Adele teases there is ‘so much’ coming in 2022

Danielle Desouza, PAThu, 6 January 2022, 4:58 pm

Adele has teased fans by announcing that there is “so much coming” in 2022, including a music video for Oh My God.

The musician, 33, released her highly anticipated fourth studio album, 30, in November of 2021, which topped the UK charts.

The album included singles Easy On Me and Oh My God.

In a Twitter post, Adele wrote: “Rested and Re-Set! Feeling ready for 2022, there’s so much coming, I’m excited for you all to see it.”

A 15-second clip shows Adele standing in a dark room, with a ring light behind her.

The words “Oh My God January 12 5PM UK” also appear on screen.

Oh My God reached the top five in the UK and the United States, and the top 10 in Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Adele has performed her new music in televised shows on both sides of the Atlantic, but made headlines when she reunited with a childhood teacher during her ITV concert at the London Palladium.

Asked by Nanny McPhee actress Dame Emma Thompson if she was ever inspired by anyone when she was younger, the Chasing Pavements singer replied with the name of her old English teacher, Ms McDonald, because she “was cool and so relatable and likeable”.

Adele was then surprised to be reunited with her teacher, who joined her on stage and told her: “I am so proud of you.”


James Argent celebrates ‘Adele moment’ after dramatic weight loss

Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment ReporterFri, 7 January 2022, 12:15 pm

James “Arg” Argent has hailed his “Adele moment” after losing 13 stone since having gastric sleeve surgery.

The Only Way Is Essex star, 34, shared before and after pictures on Instagram showing him wearing only swimming trunks.

He told his followers he now weighed 14 stone and had “never felt happier or healthier”.

Argent previously revealed he reached 27 stone during lockdown and was told by doctors that catching Covid-19 at his weight could prove fatal.

He wrote: “9 months ago I dreamed of having THAT @adele moment and here it is.

“After being 27 stone, depressed and having doctors telling me I was on ‘death row’ I made the decision to have gastric sleeve surgery with @wearetransform which reduced the size of my stomach and limited how much I could eat.

“I’ve since lost a total of 13 stone and now weigh 14 stone which surpassed all expectations. I’ve never felt happier or healthier.

“I can honestly say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. It spurred me on to be serious about my eating habits and exercise.”

Argent said he was now eating healthier and smaller portions of food, and had also been training at the gym.

The Sun Military Awards
James Argent previously weighed 27 stone (PA)

He added: “That swim across the English Channel is still on the cards.”

Reflecting on the new year, he added: “I’m delighted to be starting 2022 as the best version of me. The future is looking bright, and I can’t wait to live it.”

Adele has also made headlines for her weight loss, sharing pictures on social media of her slimmer figure while living in the US.

Singer Peter Andre and former Love Island contestant Alex Bowen were among those sending their congratulations to Argent.

The reality star, who appeared on Towie from 2010 to 2018, has also previously battled drug addiction and spoken openly about his cocaine use.

Writing is on the wall for handwriting as schools trial digital exams

Could the art of writing be lost forever due to technology? - Tim Young Photography/Moment RF
Could the art of writing be lost forever due to technology? – Tim Young Photography/Moment RF

Handwriting could “go the way of Latin and Greek” and be “lost within a generation”, a leading author has warned after news that a major exams board was set to trial digital exams at dozens of schools.

Colm Toibin, famous for penning novels such as Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary, said that “it would be a huge loss if [handwriting] were to go”, and called learning to write an “an identity-forming business”.

AQA, Britain’s largest exams board and the provider of three-fifths of all GCSE and A-levels in England, announced on Monday that it was trialling online exams for GCSE maths and English at 60 to 100 schools this summer.

If successful, the programme would be rolled out across most subjects, although Colin Hughes, the chief executive of AQA, told The Times that the board would keep some written exams to protect handwriting from dying out.

“I would be very reluctant to move to a situation where students could get through the whole system without ever actually having to show that they can write something down using a pen and paper,” he said.

