Brussels threatens to block vaccine

EU demands tighter control on vaccine exports

Britain’s Covid vaccine supply is in jeopardy. The EU threatened to block exports of the Belgian-made Pfizer jabs as part of a row with the UK-based AstraZeneca (AZ). Brussels decided to impose tighter controls on exports after reacting with anger to the news that AZ will deliver 50 million fewer doses to the EU than it had expected. Ministers now fear that deliveries of the Pfizer jabs will, at best, be delayed by extra paperwork – and that the EU could try to stop doses being sent to non-EU countries after saying it would “take any action required to protect its citizens”. Brussels Correspondent James Crisp says that the EU is seeking retribution in the vaccine blame game. Use our postcode tool to find out how many Covid vaccinations have been given in your area.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is today expected to approve plans to force some travellers arriving in the UK to quarantine in hotels. The Cabinet coronavirus operations committee meets later to finalise an Australian-style hotel system that will cost up to £1,500 for 10 days’ self-isolating, with meals served in rooms and security guard supervision. Home Affairs Editor Charles Hymas explains that holidays abroad could be off until 2022 if it applies to all passengers. Various options are said to be on the table, but Whitehall sources suggested ministers may opt for a more limited system. Matt lightens the mood with today’s cartoon.

Boris Johnson aims to charm Scots and save Union

The Prime Minister is to launch a charm offensive in Scotland later this week as part of his plan to save the Union. Boris Johnson is expected to use a visit north of the border to underline the UK Government’s role in delivering coronavirus vaccines in an attempt to turn the tide against record support for Scottish independence. The SNP, which is expecting a big win in May’s election, is determined to advance its plan to hold a referendum – even without UK Government approval.

Three Michelin stars for chef with £195 takeaway

Michelin-starred meals may have been assumed to be one of the victims of lockdown. But the guide to the best restaurants has this year deemed takeaway food worthy of its seal of approval after several cordon bleu chefs turned to providing meals to go. Among them was Helene Darroze, of The Connaught, who was awarded three Michelin stars after offering a £195 tasting menu in a box. View what the takeaway contains.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Forty winks | If you struggle to concentrate after lunch, consider this. Five-minute naps in the afternoon can improve memory and keep the brain more agile, a study has found. People who took regular afternoon sleeps appeared to speak more fluently and remember things better than those who did not. Follow these tips to become a top power-napper.  

Around the world: Protests in Mumbai

Police in India stop farmers as they march in Mumbai in an attempt to make the government suspend controversial agricultural reform laws. View our gallery of more striking pictures from around the world.

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Democrats must move fast on voting and finally win this democracy fight

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