LIVE – Updated at 17:43 News comes after Pfizer said jab showed 90.7% efficacy against virus in trial of five- to 11-year-olds; UK chancellor says hospitality must not shut again.

People are pretending that dogs they acquired during lockdown are strays so that rescue centres take them in, after failing to sell them online, animal rescue charities and shelters have warned.

Figures from March revealed that more than 3.2m pets were bought by UK households during lockdown.

Since Covid restrictions were lifted and people have started to return to the office, charities have reported a growing trend of people abandoning their pandemic pets as they no longer have as much time for them.

More data from Italy . Patients in hospital with Covid-19 – not including those in intensive care – stood at 2,455 on Saturday, from 2,443 a day earlier.

There were 20 new admissions to intensive care units, down from 22 on Friday. The total number of intensive care patients decreased to 338 from a previous 343.

Some 491,574 tests for Covid were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 487,218, the health ministry said. UK death toll increases by 135

The UK has recorded 44,985 new coronavirus cases and a further 135 deaths in the last 24-hour period, government figures show.

The total number of cases is now 8,734,934 and the death toll is 139,461.

Italy reported 39 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, the same number as the day before, the health ministry said.

The daily tally of new infections rose to 3,908 from 3,882, Reuters reports.

Italy has registered 131,802 deaths linked to Covid-19 and has reported 4.74 million cases to date. #COVID19 VACCINE UPDATE: Daily figures on the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses that have been given in the UK.

As of 23 October, 95,096,399 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given in the UK.

Visit the @UKHSA dashboard for more info: — Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) October 23, 2021 Summary

Here is a round-up of the day’s top Covid stories so far: A prominent Covid adviser to the UK government has said he is “very fearful” there will be another Christmas lockdown as he urged the public to do everything possible to reduce transmission of the virus.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Times newspaper , the UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said shops, pubs and restaurants must not shut again as the vaccine rollout meant there could be “no more lockdowns”.

Russia reported a further 1,075 Covid deaths on Saturday, its fifth straight daily record, as authorities prepare to shut workplaces across the country and lock down Moscow .

The whole world must be vaccinated to stop new Covid variants from developing, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Local public health chiefs in England have broken from the government’s official guidance to recommend plan B measures to combat a surge in coronavirus cases .

Unvaccinated people in Austria could face new lockdown restrictions if coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, the country’s chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, has said.

Health officials should have known about major failings at a private UK Covid testing lab within days of the problem arising , rather than taking weeks to shut down operations at the site, senior scientists say.

The Romanian government is to re-introduce a night curfew and make health passes mandatory for entry to most public venues from Monday.

The senior official credited with the early success of the Covid vaccine rollout in England is returning to the NHS to resume her role overseeing the programme , months after leaving to become the head of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street delivery unit.

New Zealand reported 104 new coronavirus infections on Saturday , including the first community case of the virus in the country’s South Island in nearly a year, health officials said.

Namibia will suspend the use of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid vaccine, its health ministry said on Saturday. The decision comes days after the drugs regulator in neighbouring South Africa raised concerns about its safety for people at risk of HIV.

Sri Lanka has announced plans to offer booster shots to frontline workers followed by the elderly as it prepares to further ease Covid restrictions. Melbourne , Australia’s second-biggest city, began its first weekend out of the world’s longest string of Covid lockdowns with spontaneous street parties, live music and packed pubs, bars and restaurants. China reported 50 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday compared with 43 on Friday, according to the country’s health authority. That’s it from me, Tom Ambrose. I’ll be back next week. but for now my colleague Nadeem Badshah will continue to bring you all the latest Covid news from the UK and around the world as it happens. Goodbye.People in public-facing jobs have experienced rising hostility and verbal abuse since the end of the Covid lockdowns , according to organisations that represent them.Half of all shop, transport, restaurant and hotel workers and others dealing regularly with the public have experienced abuse in the past six months, figures from the Institute for Customer Service (ICS) show. This is a 6% rise over May’s 44%. Of those who had been abused, 27% had been physically attacked, it found.The research comes as trade unions and industry bodies warned of growing public hostility towards workers since the second Covid wave.Usdaw, the shopworkers’ union, said 88% of its members had been verbally abused in the past year, up from 68% in 2019, and that 9% had been physically assaulted. RMT said 58% of workers on trains, buses and ferries had been threatened, assaulted or spat at since the pandemic began, and 88% had been verbally abused.The British Retail Consortium said incidents of violence and abuse had risen to 455 a day in 2020-21 compared with 350 a day in 2017-18.“ Hostility towards customer-facing staff has continued even though we’re out of lockdown ,” said ICS’s chief executive Jo Causon. “Around half of employees don’t report hostility because they don’t think it will make any difference. They don’t think […]

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