Coronavirus UK news – World in SHOCK at Britain's 'dangerous' July 19 lockdown lift as Boris Johnson urged to scrap plan

BORIS Johnson has been urged to rethink Britain's July 19th lockdown lifting by hundreds of health experts around the world.

Describing the lifting all Covid restrictions in England this month is “dangerous and premature”, more than 100 international scientists and doctors urged the PM to hit pause until more people are vaccinated.

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.

Yesterday, the UK reported more than 30,000 new cases for the first time since January, and a 70% rise in hospital admissions and a spike in deaths.

But while new Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitted we could see 100,000 cases every day within a matter of weeks, he added that he was confident Britain had broken the link between infection and hospitalisation.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    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.

  • Joseph Gamp

    JAPAN PM SUGA DECLARES STATE OF COVID-19 EMERGENCY IN TOKYO

    Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga formally declared on Thursday a state of emergency in Tokyo.

    Restrictions aimed at curbing coronavirus infections are now in place through August 22.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Joseph Gamp

    MASK RULE CHANGE RISKS RISE IN ABUSE TOWARDS SHOP WORKERS, TRADE BODY WARNS

    Staff in shops could face an increase in abuse and violence in stores once restrictions are eased, according to the boss of the retail industry's trade body.

    Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said the Government must provide clear guidance to the sector over plans to end the legal requirement to wear masks in stores to avoid confrontations.

    The boss added that retailers are expected to keep hand sanitiser and screens in stores to protect staff.

    She said: "Our primary concern is that Government messaging is clear about what is regulation and what is advisory so that people understand what's expected of them, and that people are tolerant and allow others to make their own personal choices.

    "There has been a big rise in violence and abuse against retail workers during the pandemic and colleagues cannot be put in the firing line because of this change in policy."

  • Joseph Gamp

    TWO MILLION PEOPLE IN IRELAND FULLY VACCINATED

    Two million people in Ireland are now fully vaccinated, the Taoiseach has said.

    Micheal Martin also said that 70% of adults have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

    He praised HSE staff and volunteers for their work in rolling out the country's vaccination programme.

    Meanwhile, later on Thursday, representatives from the hospitality sector will hold another meeting with Government officials about the reopening of indoor dining.

    Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins said industry representatives are "inching towards an agreement to get indoor dining from the 19th July".

  • Joseph Gamp

    STARMER: SUMMER OF CHAOS AND CONFUSION AWAITS UNDER JOHNSON’S UNLOCK PLANS

    Boris Johnson is leading the country into a “summer of chaos and confusion” by his decision to drop coronavirus restrictions on July 19, Sir Keir Starmer has warned.

    The Labour leader challenged the Prime Minister to detail how many deaths, hospital admissions and cases of long Covid will emerge following the changes to the rules in England.

    He raised concerns over the prospect of up to 100,000 Covid-19 infections per day and asked Mr Johnson to explain what he would do about people deleting the NHS app because they fear being told to self-isolate.

    Mr Johnson sidestepped several questions and failed to say how many people he expects to be self-isolating this summer.

    He defended the Government’s approach as “balanced and reasonable” and repeatedly highlighted the success of the vaccination programmes in the UK.

  • Joseph Gamp

    INDIA REPORTS 45,892 NEW COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS

    India reported on Thursday 45,892 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to data from the health ministry, with active cases at 460,704.

  • Joseph Gamp

    HEALTH SECRETARY TAKING 'BALANCED' APPROACH TO COVID ISOLATION, SAYS RISHI SUNAK

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said Sajid Javid is looking at an "appropriate, balanced and proportionate" approach for isolation when people are contacted by the NHS app.

    He told Sky News: "I've spoken to the Health Secretary about this and he's aware of the frustration that people have around this.

    "We have two different systems for the test and trace: we have obviously the NHS one, and we also have the app. I know most people's concerns rest with how the app is working and the Health Secretary is aware of that.

    "The app counts for the majority of the people who need to isolate, I understand, on the numbers and he's looking at what the most appropriate, balanced and proportionate approach to isolation is in these circumstances."

  • Joseph Gamp

    RISKS TO NHS ENGLAND IF COVID RESTRICTIONS LIFTED ON JULY 19, WARNS HEALTH CHIEF

    There are risks to the NHS if England eases coronavirus restriction this month, the chief executive of NHS Providers said.

    Chris Hopson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We need to be realistic and we need to be open and honest about the fact that there are risks if we relax these restrictions and there will be consequences.

    "The NHS won't be able to do everything given the demand pressures it has got and the fact that we have got reduced capacity in terms of both beds and staff numbers."

    He said there would be "very significant" pressure on the NHS and "we will have to dial back on elective recovery".

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRANT SHAPPS TO SCRAP QUARANTINE FOR DOUBLE-JABBED BRITS RETURNING FROM AMBER COUNTRIES IN COMMONS ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to make the announcement to MPs in the Commons around 11.30am.

