Coronavirus UK news – Covid deaths hit 151 in highest toll in FIVE MONTHS but cases drop for 7th day


DAILY Covid deaths have risen by the highest toll since March with 131 fatalities reported – but cases fell for the seventh day in a row. 

Though infections have fallen nearly 40 per cent in a week, today’s rise in fatalities marks the highest toll in over four months.

Today’s rise in infections of 23,511 is well below the 38,925 recorded last Tuesday, and a significant decrease on the 46,717 reported a fortnight ago. 

Yesterday 24,950 new cases were recorded, down from 29,173 on Sunday, and 31,795 on Saturday.

The figures come eight days after ‘Freedom Day’ when England relaxed almost all Covid restrictions – with the data yet to show a surge prompted by the loosening of measures. 

Today’s rise in cases means that a total of 5,745,526 people have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Deaths increased by 131, bringing the total to 129,303. As deaths lag infections by roughly two weeks, the rise reflects the higher caseload a fortnight ago. 

Today’s death toll is well over double last week’s figure of 53 and way above the 47 reported on July 13.

Read our coronavirus live blog for the very latest updates..

  • LABOUR SAYS GOVERNMENT’S VACCINE PASSPORTS PLAN ‘IS UNWORKABLE’

    Labour’s deputy leader has said the Government’s plans for vaccine passports are “unworkable”.

    Speaking on a visit to co-working space Impact Hub, in central London, Angela Rayner said: “We think it is unworkable actually and we should be encouraging people to get the vaccine as soon as they possibly can, and also encouraging people to take regular tests as well. Because that is how we keep control of the virus.

    “Of course, even with the two vaccines you can still get Covid, so therefore testing has got to be an important part of that scheme.”

    She had earlier said of vaccine passports: “The bureaucracy shouldn’t fall on businesses. Many businesses, the practicalities, whether it is in hospitality or in other organisations, they have absolutely struggled during this pandemic and there is absolutely no way that these businesses can go around vetting and checking these vaccine passports are legit.”

  • LABOUR VOWS TO TRANSFORM ECONOMY WITH ‘NEW DEAL FOR WORKING PEOPLE’

    Labour will launch a “new deal for working people” that promises to “fundamentally change” the economy as the party seeks to win back traditional voters who have switched to the Tories.

    Deputy leader Angela Rayner will on Monday set out the party’s vision for a post-pandemic Britain where quality jobs pay a “proper wage” and are a “source of pride, security and dignity”.

    Sir Keir Starmer was due to join his deputy at the launch at a social enterprise in London in a display of solidarity after a period of turbulence but has instead been forced into self-isolation.

    Ahead of the launch, the Labour leader pledged to make the nation “the best place to work” and said the pandemic has “exposed the fact that millions of workers don’t have the dignity and security they deserve”.

    Having taken on the role of shadow future of work secretary during Sir Keir’s botched reshuffle in the wake of the Hartlepool by-election defeat, Ms Rayner portrayed the nation as being at a “fork in the road”.

  • ARSENAL GOLDEN BOY TORREIRA SAYS HE NEARLY QUIT FOOTBALL FOR GOOD AFTER MUM’S DEATH

    Arsenal star Lucas Torreira has admitted he wanted to quit football after his mum tragically passed away from Covid-19 in March.

    The 25-year-old was on loan at Atletico Madrid at the time, later paying tribute to his mum when the Spanish club won LaLiga in May.

    Speaking to the Metro, Torreira said: “When my mother’s thing happened, I wanted to stop playing soccer.

    “I wanted to stay in Fray Bentos with my family. I had very little desire to go back to Spain because I had to stay alone there.

    “Luckily one of my brothers left with me, but I wanted to be here, with my father, because he was the one who was suffering the most and the one who was hurt the most by this whole situation.”

  • WHICH CHANGING ROOMS ARE NOT OPEN IN THE UK?

    Next was still deciding on whether to reopen fitting rooms back in April and May when different stage of lockdown lifted.

    Tesco has not reopened its F&F clothing changing rooms yet.

    It’s understood there are currently no plans to get the service back up and running again.

  • CONTINUED: ARE CHANGING ROOMS OPEN IN HIGH STREET SHOPS?

    M&S reopened fitting rooms in all its clothing stores from May 17.

    When they initially opened, they had set times of 10am to 4pm daily and we’ve asked if this is still in place and will update when we hear back

    All of TK Maxx’s changing rooms are now open again.

    Back in April and May the shop told The Sun that it wasn’t opening fitting rooms for customers just yet – but now it has.

    John Lewis opened its fitting rooms on April 12, along with other in-store services like kids shoe fittings and home design services.

