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Coronavirus UK news – Amber list quarantine to be AXED for anybody vaccinated in US or EU as covid pingdemic rages on

DAILY Covid deaths have risen by the highest toll since March with 131 fatalities reported – but cases fell for the seventh day in a row. 

Though infections have fallen nearly 40 per cent in a week, today’s rise in fatalities marks the highest toll in over four months.

Today’s rise in infections of 23,511 is well below the 38,925 recorded last Tuesday, and a significant decrease on the 46,717 reported a fortnight ago. 

Yesterday 24,950 new cases were recorded, down from 29,173 on Sunday, and 31,795 on Saturday.

The figures come eight days after ‘Freedom Day’ when England relaxed almost all Covid restrictions – with the data yet to show a surge prompted by the loosening of measures. 

Today’s rise in cases means that a total of 5,745,526 people have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Deaths increased by 131, bringing the total to 129,303. As deaths lag infections by roughly two weeks, the rise reflects the higher caseload a fortnight ago. 

Today’s death toll is well over double last week’s figure of 53 and way above the 47 reported on July 13.

Read our coronavirus live blog for the very latest updates..

  • DRIVE ON

    Tesco is offering a £1,000 bonus to lorry drivers who join the company before the end of September.

    The bonus is to incentivize new starters amid supermarket staffing pressures caused by the “pingdemic”.

    The “pingdemic” has meant large parts of the economy have come to a grinding halt, including within the food sector.

    In response, Tesco has advertised the joining bonus on its website and it will be offered to anyone who takes up one of the HGV driver roles from July 14 until September 30.

    Candidates are told “you’ll play a vital role for our customers and communities, representing Tesco on the highways and byways of the UK”.

  • RAIL TRAVEL IS HIT BY ‘PINGEDEMIC’ AS REDUCED TIMETABLES COME IN TO SERVICE

    Workers in the sector are among the vast number of people being pinged by the NHS coronavirus app.

    Reduced timetables have been introduced on railways across England in an attempt to improve reliability after a recent spate of last-minute cancellations due to staff shortages.

    Passengers are being advised to check their train is running before they leave home.

    Thameslink and Southern has cut its weekday timetables on five routes “until further notice”, and warned that further changes could be required.

    Avanti West Coast has reduced the frequency of its services between London Euston and Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales to “manage staff shortages and ensure a reliable service”. A revised timetable with fewer services was also launched by London Northwestern Railway on Saturday.

  • SAJID JAVID URGES BRITS NOT TO BE ‘TOO OPTIMISTIC’ AS UK CASES CONTINUE TO FALL

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who has previously warned that there could be 100,000 daily cases over the summer, said he hoped recent falls in the numbers would be sustained but it was important not to be “too optimistic”.

    Speaking at a vaccination centre in London’s Little Venice, he told the PA news agency: “The truth is, when it comes to case numbers no-one really knows where they are going to go next.

    “I hope that the falls that we’re seeing now are sustained. That’s of course what I want to see.

    “But we’ve already seen with the Delta variant, a new variant that emerged over the last year, that’s more infectious than the previous one, that things can change.

    “And so, I think it’s important to remain cautious, not get too optimistic.”

  • AXING QUARANTINE FOR DOUBLE-JABBED WILL HELP REUNITE FAMILIES, SAYS BA CHAIRMAN

     Sean Doyle, British Airways chairman and chief executive, said the move by the Government to relax restrictions for travellers arriving from the US and Europe would help reunite families.

    He said: “Our own trials have proved it’s quick and easy to check travellers are fully vaccinated and can safely enter the UK, and this step will allow us to reunite loved ones and get Global Britain back in business, giving the economy the vital boost it so badly needs.

    “With the UK’s Covid cases falling while vaccinations continue to rise, now is the time for the Government to help secure the reopening of the crucial UK-US travel corridor, move more low-risk amber countries to the green list to allow customers to book with confidence and to review the current expensive testing requirements that are out of step with our neighbours.”

  • WAITING GAME (CONTINUED)

    The source said: “The situation in Spain is beginning to feel a lot like the build-up to the decision on France.

    “The Department of Health are getting very jumpy about the number of Beta cases in parts of the country.

