Green list news LIVE – UK blasted for being 'too cautious' over plan to make vaccinated Brit travellers take covid tests

THE UK has been criticised for being overly cautious in getting Brits abroad for their summer holidays.

While just a "handful" of countries are due to get the coveted green status from May 17 when the list is announced later this week, a three-weekly review will pave the way for more places to be added.

Popular destinations including Spain, Greece and France are pencilled in by Downing Street to be added by the end of June, reports the Telegraph.

A government source said the list will be updated every few weeks to give Brits the chance to get away.

But travel industry leaders have slammed the “cautious” approach.

In a joint article in The Daily Telegraph, leaders of British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Heathrow Airport and the Manchester Airport Group took aim at the British government’s “overabundance of caution”.

The industry chiefs said that while they wanted to support a “safe reopening…if we are not prepared to accept any risk then travel will never restart and we will not be able to support UK travel and tourism businesses and supercharge the UK’s economic recovery.”

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Alice Peacock

    RAPID COVID TESTS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STAFF

    Rapid Covid tests are being rolled out for staff and students through their local college.

    More than 100,000 lateral flow testing kits have been distributed to colleges across Scotland to help detect cases in people with no symptoms.

    And authorities are urging people to take part in voluntary testing twice a week, using the at-home kits.

    Scotland's national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said: ""Around one in three people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms. Rapid lateral flow testing helps to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can transmit the virus to others.

    A limited number of students were allowed on to college campuses at any one time in line with current public health guidance, with safety measures such as social distancing in place.

  • Alice Peacock

    TRAVELLERS COULD FACE 10 HOUR QUEUES AT UK AIRPORTS

    Holidaymakers are being warned they could face delays of up to ten hours at airports, a union has warned today.

    Queues are already being caused by stringent checks to ensure travellers are not breaching Covid rules designed to stop mutant strains entering the UK, the Mail Online reported.

    However, the Immigration Services Union, which represents border immigration and customs staff in the UK, is urging the government to change the system to cope with an influx of arrivals and demand when countries reopen.

    British Airline Pilots’ Association general secretary Brian Strutton said: 'Sorting border queues is absolutely in the Government's control, and they must do it now".

  • Alice Peacock

    TRAVEL FIRMS CRITICISE 'UK CAUTION'

    Travel industry leaders have struck out at the UK over its "cautious" approach to easing holiday restrictions.

    In a joint article in The Daily Telegraph, leaders of British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Heathrow Airport and the Manchester Airport Group took aim at the British government's "overabundance of caution".

    The group was critical of the government's plan to require fully vaccinated holidaymakers to take a PCR test when returning home from a country on the green list.

    “Instead of taking advantage of the success of the vaccine programme the Government risks closing the UK off from the rest of the world,” they said.

  • Alice Peacock

    WORLD’S FIRST TWEAKED COVID VACCINE

    A refined vaccine has been found to ‘neutralise’ the Brazil and South African coronavirus variants, US company Moderna claims.

    Latest trials have found getting a third jab of either its current Covid-19 shot or the experimental new tweaked vaccine increases immunity against both variants.

    The booster jabs, given to volunteers previously inoculated with Moderna’s two-dose vaccine programme, also boosted antibodies against the original version of Covid-19, Moderna said.

    The early data comes from a 40-person trial testing both Moderna’s existing shot and a version developed to protect against the South African variant of Covid-19 called mRNA-1273.351.

    Two weeks after the new jab, Moderna says both the booster shot and the tweaked vaccine increased the antibodies in the blood that can neutralise the two variants of concern.

  • Alice Peacock

    LOWEST NUMBER OF POSITIVE TESTS SINCE WEEK TO SEPTEMBER 2, 2020

    A total of 15,593 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England at least once in the week to April 28, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

    This is down 8% on the previous week.

    It was also the lowest number since the week to September 2 2020.

