Coronavirus news update – UK records just ONE Covid death today as holiday travel green list to be revealed within days

THE UK has recorded one new Covid death today – the first time fatalities have dropped to a single figure since last summer.

It appears to show the vaccine programme is working, with fewer serious illnesses resulting in deaths.

There is often a lag over the weekend in reporting numbers of deaths and new infections, but fatalities have been encouragingly low for weeks.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is set to reveal the foreign holiday list in a matter of days and update it every three weeks – a crucial update that holds the fate of Brits' summer holiday plans in the balance.

The list of ‘green’ countries which Brits can fly to and from after the next easing of restrictions on May 17 could be announced as early as Friday. One source told the Mail on Sunday that Portugal was “on the cusp” of being included.

A new slogan would be adopted by the Government, telling potential holidaymakers to ‘travel safely, plan ahead’, replacing the existing 'minimise travel' guidance.

An announcement of which countries have been assigned which colour was thought to have been pencilled in for Friday but it is thought this could slip to earlier in the week.

Only a “tiny handful” of countries are expected to make it onto the green list, with Europe’s most-popular hotspots expected to be on the amber list, which requires three tests and ten days’ isolation on return.

However, it has been revealed that quarantine and self-isolation will be replaced by daily tests for people who come into contact with Covid carriers. Strict rules will be relaxed for 40,000 in a pilot scheme launched by the Government.

Instead of facing ten days’ mandatory isolation, those in the trial will get a week’s worth of rapid tests, letting them carry on their lives providing the results are negative.

If the trial is a success it will reduce the length of time contacts of positive cases need to lock themselves away, improve social lives and help reopen the economy.

Read our coronavirus live blog below for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    ONLY ONE UK COVID DEATH REPORTED TODAY

    The UK has recorded one new Covid death today – the first time fatalities have dropped to a single figure since last summer.

    It appears to show the vaccine programme is working, with fewer serious illnesses resulting in deaths.

    There is often a lag over the weekend in reporting numbers of deaths and new infections, but fatalities have been encouragingly low for weeks.

    The UK has recorded 1,649 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, with infections remaining steady.

    It comes weeks before the next stage in the roadmap out of lockdown – when people in England will be able to mix indoors as a group of six.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: WHAT ARE THE KEY SYMPTOMS OF A BLOOD CLOT AFTER RECEIVING A VACCINE?

  • Joseph Gamp

    TRIALS TO TEST LIQUID ASPIRIN IMPACT ON COVID IN US – REPORT

    Tests on the ability of liquid aspirin to help beat the coronavirus in its early stages are starting soon.

    The Sunday Times reports that researchers at Louisiana State University are experimenting with 200 patients.

    They hope to slash the rate of hospitalisations.

    A similar trial will be held at King’s College in London.

    The treatment is known as “enhanced liquid aspirin”, and was made by Manchester firm Innovate Pharmaceuticals.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WATCH: THAILAND HIT BY RECORD 31 COVID DEATHS IN 24 HOURS AS THIRD WAVE ‘RIPS THROUGH NIGHT CLUBS IN BANGKOK’

    Thailand hit by record 31 Covid deaths in 24 hours as third wave ‘rips through NIGHT CLUBS in Bangkok’

  • Joseph Gamp

    GOVERNMENT URGED TO FULLY REOPEN US-UK TRAVEL MARKET

    Aviation, and travel groups are urging the full reopening of the busy US-UK travel market.

    A coalition of American and European travel, airline, union, business and airport groups on Monday said it should resume “as soon as safely possible”.

    They said it would be “an ideal opportunity” to announce the reopening when US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in early June.

    America has barred nearly all non-US citizens who have recently been in the UK since March 2020 from the United States.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PFIZER JAB COULD BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR KIDS AGED 12-15

    Kids aged from 12 to 15 could get the Pfizer jab if the vaccine is approved for this age group by the EU’s drug regulator.