    “We’re not talking about the main tourist hotspots, but that might not make any difference – it didn’t with France.”

    Other officials have downplayed the threat in Spain, saying the country won’t be added in the travel review, expected on August 5.

    A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The travel list allocations have not changed for Spain or Greece.”

  • WAITING GAME

    Spain could be replacing France on the amber plus list next week, meaning Brits will not be able to skip the 10-day quarantine even if fully vaxxed.

    Government sources are confident that France will be removed next week after it was added at short notice earlier this month.

    The country was added due to the fears of the Beta variant, meaning France was not included in the easing of the amber list rules which lets Brits with both jabs skip the quarantine back in the UK.

    However, a Whitehall source told the Mail Online that the Department of Health is ‘jumpy’ about the variant being detected in some parts of Spain.

  • NORWAY POSTPONES END OF LOCKDOWN – DESPITE 80% OF POPULATION HAVING THEIR FIRST DOSES

    Norway postponed for a second time on Wednesday a planned final step in the reopening of its economy from pandemic lockdown, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the government said.

    “A new assessment will be made in mid-August,” Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference.

    Measures that will be kept in place to halt the spread of Covid-19 include bars and restaurants being limited to table service and limits of 20 people on gatherings in private homes.

    The government in April launched a four-step plan to gradually remove most pandemic restrictions, and had completed the first three of those steps by mid-June.

    On July 5, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the fourth step could come in late July or early August at the earliest because of concerns about the Delta coronavirus variant.

    About 80% of adults in Norway have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 41% of adults are fully vaccinated, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

  • WATCH: MICHAEL GOVE BLASTS ‘SELFISH’ BRITS WHO REFUSE THE COVID VACCINE AND SAYS THEY SHOULD BE BANNED FROM BIG EVENTS

    Michael Gove blasts ‘selfish’ Brits who refuse the Covid vaccine and says they should be banned from big events
  • OFFICIAL: DOUBLE-JABBED US AND EU TRAVELLERS TO BE ALLOWED INTO ENGLAND WITHOUT QUARANTINE FROM 2 AUGUST

    England is to allow US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter without the need to quarantine.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the new rules will be in place from 4am on Monday August 2.

    The Cabinet minister said: “We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK.”

    It has not been announced whether the change will apply to people arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Currently, only travellers who have received two doses of a vaccine in the UK are permitted to enter from an amber country – such as the US and most of the EU – without self-isolating for 10 days, except those returning from France.

  • RAIL TRAVEL IS HIT BY ‘PINGEDEMIC’ AS REDUCED TIMETABLES COME IN TO SERVICE

    Workers in the sector are among the vast number of people being pinged by the NHS coronavirus app.

    Reduced timetables have been introduced on railways across England in an attempt to improve reliability after a recent spate of last-minute cancellations due to staff shortages.

    Passengers are being advised to check their train is running before they leave home.

    Thameslink and Southern has cut its weekday timetables on five routes “until further notice”, and warned that further changes could be required.

    Avanti West Coast has reduced the frequency of its services between London Euston and Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales to “manage staff shortages and ensure a reliable service”. A revised timetable with fewer services was also launched by London Northwestern Railway on Saturday.

  • ARSENAL GOLDEN BOY TORREIRA SAYS HE NEARLY QUIT FOOTBALL FOR GOOD AFTER MUM’S DEATH

    Arsenal star Lucas Torreira has admitted he wanted to quit football after his mum tragically passed away from Covid-19 in March.

    The 25-year-old was on loan at Atletico Madrid at the time, later paying tribute to his mum when the Spanish club won LaLiga in May.

    Speaking to the Metro, Torreira said: “When my mother’s thing happened, I wanted to stop playing soccer.

    “I wanted to stay in Fray Bentos with my family. I had very little desire to go back to Spain because I had to stay alone there.

    “Luckily one of my brothers left with me, but I wanted to be here, with my father, because he was the one who was suffering the most and the one who was hurt the most by this whole situation.”

  • THE PANDEMIC WILL BE OVER BY CHRISTMAS

    Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson said the end of Britain’s pandemic could be just months away as vaccines have so dramatically reduced the risk of hospitalisation and death.

