vaccinated.

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