Covid latest news LIVE: Six NHS trusts in England declare critical incidents over patient surge

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    ix NHS trusts in England have declared critical incidents over extreme staff shortages caused by a surge in Covid cases – meaning priority services may be under threat.

    United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said that “extreme and unprecedented” staff shortages were expected to result in “compromised care” and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay has declared an “internal critical incident”.

    Meanwhile, Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi said schools should be prepared to merge classes into large groups if staff levels dipped too low. His comments came as a mask mandate came into effect in all areas of schools from Tuesday.

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