Green list travel UPDATE: NEW 'Delta Plus' variant fears might hinder holiday hopes as cases and deaths rise

THE NEW "Delta Plus" Covid variant "more transmissible" than the original has been detected in the UK with 41 cases being monitored.

Delta Plus has been found in nine other countries – USA, India, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, Russia and China.

PHE is not calling it "Delta Plus", and said the World Health Organisation is considering it simply part of Delta, but is monitoring the cases.

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

Covid cases in the UK today jumped by 16,135 – the highest number of new infections in almost five months.

The total number of cases since the pandemic began now stands at 4,667,870.

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

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    WATCH: QUEEN SAYS 'THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER' IN FIRST AUDIENCE WITH BORIS AT PALACE SINCE START OF COVID

    Queen says ‘things are getting better’ in first audience with Boris at Palace since start of Covid

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    JOIN THE MILLIONS ALREADY VACCINATED, NHS PLEADS

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    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.

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    WATCH: BRITS TOLD TO GO GET VACCINATED NOW

    Three in five adults have had second Covid vaccine dose and six appointments are booked every second by over-18s

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    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.

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    BRITS URGED TO GET COVID JAB AMID FEARS NEW VARIANT ‘DELTA PLUS’ FOUND IN UK

    Brits have today been urged to get their vaccines to protect themselves against new variants.

    It comes as "Delta plus", a mutated version of the Delta variant, was confirmed to be in the UK.

    A huge percentage of the country are now fully protected against Covid, with over three in five adults double-jabbed.

    It comes amid a massive rollout targeting all UK adults, as Britain aims to lift lockdown next month.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The vaccination team have been working incredibly hard to provide people with much-needed protection from this life-threatening disease."

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    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 boostto 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.”

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    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.

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    ZAHAWI CONFIDENT 66% OF ALL BRITS WILL HAVE TWO JABS BY JULY 19

    Mr Zahawi is “confident” that 66% of the adult population would have had two jabs by the 19th – the date set by the Prime Minister as the likely end of social restrictions.

    More than 14,000 lives had been saved by the vaccination programme, he added.

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    ZAHAWI: VACCINES ARE WORKING IN FIGHT AGAINST COVID

    Mr Zahawi said more than 14,000 lives had been saved by the vaccination programme, while 44,500 hospital admissions had also been averted in England – 2,500 in the past two weeks.

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    UK VACCINE ROLL OUT 'THE MOST SUCCESSFUL IN HEALTH HISTORY' SAYS DR KANANI

    Dr Nikki Kanani said that the UK's 'world-leading' programme has been the most successful vaccination drive "in health history".

    "Getting vaccinated is the most important thing you can do for you, your family and your community," she added.

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    NHS ENGLAND ANNOUNCES £20M BOOST FOR VACCINATION SITES ACROSS COUNTRY

    An extra £20 million will be invested in the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in England, it has been announced, amid a rise in Covid-19 cases across the country.

    The NHS has said the cash will be used to provide extra support for GPs, pharmacists and local services at vaccination sites around the nation.

    It will also help increase staffing numbers at sites over the next month to help with the ongoing jabbing efforts, with NHS England calling it the "drive for the finish line".

    NHS England medical director of primary care Dr Nikki Kanani said: "Our local GP and pharmacy sites have been an integral part of the vaccination programme, delivering around 75% of the jabs administered so far, and we are incredibly thankful for them going above and beyond to keep our families and communities protected from Covid-19.

    "This additional funding gives these essential local institutions, like general practices and pharmacies, the resources to bring more staff on board and help the country drive for the finish line as we enter the final stages of the vaccine rollout."

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    ONE IN THREE 18-24-YEAR-OLDS HAVE GOT FIRST JAB SINCE THE PROGRAMME OPENED TO ALL ADULTS

    Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “I have been absolutely thrilled to see videos of young people coming forward at some of our major vaccination events last weekend and I’m sure they’ll be doing the same this coming weekend.

    “The enthusiasm is making a huge difference. We have already given first doses to almost half of all 25 to 29-year-olds in England and only a week after the programme opened to all adults on Friday, one third of people aged between 18 and 25 have had their first dose.”

