UK records 26,068 more Covid cases in highest rise since January but daily deaths remain low as 14 people die
THE number of Brits diagnosed with Covid is at its highest point since January – as the UK prepares for freedom.
A further 14 people have died, while a whopping 26,068 new infections were reported.
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It's the highest number of new cases since January 29, when the UK was battling through some of the worst days of the pandemic.
Cases are up 61 per cent on this time last week, when 16,135 people were diagnosed and 19 died.
Meanwhile, cases are surging in Scotland. The country has recorded the highest number of positive tests since the beginning of the pandemic – for the second time in a matter of days.
In more bad news, almost 2,000 Scots attended a Euro 2020 game while infectious, it was announced today.
Thousands of Scots came to London for their game against England on June 18.
Of the 1,991 people identified as having attended a Euro 2020 event while infectious, 1,294 had travelled to London and 397 had gone to Wembley, Public Health Scotland said.
Despite the alarming rise in cases, Boris Johnson plans to proceed to stage four of his roadmap to freedom on July 19 – as Brits "learn to live with Covid".
That's because officials believe the jab has severed the link between infection, severe illness and death.
It comes as:
- Covid rules that force entire school classes to quarantine WILL be axed within weeks, the Government confirms
- But a Sage expert has warned all kids must be jabbed before the UK moves to stage four on the roadmap
- And a staggering one in 20 pupils are currently off school and self-isolating because of a Covid contact
- The third lockdown caused the UK's economy to shrink by more than previously expected
- Sajid Javid is planning for the NHS app to be used to ensure Brits dodge quarantine on their way back from hols
England's Chief Medical Officer has reportedly backed the PM on unlocking.
Professor Chris Whitty has reportedly told ministers summer is the time to ease as many restrictions as possible.
The academic warned winter would prove harder because the virus can spread more when people are indoors.
A Cabinet source told The Times: “The view among the scientists was that we should get as much open this summer as possible before winter, which will be much more difficult.
"It was very encouraging.”
Another source said Prof Whitty had been “cautiously optimistic”.
But a Sage colleague has warned the UK mustn't progress to the final step until every child is vaccinated.
Professor John Edmunds told BBC's Newsnight: "At some point we do have to dismantle all of these measures that we've put in place.
"I think, for me, the safest time to do that is when children have been vaccinated, certainly secondary-school-aged children at least. That's the safest way."
And he says the only way out of the crisis is to jab every person in the country.
"If we can show it's safe, and I think we are still gathering data from where vaccine has been used overseas, in Israel and the US and elsewhere, I think that's going to be the way we can put this epidemic behind us and children can move on," he said.
Despite that, it's believed the UK will reopen fully next month – with clubs set to throw open their doors at long last.
Face masks could be binned and social distancing ditched under the current plans for 'freedom day'.
Meanwhile, Brits heading abroad might soon be able to use their NHS app to prove vaccination status when they fly to Europe.
Tourists could be allowed to bypass quarantine if they can prove they are double jabbed, show a negative test before departure or provide evidence they have caught the bug in the past 180 days.
It comes after the EU announced its Green Pass scheme, which is set to launch next month.
The pass permits travel within the bloc – but only if tourists can prove vaccination status or provide a negative test.
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