UK coronavirus news – Spain holidays BACK in June with covid tests, as data shows 40m Brits living in 'covid free' areas

Spain has confirmed for the first time it will welcome Brits back to its beaches in June.

UK holidaymakers are to be allowed to travel there with a digital health pass following discussions between the two governments.

Spanish tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst said: “June will be the start of the recovery of tourism in Spain.

“By then, we will have a digital vaccination certificate in place and we will be able to reopen our borders.”

It comes as new data showed that nearly 40 million people in England live in an area with almost no new Covid cases.

Seventy per cent of the country lives in areas where less than three infections were recorded in the most recent weekly figures, The Times reports.

Experts say the figures show Britain's roadmap out of lockdown is firmly on track. Lockdown and the bumper vaccine rollout have sent cases tumbling, with infections in the past week slumping almost six per cent.

When recording local cases Public Health England splits the country into 6,800 areas.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    FURTHER TESTING AT LEICESTER SCHOOL AS THREE INDIAN COVID-19 VARIANT CASES FOUND

    Further testing is being carried out at a school in Leicester after three cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 were found.

    Leicester City Council said the cases were linked to travel from the country prior to it being placed on the Government's red list on Friday.

    The city's director of public health, Professor Ivan Browne, said they require investigation and follow-up.

    The council said further testing at the unnamed city school is a precautionary measure, and surge testing of communities is not currently required as the cases are all linked to travel.

    Government data up to April 21 shows there are 132 confirmed cases of the Indian variant in the UK – an increase of 55 from the week before.

    Prof Browne said Public Health England (PHE) notified him of the cases.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    LATEST COVID NEWS

    • A quarter of adults have now had two doses of a Covid jab
    • Millions more are eligible for Covid jabs after the age limit was lowered to 42
    • Brits will be able to buy a pint without a vaccine passport after the PM shelved plans
    • UK Covid cases have plunged 30 per cent in a week with 2,064 infections and six deaths recorded in last 24 hours

    COVID VACCINE SIDE-EFFECTS ARE 'MILD AND AFFECT 1 IN 4 PEOPLE' – AND SHOW THE JAB IS WORKING

    Mild Covid vaccine side-effects that make you feel unwell only affect one in four people, a study has found.

    Even when someone suffers from temporary symptoms such as fatigue and nausea it is a sign the jab is doing its job, experts say.

    But it is not an indication of how much protection a person builds against the virus.

    Headache was the most common side effect, as well as fatigue and tenderness at the injection site, according to the latest research published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases. 

    Most effects of either a Pfizer or AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine peak within 24 hours after vaccination, usually lasting one to two days.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      NEW INDIAN COVID VARIANT CASES FOUND IN LEICESTER

      Three cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus have been found in Leicester, health officials have confirmed.

      Ivan Browne, the city's public health director, said the cases required "investigation and follow-up".

      He said Public Health England (PHE) had notified him of the cases on Sunday.

      The cases are linked to travel from India, with the country going on the "red list" last Friday, meaning only UK citizens can enter from India after quarantining in a hotel.

      Further testing is being carried out at an unnamed city school to check for more cases.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      OVER 38MILLION BRITS LIVE IN ALMOST 'COVID-FREE' AREAS AS GOVT SCIENTISTS SAY UK ROADMAP TO LIFT COVID MEASURE ON TRACK

      Nearly 40 million people in England live in an area with almost no new Covid cases, it's reported. Seventy per cent of the country lives in areas where less than three infections were recorded in the most recent weekly figures, The Times reports.

      Experts say the figures show Britain's roadmap out of lockdown is firmly on track. Lockdown and the bumper vaccine rollout have sent cases tumbling, with infections in the past week slumping almost six per cent.

      When recording local cases Public Health England splits the country into 6,800 areas.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      'BIG MISTAKE' FOR CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS TO OPEN TOO EARLY SAYS PROFESSOR

      Professor Peter Openshaw said it would be a " big mistake" to ease coronavirus restrictions too quickly.

      Asked if the road map out of lockdown could move sooner, he told Today: "I really think that we're doing the right thing by being cautious and by proceeding according to the evidence and not easing too fast.

      "I think we do know that easing too fast would be a big mistake and we don't want to lose all the ground that's been gained by massive public effort to get to where we are now.

      "It's so vital that we do keep up the precautions and move with cautious speed."

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      BRITS WILL HAVE TO 'WAIT AND SEE' ABOUT TRAVELLING TO SPAIN SAYS SHAPPS

      Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the public will have to "wait and see" about whether the UK will permit travel to Spain.

      He told Times Radio: "Spain specifically, I'm afraid I just don't have the answer to that because the Joint Biosecurity Centre will need to come up with their assessment and we can't do that until a bit nearer the time.