  • Alice Peacock

    SPAIN: REGIONS TO DECIDE COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS FROM MAY 9

    Its government will pass responsibility for coronavirus restrictions on to the country’s 17 regions after a state of emergency expires next week, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said on Tuesday.

    The six-month emergency decree, which provides a legal framework for the most restrictive Covid-19 measures, expires on Sunday.

    Regional authorities will then be able to set up curfews and lock down areas but must secure the support of local courts, Calvo said.

    “Regions can justify, argue, propose measures to tribunals curfews or lockdowns that limit rights and freedoms, but they need a judicial authorisation,” she told a news conference.

  • Alice Peacock

    NEW STUDY ASSESSES RARE BLOOD CLOT LINK TO ASTRAZENECA VACCINE

    The absolute risk of blood clots after the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine are “small”, a new study examining the vaccine in Denmark and Norway has concluded.

    But the researchers cautioned that the risks linked to the jab should be “interpreted in the context of the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination”.

    And one UK scientist said that for most people the probability of surviving the year is “much greater for people who accept any vaccine when offered than if they decline it”.

    The study, published in The BMJ, suggests that the vaccine was linked to increased rates of vein blood clots, including clots in the veins of the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population. But the risk of such events is “small”, the authors said.

    The UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, previously concluded that there is a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca jab and extremely rare blood clots.

  • Alice Peacock

    VACCINE HESITANCY GREATER IN BLACK BRITISH ADULTS, MUSLIMS, NON-ENGLISH SPEAKERS

    Vaccination rates for the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine were lower among all ethnic minority groups compared with the white British population.

    The lowest vaccination rates were among people identifying as Black Caribbean and Black African, according to ONS data

    Vaccination rates also differed by religious affiliation, with the lowest rates being among those who identified as Muslim and Buddhist.

    There also appeared to be a relationship between proficiency in English language, as recorded in the 2011 Census, and vaccination rates.

    The lowest vaccination rates were for those who do not speak English at all.

  • Alice Peacock

    FLU OVERTAKES COVID

    More people are dying of flu and pneumonia than coronavirus for the first time since the second wave erupted, new data has revealed.

    Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that deaths from Covid are down 28 percent on last week and are at the lowest number since the week ending September 25.

    Deaths caused by Covid were at 260 – but it was only listed as the underlying cause for 176 people.

    This is compared to 278 deaths listed for flu and pneumonia – however this was mentioned on 1,203 death certificates.

    It means that the flu is now causing more deaths than coronavirus – suggesting that lockdowns and the vaccine rollout has helped stop the spread.

  • Alice Peacock

    SAY I DO, PM

    Brits desperate to tie the knot in style are calling on Boris to relax tough restrictions on weddings – after he ripped up his roadmap to allow more people to attend funerals. 

    MPs, couples and campaigners say people should be able to get married surrounded by all their loved ones after just ONE Covid death was recorded on Monday, and the PM brought forward funeral rules by nearly a month.

    Strict rules on weddings mean that at the moment just 15 people can attend a ceremony – which will rise to 30 later this month.

    The £15billion industry employs 400,000 people across the UK alone.

  • Alice Peacock

    TEST PACKAGES STARTING AT £20

    Tui has announced that customers travelling to green list destinations will be able to purchase coronavirus test packages starting from £20, which is a significant reduction on existing prices.

    The basic package will include a lateral flow test for pre-departure to the UK, and a PCR test to be taken post-arrival in the UK.

    Andrew Flintham, the travel firm's managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: "We have always believed that cost-effective testing solutions, as well as maximum flexibility, will make travel a possibility this summer and beyond.

    "Our research has shown that customers are looking forward to their much-needed holiday overseas, but affordable and easy testing solutions was imperative to make this a reality.

    "The four new exclusive testing packages have been developed with our customers in mind; they're offered at greatly reduced prices, include certification to travel and will be a simple process from start to finish."

  • Alice Peacock

    TWO PFIZER DOSES 'EFFECTIVE AGAINST INFECTION, ILLNESS, AND DEATH'

    Two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech can provide more than 95% protection against infection, severe illness, and death, according to the first nation-wide data from Israel.

