Coronavirus UK news – Freedom Day to feel like LOCKDOWN with covid face masks everywhere, table service & work from home

BRITAIN could be back in lockdown in just 11 weeks time as cases spiral just as restrictions are eased, experts fear.

Boris has begged Brits not to go crazy next week as Covid restrictions are eased – and stressed July 19 should not be “treated as a great jubilee”. 

But there are fears that cases will top 200,000 a day by the peak of the third wave in August – with the all-important hospitalisations number hitting 2,000 a day, greatly limited thanks to our incredible vaccine rollout.

With such high numbers in hospital – mostly the unvaccinated and people for whom the vaccine is less effective, such as the immunocompromised -deaths of 100 to 200 are likely.

And at a press conference last night Chris Whitty appeared less than confident that the NHS would be able to cope with an additional 2,000 people admitted to hospitals every single day over the coming weeks.

There is now genuine concerns that in ease restrictions while cases rise, Britain is only setting itself for future lockdowns with Boris' September 30 review the point at which lockdown measures are likely to return.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

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    MASK UP

    Shoppers have been told by the Government they are expected to continue wearing masks from Monday.

    From July 19 there will no longer be a law on wearing masks but many retail bosses are asking shoppers to still do so.

    All lockdown restrictions are due to end after the weekend but the new Covid policy says the Government "expects and recommends" masks to be worn by workers and customers.

    The advice is for situations especially in crowded, enclosed spaces as the work from home order ends in a few days time.

    Masks are to remain mandatory in Scotland and Wales though.

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    MAJORCA, IBIZA AND MENORCA KNOCKED ONTO AMBER LIST IN BLOW TO BRIT HOLIDAYMAKERS – AS CROATIA GOES GREEN

    The mixed announcement for holidaymakers it set to be formally confirmed by the Government.

    The green watch list means the country could be relegated back to amber at short notice.

    The Balearics were added to the list just two weeks ago but are now set to be struck off.

    Ahead of final sign-off on the traffic light system today, the Transport Sec braced sun-seekers for the bad news – and urged them to get their money back.

    Read more here

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    CAN YOU GET A REFUND ON A HOLIDAY IF THE DESTINATION IS MOVED TO THE AMBER LIST

    You’re not entitled to a refund if the destination you’re travelling to ends up on the amber list and you cancel your trip.

    The Government’s traffic light system indicates what countries it deems safe for Brits to travel to and what processes must be followed upon return.

    But the assessed risk factors for travel are different to those of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

    That means sometimes the FCDO will deem a country safe, even though it’s on the amber list.

    So if the FCDO says you can’t travel to your holiday destination, then you’ll be entitled to your money back.

    Alternatively, the airline should pay for a replacement flight at a later date.

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    PARENTS PULLING KIDS FROM SCHOOL TO AVOID NIGHTMARE OF HAVING TO CANCEL HOLIDAYS

    Mums and dads are in fear of getting an email telling them someone in their child’s bubble has tested positive for the virus.

    Rather than fears turning to reality, parents are already taking the decision to pull kids from their classrooms to prevent having to cancel holidays.

    Under the current school bubble rules, if one student receives a positive test, all pupils in their bubble must isolate for ten days.

    And with the summer holidays starting for many next week, families are desperate to avoid being told to quarantine if they have a long-awaited trip planned for the break.

    One mum in south west London told The Sun Online two families at her son’s school had missed the final three days of term to go on summer getaways abroad.

    And mum-of-two Anna Frapwell, from Wiltshire, said she is “on the brink” of keeping her kids at home for their final week of term as she is desperate to make it to Cornwall and Devon.

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    FLU JABS ‘PROTECTS AGAINST SOME SEVERE COVID EFFECTS’, SCIENTISTS DISCOVER

    FLU jabs protect against some of the serious effects of Covid, scientists have discovered.

    It serves as another reason to get the vaccine in the autumn, when it’s feared flu and Covid could cause a double whammy of disease.

    Researchers looked at the health records of almost 37,400 people who had gotten Covid from the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Israel and Singapore.

    Half of them, in the first group, had gotten the flu jab between two weeks and six months before a Covid diagnosis, while those in the second group had not been vaccinated against the flu.

