Coronavirus live news: Germany extends restrictions to 10 January; Putin orders start of mass inoculation

North America seeing record daily cases; WHO says vaccines won’t stop short-term surges; Russian president says programme should start next week

8.16pm GMT

Italians will not be able to attend midnight mass or move between regions over the Christmas period, a top health ministry official said on Wednesday, as the country battles high coronavirus infection rates and deaths.

Italy has been reporting more daily Covid-19 fatalities than any other European nation in recent weeks and, while the increase in new cases and hospital admissions is slowing, the government is worried about gatherings over Christmas.

8.14pm GMT

Germany will extend restrictive measures designed to stem a tide of new COVID-19 infections until 10 January, the chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday after talks with German state leaders.

The measures, which had been due to expire on 20 December, include keeping restaurants and hotels shut and limiting private gatherings to five people from two households.

Over the next few weeks we will also be considering whether all this is enough.

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Source: theguardian