Coronavirus latest: Italy death toll surpasses 100,000

The North American box office is expected to have had one of its best weekends since restrictions started in March last year as cinemas in New York City reopened on Friday at limited capacity. US and Canadian box office revenues are estimated to have reached $25.5m over the March 5-7 weekend.

People in the US who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 can now visit the homes of other vaccinated people or even unvaccinated people who are at low risk of serious disease. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Monday outlined for the first time how life can change now that about 9 per cent of Americans have been inoculated.

Boris Johnson has welcomed the reopening of schools in England, calling it the first step on a “cautious but irreversible” return to normality. Johnson praised parents and pupils for the work they had done during the lockdown, and said there would now be “a concerted national programme for educational recovery”.

High school students in New York City will return to classrooms this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. Students in grades nine and above will be able to return to school buildings on March 22, essentially ending coronavirus restrictions imposed upon the largest school district in the US.

Moderna has teamed up with Baxter International to package nearly 100m doses of its coronavirus vaccine in the US this year. The Massachusetts-based company has agreed that Baxter BioPharma, which specialises in vaccine production, will provide “fill and finish” services for as many as 90m doses of its jab.

The European Medicines Agency is weighing up whether to take further action as one person died and another was severely ill in Austria after being given AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. Both people had received shots from the same batch of vaccines.

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and first lady Asmaa have tested positive for coronavirus. The couple is in a stable condition, the presidency said on Monday, and expected to continue working while in quarantine for two to three weeks.

Italy has approved the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the over 65s, becoming the latest European country to give a green light for its use on older people after several countries had initially raised concerns about its effectiveness.

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