    Those who had not gotten a flu jab were up to 20 per cent more likely to have been admitted to ICU with Covid.

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    MANY WORKERS WORRIED ABOUT RETURNING TO OFFICES NEXT WEEK, STUDY SUGGESTS

    Employers are being urged to remain open to more flexible working arrangements after a study suggested many people are worried about returning to offices.

    Just over half of 1,100 people surveyed by jobs site CV-Library said they felt anxious about returning to work when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted in England on Monday.

    Three out of four said they preferred the flexibility of working from home, while around two in five said they were more productive or did not want to deal with office politics.

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    DISCO PASS

    Covid vaccine passports could be made compulsory for pubs and nightclubs after lockdown ends on July 19.

    Boris Johnson tonight confirmed that “freedom day” will go ahead yesterday – but some measures could be introduced to stop the spread of the bug.

    Under current rules, vaccine passports are only encouraged and not legally enforced.

    But new guidance released by the government states: “If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS Covid Pass in certain venues at a later date.”

    It means Brits could need to prove they are double-vaccinated, provide a negative Covid test in the past 48 hours or a positive PCR result within the previous six months.

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    SADIQ KHAN SAYS GOVERNMENT WAS RIGHT TO GIVE LONDON AUTONOMY OVER MASK DECISION

    London mayor Sadiq Khan said it was right for the Government to give the capital autonomy over masks but it was “disappointing” there was no national rule.

    “We’ve worked closely with them over the last few weeks to get it right,” he told the PA news agency.

    “Of course, I’m disappointed it’s not a compulsory requirement across the country. Because I think in a crisis, in a pandemic, simplicity is crucial.”

    He said Boris Johnson’s Government should continue to look at the evidence on masks.

    “It takes time, often, for the Government to do right. I began lobbying the Government last March or April about the importance of wearing a face mask, it wasn’t compulsory until June.

    “I’m hoping the Government will continue to review the evidence.”

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    MACRON FORCES COVID JABS ON HEALTH WORKERS WHILST VACCINE PASSPORTS NEEDED TO EAT AT A CAFE OR GET ON A BUS

    Emmanuel Macron tonight announced compulsory Covid jabs for all French healthcare workers with growing fears over a surge in cases of the Delta variant.

    The French President said that all healthcare and retirement home staff would need to get jabbed by September 15 as he unveiled a string of measures to halt the spread. 

    Macron said: “Our country is facing a surge in the epidemic across our territory, in mainland France as well as overseas.

    “The situation is under control, but if we do not act now the number of cases will increase significantly and will lead to a rise in hospitalisations.”

    Read the full story here

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    FLU JABS ‘PROTECTS AGAINST SOME SEVERE COVID EFFECTS’, SCIENTISTS DISCOVER

    FLU jabs protect against some of the serious effects of Covid, scientists have discovered.

    It serves as another reason to get the vaccine in the autumn, when it’s feared flu and Covid could cause a double whammy of disease.

    Researchers looked at the health records of almost 37,400 people who had gotten Covid from the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Israel and Singapore.

    Half of them, in the first group, had gotten the flu jab between two weeks and six months before a Covid diagnosis, while those in the second group had not been vaccinated against the flu.

    Those who had not gotten a flu jab were up to 20 per cent more likely to have been admitted to ICU with Covid.

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    HOSPITAL STAFF ‘MAY HAVE ACCIDENTALLY KILLED COVID PATIENTS AFTER ERRORS WITH VENTILATOR FILTERS’ IN PACKED ICU WARDS

    It comes amid claims medics used the wrong filters in a “cluster” of similar incidents involving the life-saving breathing system filters.

    An inquest will now investigate the deaths of two patients at the London Nightingale Hospital in April last year after the East London Coroner issued a warning about the risk of future fatalities.

    It is feared Kishorkumar Patel and Kofi Aning, 66, passed away at the temporary hospital while suffering from Covid after the wrong filters were used inside their intensive care ventilators.

    The incidents have raised concerns regarding the awareness of ICU staff as they work through packed wards throughout the pandemic.

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    VALLANCE: VACCINES REDUCING COVID TRANSMISSION BY 75%

    The Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said vaccinations are reducing the overall chances of someone transmitting the virus by about 75%.

