Coronavirus UK news – Vaccines for ALL Brits over 18 in one month as jab rollout on course to END lockdown on June 21


BRITS aged 18 and over could get a Covid vaccine in just ONE month as the race against the Indian variant shifts up a gear.

The Government is on track to meet its target of offering first doses to all adults by the end of July.

But according to reports from the Telegraph, NHS managers have begun plans to speed up the timetable amid concerns about the spread of the Indian variant among the younger cohorts. 

Plans drawn up by NHS managers suggested vaccines could be offered to over 18s within the next five weeks. 

Those aged 34 and over would be offered jabs from today, with texts inviting people to book a vaccination sent out today and tomorrow.

Younger folk in their thirties are expected to be invited within days.

Meanwhile, the nations’s rollout is on course to defeat the feared Indian Covid variant and end lockdown on time.

In a huge boost to anxious Brits, scientists said hospital admissions in virus hotspot Bolton remain “fairly flat” despite the rise of the new strain.

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

  • GLASTO TO RETURN FOR ONE-DAY SHOW IN SEPTEMBER

    Glastonbury festival has been given the go ahead for a one-day event in September, according to reports.

    Mendip district council in Somerset, which is responsible for approving the festival, has given the organisers a licence for a one-day event with no overnight camping, the Guardian has reported.

    The local council has given the go ahead for the event to go ahead with just 50,000 attendees – the event typically hosts 200,000 people – as part of a pilot programme for Covid-safe events.

    In January, festival organisers said the main event would be cancelled for the second year in a row.

  • COVID VACCINATION PROGRAMME OPENS TO 25-29 YEARS OLDS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

    Northern Ireland’s coronavirus vaccination programme has opened up to the 25 to 29-year-old age group.

    The latest expansion comes just days after the region hit the landmark 1million figure for the number of those who have received at least one dose of the jab.

    From Thursday, anyone born between 01/05/91 and 31/07/96 can book an appointment at one of the Trust vaccination centres across Northern Ireland.

    In line with the latest JCVI advice, anyone under the age of 40 can book a Pfizer-BioTech vaccine, or they can make what the Department of Health has described as an “informed decision” to receive the AstraZeneca jab at the SSE Arena in Belfast or participating community pharmacies.

    Vaccine supplies have been described as limited, with approximately 20,000 slots available each week.

  • COVID DROPS TO NINTH LEADING CASE OF DEATH IN ENGLAND

    Covid-19 was the ninth leading cause of death in England last month, the lowest ranking since September 2020, new figures show.

    A total of 941 deaths were due to coronavirus in April, the equivalent of 2.4% of all deaths registered in England, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    The leading cause of death was ischaemic heart diseases (4,144 deaths), followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (4,018 deaths).

    Covid-19 was the leading cause of death in England every month from November 2020 to February 2021.

    In March it dropped from top spot to third place, before falling to ninth place in last month.

  • EASYJET BOSS SAYS GOVT MESSAGING ON AMBER LIST IS “CONFUSING”

    EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren described the Government’s messaging on whether people should go on holiday to amber list destinations as “very confusing to say the least”.

    Asked if easyJet customers were flying to amber countries for leisure despite Government guidance not to do so, he replied: “Yes, people are booking flights and they’re going there on holidays.

    “I think that the view was to apply common sense, and I think that there’s a lot of people out there who have as a top priority coming through this pandemic to go on that holiday break.

    “That is what people are doing.”

  • SPAIN WANTS BRIT TOURISTS WITHIN WEEKS

    A senior Spanish government official says he expects British and other vacationers to return to Spain within weeks as the country races to revive its tourism industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Deputy Minister for Tourism Fernando Valdes told The Associated Press on Wednesday that falling coronavirus incidence rates and accelerating vaccine rollouts in some countries will enable Spain to drop travel restrictions early next month.

    Some people from countries outside the European Union will be able to come for example, from the United Kingdom, which is in a good epidemiological situation without any restrictions, Valdes said in an interview.

    And we are going to begin to accept citizens that can present a vaccine certificate, he said.

    In 2019, Britain sent 18 million people to Spain, the most of any country. Spain is one of the world’s top tourism destinations.

  • WATCH: GRAPHS SHOW COVID RATES ARE FLAT IN THE UK

  • TRANSPORT SECRETARY WANTS MORE COUNTRIES TO BE ADDED TO THE GREEN LIST

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he wanted to see more countries added to the “green list” for travel.

    He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “The amber list and the red list are not for holidaymakers, that’s not the purpose of those lists at this time.

    “We just think that after a year of lockdowns in this country, of people coming forward in record numbers to get their vaccines, we do not want to be in a position of taking risks at this stage about our unlock.”

    Asked if he was pushing for the green list to be extended he said: “Of course. The reason for that is we have ended up getting way ahead in terms of our vaccination programme in this country and we are just having to wait for other countries to catch up with us.

    “That’s going to gradually happen, obviously, you can see it’s happening, so that list should expand.”

