Spain's rock concert, Germany in a 'dangerous phase': COVID-19 daily bulletin
- Some 5,000 fans attended a government-approved rock concert in Barcelona on Saturday night. People in attendance had to take a rapid test upon arrival and had to wear masks throughout the performance, but social distancing was not required.
- A record number of people in Ukraine were hospitalized with the virus in the past 24 hours. Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said 5,052 people had been taken to hospital in the past day compared to the previous record of 4,887 set on March 17.
- Germany is "in the most dangerous phase of the pandemic," said Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun, as the country struggles to contain a surge in new infections. "The next few weeks will determine whether we can foreseeably get the pandemic under control," he added.
- Thousands of people from countries neighboring Serbia flocked to Belgrade on Saturday after authorities offered foreigners the chance to be vaccinated if they turned up over the weekend.
- People in lorries visiting England from outside the UK for more than two days will need to take a test within 48 hours of arrival and one every 72 hours after that, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced.
- Vaccines do not completely prevent transmission, according to the deputy chair of the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, Anthony Harnden. "It's still possible, even though you've been vaccinated, to get infected, have no symptoms and transmit it to others. That's why it's important that all those who get vaccinated still stick to the rules."
- The Moderna vaccine could be rolled out across England in the coming weeks, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, but he would not be drawn on a specific date.
- Spain is to require people arriving from France by land to present a negative test following a spike in cases. The requirement will not apply to truck drivers, people crossing the border for work or people who live within 30 kilometers of Spain's borders.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the discovery of the variant first discovered in the country was an "incredibly important moment, because we were then able to work out what was happening, because we could see that the strain was basically transmitting considerably faster."
- Northern Ireland's first minister Arlene Foster has received her first dose of a vaccine as the country seeks to broaden its inoculation program.
- Chinese vaccine developer Sinopharm has said it will need to access phase-three trials before deciding whether its two-dose jab should be accompanied with a booster shot.
- Russia has reported a further 9,088 new cases in the past 24 hours, while fatalities also rose by 336, bringing the nationwide death toll since the start of the pandemic to 97,740.
Rahul Pathak in Madrid
Up to 5,000 people attended a rock concert in Barcelona on Saturday night after passing a same-day COVID-19 test. Organizers claimed the gig was the biggest commercial event held in Europe during the pandemic.
Once fans were inside the Palau Sant Jordi concert hall, all had to wear face masks but social distancing was not required. Spain's health ministry had given special permission for the concert to go ahead, to serve as a test to see if similar sized events could take place in the future.
A recent study by Spain's Music Federation found the European music industry lost 76 percent of its earnings in 2020.