      "So we will need to wait and see."

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      VACCINE PASSPORTS WILL USE NHS COVID APP AND 'GREEN LIST' WILL BE REVEALED IN TWO WEEKS SAYS GRANT SHAPPS

      Britain's vaccine passport scheme will use the NHS app, Grant Shapps confirmed today, as he pledged to unveil the green list of holiday destinations within the next two weeks.

      The transport secretary said Covid certificates for tourism and large domestic events, such as gigs and football matches, will be built into the health service smartphone application.

      And in a boost to millions he also announced the UK is on course to drop its ban on international travel on May 17, declaring "The data does continue to look good."

      More on the story here.

    • Niamh Cavanagh

      BREAKING

      Matt Hancock will lead a press conference at 5pm today after a quarter of Brits were given their second Covid jabs.

      One in four UK adults are now fully vaccinated after a record number of second doses were dished out in a week.

      The Health Secretary will today address the nation after reaching the huge milestone.

    • Abe Hawken

      GO MARSHING IN

      New Covid marshals are being recruited in some areas across England for the coming year despite Government plans to lift remaining coronavirus restrictions on June 21.

      Hertfordshire County Council is among those advertising for Covid marshals, with the local authority offering a contract worth an estimated £3 million to a provider that can supply 60 marshals from July 1 until January 31 next year.

      The contract also comes with a possible one-year extension to 2023.

    • Ben Hill

      40 MILLION WITH ALMOST NO NEW CASES

      Nearly 40 million people in England live in an area with almost no new Covid cases, it's reported.

      Seventy per cent of the country lives in areas where less than three infections were recorded in the most recent weekly figures, The Times reports.

      Experts say the figures show Britain's roadmap out of lockdown is firmly on track.

      Lockdown and the bumper vaccine rollout have sent cases tumbling, with infections in the past week slumping almost six per cent.

    • Ben Hill

      JABBY DAYS

      Mild Covid vaccine side-effects that make you feel unwell only affect one in four people, a study has found.

      Even when someone suffers from temporary symptoms such as fatigue and nausea it is a sign the jab is doing its job, experts say.

      But it is not an indication of how much protection a person builds against the virus.

      Headache was the most common side effect, as well as fatigue and tenderness at the injection site, according to the latest research published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases. 

      Most effects of either a Pfizer or AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine peak within 24 hours after vaccination, usually lasting one to two days.

    • Ben Hill

      JUNE OLÉ DAYS

      Spain has confirmed for the first time it will welcome Brits back to its beaches in June.

      UK holidaymakers are to be allowed to travel there with a digital health pass following discussions between the two governments.

      Spanish tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst said: “June will be the start of the recovery of tourism in Spain.

      “By then, we will have a digital vaccination certificate in place and we will be able to reopen our borders.”

    • Claudia Aoraha

      COVID VACCINE CALCULATOR

      Omni’s vaccine queue calculator will estimate how many people are ahead of you in the wait for a jab in the UK, accounting for the delay in the first-dose rollout.

      You can also use the calculator that only applies to England, which is more specific.

      All you need to do is enter your age, job and if you have a health condition.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      DR AMIR FEARS FOR HIS FAMILY IN INDIA

      Good Morning Britain’s Dr. Amir Khan shared his fears for his family living in India today after they told him the “coronavirus situation is desperate”.

      Speaking to presenters Susanna Reid and Adil Ray he said: “It is hard, my mum speaks to them every day.

      “They are calling this a very difficult situation, like many people in India are.

      “They are being told to stay at home, but they can’t afford to stay at home. The state funding to get people to stay at home and stay safe, just isn’t there.”

    • Claudia Aoraha

      LOCKDOWNS WORK

      Boris Johnson has denied reports he said he’d rather see “bodies pile high in their thousands” than order Britain back into lockdown for a third time.

      The PM dismissed claims he made the remarks after a No 10 meeting, and insisted Covid restrictions do work.

      The PM allegedly made the comments after being told he had no choice but to put the country back under harsh restrictions last October.

      But asked during a visit to Wrexham if he had said such a thing, Boris replied: “No.”

      He then added: “But I think the important thing that people want us to get on and do as a Government is to make sure that the lockdowns work, and they have.”

    • Claudia Aoraha

      SUPER SPREADER

      A man has been arrested in Spain for allegedly deliberately infecting 22 people, including three babies, with Covid by coughing.

      The 40-year-old suspect is said to have walked around his workplace and gym in Manacor, Majorca, saying I am going to infect you all with the coronavirus.”

      Spanish police said he had a fever of 40C and was awaiting the result of a Covid test at the time.

