Coronavirus UK news – Only 1 in 3 plan to return to the office full time post covid in ANOTHER huge blow for high street

BORIS Johnson has been urged to rethink July 19 lockdown lift by scores of global health experts as Delta variant cases rise in the UK.

More than 100 scientists said it would be "dangerous and premature" to lift Covid restrictions in England this month and urged the PM to pause until more people are jabbed.

Writing in the Lancet, the global health experts warned that removing restrictions will result in millions of infections and risk an entire generation suffering decades of chronic health issues and disability from long Covid.

Meanwhile, Covid deaths increased by 35 on Thursday – the third time this week the figure has been higher than 30 – with a further 32,551 new cases taking the UK's infection total past 5million.

It comes as children and fully vaccinated adults will not need to quarantine on their return to England from amber list countries from July 19.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps detailed his plans to MPs today to free up foreign holidays as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Harvey Lindsay

    HOW DO I REARRANGE MY COVID JAB?

    Covid vaccines are still being rolled out across the UK with millions of Brits able to now get their second jab eight weeks after the first.

    It is very straightforward to cancel or rebook your slot, should you need to make it earlier or rejig due to illness or other commitments.

    If something has come up and you need to reschedule your jab slot you need to let the NHS know – or you want to bring your second jab forward, you can do.

    But you must make sure that it is not moved to earlier than eight weeks after your first dose.

    If you already have a slot you need to go to the NHS vaccine portal, by clicking here.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    SHAPPS WILL WEAR A MASK WHEN TRAVELLING’ IF REQUIRED TO DO SO

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he would still wear a mask when travelling “where it is appropriate to do so”.

    SNP transport spokesman Gavin Newlands asked him in the Commons whether people travelling on planes would need to wear a face covering.

    Mr Shapps said: “We will be still in guidance and providing information about mask-wearing. We know that it’s sensible in more enclosed spaces, and I will wear a mask personally where it is appropriate to do so.

    “The airlines have already said it’s a condition of carriage, I think, in all the cases that I’ve seen, and where it’s a condition of carriage of course I would always wear it.

    “On the other hand, if you’re in an empty carriage on a long-distance train for many hours, then people will use their common sense.”

  • Harvey Lindsay

    PM’S COVID APPROACH ‘AN EXCEPTION’, SAYS STURGEON IN PLEA FOR CAUTION

    The UK Government’s approach to dropping coronavirus regulations “is something of an exception”, Nicola Sturgeon said as she stressed she and her ministers will have to “think carefully about what steps we do take at this juncture”.

    The Prime Minister has promised to tear up most of England’s coronavirus regulations at Step 4 of the road map on July 19, but Scotland’s First Minister said many protections will be retained north of the border.

    Ms Sturgeon told a Scottish Government coronavirus briefing on Thursday that current high case numbers are concerning, but there is a “suggestion that the recent surge in cases may be to some extent levelling off”.

    Case numbers are now 1,432 lower than they were last Thursday, she said, adding that the seven-day average also appears to show a “slowdown in the rise of positive cases”.

    She added: “This is encouraging news but obviously case numbers remain high and that is a worry.”

  • Harvey Lindsay

    NHS WAITING LIST AT RECORD HIGH BUT HOSPITALS ADMITTING MORE PATIENTS

    The number of people admitted to hospital for surgery and routine treatment is getting back to pre-pandemic levels, although the overall NHS waiting list has reached a new record high, figures show.

    The total number of people admitted for routine treatment in hospitals in England in May was 242,064 – more than four times the number a year earlier (54,550), when hospitals were treating thousands of Covid patients.

    Before the pandemic struck, the NHS admitted 295,881 people for routine treatment in May 2019, suggesting the health service is getting close to dealing with pre-pandemic numbers of patients.

    However, the overall number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a new record high, the NHS England data shows.

