Coronavirus news UK latest: June 21 lockdown lift decision a 'difficult call' as Boris Johnson 'draws up other options'

The government is "drawing up other options" before deciding on if the June 21 end to Covid restrictions will still go ahead as planned.

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) Government advisory panel, said the Government has a “difficult call” to make about easing restrictions on June 21.

He told Times Radio: “It’s a hard one. I’m going to be annoying and sit a little bit on the fence on this, as I don’t think it’s our role as epidemiologists to call that.

“I think the difficult thing that we have, the difficult situation the government have is of course if you delay that then of course you’ll get a smaller subsequent wave.

Number 10 is still planning to go ahead with the final step in the roadmap, but is waiting for more data before taking any decisions, a Government source has said.

It comes as new data suggests the mutation is twice as likely to cause hospitalisation, as June 21's "Freedom Day" hangs in the balance.

A Public Health England report showed that people who tested positive for the Indian coronavirus variant were at 161% higher risk of needing hospital treatment within 14 days.

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

  • Joseph Gamp

    GLASGOW DROPS TO LEVEL 2 AS CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS EASE ACROSS SCOTLAND

    Glasgow has finally dropped to Level 2 of Scotland's coronavirus measures as restrictions have been eased across the country.

    While the whole of mainland Scotland was supposed to move to Level 1 on Monday, the city will join 13 other council areas in remaining in Level 2 for another few weeks.

    These are Edinburgh, Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, North and South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire and Stirling.

    Glaswegians will be able to drink alcohol indoors, meet in private residences, and hug loved ones from the weekend for the first time in months.

    When announcing the move on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon admitted while the Level 2 restrictions were "still tough" she also insisted it was "not lockdown". She added: "We can go into each other's homes, we can see hospitality open, stay open indoors, so there are significant steps there."

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXPERT SAYS DECISION OVER JUNE 21 LOCKDOWN LIFT 'A DIFFICULT CALL'

    Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) Government advisory panel, said the Government has a "difficult call" to make about easing restrictions on June 21.

    He told Times Radio: "It's a hard one. I'm going to be annoying and sit a little bit on the fence on this, as I don't think it's our role as epidemiologists to call that.

    "I think the difficult thing that we have, the difficult situation the government have is of course if you delay that then of course you'll get a smaller subsequent wave.

    "I mean that's the case with any control policy – if you leave them in for a longer period of time then it's going to reduce cases. But of course, if you delay that we know that negatively impacts businesses, people's livelihoods, and so forth.

    "So this is the difficult call that they have to make, and all we can do is put together as much evidence as possible and say this is what we expect to happen if you relax on June 21, this is what we may expect if you delay that by two weeks for example or four weeks and so on, so they have all the evidence they can to make the decision."

  • Joseph Gamp

    INDIAN VARIANT HOSPITAL NUMBERS NOT INCREASING ‘SIGNIFICANTLY’

    The Covid-19 vaccine appears to have “broken the chain” between catching coronavirus and becoming seriously ill, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said.

    Chris Hopson said the number of people in hospital with the Covid-19 variant first detected in India, also known as the Delta variant, was not increasing “very significantly”.

    He told BBC Breakfast that many of those in hospital in Bolton – which has the highest number of cases of the Indian variant in England – were younger than in previous waves of the pandemic.

    Mr Hopson said on Saturday: “The people who came in this time round were actually a lot younger and were a lot less at risk of very serious complication, less at risk of death, and what that means is that they were less demand on critical care.

    “What we think we can start to say now, based on that experience, is that it does look as though the vaccines have broken the chain between catching Covid-19 and potentially being very, very seriously ill and potentially dying. There were very, very few people who have had those double jabs and had been able to have that build-up of protection after those jabs.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    INDIAN VARIANT HOSPITAL NUMBERS NOT INCREASING ‘SIGNIFICANTLY’

    The Covid-19 vaccine appears to have “broken the chain” between catching coronavirus and becoming seriously ill, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said.