    New Look says on its website that all its fitting rooms are now open again in the UK.

  • CONTINUED: ARE CHANGING ROOMS OPEN IN HIGH STREET SHOPS?

    Primark has finally reopened all its fitting rooms in the UK.

    The retailer revealed to The Sun last week that shoppers can try clothes on again.

    Fashion brand H&M reopened some of its fitting rooms back in April.

    H&M is currently operating a reduced capacity at some stores, so that means not all cubicles in a changing room will be open when you visit

    River Island opened most fitting rooms from April 12 in England so customers can try clothes on before buying them.

    Some stores will have reduced hours for fitting rooms.

  • ARE CHANGING ROOMS OPEN IN HIGH STREET SHOPS?

    As Covid restrictions lift and the vaccine rollout hits record numbers in Britain, shopping has started to return back to normal. But does this mean changing rooms are now open?

    You’ll still be asked to wear a face covering at many shops, but what about changing rooms at your high street faves like Primark, H&M and TK Maxx?

    Fashion brands were finally given the go ahead to open changing roomsagain from April 12.

    But not all shops reopened fitting rooms at the same time and some still remain closed now, so shoppers are not able to try on clothes everywhere they go.

    We’ve rounded up which retailers have opened their changing rooms and which have not, as well as the rules in place to keep shoppers and staff safe.

  • NI EXECUTIVE TO MEET TO DISCUSS COVID-19 RELAXATIONS AND WAITING LIST CRISIS

    Stormont ministers will meet later to consider further Covid-19 relaxations for Northern Ireland and discuss ways to tackle the region’s spiralling health waiting lists.

    The virtual executive meeting will re-examine a number of decisions that were postponed last week amid concerns about rising infection numbers.

    These “moderate” risk moves include allowing theatres and concert halls to welcome back audiences and increasing the limit on gatherings in indoor domestic settings from six to 10, from no more than three households.

    Ministers will also consider whether to lift current restrictions on MoT test centres.

    An easing of the requirement for face coverings in places of worship is also set to be discussed, with the potential this will be relaxed so people will only have to wear them entering and exiting the buildings.

  • RAIL TRAVEL IS HIT BY ‘PINGEDEMIC’ AS REDUCED TIMETABLES COME IN TO SERVICE

    Workers in the sector are among the vast number of people being pinged by the NHS coronavirus app.

    Reduced timetables have been introduced on railways across England in an attempt to improve reliability after a recent spate of last-minute cancellations due to staff shortages.

    Passengers are being advised to check their train is running before they leave home.

    Thameslink and Southern has cut its weekday timetables on five routes “until further notice”, and warned that further changes could be required.

    Avanti West Coast has reduced the frequency of its services between London Euston and Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales to “manage staff shortages and ensure a reliable service”. A revised timetable with fewer services was also launched by London Northwestern Railway on Saturday.

  • CORONAVIRUS RATES PLUMMET IN HALF OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES, DATA REVEALS

    Covid case rates are falling in half of local authorities in England, data reveals.

    The interactive map below shows the rate per 100,000 people in your area, based on the UK data from the Government coronavirus dashboard.

    The figures, for the seven days to July 22, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid with either a PCR or lateral flow test.

    Of the 315 local areas in England, 177 (56 per cent) have seen a fall in new cases per 100,000.

    Read the full story here

  • COVID CASES FALL FOR SEVENTH DAY IN A ROW, WITH 23,511 RECORDED CASES, BUT DEATHS RISE TO 131

    Daily Covid deaths have risen by the highest toll since March with 131 fatalities reported – but cases fell for the seventh day in a row. 

    Though infections have fallen nearly 40 per cent in a week, today’s rise in fatalities marks the highest toll in over four months.

    Today’s rise in infections of 23,511 is well below the 38,925 recorded last Tuesday, and a significant decrease on the 46,717 reported a fortnight ago. 

    Yesterday 24,950 new cases were recorded, down from 29,173 on Sunday, and 31,795 on Saturday.

    The figures come eight days after ‘Freedom Day’ when England relaxed almost all Covid restrictions – with the data yet to show a surge prompted by the loosening of measures. 

  • LOCKDOWN TOLL

    A woman with a rare muscle-wasting condition will never be able to eat again after a year of shielding caused irreversible damage.

    Tiffany Walker, 47, was left unable to do regular exercises and specialist therapies during the Covid lockdown and now she will soon have to be fed through a tube due to her rapid deterioration.

    Tiffany, from Bournemouth, has a cruel condition called central core disease which makes her muscles rigid and stiff – and means it’s hard for her to swallow.