    A total of 5.3 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of May 2021 – the highest number since records began in August 2007.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    EXTRA QUEUES FOR HOLIDAYS FOR COVID CHECKS, TRANSPORT SECRETARY WARNS

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned that holidaymakers should expect additional queues when they check in for their flights home due to the need for coronavirus checks.

    Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast: "Before you board a plane you would need to show you have completed your passenger locator form, that you have carried out a pre-departure test, that you have got your test booked for day two and all of that needs to be checked by the carrier – the airline usually – before you travel.

    "So the place to expect queues is the airport you are coming from. Once you get back to the UK all of that is starting to be automated.

    "People should expect more disruption than usual but I know that everyone is working very hard to minimise those queues."

  • Harvey Lindsay

    TRAVEL INDUSTRY SAYS AMBER LIST RULE CHANGES ARE LIKE ‘WATER IN THE DESERT’ FOR COMPANIES

    Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of travel sector body Abta, welcomed the changes to travel rules.

    He told Sky News: “It will be like water in the desert for a lot of travel companies that have been living without any meaningful revenue for 18 months now.

    “This is desperately needed. And the sooner it comes, the better.”

  • Harvey Lindsay

    TOKYO UNDER STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR OLYMPICS DUE TO RISING COVID INFECTION RATES

    Tokyo will be in a state of emergency for the Olympic Games after the Japanese government took action against rising coronavirus infection rates.

    The measures are set to remain in place until August 22, a fortnight after the Games finish, Japanese agency Kyodo News reported.

    The decision throws into doubt the possibility of even limited numbers of Japanese spectators attending the Games, with overseas fans having been barred in April.

    “We must take stronger steps to prevent another nationwide outbreak, also considering the impact of coronavirus variants,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in quotes reported by Kyodo News.

    Games organisers last month put in place plans to allow venues to be 50 per cent full, up to a maximum of 10,000 people.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    ONE IN 17 OVER-80S IN ENGLAND MAY NOT HAVE ANY COVID-19 VACCINE, FIGURES SUGGEST

    Some 6% of people aged 80 and over in England may not have received any doses of Covid-19 vaccine, new data suggests.

    The figure is the equivalent of around one in 17 over-80s, or just over 171,000 people, with 47,000 of them in London.

    Other age groups among the over-50s are likely to have a much lower percentage of unvaccinated individuals, with estimates of 0.5% for 70 to 79-year-olds, 2.3% for 60 to 69-year-olds and 4.9% for 50 to 59-year-olds.

    The data has been published by NHS England and covers vaccinations delivered up to July 4.

    The Government has said all adults in England will have been offered a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine by July 19.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    HOW CAN I GET THE NEW NHS COVID VACCINE APP AND HOW IS IT USED?

    The NHS app is free to download in England and Wales from the Apple Store if you have an iPhone and from Google Play if you have an android.

    It is different to the NHS COVID 19 app which is used for contact tracing. Search "NHS APP" and it should be the top result.

    Once downloaded you must fill in your details such as your name, postcode and NHS number which will link back to your health record with your GP.

    A new function has been added to the NHS app that allows users to show that they have been vaccinated or have been tested for Covid.

    On May 7, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "If needed, people in England who have both vaccine doses will be able to demonstrate their Covid vaccination status via the NHS app from May 17. Those without access to the app can request a letter from the NHS proving their vaccination status by calling 119, from 17 May.”

    The proof of vaccine appears in the app the same way a boarding pass does for a flight – in a QR code.

  • [email protected]

    FACE MASKS SHOULD STAY MANDATORY IN SHIPS, UNIONS SAY

    The Government is coming under increasing pressure from unions representing workers across the UK to reverse plans to end compulsory face coverings on July 19.

    Usdaw, which represents shop workers, is the latest union to warn against relaxing measures which have been in place for over a year.

    Usdaw has written to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng saying there was no reason why requirements to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing in busy public areas like shops cannot continue.

    General secretary Paddy Lillis said: "The Government should not be weakening safety measures in shops at the same time as opening up other venues.

