Coronavirus news UK latest: Delta variant sees Covid cases rise by 65% in a week amid June 21 freedom day delay fears

THE Government is "drawing up other options" before deciding on whether a June 21 end to Covid restrictions will still go ahead.

'Freedom Day' on June 21 could be delayed to July 5 in an effort to make sure all those aged over 50 receive a second vaccine. Sources told ITV News that plans are being made to push it back by two weeks.

Yesterday the UK recorded another 5,765 coronavirus cases and 13 further deathsyesterday – a figure slightly down from Friday's two-month high – as experts say the planned end to restrictions remains "a difficult call".

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) Government advisory panel told Times Radio: “It’s a hard one. I’m going to be annoying and sit a little bit on the fence on this, as I don’t think it’s our role as epidemiologists to call that. I think the difficult thing that we have, the difficult situation the government have is of course if you delay that then of course you’ll get a smaller subsequent wave.

It comes as new data suggests the mutation is twice as likely to cause hospitalisation, as June 21's "Freedom Day" hangs in the balance.

A Public Health England report showed that people who tested positive for the Indian coronavirus variant were at 161% higher risk of needing hospital treatment within 14 days.

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

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPH: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

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    WATCH: UK COVID CASES RISE BY 65% IN A WEEK WITH 5,341 MORE INFECTIONS WITH FEARS JUNE 21 FINAL FREEDOM WILL BE DELAYED

    UK Covid cases rise by 65% in a week with 5,341 more infections with fears June 21 final freedom will be delayed

  • Joseph Gamp

    TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE JUNE RESTRICTIONS LIFT, SAYS MATT HANCOCK

    Matt Hancock revealed today Boris Johnson will examine Covid stats this week to help him make a decision. The Health Secretary said it was "too early" to determine whether the Government would lift all coronavirus restrictions later this month.

    He also admitted the Indian variant had made the decisions behind the June 21 unlocking "more difficult" as he confirmed the mutation is 40 per cent more transmissible than the Kent variant.

    Asked whether he had seen anything in the data that could delay reopening this month, Mr Hancock told Sky News: "It is too early to make a final decision on that.

    "The Prime Minister and I and the team will be looking at all of the data over this week. We have said that we will give people enough time ahead of the June 21 date which is pencilled in as the next step – which is to be not before June 21 – and the critical thing is to see whether the four tests we have set have been met.

    "That's because the third test, the rollout of the vaccine, is going incredibly well. Then, of course, we have to look at the impact of new variants and we have seen a very significant impact of a new variant – the Delta (also known as the Indian) variant – over the last month or so."

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK COVID CASES RISE BY 65% IN A WEEK WITH 5,341 MORE INFECTIONS WITH FEARS JUNE 21 FINAL FREEDOM WILL BE DELAYED

    COVID cases in the UK have risen by 65 per cent in a week with 5,341 infections reported today amid fears "Freedom Day" could be delayed.

    The latest number of cases brings the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 4,516,892. A further four deaths have also been reported with the total now at 127,840.

    Today's cases are up from last Saturday when 3,240 new infections were recorded. But it is lower than yesterday's rise of 5,765 cases and 13 Covid deaths.

    The figures also show a total of 67,994,584 vaccinations have been adminstered.

    Of these, 40,333,231 people have received a first dose and 27,661,353 are doubly protected.

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    GOVERNMENT ‘ABSOLUTELY OPEN’ TO DELAYING JUNE 21 UNLOCKING SAYS MATT HANCOCK

    Ministers are “absolutely open” to delaying the June 21 unlocking in England if the Indian variant worsens the country’s coronavirus recovery prospects, the Health Secretary has said.

    Matt Hancock, in what will be viewed as the clearest indication yet that the target date for lifting all restrictions could slip, stressed that June 21 was a “not before” date and that it was only “pencilled in” as the next step out of lockdown.

    The senior Government minister also implied that social distancing could continue beyond the final stage of the Prime Minister’s road map.

    The comments come as Covid-19 cases have continued to surge in the UK amid reports Boris Johnson is considering delaying so-called freedom day by at least two weeks in order to allow more people to be fully vaccinated against the Indian variant.