Amid the transition to digital exams, Colm Toibin said that he wrote all his own novels in longhand form - Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images
Amid the transition to digital exams, Colm Toibin said that he wrote all his own novels in longhand form – Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

He also claimed that online exams would be much greener than shipping millions of exam papers around the country before collecting them all again in Milton Keynes to digitise them.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Tobin suggested that opting for convenience could kill off handwriting and its esoteric charms.

“If you began to say everything would be much more efficient on a laptop, [handwriting] would go eventually, it would within a generation, almost disappear,” he said, adding: “It goes the way of Latin and Greek.”

He also lamented the loss of handwriting as a marker of identity, adding: “You would know when a letter came from someone, oh that’s from Auntie so-and-so, that’s her handwriting.”

Asked about his own writing habits, Tobin said he wrote all his own novels in longhand form.

“It sort of matters to me that I’m actually making the letters, that I can touch the paper, that I’m somehow more deeply involved,” he said.

Colm Toibin is known for his best sellers Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary
Colm Toibin is known for his best sellers Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary

In contrast, recent research has found that much of the general public has almost no need for the scratch of pen against notepad, let alone extended longhand writing.

A survey of 2,000 people last September found that one in 10 people had not put pen to paper in over a year, while a quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds had never written a letter or kept a diary.

The ability to write clearly is not directly linked to literacy, despite popular perceptions, although a 2014 study found improved recall from people who handwrote notes during lectures.

The study’s author’s hypothesised that the slower nature of handwriting forces individuals to paraphrase and therefore mentally process spoken

For all the author’s gloom, there are some signs that the public shares his affection for the personal nature of handwriting. In 2019, when the British Museum put on an exhibition on writing, it asked visitors how they expected to send a birthday card in 2069.

The top answer: a handwritten card.

Oliver Hudson says Kurt Russell ‘was not a happy dad’ when he was arrested as a teenger

Oliver Hudson did not make Kurt Russell happy when he was arrested as a teenager credit:Bang Showbiz
Oliver Hudson did not make Kurt Russell happy when he was arrested as a teenager credit:Bang Showbiz

Oliver Hudson admitted Kurt Russell “was not a happy dad” when he was arrested as a teenager.

‘The Cleaning Lady’ star reminisced about the time he dealt with law enforcement after “doing dumb things” with paintball guns when he was just 16 years old and told how he had to work hard to persuade police that the ‘Escape From LA’ actor – who has been in a relationship with Oliver’s mother Goldie Hawn for 38 years – really was his next of kin.

Speaking on ‘Live With Kelly and Ryan’, he said: “I did get arrested when I was 16 years old. It was a crazy story ’cause they had to call the parents, and they said, ‘What’s your dad’s name?’ and I said, ‘Oh my God. Kurt Russell.’

“They’re like, ‘No, kid, what’s your dad’s name?’ And I said, ‘It’s Kurt Russell.’

“They started fighting over who was gonna make the phone call. It was crazy.”

Host Kelly Ripa then quizzed her guest as to how the 70-year-old star had reacted.

She asked: “When Kurt gets that phone call, is he upset or is he understanding? Is he the Kurt I fantasise that he is?”

The ‘Scream Queens’ actor confessed that the Hollywood veteran was understanding of the situation, but still made his displeasure known.

Oliver – whose biological father is Bill Hudson – answered: “Yeah he is. He is. Look, we were stupid. We had paintball guns. We were doing dumb things, as kids do. He understood what it was like for him when he was the age; he did stupid stuff as well. But he was not a happy dad, let’s just say that.”

In 2018, the ‘Injustice’ actor previously recalled how Kurt taught him a tough lesson following his arrest.

He previously said: “My punishment was to shoot up my Honda Prelude with blue leather interior. I had to shoot up my car, dent it up, and drive that for the rest of my existence.

“His philosophy is, I know what I did was wrong, right? So why ground me? So at point-blank range you’re going to destroy your car and you’re going to have to drive it for the rest of however long you own this car.”

Pope Francis on Couples Who Decide to Have Pets Instead of Children: ‘Nations Suffer From This’

Pope Francis leaves the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation (Sayidat al-Najat) in Baghdad
Pope Francis leaves the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation (Sayidat al-Najat) in Baghdad

AYMAN HENNA/AFP via Getty Pope Francis

Pope Francis shared his opinion on couples who decide to have pets instead of children, saying that it results in a loss of “humanity.”