    The Sun revealed this week that fully vaccinated Brits will be able to travel to countries like France, Spain and Italy from July 19 without self-isolating on return.

    Those longing for a post-pandemic holiday hailed the news after months stuck in the UK.

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

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WHAT WILL CHANGE FROM JULY 19?

    Freedoms from July 19:

    • Hefty fines for refusing to wear a mask indoors will be dropped as face mask laws binned – but coverings will still be recommended for crowded spaces
    • All legal limits restricting social contact will be torn up, such as the rule of six or rule of 30 outside
    • Work from home guidance will be dropped in favour of firms’ discretion
    • Pub rules will be binned – with table service scrapped and social distancing ending
    • Strict caps on care home visitors will be ditched – but PPE will stay
    • ALL adults will now get their second jab after eight weeks, down from 12
    • The one metre plus social distancing rule will be binned – except for ports and for people who have Covid
    • It means festivals and full stadiums will finally be able to make a return after lifting all limits on mass events
    • Covid certificates will be binned – but individual places can still demand them if they want

    PLAN TO OPEN UP TRAVEL FOR FULLY-VACCINATED HOLIDAYMAKERS TO BE ANNOUNCED

    A date when fully-vaccinated travellers will be able to arrive in England from amber list locations without self-isolating is expected to be announced on Thursday.

    The policy could come into effect as early as July 19, boosting demand for summer holidays to destinations such as mainland Spain, France and Italy.

    Ministers will meet on Thursday to agree the policy, which will be announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

    People arriving in the UK from amber locations must currently self-isolate at home for 10 days, making holidays in those locations unviable for many.

    The Government confirmed last month it intended to lift the quarantine requirement for people who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine this summe

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

    PM TELLS MPs 'IT LOOKS AS THOUGH' STEP 4 WILL HAPPEN ON JULY 19 AS PLANNED

    Boris Johnson yesterday told MPs "it looks as though" Step 4 of England's road map out of lockdown will go ahead as planned on July 19.

    He said: "Thanks to the vaccine rollout we were able to get through to Step 3. Now it looks as though – we will take the final decision on July 12 – but it looks as though we will get through to Step 4, which will allow them (hospitality venues) to open up fully without the need for the one-metre rule."

    The Prime Minister said: "We have data about hospitalisations and deaths, we have had predictions about where they might go.

    "They are available under the (modelling group) Spi-M-O charts, you can look at them, but they are speculative.

    "At the moment we are tracking in about the middle of the projections that Spi-M made for the third wave if we went ahead with all the openings, we are in the middle-to-the-low end of the projections they made, if you look at the graphs."

    STARMER: SUMMER OF CHAOS AND CONFUSION AWAITS UNDER JOHNSON'S UNLOCK PLANS

    Boris Johnson is leading the country into a "summer of chaos and confusion" by his decision to drop coronavirus restrictions on July 19, Sir Keir Starmer has warned.

    The Labour leader challenged the Prime Minister to detail how many deaths, hospital admissions and cases of long Covid will emerge following the changes to the rules in England.

    He raised concerns over the prospect of up to 100,000 Covid-19 infections per day and asked Mr Johnson to explain what he would do about people deleting the NHS app because they fear being told to self-isolate.

    Mr Johnson sidestepped several questions and failed to say how many people he expects to be self-isolating this summer.

    He defended the Government's approach as "balanced and reasonable" and repeatedly highlighted the success of the vaccination programmes in the UK.

    • Joseph Gamp

      LONG COVID MAY STRIKE DOWN 5,000 BRITS A DAY BY END OF THE SUMMER, MINISTER ADMITS BUT HE INSISTS 'WE HAVE TO REOPEN'

      Long Covid may strike down 5,000 Brits a DAY by end of the summer, minister admits but he insists ‘we have to reopen’

    • Joseph Gamp

      NINE IN 10 ADULTS IN MOST AREAS OF UK LIKELY TO HAVE COVID-19 ANTIBODIES

      Around nine in 10 adults in most parts of the UK are now likely to have Covid-19 antibodies, new figures suggest.

      The estimates range from 87.2% in Northern Ireland to 89.8% in England and 91.8% in Wales.

      In Scotland the estimate is lower and is closer to eight in 10 adults, or 84.7%.

      The presence of coronavirus antibodies suggests someone has had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated.

      It takes between two and three weeks after infection or vaccination for the body to make enough antibodies to fight the virus.

    • Joseph Gamp

      JAPAN PREPARING TO DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN TOKYO AS INFECTIONS RISE – REPORTS

      Japan is preparing to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo to contain a rise in coronavirus infections.

      It comes just over two weeks before the opening of the Olympic Games in the capital, the Sankei daily newspaper said on Wednesday citing government sources. 