    Sir Patrick told a Downing Street news conference that people who had been vaccinated were both less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on.

    He said there was “no doubt” the country was in a third wave of the virus that would lead to an increase in the number of hospital admissions.

    “If behaviour returns immediately to pre-pandemic levels that will be a very, very big rise. If we go slowly and cautiously, it will be less of a rise,” he said.

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    HEATHROW PASSENGER NUMBERS REMAIN ALMOST 90% DOWN ON PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS

    Heathrow passenger numbers remain almost 90% down on pre-pandemic levels and significantly lower than EU rival airports, new figures show.

    Airport bosses revealed just 957,000 passengers passed through its terminals in June compared with 7,246,157 who used the west London airport in June 2019.

    The number of passengers travelling through the airport covers the month where Portugal was moved from the green list of countries to amber and led to widespread fury in the travel sector over the speed of rule changes for travellers.

    Following the latest data, Heathrow bosses urged the Government to do more to support the sector.

    They pointed out that Schiphol and Frankfurt airports in the Netherlands and Germany respectively have surpassed their 2019 cargo volumes, growing by 14% and 9% respectively compared to 2019.

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    COVID CASES RISE FOR CORONATION STREET AND EMMERDALE STARS AS THEY ‘REFUSE THE VACCINE’

    Stubborn big-name stars and backroom staff on ITV’s Coronation Street and Emmerdale are refusing to be jabbed by the Covid vaccine, claim on set sources – leading to a rise in cases on the soaps. 

    The household name stars are risking the lives of older cast members and jeopardising production by exercising their right not to be vaccinated, insist soap insiders.

    An ITV insider told us: “It is, of course, everyone’s personal choice whether they are vaccinated or not.

    “On both soaps, there’s a handful of cast members as well as production staff who say they won’t be vaccinated and that’s up to them.”

    Read the full story here

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    COVID FEAR CONTINUED

    Professor Dingwall told Sky News “I think the situation that we’re dealing with now is really more of a psychological one than an epidemiological one.

    “Over the last couple of weeks the data haven’t really changed, the science hasn’t really changed, but I think we have seen the consequences of the levels of fear and anxiety that have been generated in the population over the last 12 to 15 months.

    “And it’s going to take some time for those to subside as people get used to Covid as an endemic infection that sits in the background, that doesn’t really represent the sort of catastrophic threat that it might have presented when it first appeared last spring,” he said.

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    IT WILL TAKE TIME FOR PEOPLE TO GET OVER THE FEAR OF COVID-19, SAYS EXPERT

    It will take people “some time” to get over the fear and anxiety that has arisen as a result of the pandemic, a sociology expert has said.

    Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, said the concerns which have arisen over the last 15 months would take time to subside as people get used to living with Covid-19 as an infection which circulates in society.

    And he said that the focus on masks and face coverings “signal of the levels of fear”.

    Prof Dingwall said that it was time for the Government to “make a much more conscious shift towards positive messaging” around coronavirus.

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    THOUSANDS OF WORKING PLAN TO HEAD BACK TO OFFICES IN ‘GRADUAL RETURN’ TO THE WORKPLACE – YOUR RIGHTS EXPLAINED

    Thousands of workers will be ordered back to offices from July 19 – but the return will be phased. 

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed in the Commons that final stage of his roadmap out of lockdown can go-ahead next week but warned the pandemic is far from over. 

    Mr Javid said: “We have looked closely at the data against these four tests and we firmly believe this is the right time to get our nation closer to normal life.

    “There will never be a perfect time to take this step because we simply cannot eradicate this virus – whether we like it or not, coronavirus is not going away.”

    Read the full story here

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    SADIQ KHAN SAYS GOVERNMENT WAS RIGHT TO GIVE LONDON AUTONOMY OVER MASK DECISION

    London mayor Sadiq Khan said it was right for the Government to give the capital autonomy over masks but it was “disappointing” there was no national rule.

    “We’ve worked closely with them over the last few weeks to get it right,” he told the PA news agency.

    “Of course, I’m disappointed it’s not a compulsory requirement across the country. Because I think in a crisis, in a pandemic, simplicity is crucial.”