While speaking to a general audience about Saint Joseph serving as Jesus’ “foster father,” Pope Francis, 85, said, according to translation from Vatican News, “Joseph shows us that this type of bond is not secondary; it is not an afterthought, no, this kind of choice is among the highest forms of love, and of fatherhood and motherhood. How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them?”

He applauded those who decide to adopt children before turning his attention to couples who choose to have pets rather than children.

“Some people don’t wish to have children, or maybe just one or two. Many couples don’t have children, perhaps because they do not wish to, or they only have one and not more,” Pope Francis said. “But they might have two domestic animals, two dogs or cats. This is quite a contrast.”

He said that “giving up on being a mother or father can take some of our humanity away from us,” adding, “society becomes older and without humanity because we lose the richness of motherhood and fatherhood. Nations suffer from this.”

He later added that while it’s “always a risk” to have children biologically or through adoption, it’s “even more risky not having children.”

“We need to be open to motherhood and fatherhood otherwise we can be lacking in ourselves and we can lack in humanity,” Pope Francis said.

The Pope is no stranger to openly speaking on marriages and families. A March 2021 statement from the Vatican, approved by Pope Francis, said the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions because God “does not and cannot bless sin.”

The statement served as a formal response to questions regarding the Church’s power to bless same-sex marriages after Pope Francis declared his support for the civil unions of same-sex couples.

While the Vatican said that the community should welcome gay people with “respect and sensitivity,” their unions would not receive the same embrace, as under Catholic teachings, marriages as per “God’s plan” should be between a man and a woman to create new life.

“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” the statement said.

The Vatican went on to say that while there are “positive elements” in such relationships that are “valued and appreciated,” it “cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of the ecclesial blessing.”

“The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them,” the statement said.

Bindi Irwin shares new tattoo honouring her daughter and late father Steve Irwin

Bindi Irwin's new tattoo (c) Instagram credit:Bang Showbiz
Bindi Irwin’s new tattoo (c) Instagram credit:Bang Showbiz

Bindi Irwin has honoured her late father, Steve Irwin, and her daughter with a new tattoo.

The 23-year-old conservationist had the words ‘Graceful Warrior’ inked on her arm, along with an alligator drawing and explained the text – which paid tribute to nine-month-old Grace Warrior – was written in the ‘Crocodile Hunter’s handwriting.

Sharing a photo on Instagram featuring her tattooed arm reaching for her daughter’s hand, Bindi wrote: “The words I spoke to our daughter as I held her for the first time in my arms were, ‘My graceful warrior’. That’s how her name was born.

“This is my dad’s handwriting to keep him with me, always. Our dear alligator, Daisy, is next to these words to represent our conservation work as Wildlife Warriors. And my beautiful wedding ring in bloom.”

The ‘Dancing With the Stars’ winner – who has Grace with her husband Chandler Powell, 25 – explained the “empowering” tattoo offered a reminder of the three most important things in her life and she felt the time was right to get inked as she has weaned her baby.

Bindi continued: “Validation every day of the three most important things in my life: family, purpose and unconditional love. [Heart emoji] Since Grace’s breastfeeding journey ended, now felt like the perfect time for this empowering artwork.(sic)”

In the post’s comment section, Bindi gave thanks to Kelly McQuirk, the tattoo artist who collaborated with her on the design.

And Kelly shared a message on her Instagram Story, reading: “So blessed to be able to create such heartfelt and important pieces for @bindisueirwin. Your kindness and compassion are out of this world. Adore you.(sic)”

Bindi Irwin unveils new tattoo made using her late father’s handwriting

Danielle Desouza, PAFri, 7 January 2022, 12:00 pm

Bindi Irwin has unveiled her new tattoo, which has been made using her late father’s handwriting and honours her own daughter.

Wildlife expert Steve Irwin died in September 2006 at the age of 44 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb.

His 23-year-old daughter’s tattoo reads “graceful warrior”, which were the words she said to her baby daughter when she “held her for the first time”.

The conservationist and TV personality gave birth to Grace Warrior Irwin Powell on March 25 2021 – the first anniversary of Irwin’s marriage to Chandler Powell.To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.

