Coronavirus UK news latest – Calls to delay June 21 lockdown lift grow as 3000 Covid cases recorded in 24 hours

THE 'reopening' of Britain should be delayed for "several weeks" as the Indian variant rages on, according to an expert.

A further 3,383 more people tested positive for the killer bug on Monday, according to the figures released by the government – the fifth day in a row daily infections have topped 3,000.

It means the number of infections has increased by 40% after 2,439 cases were recorded this time last week.

The spread of the more transmissible Indian variant has cast fresh doubt over whether June 21 can go ahead – despite the success of the vaccination programme. 

Asked about whether the unlocking was likely to go ahead, Professor Adam Finn, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “What we've done wrong in the past is left it too late and delayed making decisions, ultimately pushed them back and then ended up with large waves of infection.

"This time around, we should be cautious, wait to see what's happening, and then let everyone free, if you like, once we know for sure that that's safe and that we can do that without having another round of lockdowns and so on.”

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

  • Joseph Gamp

    SIR CAPTAIN TOM MOORE DONATED HIS BODY TO SCIENCE – REPORTS

    Captain Sir Tom Moore donated his body to science after his death, according to reports.

    The twinkly-eyed fundraiser, who died aged 100 in February, raised over £38.9million to NHS Charities Together.

    Details of the former Army officer’s legacy have now been revealed in official probate documents.

    They set out how his £73,400 estate should be split equally between daughters Hannah, 50, and 52-year-old Lucy.

    And in a final, selfless gesture he ordered his body be offered for medical research or even organ transplants. Captain Tom, who was knighted in May last year, passed away after a battle with Covid.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: COVID VACCINATIONS IN THE UK TO DATE (MAY 31)

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID UK: ONLY 1 DEATH RECORDED IN 24 HOURS BUT 3,383 MORE CASES AMID FEARS JUNE 21 FREEDOM

    THE UK has seen just one new coronavirus death reported in the last 24 hours – while cases have risen 40% in a week as the Indian Covid variant continues to spread.

    A further 3,383 more people have tested positive for the killer bug, according to the figures released by the government.

    It means the number of infections has increased by 40% after 2,439 cases were recorded this time last week. And today is the fifth day in a row daily infections have topped 3,000.

    The one death reported today occurred in Scotland, while England, Wales and Northern Ireland reported zero fatalities.

    As a whole the UK has seen a total of 4,487,339 cases and 127,782 deaths over the course of the pandemic.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SHOCKING MOMENT COVID VICTIM’S CORPSE IS DUMPED INTO A RIVER IN INDIA FROM A BRIDGE

    Shocking moment Covid victim’s corpse is dumped into a river in India from a bridge

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK COULD MAKE COVID-19 JABS COMPULSORY IN HEALTHCARE, MINISTER SAYS

    The British government is thinking about making COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for healthcare workers to stop the spread of the virus in hospitals, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday.

    “It would be incumbent on any responsible government to have the debate, to do the thinking as to how we go about protecting the most vulnerable by making sure that those who look after them are vaccinated,” he told Sky News.

    “There is precedent for this; obviously surgeons get vaccinated for hepatitis B. So it’s something that we are absolutely thinking about.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Hana Carter

    TENS OF THOUSANDS FLEW INTO THE UK FROM INDIA IN APRIL

    The UK welcomed tens of thousands of people who flew in from India in April – it was put on the red travel list the same month.

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released updated figures which show that 42,406 passengers travelled between the UK and India.

    Unfortunately it didn’t give details of how many flew each way.

    Those returning from red list countries have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days upon returning to the UK.

  • Hana Carter

    CHINA’S ‘COVID COVER-UP’

    It is crucial that the West gets to the bottom of China’s Covid cover-up, urges the Sun on Sunday.

    It adds: “Explosive new evidence suggests the virus was created in a lab and researchers used science to hide their tracks.

    “The toothless World Health Organisation was led on a merry dance by the Communist regime and came away with nothing from its Wuhan investigation.

    “But these highly disturbing new findings have emerged just as American President Joe Biden has ordered a fresh probe. Western experts are increasingly suspicious that Covid escaped from the lab in what would be one of history’s most terrible scientific blunders.

    “But it would be far worse if the Chinese deliberately deceived the world by manipulating the bug to conceal its origins. If proven, that would be an outrageous crime against humanity. More than 3million have died in the pandemic and economies destroyed.”

  • Hana Carter

    INDIAN COVID VARIANT SPREADING IN VIETNAM

    Fears are growing that a rampant hybrid of the UK and Indian Covid variant is spreading in Vietnam after officials locked down a city of nine million.

    Authorities plan to test every resident in Ho Chi Minh – at a reported rate of 100,000 per day – as it imposed more restrictions today to deal with the outbreak.