    An evaluation is underway to check the jab’s safety, with a decision expected in June.

    The potential rollout to younger people follows the positive response to the jab among a test group of more than 2,000 adolescents.

    The companies’ vaccine is currently approved for use in people ages 16 years and older.

    Extending that approval to the younger age group could offer younger and less at-risk populations in Europe access to the shot for the first time.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EU MEMBER STATES TO DISCUSS OPENING BORDERS TO BRITS THIS SUMMER

    EU member states will tomorrow start discussing the proposal to allow Brits in for sunshine breaks.

    Despite the good news, Boris Johnson is still mulling over his travel ‘green list’ – and it’s likely top holiday destinations, including Spain and Greece, won’t yet be on it.

    During a campaign visit to Hartlepool, he told reporters: “We do want to do some opening up on May 17 but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else.

    “I certainly don’t and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can, whilst we continue to open up.”

    Asked if people should be planning foreign holidays, he said: “We will be saying more as soon as we can. I think that there will be some openings up on the 17th, but we have got to be cautious and we have got to be sensible and we have got to make sure that we don’t see the virus coming back in.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: UK COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS PER DAY

  • Joseph Gamp

    RUSSIA’S COVID DEATH TOLL REACHES 111,198

    Russia reported 8,489 new coronavirus infections on Monday, including 2,635 in Moscow, bringing the total national tally of infections to 4,831,744.

    The Russian coronavirus crisis centre said 336 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 111,198.

    The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and reported a toll of around 250,000 deaths related to COVID-19 from last April to this March.

    Russia recorded more than 400,000 excess deaths from last April to this March during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the state statistics agency.

  • Debbie White

    EU OPENS BORDERS TO BRITS FOR HOLIDAY RUSH

    The EU is planning to let in British tourists who haven't had the Covid jab – in a huge boost for summer holidays.

    Brussels has offered hope for sunshine breaks after revealing proposals for easing border rules for those with vaccinations – as well as those from countries with low infection rates.

    Under current EU restrictions, only people from seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, are allowed to enter the bloc for non-essential reasons.

    But new proposals would mean foreign citizens who are fully vaccinated or from countries with a "good epidemiological situation" would be allowed to travel.

    People arriving from the UK, Russia and a number of other countries would be able to meet the new criteria, it's understood. However, US citizens might not.

  • Debbie White

    COVID DEATHS DECLINE TO ONE – LATEST STATS

    The UK has recorded one new Covid death today – the first time fatalities have dropped to a single figure since last summer.

    It appears to show the vaccine programme is working, with fewer serious illnesses resulting in deaths.

    There is often a lag over the weekend in reporting numbers of deaths and new infections, but fatalities have been encouragingly low for weeks.

    The UK has recorded 1,649 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, with infections remaining steady.

    It comes weeks before the next stage in the roadmap out of lockdown – when people in England will be able to mix indoors as a group of six.

  • Debbie White

    JAB JOY AS 50 MILLION DOSES NOW GIVEN

    The UK has dished out 50million Covid jabs in the record-breaking rollout, Boris Johnson confirmed this afternoon.

    Today the country tipped over the impressive number, with one in four Brits now fully protected with two doses.

    The PM told reporters on a visit to Hartlepool: "With the vaccine rollout going the way that it is – we have done 50 million jabs as I speak to you today – quarter of the adult population, one in four have had two jabs.

    "You are seeing the results of that really starting to show up in the epidemiology."

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We’ve just delivered the 50 millionth jab across the UK! Massive achievement from the team. These jabs are saving lives and helping us get back to normal. Thank you to everyone who has played their part in our national effort."

  • Debbie White

    TRIALS TO TEST LIQUID ASPIRIN IMPACT ON COVID

    Tests on the ability of liquid aspirin to help beat the coronavirus in its early stages are starting soon.

    The Sunday Times reports that researchers at Louisiana State University are experimenting with 200 patients.