    A single dose of the jab, meanwhile, is associated with 58% protection against infection, 76% against hospital admission, and 77% against death, research published in the journal The Lancet suggests.

    The findings are based on a national-level assessment of the effectiveness of the vaccine and is thought to be the first observational evaluation of its kind.

    Israel currently leads the world in Covid-19 vaccinations, with more than more than half (56%) of the population jabbed with two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

    New cases of Covid-19 have dropped dramatically since the country's vaccination programme began, from a peak of more than 10,000 a day in January to a few hundred in March when lockdown was lifted.

  • Alice Peacock

    NO HINT THAT COVID VARIANTS CAN FULLY EVADE VACCINES

    Health experts "haven't seen any hint" at the moment of a Covid variant that can fully evade the effectiveness of vaccines, a leading scientist has said.

    Sharon Peacock, head of the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) and professor of public health and microbiology at the University of Cambridge, said it could be the case that coronavirus mutates to become less infectious.

    Despite this, she warned it could take years for it to become like the common cold.

    Asked whether a variant will emerge somewhere across the globe that is resistant to current vaccines, Prof Peacock told Times Radio: "That's what we'd call it, a variant of major concern.

    "We haven't seen anything like that to date, and the question you're asking is the million dollar question in many ways, everybody wants to know what's the likelihood and when is it likely to occur, if at all."

     

  • Alice Peacock

    OVERVIEW OF COVID VARIANTS

  • Alice Peacock

    WORLD'S FIRST TWEAKED COVID VACCINE

    A refined vaccine has been found to 'neutralise' the Brazil and South African coronavirus variants, US company Moderna claims.

    Latest trials have found getting a third jab of either its current Covid-19 shot or the experimental new tweaked vaccine increases immunity against both variants.

    The booster jabs, given to volunteers previously inoculated with Moderna's two-dose vaccine programme, also boosted antibodies against the original version of Covid-19, Moderna said.

    The early data comes from a 40-person trial testing both Moderna's existing shot and a version developed to protect against the South African variant of Covid-19 called mRNA-1273.351.

    Two weeks after the new jab, Moderna says both the booster shot and the tweaked vaccine increased the antibodies in the blood that can neutralise the two variants of concern.

  • Joseph Gamp

    US ADMINISTERS 249,566,820 COVID VACCINE DOSES

    The United States has administered 249,566,820 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning.

    It has also distributed 321,549,335 doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday.

    Those figures are up from the 247,769,049 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Tuesday out of 318,474,035 doses delivered.

    The agency said 148,562,891 people had received at least one dose while 107,346,533 people are fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

    The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech , as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

  • Joseph Gamp

    NEW STUDY ON ASTRAZENECA JAB AND BLOOD CLOTS (CONTINUED…)

    It said that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks, but it has recommended that adults under 30 should be offered an alternative to the vaccine – such as the Pfizer or Moderna jabs.

    The new study, led by researchers in Denmark, assessed the rates of heart and blood clot "events" in the first 28 days after people were jabbed with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Denmark and Norway.

    Both countries have stopped using the vaccine as part of their immunisation programmes.

    The team of researchers compared data on 281,264 people – about four fifths were women – and compared this with data from the general population.

    The researchers found 59 blood clots in the veins compared with 30 expected in the general population. This equates to 11 excess blood clotting events per 100,000 vaccinations, including 2.5 additional blood clots in the brain per 100,000 vaccinations.

  • Joseph Gamp

    NEW STUDY ASSESSES RARE BLOOD CLOT LINK TO ASTRAZENECA VACCINE

    The absolute risk of blood clots after the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine are “small”, a new study examining the vaccine in Denmark and Norway has concluded.

    But the researchers cautioned that the risks linked to the jab should be “interpreted in the context of the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination”.

