Heavy snow batters parts of UK and patients urged to rebook Covid vaccinations

Conor Riordan, PA Scotland
·3 min read

Heavy snow and freezing rain have battered parts of the UK, with some older patients urged to rebook their coronavirus vaccination appointments to avoid the bad weather.

The Met Office had issued an amber snow warning for parts of Scotland and northern England overnight into Thursday, with up to 11cm falling in the Perth and Kinross area and 5cm in Cumbria by 9am, and large accumulations elsewhere.

Snow
A woman walks through the snow in Braco, near Dunblane (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Hospital bosses have advised older people not to visit Newcastle’s Centre for Life mass vaccination hub due to the conditions, urging them to rebook their appointment.

The Newcastle NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust tweeted: “It’s easy to do by calling 119. No need to risk travelling in the bad weather.”

Weather warnings January 14
(PA Graphics)

A further yellow warning for snow and ice remains in place until 9pm on Thursday, stretching from the northern Highlands to South Yorkshire.

The rest of England is likely to see heavy rain, particularly in London and the South East, while Wales and Northern Ireland are predicted to stay mostly dry.

The temperature fell as low as minus 5.5C (21F) in North Yorkshire on Thursday morning, and minus 6.4C (20F) in Dalwhinnie in the Highlands.

Nicky Maxey, a Met Office spokeswoman, said on Thursday that unsettled conditions are set to last into next week, and she urged people to be alert for new warnings from the forecaster.

She said: “We’ve seen snow leave the M62 Yorkshire area and journeying now into the Vales or Yorkshire.

“It will push further south as we go through the day, likely to go down to the Midlands but becoming less intense.

“It becomes more patchy and the chances of it sticking reduce.

“When we go into tomorrow there may well be an ice warning issued, we are certainly looking at some potential for frost.

“With the temperatures warming up through the day there’s potential the snow starts melting.

“If it freezes overnight there’s a chance of frost and ice tomorrow morning.”

Police Scotland’s road policing unit warned against travelling in the wintry weather.

Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock said: “Government restrictions on travelling remain in place across Scotland because of the ongoing pandemic.

Dog walking
A dog walker makes his way through the snow in Hexham, Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“People should not leave their homes unless for essential purposes and work from home where possible. The best way to stay safe is to stay at home.

“In the current wintry weather please consider if your journey is exempt under the regulations and also if it really is essential and whether you can delay it until the weather improves.”

Meanwhile, the trial of a butcher accused of raping and murdering a 21-year-old student has been called off for the day due to the snow.

In the case of Pawel Relowicz, three jurors were unable to get to Sheffield Crown Court because of the weather, the judge told the members of the panel who could make it in.