    • Joseph Gamp

      COVID CASES FELL BY A FIFTH DURING MASS TESTING PILOT IN LIVERPOOL

      Detection of coronavirus cases rose by almost a fifth and potentially thousands of new infections were prevented, results of a community testing pilot in Liverpool have suggested.

      More than 3,200 staff days among key workers, such as those in the emergency services, were saved from being lost to quarantine through a test-to-release scheme, researchers said.

      New cases of the virus dropped by 21% compared with other areas up to mid-December, the study showed, at which point the spread of the Kent variant made it more difficult to compare areas.

    • Joseph Gamp

      BREAKING: UK COVID CASES DOUBLE IN TWO WEEKS WITH 32,548 INFECTIONS – THE HIGHEST SINCE JANUARY

      BRITAIN today recorded 32,548 Covid cases – the highest figure since January.

      Deaths remained low, with another 33 fatalities reported.

      It marks the highest inrease in cases since January 23 when was 33,522 infections were recorded.

      And it’s a 100 per cent increase on the 16,135 infections reported two weeks ago.

      The increase in fatalities brings the total to 128,301.

    • Joseph Gamp

      HEATHROW TO FAST TRACK ARRIVALS FOR DOUBLE-JABBED PASSENGERS

      Heathrow is to provide fast-track lanes for fully-vaccinated arrivals as the airline industry steps up pressure on ministers to open up quarantine-free travel to amber destinations.

      Under a pilot programme to be launched this week, passengers from selected destinations will be able to upload their coronavirus vaccination certificate before boarding.

      On arrival at the airport, they will then be directed to dedicated lanes at the border to speed their passage through immigration.

      The move comes ahead of an expected announcement on Thursday when Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will set out details of the Government’s plans to end the requirement for travellers from amber list countries to self-isolate on arrival.

      Boris Johnson is said to favour easing the controls from July 19 – when other Covid lockdown restrictions in England are due to be lifted – according to The Times.

    • Joseph Gamp

      JCVI STILL ASSESSING IF CHILDREN SHOULD GET COVID VACCINES – CHRIS WHITTY

      “For any vaccine, you want to be confident that the benefits outweigh any risks,” says Professor Whitty in response to question from the public.

      “Because children have had much lower rates of severe outcomes from Covid… we would need to have even greater confidence about the safety.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      TIMETABLE FOR RELAXING SELF-ISOLATION ‘NOT A PERFECT SOLUTION’, ADMITS KWARTENG

      Delaying the easing of self-isolation rules for coronavirus contacts until a month after England’s other restrictions are lifted is “not a perfect solution”, a Cabinet minister has admitted.

      Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted the Government has to strike a balance between reopening the economy and curbing the spread of Covid-19, as ministers faced a backlash over the plans.

      From August 16, people in England who have received both doses of a vaccine – as well as the under-18s – will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

      But restrictions on businesses and social gatherings will be removed at Step 4 of the road map, expected on July 19, raising fears that increased cases could lead to millions being forced to spend 10 days at home.

      Hospitality chiefs said the delay could lead to staff shortages, warning that the current system is already causing “carnage” and unless the Government moves quicker it risks “the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes”

    • Joseph Gamp

      BORIS JOHNSON DEFENDS ‘PRUDENT’ APPROACH ON SELF-ISOLATION POLICY

      Boris Johnson has defended his policy on coronavirus self-isolation despite warnings it will lead to millions of people forced to stay at home and cause major problems for businesses.

      The Prime Minister has promised to tear up most of England’s coronavirus regulations at Step 4 of the road map, expected on July 19, but changes to self-isolation rules will not be brought in until August 16.

      The expected surge in cases as a result of restrictions being lifted is predicted to lead to millions of contacts being “pinged” by the NHS Covid-19 app or being told by by contact tracers to isolate.

      From August 16, people in England who have received both doses of a vaccine – as well as the under-18s – will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

      In a sign of business concerns, Iceland supermarket boss Richard Walker said the different timings would result in a “shit show” for firms.

    • Joseph Gamp

      TIMETABLE FOR RELAXING SELF-ISOLATION ‘NOT A PERFECT SOLUTION’, ADMITS KWARTENG

      Delaying the easing of self-isolation rules for coronavirus contacts until a month after England’s other restrictions are lifted is “not a perfect solution”, a Cabinet minister has admitted.

      Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted the Government has to strike a balance between reopening the economy and curbing the spread of Covid-19, as ministers faced a backlash over the plans.

      From August 16, people in England who have received both doses of a vaccine – as well as the under-18s – will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

      But restrictions on businesses and social gatherings will be removed at Step 4 of the road map, expected on July 19, raising fears that increased cases could lead to millions being forced to spend 10 days at home.

      Hospitality chiefs said the delay could lead to staff shortages, warning that the current system is already causing “carnage” and unless the Government moves quicker it risks “the summer being cancelled and vast swathes of the population unnecessarily confined to their homes”

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