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    OVER 250,000 SECOND DOSES ADMINISTERED IN ENGLAND

    Government data up to June 22 shows that of the 75,188,795 jabs given in the UK so far, 43,448,680 were first doses – a rise of 299,837 on the previous day.

    Some 31,740,115 were second doses, an increase of 250,875.

    The figures include all vaccinations reported by midnight on June 22, including those recorded on pen and paper by NHS England following an IT system crash.

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    63 MILLION VACCINATIONS GIVEN OUT, SAYS DR NIKKI KANANI

    We have already protected 4 in 5 adults with a first dose, says Dr Nikki Kanani.

    Some people are anxious about coming for a vaccine.

    Building vaccine confidence is part of our plan from the start, she says.

    More people from ethnic minority backgrounds are taking up the vaccine.

     

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    QUEEN HOSTS BORIS JOHNSON

    This si the first time the Queen has hosted Boris Johnson at Buckingham Palace since the start of the pandemic in March last year.

    The Prime Minister was welcomed at the royal residence for his weekly audience with Her Majesty.

    The pair, who were together at the G7 summit earlier this month, have conducted their audiences by telephone ever since the coronavirus pandemic swept through the nation.

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    NINE IN 10 UK ADULTS HAVE EITHER TAKEN VACCINE OR WANT TO, SAYS JABS MINISTER

    Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said nine in 10 UK adults have either taken the vaccine or say they want to, and says this is "no accident.

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    VACCINE PROGRAMME DELIVERED BY THE COMMUNITY

    Mr Zahawi said: "Our vaccination programme has been delivered in the community, by the community, and for the community."

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    ZAHAWI ANNOUNCES LONDON SUMMIT TO BOOST VACCINE UPTAKE IN CAPITAL

    He said there were “hard yards” on the road to recovery still and more people still had to come forward to take the vaccine.

    He said London had lower numbers for first doses and a London summit would bring together experts and community leaders in the capital to “boost that crucial uptake” in the weeks leading yup to the end of social restrictions.

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    ZAHAWI: THE VACCINE WILL PROTECT EVERYONE YOU CARE ABOUT

    Mr Zahawi pleaded with the public to get their vaccines.

    "It will help protect you and your family, your friends and everyone you care about."

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    SIX APPOINTMENT BOOKED EVERY SECOND IN FIRST TWO DAYS OF OVER-18 AGE GROUP, SAYS ZAHAWI

    Mr Zahawi says almost half of 25 to 29-year-olds in England have now had their first dose.

    Six jab appointments were booked every second in the first two days after vaccines were opened up to over-18s, he says.

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    ZAHAWI: FEWER THAN ONE IN TEN IN HOSPITAL WITH DELTA VARIANT HAVE HAD BOTH JABS

    The minister said fewer than one in ten people in hospital with the Delta variant have had both jabs which showed the importance of people getting vaccinated.

    He said the four week delay to re-open would allow the NHS “time” to get more people jabbed.

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    SIX IN 10 UK ADULTS FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19, FIGURES SHOW

    Six in 10 adults in the UK are estimated to have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, latest figures show.

    A total of 31,740,115 second doses have now been delivered since the vaccination rollout began in December last year.

    This is the equivalent of 60.3% of all people aged 18 and over.

    Of the four nations of the UK, Wales has the highest proportion of adults fully vaccinated, with 61.6% having received both jabs (1,553,091 second doses).

    England is just behind on 60.4% (26,745,666 second doses), followed by Scotland on 59.0% (2,617,450) and Northern Ireland on 56.7% (823,908 second doses).

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    40 YEAR OLDS CAN GET SECOND JAB EARLY, SAYS VACCINE MINISTER

    There's been big uptake so far, said Mr Zahawi.

    9 in 10 people have either taken vaccine or want to take the vaccine, said Mr Zahawi.

    We got here because we actively went out to have two weay conversations with people, he continued.

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    ZAHAWI: MISSION IS TO GET AS MANY PEOPLE VACCINATED AS POSSIBLE IN FOUR WEEK FREEDOM DELAY

    The mission now is to protect as many people as possible and to get them vaccinated as quick as possible.

    We will use the four week delay to get remaining jabs in arms of people who need them.

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