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Virus cases fall 30% in a week as Premier League stars REFUSE jab just days ahead of season

COVID cases have fallen by 30 per cent in just one week, as the vaccine roll out continues to push down England’s infection rates and deaths.

New figures released Sunday show there were 24,470 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, with 65 deaths.

Meanwhile, players in the Premier League and EFL are defiantly refusing to have Covid jabs — leading to divided dressing rooms just days before the new season.

And it is feared stars could end up missing the start of the new campaign, with the EFL kicking off on Friday night followed by the Premier League the following week.

Some players have chosen not to get a vaccine for personal reasons, while others have refused on the grounds of their faith. One Championship outfit has players and staff isolating after a member of the squad said no to the needle, then tested positive.

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

  • AIRLINES URGE SHAPPS TO ACT

    Major airlines have written to Mr Shapps and told him time is running out to save the critical summer holiday season — and their industry.

    BA, EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic, Tui, Jet2, Ryanair and Loganair told him much of Europe, America, the Caribbean and other major markets must be put on the green list.

    They wrote: “We cannot afford to stand still over this vital summer period and urge you to act.”

    The letter adds “no evidence” has been produced that the current regime is necessary for fully vaccinated travellers from green list countries.

  • CHARTED: COVID-19 RATES ACROSS EUROPE

     

  • COVID CASES FALL 30% IN A WEEK AS UK SEES 24,470 MORE DAILY INFECTIONS AND 65 VIRUS DEATHS IN LAST 24 HOURS

    COVID cases have fallen by 30 per cent in a week.

    There were 24,470 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, with 65 deaths.

    This time last week, there were 28,652 cases and 28 deaths.

    Today’s statistics mean there has been a 30 per cent drop in cases on average during the past seven days compared to the week before.

    Deaths, however, continue to rise, with a 17 per cent increase this week compared to the week before.

  • PREMIER LEAGUE AND EFL STARS REFUSE TO GET JABBED

    Players are defiantly refusing to have Covid jabs — leading to divided dressing rooms just days before the new season.

    And it is feared stars could end up missing the start of the new campaign, with the EFL kicking off on Friday night followed by the Premier League the following week.

    Some players have chosen not to get a vaccine for personal reasons, while others have refused on the grounds of their faith.

    One Championship outfit has players and staff isolating after a member of the squad said no to the needle, then tested positive.

  • CONTINUED

    Piers Corbyn is said to appear delighted with the money but claimed he couldn’t be influenced – he then sets out his terms of agreement saying “As long as I can accept it with no insistence on any policy changes or anything that I’m doing”.

    Manners then agrees they would not ask for policy changes but says “if there is anything that can be done to focus a bit on Pfizer and Moderna – that would be a useful thing”.

    Corbyn then begins writing benefits for the AstraZeneca vaccine and agrees with the request for the vaccine to be ignored in his future anti-vaccine speeches.

    To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest Piers tells the YouTubers that if asked where the money has come from, he’d say it came from “a businessman that runs restaurants” rather than from AZ.

    Corbyn then claims that a focus on Pfizer and Moderna “would happen anyway without any interference”.

  • JAB PRANK

    In the video, the pranksters showed Corbyn the £10,000 cash and then used sleight of hand to replace the real cash with Monopoly money before he appears to accept the envelope and agrees to focus on Pfizer and Moderna instead of the AZ jab.

    In the video – which has gone viral online – Pieters can be seen purchasing shares worth £100 in AstraZeneca to ensure he could legally pose as a stakeholder in the company.

    They then got in touch with Piers Corbyn via email proposing a donation to his campaign ‘Stop New Normal’ in which he agreed to meet up.

    Pieters and Manners arrange the meeting in Sloane Square and set up a restaurant with hidden cameras.

    The meeting begins with Pieters telling Corbyn his father owns a very successful restaurant chain in South Africa and implies the family has a number of other businesses and investments.

  • Anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn tricked into ‘accepting’ £10k in exchange for an end to criticising AstraZeneca vaccines
  • PIERS MORGAN PRAISES PRANKSTERS WHO TRICKED PIERS CORBYN

    Piers Morgan has applauded pranksters who tricked anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn into taking £10,000 in exchange for an end to criticising AstraZeneca vaccines in his speeches.

    The prank shared online shows YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners pose as stakeholders in AstraZeneca who are concerned about the negative of Corbyn’s anti-vaccine speeches.

    The comedy duo filmed the encounter in Central London which saw them trying to convince the former Labour leader’s brother to take £10,000 to stop criticising the Covid vaccine.

    Morgan shared the video online, tweeting: “Brilliant work, chaps.”

  • ECONOMY BOOST

    Last night there was a glimmer of hope that France could be released from the amber-plus list — meaning fully vaccinated Brits could return without the need to quarantine.

    Talks have been held at the highest levels about removing Middle East destinations from the red list.

    One Cabinet source said: “Apart from giving UK citizens more freedom to travel, it would give a big boost to the economy to have visitors spending their money here.”

  • CONTINUED

    The signatories state: “We are today seeing no real recovery in customer confidence. The UK aviation recovery is far behind countries in Europe.

    “Travel bookings in Germany are now at 60 per cent of 2019 levels. France is at 48 per cent.

    “Here in the UK, we are booking just 16 per cent of trips compared to pre-pandemic. This is not sustainable.”

  • AIRLINES URGE SHAPPS TO ACT

    Major airlines have written to Mr Shapps and told him time is running out to save the critical summer holiday season — and their industry.

    BA, EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic, Tui, Jet2, Ryanair and Loganair told him much of Europe, America, the Caribbean and other major markets must be put on the green list.

    They wrote: “We cannot afford to stand still over this vital summer period and urge you to act.”

    The letter adds “no evidence” has been produced that the current regime is necessary for fully vaccinated travellers from green list countries.

  • RISHI SUNAK BATTLING TO SAVE SUMMER HOLS

    Rishi Sunak is leading a charge to rescue the holiday season for millions of pandemic-weary Brits.

    The Chancellor has told colleagues they risk denting national morale and the economy by slapping new restrictions on foreign travel this week.

    He has joined forces with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps who shares fears over countries being put on a new amber watch list.

    The move would mean holidaymakers would be warned the country they visit could be moved on to the red list at short notice.

    Last night, a source said: “You would have to be completely bonkers to book a holiday knowing you could go on to the red list.”

  • TWO-THIRDS OF 18-29-YEAR-OLDS HAVE HAD THE FIRST JAB

  • JAB PUSH

    Offering young people cut-price fast food if they get jabbed has been branded a panic move by MPs.

    The vouchers for vaccine scheme will see companies such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims give discounts to customers who get a vaccine in a push to protect more young Brits.

    One senior MP said: “One minute they tell us pizza is bad for us — now they’re handing them out.

    ” They are in a state of panic.”

  • ‘ONE OF THE BIGGEST TRAGEDIES’

    The CQC declared more than 39,000 people died from the virus in English care homes in official figures published for this first time in July.

    However, data from those nine days before April 10 reveals 7,775 deaths occurred within this period – 4,190 higher than the same period the year before.

    Jeremy Hunt, the former Health Minister and chair of an all-powerful Commons health select committee set to hear from the CQC described the discharing of Covid patients into care homes as “one of the biggest tragedies last year”.

    “Both the NHS and its regulators need to explain why we were less stringent than countries like Germany that did not allow untested patients into care homes unless they were fully quarantined.”

  • CONTINUED

    One manager said the regulator “failed every one of its own standards” and described the CQC’s Covid policy as “a death warrant”.

    “They were neglecting what they were supposed to be doing for a living,” they said.

    “The CQC’s remit is to protect patients and residents. It is not to get into bed with the Government to engineer bed vacancies.”