    People in the city are only allowed to leave home for necessary activities and public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned for the next two weeks, the government said.

    Prior to the order, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's largest city and economic hub, shut down non-essential business last Thursday when cases started to increase.

    Since the end of April, a surge in Covid has spread to 31 areas in Vietnam with over 4,000 cases, almost double the total number that the country reported since the beginning of the pandemic.

  • Hana Carter


    BRITS IN INDIAN VARIANT HOTSPOTS ‘TO GET 2ND JAB SOONER’

    The NHS is being urged to speed up the coronavirus vaccine roll out and try to give as many second doses as soon as possible as the spread of the Indian variant accelerates. 

    Officials have told all staff in charge of administering the jabs that second doses for over 50s should be brought forward, from 12 weeks to eight weeks, but the delay for under 50s would remain at 12 weeks.

    But some people in their late 40s and early 50s are now being invited for their second jab after just six weeks, the i reports.

    The government’s plan to lift all restrictions by June 21 is reportedly “on a knife edge” due to the rapid spread of the indian variant. 

    Sources claim that the government is urging vaccination centres with sufficient supply to accelerate the roll out of the jabs

  • Hana Carter

    CAPTAIN TOM MOORE DONATED HIS BODY TO SCIENCE

    Captain Sir Tom Moore donated his body to science after his death, according to reports.

    The twinkly-eyed fundraiser, who died aged 100 in February, raised over £38.9million to NHS Charities Together.

    Details of the former Army officer’s legacy have now been revealed in official probate documents.

    They set out how his £73,400 estate should be split equally between daughters Hannah, 50, and 52-year-old Lucy.

    And in a final, selfless gesture he ordered his body be offered for medical research or even organ transplants.

    Captain Tom, who was knighted in May last year, passed away after a battle with Covid.

  • Hana Carter

    APPRENTICE STAR SLAMMED OVER QUARANTINE CLAIMS

    GOOD Morning viewers were left outraged this morning as a former Apprentice wannabe revealed she wouldn’t quarantine after going on holiday to an amber country.

    Bushra Shaikh, who appeared on the show in 2017, was branded “totally irresponsible” by host Adil Ray during the heated debate.

    Currently those going on holiday to a country on the amber list legally most quarantine when returning to the UK, but Bushra insisted she wasn’t going to. 

    She appeared alongside NHS palliative care doctor, Rachel Clarke, who was also horrified by her comments and pointed out she could spread Covid when she got back.

    Adil added:  "Your selfishness could cause people to die."

  • Hana Carter

    CHINA RAGES OVER WUHAN LAB LEAK PROBE

    China has raged that the Wuhan lab Covid leak probe will be like the "US finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" and warned the West faces its "Waterloo".

    An editorial published by Communist Party-run Global Times claims the American government is "full of arrogance" and blasts the theory that Covid-19 emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan.

    The attack comes after Joe Biden last week announced a review of the Covid lab leak theory.

    The US president said the intelligence community will "redouble their efforts" to discover the origins of the Covid outbreak and report back to him within 90 days.

    China hit back at the announcement, with foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian saying Biden is not interested in "serious" scientific origin tracing and doesn't care about "facts or truth".

  • Hana Carter

    PLANS FOR COVID PASSPORT TO BE SCRAPPED

    The Government is reportedly ditching plans for Covid passports – after months of debate on whether Brits would need them to watch the football or visit a pub.

    Top officials on the Covid-19 taskforce believe there's no chance the law will be changed to mandate their use within the UK, although ministers are yet to make the final call.

    If the scheme is given the green light, Brits could be forced to produce evidence of a jab, a negative test or Covid antibodies to get into big events like concerts or sports matches.

    It's understood that, whatever the decision is for crowds, the idea has been jettisoned altogether for boozers and restaurants.

    And one 'well-placed' source told The Telegraph the idea is dead in the water.

  • Hana Carter

    UK COULD MAKE COVID-19 JABS COMPULSORY IN HEALTHCARE, MINISTER SAYS

    The British government is thinking about making COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for healthcare workers to stop the spread of the virus in hospitals, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday.

    “It would be incumbent on any responsible government to have the debate, to do the thinking as to how we go about protecting the most vulnerable by making sure that those who look after them are vaccinated,” he told Sky News.

    “There is precedent for this; obviously surgeons get vaccinated for hepatitis B. So it’s something that we are absolutely thinking about.”

  • Hana Carter

    50 PER CENT OF BRITS DON’T SUPPORT JUNE 21 RESTRICTION LIFTING

    Nearly 50 per cent of Brits don’t want all Covid restrictions lifted on June 21, according to a poll.