    They hope to slash the rate of hospitalisations.

    A similar trial will be held at King's College in London.

    The treatment is known as "enhanced liquid aspirin", and was made by Manchester firm Innovate Pharmaceuticals.

  • Debbie White

    MUTANT COVID THREAT IN LONDON

    Surge testing has been extended in London after yet another case of the South African Covid variant was discovered.

    People over 16 living and working in and around the Woodlands area of Hounslow, West London, have been urged to get a test to stop the spread of the strain.

    The test is PCR – the most reliable – and people should get it even if they are showing no symptoms, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

    People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home.

    Those without symptoms should visit Hounslow’s website for more information. Health bosses say the identified case was not linked with previous cases in the London area.

  • Debbie White

    GOVERNMENT URGED TO FULLY REOPEN US-UK TRAVEL MARKET

    Aviation, and travel groups are urging the full reopening of the busy US-UK travel market.

    A coalition of American and European travel, airline, union, business and airport groups on Monday said it should resume "as soon as safely possible".

    They said it would be "an ideal opportunity" to announce the reopening when US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in early June.

    America has barred nearly all non-US citizens who have recently been in the UK since March 2020 from the United States.

  • Debbie White

    PFIZER JAB FOR KIDS AGED 12-15

    Kids aged from 12 to 15 could get the Pfizer jab if the vaccine is approved for this age group by the EU's drug regulator.

    An evaluation is underway to check the jab's safety, with a decision expected in June.

    The potential rollout to younger people follows the positive response to the jab among a test group of more than 2,000 adolescents.

    The companies' vaccine is currently approved for use in people ages 16 years and older.

    Extending that approval to the younger age group could offer younger and less at-risk populations in Europe access to the shot for the first time.

  • Debbie White

    EU OPENS BORDERS TO BRITS FOR HOLIDAY RUSH… MORE

    EU member states will tomorrow start discussing the proposal to allow Brits in for sunshine breaks.

    Despite the good news, Boris Johnson is still mulling over his travel 'green list' – and it's likely top holiday destinations, including Spain and Greece, won't yet be on it.

    During a campaign visit to Hartlepool, he told reporters: "We do want to do some opening up on May 17 but I don't think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else.

    "I certainly don't and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can, whilst we continue to open up."

    Asked if people should be planning foreign holidays, he said: "We will be saying more as soon as we can. I think that there will be some openings up on the 17th, but we have got to be cautious and we have got to be sensible and we have got to make sure that we don't see the virus coming back in."

  • Debbie White

    EU OPENS BORDERS TO BRITS FOR HOLIDAY RUSH

    The EU is planning to let in British tourists who haven't had the Covid jab – in a huge boost for summer holidays.

    Brussels has offered hope for sunshine breaks after revealing proposals for easing border rules for those with vaccinations – as well as those from countries with low infection rates.

    Under current EU restrictions, only people from seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, are allowed to enter the bloc for non-essential reasons.

    But new proposals would mean foreign citizens who are fully vaccinated or from countries with a "good epidemiological situation" would be allowed to travel.

    People arriving from the UK, Russia and a number of other countries would be able to meet the new criteria, it's understood. However, US citizens might not.

  • Debbie White

    RUSSIA'S COVID DEATH TOLL REACHES 111,198

    Russia reported 8,489 new coronavirus infections on Monday, including 2,635 in Moscow, bringing the total national tally of infections to 4,831,744.

    The Russian coronavirus crisis centre said 336 more deaths of coronavirus patients had been confirmed in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 111,198.

    The federal statistics agency has kept a separate count and reported a toll of around 250,000 deaths related to COVID-19 from last April to this March.

    Russia recorded more than 400,000 excess deaths from last April to this March during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the state statistics agency.

  • Debbie White

    TROUBLE-FREE HOLS POST-LOCKDOWN

    International travel is back on the cards for locked-down Brits, with more announcements expected.