    "Retailers may be able to attempt to enforce their own face covering policies, but in the absence of a legal requirement, as has already been highlighted by the British Retail Consortium, this is likely to result in further significant increases in abuse, threats and violence towards retail workers.

    "Wearing a face covering in crowded public areas like shops is not merely a personal choice, it is an important measure to help protect workers who have no option but to interact with large numbers of people as a part of their job."

  • [email protected]

    AMBER LIST QUARANTINE EXEMPTION APPLY TO THOSE JABBED BY NHS ONLY

    Downing Street has confirmed that the exemption to quarantine for holidaymakers returning from amber list nations will only apply to those who have been vaccinated by the NHS.

    The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It does need to be a vaccine administered through the NHS rollout so you would need to have received your vaccine through the NHS rather than in a different country.”

  • [email protected]

    EXTRA QUEUES FOR HOLIDAYS FOR COVID CHECKS, TRANSPORT SECRETARY WARNS

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned that holidaymakers should expect additional queues when they check in for their flights home due to the need for coronavirus checks.

    Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast: “Before you board a plane you would need to show you have completed your passenger locator form, that you have carried out a pre-departure test, that you have got your test booked for day two and all of that needs to be checked by the carrier – the airline usually – before you travel.

    “So the place to expect queues is the airport you are coming from. Once you get back to the UK all of that is starting to be automated.

    “People should expect more disruption than usual but I know that everyone is working very hard to minimise those queues.”

  • [email protected]

    COVID VACCINES OFFER HIGH LEVEL OF PROTECTION FOR IMMUNOSUPPRESSED

    Covid-19 vaccines offer high levels of protection for most people with underlying health conditions or who are immunosuppressed, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

    New data from more than one million people in at-risk groups found that overall vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease was around 60% after one dose of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech jabs, and did not fall substantially with age.

    After two doses for those aged 16 to 64, Pfizer/BioNTech offered 93% protection, while AstraZeneca offered 78%.

    For those aged 65 and over, two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech offered 87% protection while AstraZeneca offered 76%.

    For people who are immunosuppressed, vaccine effectiveness after a second dose was 74%, with similar protection to those who are not in an at-risk group.

    This rises from 4% after a first dose, showing the importance of a second dose.

  • [email protected]

    WHAT IS A COVID VACCINATION CERTIFICATE?

    A Covid-status certificate is either proof you do not have Covid with a negative test, or proof of full vaccination.

    A certificate called an NHS COVID Pass reveals whether you have been fully vaccinated in the most reliable way.

    It is a QR code – similar to those you use when entering into a pub, bar or restaurant.

    You can get one if you had a second vaccine dose at least two weeks ago, were vaccinated in England, and are over 16.

    It shows that you have had both of your coronavirus vaccines, and therefore have the maximum protection against the virus.

  • [email protected]

    UK COVID CASES RISE BY 34% IN JUST ONE WEEK

    A total of 216,249 confirmed and probable cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant have now been identified in the UK, according to the latest figures from Public Health England – up by 54,268 from 161,981 cases in the previous week, a rise of 34%.

    Of the 216,249 cases, 180,643 have been in England, 28,559 in Scotland, 3,666 in Wales and 3,381 in Northern Ireland.

    The Delta variant currently accounts for approximately 99% of confirmed cases of coronavirus across the UK.

  • [email protected]

    EXTRA QUEUES FOR HOLIDAYS FOR COVID CHECKS, TRANSPORT SECRETARY WARNS

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned that holidaymakers should expect additional queues when they check in for their flights home due to the need for coronavirus checks.

    Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast: “Before you board a plane you would need to show you have completed your passenger locator form, that you have carried out a pre-departure test, that you have got your test booked for day two and all of that needs to be checked by the carrier – the airline usually – before you travel.

    “So the place to expect queues is the airport you are coming from. Once you get back to the UK all of that is starting to be automated.

    “People should expect more disruption than usual but I know that everyone is working very hard to minimise those queues.”