    “We’re not completely out of the woods but the equation has fundamentally changed,” Ferguson, whose modelling of the virus’s likely spread at the outset of the pandemic in early 2020 alarmed governments across the world, told the BBC yesterday.

  • WHICH CHANGING ROOMS ARE NOT OPEN IN THE UK?

    Next was still deciding on whether to reopen fitting rooms back in April and May when different stage of lockdown lifted.

    Tesco has not reopened its F&F clothing changing rooms yet.

    It’s understood there are currently no plans to get the service back up and running again.

  •  DOUBLE-JABBED VISITORS FROM US AND EU TO AVOID QUARANTINE

    Double-jabbed travelers from the US and EU will be allowed to enter England without the need for quarantine, it has been reported.

    Ministers are understood to have made the decision in a bid to free up travel from overseas during a crunch meeting today.

    The Covid operations committee gave the green light to fully-vaccinated visitors this morning, the BBC has reported.

    Here is the full story

  • PINGS TO DO

    Only 200 coronavirus testing sites to stop essential workers from self-isolation have been opened.

    Amid growing alarm at the sheer scale of the pingdemic crisis, there has been a scramble to free more essential workers from the draconian rules.

    The NHS Covid-19 App, which “pings” anyone who has been within 2 metres of an infectious person for more than 15 minutes, has caused severe disruption to Brits despite lockdown rules ending last week.

    And business leaders and trade bodies have been calling on the government to take action and change the sensitivity of the app.

    Critical services risked being crippled by staffing crises as record numbers of workers were forced to isolate.

  • SINGLE VACCINE DOSE EFFECTIVE FOR CLINICALLY VULNERABLE, STUDY SUGGESTS

    A single dose of the coronavirus vaccine offers as much protection against severe Covid-19 to people who were shielding during the pandemic as it does for the rest of the population, a study has found.

    Researchers from Public Health Scotland and the University of Edinburgh said there had been concerns that a weakened immune system may reduce the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines.

    They used data from more than 100,000 people to determine its impact on reducing severe forms of the disease among the clinically extremely vulnerable.

    The results showed the efficacy of a single vaccination dose in protecting against severe Covid-19 was as high or higher in those eligible for shielding.

    But there was not enough data to judge the vaccine’s effect on those who have received a solid organ transplant.

  • GP ADMINISTERED COVID-19 VACCINES AWAY FROM OFFICIAL VACCINATION CENTRE

    A GP is being investigated for taking 300 Covid-19 vaccines to be administered outside of an official vaccination centre.

    Patients in Portsmouth, Hampshire, who received one of the doses are being offered an additional jab as a precaution.

    The Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group has warned that the 300 vaccinations given by the GP, who has not been named, might not be as effective if they had not been stored at the correct temperature.

    A spokeswoman said: “These vaccinations were given by a GP outside of an NHS-approved vaccination site.

    “While there is no reason to suggest that people vaccinated at this site are at any increased risk, we are acting on advice from Public Health England and contacting them to offer an additional vaccination as a precaution.”

  • NORWAY POSTPONES END OF LOCKDOWN – DESPITE 80% OF POPULATION HAVING THEIR FIRST DOSES

    Norway postponed for a second time on Wednesday a planned final step in the reopening of its economy from pandemic lockdown, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the government said.

    “A new assessment will be made in mid-August,” Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference.

    Measures that will be kept in place to halt the spread of Covid-19 include bars and restaurants being limited to table service and limits of 20 people on gatherings in private homes.

    The government in April launched a four-step plan to gradually remove most pandemic restrictions, and had completed the first three of those steps by mid-June.

    On July 5, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the fourth step could come in late July or early August at the earliest because of concerns about the Delta coronavirus variant.

    About 80% of adults in Norway have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 41% of adults are fully vaccinated, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

  • TRUE FREEDOM

    Brits who come into contact with a positive Covid cases WON’T have to take a test after August 16.

    People will be urged to get a PCR test if they have close contact with someone with the virus, but that won’t be legally required.

    The rules around isolation are set to be relaxed in just a few weeks, meaning people who come into contact with a positive case won’t have to isolate anymore.