    The i newspaper delved into possible holiday hotspots to gauge the "prospects for trouble-free travel".

    • Spain – Brits love Spain, with 17.4million travelling there in 2019. It hopes to be on the UK's green list of quarantine-free travel.
    • France – Still in a national lockdown, and President Emmanuel Macron seems to trying to fob off Brits in favour of Americans and other EU holidaymakers, so this could be on the government's amber list.
    • Greece – Super keen to welcome Brits to its sunny shore, Greece is has said it wants jabbed UK tourists to visit from May, but it might stay on the amber list for now.
    • Italy – Likely to be on the amber list, as Italy's PM has said that tourism is likely to resume from June.
    • Portugal – Could feature on the UK's green list, as its jab rollout is going well, and its coronavirus infection rate has dropped.
    • Turkey – Turkey is in a three-week lockdown.

    UNRESTRICTED TRADING IN JUNE TO SEE CUSTOMER LIMITS REMOVED

    One-way systems, screens and mask-wearing while moving around might remain for hospitality venues, but customer numbers will no longer be limited, says the Times.

    Audiences in theatres and cinemas will have to wear face coverings during performances, while there will be strict guidance on ventilation and staggered entry, the newspaper reported.

    On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said "some safeguards" may stay in place when legal restrictions end, such as continued use of masks and physical distancing.

    Last month, Government scientific advisers said the public should be able to remove face masks over the summer because of the UK's successful vaccines rollout.

    • Sarah Grealish

      BRITAIN ON COURSE TO DITCH SOCIAL DISTANCING SAYS BORIS

      Britain is on course to ditch on June 21 the social distancing rule that means people need to stay at least one metre apart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

      "I think we've got a good chance, a good chance, of being able to dispense with one-metre plus," Johnson told reporters during a local election campaign visit to the north of England.

    • Sarah Grealish

      PEAKY BLINDERS INVESTIGATED FOR COVID BREACH

      BBC drama Peaky Blinders is being investigated over claims it breached Covid safety rules on set.

      Producers have been accused of putting cast and crew at risk after one staff member allegedly continued working despite testing positive for the virus, The Guardian reports.

      Filming was halted, with a spokesperson for the show saying at the time it was because of a “false positive test for a member of the crew”.

      But crew members have said filming continued for a few hours after the result until it was reported by another staff member.

    • Sarah Grealish

      FRANCE, SPAIN AND ITALY ‘WILL GO ON AMBER LIST’

      HOLIDAY islands in Spain and Greece are expected to be kept off the UK's "green" travel list – despite reporting fewer Covid cases than the mainland.

      Eager Brits wanting a holiday abroad are waiting to hear which countries they can visit without having to quarantine on their return – but only "a handful" of countries are expected to make the approved list.

      A traffic light system of risk will see the world carved up into green, amber or red zones based on vaccine roll-out and case rates, as well as new variants found.

      But insiders warn only a “handful” of countries will be approved for “green” quarantine free travel in the first tranche due to be published this week.

      Gibraltar, Malta, Israel and Iceland are contenders for the coveted status, but holiday favourites France, Spain, Greece and Italy are still some weeks away from being approved and are heading for “amber” status it is believed.

    • Debbie White

      MASK-FREE CONCERTGOERS DANCE WITHOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING IN 'TRIAL'

      Hordes of maskless Brits packed out a non-socially distanced outdoor music festival in Liverpool.

      Some 5,000 excited partygoers arrived at Sefton Park for the pilot event as the UK sets its sights on returning to normal with the government navigating the country out of the coronavirus pandemic.

      The national Events Research Programme is seeking to provide data on how gatherings can be permitted to safely reopen as restrictions ease.

      It is hoped the events will pave the way for festivals across the country to kick start again.

      Thousands of buzzing revellers were pictured enjoying the atmosphere at the pilot – one of the first post-lockdown raves to be held in the UK.

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