COVID-19: Elderly people in Newcastle told not to travel in snow to get vaccine jabs

Elderly people due to receive a coronavirus vaccine jab in Newcastle today have been told to rebook due to poor weather.

The city saw snowfall overnight and more is forecast later today.

Newcastle Hospitals said there was “no need to risk travelling in the bad weather”.

“We’re advising older people who are booked for their COVID-19 vaccine at the Centre for Life today to rebook for another day when the weather is better. It’s easy to do by calling 119,” it posted on Twitter.

Heavy snow and freezing rain is set to batter the UK this week, with warnings issued over potential power cuts and travel delays.

Up to 20cm of snow was forecast to fall overnight in parts of northern England, while Scotland could see up to 30cm.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for these areas, with forecasters warning that some roads may be affected by deep snow, leaving vehicles stranded, while there is a “good chance” that some rural communities could become cut off.

The warning, stretching across an area from the Borders to the Highlands, was in place from 3pm on Wednesday to 10am Thursday.

Overnight temperatures were expected to drop as low as -7C (19F) in the east of England on Wednesday night and possibly -11C or -12C (10-12F) in Scotland.

John Griffiths, a Met Office forecaster, dismissed any link to the widely reported “Beast from the East 2”, simply saying the conditions are “normal” for the winter weather cycle.

He said: “On Thursday a band of rain, sleet and snow will hit parts of Scotland and northern England, which will slowly extend south to the Midlands as the day progresses.

“It is expected to be very cold in these areas, dropping below 0C (32F) in Scotland and parts of northern England.

“This will start to gradually ease and die out during the evening, with frost and freezing fog coming in.”

Mr Griffiths said Friday will “start cold and foggy”, with most areas becoming dry and bright over the rest of the day.

A different picture prevailed in other parts of the country, with more than 15 flood warnings, where flooding is expected and immediate action needed, in place across much of the east of England, according to the Environment Agency.

Almost 100 flood alerts, where flooding is possible, had also been issued.

The affected area stretched from Northallerton in North Yorkshire to Ashford, Kent, along much of the east coast and as far west as Birmingham, Manchester and the Isle of Man.

(c) Sky News 2021: COVID-19: Elderly people in Newcastle told not to travel in snow to get vaccine jabs

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