    He said Boris Johnson’s Government should continue to look at the evidence on masks.

    “It takes time, often, for the Government to do right. I began lobbying the Government last March or April about the importance of wearing a face mask, it wasn’t compulsory until June.

    “I’m hoping the Government will continue to review the evidence.”

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    MASK FORCE

    Brits will be “expected” to wear masks in indoors and enclosed spaces, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi revealed yesterday.

    Face coverings will no longer be mandatory from July 19 once all Covid curbs are lifted.

    Boris Johnson is expected to confirm tomorrow that all remaining restrictions will be lifted on Freedom Day.

    Last week, the PM said masks would become a “personal choice” as he tore up laws making them a legal requirement on buses, trains, and in shops and other indoor venues.

    But new guidance to be published on Monday will advise people to wear masks in crowded, indoor settings, Mr Zahawi told Sky News this morning.

    Mr Zahawi said: “I think it is important that we remain cautious and careful and the guidelines that we will set out tomorrow will demonstrate that.

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    SIMPLE BLOOD TEST COULD DIAGNOSE LONG COVID WITHIN MONTHS, FIRST STUDY FINDS

    A simple blood test could confirm if you’re suffering with long Covid within months, a study has found.

    Scientists noticed a pattern of irregularities in people with the debilitating condition.

    Imperial College London researchers discovered rogue antibodies in the blood of afflicted people.

    Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial, said: “It’s hard to escape a prediction that 100,000 new infections a day equates to 10,000 to 20,000 long Covid cases a day, especially in young people.

    “That’s a lot of damage to a lot of lives. And it’s hard to see that we’d have the healthcare provision to deal with it on that scale.

    “All of us working on this could not be more alarmed.”

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    HERD IMMUNITY CAN STOP FUTURE ‘BIG WAVES’ IN THEIR TRACKS SAYS PATRICK VALLANCE

    On herd immunity, Sir Patrick Vallance says “we are getting to really quite decent level of antibody”, which will make it harder for the virus to spread. 

    “Whether you reach the stage where you get to true herd immunity is a different issue,” he says.

    “It is really important we get to everybody,” he adds, particularly young people. 

    “The possibility of future big waves would go at that point.”

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    ATHLETES TO PUT OWN MEDALS ON AT OLYMPICS

    Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics will put their medals around their own necks to protect against spreading the coronavirus.

    The “very significant change” to traditional medal ceremonies in the 339 events was revealed by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

    “The medals will not be given around the neck,” Bach told international media on a conference call from Tokyo.

    “They will be presented to the athlete on a tray and then the athlete will take the medal him or herself.”

    He added: “It will be made sure that the person who will put the medal on tray will do so only with disinfected gloves so that the athlete can be sure that nobody touched them before.”

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    CAN YOU GET A REFUND ON A HOLIDAY IF THE DESTINATION IS MOVED TO THE AMBER LIST

    You’re not entitled to a refund if the destination you’re travelling to ends up on the amber list and you cancel your trip.

    The Government’s traffic light system indicates what countries it deems safe for Brits to travel to and what processes must be followed upon return.

    But the assessed risk factors for travel are different to those of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

    That means sometimes the FCDO will deem a country safe, even though it’s on the amber list.

    So if the FCDO says you can’t travel to your holiday destination, then you’ll be entitled to your money back.

    Alternatively, the airline should pay for a replacement flight at a later date.

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    RAILWAY WORKERS FACE VIOLENCE OVER MASK RULE CONFUSION

    A union has warned that railway workers face the threat of violence because of the “botched and confused” approach to face coverings on public transport.

    The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said staff will be placed in danger of abuse and assault because of “inconsistent messaging” on wearing face masks from next Monday.

    Unions have welcomed a decision by London Mayor Sadiq Khan that masks should still be worn on public transport in the capital after criticising the approach taken by the Government.

    RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said there will also be confusion at the borders as the Welsh and Scottish governments have imposed different rules leaving staff “at the sharp end and dangerously exposed when it comes to enforcement”.

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    WATCH: COVID CASES JUMP

    UK Covid deaths rise by 49 as cases jump by 30% in a week with 42,302 infections – highest since JANUARY

    Source: Read Full Article