    The Health Secretary, pressed on whether the June 21 removal of restrictions could be postponed if the Indian variant data “gets bad”, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We are absolutely open to doing that if that’s what needs to happen.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID NEWS ROUND-UP: THE LATEST

    • The Indian Covid strain is 40 per cent more transmissible than other Covid variants, Matt Hancock has warned
    • A maritime loophole allowed 600 cruise ship workers from India to fly here and avoid compulsory hotel quarantine
    • Boris will examine the Covid stats this week to decide over lifting restrictions on June 21
    • Brits in their 20s will get their Covid jabs this week
    • Twelve-year-olds are set to get the Covid vaccine from August under plans to tackle the Indian variant surge

    VACCINES: REGIONAL BREAKDOWNS ON JAB TOTALS

    The breakdown for the other regions is:

    • East of England: 4,021,219 first doses and 2,825,717 second doses, making 6,846,936 in total
    • North East and Yorkshire: 5,249,506 first and 3,710,125 second doses (8,959,631)
    • North West: 4,271,728 first and 2,991,809 second doses (7,263,537)
    • South East: 5,493,356 first and 3,851,918 second doses (9,345,274)
    • South West: 3,562,593 first and 2,680,319 second doses (6,242,912)

    MORE THAN 7 MILLION JABS GIVEN IN LONDON SINCE DECEMBER

    NHS England data shows a total of 7,333,382 jabs were given to people in London between December 8 and June 5, including 4,534,137 first doses and 2,799,245 second doses.

    This compares with 6,309,144 first doses and 4,568,797 second doses given to people in the Midlands, a total of 10,877,941.

    MAPPED: ENGLAND COVID HOTSPOTS WHERE CASES ARE RISING

     

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      MORE THAN THREE MILLION VACCINES ADMINISTERED IN IRELAND

      More than three million vaccines have been administered in Ireland, latest figures show.

      It means more than half of the adult population has had one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

      It comes as those over the age of 40 are now able to register to have their vaccine.

      Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly posted a video on Twitter thanking health care staff working in vaccine centres on the bank holiday weekend.

      "Because of your incredible work we are hitting three million doses of vaccine administered," Mr Donnelly said.

      "It's an amazing achievement and everybody involved deserves huge thanks, huge praise and huge recognition.

      "We've had a huge response from everyone who is eligible for a vaccine so far.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GRAPH: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

       

    • Joseph Gamp

      MATT HANCOCK HAILS ‘ASTONISHING ACHIEVEMENT’ OF 40 MILLION FIRST JABS IN UNDER SIX MONTHS

      In a statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is an astonishing achievement to deliver over 40 million first doses in under six months. In all corners of the UK, people are rolling up their sleeves when their time comes to protect themselves and the people around them.

      “It seems with every day we pass another major vaccination milestone on the road back to recovery. Over three quarters of adults have received a first dose and over half of adults have now been vaccinated with the life-saving second dose.

      “I pay tribute to the tireless work of the NHS, volunteers and armed forces in building this momentum – but our work is not yet done. I encourage everyone who is eligible to join the millions who have the fullest possible protection from this virus by getting their jab when the time comes.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      WATCH: DAN OSBORNE IN FURIOUS RANT ABOUT THE COVID VACCINE AS HE TELLS FANS 'I WON'T PUT THAT S***IN ME OR MY KIDS'

      Dan Osborne in furious rant about the Covid vaccine as he tells fans ‘I won’t put that s***in me or my kids’

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      IRELAND CONFIRMS 313 NEW CASES OF COVID-19

      There have been an additional 313 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, the Department of Health has said.

      As of midnight on Saturday, there were 70 people in hospital with the disease, of whom 27 were in intensive care units.

      Daily case numbers may change due to future data review, validation and update, owing to the HSE cyber attack.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GOVERNMENT 'ABSOLUTELY OPEN' TO DELAYING JUNE 21 UNLOCKING SAYS MATT HANCOCK

      Ministers are "absolutely open" to delaying the June 21 unlocking in England if the Indian variant worsens the country's coronavirus recovery prospects, the Health Secretary has said.

      Matt Hancock, in what will be viewed as the clearest indication yet that the target date for lifting all restrictions could slip, stressed that June 21 was a "not before" date and that it was only "pencilled in" as the next step out of lockdown.

      The senior Government minister also implied that social distancing could continue beyond the final stage of the Prime Minister's road map.

      The comments come as Covid-19 cases have continued to surge in the UK amid reports Boris Johnson is considering delaying so-called freedom day by at least two weeks in order to allow more people to be fully vaccinated against the Indian variant.

      The Health Secretary, pressed on whether the June 21 removal of restrictions could be postponed if the Indian variant data "gets bad", told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "We are absolutely open to doing that if that's what needs to happen.

    • Joseph Gamp

      COVID NEWS ROUND-UP: THE LATEST

      • The Indian Covid strain is 40 per cent more transmissible than other Covid variants, Matt Hancock has warned
      • A maritime loophole allowed 600 cruise ship workers from India to fly here and avoid compulsory hotel quarantine
      • Boris will examine the Covid stats this week to decide over lifting restrictions on June 21
      • Brits in their 20s will get their Covid jabs this week
      • Twelve-year-olds are set to get the Covid vaccine from August under plans to tackle the Indian variant surge

      JUNE 21 FREEDOM DAY COULD BE DELAYED TO JULY 5 ‘TO MAKE SURE ALL OVER 50S WILL RECEIVE SECOND VACCINE’

      'FREEDOM Day' on June 21 could be delayed to July 5 in an effort to make sure all those aged over 50 receive a second vaccine.

