Elderly told to scrap Covid vaccine appointments because of heavy snowfall

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Elderly people have been warned not to visit a city’s vaccine centre today due to heavy snow.

Hospital bosses have advised older people to stay away from Newcastle’s Centre for Life mass vaccination hub today.

They have warned that heavy snow which fell overnight has made driving unsafe.

Those who chose not to travel today should rebook another appointment.

The Newcastle NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust tweeted: “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. No need to risk travelling in the bad weather.”

The North East woke up to a blanket of snow after yellow and amber weather warnings were put in place by the Met Office yesterday.

Heavy snowfall forecasts of up to 10cm came good overnight as showers turned to sleet and snow.

The alert also warned of significant travel disruption, especially in western areas of Durham and Northumberland, where roads are now caked in ice and snow.

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.

He said a yellow weather warning is also in place on Saturday, which could see heavy snow across parts of Scotland to central parts of England.

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.”