Green list news LIVE: US, Malta & Croatia tipped for list when Government makes Covid travel announcement THIS Thursday

BRITS will find out crucial updates to the green and amber travel lists on THURSDAY – and quarantine-free holidays to Spain, Greece and Italy could be back on.

Pressure is mounting on the government to ease strict Covid travel curbs as soon as possible and give a huge boost to hopes for much-needed summer breaks in the sun.

Ministers will also decide if any new countries should be added to the short list of destinations where unrestricted holidays are currently allowed. And it’s been reported scientists have already told ministers that the Balearic Islands are now safe to be moved onto the green list.

Malta is also being tipped to be given key green status, reports the Mail.

Matt Hancock has confirmed the Government is "absolutely working on" plans to end mandatory self-isolation for double-jabbed jet-setters.

Instead, those who have had both shots would be able to take daily tests at home to allow them to go about their business. Holidaymakers have been warned that the lists are subject to change at short notice.

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

  • Harvey Lindsay

    BRITAIN ‘ON TRACK’ FOR FREEDOM DAY

    Six in 10 adults have now had both doses of Covid vaccine – as Britain races towards Freedom Day.

    NHS heroes have delivered more than 31.5million second doses of Covid vaccine, just five million short of the goal before re-opening on July 19.

    Top government health advisor Dr Susan Hopkins has previously said seven in 10 Brits need to be fully protected before restrictions are fully lifted.

    New data from the Office for National Statistics yesterday showed nearly nine in 10 (86.6 per cent) of adults in England now have antibodies, either from vaccines or Covid infection.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    ‘POSITIVE’ TALKS OVER REACHING DEAL TO SAVE EURO 2020 FINAL AT WEMBLEY

    A deal to ensure the final stages of Euro 2020 are held at Wembley is on the brink of being struck between the UK Government and Uefa.

    A UK Government source said there had been “positive” talks with European football’s ruling body to address the issues around coronavirus restrictions.

    Uefa is thought to be pushing for 2,500 VIPs to attend the final on July 11 without being subjected to the quarantine requirements that apply to other international travellers.

    A UK source said “final details are being worked through” but ministers have indicated that some restrictions would remain in place.

    Reports had suggested the final could be moved to Budapest if a deal cannot be reached and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has also said that Rome could provide an alternative venue.

    But in a statement, Uefa said: “Uefa, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games.”

  • Harvey Lindsay

    EXPERTS TOLD PM 'DON'T BE FEARFUL' AS BRITAIN COULD ONLOCK SOONER

    Boris Johnson is being "overcautious" and could end lockdown early, on July 5, top scientists and MPs have said.

    Experts insisted the PM could safely ditch the final set of lockdown restrictions and free the country in just two weeks' time.

    Brendan Wren, a professor of vaccinology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the Government has been gripped by "coronamania".

    He said: "I think the Government has been a bit overcautious, there's a certain amount of coronamania going on.

    "We are in a third wave but it's not as bad. It's more like a bump rather than a huge increase.

    "We have a different population to what we had in the first or second wave so we shouldn't be so fearful."

  • Harvey Lindsay

    EXPERT WARNS YOUNG MEN COULD POTENTIALLY BE SPREADING COVID WHILST WATCHING FOOTBALL WITH THEIR MATES

    Young men watching the football at home with their mates could be spreading Covid, an expert has warned.

    Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the Sage subcommittee advising on behavioural science, said "people at home not taking precautions" are the main concern, rather than fans at the matches.

    The University of St Andrews professor said new data from Scotland shows the infection rate is now three times higher for young men.

    "I saw data yesterday from Scotland showing that whereas two or three weeks ago, the ratio of males and females, men and women, who get infections is roughly the same, now it's about three times higher for younger men, and the obvious explanation for that is people meeting up at home, forgetting restrictions," he said.

    Coronavirus is known to spread more easily inside with limited ventilation, with people more likely to be sharing snacks and drinks, adding to the possibility of transmission.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    LATEST FIGURES FROM PHE SHOWS 11,625 NEW COVID-19 CASES

    The latest figures shown by Public Health England show 11,625 positive cases of Covid-19 and 27 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

    Today's figures will be published this evening.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    'HOPE AND EXPECTATIONS' THAT JULY 19 WILL FINALLY SEE COVID RESTRICTIONS END IN ENGLAND SAYS RISHI SUNAK

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said it is his "hope and expectation" that July 19 will be the end of coronavirus restrictions in England.

    Rishi was responding to a question in the Commons from Conservative Greg Smith (Buckingham) about businesses being "desperate" to return staff from furlough.

    Mr Smith said: "Will (Mr Sunak) agree with me that the way to get the economy moving and to get those employees back to work is for restrictions to absolutely be lifted by July 19?"