    Chris Hopson said the number of people in hospital with the Covid-19 variant first detected in India, also known as the Delta variant, was not increasing “very significantly”.

    He told BBC Breakfast that many of those in hospital in Bolton – which has the highest number of cases of the Indian variant in England – were younger than in previous waves of the pandemic.

    Mr Hopson said on Saturday: “The people who came in this time round were actually a lot younger and were a lot less at risk of very serious complication, less at risk of death, and what that means is that they were less demand on critical care.

    “What we think we can start to say now, based on that experience, is that it does look as though the vaccines have broken the chain between catching Covid-19 and potentially being very, very seriously ill and potentially dying. There were very, very few people who have had those double jabs and had been able to have that build-up of protection after those jabs.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXIT FROM LOCKDOWN TO BE DELAYED BY TWO WEEKS AS COVID CASES SURGE – REPORTS

    A two-week delay to the planned easing of restrictions in England on June 21 is reportedly being considered after the number of people in the country with Covid-19 rose by 75%.

    Multiple reports have also suggested plans to lift restrictions could be scaled down, with social distancing and the wearing of face coverings set to continue amid concerns the Indian variant is fuelling a surge in cases. The UK on Friday recorded its highest number of new confirmed coronavirus cases – 6,238 – since late March, according to official figures.

    Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also suggested the number of people who had the virus in England has increased by around three quarters in a week, taking it to its highest tally since mid-April, with the R value between 1 and 1.2.

    According to the Telegraph, a two-week delay to the final stage of Boris Johnson's road map will be used to accelerate second jabs for over-40s, moving from a 12 to eight-week gap between doses, echoing the practise that is already in place for over-50s.

    Those aged over 25 will also be offered their first doses from next week, the newspaper said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPH: COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

  • Joseph Gamp

    PM TO TAKE ‘ADDED CAUTION’ OVER JUNE 21 DECISION

    Boris Johnson will take “added caution” when deciding whether to press ahead with the June 21 end of lockdown, a senior ally said today.

    Cabinet big beast Robert Jenrick hinted freedom day hangs in the balance as experts issued a series of dire warnings about the Indian variant.

    He said there are “some signals that we’re seeing” within the latest data about the impact of the new strain.

    The PM is set to make a decision in 10 days’ time on whether to go ahead with lifting all restrictions or pause the end of lockdown.

    More on the story here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON BATTLING TO KEEP JUNE 21 LOCKDOWN LIFT ON TRACK

    Boris Johnson is battling to keep his pledge to lift the rules completely on June 21 – the final phase of his roadmap.

    But cases of the Indian variant of the virus have surged – with infections rising 50 per cent in a week.

    Data suggests the mutation is twice as likely to cause hospitalisation, leaving this month's Freedom Day hanging in the balance.

    The Sun revealed today how a secret plan is being worked on to delay lockdown lifting by two weeks.

    Ministers and officials are working on contingency plans to move “Freedom Day” to next month, as well as retaining distancing and limits on fans in stadiums – potentially plunging the Euros into chaos.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COVID VACCINES HAVE ‘BROKEN THE CHAIN’ BETWEEN CATCHING BUG AND BECOMING ILL, NHS EXPERT SAYS

    COVID vaccines have "broken the chain" between catching the virus and becoming seriously ill, an NHS chief said today.

    Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, also warned the new Indian variant will "spread even faster" if lockdown restrictions are lifted on June 21.

    Mr Hopson told BBC Breakfast: "The people who came in this time round were actually a lot younger and were a lot less at risk of very serious complication, less at risk of death, and what that means is that they were less demand on critical care.

    "What we think we can start to say now, based on that experience, is that it does look as though the vaccines have broken the chain between catching Covid-19 and potentially being very, very seriously ill and potentially dying.

    "There were very, very few people who have had those double jabs and had been able to have that build-up of protection after those jabs.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES & DEATHS PER DAY

  • Joseph Gamp

    GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLANS TO EASE QUARANTINE RULES FOR OVERSEAS FANS AT EURO 2020

    The British Government currently has no plans to ease coronavirus quarantine restrictions on overseas supporters for the knockout stages of Euro 2020.

