Coronavirus live news: first travellers to leave UK quarantine hotels; France could impose regional lockdowns | World news

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The owner of British Airways, International Airlines Group, has reported a record €7.4bn loss for last year, and called for the introduction of digital health passes for passengers to enable the airline industry to get back on its feet.

IAG said that passenger capacity last year was only a third of 2019 and in the first quarter of this year is running at only a fifth of pre-Covid levels. The airline group reported a total annual operating loss of €7.4bn (£6.4bn).

“Our results reflect the serious impact that Covid-19 has had on our business,” said Luis Gallego, the chief executive of IAG. “The group continues to reduce its cost base and increase the proportion of variable costs to better match market demand. We’re transforming our business to ensure we emerge in a stronger competitive position.”




International Airlines Group says passenger capacity last year was only a third of 2019 and in the first quarter of this year is running at only a fifth of pre-Covid levels

International Airlines Group says passenger capacity last year was only a third of 2019 and in the first quarter of this year is running at only a fifth of pre-Covid levels. Photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA

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The rights of children and vulnerable people in police custody are being put at risk during the pandemic by problems with the remote provision of legal advice, according to a report by charities in England and Wales.

While suspects here normally have a right to a lawyer being present during police interviews, research shows that legal support was provided remotely to children and vulnerable adults in more than half of 4,700 police station interviews during a snapshot period last year.

Charities say the potential for miscarriages of justices is being stored up as a result of issues such as confusion among interviewees who sometimes felt pressured to agree to getting advice remotely. They say consent was sometimes ignored or not sought.

Some solicitors refused to attend in person even though the child or mentally vulnerable client was accused of a serious crime such as attempted murder or rape.

The findings come in a report by three charities – Fair Trials, Transform Justice and the National Appropriate Adult Network – which are calling for an end to remote legal assistance in police custody. (Read on )

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Good morning from London. This is Ben Quinn picking up the blog now on a day when some of the first people to check into quarantine hotels after arriving into the UK from abroad are being ‘released’.

That comes as, separately, hundreds of thousands of people who were asked to shield in England are being invited for a Covid-19 vaccine jab.

The former Labour prime minister Tony Blair meanwhile urged the UK to take the lead in developing a new “health security infrastructure” that would ensure countries coordinate better in identifying emerging new threats as well as developing, testing and manufacturing vaccines and treatments.

World leaders could have cut the length of the Covid outbreak by three months if they had collaborated on vaccines, testing and drugs, he told the Guardian as he launched a report on preparing for the next deadly pandemic.

Items in the UK diary for the hours ahead include:

  • 0930am The Covid-19 social impacts weekly survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  • 1000am Hearings into Covid-19 regulations breaches at City of London Magistrates’ Court
  • Noon The ONS weekly Covid infection survey

I’ll be brining you coverage of those developments and continue to cover global news.

You can flag up any news stories that you feel we should be covering by emailing me contacting me on Twitter at @BenQuinn75.

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