  • COVID DEATHS IN CARE HOMES ARE ‘THOUSANDS’ HIGHER

    Covid deaths in English care homes are likely “thousands” higher than the official figures, health providers claim.

    Officials say the Care Quality Commission (CQC) figure of 39,017 deaths does not include those who perished before April 10 last year – when the virus was running rampant.

    Instead, they say “thousands of elderly residents” are likely to have died during a nine-day window between the CQC signing off on a policy to allow Covid-positive patients to be discharged from hospitals into care homes and when counting began.

    Death records in the nine days leading up to April 10 – almost three weeks after Boris Johnson announced the first nationwide lockdown – suggest around 4,000 patients may have died with Covid.

  • CONCERNS OVER THE BETA VARIANT

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted yesterday that the concerns over the Beta variant were based on cases in mainland France, not the tiny department of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean.

    He said it was right to continue with a “cautious” approach.

    Mr Shapps added: “The Beta variant, it’s not just — as has been reported — on an island thousands of miles away.

    “It was also an issue in particular in northern France, so it has been an overall concern.

    “And, look, the big concern is that we don’t allow a variant in which somehow is able to escape the vaccine programme that we have got.”

  • CONTINUED

    One Whitehall source said: “You would have to be crackers to book a holiday to a place knowing that it could go on to the red list at any moment.

    “If you have already booked to go there you are going to spend your whole holiday worrying whether you are going to have to make a dash to the airport to get home.

    “The decision next week will basically be in place for August. It is peak holiday season – are we really going to cause that much disruption to this many people?”

  • RISHI SUNAK HAS TOLD BORIS JOHNSON TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS MUST GO

     

  • RISHI SUNAK TELLS BORIS TO EASE TRAVEL RULES

    Rishi Sunak has told Boris Johnson to ease the UK’s draconian travel rules to save summer holidays for millions of Brits, according to reports.

    The chancellor has warned the Prime Minister that the coronavirus rules are damaging the economy and tourism.

    He wrote that Britain’s “draconian” measures are “out of step with our international competitors”, reports The Times.

    A source told the paper: “Rishi has called time on the travel restrictions.”

  • CONTINUED

    Some clubs have struggled in recent weeks, with academies and first-team squads badly hit.

    Covid is also causing a big headache with transfers.

    A Premier League player who caught Covid was unable to finalise a move last week, while another top star had to shelve contract talks after a positive test.

    While Manchester United were forced to withdraw from a friendly against Preston North End on Saturday, after reporting a suspected Covid outbreak at their Carrington training ground.

    However, the nine players and staff who reported positive lateral flow tests were given the all-clear a day later after more conclusive PCR tests revealed they were false positives.

  • CONTINUED

    An insider revealed: “We know people will have their own views and reasons but it’s causing friction.

    “A player here refused to be vaccinated only to catch the virus. Then in the following days other players and staff tested positive.

    “It means people are having to self-isolate and it’s causing major disruption to our planning with the season starting in a week.”

  • PREMIER LEAGUE AND EFL STARS REFUSE TO GET JABBED

    Players are defiantly refusing to have Covid jabs — leading to divided dressing rooms just days before the new season.

    And it is feared stars could end up missing the start of the new campaign, with the EFL kicking off on Friday night followed by the Premier League the following week.

    Some players have chosen not to get a vaccine for personal reasons, while others have refused on the grounds of their faith.

    One Championship outfit has players and staff isolating after a member of the squad said no to the needle, then tested positive.

  • CONTINUED

    From August 1, the government contribution will reduce again and the amount companies put in will rise.

    The government will only pay 60% of furloughed workers’ wages up to a £1,875.

    Your company will then have to pay the remaining 20% taking it up to 80% of your wages again, or £2,500.

    One thing to note is that you could miss out if your company was voluntarily paying extra.

    Some firms chose to top up the government payments so that employees received 100% of salary while furloughed.

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