    The survey for i news by Redfield and Wilton Strategies found:

    • 49% are against plans to fully reopen the country on June 21
    • 34% in favour of step four of the roadmap to remove all legal limits on social contact and an end to working from home on June 21
    • 55% will continue wearing a mask outside home even after all Covid restrictions are lifted

    SECOND JABS FOR OVER 50S

    HEALTH chiefs will offer second jabs to all over-50s in the coming weeks to try and ensure the UK can throw off its final lockdown restrictions in June.

    There are just three weeks to go until the final stage of Boris Johnson's roadmap to freedom – but it's feared the date could be pushed back amid fears over the spread of the Indian mutation.

    So far, just two people who have received both jabs are known to have died of the variant, which is responsible for up to three-quarters of new infections in the UK.

    And with confidence in the vaccination growing, Government officials now want everyone over the age of 50 to have been offered their second jab by June 21, the Times reports.

    BRITAIN ON A KNIFE EDGE

    Government adviser tells sunbathing Brits to follow social distancing rules as the UK is on a ‘knife edge’.

    Today is expected to ring the warmest weather of the year so far with highs of 25C.

    But as many flock to the UK’s beaches and beauty spots, the country’s top scientists have warned the next two week are crucial for the way out of the pandemic.

    Susan Michie, a professor of health psychology at University College London who sits on government advisory group Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B)​, told Sky News: “We’re on a knife-edge.

    “We could go either way with this new variant.

    “Either it could run away as it did before Christmas, which would be extremely serious and we’d have to have more restrictions, or potentially it could be contained. But that does mean everybody needs to be cautious right now.

    STUCK ABROAD DUE TO TEST DELAYS

    British holidaymakers are missing their flights home because of huge delays by a Covid test provider.

    Families have had trips ruined due to the Government-approved firm.

    Qured promises users a “fit-to-fly” certificate within 30 to 40 minutes of receiving a negative test done via a video call.

    But customers tell of hours of delays, making them miss return flights.

    Others have complained that the firm’s £39 test kits were not delivered to their homes on time before they were due to fly out — meaning they could not leave.

    One said of trying to get home: “Almost 24 hours later and no fit-to-fly certificate, despite a negative result in 20 minutes.”

    FRANCE CLOSES DOORS ON ALL BUT ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

    Travellers from the UK will have to provide "compelling reasons" to enter France from today. 

    In a bid to stop the Indian Covid variant, president Emmanuel Macron is only allowing French or EU nationals to enter the country, with Brits needing to prove their visit is essential.

    And those who are allowed to make the journey must take a pre-departure Covid test and quarantine for seven days on arrival.

    The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the new French rules apply to all air, car, ferry and train passengers.

    France is currently listed as an "amber" destination by the UK Government which advises against travel there.

    British authorities are requiring people to self-isolate for 10 days and take two Covid tests on return.

    50 PER CENT OF BRITS DON’T SUPPORT JUNE 21 RESTRICTION LIFTING

    Nearly 50 per cent of Brits don’t want all Covid restrictions lifted on June 21, according to a poll.

    The survey for i news by Redfield and Wilton Strategies found:

    • 49% are against plans to fully reopen the country on June 21
    • 34% in favour of step four of the roadmap to remove all legal limits on social contact and an end to working from home on June 21
    • 55% will continue wearing a mask outside home even after all Covid restrictions are lifted
    • Hana Carter

      UK COULD MAKE COVID-19 JABS COMPULSORY IN HEALTHCARE, MINISTER SAYS

      The British government is thinking about making COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for healthcare workers to stop the spread of the virus in hospitals, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday.

      “It would be incumbent on any responsible government to have the debate, to do the thinking as to how we go about protecting the most vulnerable by making sure that those who look after them are vaccinated,” he told Sky News.

      “There is precedent for this; obviously surgeons get vaccinated for hepatitis B. So it’s something that we are absolutely thinking about.”

    • Hana Carter

      COVID HAND

      Experts believe our hands could hold clues as to whether we have had the virus.

      Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London, is the brains behind the Zoe tracking app that records Covid symptoms.

      He recently warned of a new phenomenon called “Covid nails” that is cropping up again and again.

      Prof Tim tweeted: “Covid nails are increasingly being recognised as the nails recover after infection and the growth recovers leaving a clear line.

      “It can occur without skin rashes and appears harmless.”

    • Hana Carter

      WILL WE HIT THE TARGET?

    • Hana Carter

      DECISION ON LIFTING ENGLAND’S LOCKDOWN WILL BE DRIVEN BY DATA, MINISTER SAYS

      The decision to lift final lockdown measures in England on June 21 will be made after data on infection, hospitalisation, vaccination and new variants are assessed, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday.

      “We will share the evidence with the country on the 14th of June to basically explain exactly where we are on infection rates, on hospitalisation, and of course, sadly, on deaths,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr.

      “We have to be cautious; we have to look at the data and share it with the country.”

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