      He reportedly had his mask pulled down at work and was coughing while threatening to infect people.

      Spain’s national police arrested the man after launching a probe into the incidents at the end of January.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      ONE IN FOUR UK ADULTS FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19

      A quarter of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with a record number of second doses delivered in the past seven days, latest figures show.

      A total of 13,201,811 people have now received both jabs – the equivalent of 25.1% of the adult population.

      Wales is estimated to have given two doses to 27.8% of adults, ahead of England (24.9%), Scotland (24.9%) and Northern Ireland (24.5%).

      The figures are for vaccinations reported by the UK’s health agencies up to and including April 26, and reflect the pace at which second doses have been ramped up across the country during the past month.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      NHS SCAM

      Scammers are making hundreds of pounds by selling Covid vaccine cards on eBay amid rumours that immunity passports could be needed for international travel this summer.

      A probe found that listings on the online auction site were offering NHS cards for just £5 – with nearly 80 purchased in 24 hours. 

      The cards are given to patients who have received their first dose of the jab, and contain details such as the date and type of vaccine used. 

      More on the story here

    • Claudia Aoraha

      IRELAND APPROVE JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE

      The Irish Cabinet has approved a recommendation from public health chiefs that the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines be administered to people over 50.

      The Johnson & Johnson jab, also known as the Janssen vaccine, has been granted approval for use in Ireland among the age cohort, while the restrictions on the use of AstraZeneca have been revised from over-60s only to those over 50.

      The proposed changes by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) were approved at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

      Taoiseach Micheal Martin admitted that “a number of weeks” have been lost due to the changes to the rollout, but said it is now “full steam ahead”.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      LOVELY JABBLY

      Covid booster jabs which will tackle new strains of the virus could be ready by September, an Oxford chief has said.

      Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford vaccine trial, also claimed the existing vaccines would provide some protection against the new mutations.

      Prof Pollard predicted “updated” vaccines to protect against the South African and potentially other new variants would be ready by September or October.

      He said: “They can certainly be available for the last quarter of this year. We are talking to the other developers and everyone is working towards that timeline to have updated vaccines available.

      “The main thing is to change the sequence of the spike protein so it matches some of the new variants.”

    • Claudia Aoraha

      FEWER PEOPLE ANTICIPATE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT AFTER LOCKDOWN

      Fewer members of the public anticipate using buses, trains and planes after Scotland has emerged from lockdown, according to new research.

      An Edinburgh Napier University survey suggests the coronavirus pandemic may have long-term repercussions for the country’s public transport.

      It found 42% of respondents (994 Scottish residents) think they will not fly as much, with 36% using buses less and 34% not travelling by train.

      Dr Achille Fonzone, associate professor of transport analysis and planning at Edinburgh Napier, said: “Although part of it may be due to current overexposure to discussions about infective diseases and so be transient, such lack of confidence in public transport is not good news for the industry.

      “It is not good news for Scotland either, considering the importance of public transport to ensure an equitable and sustainable mobility.”

    • Claudia Aoraha

      SPAIN IS 'DESPERATE' TO RESTART TOURISM

      Spanish tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst said: “June will be the start of the recovery of tourism in Spain.

      “By then, we will have a digital vaccination certificate in place and we will be able to reopen our borders.”

      He said Spain was pushing for the UK’s proposed digital pass to be “mutually recognised”, adding he welcomed PM Boris Johnson’s plans to restart international travel.

      Spain — the destination for 17.4million Brits a year before the pandemic — is desperate to restart tourism.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      'IRRESPONSIBLE'

      Critics have branded the rules "irresponsible" and called for life-saving jabs to be placed into arms.

      It comes as Germany battles a third Covid wave that experts warn could be the deadliest so far.

      The seven-day infection rate has risen to 169 new cases per 100,000 people, just below the record peak of shortly before Christmas.

      And the number of free intensive care beds is close to its lowest level since the start of the pandemic with the country in partial lockdown since November.

      Almost 83,000 people have died in Germany since the pandemic struck, with more than 3.3 million cases.

      But Jana Husemann, chairman of the Hamburg General Practitioner Association, says doctors are throwing spare vaccines away over fears they'll be liable for any damage from administering the jabs.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      40,000 COVID JABS 'THROWN AWAY AT GERMAN VACCINATION CENTRE'

      More than 40,000 Covid vaccine doses have been thrown away at a German vaccination centre, it's claimed.

      Medical staff at the Hamburg centre are said to have binned them as they aren't allowed to use leftover doses, NDR reports.

      An extra dose of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines can be extracted from their vials.

      But if they are used it breaches the number of vaccination doses approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) per container.

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