      Sources told ITV News that plans are being made to push it back to July 5.

      Correspondent Richard Pallot said: “Government sources have again stressed that no decision has been made but I understand that in private other plans are being drawn up.

      “If there was a two-week delay then in theory all over 50s would get a chance of a second vaccine.”

      More than 40 million Brits have now had a first jab but the Indian variant is surging.

      Read more here.

      SO-CALLED ‘NEPAL VARIANT’ SPARKS CONCERN

      It comes after a Public Health England report showed people who tested positive for the Indian variant – also known as the Delta variant – were at 161 per cent more risk of needing hospital treatment within 14 days.

      Experts warned the Indian Covid mutation could be 100 per cent more infectious than the Kent variant, which caused the country to lockdown in January.

      The “Nepal variant” found in Britain – a mutated version of the Indian variant ripping through the country – has also sparked concern.

      And the crucial R rate is also as high as 1.2 according to Sage — meaning the virus is up again.

      MATT HANCOCK ON VACCINATING CHILDREN (CONTINUED….)

      Mr Hancock told Sky News' Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: "As of today we are vaccinating people aged 30 and over, next week we'll move to opening up vaccinations to the under-30s who are adults, so we have a few weeks yet until we come out with a plan for exactly how and if we take this forward.

      "We know that the vaccine both protects you and helps you stop transmitting, and I want to protect education as much as anybody does… and so making sure that we don't have those whole bubbles having to go home, especially as we saw over the autumn for instance, that has upsides for education."

      His comments come as a Government adviser said he was "not sure" it was the right time to be giving shots to children when vaccines were needed in developing countries to guard against deaths.

      Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Breakfast: "If we haven't got enough vaccine in the world and you want to do most to save lives, then sending the vaccine to Africa or to India, to places that need it, would actually have greater impact.

      "There's a really interesting moral and ethical balance here between doing most for most people on a global benefit and doing most for society, the wellbeing, in our country."

      HANCOCK: PLENTY OF GOOD REASONS FOR VACACINATING CHILDREN

      Vaccinating children could have "upsides" by preventing school classrooms from being shut down due to coronavirus outbreaks, Matt Hancock has argued.

      The Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was approved for use by the UK regulator in children aged 12 to 15 on Friday but experts have flagged ethical concerns in issuing jabs to a group that is classified as being at low risk from Covid-19.

      The Health Secretary said he would be considering advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the "right approach" before making a final decision.

      But the senior Government minister said there were "plenty of good reasons" for inoculating children, despite admitting it was "very rare" that young people are affected "very negatively" by coronavirus infection.

      He said preventing long Covid in children and putting a stop to school disruptions could be two reasons to go ahead with offering vaccines to those aged 12-15, following the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) recent Pfizer ruling.

      GRAPH: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

      • Joseph Gamp

        MATT HANCOCK HAILS ‘ASTONISHING ACHIEVEMENT’ OF 40 MILLION FIRST JABS IN UNDER SIX MONTHS

        In a statement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is an astonishing achievement to deliver over 40 million first doses in under six months. In all corners of the UK, people are rolling up their sleeves when their time comes to protect themselves and the people around them.

        “It seems with every day we pass another major vaccination milestone on the road back to recovery. Over three quarters of adults have received a first dose and over half of adults have now been vaccinated with the life-saving second dose.

        “I pay tribute to the tireless work of the NHS, volunteers and armed forces in building this momentum – but our work is not yet done. I encourage everyone who is eligible to join the millions who have the fullest possible protection from this virus by getting their jab when the time comes.”

      • Joseph Gamp

        WATCH: BRITONS BAFFLED AT FARO'S AIRPORT BY LAST-MINUTE CHANGES OF UK'S GREEN LIST

        Britons baffled at Faro’s airport by last-minute changes of UK’s green list

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        VACCINATE THE WORLD BY CLOSE OF 2022 TO END PANDEMIC, PM TO TELL G7

        The Prime Minister will call on fellow leaders at the G7 in Cornwall to pledge to vaccinate the world’s population against coronavirus by the end of 2022.

        With the face-to-face gathering of leaders due to take place on Friday, Boris Johnson is planning to use the UK’s G7 presidency to implore his counterparts to “rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era” and put a stop to the pandemic by ensuring every person on the globe has access to a jab within the next 18 months.

        “Next week the leaders of the world’s greatest democracies will gather at an historic moment for our countries and for the planet,” said Mr Johnson. “The world is looking to us to rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era: defeating Covid and leading a global recovery driven by our shared values.

        “Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the single greatest feat in medical history.

        “I’m calling on my fellow G7 leaders to join us to end to this terrible pandemic and pledge will we never allow the devastation wreaked by coronavirus to happen again.”

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        MAPPED: COVID-19 SURGE TESTING AREAS

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