Coronavirus news UK latest – June 21 lockdown lift 'looking good' as vaccines 'highly effective' against Indian variant

ENGLAND'S lockdown could end on June 21 say experts after tests proved British vaccines are effective against the Indian Covid variant.

The prospects for ending all coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England on the fourth and final stage of the PM's roadmap are “looking good” said Jenny Harries – as long as people are careful.

According to Public Health England, the Pfizer vaccine is 88% effective against the symptoms of the variant after the second dose, while the AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50% against the Kent strain.

Meanwhile, Matt Hancock announced more than 60million jabs have been doled out as England's vaccination programme hit a major milestone on Sunday.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    HOLIDAY WARNING

    Number 10 has warned people against making plans for a holiday to Spain. Boris Johnson's spokesman said: "Our advice hasn't changed in regards to amber list countries.

    "We have been clear that people shouldn't be travelling to amber list countries for the purposes of holidays."

    Despite official warnings, thousands of Brits are expected to fly next week to Spain, traditionally the UK’s favourite foreign holiday destination. Portugal is currently the only major tourist destination on Britain's green list, which means holidaymakers do not need to isolate on their return.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has hinted it could be expanded amid pressure for France, Spain, Italy and Greece to be added. Spain was left off the green list – meaning travellers must isolate at home for ten days back in the UK – and won't be added until June at the earliest.

    However, Spain's Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said she was confident Britain’s favourite foreign holiday destination would get "green light” status soon.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COMPULSORY STAFF VACCINATION COULD BACKFIRE ON CARE INDUSTRY, UNION WARNS

    Forcing care workers to have a coronavirus vaccine is likely to backfire because they could still turn down a jab if they have been threatened or not given advice by their employer, ?a leading union is warning.

    Unison said a survey of more than 4,000 staff in care homes and those working in the community suggested that plans for mandatory vaccinations would be counterproductive and could trigger employee shortages in a sector already in crisis.

    The union has detailed its concerns in evidence to a Government consultation on proposals to make the jab compulsory for workers in care homes for the elderly in England.

    Almost nine out of 10 respondents said they had been vaccinated so far.

    The most common response from non-vaccinated staff was they had ?turned down the offer. Other reasons given included pregnancy, they were waiting for more research before going ahead or because they were still waiting for an appointment.

  • Joseph Gamp

    TRAINED DOGS CAN SNIFF OUT CORONAVIRUS WITH UP TO 94% ACCURACY – STUDY

    Covid-19 infection has a distinct smell that can be detected by specially trained dogs with up to 94% accuracy, UK research suggests.

    The findings, which have not yet been peer-reviewed, are based on six dogs who tested more than 3,500 odour samples donated by the public and NHS staff.

    The canines were able to sniff out samples from people who were infected with coronavirus but were asymptomatic, as well as those who had low viral loads. They were also able to identify infections caused by the coronavirus strain that was dominant in the UK last summer as well as the UK (Kent) version of the virus which appeared later in the year.

    Professor James Logan, head of the department of disease control at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), who led the project, said: "What was great was the dogs that have been trained on the original variant transferred to the new (Kent) variant.

    "They could detect the new variant without any additional training. So this gives us real hope and really suggests that dogs are able to detect different variants of Covid."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PILOT SCHEMES AIM TO SUPPORT PEOPLE REQUIRED TO SELF-ISOLATION

    People self-isolating in overcrowded houses will be offered alternative accommodation in a bid to encourage them to stick to the rules.

    The initiative is one of several being trialled by the Government in nine areas with higher Covid-19 infection rates.

    An £11.9 million funding pot will be split between local authorities in nine areas of England as part of the scheme encouraging people to get tested and self-isolate when required.

    The pilots will provide social care, "buddying" services for people needing mental health support and translation assistance for non-English speakers.

    Initiatives will be piloted in local authority areas including Newham and Hackney in London, Yorkshire and Humber, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside, Peterborough and

  • Joseph Gamp

    JUNE 21 LOCKDOWN LIFT ‘BACK ON’ AFTER ‘ASTOUNDING’ TESTS PROVE VACCINE DOES WORK AGAINST INDIAN VARIANT AFTER 2 DOSES

    THE UK's June 21 lockdown lift is "back on" – after "astounding" tests proved vaccines DO work against the Indian variant.

    After weeks of worry, "Freedom Day" is set to go ahead as findings showed Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection after two doses.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SPAIN ALLOWS BRIT HOLIDAYMAKERS TO RETURN TOMORROW WITHOUT PROOF OF NEGATIVE COVID TEST

    SPAIN is allowing Brit holidaymakers to return tomorrow without proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test.

    The Madrid government confirmed it would follow Italy and Greece and allow British tourists in, despite the countries still being on the UK's amber travel list. Spain published its decision in an official state bulletin.