    And one UK scientist said that for most people the probability of surviving the year is “much greater for people who accept any vaccine when offered than if they decline it”.

    The study, published in The BMJ, suggests that the vaccine was linked to increased rates of vein blood clots, including clots in the veins of the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population. But the risk of such events is “small”, the authors said.

    The UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, previously concluded that there is a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca jab and extremely rare blood clots.

  • Joseph Gamp

    TRUST IN UK GOVERNMENT ON COVID HAS DETERIORATED MOST IN SCOTLAND, STUDY FINDS

    Scottish people are most likely to think the coronavirus pandemic has been dealt with badly and find Prime Minister Boris Johnson untrustworthy on Covid-19 issues, a new study has found.

    Trust in the UK Government has deteriorated most in Scotland, according to research by the University of Bristol and King's College London, while a majority of Scots (55%) believe the pandemic has been mishandled.

    Across the rest of the UK, 51% of people in Wales, 45% of those in Northern Ireland and 40% in England also feel the pandemic has been handled badly.

    A total of 55% of the Scottish public say the overall experience of the pandemic has decreased their level of trust in the UK Government – the same percentage who think it has been handled either fairly or very badly.

    Just 8% of Scots said the overall experience has increased their trust in the Conservative Government at Westminster. The increased distrust in Scotland is far higher than Wales (43%) and Northern Ireland (43%), while 34% of people in England said their trust in Mr Johnson's Government had decreased.

  • Joseph Gamp

    TWO PFIZER DOSES 'EFFECTIVE AGAINST COVID-19 INFECTION, ILLNESS, AND DEATH'

    Two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech can provide more than 95% protection against infection, severe illness, and death, according to the first nation-wide data from Israel.

    A single dose of the jab, meanwhile, is associated with 58% protection against infection, 76% against hospital admission, and 77% against death, research published in the journal The Lancet suggests.

    The findings are based on a national-level assessment of the effectiveness of the vaccine and is thought to be the first observational evaluation of its kind.

    Israel currently leads the world in Covid-19 vaccinations, with more than more than half (56%) of the population jabbed with two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

    New cases of Covid-19 have dropped dramatically since the country's vaccination programme began, from a peak of more than 10,000 a day in January to a few hundred in March when lockdown was lifted.

  • Joseph Gamp

    HOW THE GOVERNMENT’S GREEN LIST WILL WORK FOR HOLIDAYMAKERS FROM THE 17TH MAY

    How the government’s green list will work for holidaymakers from the 17th May

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    NEW STUDY ASSESSES RARE BLOOD CLOT LINK TO ASTRAZENECA VACCINE

    The absolute risk of blood clots after the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine are "small", a new study examining the vaccine in Denmark and Norway has concluded.

    But the researchers cautioned that the risks linked to the jab should be "interpreted in the context of the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination".

    And one UK scientist said that for most people the probability of surviving the year is "much greater for people who accept any vaccine when offered than if they decline it".

    The study, published in The BMJ, suggests that the vaccine was linked to increased rates of vein blood clots, including clots in the veins of the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population. But the risk of such events is "small", the authors said.

    The UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, previously concluded that there is a "possible link" between the AstraZeneca jab and extremely rare blood clots.

  • Joseph Gamp

    BRAZIL'S BOLSONARO SAYS UNITED STATES WILL SOON SEND VACCINES TO COUNTRY

    Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday that U.S. President Joe Biden will soon send doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to the South American country, which has recorded the world's second-deadliest coronavirus outbreak.

    Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga had previously said Brazil is seeking vaccine supplies from the United States.

  • Joseph Gamp

    AUSTRALIA'S NEW SOUTH WALES STATE REPORTS ONE NEW COVID-19 CASE

    Australia's most populous state of New South Wales reported one locally acquired case of the new coronavirus on Thursday, a day after the state reported its first infection in more than a month.

    A man in his 50s tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and authorities said his wife has also contracted the virus.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MAPPED: GLOBAL COVID HOTSPOTS

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