    Tournament director Martin Kallen told the PA news agency on Friday that talks between UEFA and the Government were ongoing to allow those key matches to be attended by foreign spectators without the need for a lengthy quarantine period.

    But a Government spokesperson said: "Overseas ticket holders will be able to watch Euro 2020 matches at Wembley but will be subject to travel restrictions and requirements in England and at their place of origin, including testing and quarantining. There are no plans to change travel exemptions for ticket holders.

    "We continue to work very closely with the FA and UEFA to support a fantastic Euros and to communicate the latest travel guidance to fans. We will keep this under review over the course of the tournament."

    Wembley will host the semi-finals and the final along with two last-16 matches. The UK has the toughest entry requirements of any of the host countries, requiring visitors from amber list countries to quarantine for 10 days on arrival.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MATT HANCOCK WARNS LINK BETWEEN COVID CASES AND DEATHS HAS BEEN ‘BROKEN BUT NOT SEVERED’ BY VACCINE AS DAILY CASES SURGE

    Matt Hancock warns link between Covid cases and deaths has been ‘broken but not severed’ by vaccine as daily cases surge

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXPLAINED: HOW THE COVID-19 VACCINE WORKS

  • Joseph Gamp

    INDIAN VARIANT HOSPITAL NUMBERS NOT INCREASING 'SIGNIFICANTLY'

    The Covid-19 vaccine appears to have "broken the chain" between catching coronavirus and becoming seriously ill, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said.

    Chris Hopson said the number of people in hospital with the Covid-19 variant first detected in India, also known as the Delta variant, was not increasing "very significantly".

    He told BBC Breakfast that many of those in hospital in Bolton – which has the highest number of cases of the Indian variant in England – were younger than in previous waves of the pandemic.

    Mr Hopson said on Saturday: "The people who came in this time round were actually a lot younger and were a lot less at risk of very serious complication, less at risk of death, and what that means is that they were less demand on critical care.

    "What we think we can start to say now, based on that experience, is that it does look as though the vaccines have broken the chain between catching Covid-19 and potentially being very, very seriously ill and potentially dying. There were very, very few people who have had those double jabs and had been able to have that build-up of protection after those jabs."

  • Joseph Gamp

    SRI LANKA & EGYPT BANNED FOR HOLIDAYS AS THEY MOVE TO UK TRAVEL RED LIST

    Egypt and Sri Lanka have been whacked on the red list in another holiday blow for Brits.

    Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Bahrain, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sudan will also be shoved on the red list from Tuesday at 4am, further putting holiday plans into chaos, the Department for Transport confirmed this afternoon.

    The Government is also announcing that as part of a limited trial, from June 8, direct flights will be permitted to England from countries on the ‘red list’ that were previously subject to flight bans, so long as they arrive at dedicated terminals at Heathrow and Birmingham airports. 

    It will mean Brits stuck in red list countries like India and South Africa – where flights have been banned – will be allowed to come home on direct flights.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPH: COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN THE UK

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON TO TAKE ‘ADDED CAUTION’ OVER JUNE 21 DECISION

    Boris Johnson will take “added caution” when deciding whether to press ahead with the June 21 end of lockdown, a senior ally said today.

    Cabinet big beast Robert Jenrick hinted freedom day hangs in the balance as experts issued a series of dire warnings about the Indian variant.

    He said there are “some signals that we’re seeing” within the latest data about the impact of the new strain.

    The PM is set to make a decision in 10 days’ time on whether to go ahead with lifting all restrictions or pause the end of lockdown.

    More on the story here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GOING DUCH – CONTINUED

    “I don’t think her heart was really in it. 

    “When you look at some of the projects she’s got involved with and they were seemingly planning a couple of years ago. 

    “I personally think she never intended to stay in the royal family. 

