Texts and letters will be sent to eligible people who had their second vaccine at least six months ago
New Zealand reported 24 new locally acquired coronavirus cases today, up from 20 on Saturday, showing an upturn after several days of lower numbers, Reuters reports;
All of the new cases have been reported in greater Auckland, a city of about 1.7 million people which has been in a full level 4 lockdown since mid-August.
The government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is to announce tomorrow whether the alert levels for Auckland and rest of the country will be changed.
Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Invitations to book a Covid booster jab will be sent to 1.5million people in England this week.
Booster doses are an important way of keeping the virus under control for the long term and will protect the most vulnerable through the winter months.
I urge everyone who receives a letter or text to get their jab as soon as possible so we can strengthen the wall of defence across the country that each vaccine brings.
As we head into winter we should not drop our guard so I would urge everyone to come forward and get a booster vaccination when then they are invited.
Getting a top-up vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this cruel virus.
The gardens’ gift shop has plenty to satisfy my chocolate craving
There is a photo in the family album, of me aged six or seven, wearing yellow shorts, crouched down on the lawn in front of the Palm House at Kew Gardens. Not long after, my parents bought a café and became self-employed, and we hardly had a weekend off together again. I’ve never been back since.
Thus it was that I was heady with excitement to re-visit, this time with my eldest, and the Palm House was the first place we went into. It’s a hot ’n’ sticky place (not a venue for a first date) and in among the endangered plants and ‘possibly the biggest pot plant in the world’ was the cacao tree. Although this was not a place to eat chocolate.
Kicking post-Brexit import controls down the road for a second time puts UK goods at a disadvantage
It came as a little surprise to anyone in the UK’s logistics industry or at its ports when the government announced its decision to delay – for the second time in a little over six months – the introduction of post-Brexit import controls on goods arriving in Great Britain from the EU.
New checks on food and animal products imported from the continent will now not be brought in until 1 July 2022, a full year after they were originally intended to begin. The introduction of other requirements, including the paperwork that accompanies imports of food and animal products, has also been delayed from 1 October to next year.
The Cambridge classicist on owning her TV image, dealing with internet trolls, and why her new book on Roman emperors sheds light on our preoccupation with statues
In her new book, Twelve Caesars, Mary Beard touches enticingly on the life of Elagabalus, a man whose excesses seemingly outstripped even those of Caligula or Nero. Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus, was only briefly emperor of Rome – he was assassinated by the Praetorian Guard when he was still a teenager – but he has a special place in Beard’s head, if not her heart. Should a journalist casually inquire which emperor some modern-day politician might bring to mind, his is the name she often gives in reply. Beard likes to unsettle those in search of lazy analogies and hardly anyone, she says, has heard of this bloke. Even better, she can then send the baffled and the bemused to Roses of Heliogabalus, a painting of 1888 by Lawrence Alma-Tadema that depicts the emperor’s party trick, which was to smother his guests to death beneath piles of rose petals. “Once you know that story, you understand tyranny much better,” she says, with predictable relish. “There is no safe point. Even the generosity of emperors could be lethal.”
To be frank, I hadn’t heard of Elagabalus either, or not before I read her book, and the same, alas, goes for almost everyone else in it. But to my amazement, this hardly mattered. Twelve Caesars is fascinating and not only because its author writes so engagingly. Many years in the making, the world into which it will be born is not quite the same as the one in which it was conceived. Its preoccupations – essentially, it’s about the way that images of Roman emperors from Caesar to Domitian have influenced culture across the centuries – are suddenly and newly of the moment in a Britain that has become completely fixated with statues.
Robert Harris, whose second world war film was copied, tells how the scandal led to George Stevens Jr being stripped of his awards
It was a just few seconds of vivid footage: joyous scenes of American troops on tanks and Jeeps driving down a Champs Élysées lined with cheering Parisian crowds. But the rare colour sequence, shot by one of the Hollywood greats, film director George Stevens, sparked a chain of events that has ended in scandal and embarrassment for Stevens’s son and for leading US TV awards the Emmys.
Now for the first time, the former BBC producer Paul Woolwich and his collaborator, the renowned novelist Robert Harris, have revealed the full story behind an unprecedented decision to quietly strip a trio of top awards from two leading American film-makers after the realisation that their work on a 1994 documentary had come from a BBC Newsnight film already broadcast in Britain in 1985.