In an Instagram post, Irwin wrote: “The words I spoke to our daughter as I held her for the first time in my arms were ‘My graceful warrior’. That’s how her name was born.

“This is my dad’s handwriting to keep him with me, always. Our dear alligator, Daisy, is next to these words to represent our conservation work as Wildlife Warriors.”

The post continued: “And my beautiful wedding ring in bloom. Validation every day of the three most important things in my life: family, purpose and unconditional love.

“Since Grace’s breastfeeding journey ended, now felt like the perfect time for this empowering artwork.”

Powell commented underneath the post: “Such gorgeous artwork. You amaze me every day. Each one is meaningful to mark this special time in our life together. Also, the Florida in me loves the alligator. Love you so much.”

Last year Irwin paid tribute to her late father, sharing a photo of them together and writing: “Your legacy will live on forever. I love you for even longer.”

Cost of living crisis: 2022 ‘could be worse than the financial crisis’

Nadine Batchelor-Hunt·Political Correspondent – Yahoo News UKFri, 7 January 2022, 11:32 am

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts during a virtual press conference to update the nation on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on January 4, 2022. - British hospitals have switched to a
The director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned 2022 could be worse than the 2008/09 financial crisis. (Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has been warned that the growing cost of living crisis could leave Brits worse off than the financial crash of 2008.

The 2008/09 recession was one of the worst on record, with hundreds of thousands of businesses closing and an estimated 3.7m people being made redundant as a result.

Rising inflation, tax increases, and soaring energy bills have been cited by experts as the key factors driving up the cost of living in 2022 – with predictions that the average household in the UK will be £1,200 worse off in the coming months.

Paul Johnson, the director of the independent think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said tax rises, fuel prices, and inflation are creating a potentially devastating environment for households across the country. 

Read more: What is behind the cost-of-living ‘crisis’ and what can we do to cope?

He said: “If you are someone on average earnings who is going to be hit by a tax rise as a result of the reduction of the personal allowance, and a tax rise because of national insurance, and an extra potential several hundreds pounds a year from fuel prices, then this could well be worse than the financial crisis.

“There’s going to be inflation of six or seven per cent and earnings not going up anywhere near that fast – so put those two things together and I find it hard to think of a March-April period which will have been quite so bad. This is a combination of a big tax rise and falling real earnings. It’s not pretty.”

And Johnson is not alone in his concerns, with some experts warning that 2022 could be catastrophic and affect “the vast majority of households”. 

Watch: Britons facing ‘cost-of-living catastrophe’ with average household £1,200 worse off, experts warn 0:01 2:18   Britons facing ‘cost-of-living catastrophe’ with average household £1,200 worse off, experts warn

The Resolution Foundation, think tank for low and middle income households, said in December that next year will be the “year of the squeeze”.

“Rising inflation has focused minds on the cost of living squeeze this winter,” said the think tank.

“These pressures are likely to build in the new year with further price rises outstripping pay growth.

“The spring looks particularly difficult, with April bringing a cost of living catastrophe affecting the vast majority of households: soaring energy bills and significant tax rises will see an annual income hit to the typical household of over £1,000.”

Read more: ‘Do I pay for food or do I pay for heat?’: Energy bills surge squeezes poorest

Elsewhere, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis warned of a “seismic” impact from rising energy bills and called for a “substantial intervention”.

“We are going to see a minimum 50% increase in energy prices in the system and that is unsustainable for many,” he said.

There have been calls from within the prime minister’s own party to cancel tax on fuel and energy bills in response to the cost of living crisis, with 20 MPs – including five ex-ministers – penning an article in The Telegraph on the issue.

“We hardly need to point out that high energy prices, whether for domestic heating or for domestic transport, are felt most painfully by the lowest paid,” they wrote.

And senior Conservative, speaker of the House and cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, has reportedly broken ranks and called for the chancellor to cancel planned rises in National Insurance from April. 