    “I’m afraid that blaming members of the royal family and courtiers and how they were treated is just an excuse for what they have done and to justify what they’ve done.”

    More on the story here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GOING DUCH

    Meghan Markle never intended to stay in the royal family and her recent claims are an ‘excuse to justify what she’s done’, according to a royal expert.

    The Duchess of Sussex, 39, stepped down as a senior royal in March 2020 and later accused the royal family of “racism” and spreading “falsehoods”, in her Oprah Winfrey chat. 

    Royal author Phil Dampier, who wrote Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan in Their Own Words, told Fabulous that Meghan’s accusations are an “excuse” for them leaving.

    He said: “I don’t buy this that they didn’t help to protect Meghan and I don’t buy she was driven out by racism.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    HARRY AND MEG'S MARRIAGE 'WILL LAST' AS DUCHESS 'LAYS DOWN LAW' SAYS DIANA PSYCHIC

    Harry and Meg’s marriage ‘will last’ as Duchess ‘lays down law’ says Diana psychic

  • The Sun

    MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS CRITICISE ‘INADEQUATE’ COMMUNICATION OVER NHS DATA SYSTEM

    Medical professionals have criticised a new NHS system to extract patient data from doctor’s surgeries in England, saying communication with the public about the process has been “completely inadequate”.

    The scheme will collect information on people’s treatments, referrals, and appointments over the past 10 years, alongside other data from medical records held on GPs’ systems.

    The collected data is coded by NHS Digital to protect patient identities.

    But the British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) say the scheme is being implemented too fast, without sufficient patient consultation.

    The organisations have called for an immediate delay to the rollout of the system to allow more information to be given to the public and more time to opt-out.

  • The Sun

    NICOLA STURGEON SAYS WE MIGHT BE IN THIRD WAVE

    Nicola Sturgeon says R number above 1 and says we might be in third wave of Covid

  • The Sun

    MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS CRITICISE 'INADEQUATE' COMMUNICATION OVER NHS DATA SYSTEM

    Medical professionals have criticised a new NHS system to extract patient data from doctor's surgeries in England, saying communication with the public about the process has been "completely inadequate".

    The scheme will collect information on people's treatments, referrals, and appointments over the past 10 years, alongside other data from medical records held on GPs' systems.

    The collected data is coded by NHS Digital to protect patient identities.

    But the British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) say the scheme is being implemented too fast, without sufficient patient consultation.

    The organisations have called for an immediate delay to the rollout of the system to allow more information to be given to the public and more time to opt-out.

  • The Sun

    UK RECORDS HIGHEST NUMBER OF DAILY CORONAVIRUS CASES SINCE MARCH 25

    The UK has recorded its highest number of new confirmed coronavirus cases since late March, according to official figures.

    A further 6,238 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded in the UK as of 9am on Friday, which is the highest single-day figure since March 25, Government figures show.

    Although rising case numbers could be cause for concern, it comes as analysis by the PA news agency shows the majority of major hospital trusts in England are continuing to average no Covid-19 admissions.

    However, a handful of trusts in virus hotspots are showing a small rise in numbers, as experts warn that the variant first identified in India, also known as the Delta variant, may lead to an increased risk of hospital admission.

    Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest the number of people who had the virus in England has increased by around three quarters in a week.

  • The Sun

    SRI LANKA & EGYPT BANNED FOR HOLIDAYS AS THEY MOVE TO UK TRAVEL RED LIST

    Egypt and Sri Lanka have been whacked on the red list in another holiday blow for Brits.

    Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Bahrain, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sudan will also be shoved on the red list from Tuesday at 4am, further putting holiday plans into chaos, the Department for Transport confirmed this afternoon.

    The Government is also announcing that as part of a limited trial, from June 8, direct flights will be permitted to England from countries on the ‘red list’ that were previously subject to flight bans, so long as they arrive at dedicated terminals at Heathrow and Birmingham airports. 

    It will mean Brits stuck in red list countries like India and South Africa – where flights have been banned – will be allowed to come home on direct flights.

    Source: Read Full Article