    Well-placed Spanish Ministry of Tourism sources confirmed British tourists would be let into the country without having to show a negative coronavirus test or proof they have been vaccinated.

    Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez also announced that UK holidaymakers would be allowed to enter the country from Monday, May 24.

    He said in English at Friday's international trade fair Fitur: “I am pleased to inform you that the ministerial order will be officially published exempting citizens from the UK and other 'safe' countries like New Zealand, South Korea and China from temporary restrictions on non-essential trips to Spain. I can therefore announce that from next Monday, May 24 we will be delighted to welcome all UK tourists."

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: GLOBAL COVID PANDEMIC DEATH TOLL COULD BE UP TO 8 MILLION – 3 TIMES HIGHER THAN OFFICIAL FIGURES, WHO WARNS

    Global Covid pandemic death toll could be up to 8 MILLION – 3 times higher than official figures, WHO warns

  • Joseph Gamp

    LOCKDOWN LIFT ‘BACK ON’ AFTER TESTS PROVE VACCINE WORKS

    The UK’s June 21 lockdown lift is “back on” – after “astounding” tests proved vaccines DO work against the Indian variant.

    After weeks of worry, the country looks to be back on track as findings showed Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection after two doses.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective after two jabs while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50 per cent against the Kent strain.

    Professor Susan Hopkins, PHE’s Covid-19 strategic response director, said the data trend was “quite clear” and heading in the “right direction”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ALMOST 200 CLIMBERS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID ON MOUNT EVEREST

    Up to 200 people have tested positive for Covid on Mount Everest amid a shocking outbreak on the world’s highest peak, it’s claimed.

    An expert mountain climber says the killer virus has already infected swathes of intrepid adventurers and Sherpas at the South Base Camp.

    The claims come from Austrian Lukas Furtenbach, who last week became the only prominent guide to halt his latest expedition due to virus fears.

    However, Nepalese officials insist there has not been an outbreak at the site where some 1,500 people are currently located.

    They instead blamed any symptoms on other illnesses like altitude sickness.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MORE THAN 1M SIGN UP FOR NHS APP ‘VACCINE PASSPORT’

    More than 1.3 million people have registered with the NHS app since it was announced users will be able to show if they have received the Covid-19 vaccine.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the “unparalleled pace” in which the vaccine status function was added to the app, since its announcement on May 7.

    The app enables users to show proof they have received the vaccine, should it be required for international travel.

    It has more than 4.8 million registered users and also enables people to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view GP and hospital records, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

    Since May 17 – when the vaccine status function was added – people have logged into the app more than four million times.

  • Joseph Gamp

    KATE GARRAWAY SAYS HUSBAND DEREK IS 'DEVASTATED BY COVID AND STILL CAN'T MOVE'

    Kate Garraway says husband Derek is ‘devastated by Covid and still can’t move’

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK ROADMAP ON TRACK

    The UK is on track to freedom after a new study revealed the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection against the Indian variant after two doses, a new study shows.

    Some 22 million Brits have had both jabs and the study reveals both are effective against symptoms such as a continuous cough, a loss or change to sense of smell and taste or a high temperature.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50% against the Kent strain.

    The vaccines are also likely to be much more effective when it comes to stopping hospitalisations and deaths.

  • Joseph Gamp

    JENNY HARRIES SAYS 'IT'S STILL VERY EARLY DAYS' DESPITE RISING INDIAN VARIANT CASES

    The figures comes as the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency said the possibility of restrictions being eased on June 21 was "looking good".

    However, Dr Jenny Harries urged the public to be cautious to avoid another lockdown, warning that the new Indian variant has become the "dominant strain" in some parts of the country.

    She told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show: "It's looking good if people are continuing to observe all of the safety signals, so we should not stop doing what we're doing, particularly in areas where we have that variant of concern, the B1617.2, in the north-west and around London. It's really important that people continue to do hands, face, space and work from home, have their jabs and go for tests as well.

    "The cases of the B1617.2 variant are rising, they have risen very steeply and much of the media have reported a 160% rise in cases over the week period but they seem to be slightly levelling at the moment. It's still very early days."

    Dr Harries added: "We all need to be very cautious and I think we all don't want to go back to the sort of lockdowns that we've had, it doesn't matter whether you're on Sage or out in the public, none of us want to return to that sort of restriction."

  • Joseph Gamp

    CONTINUED…RECORD DAILY NUMBER OF SECOND DOSES ADMINISTERED IN UK

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Shortly after vaccinating over 70% of adults in the UK with a first dose, we have hit yet another incredible milestone with over 60 million doses delivered in total.

    "Our trailblazing vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in NHS history, is another great British success story and a testament to what can be achieved when all four corners of the country comes together to defeat this virus."

    Some 762,361 first and second doses were administered on Saturday, the highest daily combined total since March 20.