Undated file photo of a gas ring on a home cooker in London. Soaring gas prices consigned a string of energy suppliers to the graveyard in 2021, and will lead to runaway household bills next year as the sector continues to struggle. Energy suppliers had been paying 54p per therm of gas at the beginning of the year. By September, that had reached more than �3 and peaked even further to �4.50 just before Christmas. Issue date: Tuesday December 28, 2021.
Energy bills are set to soar by up to 50% in 2022. (PA Images)

Rishi Sunak said on Thursday he understands “people’s anxiety or concern about rising prices and inflation” and that he was “always listening” to the them – However has reportedly ruled out cancelling tax rises and rejected calls for cutting tax on energy bills. 

On cutting National Insurance rises, the chancellor said: “I think people’s priorities are for us to invest in the NHS to invest in social care, and we need to make sure that those investments are funded sustainably. 

“That’s what we’re doing and now we’ve got to get on and deliver that change for people.”

And the prime minister last week described cutting tax to energy bills as a “blunt instrument” that would benefit families that aren’t struggling with bills. 

However, Number 10 indicated this week that they had not ruled out a new package of measures to help struggling Brits. 


COVID: Omicron reinfections ‘rising rapidly’ in over 30s

Ellen Manning

Ellen ManningFri, 7 January 2022, 11:26 am

Paramedics prepare to offload a patient on a stretcher outside St Thomas� Hospital in London. Covid-19 hospitalisations are rising in the UK amid the latest wave of Covid-19 infections being fuelled by the Omicron variant. Although the numbers remain far below peak, the infection rate threatens to overwhelm the NHS, and may cause staff shortages as workers are forced to quarantine. (Photo by Tejas Sandhu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
The numbers of people being reinfected with the Omicron variant of COVID after already having the virus is rising rapidly, according to new figures. (Getty)

The number of COVID reinfections is rising rapidly in people over the age of 30, a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) expert has warned. 

According the latest UKHSA data, at least 268,517 people had had COVID more than once in England by the end of December.

Epidemiologist Meaghan Kall said the figure is likely to be a significant underestimate due to limited testing in the first coronavirus wave, adding that more data is needed to understand whether reinfections are milder. 

In a series of tweets, Kall said reinfections started rising in the under 30s when the Omicron wave first hit, but are now rising in those aged over 30.

The omicron variant’s ability to evade previous immunity means around one in 10 new COVID-19 infections are in people who have previously had the virus, she added.

Epidemiologist Meaghan Kall said cases of omicron reinfections are rising rapidly in the over-30s. (Twitter/Meaghan Kall)
Epidemiologist Meaghan Kall said cases of omicron reinfections are rising rapidly in the over-30s. (Twitter/Meaghan Kall)

In December, a report from Imperial College London suggested that the risk of reinfection with Omicron is more than five times higher than with the previous Delta variant. 

Currently, the UK’s daily COVID data does not include reinfections, leading to calls to change the system.

Watch: PM insists reports of NHS having too few staff ‘not true’ 0:00 1:35   PM insists reports of NHS having too few staff ‘not true’

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge, told the Guardian: “The reinfection rate was fairly low with Delta, but is higher now, both because prior infection provides little protection against Omicron, and there is a bigger pool of people with prior infection.”

So far, Boris Johnson has steered away from imposing fresh restrictions to tackle the wave of Omicron cases, sticking with Plan B measures amid warnings that the NHS is at breaking point.

Earlier this week, as daily confirmed COVID cases in the UK exceeded 200,000 for the first time, the prime minister acknowledged that parts of the NHS would feel “temporarily overwhelmed”, but said current guidance for people to wear masks and to work from home, as well as COVID passes, would help “ride out” the latest wave of infections.

However, Johnson is facing warnings that the NHS is at breaking point.

On Friday it emerged that the army is preparing to further support the NHS through the current wave of COVID-19, NHS data showing that staff absences due to COVID have risen 59% in a week.

Some 39,142 NHS staff were off sick due to COVID reasons on 2 January. 

Around 200 army personnel have already been drafted in to help the NHS in London.

File photo dated 20/10/20 of staff on a hospital ward. The NHS is as stretched now as it was at the height of the pandemic in January and things will get worse before they get better, health leaders have said. Issue date: Tuesday July 27, 2021.
The government is facing warnings that the NHS is overwhelmed. (Stock image: Getty)

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said rising Omicron cases were “piling even more pressure” on hospital trust workers.