    Responding, Mr Sunak said: "(Mr Smith) is absolutely right, and my hope and expectation is we do lift those restrictions on July 19 because by that point we will have done what we set out to do, which is to get extra jabs in more people's arms to provide us with that extra level of protection we were seeking."

    Mr Sunak added: "The only sustainable way to protect those jobs is to get the economy reopened so those people can return to work and provide for their families."

  • Harvey Lindsay

    BRITS TO GET GREEN LIGHT: ALL THE COUNTRIES THAT COULD OPEN FOR HOLIDAYS AS THE GOVERNMENT REVEAL GREEN AND AMBER LIST TOMORROW

    The government is set to tell Brits tomorrow where they can travel this summer.

    Boris Johnson is set to announce the countries moving to green, amber and red on the list – with hopes that the Balearics and Malta could get the green light.

    But in an even bigger game-changer, the government will also reportedly announce that quarantine rules for double-jabbed holidaymakers heading to amber nations will be ditched. 

    And unjabbed family members aged under 18 will be able to fly too as they have not been offered the vaccine.

    That would open up unrestricted holidays to countries currently on the medium-risk list – like Spain, France, Italy Greece and the US.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    GOVERNMENT 'WORKING ON PLANS' FOR QUARANTINE-FREE TRAVEL, MATT HANCOCK REVEALS

    The health secretary has announced the Government is "working on" plans for quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated Britons – but international travel remains a "difficult" area, Matt Hancock has said.

    Matt Hancock confirmed that ministers are looking at how to scrap the requirement for people to isolate for 10 days on return from an amber list country.

    Mr Hancock said he is "in favour of moving forward in this area" and replacing quarantine with daily testing.

    "This hasn't been clinically advised yet – we're working on it," he told Sky News.

    He added: "We're working on plans to essentially allow the vaccine to bring back some of the freedoms that have had to be restricted to keep people safe. After all, that's the whole purpose of the vaccination programme, that's why it's so important that every adult goes out and gets the jab."

  • Harvey Lindsay

    NEW 'DELTA PLUS' COVID VARIANT THAT'S 'MORE TRANSMISSIBLE' DETECTED IN UK

    A new "Delta Plus" Covid variant "more transmissible" than the original has been detected in the UK, sources have confirmed.

    Around 41 cases of the mutated variant have been found in the country, after first being reported in India.

    Dr Andrew Lee, Covid Incident Director at Public Health England, said: "PHE has put in place additional control measures where cases of Delta variant with K417N (AY.1) are detected including enhanced contact tracing, rapid testing and isolation. 

    "41 cases in total have been identified in England. Active investigation of cases and clusters will ensure our public health response remains fast and proportionate. 

    "We are continuing investigations to better understand the significance of K417N in addition to Delta. 

    "PHE will continue to closely monitor and assess all changes in the virus as they naturally emerge, given the overall large number of COVID cases globally."

  • Harvey Lindsay

    FLIGHT OPERATORS TUI, VIRGIN ATLANTIC AND IAG JOIN MOUNTING LEGAL ACTION AGAINST GOVERNMENT TRAVEL RULES

    Tui has announced it has joined Virgin Atlantic and British Airways' parent company IAG in supporting legal action against the Government's coronavirus travel restrictions.

    The UK's largest tour operator said the three firms have become interested parties in a challenge that was first launched by Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group last week.

    The legal bid is an attempt to get the Government to be more transparent in relation to how it determines which countries are on the green, amber and red lists under the traffic light system for international travel.

    There are currently no major viable tourist destinations on the quarantine-free green list.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    PRISON STAFF AROUND BRITAIN GO ON STRIKE TODAY OVER COVID SAFETY CONCERNS RAISE DISPUTE

    Prison staff from Lindholme, Hatfield, Moorland and Doncaster have joined around 600 staff at 49 prisons across England in a long running health and safety dispute with employer Novus.

    The dispute is over the failure to address health and safety concerns raised by prison educators, a failure to meaningfully engage with UCU on the part of Novus, and repeated attempts by management to intimidate staff who had raised health and safety issues.

    A spokesman for Novus said: "Our commitment to the health and safety of our colleagues and learners has always been our top priority and we are disappointed that despite our best efforts to resolve the dispute, industrial action by UCU continues.

    "All health and safety concerns raised by colleagues are regularly reviewed and investigated and appropriate action is taken by the Group Health and Safety Managers. These issues are regularly discussed with union members in a recurring health and safety meeting. Unfortunately, despite an open invitation to join these meetings, UCU have not attended since January this year. This has materially impacted our ability to have an open dialogue with UCU on health and safety matters."