    That means people who get pinged by the app won’t need to stay inside, too.

    People will still be contacted by Test and Trace, but they will be urged to get a test, not legally obliged to.

  • HOLIDAY HELL

    Holiday goers must check their insurance if they’ve been pinged as they might not be covered for cancelling their trip, experts warn.

    One million people were told to self isolate by the NHS Covid app in just one week recently, grinding Britain to a standstill.

    Supermarket shelves have been left bare, pubs and restaurants have had to close and transport services have been delayed as workers across the country have been told to stay at home.

    But if you’re due to go on holiday but have been pinged, experts have warned to check the small print of your policy.

    Analysts Defaqto estimate that while nine in 10 travel insurance policies cover holiday cancellation costs if you get Covid, only six in 10 policies will cover you if in cases where you’ve been told to self-isolate.

  • GP ADMINISTERED COVID-19 VACCINES AWAY FROM OFFICIAL VACCINATION CENTRE

    A GP is being investigated for taking 300 Covid-19 vaccines to be administered outside of an official vaccination centre.

    Patients in Portsmouth, Hampshire, who received one of the doses are being offered an additional jab as a precaution.

    The Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group has warned that the 300 vaccinations given by the GP, who has not been named, might not be as effective if they had not been stored at the correct temperature.

    A spokeswoman said: “These vaccinations were given by a GP outside of an NHS-approved vaccination site.

    “While there is no reason to suggest that people vaccinated at this site are at any increased risk, we are acting on advice from Public Health England and contacting them to offer an additional vaccination as a precaution.”

  • RAIL TRAVEL IS HIT BY ‘PINGEDEMIC’ AS REDUCED TIMETABLES COME IN TO SERVICE

    Workers in the sector are among the vast number of people being pinged by the NHS coronavirus app.

    Reduced timetables have been introduced on railways across England in an attempt to improve reliability after a recent spate of last-minute cancellations due to staff shortages.

    Passengers are being advised to check their train is running before they leave home.

    Thameslink and Southern has cut its weekday timetables on five routes “until further notice”, and warned that further changes could be required.

    Avanti West Coast has reduced the frequency of its services between London Euston and Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales to “manage staff shortages and ensure a reliable service”. A revised timetable with fewer services was also launched by London Northwestern Railway on Saturday.

  • WATCH: SON OF ANTI-VAX NURSE BEING PROBED BY COPS FOR COMPARING NHS MEDICS TO NAZIS SLAMS ‘ARROGANT’ MUM

    Son of anti-vax nurse being probed by cops for comparing NHS medics to Nazis slams ‘arrogant’ mum
  • DOWNING STREET REFUSES TO DENY IF STUDENTS WILL NEED JABS FOR LECTURES

    Downing Street did not deny reports that students would need to be fully vaccinated to attend university lectures.

    “You have heard what the PM has said before, specifically that the pandemic is not over,” a No 10 spokesman said.

    “We are still looking at the scope for vaccination certifications.”

    Asked if there was concern about take-up of the vaccines in younger age groups, the spokesman said: “I think you continue to see more and more young people coming forward to receive the vaccine, both in terms of first doses and now second doses.

    “Of course, we want to see more people come forward to receive it. We would like to see everybody who is invited to come forward and receive the vaccination to do so. That’s the message we continue to try and give to young people.”

  • RECORD 1.13m PUPILS ABSENT FROM SCHOOL DUE TO COVID-RELATED REASONS

    A record 1.13 million children in England were out of school for Covid-19 related reasons on Friday, Government figures show.

    Around 1,126,000 pupils missed class on July 16, compared with 859,000 on Friday July 9, according to Department for Education (DfE) statistics.

    The figures include 994,000 children self-isolating due to a possible contact with a Covid-19 case, 48,000 pupils with a confirmed case of coronavirus, and 33,300 with a suspected case.

    A further 50,700 pupils were off as a result of school closures due to Covid-related reasons.

    The DfE survey, which has been recording daily attendance in schools over the past year, closed on July 16 – when the number of children absent from class due to Covid-19 reached a record high since all students returned in March.

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