  • Joseph Gamp

    RECORD DAILY NUMBER OF SECOND DOSES ADMINISTERED IN UK

    The number of Covid-19 vaccine second doses administered in the UK hit a record daily high on Saturday, new Government figures show.

    Some 556,951 jabs containing people's second dose were given on May 22, surpassing April 24 when 547,636 were administered.

    The increase comes as the Government continues to urge people to get their second dose in order to stay protected from new coronavirus variants.

    Around 60.6 million first and second vaccine doses have now been administered since December 8, according to figures published on Sunday by the Department of Health and Social Care.

    It includes 37.9 million people who have received their first dose, 72% of the UK population, and 22.6 million who have had both (43%).

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK ROADMAP TO FREEDOM ON TRACK AFTER STUDY REVEALS PFIZER COVID JAB’S 88% EFFECTIVE AGAINST INDIAN VARIANT AFTER 2 DOSES

    UK roadmap to freedom on track after study reveals Pfizer Covid jab’s 88% effective against Indian variant after 2 doses

  • Joseph Gamp

    LOCKDOWN LIFE ‘BACK ON’ AFTER TESTS PROVE VACCINE WORKS

    The UK’s June 21 lockdown lift is “back on” – after “astounding” tests proved vaccines DO work against the Indian variant.

    After weeks of worry, the country looks to be back on track as findings showed Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection after two doses.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective after two jabs while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50 per cent against the Kent strain.

    Professor Susan Hopkins, PHE’s Covid-19 strategic response director, said the data trend was “quite clear” and heading in the “right direction”.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ALMOST 200 CLIMBERS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID ON MOUNT EVEREST

    Up to 200 people have tested positive for Covid on Mount Everest amid a shocking outbreak on the world’s highest peak, it’s claimed.

    An expert mountain climber says the killer virus has already infected swathes of intrepid adventurers and Sherpas at the South Base Camp.

    The claims come from Austrian Lukas Furtenbach, who last week became the only prominent guide to halt his latest expedition due to virus fears.

    However, Nepalese officials insist there has not been an outbreak at the site where some 1,500 people are currently located.

    They instead blamed any symptoms on other illnesses like altitude sickness.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MORE THAN 1M SIGN UP FOR NHS APP ‘VACCINE PASSPORT’

    More than 1.3 million people have registered with the NHS app since it was announced users will be able to show if they have received the Covid-19 vaccine.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock praised the “unparalleled pace” in which the vaccine status function was added to the app, since its announcement on May 7.

    The app enables users to show proof they have received the vaccine, should it be required for international travel.

    It has more than 4.8 million registered users and also enables people to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view GP and hospital records, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

    Since May 17 – when the vaccine status function was added – people have logged into the app more than four million times.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Katie Davis

    UK ROADMAP ON TRACK

    The UK is on track to freedom after a new study revealed the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines both give a high level of protection against the Indian variant after two doses, a new study shows.

    Some 22 million Brits have had both jabs and the study reveals both are effective against symptoms such as a continuous cough, a loss or change to sense of smell and taste or a high temperature.

    Pfizer was 88 per cent ­effective while AstraZeneca proved 60 per cent effective.

    Both vaccines were 33% effective against symptomatic disease from the Indian variant three weeks after the first dose, compared with about 50% against the Kent strain.

    The vaccines are also likely to be much more effective when it comes to stopping hospitalisations and deaths.

  • Katie Davis

    MILLIONS ‘UNWITTINGLY TRACKED’ AFTER JAB

    Millions of Brits have been unwittingly tracked by their mobile phones after getting the Covid jab, it’s reported.

    Health chiefs wanted the data to see if vaccinated people are moving about more after they have their inoculations.

    And Government scientists admitted in an official report that one in ten jabbed Brits were tracked via their phones in February without their knowledge, the Telegraph reports.

    The figures were then handed to researchers at Oxford University, who carried out studies for the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B).

    The committee advises Sage.

  • Katie Davis

    LATEST COVID CASES & DEATHS

    Britain reported on Sunday 2,235 more cases of Covid and five further deaths within 28 days of a positive test, official data showed.

    The total number of people to have received a first vaccine dose reached 37,943,681, the data also showed.

  • Katie Davis

    THOUSANDS OF JOSBLESS YOUNGSTERS NOW IN WORK

    Thousands of jobless youngsters are now in work — thanks to the help of a Sun on Sunday- backed campaign.

    We launched a drive two weeks ago to help the half-a-million 16-24 year-olds unemployed due to Covid-19.

    Since then, Kickstart, one of the schemes we have partnered, has employed 400 youngsters a day up and down the UK.

    Among those back in a job is Forester Hirst, 24, who was a hotel entertainer.

    Now, thanks to the Prince’s Trust, one of three back-to-work initiatives we are supporting, he has a job in a cafe.

    Source: Read Full Article