  • PLAY ALONG

    Portugal has announced the new Covid rules for holidaymakers visiting the beach this summer – and rule-breakers face €100 (£86) fines.

    Thousands of Brits have flocked to the country this week, with the holiday ban lifted on Monday and Portugal one of the few green list countries.

    The new rules, according to local media, now mean that Brits face the steep fines if they don’t wear a face mask while on the beach.

    There will also be a traffic light system in place, with sunbathers banned from red areas – also facing fines if breaking the rules.

    Beaches with capacity of more than 90 per cent will show a red light, meaning access is not allowed.

  • DECISION MADE ON JUNE 14 OVER FINAL STAGE OF REMOVING LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS

    Hancock said a decision about removing the final stage of lockdown restrictions, in light of the India variant, will be made on June 14.

    “Every day we’re getting more information,” he said. “We look every day at the data … Until then, it is too early to say.”

    Jonathan Van Tam added: “I think scientists are sure that this virus is more transmissible than the strain it is beginning to replace.”

  • BOLTON’S COVID CASES REACH FOUR-MONTH HIGH

    Covid-19 case rates in Bolton have climbed to their highest level for nearly four months, latest figures show.

    A total of 920 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in the seven days to May 15 – the equivalent of 319.9 cases per 100,000 people.

    This is up from 161.4 the previous week and is the highest since the seven days to January 23.

    Bolton continues to have the highest rate of new Covid-19 cases in the UK.

    Blackburn with Darwen has the second highest rate, up week-on-week from 96.2 to 145.0, with 217 new cases.

  • UK LAUNCHES CLINICAL TRIAL ON BOOSTER JABS

    Hancock has announced the world’s first clinical trial on booster jabs.

    Seven existing vaccines are to be tested in the Cov-Boost trial to see which jabs could be used in any forthcoming autumn vaccination programme.

    Some 2,886 people aged 30 and older are being recruited at 18 NHS sites from London to Glasgow, with the first booster jabs administered in early June.

    The trial will cost £19.3million, backed by taxpayers’ money.

  • PRINCE WILLIAMS RECEIVES COVID VACCINE

    Prince William, who contracted Covid-19 last year, revealed on Thursday he had received his first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

    William, 38, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth and second-in-line to the British throne, revealed on Twitter he had received the shot earlier this week, alongside a picture of the moment he had the injection at London’s Science Museum.

    “On Tuesday I received my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said. “To all those working on the vaccine rollout – thank you for everything youâ??ve done and continue to do.”

    William fell ill with the disease last April, at about the same time as his father, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, although he kept the news secret until November.

    Media reports said he had not wanted to alarm anyone and he had been hit pretty badly by the virus.

  • CHINA GIVING VACCINES TO 40 AFRICAN COUNTRIES

    China said Thursday it is providing Covid-19 vaccines to nearly 40 African countries, describing its actions as purely altruistic in an apparent intensification of what has been described as “vaccine diplomacy.”

    The vaccines were donated or sold at “favorable prices,” Foreign Ministry official Wu Peng told reporters.

    Wu compared China’s outreach to the actions of “some countries that have said they have to wait for their own people to finish the vaccination before they could supply the vaccines to foreign countries,” in an apparent dig at the United States.

    “We believe that it is, of course, necessary to ensure that the Chinese people get vaccinated as soon as possible, but for other countries in need, we also try our best to provide vaccine help,” said Wu, who is director of the ministry’s Africa department.

  • WATCH: PROF CHRIS WHITTY SAYS MORE PEOPLE WILL DIE FROM SMOKING THAN COVID

  • PLAY ALONG

    Portugal has announced the new Covid rules for holidaymakers visiting the beach this summer – and rule-breakers face €100 (£86) fines.

    Thousands of Brits have flocked to the country this week, with the holiday ban lifted on Monday and Portugal one of the few green list countries.

    The new rules, according to local media, now mean that Brits face the steep fines if they don’t wear a face mask while on the beach.

    There will also be a traffic light system in place, with sunbathers banned from red areas – also facing fines if breaking the rules.

    Beaches with capacity of more than 90 per cent will show a red light, meaning access is not allowed.

  • UPDATED COVID-19 DEATH TOLL

     The Government said a further five people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 127,684.

    Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been 152,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

    The Government also said that, as of 9am on Monday, there had been a further 1,979 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

  • PROCEED WITH ‘VIGILANCE’

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government’s decision to ease restrictions in the face of the Indian variant was the right call, but he urged the public to remain vigilant.

    Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, he said: “Overall hospitalisations and deaths remain very low, meaning we have been able to carefully take away more restrictions this week as we’ve taken step three of the road map.

    “But we must proceed with vigilance and with everyone taking personal responsibility.

    “We’ve always known that one of the things that has the potential to knock us off track would be a new variant.

    “That’s why we made the presence of a new variant that could do that one of our four tests when we set out the road map, which is the tests we must pass for going down each step of the road map.

    “The early evidence suggests that the B1617.2 new variant, first discovered in India, passes on more easily from person to person than the B11.7 variant that was first discovered in Kent.”