  • Harvey Lindsay

    NHS SOUNDS ALARM OVER RISE IN UK COVID PATIENTS ON VENTILATORS

    The NHS is under ‘huge pressure’ as people in ventilator beds increase 41% during last week, NHS bosses say.

    The deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said the number of Covid patients in hospital on ventilation beds had increased by 41% in the last week to to 227, which she said was a strong indication Covid was having an impact on health services. 

    Cordery told BBC Breakfast: “Trusts on the frontline are really coming under huge pressure … they have plans in place to tackle the backlog, but with more Covid cases and demand for emergency care going up, that’s really challenging.”

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said this and other surveillance data were “encouraging”, despite rising case numbers. Lower hospitalisations and death rates relative to case numbers prove the high effectiveness of vaccines in protecting people from serious illness, he said.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    CONTINUED: ALL THE RULES THAT COULD CHANGE ON FREEDOM DAY, JULY 19 – FROM FACE MASKS TO NIGHTCLUBS

    Nightclubs: With all remaining restrictions expected to be ditched on July 19, it means nightclubs, along with dance halls and discotheques, are finallyscheduled to reopen.

    Nightclubs and venues have been shut for more than a year now under restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

    The full list of rules in place for when nightclubs are finally allowed to reopen next month hasn't been confirmed.

    But most businesses have been thinking ahead, putting in place a plan of action when restrictions lift.

    Reduced capacity has also been floated as an idea to make clubs Covid safe – but many owners say they simply cannot survive with fewer customers.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    CONTINUED: ALL THE RULES THAT COULD CHANGE ON FREEDOM DAY, JULY 19 – FROM FACE MASKS TO NIGHTCLUBS

    Social distancing: Instructions to stay two metres away from loved-ones and strangers are also expected to be scrapped next month, if the data continues to look good.

    The ditching of the "one metre plus" rule is expected to allow restaurants, theatres and nightclubs to properly fling their doors back open to customers.

    Rule of six: The Prime Minister is said to be optimistic that all remaining restrictions can be lifted on July 19, meaning limits on socialising will be ditched.

    It means the Rule of Six will be scrapped for gatherings, also.

  • Harvey Lindsay

    ALL THE RULES THAT COULD CHANGE ON FREEDOM DAY, JULY 19 – FROM FACE MASKS TO NIGHTCLUBS

    From face masks and social distancing to nightclubs and the Rule of Six, the Covid rules are set to change on July 19.

    The UK is said to be on track to lift all current restrictions for Freedom Day as ministers are encouraged by "very, very" low death numbers and a slowdown in infections.

    A senior Government source told the newspaper that ministers want to "get as close to normal as possible" on July 19.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously hoped to lift all the Covid restrictions on June 21.

    The wearing of face masks is no longer expected to be compulsory in certain spaces, and laws will be replaced with advice for wearing them.

  • The Sun

    GREEN AND AMBER TRAVEL LISTS UPDATED ON THURSDAY AS BRITS GET READY TO JET OFF – AND QUARANTINE-FREE HOLIDAYS TO SPAIN, GREECE AND ITALY COULD BE BACK ON

    Pressure is mounting on the government to ease strict Covid travel curbs as soon as possible and give a huge boost to hopes for much-needed summer breaks in the sun.

    Tory MP James Cartlidge, the Chancellor’s right hand man and aide in Parliament, wrote to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to demand double jabbed Brits be given freedom next month.

    He said: “The proposal to restart international travel by allowing fully vaccinated people to go on holiday would be an absolute lifeline for this industry.”

    He added: “I believe that allowing fully vaccinated people to travel is reasonable, and an important step we can take to support our fantastic travel business.”

  • The Sun

    DOUBLE-JABBED BRITS LOOKING AT WEEKS UNTIL THEY CAN TAKE CHILDREN ABROAD

    Double-jabbed parents could take unvaccinated kids abroad in a matter of weeks in a huge boost for summer holidays.

    Plans to allow adults with two doses to travel in August to amber list countries are due to be announced by the Prime Minister within days.

    However, ministers are under growing pressure to bring forward the plans to next month to save school holidays on the continent.

    Some MPs are even said to be pressing Boris Johnson to sanction a "big bang" reopening with travel curbs eased at the same time as restrictions are lifted at home – on July 19.

     

  • The Sun

    NEW ‘DELTA PLUS’ VARIANT THREATENS BRITS

    A new "Delta Plus" Covid-19 variant that is "more transmissible" than the original has been reported in India.

    Sixteen cases of the variant that is a mutation of the Delta variant, have been recorded in the state of Maharashtra, health officials said.

    The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday described Delta Plus as "currently a variant of concern," in a statement.

    The new mutation was detected earlier this month but was not considered concerning reports India Today.