    Before the pandemic hit, she remained active and would go swimming five days a week to keep her condition at bay and she also had regular face-to-face treatments with specialists.

    But this came to an abrupt halt when she was forced to shield.

  • ‘WE’RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET’ WARNS BORIS JOHNSON

    BORIS Johnson has warned “we’re not out of the woods yet” despite Covid cases tumbling for five days in a row, raising hopes the Delta wave peak is over.

    The PM believes the rapid fall in infections is “encouraging” but insisted the pandemic “is not over” and Brits must still stay on their guard.

    No 10 said the country should brace for another rise in cases as a result of dropping all restrictions on Freedom Day on July 19.

    A Downing St spokesman said: “Throughout the pandemic we have always said it’s encouraging when cases are falling.”

    But he added: “We should still expect to see a rise in case numbers given the move to Step 4 last week. The Prime Minister thinks we’re not out of the woods yet.”

  • FACE MASK USAGE AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE HAS SLUMPED SINCE FREEDOM DAY, SUGGESTS NEW POLL

    A new poll by YouGov suggests the use of face masks among young people has slumped since “freedom day” on July 19.

    The survey found 46% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they wore a face mask in a public place in the last two weeks, compared to 58% on July 16 and 64% on June 2.

    Meanwhile, the survey of 1,742 British adults between July 21 and 22 found other age groups were still wearing face coverings at around the same rate as 69% of all Britons say they wore a face mask in the last two weeks, compared to 71% on July 16 and 73% on June 2.

    YouGov also said young people were less likely to be fully vaccinated and more likely to have disabled their NHS Covid-19 app. Meanwhile, the proportion of Britons thinking the Government is handling Covid-19 well fell from 41% just before “freedom day” to 34% afterwards.

    Attitudes among Conservative voters tumbled 17pts this week. Prior to July 19, about three-quarters (73%) of Conservative voters thought the Government was doing a good job of managing the pandemic response. According to YouGov, now only 56% do, the lowest to date among Tory voters.

  • RUSSIA REPORTS 23,239 NEW COVID-19 CASES, 727 RELATED DEATHS

    Russia reported 23,239 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, including 2,629 in Moscow, taking the official national tally since the pandemic began to 6,149,780.

    The government coronavirus task force said 727 people had died of coronavirus-linked causes in the past 24 hours, pushing the national death toll to 154,601.

  • EXTRA ICU BEDS PLANNED FOR BELFAST AMID COVID-19 SURGE

    Extra ICU beds are being made available in Belfast as hospitals struggle to cope with a surge in Covid-19 admissions.

    Northern Ireland’s chief nursing officer Charlotte McArdle said beds for Belfast health trust patients are being made available at Belfast City Hospital due to capacity issues at the Royal Victoria and Mater hospitals.

    Ms McArdle said the numbers in ICU had increased significantly in Northern Ireland over the weekend, with 27 Covid-19 patients in intensive care as of Sunday.

    Ms McArdle said there was currently no plan to reopen the region-wide Nightingale facility at Belfast City Hospital but she warned that would become a “very real possibility” if the surge continues.

    The senior nurse’s comments came after both the Belfast Trust and the South Eastern Trust issued emergency appeals to off-duty staff on Sunday to come in to work to help colleagues deal with the escalating situation.

  • DOWNING STREET REFUSES TO DENY IF STUDENTS WILL NEED JABS FOR LECTURES

    Downing Street did not deny reports that students would need to be fully vaccinated to attend university lectures.

    “You have heard what the PM has said before, specifically that the pandemic is not over,” a No 10 spokesman said.

    “We are still looking at the scope for vaccination certifications.”

    Asked if there was concern about take-up of the vaccines in younger age groups, the spokesman said: “I think you continue to see more and more young people coming forward to receive the vaccine, both in terms of first doses and now second doses.

    “Of course, we want to see more people come forward to receive it. We would like to see everybody who is invited to come forward and receive the vaccination to do so. That’s the message we continue to try and give to young people.”

  • CDC ISSUES DOUBLE JABBED AMERICANS TO WEAR A MASK AGAIN IN CERTAIN PARTS OF US DUE TO DELTA VARIANT

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to issue a new mask mandate for vaccinated Americans as a result of the highly infectious Delta variant, reports say. 

    The agency is expected to announce on Tuesday that even vaccinated people will be required to wear face coverings again in parts of the United States due to a rise in Covid-19 infections stemming from new mutations.

    But back in May, they confirmed that people who had received both doses of the vaccine would not have to wear a mask or social distance.

    At the time, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky confirmed this was based on declining infections, the swift vaccine rollout, as well as efficacy against Covid-19 variants.