  • LABOUR FAILS IN BID TO MAKE MINISTERS PUBLISH COVID-19 INTERNAL REVIEW

    Conservative MPs have rejected attempts to make the Government publish its internal review of its handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

    Labour argued that publishing the document would ensure better scrutiny of the Government’s response to the Indian Covid-19 variant.

    But the Opposition’s Queen’s Speech amendment seeking the release of the review was rejected in the Commons by 367 to 264, majority 103.

    The failed bid came as a separate report by the National Audit Office (NAO) found that the pandemic had “laid bare existing fault lines within society and has exacerbated inequalities”.

    Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth referenced Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former senior adviser as he told the Commons: “For the first time in my life I think I find myself agreeing with Mr Dominic Cummings.”

  • GLASTO TO RETURN FOR ONE-DAY SHOW IN SEPTEMBER

    Glastonbury festival has been given the go ahead for a one-day event in September, according to reports.

    Mendip district council in Somerset, which is responsible for approving the festival, has given the organisers a licence for a one-day event with no overnight camping, the Guardian has reported.

    The local council has given the go ahead for the event to go ahead with just 50,000 attendees – the event typically hosts 200,000 people – as part of a pilot programme for Covid-safe events.

    In January, festival organisers said the main event would be cancelled for the second year in a row.

  • BOLTON’S COVID CASES REACH FOUR-MONTH HIGH

    Covid-19 case rates in Bolton have climbed to their highest level for nearly four months, latest figures show.

    A total of 920 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in the seven days to May 15 – the equivalent of 319.9 cases per 100,000 people.

    This is up from 161.4 the previous week and is the highest since the seven days to January 23.

    Bolton continues to have the highest rate of new Covid-19 cases in the UK.

    Blackburn with Darwen has the second highest rate, up week-on-week from 96.2 to 145.0, with 217 new cases.

  • COVID VACCINATION PROGRAMME OPENS TO 25-29 YEARS OLDS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

    Northern Ireland’s coronavirus vaccination programme has opened up to the 25 to 29-year-old age group.

    The latest expansion comes just days after the region hit the landmark 1million figure for the number of those who have received at least one dose of the jab.

    From Thursday, anyone born between 01/05/91 and 31/07/96 can book an appointment at one of the Trust vaccination centres across Northern Ireland.

    In line with the latest JCVI advice, anyone under the age of 40 can book a Pfizer-BioTech vaccine, or they can make what the Department of Health has described as an “informed decision” to receive the AstraZeneca jab at the SSE Arena in Belfast or participating community pharmacies.

    Vaccine supplies have been described as limited, with approximately 20,000 slots available each week.

  • ROYAL MAIL PROFIT SURGE DUE TO LOCKDOWN

    Royal Mail saw profits increase four-fold during the year of Covid-19 as restrictions and lockdowns led to a surge in online shopping.

    Bosses revealed pre-tax profits for the year to March hit £726 million – up from £180 million a year earlier – with revenues up 16.6% to £12.6 billion.

    The former state-owned service added that parcel revenues rose 38.7%, offsetting a 12.5% fall in letters being sent.

    A 10p-a-share end-of-year dividend for shareholders was declared and the company said it was confident it could keep paying out future dividends of 20p-a-share from next year.

    Royal Mail’s shift away from letters to focus on parcels was confirmed as the company revealed it generated more cash from parcel deliveries than letters for the first time in its history.

  • BRAZIL RECORDS 79,000 NEW COVID CASES

    Brazil recorded 79,219 additional confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 2,641 new deaths from Covid-19, Health Ministry figures showed on Wednesday.

    Brazil has now registered 15.8million cases since the pandemic began, and the official death toll stands at 441,691, according to ministry data. 

  • VACCINATION PROGRAMME IN ENGLAND TO EXTEND TO 34-YEAR-OLDS

    People aged 34 and over can book their Covid-19 jab from Thursday, the NHS in England has said.

    More than one million people aged 34 and 35 will get a text message on Thursday or Friday asking them to come forward for their Covid vaccine, NHS England said.

    The vaccination programme is expected to extend to people in their early thirties “over the next few days and weeks”, it added.

    Health officials have sped up the timetable to offer second jabs in a bid to ensure that those at highest risk are protected from the variant of the virus first identified in India.

    At the same time, the programmes are extending to younger age groups to try and mitigate risk.

  • SPAIN WANTS BRIT TOURISTS WITHIN WEEKS

    A senior Spanish government official says he expects British and other vacationers to return to Spain within weeks as the country races to revive its tourism industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Deputy Minister for Tourism Fernando Valdes told The Associated Press on Wednesday that falling coronavirus incidence rates and accelerating vaccine rollouts in some countries will enable Spain to drop travel restrictions early next month.

    Some people from countries outside the European Union will be able to come for example, from the United Kingdom, which is in a good epidemiological situation without any restrictions, Valdes said in an interview.

    And we are going to begin to accept citizens that can present a vaccine certificate, he said.

    In 2019, Britain sent 18 million people to Spain, the most of any country. Spain is one of the world’s top tourism destinations.





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