  • [email protected]

    HOL-DELAY

    Young parents risk missing a foreign holiday this summer as they will not be double jabbed by the end of the school break.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will today confirm that travel restrictions to amber countries will be relaxed for the fully vaccinated.

    But parents under 30 are up in arms over a two-week delay to get away.

    Would-be holidaymakers will only be handed travel freedoms once they have full immunity from Covid a fortnight after their second jab.

    Although the freedoms are likely to kick in on July 19 in England, younger travellers will not have protection until well into August.

  • [email protected]

    WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WHEN TRAVELLING ABROAD?

    Earlier this month, it was revealed that a new scheme being discussed by the government will allow Brits to take free Covid test packs on holiday so they can take the required tests before returning to the UK.

    Airlines and tour operators having already started offering discounted Covid kits – TUI offers a range of green and amber destination Covid kits ranging from £20 to £50.

    BUT remember these things can change at the last minute, and may still be needed even if fully vaccinated.

    Find out here what it takes to go holiday in Portugal, Spain or Greece.

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    EXPLAINED: WHICH COUNTRIES ARE SAFE TO TRAVEL TO?

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    EXTRA QUEUES FOR HOLIDAYS FOR COVID CHECKS, TRANSPORT SECRETARY WARNS

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has warned that holidaymakers should expect additional queues when they check in for their flights home due to the need for coronavirus checks.

    Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast: “Before you board a plane you would need to show you have completed your passenger locator form, that you have carried out a pre-departure test, that you have got your test booked for day two and all of that needs to be checked by the carrier – the airline usually – before you travel.

    “So the place to expect queues is the airport you are coming from. Once you get back to the UK all of that is starting to be automated.

    “People should expect more disruption than usual but I know that everyone is working very hard to minimise those queues.”

  • [email protected]

    NHS COVID-19 APP ALERTS HIGHEST SINCE JANUARY

    A total of 356,036 alerts were sent to users of the NHS COVID-19 app in England in the week to 30 June.

    These were notifications telling them they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

    The figure is up from 219,391 the previous week – a jump of 62% – and is the highest weekly figure since data was first published in January.

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    OVER 250 DEATHS OF PEOPLE WITH DELTA VARIANT

    As of June 21, there had been 257 deaths in England of people who were confirmed as having the Delta variant and who died within 28 days of a positive test, Public Health England said.

    Of this number, 26 were under the age of 50 and 231 were aged 50 or over.

    Of the 231 aged 50 or over, 71 were unvaccinated, one was within 21 days of a first dose of vaccine, 41 at least 21 days after one dose of vaccine and 116 had received both doses.

    Of the 26 under 50, three were at least 21 days after a first dose of vaccine, two had received both doses and 21 were unvaccinated.

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    WATCH: KATE GARRAWAY ON HER HUSBAND DEREK'S COVID FIGHT

    Kate Garraway says there’s ‘tough challenges ahead’ as her husband Derek Draper continues to recover from Covid

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    WARNING OVER LAMBDA VARIANT (CONTINUED)

    Pablo Tsukayama, a molecular scientist at the Cayetano Heredia university in Lima said the virus’ rapid rise “would suggest its rate of transmission is higher than other variants”.

    In neighbouring Chile, it accounts for almost a third of cases, though scientists are unable to say which the strain is more transmissible.

    “At the moment there’s no evidence to suggest it’s more aggressive than other variants,” Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) adviser Jairo Méndez Rico said.

    “It’s possible that it has a higher rate of contagion but more work needs to be done on it.”

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    R-AMPING UP

    The UK's official R rate has gone up to 1.5 – as Covid cases reach highs not seen since February.

    It is quite a leap on from last week, following on from dramatic increases in infections all over the country.

    The R rate, also known as the reproduction number, helps the government measure the rate of coronavirus infections.

    An R number between 1.2 and 1.5 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people.

    It gives an indication of the number of people that one person with coronavirus is likely to pass it on to.

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