    However, even people who were fully jabbed had to continue planes and trains, at airports, on mass transit, and in medical environments like hospitals. 

  • THIRD WAVE ‘COULD BE ENDING’ AS COVID CASES DROP FIVE DAYS IN A ROW

    THE UK may now have passed the peak of the third wave – after the number of new cases dropped for the fifth day in a row in a “reassuring” sign, experts say.

    The number of people testing positive for Covid plunged from 49,000 last Sunday to 29,173 yesterday, building hopes Brits may be past the worst.

    And it’s the first time cases have fallen below 30,000 since July 6.

    The number of fatalities, however, was slightly higher, with 28 people losing their lives – three more than the previous Sunday. The UK last saw five running days of dropping case numbers in February.

    It’s understood ministers are “trying not to get too excited” about the drop – but there’s now “confidence” that things are heading in the right direction, Politico reports.

  • STARMER PROMISES ‘PRAGMATIC’ APPROACH TO USE OF COVID PASS

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he backed the “pragmatic” use of Covid vaccine passports – but also stressed the importance of testing as part of the certification scheme.

    Boris Johnson has signalled that the Covid pass will be required for nightclubs in England from September, when all adults will have had the opportunity to be double-jabbed, with tests no longer sufficient.

    Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has indicated the documents could be required for a far wider range of settings, suggesting festivals and sport events as areas where there were concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

    Labour has previously indicated it could side with Tory rebels in voting against the mandatory use of vaccine-only passports for nightclubs, but Sir Keir acknowledged that checks of some sort were necessary for major events.

    Sir Keir set out his views on LBC Radio, saying that tests were more useful than just a record of vaccination – highlighting Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s situation as a double-jabbed person who contracted Covid-19.

  • INDOOR DINING IN PUBS AND RESTAURANTS REOPENS ACROSS IRELAND

    Indoor dining in pubs and restaurants have reopened across Ireland, marking a significant step for the hospitality sector.

    The guidelines for reopening were signed off by Government late on Sunday night.

    Indoor dining is open for the fully vaccinated and those who have had Covid-19 in the last six months.

    A maximum of six people over the age of 13 are allowed at each table, however the limit does not include children aged 12 or younger. The total combined capacity at a table cannot exceed 15.

    Bars and restaurants spent the weekend preparing to reopen after draft guidelines were published late on Friday night.

  • MINISTERS SHOULD SET UP VACCINATION CENTRES AT UNIVERSITIES

    Labour has called on the Government to set up vaccination centres on university campuses to ensure students are fully inoculated ahead of the winter.

    Shadow education secretary Kate Green told the Conservatives to “get a grip” following reports that students could be required to be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to attend university lectures.

    The Labour Party is calling on ministers to do more to promote the jab to young people, including working with universities to set up vaccination centres on campus to provide easier access.

    On Monday, education minister Vicky Ford repeatedly refused to rule out that students could be required to be fully vaccinated in order to attend lectures in person and live in halls of residence.

    The Times reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had suggested the move in order to help drive up the rates of young people taking up the vaccination.

  • WHAT HELP CAN I GET WHEN MY PAYMENT BREAK ENDS?

    Your lender is still obliged to help you and before the end of the payment break they should have explained the options available after.

    This could include he following if you took a break from paying your mortgage:

    • Extending the length of your mortgage
    • Changing the type of mortgage you have, for example, paying only the interest
    • Deferring interest payments
    • Adding the interest owed onto the mortgage balance
  • SCOTLAND RECORDS 1,000 NEW COVID CASES

    Scotland has recorded 1,000 new coronavirus cases but no further deaths in the past 24 hours, the latest figures show.

    It means the death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7,859, though the Scottish Government noted that Register Offices are now generally closed at the weekend.

    There were 475 people in hospital on Sunday with recently confirmed Covid-19, down from 480 the previous day, with 65 patients in intensive care, up one on the day before.

    The daily test positivity rate was 8%, up from 7.5% the previous day, according to figures published by the Scottish Government on Monday.

    So far, 3,998,627 people have received their first dose of a Covid vaccination and 3,092,102 have received their second dose.

  • EXTRA HELP

    Vital financial support for Brits struggling because of coronavirus will come to an end this week.

    Millions of people have paused repayments on mortgages, credit cards and loans thanks to emergency rules introduced during the pandemic.

    The payment holiday support was extended several times and now anyone who applied before the final deadline will find their break ending this Saturday.

    The official end to the break will be on July 31 – in just four days time.

    Banks and lenders will still be offering help to anyone who continues to be in financial difficulty because of Covid after this date.





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