  • [email protected]

    BORIS JOHNSON TO ANNOUNCE ON MONDAY IF LOCKDOWN CAN LIFT EARLY

    Boris Johnson's decision about whether to unlock early on July 5 will be announced on Monday, Downing Street confirmed this afternoon.

    The PM is today poring over crucial data ahead of giving his crunch verdict next week.

    He is likely to crush hopes of bringing forward Freedom Day and stick with his "terminus date" of July 19.

    When Mr Johnson announced his four-week delay to the roadmap last week he wrote in a two-week break point to allow wriggle room from an early release.

    No10 said today a decision on whether to pull this trigger will be made on Monday.

  • [email protected]un.co.uk

    AMBER ALERT

    Matt Hancock has confirmed the Government is "absolutely working on" plans to end mandatory self-isolation for double-jabbed jet-setters.

    Instead, those who have had both shots would be able to take daily tests at home to allow them to go about their business.

    The health secretary's announcement will provide hope to millions of sun-starved families aching for a getaway later this summer.

    It would open up all of Europe for tourism as well as further afield destinations such as Canada, Mexico, and the US.

    Read more here

  • [email protected]

    ON THE BRINK

    Hundreds of patients flood Barnsley hospital accident and emergency room causing a rare 'black alert'.

    The NHS facility in South Yorkshire is struggling to keep up with the demand for beds, just days after top doctors warned of mounting pressure due to record numbers of admissions.

    Internal emails seen by The Independent show the institute was forced to declare OPEL 4 status – operational pressures escalation level – on Tuesday amid the shortage, with over 300 patients turning up to the emergency department each day.

    It seems the delay in people missing out on medical treatment in lockdown is finally catching up on the healthcare system, as it is A&E sickness causing the congestion, The Independent reports.

  • [email protected]

    FLIGHT OPERATORS TUI, VIRGIN ATLANTIC AND IAG JOIN MOUNTING LEGAL ACTION AGAINST GOVERNMENT TRAVEL RULES

    Tui has announced it has joined Virgin Atlantic and British Airways' parent company IAG in supporting legal action against the Government's coronavirus travel restrictions.

    The UK's largest tour operator said the three firms have become interested parties in a challenge that was first launched by Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group last week.

    The legal bid is an attempt to get the Government to be more transparent in relation to how it determines which countries are on the green, amber and red lists under the traffic light system for international travel.

    There are currently no major viable tourist destinations on the quarantine-free green list.

  • [email protected]

    RISHI SUNAK SAYS HE HAS 'HOPE AND EXPECTATION' THAT JULY 19 WILL FINALLY SEE COVID RESTRICTIONS END IN ENGLAND

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said it is his "hope and expectation" that July 19 will be the end of coronavirus restrictions in England.

    Rishi was responding to a question in the Commons from Conservative Greg Smith (Buckingham) about businesses being "desperate" to return staff from furlough.

    Mr Smith said: "Will (Mr Sunak) agree with me that the way to get the economy moving and to get those employees back to work is for restrictions to absolutely be lifted by July 19?"

    Responding, Mr Sunak said: "(Mr Smith) is absolutely right, and my hope and expectation is we do lift those restrictions on July 19 because by that point we will have done what we set out to do, which is to get extra jabs in more people's arms to provide us with that extra level of protection we were seeking."

    Mr Sunak added: "The only sustainable way to protect those jobs is to get the economy reopened so those people can return to work and provide for their families."

  • [email protected]

    COVID PATIENTS IN HOSPITAL AT HIGHEST LEVEL

    Patients in hospital with Covid across the UK has risen to its highest level since April.

    The nes comes after a large rise in covid infection rates across the country, with new dailyt cases reaching a four month high.

    A total of 1,378 patients were in hospital on June 20, according to the latest Government figures.

    The figure is up 21 per cent from the previous week, and is the highest since April 29. 

    It is also up 58 per cent from the 870 patients recorded on May 27, which was the lowest number since the second wave of the virus. 

  • [email protected]

    MATT HANCOCK: GOVERNMENT 'WORKING ON PLANS' FOR QUARANTINE-FREE TRAVEL

    The health secretary today said the Government is "working on" plans for quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated Britons – but international travel remains a "difficult" area, Matt Hancock has said.

    Matt Hancock confirmed that ministers are looking at how to scrap the requirement for people to isolate for 10 days on return from an amber list country.

    Mr Hancock said he is "in favour of moving forward in this area" and replacing quarantine with daily testing.

    "This hasn't been clinically advised yet – we're working on it," he told Sky News.

    He added: "We're working on plans to essentially allow the vaccine to bring back some of the freedoms that have had to be restricted to keep people safe. After all, that's the whole purpose of the vaccination programme, that's why it's so important that every adult goes out and gets the jab."

    Source: Read Full Article