He said: “Omicron means more patients to treat and fewer staff to treat them.

“In fact, around 10,000 more colleagues across the NHS were absent each day last week compared with the previous seven days and almost half of all absences are now down to COVID.

“While we don’t know the full scale of the potential impact this new strain will have, it’s clear it spreads more easily and, as a result, COVID cases in hospitals are the highest they’ve been since February last year – piling even more pressure on hard-working staff.”

Patricia Marquis, the Royal College of Nursing’s director for England, said: “Outside of healthcare, staffing shortages are closing shops and cancelling trains but nurses can’t stop helping their patients.

“Instead, they find themselves spread thinner and thinner, but they can’t keep spinning plates indefinitely either – this situation is simply not safe.”

Londoners urged to get the jab as troops deployed to support NHS

Nicholas Cecil and Anthony FranceFri, 7 January 2022, 11:16 am

Londoners have been urged to use their “best weapon” against Covid – getting jabbed – as the military was deployed to support hospitals in the capital under great strain.

Some 200 armed forces personnel are being made available to hospitals across the capital, which has been the epicentre of the Omicron outbreak with a huge upsurge in cases.

The MoD said the deployment includes 40 military medics and 160 general duty personnel to help fill gaps caused by absences due to NHS staff unable to work because they are ill or having to self-isolate.

They will be deployed in 40 teams of five – comprising one medic and four support personnel – and will be targeted at areas where the need is greatest.

It is expected they will be “on task” for the next three weeks.

London minister Paul Scully stressed bringing in the military was not a normal situation as the Omicron wave has swept through the city with extraordinary speed.

He told Sky News: “When you talk about armed forces around hospitals, they are not sitting there in combats…its more people helping out the undoubted pressures on the NHS and that’s why we want people to get out and get vaccinated and get boosted because that remains our best weapon against the pressures on the NHS and against Covid as we learn to live with Covid.”

Asked on LBC Radio whether the Omicron wave appeared to be easing in London, he added: “It’s looking encouraging, the trend at the moment, but clearly we still need to be on our guard because there is still pressure on the NHS in London.”

Official figures suggest Covid cases may have peaked in the capital and hospitalisations could also be plateauing, though, it is too early to say either with any certainly given infections are still rising among elderly Londoners who are more vulnerable to the virus and the effect of the return to work and school is yet to be seen.

Mr Scully also stressed the high level of staff absences in the NHS in the city due to so many people having to self-isolate given the spread of the disease.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association, told Sky News “we have never known this level of staff absence before” and that thousands of patients were suffering the “consequences” of the pressures on the NHS.

He said although Omicron was milder, people were still falling seriously ill with Covid-19 and hospitals were dealing with the NHS treatment backlog, with almost six million people on the waiting list.

He added: “The reality of the Army having been drafted in to London, the reality of 24 hospitals having declared critical incidents, the reality of having some hospitals having to cancel all their routine surgery, the reality of general practices having to cancel clinics on the day.

“I’m a GP, I’ve never known it this bad. We’re having to literally contact patients without notice that the staff member or a doctor or nurse just isn’t in today because they’re self-isolating.

“This is not normal, and therefore, the Government does need to recognise this is clearly an NHS under extreme pressure and the living reality sadly for thousands of patients is that they’re suffering the consequences of such pressures and also staff absence.”

The announcement comes after Boris Johnson said this week ministers hoped to “ride out” the latest wave without the need for further restrictions in England.


In addition, 32 military co-responders are being provided to support the South Central Ambulance Service, working alongside paramedics until the end of March.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our armed forces are once again stepping up to support their dedicated colleagues in the NHS as they work hand-in-hand to protect the nation from Covid-19.

“They have shown their worth time and again throughout this pandemic, whether driving ambulances, administering vaccines or supporting patients in hospital, and they should be proud of their contribution to this truly national effort.”

Around 1,800 service personnel are already deployed across the UK to support the civil authorities in their response to the pandemic.

They include 313 personnel who have been made available to the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and 96 to the Scottish Ambulance Service.

More than 1,000 service personnel have been provided to support the vaccine booster programme.